Monday, August 31, 2009

There is a New Name for 'Denial' = Koh Tsu Koon

There is a new name for 'denial': Koh Tsu Koon. At his party's state conference, the 'out-of-favour' KPI minister hit out at his successor Lim Guan Eng for not telling the whole truth about the Kampung Buah Pala land issue.

“He has told only the partial truth, and is good in twisting facts about the issue.

“He said he had the chronology of the minutes during the state executive council meeting related to the issue by the previous government, but he had only revealed partial information.

“This is unfair, and if he wants, we can answer all his allegations. We had found solutions to the problems faced by the villagers but it was the Opposition that then tried to create problems,” he added.

Koh and his party leaders are still adamant that they did no wrong in the fiasco. Koh should have volunteered to tell the whole truth without even asking the permission of Lim Guan Eng. He is answerable to the people of Penang and the folks of Kampung Buah Pala.

Koh's insistence that the current state government should be blamed for the fiasco has only proven his irresponsibility as a former chief minister of the state.

Since Koh has volunteered, he should answer these questions:

1) Why was Kampung Buah Pala land taken from the villages although the land was held in a trust specially created to allow the descendants of the families to reside there?
2) Why did Koh allow the sale of the land to a cooperative of the state civil servants without seeking the approval/agreement/views of the residents?
3) Why was the land sold at a huge (50%) discount?
4) Did the ex-state government include the interest of the Kampung Buah Pala folks so that they can also benefit from the RM150 million redevelopment of the land?

Koh's record on accountability and transparency was controversial. The self-proclaimed 'Mr Clean' has more than just a sprinkle of dirt on his body.

Koh's reluctance to clear the air on Kampung Buah Pala will drive the last nail on the coffin for Gerakan. Koh should not even start talking about the PGCC and other dubious and costly land scams which may cost the state government millions of ringgit in court settlements.

Lim Guan Eng's vision to develop Penang may be a bit hazy but his commitment to run a transparent and clean government is undisputed. Then again, can any of us name the legacy of Koh's 18 years leadership of the state?

Koh said the party was training many young leaders who could take on Lim. Hopefully not those who had made several MACC and police reports against Lim for not wanting to disclose the address or the tenancy contract of his temporary rented home.

Some of his 'highly enlightened young leaders' even insinuated that Lim should catch the white ants infested his official residence on his own to prove that he was capable of running the state.

The fact that the PM has appointed a new KPI minister shows that it is better for Koh to focus on his own performance or risk being booted out in the next cabinet reshuffle.

Yum Cha: Battle between the old and new MCA

DATUK Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is half right about the leadership conflict in MCA. It is not about him or Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

It is not even a “class conflict” as claimed by his supporters. Dr Chua, a medical doctor, is hardly a grassroots leader.

It is a tussle between the old and new MCA. It is a tussle between a group of party leaders and members who want to keep the old political and business nexus alive which can be used to shelter tainted leaders and their wrongdoings and those who want the party to regain its political potency.

Some of us had poked fun at a few ex-leaders of the party for not being able to stand up against the excesses and arrogance of its coalition partner.

They were seen as carrying too much baggage to be able to do much without being told to shut up or risk their own personal scandals being exposed.

Ironically, some of the party leaders and delegates are striving to do exactly the same — reinstating morally tainted leaders back to the leadership hierarchy.

More than a thousand delegates may be enough to challenge the power equilibrium of the party.
But can they help to restore the battered image of MCA which has been long associated with its deep interest in the old patronage system?

Can these delegates help the party recapture the seats it lost in the last general election by continuing to hold on to the old MCA?

The involvement of past MCA leaders in the PKFZ fiasco is a prime example. So far, none of them has volunteered enough information to help with the investigation.

Can these tainted leaders project a solid moral authority to help ensure that this Government remains clean, honest and responsible?

Hence, the sacking of Dr Chua has given a chance for some leaders and members of the old network who were uncomfortable with the recent PKFZ expose to unite and pool together their resources in trying to return MCA back to its status quo.

The old MCA would have been able to continue to shield them from any further expose and prosecution.

Dr Chua was a good leader who was involved in a career-ending sex scandal. He calls it unfortunate, we call it tragic.

He should have accepted that the final curtain of his political career had drawn down.
He should be grateful that the party was ready to groom his son and had even allowed him to take over Dr Chua’s former parliamentary seat.

A writer asks “Can a minority of individuals punish a duly elected leader proven to have been forgiven, reflected by the voting support given to him by MCA central delegates despite them knowing the full background of Dr Chua’s controversy incident?”

Calling it an incident is a joke. But a larger question which must be asked by the members is whether the people can accept Dr Chua’s stewardship of MCA?

In the last general election, a number of leaders who had enjoyed unsurpassed support from their party grassroots were easily defeated by less prominent opponents.

Public perception is most crucial in politics. Politicians often ignore this fact at their own peril.
As a prominent leader, Dr Chua has to be fully aware of the power of perception and he must be brave enough to put his party’s interest before his.

His sex scandal does not dilute his political contribution to his state and country. But it has created a blot on his credibility which makes it detrimental for him to continue leading his party, especially in a country where some moral guardians cannot even tolerate a beer drinking model.

The current dispute between Dr Chua and Ong is very destructive to the party. However, the fault does not lie with the two leaders alone.

The disciplinary committee should not have allowed Dr Chua to contest in the last party election until he was fully cleared. They did not act in his best interest.

It would have been better for Dr Chua to be fully cleared of his offence before being allowed to make a political comeback. For this, we call it unfortunate. It was a comeback made too early.

After his election as the deputy president of MCA, only Dr Chua can confirm if he had put undue pressure on his president to consider making him one of the four ministers or be given other prominent positions.

If Dr Chua was aware of the power of public perception, he should have exercised more restraint and understanding that his request would have put the party president in a very difficult position.

The ball is now in Dr Chua’s court. His next action will determine if he has reached a point of no return. He has to choose between mediation and confrontation.

The latter, supported by those who are rallying behind the call to “Save Chua – Knock out Ong” may end up seeing MCA break into pieces and vanish into a permanent political oblivion.

This is a sad episode for the second biggest party in Barisan.

The party leadership should have focused on redeeming its political image by helping and supporting its new president to tackle the biggest financial scandal in the history of Malaysia, and not distracting him with an internal uprising and threats to displace him from his party position.

Ong must be given a chance to prove his worth in the PKFZ investigation.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cow Head & Air Head


Some 50 residents enraged with the proposed relocation of a Hindu temple to their area staged a noisy protest with a severed cow's head this afternoon.

The residents - from Section 23 in Shah Alam - who gathered after the Friday prayers, placed the head outside the gates of the state secretariat building for a short period before removing it.

In another report, Section 23 residents action committee chairperson Mahyuddin Manaf said "We did a post mortem (on the protest) but could not identify the people who brought it," he told Malaysiakini.

Is Mahyuddin telling a lie on Ramadhan? He should refer back to another statement made by his deputy.

Addressing the crowd, Section 23 action committee deputy chair Ibrahim Sabri said: "If there is blood, you (the state government) will be responsible if you are adamant about building the temple."

"This is a warning. Relocate the temple to Section 22. This cow is a present to the state government. This is a gift from us," he added.

Mahyuddin said that the cow head was likely brought by angry residents."Maybe, they meant it (as a symbol of) stupidity. In Malay culture, the cow is a symbol of stupidity, or leaders that are stupid," he said.

Which Malay culture is Mahyuddin referring to? Can we bring a pig's head to a protest against the building of a mosque in a non-Muslim majority area? Later, can we claim that the pig is a symbol of stupidity too?

This act of provocation, whether using a cow or a pig head, is insensitive and stupid. No, the leaders are not stupid because they were trying to accommodate Malaysians of all faiths and culture to co-exist peacefully.

Mahyuddin and his gang are the air heads. The action of Mahyuddin using the label of Islam is actually doing a big injustice to the religion founded by the great prophet.

Shame on you! This is proven stupidity if Mahyuddin continue to insist that he does not know a cow is sacred to the Hindus.

Please stop hiding behind the race curtain again for acting like a moron. This self-proclaimed PAS member should be sacked from the party.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why Can't Kartika Be Whipped?

When I was in Hong Kong during the last few days, I was asked by a number of fellow consultants and journalists about the Pahang Syariah High Court judge's ruling to impose a whipping sentence against a Muslim lady, Ms Kartika, who was caught drinking beer at a lounge.

The news item was the only major report on Malaysia in CNN and BBC in the last few days. I am not going to repeat some of the remarks made by these international journalists and consultants here. The remarks were not very favourable to Malaysia. A friend told me that it was even worse than medieval.

Dr Mahathir was right to call the sentence too harsh. He added that the sentence had given a wrong impression of the Islamic law. Dr M said Islam is compassionate to first time offenders. It should focus on rehabilitating the offenders rather than humiliating them.

Malaysia's international image as a Muslim-majority democracy will surely be tainted if the authority is adamant to carry out the sentence. How would Kartika's children feel to see their mom being whipped in public for her beer drinking offence? Are those committing incest and adultery being treated the same?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stumbling blocks to nation's progress (Mkini)

At dinner last night, a foreign investor asked me if he should continue to bet his money on Malaysia in the next five years. He was anxious to find out if Malaysia can ride out the current economic crisis.

I told him that the indicators so far are not good. On the economy, it is quite obvious that the government and the ruling elites do not display enough political will, deep economic knowledge and policy wisdom to take this country to a higher level.We have identified two crucial challenges for the economy.

First, it is quite obvious that our fixation with building mega dollars industrial parks and hubs is not working.

Malaysia's economic success cannot be solely dependent on industrial parks.What we should do is to focus on enhancing the quality of education in the country. Without a pool of highly skilled labour, it will be difficult for us to attract higher value investment into the country. Malaysia's dependence on low cost foreign labour is a major barrier for innovation.

It is an open secret that this government does not focus on the substance of a good education policy. The whole debate on the use of language has created a diversion from the real problem faced by this country.Until and unless something is being done to enhance, revamp and reorganise the curriculum and the quality of teachers in this country, Malaysia's hope of joining the ranks of high-income countries will remain a mere dream.

Since the last general election, many Malaysians and foreigners are hopeful that this country will change for the better. Many of them will be disappointed to find out that the quality of political discourse has taken yet another dip for the worse.

The opposition coalition has not performed much better either. Constant bickering and open disputes over trivial issues only helped to expose a lack of calibre in their leadership ranks.

Malaysians must make a serious choice on whether they should continue to tolerate current political antics or demand better quality politicians in the next general election.

The use of extreme racial and religious language in the ongoing Permatang Pasir by-election is an indication of what to expect in the next general election.

Race relations in the country could turn for the worse if Malaysians allow themselves to be manipulated and influenced by the propaganda and rhetoric.Less than capable and tainted politicians will continue to hide behind the race and religious curtain for survival.For those who thought that racism in Malaysia is over after the last general election, they might be disappointed.

The next general election will put Malaysian political maturity to test.Malaysians will find little fault with race and religion if we can agree that good governance and a responsible government is more important.

Mutual respect and acceptance can be nurtured once the blame game stops.The local politics is not only suffering from a devious manipulation of race and religion to score political points but also corruption and abuse of power.

Several scandals e.g. the PKFZ fiasco, thousands of custodial deaths, judicial independence, alleged collusion between the ruling government and the public institutions and others have rocked the country in recent times. Many foreign observers are surprised that many Malaysians have been remarkably resilient and tolerant towards these scandals. Many governments would not have survived even one of the scandals.

Socially, this society is at a crossroads. The ruling government is very aggressive in promoting its new slogan, '1Malaysia'. But as many as 40 percent of Malaysians are not quite sure what it really means.

The government is now considering dropping a race identification tick box from all official forms. This is merely a cosmetic move as a person's race can be easily identified from his/her name.So far, the ruling government does not show any indication that it is serious in eradicating real racial profiling, promoting equality among all Malaysians, respecting democratic rights to assembly and free speech, enhancing democracy and improving its own governance.

Other emerging countries are using the crisis to improve and correct their internal discrepancies. It does not take long for Malaysia to fall behind the pack if the government continues to focus on political contestation and neglecting everything else.

After hearing me, the foreign investor told me he had made up his mind on where to put his money and place his next bet. I hope he is still committed to Malaysia.

Monday, August 24, 2009

On the PKFZ, Ong Must Not Walk Alone


MCA president Ong Tee Keat today filed a RM500 million defamation suit against BN Backbenchers Club chairperson Tiong King Sing over the latter's claim of giving RM10 million to the minister. The suit was motivated by Tiong's allegation that he had 'donated' RM10 million to Ong.

This is a funny story. If Tiong had made a donation and expected nothing back in return what is the motive for Tiong to turn the donation into a credibility issue for Ong? Is the BNBBC chairman and Bintulu MP expecting his favour to be returned in the PKFZ expose.

Many Malaysians may not be motivated to defend or support Ong in this issue because he is the president of a BN component party. I am equally baffled why Ong has continued to defend and tolerate UMNO's racist policies and statements. But this is entirely a different issue.

The fact is Ong is merely doing his job to investigate the PKFZ financial fiasco which is threatening to pull a dark cloud over the country. Without his commitment to dig deep into the issue, it would not have been possible for us to find out that there may be a potential breach of financial integrity which had lead to an over billing of RM500 million to RM1 billion.

On the PKFZ, Ong has obviously risked it all. Based on my current assessment, it will be a tough battle for Ong to keep his parliamentary seat (Pandan) in the next general election. I am sure many parties are out for his blood and he will end up having to pay a high price for his political career.

MCA's insistence to continue working with UMNO may be a bad political calculation. But it must not discount the fact that Ong's good work to honour his commitment to account for the PKFZ fiasco is admirable.

For this, he must not walk alone.

Many rich and powerful people are using the judiciary (defamation suits) to silence critics and to shut out people from reporting their wrongdoings. I sympathize with Ong because I am a victim of such devious act as well which wanted to put me in a difficult financial position.

Permatang Pasir & Old Tactics

The ongoing campaign for the Permatang Pasir by-election shows that political parties, especially UMNO, are still embracing and breathing their old habits - inciting communal hatred and manipulating religion.

UMNO, as a leader of BN, was expected to change their way and adopt a truly Malaysian political model to help revive the waning support of its coalition partners. But its political campaign, including the onslaught of its mouthpieces (Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, paid cybertroopers and a Chinese Muslim convert), implies that the party has given up on its partners to help revive the coalition.

BN as a multiracial and truly Malaysian coalition is dead. BN, with a dominant race based party and its hostile racial agenda (now overtly and openly) hopes to recapture the Malay community support by propagating 'Malay Unity' and by instilling a false sense of fear that the Malays are losing their political power because the non-Malays are now rejecting UMNO/BN.

It will be a sad moment for the country if a large segment of the Malay community accepts the argument. UMNO is still taking the community as a herd. The leaders are using the old tactics of misleading the rest and lead them to help protect the party's own political interests.

So far, there is no vital sign showing that the Malay community is reacting positively to the party's propaganda. Nevertheless, the PR coalition should shoulder some blame if the Malay community is spooked by the 'Malay unity' rhetoric. Malaysia needs the Malays to lead the way. Many leaders among the community were the first ones who would leap to defend and protect the country's fragile democracy.

Hence, the PR coalition should learn and learn quickly on how to build the confidence level and capacity of the Malay community to embrace a new people driven and Malaysian centric political model. It is a fact that the Malays were victims of unfair racial blame game and had faced unwarranted cynical remarks about their status and privileges - a fact now disputed by analysts because many Malays have not benefited from the NEP.

Non-Malay leaders in the PR coalition should recognize and play a greater role in forging a strong mutual partnership with their Malay counterparts. DAP Lim Kit Siang had warned that the coalition may be a one-term wonder if disputes are not sorted out quickly. Leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Zaid Ibrahim, Khalid Samad, Khalid Ibrahim and other are working relentlessly to make this multiracial coalition work.

Are the DAP leaders making the same kind of sacrifice? Its leaders are still reacting unnecessarily to show that they are protecting some symbolic 'struggles' which are closely related to the rights of Chinese e.g. the demolition of pig abattoir in Kedah, beer ban in Selangor and others. Their reactions, without considering the merit of each case, are bound to be manipulated by their opponents to benefit their own racial game.

DAP must accept the fact that the party does not have a Malaysian face yet and it must work on it. If PKR elected representatives are the weakest link in the PR coalition, the DAP is the easiest target for UMNO's racist game. The party must act swiftly to stop some unscrupulous politicians from using a lethal combination of race and religion to wreak its partnership with PAS.

Some BN leaders have predicted that a doom is near for the PR coalition since the defection of PKR's Lunas assemblyman. A few defections, mainly from tainted bad hats, will not spell a doom for the coalition. In fact, it is a good thing for the PR coalition. But a possible ideological clash between PAS and DAP, manipulated by their enemies, can prove to be destructive to the nascent coalition.

In the event PR does not survive, we must remember not to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of PKR leaders. We have to acknowledge the fact that the coalition, despite its intention to fight racism, is a victim of its own ethno-religious egoism.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Ramadhan Holiday Treat - The One Concert



Bring your family up to Genting to enjoy this local Michael Jackson musical production.

The concert is organized by Nuovo Entertainment and jointly produced by JS World Entertainment, CMG and GFW. It is supported by Sony Music. The One Concert will be held at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands Resort on this coming 20th September 2009.

Ticket can be purchased starting from 24th August 2009, at the Genting Box counters. The prices are (VIP) RM300, (R&B) RM120, RM80 and RM50 (free seating). Early birds are entitled to 20% discount. This offer is limited to only the first 1000 tickets. For ticket reservation and promotion, please contact Genting hunting line at 03-27181118 or visit http://www.genting.com.my/.

Nation in Distress? Find Out What You Can Do


I was at a social networking session last night and met a few new friends. One of them told me that he would have joined politics ten years ago if the situation was like after the 308 tsunami. I told him it is never too late.

He expressed his apprehension to do so fearing the safety of his family. His reason, which may sound trivial to some, is a reflection of the current political situation. The constant hostility and violence faced by some of the politicians and their aides is acting as a big deterrent to those who want to serve the nation through a full-time political career.

A young political aide and a remarkable student shared with me her family's objection for her to continue serving in the position. Their objection has since escalated after the death of Teoh Beng Hock and the constant harassment faced by several others.

My new friend told me that he had read some of my articles and has been following my blog regularly. He told me to be careful of my own safety. I told him that this government can no longer be kept in power if it cannot accept and accommodate open criticism. As a citizen, it is my right and duty to voice out my dissatisfaction and disappointment with the ruling regime.

A Korean expatriate who is going home this coming September told me that the previous regime in the 1980's was brutal and had killed many South Koreans demanding greater democratic rights. He told me that the sacrifice and brutality did not deter more Koreans from their efforts to seek greater democracy. The late president Kim Dae Jung was a symbol of their struggle.

Malaysians must continue to speak up without fear or favour. We must send a clear and unequivocal message to the ruling elites that we do not condone corruption, abuse of power, arrogance, racism and non-performance.

For those who fear the consequences can contribute by getting more friends and family members to register as voters and make sure they vote for a real change. Let our voices be heard at the ballot boxes.

What is more important is Malaysians must be willing to tell these politicians loud and clear that we no longer tolerate their antics. The failure for us to do so, to reclaim our rights and the past glory of this country, is going to cause a catastrophic damage to the next generation and the future of Malaysia.

It is time to ask ourselves if we are ready to move forward and leave the old, outdated and parochial political model behind us.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The One Concert - A Tribute to Michael Jackson


The undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away suddenly recently and the world is clamouring once again for his music, his ‘moonwalk’, his brilliance and his ‘presence’.

There are a good number of Michael’s fans in Malaysia. A tribute concert in the memory of MJ will be able to bring all of them together for one last remembrance and celebration of the work and life of one of the greatest musicians the world has ever seen.

‘The One Concert’ is a totally Malaysian production. It attempts to offer the audience a taste of Michael Jackson interpreted in a unique Malaysian way. The producers felt that Jordan Sam, the winner of Pepsi and Sony Music Search Michael Jackson competition in 1990’s, is the most suitable person to play the lead role.

In one of his many international performances, Jordan was dubbed the Michael Jackson of Asia by none other than the Sultan of Brunei.

The One Concert is a unique MJ musical which features many of his hit songs such as ‘Beat it’, ‘You are not alone’, ‘Billie Jean’ and many more. Audience will be thrilled by the exciting and high energy dance choreography. Jordan will be backed by more than 24 professional dancers, a live band, back-up singers and a spectacular stage production.

The concert is organized by Nuovo Entertainment and jointly produced by JS World Entertainment, CMG and GFW. It is supported by Sony Music. The One Concert will be held at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands Resort on this coming 20th September 2009.

Ticket can be purchased starting from 24th August 2009, at the Genting Box counters. The prices are (VIP) RM300, (R&B) RM120, RM80 and RM50 (free seating). Early birds are entitled to 20% discount. This offer is limited to only the first 1000 tickets. For ticket reservation and promotion, please contact Genting hunting line at 03-27181118 or visit http://www.genting.com.my/.



新聞稿

豪無心理準備的情況下,我國歌迷對搖滾音樂之王麥可突然而逝的消息措手不及。因此,各國包括馬國男女老少無一不對他留下的歌曲、舞台月光漫步及他的音樂才華華嚷不停。

在馬國, 我們有一群愛護著麥可的歌迷,期待一場又一場的麥可悼辞音樂會以紀念及贊賞這位才子的一生。因此,這一場盛大的雲頂MJ悼辞音樂會, 非去不可!

為了獲得真正的MJ迷的認同及可以表達對天王的敬重, THE ONE CONCERT邀請了亞洲MJ之稱音樂才子JORDAN SAM 為這場音樂會撐腰! JORDAN SAM 曾榮獲PEPSI & SONY MUSIC 舉辦的MJ搜尋比賽冠軍。 除此之外JORDAN SAM 也在一個國際舞台表演獲得了汶萊蘇丹的讚賞,並稱之為亞洲MJ!

這場悼辞音樂會將會以MJ 音樂為主題,並由JORDON SAM 及24個專業舞台助手一起呈獻多首名曲如 “ Billie Jean”, “ Beat it”, You are Not alone”都會一一回味! 我們可以期待麥可的舞台表演將再次出現在馬來西亞!

這場麥可傑生悼辞音樂會由Nuovo Entertainment主办,JS World Entertainment精心制作, CMG 及 GFW協手合作, 並獲得Sony Music支持,日期訂於 2009年9 月20日在雲頂雲星劇場隆重舉辦。

《悼辞麥可傑生 “THE ONE”音樂會》的入门票于2009年8月24日正式在全马公开发售,大众可以通过云顶销售中心购买到入门票,音乐会的票价分为VIP RM300、摇滚区 RM120、RM80及RM50(自由入座)。此外,主办单位也带给歌迷们另一个喜讯,大众预先购买可获得20%折扣,只限首1000张,欲知更多悼辞麥可傑生 “THE ONE”音樂會的优惠配套或详情,可拨电致云顶热线03-2718 1118 或游览www.genting.com.my

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bar Council & Parking Tickets

Muhyiddin Yassin hit out at the Bar Council today for having an agenda against Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate for the by-election here, after it was revealed the Umno man was a disbarred lawyer.

The Bar Council had issued a statement following queries from the media yesterday confirming that Rohaizat Othman, the candidate, was a disbarred lawyer.

The Bar Council also clarified that Rohaizat had been found guilty of personal misconduct and had lost his appeal against the decision in the High Court last Wednesday, five days before Umno nominated him for the by-election.

The Bar Council’s statement contradicts Rohaizat’s version of the events. The candidate blames his partner in his law firm for committing the misconduct.

But the Bar Council says it does not hold lawyers liable for the actions of their partners.
Speaking to reporters today, Muhyiddin said: “We don’t know what is the agenda of the Bar Council.


“It is as if they are on the side of certain quarters. I am sure they have some agenda.”

Muhyiddin is not fit to become a deputy prime minister if he does not appreciate the role of Bar Council to reprimand errant lawyers. What the Bar Council did was merely to clarify Rohaizat's status as a lawyer. Rohaizat can challenge the Bar's decision at a higher court.

If Muhyiddin is worth his salt, he should apologize to the Bar Council for taking a pot shot at the organisation. This explains why the deputy prime minister cannot appreciate the fact that he should not misuse the military helicopter for his party's work.

UMNO has itself to blame for picking such a controversial candidate. It should be blamed too for picking such an arrogant and ignorant chap as the deputy prime minister of this country. What a joke!

Muhyiddin the Lion Heart

It was first highlighted by the news agency Bernama when Muhyiddin flew on a military helicopter to attend the Penampang UMNO division meeting in Sabah after he officiated another division party meeting in Kudat.

PKR Pantai Jerjak assemblyman Sim Tze Min, who lodged the report, said that the news coverage had clearly shown that Muhyiddin was abusing government property for a non-governmental purpose, which was tantamount to corruption.

However, the No.2 leader in the government appeared unfazed by the accusation. “These are views that they should just keep to themselves as they are purposely creating a lot of problems for people,” stated Muhyiddin.

Spot on, Muhyiddin. Why should Sim waste his valuable time to lodge a report with the MACC? Afterall, the agency has declared that it does not want to investigate any more politicians. They would only focus on political aides such as Teoh Beng Hock and Wong Chuan How. Easier meat la.

So, Muhyiddin the Lion Heart, you can continue to use the military helicopter because its fuel is paid by the people. Why trouble the people with such news that you are burning away their tax money? You should only avoid using private jets especially those paid by your pal Tiong King Sing. He might just throw a childish tantrum at you.

You can also continue to defend and protect the racist Malay vernacular newspaper for publishing views less flattering to the people who had contributed to fly you from Kudat to Penampang.

This blog calls you an arrogant shame who is insensitive to the tax payers' money. We do not owe you or your party a living. Is it so difficult to follow the rule?

MACC Ahmad Said should resign if he does not direct his officers to investigate Muhyiddin.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Look Who is Acting Like a Criminal?

First, they threaten. Then, they sue. Next, they try to create diversions. What's next?

Lim Kit Siang said he does not know if Lee Hwa Beng’s appointment as PKA chairman is lawful or valid or whether or not the King had renewed his appointment. KDSB deputy CEO Faizal Abdullah, regarding the appointment of Port Klang Authority chairman Lee Hwa Beng, had reportedly issued an ultimatum to Ong to produce Lee’s appointment letter by 4.30pm Monday or face legal consequences.

What has Lee's appointment got to do with the fact that the PKFZ fiasco is causing the Malaysian public billions of ringgit?

Kit Siang added, “What is clear is a blatant attempt by KDSB to block any disclosure and public accountability of the PKFZ in utter disregard of national interests to promote accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance."

KDSB CEO Tiong King Sing must be prepared to step down as the Chairman of BNBBC and a MP if his allegations against Ong Tee Keat cannot be proven.

Like Lim, I would like to urge all Malaysians to continue pressing for a full disclosure of the PKFZ scandal. The culprits must not be left off the hook.

Monday, August 17, 2009

H1N1 Death Toll is Climbing

A seven-month-old boy and a 74-year-old woman are the latest victims of the influenza A(H1N1) infection, raising the death toll in the country to 64.

The government, through the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture should do more to help alert the people about the virus.

Both Liow Tiong Lai and Rais Yatim should place their top priority on combating the spread of the virus and stop the death toll from climbing. Liow should let his president, Ong Tee Keat, handle the PKFZ fiasco on his own. Liow is needed to show more leadership at the Health Ministry.

Rais should lay down his obsession with Internet censor and 1Malaysia and allow more media time to help educate Malaysians about H1N1 and ways to protect themselves.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Khairy's Double Speak

Reported in Malaysiakini: (Read my insertions)

PAS (BN) members should not blindly follow their leaders in allowing DAP (UMNO) to insult Islam (Malaysians), Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said today.He said PAS (BN) supporters should not keep mum with the antics of their leaders in condoning the action by DAP (UMNO) as it could jeopardise the religion (country) and their race (harmony).

"PAS (UMNO) is prepared to sacrifice the party principles for power and this clearly shows their leaders are displaying an unhealthy trend in the country's politics.

"If they are responsible supporters, they should not allow their leaders to insult Islam (Malaysians). They should be brave and criticise their leaders," he told reporters after opening the Rompin Umno divisional delegates meeting in Pahang today.

Which one is more accurate? My insertions or Khairy's original statement. You take a pick.

MACC Must Prove That It is Not a Political Stooge

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director of investigations has suggested that all investigations involving politics be suspended temporarily with immediate effect.

In a fit of frustration, Mohd Shukri Abdull said he felt that certain quarters were out to tarnish MACC’s image by making vicious and unfounded allegations against the commission, especially against his officers. His statement was clearly directed at PR leaders and supporters.

I would like to point out to Shukri an example which merits a call for the MACC to act without fear or favour.

Why was Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd CEO Tiong King Sing allowed to have his lawyers present when he was quizzed in his office BUT not DAP political aide Wong Chuan How?

Why was Wong not allowed to be questioned in his office although it was earlier agreed?

We are clear about the allegations against Kuala Dimensi but what was Wong's offence?

Why were the two, Tiong and Wong, treated very differently?

Why is it so difficult for MACC officers to follow standard interrogation procedures?

MACC directors should try to answer these questions before accusing others of attempting to tarnish their image. The damage is of their own doing.

Why the ICAC Hong Kong was able to achieve more than 90% confidence rating from the public and not the MACC, although the latter claimed to have adopted its operating model?

MACC deputy chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed should also try to understand the public's frustration with his agency and the level of corruption in this country.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

UMNO, Pork, Islam & A Traitor

Umno Youth stepped up its attacks against the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government, accusing PAS of abandoning its Islamic ideology, and of becoming so liberal that “pork would soon be sold openly on the streets here.”

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin also called Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a traitor to the Malays.

Umno Youth exco member Lokman Adam questioned why the Shah Alam Municipal Council (MBSA) now controlled by PR did not revoke the license for Carlsberg brewery to operate in the district. Is UMNO prepared to close down all gaming companies, breweries, clubs and pubs in the BN controlled states?

I would like to ask these UMNO Youth leaders a few questions. Which is more dangerous? Allowing the sales of pork or condoning corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement?

If eating pork is not 'halal' to the Muslims, the act of polygamy is wrong to the non-muslims. We just have to tolerate and respect each other's religious belief and norms. UMNO Youth is acting mischievously for linking pork to non-Muslims. To many, pork is just a source of protein. Many of us do not consume it regularly because of hygiene and health reason.

If a vote for PAS is a vote for DAP, a vote for MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the rest is also a vote for UMNO. With UMNO continuing to behave this way, there is not much hope that BN could convince many non-Malay and non-Muslims to vote for them.

The aftermath of March 8 general election should have seen a major deradicalisation and deracialisation of BN politics dominated by UMNO. It is sad to note that the quality of politics in BN has stooped even lower. The other component parties did very little to help their own survival and to ensure that BN continues to become relevant.

MCA Ong's Leadership is Losing Its Lustre

I was one of those who were pleased when Ong Tee Keat decided to contest for the MCA presidency. I was silently hopeful that Ong's strong personal principles, his frankness, his no nonsense politics and his multiracial vision would be able to catalyze a significant change in the race-based BN coalition.

If there was any leader who could tell UMNO to end its extreme racial politics, it would be Ong Tee Keat. I told him that these qualities were the main reason he was spared the political tsunami and voted back into parliament by the voters.

It is time for Ong to produce the same kind of attributes to restore the lustre of his leadership. It does not matter if he could muster enough support within the party to continue to ward off his deputy, Chua Soi Lek. But it was obvious that Ong was too preoccupied with Chua to the point that it has made the latter such an important nemesis.

Chua's strength is a reflection of Ong's insecurity and weakness. On paper, there is only a remote chance for Chua to challenge the leadership of Ong. UMNO, the party who is trying to portray itself as a moral guardian, will find it hard to accept Chua's leadership of MCA or as a cabinet colleague.

Chua's sex scandal would have made Anwar's case looked pale in comparison. The latter was alleged to have conducted unnatural sex but there was no video evidence, unlike Chua's.

Unfortunately, Ong had wasted too much of his valuable time trying to contain and fight Chua. Ong should seriously try to measure his achievement in reforming his party. Has his leadership contributed to MCA's political revival?

The latest allegations, the RM10 million cash 'donation' and the use of KD's company aircrafts, made by Kuala Dimensi and Tiong against Ong would have a significant political impact on him. Ong had admitted to the use of the chartered flights but not the donation.

According to a proper procedure, he cannot ask his ministry to pay for these flights. He was not permitted to spend beyond a certain budgetary limit. So, what is going to happen to Ong? How will Najib react?

Ong should do two things quickly. First, he needs to spend sometime doing some self-introspection on his own performance. Next, he should take a serious look at the people around him. He should use the right people, listen to the right advice and pick the right strategy.

Otherwise, the once respected political maverick will lose his lustre quicker than he could ever imagine. There is a thin line which separates bluntness and arrogance.

Ong's reaction to the allegations made by Tiong will determine if he survives politically.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

PR Has 2 Years, How Long Does BN Have?

I read that Muhyiddin predicted PR may not last more than 2 years. Mahathir expected the PR to lose Selangor. A number of leaders from BN component parties are expecting the nascent coalition to crumble anytime soon. Leaders such as Khairy Jamaluddin are busy courting the Pan-Islamic Party (PAS) to join UMNO to unite the Malays.

What motivated their prediction? There were bickering in Kedah, Penang and Selangor. Over what? Pig's abattoir, banning of beer in muslim majority areas, Kampung Buah Pala and other menial issues. Most of them opined that PAS and DAP cannot coexist due to their vast ideological difference.

For BN's own survival, it is even more dangerous for the leaders NOT to acknowledge that their coalition faces even more daunting challenges e.g. lost of credibility, the death of Teoh Beng Hock in custody, racist media propaganda against non-Malays, Kampung Buah Pala, PKFZ, leadership crisis in almost all BN component parties, abuse of state machinery and public institutions, Perak power grab, corruption etc.

Many of these issues and controversies may not encourage the voters to support the BN coalition.

If the PR has two more years, how long does BN have?

Port War

The PKFZ fiasco has entered an interesting phase. Yesterday, the Port Klang Authority (PKA) had filed a police report against KDSB, which has been accused of making inflated claims (between RM500 million to RM1 billion) in relation to the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

Twenty-four hours after a police report was lodged against developer Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), the company's top brass have made some startling revelations.

KDSB chief executive officer Tiong King Sing - who is also the Barisan Nasional backbenchers club chairperson and Bintulu MP - alleged that he had 'donated' RM10 million to MCA president and Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat last year.

As for using the jet, Faizal told Malaysiakini that the company did not charge the MCA president any charter fee but added that the latter should have at least paid for fuel and other expenses amounting to US$40,000.

Ong's political secretary Simon Lim has rubbished the claim. "For expenses involving the minister's official travel, the relevant company must send the bill to the ministry to claim for payment," he explained.

Lim said the reason the minister had opted to use a chartered airplane was due to his tight schedule and to prevent being late. He added that Ong had also used other modes of travel, including no-frills airlines.

I have an advice for Tiong, the chairman of BNBBC and MP for Bintulu. He should report the RM10 million 'gift' to the MACC if he believes that the money was supposed to buy him favour from the newly minted transport minister. Otherwise, he should not try to deflect away attention from the current PKFZ fiasco involving his company.

I support Tony Pua's call for Tiong to resign as the chairman of BNBBC. Moreover, he should also resign as the MP of Bintulu if he wants to help protect the integrity of the parliament.

I have an advice for MCA President Ong Tee Keat too. He should fix up his traveling schedule so that the tax payers will not be burdened again for his inability to keep time. USD40,000 was an expensive sum to pay to help keep Ong right on his schedule. I rather he was late for his meetings than to pay that sum of money on his plane charters.

UPDATE:

However, kudos still goes to Ong for going ahead with the PKFZ disclosure. The culprits must be brought to justice.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What A Religious Book Does Not Teach?

Being religious does not mean that one is compassionate and humane. A true religion teaches us about compassion, love and respect for life and mankind. A man who claims to be religious can be overly fixated with the rituals but not its virtues.

Can a person claim to be religious if he cannot differentiate between a person's willingness to be responsible for his action and a person who is not?

Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, a senior lecturer, should be the last person who would not or cannot spot the difference. Ridhuan Tee's comment about Teoh Beng Hock's unborn child and labelling her/him as illegitimate is wrong and inhumane. The parents of the unborn child have a name. They were bound by a vow to a life together as man and wife, and parents to their new offspring.

Teoh's life was cruelly truncated a day before he could claim legitimacy to both his baby and his fiance. The refusal of the National Registration Department to recognize his child does not change the fact that Teoh was the legitimate father.

But what Teoh did - to accept his responsibility as a father and a husband -, and Ridhuan did not appreciate, cannot be compared to thousands of illegitimate babies born and abandoned by their parents who refused to accept the outcome of their desire.

Teoh was prepared to marry his fiance. He was prepared to accept responsibility and was eagerly anticipating a chance to become a proud father.

As a Muslim, I am surprised that Ridhuan Tee did not appreciate the fact the Almighthy is compassionate. Some human hearts may be too narrow to accept Teoh's unborn child but not God's.

A blogger asks; "Whose racist and kiasu?". Yes, who is both racist and kiasu? Who made this statement: "Mereka begitu pandai berpolitik. Mengambil kesempatan di atas kelemahan dan perpecahan Melayu. Jika Melayu Islam bersatu, saya tidak yakin, mereka seberani ini. Keberanian mereka disebabkan ada segelintir orang Melayu bersama mereka. Ini yang menjadikan mereka semakin besar kepala seperti kaduk naik junjung."

Ridhuan cannot hide behind the curtain of race and religion when his statement about Teoh's illegitimate child was being taken to task by a few parties. DAP and the Chinese are not synonymous. MCA or Gerakan does not represent the Chinese. Jeff Ooi's views do not concur with mine.

Ridhuan may be a Muslim but he cannot change the fact that he belongs to the Chinese ethnic origin. Malay may be inseparable with Islam. But Muslims are not all Malays. Many like Ridhuan are converts. There are more Chinese Muslims than the whole population of Malaysia.

Hence, I do not see any sense for Ridhuan to call out for Malay Muslim unity to react against some statements made by a few politicians and editors. Ridhuan's blanket statement against his own race will not win him any sympathy although he might have a point on sex before marriage and irresponsible couples who dumped their babies.

Ridhuan's calling for PAS to review their partnership with DAP and his political attacks against the party are the sore points of his article. Ridhuan's attempt to defend UMNO as a racist party will put his independence into question.

There are a few things that the senior lecturer might want to take note:

1) It is necessary to look at Teoh's case independently. Teoh's case is not about legitimizing sex before marriage. It is about a person who lost his life a day before he could register his marriage and to claim a legal status for his wife and child. Moreover, he was killed in custody.

2) The institution of marriage is a modern phenomenal. Some of our early ancestors probably did not go through the whole process of registering their marriages. Historically, some of them even had more than one social partners. It did not make these liaisons immoral or irresponsible. It was acceptable during those period of time. Looking back at history, there is a high chance that a number of us originated from these 'illegal' liaisons.

3) It is unwarranted for Ridhuan to make a sweeping statement against all Chinese if his previous article was criticized by a few politicians and editors. He should observe respect against some individuals who were not even aware of his existence or his article.

Anyone who reads Ridhuan's article would have a chilly feeling that he sounded like a typical politician from a particular race-based party. Worse, Ridhuan should not lecture others about being kiasu and racist if he cannot even accept the reality about his own ethnicity.

We should respect all religions. But some of us should learn to respect and accept that Malaysia is a multiracial and multireligious country. Each of us has our own set of social and religious norms. The highest law of this nation is the civil laws and the federal constitution. Islam is the official religion of this country but it does not say that Malaysia is an Islamic nation, not as claimed by Ridhuan.

Good Muslims will not be bothered to even take a sip of beer and alcohol even if an open bottle is put right in front of their nose. A person who wants a pint of beer will go through the trouble to get one even if you placed it in a lion's den.

This is a decision for the federal government to make - ban the sales of liquor and beer. I abhor drinking but it does not stop me from respecting others choice to do so as long as it is legally allowed.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

JUMP Delights

( A lucky audience walked away with a nice jumper)


I was fortunate enough to be given a complimentary ticket to watch the JUMP martial arts comedy at the Putra stadium yesterday. JUMP is created by the same production company, Seven Sense Inc., which gave us the highly acclaimed extreme dance comedy, Breakout!

JUMP is a good family entertainment. Audience were heard giggling and clapping throughout the show. Surprisingly, being more established than Breakout!, JUMP's plot is harder to understand. But the artistes did make acrobatic, jumping and kicking look so effortless.

It was great to meet up with my Korean friends again, Lucia and Jian, who are helping to manage and market the show for Seven Sense overseas.

The event was organised by the REAL Foundation, a charity organisation run by the REAL Education Group.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Big Ideas, Small Minds

This country has always been about the vision of its top leader. From 'Bersih, Cekap, Amanah', 'Vision 2020', 'Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang' to the current '1Malaysia & 1 Everything Else', it has always been about slogans and more slogans.

What is obviously lacking is the real desire and motivation to actualize the vision. It has become a cruel joke to read that this government is putting up a tender to employ more PR help. It had spent a considerable sum of money to create the 1Malaysia slogan.

Why a cruel joke? It is a cruel joke because this government, despite all the PR help, cannot accept or stand being criticized. Its reaction to public scrutiny and criticism is negative and had reversed whatever goodwill the government was trying to derive from its recent PR campaign.

When the MACC was criticized for a custodial death, the deputy prime minister was quick to accuse the critics for trying to run down the institution. Clearly, this country has big dreams. This same politician has earlier said that 1Malaysia will make Malaysia and Malaysian businesses famous. Big dreams!

But the way he reacted to the critics of both the MACC and the Utusan Malaysia showed that some of our politicians do have big dreams but small minds.

How can Malaysia gain respect for its 1Malaysia slogan if innocent people are allowed to die in custody? How can 1Malaysia become a true one united Malaysia if a government owned newspaper is allowed to print strong racial overtones and get away with it?

How can 1Malaysia be truly respected as a shining democracy and a successful social model if the government cannot tolerate open criticism from the public?

The latest talk about imposing internet restriction is a classic example of small minds at work. It is easier to ban than to stand tall in the face of these critics. We need more answers and accountability not threats and persecution.

We did not merely attack the BN ruling regime. However, bearing the current political model the coalition holding the federal power will be given the stick most of the time. Almost all major policy decisions are made at the federal level. The state governments are lame ducks!

As an independent critic, I scoffed at a tiger park idea in Penang, the banning of beer in Selangor, the mismanagement of the Mohd Fairus issue and many more.

Most truly independent bloggers will run their blogs without fear or favour. The most important aim is to help make this country a better place to live in.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Economy Tak Boleh? 1Malaysia Semua Pun Boleh...

Some REAL news update:

  1. Malaysia's exports, the mainstay of the economy, fell 22.6 percent year on year in June
  2. Foreign investment has also seen a big dip this year, with foreign direct investment for the first five months stood at RM4.2 billion compared to RM46 billion in 2008.

Yet, here are the RESPONSES:

  1. DPM supports Utusan's articles on race uprising and stirring
  2. 1Malaysia as the new buzzword...boom, boom, alakaboom...Malaysia's economic woes are gone! The whole world will be impressed!
  3. BN vows to keep the ISA but NOT our constitutional rights to compulsory legal advice, fair trial and individual freedom to speak out and assembly
  4. Flip-flop on education policy
  5. Rosmah's new website on the PM's department official website - Buy 1 (Najib), Free 1 (Rosmah)
  6. IGP Musa uncertain about future, Singapore gave him a medal for fostering a good relationship between the two police forces BUT Malaysians and Singaporeans are feeling unsafe in Malaysia?
  7. More 'goodies' - 1Malaysia unit trust, taxi permits, 20% discount for frequent toll users etc.

21st century global challenges BUT 19th century government = Brain drain, more frustration, a laughing stock, backwardness,...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Stadium Protest?


According to PM Najib, the government is more than happy to provide the stadiums to protesters.

When did the ISA protest become a sports or a carnival?

Yes, shout till you turn hoarse...if the government is willing to listen, a soft whisper is loud enough to initiate a change.

Najib should listen to the message and not the demonstration.

True Love Still Exist...

‘‘MY love is only for you. Let’s get married even if you have only one day to live.’’

Sin Chew Daily front-paged a poignant tale of a couple who got married last Sunday although doctors had given the bride only a few months to live.

The couple – Shi Zhen Wei from Yancheng City and Song Xin Ran from Lianyungang City in Jiangsu province – met via the Internet and fell in love with each other.

Two years ago, Song was diagnosed with colon cancer and Shi and his family used up all their savings to pay for her treatment.

In June, doctors told Song that she was dying and that she would only live for probably another two to three months.

That was when Shi decided to marry her.

When Democracy & Justice is Lop Sided...

When a newspaper churns out piece after piece of racist and provocative articles, it was defended by the second most senior leader in the BN coalition, the deputy prime minister...

When a group of bloggers attacks the vernacular schools for being a cancer to the nation, these bloggers stood quiet to allow this newspaper to hurl racist accusations against the non-Malays...yet they call themselves true Malaysians...

When a Malay leader champions true democracy, rule of law and an end to race affirmative policy which neglected even the Malays, he was called a traitor...we know best who is the real traitor to the nation - the one who defended racist articles which called for racial uprising against the minorities...

When a political aide fell to his death during custody, some parties warned those who wanted to seek justice for the victim not to undermine their race and their public institutions...the call for justice is not only for this Chinese victim but the other 1804 victims of all races who had faced similar death in custody...Malays, Indians, Chinese...

When the MACC acted so swiftly on the PR Selangor assemblymen, we were left to wonder what happened to the two ex-PKR excos who are being investigated for corruption...

When the BN accused the PR government for the Kampung Buah Pala land fiasco mismanagement, we were left to wonder who actually sold the land...what happened to the PKFZ probe?

When young Malay Malaysians went to the streets to protest the continuation and selective use of the draconian ISA, they were accused of being manipulated by the minorities...we were left to wonder what happened to the groups who had threatened to burn down the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, who had interrupted the East Timor, Bar Council and other meetings?

When democracy and justice is lop sided, we were left to wonder why should we continue to tolerate such stupidity, arrogance and hostility?

How many five years to you have in a life time?

SAY NO TO RACISM!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Nazri Vows BN Will Keep ISA, Will You Keep BN?


1Malaysia? More individual taxi permits, more LRT coaches, free 100 units of 1Malaysia unit trust, 20% toll discount...

All we ask for is our democratic rights to legal representation, a fair trial, not use ISA against civilians and political opponents, follow the rule of law...

Simple. Zero cost. Just abolish the draconian ISA.

However, BN vows to keep the ISA. Will you keep the BN?