- Long-term toll-free solution needed for Puchong
- UMNO Semakin Takut DAP Makin Rapat Dengan Orang Melayu/Islam
- DEB gagal
- Pemimpin KL-Jakarta perlu kerap berjumpa
- Why licensing publications is undemocratic
- Tolak ekstremis perkauman
- Could Najib Be So Bold?
- Anwar Ibrahim, like Ahmed Chalabi, described as a fool's gold!
- If Islam is the only true faith from Almighty Allah, why do Muslims still....?
- Muddled brain minister
- Cops stops HRP at Perak palace
- Just imagine this if you can!
- Charge the ‘surau man’ with assault on a minor!!
- Ethnic cleansing of poor Malaysian Indian labourers
- “Implications on Suspended 3″
- Malaysians should be grateful...
- TAINTING EVERYONE WITH THE SAME BRUSH
- Is Perlis-Langkawi bridge project another BN 'wayang'?
- Could Najib be so bold?
- Najib be our hero not as zero unshackle yourself from the baggage charge Mahathir for his sins we want our true MEREDAKA
Posted: 30 Aug 2010 08:00 PM PDT
By Gobind Singh Deo
COMMENT I refer to the announcement by the Works Minister that Aug 31 will see a toll-free day for motorists using the LDP expressway between Puchong and Damansara. This is a reflection that the authorities recognise that the people need to be "liberated" from the burden of having to pay toll, especially in Puchong where motorists pay RM1.60 per entry into and exit out of Puchong.
For a family with two cars which need to travel at least twice into and out of Puchong, one needs to fork out RM12.80 per day just on toll. This averages out to RM384 per month. Many make an average of 10 trips into and out of Puchong daily.
The report today also said that an average of 450,000 vehicles travel the route daily. That makes the daily collection some RM720,000 per day. This brings the collection to about RM22.32 million per month and about RM267.84 million a year.
These figures are merely a rough estimate of what is being made a year. The figure will increase dramatically over the months and years to come because Puchong is developing fast and naturally the flow of traffic into Puchong will likewise increase.
This doesn't yet include the fact that the toll rate is set to increase over the years. The agreement has it increasing to RM2.10 and RM3.20 in the years to come.
The federal government is not doing enough to solve the problem.
The agreements which cover these routes were drafted many years ago. One may ask if these agreements projected the increased volumes in traffic and toll rates accurately. Is there not a cut-off point for profit margins after which the concessions would be returned to the government and the people?
Are the people completely helpless and without recourse because "agreements have been signed and are binding" as is always said in Parliament by the powers that be?
But we, the rakyat, did not sign these agreements. Why must we now be made to suffer these consequences?
And the fact of the matter is that the traffic problem in Puchong, especially on the LDP during peak hours, is simply terrible. What are motorists actually paying for when travel time is severely delayed because of the jam?
Ask anyone in Puchong and the toll and traffic issue finds itself at the top of the list of complaints. So why do we have to wait for years and suffer in silence when huge amounts of money pass collected from the people of Puchong?
The buying option
As MP for Puchong, I would like to ask the federal government whether it is true that profits on this route are expected to fall in the range of some RM13.8 billion between 2016 and 2029.
And what are the profits already made to date and which will be made from now to 2016 based on increased traffic volumes and toll prices?
Given these facts and figures, the Works Minister should state whether the option of buying the concession back would be better in terms of savings for the rakyat?
Does the agreement not provide for this and does it not also state the pricing mechanism for such an option?
It is my view that any agreement which can be shown to be unfair over a period of time, and one which is found to be oppressive to the rakyat, must surely be subject to review, especially in cases where the financial targets sought to be achieved have been achieved.
We cannot and must not just sit back and allow for the extras to be reaped in at the expense of the rakyat.
I think the federal government, under whose guidance the agreements were drafted and signed, must now take full responsibility. It should re-evaluate these contracts and act urgently.
Something is just not right here. The increase in traffic volume should work out to reduce toll rates and relieve the rakyat of the burden, not the other way around.
With the greatest of respect to the minister, a one-day discount or amnesty may be nice but it is certainly not enough to solve the problem.
What we need is a long-term solution for the people of Puchong. The federal government must act and act fast if it is truly committed to its "people first, performance now" slogan.
Gobind Singh Deo is DAP MP for Puchong.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 02:42 PM PDT
Isu YB Teo masuk ke surau ini menampakkan betapa takutnya UMNO dengan perkembangan DAP yang terbaru. Berbeza dengan wakil-wakil rakyat MCA dan MIC, wakil2 rakyat dan pimpinan DAP dengan berbesar hati melayan serta memenuhi jemputan berbuka puasa dan majlis-majlis agama Islam yang dianjurkan oleh masjid-masjid dan surau-suaru seluruh Malaysia. Hanya perlu jemput dan mereka akan hadzir. Apa yang dilakukan oleh wakil-wakil rakyat DAP ini TIDAK PERNAH DILAKUKAN oleh wakil-wakil rakyat MCA dan MIC dibawah pemerintahan BN.
UMNO GUSAR FITNAH MEREKA SEMAKIN TIDAK MENJADI
Sedar atau tidak, setakat ini UMNO tiada isu yang mereka hendak ketengahkan. SAtu-satunya isu mereka adalah kononnya pemerintahan Malaysia akan diambil alih oleh DAP yang anti ISlam dan anti Melayu.
Dengan kata lain, satu-satunya isu yang sedang menyelamatkan UMNO sekarang ini adalah kempen menakutkan orang Melayu kepada DAP.
Namun, tampaknya seperti kempen ini semakin menuju kegagalan kerana rajinnya wakil2 rakyat DAP dan pimpinan DAP hadzir dalam program2 masjid dan surau.
Gambar dalam artikel ini adalah gambar pimpinan DAP PJ Utara yang menghadiri majlis berbuka puasa bersama PAS PJ Utara di Masjid Al Hidayah tahun lepas. Ini adalah salah satu contoh sahaja. PErkara ini berlaku seluruh Malaysia terutama di negeri yang dimenangi oleh PAkatan Rakyat.
Fenomena ini ditakuti UMNO. Lantas mereka mempolitikkan isu ini dengan menggunakan pelacur mereka bernama Khusrin Munawi. Khusrin pula melacurkan JAIS demi menyempurnakan cita-cita politik murahan UMNO dan Barisan Nasional.
Khusrin telah sanggup mengharamkan perkara yang tidak diharamkan oleh ulama-ulama besar seperti Imam Nawawi dan ulama2 syafieeah yang lain.
Sedih saya melihat kejahatan UMNO yang sanggup melacurkan JAIS demi mencapai cita-cita politik murahan mereka.
AJK MASJID HANYA MAHU MERAPATKAN PIMPINAN DAP KEPADA ISLAM
Contoh di bawah menunjukkan AJK2 Masjid menghadiahkan Al Quran terjemahan kepada YB Lau dan YB Tony Pua sewaktu lawatan berbuka puasa mereka. Pihak AJK2 Masjid dan surau berbesar hati menjemput wakil2 DAP memberi ucapan kerana bagi mereka merapatkan hubungan ini adalah satu bentuk dakwah.
UMNO tidak reti konsep dakwah. Mereka lebih rela menghalalkan judi dan arak dari berdakwah kepada orang bukan ISlam di Malaysia.
Jangan kita berhenti melakukan perkara ini hanya kerana UMNO tidak suka. Juga, jangan kita takut dengan Khusrin kerana Khusrin adalah PELACUR UMNO semata-semata. Tidak perlu takut dengan mereka sama sekali.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 11:45 AM PDT
Seronok juga saya hendak mencelah dikalangan ramai yang menyentuh tentang isu DEB dan kesannya serta apa sebenarnya yang menyebabkan dasar itu dianggap berjaya oleh setengah pihak dan gagal bagi setengah pihak yang lain. Masing-masing ada alasan sendiri.
DEB merupakan dasar yang unggul jika dilaksanakan dengan baik. Semasa dasar ini mula-mula dilaksanakan ianya berjalan dengan baik tanpa 'complain' mana-mana pihak termasuklah orang-orang bukan Melayu. Masalahnya sekarang ramai yang memandang DEB itu sebagai sebuah dasar yang diadakan khas untuk orang Melayu dan Bumiputra sahaja, tanpa memikirkan apa sebenarnya tujuan dasar itu diwujudkan. Kalau kita ikut mengikut 'step'nya yang betul dasar ini tidak sepatutnya menjadi siu sekarang ini, apatah lagi dasar itu sudah tiada lagi.
DEB mempunyai hanya SATU matlamat; iaitu Perpaduan Kaum dinegara ini. Itu sahaja tujuan dan motif kewujuddannya. Pemimpin politik dan pemikir-pemikir negara semasa itu melakukan 'soul searching' yang mendalam untuk memperkenalkan dasar baru ini.
Kewajaran dasar ini diadakan amat dituntut bukan sahaja oleh Bumiputra tetapi juga bangsa –bangsa lain kerana mengadakan dasar yang bermatlamatkan Perpaduan Rakyat itu amat mendesak. Hasil dari kejadian 13 Mei '69 membuktikan kepada semua pihak yang perpecahan dikalangan rakyat tidk akan membawa makna kepada kemerdekaan negara kita. Perpecahan dan pergaduhan berdarah tidak akan memberi keamanan kepada negara jauh sekali untuk memajukan negara bagi pengisian kemerdekaan itu.
Saya tidak mahu lagi untuk mengulas secara 'detail' tentang rupa dan bentuk dasar ini kerana saya telah menyentuhnya banyak kali sejak 2 tahun yang lalu.
Kesedaran semua bangsa tentang pentingnya perpaduan rakyat ini maka pemimpin-pemimpin yang diketuai oleh UMNO dan pemimpin-pemimpin parti-parti kerajaan dan pembangkang semasa itu (PAS dan Gerakkan) telah bersetuju yang satu tindakkan 'affirmative' wajar dilaksanakan untuk menentukan hidup matinya rakyat dan negara kita yang sudah mencapai kemerdekaan.
Apakah proses-proses yang 'affirmative' untuk pencapaian perpaduan rakyat tadi? Jawapannya ialah; menghapuskan kemiskinan tanpa mengira kaum dan Agama. Selain dari itu ialah untuk menghapuskan cara dan kaedah mengenali sesuatu kaum itu mengukut fungsi ekonominya. Ianya juga bertujuan untuk merapatkan jurang pendapatan diantara yang berada dan tidak berada dan beberapa lagi tindakkan yang terpaksa diambil yang dipersetujui bersama diantara kaum-kaum dinegara ini.
Yang disebutkan dalam para sebelum ini hanya lah proses-proses kearah pencapaian matlamat perpaduan rakyat tadi. Bagaimana pula proses ini dilakukan?
Pertamanya dasar ini mengakui bahawa kemiskinan merupakan isu yang sangat besar untuk diselesaikan. Oleh kerana kaum Bumiputra rata-rata adalah kaum yang miskin yang terjebak dengan fugsi ekonomi mereka sebagai petani-petani dan pekebun kecil maka prose untamanya ialah dengan menentukan Bumiputra dibahagikan quota 30 peratus penyertaan dalam bidang perniagaan dan industri.
Yang 30 peratus yang hendak diberikan kepada Bumiptra itu bukannya dengan mengambil atau merampas hak yang sudah dikuasai oleh kaum lain. Caranya ialah dengan membesarkan kek ekonomi negara dan dalam proses itu banyak lagi tindakkan 'affirmative' dilaksanakan untuk mencapai matlamat ini.
Kerajaan yang begitu komited dengn dasar ini dalam masa yang sama telah membina syarikat-syarikat tajaan kerajaan yang dipangil sebagai 'Public Companies by Guaranttee yang sekarang dipanggil GLC. Syarikat-syarikat ini ditadbir oleh ahli-ahli koporat yang sama-sama komited untuk menentukan kejayaannya dan dikalangan mereka tidak ada atau tidak menjadi budaya utuk memperkayakan diri mereka sendiri seperti yang begitu lazim berlaku dimasa ini.
Disetiap Jabatan dan Kementerian pula dan disertai oleh Bank-bank tempatan dan Bank-Bank asing unit penyertaan Bumiputra bagi membantu kaum Bumiputra untuk memulakan atau untuk membesarkan perniagaan mereka. Sekarang ini unit-unit ini telah dihapuskan sejak pertengahan kepimpinan Mahathir kerana pemimpin ini sudah mula bercakap tentang 'meritocracy' dan mahukan Bumiputra bersaing secara adil dan membuang 'tongkat' yang telah disediakan oleh DEB itu.
Bagi ramai termasuk diri saya yang kebetulan bekerja disalah sebuah syarikat kerajaan untuk membantu Bumiputra meningkatkan penyertaan dalam bidang industri dan 'commerce' menentang saranan Dr M ini. Kami berpendapat jika tidak mahu pakai 'tongkat', maka wajar tongkat itu disimpan bukan dibuang, kerana kemungkinan suatu hari tongkat ini berguna untuk kita.
Dr Mahathir adalah seorang 'strong believer' yang DEB itu memberikan banyak halangankepada pembangunan pesat negara. Beliau lpercaya yang pembanguna secara fisikal itu adalah merupakan elemen 'nation building' yang mampan sedangkan pembangunan fisikal itu hanya merupaka elemen yang begitu 'fractional' jika kita sebut istilah besar 'nation building' itu.
Dr Mahathir tidak mengambil berat tentang pembinaan sikap yang betul untuk menyambut pembangunan fisikal yang pesat itu. Asalkan sahaja negara menampakkan pembangunan fisikal yang besar, tidak perlu diambil tahu kesan sampingan seperti rsauah dan salah gunakuasa yang berputik dengan pantas dizamannya.
Sekarang terbukti 'tongkat' kita yang sudah buang jauh itu belumtentu kita akan dapatnya kembali dengan kelemahan pimpinan pada hari ini. Ibrahim Ali dengan PERKASAnya menjerit-jerit untuk dipulangkan 'tongkat' itu tetapi pentadbiran sekarang menambah lagi luka yang dialami oleh orang Melayu dengan konsep yang mengelirukan, iaitu 1Malaysia.
Saya tidak terkejut yang orang Melayu dalam masa yang agak singkat dari sekarang ini, akan menjilat luka mereka sendirian. Luka itu kian hari kian mendalam dan hampir semua mengalaminya.
Semasa DEB sedang rancak dilaksanakan kita melihat setiap rakyat bekerja keras untuk menjayakannya termasuk kaum bukan Bumiputra kerana mereka sendiri mendapat laba yang besar dengan dasar itu. DAN jangan dinafikan yang perkembangan ekonomi negara semasa itu benar-benar bersandarkan kepada DEB dan DEB lah yang telah meletakkan asas ekonomi yang kukuh bagi negara.
DEB telah meningkatkan orang Melayu didalam bidang pengurusan syarikat-syarikat awam yang besar dan syarikat-syarikat tersebut telah mengambil 'initiative' untuk memperkenalkan 'management trainee program' bagi menyediakan jumlah penyertaan Buniputra didalam pengurusan syarikat-syarikt mereka. Semasa itu kita melihat ramai eksekutif Melayu yang duduk didalam penguran syarikat-syarikat tersebut.
Hampir semua syarikat awam semasa itu ada bilangan eksekutif Melayu dan Bumiputra bagi bersama-sama menjayakan niat DEB itu. Badan-badan dan agensi kerajaan pula memberikan dokongan untuk menambah bilangan professional dan separa professional dengan menghantar ribuan anak-anak muda Melayu kedalam institusi pelajaran tinggi didalam dan diluar negara.
Tengku Razaleigh telah mengeluarkan ribuan biasiswa melalui Bank Bumiputra untuk anak-anak muda belajar diluar dan dalam negara. Beliau telah meminta PERNAS mengeluarkan biasiswa untuk tujuan yang sama. Begitu jugalah PETRONAS telah mengeluarkan ribuan biasiswa semasa beliau mengetuai penubuhan syarikat petroleum nasional itu dan seterusnya menjadikan PETRONAS sebagai mana yang kita nampak pada hari ini.
Pelajaran dan pendidikkan merupakan jalan yang terbaik bagi kita untuk membangunkan bangsa kita maka itulah sebabnya ia diberikan tumpuan semasa DEB berjalan lancar malahan pendidikkan ii bukan sahaja perlu ditekankan semasa DEB sahaja malahan buat selama-salamanya.
Sekarang ini setip mahasiswa dinegara kita ini terus sahaja berhutang apabila masuk kepusat pengajian tinggi dengan jumlah yang besar dengan pengenalan PTPTN. Sepatutnya jika sesebuah negara itu benar-benar maju pelajaran sepatutnya menjadi percuma atau perbelanjaan yang nominal sahaja.
Dinegara-negara Scandinavia pelajaran adalah percuma; begitu juga dinegara Jerman. Disini situasinya terbalik; lagi maju lagi susah nak hantar anak-anak keUniversiti dan pusat-pusat pengajian tinggi. Pulhan ribu siswazah yang belum mendapat pekerjaan sedang menghadapi tindakkan mahkamah hasil tindakkan PTPTN ini. Ini dikatakan negara maju.
Jika PETRONAS boleh melakukan 'bail out' untuk syarikat Mirzan Mahathir dengan jumlah hanpir 1.5 billion ringgit kenapa PETRONAS begitu kedekut untuk membiayai pembelajaran anal-anak Melayu kita? 1.5 billion yang diberikan kepada Mirzan itu boleh menampung puluhan ribu anak-anak Melayu keluar negara untuk mengambil bidang-bidang yang sesuai untuk pembangunan negara.
Kenapa mahal sangat untuk 'maintain' seorang PM itu? Saya pun tidak faham walaupun kita boleh agak-agak kenapa keadaan jadi begitu.
Tetapi bila rakyat marah dengan tindakkan yang tidak amanah dan betangjwab ini rakyat pula dimahi dan ada diantara yang bersuara akhir masuk kedalam tahanan diSg Buluh. Itu namanya Merdeka.
Jadi DEB itu merupakan dasar yang oleh diguna pakai sampai bila-bila kerana dasar itu adalah untuk semua disamping mengimbangi pembahagian ekonomi negara secara 'equitable' bukannya 'equal' seperti dinegara-negara komunis.
Walupun DEB hanya diberikan tumpuan sehingga 1984, penyertaan Bumiputra didalam bidang industri dan pemilikkan equiti mereka meningkat dengan pesat. Pegangan Bumiputra telah meningkat kepada 18.2 peratus dari 2.7 peratus pada tahun 1970. Tetapi sejak 1984 itu peningkatan equity Bumiputra sangat kecil dan tidak berpadanan dengan laungan kejayaan yang kita dengar. Kini pegangan Bumiputra hanya disekitar 20 peratus sahaja.
Tetapi setelah Dr M melantik 'our great Daim' menggantikan TR sebagai peneraju ekonomi negara maka Dr M menjadi selesa untuk melaksanakan agenda penbangunan tidak teratur dan DEB mula dilacurkan.
Dari waktu inilah projek-projek runding terus dilaksanakan dengan harga yang gila-gila. Ada orang yang hendak menjadi kaya raya. Pedulikan DEB dan sebagainya. Pemimpin-pemimpin sudah mula dilatih untuk menghampiri perniagaan besar dan pemimpin-pemimpin ini akan meleleh air lior mereka apabila nampak projek untuk rakyat.
Akan meleleh air lior mereka apabila nampak projek-projek ini, seperti anjing nampak tulang. Budaya kronism mula bertapak kerana hanya melalui kronism sahaja boleh mendapat kekayaan. Kalau dahulu 'special privilege' berkait dengan Bumiputra yang marhen dibawah-bawah ini, tetapi dari saat itu Bumiputra merupakan orang yang rapat dengan PM dan Daim sahaja. Mereka adalah dikalangan 'the rich and the famous'. Berurusan dengan orang yang miskin susah untuk mendapatkan kekayaan.
Peluang yang sepatutnya dinikmati oleh Bumiputra yang ramai, peluang ini diberikan kepada Bumiputra yang lain. kali ini definasi Bumiputra pun diubah. Diantara mereka ialah Halim Saad, Ananda Krishnan, Yeo Tiong Lay, Quek Len Chan, Daim Zainuddin, Vincent Tan, Tan Sri Arumugam dan ramai lagi nama yang sudah disisipkan kedalam senarai Bumiputra. Mereka merupakan super bumi yang mendapatkan kekayaan dengan menghisap darah melalui sistem kronism yang menebal.
Dizaman Mahathir dan Anwarlah kita melihat penggiat kewartwanan menjadi proxy kepada yang memimpin dan adalah diantara wartawan yang menjadi kaya raya kerana berhubung rapat dengan pemimpin yang bersama-sama hendak menumpang menjadi kaya raya secara senang.
Mungkin itu lah cara yang terbaik untuk membangunkan negara; iaitu melakukan sesuatu tanpa memberikan perhatian kepada moral. DEB yang begitu baik disusun menjadi beban kerana ketidak tulusan perlaksanaannya yang dilaksanakan oleh perlaksana dan pemimpin yang bersekongkol dengan mereka.
Sekarang ini apa dasar pun tidak akan dapat dijayakan kerana dikalangan pemimpin-pemimpin masing-masing ada agenda mereka sendiri; baik DEB atau pun MEB. Disorong salah ditarik pun salah.
Mereka mereka yang mendapat kesenangan melalui kronism ini kebanyakkannya menjadi sombong dan tidak malu mendabik dadak sambil berkata, 'whatever I touch will turn gold'.
Sebagaimana yang selalu saya katakan kejayaan rejim ini hanya satu; iaitu membentuk masyarakat yang tidak ada malu dan tidak beretika. Pemimpin-pemimpin pun sama; tidak malu menayangkan mahligai yang mereka perolehi dari kerja yang tidak bermoral itu.
Itulah kejayaan yang dibangga-banggakan oleh pemimpin dan penyokong kepimpinan sekarang ini. Tetapi kenyataannya, rakyat sudah berpecah belah, dan tidak ada siapa pun yang sanggup menerima dan mengambil 'accountability' terhadap perpecahan ini.
Perpecahan yang dialami rakyat ini merupan kegagalan mutlak bagi DEB kerana pemimpin negara sendiri tidak menghormati dasar yang telah dibina oleh pimpinan semasa dahulu.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 10:56 AM PDT
SALAM! Dalam satu pertemuan di majlis bukber (buka bersama) di restoran Natrabu di Jakarta Jumaat lalu, saya sempat berbuah dengan beberapa wartawan Indonesia. Saya terbang ke Jakarta untuk satu pertemuan dengan SCTV, sebuah stesen televisyen swasta. Selepas itu saya berbuka puasa dengan kawan2 sambil membincangkan insiden protest di depan kedutaan Malaysia di Jakarta. Antara pengamal media yang saya jumpa ialah Pak Syaiful dan Pak Mukhlis dari Antara. Pak Didik Budiarto juga hadir sambil memberi perspektif kepada insiden protes itu. Saya juga sempat ditemubual oleh dua wartawan portal yang beroperasi di Jakarta. Antara kesimpulan yang saya buat berikutan pertemuan singkat itu ialah:
1 - kita harus menyediakan seorang pakar perhubungan awam atau atase media yang ditugas untuk berbicara secara langsung dan kerap dengan pengamal media di Indonesia;
2 - lebih banyak wartawan dari Indonesia perlu dijemput ke Malaysia agar mereka dapat melihat dengan mata kepala sendiri negara jiran mereka, iaitu Malaysia;
3 - hubungan peringkat tertinggi kedua buah negara perlu ditingkatkan supaya keakraban ini dapat dilihat dengan lebih jelas.
Kita melihat insiden penangkapan nelayan dan pegawai penguatkuasa Indonesia tempoh hari sebagai cuma satu insiden yang berlaku. Sebaliknya, mereka melihat insiden itu sebagai satu dalam puluhan insiden yang mana Malaysia dilihat sebagai agresif dan mementingkan diri sendiri sahaja. Dan ada media Indonesia yang berpendapat bahawa insiden terbaru ini sebagai satu lagi provokasi terhadap negara besar itu.
Posted: 27 Aug 2010 09:00 AM PDT
Posted: 28 Aug 2010 02:19 AM PDT
Pusat Pembangunan Kebudayaan LLG berasa khuatir terhadap kenyataan dan tindakan perkauman secara berleluasa baru-baru ini, lebih memeranjatkan ialah sehingga kini Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri berdiam diri dalam isu-isu tersebut; ini mengakibatkan rakyat hilang keyakinan terhadap slogan inklusif umpamanya "Satu Malaysia" dan "Rakyat Didahulukan" yang diketengahkan Perdana Menteri selepas mengambil alih pemerintahan kerajaan.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 08:42 AM PDT
I must admit, reading the recent news stories about Mahathir having his feathers ruffled by talk about the NEP may actually be a healthy sign – one that suggests perhaps Najib may well be trying to bring about some real and constructive change after all.
Having been one who has never found myself ever in agreement with anything Mahathir has espoused, I must confess that seeing him practically seething and unsettled by the mere signals emanating from Najib's quarters regarding potential reforms to some aspects of the NEP is refreshing and a welcomed development.
To be sure, much of the news from the past several days has not played out too well for Najib's image. In particular, the invidious hand of the mysterious censors in removing Jamaluddin Ibrahim from the air along with the persistence in the news of the political albatross that is Taib Ibrahim has brought more unwelcomed publicity for Najib's camp. Deservedly or not, a fair amount of the fallout from these events in particular have taken more wind out of Najib's sails.
But it has to be said that the prime minster has at least seen some recent hopeful signs. Not insignificant has been his bold proclamation of 'zero tolerance for racism'. Whilst these words may ring hollow for many a skeptics of the prime minister, surely it is worth noting that in this climate of heightened political consciousness and close scrutiny of his words and actions, Najib can ill afford to merely grandstand with slogans without some form of concrete action to go along with such words.
So at least on the surface, there is hope that perhaps he has intentions to sail in a somewhat different direction than say his predecessors have. Which of course brings us back to the continued saber rattling by Perkasa and their defacto inspiration, Mahathir Mohamad.
Everything about Mahathir's rumbling and grumbling about the impending NEM suggests that at the very least, certain preemptive pressure is already being applied to ensure Najib doesn't sail into some unchartered waters, at least not when it comes to the NEP. But more likely, it suggests that there is genuine cause for Mahathir and his ilk, and here I mean - in no uncertain terms - especially those hell bent on defending racist policies, that some genuine change is possibly imminent.
That perhaps Najib is indeed poised to change the direction of the sails and steer the boat into some new waters.
As I mentioned, it would be understandable if skeptics appear to take all the talk by Najib with a grain of salt – as mere political posturing. After all, we've yet to see substantive change delivered from all the lofty words we've heard.
But one thing is certain: it is always a healthy sign – at least for those looking for credible and forward-oriented change – when Mahathir seems to be genuinely unsettled and irked by something. For me, Mahathir's (and for that matter Ibrahim Ali's) bizarre outbursts about the government – much like these about the NEM – is akin to a lost ship seeing a bright star in the distant sky: something from which to take hope that indeed there is a chance the ship may yet get on the right course.
But could Najib actually be so bold as to take the ship where, to date, no captain of UMNO has dared venture?
* This article first appeared in FreeMalaysiaToday.com
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 08:34 AM PDT
Malaysia and the Allure of Bridge-building
Posted by Benjamin Domenech at 12:00 AM
In a post on The Compass last week, I mentioned Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim as an example of a politician whose anti-Semitic views are all too quickly glossed over, when they actually deserve further attention. The aside provoked a few comments, so I think a followup is in order.
Ibrahim has a roster of politically significant defenders in America - particularly Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz, who have lauded him on numerous occasions to the U.S. media - mostly stemming from what was fairly obviously a politically motivated series of legal attacks waged against him under the auspices of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir was, as commenters noted, both anti-American and anti-Semitic - and those weren't even his worst qualities. By comparison, Ibrahim is a charming fellow with a gift for gab, exactly the kind of personality the Western media adores.
Yet Ibrahim is also an example of the kind of political personality who displays magnificent ability to manipulate situations to his advantage, and to say one thing to one audience, and another to another. The game Ibrahim engages in is not new.
As Marco Vincenzino recently noted, Ibrahim is cut very much from the cloth of Ahmed Chalabi, whose name you might recognize as another would-be leader who wooed editorial writers and intelligence agencies with false promises and grand proclamations. As Vincenzino writes:
[Chalabi] also raised millions of dollars from American taxpayers for his Iraqi National Congress. Now back in his native-Iraq, this Machiavellian political survivor has re-invented himself as a staunch Shiite advocate and close ally of Iran. A sense of betrayal overwhelms many of his original supporters in Washington.
I recall seeing Chalabi circulating in the halls of Congress and courting powerful right-wingers months before the Iraq invasion - besides the fact that it was a policy decision I opposed at the time, I found him to be a slick and untrustworthy operator to a disturbing degree (though I am curious what his daughter's new book will reveal). Chalabi was fool's gold and, however you come down on his actions, American leaders were clearly wrong to embrace him as closely as they did.
Yet America's political leadership tends to repeat this mistake over and over again - they fall in love with the idea of bridge-building to the Muslim world, of finding moderates who maintain that they can act as go-betweens to factions many of our policymakers barely understand. This idea leads policymakers to sometimes embrace potentially disastrous figures who know how to manipulate these circumstances and desires - men like Ibrahim, who can intone about the vile influence of "the Jewish lobby" in their own countries and in their own language, but in English, charm former vice presidents and respected foreign policy leaders.
George Washington never actually warned Americans to "beware of foreign entanglements" in his often misquoted farewell address. But he did say that "excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other." If you replace "nation" with "bridge-builder," you'll find it's still accurate in today's Washington. Click here for the original story!
Benjamin Domenech, a former speechwriter for Tommy Thompson and Sen. John Cornyn, is editor of The New Ledger and a research fellow with The Heartland Institute. He writes on defense and security issues for The Compass.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 03:53 PM PDT
There are many questions about Islam being raised by many around the world including those who have reverted to it from other faiths.
One of those reverts to Islam is my online friend, the learned Cikgu Nur Aliya Yeoh Abdullah who says that many of her Non Muslim friends asked her these following questions :
Now, I am not claiming to be the know all here in this blogosphere yet as a Muslim who blogs in the name of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and in the cause of Islam and the Muslims, I wish to attempt and try to answer these questions as best as I possibly can?
Let me start by addressing them one by one.
Here are my answers.
Question 1 : Why do you want to embrace Islam when its gonna demand that you observe so many prayer rituals and obligations if compared to other faiths? You'll need to pray 5 times a day, fast (in Ramadhan), cover your modesty, etcetera?
My answer : The choice is entirely up to the individual concerned when it comes to embracing Islam as a Way of Life which is based upon the reality of understanding the faith and principles of Islam.
Islam is not something conjured up by mankind. It is the only faith that has been revealed by our Creator, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala to our Father, the Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam, the first Man created by Allahu Ta'ala Himself with His own hands and breathed life into!
Allah the All Knowing Himself taught our Father Adam all that he needed to know about this life on Earth and appointed Adam Alaihis Salam to be Allah's Vicegerent in this mortal world.
This is proven by the revelation in Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 30 :
Sahih InternationalAnd [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."
To try and teach those who have yet to understand the concept of God and the realities of this physical world and that of the Unseen Realm would be quite an undertaking for human intelligence and logic differs from person to person and not everyone will be able to comprehend and realize such truth or knowledge of a creed which believes in an Unseen Creator.
Thus, I leave it to you to do your own studies and research further on this subject based upon your individual level of understanding about what I have shared here. You are most welcome to email me and state as to whatever it is that you don't understand about this subject?
To make it easier for those who can understand that God is not what one creates out of rocks or stone and then goes on and worships his or her own creation as their god, then I invite them to study about this field of faith here in Surah Al Ikhlas Chapter 112 Verses 1 to 4:
Dear brothers and sisters,
Faith in Allah is something that only those whose hearts and minds are free from idol worship and animistic tendencies can affirm to.
Only those who spend time in study and research can afford to realize Allahu Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala's Majesty and Magnificence.
Those who can understand and contemplate about the detailed perfection of each and every creation of Allahu Rabbi, Who in His Benevolence has seen to it that even a microscopic cell is structured in such a way that baffles even the modern scientists of today?
Nothing is given to chance. Each living organism is created complete in its entirety by Allah's Will and Power.
How can we explain about the accuracies of Islam to those who sometimes don't even have the basic knowledge about even their own selfs?
In order to speak to the unlearned, one has to go down to their level of thinking which at times borders on the preposterous.
It would be better if we can speak to those who at least have a fair command of general knowledge and will be capable of understanding exactly whatever it is that we are sharing?
Thus, only those who are learned will be able to understand about Allah the Almighty and Islam.
Ignorants will only befuddle themselves with all kinds of nonsensical beliefs or superstitions even if they are amongst those who are born as Muslims but fail to study and equip themselves with all the relevant knowledge and Ilm of Islam.
How many amongst the Muslim ummah really make an effort to study our faith? How many of our Malaysian Muslim youths take time to contemplate and ponder upon the meanings of the verses of the Holy Qur'an?
The blessed Al Qur'anul Kareem which is The Last and Final Testament or Guidance from Allah the Almighty, contains almost whatever we need to know or live by according to the tenets and principles of our faith.
Are there amongst the Muslims of today, those who devote their lives to learning the secrets of the Holy Al Quran al Kareem?
TransliterationWa-itha saalaka AAibadeeAAannee fa-innee qareebun ojeebu daAAwata addaAAiitha daAAani falyastajeeboo lee walyu/minoo beelaAAallahum yarshudoon
Sahih InternationalAnd when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.
Answering the question # 1, any true Muslim should answer wholeheartedly that by embracing Islam the Deen of Allah we want to add credence and purpose to our lives here on Earth as those who believe in the Manhaj of Islam and submit ourselves both in body and in our souls to Allahu Ta'ala the Supreme Master and Creator of the entire universes.
We realize the need for ourselves to be in constant contact with our Lord and cherish the special one to one moments with our Maker when we stand, bow and prostrate in total submission to Him with our body and soul, seeking His Benevolence and Guidance for us to live this life as He so wishes and ordains for us.
We clothe ourselves and cover our modesty to elevate our beings to be of the status that He has bequeathed for us as His Vicegerents on this Earth and to bring honor and good repute to ourselves as believing members of Mankind.
To not be a Muslim will be the foulest decision that any righteous thinking Son or Daughter of Adam Alaihis Salam can ever make!
Thus should we say to those who question us as to why we choose to be amongst those in His Favor!
We pray 5 times a day seeking His Forgiveness for our sins committed knowingly or otherwise between each prayer time, cleansing our souls and attaining that spiritual bliss and peace of mind knowing firmly well that He, Ar Rahman Ar Raheem promises to purify us of our errors and grants us what we need as our providence in this earthly life and guarantees us our salvation in the Hereafter when we keep to our part of the Pledge of Allegiance and Submission to Him our Mighty Lord and Supreme Master.
Those are my answers to Question 1. I speak from my own conscience and years of seeking His Mercy through my life as one who calls to Islam and the Truth that it contains.
Its up to you my dear readers to do your own further studies on this matter and come to an understanding as to why Islam remains as our only Way to Achieve Success both here in this temporal earthly life and eternal hereafter?
May Allah bless and guide us all.
To be continued.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 04:42 AM PDT
In a previous post Najib Tun Razak - To be or not to be? I wrote:
… Rais Yatim frets over the heightened Machiavellian stench within UMNO and has moved swiftly to assert (and exert) his Malay-ness, as seen in his recent attacks against Chua Soi Lek for supposedly undermining the Constitution (Article 153) on the 30% equity for Malays.
Of course Rais knows that there is no such provision for 30% equity in the Constitution but who the f* cares – he was merely establishing his 'credentials' as an ethnic warrior in UMNO and the heartland in readiness for a possible bloodbath in the party. Hey ho UMNO, moi numero uno.
He continues to build on his Malay-ness credentials for his party as reported in Malaysiakini - Rais warns of stern action on racial slurs.
F* deafeningly silent on the various blatant statements of racism from Utusan, Perkasa, and the two notorious school principals, he now wants to take actions against Wee Meng Cheng, better known as Namewee, for producing a video about one of the principals for her seditious slurs against her school.
Rais disgusts me.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 03:15 AM PDT
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 06:04 AM PDT
It is a bit much now for me to take this shit but then Malay-Muslims are becoming Morons and a bunch of cowards nowadays! Next time this woman will have a pet piglet on her side when she is making a mockery of Islam and the Malay institutions!
Try to imagine a Malay-Muslim standing in front of a group of devout Hindus in a Hindu temple anywhere making a political statement?! No simply cannot imagine it.
Now try imagine the same of a Malay-Muslim doing the same at any Sikh temple, a Chinese temple, a Church, let see.....a Synagogue!!
Well, no right thinking Muslim-Malays would be allowed to make a speech standing up in front of an inner sanctum of other denominations' places of worship!
To begin with, we (Malay-Muslims) would be very sensitive enough not to accept such invitation to make a speech at a place of worship of other people's denominations. But then if I am a chauvinist Chinese Malaysian from an opposition party I would push the dumb and moronic Malays as far as I can to see how far they can relent to the pressure from a non-Malay chauvinist person.
Now having succeeded with the first attempt to stand in from of a surau talking to a bunch of a stupid and uninspiring moronic Malay-Muslims, I (as a chauvinist Chinese from an opposition party like the DAP) will next time bring a small piglet with me if I am invited to another surau for a speech, I will say as the piglet is my pet and nothing wrong with it.
Having said this I have to say if these Malay-Muslims from this surau from Kajang who allowed this chauvinist Chinese women opposition politician to stand in the inner sanctum of their religious place of worship are not Morons it would not have happened!
But chances are these Moronic-Muslim-Malays are many now, one imam during a Friday prayer sermon in Penang included in the sermon for the good health of chauvinist DAP Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng when this moronic Malay imam should have prayed for our King!
Hey if I am a chauvinist Chinese of this country I will do anything to erode the Malays "domination" of the country, why not? Because I know they are so stupid enough that I can get away with it. And I will keep on doing this because as a chauvinist Chinese of this country these Malays are a bane to my existence!
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 03:02 AM PDT
Courtesy of Hartal MSM
So how did the police so quickly know to finger the culprits who splashed paint at a surau in Taman Pulai Impian?
Elementary my dear Watson.
Police apprehended them on the night of Aug 24 and the morning of Aug 25. But guess what? Malaysiakini reported that the 13-year-old sister of one of the teenagers had lodged a police report on Aug 24 itself.
Her report claimed that her brother and his friends were "provoked" before the incident.
The girl said that she was with her brother and five other friends at a playground nearby the surau and they had gotten into an argument when a separate group of 20 men tried to chase them away.
"A Malay man in a red T-shirt and a songkok from the group became angry and called us babi (pigs)" — the girl said in her police report.
"We demanded to know why they used such language against us. That was when another group of men came out from the surau and reprimanded us."
She explained that as her group refused to admit that they were at fault, the confrontation turned violent and one of the men, whom she claimed was from the surau, slapped her brother and chased them away.
See, something happened to trigger the vandalism… the insult 'Cina babi' — that incessant verbal abuse against the minorities. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Before the police arrested the boys, shouldn't they also have arrested the grown-up bully who assaulted a teenager and gertak a 13-year-old girl?
Yet it is some Chinese voices who have been most strident that the Chinese boys who threw paint at the surau be punished most severely.
MCA central committee member Loh Seng Kok called for the surau vandals' citizenship to be stripped.
Bernard Khoo (blog: Zorro Unmasked) urged that "the full force of the law must be used as a deterrent. If whipping is enforced, well and good."
Note that the NST article had this to say: "One of the four suspects is jobless, while the rest are employed."
Those Chinese boys are merely 16 and 17 years old. How come at their age they're already working and one unemployed?
*** Why are they not in school? ***
Deprived of the chance of furthering their studies? Their fathers are mechanic, carpenter, trader — quite possibly unable to afford.
The number of Chinese dropouts is a national problem that MCA should be paying attention to instead of Loh Seng Kok wanting to have the poorly educated juveniles stripped of their citizenship. His over-reaction is outdoing the Malays who have been more forgiving. Loh looks like another LGE by being so 'over'.
How you have utterly, most miserably failed the community you claim to represent, MCA, and now you descend to this low by haranguing errant boys?! Shame on them but BIGGER shame on you, Loh and MCA.
Think! Vui Kong sitting on the death row in Singapore. Why did he not have better opportunities in life? He could have been in college.
And even now, all some people can talk about is punish, punish, punish.
What about 'HELP' for a change? How about uplifting the marginalized?
Church arson vs mosque vandalism — proportionality
Two Malay youths were sentenced by Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah of the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to 5 years' jail.
The youths aged 24 and 22 were found guilty of setting fire to the Metro Tabernacle Church near Taman Melawati in January.
They had claimed trial for the offence and did not publicly express any remorse for their act.
They had been charged under Section 436 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years jail and a fine.
The church suffered more than RM1 million in damages when its its entire ground floor was gutted and has since relocated to a new building.
Three Chinese teenagers have pleaded guilty to charges of lobbing bottles filled with paint at a surau in Seremban, on Aug 22.
The trio, aged between 16 and 17, are awaiting sentencing by magistrate M. Mageshwary of the Juvenile Court.
They were charged under Section 427 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years jail and a fine.
Their offence is for causing damage "to the amount of RM25 or above".
The boys have publicly apologized for their act.
WERE THEY AWARE?
The Malay youths were sentenced 5 years — a quarter of the maximum penalty (20 years). Going by the same ratio, the Chinese boys should be sentenced to 6 months jail.
The fact that the Chinese teens have said sorry and the mosque committee forgiven them are mitigating factors. The material damage in terms of monetary cost is not much — some turpentine and a new coat of paint.
Did the vandals fully realise the ramifications of their act on our fraught race relations?
(In comparison, the Malay youths surely knew they were setting a match to the religious tinderbox by doing what they did at the time they did it.)
Nonetheless the Malay youths have been receiving rounds of support from Malay blogosphere whereas the Chinese boys have been hurled sticks and stones by certain Chinese themselves.
Calling to revoke citizenship and for whipping is going waaay overboard!
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 02:56 AM PDT
By Malaysia Hindu Voice
Why these kind of intimidation against Malaysian Indian? When there are any injustices against Muslims, they will all out to voice on the oppressions. Lately, I can see a lot of demonstrations to stop the war at Palestine and showing dissatisfaction against Israel, there are also effort to stop buying US and Israeli products. Watch short video of ethnic cleansing of poor Malaysian Indian labourers.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 01:33 AM PDT
The hype and the tension over the past few months over the issue of the SPDP 5 plus 3 has finally been answered. In the Supreme council held last Friday the Separatists 5 YBs were spared the "guilottine" as they have absent themselves with a written apology. However the 3 Supreme council members George Garai, Peter Gani and Eda Egar were not spared.
Have they forgotten to read Article 16 Clause 18 and Clause 32 or even Clause 35 of theSPDP party constitution.?
For the benefit of the readers at large 'Clause 18″ states: All members of the supreme council shall hold office immediatedly from the date of their election or appointment until the next Triennial General Assembly until such time that the member resigns,is expelled from the party,disqualified for any reason whatsoever or dies.
THE Supreme Council has ruled that in Clause 32 and followed after much deliberations though painful it may seem but the party is firm that the suspension of the 3 is in accordance to the clause. It reads,"Any member who fails to attend three(3) consecutive Supreme Council Meetings without written explanation to the Secretary general shall automatically cease to be a supreme council member.
It must be noted that 18(c) of the ROS article also clearly states that any grievances or unhappiness should not be challenged in the courts and the power of authority lies in the Supreme Council of the party. Clause 35 (a) to (m) of the party constitution protects the party from any liabilities of wrongful dismissal or suspension of any particular member.
The legal implications might not even surface but the political implications is what matters as the State elections is just around the corner. When met today George Garai said,"Im suspended and the 5 Ybs are not. There are so many other political platforms and one consideration is of course PKR." George knows very well that no other BN parties will accept him in unless he has been out from SPDP for a year or more.
Even a political observer has mentioned to audie61 that the action that was taken by the party is correct and they should know where they stand and its not up to the party to "kowtow ' to them. Given these scenario even PKR will not be too desparate to bring them in the fold and as such they might just find themselves tossed into a "political scrapheap" and into oblivion.
A close aide to the President when contacted by audie61 said," We wish them all the bests and if their minds are to join the Opposition PAKATAN fold its simple,"If they are not with us anymore,they are against us. It's their true colours but we practise democracy and we gave them their chances of reconciliation and the party has to move on as it prepares for the elctions."
SPDP will come out of this Separatist 5 plus 3 episode the much stronger and they will be others who are ready to fill the vacuum. It must be noted that no one is above the party and no one person is indispensable. The guidelines of the party constitution protects the party from just being merely a CIRCUS
SPDP and the Supreme Council has practised DEMOCRACY and as such its ideals and credibility are INTACT.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 12:54 AM PDT
Malaysians should be grateful
That their leaders still feed them three square meals a day
For the majority of you blardy lucky Malaysians anyway
Fr some who go hungry like one meal a die
Serve them right, they did not vote ofr BN
So the welfare Department scrutinices their aid application
And the all powerful officer marks "RM150 per month"
for the PKR or DAP or PAS supporter
He can feed three or four mouths on RM5 a die
For UMNO, MCA an MIC monkey
It's RM600 because they can perform monkey tricks
Like their bigger brothers Apes
Both deserve each other, so they embrace
Live high life together
Three square meals and one round of supper
For a rounded Barisan Nasional stomach
That proudly portrudes to show
that is Malaysia
on 31st August 2010
ap AP ap Merdeka my friends
YOU deserve the government you get
Vote Barisan Nasional forver
Like Wira all
And they may yet bequeath ye RM10,000
See, we have a heART
in bidding thee fare ye well
Six feet plus two under ground
Bles RPK for escaping to the UK
and awe ye smart Malaysians overseas
Thnk of us back home fondly
Say for us a prayer
God Bless us rounded stomach or bloated
We march proudly to starined NegaraKu
God bless awe,
Posted: 28 Aug 2010 11:38 PM PDT
Every action has a reaction. How we react often depends on our ability to control our emotions and think through the situation to the likely consequences.
Some recent examples:
It is dangerous to blame isolated incidents on a whole race of people. When we taint everyone with the same brush, we are holding them guilty by virtue of a common denominator, which is often race, nationality or religion. This is much worse than cultural stereotyping and can easily ignite deadly conflagrations.
Read Andrew Sia's column in today's Sunday Star.
So far, we have been fortunate that the majority of Malaysians do not allow negative emotions to rule their heads. Let's pray that our good sense will continue even as some of our leaders continue to stoke communal tension with their outrageous accusations and racial slurs.
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 01:43 AM PDT
By Zolkharnain Abidin
COMMENT The grapevine here in Malaysia's tiniest state Perlis is abuzz with speculations that the recently resurrected Perlis-Langkawi bridge project will begin next year.
Now how that is going to happen under the current economic climate is anyone's guess, but the polemics of the project smells of a hidden agenda.
Swirling around coffee-shops here are rumours that two companies are submitting their proposals to the Perlis state government next month.
I believe the proposals will be accepted.
But why is the proposal only submitted to Perlis? Isn't the PAS-led Kedah government not involved?
Isn't Langkawi part of Kedah (or have they, Umno-Barisan Nasional, turned it into an independent territory without our knowledge)?
From Perlis's point of view, a 'mega' project such as this should be grabbed quickly, no questions asked.
Aside from it being 'a matter of pride' that Perlis as a state can do a 'mega' project, it is also a calculated strategy to affirm BN's commitment to Perlis in view of the next general election.
Two years after the general election, Perlis is feeling the threatening vapours of heat generating from the growing support for PAS in Kedah, its closest neighbour.
Thus it's essential that a mega project is announced to boost the BN government's image.
In fact the project will probably be the mainstay of Perlis Menteri Besar Mohamad Isa Sabu's speech when he tables the state 2011 budget.
And in tandem with Mohd Isa's speech, we will also be hearing Umno leaders reeling in voter support with statements like:
"To ensure this project succeeds you must retain the BN government.
"If BN fails, you won't feel the breeze against you while driving your car across to Langkawi.
"If Pakatan Rakyat wins, they'll cancel the project."
Big money for Umno
Whether the bridge is needed or not is not the question. Whether the rakyat wants it or not is also not important.
Do you think they care about whether it is environment friendly and cost effective. Even these factors are not important.
What is important here is that Umno earns big money to support its do-or-die campaign in the next election.
The Perlis-Langkawi bridge is not a small project. It is a mega project, in fact it is the mother of all mega projects
And I won't be surprised if many of Perlis Umno leaders are already fantasising about their loot and the breezy drives across the bridge in their Proton Sagas.
This is the style of Umno politicians.
And if you believe these leaders, then you will also have to ask about the Northern Corridor which was launched with much gusto and pomp by former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi but has now fallen flat.
Also don't forget to ask where the revenue from the Perlis seedling-producing centre is.
And what about the "many jobs" created for Perlis folks from all those much publicised 'projects'?
Also what is the outcome of the tens and hundreds of MoU (memorandum of understanding) which the government is constantly signing with local and international companies.?
The questions are endless.
To resurrect a 10-year old idea and announce a Perlis-Langkawi bridge now, is to me a day-dream because if they (BN government) couldn't do it when the economy was strong, how will they do it at a time when we as a nation are floundering under debts and disparity.
The article first appeared in HarakahDaily
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 01:16 AM PDT
By G Krishnan
COMMENT I must admit, reading the recent news stories about Dr Mahathir having his feathers ruffled by talk about the potential dismantling of the NEP may actually be a healthy sign – one that suggests perhaps Najib may well be trying to bring about some genuine and constructive change after all.
Having been one who has never found myself ever in agreement with anything Mahathir has espoused, I must confess that seeing him practically seething and unsettled by the mere signals emanating from Najib's quarters regarding potential reforms to some aspects of the NEP is refreshing and a welcomed development.
To be sure, much of the news from the past several days has not played out too well for Najib's image.
In particular, the invidious hand of the mysterious censors in removing Jamaluddin Ibrahim from the air, along with the persistence in the news of the political albatross that is Taib Mahmud means this past week has again not been a particularly uplifting one for Najib's camp.
Deservedly or not, a fair amount of the fallout from these events in particular have taken even wind out of Najib's sails.
But it has to be said that the prime minster at least had a bit of a boost to his image. Not insignificant has been his bold proclamation of 'zero tolerance for racism'.
Whilst these words may ring hollow for many a skeptics of the prime minister, surely it is worth noting that in this climate of heightened political consciousness and close scrutiny of his words and actions, Najib can ill afford to merely grandstand with slogans without some form of concrete action to go along with such words.
So at least on the surface, there is hope that perhaps he has intentions to sail in a somewhat different direction than say his predecessors have. Which of course brings us back to the sabre rattling by Perkasa and their de facto inspiration, Mahathir Mohamad.
A healthy sign
Everything about Mahathir's rumbling and grumbling about the impending NEM suggests that at the very least, certain preemptive pressure is already being applied to ensure Najib doesn't sail into some unchartered waters, at least not when it comes to the NEP.
But more likely, it suggests that there is genuine cause for Mahathir and his ilk, and here I mean - in no uncertain terms - especially those hell bent on defending racist policies, that there is something genuine change possible.
That perhaps Najib is indeed poised to change the direction of the sails and steer the boat into some new waters.
As I mentioned, it would be understandable if skeptics appear to take all the talk by Najib with a grain of salt – as mere political posturing. After all, we've yet to see substantive change delivered.
But one thing is certain: it is always a healthy sign – at least for those looking for credible and forward-oriented change – when Mahathir seems to be genuinely unsettled and irked by some impending change.
For me, Mahathir's (and for that matter Ibrahim Ali's) bizarre outbursts about the government – much like these about the NEM – is akin to a lost ship seeing a bright star in the distant sky: something from which to take hope that indeed there is a chance the ship may yet get on the right course.
But could Najib actually be so bold as to take the ship where, to date, no captain of Umno has dared venture - and survive a potential mutiny?
G Krishnan is a freelance writer who routinely writes online columns about Malaysian affairs.
Posted: 28 Aug 2010 06:06 PM PDT
The Malaysian government has applied its Internal Security Act (ISA) in order to protect citizens from the so call imminent threat of . . . bloggers. That's right. The sixty-some jihadi militants, foreign agents and ethnic "rabble-rousers" locked away without prospect of trial in the country's infamous Kamunting Detention Center were joined recently by a handful of minor opposition figures working the Internet fringe of Malaysian politics.
By definition, arbitrary arrest precludes any clear articulation of what legal offenses detainees may have committed. We are thus left to construe allegations of criminal activity based upon accusations made by various government spokespersons or politically affiliated groups.
Political blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, already facing formal defamation charges for vilifying senior politicians, was detained under the ISA in September. Government leaders apparently judged Kamarudin a danger to society as a result of a blog post in which he rather indelicately argued that hypocrisy among Malaysia's Muslim leadership is the root cause of moral decrepitude in the country. Although Islamist opposition figures have made such claims for years, Raja Petra's statements, taken out of context, can easily be interpreted as criticism of Muslims in general rather than simply a rant against Malaysia's current Muslim leaders. Government functionaries in charge of Islamic affairs took exception to a number of Raja Petra's views including his assertion that "only Muslims talk about their religion non-stop while going against everything their religion stands for." In the days preceding his arrest four government religious bodies filed complaints with the police alleging that the writer "insulted Malays, Muslims and Islam.
by Raja Petra Kamarudin
Islam says that 124,000 Prophets were sent by God although only 25 are mentioned by name in the Quran. And, according to Islam, every community without exception received a Prophet, sometimes more than one at one time.
Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Indian Muslims lacks an enlightened leadership, continue to suffer from the people with a limited vision
UMNO : Stakeholders, Proxies & Money Politics.
Who are these people who are stakeholders for UMNO's wealth? Proxies for UMNO's business undertakings? Keepers of UMNO's purses? I must confess that in all my years in KL I have yet to meet anyone who has identified himself or herself to me as being one of these individuals. I know of Malays who have become exceedingly wealthy because they are given contracts by the Barisan Nasional government. They secure these contracts mainly by giving bribes to UMNO politicians. They bribe to be pre qualified for the closed tenders, they bribe JKR to evaluate their submission favorably and if the tender needs cabinet approval, they bribe people in cabinet to approve their bid. All these are bribes given to individuals. Not to JKR or to UMNO but to individuals who work in JKR and to those in Cabinets who are UMNO members.
In as far as JKR are concerned we can understand that the money given to these individuals working there is purely and simply a bribe. Now how does UMNO becomes rich with the bribe we give to those in cabinet or to the political appointees in the various government ministries? I think the simple answer is this.
UMNO does not get rich with the bribes we give. The individuals we give the bribes are the ones who keep the money. What do they do with the bribes we give them? First and foremost they take for themselves what they need…to pay for their living expenses, cars, holidays and to those who are so inclined, wine, women and song….…not necessarily in that order……and maybe bit more to put aside for rainy day….or another wife!
Once that is all taken care of they will look at what they need to do to maintain their seat of power that allows them to take these bribes. Of course Numero Uno is his lord and master – his Minister. He will either give outright cash to the minister or take care of expenses incurred by his minister. Then he has to make sure that the people around him and around his Minister are well fed. These people determine his political future i.e. vote for him at the UMNO election. These people are taken care on a monthly basis,on a one off basis or on a need basis. To do this well he will need not only large amount of money but he has to make sure that the money never dries up.
So the more bribes given the happier the members within UMNO will be. This gives theimpression that UMNO is strong politically because it can take care of its own. So we can all see the need for money politics in UMNO. What happens if this source of money dries up? Then UMNO ceases to function. So my friends can you see UMNO killing itself? Can you see money politics, the life blood for UMNO, being taken out of UMNO? Is UMNO stupid enough to commit Hari Kiri?
For anyone to commit Hari Kiri they must first understand what honor is. This is something UMNO does not have! So brace ourself for UMNO and money politics to be around for a long time.
Where there is Abbot there is Costello. Where there is Laurel there will be Hardy….and you know what comes next! Where there is UMNO there will be money politics.
Badawi a likeable, kind man, but when he became Prime Minister (his public relations team with the help of the ever compliant media labelled him "Mr. Clean"), I judged him not as a friend but as my Prime Minister and leader of our country.I expected great things to happen under the Badawi administration, given the mainstream media blitz he was receiving in 2003 when Tun Dr. Mahathir handed over the reins of power. I also thought Dr. Mahathir did the right thing when he promised not to comment on his successor.
As Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi let Malaysians down, especially men and women of my generation, and generally also the current generation, by his NATO (No Action Talk Only) approach to managing the affairs of state. His laid back approach enabled his son, Kamaluddin Abdullah and his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, the present UMNO Youth Leader and the 4th Floor boys, to meddle in the affairs of state and do deals which made them very wealthy.
His laid back approach enabled his son, Kamaluddin Abdullah and his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, the present UMNO Youth Leader and the 4th Floor boys, to meddle in the affairs of state and do deals which made them very wealthy.
A Tragic Prime Minister with Promises unkept
Have I changed my assessment of Badawi as Prime Minister? Is he really "Mr Clean"? I think, he did one thing right and I told him that. He gave us democratic space to express our views and criticise him. I said to him, "Tun, if Dr. Mahathir had been in power and I wrote about him as I did about you, critically and brutally, I would have, in all probability, landed in Kamunting". He gave me his wry smile. He too thought that democratic space was the best of his legacy. But overall, I rated his administration poorly – a D-minus! He did not "seize the moment" (to quote the title of Richard M. Nixon's book) to make a difference. Tragic indeed for him and more importantly for our country.
Badawi rejected by Malaysians in 2008
So Malaysians returned him a favour in 2008. In 2004, Malaysians gave him a strong mandate because they wanted change and truly believed his election manifesto to reform the country from the authoritarian rule that they had to endure under his predecessor for 22 years. When Badawi failed to deliver, his "work with me, not work for me" administration was rejected in the 2008 General Elections when the UMNO-Barisan Nasional lost its 2/3rd majority in Parliament. As a result, he had to step down in 2009 and hand the reins of power to his Deputy, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak. Dr. Mahathir (known to some of my friends as "Bomoh" –Medicine Man) claimed credit for Badawi's exit as Prime Minister. As a result, the 4th Prime Minister is now emboldened to think that he can also do the same thing to Najib should the incumbent Prime Minister fail to meet his expectations. But all this is a sideshow.
Not "Mr Clean" after all
What about his "Mr. Clean" image? Well, it is a figment of the media's creation rather than reality. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because, let us face it, he appears and paints a picture of being a devout Muslim and is the father of Islam Hadhari. He is perceived by all Malaysians as a very nice, cultured and incorruptible kind man. Having read Raja Petra Kamaruddin's piece entitled "Now Let's See How Else Plundered MAS" in Malaysia Today (August 28, 2010), we can now safely conclude that the "Mr. Clean" image was just that — an image, created by the mainstream media (MSM). Foremost amongst the spin masters of the MSM was undoubtably Dato' Kalimullah Hassan until even Dr Mahathir found it necessary to denounce him.
I would like to quote RPK : "Tajudin Ramli, however, was not the only one who plundered MAS. Abdullah Badawi himself had done the same thing back in 2002 when he was still only the Deputy Prime Minister. And what Abdullah Badawi did was – he forced MAS to give the right of privatising MAS Catering Sdn Bhd to his family company, Fahim Capital Sdn Bhd.
LSG Sky Chefs Brahim's Sdn Bhd ("LSGB") is a joint venture between Malaysia Airline System Berhad, which holds 30%, and Brahim's-LSG Sky Chefs Holdings Sdn Bhd ("BLH"), which holds 70%.
It appears like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad knew this but he nevertheless allowed it to happen, probably so that he had something to hold against Abdullah Badawi in case the latter reneged on his promises to the former. Maybe Mahathir thought that this would be his trump card against Abdullah Badawi when the former relinquishes power to the latter in 2003.
But, regardless of all that, Abdullah Badawi still betrayed Mahathir. And he also betrayed Ramli Yusuff when he (Ramli), instead of Tajuddin Ramli, ended up in the dock. Why did Abdullah Badawi allow them to go for Ramli Yusuff instead of going for Tajudin Ramli?…Initially, it was quite perplexing as to why the head of the CCID was arrested and charged instead of the person he was pursuing, Tajudin Ramli. But when you see that the Prime Minister himself also had his hands in the MAS cash-box then it begins to make sense.
If the dirt (RPK used a different word that is taboo in my blog) in MAS were to hit the fan then some of this dirt would splash onto the Prime Minister. So better this dirt remains buried and those who were trying to bring it to the surface get sent to jail on fabricated charges. The courts have since ruled unfounded. And Abdullah Badawi demanded that he be made the MAS adviser in 2009 as part of his 'retirement package' so that he can continue to keep the dirt hidden.
Did the court not acquit Ramli Yusuff without his defence being called? And did the judge not chide the IGP, Musa Hassan, for this unreliable and untruthful testimony? What more proof do you need that Ramli Yusuff is a victim of persecution and that one of the reasons for this is his relentless pursuit of Tajudin Ramli.
And, to add icing to the cake, they also went for the lawyer for MAS, Rosli Dahlan. They alleged that he is an accomplice to Ramli Yusuff. But the court has ruled that Ramli Yusuff did not commit a crime. Can Rosli now still be found guilty of being an accomplice to a crime that the court says never happened? Let's wait and see what happens because Rosli Dahlan's trial will be decided very soon, about ten days more to be exact (6th-8th September 2010)."
Dato Ramli Yusuff and Lawyer Rosli Dahlan victimised for doing their job
I have written extensively about both Ramli and Lawyer Rosli Dahlan. Both were professionals in their respective fields, perhaps the best guys to have on my side, should Lady Luck turns against me. It seems to me that in our BolehLand professionals be it in the public sector or in commerce and industry are always victimised for doing their job. To prevent them from standing for and doing what is right, Ramli and Rosli were given a public lynching. They were humiliated in the eyes of the Malaysian public and the world, charged in court just on fabricated evidence and lies and made to suffer emotionally. That was precisely what the MACC, the PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) and the Attorney General did (he should read and understand Article 145(3) of the Malaysian Constitution) to Ramli four times in Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur. Ultimately Ramli was acquitted without his defence being called.
Lawyer Rosli's track record
Throughout my attendance at Rosli's trial, I have seen many lawyers, senior and junior, coming up to him giving words of support . I have seen the Bar Council representatives vouching for Rosli's integrity and professionalism as a lawyer. I have seen even DPPs walking up to wish him the best and assuring him that he would be acquited. I have also previously received an email from an Indonesian from Makassar, Mr Fredinand Lisardy, talking about howRosli negotiated the release of the Malaysian accountants from KPMG who were detained by the corrupt KAPOLDA (Kepala Polis Daerah) Makassar in 2005. He was practically the country's ambassador at that time when Dato' Zainal had yet to received his accreditation as Ambassador. I verified this fact with Tan Sri Robert Phang who is now on the MACC Advisory Panel and all that I have heard of him is true.
As for service to MAS, Bernama reported in 2009 that the MAS legal team led by Rosli succeeded to defeat a claim by a a German company called ACL, and reduced MAS's liability from €63mil (RM300million ) to just €5mil (RM25million), which is less than 10% of the full claim. Then earlier this year Bernama again reported that Rosli secured MAS to be released from an ICC Arbitration claim by Air Maldives for US$90 million(RM315million). Both these liabilities were the just some of wrongdoings of Tajudin through his corporate vehicle, Naluri Berhad. And yet Tajudin walks away still a filthy rich man living in a horse ranch residence named AlRaudah (Garden of Heaven).
That Rosli acted so ably in negotiations with the Attorney-General of Maldives and Ministers of the Government of Maldives, showed that he did his best not just for a GLC but also in acting for the country. While Tajudin plundered MAS and totally depleted the RM600mil cash in MAS's kitty, eventually leaving it with a deficit of RM8billion, this unassuming lawyer had actually saved MAS from a RM600mil liability over just two ventures. There may be many more that are yet to be disclosed.
Lawyer Rosli should be acquitted in the interest of Justice
With all the above good deeds, does Rosli deserve to be treated as he is now? Did he deserve to be brutalised, arrested and charged like a rapist or a murder? Lawyer Rosli was made to suffer all that because the Unholy Trinity of the IGP, the AG and the MACC wanted him to squeal on Ramli and to serve as a warning to other professionals not to go against them. They wanted Lawyer Rosli to betray his client and classmate, a friendship formed since their days at the International Islamic University. But Rosli is not Abdullah Badawi who would betray his oath of office. Rosli is not Dato' Nordin Hassan, the MACC Director of Prosecution, who was also Rosli's and Ramli's classmate, but who would betray them and sell them down the river just for his career and his Dato'ship. But Rosli refused to be compromised just to save himself. Rosli stood steadfastly by what is right and true and defended Ramli's innocence till the end. Now we know why both Ramli and Lawyer Rosli were brought down.
If these two professionals were allowed to finish their job, the scam that the Badawi family was doing to MAS would also be revealed. RPK's expose` had shown the Badawi's family interest in the extremely lucrative MAS catering contract.
As of now, Ramli is a free man. Logically Lawyer Rosli should also be freed. His case which will resume a few days before Eid-Mubarak should be a clear cut one and the verdict is obvious to me that he should be acquitted without his defence being called. The MACC witnesses like Kevin Morais and others are not only incredible in their testimonies but they have also been shown to have lied outrightly. I should know as I have been attending his trial and have been writing about Rosli's case on this blog.
Badawi should be removed as MAS Adviser
It has become common practice for former Prime Ministers to be made Advisers to GLCs. Tun Hussein Onn was Adviser of PETRONAS.Tun Mahathir is Adviser to PETRONAS and PROTON. Not to be left out,Badawi too insisted to be made an Adviser to MAS. Isn't this a clear conflict of when his family is having a vested interest in MAS Catering? In analysis, only Tunku Abdul Rahman, the father of Malaysian Independence, retired from his post without any advisory role. Therein lies the difference between these men. I think we should discontinue this practice. It appears that Badawi wants to be MAS Adviser just to enjoy First Class travel, to enjoy First Class perks and to protect his family's interest. That is very repulsive.
Both Mahathir and Badawi who are already well compensated for their service (more of a disservice) to our country must be asked to step down if they are not prepared to do it on their own accord.Prime Minister Najib should remove them to avoid conflicts of interests or risk inciting public anger. In a few days we will celebrateMerdeka and then Malaysia Day. On behalf of all Malaysians, I ask Najib to unshackle himself from the baggage if his predecessors. Najib must "merdekakan" (liberate) himself from their shadows. Najib must do what is right, less Malaysians will teach him a lesson in GE13, the way they did to Badawi in GE12 in 2008. The question is: will the Prime Minister do it?
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