Friday, May 29, 2015

'Jom Heboh (or Roboh)' politics

Our politics really draw attention of late. Popularity rises - to personal gain and loss, depending on how we play it.

It gains attention, fast. In some aspects, the rate of one's popularity shoots up like a celebrity; in fact much more popular.


Since everybody wants to play the game by riding on boiling issues - 1 Malaysia Development Board (1MDB), Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Goods and Services Tax (GST), graft, security matters, Rohingya refugees, 'hudud' and many more - our politicians (I guess) should instead takeover TV3 'Jom Heboh' nationwide tour.

Politics of entertainment, yes? And who are taking care of the 'rakyat' when our politicians turn celebrities?

Latest media reports, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is set to hit the road for a nationwide tour to deliver a message that he is still in charge and not bowing to pressure to step down.

The Prime Minister returned from Japan on Tuesday night to a week packed with meetings and events that will also see him going to Perlis on Saturday to meet Umno leaders, have lunch at Dewan Wawasan 2020 in Kangar and pre­sent awards to the “Desa Sejahtera 1Malaysia” winners in Kampung Kurong Tengar in Kuala Perlis.

In the past weeks, Najib attended several other large gatherings. He was in Kota Belud, Tawau, Johor Baru, Gopeng and his “base” Pekan where he enjoyed the attention of big crowds.
At previous events, Najib did not only explain Government policies, but made use of the platform to explain issues where he has come under fire – BR1M, Tabung Haji’s controversial purchase of 1MDB land in Tun Razak Exchange, his leadership and demands for his resignation.
A Johor Umno leader said the good turnout at the Prime Minister’s function could be an indication that he was still popular among many despite former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s accusations.
“Or perhaps they came to hear from the man himself explain what had happened. Whatever it is, Najib should stand up and defend himself. He should tell his side of the story. But he must also convince the people that he is committed to resolve issues that have been raised,” said the leader.
Umno veteran Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Rahman said while Najib should go to the ground and rebut the allegations, he should keep attacks on Dr Mahathir to the minimum.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is on a one-week break, is also expected to return to a busy schedule full of meetings and public appearances before the start of Ramadan.

And don't forget Dr Mahathir himself. The 'warlord' will not give up hope to push Najib out of Putrajaya. Frankly, I don't think Najib's road show will put a stop to the former premier's escalating attacks on him.

Also, those on the Opposition bench.

While some government lawmakers are also applying pressure on Najib to reveal everything about 1MDB, Pakatan Rakyat too is busy sharpening is knife on the Cabinet, with hope Najib will resign and choose his successor - or even to call for fresh polls.

So, everybody is going on a road show. Interesting!

Okay guys. Keep moving, as you wish. Be the celebrity you adore, and serenade us (the rakyat) the political song you yourself composed! Please add a new song 'Rakyat Cukup Makankah?' to your long list.

And let's see if the 'rakyat' still have ears for all these crap!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What's now and next, Najib and Mahathir?

Tit for tat?

I don't think so. PM Najib Tun Razak has every reasons to answer his critics, especially his former boss Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Doesn't matter if the answer comes a 'little bit too late' (after his image is tarnished) as long as it provides some remedies to those who have sickened their own heart and brain over his administrative issues, i.e 1MDB, Felda etc.


And as to whether those 'open forum' accusations are right or wrong, the damage is not Najib but more on Barisan Nasional, Umno and the Malays.

In his blog today, the prime minister hits back at Dr Mahathir for echoing malicious Opposition rumours about an alleged RM24mil ring purportedly purchased by his wife.
“It is a lie, and the company had clarified that such a ring was never bought by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. It is regrettable that someone of his stature should pass on such slander to the people,” Najib said in a post on www.najibrazak.com.
Najib said Dr Mahathir’s criticisms were “unfair or misleading” and refuted his claims about the replacement Government jet.
“He echoed the Opposition in raising the replacement Govern­ment jet, claiming that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong does not use the jet, calling me a liar. But again this is false, His Majesty was in fact the first VIP passenger to use the new aircraft for a trip to Langkawi, and will continue to do so,” he said.
“It is wrong for Dr Mahathir and any party member to undermine the party leadership just because their personal wishes are not met,” he said, adding that he had insisted on support for the leadership during Dr Mahathir’s 22 years in power.
“We did our part then, and I supported him through thick and thin. I did so because I believed then, as I do now, that party unity is a prere­quisite for what we want to achieve for the country,” said Najib.
“I have the people’s mandate and I am answerable to the party and the people, not to one individual. At the next general election and party election, the party and the rakyat can exercise their democratic rights through the ballot box,” he said.
He also rebutted Dr Mahathir’s statements about the challenges faced by the Government’s investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad, saying the claim that he was responsible for a loss of RM42bil as a “deliberate twisting of the facts”.

Well... he may sound too defensive, likening Dr Mahathir as 'parroting' what the Opposition are saying about him, Rosmah, his family and government.

I am not defending Najib, neither do I entirely agree with Dr M but something must be done before the bickering 'helps' Barisan Nasional downfall in the next general election. Both have valid words against each other.

But we better be prepared for that. Given a choice, I would like to choose Azmin Ali as our next PM. Boleh ka?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Two 'very okay' cases

Let's follow this two cases, 1MDB and Felda. Both are under unscrupulous attacks by the opposition and the government's opponents.

First, the 1MDB. Despite severe attacks on 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Prime Minister Najib Razak still gives a glorious picture about the government's entity.

In a written answer to a question from Wong Chen (PLR-Kelana Jaya) at the Parliament today, he said the total worth of 1MDB audited assets for the financial year ended March 31, 2014 was RM51.4 billion.

(NOTE: Also read Rocky's Bru on some crap produced by the Opposition on 1MDB)

The assets comprised current assets worth RM19.5 billion and non-current assets valued at RM31.9 billion. He said 1MDB has solid assets, including two sites earmarked for the Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia in the capital.

Other assets include a 94.69-hectare (234 acres) land in Penang, 13 power plants, and desalination (facilities) in five countries, he added.
"The value of the 1MDB assets is supported by its valuation or book value, which was confirmed by an independent auditor (Deloitte)," according to Najib.
To a written question from Tony Pua Kiam Wee (DAP-Petaling Jaya), Najib said that the arrangement between 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) was made at 'arm's length' with the commercial terms concluded in accordance with market standards.
This is based on information submitted by 1MDB management to the Ministry of Finance, he said.
"An appropriate announcement will be made when the final redemption option value is completed and reported in the next audited financial statements," he added.
I believe Najib is also more than ready to 'clear' the issue once and for all amid mounting pressure for him to sack the whole 1MDB board of directors.

And he might have to give that to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) first.
KUALA LUMPUR: The present and two former auditors of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) are to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) next month to assist in the inquiry into the government investment firm.
PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said letters have been sent to the Finance Ministry for Deloitte and previous auditor KPMG to meet the committee on June 10 and June 17.
He said the letters were sent to the ministry on Monday. Another previous auditor, Ernst & Young, would be called at a later date.
Meanwhile, not satisfied that the BOD and Najib are 'still around', PKR Rafizi Ramli tried to link 1MDB with the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).

He said the 11MP is merely a series of projects costing over RM200 billion planned to beef up the coffers of connected people and cronies with no real impact on the economy, an opposition lawmaker told a forum in Kuala Lumpur last night.

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli further warned that if the people were not careful, projects under the 11MP would be geared to pluck off the losses of debt-ridden state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

What a crap!


"You will hear of more and more projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan being built on 1MDB land, in Sungei Besi, in Tun Razak Exchange, in order to add value to 1MDB to be able to cover its losses," Rafizi said.
He said what was most important was to keep watch because just a little nod off could result in huge losses to the country.


And now, let's move to Felda. A report says there is nothing wrong with the purchases of luxury properties in London.
KUALA LUMPUR: There is no wrongdoing in the case of Felda Investment Corp’s (FIC) purchases of two high-end properties in London, Parliament was told.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said no offences were discovered under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 from early investigations. 
“If any party has additional information or evidence on the issue, it can be forwarded to the MACC for further action,” he said in a written reply to Loke Siew Fook (DAP – Seremban).
Loke had asked the minister reveal the status of the MACC’s investigation into the two purchases made by FIC.
It was reported that the FIC, the investment arm of Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), had acquired a 4-star hotel in the upmarket Kensington area in London for £60mil (RM330mil). 
Called Park City Hotel, with 62 guest rooms and two units of three-bedroom serviced apartments, it was renamed to Grand Plaza Hotel.

FIC also bought the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments in Bayswater, London for £98mil (RM538mil). FIC was established in 2013, with a focus on real estate, hospitality and oil and gas sectors.

When the issue popped up a few months ago, many criticis said it would bring down the entire FIC regime, and the Barisan Nasional government as well.

Well, they should bite their tongue more after this...

No double standards

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday denied allegations that the government, notably the police, practised double standards in dealing with protesters.


In his written answer to DAP Lim Kit Siang at the Parliament, Zahid said the police had never practiced double standards including by way of selective investigation or action.

He was referring to the police dealing with “kid’s gloves” 50 Muslims who demanded on April 19 that the cross at the Community of Praise Church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, be taken down, and another protest against the GST where the authorities acted “harshly”.

The anti-GST protest was in the form of a picket in front of the Customs Headquarters in Kelana Jaya. About a 100 people involved in the sit-in, on March 23, had 106 questions to which they wanted answers from Customs.

The Home Minister said that 79 people were arrested for the GST sit-in including 25 remanded for two days on March 24 and March 25.
"(A total of) 52 people were charged in stages at the Petaling Jaya Court on April 23 and May 2. Case management has been set for Tuesday.”
Besides investigating under the Minor Offences Act 1955, the police investigated the protest in Kelana Jaya, organised by Gabungan Bantah GST and led by Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), under section 143 of the Penal Code and section 353 i.e. being part of an unlawful assembly and deterring a civil servant from his duties respectively.
The protest at the Church, said Zahid, was investigated under section 448/511 of the Penal Code which refers to “trying to infiltrate a building”.
"The Federal Constitution allows the freedom to gather,” he pointed out. “However, there are limits under the country’s laws.”
He pledged that police were in the process of completing the investigation papers on the cross protest and they would be forwarded to the Attorney General’s Chambers. “Those involved have been identified and their statements taken.”

I think Lim was trying to sensationalise the issue. Accusing the police of practicing double standards in investigations involving rallies organised by anti-government groups will add weigh to Pakatan Rakyat's politics.

To them, the police is the best available tool to batter the government.

Not that they don't like the police. They need them 'as dogs'! That's how they described PDRM, remember?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Aquino a 'pain in the ass!'

Sabah belongs to Malaysia, legally. The United Nations (UN) has recognised the state as part of Malaysia.

However, our friends (are they?) in the Philippines keep saying Sabah is part of their territories. Their president Benigno Aquino III said Manila will not recognise 'Sabah in Malaysia', and neither will they drop their claim over Sabah.

Aquino's stand is hurting Malaysia-Philippines good relations. I can't help but question his sincerity, especially in joint effort to combat terrorism in southern Mindanao. Has he really been helping us? Or he has been giving soft permitting to the Suluk people and pirates to provoke Malaysia by launching a series of kidnapping in eastern Sabah!
KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia is reiterating its stand that it does not recognise any claim over Sabah.
Wisma Putra said Sabah had been recognised by the United Nations and international community as being part of Malaysia since Sept 16, 1963.
This was the message Malaysia conveyed to Philippines charge d’affaires Merdardo G Macaraig who was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on May 19.
The Ministry said in a statement that Macaraig was summond in the wake of a statement by Philippine president Benigno Aquino III that he had no intention to drop his country’s claim over Sabah.
Aquino said this in an interview with Philippines journalist Raissa Robbles on May 15.
The question was posed to Aquino amid growing speculation that Manila would drop the Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for a Bangsamoro government in southern Philippines.
During a recent interview with a local newspaper, Aquino has maintained the Philippines will not drop its claim over Sabah, but that there are factors to consider before making moves to press for it.

In a portion of a transcript of an interview by journalist Raissa Robles on the Sabah issue, the President said giving up Sabah would “open such a big can of worms in this country.”

He said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima did a study on the matter and “one of the biggest issues there is the right of self-determination which, I understand, is part of the United Nations Charter.”
“It’s supposed to trump everything, whether historical fact, et cetera. At the end of the day, people who are living there, if they are asked, will they say they want to join us or they want to join Malaysia? There was supposed to have been a vote done,” Aquino said.
The Philippines maintains a territorial claim over eastern Sabah (formerly known as North Borneo ) by saying the agreement signed in 1878 between the Sultan of Sulu and the North Borneo Chartered Co. was merely a lease and did not strip the country of its sovereignty over the area.

So, does he expect us to trust him and his government?

In some attacks and kidnappings in Sabah, Manila should take up a major role in persuading the Suluk and pirates to refrain from becoming a threat to Sabah security. However, I don't think Aquino cares about his relation with Kuala Lumpur.

In KOTA KINABALU last week, IGP Khalid Abu Bakar said the Philippine government must take responsibility and come down hard on the militants who use the south islands as a base to terrorise and kidnap Malaysians.

He was commenting on the latest kidnapping incident in Sandakan, Sabah last Thursday when four armed men raided the seaside Ocean King Seafood Restaurant and kidnapped its co-owner and a customer.

He said the Philippine government should take measures to wipe out terrorist organisations which continuously intrude into Malaysia and commit crimes here.

“It’s up to them what kind of action they should take, but it needs to have an impact so that these groups stop coming here and targeting our people and our tourists,” the Malay Mail quoted Khalid as saying.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Shocking discovery!

No small matter!

The discovery of mass graves in Padang Besar, Perlis believed to be of refugees is a shock to us, exposing how easy it is for illegal immigrants and refugees to enter our common border with Thailand.

We need to have a second look at our border surveillance, especially in finding the culprits who 'open up' our territory to them.

I believe Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is taking up the matter seriously and will call meetings with respective authorities to solve the problems.
KAJANG, May 24 (Bernama) -- The Home Ministry Sunday confirmed the discovery of mass graves near 17 tents believed to have been used to accommodate refugees in Padang Besar, Perlis.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the General Operations Force (GOF) and the VAT 69 Commando unit had found 14 large tents and three other smaller tents located on the Malaysia-Thailand border.
Shocked by the discovery, he said the tents were believed to have been operational for at least five years and they were said to have been abandoned when the authorities came to the location.
"Today, the inspector-general of police (IGP) and his deputy are at the Malaysia-Thailand border for identification and confirmation. The graves were identified as those for the refugees in the human trafficking trade.
"Probably, one grave has maybe three, four bodies or maybe only one. So we are counting at the moment.
"The PGA and VAT 69 are still investigating it and searching the areas. With the cooperation of Thailand, we will find more and more (bodies)," he told reporters after officiating the Home Ministry Family Day at the Maktab Penjara Malaysia, in Kajang.
Ahmad Zahid said the IGP and his deputy would announce the details on the matter in the near future.
We need cooperation from all sectors of the community. However, sad to note that the Opposition and its NGOs didn't care much about national security matters by criticising the government over the manner in which we attended to the woes of refugees and illegal immigrants.

Malaysia is at the centre of international media coverage for the in flux of refugees from Myanmar and illegal immigrants from various countries. The condemned us for the kind of 'good treatment' given to them but declining to single our the third countries that promised to help address the matter.

We have one too many of them already, and we can't forever accept them on our land when the countries of origin did nothing.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Only Hadi Awang is sensible

Among Pakatan Rakyat leaders, I think only Hadi Awang is level-headed.

Not only that he commended the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) but also advised Malaysians to give time to the government to rectify whatever weakness in the administration.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang reportedly said the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) is capable of bringing about a positive impact to the country and the people.
Newsportal Astro Awani in an article yesterday reported Hadi as having said that the various facilities provided for the people, as well as for the country’s development is balanced out with conservation of the environment.
This was a good effort, according to the Marang member of Parliament.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled the 11MP in Parliament on Thursday, which was people-centric in the country’s ‘final lap’ to attain the status of a developed nation.
Hadi who spoke to reporters after Friday prayers in his constituency in Terengganu yesterday, however, stressed that there were still many weaknesses that should be paid attention to and handled wisely by the government under Najib.
Saying that he will speak in Parliament next week, Hadi mentioned that there were negative and positive elements, adding that those in the East Coast were still left behind in terms of certain facilities.

“We will give him a chance to correct all that,” he was quoted as saying, further stating PAS’ stand to “give a chance to the government to correct its weaknesses”.

What about other PR leaders... and some within Umno itself?