Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Excerpts: Read here full article
Bandar Bukit Puchong UMNO was ordered by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to vacate within 30 days for illegally occupying a public playing field.
The MPSJ had issued a directive to the Bandar Bukit Puchong UMNO for the two containers to be removed within 30 days, failing which it will be demolished by the council. The notices were pasted on the containers on Feb 6.
Instead, UMNO has put up about 30 flag poles outside its "container office" bearing UMNO and Barisan Nasional flags on the field along Jalan BP3/1 in Bandar Bukit Puchong 3 on Saturday.
When contacted, MPSJ public relations officer Azfarizal Abdul Rashid said the owners of the containers have been told to remove both the cabins and the flag poles immediately.
On Jan 27, a meeting between residents and their MP to discuss the encroachment turned violent, when a group, claiming to be from Bandar Bukit Puchong UMNO, arrived with 20 others.
Resident Eugene Mark Gabriel alleged the group threatened and harassed the residents, telling them that this was an UMNO matter and that the residents should NOT interfere. Eugene claimed he was shoved and evaded a punch thrown at him by one of the men.
Residents lodged a report at the Puchong police station later that day and two UMNO members were questioned.
Early this month, when asked to comment on the matter, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said no one is above the law, not even political parties.
Role of MCP in Malaya's Independence was Recognised by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Dr. Ismail and Tun Ghafar Baba
Read here earlier posting: Farish A. Noor's article,"Banning History:When Will Malaysia Learn To Live With Her Past?"
Excerpts: Read here for more on article in The Sun by Hwa Yue-Yi
The communists' role in fighting for independence has been recognised by no less than first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, according Dr Cheah Boon Kheng, former Universiti Sains Malaysia History Professor.
Two former Deputy Prime Ministers - Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman and Tun Ghafar Baba - have also publicly acknowledged the contributions of the left wing movement towards nationhood.
Dr. Cheah said, in an email interview:Cheah noted that Tun Dr. Ismail had also said in "Amanat Tun Dr Ismail" , a compilation of his speeches, that the struggle for Malaysia's independence was not only carried out by Umno, MCA and MIC leaders, but also by those in the left wing movement.
"Malay attitudes towards the communist movement have been changing over the years.
While critical of some of their deeds, especially assasinations and acts of terrorism, many Malays now accept the fact that WITHOUT their armed struggle against the British, Britain would NOT have readily conceded Malaya her independence in 1957
....the Tunku, in his 1983 memoirs "Lest We Forget ", had said: 'Just as Indonesia was fighting a bloody battle, so were the communists of Malaya who, too, fought for independence.'
Even PAS described the communist movement's armed struggle as a patriotic war and hailed its members Rashid Maidin and Abdullah CD as patriots and heroes (on the eve of Merdeka last year).
The (board's) reasons reflect intolerance towards alternative interpretations of historical events.
Only in a totalitarian state is there only ONE version - the official version - of any historical event."
Cheah was responding to reports that the Censorship Board had banned Amir Muhammad's latest film Apa Khabar Orang Kampung which interviews former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) members because the film was "historically inaccurate" and tried to value the communists' struggle in Malaya.
.....Cheah said the film's reported interviews with former CPM members did NOT seem to be different from those in Rashid and Abdullah's published memoirs which are available in Malaysian bookstores.
Former Utusan Melayu editor-in-chief Said Zahari, who reported on events leading to Malaysia's independence, said in the phone interview, independence was attained through many different contributions. He added:Young theatre directors Fahmi Fadzil, Gabrielle Low, Mark Teh and Wong Tay Sy, who embarked on a two-year project to investigate the communist history and people's memories of Malaya-Malaysia, have also called for the ban to be lifted on Apa Khabar Orang Kampung and Amir's earlier banned movie, Lelaki Komunis Terakhir. They said through their CPM project, they learnt that books on this subject were abundantly available, and added:
"Some went into the jungle and took up arms because other avenues were closed to them.
Some won and some lost, but they were all part of the common fight.""It was the personal accounts of lives during that era that required immediate attention, before these people pass away.
Our history is as varied and dynamic as this country, and for many of us, the CPM project was encounter with a multiplicity of perspectives."
Quote: (translated) :
".... According to PAS Exco Member, Datuk Anuar Tan, the Federal Government did NOT allocate even one cent to the Kelantan State Government for the Visit Malaysia 2007 campaign.
The State Government had to allocate RM 1.5 million from its own budget to improve the various tourist centers and destinations in and around the state.
Although the Federal Government had allocated RM 32 million for tourism in Kelantan,this amount is allocated directly to the Kelantan State Tourism Action Council,established by the Federal Govt. The use of the allocation will be through the UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen, according to Datuk Anuar Tan.
...This has been the experience of Kelantan eversince PAS was given the mandate by the people to govern the state from 1990.
Although Kelantan is a member state of the Federation of Malaysia, the Kelantanese people were treated like step-children and being punished for choosing a party that is not a component party of the Barisan Nasional (BN).
...Perhaps this experience of the Kelantan people can be compared with the experience of the Palestinian people when they chose HAMAS and rejected FATAH...."
EXCERPTS: Read here for more
"... Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan sedang bersidang di Kota Bharu bagi tempoh penggal ke empat Dewan Undangan Negeri ke 11.
....Dalam sessi soal jawab, anggota EXCO Pelancongan Negeri, Datuk Annuar Tan menjelaskan bahawa kerajaan Pusat tidak memperuntukkan satu sen pun kepada kerajaan negeri Kelantan sempena Tahun Melawat Malaysia 2007 ini.
Sebaliknya kerajaan negeri terpaksa mengambil inisiatif sendiri memperuntukkan RM1.5 juta untuk kerja-kerja membaik-pulih pusat-pusat dan destinasi pelancongan seluruh negeri tersebut.
Inilah pengalaman di Kelantan sejak PAS diberikan mandat secara sah oleh rakyat untuk memerintah negeri tersebut sejak tahun 1990.
Kelantan walaupun menganggotai Persekutuan Malaysia namun sistem Federalisma itu seolah menganak-tirikan rakyat Kelantan dan menghukum mereka semata-mata kerana memilih parti yang bukan merupakan komponan BN.
Bolehlah barangkali disamakan dengan pengalaman rakyat Kelantan ini dengan pengalaman rakyat Palestin apabila memilih HAMAS dan menolak Fatah lalu satu dunia termasuk AS dan Israel mengkambing-hitam mereka.
Dewan dimaklumakn bahawa kerajaan Pusat memang ada meluluskan sejumlah RM32 juta untuk membangunkan pelancongan di Kelantan akan tetapi ianya tidak disalurkan kepada kerajaan negeri sebaliknya ke Majlis Tindakan Pelancongan Negeri Kelantan yang ditubuhkan oleh kerajaan Pusat.
Menurut Annuar Tan peruntukkan itu kelak difahami akan disalurkan melalui pimpinan, ahli-ahli YB UMNO Kelantan!
Cuma yang menghairankan menurut Annuar lagi bagaimana pimpinan Umno Kelenatan mahu memajukan pusat-pusat dan destinasi pelancongan ini sedangkan kesemua tempat ini terletak di atas tanah milik kerajaan negeri.
Kemanalah mereka mahu junjung dan heret wang sebanyak RM32 juta itu yang dimaksudkan untuk tujuan pelancongan melainkan kata Annuar lagi untuk mereka menganjurkan konsert hiburan di sekolah-sekolah yang di bawah pentadbiran kerajaan Pusat.
Tindakan kerajaan Pusat ini jelas mencerminkan ketidak-ikhlasan mereka dalam membela dan memajukan rakyat dan negeri Kelantan.
Sampai bilakah Umno mahu mengamalkan dasar diskriminasi seumpamam ini sesama anak bangsa?
Kita duka dan merintih melihat kesengsaraan anak bumi Palestin kerana disekat dan dikekang oleh pelbagai pihak, rupanya di negara kita pun perangai dan sikap Yahudi ini menular dari kalangan sesama anak bangsa!
Kelantan Politics and the Kelantanese Chinese.
COMMENTARY: Read here article Malaysiakini-Helen Ang or Read HERE
Excerpts: Read here for more
(left) Datuk Anuar Tan bin Abdullah, State Tourism, Culture and Community Affairs Committee chairman. Datuk Anuar Tan is a Chinese Muslim convert.
"... Making up 2% of the state’s projected 1.4 million population, the estimated 28,000 Chinese in Kelantan are an even more negligible fraction of the whole.
Common sense dictates that such a small community lacks political clout. Insiders would admit that they generally accept their subordinate position in the Malay-dominated power structure.
A more interesting speculation is how the Kelantan Chinese view their place in the political scheme of things vis-à-vis Umno and PAS.
Insofar as concerns race, the Islamist party has somewhat shown its egalitarian credentials by accepting Chinese converts into its fold.
PAS state executive councillor Anuar Tan Abdullah, a Chinese, was in fact tasked with weaning away a third of the Pengkalan Pasir Chinese voters in the recent by-election.
On the other hand, Umno with its raison d’etre of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) will NEVER open its doors to Chinese, as Umno’s sidelined founder Onn Jaafar learned..... (and) Onn was consigned to political wilderness for his visionary attempt at inclusiveness.
....PAS is okay in theory with the Chief Minister being Chinese as long as he is Muslim.
For Umno, any paramount leader must be Malay (or at least convince the party and public that he is Malay)
… Umno’s rallying cry of “Untuk Bangsa, Agama dan Negara” puts race first and country last.
Some Kelantan Chinese say they experience LESS racism under a PAS administration which granted them legal titles to Malay reserved land and permitted them trading and other licenses WITHOUT undue discrimination.
.....in Kelantan , the Chinese are instead distinguished by their place of residence: town Chinese and village Chinese.
Malays generally see urban Chinese as “Cina luar” or “Cina benua” (from outside or the mainland) as these relatively more recent immigrants have stronger ties to their motherland culture.
Peranakan Chinese, some having settled in the countryside in earlier waves long before the 19th century, are seen as “Cina sini” and “orang Cina kita” (local Chinese, our very own Chinese) and are more socialised to their Malay neighbours. The (Peranakan Chinese) elders are accepted as “orang Kelantan betul” (true Kelantanese).
The town Chinese speak good Kelantanese; the village Chinese – like the Baba Nyonya of Malacca – speak the dialect like natives.
Being fluent in the language and well-versed in “budi bahasa” (code of courtesy) and “adat” (customs) are among the main factors why Kelantan Chinese enjoy better race relations with Malays compared with Chinese of other states.
Kelantan presents a unique case not only because it is the sole state to be ruled by the opposition.
The Kelantanese are arguably different from other folks. Well-known for loyalty to their home state, it is this clannishness that fosters the affinity among Kelantanese of different races.
The camaraderie that Kelantan Chinese share with Malays is more than skin deep, not something superficial arising from puerile National Service coercion.
Assimilation of the minority – in language, manners and dress – came about from a natural process of the rural Chinese successfully accommodating themselves to the Malay environment.
Sociologist and academic Teo Kok Seong in his book "The Peranakan Chinese of Kelantan" makes a telling observation of Kelantan’s parochial attitude:This facet of mutual trust is, needless to say, unrepresentative of the more prevalent bigoted behaviour that exists elsewhere in the peninsula.
“The fact that Kelantan Malays place great emphasis on village membership is evident in instances where Malay members of a village show a greater solidarity toward their co-resident Peranakan Chinese than Malay outsiders from another village.
Often, when open conflicts occur between Peranakan Chinese of the village with Malays of another village, Malay members of the village will take the side of their Peranakan co-villagers .
There are instances when Peranakan Chinese candidates are proposed, seconded, and supported by a majority of the Malay members of the village in the event of district level elections, such as positions in organisations at municipal level."
Some would even venture to say that featured here is the template for the nebulous concept of Bangsa Malaysia.
Yet while the better interethnic solidarity in Kelantan is indisputable, Islam still is a polarising factor. One religious taboo not to be underestimated is the consumption of pork.
From my own numerous stays in Kota Baru with a Malay family of PAS supporters, the Kelantanese I’ve met appear more tolerant of non-halal Chinese food outlets, not displaying the overt aversion that other Malays show.The conjoining of Malay identity with Muslim is so institutionalised, in Kelantan as in Malaysian officialdom, that the phrase “masuk Melayu” has come to mean “convert to Islam” when its literal translation actually reads “become a Malay”.
I believe that this tolerance is reciprocated by the Chinese who keep “un-Islamic” (for want of a better word) social behaviour in the background so as not to offend. "
It is this issue of faith that is the barrier impeding further assimilation of Kelantan Peranakan Chinese who have remained Buddhist in conjunction with Toaist-Confucianist traditional practices.
Aside from religion – and this factor has come increasingly to the fore in recent years as both Umno and PAS up the ante in Islamisation – the other man-made barrier is the New Economic Policy (and its perpetual incarnations under other names).
Teo, himself a Kelantan Peranakan Chinese, postulates: “In some sense, Peranakan Chinese are victims of the irony of their own historical development. There is constant widespread resentment amongst Peranakan Chinese for not being recognised as bumiputera.”
The Siamese of Malaysia’s northern states, the Portuguese of Malacca, recent arrivals among Indonesians, and various Muslims of Arab, Indian, Pakistani or other origin can avail themselves of bumiputra special privileges.
But the village Chinese, despite their far longer residence in Kelantan than some of the examples above, will always be viewed by BN bureaucracy as “non” (the non-Malay, non-Muslim negative classification) although for centuries having regarded Tanah Melayu as their homeland.
To further complicate matters, their Malay orientation makes them a minority within a minority of ever shrinking mainstream Chinese overall.
When you think about it, how much more Malaysian can one get than the Peranakan Chinese of Kelantan?
The Kelantan Chinese could have been the vanguard pioneering a Bangsa Malaysia that arises not through artificial political pressure but genuine goodwill.
For them to decide on back-tracking their natural historical development will be a painful opportunity lost for the rest of us in this country.
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
(Dr. Hsu is a medical doctor, running a family clinic, and trained in occupational medicine and safety)
Read Here related article in Screenshots-Jeff Ooi (dated May 30, 2006 )
Read Here AP Newswire article reported on Forbes.com: ".... National carrier Malaysia Airlines said Monday it is on track to return to the black this year after reporting a sharply smaller loss in 2006, and announced plans to set up a premium-class airline to operate out of northern Penang island. The airline logged a second straight quarterly profit for the quarter to December, thanks to improved business conditions and savings from cost-cutting..."
Read here for more
Excerpts: Read here for more on Dr. Hsu's article
Managing Director, MAS
Idris Jala, a Sarawakian Bumi, was appointed Managing Director of Malaysian Airline System (MAS ) in December 2005.
He immediately instituted a Business Turn Around plan which has shown results, all within a year, faster than most of us expected.
This is NO easy task because MAS is not just a business entity. There is so much of pressure and interference from politicians too.
The ground people have remained the same, the crew has remained the same, the managers in offices also the same. What makes the difference in this case is truly the leadership and the caliber of the Chief, the Managing Director.
The success of Idris Jala, in turning around the ailing MAS within a year, is true example of a Bumiputra success story.
Idris Jala was NEVER employed in Government sector.
Instead , before this appointment, he worked for a multinational, Shell, where only meritocracy and good results count.
Despite the competition from non Bumi and other Bumi in the company, he was able to rise up the corporate ladders in Shell and became one of the top executives of Shell before he was asked to assume the present post.
To climb up the ladder in any multi national company, you have indeed had to be very good. That really shows his caliber.
This confirms what I always believe. In order to excel, you need to go through a competitive environment and only by doing so, can a person’s true potential be cultivated and realised.
If Idris Jala can be successful, so can all others Bumiputra provided they are willing to go through fair competition and meritocracy.
I have mentioned a success story of a Malay Entrepreneur in New York earlier in my blog, how this fellow managed to become a big tauke in New York against all other competition, purely on his own merits.
To make our Bumi brothers fully capable of standing on their own and excel, perhaps the first thing to do is to introduce true meritocracy in schools and matriculation.
Headmasters of schools, university lecturers and professors should be appointed on their merits, their results and perhaps their published work (in the case of professors).
Only by doing this , can we start to cultivate a culture of competitiveness, a culture of excellence in schools and tertiary education.
At the same time, we can slowly remove the clutches in the economic field, government services etc.
By slowly doing that, a new generation of competitive Bumi can be produced.
I am sure a lot of them will be better than many of the Chinaman and the Indian traders.
What we need is just the political will to institute change and to arrest the deteriorating academic as well as work standard.
I am sure if we do that, we could have unearthed many worthy Bumi talents , both in academic fields as well as in the business arena.
Mr. Idris Jala, aged 47, is a Malaysian. He graduated with a Bachelor Degree (Hons) (B.Soc Sc) in Development Studies/Management in University Sains Malaysia in 1982.
He later obtained a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from University of Warwick, United Kingdom in 1986.
Prior to MAS, he was attached to Shell MDS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. as Managing Director and Executive Director of Shell Malaysia Ltd, Gas & Power from 2003 to 30 November 2005.
He joined Sarawak Shell Berhad in 1982 and 1987 as Industrial Relations Officer and as Head Staff Development.
In 1989, he was appointed as Human Resource Advisor of Shell International, Holland and Head HR Planning of Sarawak Shell Berhad in 1993.
From 1995 to 1997, he was appointed as Business Re-engineering Manager, Retail Area Manager and Senior Manager, National Retail Sales of Shell Malaysia Ltd.
In 1998, he was promoted as Chairman/Managing Director (LPG) of Shell Sri Lanka.
From 2000 to 2001, he was transferred to London as Vice President Business Development Consultancy and Vice President Retail Marketing, SRI of Shell Int. Pet. Co, United Kingdom (London).
He was appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Airline System Berhad on 1 December 2005.
Datuk Zulkipli Mat Nor
Head, ACA, Malaysia .
"As you are aware, B1 was a member of your police force and his last appointment there was as Sarawak chief police officer. It has come to the knowledge of the ACA that B1 was a very corrupt senior police officer and had amassed substantial property and assets through corrupt practices," he told Mohd Bakri in his report. Contacted by Malaysiakini, Ramli confirmed that he had written the report. Asked on the validity of the allegations, the 56-year-old former civil servant - who is currently based in Negeri Sembilan - said the police should investigate them. Read here in Malaysiakini for more or HERE
MP Lim Kit Siang said: “The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general, Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor, should appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity to clear all doubts that he is qualified to continue to helm the Anti-Corruption Agency.”
Farish A. Noor
(Dr Farish Ahmad-Noor is a Malaysian political scientist and historian currently based at the Centre for Modern Orient Studies (Zentrum Moderner Orient), Berlin. He is the author of 'Writings on the War on Terror' (2006), 'From Majapahit to Putrajaya' (2005) and 'Islam Embedded: The Historical Development of PAS' (2004). Farish can be contacted at
UPDATE (28th Feb): Read here posting, "Role of MCP in Malaya's Independence was Recognised by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Dr. Ismail and Tun Ghafar Baba"
"...the Tunku, in his 1983 memoirs "Lest We Forget ", had said: 'Just as Indonesia was fighting a bloody battle, so were the communists of Malaya who, too, fought for independence.'-End of Update -
Even PAS described the communist movement's armed struggle as a patriotic war and hailed its members Rashid Maidin and Abdullah CD as patriots and heroes (on the eve of Merdeka last year)...."
Read here FULL ARTICLE by Farish A. Noor
- Read Here "Alias Chin Peng My side of Story - A review by Peter Taaffe (Part 1) " and HERE and HERE
- Read HERE on Malayan Communist Party and HERE
- Read HERE on Malayan Emergency
"... Malaysia’s independence, we are told, was a gentlemanly bout between British and Malayan aristocrat-patriots who did not bloody their hands in combat..... Malaysia’s independence was a negotiated affair.
But what has been lost in this official narrative is the fact that long before gentlemen-aristocrats like Tunku Abdul Rahman won the country’s independence, Malaya’s future was also being decided in a bloody conflict in the jungles that pitted the imperial forces of Britain against the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
....Malaya gained her independence in 1957, but the country emerged into the world in a state of Emergency, that was declared by the British in 1948 and lasted till 1960.
....After 50 years, and despite the fact that the MCP is practically non-existent in the country today, the ever-so-sensitive sentiments of right-wing nationalists will tolerate NO alternative viewpoint contrary to their own.
... denying the fact that it was the MCP and its military wing that fought against the Japanese imperialist army during the Japanese occupation of Malaysia during World War Two, and later the returning British imperialist army following the end of the war.
....the MCP and its members have been steadily written out of the history books and the process of historical erasure continues unabated till today.
-Farish A. Noor
Excerpts: Read here for more"..... History happens to be one of the most politically-contested disciplines.
....The saying that ‘history is written by the victors’ remains true nonetheless.
What is more history’s endless repetition of the narrative of sameness; the continuous telling of the story of ‘we and us, us and we’ is no mere rhetorical device.
Any claim to objective moral ‘truth’ (if one can be made at all in the case of historical writing) often requires the re-telling of the same facts again and again, to lend the guise of consistency and solidity.
In so many post-colonial societies, the narrative of post-colonial independence was hastily written in a brazen attempt to hide or gloss over instances of collaboration with the imperial hegemon and colonial power; the petty internal feudal conflicts between the colonised subjects themselves; and the fact that most of these struggles were clumsy affairs, mixed with chance and flavoured by deceit.
This is true of many post-colonial countries and Malaysia is no exception to the rule.
Malaysia’s independence, we are told, was a gentlemanly bout between British and Malayan aristocrat-patriots who did not bloody their hands in combat. Contrary to the case of Indonesia, Burma, the Philippines and most recently East Timor, Malaysia’s independence was a negotiated affair.
Role of the MCP in (then) Malaya's Independence
But what has been lost in this official narrative is the fact that long before gentlemen-aristocrats like Tunku Abdul Rahman – who became the country’s first Prime Minister – won the country’s independence, Malaya’s future was also being decided in a bloody conflict in the jungles that pitted the imperial forces of Britain against the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
Malaya gained her independence in 1957, but the country emerged into the world in a state of Emergency, that was declared by the British in 1948 and lasted till 1960.
Even before independence however, the MCP has been routinely stigmatised and demonised as the evil Red Menace threatening to devour the free world.
Of course much of this rhetoric seems dated by now, following the end of the Cold War; but in the 1950s and 1960s the same discourse of demonisation was used to systematically present the MCP as a fifth column poised to take over Malaya and serve the interests of Peking and Moscow instead.
Banning Films About MCP
It is against this context that films about the MCP, its struggles and the biographies of its members have been banned in Malaysia.
Most recently the latest ban was imposed on the film ‘Apa Khabar Orang Kampung’ (oddly translated as ‘Village People Radio Show’, for some unknown reason).
The film’s director, Amir Muhammad, was in Berlin just a week ago to present his film which premiered at the Berlinale, to much public acclaim.
Yet, like his earlier film ‘Lelaki Komunist Terakhir’ (‘The Last Communist’), Amir’s latest film has been banned in his own country. While ‘The Last Communist’ was approved by the Malaysian censor board, it was banned by the Home Affairs Minister nevertheless.
Amir’s latest film was banned on the grounds that it was ‘historically inaccurate’ and that it presents a distorted picture of history.
How ironic, considering that for decades Malaysian historians have also argued that much of colonial history of Malaya/Malaysia was also distorted.
And on that note one might as well reactivate the perennial question of history-writing itself: Can there ever be any historical account free of subjective bias, cultural perspectivism and the inherent solipsism of the author him/herself?
It would appear that Malaysia is still suffering from growing pains, despite the fact that the country will celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence this year.
After 50 years, and despite the fact that the MCP is practically non-existent in the country today, the ever-so-sensitive sentiments of right-wing nationalists will tolerate no alternative viewpoint contrary to their own; even if this means denying the fact that it was the MCP and its military wing that fought against the Japanese imperialist army during the Japanese occupation of Malaysia during World War Two, and later the returning British imperialist army following the end of the war.
Dubbed ‘terrorist bandits’ by the colonial power then, the MCP and its members have been steadily written out of the history books and the process of historical erasure continues unabated till today.
It is ironic, though not surprising, that Amir Muhammad’s film has been banned in the country. The word ‘ban’ shares etymological links to the word ‘banish’, which means to expel something from the space of the familiar.
The banning of ‘Apa Khabar Orang Kampung’ may have been an attempt to banish from the present traces of the past, but in their zealousness to impose only their ‘correct’ version of history the Malaysian authorities have shown that Malaysia is still far from ready to live with a history that is complex and laced with alterity.
UPDATE (Feb 27th ) : From "The Straight Times" -Ibnu Hakeem
Excerpts: Read here for more
Nor Mohamed Yakcop will go down in Malaysian history as the FIRST Cabinet Minister to have been called to testify in front of the Public Accounts Committee - which is a Parliamentary Committeee ....... to clarify matters and throw some light on the controversies surrounding the ECM Libra-Avenue Capital merger.
..... the whole session was successfully diverted and a smokescreen created to camouflage the whole issue by raising general remarks over the conduct and monitoring of the GLCs.
As was expected, this was just a whitewash meeting of the PAC, a Red Herring.
Dato Shahrir Samad needs to search his own conscience and ask himself if it was really worth doing what he had done. Many people used to respect Dato Shahrir as being an independent individual and an intellectual of sound integrity. This may NOT be the case anymore.
It looks like Shahrir is just one more Umno slime-ball and scumbag after all.
Everyone knows that the Securities Commission approved the ECM Libra-Avenue Capital merger. We do NOT need the PAC to convene a special meeting or summon the Second Minister of Finance just to tell us that.
For the benefit of the public as well as future PACs that may want to revisit the issue, we repeat some of the unanswered and nagging questions about the ECM Libra-Avenue Capital merger:
1) How does the Securities Commission justify accepting the disputed and highly suspicious share valuation of ECM Libra and Avenue Capital in this merger?Yes, we all know that the Securities Commission approved the merger.
2) What was the justification in accepting the ‘goodwill’ amount of RM360 million as part of the share value?
3) Why did the Bursa Malaysia ignore reports of widespread insider trading in ECM shares?
4) What is the justification for the Ministry of Finance and the EPU in allowing this merger?
5) Why was the justification for the waiver of a mandatory General Offer (by the Securities Commission or the Minister)?
But WE ALSO WANT TO KNOW who was the ‘position holder’ in the Government (i.e., either Prime Minister, Minister, Second Minister, Cabinet of Malaysia, KSU, Chief Clerk, Office Boy, Driver, Gardener, etc.) who initially approved the sale of Avenue Capital to ECM Libra?
This has NOT been made known at all.
Who actually approved the sale of this prized Government asset?
This is the main crux of the matter. And this still remains unanswered.
--- End of Update --
"....Like all good UMNO members, PAC (Public Accounts Committee) Chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad is a staunch supporter of Abdullah Badawi.
Said Shahrir’s brother, Khalid, there is no other man Shahrir hates more than Mahathir and he would do anything to oppose Mahathir, even supporting those Mahathir do not like just out of spite.
No wonder then that Abdullah Badawi would get the PAC’s backing on this matter if it serves to upset Mahathir.
Kalimullah Maseerul Hassan, on the other hand, owns a house in London and has already sent his children to school in Britain.
Abdullah Badawi has been told by the security chief that Kalimullah is bad news and has failed the security agency’s security clearance but the Prime Minister just brushed it off and said, “He is my friend.”
How, in light of all this, will Shahrir and the PAC come in with an untainted verdict?..."
- Ibnu Hakeem
Feb. 26th: Bernama reported:
".....PAC chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said on the merger between ECM Libra and Avenue Capital, the Finance Minister ( Nor Yakcop) had explained that there was nothing unusual about the deal since it had obtained clearance from the Securities Commission (SC).
"To say we are satisfied (with the explanation given) is not right since the PAC consists of representatives of various political parties. We all have a different degree of satisfaction. The government feels that since the SC had no objection and the majority of shareholders of the two companies wanted to merge, then the merger should take place without any interference," Shahrir added.
He said the PAC could not monitor GLCs because it had an advisory role and not a decision-making one.
I. From 3540 Jalan Sudin
And what were YOU(sic) expecting?"
MUST READ !! II. From Another Brick in the Wall:
Read here article -"Kerana Mu Malaysia II: ECM Libra Debacle Revisited "
(Feb 26th ) at 9:30 a.m., the Parlimentary PAC will reconvene to continue with the issue of the Merger between ECM-Libra and Avenue Capital. This issue has caused quite a bit of uproar in both the corporate circle and political.
Background of ECM Libra
ECM Libra started out as ECM, an Investment Advisory Company by David Chua and Lim Kian Onn, two former Hong Leong top guns.
Then came Dato Kalimullah into the picture with the idea of a takeover of Bumiputera Securities. Bumiputera Securities was a former subsidiary of Bank Bumiputera but left out of the package in the takeover by CIMB Group.
ECM, that became ECM Libra, subsequently undertook a backdoor listing via Tan Sri Azman Hashim's PLC to become ECM Libra Berhad. The Company started to transform itself into a Boutique Investment Banking Company.
The Company was employing the infamous SIL, Khairy Jamaluddin, as Director of Investment Banking. That's quite a jump for someone without Investment and Finance experience, even for a claimed genius.
It was then that ECM Libra was allegedly to be an instrument for Khairy to do a "clearance sale" of Government assets to an Island Nation.
Through a vendor financing scheme, i.e. the sellers provide layaway plan, Dato Kalimullah, David Chua and Lim Kian Onn sold some of their shares to Khairy.
Conveniently, a few months later, a proposal was put to the Minister of Finance for a Merger between ECM Libra and Avenue Capital Resource Berhad.
Was It Merger Or Takeover?
The Merger, what seemed like a Merger, is actually an attempt to camouflage the true intention of a Takeover. The "Takeover" was to substantially expand the operations of ECM Libra and buffer the seasonal income of ECM Libra with stockbroking income from Avenue.
That helps to undertake "other" operations. One, as a source amongst journalist, was to provide salary for some personality within Kalimullah's team.
The "Takeover" caused quiet an uproar. Websites and blogs were scrutinising the deal closely. Off course, the Opposition had their piece of the action.
Kalimullah got himself a Court Injunction on Husam and Harakah to stop "talking" of ECM Libra. And, there is a suit and countersuit still pending between him and Mathias Chang, which the latter called him corrupt.
The public uproar slipped into the less-happy Company's EGM, namely Avenue Capital's. Some an hour and a half of drilling was levelled on the Directors, whose response were cliche, leading shareholders to believe that a "gun was put to their heads to sign on the dotted line".
The two resolutions to approve the merger with ECM Libra and waive the Mandatory general Offer to ECM Libra Shareholders were passed. It was reported as near unanimous but shareholder sources said it was only between 60-70% majority (including the managing shareholder, who strangely also voted).
The equity held by Minority Shareholders seemed close to the votes opposing the Resolutions.
PAC in the Pix
The uproar has not ceased despite "their" victory. Amongst those within UMNO circles, noises were loudly heard. In several Majlis Penerangan UMNO, the issue of ECM Libra kept cropping up.
Finally, Dato Shahrir Samad, as Chairman of the Parlimentary Public Account Committee, called for an enquiry into the ECM Libra affair.
Almost about the same time and during the rounds of opening UMNO Youth Division Meeting, Khairy announced his sale of ECM Libra shares, claiming loses in the process. The Ministry of Finance and Securities Commission officials have been called. After six months, they are reconvening again.
This time, Minister of Finance II, Tan Sri Nor Mohammed Yakcop, will attend. Thus far, the PAC enquiries dwelled on the issue of procedural and overview of Government investment decision.
It has yet to openly tell the public the answer to the ethical and moral issue of the Takeover.
1) Why was the Avenue shares undervalued and ECM Libra overvalued by goodwill?
2) Why was there a "rigging" of ECM Libra shares in the market prior to announcement?
3) Why was the rather unfair purchase terms on Avenue to buy ECM subsidiaries?
4) Why was the EGM proceeding at Avenue filled with improper procedures?
5) Why was a "biased" valuation recomendation by Adviser K&N Kenanga accepted by SC?
6) Why was it that it seemed from the eye of many shareholders a "collusion" by various authorities has occurred?
There is also the issue of incongruence with the BNM and SC plans for the Securities and Banking Industry.
After the "Takeover" is completed, the merged entity ECM Libra-Avenue suffered RM15 million losses for Third Quarter ending October 31st, 2006. Some 23% of staff were laid off.
1) Whose side did the loses came from, ECM Libra or Avenue Capital?Will the Government admit that the Merger with ECM Libra is a bad decision? Now, who decided? Will they admit its Baba deciding for SIL's request? Perhaps not. There is also the matter of inconsistency with the Government policy for the Banking and Securities Industry.
2) How much has ECM Libra's Boutique Investment Banking enhanced the Government's asset?
3) What happened to the much-hyped Investment Banking license?
4) Why the need to lay off staff?
5) Whose staff was affected, ECM Libra or Avenue Capital?
During the uproar that lead to the PAC enquiry, one of the major shareholders, David Chua, sold his entire shares. Industry sources said David Chua was against the manner of the takeover from the beginning. And, Kalimullah? He sold his shares below the 5% level to avoid disclosure of his activities.
III. From "The Straight Times" -Ibnu Hakeem
"....Government sources who are fed up with the Government cover-ups say that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will be revisiting the controversial ECM Libra Bhd-Avenue Capital merger which came to the fore in August last year.
The PAC will be reconvening at 9:30 am on Monday, 26th February 2007 at Parliament House.
Speaking on the controversy in August last year, PAC Chairman Shahrir Samad was quoted in the media as saying the merger between ECM Libra and Avenue raised troubling questions.
Shahrir had said, “In principle, there is a conflict of interest if the minister’s family member is involved. But here, maybe there was no minister’s consent because the matter was not brought to the cabinet - it was decided between the ministry’s officials and the party which made the offer.”
The PAC last spoke on the matter in August 2006 but without any satisfactory conclusion. The controversy over this merger arose after it became known that the relatively unknown - up to that time - ECM Libra had swallowed up the gargantuan taxpayer-owned company, Avenue Capital, which had a cash hoard of RM3 billion in its reserves.
The shareholders of ECM Libra include Kalimullah Maseerul Hassan, who hails from the riverbank at Maslampatti, Azamgard in Uttar Pradesh, India, who is the Prime Minister’s chief ‘cheerleader’ and also Khairy Jamaluddin - the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister’s son-in-law.
It is widely believed that the merger was brought to a super quick conclusion without approval from the Cabinet or even from any Minister.
Even more perplexing were the media reports that ECM Libra took over Avenue Capital without any cash outlay. To sweeten the merger further there was also a valuation of ‘goodwill’ to the amount of RM360 million.
The danger in valuing ‘goodwill’ is that it is an intangible asset which can be hyped up to be worth more than its inherent value.
To date, the PAC has refrained from making any public statement about this RM360 million goodwill. The result of this transaction is that the minnow, ECM Libra, has ended up swallowing a whale, Avenue Capital.
The greatest mystery is who exactly approved this sale of a prized taxpayer-owned asset to a company that is owned by the Prime Minister’s chief ‘cheerleader’ as well as his son-in-law? Till today, this question remains strangely unanswered - even by the PAC.
Civil Servants do not and cannot make decisions to sell companies with RM3 billion in cash assets all by themselves.
Even a KSU (Ketua Setiausaha) will not make a decision to sell Avenue Capital to a private company unless he has received specific approvals from the Minister of Finance.
Since the Minister of Finance is Abdullah Badawi, there is a clear cut conflict of interest if he approved the sale. The approvals should also not come from the Second Finance Minister because he has little or no authority to approve such transactions either.
Therefore the PAC should make public just who exactly approved for the sale of a government prized asset with RM3 billion in cash reserves to a private company owned at that time by Kalimullah and Khairy? Just how did it happen?
If the Cabinet, the Minister of Finance, the Second Finance Minister, or the KSU, did not approve the sale then was it approved by a Chief Clerk?
The public wants to know and the Public Accounts Committee is obligated to tell.
At that time, Khairy Jamaludin, who is also Umno Youth deputy chief, clarified that he borrowed money to buy a substantial stake in the ‘fledging’ (at that time only) financial advisory company ECM-Libra.
This was before the merger with Avenue Capital. According to Bernama, Khairy had said, “I borrowed the money ... everything is loaned, not my own money. Luckily, there are people who want to give loans (to me). I took a loan from them (ECM-Libra) who sold their shares to me.”
Exchange filings showed that Khairy bought 13 million shares in ECM Libra at 71 cents per share in three separate transactions from acquaintance and ECM-Libra’s chairman, Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, chief executive officer, Lim Kian Onn, and chief operating officer, Chua Ming Huat.
Khairy was made a director of ECM-Libra in July 2004, not long after his father-in-law, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, became Prime Minister. Later, after the controversy broke, Khairy sold some of his shares in ECM Libra.
ECM Libra is also a Financial Institution (a so-called investment bank), which means it is also under the purview of the BAFIA (Banking and Financial Institutions Act).
Since Khairy Jamaluddin has publicly admitted to taking a loan from ECM Libra to buy its own shares, the PAC should assure the public about this aspect of the transaction too.
Read HERE on Screenshots-Jeff Ooi -"Why David Chua exits ECM-Libra he co-founded?"
Excerpts: Read HERE for more and HERE and HERE
"....The analysts also said that David Chua had fallen out with Lim Kean Onn, ECM's driving force, over the group's strategic direction.
... Filings on Bursa Malaysia re ECM-Libra Avenue et al
Some interesting filings with Bursa Malaysia on August 11,2006:1 ) Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan (ECM Libra Avenue Berhad -- Reference No EL-060811-55211:
August 08, 2006: Acquired 56,259,500 shares (6.77%) arising from distribution of ECM Libra Avenue Berhad shares by ECM Libra Berhad to its shareholders on the basis of 1:1.
August 11, 2006: Disposed 16,259,500 shares at RM0.65 each
Total no of securities after August 11 change: Direct interest of 40,000,000 shares (4.81%)
2 ) Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan (ECM Libra Berhad) -- Reference No EL-060811-53640:
August 08, 2006: Disposed 43,394,641 shares (Direct Interest) arising from the Capital Reconstruction Exercise by ECM Libra Berhad.
Total no of securities after August 11 notice: Direct interest of 12,864,859 shares (12.99%)
3 ) Lim Kian Onn (ECM Libra Avenue Berhad) -- Reference No EL-060811-59550:
August 08, 2006: Acquired 76,456,000 shares (9.2%)
August 08, 2006: Disposed 433,000,000 shares
Both acquisition (Direct Interest) and disposal (Deemed Interest) were arising from distribution of ECM Libra Avenue Berhad shares by ECM Libra Berhad to its shareholders on the basis of 1:1.
Total no of securities after August 11 change:
Direct interest of 76,456,000 shares (9.2%);
Indirect/Demed Interest 9,000,000 shares (1.08%)"
Monday, 26 February 2007
Sports Training Centre (UK) Costing RM 70 MILLION : A Huge Waste of Tax Payers' Money for a Potential White Elephant!
Feb 9: Bernama reported:
According to DPM Najib:
Feb. 13: The Sun reported:
renovation work at the Malaysian High Performance Sports Training Centre in Brickendonbury, Hertfordshire, England costing 10 million pounds (RM70 million) is expected to be completed by April. it was a minimal renovation involving the construction of a hostel for athletes and a soccer pitch. The renovation will NOT exceed 10 million pounds. It is a forward base for long-term and short-term training or transit the national junior soccer squad would likely be the first team to use the facilities in April should negotiations between the Football Association of Malaysia and an English Premier League team, Arsenal materialise.
The National Sports Council director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz said the council would get the assistance of sports scientists from two universities close to the centre, namely the University of Nottingham and Loughbrough University, for Malaysian athletes training there.
The government's plans to convert the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in Brickendonbury, Hertfordshire, outside London into a high-performance centre for our athletes has hit a brick wall. Or for that matter, may end up as a non-starter.
Despite DPM Datuk Seri Najib Razak announcing that the training centre will be fully operational in April, it will NEVER happen - an application for permission to renovate the centre has YET to be submitted to the local authority.
Feb 26: The Sun reported:
NOT a blade of grass has been cut, NOR a single pile driven for the proposed Malaysian High Performance Sports Training Centre in Brickendonbury in Hertfordshire, UK, but almost RM1 million of public funds has ALREADY been spent.
The bulk of the money has been paid to St. Albans-based architect and town planner, David Lane Associates, which has sent two invoices -- one for RM350,000 and another for RM450,000 -- for "work done" to apparently transform part of the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC) into a mini-sports complex.
The amount does NOT include the travel expenses and allowances of sports officials who have periodically visited the architect and the site over the past eight months.
This is even BEFORE planning application to renovate the centre has been submitted to the East Herts Council.
....the supposed plan for the national under-16 football team to train at the Arsenal Football Club may NOT materialise.
An Arsenal spokeswoman on Thursday told the Sun in a telephone interview that the club was totally in the dark over training the Malaysian team. "We are not involved in any project to train any team from Malaysia," she said.
Malay Mail report (Feb 26th):
The proposed Malaysia-Arsenal joint-venture to equip the country’s young footballers with the necessary weaponry to raise their game has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that NO formal discussion had been held between the two parties.
This was confirmed through an e-mail response from the communications department of Arsenal to Mailsport on Friday.“I am afraid we are not able to provide you with answers to your questions or an official club comment, however, I can confirm that the club does not know about the proposed arrangement and furthermore, we have no involvement in any such project,” the statement said.
An independent website on the Olympic Games 2012, claimed the idea was shrouded in mystery. “We have no knowledge of this training camp or these proposals. I can categorically say that we have not been approached by the Malaysian Government,” an Arsenal spokesman told the paper.
COMMENTARY: by R. Nadeswaran (The Sun, Feb.13) Read here for more
" Has Najib been deceived?
....Who gave the DPM wrong or false information on the progress of the plans to turn the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in Brickendonbury into a high-performance centre for our athletes?
Based on such information, Najib (Feb 8) announced the centre would be fully operational by April.
...(But) news from the East Herts Council (said) that no application to renovate the centre has been received.
Why wasn't Najib told the truth?
Shouldn't he have been told that the application has YET to be submitted and work would only start after the council gives its go-ahead?
Someone goofed - and goofed big time.
And how did those involved in the project arrive at a figure of £10 million (RM69 million)?
A quick on-line search of the classified columns of the local newspapers in the area reveal that three-bedroom houses cost between £150,000 and £250,000. Therefore, taking the higher end, the government will be better off buying 40 houses instead of spending such a humongous sum just to renovate the existing centre.
Besides, if the under-16 footballers are going there to be trained by Arsenal, Brickendonbury should be the last place where they should be housed. Arsenal's training base is in London Conley - 60km away, which means someone is going to suggest purchasing a coach, which means more money.
Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman says after the footballers, the hockey players will be based there. But the base of British hockey is in Milton Keynes, where there are proper training facilities.
Wouldn't it be worthwhile investing in property in and around such centres? For example, the home of British athletics is in Crystal Palace where pre and post-competition conditioning is carried out.
Now, we hear that there are plans to expand the swimming pool.
Unless it is a heated indoor pool, it will be redundant for a good nine months of the year!
Why are we obsessed with having a "high-performance centre" when our athletes (except for squash and badminton players) have NOT achieved any significant standards to warrant being sent to such a centre?
Or for that matter, is such a centre necessary when the standards of most of our athletes are mediocre, to say the least?
So, why all this money on something that will not bring the desired results?
Having said that, it was the same sports ministry which paid substantial sums of money to the Everton Football Academy, whose coaches came to our shores two years ago. They held coaching clinics in Penggarang, Pekan and Kepala Batas, which happen to be the constituencies of Azalina, Najib and Pak Lah respectively.
So, where are the boys who went through the Everton coaches?
Have they made any significant improvement and are they knocking on the doors of the national team?
It's time to re-look at how taxpayers' money is used.
Yes, we need to to excel in sports.
Yes, we need world beaters, but we certainly can do WITHOUT a high-performance centre until we reach greater heights.
Sunday, 25 February 2007
"....it was bound to happen sooner or later in Malaysia, where self-appointed - and often hypocritical - guardians of morality start dictating what is right and wrong..."
Read here in Flying Blind Blog, "AirAsia girls: too sexy for Malaysia?"
Background. Read here for more
Shamsul Anuar Nasarah
Malaysian Youth Council president Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said:
Shamsul said the council would be sending an official letter to voice its opinion following numerous complaints on the matter.
“The current uniform is not appropriate with our culture. We want an image that portrays a Malaysian identity and culture.
The uniform of air stewardess did NOT project a Malaysian image.
We are happy that AirAsia is able to provide cheap air tickets to travellers but its management must ensure that the airline projects the country’s identity and culture ."
Click here The Executive Committee members of the Majlis Belia (Malaysian Youth Council)
The former President of the Malaysian Youth Council was the Selangor Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khir Toyo.
Read here the link between Malaysian Youth Council and the politics of UMNO/UMNO Youth
So, a body-hugging and a cleavage kebaya is culturally okay by
the President of the Malaysian Youth Council?
AirAsia is a low-cost airline based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
AirAsia was established in 1993 and started operations on 18 November 1996. It was originally founded by a government-own conglomerate DRB-Hicom.
On December 2, 2001 the heavily indebted airline was purchased by former Time Warner executive Tony Fernandes's company Tune Air Sdn Bhd for the token sum of one ringgit.
Fernandes proceeded to engineer a remarkable turnaround, turning a profit in 2002 and launching new routes from its hub in Kuala Lumpur International Airport at breakneck speed, undercutting former monopoly operator Malaysia Airlines with promotional fares as low as RM1 (US $0.27).
It operates scheduled domestic and international flights and is Asia's leading low fare, no frills airline. It is also the FIRST airline in the region to implement fully ticketless travel and unassigned seats.
AirAsia has been expanding rapidly and is very popular among the travelling public thanks to its frequent low fare deals.
Its main base is the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
COMMENTARY from The Malaysian: "Doesn't The Malaysian Youth Council Have Anything Better To Do":
Excerpts: Read here for more
"...... Low budget airline AirAsia must 'project' the country’s culture so that foreigners can recognise it easily as a Malaysian concern.
When will these gentlemen who have no business acumen to speak of, stop their childish prattle and their attempts to find fault with a well run organisation?
What they are basically trying to do is give vent to their deep envy of AirAsia and the fact that a non-Malay is running it far, far better than the dead-as-a-dodo MAS.
The 'cultural', 'national identity' demand is just a cover, a stupid subterfuge.
MAS had the appropriate dress code and met every requirement in maintaining a Malaysian identity.
Look what happened to it?
It is not the blind acceptance of everything that smells of patriotism which decides the success or failure of any business concern but efficiency and the best possible service to the customer, irrespective of who they are or where they come from.
MAS failed because the government, blinded by racial fervour, went on appointing Bumi after Bumi who had precious little real experience in handling such a huge organisation.
These 'tokoh korporat' bowed to many demands, unreasonable and ridiculous, from various quarters and the end result was a right-royally screwed MAS.
AirAsia as it is now has brought much fame and recognition to the nation which myopic people like Shamsul cannot clearly see.
It is time that he and those of his mentality are advised to wake up and smell the kopi Tongkat Ali . .."
Saturday, 24 February 2007
Live TV Programme on TV3 Banned by Govt. Because of an Actress's Remarks on Prophet Muhammad's First Wife
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has banned entertainment programme "Sensasi", which is aired live on TV3, with immediate effect.
In the Jan 30 episode of "Sensasi", veteran actress Rosnah Mat Aris, whose ‘young-at-heart’ fashion sense included a bleached-blonde hairdo, allegedly compared the Prophet’s marriage to the older Siti Khadijah, to her own relationship with a younger man, upon prodding by the hosts.
The actress, when answering a question, had linked a piece of gossip about her (Rosnah) with the age of Prophet Muhammad’s first wife, Siti Khadijah.
Rosnah Mat Aris'a uttered words deemed by some as an insult to Prophet Muhammad’s wife. Her short statement had caused a huge controversy.
The MCMC statement did not clearly state if Rosnah’s comments had insulted Prophet Muhammad’s wife.
The one-hour programme hosted by Awal Ashari and artiste Intan Azura is aired on Tuesdays at 11pm and panel members from the arts and entertainment industry are invited to share their views.
Raja Petra has confirmed in his reply to a reader in his blog that the Ms Jean Danker referred as the PM's "NEW" wife is NOT the same person as the Singapore DJ with the same name.
"...some say Pak Lah married Jean Danker on 22 January 2007 while others say he will be marrying her on 22 February 2007.....On the subject of the Prime Minister’s (new) wife, we do not quite know yet but Jean is already following Pak Lah on his overseas trips.
Ms Jean Danker used to be married to Osman Mahmud, Kak Endon’s brother, so this makes Jean her sister-in-law. (Kak Endon was the late wife of Pak Lah.)"
In the trip he made to Perth to officiate his brother’s Nasi Kandar restaurant, it seems his daughter, Nori, went berserk when she found Jean in Pak Lah’s bedroom.
Only after Pak Lah explained that there is nothing sinister about the whole thing because they are already married did Nori calm down and, like it or not, accept the fact that her father had remarried.
The word being spread through a whispering campaign is that, just before she died, Kak Endon had endorsed Pak Lah’s marriage to Jean.
It seems, according to the spin, Kak Endon told Pak Lah that if he ever gets lonely after she has gone then he should take Jean as his wife.
According to those close to the late Kak Endon, this is a spin meant to legitimise the marriage. They dispute this and argue Pak Lah had already been eyeing Jean even while Kak Endon was still alive.
Kak Endon was in fact very upset and that was why she stayed in the US and refused to come back to Malaysia.
To explain why she was in the US and not in Malaysia, they spun the story that Kak Endon was undergoing treatment which was NOT true.
In fact, the doctors had suggested that she return to Malaysia as there was nothing much they could do for her any longer.
Anyway, Najib went to the US to visit Kak Endon and when he returned to Malaysia he disputed the talk that there was no hope for Kak Endon and that she was only waiting for death to come claim her. She is responding well to treatment, argued Najib.
Very soon after that Kak Endon returned to Malaysia and died, so there goes Najib’s prognosis that she was responding well to treatment and that talk of her getting ready to die were all lies being spewed by the Internet. So who is lying now?
Make no mistake; Jean Danker is a wonderful human being and a decent lady. In fact, I feel she makes a wonderful ‘First Lady’ and if it is true that she is already married to Pak Lah then I would like to be the first to wish her ‘Selamat Pengantin Baru’.
I also hope that Nori and Kamal would leave her alone and allow their stepmother a blissful and happy marriage.
Maybe what Malaysia needs is a lady like Jean beside Pak Lah to help our Prime Minister see the error of his ways and maybe distract him a bit from his children and children-in-law...."
- Raja Petra Kamarudin
UMNO State Assemblyman Azman Wahid
Excerpts: Read here for more
During the last general election, being residents of Bukit Antarabangsa in Ampang, Selangor, we gave our family votes (a total of five votes) to the Barisan Nasional state assemblyperson for Bukit Antarabangsa whom we know as YB Azman Wahid.
For your information, Azman was my schoolmate in Ipoh way back in the late 70s at the Sekolah Raja Chulan in Ipoh, Perak.
Now after three years, this is my report card on the YB (since the PM and menteri besar has said many times that they also have a report card system).
Below are several reasons why we will NOT re-elect him or any BN candidate at Bukit Antarabangsa.
1. Has the state assemblyperson made himself accessible?
My own survey among friends in Bukit Antarabangsa show that they don’t even know who YB Azman is and what he looks like. He has failed to advertise himself and publicise how the people of Bukit Antarabangsa can reach him.
No one knows where his office is.
In the era of e-mails and handphones and SMSes, this is NOT acceptable.
2. What was his plan for Bukit Antarabangsa?
...We have seen NO development for the last three three years.
.... We can see the deteriorating basic infrastructure without any new projects planned. We have no schools, no permanent police ‘pondok’, no library.
We only have the poor and rapidly deteriorating facilities built by MBF 15 years ago.
3. The deteriorating infrastructure at Bukit Antarabangsa
... Road conditions are extremely bad and are worse than the roads at Kg Jabi, Terengganu (my wife’s kampung). We should be ashamed of our infrastructure.
I wonder how often the YB drives into our area to notice the famous Bukit Antarabangsa Motocross.
4. Has the state assemblyperson ever listened to the voice of the people of Bukit Antarabangsa?
At the entrance of Bukit Antarabangsa is a failed food court project.
When the project was initiated, there were plenty of objections from many parties.
The state assemblyperson failed to convey the feelings of the people to the MPAJ and the state government.
Today, the food court is an eyesore.
It reduces Bukit Antarabangsa’s status to that of a low-cost neighbourhood.
5. Mosque and no mosque
My suggestion to the mosque president to organise a signboard placement at the site of the new proposed mosque was quickly done by the mosque committee.
The YB came and people had to open the door for him.
At the signboard placement ceremony, this state assemblyperson promised the sun and the moon to us but so far nothing has come of it yet.
This mosque project has been delayed for nearly 10 years now.
What has the YB done? He claims this has been brought to the MB’s attention.
Well, it appears that both the MB and the state assemblyperson have failed to keep the people informed of progress on this matter.
6. Has he initiated any community-relations fostering programmes in Bukit Antarabangsa?
Not that I know of.
...he did officially open one such programme but this programme was not initiated by him but rather by some residents of Bukit Antarabangsa.
7. National and state-level issues - where is he?
During the recent major floods in Johor Baru, I had expected our state assemblyperson to organise some charitable activities that could help the affected people.
Did we hear his voice? Did we see his picture?
You know the answer.
My dear fellow residents of Bukit Antarabangsa, I have only one advice for all of us.
- Let’s judge the performance of an individual based on his contributions. Evaluate objectively the performance of our state assemblyperson.
- Don’t evaluate the flag or the logo or the party.
- Cast your vote wisely.
- Choose the person and NOT the flag or the picture of the PM.
- Choose someone that we know. In my case, I knew him in school and since 1978 but did not meet until almost 25 years later. One thing I can say now is that people change.
-Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman
Wednesday, 21 February 2007
The Gerakan-led Penang Government is accused of selling out the rights of its people to revenue and development by allowing UMNO-linked private companies to reclaim and sell coastal land.
Excerpts: Read Here for more
UMNO has cleverly employed the old British colonial strategy of ‘divide and rule’ against Gerakan and MCA, by allocating state seats to the BN component party that would each be less than UMNO’s in Penang.
What’s there to fear about something that could happen when it has already happened – the CM’s post being already occupied de facto by UMNO.The Penang family jewels have being given away, yes, given away (not sold), to mostly UMNO-linked companies ( read here).
Penangites, read and weep:
(1) Tanjung Pinang Development, an UMNO-linked company, has reclaimed 392ha in the Tanjung Tokong coastal area. The area would be turned into a new township over the next few years. Guess who gets the lollies?
(2) A 13.2ha plot of reclaimed land was given for free to IJM Bhd to develop a new residential-commercial hub, which will house condominiums and a Tesco hypermarket, in Jalan Udini, about 500m from the Penang Bridge. For free? Were we Penangites ever asked?
(3) The proposed Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) concessionaire, Peninsular Metroworks Sdn Bhd, has been bestowed the rights to reclaim 100ha sea land along the Gurney Drive coastline. Who benefits directly from PORR?
Read here for more:
"... And who are the ultimate owners or beneficiaries of PORR? Why, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of course.
....and not many know he is the ultimate beneficiary to this RM5 billion concession
... the very complicated shareholding structure of the companies involved in PORR which have been hidden under four layers of holdings and cross-holdings.
Yayasan Bumiputra Pulau Pinang Berhad owns 100% of Kumpulan Pinang Holdings Sdn Bhd.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Prime Minister) and Ibrahim Saad (ex-Penang Deputy Chief Minister) are Directors of Yayasan Bumiputra Pulau Pinang Berhad....”
(4) Besides reclaimed land, an existing Penang Development Corporation-owned 300ha land in Batu Kawan was gifted to Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd, another UMNO-based company. Abad Naluri sold half of the land to the Penang Turf Club for horse training and racing development.
So what’s left for the poor Penangites?
According to the DAP’s state secretary Danny Law Heng Kiang, the state government is estimated to have only 80 ha of land on the island and 2,000 ha on the mainland for development purposes.
He lamented that as a state which faces severe land scarcity, "Raja Bodek" ( ask Penangites who is "Raja Bodek") sits quietly while UMNO-linked companies have been gifted with reclaimed land, when those assets should have been developed for new townships to cater for the housing needs of the middle and lower income groups.