Archive for October 31st, 2012

Oil Trading: Dark Side of PETRONAS

By Koon Yew Yin

Last week, the international financial media carried the story that Canada intended to block the planned $5.3bn acquisition of Calgary-based Progress Energy Resources by Petronas. According to these reports, the country’s industry minister, Christian Paradis had issued a statement saying he had written to Petronas saying he was “not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada”.

Much of the subsequent analysis has focused on questions related to Canada’s policy on foreign takeovers and its investment policy especially with regard to foreign state-owned entities. This should be of little interest to us.

Of greater interest to Malaysians should be how the Petronas takeover of Progress will benefit our country. Is it in our best interests? What are the pros and cons of this very expensive takeover? Let us always remember that the company belongs to all Malaysians, and not simply to the government of the day or a group of company directors.

Petronas has done well. Since its incorporation, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in many countries. The group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining. Oil trading is one of the key activities of the group.
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Kong Cho Ha would have no choice but to resign as Transport Minister if there is a majority of at least 112 out of 222 MPs supporting the suspension of AES

In the past 24 hours, two UMNO MPs have broken ranks and swung their support for Pakatan Rakyat’s call for the immediate suspension of the Automatic Enforcement System (AEA) for traffic offences, pending full study of various public interest issues related to its implementation.

The first to do so is the UMNO Youth leader and MP for Rembau Khairy Jamaluddin who, after a meeting of the UMNO Youth executive council yesterday, called for the government to defer the implementation of AES as a review of the system was necessary to rectify weaknesses in it.

Today, a UMNO MP for Sabah, Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, who is also Deputy Chairman of Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) also crossed the political divide to back the PR call for suspension of AES.

The Pakatan Rakyat state governments of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have already suspended approval for the implementation of the AES until conclusion of full study and a proper consultation process with all the relevant stakeholders.

The question now is whether there is any MCA MP, Deputy Minister or Minister who dare to break ranks to call for immediate suspension of AES to produce the first fruit of MCA’s two-year-old “high profile politics” or whether all the boasts of “high profile politics” are just bunkum. Read the rest of this entry »


Warisan Merdeka to have 118 storeys

By Ida Lim
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 31, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― The controversial Warisan Merdeka tower next to Stadium Merdeka here will have 118 floors, the government said today, sparking renewed objections from the local MP who said the skyscraper would only contribute to a property glut.

Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun told reporters today that Kuala Lumpur City Hall should reject the development, after the Federal Territories Ministry told Parliament of the plans for the skyscraper that had originally been for 100 storeys.

“The supply of office space in Kuala Lumpur has exceeded demand without Warisan Tower and Tun Razak Exchange. It’s not reasonable to give new approval for new development of office space,” Fong said.

He also cited the unsatisfactory traffic conditions in the Jalan Hang Jebat area where the mega tower is planned to be built, as a reason why DBKL should reject the application.

The Warisan Merdeka project was announced in 2010 by the government, and immediately sparked public outcry over the need for another skyscraper in the city. Read the rest of this entry »


Selayang Council must come clean

R. Nadeswaran
The Sun Daily
30 October 2012

IN early February, 2006, I was at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport awaiting the arrival of passengers on Flight MH9042 from Mauritius. Among them was a delegation from the Selayang Municipal Council which included nine councillors, the president, the secretary and his wife, two officials and four businessmen who had contracts with the council. They had also dropped by South African cities, among others, to study how public toilets are maintained and kept clean. I had then asked: “How did contractors become part of an official delegation? Don’t the rules require councillors to keep at arm’s length, dealings with suppliers of goods and services?”

Subsequently, I wrote outlining their programme in both the countries and asked what they had learnt when they were out shopping and sight-seeing all the time. As usual, the silence was deafening.

All these memories came back last week as I read about the same council and the proposed development around Batu Caves. Both sides – the present and past administrations – have started pointing fingers and let it be stated that it is not this writer’s intention to take sides but put the record straight. The remarks made by some of the past councillors who approved the development are so ludicrous that they have to be taken with more than a pinch of salt.

Former councillor and current Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk A. Kohillan Pillay who was one of those who went on the toilet inspection trip said what had been approved in 2007 was only a “planning permit” which did not specify the number of storeys.

May be, after all these years he has forgotten terms like “planning permission”; “development order” and other terminology because he is concentrating on foreign policy matters and more travelling. Thus, we shall not burden him compelling him to read the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in its entirety. However, he should not overlook the central concept – the definition of what amounts to development. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib’s Achilles heel and poison arrow

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | October 31, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Every Umno leader knows that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad blames Rosmah Mansor for the position Umno and Najib Razak find themselves in today.


It’s none of our concern if Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s attacks on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak are tactical or real. What we know is that they are all masters and practitioners of subterfuge and deception.

I suspect the Umno camp is really worried about the attacks on their man that they have to do a spin on the whole works.

That’s Umno thinking for you. When something is not working for them, they will manufacture a preferred storyline.

Hence the story line they come out with is that Mahathir is doing his usual reverse psychology.

Every Umno leader knows that Mahathir blames Rosmah Mansor for the position Umno finds itself today.

Rosmah is the heel to Najib’s Achilles. Mahathir is the poison arrow.

Mahathir never ceases to bully Malays into believing they are inadequate and therefore the solution is to entrust their future in the hands of good people like him.

Social evils, intoned Mahathir, arise from the activities of evil people and if only known devils like him and the band of marauders and plunderers are in control, Malaysia is safe.

What is wrong with this kind of thinking? Well, it only requires one to be unthinking and self-praising.

Mahathir likes to self-praise although he has a round-about way of doing it. The medical doctor uses self-deprecation to disarm and defeat opponents. Read the rest of this entry »


Controversial ‘Tanda Putera’ film release shelved indefinitely, say sources

By Jahabar Sadiq
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 31, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― The public release of the “Tanda Putera” film that deals with the May 13 race riots has been put off indefinitely and now may hit the silver screen after the next general election, say sources.

The Malaysian Insider understands that senior government officials and the Najib administration did not want any distractions and potential flashpoints in the run up to the polls, which is likely to be held in the first quarter of 2013 after the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysian 2.0 (BR1M) is paid out.

The RM4.8 million film, financed with public funds, was first due to be released last September 13 but it was later pushed to November 17.

“There is too much controversy about the film and the authorities have decided on a later release date,” a government source told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »