Archive for April 9th, 2009

Najib Cabinet not “lean”, may be “mean” – announcement overshadowed by ghost of Altantuya

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet failed to live up to the hype of “lean” though it may be “mean”, setting a dubious Cabinet record of using the “back door of Parliament” to bring into the government the biggest crop of defeated candidates in the previous general election – namely Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Datuk Dr. Awang Adek Hussin which does not speak well for the government’s commitment to accountability and democracy.

If Najib wants the Cabinet to be really “lean”, he should have slashed the 32-strong Abdullah Ministers by at least one-third!
All the blurb about downsizing Abdullah’s second 67-strong Cabinet (32 Ministers and 35 Deputy Ministers) has not really borne fruit, as Najib has produced a bigger 68-strong Cabinet with 28 Ministers and 40 Deputy Ministers although there are four Ministers less.

Najib has appointed even more Ministers and Deputy Ministers than Mahathir’s last Cabinet after the 1999 general election, when there were only 27 Ministers and 27 Deputy Ministers, together with 15 Parliamentary Secretaries.

Najib’s unveiling of his Cabinet has set another record, being the worst public relations (PR) disaster in the nation’s history.
Najib’s P.R. advisers should be sacked for it was completely overshadowed by the ghost of murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu after the morning’s High Court conviction and death sentence for policemen Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar for her C4 murder. Read the rest of this entry »


Death for Azilah/Sirul – intensify demand for RCI into allegations of Najib’s involvement in Altantuya C4 murder case

The end of the murder trial of the century in the Shah Alam High Court this morning, with policemen Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar found guilty and sentenced to death for murdering Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, and then blowing up her body in a jungle clearing on Oct 19, 2006, is not going to end public fixation with any Altantuya-Najib nexus in national and international circles.

The question that is inevitably asked is who could be behind the two Bukit Aman Special Action Squad (UTK) cops’ C4 murder of Altantuya.

Those who had thought that the end of the Altantuya murder trial, with the conviction and death sentence pronounced on Azila and Sirul, would end national and international fixation with any connection of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with the Altantuya murder case cannot be more wrong.

While Azilah and Sirul would appeal against the mandatory death sentence upon conviction under Section 149 of the Penal Code, their conviction and death sentence have not lessened but intensified public demands and necessity for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into swirling allegations of Najib’s involvement in the Altantuya’s C4 murder case. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan’s rising hills, Najib’s declining slope

by Bridget Welsh
Apr 8, 09

The results are in, and the 2-1 victory shows that both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional held onto their original seats. But the final tallies do not suggest a status quo. Far from it.

The larger majorities for the opposition indicate serious obstacles for Najib Abdul Razak and BN. Voters have decisively rejected his new leadership less than one week into his tenure. The debate will not only centre on the numbers, but around the factors that contributed to BN defeats.

Allow me to point out 10 factors that stand out.

1) Leadership credibility – Najib has a serious public image problem. Despite hiring public relations firms, his reform-oriented speeches and calls to give him a chance, the new premier has yet to win over the support of a majority of Malaysians. The results show that this problem is across races (even among the Malays), classes and generations. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia– After the Battle on Bonkers Hills

by Azly Rahman

Two Hills were won – Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang.

I still remember when I was a child; the name “Bukit Gantang” is associated with a “panglima” or a warrior of fierce look and disposition equipped with the keris, Steroid-pumped up body and a tanjak (headgear). Hence Panglima Bukit Gantang. “Gantang” is a unit of measurement used to calibrate the amount of rice. A bigger unit than “secupak”. The more powerful one is in society, the more gantang one gets. The lower the rakyat is in rung of the “dog-eat-dog world”, the less “cupak” one gets. That’s the ugly side of the language of power/ideology/class of the people of “semangat padi”.

I still remember the word “selamba”, close to the sound of “Selambau”. I know what selamba means — “poker-faced” and no shame in playing dirty games. Selamba saja muka dia … That’s from a Johor dialect I grew up with. Now, “lahabau” is a bad/unacceptable/inappropriate/cuss word used by my friends from Melaka. It mean “jackass”, or worse, maybe. It is actually an affectionate greeting. Truly the Melakkans are good at ‘gangsta-use” of language. They would curse good friends secupak segantang ( a “truckload” of nasty words) when the meet friends who they have not met for months, years, maybe — wondering where this “lahabau” have been all these years. That explains my fear of meeting my friends from Melaka. Fear of being called “lahabau” or “hamlau” or “cilaka kau” in the process of being greeted! Yes– they are the fierce Vikings of Malaya, those modern Melakkans. Read the rest of this entry »