Friday, October 9, 2015

Ringgit up

Ringgit soars, and that's fact.

When the local currency took a dive since early August, critics blamed it on Prime Minister Najib Razak's 'scandal' and 1MDB. They didn't believe in other dominating factors such as the oil price slump and weaker market sentiment worldwide.

Some blogs even predicted the ringgit would 'burst' at RM5 per dollar, and worst still, Najib and his government were blamed for the haze!

And now that the ringgit is appreciating steadily against the dollar, they attributed to the weakening greenback and increasing oil prices.

No credit whatsoever to Putrajaya, our economist and Bank Negara for standing up for the ringgit and the decision not to peg it to dollar.

The ringgit was poised for its biggest weekly advance since 1998 and stocks rallied as surging crude oil prices brightened prospects for Malaysia’s economy, according to Bloomberg.

Asian shares rose on Friday and a gauge of the dollar fell after minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting indicated the US central bank won’t rush to raise interest rates.

Brent crude extended gains after rising 3.4 percent on Thursday. Malaysia, Asia’s only major oil exporter, derives about 22 percent of state revenue from the commodity.
“I don’t think the Fed will give up hiking rates this year, but the FOMC minutes sound a little dovish to some” people, said Masashi Murata, vice president at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in Tokyo. “The higher oil price is also supporting the ringgit.”
The currency appreciated 2.4 percent to 4.1350 a dollar as of 10:07 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur, taking its gains for the week to 6.7 percent, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier climbed to 4.1213, the strongest level since Aug. 21.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index advanced 1.1 percent on Friday and 5 percent from Oct. 2, headed for the biggest weekly gain since 2008.

Negative sentiment toward emerging markets has abated since weaker-than-expected US jobs data last week tempered speculation the Fed will tighten monetary policy by year-end. Odds of a Fed liftoff in 2015 have fallen below 50 percent, compared with 61 percent a week ago, futures data show.

While Fed officials noted the US economy continues to improve, the committee decided to wait for additional data confirming the outlook for growth, the minutes showed yesterday. Officials cited increasing risks, mainly from China, while saying they were on track to increase rates this year.
Data this week showed Malaysian exports and the trade surplus exceeded economists’ estimates. Overseas shipments increased 4.1 percent in August from a year earlier while the trade gap widened to 10.2 billion ringgit ($2.5 billion), the highest in nine months. The median forecast of economists had been for a 1.3 percent gain in exports and a 4.1 billion ringgit surplus.
The ringgit still remains Asia’s worst-performing currency in 2015, with a 16 percent decline. Malayan Banking Bhd. cautioned against “complacent trades” in the ringgit as it’s likely to remain volatile amid lingering concerns about the outlook for emerging markets, analysts led by Singapore-based Saktiandi Supaat wrote in a report Thursday.
Sovereign bonds fell this week, with the 10-year yield rising three basis points to 4.17 percent, according to prices from Bursa Malaysia.
So, why still no positive write ups from those 'instant economists'?

A police state?

Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, the Bar Council and others are calling Malaysia a 'police state' for the arrest of lawyer Matthias Chang and a few government critics.

I remember former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad using similar terminology during the era of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the 'appearance' of police personnel at any of his political 'ceramah' and event, and for being imposed a total blackout by the mainstream media.

A police state? How do you label Malaysia a police state when we have only about 118,000 police personnel to look after 30 million citizens and another estimated 5 to 7 million foreigners? To become a police state, we may need at least 5 per cent of the population for the force or 1.5 million of them.

Please have some appreciation and sympathy for Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) who has been under unscrupulous attacks by those undermining the rule of law (what?), the opposition and professionals who think the police only expedite their duty at the instruction of the government.

Yes, you may stand up for Chang and tell others to resist arrest but it is not at all fair to call the police (in carrying out their duty) 'celaka', 'anjing' and by other names when you yourself would seek their assistance in the event of theft, burglary and other crimes.

How could you? Those who hate the police are the ones indulging in illegal activities.

And what are deemed as illegal? You answer that for yourself. Even when the police declared some street demonstrations as illegal, they still accommodated them...and you still call them names!

You only care for people like Chang and former Batu Kawan Umno vice chief Khairuddin because you think they are fighting for you cause - to bring down the legitimate government. Do you care for some policemen who died in their line of duty, and their families?

When was the last time your heard Kit Siang, Guan Eng, the Bar Council, Suhakam and the self-proclaimed human rights groups extended their condolences and sympathies to families of policemen killed or injured while carrying out their duty? NONE!

Guan Eng called Chang's arrest as undermining the 'rule of law'. Pity him for failing to understanding what rule of law is when even any layman understands it. He and daddy Kit Siang and others see whatever law introduced by the government as oppressive and not suitable for the country.

I'm just wondering if Pakatan Rakyat would repeal all strict laws should they come to power in the next general election. Whether Najib Razak will still be around is not an issue (he gotta to settle it) but the direction in which the country will take under the new regime, is worrisome.

Chang is in police lock-up and I believe he will be released very soon. Just like other 'self made celebrities' - Jamal Sekinchan, Ali Tinju and others who 'chose to be locked-up' for some reasons or objectives (maybe for cheap publicity), Chang too - as a lawyer - understands all laws enacted in the country. It was the same set of laws when he served Dr Mahathir's era.

But don't blame the police. Just like politicians, doctors, lawyers and journalists alike, there are good and bad policemen. It shouldn't paint a bad picture on their respective institution.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Another arrest... are we 'over reacting'?

On the day former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan was arrested, I was discussing with some friends, including two senior police officers, on the possibility of his lawyer Matthias Chang be hauled up.

All eight of them said 'yes' by pointing out to the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act of SOSMA.

And finally, it happened today. Chang has been arrested under the new Act following in the same path of his client, Khairuddin who lodged police reports overseas.

Chang was arrested this afternoon at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, after a visit to see his client, Khairuddin. And prior to his arrest, police had questioned Chang on two separate occasions.

The ex-political secretary of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was informed of a travel ban imposed on him on September 18, together with Khairuddin as both were leaving for the US to see Federal Bureau of Investigation officials regarding 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB.

That same day Khairuddin was arrested under Section 124(C) of the Penal Code for activities deemed detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

On September 23, Khairuddin was re-arrested outside the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex in Jalan Duta under Sosma, and is still in remand at the Dang Wangi police station.

I am not sure if the authority is a bit 'over reacting' to people like these but both deserve equal rights - to unveil the truth about 1MDB and contain the increasing tendency of our people in finding 'confidant' in foreigners since we already have a creditable police force and other enforcement agencies.

Too many such arrests is not 'healthy' to our democracy but over-freedom for inviting foreigners to meddle in our domestic affairs is also not right although some parties say nothing is wrong with it. Why go for the FBI and why not Mossad?

“It is as though there are ‘hidden hands’ that want to cover the mistakes of certain parties. This is truly unacceptable.
“The latest incident was the arrest of Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 or SOSMA, just because he lodged reports with foreign authorities concerning 1MDB transactions.
"As I recall, SOSMA is a law passed by our Parliament to curb acts of violence or terrorism."
Muhyiddin questioned how lodging reports with foreign agencies on corporate companies are deemed as terrorism.

“Has 1MDB become an institution so invincible and highly protected by the country’s authorities? I don’t think so. Lodging reports against 1MDB is not an act of terror, and 1MDB is not untouchable. 1MDB is an entity subjected to the country’s laws,” he said.

If anything, said Muhyiddin, those who report on alleged wrongdoings in 1MDB should instead be given protection.

Muhyiddin could be right, could be wrong also...

Uglier it gets

It gets uglier.

Two people who used to share the 'same house' under the premiership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad are now exchanging jabs, which could cast a bad spell on Barisan Nasional.

Former Cabinet Minister Dr Ling Liong Sik has joined his former boss in demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation.

It looks like the matter will drag both to the court.

The former MCA president said he will defend himself in court if he is sued by Najib. In a Press statement, Dr Ling said he accepted the PM’s challenge.
“I was extremely surprised when I received a letter from the Prime Minister’s lawyers accusing me of defaming him.
“I was also extremely surprised that the contents of the letter had been splashed all over the media. Not only that, according to media reports, the Prime Minister himself has publicly stated that he has demanded an apology from me.
“Thus, I say to the Prime Minister, if you choose to sue me, I will defend myself. In all humility, I accept your challenge.
“I look forward to seeing the Prime Minister take the witness stand, as no doubt he would do if he says his reputation is at stake.”
Najib's lawyer, in the meantime said will wait for the stipulated seven days to lapse and for an official reply from Dr Ling before initiating legal proceedings against the former MCA president.

"I will wait for the seven days given to YAB Tun Dr Ling to expire next Monday and look forward to an official reply in written form to be given to me either by Tun Dr Ling or his lawyers," Hafarizam Harun told The Star Online.

Dr Ling also said he will not apologise.

"I say to the Prime Minister, if you choose to sue me, I will defend myself. In all humility, I accept your challenge. I want to reiterate that I stand by what I said. I will not apologise," said Dr Ling.

On Saturday, the former Transport Minister openly called for Najib to step down as Prime Minister, saying he agreed with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's calls for his resignation.

Dr Ling also said that he attended the Bersih demonstration in Perth, Australia and was in support of a vote of no-confidence against Najib.

Former MCA president Tun Ling Liong Sik said in a statement today that he was ready to accept the challenge of prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to sue him for making allegedly slanderous remark. - See more at:
PETALING JAYA, Oct 7 (MySinchew) -- Former MCA president Tun Ling Liong Sik said in a statement today that he was ready to accept the challenge of prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to sue him for making allegedly slanderous remark.
Ling said he was extremely surprised by Najib's lawyer letter and that the incident had been widely covered by the media.
Najib has openly called for his apology.
"I say to the prime minister, if you choose to sue me, I will defend myself. In all humility I accept your challenge.
- See more at:
Former MCA president Tun Ling Liong Sik said in a statement today that he was ready to accept the challenge of prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to sue him for making allegedly slanderous remark.
Ling said he was extremely surprised by Najib's lawyer letter and that the incident had been widely covered by the media.
Najib has openly called for his apology.
"I say to the prime minister, if you choose to sue me, I will defend myself. In all humility I accept your challenge.
"I look forward to seeing the PM take the witness stand, as no doubt he would do if he says his reputation is at stake."
To sum it up, Ling said, "I stand by what I said. I will not apologize."
- See more at:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

'Melayu' or 'Olang (Orang) You'?


Is it 'Cilaka Punya Melayu!' or 'Cilaka Punya Olang (orang) You'?

It wasn't very clear.

However, hurling abusive words toward the police personnel is also 'not nice', improper.

Why must we utter 'Melayu Bodoh' or 'Cina Babi' or 'Celaka' against each other? What is our gain?

Please think about the future of our next generations...

Defending the Sedition Act 1948

I remember Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said this in 2014, about a year before replacing Muhyiddin Yassin as Deputy Prime Minister: "Its actually not easy to apply the Sedition Act on anybody but the country needs it for security reasons, not for politics...and not for government critics. It will make us very unpopular but for a stable, harmonious and peaceful Malaysia, we must retain it... and the people should support it."

In simple words, the Sedition Act 1948 must stay. Freedom of expression does not mean one can easily provoke racial or religious sentiment, make seditious remarks and anything that could lead to public unrest and discomfort.

For a multiracial and multi religious country like Malaysia, we cannot subscribe to the system of a one-race nation because race and religion sentiments have proven fatal to our peace and stability.

The opposition, human rights groups and their NGOS may continue applying pressure for Putrajaya to repeal the 'draconian' Act but we cannot make another big mistake like when we repealed the Internal Security Act (ISA) about four years ago, which opened the doors to uncontrolled elements of 'a la subversive'.

Thanks to the Federal Court in Putrajaya yesterday for declaring the Sedition Act 1948 constitutional and that its penalties are a reasonable restriction on the right to free speech.

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria said this in dismissing law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom’s petition challenging the law on the grounds that under Article 10(2) of the Federal Constitution, only Parliament could enact laws that restrict freedom of expression.

Justice Arifin ruled that a less restrictive interpretation of the phrase “Parliament may by law” (as stated in Article 10) was needed to be read in harmony with Article 162, which allows pre-Merdeka laws to continue to be used.
“Therefore the Act being an existing law at the material date should continue to be valid and enforceable post-Merdeka,” he said in a 10-page summary of the unanimous judgment for the media.
In addressing the question of whether the Sedition Act’s criminalisation of expression was an unreasonable restriction, the panel disagreed.

Justice Arifin noted that in the final draft of Article 10(2), the word “reasonable” as a qualifier to restrictions that could be imposed by Parliament was omitted.
“We are inclined to agree ... that it is not for the court to determine whether the restriction imposed by legislature pursuant to Article 10(2) is reasonable or otherwise,” he said.
The five-man panel, which also included Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif, Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, Justices Abdull Hamid Embong and Suriyadi Halim Omar ordered the case be remitted to the Sessions Court.

Azmi’s counsel Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said he would need to study the judgment before advising his client on how to proceed.

Deputy Solicitor General II Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah said that with the resolution of this case, the prosecution could move ahead with the other sedition cases that have been stayed in view of Azmi’s petition.

On Nov 5, last year, the High Court invoked its power under Section 84 of the Court of Judicature Act 1964 to refer Azmi’s sedition case to the Federal Court for determination, as it involved questions of the constitutionality of the Act.

Azmi, 45, claimed trial on Sept 2 last year to making seditious comments in an article titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told,” that was published in an English online portal on Aug 14.

The lecturer, also a columnist with The Star, was charged under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Sedition Act, with an alternative charge under Section 4 (1)(c) of the same Act. He faces a maximum fine of RM5,000 or jail not exceeding three years, or both.

Azmi may be an expert in law but like a doctor, he may only good at one or two disciplines. The Sedition Act had, on many occasions, been successful in addressing extreme ideologies deemed harmful to the nation and the rakyat.

Yes, anybody can challenge the Act and the Federal Constitution but any law that serves for national security should be well accepted by level-headed minds. Unless there are people who simply want to incite confrontation and plunge the country into chaos!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Settle 1MDB fiasco: Malay Rulers

We are still engulfed by the 'haze' about 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, unsure if the matter can be solved soon, or remains unsolved.

However, it gained the attention of our Malay Rulers who think the issue has been affecting the administration.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 (Bernama) -- The Malay Rulers want the government to complete the investigation related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad as soon as possible and take "the appropriate stern action" against all found to be implicated.In a statement, their royal highnesses stressed that all concerned should extend "real and sincere" cooperation for the investigation to achieve its objectives."The findings of the investigation must be reported comprehensively and in a transparent manner so that the people will be convinced of the sincerity of the government which shall not at all conceal facts and the truth," they said.The statement was released by the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal, Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, after the pre-council meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara today. The 239th meeting of the Conference of Rulers is scheduled for two days from tomorrow.The statement said: "The failure to give convincing clarifications and answers is feared to have resulted in a crisis of confidence."
Well, I believe the calls should get to the top ranks of 1MDB and also Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.