Archive for February 25th, 2012

Another cock-and-bull story from Mahathir

Kee Thuan Chye | Feb 25, 2012


Dr Mahathir Mohamad should talk straight or just shut up.

Whenever he rebuts allegations of wrongdoing during his tenure as prime minister, he appears to sound not only defensive but deceptive as well.

Now he says the government’s bailout of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) in 2000, during his premiership, was “not the worst”. What does that mean? Is he saying that the bailout was all right simply because it was not the worst?

If he is still of sound mind and can understand this, let me say it is not all right. So what if it was not the worst act of using public funds? It was nonetheless committed. Should only the worst be held accountable?

That bailout cost Malaysians RM1.8 billion. And the government paid for the MAS shares at more than double their market price. Why was this so?

Well, Mahathir has become famous for blaming others; this time, he points to the Finance Ministry – for recommending the purchase at such a price. Has he forgotten he was the country’s chief executive officer then, and that it wouldn’t have gone through without his say-so, no matter which ministry or individual recommended it? Read the rest of this entry »


Lynas: Long-term public relations nightmare

— by Strategia
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 25, 2012

FEB 25 — It all began many years ago with MIDA (MITI) that reportedly lured and attracted this controversial polluting Lynas rare earth industry to Malaysian shores. Apparently, some promises have been made.

Then the fiasco began. Firstly, the fast-tracked approval of the sloppy PEIA by the DoE. The RIA was not even completed then. Secondly, only upon public outcries was the quietly approved and equally sloppy RIA was made available to the public by AELB. Note that the PEIA and RIA are not up to international best practices and standards, showing clear deficiencies. More public outcry over the poor governance and the regulatory bodies’ substandard competency. The government had to invite an international review panel from the IAEA to quell public anger over Lynas. The IAEA panel put forth a slew of recommendations for Lynas as well as for the Malaysian government’s regulatory bodies — showing up their deficiencies.

What a public relations nightmare for both Lynas and the incompetent Malaysian regulatory bodies!

Then, more fiasco. Read the rest of this entry »


Loan agreement shows NFCorp broke terms, says Pua

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 25, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — DAP MP Tony Pua today revealed the loan agreement signed by the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), which he claimed proved the company had violated conditions attached to the RM250 million facility.

The DAP publicity chief pointed out that Clause 3 of the agreement clearly states that the federal loan should be used to “part finance the project as described in the First Schedule of this agreement”.

The First Schedule states that use of the loan must be “consistent with the government of Malaysia’s policy of developing, promoting and nurturing the production of beef and beef products through the National Feedlot Centre as a centre for commercial and integrated cattle feedlot”.

“It cannot be more obvious. Use of the funds can only strictly be used to part finance the setting up of the centre and nothing else,” Pua told reporters at DAP headquarters here.

“So all the claims made by the executives and directors of NFCorp that they can use the money for anything is complete rubbish.” Read the rest of this entry »


Najib – is RM589 million out-of-court settlement of Tajudin Ramli’s debts proof Malaysians today are still paying for RM100 billion Mahathir financial scandals?

Malaysians are entitled to a frank and honest answer from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak whether the RM580 million out-of-court settlement of Tajudin Ramli’s debts is proof that Malaysians today are still paying for the RM100 billion financial scandals perpetrated in the 22 years Tun Dr. Mahathir was the Prime Minister. And if so, they want to know of other such instances.

More and more Malaysians are asking this question as there is total lack of transparency, accounting, explanation or details for the RM580 million out-of-court settlement with government-linked corporations (GLCS), raising the question whether the Barisan Nasional government has achieved another entry in the Guinness Book of Records in being the first government in the world to surrender a court judgment for RM580 million.

One big controversy among Malaysians today is who is to be believed, Mahathir or Tajudin Ramli about the “double bail-out” of MAS. Read the rest of this entry »


What every Malaysian needs to know about ‘race’ (Part 3): Distorted reasoning — or thinking ‘bamboozled’ by language

By Clive Kessler | February 25, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

FEB 25 — The word bangsa in modern Malaysian usage is semantically overworked. It serves to convey a number of related but different meanings.

Whatever advantages of economy and compression of thought and expression this “semantic condensation” may provide, it carries with it enormous dangers.

In its preceding parts, this extended discussion has explored the “folding” of those various meanings into that overworked, overburdened, and hence multiply ambiguous idea, or concept, of bangsa.

That disaggregation and “deconstruction” was offered for a most serious purpose: to serve as a warning of the great risks of confusion — of the distorted understanding and communication — that lie in wait whenever the term bangsa is less than thoughtfully used.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Perhaps Lynas should turn back

— Tay Tian Yan
The Malaysian Insider
February 24, 2012

Feb 24 — I recently met director Tan Chui Mui. She told me she had moved her studio from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

KL is too small in the world of film-making; Beijing is somewhat larger.

Tan needs a bigger space to develop her career and fulfil her dreams.

She has won several awards in international film festivals. She is so young and there are lots of potentials she could exploit outside the country.

She does come back to her native Kuantan every now and then, not so much for making a movie, but for her hometown.

Lynas Corp plans to set up a massive rare earth refinery plant in Kuantan, and Putrajaya has issued a conditional temporary licence to the Australia-based firm. Read the rest of this entry »


Tell us everything, Najib

— Sam Peh
The Malaysian Insider
February 25, 2012

FEB 25 — Once again, Prime Minister Najib Razak disappoints with a ridiculous statement, aimed at absolving Mahathir Mohamad, the champion of double-speak.

Najib said that the government will consider releasing correspondence between Mahathir and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak, to show that Mahathir did not soften Malaysia’s stance on Palestine.

Obviously, Najib wants to do that because otherwise his statement against Anwar Ibrahim for saying in an interview that the security of Israel should be guaranteed unmasked him as Jew sympathiser would be hypocritical. It is also possible that since Mahathir seems to be running the country, Najib has really no choice.

I suggest that since Najib is on disclosure mode, he also consider revealing facts that are far more important to Malaysians such as:

1) The confidential agreement between Danaharta and Tajudin Ramli which allowed the favoured businessman to stop paying RM590 million to the government agency. Can you imagine any government giving up a court award of RM590 million? Read the rest of this entry »