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.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Contributed by rhg on Thursday, August 31 @ 01:03:29 MYT
Topic: MEDIA

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Jeff Ooi has apologised to P. Gunasegaram because one of Screenshots’ Bloggers posted a comment asking that this Group Executive Editor of The Edge be shot. On 20 June 2006, Gunasegaram shot Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad 22 times in an article called ‘Gunasegaram's 22 questions for DrM’. It looks like Gunasegaram likes to shoot others but takes offence when anyone shoots him back. Well, Malaysia Today would now like to shoot Gunasegaram by replying to his 22 questions and we will definitely not apologise like Screenshots did.

DATUK Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is only in his third year as Prime Minister but his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad already has four questions for his administration to answer. They relate to Proton's sale of MV Agusta; the exit of the former Proton chief executive officer; approved permits for cars; and scrapping of the bridge project.

While we would like to hear a better explanation from the government than what has been given so far, Abdullah should not be the only one answering questions. I am sure we all have questions for Mahathir too - on how he ran the country for 22 years. Here's a list of 22 questions or rather 22 groups of questions we would like to ask Mahathir, one for each of his 22 years in power:

1: On clean government. You came to power in 1981 and introduced the slogan "bersih, cekap dan amanah" (clean, efficient and trustworthy). What did you do to further that? Did you make the Anti-Corruption Agency more independent and effective? Did you ensure that the police and judiciary did their job properly and reduce corruption in their ranks? Did you ensure that ministers and chief ministers not have income beyond their legal means? How many big guns were prosecuted for corruption offences during your long tenure? What happened to "bersih, cekap dan amanah"?

Shot 1: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as you said, is in his third year in office. He has led the country through one general election in 2004 and a Cabinet reshuffle soon after that. Why has Abdullah not cleaned up the government and why have none of the 18 high profile corruption cases announced by the government some time ago been pursued yet? Why did Abdullah appoint all these corrupt Ministers as candidates in the 2004 general election and reappoint them as Ministers plus even recalled to service some who had already been retired off in spite of their black track record and corruption allegations hanging over their heads? Why did Abdullah not right the alleged wrongs perpetuated by Mahathir now that he has the chance to do so?

2. Press freedom. Your criticism of the government got plenty of coverage in the local media whereas during your time, criticisms against you by two former prime ministers were muted in the mainstream newspapers. Editors in Umno-linked newspapers too were removed during your time for not toeing the line. What did you do to advance the cause of responsible press freedom?

Shot 2: The various draconian laws muzzling the media, printing press and other engines of free speech are still in place. Since Abdullah came to power he has had many opportunities to repeal or amend these laws in Parliament to allow for more free speech and freedom of expression. Why has Abdullah not removed all these laws limiting or restricting a free media and freedom of expression?

3. Proton. You went ahead with the national car project in 1983 despite a number of experts disagreeing with you, especially with respect to lack of economies of scale. Isn't it true that Proton's profits over the last 20 years came out of vastly higher prices that the Malaysian public has to pay to subsidise Proton, resulting in considerable hardship for Malaysians who need cars because of the poor public transport system? More lately, why was it necessary for Proton to buy a stake in a failed Italian motorcycle manufacturer when it could not even produce cars competitively?

Shot 3: The British and US automotive industry requires government protection as well. Chrysler in fact was even given a massive multi-billion US Congress loan to help it stay afloat. Why is the British and American public being made to pay to support the automotive industries in the largest economies in the world which believe in free enterprise and survival of the fittest? Why not just let these industries collapse and allow the Japanese, Koreans and Taiwanese to monopolise the western automotive markets rather than spend public money to prop up a struggling home-grown automotive industry?

4. Heavy industries. Why did you push into heavy industries such as steel and cement in the 1980s, ignoring studies which suggested developing natural resource-based industries instead? They caused major problems and billions of ringgit in losses.

Shot 4: The countries that control the market are not the producers of raw materials but the producers of goods and services. It is proven that it is not the producers of rubber who make the money. Furthermore, the price of rubber fluctuates and is subject to the law of supply and demand. Those who make money from rubber are the tyre producers like Dunlop, Michelin, etc., who locate their factories in the countries that produce automobiles. When Malaysia went through a period of construction boom, there was a shortage of steel and cement and Malaysia was at the mercy of importers. Only when Malaysia embarked on its own steel and cement industries did the supply stabilise and prices became manageable. Are you suggesting Malaysia go back to planting rubber and stop all other forms of development?

5. Population. Why did you encourage a population of 70 million for Malaysia and change the name of the National Family Planning Board to the National Population Development Board? How do you expect poor people to take care of five, six or more children? What kind of quality of life can they provide to their children?

Shot 5: Industrialised countries like Korea and Japan are successful exporters and can export cheaply because they have a large population that can support a domestic market for its good and services. This enables countries like Korea and Japan to export cheaply where its goods sold overseas is far cheaper than that sold locally. Economies of scale are achieved in countries like Korea and Japan because of it large population and this helps these countries export on a material-plus-labour cost basis because the large local market has already covered the other indirect costs. The incidence of hardcore poor in these countries has been eliminated though they were once as poor as Malaysia plus suffered devastation brought on by wars because the successful industries created jobs and when the population is fully employed there is no longer any hardcore poverty.

6. Immigration. Why did you allow hordes of people to immigrate, mainly from Indonesia, in such an unregulated way that there are as many or more illegal immigrants than legal ones now, accounting for some two million or more people? Did you not realise that this would cause serious social problems?

Shot 6: In the pre-Merdeka years up to the 1950s and 1960s, Malaysian Indians and Malaysian Chinese worked on construction sites, in rubber estates, tin mines, etc, while Malays planted padi, became fishermen, drivers, maids, etc. Because education was extended to every Malaysian, the high number of uneducated Malays, Indians and Chinese were reduced and now almost eliminated. Today, it is no longer possible to find Malays, Chinese and Indians who would want to tap rubber, gather palm oil, mix cement, lay bricks, etc., so the only way to develop these industries is to allow uneducated people from the poorer neighbouring nations to come in to take over these jobs. This happened in England in the 1960s when no British wanted to sweep the streets or clean the toilets and the salaries of menial labourers were as high as that of an educated bank officer. The US too needed the poor uneducated immigrants from Mexico to do the ‘dirty’ jobs. Western Europe took in the poor from Eastern Europe. West Germany had their poor cousins from East Germany. Today, in many of these countries, the immigrant population outnumber the ‘locals’ and in some cities they have Indian, Pakistani, Mexican, Cuban, Chinese, etc, towns where you would be hard-pressed to find an Orang Putih walking the streets. Malaysia would not have been able to develop to the stage it has today if we had to depend on locals to do all the jobs. We owe our development to the labourers from the poorer nations. We should thank them for the progress we are enjoying today.

7. On his first deputy. Some five years after you came to power, there were serious rifts between you and your deputy Datuk (now Tun) Musa Hitam. What was the cause of these problems and was it because you were heavy-handed and did not consult your ministers?

Shot 7: Musa Hitam fought against Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the vacant post of Deputy President of Umno. Musa won. Tengku Razaleigh then challenged Musa a second time around and Musa won again. Musa then wanted Tengku Razaleigh sacked as Finance Minister. Instead, Mahathir appointed (turun pangkat) him as Trade and Industry Minister. This made Musa angry so he resigned from his post of Deputy Prime Minister. That was the cause.

8. On the first serious Umno split. When Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Musa took on you and Tun Ghafar Baba at the Umno general assembly of 1987, it caused a serious split in Umno, with you winning by a very narrow margin (761 to 718). Why did you not seek to heal the rift in Umno post the elections? Instead, you purged Umno and its successor Umno Baru of those who opposed you, causing an unprecedented split in Malay unity.

Shot 8: It was Team B who took Umno to court and got it declared illegal. They then applied to form a new party, Umno Malaysia, three days before Ghafar also applied to form Umno Baru. It was team B who made the move to close down Umno and then made the first move to register a new party which later became known as Semangat 46. Umno Baru was formed in reaction to this move by Team B who already by then had their own party and refused to join what they declared as Mahathir's Umno.

9. Operasi Lalang. Why did you have to resort to this move in October 1987, when you used wide powers of detention under the Internal Security Act to detain over 100 people, close down four newspapers and cause a wave of fear throughout the country? Was it to consolidate your tenuous hold on power then by using an oppressive law?

Shot 9: MCA, UMNO and the newspapers were fanning racial sentiments calling for a ‘resurrection’ of May 13. Many of Mahathir’s own people and loyal supporters like Ahmad Sebi Abu Bakar were also detained during Operasi Lalang. Mahatheir tried to intervene and asked the IGP then to spare Ahmad Sebi but the police told him that he has to be taken in because he was one of those instigators of a race riot. Mahathir had to back off and allow the police to do their work in nipping the second May 13 in the bud. The police actually told Mahathir that they must do what they must do and it would be better if Mahathir did not interfere because the Prime Minister too is not exempted from ISA. (The 60 days detention does not need the Home Minister’s signature so even the Home Minister can be detained. Only the two years detention in Kamunting requires the Minister’s signature).

10. Judiciary. What was your motive to take action in 1988 to remove the then Lord President and several Supreme Court judges from their positions under allegations of judicial misconduct, a move which was heavily criticised by the Bar Council and other bodies? Was it because you needed more compliant judges whose rulings would not threaten your position of power in a number of cases in court? Was this the first step in dismantling the judiciary's role as a system of checks and balances against the legislature and the executive? What have you to say to repeated assertions by many, including prominent ex-chief justices, who maintain that this led to the erosion of judicial independence?

Shot 10: There are already moves to resurrect this matter and get to the bottom of things so we leave it to the Commission of Inquiry to reply to this.

11. Education. You presided over the education system at an important part of its transformation first as Education Minister in the 1970s, then as Prime Minister. Would it be correct to surmise therefore that you were also responsible for its decline during those years? Why did you not spend more money and resources to ensure that our education system was excellent and continued to improve but instead spent billions on other showpiece projects? Why did you allow our national school system, which is the ideal place to develop ties among young Malaysians, to become so divisive that today, 90% of those who attend national schools come from only one race while the rest have opted out?

Shot 11: I will not reply to this because to do so would implicate Anwar Ibrahim and I would not want anyone accusing me of embarking on an Anwar Ibrahim bashing exercise.

12. Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin. Why did you give this one man so much power? And you have not given a satisfactory explanation why he left government the second time around. Did it have anything to do with the forced consolidation of banks? Why did the government buy back Malaysian Airline System (MAS) shares at RM8 apiece in 2000 from Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli when the market price was less than half that?

Shot 12: The fallout between Mahathir and Daim over the bank consolidation exercise has already been covered in Terence Gomez’s piece featured in Malaysia Today. The consolidation of the banks was necessary as a step to face Globalisation. Once banks like Citibank are allowed to branch out, the smaller banks would all fall by the wayside. Banks like Citibank are bigger than Malaysia, let alone the small Malaysian banks. On the MAS issue, in a buy-over of any company, many factors are taken into consideration. One is market capitalisation, which is what you are talking about. Another is net worth, which the share price may not reflect. Third is the earning potential, say over ten years or so. Also considered is goodwill, where at times the name alone can be worth billions and is an intangible asset based on public perception and not on fixed assets. Companies would pay a lot of money just for the name. Taking the goodwill, potential earnings, undervalued assets, etc, added to the value, a company can be worth many times its share price. Share prices are after all speculative and can be rigged by punters. National asset or national pride is another thing considered as having value and is another intangible ‘asset’ which buyers would pay for. SIA can be sold for billions on just its name alone even before taking its asset value and other factors into consideration.

13. Cronyism and patronage. Did you not encourage cronyism and patronage by dishing out major projects to a few within the inner circle? People such as Tan Sri Halim Saad (the Renong group and toll roads, telecommunications and so on), Tajudin (mobile telephone group TRI and MAS), Tan Sri Amin Shah Omar (the failed PSC Industries and multi-billion ringgit naval dockyard contracts) and Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing (Ekran and the Bakun Dam), to mention just a few?

Shot 13: The concept of Malaysia Incorporated launched in the early days of Mahathir’s tenure of Prime Minister was for the government to work with the private sector in developing Malaysia. Whenever the government is not able to handle any development, the private sector would be supported instead to undertake this function. Under the Malaysia Incorporated concept, it was publicly declared that all those businessmen with potential and who can handle the job would be supported -- and there is no problem if they become rich and prosperous, as long as they are able to help develop Malaysia, create jobs for Malaysians, and pay tax on the profits their businesses make. It was impossible to expect the government to develop Malaysia single-handedly. Where the government cannot manage, then the private sector would be given that task and the government would cooperate with the private sector and become its partner. The North-South Highway was one example that the government could not embark on but the private sector could, so the private sector was given the privatisation of the highway. Today, without that highway, it would be impossible to drive from Kuala Lumpur to Perlis in less than a full day and it would take two days to drive from Perlis to Johor.

14. Privatisation. Why did you allow privatisation to take place in such a manner that the most profitable parts of government operations were given away? Toll roads had guaranteed toll increases and compensation in the event traffic projections were not met. Independent power producers had contracts that guaranteed them profits at the expense of Tenaga Nasional.

Shot 14: This has also been answered in Shot 13 above. The private sector which is profit-motivated would not want to take on any lose-making development. This, the government has to do as a service to the nation. Only those that make money would attract the interest of the private sector. But just because the private sector makes money does not mean if the government does it then it would also make money. The private sector is trained to make money while the government is not. If the government does it then the government has to fund it and if it loses money there would be no benefit to the country. When the private sector does it they must make sure it makes money because they have to borrow to fund the project and they must repay these loans. The country not only gets development but also earns tax revenue as well, plus creates job opportunities.

15. Tun Ghafar Baba. Although Ghafar had the highest number of votes among Umno vice-presidents when Tun Hussein Onn became Prime Minister in 1976, you, who got the lowest number of votes, were chosen as Hussein's deputy. Yet, when you called upon Ghafar to be your deputy in 1986 when you fell out with Musa, he obliged, helping you to win the Umno presidency. Yet, you and your supporters did little to back him up when he was challenged for the deputy presidency in 1993 by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Can we say that you stabbed him in the back? And what about Hussein, the man who picked you as his successor? He died not as a member of Umno as he had refused to join your Umno Baru.

Shot 15: Onn Jaafar, Hussein’s father and the founder of Umno also died outside Umno, as did Tunku Abdul Rahman, the First Prime Minister and Bapa Merdeka. Mahathir would probably also now die outside Umno if the move to sack him succeeds. Ghafar backed off and decided not to fight Anwar when the latter received nominations from almost all the 25 Umno Sabah divisions because each nomination gave Anwar ten bonus votes and Ghafar knew he had lost even before the race began. Anwar went ahead and challenged Ghafar against Mahathir’s advice and it was rumoured he spent RM250 million to get his Sabah nominations while Ghafar did not spend any money and refused to be the Number Two if he had to fight for it. He was prepared to be Number Two only if the members wanted him and only if he did not need to fight for the job. If he had to fight for it then he did not want it and Anwar knew this. If Mahathir backed Ghafar against Anwar then there was a probability that Anwar would have turned on Mahathir as well, which he of course did later.

16. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Did you move against him because he was a threat to your position in 1998? Did you use the entire government machinery at your disposal to get him sentenced? Do you think he got a fair trial? Don't you think the country suffered terribly because of nothing more than a power struggle involving the two of you?

Shot 16: Anwar was the one who moved against Mahathir and all Mahathir did was defend his position. This is politics. It was not wrong for Anwar to make his move against Mahathir is spite of the former being where he was because of the latter and that he would not have been in Umno, let alone in the Cabinet, if not because of Mahathir. It was equally not wrong for Mahathir to defend himself. On Anwar’s trial I would agree and the fact that I headed the Free Anwar Campaign for six years till the day he was released is testimony to this. On the matter of power struggle, this is the blood of politics. Where there is politics there are power struggles and one cannot play politics unless one is prepared to face a power struggle. The first murder in Biblical history was the result of a power struggle, the politics of who should be Number One.

17. Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Was it really necessary to spend RM10 billion on a showpiece airport at Sepang when Subang airport could have been so easily expanded?

Shot 17: They said the same thing about the Subang Airport when Tunku Abdul Rahman first built it. Later, everyone said how wise he was and that he should have built a bigger airport because the Subang Airport eventually became too small and people missed their flights because they were caught in a jam and could not get to the airport in time to catch their flight. By the time the KLIA becomes too small and jammed, the cost would be considered cheap in relation to the cost of building another bigger airport or the cost of extending the ‘old’ and ‘outdated’ KLIA. KLIA was built when construction costs were still very low. Today, it can no longer be built at that price and if it was not built then we would still be depending on the Subang Airport, which certainly can no longer accommodate all the flights. KLIA was not built for today but for tomorrow, but at today’s price. The area around Subang was too small for the airport to be extended to the size of KLIA

18. Putrajaya. What is the justification for spending RM20 billion on a grandiose government city at a time when office space was available in Kuala Lumpur? Could the money not have been put to better use, such as improving educational resources?

Shot 18: Kuala Lumpur cannot accommodate the expansion. It is already too congested. What available space are you taking about? Where is it? Even the roads and highways are jammed and there is no longer any space to widen the roads. If Putrajaya was not built and Kuala Lumpur has to become home to the Federal Government, the city would become like Bangkok where a couple of years ago it used to take four to five hours to reach your destination and those who planned to fly the next day would check into a hotel the night before just so that they would not miss their flight.

19. Government-linked companies. Why did you not make efforts to improve the performance of GLCs? Why did you allow funds such as the Employees Provident Fund and Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen to take up dubious investments? These have led to hundreds, if not billions, of ringgit in losses to these funds.

Shot 19: Policy decisions are made by the independent board and investment committees of fund managers such as EPF, etc. These people should be identified and shot (not in the literal sense of course).

20. Islamisation. At the end of your tenure after your falling out with Anwar, you criticised the extreme elements in Islam of taking control of government institutions and doing things that divided Muslims from non-Muslims. But isn't it true you started it all with your "Menyerap Nilai-Nilai Islam Dalam Pentadbiran Negara" policy of 1981 when you lured Anwar into Umno to help you promote it? And why did you declare that Malaysia was an Islamic state when it is clearly enshrined in our Federal Constitution as the wishes of our founding fathers that Malaysia should be a secular country given our multi-racial and multi-religious composition? Were you trying to reverse the policy of the nation's founding leaders?

Shot 20: Mahathir said that Malaysia is an Islamic country. An Islamic State means that Malaysia adopts and implements Islamic laws, which it does not so it is not an Islamic State. Mahathir did not agree to Islamic laws so he does not agree to an Islamic State. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia says that Islam is the religion of the country, not of Muslims, but of the country. Mahathir did not lure Anwar into Umno. Tengku Razaleigh did and Mahathir at first objected to it. But Tengku Razaleigh persisted and eventually Mahathir relented, though reluctantly.

21. Approved permits. You blamed International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz for the AP fiasco. As we recall, you appointed her and kept her at the ministry since 1986 until you stepped down in 2003 and never once complained or took action over the issuance of APs by the ministry. Indeed, she was embroiled in some controversy over bumiputera share allotment but you stood by her. So why make it an issue now? If you say you were not aware back then, what does that tell us?

Shot 21: The issuance of APs increased AFTER Mahathir retired and even people who had no car franchise or showrooms were given APs, which was not the policy in Mahathir’s time. The AP policy was to assist Bumiputera car dealers survive in the auto industry. But they must possess a franchise and produce a valid franchise agreement with a proper business setup, showroom, etc. Now, even dormant companies owned by the niece of the Minister that is dormant and not operating and does not own any franchise can get an AP for a franchise it does not yet own but got only after it got the APs.

22. Money politics. Why did money politics (vote buying) in Umno become such a big issue during your tenure as Umno president? Why were you so powerless to do anything about it when the solutions were so simple?

Shot 22: In the past, 70% of Umno grassroots leaders were government servants and teachers who did not have any money -- so the money politics was still there but merely confined to kenduri and other cheaper methods. Later, more and more businessmen took over the leadership of Umno right down to the branch level. These are people with money so the money politics became more substantial and no longer just cheap kenduri. Anwar is said to be the ‘inventor’ of big-time money politics when he challenged Ghafar. But of course this is only a rumour and all those who allegedly received millions from Anwar would never admit it -- that is if it is true and not malicious allegations from the Ghafar camp.

There are other questions, of course, but that makes our list of 22. In the same way that Mahathir hopes the government will answer his questions, we hope that Mahathir will answer ours.

Last shot: Let us have those other questions as well please