Thursday, May 31, 2018

BR1M is now BSH

Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia was one of the main excuses Mahathir Mohamad had given when he started gunning for Najib Razak in 2015. He called it a form of corruption. Since then BR1M had been lynched and its recipients were shamed and told that there were receiving "dedak" from the Najib Administration. Najib was accused of bribing his way to get the people's support and of draining the nation's coffers in the process. In the run-up to the PRU14, even Mokhzani, the usually low-profiled son of Mahathir, and one of the wealthiest persons in Malaysia, got tangled up when he made perhaps one of the most seething insults on BR1M and its 7-odd million recipients. Read Getting BR1M nothing to shout about, says Mokhzani; Vell Paari slams Mokhzani for "disrespecting" BR1M recipients.

Perhaps realising how well BR1M was doing to help out Malaysians in the lower-income groups, and how threatening to abolish it might lose him and Pakatan Harapan support in the May 9 general election, Mahathir softened his stand on Najib's brainchild. Najib: Dr M thick-skinned for U-turn on BR1M

Today the scandal-ridden Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng confirmed that the Government is keeping BR1M but will be calling it BSH, or Bantuan Sara Hidup. The first BSH payout will cost the Government RM1.6 billion and benefit 4.1 million people. 

Alhamdulillah! And Thank You, Najib Razak.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A good Opposition leader, like Kit Siang?

If Zahid Hamidi listens to Lim Kit Siang’s unsolicited advice on “How to be a good Opposition Leader”, I’m afraid it might take BN 50 years instead of five to take back Putrajaya. BN does not have such luxury. Kit Siang was lucky, he had all the time in the world. The DAP stalwart was Opposition leader for a record three times, spanning 30 years. Including a 24-year uninterrupted stretch from 1975 to 1999, which must have been some kind of a world record or something.  
Despite this long tenure, the Opposition made very little headway under Kit Siang. In fact, it became weak and it suffered many humiliations, especially during Mahathir Mohamad’s era (Prime Minister, 1981-2003). If Kit Siang had been a good Opposition leader, the voters would have kept him. Instead, at the 1999 polls, they showed him the door. Lim led the Opposition for the last time from 2004 to 2008 and had better luck in the 12th general election, but only because he and the Opposition had help from Dr Mahathir, who was going after Pak Lah, the Prime Minister then. 
If Kit Siang had been a good Opposition leader, we the people wouldn’t be paying through our noses for our highways today. And Mahathir would not get to create the IPPs for his cronies. And Penangites would still be taking the ferry to go to the mainland. Just to mention a few.  
No, Zahid will be better off creating his own brand as Opposition Leader. I hope he does not oppose just for the sake of opposing, which was what Kit Siang was all about. The Leader of the Opposition must provide check and balances, call a spade a spade, tamper the new Government’s over-eagerness with the realities on the ground. Put the people first, as Tony Fernandes would say, and everything would fall into place. 

#Leader of the OppositionPolitical partyTerm of officePrime MinisterRefs
Took officeLeft office
1Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgBurhanuddin al-Helmy
MP for Besut
PMIP19591964Tunku Abdul Rahman
2Tan Chee Khoon.jpgTan Chee Khoon
MP for Batu
-Position vacant19691971
Abdul Razak Hussein
3Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgMohamed Asri Muda
MP for Pasir Puteh
4Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Bandar Malacca
DAP30 January 197331 July 1974[2]
5Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgJames Wong
MP for Miri-Lubis
6Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgEdmund Langgu Saga
(b. 1936)
MP for Saratok
SNAP4 November 19744 November 1975[3]
(4)Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Kota Melaka (1975-1978)
MP for Petaling (1978–1982)
MP for Kota Melaka (1982-1986)
MP for Tanjong (1986–1999)
DAP4 November 197512 June 1978[4]
Hussein Onn
31 July 197829 March 1982[5]
Mahathir Mohamad
10 July 198219 July 1986[6]
8 October 19864 October 1990[7]
10 December 19906 April 1995[8]
15 June 199510 November 1999[9]
7Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgFadzil Noor
MP for Pendang
PAS20 December 199923 June 2002[10]
8Abdul Hadi Awang
(b. 1947)
MP for Marang
PAS9 September 20024 March 2004[11]
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
(4)Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Ipoh Timor
DAP19 May 200413 February 2008[12]
9Wan Azizah.jpgWan Azizah Wan Ismail
(b. 1952)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PKR30 April 200828 August 2008[13][14]
10Anwar Ibrahim.jpgAnwar Ibrahim
(b. 1947)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PKR28 August 20083 April 2013[15]
Najib Razak
26 June 201316 March 2015[16][17]
(9)Wan Azizah.jpgWan Azizah Wan Ismail
(b. 1952)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PH(PKR)18 May 201510 May 2018[18]
11Najib Razak 2008-08-21.jpgNajib Razak
(b. 1953)
MP for Pekan & Former Prime Minister of Malaysia
BN(UMNO)10 May 201812 May 2018Mahathir Mohamad[19]
12Deputy Prime Minister Hamidi - 2017 (36294565072) (cropped).jpgAhmad Zahid Hamidi
(b. 1953)
MP for Bagan Datuk & Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
BN(UMNO)12 May 2018Incumbent

Monday, May 21, 2018

Malaysians, bow your heads

Move aside Khairuddin Hassan, Matthias Chang and Tony Pua ...  The hero is Justo, says Clare Rewcastle-Browne. 

Clare, the Sarawak Report editor, is in town. Her travel ban to Malaysia has been lifted by the new Government, which is clearly indebted to her. And especially to ex-convict Justo, who had an audience with the new Prime Minister. Three weeks ago, Clare was ordered by a court in the UK to pay Ustaz Hadi Awang of PAS RM155,000 for defamation. Today she's a goddess.
A new Malaysia, indeed.  
Tun Taib Mahmud, you may be good friends with Tun Mahathir, but you're next!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Tunami: 7 days later

"It wasn't a Malay or Chinese tsunami, it was the Tunami ... if BN ever want to know what hit them." - A former NST sports editor

It's already a week after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th general election but, as pointed out by the blogger Big Dog while the cops were raiding ex-PM Najib Razak's family home in Kuala Lumpur yesterday until the wee hours of Ramadan (hence, Nurul Izzah's tweet), Malaysia was practically still under a one-man Government. After that posting, Dr Mahathir Mohamad made himself Education Minister and gave his deputy a portfolio but it won't be until next Monday, at the earliest, that we'd have a Cabinet. 

The move to zero-rate the GST, effective June 1, has appeased many. People aren't celebrating just as yet, though. Because they don't know if the new SST will actually reduce their cost of living, a major theme in the general election. Plus, it may take longer than 100 days to instal a new tax regime, said former Bank Negara government Zeti, who is one of the members of the Council of Elders helping out Mahathir's government. But it is a good start, nonetheless.

In the meantime, Mahathir said he was Not aware raid on Najib's house done at night. Deja vu?

Selamat berbuka puasa to all my Muslim readers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Anwar Ibrahim, pardoned and freed

Someone in the group asked last night, "Is there anything that Mahathir fears? What, apart from the Almighty? I don't know. Right now I guess IF there's anything or anyone that Mahathir Mohamad might fear, it'd be a free Anwar Ibrahim. I repeat: IF...  
KUALA LUMPUR: Jailed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday (May 16) left the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital a free man after receiving a royal pardon from the Malaysian king.
The Pardons Board met at 11am to discuss Anwar's release and application for a pardon.
Smiling and looking spry in a tailored black suit, Anwar emerged from a Kuala Lumpur hospital where he had undergone surgery for a shoulder problem, giving a thumbs-up to a crowd of journalists before leaving in a car without comment.
Anwar and his wife, the nominated deputy prime minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, were earlier on Wednesday morning invited for an audience with the king, Sultan Muhammad V, at 12.30pm at the royal palace.
According to Anwar's lawyer, the king granted the PKR leader a full pardon, expunging all past convictions.
The 70-year-old began serving a five-year sentence in February 2015 after the Malaysian high court upheld his conviction and sentence on a charge of having sodomised a former personal aide.
Anwar was jailed in Sungai Buloh Prison, and was scheduled to be freed on Jun 8. He has spent the last few months in hospital recovering from a shoulder operation.
The royal pardon reverses Anwar's conviction and makes him eligible to actively participate in politics. His daughter Nurul Izzah told Channel NewsAsia on the eve of his release that the pardon "completely validate(s) his innocence".
Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said he will hand over the reins to Anwar once the latter is elected as a Member of Parliament in a by-election or elected as a senator.
On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir told a Wall Street Journal conference that he will be prime minister for "one or two years".
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Dr Wan Azizah also said the appointment of her husband as Malaysia's new prime minister will not be made in haste.
The reversal of Anwar's conviction and his role as PM-in-waiting caps a roller coaster political career for the former deputy prime minister. In 1998, he was sacked by then-Prime Minister Dr Mahathir.
A year later, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison - and then another nine years for corruption and sodomy.
In 2004, he was freed after the sodomy conviction was overturned. He became the de facto leader of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance and in the 2008 general election, led it to victory in the states of Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan and Perak.
In 2015, he was sent back to jail on the sodomy charge - a move he said was a bid by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak to end his political career.
He eventually teamed up with his former foe, Dr Mahathir, and watched his former boss sworn in as the country's seventh prime minister from his hospital bed.
- Channel News Asia