How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright - until you hear them speak.

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Missing MH370: finally coming to closure?

From the first report on the part of an airplane known as flaperon and a badly damaged luggage bag, found on a French island called La Reunion, subsequent reports seem to suggest that the part is almost certainly from a Boeing 777, which happened to be that of missing MH 370. MH370 was the only one out of five which is believed to have crashed into the ocean.

Relatives of the 239 passengers on board the ill-fated MAS plane have waited more than 16 months without any clue where the plane crashed. News of the latest findings, if confirmed to be that of MH370, would bring closure to those waiting for conclusive evidence of the air crash, and to give up all hope of ever finding any passenger alive.

According to Daily Mail:

'A code stamped in the metal, sweeping ocean currents and the history of Boeing 777 disasters: The evidence that is making it increasingly certain the plane debris belongs to MH370
Wing flap found 3,500 miles from last-known location of missing aircraft
Manufacturer's code reportedly found on the debris matches a Boeing 777
Ocean experts say vast currents could easily have swept it towards Africa
Malaysia Airlines jet is the only Boeing 777 to have vanished over the sea
Even the barnacles could pinpoint where the debris originated in the water'

By SIMON TOMLINSON FOR MAILONLINE

'Eerily, a chart created by oceanographers one year ago predicted debris could end up on the island of La Reunion.

UWA oceanographer Charitha Pattiaratchi was part of the team that examined surface currants in the region around the search zone to track the dispersal pattern of any possible debris.

'Our model results that we did last year predicted that within 18-24 months after the crash, it was a possibility that it would have ended up within that region,' said Pattiaratchi, Professor of Coastal Oceanography at the University of Western Australia.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3179844/How-evidence-making-increasingly-certain-debris-belongs-missing-Malaysian-Airlines-flight-MH370.html#ixzz3hVWnog6C 

'How a humble beach cleaner searching for a stone to crush chillies may have solved the mystery of MH370 by Googling 'plane disasters' after stumbling across 'a weird thing on the shore'

Johnny Begue discovered 6ft wing flap which experts believe comes from a Boeing 777 like Malaysian Airlines plane

He also found a battered suitcase on the same beach as the debris, saying: 'It's really weird, it gives me the shivers'

Debris was found on island of La Reunion, east of Madagascar, some 3,500 miles from last-known location of MH370

If confirmed, a massive air, land and sea search operation is expected to get under way in the area for other debris'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3179584/Malaysia-certain-MH370-Investigators-despatched-Indian-Ocean-island-prove-six-foot-wing-flap-belongs-Boeing-777.html#ixzz3hVXGE018 



DID MH370 ACTUALLY FLY OVER THE MALDIVES? DEBRIS BACKS WITNESSES WHO 'SAW LOW-FLYING AIRCRAFT'

The discovery of debris wing flap has now focused attention on where in the Indian Ocean the plane - 'most likely' MH370 - might have crashed.

One possibility, which is gaining credibility, is that it came down after passing over the popular British holiday destination of the Maldives, lying off the southern tip of India.

Islanders on a remote Maldives atoll have been insisting for months that they saw a large jet with the red stripe of Malaysia Airlines jets, flying low overhead on the morning MH370 lost contact - a phenomenon they had not witnessed before.

But their reports were dismissed by their own government as attention turned to a search area some 2,000 miles south west of Australia.

The recovery of a wing flap bearing a maintenance code number that matches Boeing 777 aircraft has led to increasing excitement that the first clue has been found indicating that the missing jet had crashed into the Indian Ocean and not in the Gulf of Thailand or the Bay of Bengal.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3179584/Malaysia-certain-MH370-Investigators-despatched-Indian-Ocean-island-prove-six-foot-wing-flap-belongs-Boeing-777.html#ixzz3hVY0p2om 




Link

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Increasing our trust deficit

According to Dr. Alan Zimmerman, in his article on How to Overcome the Trust Deficit:

'For an organization to have staying power, it must be built on trust. For a business to be profitable, it must have the trust of its customers. And for a relationship to have any degree of quality, it must be filled with trust. As I often tell my audiences, "Trust is a must or the relationship will bust."

Unfortunately, we are suffering from a trust deficit. Indeed, we have a trust deficit in this country as big if not bigger than the federal deficit. Almost everybody is wondering who they can trust.

You see it in RELATIONSHIPS ... where cynicism has overtaken faith. Many people feel like singer Rod Stewart quipped, "Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house."

You see it in the MEDIA ... where biased advocacy has replaced unbiased reporting. As Alvin Toffler, the author of "Future Shock," wrote, "We are increasing the sophistication of deception faster than the technology of verification. The consequence of that is the end of truth. The dark side of the information technology explosion is that it will breed a population that believes nothing, and perhaps even more dangerous, a population ready to believe only one 'truth' fanatically and willing to kill for it."

More:
http://www.trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-communication-relationships/zimmerman36.shtml

In Malaysia, we have just seen how our PM aka as someone who has 'Nothing2Hide' took the trouble to suspend the press most critical to 1MDB; sacked his Deputy and another minister for questioning about it; forced an early retirement of the Attorney General (one of 4 heads of institutions tasked in unraveling the truth about the company's transactions); promoted 4 members of Parliamentary Accounts Committee to become Deputy Ministers or Minister, thereby giving an excuse to suspend further inquiry; and even replaced the Special Branch Director.

It is so obvious to everyone that the rush to change those involved in the investigations is to at least delay confirmation of the truth which is believed to be potentially harmful to the PM. The extent of the measures involved could only show how important it is to cover the truth.

Already lawyers are questioning the way the AG was 'retired' just months before his term expires. The post happens to be like that of a judge, who cannot be simply terminated. It was even more unusual when the person did not even know his retirement was due to 'health reasons'! Moreover, to add insult to injury, at age 60, he was replaced by someone 5 years older!

There are also debates on whether PAC can continue with the existing members instead of having to suspend inquiry until new members are appointed. The rules are there but the official interpretation always seems to differ... and the reason seems to favour delay in revelation of the truth.

PAC inquiry into 1MDB halted pending new members appointment, says Nur Jazlan
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pac-inquiry-into-1mdb-halted-pending-new-members-appointment-says-nur-jazla#sthash.vdZhBCZ6.dpuf

Tony Pua: What nonsense from former Chairman of the PAC.

'After the promotion of 4 members of the PAC to be Ministers, we still have 9 members, more than the minimum of 6 required under the Clause 77(2) of the parliamentary standing orders.

And if the Chairman is no longer available for whatever reason, the Vice Chairman takes over the proceedings. Clause 77(3).

And per Clause 83(3), "3 members including the Chairman shall be the quorum".

The scheduled PAC meetings on 1MDB must proceed without interruption and the former PAC Chairman has no powers to decide otherwise.'

More:
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/…/pac-inquiry-into-1mdb-

Link

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Debunking some myths about Anwar in jail


If we were to believe every accusation against Anwar Ibrahim, he must be a superman! Especially when he is already in the slammer, yet he is being blamed for what is happening outside his cell. So it is interesting to read cilisos's attempt at unraveling some myths about him in jail...


cilisos: WAIT. HOW THE HECK DID ANWAR PLAN A NEW OPPOSITION… FROM JAIL??!

'On Wednesday, we read an article from The Malaysian Insider reporting that jailed PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim announced plans for a new Opposition coalition which will involve progressive groups such as Bersih and new political party Gerakan Harapan Baru.

Our first thought when we read the news was:

“How the heck did Anwar manage to form a new political alliance from prison??”

'Before you ask, there aren’t many pictures of Anwar’s cell or any related pictures for that matter since cameras aren’t allowed. In fact, even the lawyers are required to surrender everything except for their legal paperwork – with pens and pencils are provided by the prison guards. We managed to find a picture from Malaysian Review that’s supposedly of his cell recorded by RTM (Took us forever to find it though):


Image from Malaysian Review

'Latheefa confirms that Anwar does not have access to the internet nor a phone. He’s also in solitary confinement for security reasons, where

“They have to go through three levels of metal doors before reaching him. His movement is watched very carefully, with a spotcheck every 15 minutes. It’s almost like a maximum security prison!” – Latheefa Koya'

More where that came from:

Link

Thomas Fann: Think Malaysians, think!

Excerpt:

'Think Malaysians, think! Why would the data Justo stole be worth millions and various parties, including PetroSaudi, were willing to pay him if they were not detrimental to some VVIP?

Think!  If the data were tampered with, just show the evidence, refute and sue The Edge, SR and WSJ. That would have totally discredited these publications. Why use someone like Lester Melanyi, a man of ill-repute, to try and discredit SR?  And why does MCMC need to block the Sarawak Report’s website? Why suspend The Edge for 3 months?

Think! The allegations that RM2.6 billion ended up in Najib’s personal account and that RM2 million cash was deposited into Rosmah’s account were NOT denied. For whatever purpose it was used, is it not wrong and illegal?'

'Come on Malaysians, think for once and do the right thing. Spread the truth, don’t be afraid. There are more of us who are fed up with this government than those who for reasons best known to themselves, still believe that this is the most efficient and clean government in the world. Think.

To resist is to win!'

More:
https://thomasfann.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/think-malaysians-think/
Link

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Have passport can travel? Don't ass-u-me!

Not really, it is still up to the mighty Immigration Department, under the Home Ministry. They can decide if a foreigner can enter Malaysia, whether a Malaysian can leave the country, or whether he or she can enter Sabah or Sarawak.

Malaysian passports are much in demand, especially by forgers, because of relatively lesser restrictions on holders entering many countries. The amounts saved on visa fees (compared with other countries' passport holders) could more than pay for the current passport renewal of Rm300 (Rm150 if senior citizen) for 5 years.

But if you are in the habit of criticising the Malaysian government leaders, there are certain restrictions imposed despite what is stated in the passport, like Israel, probably the only country prohibited from visiting. Even that restriction can be relaxed for some who go on a tour, probably under certain conditions.

Critics are often told by pro-establishment people to leave the country if unhappy with the BN leaders and their policies. Now some of them are being told they are not allowed to leave the country on visits ... even if they are unhappy! I am pretty sure, they would be allowed to leave, if they agreed to, for good!

Which is worse: prevented from entering Sabah/Sarawak or prevented from leaving Malaysia?

At one time, certain Malaysians found to their surprise and dismay, when they were not allowed to enter Sabah or Sarawak. Dr Kua Kia Soong, YB Teresa Kok, YB Rafizi Ramli and Dr Wong Chin Huat come to mind.

Lately, Tony Pua found to his shock and anger, that he was not allowed to leave the country for a trip to Indonesia. When another known critic of PM, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, checked the immigration website, he found that he too is being barred, so are others like: Batu MP Tian Chua, Ex-Bar Council President and ex-Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bersih chief Maria Chin Abdullah, activist Hishamuddin Rais, and activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim. They found this out when they checked their travelling status on the immigration website using their MyKad number. They would have to refer to the nearest Immigration office if they wanted to go abroad.

Being involved in 1MDB mess, SRC International managing director and former 1MDB chief investment officer Nik Faisal Kamal Ariff is also one barred from leaving, while others already left the country even though they are supposed to be barred, like Jho Low.

Whistle blowers seem to be considered worse than convicted murderer (pending appeal) like Sirul, who managed to leave for Australia secretly, without any problem. While  bankrupts in general are barred from leaving the country, Lester seemed to have no problem getting to UK. Then there is the most famous fugitive, Raja Petra, whose address in UK should not be a problem in finding, but he is obviously singing for the establishment now.

Latest news:
Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has clarified that DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and PKR Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, who are in the Immigration Department’s travel ban list, are free to travel overseas. They are only banned from East Malaysia.

So it is wise to check with the Immigration Department first before booking any flight out of the country, especially when you have been critical of the PM and his wife.

Link

Bloomberg: The Scandal That Ate Malaysia

'The near collapse of a state-owned company has rocked the government, rattled investors, and stirred public outrage.

In the spring of 2013, Song Dal Sun, head of securities investment at Seoul-based Hanwha Life Insurance, sat down to a presentation by a Goldman Sachs banker. The young Goldman salesman, who had flown in from Hong Kong, made a pitch for bonds to be issued by 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a state-owned company closely tied to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

It was enticing. The 10-year, dollar-denominated bonds offered an interest rate of 4.4 percent, about 100 basis points higher than other A-minus-rated bonds were yielding at the time, he recalls. But Song, a veteran of 25 years in finance, sensed something was amiss. With such an attractive yield, 1MDB could easily sell the notes directly to institutional investors through a global offering. Instead, Goldman Sachs was privately selling 1MDB notes worth $3 billion backed by the Malaysian government. “Does it mean ‘explicit guarantee’?” he recalls asking the Goldman salesman, whom he declined to name. “I didn’t get a straight answer,” Song says. “I decided not to buy them.”...'

More:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-21/malaysia-s-najib-razak-feels-heat-as-state-owned-1mdb-melts-down
Link

The Age: Mahathir has lost control of his puppet

'In Mahathir's eyes, Malaysia's problems are all about the personal failings of those who have succeeded him. At times he has come close to saying that Prime Minister Najib and his most famous political prisoner, Anwar Ibrahim, should be trading places. "Anwar should have been the Prime Minister of Malaysia today," writes Mahathir, in his memoir.

Like so many successful dictators, Mahathir was never able to decide between competence and loyalty and so ended up with neither. The resulting succession feud makes Australian Labor Party politics look meek.'

'But Mahathir is finding it much harder to unseat Najib than he did with Anwar, Badawi, and several others he destroyed before. The problem is that Mahathir made the position of prime minister virtually impregnable. He destroyed the independence of the police, judiciary and media and gave the prime minister almost unbridled financial powers. Moreover, Najib has worked tirelessly to build his own financial war chest, beyond the webs of Mahathir patronage, albeit at significant political cost. And so, after Anwar Ibrahim was released from jail, and nearly pulled off an extraordinary victory at the 2013 elections, Najib used the dictatorial powers that Mahathir bequeathed to him and threw Anwar in jail on a second lot of sodomy charges.

It's not hard to see that the decay at the heart of Malaysian politics is no longer about personalities, but institutions, which Mahathir did his utmost to destroy.'


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/mahathir-has-lost-control-of--his-puppet-20150717-gidig9.html#ixzz3gan7cvXN

Link

Dato Mohd Ariff Sabri: Suing WSJ and being Walter Scott

'It appears that the party buying time and pretending it was doing something righteous is the firm of lawyers representing PM Najib. It sent a letter seeking clarification only.

Because it did not understand? Why didn’t it send a letter of demand immediately? Now that WSJ has not responded, don’t hesitate. Sue the pants off WSJ.

The PM’s lawyers say the PM now has 2 options? Will the lawyers now behave like mendicants with bowl in hand pleading with WSJ to please respond lah…

The PM does indeed have 2 options; voluntarily resign or be kicked out.

Why should WSJ want to respond to stupid questions asked by PM’s lawyers? If they cannot understand what WSJ published, why is that our problem?

Read the articles published again and try to understand. Read them slowly, underline, use a highlighter, have a dictionary nearby and try to understand. Translate into Malay if required.'

'To simple minded folks like us, it means WSJ wants to take PM on his dare. Make us proud. Do justice to your bogus Bugis lineage. Get the palefaces on their home ground. Appear before an American judge.

That means they want to be taken to court. So PM’s lawyers better get cracking. Make sure you send someone who can understand American English and who can communicate in English.'

'WSJ does not need to respond to the letter asking it to clarify what it meant by its publication. It’s not the business of WSJ to ensure anyone who reads its published material can or cannot understand what is written. It’s not in the business of educating the dumb and mutes.'

'I want readers to remember- the accusation that Sarawak Report used tampered documents is based on the opinion given by a private eye company. The company PGI was paid by Petrosaudi.

He is hired by Petrosaudi- so that is already an ember light flashing to warn readers that reliance on a mere assertion of another party paid by the party at the centre of the controversy, is an untenable position.

No one has been allowed near Xavier Justo. So how did PGI come to that conclusion?  Whatever confessions Justo made- he made to the Thai Police. The Thai police has not issued any statements regarding that.'

'Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive! The quote is Walter Scott’s.'

More:
http://sakmongkol.blogspot.com/2015/07/suing-wsj-and-being-walter-scott.html

Link

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

This media statement stands out and gains respect among those who seek the truth

Media Statement by Ho Kay Tat, Publisher & Group CEO of The Edge Media Group

We could not walk away on finding out about the scheme to cheat Malaysia of Billions of Ringgit

Kuala Lumpur, July 21, 2015 - The Edge had reported extensively on 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in 2013 and 2014 as it emerged that the government-owned entity had run into financial difficulties. Information was, however, scarce and limited because its annual audited financial reports were consistently late.

Our journalists have met various contacts and pored through whatever available information they could get hold of in search of the truth.

Early this year, we were told someone was willing to share information that will shed light on 1MDB’s joint-venture with PetroSaudi International. We were not told who he was before we met him.

This person, whom we shall not name, showed us thousands and thousands of emails and document attachments. We read scores of them and were convinced of their authenticity because of the sheer volume and the email trails. We subsequently had an IT forensic expert confirm that there was no reason to worry that they were fakes.

What we read shocked us. What was supposed to be a joint-venture that will bring economic benefits to the country was nothing more than a scheme to scam billions of ringgit from Malaysia by a small group of Malaysians and their foreign partners.

At that point, we could do one of two things:
1) Drop the matter like a hot potato and walk away, or
2) Get hold of everything so that the truth can be uncovered.

We decided we had to pursue the truth.

As Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said recently, those who have information that can lead to the truth must speak out and not look the other way. Not reporting a wrong doing is a crime.

Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have said they want to get to the truth.

As a media group, we believe we have a public duty to do, no matter how difficult and dangerous it may be for us.

Meeting contacts to gather information is what media professionals do all the time in pursuit of a story. There is nothing wrong or sinister.

We were not involved in any theft, we did not pay anyone, and we did not tamper with any of the emails and documents we were given. In fact, we have secured the data so that no one can tamper with them. This can be independently verified by the authorities.

Some of the information have been used in articles we have published in the last few months. Some were just too sensitive to be used. None of the articles have been challenged by anyone named in these stories.

Indeed, we believe our articles have been of help to the various government agencies looking at 1MDB.

There is no political agenda or conspiracy in what we have done. In fact, we have engaged with various politicians and government officials who have sought our help to get a better understanding of what had happened and the situation 1MDB is in today.

The easiest thing we could have done after coming across what we found, was to walk away. Why look for trouble? But we could not do that.

We chose to take the difficult path, one that we knew will be fraught with risks to ourselves personally and to our organisation, which now faces the possibility of action by the Home Ministry.

On Monday, we handed documents, printed emails and a hard disk to Bank Negara. Today, the same set was given to the Commercial Crime Investigation Department of the Police. I also gave a statement to CCID.

We are comforted that the various investigators, the Auditor-General, the Public Accounts Committee, Bank Negara, the Police, the MACC and the Attorney-General have given their commitment to uncover the truth without fear or favour.

It is, indeed, their responsibility and their duty to the people of Malaysia to do just that. Just as it was our duty to pursue the story.


Ho Kay Tat
Publisher & Group CEO
The Edge Media Group

The related report:

The Edge Financial Daily details alleged 1MDB fraud in possibly last report 

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/the-edge-financial-daily-details-alleged-1mdb-fraud-in-possibly-last-report

Link

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spy vs Spy: Clare Brown vs Raja Petra?

The plot thickens...

Sarawak Report Stalked And Harassed In London

Excerpt:

'Sarawak Report has filed a report with the Metropolitan Police in London after establishing proof of wide-ranging harassment by persons believed to be in the employ of UMNO in Malaysia.

The acts of illegal harassment include teams of stalkers, who have followed around after the Editor of Sarawak Report in past days, plainly waiting outside her house and then pursuing her during the day.

These persons have included a bald, muscle-bound middle-aged white man and a man of Chinese Malaysian appearance, who took photographs of her in broad daylight in Hyde park and other individuals who have followed her car.

Other forms of harassment reported are computer hacking, disruption to the radio programme RFS and what appears to be the bugging of conversations.

These matters are now being countered and are also being  investigated by a central London police station, who have put a protection detail onto the case.'

'Caught! The trap that exposed the stalkers

Sarawak Report was able to confirm the suspected stalking last week by adopting a simple strategy of meeting with a prominent Malaysian in London’s Hyde Park.

The Malaysian, who has a London home, was a social contact, but emphatically not ever a source of information for this blog.

He is a known pro-UMNO official who was previously a senior law enforcer before retirement.

Having been introduced once, over a year ago, he agreed to a social meeting near in a Hyde Park cafe, which was a short walk from his hotel.

This meeting helped Sarawak Report establish the suspected surveillance was genuine because the public cafe was in isolated open ground.

Sure enough, at least three surveillance teams were easily spotted in this open area, desperately trying to follow the journalist and to photograph the entirely innocent contact.

These teams then followed both Sarawak Report and the person met in different directions out of the park.  The identities of the stalkers have been captured on CCTV and the matter is being investigated.'

'Threatening behaviour ends in comedy

One of the stalkers on this occasion, a Malaysian Chinese man, had even tried to blatantly photograph the Sarawak Report editor and her contact by filming through the window of the cafe over the shoulders of nearby tourists.

Comically, the tourists drifted off while the photographer was still intently trying to photograph the meeting through the window and he failed to notice his ostensible subject matter was no longer there!

At this point Sarawak Report went outside and confronted the stalker who then ran away.

Nevertheless, this same individual later hung at the back door of the cafe and followed the person who had taken tea with Sarawak Report’s editor all the way back to their hotel.

Proof!

Sure enough, it was RPK who proved the whole network operation when he duly reported the meeting in his blog over the past weekend.

Only Sarawak Report and the person being met had known about or discussed the rendez vous, making this blatant surveillance the only possible source of the information to RPK.

RPK named the contact as a senior from MACC official and implied (entirely incorrectly) that he was a source of Sarawak Report.  This individual has now sent legal notices to the Kamaruddin over the misrepresentation of his involvement.

We apologise to the unwitting participant in our exercise, for whom a cup of tea in the park turned out to be a baffling game of hide and seek with tough looking stalkers hiding behind trees.'

More where that came from:
http://www.sarawak-report.org/2015/07/sarawak-report-stalked-and-harassed-in-london/
Link

Monday, July 20, 2015

Citizen Nades – Come clean on issues

Excerpt:

'Like the undertaker who sees everyone as a potential client, the journalist views most people as a source of information. Thus, there is this need to associate with people from varying backgrounds. Information from these sources, which has to be verified, can sometimes lead to a big story.

From a legal standpoint, it is not an offence to meet anyone. Having a coffee or a beer with any of them is no less than having a tete-a-tete with a minister or a senior government official. The principle that "I have a right to choose whom I want to associate with" comes into play.

Therefore, there seems to be a witch-hunt of sorts for those who met former Petro-Saudi official Xavier Justo, now in custody in Thailand.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has threatened to arrest opposition leaders who had met Justo unless they come forward to give a statement.

First, what offence has Justo committed in Malaysia, and second, is there any law which prevents Malaysians from meeting a foreigner?

To add to the drama in this gigantic battle of public perception, the journalistic fraternity seems to have been sucked into this quagmire called 1MDB.'

'The government can continue shouting itself hoarse by asking us not to believe what appears in cyber space. But as the prime minister himself admitted, the days of "the government knows best" are over.

No one will pay heed to the spinning and the propaganda and no one will believe what comes from official sources. Nothing will change unless the government comes clean on the various issues and challenges facing the nation.

For a start, the cards should be put on the table, starting with not just 1MDB but other areas of governance where transparency and accountability are severely lacking.The leaks, the over-pricing of contracts and the involvement of cronies have all been well documented and are in the public domain.

The people, having digested them, have formed their own opinions and thoughts. Nothing will change that except the truth.

This is perhaps the first step in getting the public to trust and put their faith in the government and its leaders. If this cannot be done, let us forget about developed nation status and a better quality of life for all Malaysians.'

More:
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1494097

Link

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Iskandar Dzulkarnain: When all the Non-Malays leave Malaysia

Chanced upon this article dated May 21, 2011 posted in Hornbill Unleashed...

Excerpt:

'Malaysia seems less and less a ‘Promised Land’ to the non-Malays. With a mock democracy and an authoritarian system of Government in place, Malaysians who cherish democracy, meritocracy, freedom of expression, equality and freedom of religion are discouraged from regarding Malaysia as their homeland.

Those who can afford it have to save to send their offspring overseas to further their studies and to seek employment. Once their offspring have secured an education and employment in their host countries, many will apply for Permanent Residence to join their offspring. Bringing with them all the wealth and talent to their host country. Malaysia continues to lose its wealth and its valuable human resources.

Talent Corporation is facing an uphill daunting task to encourage Malaysians to return and serve the country. Those who say it is another for-show hype by Prime Minister Najib Razak are right. Malaysia simply doesn’t offer a conducive environment for the highly skilled and talented to return and help build this nation. Current policies in place, are a gross hindrance. Those who actually return mourn the rashness of their decision, and many cannot wait to leave again.

Malaysia could be such a lovely place to build an existence. Its citizens could have coexisted in peace and harmony. There is so much going for this country, but our leaders have made a terrible mess of it. The level of corruption is simply unacceptable. Equal opportunities are in shambles. Threats of racial conflicts and religious sensitivities still exist. Dinosaur leaders refuse to relinquish their powers and continue to overstay their welcome. Malaysians are humiliated and abused by the government that is supposed to serve them.'

Rest of the article:
https://hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/18447/

Link

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Free or cheap parking fees are definitely most welcome by the public

I believe many hypermarkets like Tesco and Aeon have taken this into account when they design their outlets. Many shoppers would rather go to one with free or cheap parking so that they can shop to their hearts' content. It is more pleasurable without having to worry about having to pay more if you stayed longer.
It is surprising how parking fees can have such huge impact on people. I have seen people driving expensive cars like Merc and BMW avoiding parking charges by parking illegally, which sometimes could turn out much more expensive when given tickets or when their cars were towed away. Some double-park or inconsiderately park and block other cars which are properly parked.

Personally, while travelling along the old trunk road (from Slim River  back to Batu Gajah) instead of North-South Expressway, I thought of stopping for a while at Bidor or Kampar. But the thought of having to look for a shop which sells the local parking coupon and then having to scratch it (have to be careful too, having made mistakes like scratching the wrong year, month or date), made me decide not to stop. Certainly it was not because of the parking fee which is only 40 sen an hour! But I also had wasted unused coupons which were out of date or usable ones but left them in another car.

I used to wonder whether it is actually viable for small towns to print their own coupons and having to pay salaries to attendants and enforcement personnel. Many local people are known not to pay until the enforcement man comes along and most times, they are given chance to use their coupons.
I am glad when I read the following report about how the local shoppers flock to a town in UK when their parking machines were out of order! This is reassuring to me because I am not the only cheapskate where this is concerned, and that the dislike of having to pay parking charges is universal...

Surprise surprise! West Wales town where all the parking meters have been out of action for a month sees shopping boom
All four ticket machines vandalised in Cardigan's main car parks last month
Council struggling to find £22k repair bill and now running without meters
Led to surge in visitors to town centre, with store owners' sales up by 50%
Traders say situation has led to a 'level playing field' where shoppers are far more relaxed

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3163067/Surprise-surprise-North-Wales-town-parking-meters-action-month-sees-shopping-boom.html#ixzz3gD9657tM 

We can also understand, in our local Malaysian context, why motorists hate 'jaga keretas' so much. Normally, at popular sites, they would come in during free hours which prevent us from enjoying some free parking. But some are more daring, like those near Lou Wong (famous for ngah choi kai) in Ipoh, where they even operate during official parking hours! They would use their coupon (if and when necessary) and their charges are likely to be more than the official rate. Most people would not dare to upset them because of the fear that they might scratch the car paint or puncture the tyres.
Link

Friday, July 17, 2015

Eric Paulsen: No banking secrets in criminal cases, lawyer group says as cops chase 1MDB whistle-blowers

'Banking confidentiality does not apply in criminal investigations, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said today following reports that the authorities are now hunting down those who allegedly leaked documents from the ongoing investigation on debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Instead, the civil liberties group said the act of whistleblowing to the press signals the loss of public trust in the ability of local authorities to conduct fair probes.

“It is misleading and disingenuous to assert banking confidentiality in such a case as clearly, such privilege does not apply to criminal investigations,” LFL executive director Eric Paulsen said in a statement.

“How else would corruption, criminal breach of trust, money laundering or tax evasion be exposed if not through banking details?”

“Such investigations unfortunately lend further credence that law enforcement authorities remain highly politicised and selective as the disclosure had exposed serious criminal offences which should override any confidentiality provisions,” the lawyer added.

Paulsen said although banking confidentiality should normally be maintained, public interest takes a higher priority when it comes to possible embezzlement or mismanagement of public funds worth millions or billions of ringgit.'

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/no-banking-secrets-in-criminal-cases-lawyer-group-says-as-cops-chase-1mdb-w#sthash.GfYLzU35.dpuf

IMHO: We are aware of BAFIA and other secrecy laws which are vital for any financial system. But to emphasize and enforce more on secrecy despite knowledge of illegal transactions, we are in danger of having a system which encourages illegal money laundering and other activities. It seems ironic that laws which are meant to ensure smooth running of a system, if not properly enforced, encourage an illegally run one. I am sure many executives are often put in a dilemma when faced with whether to tell the truth or face the sack.

Link

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Anil Netto: New electric trains: No direct B’worth-KL service; utter confusion over schedules

'The new KL to Padang Besar electric train service opens today. Most people are excited about it. But wait…

Unfortunately, little news is available about the stops in Butterworth, Penang or other major towns.

In fact, most news reports failed to mention the stop in Butterworth, Penang which is likely to be a major hub for the northern region. It doesn’t make sense. Why this glaring omission?

The KTMB website has no information. So I called the KTM hotline (it is so difficult to get through to them!) and was given the following info about the Butterworth to KL route. (As they say, the devil is in the details…)

First of all, there is no direct service from Butterworth to KL or KL to Butterworth. You have to change trains at Ipoh.'

'KL to Butterworth?

theSun reproduced a schedule showing the train leaves KL Sentral at 5.00am.

But the KTM agent told me the train leaves Ipoh (not KL Sentral) for the north at 5.00am. I couldn’t believe it; so I called up KTM headquarters and they confirmed it. What about the KL to Ipoh segment? Apparently, you have to take the train from KL to Ipoh the night before, spend the night in Ipoh, and catch the 5.00am train (what an unearthly hour) from Ipoh to Butterworth! What nonsense is this?

If this is how KTM plans its service and schedules, I don’t know what to say. It is almost as if they don’t want people to use the electric train, direct from KL to Butterworth, when this could be a major money-spinner for KTM and create more jobs in the tourism, hospitality and services sectors in KL, Ipoh and Penang if planned properly.'

More:
http://anilnetto.com/society/public-transport/new-electric-trains-no-direct-bworth-kl-service-utter-confusion-over-schedules/

KTMB president explains confusion over electric train

http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2015/07/12/ktmb-president-explains-confusion-over-electric-train/

For people living near Ipoh, we are interested in the journey from Ipoh to Padang Besar. For now, from Ipoh to Padang Besar, the train leaves at 5.00am! The return journey is in the afternoon which allows a day visitor a few hours at Padang Besar. While women are more interested in shopping, men seems more interested in other things! A friend said it would be too rushed and suggest staying a night before returning. I can imagine with the right company, the journey itself should be enjoyable.
Link

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Road signage from Bayan Lepas Airport to Penang Second Bridge still sucks

Who do we complain when we come across poor road signage? The Highway Authority, the contractor building the highway leading to the bridge, or Penang state government?

My first time ended up going towards the old bridge which I took instead of going back to find the way back to new bridge. That was after omitting the first exit at the airport roundabout, and having tried the second to Relau, and taken the third. The second time was successful, but after travelling with apprehension and doubt along the way because of no signage.

I was hoping that after such a long time, things would have improved. But no improvement where signage is concerned. I am surprised at the airport roundabout, the first exit used to be 'Batu Maung' but now shown as 'Balik Pulau', which to me seems an unnecessary doubt created. Then as I followed the main flow of traffic, I came across the sign to 'Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam' which was most welcome. Then, I was left on my own to decide when in doubt. There were local signs but no mention of the second bridge. This time, the most helpful seem to be the red and white (plastic)or black and yellow(concrete) barricades! I presume these were put there because of ongoing construction to build the proper road to the bridge. With the benefit of hindsight, I think the signs to Mah Sing Sales Office are useful to road users, simply because Mah Sing office is on the right, a short distance from the flyover leading to the bridge! But even so, I had a 'fright' when I read the right sign showing Georgetown and bridge sign, thinking I made the same mistake again! The left sign was reassuring with 'Ipoh' but I was expecting a mention of the second bridge because that was supposed to be a destination from the start.

I am an occasional visitor to Penang, just like many people from other states or foreign countries. I have had problems with road signage in Malaysia in general, and in this case, Penang, in particular.

Very often, there are signs to a major destination like KLIA, but after a few signs (if you are lucky) to reassure you, you are often left on your own to decide at other junctions along the way. KLIA seems straightforward to me now, because of being familiar. But with other destinations, very likely, there are local destinations A,B and C, but with no indication among them, as to which among them to take. I had a very bad experience when travelling from the old LCCT at night to KL via Maju Expressway (MEX) for the first time. At the junction where one leads to Putrajaya and another to Cyberjaya, I wish there was MEX mentioned next to Cyberjaya. I took the one leading to Putrajaya and got lost big time and could not find my direction back to KL!

Where road signs are concerned, whoever is in charge should put himself as a dummy travelling a route for the first time. All doubts arising while travelling should be dispelled with a mention of the destination to reassure the traveller that he is on the right track. They would be thankful for the little but helpful indications which provide them with peace of mind. At major junctions, along long distance, as well as at junctions with directions to local destinations, the major destination should be mentioned.

Update Aug 10: It is now better sign-posted from various locations to the new Bridge, Having used a 4WD vehicle, I can confirm the toll charges for using the second bridge at Rm8.50 (same as ordinary cars) is in fact cheaper than the old bridge at Rm12.00 compared with Rm7.00.

Link

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Malaysia-Finance Blogspot: China's Baby Steps Into Capitalism

'There is market support practiced by most countries financial authorities, usually with things such as circuit breakers, etc... but what the Chinese authorities have been doing is tantamount to meddling, acts of desperation, runs afoul of free market principles or proper capitalism.

Here are the things China has done for the past 10 days to stop the sell down:

1) drop interest rates by 75 basis points
2) ban IPOs
3) ask state own firms not to sell shares
4) ask securities firms to buy shares (this one is so puzzling)
5) allow companies who wish to suspend their own shares, for basically any reason ... now its close to 50% of all listed companies in China having requested and being suspended from trading
6) restricted short bets on index futures

as if thats not enough, today they announce that anyone holding at least 5% shares in any listed company CANNOT sell their shares for 6 months.

BUT ... wait for it ... this one takes the cake ..."Under new rules announced last week by the country’s securities regulator, real estate has become an acceptable form of collateral for Chinese margin traders, who borrow money from securities firms to amplify their wagers on equities. That means if share prices fall enough, individual investors who pledge their homes could be at risk of losing them to a broker." To allow punters to literally bet the house on it ... soon securities firms will be the biggest house owners!!!'

More:
http://malaysiafinance.blogspot.com/2015/07/chinas-baby-steps-into-capitalism.html
Link

Mr PM, don’t give us the slip on your RM2.6 billion scandal – Kim Quek

'Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Rajak is obviously trying to get himself and his party off the hook by claiming that the scope of work of the special task force is confined to ascertaining whether the RM2.6 billion funds found in his accounts were used for his personal interest. The inference is that if the finding is negative, then the case is closed, full stop.

How marvellous for Najib, if only the case were so simple!

Let me quote what Najib said:

“The investigation of the special task force is to determine whether the Wall Street Journal allegation that I took 1MDB funds for my personal interest has basis or not.”

This statement contains two errors: WSJ never said the funds came from 1MDB; neither did it say the money was used for Najib’s personal interests. In fact, WSJ in its article dated July 2 (US time) stated the exact opposite. I quote:

“The original source of the money is unclear and the government investigation doesn’t detail what happened to the money that went into Mr Najib’s personal accounts.”

So, by completely distorting what WSJ said, is Najib trying to pave the way for the special task force to close the case?'

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/mr-pm-dont-give-us-the-slip-on-your-rm2.6-billion-scandal-kim-quek#sthash.FxGGjux7.60GiydYv.dpuf
Link

Unlike a typical hostile lawyer's letter, seems like a polite 'show cause' letter to me


From The Rakyat Post:

'Najib had conveyed this to Dow Jones and Company Inc via a letter dated today from his law firm Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak.
The letter, which has been circulated on social media today, stated:
“We are instructed by our client to seek confirmation as to whether it is your position as taken in the Articles that our client misappropriated nearly US$700 milion (RM2.6  billion)from 1Malaysia Development Berhad ?”
“We are instructed to procure your position because the articles collectively suggest that you are unsure of ‘the original source of the money and what happened to the money’ whilst on the other hand, the general gist of the articles create a clear impression that our client had misappropriated about US$700 million belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad,” the letter stated, signed by lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun.'

More:

Meanwhile, Art Harun could not resist a response to it:


Link

Is CIMB a friend of Najib or not?

Top banker admits error in analysis of WSJ docs

'CIMB Islamic Bank chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani has admitted making some mistakes in his analysis of documents detailing the alleged transfer of nearly US$700 million to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal accounts.

"I would also like to acknowledge that I had made an error in my post with regard to my analysis of the various Swift codes.

"The mistakes were correctly pointed out by a report in Malaysiakini on the matter, and I have also made the correction on my Facebook page," said Badlisyah in a press release.

Badalisyah added that the views expressed on the matter were strictly his personal views which does not represent anyone else or any organisation.'

More:
http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/304512

And the response from Chairman:


Link

steadyaku47: Din Merican on Najib Razak

steadyaku47: Din Merican on Najib Razak: steadyaku47 comment: Saya setuju! Najib Razak :Our smartest, noblest and most altruistic and ethical Prime Minister COMMENT: I have...

Link

Meanwhile, some genuine supporters of Najib:

SRC boss clears PM, says Umno website
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/304432

WSJ being investigated for breaching secrecy laws in the country, says IGP
http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2015/07/08/wsj-being-investigated-for-breaching-secrecy-laws-in-the-country-says-igp/

WSJ must produce four witnesses to prove graft claims against Najib, Hadi says - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/wsj-must-produce-four-witnesses-to-prove-graft-claims-against-najib-hadi-sa#sthash.Up4epsSB.dpuf

Attacks against Najib a conspiracy to undermine Muslims, claims Umno supreme councillor - See more at: http://m.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/attacks-against-najib-a-conspiracy-to-undermine-muslims-claims-umno-supreme#sthash.O7Bxvovv.dpuf

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Dato Mohd Ariff Sabri: The Sorry State of the Nation

'The tightening noose.

A few words about the noose that is tightening around PM Najib’s neck. The noose of course is the 1MDB issue. It is now at the stage where money actually flowed from business surrounding or originating with 1MDB, through various stages to finally go into Najibs’ personal accounts.

Today we learn that 6 accounts were frozen and 3 of those belonged to Najib. The IGP, MACC, AG and BNM signed documents to have the banks accounts frozen. Najib can’t suspend all of them.

At the end of the day, these servants to the government cannot fend off the demand by the people. They must eventually surrender to the wishes of the people. As I have said in my earlier article, when a government betrays its trust, it has to prove itself innocent. How? by carrying out acts of redemption. The court of public opinion is not the same as the legal court.'

'The thieving minds do not understand.

The people with thieving minds still cannot get it. A wrong, corrected after the fact, does not render it annulled. For example, if you buy a property on behalf of MARA for RM100 million, when the actual cost is RM60 million, you have embezzled and stolen money. You are a thief. You have committed theft.

Now, if the price of the property appreciates by 45% to become RM145 million, you have made a profit of RM45 million which also covers the RM40 million you stole. The correction by way of a 45% appreciation covers up your theft as a result of fortuitous market conditions, but does not cancel out the theft. The act of thievery remains.

For to accept the narrative given by the minister in charge of MARA would mean that, every agent acting on behalf of the government can steal money in this way and hope the property market will cover up the theft and he or she is forgiven.

So, it’s not open to Shafie Apdal to now say, never mind if my officers took away RM40 million, that theft is now recovered because the property has appreciated by 45%. This is the kind of weak reasoning you get from a person defending an indefensible wrong.

Similarly when Isa Samad bought properties in the UK on behalf of FGV at an inflated price. The inflated portion represented the sum embezzled. When the price of the property later appreciated as a result of again, fortuitous market development, the embezzlement still remains a wrong.People will just tiu you.

In the case of government’s money (because it all started as 1MDB) being laundered through a few stages to finally end up in Najib’s account, a crime has already been committed. It’s not cancelled out, later when the accused in this case, the PM says the money wasn’t used for private purposes. That is irrelevant. It does not matter because a wrong has been committed ab initio.'

More:

Link



Tuesday, July 07, 2015

If this could happen at Police Sergeant level, just imagine what could happen at PM level

Cops Vs MACC: Police Prevented Anti-Graft Officers From Arresting Sergeant Suspected Of Corruption

'A team of officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) were threatened with arrest by a senior police officer over an anti-corruption operation at the Sepang district police headquarters last month.

Selangor deputy CID chief ACP Rusdi Mohd Isa allegedly made the threat over the phone to senior Selangor MACC investigation officer Supt Azeem Hafeez Jamaluddin at the Sepang police headquarters.

In his report made at the Dang Wangi police station on June 24, Azeem said Rusdi told him that he had received instructions from the Selangor chief police officer to detain all MACC officers if they went ahead with the arrest of a police sergeant suspected to be involved in corrupt activities.

In the report, a copy of which was made available to theSun, Azeem also named two other police officers – ASP Ballo Muniappan and Insp Mohd Husny Hussein – as having obstructed him from carrying out his duties and conducting further investigations.

Sources said the incident occurred after MACC officers received a tip-off on a payment of a bribe to some CID officers in Sepang and subsequently set a trap.

"The officers moved in after the bribe was given and arrested the police sergeant, and seized the bribe money.

"They wanted to take the sergeant to their headquarters in Shah Alam for questioning when there was a series of phone calls, during which Rusdi is said to have told Azeem to cease their operations," one source said.'

More:
http://www.malaysiandigest.com/news/560703-cops-vs-macc-police-prevented-anti-graft-officers-from-arresting-sergeant-suspected-of-corruption.html

Link

When more apps become bloatware

We have been inundated with ever increasing new models of mobile phones which offer more and better features at more and more attractive prices. It is common for sons or daughters changing their phones to latest models and offering their older models to their parents. Often, the old folks cannot keep pace with modern technology and had to decline their offers.

Most common reasons: cannot handle touch phone because liable to mistakes; unfamiliar with new features and unwilling to learn them; most features are unused because of ignorance; because of the extra apps, battery draining too fast and has to be recharged almost daily; and so on. There are some kiasu seniors who force themselves to take up newer touch phones, mainly for show and had to admit their ignorance when asked to use it for certain functions, even as simple as SMS, take photo or send a telephone number from their contacts to another phone.

Well, there comes a time when enough is enough. Manufacturers must have got carried away with providing more and more apps without realising its effects on consumers, especially when they are left with no choice but to put up with mostly unwanted apps.

Samsung, Oppo Sued Over Phone Bloatware in China

Officials want Samsung and Oppo to inform customers about pre-loaded apps and provide a way to delete them.

Chinese officials are going after Samsung and Oppo for pre-loading their devices with bloatware.

According to ShanghaiDaily.com, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission received customer complaints about apps that came pre-installed on their devices and could not be removed.

The report mentioned the Samsung SM-N9008S, which is an international version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, as well as the Oppo X9007. The Samsung phone had an e-dictionary and shopping app pre-installed, while the Oppo had games and other apps, according to the commission.

Officials want the companies to inform customers about pre-loaded apps and provide a way to delete them.

More:
http://asia.pcmag.com/cell-phone-reviews/4368/news/samsung-oppo-sued-over-phone-bloatware-in-china

To err is only human

"If I wanted to steal, it wouldn't make sense that I would place that money in accounts in Malaysia" says PM Najib.

It would make sense if it was such a large amount, cannot be entrusted to someone else, and the money needed to be distributed easily, like just before a GE.

It would also make sense if he was careless because of his immense power as PM and Finance Minister, and was under the impression he was above the law.

According to Zaid Ibrahim:

'Corruption and abuse of power are unacceptable under any circumstances and using public funds for political use and for securing one’s leadership in a political party are criminal acts that must be punished. But Najib’s UMNO and Cabinet colleagues should not pretend they don’t know about how 1MDB money helped them to win in the last General Election. Why do you think Najib had frequent closed-door briefings with UMNO leaders on 1MDB?

They cannot feign surprise that Najib had so much cash, not when they gleefully accept his largesse from time to time without asking any questions. They have kissed his hands and failed to express any unhappiness with his generosity. There were no cries about wanting to find out where this money came from. But suddenly, they want him removed because he was “caught”— not for any other reason.'

Full article:
http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=546951:najib-got-careless-carried-away-he-wanted-the-money-in-his-a/c-so-he-could-make-umno-beholden-to-him-zaid&Itemid=2#axzz3fARKIFY1

Link

We have come a long way indeed

In our so-called guided democracy, I am led to believe that Umno has divine right to rule Malaysia because it claims to be the only party which protects race, religion and royalty, not necessarily in that order.

Umno can do no wrong because they can explain everything which others complain of. Money politics is not corruption but to pay for party machinery. Use of public funds is alright because it is for the people. Paying a higher price for goods or services to benefit certain officials is still acceptable because it is not a crime to be stupid. So is taking advantage by buying a property first and then selling it months later at a huge profit, with the collusion of the person with authority to approve the purchase.

Gatecrashing other party's events seem to be their right, to prevent others from criticising Umno leaders. Taking down other parties' pictures, signs or flags and tearing or burning them will be tolerated by the authorities. Threat to kill or injure someone is considered only a threat and not a crime unless and until committed. Such acts are considered normal responses to provocation by others. Never mind the fact that they gatecrashed other's event... and even before hearing the speech!

Any accusation against PM or other ministers is political sabotage, based on tainted evidence. They could be either the work of political opponents, the US or the Jews. Probably even Anwar could have planned it while in jail. They are innocent until proven guilty which is the norm, unless they are leaders of the opposition, who should be considered guilty until they can prove their innocence.

What used to be normal attire by non-Muslims and even Muslims in the past, is now considered unacceptable under our Arab-influenced Muslim standards. Like skirts above the knees, sleeveless tops (forget about spaghetti straps and plunging necklines), and even man in shorts and slippers! Even in sports, where for eg. leotards are normal for gymnasts are criticised. Our national champion who won a gold medal in the SEA Games was described as showing her 'aurat' and the person even put it as showing her vagina (when what he meant to describe was probably camel toe)! In other words, Muslims under such rules can never participate in most sporting competitions, and this has been confirmed by a Muslim leader. I cannot imagine any Muslim can effectively compete in swimming events wearing T-shirt and sarong or wearing long pants in running events.

Some ministers have super powers which cannot be challenged in a court of law. Like what they say about people having absolute power, they are likely to abuse it. The Home Ministry's departments, like Registrar of Societies or those in charge of Publications Act, are fond of issuing 'show cause' letters to organisations under their purview. Those letters are likely to be non-specific, without mentioning any specific wrong, leaving the recipients wondering and having to second guess what it is all about. We get the impression the official who issues the letter has not a clue what his minister really wants or is too lazy to pinpoint the fault in question (in case he makes a mistake), leaving it to the alleged wrongdoing party to figure out and hopefully, trip in their reply.
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Monday, July 06, 2015

Late Bernard Khoo's posts just as relevant now as before

I revisited Zorro-zorro unmasked blogsite to look for a particular drawing which fits our present political situation in my own words, 'Too much dirt... we need better tools... to sweep under the carpet.'

On separation of power...

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2009
IN 1975, back when Justice Raja Azlan Shah (as his royal Highness then was, said this of the Federal Constitution:

The constitution is not a mere collection of pious platitudes. It is the supreme law of the land embodying three basic concepts:

One of them is that the individual has certain fundamental rights upon which not even the power of the State may encroach.

The second is the distribution of soverign power between the States and the Federation’

The third is that no single man or body shall exercise complete sovereign power, but that it shall be distributed among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government, compendiously expressed in modern terms that we are a government of laws, not of men.

This third concept alluded to by His Highness is better known as the SEPARATION OF POWERS.

His Highness’ wise words of yore must surely strike any right-thinking member of society as being correct.

Fast forward to 2007, when Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad, sitting in the august Palace of Justice said:

What is this doctrine of separation of powers?.....It is a political doctrine under which the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government are kept distinct, to prevent abuse of power…..To what extent the doctrine applies depends on the provisions of the Constitution……The doctrine (of separation of power) is not a provision of the Malaysian Constitution even though, no doubt, it had influenced the framers of the Malaysian Constitution, just like democracy.

 Maha Balakrishnan, co-chair of the ConstiLC, in Off the Edge, ask:

"So what is this thing called the separation of powers? And what happened between 1975 and 2007 to make the upper echelon of our judiciary think  that it was no longer a part of our Constitution?"


 On frauds...





Link

Friday, July 03, 2015

Govt JVs: Win-win to some, Lose-lose to general public

It is either our MACC is not doing their job or unwilling to do their job. Everything which we, the ordinary public, can think of, which are likely to be corrupt deals are invariably corrupt deals. It is only because in the past, we didn't have the means (unlike today, with the real time information and the internet where it is almost impossible to cover up) nor the freedom to find and disclose such shenanigans. Even today, we are unable to disclose information without falling foul of the laws under OSA, BAFIA and the like.

A few days ago, we got to know about the PATRIOT vehicle registration scheme in which JPJ gets Rm1 million while the NGO gets many times more from selling the numbers from 1 to 9999. Just the favourite number PATRIOT 1 has been offered over Rm1 million, while there are many other favourites like 8, 88, 888 and 8888; remaining single digits; and so on. It is a no-brainer that whoever comes up with this brilliant idea stands to gain much from this special concession. Why is this relatively unknown NGO given this special privilege? Some people even complained about the demeaning of the word Patriot.

According to well known philanthropist Koon Yew Yin,

'Just as some Malaysians were thinking that the 1MDB and Mara Australian housing investment financial scandal would have ripple effects on the Government, we are now being given news of another scam in the making that is going to cost the rakyat billions of ringgit of lost potential revenue.

I am referring to the news that Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is the hot favourite to refurbish the various sports facilities at the National Sports Complex (NSC) in Bukit Jalil, including the 17-year-old Bukit Jalil Stadium.

According to the latest news report, the refurbishment work could cost up to RM1bil and in return, MRCB would get parcels of land in the vicinity of the NSC for development if the proposal is approved. Apparently MRCB has submitted the proposal to the Youth and Sports Ministry and is awaiting the results.

The justification for the project is that the stadiums at the NSC are aging and have not seen much refurbishment since they were built in the 90’s for the Commonwealth Games.

Questions the Public Needs to Ask

Many questions come to mind.

The first is whether the stadiums are in such bad shape that they require renovation work to the tune of one billion ringgit!

Surely, these stadiums must have had regular maintenance budgets in the past and are in good shape. Would a new paint, re-carpeting, re-tiling, toilet upgrade, seating replacement job cost $200 million ringgit per stadium for each of the five stadiums?

I have been in the construction industry for the past sixty years and I can say with confidence that the cost of refurbishment is often a small fraction of what is claimed for by unscrupulous contractors.

To answer my question, I suggest that the NSC board of management and Ministry of Youth and Sports post in a special website photos and details of the repair or renovation work that is proposed to be done as well as an accounting of the amount required. The public (and potential contractors) can then view the project work to be undertaken and provide feedback. Not only will this ensure transparency and accountability for the renovation costs but it will also result in renovation that is of a higher standard and much lower cost!'

More:
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Anil Netto: Seven reasons why we should ditch Fitch

'Who cares what Fitch thinks? Why have the media been giving so much publicity to this rating agency?

On 20 January 2015, Fitch rating agency said it was “more likely than not to downgrade the rating of the sovereign” in the coming months. On 17 March, Fitch issued another statement saying there was more than a 50 per cent chance of downgrade by the end of June.

On 8 June, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department confirmed that the government had held meetings with Fitch over its negative outlook. What transpired at the meeting with Fitch?

Finally, on 30 June, Fitch announced there was no downgrade and instead maintained its A- and A ratings and even improved its outlook from negative to ‘stable’.

Here’s why ordinary Malaysians should not pay too much heed to the Fitch rating as a measure of the state of the economy and our wellbeing.'

More:
http://anilnetto.com/corporate-led-globalisation/neo-liberal-economics/seven-reasons-why-we-should-ditch-fitch/

Nazri has just provided a clue: GST helped in Fitch's rating, which happens to be one of the seven reasons.

But the conclusion in the above article is convincing:

In conclusion, rating agencies have not had a glorious recent history and their role has been scrutinised in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. This was reported on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations:

‘CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby argues that government regulation is unlikely to solve the conflicts inherent in credit rating agencies, particularly when it comes to sovereign debt. “The more government has power and is meddling with rating agencies, the more the rating agencies will be browbeaten into giving a generous rating to the sovereign,” Mallaby said.

‘The best way to counter the monopolistic power of the Big Three, he argued, is for investors to stop giving their ratings so much weight. “The reason why the subprime bubble could happen, or the reason why the European sovereign debt crisis can happen is, largely, that very blind investors bought bonds relying on ratings, and [didn’t do] their own homework about what the real credit risk was in the bonds,” said Mallaby.’

Stop pandering to these rating agencies. They do not represent the interests of ordinary Malaysians.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Why the sudden clamour for Tony Pua to resign from PAC?

'The UMNO/Barisan Nasional agenda to remove DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua from Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearings on the 1MDB scandal is still on stream and seeking to gather greater support, enlisting Ministerial endorsement after the campaign opener by Prime Minister’s choice lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and former Cabinet Minister and PAC Chairman Datuk Seri Shahrir Abdul Samad.

This is why the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek has waded into the 1MDB/PAC controversy to spearhead the UMNO/BN guerrilla campaign and tactics demanding that Pua be removed from the PAC hearings on the 1MDB scandal.

Shabery claimed that by his outspokenness on the 1MDB scandal, Pua had “not only shamed the PAC, but also the parliamentary system itself and was no longer qualified to sit in the PAC”.

Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=543212:terrified-najib-let-msians-decide-if-they-want-tony-in-pac-enquiry-on-1mdb-kit-siang-moots-debate&Itemid=2#ixzz3eYEX6JAj 

Well known blogger, Raja Petra has also expressed his view that 1MDB might not get a fair hearing because of Tony's prejudice. Even Parliament Speaker joined in to speak against Tony's place in PAC.

Tony felt honoured at the extraordinary attention given to him and expressed surprise that BN is afraid of his presence at the scheduled PAC meeting with 1MDB's present and past CEO, despite having 8 BN members on the panel. Actually, the Deputy Chairman is also from DAP, but Dr Tan Seng Giaw is relatively low profile and even his blog posts are very brief in comment on any matter.

In my humble opinion, the pressure to leave out Tony Pua will be perceived as an attempt to prevent unscripted questions being put forward to 1MDB's duo. Why are they afraid of Tony's prejudice?
How will a prejudiced person's questions affect an inquiry? Surely no matter how questions are raised, facts which reveal transactions were above board will not be affected. I believe there are many questions which will not be adequately answered, which must be the real reason for fearing Tony's presence at the forthcoming meeting.


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