Archive for February, 2008

Pak Lah – “Who is Anwar”?

BELIEVE IT OR NOT series (1)
2008 General Election

Let us start a new series – “2008 General Election – Believe it or not?” starting with the following:

M’sian PM has ‘forgotten’ about Anwar
Thu, Feb 14, 2008 AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14, 2008 (AFP) – Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Thursday insisted dissident politician Anwar Ibrahim was not a factor in upcoming elections, saying he had “forgotten” about him.

Anwar has objected to the timing of the polls on March 8, just a month before he is eligible to run for office after a ban expires, saying it was designed to keep him out of the race.

“Nothing to do with that,” Abdullah said after a meeting with top leaders of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

“We have forgotten about Anwar. I don’t remember about Anwar,” he told reporters.

Your contributions are welcome.


Lingam Tape RCI – Subpoena Syed Ahmad Idid


Report those using govt resources in campaign: DAP

Yeow Boon Kiat | Feb 14, 08 5:36pm

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang has urged voters to lodge a police report if they find any candidate utilising government resources in their election campaign.

“Whenever you see the prime minister, deputy prime minister, ministers or deputy ministers arrive in government vehicles or using government funds to campaign, lodge a police report immediately and call the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to investigate”, he told a press conference in Petaling Jaya today.

dap islamic state roundtable 100807 lim kit siang”This is a blatant abuse of power and money politics,” he declared, adding that all Malaysians should help to ensure that ministers are behaving as caretaker ministers so that the elections will be clean, just and fair.

Lim described the recent ‘ang pows’ and ‘goodies’ dished out by the BN in recent weeks as electoral abuses and the people should consider them as such.

He also cited the incident in which MCA president Ong Ka Ting made use of a Fire and Rescue Services Department helicopter to campaign in Johor in 2004 as an example of the abuse of government resources. Read the rest of this entry »


Tsu Koon following Pak Lah- Ending Penang CM-ship with a lie

(Media Conference Statement at DAP PJ Hqrs on Thursday, 14th February 2008 at 12 noon)

The New Straits Times today reported that Koh dismissed as mischievous the DAP’s claims that he, as Acting Gerakan President, was “kow-towing” to Umno over the choice of candidate for the Penang chief minister’s post.

Koh was following Abdullah’s precedent in telling a lie to end his four terms as Penang Chief Minister when he claimed that in submitting three names to Abdullah to pick as the next Penang Gerakan Chief Minister, he was just sticking to the principle, procedure and tradition of referring such matters to the prime minister, who is the BN chairman.

After the 1990 general election, the Gerakan leadership did not surrender the right to decide who should be the Penang Chief Minister to Umno or the Barisan Nasional President.

It was the Gerakan Central Working Committee which decided which one of the two contenders, Koh Tsu Koon or Dr. Goh Cheng Teik, should be selected as the Penang Gerakan Chief Minister after the electoral defeat of Dr. Lim Chong Eu.

Both Koh Tsu Koon and Goh Cheng Teik were asked to leave the Gerakan Central Working Committee meeting to allow the CWC members to deliberate and decide on the matter, at the end of which, both were called back to the CWC to be informed that the choice of the Gerakan CWC (actually that of the then Gerakan President Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik) fell on Koh Tsu Koon.

Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who was then Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional President, was never asked to choose from the two candidates, Tsu Koon and Cheng Teik, as to who should be the Gerakan Penang Chief Minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Of Bull, Broken promises, Blockheads, Buffoons, Bigots, and Bravehearts

Martin Jalleh
14 Feb. 2008
It is the Year of the Rat. The Prime Minister (PM) has just let the cat out of the bag – the “General Elections (GE)” will be real soon, for there is a feeling amongst many that the country is going to the dogs.

The PM, who has never lost any sleep since he became the PM – has been trying to awaken the nation to an imminent GE. He had declared in June last year, in what could have been the most important statement of his political career: “I am no sleeping PM”!

Four years have passed swiftly by since Pak Lah became PM. He has made it very clear he is no “one-term” PM. Why, in between his many 40 photogenic winks he has even come up with Vision 2057! Who says the PM has failed to walk the talk — when he has even managed Bolehland sleepwalking!

But the boys on the fourth floor of Putrajaya who have been spinning the broken record which critics have entitled “I started a joke” have a tough job ahead. Experts of make-believe and myths, they have to create a mega-mirage of a PM and a government with a proven track record this coming GE.

Often, and as was evident in 2007, their script and sandiwara have spun out of control by the silly statements of small-minded and self-serving sycophants surrounding the PM, causing Pak Lah and his government to stumble from one comic caper to another.

As the government’s delivery system fell apart, very symbolically and significantly so did structures give way in buildings such as parliament, the world’s second largest court complex in Jalan Duta and even Putrajaya.

Back to the PM’s “proven track record”, surely the year 2007 was a very “revealing” year and there was so much that the ordinary citizen of Bolehland could fall back on to help them decide who they should vote for this coming GE. Read the rest of this entry »


‘He looks like PM, sounds like PM, is he PM?’

(Media Conference Statement at DAP PJ Hqrs on Thursday, 14th February 2008 at 12 noon)

Abdullah ends his first term as PM with his credibility, reputation and reform pledges in tatters with his 12-hour somersault of “no” and then “yes” to dissolution of Parliament yesterday

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has ended his first term as Prime Minister with his credibility, reputation and reform pledges in tatters with his 12-hour somersault of “no” and then “yes” to dissolution of Parliament yesterday.

It has given powerful illustration of Lingam-speak – “He looks like the Prime Minister, he sounds like the Prime Minister, but no one can say 100% that he is the Prime Minister”!

In his press conference yesterday announcing the dissolution of Parliament. Abdullah tried to explain why he had ended his first term as Prime Minister with a lie on Tuesday night categorically denying that Parliament would be dissolved yesterday and yet doing precisely the opposite 12 hours later in seeking an audience with the Yang di Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament.

Abdullah explained he could not give any clue to the date as he needed to get the consent of the Yang di Pertuan Agong first before he could make the announcement.

Agreed. But has Abdullah to tell a lie, declaring: “The Cabinet meeting will go on, go on and go on” after dismissing suggestion that yesterday’s Cabinet meeting will be the last for the llth parliamentary term?

Need Abdullah be reminded that what he had done is totally against the Islam Hadhari which he had propounded as Prime Minister and Chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC)? Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s Coming Elections: Between Change and Inertia

By Farish A. Noor

And so, with the dissolution of the Malaysian Parliament on Wednesday, Malaysia is heading to the elections once again. The precise date of the 12th General Elections of Malaysia is yet to be known, but it is clear that this will be one of the more hotly contested elections that Malaysia has witnessed.

Over the past two years alone a string of controversies have stirred the Malaysian public’s interest in the goings-on in the corridors of power in the country: The highly publicised case of the murder of a Mongolian model has dragged many a famous name (including that of politicians) into the limelight; the revelation of irregularities in the appointment of senior judges has brought the judiciary into close focus; the destruction of a number of Hindu temples has aroused the anger of many Malaysian Hindus; while the plethora of on-going marriage and divorce cases between Muslims and non-Muslims has added to the widening of the gulf between the religious and ethnic communities in the country.

What is more, the spate of public demonstrations – many of which took place in the capital Kuala Lumpur – would suggest that sections of the Malaysian public are more politically aware and politically literate than before. The BERSIH campaign calling for free and fair elections, for instance, was a movement that is rooted in Malaysia’s civil society and which cut across the racial, ethnic and religious divides which have always been the salient markers of the Malaysian political landscape. Conversely the demonstrations organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) would suggest that communitarian and sectarian political remains a defining factor of Malaysian politics until today.

All eyes will now be on the administration of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who faces the tough prospect of retaining the public’s support for a second term. Read the rest of this entry »


Mantra of the ‘super corridor’

by Dr. Azly Rahman

Now we are aiming to be a major player in the Information Age industry. For this we will welcome with open arms foreign investments. Those who have experience doing business in Malaysia know that we are ever willing to listen and to act to meet the multifarious needs of foreign investors. And so the Multimedia Super Corridor is created to become a giant test-bed for the soft and hard products of the cyber age.- Dr Mahathir Mohamad, speech to MSC investors, 1998

Without doubt, machinery has greatly increased the number of well-to-do idlers. – Karl Marx, circa 1880s

In Sanskrit, the word “mantra” (mentera in Malay) means formula. Mantra is correlated to the idea of a grand strategy or a belief system in the form of political ideology that permeates the consciousness of the leader and the led or the author and the authored. Inscribed onto the consciousness of the people, via print, broadcast, and electronic media is the mantra of economic success rapidized by information technologies. The formula for success many developing nations, such as Malaysia, is undertaking is one characterized by the dependency on Informational Communications Technologies (ICT) particularly on the technology of the Internet/broadband to fuel the engine of capitalist development, relegating the state as a haven for cheap pool of labor in the microchips industry.

The mantra of success is one driven by the belief in the formula of “cybernetics.” I will discuss how the “cybernetic chant”, one orchestrated and broadcast by the government, permeates through the social environment. Let us first look at the geneology of “cybernetics”

I shall relate the idea and genealogy of cybernetics to the idea of what is currently known as “Information Age” or its varying and more fanciful terms such as “The Age of Cybernetics,” or “The Networked Economy,” or “The Digital Age.” I will then relate the idea of this “formula” of cybernetics to the notion of “inscription” of the ideology onto the landscape of human consciousness since the beginning of the second half of the twenty-first century. Read the rest of this entry »


More bull by DG Merican


It appears that there is no end to the spin of Annie Freeda Cruez for the yarn she creates for DG Merican. Today the NST highlighted an article, “Malaysia’s rural health service second to none”. They forgot to add that it was for the year 1965 when you had to worry essentially about cholera, typhoid, malaria and hookworms.

DG Merican, just fresh from conning doctors that the PHFSA (Private Health Care and Facilities Act) is not meant to penalize registered doctors but is there actually to weed out bogus ones, has seen to it that, Basmullah Yusom, a registered practitioner, still languishes in Kajang Prison. He shows no remorse for blatantly lying to doctors and to parliament. He appears not to have a conscience either as he goes on another PR jaunt with Annie Freeda Cruez. Today it appears that he is trying to win brownie points by highlighting to the largely gullible Malaysian public that our rural health service is well run and effective. He is, of course, now in danger of believing his own bull.

Merican’s ebullient statistics include a health clinic every five kilometers and that more than 95 per cent of the rural population have access to a doctor. There are also 2,965 clinics and 151 mobile clinics in rural areas and there is one health clinic or centre for every 20,000 people while there is one community or rural clinic for every 4,000 people.

Impressive statistics until one actually walks into one of these clinics and realizes that there is only a nurse or HA who is going to attend to today’s epidemic of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease and cancer. Their duties – check your BP, sugar, etc and dish out 30 year old medication for the next 6 months packed in two polystyrene bags with a “Kalau mau jumpa doctor…tunggu tiga bulan ya…”. If the patient returns alive on follow-up, repeat above. Any complications, refer to “Hospital Besar” and join the queue where the rest of Malaysia will also be waiting to see not a specialist..but a medical officer in the specialist clinic, who could have been just transferred from the same district the patient was seen. This is the modus operandi of the Malaysian Healthcare System for the last 50 years. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian PM dissolves parliament

February 13, 2008

MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today dissolved parliament, paving the way for snap elections which are expected to see the ruling coalition’s majority eroded.

Abdullah’s popularity has plummeted as the nation is beset by mounting racial tensions, unprecedented street protests, anger over rising fuel and food prices, and high crime rates.

Announcing that the king had consented to dissolve parliament, Abdullah indicated he did not expect a repeat of the 2004 landslide when the Barisan Nasional coalition seized some 90 per cent of parliamentary seats.

“2004 was a special election and it was extraordinary. I pray that BN will get at least two-thirds of the votes in the upcoming election,” he told a press conference. Read the rest of this entry »


Immediate response on the Parliamentary Dissolution announcement today


Another instance of rise of Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons

Malaysians regardless of race or religion must vote in 12th general election to send a loud and clear message against the alarming rise of Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons (LMN) who are totally insensitive that Malaysia is a plural society and who are more powerful than Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

In the past four years of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s Islam Hadhari, there have been a deluge of insensitive occurrences totally heedless of Malaysia’s boast to the world of the country as “Truly Asia” where all races, languages, cultures and religions can flower with freedom and be a model to a conflict-ridden world.

This is illustrated not only by a spate of body-snatchings, bible-banning, temple demolition, stoppage of construction of world’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat, Sabah, but also by very polarizing incidents created by Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons (LMNs) in schools, universities and the public service.

I will give the latest incident from a complaint which I have just received by a liberal and broad-minded Malay woman: Read the rest of this entry »


Parliamen dissolves today despite Pak Lah’s assurance of “no” yesterday

Parliament is being dissolved today despite the assurance by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday that there will be no dissolution of Parliament today.

This is the New Straits Times story today:

‘Parliament won’t be dissolved today’

BANGI: Parliament will not be dissolved today.

The prime minister dismissed intense speculation that he would seek to dissolve parliament on the basis of his penchant for the number 13.

“No such thing,” Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told reporters after the launch of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institut Islam Hadhari.

Pressed further if today’s cabinet meeting would be the last for the 11th parliamentary term, he asked back: “What makes you think it’s going to be the last?”

“There will be more (meetings to come).”

My sources tell me that Abdullah had an audience with the Yang di Pertuan Agong this morning on the dissolution of Parliament and the Prime Minister has called for a media conference at 12.30 pm to announce Parliament’s dissolution and the 12th general election.


Chief Secretary Should Not Be Chief Clerk

by Bakri Musa

Judging from the gushing praises, Chief Secretary Sidek Hassan is performing miracles with his Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah, its Malay acronym) committee to streamline the civil service. A reality check is in order.

It reflects how out of touch our top civil servants are from the realities on the ground that it took Sidek and his Director-General of the Public Service Department Ismail Adam to make an unannounced visit to a District Office in Selangor for them to realize how difficult it is to pay one’s “quit rent.”

Then they were shocked to find that the District Officer was out of his office. Again that reflects their naivety and ignorance of the current sorry state of the government machinery. Perhaps they put too much faith on the recent glowing report of IMD’s World Competitive Yearbook that placed the Malaysian government ahead of Japan and Germany in terms of efficiency. The Malaysian public knows better.

It is pathetic that these top civil servants are reduced to being chief clerks checking on the keranis (junior clerks) to make sure that they are at their desks attending to their customers.

Sidek’s unannounced visit is now fast becoming a legend, of a meticulous and diligent top civil servant paying attention to the smallest of operational details. Even previously cynical commentators are now heaping praises on the man. This chorus is repeated by the seasoned corporate figures co-opted into Pemudah.

If those corporate figures were truly impressed, then it does not say much of the crispness of their own management. Alternatively, they had such low expectations that any improvement would impress them. My hunch is that their praises are nothing more than shrewd maneuverings to be on the good side of the government. In a country where the nexus between government and private sector is fuzzy, this is expected. It would not surprise me that their companies do substantial business with the government. Read the rest of this entry »


Samy Vellu “lost his marbles” over Ishwar joining DAP

MIC President and the sole Malaysian Indian Cabinet Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu seems to have “lost his marbles” (to do something senseless or stupid) making him to publicly declare “DAP telah mati”.

I don’t ordinarily watch television news but last night I caught a snippet of television news and saw Samy Vellu in a rampage against the DAP with the ultimate swear term: “DAP telah mati”.

DAP has been active, productive and vibrant for 42 years in Malaysian politics and is looking forward to the “battle of the century” in the upcoming general election. DAP will not die just because Samy Vellu wishes so.

What I am more concerned is how the longest-serving Cabinet Minister in Malaysia could so embarrass himself as to make a fool and public spectacle of himself over national television with such intemperate language and conduct.

Samy Velllu has never been under greater pressure as he is fighting for his political life.

The last straw must be Sunday’s announcement by the bearer of one of the most illustrious names in MIC history, more famous than the name of Samy Vellum, Ishwar Nahappan, joining the ranks of the DAP. Read the rest of this entry »


Chia Kwang Chye will be Khairy’s favourite choice as next Gerakan Penang CM

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said that with the announcement by the Acting Gerakan President, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to move to the federal level in the upcoming general election, the post of Penang Chief Minister will continue to be reserved for the Gerakan.

Yes, the post of Penang Chief Minister will continue to be reserved for the Gerakan, but for the first time for four decades, it will be Umno and not Gerakan which will decide who will be the Penang Gerakan Chief Minister!

This is because Tsu Koon has submitted three names as his successor to the Prime Minister and it is up to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to decide who should be the next Penang Gerakan Chief Minister!

The confession by the Gerakan Secretary-General Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye that he knew nothing about the three names submitted by Koh to Abdullah is most shocking. Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah to ask King to dissolve Parliament tomorrow?

This may be the last day that I am speaking as Parliamentary Opposition Leader for the 11th Parliament if the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his audience with the Yang di Pertuan Agong tomorrow before the weekly Cabinet meeting asks for the dissolution of Parliament – which would also mean the last Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

This will be most unfortunate for the Prime Minister would be showing scant respect and sensitivity to Pai Tiang Gong on the ninth day and Chap Goh Mei on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year – another offense and insensitivity to the diverse cultures and religions in Malaysia in a matter of three months after the holding of the Umno general assembly on Deepavali last November.

Last Monday, I received a notice from Parliament calling for oral and written questions for the first meeting of the fourth session of the 11th Parliament, which will be declared open by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on 17th March 2008, giving MPs the deadline of February 22 to submit their written and oral questions for the 22-day sitting of Parliament till April 24, 2008.

It is a waste of public funds, resources and time for Parliament to rush out parliamentary notice for the March 17-April 24, 2008 to all MPs by pos laju when it is clear the 11th Parliament will not sit again in March. Read the rest of this entry »


RCI Lingam Tape – subpoena Syed Ahmad Idid on 112 corruption allegations against 12 judges in 1996

The testimony by the 13th witness to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Lingam Tape, Thirunama Karasu, the estranged brother of the “star” of the inquiry, senior lawyer V.K. Lingam, about bribery and corruption of judges including the then Chief Justice, of free gifts, handphones, cash and other goodies to judges in 1996 would have reminded political leaders, Parliamentarians, judges and lawyers of the notorious “Ides of March” speech in 1996, when the then Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah shocked Malaysians with the revelation of a 33-page poison-pen letter which made 112 allegations of corruption, abuses of power and misconduct against 12 judges at the Conference of Judges in Kuching in March 1996.

Publicly issuing a directive to the police to launch investigations to “ferret out” and “bring to justice” the “conspirators” and “brutish beasts”, Mohtar Abdullah said:

“The investigation is aimed at striking at the venomous elements who are out to discredit the judiciary and subvert justice in our beloved country.

“As Attorney-General and Public Prosecutor, it is my duty and responsibility to ensure that the judiciary and the legal profession be cleansed of these treacherous elements who, by their vile, insidious, devious and scurrilous allegations in this pamphlet had sought to undermine the integrity of the judiciary and the administration of justice in this country.

“Today is the Ides of March. But unlike that fateful day in ancient Rome, when brutish beasts succeeded in killing Caesar, today we launch this pre-emptive strike at these conspirators and Insya Allah, we will ferret them out, whoever they are, and bring them to justice.” Read the rest of this entry »


Tsu Koon’s first act – Khairy to decide who is the next Gerakan Penang CM

One shocker of the news today is the announcement by the Acting Gerakan President, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to move to the federal level in the upcoming general election – not the contents of the announcement but circumstances and implications of the announcement.

Tsu Koon’s announcement came “a few hours after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mentioned that he (Abdullah) would decide for the Penang Chief Minister if the latter was unable to make up his mind whether to contest a state seat or go for a parliament seat”.

It highlights Koh’s utterly indecisive leadership – even more indecisive than Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, which must be quite an “achievement” by itself.

Koh said he had submitted three names as his successor to the Prime Minister who indicated “he might need a few days to decide on who to choose as my successor”. (Bernama)

This is a most shocking display of impotence. Who should be the next Gerakan Penang Chief Minister should be the sole decision of the Gerakan leadership. Why has Tsu Koon surrendered this power and right of the Gerakan to decide who should be the next Penang Gerakan Chief Minister to the Umno President giving him the prerogative to choose from one of three names submitted by Koh? Read the rest of this entry »


Final reminder to Abdullah – don’t dissolve Parliament before Pai Tian Gong/Chap Goh Mei

I have this morning sent an urgent email to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi giving him a final reminder that dissolving Parliament and kicking off the 12th general election campaign on 13th February or before Chap Goh Mei on 21st February would be the worst example of insensitivity for the diverse cultures and religions in Malaysia after the offense and insensitivity in holding the Umno General Assembly during Deepavali last November.

According the Star online report last night, the Prime Minister said in Butteworth that the dissolution of Parliament on Feb. 13 is a possibility.

I also wish to give a final reminder to the MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, the Acting Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and the SUPP President Tan Sri Dr. George Chan that the onus is on them to impress on the onAbdullah to be sensitive and respect the 15-day Chinese New Year festivities and that the insensitivity shown by the Umno national leadership to the Deepavali public holiday last November should not be repeated again.

I am most shocked that Abdullah has not publicly ruled out the possibility of dissolving Parliament on Feb. 13, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year. As a Penangite, Abdullah should know that the dissolution of Parliament on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year would be doubly offensive and insensitive – as it will not only be a disrespect to the Chinese New Year celebrations but also to Pai Tian Gong which falls on the 9th day of the Lunar New Year, the birthday of the Jade Emperor and a major event for the Hokkiens in Penang. Read the rest of this entry »