Sunday 31 December 2006

Dr. Bakri Musa's New Book: Towards A Competitive Malaysia

From Dr. Bakri Musa

I am pleased to announce to the release of my latest book, Towards A Competitive Malaysia: Challenges in the Twenty-First Century (ISBN 0595423671).

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
For students and academics: You may get a complimentary copy of the e-version of the book in pdf format by e-mailing the author at

For Others: You may get one complimentary copy of the e-version of the book in pdf format after a voluntary donation (on honor) of at least RM10.00 to the Library Fund, Malay College, Kuala Kangsar, Perak.

The 497-page book, fully indexed and referenced, is available at all major on-line bookstores including Amazon ( and Barnes and Noble (, and retails at US $28.95.

A Malaysian edition is expected out by April 2007.

From the back cover:

Malaysia’s foremost challenges are the fragmentation of its society and the deterioration of its institutions. Social stability is a prerequisite for economic growth, and effective institutions are needed for optimizing it. The deepening polarization of Malays poses a far greater threat than the more readily recognized divisions between the races, while Malaysian institutions are fast losing their integrity and effectiveness through the twin blights of corruption and incompetence.

The author presents the framework of his “Diamond of Development” through enhancing its four cardinal elements: LEADERSHIP, PEOPLE, CULTURE, and GEOGRAPHY. Optimizing all four, with each synergistically reinforcing the other, would propel Malaysia into its next trajectory of development.

Malaysia has done many things right: attaining independence peacefully, defeating the communist insurgency, and achieving economic growth with equity. Those should give Malaysians confidence to tackle the current challenges.

Regionally Malaysia should integrate its economy with Brunei and Indonesia (IMB) instead of the ambitious and unattainable ASEAN common market. Malaysia could potentially lead the greater Malay world through IMB and then be a model for the Muslim world in demonstrating the compatibility of Islam with modernity. Malaysia is also ideally positioned to bridge East and West, as well as the West and the Islamic world.

A Bit of History: Biography of Tun Dr. Ismail, One of the Founding Fathers of Malaysia

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman was the Deputy Prime Minister when Tun Razak was the PM. He died as acting Prime Minister on Aug 2, 1973.

A soon-to-be-released biography of the man, The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time, reveals just how critically important he was to the country.

It is the first authoritative biography of one of Malaysia’s most respected founding fathers.

Written by Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) Fellow Dr Ooi Kee Beng, the long-awaited work is based on Dr Ismail’s private papers and in-depth interviews with friends, colleagues and subordinates, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. A key source material is Dr Ismail’s own unfinished autobiography — an unpublished manuscript that was among the papers placed under the care of his son, Tawfik.

Read here full article

"...Dr Ismail’s failed plea to MCA president Tun Tan Siew Sin NOT to "pull out" the MCA from the Alliance Government in 1969. Dr Ismail believed it played into the hands of racial extremists and led to the May 13 clashes.

...Dr Ismail’s recollection of a missed opportunity to dissolve the parties that made up the ruling Alliance and form
a single multi-racial party. It was an idea he apparently discussed with Tan in the late 1950s.

... Tunku Abdul Rahman wanted Dr Mahathir Mohamad expelled from Umno after Dr Mahathir’s criticism of the Tunku.

Tun Dr. Ismail's stern, no-nonsense approach inspired respect among friends and foe alike. It struck outright fear in the hearts of Umno’s legendary firebrands, including Tan Sri Syed Jaafar Albar.

..... his unflinching faith in multi-racialism, moderation and fair play, as well as his intolerance of bigotry and corruption.

His role to stabilise and heal the nation earned him a reputation as the man who brought Malaysia back from the brink.

The story climaxes in his final days as a leader struggling with his failing health and a terrible secret — that Tun Abdul Razak was terminally ill.

The book recounts how Tun Abdul Razak, upon returning to the country from a working trip after Dr Ismail’s death, exclaimed in despair: "Who am I to trust now?"

Excerpts from The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time by Ooi Kee Beng (2006). Read here for more

On Tun Abdul Razak

Tun Razak's main task as Deputy Prime Minister was to consolidate his position among the Malays, leaving the Tunku to look after the non-Malays.

His political image during the period when he was deputy was that of a Malay leader, viewed with suspicion by some non-Malays and regarded as anti-Chinese, by others.

However, since becoming Prime Minister he has managed to change his image to that of a leader of a multi racial country.

The Malays accepted this new image and regarded it as a political strategy rather than a true change of personality and views; the Chinese sighed with relief at this metamorphosis.

The first act of Tun Razak as Prime Minister was to convene a meeting of divisional heads of Umno. At this meeting, he announced his future policy and also named me as his deputy.

This was the first time that my worth to the nation was admitted by a Prime Minister. The Tunku never acknowledged my worth publicly, although to a few chosen friends he admitted that I was indispensable to the nation.

And he quoted especially my handling of the May 13 affair and my defence of him in the period following this incident, when he was subjected to attacks of such obscenity by the Malays that one felt ashamed of them as a race.

By calling a meeting of Umno and not the Alliance to make his first public stand, Tun Razak was serving notice to the Alliance and the country as a whole, that from then onwards the government of the country was in Umno’s hands and the others were only supporters.

It was a bold move and was unchallenged. It also marked the emergence of a new personality.

This general acceptance of his new political image coupled with the general improvement of his health.....has given him self-confidence and enabled him to shed off those fears and worries that he lived with as Tunku’s deputy.

Tun Razak is an able administrator and a shrewd politician. As an administrator, he manages to get things done with little fuss and argument.

He has laid down the infrastructure of Malay participation in the economic life of Malaysia and is now busy prodding them to take advantage of the facilities being made available to them.

As a politician, he is shrewd, cautious and has the ability to handle people.

His main disability is his lack of charisma.

On the Future of Malaysia

The three policies, which will determine the future of Malaysia are:

1. The implementation of Malay participation in the commercial and industrial fields;
2. The need to maintain and, if possible, to decrease the rate of unemployment;
3. The neutralisation of South-East Asia.

The implementation of Malay participation in commerce and industry

I foresaw that if we were to get anywhere near to solving the problem, we must paint a clear picture of what was going to be done for the Malays without unduly frightening the non-Malays.

I suggested that there must be a target to aim at and that this target must be reasonable and what was more important, capable of being implemented.

I said that we should aim at a target period of 20 years within which 30 per cent of Malays would participate in commerce and industry and that it should be implemented in the context of a growing economy.

This proposal was unanimously accepted. At the time of writing, the implementation of this policy has been going on for almost two years.

Although the policy is clear if it is seen in its entirety, in the course of implementation, various sectors of our society chose to see it only from a sectional angle.

It is obvious that participation must mainly depend on new activities in commerce and industry.

This should NOT be difficult to achieve in a developing country like Malaysia, because new industries and new trading opportunities are constantly being established and offered.

Instead of trying to identify and promote new industries for Malays to participate in government and government-sponsored agencies, officials use all sorts of strategy to inject Malays into existing established industries and businesses.

The Chinese, on the other hand, instead of accepting the fact that new fields in industries and commerce must benefit the Malays, use all commercial and business tactics to prevent this from taking place.

The implementation is further distrusted by the Malays when they refuse to see the picture of implementation as a whole and rather choose to see details of implementation in isolation.

The present Malay interest in capital accumulation when compared to that possessed by non-Malays is one example. They argue that the present rate of government injection of capital into Malay commercial enterprises and trading institutions is so slow that in 20 years Malay capital accumulation will not only not achieve the target but the gap will widen. They forget or choose to forget the fact that capital accumulation can be achieved NOT only by means of injection of fresh capital but rather by the multiplication of existing capital through normal business activities.

The Chinese, for example, achieved their present capital largely by business activities. Some of the big Chinese businesses achieve their success by this method.

The Malays want the government to restrict the business activities of the non-Malays while the Malays reach parity with them.

If this philosophy is accepted, then the whole concept of Malay participation in a growing economy is replaced by a policy of Malay participation in a standstill economy.

This is neither politically possible nor is it practical from the government point of view.

Injection of capital into the Malay sector can only be done if government taxes keep on increasing as the economy expands.

Another problem that is cause for concern is the manner by which the Malays want the government to improve the quality of Malay manpower.

The government policy of doing this is, first of all, in the existing seats of learning — where there are more qualified Malays seeking to enter than there are places for them — to reserve a quota for Malays.

This is a reasonable way because all qualified Malays will be accommodated, and if there are surplus places they should be given to non-Malays. It is true that by this policy, the time taken to bridge the gap will be slower than if the government were to deny surplus places to non-Malays. But this is a practical and just way of doing things in a multi-racial society like Malaysia.

On Tunku Abdul Rahman

The Tunku’s greatest assets was that he managed to be himself under all circumstances no matter where he was, be it the palace or the kampong, in high or low society, whether among the rich or the poor.

This quality of his is still with him. People thus began to know him as a person with faults as well as virtues.

His blunders — of which there were many — used to shock people at first, but as time went on, people got used to him and they forgave him because he was great enough to admit his faults in public and make his apologies in public.

These lapses of his — the blunders and the mistakes — used to disarm many people who thought of him as a well-meaning leader with little brains.

I remember people saying that Malcolm MacDonald (the United Kingdom Commissioner-General for Southeast Asia, 1948-1955) once thought of the Tunku as an unstable leader.

However, beneath the superficiality, the unimpressiveness, lies a subtle brain which approaches political problems differently from others, and whose answer to those problems appears so naive that at first, many people would laugh but which once acted upon proved effective and practical (Drifting c6).

He was steadfast in his desire to talk with (the Communists) and could not be dissuaded; so the next best thing was to ensure that when the meeting took place, the Tunku was well briefed and his security not endangered.

Tunku himself was adamant that a safe passage be guaranteed for Chin Peng and his aides.

It says much for the trust that Chin Peng had in the Tunku that he accepted the invitation to meet the Tunku, knowing full well that he was throwing himself at the mercy of the Tunku and the British (Drifting c11).

The UMNO-MCA Alliance

Dr Ismail recollected that a strong team of MCA intellectuals held a debate with Umno on critical issues.

Most of these men were new, and "while they sensed that there was trust and confidence which had been built in the Alliance... they had not themselves experienced it and their approach at the meetings was, at first, critical".

Dr Ismail felt that all parties soon came to agree that whatever the problem was, the Alliance format would provide an appropriate answer:
" As I saw this spirit emerge and expand during the rest of the conference, I was convinced that whatever happened in the future, this spirit of the Alliance would triumph over all obstacles. As a result of this new consciousness, the solution to many communal problems became possible" (Drifting c12).

The major dilemmas that were being faced were those of citizenship, the national language and the special position of the Malays.

The following text by Dr Ismail reveals his understanding of Malaya’s post-colonial situation (Drifting c12):


Under colonial rule, there was a cumulative increase in the population of immigrant races, especially those of Chinese origin and to a lesser extent the Indians, the latter brought in mainly to work in the rubber estates owned by the British.

NO attempt was made to make these immigrants loyal citizens of Malaya.

The British were content to see that so long as they obey the laws of the country, they could come and leave as they please.

As a result of this policy, when more and more of them settled in Malaya, the result was an increasing number of aliens in the country who, on the whole, were richer and more vigorous than the Malays.

When the Malays seized political power after the Second World War, their main defence against their more virile and richer neighbours was to deny them the right of citizenship.

The Language Issue

As a result of colonial rule, the only language that could guarantee a livelihood for those entering the government service was English.

Otherwise the various races were left to themselves with regard to education.

There was a feeble attempt to give the Malays an education in their own language but as this ceased at the primary level and was implemented in a half-hearted manner, it gave no benefit to the Malays.

The Chinese were left to themselves and to run their own schools, which were financed through levies that they imposed on themselves, on their rubber production and their businesses. Their education was orientated towards China.

As a result, only the English-educated in the multi-racial population of Malaya enjoyed a common language.

The leaders of the Alliance concluded that in an independent Malaya, there should be one language to unify the various races into one nation.

The obvious choice was Malay. It was imperative that if the Chinese — the real political problem since the other races were not dominant — were to be persuaded into accepting Malay as the national language they should be granted citizenship as a quid pro quo.

This was the real basis of the agreement between the three partners, particularly between the Malay and the Chinese.

The Special Position of the Malays

This proved a less intractable problem because the leaders of the Alliance realised the practical necessity of giving the Malays a handicap if they were to compete on equal terms with the other races.

The only point of controversy was the duration of the ‘special position’ — should there be a time limit or should it be permanent?

I made a suggestion which was accepted, that the question be left to the Malays themselves because I felt that as more and more Malays became educated and gained self-confidence, they themselves would do away with this ‘special position’.

In itself, this ‘special position’ is a slur on the ability of the Malays and only to be tolerated because it is necessary as a temporary measure to ensure their survival in the modern competitive world: a world to which only those in the urban areas had been exposed.

This analysis provides insight into how Dr Ismail perceived the Malaysian situation.

What is striking is Dr Ismail’s belief that the Malays would do the right thing in the long run, as well as his faith in the Alliance as a model of government capable of meeting these challenges taken as a whole.


Is it to win the Federal Election OR to Fight for Islam ?

Read HERE challenge-article to PAS by Raja Petra Kamarudin and HERE

Following is the response from Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, Director, PAS Research Centre

Raja Petra,

In response to your article posted in your blog "Can PAS Please Respond?" (Raja Petra), I am taking this initiative, on behalf of some members of the party's think-tank, to convey the followings:

i. We would like to thank Raja Petra for taking this proactive effort and for proposing that PAS has a dialgue with the Malaysia-Today's cyber community.

ii. Reading through the varied and diverging opinions expressed in many blogs about PAS and Islam, we have always been wanting, willing and ready to engage directly, with any bloggers' community in a mutually beneficial and intellectually rewarding discourse.

Finally, in consonant with our current leadership policy of "Engagement for the Betterment of the Nation", we are quite sure that the party leadership will be willing and committed to endorse this dialogue at a place and time to be mutually agreed upon, hopefully BEFORE the end of January 2007.

Although the proposed theme revolves around "Articulating the Islamic State Concept in Contemporary Democracy", we would to broaden the scope to cover the entire range of issues witnessed both at the national arena and those with geo-political and strategic concern.

With All Best Wishes and Kind Regards for Eidhul Adha and A Prosperous New Year.

Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad
Director, PAS Research Centre

Saturday 30 December 2006

Toll Hikes and the Johore Floods: Anger and Frustrations


WHY THE TOLL HIKES? To Bail out the Privatised Companies - 11 Billion Wasted on 7 Companies. Read here for more

From Wengsan's Blog

Please sign online petition to register your strongest disagreement to the unfair toll hike in GCE, Karak Highway, Kesas Highway, LDP and Cheras-Kajang Highway with effective from 1st January 2007.

Click English version:

Click Malay version:

Sign it as soon as possible and spread the words around so that we can create a huge force in the internet to force the government to defer the hike!Every signature counts!

We need to collect as many signatures as possible in the shortest time to exert pressure on the Ministry and the UMNO-led government.

The petition will eventually be submitted to the Ministry if we have collected enough number of signatures, say 10,000 signatures!

PLUGGED-1 : MCA Joined Opposition Parties to Demonstrate Against Toll Hikes

The MCA and two opposition political parties, DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), today staged separate demonstrations to protest against toll hikes.

About 100 Puchong MCA members led by division chairman Wong Hock Aun gathered at the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) toll plaza in Bandar Sunway at 10am, carrying banners and placards at 10am.

Puchong PKR chief Yaakob Sapari said: "The government is being unfair to the public by allowing the increase as the people are already burdened with the hike in water and electricity tariffs."

Motorists honked as sign of support for the demonstrators.

Meanwhile, DAP and PKR vowed to stage more protests and demonstration at the LDP toll plazas in the coming week. Read here for more

Bila MCA pun turut turun berdemo

".... Saya tak tahu samada kita perlu mengucapkan syabas atau mentertawakan mereka, tetapi agak janggal apabila melihat hampir seluruh pimpinan MCA Puchong turun berdemonstrasi berhampiran tol LDP di Sunway semalam. Tetapi saya agak eloklah kita ucapakan syabas kepada mereka kerana berani menerima hakikat bahawa kenaikkan kadar tol ini adalah satu bebanan pada rakyat.

Saya kira MCA Puchong TERPAKSA membuat bantahan ini kerana mereka tidak ada jawapan untuk diberikan kepada para penyokong mereka yang sudah pasti marah kepada kerajaan kerana meluluskan kenaikkan ini.

Tetapi kenapa salahkan LDP semata-mata? LDP sekadar sebuah syarikat.

Sedangkan yang memberikan keizinan dan kelulusan adalah kerajaan Malaysia dimana MCA adalah anggota kanannya?!

Sepatutnya MCA Puchong turut mendesak kerajaan Malaysia agar menyemak semula atau menarik balik keputusan ini, hantarlah memo kepada Ong Ka Ting, Presiden mereka yang duduk dalam kabinet. Dan kebetulan di situ hantar juga memo membantah kenaikkan harga barangan dan perkhidmatan yang kini mencekek kehidupan rakyat jelata.

Kalau tuntutan mereka tidak dilayani, tinggalkan sahaja MCA dan bersama parti-parti alternatif untuk memperjuangkan nasib rakyat.
-Roslan SMS Corner. Read here for more

Read here more (and photos) on the Toll Hike and the Demonstration by MCA and Opposition Parties

".... Kenaikan kadar tol lebuhraya: Hasil dasar penswastaan yang anti-rakyat ... Najib Razak (TPM) dan Zainuddin Maidin (Menteri Penerangan) sudah memberi amaran kepada para editor akhbar-akhbar supaya jangan membesar-besarkan isu tersebut. ....

Menteri Kerja Raya, Sammy Vellu pula, seperti biasa, mengemukakan angka-angka yang memperlihatkan kos tinggi pembinaan lebuhraya-lebuhraya itu tersebut di samping jumlah besar yang perlu ditanggung kerajaan (yakni dengan menggunakan wang rakyat) bagi membayar imbuhan kepada para penerima konsesi itu jika sekiranya kenaikan kadar tol yang telah dipersetujui tidak dilaksanakan.

Yang tidak ditimbulkan ialah hakikat bahawa keperluan membayar imbuhan kepada para pemegang konsesi itu adalah hasil dasar penswastaan lebuhraya yang kucar-kacir (malah tolol) yang terlalu memihak kepada kepentingan pihak kroni dan pengusaha penerima konsesi – dan sekali gus tidak mengindahkan (malah memusuhi) kepentingan para pengguna jalanraya (yakni rakyat banyak).

.....Kita di negara ini bukan sahaja harus menanggung kadar tol yang terus menerus meningkat, tetapi cukai-cukai pengangkutan jalan yang lama terus juga kita bayar. Sayangnya kerajaan tidak pernah berasa teruja untuk menurunkan beban pihak pengguna. Kerajaan hanya berminat untuk menaikkan kadar tol demi kepentingan para pengusaha penerima konsesi lebuhraya itu."
- SUARA RAKYAT -Read here for more

Tol - Apa yang kita mahu?

" ..... Apakah kita, kelompok yang marah apabila kadar tol terus-terusan dinaikkan, mahu kadar tol diturunkan atau kita menuntut agar kutipan tol ke atas pengguna jalanraya itu sendiri dihentikan? Persoalannya apakah dasar penswastaan negara sudah gagal?

...Terlalu banyak 'wang kopi' yang terpaksa ditanggung. Tambahan-tambahan kepada kos ini semuanya dipindahkan kepada pengguna.

...Apa sekalipun dokumen-dokumen dan perjanjian berkaitan perlu dideklasifikasikan daripada status RAHSIA dan didedahkan sepenuhnya kepada kerajaan. Menteri berkuasa melakukan ini atau Parlimen perlu bertindak segera memansuhkan Akta Rahsia Rasmi yang melindungi dokumen yang sama sekali tidak berkaitan dengan keselamatan dan kepentingan negara sebegini.

.... Rakyat perlukan maklumat! Setakat ini kita menolak kenaikan kadar tol. Tetapi kita memerlukan lebih maklumat untuk menentukan samada kita menolak sama sekali penswastaan jalanraya. Hanya selepas mendapat maklumat yang dikategori rahsia ini kita akan dapat membuat keputusan.

...Buat masa sekarang, saya sekurang-kurangnya telah membuat keputusan bahawa rejim Abdullah Badawi ini BUKAN kerajaan saya. Mereka samada terlalu bodoh sehingga membuat perjanjian yang merugikan rakyat, atau mereka khianat kepada rakyat sehingga sanggup membuat perjanjian itu. Ayuh rakyat! Nyatakan pendirian anda."
- Gelanggang minda,medan bicara. Read here for more

PLUGGED -2 : The Johore Flood

Where are the Johore Ministers ?

"..... Where's Syed Hamid? Where's Khaled? Eleven people have died in the worst floods in Johor's - and the country's - history. Last night the number of evacuees in Johor rose as more areas went under.

For now, it is getting worse for the state, not better. People have begun to notice the absence of certain Johor politicians and MPs from the scene.

They couldn't all have gone to Perth for holiday, could they?"
-Read on Rocky's Bru

".. (A) news report that a soldier had asked flood victims in Segamat for money before rescuing them .... Rumours had been rife since the massive floods in Johore, particularly in Segamat and Kota Tinggi, of such extortionist conduct by some irresponsible elements who held flood victims to ransom in demanding money to rescue them......

In Segamat, a flood victim, Wong Yee Ken had come forward to lodge a police report on how he was forced to bribe a military personnel to take food and drinks to his customers and staff who were trapped in his hair salon and also to rescue them by boat. The report was lodged two days ago – Police Report Number SEGAMAT/007292/06.

The wife of Tunku Mahkota Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah, has also commendably spoken up about allegations in Kota Tinggi that some rescue personnel had demanded money from flood victims as payments to rescue them, calling for investigations by the relevant authorities. (Raja Zarith is the Chairperson for the Malaysian Red Crescent Community Service Committee.)
-Read here on Lim Kit Siang Blog


"....... Malaysians who had always been known for their simple, helpful and courteous personality....had changed so drastically of late due to the bad influence cultivated by the Barisan Nasional politicians who had governed our country for almost fifty(50) years with corrupt, irresponsible, selfish and uncaring attitude.

The recent floods ...demonstrated that army personnel who are paid by public funds had demanded payment for rescuing flood victims.

This clearly shows that the Arm Forces has many flaws that the ministry need to address in wave of incidents like C4 used on the Mongolian woman and now demanding a bribe for rescue.

If these sort of bad culture were to suffice any further, the National Security of our country could also be undermined by bigger powers by bribing them.

-KAMAL TALKS - Read here for more

Read here more (and photos) on THE FLOOD in Johore, Pahang and Other States

Ehsan Najib untuk mangsa banjir

"... Mangsa-mangsa banjir di seluruh negara akan mendapat bantuan wang tunai daripada kerajaan. Wang itu wang negara, tetapi ketika mengumumkannya Najib Razak dengan tegas, sambil mengetuk-ngetuk jari pada meja, menegaskan bahawa ia bukan wang ganti rugi tetapi wang ehsan.

Tetapi saya faham kenapa Najib bertegas. Kalau gantirugi, kerajaan perlu membayar mengikut taksiran kerugian sebenar, tetapi jika wang ehsan, maka jumlahnya terpulang kepada ehsan pemerintah untuk memberi. Sekalipun ia wang negara, tetapi tertakluk kepada ehsan pemerintah.

Najib lahir, membesar dan terus hidup di dalam keluarga orang besar-besar, keluarga orang kaya. Beliau tidak pernah mengharapkan ehsan orang untuk meneruskan kehidupan.
Beliau tidak pernah merasakan keperitan hidup.

Justeru beliau tidak mungkin faham bagaimana keadaan orang yang dilanda bencana dan mungkin kehilangan segala-galanya yang bernilai buat mereka kecuali nyawa dan ahli keluarga mereka.

Kerana itu perbuatan beliau mengetuk-ngetuk meja dengan mencebik bibir kesombongan untuk menegaskan perkara ehsan ini harus kita fahami.

Selama ini Najib tidak pernah menunjukkan kemampuan untuk memahami keperitan hidup rakyat.
Gelanggan minda, medan bicara. Read here for more

Pak Lah's Prime Ministership: Detached, Incompetent and Increasingly Irrelevant

Read here full article by Bakri Musa

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Detached, incompetent, and increasingly irrelevant.

Those words best describe Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership, if indeed it can be thus called. The only consolation is his increasing irrelevance.

He is not much good to Malaysia, but then he could not do much damage either. Malaysia has survived worse before; it will survive his incompetent leadership.

What we cannot estimate however, is the lost opportunity: Where could Malaysia be if only we had effective leadership

Take his leadership, or lack of one, during the recent flood.

With over half of the peninsular states affected and thousands stranded, he saw fit only to express his sorrows. He then went right ahead with his scheduled overseas vacation.

The typical civil service “nine-to-five” mentality; once out of the office you forget about your job and responsibilities. This “time card punching” culture is entrenched and difficult to eradicate even after you become Prime Minister.

Only when there were considerable criticisms in the Malaysian blogosphere of his absence did he do an about turn and came home to tour the flooded areas.

The mainstream media were, as usual, silent on his initial absence.

When Abdullah finally cut short his overseas vacation, The New Straits Times, a paper never known for accuracy or truthfulness, declared that Abdullah toured the flooded areas immediately on returning from his earlier trip to Venezuela. The paper conveniently omitted that Abdullah was already off on his way abroad for his vacation.

It matters not; Abdullah has become irrelevant.

All he could do was engage in “photo ops” with some babies and to express his anger at the inevitable looters. Surprise! Surprise!

As Home Minister, he should at least send more reinforcements of police personnel and threaten aggressive prosecution of the lawbreakers. Instead he asked the people to make citizen’s arrests. As if that would do it!

Abdullah was reduced to doing the only thing he could: sermonising. Indeed “touring” is the right word; he was no different from the other voyeuristic visitors.

It did not take him long to treat the government’s fleet of expensive corporate jets as his private toys. He was busy jetting not only himself but also members of his adult family to all over the globe. Someone in Parliament ought to ask whether those adult family members accompanying him paid their way. (I would give only his adult daughter a free ride being that she is his official escort.)

This man of hitherto modest means and taste would not move into the palatial official Prime Minister’s residence until it had undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation! Now he aspires to own a mega yacht. Such pretensions for an Imam from Penang, a state where Malays are fast being marginalised!

That is not my observation, rather that of his son-in-law.

His denial of the published report of his acquiring the mega yacht was instructive. He denied seeing the boat (technically that could be correct as the report said the boat was still being built!) but he did not address the question of why he was in that unknown port city in the first place. It was not exactly a convenient refuelling jet stop on his way to Venezuela. He did not deny being there but gave no reasons as to why.

A mindset, steeped in religious faith, is difficult to eradicate. There are no midterm elections or the equivalent of an Iraq Study Group in Malaysia to remind him of his errors. The UMNO General Assembly, in particular its leadership convention, would normally be the avenue for such checks on the leadership, but that has been postponed till after the general elections. Those could be held as late as May 2009. Abdullah is thus securely ensconced till then. Therein lies the danger to the nation.

- Dr. Bakri Musa

Prime Minister "Pak Lah" Siphoned RM 600 Million of Tax Payers' Money for UMNO

The Corridors of Power: Read here full article by Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi ("Pak Lah") told the UMNO Pre-Council Meeting on the eve of the Umno General Assembly in November 2006:

“Bahagian? Oh satu Bahagian...bukan kawasan (parlimen)...silap tadi”.

The money is for the Umno Divisions (Bahagian) and NOT for the Parliamentary Constituencies.

“Yang perlu dipercepatkan, tak ayah tunggu tahun depan, bawak cepat, sekarang boleh bawak cepat dan dengan itu
yang kita nak bawak dengan cepat ini maka dengan itu kita perlu mengeluarkan perbelanjaan tambahan.”

Here Abdullah Badawi asks them to accelerate the process.

The letter issued by the Deputy Minister of Works of 13 November 2006 says that the money must be spent within two months. And it is ‘belanja tambahan’, an increase in budget under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (RMK9).

The RMK9 has been approved by Parliament while this belanja tambahan has NOT . It has only been approved by the Prime Minister, not even by the Cabinet.


Let me extract further for your convenience so that you can see not only how they (UMNO) robbed you of RM600 million of your money.

Incidentally, Ronnie Liu of the Democratic Action Party has made a police report on the matter and he has given the police all the relevant documents to assist them in their investigations.

I was told that in Johor the money was already distributed since early December. Hmm....isn’t Johor that same state that is suffering the worst flood in 100 years? I hope someone isn’t going to start making statements that this is God’s revenge for stealing our money. This would be most unkind because those who are suffering are innocent victims who are probably not even aware of the RM600 million.

“Kita dah ada projek, lepas tu recommend lah ke Ketua Bahagian dan lepas itu Class F pi jumpa Ketua Bahagian,
tak payah jumpa Pak Lah dah.”

It is clear that the money will be managed by the Umno Division Chiefs. The projects have already been identified. All the Class F contractors (who are not only Malays but Umno members as well) have to do is go see their Division Chiefs to get the money.

The buck stops at the Umno Division Chiefs.

And the projects have already been earmarked -- which means this is all a fait acompli.

“Saya telahpun bincang perkara ini dengan pihak JKR, Datuk Zin, Kementerian Kewangan, Tan Sri Nor dan Dato Awang Adek, tengok macam mana. Kita hendak tengok macam mana kita nak merancakkan pembangunan projek-rojek kecil yang ada di kawasan-kawasan kita.”

Abdullah Badawi had already discussed this matter with the relevant people even before the pre-council meeting. They had also already issued the letter earlier that day, before the meeting, and at that time this RM600 million expenditure was not approved by either Parliament or the Cabinet. It was the decision of one man, the Prime Minister -- another fait acompli.

“Sekarang juga tiga juta bagi setiap kawasan pilihanraya...RM600 juta untuk kesemuanya. Dan kita sebagai parti saya hendak supaya saudara memainkan peranan untuk memperkasakan, untuk mempercepatkan...Bahagian? oh satu Bahagian...bukan kawasan (parlimen)...”

The amount is RM3 million for each Umno Division, totalling RM600 million in all.

And it is for the Umno Divisions, not the Parliamentary Constituencies.

So Sarawak plus the other component parties within Barisan Nasional are excluded from the scheme....or is it scam?

They are robbing us blind in broad daylight.

And they bypassed Parliament and the Cabinet in doing so.

This is the kind of people we have voted into office. This is the kind of people who walk through the corridors of power.

  • Those who did not vote for Barisan Nasional can only fume.

  • Those who did not come out to vote at all and just stayed home had better just shut their mouths. They have no right to even make a sound.

  • Those who voted for Barisan Nasional, well, serve you bloody right.

    -Raja Petra Kamarudin


Speech by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi

Ada projek besar yang akan mengambil masa yang lama, projek-projek kecil masih menunggu, masih menunggu untuk dilaksanakan.

Saya telahpun membuat keputusan untuk kita percepatkan yang projek kecil ini.

Ini untuk immediate need, yang long term, yang berujalan sekarang ni yang melibatkan projek-projek besar, ia akan mengambil masa..orang pun tak sabar menunggu. Betul bila ada projek besar akan ada sub-contractor.

Bila UEM mula pembinaan jambatan pulau pinang ke-2 itu akan ada 200 sub-contractor...sub-contractor...200 peluang untuk sub-contractor kerana kita nak pastikan supaya bahan barang-barang yang digunakan untuk jambatan ini mestilah sekurang-kurangnya 60 peratus adalah barang temapatan.

Ini kita hendak dan disinilah akan ada peluang untuk mereka nanti. Tapi projek-projek kecil ada.

Saya telahpun bincang perkara ini dengan pihak JKR, Datuk Zin, Kementerian Kewangan, Tan Sri Nor dan Dato Awang Adek, tengok macam mana. Kita hendak tengok macam mana kita nak merancakkan pembangunan projek-rojek kecil yang ada di kawasan-kawasan kita.

Yang perlu dipercepatkan, tak payah tunggu tahun depan, bawak cepat, sekarang boleh bawak cepat dan dengan itu yang kita nak bawak dengan cepat ini maka dengan itu kita perlu mengeluarkan perbelanjaan tambahan. Sekarang juga tiga juta bagi setiap kawasan pilihanraya...RM600 juta untuk kesemuanya.

Dan kita sebagai parti saya hendak supaya saudara memainkan peranan untuk memperkasakan, untuk empercepatkan... Bahagian? oh satu Bahagian... BUKAN kawasan (parlimen)... silap tadi... di sinilah saya harap Ketua-ketua BAHAGIAN akan mainkan peranan untuk... projek dah ada dah ni...bukan cerita bagi duit tak ada projek...dah ada dah pun...dah ada dah pun...kalau dulu tak ada projek nanti rumah buruk pagar bukan main mahal...pasal nak buat projek...rumah cikgu, rumah pegawai kerajaan punya buruk naik pagar bukan main mahal lagi pasal apa?

Pasal nak belanja duit. This is not the way, not with me.

Kita dah ada projek, lepas tu recommend lah ke Ketua Bahagian dan lepas itu Class F pi jumpa Ketua Bahagian, tak payah jumpa Pak Lah dah. Tenyehlah...pasal tu...tenyehlah tengok.


PAS: Is it to win the Federal Election OR to Fight for Islam ?

NO HOLDS BARRED: Read here full article by Raja Petra Kamarudin


The 12th General Election will soon be upon us. Take it from me, though, the ‘next’ government will be the same government we have now.

It will still be the same shit, different day maybe, but the same shit nevertheless.

If they do not vote the present government back into office then which party do they choose instead?

The opposition does NOT have a coalition like Barisan Nasional. The opposition is an ‘understanding’ of three fragmented parties (PAS,DAP Keadilan) that have nothing in common save their hatred for the ruling coalition.
There are many things standing in the way of opposition unity.

But let us focus on just one, THE MOTHER OF ALL PROBLEMS, the Islamic State issue. All the other issues could be easily solved if this one issue is settled. In fact, many of the other issues could even be self-solving IF THIS ONE ISSUE can be addressed.

Some PAS leaders say that upholding Islam and propagating the setting up of an Islamic State is the prime objective of the party. When pointed out that the Islamic State agenda does not go down well with the voters, even amongst Muslim voters, so this may hinder PAS in the election, they said that they don’t care.

Their objective, they argue, is NOT to win elections but to fight for Islam. Then PAS should declare this to the voters.

PAS should tell the voters that it is NOT INTERESTED IN WINNING ELECTIONS but only to fight for Islam.

Then let the voters decide whether to give them their vote or not. The voters should NOT be cheated.The voters should NOT be lied to.

PAS is an Islamic party and an Islamic party, above all, should be even more concerned about telling the voters the truth. Tell them the truth and let them decide for themselves whether they want to buy what PAS is selling.

If not, then never mind; vote Barisan Nasional then.

But if they choose PAS then they do so with their eyes wide open about what PAS is and what it stands for.

And why do I aim this at PAS and not DAP?

This is because PAS would be the alternative to Umno. So it is important how the voters perceive PAS.

Dr Kalim Siddiqui was an Islamic scholar and Muslim revolutionary who was born in British India in 1933 and died in South Africa in 1996. In 1992, he set up the Muslim Parliament of Britain. He is the author of numerous books on the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic State.

Dr Kalim is a staunch believer and propagator of an Islamic State. He does NOT believe this can be achieved through western-style general elections but only through an Islamic Revolution a la Iran.

Elections, as far as Dr Kalim is concerned, only helps put unsuitable leaders into power, basically because the system can be rigged in favour of certain people. You need an Islamic Revolution to change the system and to replace the un-Islamic leaders with Islamic ones. And ‘Islamic leader’ does not just mean one who professes the Islamic religion but one who leads a proper life of a Muslim.

According to Dr Kalim, the Iran Revolution was the closest thing to the creation of an Islamic State if not for the fact that Iran regarded it as a Shi‘ate Revolution rather than an Islamic Revolution.

If we go by what Dr Kalim believes, then Malaysia is NOT an Islamic State.

Malaysia does NOT have the ingredients for the setting up of an Islamic State. Malaysia practices a western-style election system which is NOT compatible to Islam.

To succeed in setting up an Islamic State, we need to abolish the general elections and instead embark on an Islamic Revolution.

But this is not what PAS is doing. PAS is not propagating a revolution, Islamic or otherwise. PAS actively participates in the general elections and is trying to meet its goals through winning enough seats in the general election.

But Dr Kalim said that not only is this not Islamic, but it cannot be done.

  • So what does PAS have to say about this?
  • Does PAS share these views or does it have another and opposite view? It owes the voters an explanation, an honest explanation.
  • How is it going to do what they say cannot be done?
  • Furthermore, what would PAS do about the current political and administrative system if it manages to win enough seats to form the government?
  • Would it abolish Parliament and the Westminster system in favour of a Caliphate system?
  • According to Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi in his book The Return of the Khalifate, “The Khalifate is not only fundamental to Islam, it is the necessary foundation of its power.”

PAS leaders seem at a loss in offering examples of viable Islamic States, either in existence or in the past. When asked to define what a ‘proper’ Islamic State should look like, the impression we get is that the Islamic State is merely an ideal, a theoretical system that has yet to emerge in the true sense of the word.

One always goes away with the feeling that PAS is equally confused as to what constitutes an Islamic State.

PAS too should be allowed to tell us what their plans are and how they plan to achieve them.

  • If we like what we hear, then PAS might get our support in the coming general election.
  • But at least we will know for sure what we are getting ourselves into by supporting PAS.
  • And if we support PAS it will only be because we agree with them and are doing so with both eyes wide open and not because we were sold a cow when we thought we were buying a horse.

Over to you PAS!

You want our support, then tell us what it is we are supporting.

And the truth please! Malaysia Today would be very willing to organise a dialogue session with PAS for the benefit of any of our readers who are concerned enough about this country’s future and would like to hear what PAS’ plans are and how this would dovetail with our own idea of what ‘future’ is supposed to look like.

Can PAS respond to this?

And I am even generous enough to allow PAS to pay for the whole event (and don’t forget the Satay).

-Raja Petra Kamarudin

Friday 29 December 2006


Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu announced the toll rates for certain highways would be increased effective 1st January 2007.

The increases are:

  • LDP - RM1.60 (previously RM1)
  • KESAS - RM2.20 (previously RM1.50)
  • Cheras-Kajang, Batu 9 - RM 1 (previously 70 sen)
  • Cheras-Kajang, Batu 11, 90 sen (previously 60 sen )
  • KL-Karak-Gombak - RM5KL-Karak-Bentong - RM3 (previously RM2.50)
  • Guthrie Corridor - RM1.40 (previously RM1)

Datuk Seri Samy further informed that this increase in rates is inevitable and the rakyat need to live with it.

  • From Screenshot-dated September 27th 2006: "....AFTER RAYA: Operators of five privatised highways are now asking the government for toll increase, and they are (Source: Oriental Daily News, September 27).:

    • Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) operated by Gamuda. Upward adjustment: 40%.

    • Guthrie Corridor Expressway operated by Guthrie Group. Upward adjustment: Unknown.

    • Karak Highway operated by MTD Infrastructure. Upward adjustment:20% - 25%.

    • Cheras-Kajang Expressway operated by Grand Saga.Upward adjustment: 42.9%.

    • Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) operated by Gamuda.Upward Adjustment: 46.7#.

      Read here above article for more

      November, 28th: Screenshot:"...See, we told you so!
      What was reported on September 27, by Oriental Daily News and in this blog, has become true." Read here for more

  • MUST READ ARTICLE: WHY THE TOLL HIKES? To Bail out the Privatised Companies - 11 Billion Wasted on 7 Companies. Read here for more

  • "...It seems that the Barisan Nasional government that rule our country does not care for the welfare of the rakyat. .... In the meantime, UMNO only cares for its own members and had recently awarded each division RM3 Million to be shared by the divisions in the name of development projects. (Read here for more) Now we have come to understand that this RM600 Million is public funds....Its time for the people to take stock of the situation. It seems that as long as the Barisan Nasional rules our country, we can expect price hikes, since it is also know as BARANG NAIK(BN).The only alternative for the rakyat is to stop using these highways..... "

  • "...Once again, we bear witness to the kind of arrogance with which our government chooses to bulldoze their plan of doing anything they choose to, and with considerable impunity. Almost everything they plan and implement seems to have only their interest at heart, and not the rakyat’s. And the veil of secrecy behind it all is terribly suffocating. The recent toll hike is yet another classic case of a recalcitrant government acting on its own whims and fancies. And all this talk by the prime minister about righteousness and stamping out corruption is all nothing but political humbug and empty talk. Otherwise, why keep the agreements that are imposing a burden on the voting public a secret? We dare the government to bring it out into the open. It is well known that the toll concessionaires are raking in huge profits. And Works Minister S Samy Vellu, as usual, with complete nonchalance says the government is subsidising the rates. We are not that stupid, dear minister.
    -Disgusted. Letters to Malaysiakini. Read here for more

  • Samy’s ‘cheapest’ toll rates claim misleading: "...The minister should desist from comparing our toll rates with other countries especially when all other factors are not similar and equal. First and foremost, let us have a look at the highway concessionaire agreements to see if everything is above board. Then let the public judge whether the toll increase is justifiable.
    - Malaysia Uncut. Read here for more

  • "....Thousands expected at anti-toll hike demonstration. You can bet I’ll be there.. with my car conviniently breaking down just in front of the toll plaza. Opposition parties and consumer groups are planning a mammoth protest against the increase in toll hikes for five highways in the Klang Valley. It is learnt that thousands are expected to turn up at the protest which will be held along the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) highway on Jan 7. PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said the party will bring between 5,000 and 10,000 protestors.
    “We are sad that the government is not considerate towards the people, especially those with low incomes,” he said when met after a closed-door discussion in Kuala Lumpur last night.
    -Politically Not Correct. Read here for more

  • "....PLUS Expressways Bhd’s net profit rose 5 per cent in 2004 to RM768.5 million from RM732.1 million in 2003. The North-South Expressway concessionaire collected RM1.5 billion in toll last year. It is $768 million profit over the revenue of $1.5 billion, that is, almost 50% net profit margin. And, they are continually going to raise toll charges, which means their profit margin will keep growing at the expense of taxpayers. The consumers are contributing to make them billions each year and the government had given them an agreement to make sure it happens....... The irony; PLUS spent approx. $6 billion to built the highway which in total would had cost more than $10 billion and they are collecting tens of billions of tolls over the last decade. Aren't the taxpayers becoming suckers??? Ironically, the Jelapang Toll reconstruction project, the government had agreed to pay $120 million contribution to PLUS....WHY??????? Because the toll booth was originally NOT built by PLUS....but revenue derived is collected by PLUS. So, PLUS is NOT responsible to pay for construction and is claiming the rights to collect all revenue from it. Good agreement! Good government management......."
    - Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin. Read here for more

  • ".... Menjelang awal tahun hadapan, pengguna lima lebuhraya akan dihadiahkan dengan kenaikan baru tol, sehingga mencecah 60%!Laporan tersebut menyebut, pengumuman mengenainya akan dibuat esok, Khamis.Arahan juga telah diberikan, supaya media tidak membesarkan kenaikan ini, untuk membendung kemarahan rakyat...."
    -Weblog Husam Musa.
    Read here for more