Sunday, June 29, 2008

At Its Lowest Ebb.....

The politics of our country, that is.

Could it get any lower than it is now.

Raja Petra made a sworn statement that he was reliably told that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife, Rosmah are implicated in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Sharibuu.

Najib has denied all allegations.

And now an aide of Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has made a police report that he was sodomised by Anwar.

I told myself -- oh no! Not again! The allegation, I mean.

(Rocky's Bru has a little something on this 23 year-old aide. Here.)

Anwar has denied it all, saying the police report by Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was a complete fabrication.

Anwar's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Ismail who is PKR president said this latest sodomy allegation was an attempt to kill Anwar politically. Here.

Dirty dirty tricks department at work!

What next?

You know what? Perhaps, someone will pinch me and tell me this is all a charade.

Nothing Is Clear Cut...

Oh you know what I mean...

When you all thought Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was going to step down after the BarisanNasional's, and in particular, Umno's, disastrous performance, he did not. In fact, he did not say he was ever going to step down. On the contrary, he said he was staying on.

Then, came an announcement of an exit plan from Johor Umno, That's actually a nice way of saying a plan for the Umno president to step down. Others called it a succession plan.

One day, it's this. The next it's that.

One day, there is such a plan. The next day someone tells us there's no such thing.

I'm referring to remarks be Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh who said that there is no provision for a succession plan for Umno deputy president Najib Abdul Razak to take over the number one party post. H E R E.

The way I see it, in Umno, it is all about tradition and convention. Some rules have been broken. Some new rules have been made.

I suppose, with all that has been happening and plaguing the party leadership, we'll just have to wait and see, and sieve and filter.....and not take anything at face value!

Nothing anyone says is the gospel truth. Yep. Back to basics.

Where's The Music?

I stand to be accused of being so petty. No matter.
Last Sunday, I wrote about how our community aerobics class at the Taman Lembah Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail had been without the accompaniment of music for three consecutive Sundays.

To me, it was a failure on the part of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) because the Sunday aerobics class is part of its activities and it had been made aware of the power supply problem at the park.

There was no excuse on the part of DBKL for this "hiccup".

Anyway, after my posting, I did get a response and was made to understand that by the next aerobics class -- which was today -- there would be power supply.

I was looking forward to having music to accompany our aerobics today.

At first, it looked promising. Our instructor and his two assistants were already at the court by 8am. Soon a truck drove into the park and two guys took out a metal box which I assumed to be the equipment to be connected to the power box by the court.

Fifteen minutes later, it was clear that there was nothing they could do.

Now here, we would like to thank Sandra, one of our regulars, who brought with here a mini comp so that our instructor could play his disc.

So, we did have music but no thanks to City Hall.

It seems, our instructor was told earlier in the week that the power points had been repaired. But when the two guys plugged in the wires and turned on the power, nothing happened.

The Tai Chee instructor who runs his class just before ours managed to use the power box because he had the key to it. But he could not lend our instructor the key because it was locked into the lock and he needed to bring it back with him. I believe, for it to be returned to City Hall.

The Tai Chee instructor must have obtained permission to have the key. And yes, we do understand why he could not leave the key with our instructor because he was responsible for it.

The power box was the only other option but our instructor was not given a key to it, nor was there anyone from DBKL to assist.

The point is, the power points were supposed to have been repaired. But, obviously, were not.

So, what happened?

Oh, well. There's so much we can bark about.

Until next Sunday then!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Malaysian Taxis Among the Worst In The World...

....this is according to a survey by The Expat magazine.

The magazine obtained views from 200 readers, comprising expatriates from 30 countries.

The results showed that our taxis scored the lowest in almost every category polled.

Some of the respondents even described our cabbies "a national disgrace", "a source of national shame" and "a serious threat to tourists - rude bullies and extortionists".

The most frequent complaint was of overcharging and taxi drivers refusing to take passengers who did not agree to pay a flat rate much higher than the regular fare.

(source: NST online)

The report HERE.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Najib Says It's All Lies.....

So, everyone has been talking about Raja Petra Kamaruddin's statutory declaration in which he named the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister as one of the three people present at the scene where Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaaribu, was murdered in 2006.

Today, DPM Najib Abdul Razak responded to the claims in the SD.
He dismissed the contents in the SD as “lies” and welcomed police investigations into the allegation.

Najib said RPK's claim was a “fabrication and total garbage’.

He believed Raja Petra’s allegation was a “desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit and taint my political image”.

“I can’t see any other reasons,” he told reporters after chairing the special cabinet committee meeting on illegal immigrants in Sabah.

Najib said the police would record statements from those concerned including Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said Rosmah has already given her statement.

Abdullah said he did not receive any report of the murder from the military intelligence as claimed by Raja Petra in the SD. H E R E.

(source: NST online)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SAPP, The Rebel Component Party...

I think I must have missed something somewhere.

I distinctly read (and fully understood) that no action was being taken against the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) for the "double-cross"ing offensive remarks its president Yong Teck Lee made about the PM and his leadership and against whom that motion of no-confidence would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.

PM (and Barisan Nasional chairman) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said it was because Yong was acting alone. His stand was not the party's stand. H E R E

But today, his deputy, Najib Razak, is singing a different tune.

He has called the SAPP a rebel component party against which the BN supreme council would be determining action.

Najib said this (H E R E) at the monthly BN management meeting which he chaired earlier today.

The SAPP was not invited to the meeting.

Wonder whether they (the BN) will stick to their guns.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh, For An Improved Public Transport....

Being a Klang Valley denizen for a mighty long time gives me enough standing to argue on the merits and demerits of public transport in this area. Actually, anyone who's lived here an even shorter time than I had, would still have the standing to do so.

But I'll just talk about the report I read in the Sunday Star (H e r e) that many people, as a cost-cutting measure to overcome the effects of the sharp rise in fuel prices, have opted to use public transport.

If that's true, hurray. I am all for traveling on public transport.

But I, unlucky me, am not one of the scores of people who can use the bus or train as an alternative mode of travelling.
And taxis? I'd say I'll avoid using them, if I can help it. We all agree on why. They're never around when you need them during peak hours. And when they are, they call the shots, bullying passengers into paying more, sans the meter.
Of course, you have your own horror stories about them.

You see, for me, using public transport is not an option. I don't live near an LRT station and there are no bus stops near where I live. So, it is too inconvenient for me to travel by bus or LRT.

So...lucky you guys who can make that switch.

If, say tomorrow, by some lucky stroke, there is an efficient public transport system near me, I'll definitely switch to using it, so that I can leave my car at home.

So, when I read the Bernama news (below), I thought I would have that option of switching to public transport (read: buses or trains) some time in the future.

But, the government has a different idea of what public transport is, and therefore, of how it can be improved. That's why it is having more taxis operating in the Klang Valley (giving soft loans to taxi operators) and/or issuing more taxi permits. ADOI!

It looks like my good ole SUV will remain my trusted travel/transport mode for a mighty long time more.

It's been such a long time since I boarded a bus for city travel in the Klang Valley.
And aah....I kinda miss those mini buses.

PUTRAJAYA, Thurs -- Another RM100 million will be injected into the RM300 million Public Transport Development Fund to improve the quality of public transportation service in the country.

Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar said the additional fund would be used a soft loans for private taxi operators to purchase new vehicles.

"This is in line with the ministry's proposal to lift the freeze on the issuance of taxi permits to individual owners which will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting next week," he told reporters after a function at his ministry here Thursday.

Noh said the freeze on new taxi permits would be lifted in view of the high demand for taxi service. The Klang Valley alone required another 3,000 taxis, he added.

The ministry stopped issuing new taxi permits to companies and individuals on Sept 10, 2004 but applications from cooperatives are allowed.-- BERNAMA

Celebrating 100 days With the YBs...

and friends, possibly foes too.

DATE: JULY 5 2008


YEW WEI KEAT (tel 012-2138257)
514011899314 (MAYBANK)


Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Gives, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur?

For the third consecutive Sunday, our community aerobics session at the Taman Lembah Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail has been without music. it's a small matter to you but it is not to the hundreds of people -- young and old -- from around the area who converge at the court there every Sunday for their 55-minute work-out.

Our instructor told us that he had , yet again, informed KL City Hall to have the electricity supply switched on.

Of course I am fed up. What's the matter with the authorities?

You encourage the community to be fit and healthy yada yada yada.... and you decide it's too much trouble to have the power supply turned on.

Switching on the power supply IS part of the deal, see?

Or you have already instructed your technician to take care of it and he decides that his Sunday ought not be disturbed. ???

Whatever-lah. And that is not on!

Naturally, "conspiracy" theories abound with regards to why KL City Hall has ignored the request for the electricity supply to be turned on. This is because it is the third consecutive Sunday that the aerobics session has been without music.

Aerobics has to be with music and also the instructor needs the microphone to give instructions.

It's a small and very UNCOMPLICATED request. And it is YOUR JOB, City Hall!

Friday, June 20, 2008

SAPP Saga...

The Barisan Nasional supreme council decided yesterday not to take any action against the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) following the stand by its president Yong Teck Lee for a no-confdence vote against Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Parliament on Monday.

PM Abdullah said this was because the BN believed that Yong had acted on his own and the stand was not the party's. HERE.

Today Yong met with his deputy, Raymond Tan for nearly an hour to thrash things out before they sit at the party's emergency supreme council meeting to decide whether or not the party should leave the coalition. (Update later.)

All's not well in SAPP. Read here.

The argument whether or not action ought to be taken against SAPP or Yong, for that matter, is really academic.

And we all know that the BN will do all it can to prevent the no-confidence move from being tabled in Parliament.

But what no one should dismiss is that such an action (for a no-confidence move) is being constructed at all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

That Motion For A Vote Of No-Confidence........


The Barisan Nasional Supreme Council will hold an emergency meeting at 2.30pm to discuss Sabah Progressive Party’s (SAPP) no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The party had yet to decide if one of its own Members of Parliament would table the motion in the next sitting of Parliament on Monday, or whether the motion would be tabled by an MP from another party.

The Barisan Supreme Council emergency meeting would take place at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur at 2.30pm Thursday, Barisan secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said.

Read the Star H E R E

My original posting:

Is this just another sandiwara or will it really happen?

I have my doubts that we will see this going through the Dewan Rakyat. If I were a gambler, I'd take a bet.

If Sabah Progressive Party(SAPP) can really pull through this one -- tabling a motion for a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister, then, it will be unprecedented.

SAPP president Yong Teck Lee said his party has lost confidence in Pak Lah's leadership and that his party's two MPs (Sepanggar and Tawau) will support a motion for a vote of no-confidence against the PM in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.

But whoever is planning to table the motion must (under the Standing Orders) submit the notice to the Dewan Rakyat by today, at the latest, according to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.

As of yesterday, he has not received any notice from any party with regard to the matter. And if the Speaker receives the notice, he would have to look at it first before deciding to accept it.

Will all this hoop-la fizzle out over the weekend, or gain momentum?
Perhaps, for Yong and the SAPP, it is a case of a desperate situation that demands a drastic measure.

Maybe, I'm too much of a skeptic (or a realist?).
But, if I am wrong about it, I'll go have my hair trimmed!

Now...say by a twist or quirk of fate, as it were....the Speaker allows the motion to be tabled. Will it get enough votes? What are the implications of it not getting those votes?

I believe that Pak Lah should be "dealt with" by his own party. But I know what you're thinking. Umno is toothless, spineless and just too weak to do anything about its leadership crisis.

Well, I think the real Umno has not shown itself up. Besides, unless the structure is changed, the PM of the country is the Umno president.

Oh, well, we will see. We will see what happens on Monday. If anything will happen at all.

And while we're on the subject -- will SAPP get the boot (from BN) for acting out of line?

Anyway, the PM seems to suggest that he has something on Yong. Here's his response:

PUTRAJAYA, June 18 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee's latest action has been due to the fact that "I have not been able to satisfy his personal greed."

Abdullah did not elaborate. However, his aides told Bernama that the prime minister would elaborate at a later date.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Congrats Dr Mahathir! And To You Too, Anwar!

Early this morning, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's blog hit TWO MILLION.

Way to go, CheDet! Tahniah!

And yesterday, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim got the go-ahead from the Federal Court in Putra Jaya to challenge the constitutionality of his sacking from cabinet posts, almost 10 years ago, by Dr Mahathir (who was then the PM).

This means that...well...Malaysia is in for hell of a lot of drama and, excitement.

Can this get any more exciting?

Read the Bernama report H E R E.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Fuel Price Hike, According To Citizen X

I got this from the Malay Mail's "MailBox" (letters to the editor, page 13) today.
It is from someone who signed him/herself as Citizen X from Kuala Lumpur.

Citizen X asked:
"By the way, whatever happened to the MTEN and shouldn’t they already know all this basic stuff? I remember how quickly they went ‘deep and wide’ in addressing the financial crisis of 1997. Meeting company after company, NGOs, chambers of commerce, etc., before coming out with various policy decisions, some of which were not popular at all.

But those policies helped the country adjust to the crisis in quite an organised manner. It was bad then but bearable. I can’t say the same about the present crisis. I certainly hope at USD130 (RM415) per barrel the government is addressing this as a crisis." ( m o r e)

Citizen X started the letter by remarking that the issue of subsidies is not new but the abnormal fuel price is. Why we have subsidies, why they distort the economy and why we have to gradually eliminate them is really quite academic.

What is not is how we handle subsidies when fuel is USD130 (RM415) per barrel.

Ever since fuel prices accelerated at an unfamiliar pace from 2005 we have been behaving like schoolboys on their first science project, testing hypotheses and making assumptions as if there’s no real or permanent impact on our surroundings. From the manner the last two fuel price increases were announced it is obvious that we have not done sufficient research on this critical subject.

Making announcements at the last minute, promising no increase and yet doing so subsequently, preaching changes in lifestyle to the rakyat is not on. Most still can’t understand how the figures add up especially since we are a net exporter of oil and Petronas is profiting from the higher prices. The latest announcement is so telling of poor PR and lack of planning in that compensatory measures are deemed too minute in relation to the quantum of price hike. And now we hear that there will be further compensatory steps in the coming budget? While the rakyat will certainly be grateful when the government subsequently listens to their woes, is it not better to study the obvious impact and announce these reconciliatory moves together with the fuel hike? That would have eliminated any misconception of the whole exercise.

Why give an opportunity for some people to conclude that you are heartless or that you did not do your homework? Proper explanation and frankness could have actually brought some goodwill to the government.

Citizen X's view is that:

1: We have not done enough to micromanage subsidies. As subsidies are an expensive affair you must have a target group, that is identify who are the poor and pump as much of the ‘savings’ to them when you float prices to world markets. Cash is still the best but foodstamps, rebates, tax reliefs, etc, targeted DIRECT to the poor are still more effective and efficient than the present broad-based approach of maintaining an artificial price level and funding it through the supply chain (don’t tell me no one knows that only a portion of the funds to subsidise through the supply chain actually gets to the consumers?). (m o r e ).

2: Some planners still do not realise that it’s not about prices at the petrol stations but rather about the multiplier effect that fuel has on basic necessities like food, transport and electricity that hurts the poor the most. As such, cash rebates on road tax are definitely not the world’s best method if you are thinking of the poor.

Consumers, poor and rich, are still the most efficient decision-makers when it comes to deciding their priorities in hard times. With additional cash in hand they will naturally decide how to reduce the additional ‘pain’. Their new consumption levels will eventually decide the market price level for all goods.

The law of demand and supply will punish unscrupulous traders as it always does in a free market. (m o r e)

3: The key is not just to be thrifty when domestic prices are high but to pump cash into consumers’ hands to avoid/delay the slowdown since wages are not really growing in tandem.

As much as it’s true that you have to save to avoid a recession, you also need to spend to get out of one.

And the letter ended:

How I wish we could go back to basics to resolve this fuel subsidy issue, that is take greater pains in good times (when growth is good and everyone gets a pay increase) then the bad times wouldn’t be so bad.

But take it bit by bit every year if possible, because it is a long-term and hereditary issue. It’s not just the present government’s problem but that of both the past and the future governments.

Read Citizen X's letter H E R E.

A "side-bar" was also sent. In this one, Citizen X, responded to the Prime Minister's announcement of cost-cutting measures that could save the country RM2 billion annually.

"I am dumb-founded. Is he saying that if the government had been prudent in its spending, the country could have actually saved RM2 billion per year the last few years?

Those billions in wanton spending could have been channeled to the rakyat.

Therefore, it would be safe to assume we could have toll-free highways, LRTs not only in Kuala Lumpur but in Penang and Johor, 5000 new buses for the entire country to improve public road transport system -- all for the betterment of the people.

So the question is why didn’t the government spend less, so that it would have benefited the people more? It is wrong to say also that the government has no money because the fact, as revealed by the PM himself, is that the money was wrongly spent! The increase in fuel prices is probably a blessing in disguise as it has exposed the government’s lack of frugality. Now the government is forced to cut back and spend wisely, unlike during the good, old days.

(Read the side-bar H E R E)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cash Rebates From Today....

From today (Saturday, June 14), vehicle and motorcycle owners eligible for cash rebates can claim them at 683 post offices nationwide.

You have until March next year (under the first phase) to claim your rebates.

With the recently-announced fuel price hike, the government is offering owners of cars of up to 2,000cc, as well as pick-up trucks and jeeps of up to 2,500cc RM625 for each vehicle, while motorcyclists with vehicles of up to 250cc will receive RM150 each.

Here's what you have to do:

* bring along your original identity card or MyKad or police/army identity card.

* you will need to fill in details like their full name, identity card number and vehicle registration number on the prescribed form available at the post offices.

* those who have more than one vehicle have to fill a separate form for each vehicle, for up to five vehicles (cars or combination of cars and motorcycles).

* during the Phase I period, third parties are not allowed to make the claims on behalf of vehicle owners.

* Pos Malaysia staff will make verifications with the Road Transport Department's (JPJ) database to determine the eligibility for the cash rebate.

* under Phase I, vehicle owners whose road tax are between April 1 and May 31 this year could start claiming the subsidy from June 14 to March 31 next year.

* vehicle owners who purchased or renewed their road tax between June 1 this year and March 31, 2009, could make their claims from July 1 this year (under Phase II).

* transactions can also be made via money order, following the same procedure but claimants must include their permanent or postal address and telephone contact number in the forms before dropping the forms in the boxes provided at the post offices. The maximum waiting period is seven days and the vehicle owners can cash the money order at any nearest post office or make deposits in their bank account.

Some 2,000 counter staff members will be involved in the exercise.

(source: Bernama quoting Pos Malaysia Berhad acting managing director Datuk Abu Huraira Abu Yazid.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Right And Best Time...

"The leadership change will definitely take place at the right time. " -- Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the right (and best) time for him to step down and for his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak to take over.

Abdullah said he and Najib had "reached an agreement on the right time for a leadership change".

He said this in Kota Baru today.

Obviously, the next question is -- when is the "right and best time"?

Sorry, folks. OF COURSE, our PM is not going to divulge when that is. It's between Najib and him.

It's for us to find out.

"Datuk Seri Najib and I have decided on the right time for me to hand over the premiership to him. We've no problems and we enjoy good working relations," the Prime Minister told senior government officials and community leaders at a luncheon in Kota Baru. He is in Kelantan for a one-day visit.

Abdullah had earlier chaired a two-hour Kelantan Umno meeting.

The Bernama report (in the Star) H E R E.

Hmm..I'm guessing it'll be after the Umno elections in December. Next year, naturally. No sooner, no later?

The month? Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sanusi Removed As IIUMPresident

We might as well call a spade a spade.

Tan Sri Sanusi Junid has been sacked as president of the Islamic International University (IIUM).

And I believe he knew it (his sacking) was coming.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan replaces him as the fifth IIUM president , effective June 2.

Sanusi. whose term of office ends in 2010, had been IIUM president since February 2000.

On June 5, the former Kedah Menteri Besar told a media conference that he would not step down as IIUM president, adding that he had no intention of using the position to for political gain.

He said this amid speculation on his position as IIUM president after he quit Umno (on May 19) together with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

(Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin had remarked that Sanusi could remain until the end of his term provided he did not use his position for political gain.)

Sanusi, who has already received the letter sacking him (dated June 2), told the Star that under the university’s constitution, “the president could either resign from his office or be relieved of his position by the constitutional head on the advice of the host member”.

The Pahang Sultan is the constitutional head of the university and the host member was Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Sanusi reiterated that that he had a good relationship with the Sultan, so he thinks that the Sultan had not acted alone on his removal.

He, therefore, considers it an ‘honourable sacking.’

"As a result, I am not sad,” he remarked.

(Read Dr Mahathir's take on Sanusi's sacking H E R E.)

Well, they sure wasted little time in getting rid of him.

That's the way the cookie crumbles?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

OK For Johor DAP Wakil Rakyat To Wear Songkok.

Now, I did say, if it was TRUE (as reported by the Star) that four Johor DAP assemblymen were reluctant, hesitant or unsure about wearing the songkok as part of the official attire for the opening of the Johor state legislative assembly. After which I gave my two cents worth.

Anyway, as it turned out the DAP central executive committee (CEC) had no objection to the four assemblymen wearing the songkok at the ceremony.

The Star quoted DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as saying that the CEC had decided some time ago to allow the respective state committees to decide on their own on the wearing of the songkok.

Read the report H E R E.

So, really. What was all the fuss (by the four) about? Or did the Star get it wrong?

Between Racial And Racist...

I reproduce here a letter from Halimah Mohd Said which was published in the Star today.

"In the light of current political developments, the words “racial” and “racist” need to be explicated and put in the right context.

The word “racial” is a derivative adjective from the root noun “race” which has several shades of meaning according to the Oxford Dictionary.

Its meaning include: (i) “each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics” and (ii) “a group of people sharing the same culture, language etc; an ethnic group.”

The adjective “racist” is derived from the noun “racism” which according to the Oxford Dictionary means: (i) “the belief that there are characteristics, abilities or qualities specific to each race” and (ii) “discrimination against or antagonism towards other races”.

While “racial” has a neutral, non-emotive meaning, “racist” has emotive undertones.

The word “race” has become unpopular because of its associations with the now discredited 19th century theories of racial superiority exploited indiscriminately by certain quarters.

Today the term “ethnic group” is preferred to describe a community of people sharing the same physical and cultural characteristics.

While being partial to and protective of one’s own ethnic group is natural and should be seen as an extension of loyalty towards kin and kind, being antagonistic and discriminatory towards people who do not share one’s physical make-up and culture is not.

Speaking up for your own community is not an act of racism. It should be seen as a positive force, especially when the intention is to inspire and drive them to greater heights of achievement.

Asking the Malays to protect their own interests should be seen in this context, as it is natural for the Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups to consolidate their respective positions.

It is only when a government is prejudiced against particular ethnic groups and imposes discriminatory policies against them that it can be said to practice racism. It is only when you consistently accuse another ethnic group of being lazy or incapable that you can be said to be racist."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Anwar : Just Say When ..

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Anwar Ibrahim didn't quite say that but I am sure he's all raring to go - to take on anyone from the Barisan Nasional in a by-election,

"I am ready," he was quoted by Bernama (on Sunday).

Anwar said he had obtained approval from the Registrar of Societies to do so.

"I've received the letter from the Registrar (of Societies). My lawyers have advised that we do not need an approval letter from the AG (Attorney-General). The letter from the Registrar of Societies is sufficient ," he was reported to have said.

Anwar returned to active politics on April 15 after the expiray of a five-year ban imposed on him by the court following his conviction for corruption.

He said he was prepared to contest if any PKR Member of Parliament was willing to make way for a by-election to be held this year.

The general election regulations state that a by-election can only be called six months after a general election is held.

In the last general election, PKR won 31 parliamentary seats.

(Source: Bernama)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

No Songkok, Please. We're DAP...

Oh please, you (Johor) DAP YBs (Yang Berkhidmat) of Bentayan, Mengkibol, Senai and Skudai - just wear the songkok.

If the Star report (h e r e) is true, then I'll have to ask the YBs -- what IS your problem? Or you just want a problem?

The songkok is part of the official dress code for the opening of the Johor state legislative assembly, for heaven's sake.

It won't make you Malay-lah. I promise.

So, will the DAP central executive committee please clear the confusion and make a FINAL stand!

Steady, Dr M..

I can tell you one just can't leave Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad alone. You just can't ignore him. Not you, not me, not bloggers, and obviously, not the mainstream media.

I remember the time when there were clear instructions for the NST not to cover any of Dr M's events or statements. We were told to just "leave it to Bernama" and "see-lah if we can use it".

"He's no longer the PM anyway," a certain someone retorted.

And when Dr M made strong pronouncements on Israel, Zionism, western imperialism, et al, in his typical style, that certain someone snorted: "He should keep quiet.., he is not speaking for the government.."

I'm sure Dr M knew then that he was speaking on his own behalf. He never wavered in his conviction about certain issues.

You hate him or you love the man. But you cannot ignore him.

His blog is phenomenal.

I can imagine the everyday routine for editors and senior journalists -- going through his blog. And they just cannot ignore what he has to say.

Dr M 's blog is a good source of news. And for many, an education, in whatever form.

I've seen the newspapers publish Che Det's views..

Like this one today.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Let's Really Go On An Austerity Drive....

Remember the bullock-cart or kereta lembu? I remember these carts were still lumbering through Petaling Jaya. One driven by a Punjabi man and his young sons used to pass by our house. He sold fertiliser (cow dung) around PJ.

As you know, the bullock-cart is an efficient mode of travel. But you'd need to make one, and find yourself a couple of oxen.

Or, perhaps you'd prefer to get one of these. They're commonly used in Amsterdam. Almost everyone rides them. But, oh...I forgot...Amsterdam is low and flat and the weather is so damn cool. And the roads are cyclist-friendly.

Will They Really Get Dr M To Quit Petronas?

"They" here refers to some Umno members who Umno veteran Sanusi Junid believe want Dr Mahathir Mohamad out as Petronas adviser now that he is no longer an Umno member.

Sanusi said this at a media conference he called in Bangsar (Kuala Lumpur) yesterday to say that he was not resigning as International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) president.

He said his appointment, made by the then PM, Dr Mahathir in 2000, expires in 2010.

Sanusi made the announcement in the wake of a statement by Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin that he could remain in his position until his term expires "provided he did not use the position for political gain".

Oh, why the need to state the obvious, Khaled? And why the need for that proviso, man?
Obviously, some people must have made some noise about Dr Mahathir and Sanusi still holding posts meant exclusively for Umno members.

Sanusi said his name was proposed to the IIUM constitutional head, the Sultan of Pahang.

"I believe the Sultan will not sack me from the post."

Sanusi quit Umno the same day as Dr Mahathir on May 19.

You have to be an Umno member to be Petronas adviser? To be IIUM president?

The simple truth -- Dr M is a pain in some people's butt. So are his loyalists. Dr M and his ilk will have to go.

This is the work of self-serving, ungrateful, sychophantic and greedy Umno members.

For a more interesting report on Sanusi, read H E R E.

Be Frugal: Grow Your Own Greens And Rear Your Own Livestock

According to Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman who is FOMCA communications director, Malaysians should now review their budget, lifestyle and spending habit in accordance with the latest development (price hike).

Malaysians need to be thrifty in their life.

"If they have some spare land near their house, they can start planting vegetables. For those staying in high-rise like apartments, they can use the pots or the hydroponics method," he said.

He also suggested car pooling or change to a lower cc vehicles which consume less petrol.

And obviously, he advised us to try to cut down the expenses on utilities like telephone, water and electricity.

And etc etc etc...

(Source: BERNAMA)

Of course, in other words, we all have to change our lifestyle. Everything must be less, less and less.

But what I'd like to suggest, besides, growing your own vegetables, is -- rear your own poultry for the eggs and meat! Why don't you?

So, why don't we have our local councils amend their by-laws to allow residents (whose homes have got reasonablly-sized backyards) to "bela ayam dan itik".

If price hikes are going to be the main menu in the next five years...I'm all game to rear my own livestock!

But are the government and fellow residents up to it?

Yeah, yeah, I hear you -- so leceh, right?

Oh, Go Save The World Then..

I think that sometimes people give too much credit to bloggers.

Whatever else will they ask bloggers to do next.

Like we can save the world?

Seriously, though. I'm no political blogger but I am figuring out how political bloggers can "make use of their influence to push for a global voice to object future tradings".

And I suppose, we'd have to ask the country's numero uno political blogger, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to lead the way, if he thinks that that will help stabilise or contain petrol prices in Malaysia. Or that is worth any blogger's while.

But then, he has already given his two cents worth on the subject. H E R E

MIRI, June 5 (Bernama) -- Political bloggers in Malaysia should join forces to pressure for an end to futures trading activities that had caused the price of oil to sky-rocket worldwide, Sarawak Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications Lee Kim Shin said here Thursday.

He said instead of continuing to blame the government for the price hike, political bloggers should make use of their influence to push for a global voice to object future tradings.

"In fact, the futures traders (for petroleum) are the real culprits for this (increase in the world oil price)," he said when participating in a "New Media Technology Workshop" organised by the Mass Communications Department of Technology Department Sarawak Campus here.

South East Asia Centre for e-Media (Seacem) project manager, Sean Ang and programme administrator and web editor, Rachel Chan conducted the day-long workshop that attracted 30 participants comprising politicians, journalists and university students. - Bernama

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Frank And Open Discussion At Umno Retreat..

At least that's what I've been told.

I'm not going to be a naysayer and dismiss the gathering of 52 Umno supreme council members now at Holiday Inn Glenmarie although I am so tempted to.

They've called this very private two-day meeting a "retreat". You know, in the style of presidents and prime ministers of the world retreating to some quiet and serenity after a week of major conferencing. I have the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in mind.

But tell me, really, whether this Umno retreat will amount to anything. Really. What will it take for Umno and its leaders to accept the truth...the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Enough already.

Will the frank and open discussions with the Umno president and his men about the party's leadership crisis and all issues related to it effect the desired changes?

Will it have any bearing on Umno's leadership from now until December when the party elections take place.

Umno is still struggling to understand the problem and the crisis it is in?

Have not Umno leaders been frank and honest to the party leaders before this following the BN's devastating performance in the March 8 general election?

Whatever happened to the "exit plan" proposed in Johor recently?

Has Umno not got around to accepting the fact that Umno has been reduced to what it is because of its monumental arrogance?

Umno supreme council leaders can all agree on how to handle Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad?

Ok. So the reservoir has not been drained and Umno can still go on searching for answers and fixes.

And perhaps, who knows, the supreme council members will be straight-talking and Pak Lah will not only be listenin'..

So, until then...good luck and good night!

Here's the story.

(Always) Making Consumers Pay (More and More)..

I really don't quite care anymore how the government explains, or justifies the petrol/diesel price increase and their restructuring of the petrol subsidy.

Not convincing. I'm no economist but I am sure that there must be another way of overcoming the global oil price increase without burdening the rakyat.

The fact is the cost of EVERYTHING will now go up.

Electricity tariffs are now higher.

We, the ordinary folk, the rakyat, the consumers are made to pay more. And more.

I can feel the pinch already.

I think the motto is -"pass it on to the consumers while you still can".

So, will you change your lifestyle as our national leaders have asked us to?

Question is -- will they (our leaders) practise what they preach, lead by example and ubah their gaya hidup?

No more Prada and LV bags and the latest BMW series for the missus, eh?

Please read these:

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad here,

Anwar Ibrahim here,

Mukhriz Mahathir here

Fong Po Kuan here

Read Apanama's silent prayer here.

And Now, The Manya Blogger Award.....

...for Malaysian Indian bloggers.

Read the Star story:

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Indian bloggers will be given recognition and honour through an award initiated by Putera MIC.

There are nine categories under the Manya Blogger Award which would be decided through online voting for a one-month period starting noon on Friday.

Putera MIC coordinator P. Kamalanathan said this is the first time such an award for the Malaysian Indian bloggers is being held.

“We want to encourage more Malaysian Indians to blog and share information on the Internet,” he said Thursday at a press conference here.

He said there were about 1,000 Malaysian Indians bloggers, mainly in the 20 to 24 age group actively giving their views on various issues.

Kamalanathan said they had already shortlisted the finalists for the nine categories. Sixty per cent of the votes would be taken from online voting while another 40% would be decided by a panel of three judges.

“The online voting would be on for one month and the judges would take two weeks to make a decision and we hope to have the award ceremony in August,” he said.

He said Putera MIC would also have an online readers' award where the surfers would be required to submit their choice, irrespective of race.

“We have also created a Putera MIC award which would be given to a blogger whom we feel has created a longstanding following amongst the bloggers. It can be a disabled person or even an eight-year-old boy who is blogging,” he said.

Kamalanathan said each of the finalists would be given a certificate of participation while the winners would be given a trophy and cash prizes.

Those who want to vote can go to to cast their votes.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Proposed Incentives In Face of Rising Prices

PUTRAJAYA, Wed.: The Cabinet committee on inflation, which met here yesterday, will propose to the Cabinet for consideration the following:

* Direct cash payment to motorcyclists and small-car owners when the price of petrol goes up. Money will be paid through postal orders.

* No increase for LPG cooking gas and NGV for taxis.

* Gas subsidy to power industrial sector to be gradually reduced.

* TNB to be allowed to increase rates, with the exception of Sabah and Sarawak, but electricity increase will not affect 60 per cent of households.
* Extra tax on IPP, palm oil millers.

The Cabinet will be making an announcement on these proposals this afternoon.

These proposals will see inflation go up by 1 per cent and reduce the Gross Domestic Product by 0.5 per cent.

(Source: NST Online)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Well, I'll Say!

Betul, ke ni?

States which have come under the Pakatan Rakyat government after the March 8 general election have shown an aggressive attitude by transferring officers and evicting government agencies from buildings administered by them, the Senate sitting was told today.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said this occurred in Selangor where the Radio Selangor FM, which operates under the Broadcasting Department, was evicted from the Selangor State Secretariat building.

"Similarly, they transferred mosque officials and village heads. The federal government provides allocation for the mosque officials and religious teachers. So, we say this is unfair.

"Barisan Nasional elected representatives are also not allowed to officiate at functions organised by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department," he said when winding up the debate on the address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on his ministry.

As such, he said, the setting up of the Federal Village Development and Security Committee (JKKP) in the four states (Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor) was appropriate to ensure effectiveness in the implementation of federal government development projects at the village level.-- BERNAMA

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Big Fat Posts Of Big Fat Companies Are Only For Umno.....

You'd better believe it, folks....going by what Azalina Othman Said and Ismail Sabri Yaakob's insistence that Mokhzani Mahathir quit as Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chairman.

Read what Azalina, now Tourism Minister, said H E R E.

Also read Rocky's Bru and Apanama about the real reasons the SICk duo (Azalina and Sabri) want Mokhzani out.