Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get it right, Bernard. It's the "rakyat". Period.

Barisan Rakyat? What "Barisan Rakyat" is Bernard Khoo talking about?

Malaysiakini named the "rakyat" as the newsmaker of the year and NOT "Barisan Rakyat", a term coined by a few anti-Government activists. In actual fact, it was just the plain "rakyat" who brought about the changes that we saw in 2008. I wish Bernard will not put a spin to it and call it "Barisan Rakyat".

Many or even a majority I would say voted for the Opposition not because the Opposition is good but because they were angry with the Government led by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. I don't think they are turncoats. I am sure Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak will remedy the situation when he takes over.

Kudos also to bloggers who managed to change a few things during the year.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tuanku Jaafar Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman (1922-2008)

Saya turut bersedih di atas kemangkatan DYMM Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan Al-Marhum Tuanku Jaafar Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman pagi tadi.

DYMM Tuanku Jaafar, putera kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agung yang pertama Al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman Al-Marhum Tuanku Muhammad, telah dilahirkan pada Julai 19, 1922. Tuanku Jaafar telah memerintah Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus selama 40 tahun, bermula dari 6 April 1968.

Semasa pemerintahan DYMM Tuanku Jaafar, saya telah dikurniakan anugerah kebesaran sebanyak dua kali sempena hari keputeraannya, Pingat Khidmat Cemerlang Masyarakat pada tahun 2002 dan Bintang Ahli Setia Negeri Sembilan pada tahun 2005.

Selama 4 dekad, DYMM Tuanku Jaafar telah memerintah Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus dengan penuh adil dan saksama.

Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan di syurga Firdausi seperti yang telah dijanjikan kepada hamba-hambaNya yang soleh.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

To all my Christian friends, I wish you a Merry Christmas and to everyone, a Happy New Year. Let's leave behind our sorrows during this festive season and rejoice with our beloved ones.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pengambilalihan IJN oleh Sime Darby batal

Saya mengucapkan tahniah kepada kerajaan kerana telah menunda (tersurat), membatalkan (tersirat) pengambilalihan Institut Jantung Negara oleh Kumpulan Sime Darby Berhad.

Saya berharap kerajaan akan mengambil kira pendapat rakyat dahulu sebelum membuat keputusan sebegini pada masa depan.

Saya juga mengucapkan tahniah kepada 35 orang pakar perunding di IJN yang telah mengeluarkan satu kenyataan untuk membetulkan persepsi bahawa isu kenaikan gaji mereka adalah satu faktor untuk menswastakan IJN.

Berikut adalah kenyataan penuh yang dikeluarkan:

19th December 2008

Statement from IJN medical consultants

We read with concern the perceived perception that the medical staff of IJN are demanding higher pay and will leave IJN if these demands are not met.

We feel it is important that these negative perceptions are correctly put into context.

The institution was set up in 1992 as a corporate body directly under the purview of Ministry of Finance. Its board of Directors include representatives from Ministry of Health and MOF to ensure its direction and objectives of providing good quality and affordable medical care to Malaysians from all walks of life are adhered to.

In that respect, IJN has done and continue to do well, both in maintaining its moral as well as financial obligations. The institution has been self-sustaining since its inception (and has been able to pay year end bonuses annually without fail). For 2007 and up to end Nov 2008, we have accumulated 285,764 number of outpatients, performed 15,084 cardiac catheterization interventions including angiograms and angioplasties, 6,094 heart and lung surgeries, 7 mechanical hearts and heart and lung transplants surgeries.

As true with any organization of our size, there will be people leaving the organization at various times in order to pursue different career paths. Over the last 7 years of operation, out of a total of 35 consultants, only 7 have left IJN to work either in local or overseas private centres. Therefore, our consultants' annual attrition rate is only 3%, and we have responded consistently over time to promote our home grown talents to fill up the voids accordingly. Currently, 75% of IJN consultants have been in their posts for more than 10 years.

All of us are salaried based on a different payscale than that of the MOH though not at par with the private centres. Periodic review of salary scale is usually undertaken, subject to approval from Ministry of Finance.

As proven from our consultants' attrition rate and longevity in serving this institution, it is logical to surmise that on the whole we are happy with the current scheme and proving it by remaining with IJN. Many of us have served than 10 years, excluding time spent within the MOH Hospitals prior to setting up of IJN.

Whilst we have yet to have a clear picture of the proposed privatization by Sime Darby, we would like to reiterate our commitment to serve IJN in its current form and want to stress that the proposed privatization of IJN must not be seen to be as a response to our demands for better pay. The medical personnel of IJN are not at all involved, directly or otherwise, in the negotiations for the said privatization.

Being responsible employees of IJN, we are not in the position to dictate the outcome of the privatization proposal from Sime Darby to the stakeholders of IJN. However, the perception that the privatization proposal is in response to demands for higher remunerations by its medical staff is misconceived and must be corrected accordingly to safeguard and preserve the trust placed upon us by our patients.


1. Sharifah Suraya Syed Mohd Tahir
2. Suhaini Kadiman
3. Nor Azlina Abdul Jalil
4. Ariffin Marzuki Mokhtar
5. Thiru Kumar Namasivayam
6. Mohd Sharif Mohd Shaffie
7. Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Ariff
8. Azhari Rosman
9. Amin Ariff Nuruddin
10. Ahmad Khairddin Mohd Yusof
11. Aiza Aizan Abdul Rahim
12. Mohd Nasir Muda
13. Shaiful Azmi @ Jamauddin Yahaya
14. Balachandaran Kandasamy
15. Azlan Hussin
16. Razali Omar
17. Chew Soon Ping @ David Chew
18. Rosli Mohd Ali
19. Robaayah Zambahari
20. Mohd Azhari Yakub
21. Pau Khew Kong
22. Sivakumar Sivalingam
23. Abdul Rais Sanusi
24. Hew Chee Chin
25. Hamdan Leman
26. Alwi Mohamed Yunus

IJN issue - people's opinions ignored?

Call it a gut feeling, but I think the issue of selling Institut Jantung Negara to Sime Darby Berhad is going to be the Barisan Nasional Government's most unpopular decision since the petrol hike. The petrol hike as we know, was one of the reasons for BN's worst ever performance in the 2008 general election. I am not talking about the RM0.78 petrol hike after the election which of course, angered the people even more. I am talking about the earlier ones.

On the outset, the selling of IJN to Sime Darby may look like a simple business deal. But to many Malaysians, it is not.

First, the sentimental reasons - IJN was founded by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the nation's fourth Prime Minister at a time cardiovascular disease became the No 1 killer in Malaysia. So when you are caught in the traffic jam along Jalan Tun Razak like we often do, and when we take a look at IJN, the first thing that comes to mind is Dr Mahathir and the fact that this institution was built by him for the people. The institution is now so popular that people from all over the world seek treatment there. The poor who are only required to pay a nominal fee, are also welcome at IJN. They are never shooed away like some private hospitals. The Government servants and their spouses also enjoy the same treatment, I was told.

Secondly, the commercial reason - why should it be sold to Sime Darby? Why wasn't it open to other companies who specialise in hospitals? Although both the Government and Sime Darby have given the assurance that the poor will still be able to get cheap treatment, people simply don't buy it. True, Sime Darby has the financial capability to increase the salaries of specialists to US$30,000 a month, but where will its profits come from. This has to be made clear. You cannot treat 3,000 rich patients a month for a higher fee and try to balance it up with 50,000 poor patients who pay only the registration fee of RM8.

Thirdly and the most important fact is that the people are now feeling left out from the Government's decision-making process. I make no apology for saying this, but the Government seems to be making decisions these days like as though the people, whom they are answerable to, do not exist. IJN was built from the people's money and Sime Darby is a public-listed company. A Press statement should have been issued a long time ago to inform the people that Sime Darby was making a bid to buy IJN. Then the Government can gauge public opinion before a decision is made. In this case, the Cabinet simply approved the bid. The people only knew about it AFTER the decision was made.

So why isn't the Government talking to the people? It is things like these which make the Government unpopular and give the Opposition a field day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why the need for Sime Darby to buy into IJN?

I am confused, just like millions of other Malaysians, I am sure. What is the actual Cabinet decision pertaining to the Sime Darby Berhad-Institut Jantung Negara issue? The earlier statement says that the Cabinet has agreed in principle to begin discussions with Sime Darby which has shown an interest in "buying" IJN.

However, in its statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Sime Darby said it is eyeing "a stake" in IJN.

So has there been a change of mind? Did the public outcry influence this change.

But the real story remains much stake is Sime Darby seeking to buy? Is it 51%? Could it be 99.9%?

No doubt Sime Darby is a GLC, but it is a profit-making entity. Will it not be tempted to make profits out of the ordinary people if it takes over IJN?

There have been many horror stories about private hospitals, including Subang Jaya Medical Centre which is owned by Sime Darby. They have even refused to accept seriously injured accident victims simply because they were unable to pay a deposit.

I don't really see a logic in the Government's decision to sell IJN to Sime Darby. IJN has been performing well as the country's No 1 heart hospital. It is renowned throughout the world.

As we know, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad founded IJN in 1992. He went through two bypass surgeries there.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy...Ada fulus, terus lulus!

Each time there is a landslide at the Ampang area, we get statements from Government officials and politicians that development in the hilly areas will be prohibited permanently.

But who are we kidding? A couple of months after such tragedies, we see cranes and tractors moving in to work on new projects.

Why is the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council allowing this? Shouldn't it be held responsible if the projects that it approves cause such tragedies? It reeks of corruption. Surely, there must be some form of incentive which encourages officers to approve these projects although they are not supposed to. Otherwise, will developers continue to get the necessary approval for projects in the hilly areas? Money, it seems, can buy all forms of approvals. Ada pulus, terus lulus!

The highlands in Ampang serve as water catchment areas. This simply means the level of rainfall in these areas is high. If we chop down the trees, we won't have enough greens to absorb the water. If the water is not absorbed, it remains on the ground and loosens the soil. The soil then begins to move and cause landslides.

So many lives have been lost, so many properties destroyed, landslides after landslides have occured, but trees are being chopped down indiscriminately and developments at the hilly areas continue.

Our problem is, we never learn from history.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ho Koh Chye (1942-2008)

I was shocked and saddened when I received an sms from Lazarus Rokk informing me that one of Malaysia's greatest sportsman, former Olympian Datuk Ho Koh Chye passed away at the Kelana Medical Centre this evening.

Although at the point of writing this blog, the cause of his death had not been established, it was learnt that he had earlier today complained of abdominal pains.

Ho, 66, was a great sportsman. He represented Malaysia in hockey for many years and played a pivotal role in making Malaysia the top four in the world hockey ranking. Those were the days when you took part in sports in the spirit of nationalism and patriotism and not the lure of monetary rewards. Those were the days when Ho, like other sportsmen and sportswomen, survived on a RM10 meal allowance a day.

An old boy of St Paul's Institution in Seremban, Ho was one of the best hockey goalkeepers the country had ever produced.

Even after retiring from active hockey, he continued to contribute as a volunteer towards developing Malaysian sports.

He was the Chef-de-Mission of the Malaysian Contingent to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Having represented Negri Sembilan in hockey from 1983 to 1989, I knew Ho as a dedicated man who devoted his entire 66 years of life to the development of sports in Malaysia, especially hockey.

Ho's untimely death leaves a vacuum in the Malaysian sporting arena which only a great person like he was can fill.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Forget Altantuya, Najib has a job to do.

I've always thought that it is ridiculous to link Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to the Altantuya murder case.

Now that Abdul Razak Baginda, who was initially accused with the murder but acquitted, has said that Najib and Rosmah don't even know Altantuya and have never met her, I think everyone including the Opposition should drop all the wild accusations against the two.

Najib has an arduous task ahead. To undo the damages done by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Umno and Barisan Nasional will not be an easy job. BN has hit rock bottom. Never before in the history of Malaysia that the coalition Government performed so badly like it did in the 12th General Election in March 2008.

We should give our full support to Najib to rebuild Umno and Barisan Nasional.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Layakkah Shahrizat menjadi Ketua Wanita?

Sehingga kekalahannya dengan calon muda Nurul Izzah Ibrahim dengan majoriti yang besar untuk "kerusi tetapnya" iaitu Lembah Pantai dalam Pilihanraya Umum yang ke 12 Mac lalu, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil telah memegang jawatan Ahli Parlimen selama 3 penggal dan Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat selama 2 penggal.

Tetapi apakah sumbangannya kepada agama, bangsa dan negara yang melayakkan beliau merebut kerusi Ketua Wanita? Saya rasa tidak ada yang menyerlah. Beliau sudah tidak sabar lagi untuk menjawat jawatan tertinggi dalam pergerakkan Wanita Umno, tetapi beliau belum cukup layak. Jauh berbeza dengan Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz yang cukup berpengalaman, cerdik, dihormati bukan sahaja di Malaysia, malah di arena antarabangsa.

Rafidah cukup berani orangnya. Berani kerana ada keyakinan diri. Keyakinan diri pula datangnya dari pengalaman dan ilmu. Saya masih ingat lagi apabila beliau bertikam lidah dengan Madeleine Albright, Setiausaha Luar, Amerika Syarikat ketika itu, dalam satu forum antarabangsa yang diadakan di Kuala Lumpur. Albright tidak dapat berkata-kata kerana Rafidah bercakap dengan fakta-fakta yang lengkap, tanpa perlu merujuk kepada pegawai-peagawainya. Beliau juga amat disegani dalam forum-forum antarabangsa seperti World Trade Organisation, ASEAN, ASEM, EAEC dan lain-lain.

Di bawah kepimpinan Rafidah sebagai Menteri Perusahaan Antarabangsa dan Industri selama lebih kurang 3 dekad, Malaysia mengalami zaman kegemilangan dalam menarik pelaburan asing ke Malaysia. Kalau kita memandu dari Johor ke Perlis dan melihat kilang-kilang antarabangsa di keliling kita, kita harus mengakui bahawa inilah Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) yang mengalir masuk ke Malaysia pada zaman beliau. Itulah pengorbanan beliau kepada negara. Beliau sanggup kehilangan "masa kualiti" bersama keluarga untuk melawat negara-negara asing setiap masa demi untuk membawa masuk pelaburan luar.

Wanita Umno belum ada lagi calon yang berkaliber untuk menggantikan Rafidah. Mungkin saya "bias" sedikit kerana saya mencapai "usia baligh" sebagai seorang wartawan dizaman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sebagai Perdana Menteri dan Rafidah sebagai Ketua Wanita Umno dan Menteri Kanan dalam Kabinet.

Hakikat yang mungkin dipersetujui oleh hampir semua rakyat Malaysia ialah Dr Mahathir dan Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tidak boleh dibandingkan kerana kebolehan mereka seperti langit dan bumi. Begitu juga kalau dibandingkan Rafidah dan Shahrizat.

Rafidah dan Shahrizat adalah dalam liga yang berlainan. Mungkin saya perlu menerima hakikat bahawa mungkin tidak akan ada Ketua Wanita yang sehebat Rafidah. Namun, saya berharap calon Ketua Wanita dipilih dari kalangan ahli-ahli yang telah cukup berjasa kepada Umno dan negara.

Shahrizat tidak layak sebenarnya kerana alasan-alasan berikut:

* Beliau telah kalah dalam PRU12 dengan majoriti yang besar kepada seorang anak muda yang baru berkecimpung dalam arena politik. Ini bermakna ahli-ahli Umno dikawasan Lembah Pantai pun tidak mengundi Shahrizat. Beliau tidak diterima dikawasan beliau sendiri. Apabila beliau kalah, beliau hanya memikirkan kepentingan beliau sendiri dan merayu pada Abdullah untuk menlantik beliau sebagai Penasihat Khas dengan status Menteri.

* Beliau telah menjadi Menteri selama 2 penggal, tetapi apakah legasinya? Perlindungan kanak-kanak masih ditahap paling minima. Nurin di bunuh dengan kejam manakala Sharlinie dan ramai lagi budak-budak yang lesap begitu sahaja. Kes perceraian dikalangan orang Islam dan bukan Islam meningkat dengan mendadak, satu tanda bahawa institusi keluarga semakin rapuh. Hubungan kaum langsung tidak boleh dibanggakan.

* Telah menjadi makluman umum bahawa Shahrizat telah mengarahkan Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim untuk bertanding jawatan timbalan ketua Wanita supaya beliau boleh menggunakan alasan ini untuk bertanding jawatan Ketua Wanita. Ini taktik lama.

Bagi saya, Shahrizat tidak layak untuk jawatan No 1 dan Kamilia langsung tidak layak untuk jawatan No 2.

Mungkin Shahrizat patut digalakkan untuk bertanding dengan Rafidah. Jika berlaku pertandingan dan andaikata Shahrizat kalah, pelan peralihan kuasa yang dijadualkan bulan Jun hadapan, tidak perlu dilakukan. Rafidah boleh meneruskan perjuangannya sehingga penggal depan.

Masa depan Shahrizat sebagai ahli politik pula akan terus terkubur.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Radio IKIM dan panggilan lucah

Pada 15 November 2008, jam lebih kurang 3 pagi, apabila saya sedang mendengar Radio IKIM, iaitu sebuah stesen radio yang dikendalikan oleh Institut Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (IKIM), saya dikejutkan oleh satu panggilan lucah yang diudarakan.

Kata-kata lucah yang diluahkan kepada deejay wanita yang bertugas itu turut didengari oleh saya dan mungkin juga jutaan rakyat Malaysia yang lain. Saya amat bersimpati dengan deejay tersebut yang sememangnya terkejut dengan panggilan itu. Walau bagaimanapun beliau telah dapat mengawal keadaan dengan baik. Saya kesal kerana penerbit program tersebut gagal menjalankan tugasnya dengan baik.

Sebagai sebuah stesen yang dikendalikan oleh institusi berlandaskan Islam, stesen ini tidak sepatutnya memberi tugas malam kepada staf wanita. Memadailah kalau deejay wanita hanya bertugas sehingga 10 malam sahaja, itupun kalau tidak ada petugas lelaki.

Harus diingat, suara wanita adalah aurat. Program yang memerlukan interaksi di antara lelaki dan perempuan pada malam hari harus dihentikan kerana ianya bukan cara Islam.

Saya juga hairan kerana Radio IKIM tidak menggunakan sistem "delaying transmission". Sistem ini membolehkan transmisi panggilan telefon dilewatkan beberapa saat sebelum ianya diudarakan. Sistem ini akan memberi masa kepada penerbit stesen radio untuk menghentikan sesuatu panggilan lucah sebelum ianya diudarakan.

Sebagai sebuah stesen yang mempunyai "rating" yang tinggi dari kalangan pendengar radio di Malaysia, Radio IKIM sepatutnya mendapatkan system terbaru supaya ianya boleh memberi perkhidmatan yang sempurna keepada pendengar-pendengar setianya.

Saya pasti Pengerusi IKIM, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, seorang tokoh yang amat saya hormati dan kagumi, akan mengambil tindakan yang sewajarnya.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar's RM8,000 an hour?

I've heard from some friends that our Astronaut, Dato' Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha is now demanding RM8,000 an hour to speak at public functions, even at primary and secondary schools. And that excludes hotel and flight charges.

If this is true, then I think the practice must stop. RM8,000 to speak for just an hour or as an "appearance fee" is exorbitant. It is unethical, inmoral almost. How is a primary school going to cough up RM8,000?

I was told that Faiz Khaleed, the reserve astronaut who did not even leave the earth's orbit is also charging a similar fee.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, I was told, earns a salary from the Government, being an employee of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). Furthermore, his outer space adventure was funded by the Malaysian public, including me. He shouldn't be commercialising his public-funded stardom and make more money for himself. If he continues to do that, he will soon lose his "hero" reputation and will be despised by the public.

I am sure my friend Dato' Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis who as the Minister of MOSTI worked very hard to make the astronaut programme a success and to put Malaysia in the history books, would "jump" if he hears about this.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tahniah Najib!

Saya mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi tahniah kepada Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Tazak kerana telah memenangi jawatan Presiden Umno tanpa bertanding. Beliau telah berjaya memperolehi 134 pencalonan.

Saya yakin dengan kepimpinan beliau, Umno akan dapat kembali kepada zaman kegemilangannya.

Saya juga pasti dengan kepimpinan beliau, rakyat Malaysia akan memberi mandat penuh kepada Barisan Nasional dalam Pilihanraya Umum yang ke13.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Perhimpunan Agung Umno perlu dipercepatkan

Ugutan melalui SMS, politik wang, negara diambang krisis kewangan yang mungkin paling dasyat sejak the "Great Depression", dan kemungkinan Umno, dari Perlis ke Sabah akan berpecah-belah, adalah alasan-alasan yang cukup munasabah untuk mempercepatkan Perhimpunan Agung Umno.

Justeru itu, mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi Umno hari ini perlu mengkaji semula keputusannya untuk menunda Perhimpunan Agung ke Mac depan. Sebaliknya, Perhimpunan Agung perlu diadakan selewat-lewatnya pada bulan Disember ini seperti cadangan asal.

Lima bulan adalah terlalu lama. Risikonya amat tinggi sekali. Calon-calon yang memegang jawatan kerajaan kini terlalu sibuk berkempen untuk jawatan dalam parti sehingga tugas-tugas kerajaan diabaikan.

Negara kini berada diambang krisis kewangan. Oleh itu, setiap pemimpin yang memegang jawatan kerajaan perlu menumpukan perhatian kepada pelan tindakan yang perlu diambil untuk mengelak krisis ini atau mengurangkan impaknya.

Semasa krisis kewangan 1997/98, Perdana Menteri pada masa itu Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mengadakan mesyuarat MTEN (Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Negara) setiap hari dari jam 9 pagi hingga 1 tengahari untuk meneliti data-data harian dan mengambil tindakan sewajarnya. Pada masa itu kerajaan begitu fokus sekali. Tindakan sedemikianlah yang membolehkan Malaysia keluar dari krisis kewangan lebih awal dari negara-negara jiran.

Kita juga telah mendengar rungutan dari beberapa orang pemimpin Umno bahawa mereka mendapat ugutan menerusi SMS untuk menyokong calon-calon tertentu dalam pemilihan Umno kelak. Ini adalah satu trend yang tidak sihat.

Dalam berpolitik, tempoh kempen yang terlalu lama akan mengundang perkara-perkara yang tidak diingini. Hari ini ugutan SMS, esok apa pula?

Majlis Tertinggi, sebagai badan yang bertanggungjawab bukan saja perlu mengambil tindakan yang akan menguntungkan Umno, tetapi juga perlu melindungi ahli-ahlinya.

Bermusuhan dalam politik adalah lumrah. Kalau tempoh kempen lebih lama, maka lebih ramailah musuh kita.

Menjelang PRU13, Umno perlu lebih kuat dan mantap, bukan lebih lemah dan bermusuh-musuhan.

Kegemilangan Barisan Nasional pra-2008 perlu dikembalikan. Untuk itu, sebagai parti komponen terbesar, Umno perlu diperkuatkan dahulu.

Hakikatnya ialah, di bawah kepimpinan Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Barisan Nasional hampir terkubur. Ianya mungkin akan terkubur pada tahun 2013 jika keputusan-keputusan yang diambil lebih mementingkan individu tertentu daripada parti.

Ia akan lebih menguntungkan Umno jika perhimpunan agungnya diadakan pada bulan Disember ini.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Valuecap...langkah kerajaan mengelakkan krisis

Langkah Kementerian Kewangan untuk mengukuhkan pasaran saham Malaysia dengan membeli saham-saham syarikat yang harganya telah jatuh menjunam menerusi Valuecap Sdn Bhd perlu dipuji.

Walaupun "fundamentals" atau asas syarikat-syarikat yang disenaraikan dalam Bursa Malaysia ini adalah kukuh, sentimen pasaran sedunia dan krisis kewangan yang dialami oleh hegara-negara Eropah serta Amerika Syarikat telah mempengaruhi aktiviti jual-beli saham sehingga harga-harga saham mereka terjejas dengan teruk.

Amat tidak adil kalau syarikat-syarikat Malaysia yang mempunyai "fundamentals" yang begitu kukuh, termasuk simpanan dan aset yang banyak, pasaran yang meluas, potensi yang baik dan pengurusan yang efisien, terjejas akibat dari "panic-selling" kerana sentimen pasaran antarabangsa.

Oleh itu, Valuecap yang akan membeli saham-saham syarikat seperti ini dengan tujuan untuk mengukuhkan harga-harga saham, adalah satu langkah yang murni. Langkah ini tidak patut dipertikaikan. Ianya perlu dilihat sebagai langkah proaktif kerajaan untuk mengelakkan krisis ekonomi yang lebih teruk. Sebuah kerajaan yang bertanggungjawab terhadap warganegara korporatnya, tidak akan membiarkan syarikat-syarikat ini mengalami masalah kerana faktor luaran.

Negara-negara maju yang pernah mencaci Malaysia kerana memberi suntikan kewangan kepada syarikat-syarikat yang mengalami masalah kerana krisis ekonomi serantau dan dunia, kini melakukan perkara yang sama.

Amerika Syarikat telah mengumumkan langkahnya untuk menyuntik sebanyak US$700 billion kedalam syarikat-syarikat dan institusi-institusi kewangannya. Ini adalah langkah "bail-out" yang terbesar yang pernah dilakukan. Begitu juga dengan negara-negara Eropah.

Kalau dibandingkan dengan US$700 billion, RM5 billion adalah amat kecil sekali.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tun Dr M di TV hari ini

Mantan Perdana Menteri Malaysia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad akan muncul dalam Astro Awani malam ini jam 9 malam untuk membincangkan pemilihan Umno Mac depan. Semestinya ini ialah rancangan yang "MESTI DITONTON".

Beliau juga akan muncul dalam "talkshow" Bloomberg pada jam 1 tengahari ini (Saluran 519). Rancangan ini akan diulangtayang pada jam 8.30 dan 11.30 malam ini juga.

Dalam rancagan Bloomberg ini beliau akan membincangkan krisis kewangan dunia dan tindakan kerajaan Amerika Syarikat memberi bantuan kewangan (bail-out) kepada syarikat-syarikat yang menghadapi masalah.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Deepavali

I wish all Hindu Malaysians a Happy Deepavali. Each of us have a role in ensuring peace and harmony among the races. So let's respect one another and live together as one big family of different colours and creed. Let the rest of the world envy us.

Tahniah Jazlan

Saya mengucapkan tahniah kepada rakan saya Nur Jazlan Mohamed yang telah mengumumkan keputusannya untuk mengundurkan diri dari bertanding untuk jawatan Timbalan Presiden Umno dalam Perhimpunan Agung Umno Mac depan.

Mungkin keputusannya terdorong dari kegagalan beliau untuk mendapatkan pencalonan dari bahagian-bahagian yang telahpun mengadakan mesyuarat masing-masing. Mungkin juga kerana beliau memikir secara rasional bahawa beliau belum bersedia untuk jawatan setinggi itu.

Apa pun, saya mengucapkan tahniah kepada Jazlan di atas keputusannya itu. Anak muda ini mempunyai potensi yang besar. Kalau beliau mengharungi onak duri politik dengan penuh kesabaran dan sanggup menunggu, even the sky is not the limit.

Tidak ada jalan singkat dalam politik, seperti juga dalam bidang kewartawanan.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh! Azman Mokhtar

Unfortunately for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, it is people like Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar who gives his Government a bad name.

Instead of playing his role effectively to attract investments to Malaysia, he seems to be doing things in the contrary.

One example is his recent statement that Malaysia is going to face a shortage of electricity in 2012. This statement, plucked from the air I suppose, has far-reaching effect. It can instil fear among foreign investors who are seeking to have long-term investments in Malaysia.

At the Regional Eisenhower Fellowship Conference in Kuala Lumpur last week, Azman had said the "structural problems" in the power supply industry could cause the nation to experience a power shortage in 2012, and the collapse of national electricity utility, Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

In actual fact, the current 42 per cent reserve will rise to 47% next year with the commissioning of a new independent power producer (IPP) in Jimah, Negri Sembilan.

It would have been wiser for Azman to have checked with the Energy Commission before making such a statement.

If he is so worried about TNB, he should get it to reduce operating costs and act like a company which needs to practise financial prudence. But this is the same fellow who approved the 100% salary increase for TNB CEO Dato' Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh. Apparently, despite the public uproar, Che Khalib still managed to get a 50% pay rise. That, I have to check.

I congratulate Dato' Shaziman Abu Mansor, the Minister of Energy, Water and Communication for taking Azmman to task.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kudos to Wong Choong Mei

I congratulate reporter Wong Choon Mei who resigned from Malaysiakini after taking responsibility for a report in the news portal which associated the Deputy Prime Minister to a manifesto he did not issue.

I am sorry that she lost her job. But she did the right thing. She is a living proof that at least a few reporters in Malaysia have pride and dignity.

Don't we all know of a shameless editor who refused to quit even after he was caught with his pants down for plagiarising a writer he idolises.

He gave all sorts of other reasons to quit. That happens only in Malaysia.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mind you Malaysiakini, Najib's not suing!

Malaysiakini has apologised and Najib is not suing. You see the difference between a true leader and the Theresa Koks of the Opposition...

I reproduce here the full Press Statement from the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Monday, October 20, 2008
Press Statement from DPM's Office on Malaysiakini's Article.

The internet news portal Malaysiakini yesterday published an email purportedly from a ‘Najib Support Group’ containing a so-called Manifesto supposedly linked to Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Razak. Without any verification, Malaysiakini has deemed it appropriate to publish the false contents of this email.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s office would like to clarify that Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Razak has never issued any manifesto to back his bid for the UMNO presidency.

The Malaysiakini report is therefore patently false and misleading. Malaysiakini’s decision to publish the story is extremely unethical as they had failed to verify the matter with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office prior to publication.

The conduct of Malaysiakini is regrettable and unacceptable. Certainly, it is an unfortunate display of negligence and lack of professionalism in news reporting.

It is important for Malaysiakini to investigate the origin of the malicious e-mail in order for it to clear its name and reputation.

Malaysiakini has apologized to the Deputy Prime Minister on this matter. Nevertheless, it is our hope that Malaysiakini and other news portals, regardless of their editorial policy, will conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

This false story is the latest move in what is obviously a concerted effort by certain quarters to tarnish the image of the Deputy Prime Minister. Indeed, of late, ever since the UMNO Transition Plan was brought forward to March 2009, there has been a consistent and continuous effort by some websites to concoct and publish false and malicious reports aimed at discrediting the Deputy Prime Minister.

We hope the Malaysian public, in particular readers of these websites are able to distinguish truth from falsehood when reading the materials published.

Deputy Prime Minister’s Office
20th October 2008

Now this is REAL proof that there is a concerted attempt by certain news portals and blogs to discredit Najib. They spread all sorts of lies about him and even called him names - from a cold-blood murderer to a Hindu priest.

Enough is enough. Why don't we just rally behind Najib for the love of our country? He has an uphill task of repairing the damages left behind by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. These are damages never before sustained by the Barisan Nasional in the country's entire 50-year history. And that's not going to be easy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Perhimpunan Agung Umno perlu diadakan pada bulan Disember

Dalam keadaan ekonomi global yang kian meruncing dan "contagion effect" dari krisis kewangan yang kemungkinan besar akan membawa kesan yang lebih dasyat kepada ekonomi negara kita berbanding krisis 1997/98, Majlis Tertinggi Umno perlu mengkaji semula keputusannya untuk menunda Perhimpunan Agung Umno ke Mac depan.

Saya bersetuju dengan Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dan beberapa pemimpin Umno yang lain bahawa jika perhimpunan agung diadakan pada bulan Mac, tempoh 5 bulan untuk berkempen adalah terlalu lama.

Kalau pemimpin Umno terlalu sibuk berkempen, saya risau hal-hal pentadbiran negara akan diabaikan. Krisis kewangan dan masalah ekonomi yang dihadapi negara pada masa ini, perlu ditangani secara komprehensif, dengan penyertaan setiap pemimpin negara.

Saya juga bimbang oleh kerana tempoh masa berkempen terlalu lama, politik wang akan berleluasa. Gejala-gejala lain yang tidak sihat akan terus menular. Akibatnya, pemimpin-peminpin Umno akan bermusuh-musuhan antara satu sama lain.

Ia akan membawa kepada perpecahan Umno. Mungkin juga ianya akan membawa kepada masalah yang tidak boleh diperbaiki sampai bila-bila.

Oleh itu, adalah amat penting Pehimpunan Agung Umno diadakan pada bulan Disember, seperti cadangan asal. Janganlah kerana kepentingan individu, parti dan negara digadaikan.

Kalau Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ingin juga memegang jawatan Perdana Menteri hingga ke bulan Mac, biarlah beliau memenuhi hajatnya..

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Opposition papers, blogs are even more biased

Why is everyone attacking my friend Rocky? Wasn't he right when he said that members of the Opposition parties, who are in the habit of saying that the mainstream media are biased, but at the same time do not see the biasness of the media that supports them, are now quick to file lawsuits against the newspapers.

I see this as a Opposition way of intimidating the mainstream media.

Theresa Kok has filed a RM30 million dollar suit againt Utusan Malaysia on the Azan issue. I agree with Rocky that this is becoming a trend. Another Opposition leader is also suing the newspaper on another issue.

To the Opposition, their own publications and pro-Opposition blogs can say whatever they want. The DAP's Rocket says all sorts of nasty things about the Government, but that's ok. The Suara Keadilan carries blatant lies about anything and everything, that is also ok. Harakah reports untruths all the time. That is also ok.

But we don't see Barisan Nasional leaders or Government officials suing them, do we?

Tian Chua, in a hurry to get a Parliament seat, published a doctored picture of Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak seated next to murdered Mongolian Altantuya Sharibuu. That was not only defamatory, but a criminal offence. But did Najib sue? Tian Chua later admitted doctoring the picture.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin's Malaysia Today carried all Sorts of lies about Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib, but did they sue? In fact, I know someone who said 80% of the contents of Malaysia today, are lies. But the Government tolerated. Until of course, Raja Petra began to publish blasphemous comments on Islam and started to publish articles detrimental to Malaysia's multi-racial composition. That, no Malaysian should tolerate.

Kickdefella, who works for Pas' Husam Musa also carried lies about Najib in his blog. But did Najib sue? Husam, by the way is Anwar's strongest supporter in Pas.

You see the link?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kalimullah calls it a day?

Datuk Seri Kalimullah Maseerul Hassan, the most controversial figure to be put in-charge of The New Straits Times, has tendered his resignation as the newspaper company's Deputy Chairman.

He was previously Group Editor-in-Chief, a post he took over from Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad (Dollah Kok Lanas) who was fired when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister in 2003.

According to sources, Kalimullah tendered his resignation to the NSTP Board of Directors on Sept 3. His last day will be on Dec 31.

From a reporter in the 80s and early 90s, Kalimullah became a self-made multi-millionaire, securing most of his projects from the Abdullah-led Government.

It doesn't pay to have advisers like Kalimullah

For Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who in March will become the shortest serving Prime Minister in Malaysia's history, five years and four months is good enough. The fact that he has to step down because he has lost support, is a different matter. Whatever it is, his name is going down the annals of history as Malaysia's fifth Prime Minister. And that is quite an achievement.

Unlike his predecessor, Abdullah was dependent on his advisers. And these advisers, all with their own agenda to make money or advance their own political interests, were the actual cause of his downfall.

One of Abdullah's closest adviser is Datuk Seri Kalimullah Maseerul Hassan, the Deputy Chairman of The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd. I first came to know Kalimullah when I joined the PETS Training in NST in 1987. I was then just 20 years old. Having quit from The Star, he had just joined NST as a senior reporter, but wasn't much of a journalist. Lagged far behind the likes of Sabri Sharif, Fabian Dawson, R Nadeswaran, etc. He never made it to an editor in any of the Malaysian newspapers.

I now believe that Kalimullah had no interest in journalism at all. Journalism was just a stepping stone to bigger things. His interest is only in making money, huge profits, like he is making now.

Abdullah's advisers, including Kalimullah, only told him what he wanted to hear. They hid the truth. They deliberately did not tell him about his dwindling support. They wanted him to remain in power so they can "make hay while the sun shines". They had no qualms about Abdullah being ridiculed and laughed at. They just wanted him to stay in power for as long as he could. They knew that it wouldn't be long. So in the last five years, they did what they could to amass wealth and push their political careers to dizzying heights.

It will be impossible for me to list all the projects that Abdullah's relatives and friends, including Kalimullah had secured over the last five years. My aging computer. I think, does not have enough capacity to carry such a long list.

And yet, Kalimullah, in his column in the NST today (10 October 2008), had the audacity to tell Prime Minister-in-waiting Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak not to give projects to his cronies.

I know Najib. And I know he is not as gullible as his "soon-to-be" predecessor. Najib deserves a chance to undo all the wrongs that Abdullah and his cronies did. Najib needs time to rehabilitate Barisan Nasional in time for the 13th general election in or before 2013. The people should refrain from making wild accusations against him because someone somewhere started it for his own interest.

I can't speak on behalf of Najib. If I could, I would have this to say to Kalimullah: TAKE YOUR ADVICE AND SHOVE IT!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Umno Deputy Presidency: Are these candidates for real?

I know Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the young MP for Pulai and son of former Information Minister Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat.

We used to discuss local politics over a meal when I was still the News Editor of the New Straits Times. He wasn't a Parliamentarian then. When I left the newspaper, I stopped getting the ocassional calls that I used to get from him. I did try to call him on several ocassions, but I never got through.

I have not spoken to him for about 4 years now. But I have been keeping tabs on his political career. The last I heard was that he was finding it difficult to even get sound support from his own division - Pulai.

So when I heard that he had offered himself for the post of Deputy President, I almost fell off my chair.

To me, Jazlan has not attained political puberty for him to even vie for the position of a normal Umno Supreme Council seat, let alone the post of Deputy President.

The post of Deputy President is an important one. The Umno Deputy President also by tradition holds the second most powerful position in the country, the Deputy Prime Ministership.

It requires someone with vast experience in politics and administration, highly educated and knowledgeable, should be credible, should have the ability to be a good salesman, should be able to deal with both the local and foreign Press, should be good enough to succeed the Prime Minister and has the potential of becoming a Statesman, should have a good command of both English and Bahasa Malaysia and most of all, should not be an international embarrassment.

Jazlan may just be trying to prop up his name for bigger positions by throwing in the idea of him contesting the No 2 post, but by doing that, consciously or unconsciously, he is making a mockery of this important position.

I am not saying that Jazlan is not a Deputy President material. But it will certainly take him a good decade or so before he qualifies.

If I were him, I will focus on strengthening my position at the divisional and State levels before I aim any higher.

While in the subject of the Deputy Presidency, I am also quite disturbed by the fact that Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Ali Rustam have offered themselves for the post of Deputy President.

Both Zahid, with whom I had worked with when I was a journalist, and Ali do not have the sufficient background to become Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister. What outstanding contributions have they made to the country to deserve this important position? Are they better than all the other Umno Supreme Council members? Also worrying is the fact that they can hardly speak English.

Simply picture them speaking with President Barrack Obama with the aid of an interpreter. That will be the first for our country. God save us.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kickbacks for the Kicker?

I have been receiving many emails over the last week or so on the same subject matter. The authors of these email claim that there are bloggers under the payroll of one of the leaders of an Opposition party who is eager to become Prime Minister.

The E-mails claimed that these bloggers have been paid a large sum of money, and even a retainer, to discredit Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. The aim is to prevent Najib from becoming Prime Minister. The person who is paying these bloggers does not want Najib to become Prime Minister simply because he is capable of repairing the damage done by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and returning Umno and Barisan Nasional to their original strength. If that happens, the Opposition will be buried.

In the absence of pure facts and substance, these bloggers resort to lies. They can even come up with absurd theories like those linking Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shahibuu. I was told that Raja Petra Kamaruddin was one of those who was being paid. In RPK's case, it was quite obvious. But now that he is serving a two-year term under the Internal Security Act (ISA), the money is going to another blogger.

I didn't believe it at first. But when I read his latest posting under the heading "We Know What Najib and Spouse Did Last Raya", it has become quite obvious.

When should Abdullah quit?

I am running a poll on when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should quit. I hope many people will contribute to this poll so we can gauge the public perception on the issue and the confidence they have on Abdullah to continue as Prime Minister.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya

Saya ingin mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya kepada semua pembaca setia blog ini. Saya memohon ampun dan maaf sekiranya kritikan saya telah menyinggung perasaan mana-mana pihak.

Saya akan terus mengkritik apa yang saya rasa memang patut dikritik. Di Lebaran akan datang dan yang seterusnya, saya akan menyusun sepuluh jari meminta ampun lagi sekali. Saya harap saya akan dimaafkan.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Zaman Ku Li sudah lama berakhir

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, bekas presiden Semangat 46 yang telah kembali ke pangkuan Umno telah sekali lagi menegaskan bahawa beliau akan bertanding jawatan Presiden pada Mesyuarat Agung Umno Mac depan.

Bagaimanapun saya dan saya rasa ramai lagi berpendapat bahawa zaman Ku Li sudah lama berakhir. Beliau sudah hampir putus hubungan dengan akar umbi, terutamanya golongan muda. Ada juga anak-anak muda yang tidak kenal langsung dengan Ku Li.

Saya rasa sukar untuk Ku Li mendapat cukup pencalonan untuk bertanding jawatan presiden. Kalau beliau tidak mendapat pencalonan yang secukupnya, ia akan hanya memalukan ahli politik veteran itu.

Dalam usia 70an ini, sudah terlalu lewat untuk beliau menyandang jawatan Presiden Umno dan Perdana Menteri. Untuk membetulkan kembali keadaan huru-hara peninggalan Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dalam Umno, Barisan Nasional dan juga sistem pentadbiran kerajaan akan mengambil masa yang agak lama. Mampukah Ku Li bertahan?

Saya berpendapat calon yang paling layak memegang jawatan presiden dan Perdana Menteri ialah Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pak Lah to decide whether to quit by Oct 9

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told the Umno Supreme Council today that he may quit as party president by Oct 9. If he does, that will be the best piece of news eagerly awaited by a majority of Malaysians for several years now.

I was told that the party polls have been postponed to March next year. I have no clue as to why such a decision was taken.

Perhaps, Abdullah will not quit after all and needs to buy time to device ways and means to stay in power.

I will update this blog as soon as I get more information.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Abdullah seeks to postpone party elections, Supreme Council expected to say "NO"

In a desperate attempt to hold on to power, Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called for a special Supreme Council meeting tomorrow (Friday, Sept 26) to postpone the Umno General Assembly to June next year.

A majority of the Umno Supreme Council members, however, are expected to reject the proposal outright.

Several news portals and websites have been giving the impression that the idea for the postponement of the General Assembly came from Deputy President Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. That's totally untrue.

Why should Najib seek a postponement of the General Assembly when he is certain that he will get overwhelming support from the divisions for the post of party president?

Abdullah's support in Umno has hit rock bottom. He is now worried that he may not even get the minimums 58 nominations required for him to defend his Presidency. Observers says that it will be embarassing for Abdullah to get only 58 nominations considering the fact that he is party President. In oreder to continue to lead the party and country effectively, he should get nominations from at least two-third of the total number of divisions.

Abdullah's lack of vision, nepotism and cronyism as well as poor economic policies are to be blamed for the dwindling confidence in his leadership. He has agreed to hand over his premiership to Najib in 2010, but umno members fear that if he continues to lead the country until then, Umno and Barisan Nasional will not have enough time to reinvent itself to face the 2013 General Election.

The longer Abdullah remains in power, the lesser the support of the masses for BN.

Barisan Nasional experienced the most humiliating defeat in the country's history in the recent General Election. It lost five States - Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah to the Opposition. It also lost all but one Parliamentary seat in the Federal Territory.

Barisan Nasional needs a new leader to regain these States.

Mike Tyson dan politik nyawa-nyawa ikan

Saya sebenarnya pelik dengan Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib. Ada khabar angin yang mengatakan, Muhammad, yang sebelum ini menonjolkan dirinya sebagai penyokong No 1 Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, sudah menukar rentak.

Ada yang mengatakan bahawa beliau sudah mula mengorak langkah ke arah kem Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak yang sudah hampir pasti akan bertanding untuk jawatan Presiden menjelang Perhimpunan Agung Umno pada bulan Disember ini.

Ada sumber mengatakan bahawa dalam mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi Umno baru-baru ini, beliau tidak mempertahankan Abdullah apabila ahli-ahli majlis mendesak Abdullah untuk meletakkan jawatan sebelum bermulanya Mesyuarat Bahagian pada Okt 9 ini.

Tetapi selepas itu beliau membuat kenyataan akhbar mengkritik ahli-ahli Umno yang menceritakan apa yang terjadi dalam mesyuarat MT itu kepada orang luar, termasuk wartawan. Beliau menuduh mereka ini sebagai pembelot.

Apakah sebenarnya posisi Muhammad dalam isu ini?

Kalau Muhammad benar-benar menyokong Abdullah, kenapa bahagian beliau iaitu Bahagian Kelana Jaya akan hanya mengadakan mesyuaratnya pada minggu terakhir mesyuarat-mesyuarat bahagian. Tarikh untuk mesyuarat-mesyuarat bahagian telah ditetapkan dari Okt 9 hingga Nov 9.

Kenapa beliau tidak menetapkan tarikh mesyuarat bahagian beliau pada hari pertama, iaitu Okt 9?

Kalau benar beliau adalah penyokong No 1 Abdullah, sepatutnya bahagian beliaulah yang pertama sekali mencadangkan Abdullah sebagai Presiden Umno. Tindakan beliau juga akan dilihat sebagai "trend-setting" untuk bahagian-bahagian lain yang akan bermesyuarat pada hari yang lain.

Sebaliknya Bahagian Kelana Jaya akan hanya bermesyuarat pada minggu terakhir. Saya rasa Muhammad sengaja menetapkan minggu terakhir untuk bermesyuarat supaya beliau dapat tunggu-dan-lihat siapakah yang dicalonkan oleh bahagian-bahagian lain untuk jawatan Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden. Sudah tentu Kelana Jaya akan menyokong calon yang paling banyak mendapat sokongan.

Nampaknya tindakan Muhammad ini boleh diumpamakan sebagai "insuran" untuk menyelamatkan politik nyawa-nyawa ikannya.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Breaking News....Najib cancels trip to New York.

Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, who is supposed to leave for New York tonight, has made a last minute decision to cancel his trip.

Political observers say that Najib's decision is prompted by the advice given by several Supreme Council members that he should not leave the country as the Umno divisional meetings draw close.

Umno divisional meetings will kick off on Oct 9. Najib is expected to receive overwhelming nominations for the post of party President.

The cancellation of Najib's New York trip comes as Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has begun his nationwide trip to drum up sopport for him to defend his party presidency. He needs a minimum of 58 nominations to be eligible.

Abdullah has appointed several Umno "strongmen" to various important positions in a desperate attempt to gain their support. They include Perlis State Umno liaison Committee Chief Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who was made Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Northern Corridor Economic Region.

More appointments are expected.

Najib's statement to the Press later today is expected to say that his new position as Finance Minister requires him to remain in the country as this moment.

Abdullah makes desperate moves, but why two NCER advisers?

It is obvious that the appointment of Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim as the Prime Minister's Special Adviser on the Northern Corridor Economic Region is Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's desperate move to secure enough nominations to defend the Umno Presidency. Abdullah is hoping that Shahidan will get the three Umno divisions in Perlis to support him. That is obviously an uphill task.

But here comes the million dollar question. Did Abdullah forget that he already has an adviser for the NCER project - Bernama Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini?

Or is Annuar being given the boot and being replaced by Shahidan? The Bernama story announcing Shahidan's appointment makes no mention of Annuar.

I reproduce here the full Bernama story on Annuar's appointment:

Thursday September 6, 2007
Bernama chairman made PM’s NCER adviser

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Annuar Zaini has been appointed special adviser to the Prime Minister for the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed Annuar to the post on Aug 30.
Annuar, who has vast experience in the private and public sector, will be coordinating efforts to set up the plan implementation agency as well as monitoring all start-up activities in the region.
The Prime Minister’s Department announced Annuar’s appointment in a statement here yesterday.

I hope Abdullah will not call for a Press conference today and say that NCER is a huge project and therefore the Prime Minister needs two advisers. That will be laughable. Everyone knows that nothing is moving up north.

In days to come, we can expect appointments of more Umno State Liaison Committee Chiefs and maybe even divisional chiefs into cushy positions. Abdullah is fighting a losing battle to defend the Umno Presidency and he needs the support of all these people.

Simply put, it's time to buy votes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Najib cancels trip to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

It's official!

Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has cancelled his trip to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia following calls from Umno Supreme Council members yesterday that he should not be out of the country for a long period.

Najib who was scheduled to leave today, cancelled his trip. This follows the Supreme Council meeting yesterday where members told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign as party president and hand over the premiership to Najib by Oct 9, when the Umno divisional meetings begin.

The Supreme Council felt that Pak Lah should save himself the humiliation of not getting enough nominations to defend his Presidency.

The Deputy Prime Minister will however leave for New York on Oct 24 to address the all-important United Nations General Assembly.

His advanced security team and members of the Press are already in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Najib is scheduled to return to Malaysia by Oct 3.

Pak Lah gets Oct 9 deadline to quit

At yesterday's Umno Supreme Council meeting, Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah was asked by several members to quit before Oct 9 and hand-over the Prime Ministership to his Deputy Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.

They argued that Pak Lah should quit by Oct 9, when the Umno divisional meetings begin, to spare him the embarassment of not getting enough nominations to defend his Presidency.

Calls for Pak Lah to resign seem to be increasing by the day. On Tuesday, MUBARAK (the Association of former MPs) urged Pak Lah to bring forward the planned 2010 transition of power and hand over the Prime Ministership to Najib soon.

Pak Lah's stewardship of the Government is said to be non-progressive and lacks direction. In fact, over the last five years of his premiership, Malaysia has taken several step backwards. The ringgit continues to depreciate, while the country's borrowings have been increasing.

The burden has been passed on to the people. The rising inflation is a great concern. Several fuel hikes in the past two years, also affected the people's confidence in the Government. Promises of better public transporation system remain promises.

As a result, Barisan Nasional was severely punished in the March 8 general election. BN managed only a simple majority. It lost five states, well effectively six, if you take Federal Territory into consideration.

It now seems that Umno divisional leaders have begun distancing themselves from Pak Lah. At a breaking of fast hosted by Pak Lah for divisional leaders at the PWTC yesterday, only a few tables were occupied. Many more were empty.

Sinister remarks followed the swapping of Ministries between Pak Lah and Najib as announced on Wednesday. Some say, Pak Lah handed over the Finance Minister's post to Najib as a "sweetener" so that the latter will feel indebted and refrain from running for party presidency.

Others say that Pak Lah is handing over the tough job to Najib in the wake of a global financial crisis. Too hot for Pak Lah to handle. Pak Lah needs someone to blame when the going gets tough, so to speak.

We will wait and see...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NST twists Najib's Statement....yet again.

I was shocked to read the NST online report a few minutes ago (11.15pm, 17 Sept, 2008) under the heading: "ABDULLAH: Early leadership transition possible" which it credited Bernama for.

Again, NST chose to twist what Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak had said.

This is how NST twisted Najib's words: "Najib also said that he would not accept any nomination for the president’s post as he was committed to the succession plan."

This is what the actual Bernama report quoted Najib as saying on receiving nominations for the post of Umno President: "We already agreed to it, we are leaving it to the party. We are offering ourselves, we hope party (members) will accept it."


I reproduce here the Bernama report in full:

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 17 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the leadership transition which had been agreed upon by him and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2010 can take place much earlier.

"The timing for the handing over of power to Najib is flexible. I will decide when to go; I will not be staying more than 2010, naturally."If I want to go earlier, it is possible," the prime minister told a news conference at his office here. Najib was also present at the news conference.

Abdullah said the transition plan would depend, among others, on Najib's performance.

Pressed further on the timing, Abdullah said, "It could be between now and June 2010."Saying that both leaders were committed to the succession plan, Abdullah said he would defend the Umno presidency at party polls in December while Najib had also confirmed that he would not challenge Abdullah for the post.

When asked further on the timeframe, Abdullah said, "It is not for you to ask and for me to say."Abdullah said the matter would be decided accordingly as the succession process progresses.

Najib concurred with Abdullah, saying they both had reached an agreement on the matter.

He hoped that the transition plan would be accepted by the party for the sake of the country's stability and solidarity within the party.

Asked whether he (Najib) would accept any nomination for the presidency, Najib said, "We have already agreed to it. We are leaving it to the party. We are offering ourselves, we hope the party will accept it."-- BERNAMA

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anwar dan angan-angan Mat Jenin

Saya tergelak besar apabila menerima SMS ini dari seorang sahabat pagi ini:

"Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim telah mengangkat sumpah jawatan Perdana Menteri di hadapan gambar DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong di rumahnya di Segambut. Turut hadir pemimpin tertinggi parti PKR, DAP dan PAS."

Nampaknya ramai juga yang tidak percaya dan begitu sinis terhadap angan-angan Mat Jenin Datuk Seri Anwar yang berjanji akan menubuhkan kerajaan hari ini dan seterusnya menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang ke6.

Impian tinggal impian...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reporter released

The Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter who was arrested under the Internal Security Act was releassd today, 16 hours after she was detained.

I am glad.

RPK yes, but why the reporter?

I can agree with the Government on the arrest of Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the Internal Security Act for his blasphemous publications against Islam and the Messenger of God, Nabi Muhammad SAW in his Malaysia Today website.

I can also agree with the decision of the Multimedia Commission shutting down Malaysia Today.

But why in the world did the Government arrest the Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter who merely reported the racist statement by Bukit Bendera Umno Chief Ahmad Ismail. She simply reported the fact that Ahmad Ismail described the Malaysian Chinese as "squatters". Is reporting the truth an offence in this country?

Why didn't the Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar order the arrest of Ahmad Ismail who made the racist remark in the first place?

If the reporter's story was not true, why did Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak apologise to the Chinese of behalf of Ahmad Ismail?

If what the reporter wrote was untrue, then why did Umno suspend Ahmad Razali for three years?

As a former journalist and now a blogger, I demand that the Government release the Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter immediately and arrest Ahmad Ismail instead. Let's leave the practice of arresting journalist to countries like Myanmar and Zimbabwe.

This is not a police State. Stop the intimidation!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Anwar Ibrahim - Perdana Menteri yang ke 6?

Nampaknya impian Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim untuk membentuk kerajaan dan seterusnya menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang pertama dari kalangan bukan ahli Umno pada 16 September ini tidak akan menjadi kenyataan.

Sebahagian besar ahli-ahli Parlimen Barisan Nasional sudah pun memberikan jaminan bahawa mereka tidak akan "melompat" ke parti pembangkang, termasuk Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Perjuangan mereka tetap dengan Barisan Nasional.

Anwar telah mencanangkan ke seluruh dunia bahawa ramai ahli-ahli Parlimen BN akan "melompat" ke parti beliau menjelang September 16 dan ini akan membolehkan beliau menubuhkan kerajaan baru. Demikian juga janji beliau kepada pengundi-pengundi semasa kempen pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh pada 26 Ogos lepas.

Nampaknya kredibiliti Anwar sebagai seorang pemimpin akan lenyap begitu saja jika beliau tidak dapat membentuk kerajaan dan menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang ke 6 pada September 16 ini. Tinggal 8 hari saja lagi.

Mana nak letak muka, Datuk Seri Anwar?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pak Samad (1924-2008)

Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail, the greatest ever journalist Malaysia has ever produced, passed away at 5.58pm at Pantai Medical Centre today. He will be laid to rest after the Friday prayers tomorrow.

Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan di syurga firdausi seperti yang dijanjikan kepada hambaNya yang soleh. Amin.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pak Samad's condition worsens...

Veteran journalist, Tokoh Wartawan Negara, my former boss Tan Sri A Samad Ismail who was admitted to the Pantai Medical Centre last week for lung infection, is in critical condition. His condition worsened over the last few days.

Pak Samad, 84, started as a journalist at the age of 14 and helped shape nation-building during the post-Independent days.

Let's pray for Pak Samad's quick recovery.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Malaysia Today deserves to be shut down!

I agree with the decision of the Multimedia Comission shutting down Malaysia Today. The blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin, has committed blasphemy, a crime no Muslim can tolerate. The site should be shut down for good and Raja Petra should be charged under Syariah laws.

I don't think MCMC or the Government should be on the defensive for their action.

If Raja Petra had made such blasphemous remarks against the Messenger of God in Iran, he would be sentenced to death.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My wish list

If someone from the Finance Ministry is actually reading this blog, please consider this list for the Budget 2009:

1. Abolish the ridiculous tax on Employees Share Option Scheme. The tax structure is so ridiculous that employers no longer want to give ESOS to their staff. It is no longer profitable. I find it rather funny because there is no tax for capital gains in Malaysia. ESOS, however is taxable. Where is the logic? ESOS is given to employees as an incentive for their productivity. Why tax these poor people?

2. Reduce the personal income tax

3. Increase corporate tax.

4. Reduce or abolish road tax for all types of vehicle

5. Allow individuals to withdraw their EPF contributions to perform the Haj.

6. Give tax incentives to industries using renewable energy or producing green energy.

7. Make the polluting industries pay more tax.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Anwar is Opposition Leader!

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has made a grand come back to the Dewan Rakyat, defeating his closest rival, Barisan Nasional's Arif Shah by more than 15,561 votes in today's by-election for the Permatang Pauh Parliamentary seat.

The other contender, Hanafi Mamat of Akim who secured only 92 votes, lost his deposit.

Anwar's majority exceeded that of his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail who garnered a 13,000-majority in the March 8 general election.

With this victory, Anwar, whose Parti Keadilan Rakyat has the most number of seats among the Opposition parties, would be made Opposition Leader.

While I congratulate Anwar on his victory, I pray that's as far as he gets.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pak Samad in Critical Condition

I have just been informed that veteran journalist and my former boss, Tan Sri A Samad Ismail has been admitted to the Pantai Medical Centre's Intensive Care Unit for lung infection. His son-in-law Azmi M Anshar informed me via sms that his condition is critical but stable and that the "prognosis" was not encouraging.

He is 84.

I invite all Malaysians to pray for his quick recovery. Pak Samad's contributions to journalism, politics and national development are enormous and beyond compare.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The pot calling the kettle black

I have a question for Zorro Unmasked:

Shouldn't Syed Nadzri, the Group Editor of the New Straits Times, my former colleague and my former boss, like all other writers, be entitled to his own opinion?

It looks like these days Syed Nadzri has to write only nice things about the Opposition, at the expense of his own views, to win the hearts of people like Zorro Unmasked.

Bloggers like Zorro Unmasked are so keen of accusing the mainstream media of taking sides and supporting the Barisan Nasional. But what about them? It seems really that many bloggers, Zorro Unmasked included, are biased towards the Opposition in their own postings. So what difference does it make?

A case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bila lagi, Ezam?

Beberapa minggu lalu, iaitu sebelum calon Barisan Nasional untuk pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh diumumkan, Ezam Mohd Noor, bekas Setiausaha Politik Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim telah membuat satu kenyataan kepada Agenda Daily bahawa beliau akan mengumumkan sesuatu "yang akan begitu mengaibkan Anwar sehingga beliau (Anwar) akan terkedu".

Ezam berjanji bahawa pengumuman itu akan dibuat semasa kempen pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh. Saya dan ramai lagi rakyat Malaysia, masih menunggu pengumuman Ezam ini.

Saya harap niat Ezam membuat kenyataan tersebut bukanlah semata-mata dengan harapan beliau akan dipilih sebagai calon BN untuk menentang Anwar. Walaupun beliau tidak dipilih, janji mesti dikota.

Saya percaya sebagai bekas Setiausaha Politik kepada Anwar, Ezam mungkin tahu banyak rahsia Anwar. Tapi janganlah gunakan maklumat ini sebagai "trump card" untuk meminta-minta atau membuat "demand" dari BN.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Siapa yang betul, Nik Aziz atau Hadi?

Apakah sebenarnya kedudukan PAS dalam isu sumpah laknat yang telah dilafazkan oleh Mohd Saiful Bukhari ?

Saya keliru kerana beberapa orang pemimpin PAS telah memberi kenyataan yang bercanggah dalam isu ini. Adakah sumpah laknat yang dilafazkan oleh Mohd Saiful untuk membuktikan bahawa Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim telah meliwatnnya dibolehkan dalam Islam?

Pesiden PAS Datuk Hadi Awang, apabila ditanya oleh wartawan berkata Mohd Saiful sebagai orang yang menuduh tidak boleh melafazkan sumpah laknat. Sebaliknya, kata beliau, hanya orang yang dituduh boleh berbuat demkian.

Jelas menunjukkan bahawa Hadi bersikap berat sebelah dalam hal ini. Dalam mahkamah PAS, Mohd Saiful sudah didapati bersalah dan telah dijatuhkan hukuman. Anwar tetap tidak bersalah.

Apakah Hadi tidak tahu atau berpura-pura tidak tahu bahawa Anwar telah bekali-kali menuduh Mohd Saiful sebagai penipu. Selepas saja Mohd Saiful membuat laporan polis bahawa Anwar telah meliwatnya, Anwar telah menafikan segalanya dan menuduh Mohd Saiful membuat fitnah bermotifkan politik.

Mursyidul Am PAS Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat pula dalam satu kenyataan yang berkata sumpah laknat yang dilafazkan oleh Mohd Saiful itu dibolehkan dalam Islam dan yang tertuduh juga perlu melakukan perkara yang sama.

Siapa yang betul? Nik Aziz atau Hadi?

Dan beranikah Anwar melafazkan sumpah laknat seperti Mohd Saiful?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Politik wang dan Umno

Beberapa pegawai tinggi kerajaan telah ditahan Badan Pencegah Rasuah baru-baru ini kerana disyaki terlibat dalam kegiatan rasuah. Walaupun mereka ini belum disabitkan, syabas saya ucapkan kepada BPR kerana telah menjalankan tugas mereka dengan berani dan tanpa prejudis. Salah atau tidak biarlah mahkamah yang tentukan.

Saya yakin ramai lagi pegawai kerajaan sekarang ini berada dibawah mikroskop BPR dan dalam tempoh terdekat ini mereka akan dicekup. Ini adalah satu-satunya cara untuk meningkatkan keyakinan kepada negara kita.

Tetapi bagaimana pula dengan golongan ahli politik, terutamanya ahli Umno yang kini giat berkempen untuk kedudukan dalam parti. Saya tidak larat lagi mendengar kisah politik wang dalam Umno. Menjelang Perhimpunan Agung ini, dah macam-macam cerita yang timbul. Bila lagi agaknya perkara ini akan selesai?

Saya masih ingat lagi semasa pemilihan Umno yang lepas. Tempat letak kereta di hotel-hotel terkemuka pun telah dijadikan pusat jual-beli undi.

Hentikanlah politik wang ini. Kalau pecah tembelang esok, bukankan kaum keluarga kita yang akan menanggung malu? Kalau menang secara haram pun, tak berkat jawatan yang disandang. Easy come, easy go..


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Apa Sumbangan Anwar?

Pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh semakin dekat. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim akan bertanding dalam pilihanraya kecil ini untuk menggantikan isterinya Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail yang telah mengosongkan kerusi tersebut untuk suaminya. Parti Keadilan Rakyat sanggup kehilangan seorang Ahli Parlimen yang dipilih secara sah semata-mata untuk memberi peluang kepada Anwar bertanding di kawasan yang "selamat".

Apakah Anwar layak untuk dipilih sebagai Ahli Parlimen dan kemudiannya menjadi Ketua Pembangkang di Dewan Rakyat?

Saya telah cuba menghitung sumbangan Anwar semasa beliau menjadi Timbalan Menteri, Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Tidak ada apa yang boleh dibanggakan. Tidak ada yang menyerlah. Malah, semasa beliau menjadi Menteri Kewangan semasa krisis kewangan pada tahun 1997/98, beliau telah menaikkan kadar faedah. Langkah kejam ini telah menyusahkan rakyat Malaysia kerana dalam pada menghadapi krisis ekonomi, rakyat Malaysia terpaksa pula membayar ansuran pinjaman yang lebih tinggi.

Sekarang Anwar mendakwa kerajaan bersikap kejam dan zalim kerana mengurangkan subsidi minyak. Mengata dulang, paku serpih.

Anwar juga telah mencadangkan kerajaan meminjam wang dari Dana Kewangan Antarabangsa (IMF) sebagai jalan keluar dari kemelut kewangan tersebut. Kita bernasib baik sebab Perdana Menteri kita pada masa itu Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad (sekarang Tun) telah menolak cadangannya. Kalaulah kita telah menerima tawaran dari IMF, sudah tentu sekarang ini kita di bawah telunjuk Amerika Syarikat. Kita semua sedia maklum bahawa Bank Dunia dan IMF dikuasai oleh Amerika Syarikat. Mungkin juga itu niat Anwar yang tersirat.

Kalau dikaji legasi Allahyarham Tun Ghafar Baba sekalipun, banyak juga sumbangan beliau. Salah satu sumbangan beliau yang terbesar ialah penubuhan Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA). MARA telah membantu beratus ribu, mungkin juga berjuta rakyat Malaysia, terutamanya Bumiputera dari bidang pendidikan sehinggalah ke bidang perniagaan.

Apa sumbangan Anwar?

Pengundi Permatang Pauh haruslah mengkaji segalanya sebelum membuang undi pada 26 Ogos ini.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Selamat Bersara Datuk Khalid

Mungkin terlewat sedikit, tetapi saya masih ingin mengucapkan Selamat Bersara kepada mantan Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan Utusan Malaysia Berhad Datuk Khalid Mohd. Sejak dari bangku sekolah lagi saya amat mengkagumi rencana-rencana yang ditulis oleh beliau.

Saya juga telah banyak berpeluang untuk bersama-sama beliau membuat liputan di luar dan di dalam negeri. Banyak juga yang telah saya pelajari dari beliau.

Saya berharap dengan persaraannya, beliau tidak akan terus menyepikan diri. Semoga beliau akan terus menyumbang ide-ide dan membantu meningkatkan lagi mutu kewartawanan di negara kita ini.

Setelah Datuk Khalid meninggalkan Utusan, sahabat saya saudara Aziz Ishak telah di lantik sebagai pemangku Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan. Tahniah juga saya ucapkan kepada saudara Ishak.
Tetapi peliknya mengapa saudara Aziz tidak dilantik terus untuk menyandang jawatan itu. Apa perlunya beliau "memangku" jawatan tersebut? Saudara Aziz bukannya orang luar, beliau telah lama berkhidmat dengan Utusan. Beliau juga telah menyandang jawatan Timbalan Ketua Pengarang selama beberapa tahun. Kebolehan beliau dalam bidang kewartawanan dan kewibawaan beliau dalam pengurusan Jabatan Pengarang telah lama dibuktikan. Tidak perlu dipantau lagi.

Apabila saudara Aziz dilantik untuk memangku jawatan Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan, ada juga rakan-rakan wartawan tertanya-tanya, apakah ada calon lain yang sedang dipertimbangkan?

Timbul pula nama sahabat saya seorang lagi yang kini giat mengendalikan portal berita internetnya.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why the silence, Anwar?

So the by-election for Permatang Pauh will be held on Aug 26 and the nominations day will be on Aug 16. A 10-day campaign period is long enough for both sides to do a lot of mudslinging. It is going to be quite interesting as Ezam Mohd Noor has promised to reveal something "very shameful" about his former boss, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. I wonder what that's going to be.

Ezam has been going around criticising Anwar, but I am quite surprised that the latter had chosen not to hit back. When I was still a journalist at NST, I had covered Anwar for a long time and I know for a fact that Anwar is a person who retaliates promptly whenever someone attacks him.

In fact, Anwar also chose not to rebut criticisms by his former tennis partner S. Nallakaruppan, who had since left Parti Keadilan Rakyat to set up his own party. I wonder why?

My guess is this: Ezam and Nalla have one thing in common. They both hold the key to Anwar's many closets of skeletons. If they come up in the open, it could be quite damaging for Anwar.

P/S: Ezam seems to be interested to run in the by-election on the Barisan Nasional ticket. But I think placing him as a candidate will be a wrong move for Umno and BN. It will surely incur the wrath of many in Umno. Umno cannot afford to have their own members boycott the by-election. BN can win the Permatang Pauh by-election if it remains focused and united. The last thing it needs is infighting.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A journey begins...

One of the reasons why I started this blog is that I have been accused time and time again of being the owner of several blogs written in anonymity. A charge I chose not to confirm nor deny. I see no reason to.

Through this blog, I hope to share my thoughts about political goings-on in the country and perhaps also regionally and internationally. I may even write reports about the country's political situation from time to time.

So a journey begins...