Sunday, November 28, 2010

An eulogy to the greatest CM of Penang


By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on November 25, 2010 4:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBacks (0)

1. We know that we must all leave this life one day. But knowing the inevitabilty of death cannot stop us from grieving over the passage of a great man, no matter how long he may have lived.

2. As a nationalist, as a friend, as a compatriot, I feel saddened by the passage from this life of Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

3. Except for Tun Razak, Tun Lim contributed most to the formation of the National Front, the coalition which succeeded the Alliance, ruled and developed Malaysia until today. He responded postively to the proposal by Tun Razak to rejoin the coalition for the good of Malaysia. He rose above many of the grievances which had led him to leave the MCA, to become a junior partner even though he had been victorious. He was content to be just a Chief Minister of Penang.
4.It was as a Chief Minister that he made Foreign Direct Investment a by-word in Malaysia and perhaps in the world. He brought the first foreign investments in electronics to Penang. It was the best thing for overcoming unemploymnet which had plagued Malaysia till then.

5. It was he who made the Penang the centre for the transformation of Malaysia into an industrial nation. Towards this end he was tireless, almost single-handedly contacting and persuading foreign industrialists to invest in the new electronics industry. So successfull was he that very quickly Penang was short of workers and other states benefitted from his effort at creating employment.

6. I worked closely with Tun Lim and always found him open to proposals on the development of Penang and Malaysia. When he lost in the 1990 elections, it came as a shock to me. I had thought that the people of Penang would remember his services and overcome partisan sentiments. But I suppose I was hoping for far too much.

7. Malaysia, and I dare say Penang, has lost a great leader with the passing away of Tun Dr Lim Ching Eu.

8. I offer my condolences to Toh Puan Goh Sing Yeng and all the members of Tun Lim's family.

Rest in Peace.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Good chance for BN win: Mahathir

Good chance for BN win: Mahathir
Nov 1, 10 2:46pm

Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes that BN stands a good chance of winning in both the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections because of the internal problems of the opposition.

"I think BN stands a good chance because the performance of the opposition has not been very good. And now they are quarelling among themselves.

"If they win and become the government, it will be a disaster for the country," he said.

Commenting on claims that the PAS candidate for Galas, Dr Zulkefli Mohamed, would not be able to serve the people because of his obesity, Dr Mahathir said: "I dont think that his weight is something that we have to take into consideration."

"The main thing is that he is representing a party that has no credibility," the former prime minister told reporters at the World Conference on Riba in Kuala Lumpur.

Polling for both by-elections will be held on Nov 4. The BN candidate for the state seat in Kelantan is Ab Aziz Yusoff.

Linda Tsen Thau Lin is the BN candate for the parliamentary seat in Sabah. She faces SAPP president Yong Teck Lee and Ansari Abdullah of PKR.

- Bernama

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Is It - The Economic Transformation of Malaysia - A Roadmap, A Plan, A Programme, A Blueprint?

By Matthias Chang
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 10:50

Yesterday, the Malaysian government, more specifically Pemandu (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) CEO, Datuk Seri Idris Jala announced a RM1.3 trillion or about US$444 billion investment - (Roadmap? Plan? Programme? Blueprint?) to transform Malaysia’s economy. To the Chinese, 444 is definitely a bad omen – literally die, die, die!

There were enough acronyms - ETP, GNI, EPPs, NKEAs, KPIs etc. to confuse everyone.

What was most interesting in the power-point presentation by Datuk Seri Idris Jala was his emphasis that the economic transformation is not a PLAN but a PROGRAMME, whatever that means.

A major initiative such as the economic transformation must be conveyed to the people in a way that would not lead to confusion and or ridicule.

Jala for reasons best known to himself and his think tank insist on the emphasis and the difference between a PLAN and a PROGRAMME.

But, please do explain what is the difference, for if Datuk Jala cannot even convey his own idea and concepts of the two words, PLAN and PROGRAMME, the initiative will be still born.

Why am I so pessimistic?

Bearing in mind Jala’s emphatic distinction of PLAN and PROGRAMME, why did NST in its front page blare out:


And in the second paragraph of the story, it was reported,

“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Idris Jala, who is also Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief executive officer laid out THE PLAN, conceived primarily to get Malaysia out of the middle-income trap”.

Then we have another paragraph,

“Presenting the economic ROADMAP at the ETP open day in Kuala Lumpur yesterday …”

The SUN newspaper had a different take on the initiative, and its headline cried out,

“NO business for government – Corporate leaders want level playing field, free competition and government to exit business”.

Is this the essence of the ETP?

I have examined the 94 pages of the power-point slides by Datuk Jala and I did not come across this message as being central to the ETP, although private sector investment will be the main engine for the so-called growth in the next ten years.

The STAR newspaper headline had a different slant or emphasis,

“RM115 bil start – seven projects under ETP to triple nation’s income”.

The lead story is all about the value of the EPP (Entry Point Projects).

There were no references to road maps, but there were specific references to PLANS such as,

“PLANS in the pipeline include making Malaysia a number one regional hub … there are also PLANS to build 141 km rail lines via a mass rapid transit high-speed rail system to connect Kuala Lumpur to Singapore”.

No doubt, a lot of hard work has been put into the ETP etc. and this effort must be applauded.

But, if the leading newspapers cannot get it right, I wonder who will get it right!

Saturday, September 18, 2010



By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on September 17, 2010 9:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (38) | TrackBacks (0)

1. One reason advanced by the advocates of letting the Ringgit to be traded abroad is that it will encourage foreign direct investment.

2. There was a time when Malaysia practically pioneered encouragement for foreign direct investment. It was even before FDI became popular with many developing countries as a shortcut to economic growth. Malaysia wanted FDI for job-creating labour intensive industries because of the need to create employment opportunities for its workforce at that time. It was really not about growing the economy.

3. For Malaysia at that time, foregoing taxes and even local participation were not important. The Government did not rely on FDI to fill its treasury.

4. The policy of attracting FDI was so successful that it resolved the problem of unemployment until it created a problem of labour shortage. This led to an inflow of foreign workers and the expatriation of billions of Ringgit back to their countries. FDI no longer helped Malaysia's growth.

5. But being used to this easy approach we keep on inviting FDI believing that it would still help with our economy. But let us look at what really happens when there is foreign direct investment.

6. Most people think that there would be an inflow of capital. But actually only about 10 per cent of the capital needed was brought in. The rest is borrowed from local banks, preferably foreign owned banks. It is therefore Malaysian money that is invested.

7. Apart from tax exemption Malaysia also subsidised the operations of foreign owned companies through subsidised electricity, fuel and domestic transportation. Of course the Malaysian workers contribute through their cheap labour.

8. There is another type of FDI which is even less beneficial. This take the form of investments in the stock market. Usually the objective is not to benefit from profits and dividends but from capital gains.

9. When foreign investors buy Malaysian shares, the prices are likely to appreciate. Foreign institutional investors, especially pension funds can easily push up share prices with their repeated purchases.

10. When the prices are high enough the investors would dump the shares and collect capital gains. The local investors would lose money as prices depreciated.

11. During the financial cirisis of 1997-98, foreign investors dumped their shares so as to quickly change the Ringgit into foreign (US) currency before further falls in the Ringgit would give them less foreign currency in exchange. This invariably caused a steep fall in the share prices and Stock Market Index with consequent losses by local investors.

12. The Malaysian Stock Exchange makes money from commissions or the sales and purchase of shares. Consequently they are happy with more selling and buying on the Exchange. They therefore welcome foreign investors in the market. In fact they believe that if short selling is allowed they will make even more money.But these kinds of market activities do not benefit the nation.

13. FDI is double-edged and caution is needed when deciding on encouraging it. Today FDI is not coming into Malaysia because countries such as China, Vietnam, even Thailand and Indonesia offer lower cost of labour. Besides the economic recession in America and Europe mean less capital is available.

14. But what about the Ringgit? How will it affect the FDI? We need to know whether there was a lowering of FDI due to fixing the Ringgit exchange rate in 1998. If there was, was it directly due to the exchange control or other factors like increase in the cost of labour and competition with the above-mentioned low cost countries?

15. Actually when the Ringgit was fixed at RM3.80 to 1 US Dollar, the cost of investing in Malaysia was lower in terms of foreign currency. Now that the Ringgit has appreciated to RM3.20, the cost has appreciated. If we allow free trading of Ringgit abroad, two things can happen.

16. If the Ringgit strengthens then the cost of investment in Malaysia would increase, This would not facilitate foreign investments.

17. On the other hand the currency traders may once again cause the Ringgit to depreciate. This may result in increased FDI. But remember how we went into recession when our ringgit was devalued by foreign currency traders? Do we want to have that crisis again?

18. The present financial crisis in the world is due to the abuse of regulations in the financial market. No positive steps have been taken so far to regulate it. Certainly currency trading remains unregulated and selective.

19. The latest report says that every day currency trading is valued at four trillion dollars, equal to the total output of Germany in one year.

20. Whereas Germany's 4 trillion dollars yearly output creates millions of jobs, businesses big and small and much trade, the 4 trillion a day currency trade creates practically no jobs, businesses or trade. Of course the currency traders make tons of money. In the process we know that they can cause a repeat of the crisis faced by the world when they lose. Why should the world allow such greedy people to put the world at risk.

21. If we fully free our Ringgit the risk of being attacked by currency traders will once again be faced by us. Do we really want to have the financial crisis once again?

22. So I hope the Government will explain why it wants the Ringgit to be traded again. I hope it is not because we want to be good boys who will always do what we are told to do.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Red Marbles

Saturday, 11 September 2010 09:54

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo , Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'

'Good. Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'

'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.
'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller..

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost..'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'.. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store..'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr... Miller had died.

They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts....all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her, and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about colour or size.....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband.. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.... Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.....

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself.. An unexpected phone call from an old friend...Green stoplights on your way to work....The fastest line at the grocery store...A good sing-along song on the radio...Your keys found right where you left them.
Send this to the people you'll never forget.. I just did....
If you don't send it to anyone, it means you are in way too much of a hurry to even notice the ordinary miracles when they occur.


New Economic Model (NEM) vs New Economic Policy (NEP)

PM: Tindakan afirmatif MBE disemak semula

Sep 11, 10 4:14pm

Pelaksanaan tindakan afirmatif di bawah Model Baru Ekonomi (MBE) akan disemak semula bagi menjadikannya lebih adil dan saksama, telus serta mesra pasaran, kata Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Katanya, apa yang berjaya dilakukan pada masa lepas, mungkin tidak lagi sesuai pada hari ini, dan Malaysia akan kembali tertinggal di belakang serta kehilangan daya saing jika tiada pembaharuan atau perubahan dilakukan.

"Kami akan melakukan semua ini kerana kami komited untuk mencapai Wawasan 2020, yang dimulakan oleh Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pada 1990," kata Najib semasa diwawancara dalam rancangan The CNBC Conversation oleh pengacara Martin Soong.

Najib menegaskan untuk mengekalkan status quo bukanlah satu opsyen.

Namun, komitmen dari segi menstabilkan masyarakat untuk mewujudkan masyarakat lebih saksama yang akan membawa kepada kestabilan jangka panjang akan terus kekal.

"Oleh itu, intipati Model Baru Ekonomi bukanlah segala-galanya mengubah sasaran makro tetapi bagi memastikan bagaimana kami melakukannya untuk menghasilkan kejayaan lebih besar," katanya.

“Dan dengan melakukannya, saya fikir ia akan lebih diterima semua pihak. Dan ia juga dilihat lebih adil," katanya.

Najib berkata ada sebilangan orang yang berasa khuatir dan mungkin juga takut dengan perubahan, tetapi itu bukanlah perkara baru.

Badan bukan kerjaan yang memperjuangkan hak-hak orang Melayu, PERKASA dan bekas perdana menteri Dr Mahathir telah menyatakan pendirian mereka membela hak istimewa orang Melayu di bawah dasar MBE dan menentang perubahan-perubahan yang dilakukan terhadap dasar sedia ada mengenai kaum Bumiputera.

"Mereka tidak menentang kami. Mereka lebih banyak membicarakan mengenai hak-hak Bumiputera. Tetapi sebenarnya, kami tidak menarik balik apa-apa daripada kaum Bumiputera, tetapi kami hanya menyatakan marilah kita melakukannya dengan kaedah berbeza," jelasnya.

Najib menegaskan bahawa adalah penting adalah untuk mendapatkan hasil yang lebih baik dan mencapai hasrat mewujudkan masyarakat lebih saksama.

"Tetapi pada masa sama, berlaku adil kepada kaum bukan Bumiputera kerana kami ingin membina 1Malaysia," kata Najib.

Perdana menteri berkata komitmen itu sebenarnya akan membawa pembangunan yang lebih adil, termasuk Sabah dan Sarawak, yang merupakan satu daripada sendi MBE, mesti inklusif dan dijayakan bersama.

Sebahagian besar sumber-sumber akan disalurkan ke Sarawak dan Sabah di bawah Rancangan Malaysia ke-10, khususnya berkaitan Program Transformasi Kerajaan, kata Najib.

Beliau berkata ini termasuklah, contohnya infrastruktur pembangunan, jalan raya kawasan luar bandar, bekalan elektrik, air dan sebahagian besarnya akan dilaksanakan di Sarawak dan Sabah.

"Dan kami sedang melihat hasilnya kerana saya memantau secara berterusan, maka perancangan berkenaan sebenarnya sedang dilaksanakan dan kami akan melihat kejayaan lebih tinggi semasa kita bergerak ke hadapan kerana kita kini sedang mendapatkan momentum," katanya.

- Bernama

Saturday, September 04, 2010

What happens in UMNO, affects Malaysia. What happens in Sabah politics will affect Malaysian politics as well

Sabah PKR's stumbling block - Anwar Ibrahim

Joe Fernandez

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 21:28

COMMENT The flip-flops in the continuing saga of Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), a troubled chapter, should come as no surprise to anyone who knows party advisor Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar has a long history of unfulfilled pledges in Sabah. This is a history which began with his entry into Umno in 1984. He stepped up his reputation further when the Barisan Nasional (BN) overthrew the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) government a month after state elections in 1994 with the elaborate promise of “Sabah Baru” (new Sabah) in 100 days.

The sole exception, pledge-wise, is the appointment of Kota Kinabalu division chief Christina Liew Chin Jin Hadhikusumo as the Sabah state deputy chief late last year as part of a peace plan. For this, credit must go to party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is close to Liew. The rest of the plan is in ruins, thanks to Anwar, the only stumbling block.

Anwar is a political animal who does not say what he means and does not mean what he says. It’s for no reason that Umno, his old party, has labeled him a political chameleon. What benefit he gets by adopting this mindset is beyond anyone’s comprehension. Anyone would like to know where he or she stands vis-à-vis another. Those who don’t subscribe to this ethic would soon be history as any good businessman would swear.

This is something to be said in favour of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who is no doubt a hardcore racist. He leaves no one in any doubt what he stands for and never hesitates to let the other person know where he stands with him (Mahathir).

Anwar, however, is no Mahathir despite the fact that the latter is an original political animal. He lacks the flexibility and resilience of the older man.

So, it’s highly unlikely that 12 senior party activists – 11 Dusuns, 1 Barunai – currently facing a one-year suspension will have their punishment reduced upon appeal. The sentence for their involvement in the aborted formation of Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) will stand undiminished and perhaps even enhanced to push Sabah strongman Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan to his limits. This will take his 12 disciples out of the running for the divisional elections slated for Sept 18 and 19, if not the party altogether.

The likely result, even in the event their sentences are not enhanced, will be the inevitable departure of the 12 from the party.

Any discussion on a new deal struck between Anwar and Kitingan on the fate of the 12 would be an exercise in utter futility even if it doesn’t fuel polemics. If the recent history of the written peace plan is any indication, the new verbal deal is as good as dead.

The PKR advisor virtually called Kitingan a liar yesterday. This was after the latter apparently pre-empted the reneging on their secret deal on the 12. He prematurely disclosed the 12-9 = 3 formula for the resolution of the crisis i.e. nine of his 12 men to have their sentence substituted by warning letters. The remaining three would have their suspension reduced by half and backdated to Jan 4, the date when the PCS application was officially withdrawn, according to what the Registrar of Societies reportedly told PKR.

Anwar has capitalized on Kitingan’s pre-emptive strike to entertain his inner circle with his own take on the 12-9 = 3 formula i.e. all 12 to be suspended but can appeal. The sentence on the three principal office-bearers of PCS would stand and take them out of the running for the Sept 18 and 19 polls. The other nine would be eligible. Their sentence would be back-dated to Jan 4 and reduced sufficiently to enable them to stand for the polls next month. This can be seen as another of Anwar’s fairy tales if his rubbishing of Kitingan’s take on the formula is any indication.

Kitingan and Anwar, it is clear, have been talking past each other for a very long time. This is very likely to continue and end in even more broken pledges to test Kitingan’s patience to the limits of human endurance. Sabah rights, the Malaysia Agreement, the Tambunan Declaration, the 20 Points and autonomy are yet to enter the PKR Constitution despite many promises.

The Sabahan, as a member of the majority local community, sees himself as the rightful ruler of his state, an idea which is anathema to Anwar who is Umno unreformed, unrepentant. Mahathir may have taken Anwar out of Umno but no one can take the Umno out of him. He stands for Malay Muslim political supremacy in Sabah as well and justifies this on the grounds that “the Muslims are now in a majority in the state”.

This may be true if one includes the illegal immigrants with MyKads who have entered the electoral rolls as Malay Muslims. Besides, Sabahans now number only 1.5 million while the foreigners including illegal immigrants have eclipsed them at 1.7 million.

So, Anwar’s idea for the immediate future seems to be to make full use of Kitingan for his hidden agenda in the state while stringing him along until he has no further use for him. The PKR supremo figures that ten parliamentary seats from Sabah and an equal number from neighbouring Sarawak, both through Kitingan if he remains politically naïve and trusting long enough, will help put him firmly in the saddle in Putrajaya in 2013.

How going from the frying pan (BN) into the fire (PKR) benefits Sabah and Sarawak is anyone’s guess on the other side of the South China Sea.

PKR, and by extension Pakatan Rakyat – despite DAP and Pas having some saving graces – will be another, certainly more degenerate, version of Umno and BN. There’s still the possibility of making BN and Umno see reason especially in Sabah and Sarawak. The same cannot be said for Anwar given his dubious track record.

The writing is on the wall. Long before push comes to shove, Kitingan will leave PKR for his own political vehicle as his people have already been long demanding. In that case, BN will win once again in Sabah and Sarawak but by default if Anwar doesn’t give way to him in the seats that he wants. The question of BN giving way to Kitingan’s new political vehicle does not arise.

He could also return to PBS, which he co-founded in 1984 with his elder brother, especially if the latter becomes Chief Minister once again to complete Musa Aman’s – another Dusun -- term. This is the hottest topic in Sabah today. If Joseph Pairin Kitingan becomes Chief Minister of Sabah once more, even if just for the run-up to 2013, the BN will win the state with a landslide. Not a single KadazanDusunMurut vote will go to the opposition.

The return of the KDM to the BN will make it extremely difficult for the Dayaks in neighbouring Sarawak to abandon the ruling coalition at this juncture. The Dayaks are looking to the Kitingans for their political lead as they lack leaders of similar calibre, the continuing polemics on them notwithstanding.

* The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysian Mirror and/or its associates.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Collapse of Fiat Money and the Global Financial System

Too Big To Fail Global Banks Will Collapse Between Now and First Quarter 2011 - When Quantitative Easing (QE II) Has Run Its Course and Fails, Is the Time for the Global Collapse of the Fiat Money System - By Matthias Chang (1/9/10)

By Matthias Chang

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 01:25

Readers of my articles will recall that I have warned as far back as December 2006, that the global banks will collapse when the Financial Tsunami hits the global economy in 2007. And as they say, the rest is history.

Quantitative Easing (QE I) spearheaded by the Chairman of Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke delayed the inevitable demise of the fiat shadow money banking system slightly over 18 months.

That is why in November of 2009, I was so confident to warn my readers that by the end of the first quarter of 2010 at the earliest or by the second quarter of 2010 at the latest, the global economy will go into a tailspin. The recent alarm that the US economy has slowed down and in the words of Bernanke “the recent pace of growth is less vigorous than we expected” has all but vindicated my analysis. He warned that the outlook is uncertain and the economy “remains vulnerable to unexpected developments”.

Obviously, Bernanke’s words do not reveal the full extent of the fear that has gripped central bankers and the financial elites that assembled at the annual gathering at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But, you can take it from me that they are very afraid.


Let me be plain and blunt. The “unexpected developments” Bernanke referred to is the collapse of the global banks. This is FED speak and to those in the loop, this is the dire warning.

So many renowned economists have misdiagnosed the objective and consequences of quantitative easing. Central bankers’ scribes and the global mass media hoodwinked the people by saying that QE will enable the banks to lend monies to cash-starved companies and jump start the economy. The low interest rate regime would encourage all and sundry to borrow, consume and invest.

This was the fairy tale.

Then, there were some economists who were worried that as a result of the FED’s printing press (electronic or otherwise) working overtime, hyper-inflation would set in soon after.

But nothing happened. The multiplier effect of fractional reserve banking did not take off. Bank lending in fact stalled.


What happened?

Let me explain in simple terms step by step.

1) All the global banks were up to their eye-balls in toxic assets. All the AAA mortgage-backed securities etc. were in fact JUNK. But in the balance sheets of the banks and their special purpose vehicles (SPVs), they were stated to be worth US$ TRILLIONS.

2) The collapse of Lehman Bros and AIG exposed this ugly truth. All the global banks had liabilities in the US$ Trillions. They were all INSOLVENT. The central banks the world over conspired and agreed not to reveal the total liabilities of the global banks as that would cause a run on these banks, as happened in the case of Northern Rock in the U.K.

3) A devious scheme was devised by the FED, led by Bernanke to assist the global banks to unload systematically and in tranches the toxic assets so as to allow the banks to comply with RESERVE REQUIREMENTS under the fractional reserve banking system, and to continue their banking business. This is the essence of the bailout of the global banks by central bankers.

4) This devious scheme was effected by the FED’s quantitative easing (QE) – the purchase of toxic assets from the banks. The FED created “money out of thin air” and used that “money” to buy the toxic assets at face or book value from the banks, notwithstanding they were all junks and at the most, worth maybe ten cents to the dollar. Now, the FED is “loaded” with toxic assets once owned by the global banks. But these banks cannot declare and or admit to this state of affairs. Hence, this financial charade.

5) If we are to follow simple logic, the exercise would result in the global banks flushed with cash to enable them to lend to desperate consumers and cash-starved businesses. But the money did not go out as loans. Where did the money go?

6) It went back to the FED as reserves, and since the FED bought US$ trillions worth of toxic wastes, the “money” (it was merely book entries in the Fed’s books) that these global banks had were treated as “Excess Reserves”. This is a misnomer because it gave the ILLUSION that the banks are cash-rich and under the fractional reserve system would be able to lend out trillions worth of loans. But they did not. Why?

7) Because the global banks still have US$ trillions worth of toxic wastes in their balance sheets. They are still insolvent under the fractional reserve banking laws. The public must not be told of this as otherwise, it would trigger a massive run on all the global banks!

8) Bernanke, the US Treasury and the global central bankers were all praying and hoping that given time (their estimation was 12 to 18 months) the housing market would recover and asset prices would resume to the levels before the crisis. .

Let me explain: A House was sold for say US$500,000. Borrower has a mortgage of US$450,000 or more. The house is now worth US$200,000 or less. Multiply this by the millions of houses sold between 2000 and 2008 and you will appreciate the extent of the financial black-hole. There is no way that any of the global banks can get out of this gigantic mess. And there is also no way that the FED and the global central bankers through QE can continue to buy such toxic wastes without showing their hands and exposing the lie that these banks are solvent.

It is my estimation that they have to QE up to US$20 trillion at the minimum. The FED and no central banker would dare “create such an amount of money out of thin air” without arousing the suspicions and or panic of sovereign creditors, investors and depositors. It is as good as declaring officially that all the banks are BANKRUPT.

9) But there is no other solution in the short and middle term except another bout of quantitative easing, QE II. Given the above caveat, QE II cannot exceed the amount of the previous QE without opening the proverbial Pandora Box.

10) But it is also a given that the FED will embark on QE II, as under the fractional reserve banking system, if the FED does not purchase additional toxic wastes, the global banks (faced with mounting foreclosures, etc.) will fall short of their reserve requirements.

11) You will also recall that the FED at the height of the crisis announced that interest will be paid on the so-called “excess reserves” of the global banks, thus enabling these banks to “earn” interest. So what we have is a merry-go-round of monies moving from the right pocket to the left pocket at the click of the computer mouse. The FED creates money, uses it to buy toxic assets, and the same money is then returned to the FED by the global banks to earn interest. By this fiction of QE, banks are flushed with cash which enable them to earn interest. Is it any wonder that these banks have declared record profits?

12) The global banks get rid of some of their toxic wastes at full value and at no costs, and get paid for unloading the toxic wastes via interest payments. Additionally, some of the “monies” are used by these banks to purchase US Treasuries (which also pay interests) which in turn allows the US Treasury to continue its deficit spending. THIS IS THE BAILOUT RIP OFF of the century.

Now that you fully understand this SCAM, it is left to be seen how the FED will get away with the next round of quantitative easing – QE II.

Obviously, the FED and the other central banks are hoping that in time, asset prices will recover and resume their previous values before the crisis. This is a fantasy. QE II will fail just as QE I failed to save the banks.

The patient is in intensive care and is for all intent and purposes brain dead, although the heart is still pumping albeit faintly. The Too Big To Fail Banks cannot be rescued and must be allowed to be liquidated. It will be painful, but it is necessary before there is recovery. This is a given.


When the shit hits the ceiling fan, sometime early 2011 at the earliest, there will be massive bank runs.

I expect that the FED and other central banks will pre-empt such a run and will do the following:

1) Disallow cash withdrawals from banks beyond a certain amount, say US$1,000 per day;
2) Disallow cash transactions up to a certain amount, say US$10,000 for certain transactions;
3) Transactions (investments) for metals (gold and silver) will be restricted;
4) Worst-case scenario – the confiscation of gold AS HAPPENED IN WORLD WAR II.
5) Imposition of capital controls etc.;
6) Legislations that will compel most daily commercial transactions to be conducted through Debit and or Credit Cards;
7) Legislations to make it a criminal offence for any contraventions of the above.


Maintain a bank balance sufficient to enable you to comply with the above potential impositions.

Start diversifying your assets away from dollar assets. Have foreign currencies in sufficient quantities in those jurisdictions where the above anticipated impositions are least likely to be implemented.


There will be a financial tsunami (round two) the likes of which the world has never seen.

Global banks will collapse!

Be ready.

Monday, August 30, 2010



By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on August 30, 2010 1:00 PM


1. I dislike to return to this subject but I need to explain myself.

2. I was prompted to write about the racism in meritocracy because of the reaction to Malay criticisms against the ideas coming out of the Chinese Economic Congress.

3. The leader who made the statement on doing away with quotas etc said that cannot we discuss anything without (the Malays) raising racial issues. He apparently considers his call for meritocracy was not racial.

4. It is racial beause he was advocating taking away the protection afforded by the NEP and quotas from the bumiputras and not from any other race. Obviously he believes that without these protections the bumiputera would lose against the non-bumiputera.

5. As much as giving protection to one race is racial, taking it away from that race so as to benefit another race must also be racial. The suggestion coming as it did from a racially exclusive economic congress must be because it is in the interest of that race. That must be racial even though the demand is for meritocracy.

6. I am not proud of the protection afforded the bumiputera. It implies weakness. I don't think Malays and other bumiputera like to think that they are inferior in any way.

7. But the reality is that in Malaysia the bumiputeras need new skills and a new culture even. These cannot be had by them in a mere 20 years. The original planners of the NEP were too optimistic.

8. I had suggested merit for university entrance in order to shock the bumiputera into getting serious about their education and their own future. However it did not work.

9. In education whereas there is about 60% bumiputera in the Government universities, there are less than 10% in the private universities. And there are more private universities, university colleges and colleges than there are public (Government) universities. Even the 10% bumiputera are there because of scholarships by MARA. Take the scholarships away and there would be practically none.

10. Why is it that the focus is only on what is done by the Government? If the bumiputera in Government universities should be reduced, then the bumiputera in the private universities should be increased. Or else meritocracy would reduce the number of bumiputeras getting university education. Or is it the intention to deny bumiputeras higher education? They are not the best but they are qualified.

11. It is the same with foreign universities. Because they can afford it there are more non-bumiputera than bumiputera in foreign universities. This must increase the disparities in higher education between different races.

12. Lest I be accused of making unfounded assumption, a proper audit should be done by an impartial team.

13. When I was still PM, the Government decided to allow for private colleges and universities to be set up. They can twin with recognised foreign universities and should issue their diplomas and degrees. The reason for allowing private institutions of higher learning is to reduce cost of tertiary education so that the parents who could not afford to send their children abroad can have access to foreign qualification from local private institutions. You can guess who are the beneficiaries of this Government policy.

14. As for contracts even with the 5% advantage given to bumiputera contractors, many of the Government contracts do not go to them because of their lack of capacity. Even if they do get, non-bumiputera contractors get most of the sub-contracts etc.

15. Actually construction by the private sector is bigger than the public sector. In the private sector the bumiputera contractors get next to nothing. I suppose this is because the private contracts are given based on merit. Or maybe it is not. I don't know.

16. Take away the minor protection afforded by the NEP and the bumiputera will lose whatever that they may have. Then racial division will be deepened by wealth division. I don't think this would be good for the country. Remember it was the disparity between rich and poor in Europe which led to the violence of the Communist revolution.

17. I may be labelled a racist but fear of the label will not stop me from working for what I think is the good of the country. Nothing will be gained by dividing the people of Malaysia into poor bumiputera and rich non-bumiputera. The time is not right for disregarding the disparities between the races in the interest of equity and merit.

18. For 46 years this country enjoyed relative stability and consequently good growth. But today the races are more divided than ever. Everyone has become racist, talks about meritocracy notwithstanding. Everyone is thinking about his own race. If I am included it is because I think it is dangerous for the rich to take away what little the poor has.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sabah: Land Below the Wind but PKR can't stand the wind


Raja Petra Kamarudin

On 28 October 2009, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan tenders his resignation as the PKR vice president while Christina Liew resigns as a supreme council member. However, they both stay on as party members.

Slightly over a week later, on 6 November 2009, Tian Chua, Michael Bong, Jeffrey, and the group now known as ‘the dirty dozen’, sit down to hammer out a peace treaty. Jeffrey and the 12 ‘renegades’ hand the delegation from Kuala Lumpur a list of demands.

About a month later, on 4 December 2009, the 12 PKR division leaders submit an application to the Registrar of Societies to form a new party called Parti Cinta Sabah.

Two days later, on 6 December 2009, the application is withdrawn after the PKR Sabah leaders make a trip to Kuala Lumpur and a behind-the-scenes negotiation reaches a settlement.

A week later, on 13 December 2009, the party rejects Jeffrey’s resignation as vice president.

Another week later, on 20 December 2009, during the party’s Sabah convention, Anwar announces that those who had submitted an application to form a new party are traitors who must be sacked. He also announces that the issue of Jeffrey’s and Christina’s resignations plus the appointment of Thamrin as the new PKR Sabah head have been amicably resolved. Christina is reinstated to her post while Jeffrey is given the task of overseeing Sabah and Sarawak.

On 10 January 2010, the Sabah issue is considered resolved.

On 7 June 2010, the party receives a complaint against the 12 who had earlier filed an application to form a new party but two days later had withdrawn that application.

On 23 July 2010, a show-cause letter is issued to the 12.

On 30 July 2010, the 12 reply to the show-cause letter.

On 24 August 2010, the party’s disciplinary committee investigates the 12 and recommends a one-year suspension.

Tomorrow, 29 August 2010, the party’s supreme council will meet to decide the fate of the 12.

Well, this looks like a very straightforward case. 12 PKR Sabah leaders have breached party discipline and ethics by attempting to form a new party and must now be made to pay for it. There is not a more cut-and-dry case than this.

Or so at least that’s what it looks like. But it is not that cut-and-dry. There are more issues than that to be considered, including what was agreed in the behind-the-scenes negotiations.

Note one crucial point. On 4 December 2009, the 12 filed an application to form a new party. Two days later, a few top leaders from PKR Sabah went down to Kuala Lumpur for a peace negotiation and that same day the application to form a new party was withdrawn.

Now, what begs answers is why did the 12 withdraw their application to form a new party merely two days later, the same day that the Sabah leaders went down to Kuala Lumpur to negotiate a settlement?

Logic would tell us that the 12 withdrew their application to form a new party the day they sat down for negotiations because they had arrived at an amicable solution. If the negotiation had broken down then why the need to withdraw the application? And if during the negotiations it was made clear that the 12 would need to be punished then what is the purpose of withdrawing the application? Might as well they proceed with the formation of the new party if PKR is going to kick them out anyway.

This is the part that I am a bit disturbed with. Yes, the 12 have breached party discipline and ethics by filing an application to form a new party. There must be no compromise on this. They need to be axed -- no two ways about it.

However, if they had been called to the negotiation table and part of the peace treaty was that they would withdraw their application to form a new party -- which they did -- then they have been sold out.

We either fight or we talk. Let the 12 go and form their new party. Let Jeffrey and Christina resign -- to hell with the whole lot. But if we call them for negotiations and reject their resignation and ask them to withdraw the application to form a new party, then a deal is a deal.

That is what troubles me.

The argument the dissident Sabah faction offers is that Anwar Ibrahim knew that the 12 had filed an application to form a new party and, of course, that Jeffrey and Christina had tendered their resignations. But Anwar wanted them to stay on and the party even turned down their resignations and persuaded the 12 to withdraw their application to form a new party.

Was this the deal? Then why renege on the deal?

We need to know why the 12 withdrew their application to form a new party merely two days later. Who asked them to do this and what was the inducement? Was this done on their own initiative or at the behest of the ‘negotiators’?

Forget about whether the 12 did or did not breach party discipline and ethics. Of course they did. There is no doubt about that and we need not waste any time debating this issue. The most crucial, and to me, the only question is, was there a deal and has this deal now been violated?

These 12 did a u-turn merely two days later. Why did they do a u-turn?

The party’s credibility plus that of Anwar may take a plunge if this question is not satisfactorily answered. People need to know that PKR’s and Anwar’s word is as good as gold. If there are allegations that PKR or Anwar make promises but never keeps them then we are as good as dead in the water.

This is what troubles me. I don’t care about the 12. Whether they stay or go does not concern me one bit. But if they were offered a deal and then were sold down the river then my vote is with the 12, notwithstanding what crime they committed.

Another factor to not ignore is that these 12 represent the biggest ethic group in Sabah. Look at the following breakdown.

Kadazan-Dusun: 17.8%

Bajau: 13.4%

Malays: 11.5%

Murut: 3.3%

Other Bumiputras: 14.6%

Chinese (majority Hakka): 13.2%

The Sabah crisis is being made to appear like it is the Malays-Muslims versus the ‘others’. This is the second thing that troubles me. We can’t turn Sabah politics into a Malay-Muslim dominated situation. We must accept the fact that the Malays-Muslims are the minority in both Sabah and Sarawak. So, if we want the Malays-Muslims to dominate Sabah-Sarawak politics, then PKR is as good as dead.

And if we fail in Sabah and Sarawak then, as I said earlier, we can kiss Putrajaya goodbye. Now do you understand what I mean when I say that race and religion can screw up the country big-time? Sigh….

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Israeli spies on American soil

The Mossad In America - By Philip Giraldi (26/8/10)
Philip Giraldi
Thursday, 26 August 2010 11:18

The American Conservative

Israeli government claims that it does not spy on the United States are intended for the media and popular consumption. The reality is that Israel’s intelligence agencies target the United States intensively, particularly in pursuit of military and dual-use civilian technology. Among nations considered to be friendly to Washington, Israel leads all others in its active espionage directed against American companies and the Defense Department. It also dominates two commercial sectors that enable it to extend its reach inside America’s domestic infrastructure: airline and telecommunications security. Israel is believed to have the ability to monitor nearly all phone records originating in the United States, while numerous Israeli air-travel security companies are known to act as the local Mossad stations.

As tensions with Iran increase, sources in the counterintelligence community report that Israeli agents have become more aggressive in targeting Muslims living in the United States as well as in operating against critics. There have been a number of cases reported to the FBI about Mossad officers who have approached leaders in Arab-American communities and have falsely represented themselves as “U.S. intelligence.” Because few Muslims would assist an Israeli, this is done to increase the likelihood that the target will cooperate. It’s referred to as a “false flag” operation.

Mossad officers sought to recruit Arab-Americans as sources willing to inform on their associates and neighbors. The approaches, which took place in New York and New Jersey, were reportedly handled clumsily, making the targets of the operation suspicious. These Arab-Americans turned down the requests for cooperation, and some of the contacts were eventually reported to the FBI, which has determined that at least two of the Mossad officers are, ironically, Israeli Arabs operating out of Israel’s mission to the United Nations in New York under cover as consular assistants.

In another bizarre case, U.S.S. Liberty survivor Phil Tourney was recently accosted in Southern California by a foreigner who eventually identified himself as an Israeli government representative. Tourney was taunted, and the Israeli threatened both him and journalist Mark Glenn, who has been reporting on the Liberty story. Tourney was approached in a hotel lounge, and it is not completely clear how the Israeli was able to identify him. But he knew exactly who Tourney was, as the official referred to the Liberty, saying that the people who had been killed on board had gotten what they deserved. There were a number of witnesses to the incident, including Tourney’s wife. The threat has been reported to the FBI, which is investigating, but Tourney and Glenn believe that the incident is not being taken seriously by the bureau.

FBI sources indicate that the increase in Mossad activity is a major problem, particularly when Israelis are posing as U.S. government officials, but they also note that there is little they can do to stop it as the Justice Department refuses to initiate any punitive action or prosecutions of the Mossad officers who have been identified as involved in the illegal activity.

In another ongoing Israeli spy case, Stewart Nozette appears to be headed towards eventual freedom as his case drags on through the District of Columbia courts. Nozette, an aerospace scientist with a top secret clearance and access to highly sensitive information, offered to sell classified material to a man he believed to be a Mossad officer, but who instead turned out to be with the FBI. Nozette has been in jail since October, but he has now been granted an additional 90-day delay so his lawyers can review the documents in the government’s case, many of which are classified. If Nozette demands that sensitive information be used in his defense, his case will likely follow the pattern set in the nine-times-postponed trial of AIPAC spies Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, who were ultimately acquitted in April 2009 when prosecutors determined that they could not make their case without doing significant damage to national security. A month after Rosen and Weissman were freed, Ben-Ami Kadish, who admitted to providing defense secrets to Israel while working as an engineer at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, walked out of a Manhattan court after paying a fine. He did no jail time and continues to receive his substantial Defense Department pension.

The mainstream media reported the Rosen and Weissman trial intermittently, but there was virtually no coverage of Ben-Ami Kadish, and there has been even less of Nozette. Compare that with the recent reporting on the Russian spies who, by all accounts, did almost nothing and never obtained any classified information. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that spying for Israel is consequence free.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer, is the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. His “Deep Background” column appears every month exclusively in The American Conservative.

Monday, August 23, 2010

1Malaysia: People First, Performance Now

A Message To Malaysia's Future Leaders Jul 29, 2010 in Education
by Najib Razak

Among the thousands of comments left on my blog, I have noted a sizeable number from students or parents on the subject of scholarships for SPM achievers. Although I am unable to respond directly and frequently to you, I do take note of the issues you have raised, and will continue to pursue viable measures to address them.

Recently I announced that all students who do well in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination are eligible to receive Public Service Department (JPA) scholarships. It was decided that – irrespective of whether you are Malay, Chinese, Indian, or from any other ethnic group – all students will qualify for scholarships if you obtain 9A+ or more. This is a Government that will listen to the needs on the ground, and I am certain you agree that this merit-based opportunity indicates that my colleagues and I are very serious about bringing forth a transformation in line with the 1Malaysia concept.

At the same time, meritocratic principles in a growing country such as ours must be applied along with principles of social justice. This means that students with fewer socio-economic opportunities who score lower than 9A+ will also be given support for further studies. For example, a student living in poor conditions in a clearly disadvantaged area might not achieve a 9A+ result, but is still capable of producing an excellent result, despite the handicap. For this display great perseverance against challenging circumstances, you can see that the student deserves to be supported to pursue a higher education. Hence, in recent months, I have witnessed several grants awarded to students living in Tumpat, Long Banga, Kanowit, Brickfields and in Putrajaya, to name but a few.

Other initiatives are in the pipeline, which I am personally looking into, which will give more of you the opportunity to realise your goals and dreams, and to make your parents proud. A portion of the savings achieved by the Government from the recent subsidy rationalizing exercise will also be channelled towards more education opportunities.

To my younger readers: embrace this golden opportunity to succeed. This is a clear manifesto that we are here to help you. We want you to do well. We have listened to your needs and to the requests left by your parents in this blog and have laid down a clear path for you to excel academically. I urge you to take this chance by the scruff of the neck to fulfill your dreams.

Parents and teachers alike must guide and encourage our young to focus on realising their aspirations through hard work.

Remind them that they will be rewarded for their high grades, and never allow them to waver. Their education begins from home.

I believe it's fair to say that despite the trials and tribulations you face in the pursuit of education, many of you aspire to emulate today's icons are where they are because of their relentless efforts, come rain or shine. The journey to create the stars of tomorrow therefore begins today. I also look forward to the day you, the young readers of my website, will be among those achievers who have proven their academic excellence and are fulfilling their personal dreams and ambitions.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Posted by admin
Friday, 31 July 2009 00:00

“Could the PKFZ project become a RM12.5 billion “mother of all scandals” if the three Transport Ministers and four PKA Chairmen – all from MCA – had not been equally incompetent and negligent as the PKA managers from day one?” said Lim Kit Siang.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

To understand the present, one has to go back to the past. And in the case of the PKFZ, it has to be at least 25 years into the past.

25 years ago, MCA, the ‘number two’ partner in Barisan Nasional, was going through a crisis, like what is happening today. Neo Yee Pan, the new President, had taken over the party leadership in March 1983. He, of course, was ‘Team A’. And as soon as he took over, he ousted his opponents from ‘Team B’ led by Tan Koon Swan and his running mate Ling Liong Sik. With a stroke of the pen, so to speak, both Koon Swan and Liong Sik were out in the wilderness.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who himself had just taken over the leadership of Umno a couple of years earlier, was not too pleased. He wanted Koon Swan and Liong Sik to head MCA, not the man whom Umno called ‘the pork seller’. Yes, that was what Umno called Yee Pan, the pork seller, maybe because they thought he looked like one.

Plans were hatched to oust Yee Pan. Koon Swan and Liong Sik were told to cool their heels for a year or so while Dr Mahathir figures out his moves. They spent a short stint in Bolton, itching to get back into the political arena and grab back control of MCA.

Just before Dr Mahathir left for his overseas trip, he sent an emissary to meet Yee Pan with the message that he wants him out of MCA. And when he returns from his overseas trip he wants to see Yee Pan’s resignation letter on his table as a sort of ‘insurance policy’. The message was very clear. Go quietly and without any fuss or else get shoved out in a bloody and take-no-prisoners battle.

Yee Pan knew better than to take on Umno and Dr Mahathir. He decided that the best for his continued health would be to put his tail between his legs and exit with his head still attached to his shoulders.

In November 1985, Koon Swan and his running mate Liong Sik took over the leadership of MCA and Dr Mahathir was utmost pleased that at last MCA was being led by the people who he was most comfortable working with. Unknown to the MCA members at large, it was not the Chinese but Umno and the Prime Minister who decided their party’s fate and future.

Then Koon Swan suddenly found himself swamped with loads of legal problems. The 1985 recession had come without warning and to solve his financial predicament Koon Swan had done something illegal and the Singapore government caught him with his pants down. Dr Mahathir had no choice but to allow Singapore to send Koon Swan to jail and, in September 1986, Liong Sik found himself suddenly in charge of MCA as its new President.

Koon Swan was president of MCA for just ten months. He was in jail for longer than that.

A year later, Umno too went into crisis when it too saw the emergence of a Team A and Team B, just like MCA a couple of years before that. This crisis eventually led to the deregistering of the party by the Registrar of Societies and suddenly MCA found itself the lead partner of Barisan Nasional with Liong Sik as its new Chairman.

Umno no longer existed.

Dr Mahathir quickly registered a new party, which he called Umno Baru. But Umno Baru was not a component member of Barisan Nasional. The old Umno was. But the old Umno no longer existed. Umno Baru would need to apply to join Barisan Nasional just like any new party that wanted to join Barisan Nasional would have to do.

But the procedure to join Barisan Nasional is that all component members of Barisan Nasional must unanimously agree to admit this new member. A simple majority would not do. Even one dissenting voice would mean that the application to join Barisan Nasional would be rejected. And it would the Chairman of Barisan Nasional, Liong Sik, who would have to make sure that Umno is admitted into the coalition.

Liong Sik was a very crucial element for Umno. Without the lead partner of Barisan Nasional, now of course MCA, leading the charge, Umno is sunk. Umno would have to remain an independent party and Dr Mahathir would have to resign as Prime Minister as he would no longer command the majority seats in Parliament. Dr Mahathir, for all intents and purposes, was in fact now an independent Member of Parliament and legally no longer Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Yes, Liong Sik saved Umno. And he saved Dr Mahathir as well. Without him Umno and Dr Mahathir would be history while MCA would be the head honcho of Barisan Nasional with Liong Sik as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister. Dr Mahathir himself said that the Federal Constitution of Malaysia does not forbid a Chinese from becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia.

There is a special relationship between Umno and MCA’s past leaders that many Malaysians do not know about. MCA and Liong Sik are what the Malays would call talian hayat or lifeline. It was so more than 20 years ago. It is still so today.

In fact, today, it is even more so. Umno no longer holds more than 50% of the seats in Parliament. Without MCA’s 15 seats and another 30 from Sarawak, Umno is out of business. Sabah has another dozen or so and MIC and Gerakan another five combined. But these are not as crucial as MCA’s 15 and Sarawak’s 30. These 45 seats from MCA and Sarawak are what ensure that Umno remains in power.

The opposition wants to nail the balls of those involved in PKFZ to the wall. That would not be possible. If Umno allows the opposition to bring down all those behind the PKFZ then MCA and Sarawak will fall. And with them Umno too will fall. It is like all of them drifting in the same lifeboat. You can’t allow anyone to sink the lifeboat when you are also in it as that would mean you too would drown. So Umno needs to save MCA and the Sarawak politicians just so that it too will not fall. It is a case of survival and when your survival depends on others you have to make sure that they survive so that you too can survive.

The link between MCA and the PKFZ is clear. That is already public knowledge. The link between the Sarawak politicians and the PKFZ is also very clear because that too is public knowledge. But what many do not know is the link between MCA and the Sarawak politicians.

Many are perplexed as to why Ong Tee Keat (OTK) is trying to protect those behind the PKFZ. After all, those implicated are all ex-leaders of MCA and surely their downfall would not affect MCA. Actually, it is not just about the ex-leaders of MCA. It is also about the Chinese corporate bosses and the Sarawak leaders who have their hands dirty with the PKFZ fiasco.

The link between OTK and the Sarawak leaders may be a well-kept secret. But when OTK flies all over the place with Tiong King Sing’s private jet how can you keep this a secret?

As follows are some of the flight details we managed to get our hands on:

12 Feb G450 SZB/JB/KCH (ETD 11.00/12.00/17.00)
19 Feb G450 SZB/JB/SZB (ETD 7.30/22.30)
7 Mar Learjet 60 SZB/Kuantan/SZB (ETD 12.00/22.00)
24 Mar Learjet 60 SZB/JB/SZB (ETD 15.30/22.00)
20 Apr Learjet 60 SZB/JB/SZB (ETB 17.30/23.00)

“Could the PKFZ project become a RM12.5 billion “mother of all scandals” if the three Transport Ministers and four PKA Chairmen – all from MCA – had not been equally incompetent and negligent as the PKA managers from day one?” said Lim Kit Siang.

Actually, it is not about incompetence at all. Incompetence means they do not know what they are doing -- which would mean they are stupid. These people know what they were doing all along. They were ripping off RM12.5 billion of the rakyat’s money. And Umno just can’t do anything about it. Umno does not want to do anything about it. If they do something about it then MCA and the Sarawak politicians will have to suffer a fall. And 45 Parliament seats that are propping up Umno will also fall. And when 45 Parliament seats fall, then Umno too will fall.

It is all about survival. And Umno’s survival depends on MCA and Sarawak surviving. And would Umno be the head honcho of Barisan Nasional today if not for MCA and Liong Sik? So how can Umno not cover their ass when 20 years or so ago MCA and Liong Sik gave Umno its second lease in life? MCA and Liong Sik made Umno into what it is today. If not there would no longer be any party called Umno.

And this is how Umno says ‘thank you’ to MCA and Liong Sik. It makes sure that the PKFZ issue remains a non-issue. And the rakyat will just have to carry the RM12.5 billion financial losses for the sake of Umno and MCA remaining in power. That is the price the rakyat have to pay so that these people can stay in office.

It is ironical how the Chinese whack the Malays for what Umno is doing to the country. If only the Chinese knew that Umno is still around today because of MCA and Liong Sik. But then these Chinese were never really that smart anyway. If they were smart they would have blocked Umno from getting admitted into Barisan Nasional 21 years ago back in 1988.

Bodoh punya Cina! They deserve Umno and MCA. And they deserve losing RM12.5 billion of their tax money, 90% of which comes from the Chinese anyway. And today Ong Tee Keat is what Ling Liong Sik was 21 years ago, the man who ensures that Umno stays in office. So do you think OTK will allow the PKFZ issue to get out of control? After all, if Tiong goes down then he would not get to fly around in a private jet any longer.

Could the PKFZ project become a RM12.5 billion “mother of all scandals” if the three Transport Ministers and four PKA Chairmen – all from MCA – had not been equally incompetent and negligent as the PKA managers from day one?

Lim Kit Siang

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman blamed the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal on “a group of incompetent people” from day one. (NST)

The ad hoc committee on corporate governance probing the PKFZ fiasco, headed by Transparency International chairman Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, denounced the PKA Board members for “gross negligence” in failing to discharge their fiduciary duties diligently, resulting in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.

Both Azmi and Low are only half right. Could the PKFZ project become a RM12.5 billion “mother of all scandals” if the three Transport Ministers (Ling Liong Sik, Chan Kong Choy, Ong Tee Keat) and four PKA Chairmen (Ting Chew Peh, Yap Pian Hon, Chor Chee Heung and Lee Hwa Beng) – all from MCA – had not been equally incompetent and negligent as the PKA managers “from day one”?

Yesterday, the second Transport Minister mired in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy appeared before the PAC in its inquiry into the PKFZ scandal, ensconced by a lawyer and two aides as well as lugging a box of relevant documents, giving the impression as if he is appeared as an accused in a public inquiry.

Chan created PAC history in 52 years in being the first to appear with counsel before a PAC hearing. Why was this necessary and why did the PAC Chairman allow Chan to appear with counsel? This is indeed most extraordinary and even self-incriminating.

Even more extraordinary was that Chan produced an opinion from a Queen’s Counsel in the UK that the three Letters of Support which he had signed in support of PKFZ were not letters of guarantee.

How much did it cost Chan to get the opinion of a Queen’s Counsel for him to go to the PAC with it to back up his argument? Easily over 10,000 sterling pounds i.e. RM60,000 to RM100,000.

Why didn’t Chan get a Queen’s Counsel opinion when he was the Transport Minister in 2007 to convince the Cabinet that his three Letters of Support were not government “Letters of Guarantee” for the RM4 billion bonds raised by the PKFZ turnkey developer, Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd. (KDSB) as Malaysian taxpayers would have been spared being victims of the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?

In 2007, the Cabinet was advised by the Attorney-General and Treasury that the four Letters of Support to KDSB to raise RM4 billion bonds were implicit government guarantees to the bond market.

As a result, the Cabinet gave retrospective approval for the four unlawful and unauthorized Letters of Support, one issued by Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik in May 2003 and three by Chan, creating the RM4.6 billion liability for the government in the bailout of PKFZ which is now set to become a RM12.5 billion scandal.

What is most shocking is that Chan did not formally table the opinion of the Queen’s Counsel to the PAC but only referred to it orally. This is most improper and irregular and Chan should be recalled to formally table the opinion of the Queen’s Counsel, so that it becomes part of the documentation of the PAC report in its inquiry into the PKFZ when submitted to Parliament.

As reported in the New Straits Times, Azmi said the PAC is expected to table its findings on the PKFZ scandal in the Dewan Rakyat by October when the House resumed its sitting. It will also prepare a report for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to revisit the project and look into certain areas, which were not touched by the commission in its earlier investigation.

Azmi has got his parliamentary responsibilities as PAC Chairman all wrong. His duty as PAC Chairman is to report to Parliament and not to MACC or even the government. His job is to ensure that the PAC report and recommendations on the PKFZ scandal is first tabled in Parliament and not to submit any report to the MACC or elsewhere.

It is then for Parliament to decide whether to accept the PAC findings and recommendations, including whether the PAC report should be forwarded to MACC for necessary action, or whether to reject the PAC report because it is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.

In the latter circumstances, Parliament should invoke its full powers to hold an inquiry of the full House into the PKFZ scandal, should it arrive at the conclusion that the PAC report falls far short of parliamentary standards and expectations.

In which case, all the witnesses who had appeared before the PAC, including the current and previous Transport Ministers, Tee Keat, Kong Choy and Liong Sik can be recalled.

Azmi should not forget that PAC is delegated by Parliament to inquire into the PKFZ scandal and Parliament must decide whether to accept its findings and recommendations before further follow-up action is taken on the PAC report.

This point must be emphasized especially in a case of such great public interest and controversy like the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.

As Parliament is reconvening on Oct. 19, and two weeks notice is required for a motion to accept or reject the PAC report on the PKFZ inquiry, Azmi should ensure that the PAC report on the PKFZ is circulated to MPs by end of September to allow MPs time to study it and decide whether a special motion on the PAC report on the PKFZ scandal should be moved – although formally, the PAC report would only be tabled in Parliament on Oct. 19 itself.

Tiong dares Lim to repeat claims outside

BACKBENCHERS Club chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing lost his cool with veteran MP Lim Kit Siang over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue, even challenging the DAP adviser to repeat his allegations outside the House “if he dares”.

The Ipoh Timur MP had spoken at length about the issue when Tiong came into the House to interject.

“Repeat it outside the Dewan if you dare,” the Bintulu MP repeatedly challenged Lim.

At one point, Tiong told Lim not to hide under the cloak of Dewan Rakyat immunity. Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan) and Datuk Ismail Kassim (BN – Arau) also stood to seek clarification several times.

While Lim went on speaking about the issue, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (BN – Putrajaya) shouted “gila” (mad), Bung Mokhtar uttered that Lim was talking rubbish and Tiong accused Lim of misleading the House before they themselves left the chambers.

Earlier, Lim expressed disappointment with chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, who turned up at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting but offered no details of the investigation into PKFZ.

“He is not willing to work with Parliament? Isn’t it not Parliamentary contempt?” he asked.

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid rebutted the accusation, saying that the committee might call Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to attend its meeting.

He also told Lim that two of the Opposition MPs in PAC supported him when he received a letter from Lim urging him (Azmi) to resign as PAC chairman and not lead in the PKFZ probe.

However, Lim insisted that Azmi, who was in Cabinet between 2004 and 2007, should be a witness in the PKFZ probe as he was party to the Cabinet decisions on PKFZ. - The Star

Tiong to file suit against Lee over PKFZ report

KUALA LUMPUR: Wijaya Baru Holdings Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said he will be suing Port Klang Authority (PKA) board chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng and several others within a few weeks over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) audit report.

Nanyang Siang Pau reported on the front page of its evening edition last night that Tiong would also be suing auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Advisory Services Sdn Bhd and several media companies.

Tiong told the daily that Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd had appointed a team of lawyers to study the audit report to draft the suit. Tiong is a 70% shareholder of Wijaya Baru Holdings, which is the sole proprietor of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the turnkey developer of PKFZ.

Speaking after launching a Buddhist project in Petaling Jaya yesterday, Tiong said that he decided to sue Lee and not PKA.

Tiong also challenged Lee to use his money and not PKA funds to defend himself.

Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP and Backbenchers Council chairman, warned Lim Kit Siang (DAP - Ipoh Timur) that he may be sued too.

Kuala Dimensi also took up full page advertorials in Sin Chew Daily, Nanyang, China Press and Guang Ming Daily to explain its position.

It said the PWC’s report, which was incomplete, had tarnished the company’s reputation.

When contacted, Lee said: “I have to wait for the suit and will inform my lawyers to file a defence. Whatever I did is on behalf of PKA and for the good of taxpayers.”

Thursday, August 19, 2010

PCM Manifesto for a better Penang for Penangites

Parti Cinta Malaysia launches manifesto

by Bernard Cheah

SEBERANG PERAI (Aug 18, 2010): The year-old Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) today launched its manifesto in a bid to capture Penang in the next general election, and pledged to, among other things, to issue freehold titles to long-time legitimate residents in new villagers in the state and appoint a woman deputy chief minister, if it wins.

The 28-point manifesto, launched by vice-president Huan Cheng Guan at the party's headquarters, includes promises to assist state businessmen, senior citizens, low-to-medium income Penangites, students, and members of the media.

The manifesto includes pledges to:

* Give projects in the state to local contractors;
* Offer public tenders to Penang companies;
* Give senior citizens RM1,200 a year, regardless of voter status;
* Cancel summonses issued by the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) so as not to burden the rakyat;
* Give priority to state graduates to serve in Penang, especially in state agencies;
* Build medium- and low-cost housing for the relevant groups;
* Give awards or incentives to individuals bringing in foreign investors into the state; and
* Ensure road signages will be in five languages — Bahasa Malaysia, Arabic, Mandarin, Tamil and English.

Huan (centre) with PCM's director of central Youth Liew
Yeow Hooi (right) and treasurer KC Lim at the launch of
the party's manifesto.

Huan said the manifesto was launched to inform the public of PCM's direction if the party were to win Penang in the next general election.

"The points (in the manifesto) touch the life of ordinary people in both the mainland and Penang island," he said.

He said the independent party is prepared to field its members in all state and parliamentary seats in the next election.

"We have young professional doctors, lawyers and engineers in the party who can contest," he said.

"By contesting in the general election, we will be the 'third force' in the election. People who do not want to choose Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat would have another option," he said.

To date, there are between 8,000 and 10,000 party members nationwide, with the majority from Penang.

Other prominent members in the party include former DAP stalwart Tham Weng Fatt and Sarawak's assemblyman for Ngemah Gabriel Adit Demong.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tremors and Rumblings within BN

By Delimma

An earthquake is expected to occur soon in Malaysia. Not of the geological kind, but of the political one – and this time it has got nothing to do with the opposition. One might be forgiven to believe that the opposition is actually making huge inroads into BN’s chinked armour by the so-called political tsunami of change but in truth, the opposition may as well sit back and enjoy the show as BN itself is already showing signs that it will implode and scatter in all directions.

There is an air of mutiny that is fast turning into a tornado within BN, and as usual, the culpable culprits are from UMNO. Let’s not forget however, the contribution that the MCA, MIC and other allies such as the government of Sarawak in adding fuel to an already raging fire within the BN rank and file. The recent exposure of the Islamic fair organised in Monaco comes to light. Of all the places in the world to have a fair, we chose to have one in Monaco, in the kingdom more famous for its “sinful” lifestyle and offerings and that too, during this sacred fasting month. And to top that off, we have the sponsors allegedly coming from the Sarawak state government – something which mystifies Malaysians. An Islamic fair, in the month of Ramadan, in a place more renowned for its casinos and financed by the government of Taib Mahmud, who is already taking in more criticism that it has allowed itself to consume up to now.
This conundrum might fall into the same category if not worse than the current free-spending attitude of the Tourism Ministry. They have already shown that they are listlessly wasting Malaysian taxpayers’ money by erecting a huge monument called the Malaysian Expo in China; the actual costs and consequences are yet to be finalised but the calculators are already running out of numbers. Add to that allegations by some subordinates that the Minister is unnerved over cries by her staff (Muslims mostly) who were asked to man the station there during this fasting month. Poor Malay civil servants, they just don’t know how to dutifully carry out their duties and obligations; they just want to sit back and enjoy their pay by doing nothing in their seats in the air-conditioned offices back home, ready to go back at the sound of the gun to rush to buy their lollipops and delicacies for breaking fast.

Then we add the widely publicised PKFZ fiasco, where it is now alleged that a prominent UMNO top gun is about to be charged in court. We heard that former Selangor MB Khir Toyo was in court today, but if he is charged he is no big gun in today’s UMNO scene, just another has-been who is still trying to show off his mettle at losing the state to the opposition in the first place. Could it be somebody higher up, even close to the administration? One can never be too surprised nowadays given the fact a certain Tun has already been brought to court. If the MACC wants to cleanse itself of ghostly images, the time to act is now, and Malaysians are hoping to see the best in what it should be able to do.

But of more concern now is the alleged growing rift between the nation’s top two leaders; wherein certain quarters are already going all out to defend both leaders and claiming the allegations are just small talk and of no substance. Even a cow grazing listlessly in the kampong would have told you that no tree would shake without wind blowing or tremor rumbling. More and more politicians and followers are already flooding the coffee-shops and stalls after prayers to find out more about the alleged infighting erupting between No. 1 and No. 2.

On the one hand, the present No. 2 has got some good things going for him. When he was holding fort for a good 10 days when the PM went abroad, his popularity rose to eclipse that of the big boss. That goes to show how one man’s views that were reportedly in opposition towards the big boss’ vision of a Malaynised Malaysia (unlike Malaysian Malaysia) were welcomed by the public. The Big Boss’ team retaliated by claiming that Muhyiddin is trying to hog the limelight. No. 2 tried his very best to defend his statement and his support, but the road to perdition has already been paved. And Muhyiddin unfortunately, did himself no favours by suddenly coming out with an idea to revamp the school’s examination system. This time, the fourth floor boys had a whale of a time dishing out negative views about the idea, even to the extent of alleging Muhyiddin is now trying to outmanoeuvre Najib.

All the numbers are already giving us headaches, No. 1, No. 2 and others. Apparently now however, Muhyiddin may yet feel glad that he may not be alone in his quest to right some of the misfortunes caused by Najib’s stool pigeons. A just concluded BN meeting in Kuala Lumpur (of course involving the No. 2 and two of No. 1’s most loved agents of destruction), exploded into life when one of Najib’s stool pigeons began to torture an MIC representative about the Bukit Jalil case. Actually he was right, since even some MIC top leaders are already lambasting this MIC giant for actually not doing anything to resolve the matter when he was tasked to do it in the first place.

But the MIC is also showing it is no pushover, especially by this greenhorn UMNO politician who is allegedly as arrogant as his big boss. The MIC man began to bite back, even to the extent of attacking the credibility of the present FT Minister, another of Najib’s blue-eyed pigeons. Claims began to fill the meeting hall of how the Minister had failed in his efforts to support BN components in providing adequate allocations, something which apparently was very much the agenda in every BN meeting. And then another representative, from the MCA, began to attack the No. 1 stoolie on why the party’s representative was not appointed as BN Chairman for the stoolie’s Parliamentary constituency when the seat belongs to the MCA to contest.

One would have expected common sense to be honoured but both sides started to dish out heavy words that border between vulgarity and indecency. And then a former Minister who now seats high and mighty in UMNO’s headquarters lost his patience and started to attack the stoolies, as well as No. 1’s administration. He even called the present FT Minister a flip-flop minister, something which is already vibrating laughter in the blogging world. Suddenly the Najib’s team members were under fire, and the attacks are now coming from their own allies.

Of course we can deduce that Muhyiddin must have found it amusing that so much dirt was already being dished out in the Federal Territories, which at present were seemingly controlled by No. 1’s people. And the alleged revolt caused by dissatisfaction over allocations and how the other BN members are being treated by Najib’s people are really beginning to show. But Muhyiddin must also realise that before long, the revolting members would have to ask him the most important question – will No. 2 take the up the gauntlet or will he, like so many No. 2’s before him, simmer down and just follow the path of silence and servitude even when the BN’s future is at stake.
The battle lines are being drawn at present between the No. 1’s people and the rest of the BN. Although Muhyiddin is still lamenting on his fate and what would happen should he choose a side, he must also be weary of his former nemesis for the No. 2 post who is still a strong force to be reckoned with – and that this Chief Minister has already pledged his support for No. 1. Thus Muhyiddin will not be able to procrastinate longer on his fate; BN is already sealing it for him one way or the other. What he can do now, is to choose the manner in which he will be remembered – either as another stool pigeon, or as a fighter who is true to his pedigree.

Whilst all this is taking place, we can safely assume that BN at present is actually unable to even mount a serious challenge on the opposition. All the rhetoric and jargon dished out during the meeting was not even worth remembering, but for a suggestion that BN organise talks and roadshows to meet the public. The simple answer was this guy must be kidding himself in thinking that BN rallies would actually draw in the crowd. Even a recent UMNO function revealed that after the No. 2 left, all the division chiefs attending the function disappeared into the woodwork. So much for support there.

Another sad irony that is fast adding to BN’s final resume is the fact that throughout the debacle, no new ideas emerged on how to arrest its already declining popularity. Instead, blame was being passed from one member to another, amidst fears that each constituency is already under siege and about to fall. Maybe that’s the nature of dying dynasties, when no one it seems care to take control and ride the storm, instead all just pass the buck around hoping someone will be brave enough to take it up. And it is already clear that many leaders within BN are unhappy at current the state of affairs.

The tremors and rumblings only proved one simple point. BN is in disarray at the moment, and No. 1’s people are making it worse. If Muhyiddin cares for the party, then he would have to say his worth soon. Changes are necessary to arrest the slide, if it can be arrested at all. And from an ordinary man on the street’s standpoint, we can also assume that Najib has no care whatsoever as to its outcome. He can always blame his lieutenants for the failures, as he remained high and mighty at the top. Another sign yet that BN’s future looks all the bleaker than it already is.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My warning to my elected reps of Jelutong and Batu Lanchang post 308


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Of late, we have seen the opposition parties embroiled in internal bickering and intra-party turmoil. The latest round of mudslinging in DAP is a case in point. And this comes very close against the backdrop of similar intra-party bickering in PKR and PAS.

Make no bones about it. The opposition is at odds with one other. And I am not even yet talking about inter-party bickering -- which is going to heat up closer to the next general election when the mad scramble for seats will start and where we will definitely see three-corner or four-corner fights when more than one opposition candidate enters the fray as an ‘independent’ candidate.

When they faced the voters and appealed for Malaysians to ‘give them a chance’, it was about serving the people. But once they get into power the people are forgotten and it is about personal quest for glory and power.

The people gave the opposition a mandate in the last general election. They denied Barisan Nasional its two-thirds majority in Parliament and gave the opposition five states to rule. But it did not take long for the opposition to forget its vision and mission. Before the dust could settle the opposition violated the trust the people put in them and became a clone of the party that the people removed for the very crimes that the opposition is now guilty of.

What is the vision and mission of the opposition? Have they forgotten? Is not their vision and mission to provide a better life and a better future for all Malaysians? Has this changed since March 2008? It appears like along the way, barely two years on, and the opposition has lost its way.

Can we go back to the core issue? And the core issue is to improve the quality of life for all Malaysians. But how many of the opposition leaders are focused on this? All they appear to be doing is to play the one-upmanship game with Barisan Nasional and with each other. And at times it appears like their comrades in the opposition are greater enemies than those from the opposing side.

Malaysia’s Human Resources Ministry says that 34% of Malaysian workers earn salaries below the poverty line of RM720 per month. This was announced by its Minister, Dr S Subramaniam.

In the first place, the figure used to measure poverty is RM720 per month. What can RM720 per month buy? One trip to the supermarket can finish that off easily enough. RM720 per month can barely feed one person, let alone a family of five or six, which is the average size of a normal Malaysian family.

At the unrealistic figure of RM720 per month, one-third of Malaysian workers live below the poverty line. What would happen if the poverty line is doubled to a more realistic level of RM1,500? Then we would probably see 80% of Malaysians living in poverty.

But this does not appear to be the main focus of the opposition. What does is the schemes and plots to outdo each other. It is about personal power and glory. The people are forgotten.

Have they forgotten The People’s Declaration that they signed in February 2008 just before the last general election? What has happened to it? Is it no longer the opposition’s agenda?

Allow me to highlight some extracts of The People’s Declaration, which seven political parties endorsed and promised to implement if they ever came to power.

Okay, there are some things they can do as state governments and some things they can’t do since they are not yet the federal government. But we do not hear the opposition pushing this agenda in Parliament even if the only thing they can do is to be the pressure group to the party in power.

· Eradicate absolute poverty by the middle of the next parliamentary term;

· Reduce poverty levels in the next parliamentary term to half the levels of 1999;

· Improve poverty eradication programmes so that they are free from political interference and truly help the poor;

· Streamline various existing poverty eradication programmes;

· Narrow the income and wealth gap without infringing on legitimate rights;

· Develop special development programmes for the poor and the low income in traditional villages, new villages and estates so that they are brought into the mainstream of development and provided with better income sources, jobs and title to land;

· Allocate the education budget in a fair and equitable fashion, without neglecting any group;

· Provide more scholarships and other financial assistance on the basis of need;

· Fix a reasonable minimum monthly wage for daily paid workers;

· Fix a reasonable monthly wage for estate workers and seriously implement a housing scheme for estate workers;

· Fix a minimum pension level that will enable pensioners to sustain themselves;

· Encourage pensioners who are still able to work to contribute towards national development;

· Enforce strictly laws regarding the rights, interests and dignity of women and abolish laws and regulations that discriminate against women;

· Protect the rights and welfare of women who have been abandoned by their husbands without any reasonable support;

· Continue payments of pensions for widows even after they remarry;

The above are just some of the many that were stated in The People’s Declaration, and which, I repeat, the opposition parties endorsed in February 2008 just before the last general election. But no one talks about them. They are no longer important. The people who voted for them no longer matter.

It is all about quality of life. It is also about health and education. And if the opposition can’t understand this then maybe they should not be given the mandate to rule until they do.

Have they forgotten people’s power or makhal sakhti? Is this just a slogan to win votes? And once you have won those votes do we conveniently forget all the promises and slogans until the next general election when we bring them out again?

Umno is no better, of course. They focus on frightening the Malays into believing that if the opposition comes to power then the Malays would lose political domination. The Malays would become hamba di negara sendiri (slaves in their own country).

But seriously, aren’t the Malays not already slaves? If what you earn can’t even feed you, and if your life and future are bleak, are you not already a slave, an economic slave?

You can read the full text of The People’s Declaration here:

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My Main Objective is to Win -JM

Mourinho: "This is a challenge I could not let escape"

Jose Mourinho offered his first official interview to RealmadridTV and on Monday, during which he admitted that coaching Real Madrid is a huge motivational factor based on it's history, tradition and the current project in place.

What are your first thoughts as the new head coach of Real Madrid?

I am quite relaxed and motivated, which is all one can be when proud to join Real Madrid. This is as good as it gets for a football professional. I need some vacation time, but I would love to be able to start training my new players tomorrow if I could.

You once said that a coach will always feel an absence if they never make it to coach Real Madrid. Is that what drove you to reach this point?

I knew that sooner or later I would coach Real Madrid. I was successful coaching past teams. Real Madrid’s history, tradition and this project are tremendous motivational factors after winning the Champions League with Inter Milan. When one cycle ends another begins, and Real Madrid is a challenge that no coach can let escape.

You have been successful in Portugal, England and Italy. You have won practically everything. Is coaching in La Liga another incentive?

I am familiar with Spain because I worked here for four years but under different circumstances. The possibility of winning La Liga is tremendous incentive for me because no coach has won the Champions League ot league in three different countries. I am a club and group man. I have empathy for the employees, the players and the fans. I want to be the same Mourinho that has worked for other teams. The magnitude of this club doesn’t frighten me. It won’t be an easy challenge, but I am anxious to take it on. I am very excited to begin working here.

Pepe’s return will also be important.

If the doctors of Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team say he is fit, then he must be. It’s great that he can play for Portugal because he will come back with the confidence of having played important World Cup matches. It’s important that our injured players begin preseason training with the desire to work hard. It is incredible that in the middle of the preseason in August some of our players will have to leave to play a match with the national team. It happened to me a lot at Chelsea and Inter Milan. I would only have four or five players to coach, but if you have the best players out there then…

Which of Casillas’ skills stand out for you?

It’s easy to defend well when you have many defensive players. It’s difficult to do when you have many attackers. With many defenders you are bound to defend well, but you don’t attack. If you play with many attackers and you are well organised as a team you can make a difference. My teams all have team players. They do a good job in defence, but they also play the game, score goals and win matches and titles. They are balanced and ambitious teams. Casillas is a fantastic goalkeeper. My goalkeeper coach is also great. He made Victor Bahia the best goalkeeper in Europe. He did the same for Cech. I hope he’s done the same for Julio Cesar this season and that he does so for Casillas next year. I don’t know Casillas personally, but I like him very much.

What’s more important for you to work on first, physicality or psychology?

It’s a global process in which the psychological aspect of training is important. It isn’t easy for a coach to work when his players arrive little by little throughout the preseason. My goal is to reach the first match of the championship in decent form.

What does Mourinho need from the Club?

I need confidence, although the greatest confidence I have is this four-year contract. It’s hard for a coach nowadays to get such a contract. I don’t have a traditional coaching staff consisting of a fitness trainer, a goalkeeper coach, assistants and others. My staff consists of people who work with us on all levels: equipment managers, janitors… They are all important. I work well if my staff works well. I don’t if they don’t. I need everyone to compromise with this project so that we all share the same ambition I currently have. We want to build a strong family. I believe a club is a family with which you work on a daily basis.

You just need a few reinforcements to complete this family…

With all due respect to the current squad, I would like to bring two or three players who can adapt to my work philosophy. I don’t want people to feel any pressure. I want them to be calm. I don’t want people to go crazy and spend too much money.

Your are ambitious and a winner. Do you sometimes feel misunderstood?

Maybe. This is how I am and I don’t want to change. It would be easy for me to say goodbye and enjoy spending time with my family now that I’ve won all these titles, but I am ambitious and winning is important to me. Being a winning coach is the best profession in the world. I don’t like the idea of being a coach who doesn’t win. My goal is not to be Real Madrid’s coach, but to be a coach who wins at Real Madrid. That’s my professional motivation.

Do you prefer to be successful over the short term or the long term?

I won the Champions League during my second years at Porto and Inter. I reached the semifinals twice with Chelsea. I believe it is the top championship, the hardest of all. We know our challenge here is difficult, but we must be calm as we work. I don’t like to shield myself in the idea that we need a long time in order to work well. I like to take on a challenge without fear and aggressively. This is why my main objective is to win.