Wednesday, February 28, 2007
by Raja Petra Kamarudin
Najib Tun Razak should never have been appointed Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not want Najib but then Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad forced his hand and gave him no choice in the matter. Actually, in spite of all the arm-twisting, Pak Lah was still recalcitrant and, as the Malays would say, buat bodoh saja.
Mahathir detected that Pak Lah was playing for time. Of course, Pak Lah did not come right out and refuse to consider Najib for number two. He just dragged his feet and delayed making the announcement while hoping that Mahathir would eventually ease off or lose interest in the whole matter. But Mahathir is like a dog with a bone. Once he gets his teeth into something, it is very difficult to get him to let go again. Take the Crooked Bridge, the sale of sand to Singapore, the Singapore-Malaysia water supply agreement, Proton, MV Agusta, and all those other issues close to his heart. Even at the risk of sounding like a stuck record he is not relenting and continues to bang away until what he views as transgressions are rectified.
In that same spirit Mahathir was not about to allow Pak Lah to get his own way in the matter of the appointment of his number two. It was going to be Najib and no one else. And Mahathir pulled off a marvellous coup in getting what he wanted.
Earlier, the senior civil servants had approached Mahathir to invite him to a farewell dinner. Since he had already retired, and Pak Lah was now the Prime Minister, Mahathir did not see any point in the farewell dinner. You normally say farewell and honour one with a farewell dinner just before one goes, not after one has already left, and Mahathir said so. But the delegation insisted they honour Mahathir with a farewell dinner.
That was probably when an idea popped into Mahathir’s head. Always one to think on his feet, I would not put it past him to see an opportunity in this proposed farewell dinner. He agreed to the belated farewell party on condition they also invite Pak Lah. After all, Pak Lah is the Prime Minister so it would not be good manners to exclude him from the festivities. That was Mahathir’s condition. If they invite Pak Lah, and if Pak Lah agrees to attend, then he would agree to the dinner. If not, then no dinner.
So the delegation went off and approached Pak Lah and explained to the Prime Minister the term to get Mahathir to agree to the dinner. If Pak Lah refuses to attend, then the event is off, and the senior civil servants would not be able to honour Mahathir with a farewell dinner. So Pak Lah has to agree to attend to get Mahathir to also agree to the dinner.
Put in that manner how could Pak Lah say no. He would certainly not want to be the wet blanket or party pooper, so he said yes. And so both Mahathir and Pak Lah attended the dinner that night. And so too did members of the media. And when the press asked Mahathir to make a statement, he said that he would like to thank Pak Lah for agreeing to appoint Najib as his number two.
Pak Lah was caught totally off-guard. His balls shrank and he stormed out of the room and instructed his aids to order a total news blackout on Mahathir’s statement. Nothing is supposed to be reported in the media. But then you can control the mainstream or print media; you cannot control the alternative media or Internet. And that same night what Mahathir announced spread like wildfire through the Internet. So the next day Pak Lah had no choice but to announce, almost 20 hours later, that Najib had in fact been appointed Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister.
By then Mahathir was beginning to suspect he had made a serious mistake in appointing Pak Lah as his successor. It did not take him long to also realise he had made an equally serious mistake by insisting that Pak Lah take Najib as his number two. If Pak Lah was the only mistake then this could be rectified. He could force Pak Lah’s resignation and allow Najib to take over. But when Najib was beginning to prove an even worse mistake, how do you rectify this? In that sort of situation you just can’t force the number one out in favour of the number two. That would be like out of the frying pan, into the fire. You either get fried or get burned. Not much of a choice is it?
Many harbour the opinion that of late Mahathir has slowed down his attacks on Pak Lah because of his heart problem. Actually it is not that at all. No heart problem is going to slow Mahathir down. He is too tough to allow a simple thing like that curtail his attacks. It is the thought that removing Pak Lah would just allow Najib to take over that actually slowed him down. Between the two evils, Pak Lah is the lesser.
Okay, Pak Lah may be constantly sleeping during meetings and functions. He even slept during a very important war council meeting which was called to decide how to respond to Indonesia’s sort of declaration of war by ramming one of our Navy boats. Mahathir can live with this. He can even live with the very greedy and in-a-hurry son-in-law who believes that Rome was built in six days while on the seventh day the ‘lord’ of all that he sees rested. He can even live with the son who already has RM1.5 billion worth of government contracts to his credit. But what he can’t live with is Najib’s interfering wife who thinks that after the death of Kak Endon she now plays the role of First Lady.
Well, I have news for Rosmah: Malaysia does not have a First Lady. And even if we did, which we do not, it would be the Permaisuri Agong and not the Prime Minister’s wife who is the First Lady. And after that we have the nine Rulers (seven Sultans, one Raja of Perlis and one Yam Tuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan) and four Undangs (of Negeri Sembilan). So the Prime Minister’s wife is the Fifteenth Lady while the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife is the Sixteenth Lady, even if the Prime Minister is not married.
Anyway, while on the subject of the Prime Minister’s wife, some say Pak Lah married Jean Danker on 22 January 2007 while others say he will be marrying her tomorrow, 22 February 2007. Now, which one is true we do not quite know yet but she is already following Pak Lah on his overseas trips. In the trip he made to Perth to officiate his brother’s Nasi Kandar restaurant, it seems his daughter, Nori, went berserk when she found Jean in Pak Lah’s bedroom. Only after Pak Lah explained that there is nothing sinister about the whole thing because they are already married did Nori calm down and, like it or not, accept the fact that her father had remarried.
The word being spread through a whispering campaign is that, just before she died, Kak Endon had endorsed Pak Lah’s marriage to Jean. It seems, according to the spin, Kak Endon told Pak Lah that if he ever gets lonely after she has gone then he should take Jean as his wife. This, according to those close to the late Kak Endon, is a spin meant to legitimise the marriage. They dispute this and argue that Pak Lah had already been eyeing Jean even while Kak Endon was still alive. Jean used to be married to Osman Mahmud, Kak Endon’s brother, so this makes Jean her sister-in-law. Kak Endon was in fact very upset and that was why she stayed in the US and refused to come back to Malaysia. To explain why she was in the US and not in Malaysia, they spun the story that Kak Endon was undergoing treatment which was not true. In fact, the doctors had suggested that she return to Malaysia as there was nothing much they could do for her any longer.
Anyway, Najib went to the US to visit Kak Endon and when he returned to Malaysia he disputed the talk that there was no hope for Kak Endon and that she was only waiting for death to come claim her. She is responding well to treatment, argued Najib. Very soon after that Kak Endon returned to Malaysia and died, so there goes Najib’s prognosis that she was responding well to treatment and that talk of her getting ready to die were all lies being spewed by the Internet. You can argue and deny and accuse the Internet of lying, but how do you dispute a body that is lying dead in its grave? So who is lying now?
Kak Endon’s death was a blessing and a Godsend to Rosmah, Najib’s wife. Kak Endon hated Rosmah and would refuse to look her in the face or talk to her. Now she, and no longer Kak Endon, was the First Lady. Hip, hip, hooray! But Rosmah forgot one thing; the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. Under Malaysia’s Constitution, there is no First Lady and even if there was it would be the Agong’ wife and not the Prime Minister’s wife -- and certainly not the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife. And another thing that Rosmah did not take into consideration is that Pak Lah would remarry. So that relegates her back to the role of Second Lady (if you still want to insist that the Prime Minister’s wife is the First Lady).
Make no mistake; Jean Danker is a wonderful human being and a decent lady. I have no animosity towards her and if she can resist the temptation of interfering in the running of this country I am sure even Mahathir might end up liking her as well. In fact, I feel she makes a wonderful ‘First Lady’ and if it is true that she is already married to Pak Lah then I would like to be the first to wish her ‘Selamat Pengantin Baru’. I also hope that Nori and Kamal would leave her alone and allow their stepmother a blissful and happy marriage. Maybe what Malaysia needs is a lady like Jean beside Pak Lah to help our Prime Minister see the error of his ways and maybe distract him a bit from his children and children-in-law. Pak Lah may not be perfect but the problem is compounded by his children and children-in-law who feel that the entire family instead of just Pak Lah is the Prime Minister of this country.
Anyway, that now throws the whole scenario out of whack. With Pak Lah now married, where does that put Rosmah? And the fact that Mahathir now considers Najib a liability does not augur well for the Prime-Minister-in-waiting. If Rosmah just knew that Mahathir considers her as one of Najib’s stumbling blocks it would upset her even further. But Rosmah already suspected that Mahathir is not too pleased with her. Mahathir had been told that Rosmah screamed at Najib and slapped him in the presence of some visitors, a conduct most unbecoming of people in high office. So Rosmah tried to ambil hati Mahathir by attending the recent Peace Conference at the Putra World Trade Centre. I really don’t know whether that worked but it is not that easy to win Mahathir over and simple gestures like that might not quite do the trick.
Rosmah’s and Najib’s quarrel was actually about Razak Baginda. Rosmah wanted Najib to distant himself from Razak and to let him take the fall alone. But whatever shortcomings Najib may have, deserting friends in need is not one of them -- true to his Bugis blood as the Bugis always stand by their friends and if you take on one Bugis then you risk taking on the entire community (I should know). But Rosmah knew that the Razak Baginda case is a time-bomb that might not only jeopardise Najib’s chances of making Prime Minister but may even see him exit as Deputy Prime Minister. Rosmah went ballistic, screaming like a banshee. She gave Najib a tight slap which was heard in the next room where some visitors waiting to meet him were sitting most uncomfortably in their seats and wondering whether they should quietly sneak out to save Najib further embarrassment.
Talking about visitors, recently four people came to meet Najib and Rosmah came out to interrogate them as to whether they were there to talk about politics or business. When one of them asked what the difference was, Rosmah replied that if they wanted to talk about politics then they can meet Najib, but if it was about business then they should talk to her instead. The appalled visitors then remembered one Ministry of Defence meeting that was chaired by Rosmah while Najib just sat there quietly as Rosmah took the chair as the de facto Defence Minister. Rafidah Aziz actually raised this matter at one Cabinet meeting and asked whether Najib or Rosmah is the Defence Minister.
Mahathir no longer feels that Najib should be the next Prime Minister. As much as he wants Pak Lah out of office, the prospect of Najib talking over is even worse. Pak Lah may not realise it, but having Najib as his number two may yet be what saves him. Pak Lah may have felt at that time that being forced to take Najib as his number two was a curse. On hindsight, I am sure Pak Lah feels that this is still the best move yet. If he had taken someone else more suitable than Najib as his number two, then there would be every incentive to remove him in favour of his number two. But with Najib as his number two, Pak Lah is still the better choice in comparison.
Mahathir may have painted himself into a corner this time. Removing Pak Lah is one thing, but removing both number one and number two at the same time is preposterous. And why would anyone want to remove Pak Lah if all it means is that Najib will take over, or rather Rosmah would take over?
Najib has many negatives hanging over his head. The murder of the Mongolian girl is one. His sex escapades are another. But all these can be swept under the carpet. His wife, however, is something else altogether. Najib may have to make a very difficult decision soon. Does he want to stay married to Rosmah or does he want to become the next Prime Minister? He certainly cannot have both so he must choose between one and the other.
Anyway, while Najib makes up his mind, we will stop here and when we return in the next episode we will reveal how Najib spent RM50 million to buy support from the 25 Umno divisions in Sabah. So stayed tuned for more on Najib!
by Raja Petra Kamarudin
How many of you know that, before he became the head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, Zulkipli Mat Noor, used to be the head of the Sabah Special Branch? This was in the days when Musa Aman, the present Sabah Chief Minister, was still just an up-and-coming politician and not yet walking in the corridors of power?
How many of you know that the head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, Zulkipli Mat Noor, has been accused of corruption and rape? On 28 July 1997, Zarina Mindra Binti Abdullah made a police report alleging that Zulkipli raped her. (The police report can be seen below). For Zulkipli to now continue as the head of the ACA tantamount to what the Malays would say, “Suruh kambing jaga sireh (asking the goat to guard the betel leaves).” The English have their own saying for this -- asking the fox to guard the chicken coop.
Just to digress a bit, do you know that Musa Aman is of Pashtun stock born from a Pashtun immigrant but somehow, along the way, he dropped his Pashtun birth-name and acquired a Malay name, which then gave him the eligibility to be called Malay and thereon become the Chief Minister of Sabah?
Anyway, back to our story of the day.
At the time when Zulkifli was the Sabah Special Branch Chief, Musa Aman was not yet in office and it was the former who brought the latter into USNO, the party in power in Sabah then. Musa Aman then went on to become USNO’s Treasurer. The deal was that, if USNO were to win the elections, Zulkipli will see to it that Musa Aman becomes the new Chief Minister of Sabah.
Unfortunately, however, USNO got kicked out by Haris Salleh’s Berjaya party while Musa Aman got defeated in his Sugut constituency. Nevertheless, Zulkipli and Musa Aman remained partners-in-crime and that is why, in spite of all the evidence and police reports made against Musa Aman, Zulkipli never pursued any of the allegations and until today Musa Aman continues to rape Sabah at will without a worry in the world. After all, if the ACA Boss is in your pocket, what is there to worry about?
“The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general, Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor, should appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity to clear all doubts that he is qualified to continue to helm the Anti-Corruption Agency,” said Lim Kit Siang yesterday in Parliament.
“I will propose at today’s meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee that Zulkipli be summoned to appear at an emergency meeting to respond to various serious allegations which had been made against him, ranging from corruption to sexual crimes, which must not remain un-rebutted, so as to salvage the credibility, legitimacy and authority of the ACA.
“If Zulkipli is not prepared to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee to establish his integrity in an emergency meeting, he must be removed as the ACA head. The Cabinet should put this item on the top of its agenda at its meeting tomorrow.”
“Malaysiakini yesterday reported these allegations which were filed last year by former ACA officer Mohamad Ramli Manan to the then inspector-general of police Mohd Bakri Omar. In the July 4, 2006 report, Ramli named the ACA chief - who is a former top cop - and referred to him as ‘B1.”
(The Malaysiakini report below)
Explosive allegations against ACA chief
Several explosive allegations, ranging from corruption to sexual crimes, have been made against Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Zulkipli Mat Noor by one of its ex-officers.
The allegations were made in a report filed last year by former ACA officer Mohamad Ramli Manan to the then inspector-general of police Mohd Bakri Omar.
Ramli's 'first information report' - a complaint lodged with the police - was revealed by Movement for Democracy and Anti-Corruption (Gerak) chairperson Ezam Mohd Nor at a press conference in Kelana Jaya today.
(See the statement from Ezam below).
In the July 4, 2006 report, Ramli named the ACA chief and referred to him as 'B1'.
"As you are aware, B1 was a member of your police force and his last appointment there was as Sarawak chief police officer. It has come to the knowledge of the ACA that B1 was a very corrupt senior police officer and had amassed substantial property and assets through corrupt practices," he told Mohd Bakri in his report.
Zulkipli served in the police Special Branch for over two decades and rose through the ranks to become the organisation's chief. In 1996, he took over as police chief in Johor before being tapped as Sarawak police chief in 2000.
He was subsequently appointed ACA DG six years ago - the first police officer to have assumed the post.
Ramli claimed that in 1997 - when Zulkipli was Johor police chief - the ACA had then learnt that he was "in possession of properties disproportionate to his known source of income" and had indulged in "immoral and criminal" activities.
Apart from this, Ramli also disclosed that the police had allegedly investigated Zulkipli in connection with a sexual crime following a report filed by a housewife with the Dang Wangi police station in Kuala Lumpur.
Following this report, he said the housewife had also filed additional reports with the police in Negri Sembilan's Mambau and Kuala Lumpur's Segambut as well as Dang Wangi for alleged assault and use of criminal force.
"There were also evidence of interference by B1 in the course of the police investigation wherein witnesses were threatened not to cooperate," said Ramli.
Ramli also claimed that the ACA director-general owned several business interests and properties, including six houses in Pagoh, Johor.
He said the ACA learnt that the police had investigated Zulkipli for allegedly misusing government vehicles to carry out regular checks on these properties and business interests.
According to the report, these allegations were well-known in the police circle and several police officers had also offered evidence of B1's corrupt activities to the Police Royal Commission two years ago.
"As a senior ACA officer, I have to categorically state that B1's continued presence in the civil service, notably in ACA, whose main duty is to eradicate corruption, is a security threat to the country," the report added.
Ramli expressed hope that the police would launch a thorough investigation into the allegations.
In the final paragraph of his report, the former ACA officer stated that it was on record that he had informed the relevant authorities, including the organisation he had worked for, regarding these allegations since 2003. However, these were ignored.
"I have to state that this is my last act of national duty since I am going into compulsory retirement. The ACA being a very important public institution should be supported by all and sundry and see that it discharges its national duty in the best interest of the public and country," said Ramli, who retired soon after he filed the report.
The 'first information report' was also sent to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the attorney-general, the auditor-general and director-general of the civil service.
Extension of service
Contacted by malaysiakini this evening, Ramli confirmed that he had written the report.
Asked on the validity of the allegations, the 56-year-old former civil servant - who is currently based in Negeri Sembilan - said the police should investigate them.
At today's press conference, Ezam said a copy of the report was mailed by an unidentified individual to the Gerak office several weeks ago.
He said although his organisation did not meet Ramli, Gerak managed to verify the authenticity of the report from its own sources.
Commenting on the allegations, Ezam questioned why the premier had extended Zulkipli's tenure in 2005.
"There are enough grounds to be very suspicious of why the contract was extended when the allegations had surfaced years before," he said.
He urged the police to act immediately on the claims and for Zulkipli, who was appointed as DG in 2001, to be suspended pending investigations.
Ezam added that Gerak had hand-delivered a copy of the report to the Prime Minister's Department a few days ago.
Zulkipli could not be reached for comment.
Kegiatan rasuah Ketua Pengarah BPR dilindungi Bukit Aman?
Oleh Faisal Mustaffa
(Ezam's video recorded interview can be viewed here)
PETALING JAYA 26 Feb – Gerakan Demokrasi dan Anti Korupsi (Gerak) mendapati kegiatan rasuah yang dijalankan oleh Ketua Pengarah Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR), Dato Seri Zulkifly Mat Noor tidak sepatutnya diberikan sebarang kompromi malah beliau sepatutnya disiasat dan dihukum.
Zulkifly yang pada awalnya memegang jawatan sebagai Ketua Pengarah BPR pada April 2001 dan kemudiannya kontrak beliau disambung sebanyak dua kali selama dua tahun.
Sungguhpun satu laporan telah dibuat terhadap perbuatan rasuah yang serius, kontrak beliau kemudiannya disambungkan lagi selama dua tahun oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi.
Melalui maklumat yang disalurkan kepada Gerak, BPR telah pun membuat laporan kepada Ketua Polis Negara pada 4 Julai 2006 yang pada ketika itu disandang oleh Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Omar.
Namun, tidak ada sebarang siasatan dibuat oleh pihak polis.
Zulkifly didakwa terlibat dalam jenayah rogol seorang suri rumahtangga dan kes tersebut telah dilaporkan kepada polis. Berhubung dengan kes yang sama, mangsa rogol juga telah membuat tiga laporan polis yang didakwa menerima tekanan dan Zulkifly yang pada ketika itu Ketua Polis Johor telah menyalahgunakan kuasa beliau untuk menutup kes tersebut.
Menurut laporan yang dibuat oleh Pegawai Siasatan Gred 54 BPR kepada Bukit Aman, Mohamad Ramli Manan, Zulkifly juga memiliki beberapa harta komersil seperti Stesen Minyak Mobil di Bahau dan Pagoh serta memiliki enam buah rumah di Pagoh.
Zulkifly juga dikatakan telah menyalahgunakan kenderaan rasmi Kerajaan untuk menjalankan perniagaan peribadinya di stesen-stesen minyaknya.
Pada tahun 1997 hingga 1998, Zulkifly bersama Pegawai Polis Daerah Segamat, Hj Ithnin Hj Taha telah berpakat untuk berkongsi keuntungan RM1 juta hasil daripada kontrak pembinaan Kuarters Polis di Segamat yang bernilai RM18 juta dengan membatalkan kontrak pembinaan kepada kontraktor asal. Kontrak tersebut kemudiannya diserahkan kepada seorang gangster yang dikenali sebagai Michael.
Cuti Luar Negara Setiap Bulan
Laporan Mohamad Ramli juga mendedahkan bahawa sungguhpun Zulkifly menyandang jawatan Ketua Pengarah BPR, beliau masih menjalankan kegiatan rasuah beliau dengan menghabiskan masa cutinya ke luar negara setiap bulan dengan menggunakan Dana Perkhidmatan Rahsia BPR.
"Pada Disember 2004, Zulkifly didapati membawa teman wanitanya ke Australia yang mana kos perbelanjaan tersebut ditanggung sepenuhnya."
Kesalahan-kesalahan yang direkodkan terhadap Zulkifly tersebut termaktub di bawah kesalahan undang-undang seksyen 217 dan 218 Kanun Keseksaan dan seksyen 15 APR 1997.
Gerak memandang serius perkara tersebut kerana dakwaan yang dinyatakan bersifat jenayah dan rasuah yang serius membabitkan orang nombor satu di dalam BPR.
Justeru, beberapa hari lalu, Gerak telah menghantar surat tersebut kepada Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi secara tangan di pejabat Jabatan Perdana menteri di Putrajaya.
Dalam sidang media yang dibuat, Pengerusinya, Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor meminta Perdana Menteri melihat perkara itu dengan serius dan mengambil tindakan pantas kerana ia membabitkan kewibawaan BPR, Negara dan juga Perdana Menteri sendiri yang menyatakan keazaman membanteras rasuah dalam pentadbirannya.
Gerak juga meminta penjelasan diberikan sama ada pihak polis telah membuka fail siasatan untuk menyiasat semua dakwaan yang dinyatakan di dalam laporan Mohamad Ramli.
"Zulkifly sewajarnya tidak dibenarkan menjalankan tugas beliau sebagai ketua pengarah BPR sehingga siasatan selesai," ujar Ezam.
Menurut Ezam, kandungan surat tersebut menimbulkan kecurigaan terhadap kes-kes rasuah yang disiasat di bawah kelolaan Ketua Pengarah BPR sendiri dan ianya membawa implikasi besar kepada Negara kerana kebiasaannya kes-kes rasuah yang besar dan melibatkan orang kenamaan akan dikelolakan secara langsung oleh Ketua Pengarah BPR.
Justeru, Gerak mendesak agar sebuah Suruhanjaya diRaja dan bebas ditubuhkan segera bagi menyiasat kes membabitkan Ketua Pengarah BPR itu dan semua kes-kes lain yang di bawah bidang kuasa beliau sebagai Ketua Pengarah BPR bagi menjamin institusi sepenting BPR itu tidak disalahgunakan dan menjadi penghalang kepada usaha membanteras rasuah di Negara ini.
1) Let the law decide: ACA Chief
2) March 12 hearing for Zulkipli and Ramli
3) ACA Zulkipli must establish his integrity or be removed immediately
4) Kegiatan rasuah Ketua Pengarah BPR dilindungi Bukit Aman?
Sunday, February 25, 2007
It's the money, honey
By Chan Akya
Mark Twain quipped that the lack of money is the root of all evil. Humans are irrational, but societies are rarely so, until they choose to become extinct. Understanding the economic factors underpinning society helps us to appreciate the process of change better than an independent evaluation of all else.
The success and decline of religions, as well as the failure of political systems such as communism, all hark back to economic factors. The ability to feed and care for adherents has too often been mistaken for spiritual success, in much the same way that religion can be blamed for entrenched inequality and poverty - for example, by its role in maintaining social strictures that in essence allowed vested interests to flourish in various countries. Communism collapsed not because it is a bad idea per se, but because the idea is inconsistent with cold economic realities.
Even in the most basic of human activities, economic rationale rules. Women choose men based on their ability to provide economic security for their offspring and themselves. Men in turn choose women based on their own status in society, getting the women that best represent their position. This is why some old, rich men are with nubile members of the opposite sex. At the social level, this translates into a definition of success that allows many humans to make rational choices. In this environment, both men and women may choose alternative lifestyles when they fail to make the grade in their own societies.
Peace, love and goodwill to all men; bah humbug. Show me the money, honey. ...more
Friday, February 23, 2007
One day a father and his rich family took his son to a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"Very good Dad!"
"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.
"And what did you learn?"
The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon."
When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless. His son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!"
Isn't it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? From one perspective, you may have possessions and provisions for the future, but from a spiritual perspective, you are on the verge of bankruptcy. Perhaps you need a change of perspective.
If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude toward life, you've got everything! You can't buy any of these things. You can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing!
-- Author Unknown, Source Unknown
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
BARISAN NASIONAL (BN) Versus A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE (PAS, PKR, DAP)
Anwar: Opposition a credible alternative
The opposition is a credible alternative to Barisan Nasional (BN) contrary to the perception created by the media, according to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Anwar Ibrahim. How true is his statement, this coming election you decide... It's your choice.
Make up your mind !!
Is it for the Cermelang+Gemilang+Terbilang (BN)
A Credible Alternative (PAS, PKR, DAP)???
Interesting, indeed. What would be your choice?
Such leakages have been blamed for the Malays' failure to achieve economic targets.
The revelation unleashed harsh criticism of the 'get rich quick' attitude of Malay contractors.
Universiti Teknologi Mara lecturer Ahmad Kamil Mohamed wrote in Utusan Malaysia yesterday that some contractors were more interested in making a quick buck by selling their contracts and licences than in fulfilling the contracts.
'Then they ask for fresh opportunities, and as a result, there are Malays who have made being a middleman into a profession,' he wrote. He said the industry is seen as so lucrative that everyone wants to become a contractor, including those without the expertise or adequate capital.
There are now more than 40,000 Malay Class F contractors who hold licences to carry out small projects for the government.
Meanwhile, an editorial in Berita Harian called for closer monitoring of bumiputera contractors, including checks at their offices and worksites. It said that merely blacklisting contractors may not be effective as they could set up other companies to bid for more projects.
However, some said the government should take a closer look at the way the industry is structured, as it makes it difficult for Malay contractors to survive or carry out their projects.Datuk Seri Megat Najumuddin Khas, president of the Federation of Public Listed Companies, said the supply of building materials is controlled by non-Malays. He said Malay contractors face difficulties getting supplies because of tight credit conditions and higher prices.
'What the Malay contractors face is daunting. It is very tough for them to get past the post because the odds are stacked against them, despite the best intentions of the government,' he told The Straits Times.
He said this forces many of them to sell their projects to non-Malay sub-contractors. And because of this, he doubts that the requirement for a pledge would be effective, or even possible, for a Malay contractor to uphold.
He believes the problem can be solved only by an overhaul of the system, but acknowledged that this would generate a political outcry.
Construction company TRC Synergy executive chairman Sufri Mohd Zin was also quoted in Bernama yesterday as saying that more than 80 per cent of the construction supply industry is controlled by non-Malays. He said the government should help Malays break this dominance in order to stop the leakages.
Read related story here
Saturday, February 17, 2007
“Those who were previously worried about the country’s economic future are now having renewed confidence in our economy. There are reports indicating this,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at his monthly meeting with Internal Security Ministry officials and department heads under the ministry.
Among the factors that changed people’s perception of the economy according to the Prime Minister were:
- the rising stock market index,
- strengthening of the country’s financial position
- the increasing foreign and domestic investments that stood at more than RM40bil
- the positive investments and financial standing
- renewed people’s confidence in our economic development, adding that there were opportunities behind whatever challenges the country faced.
Armed with the high confidence level, people would now strive to improve and expand their businesses and ventures, said the Prime Minister.
In Kuala Lumpur, a spokesman for the Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers said unit trust prices had been doing well since 1997. “This is especially in the last few months as local and overseas markets have performed well. Equity-based and balanced (investing in equities and fixed income) funds have done well.”
Sources said the Government has been cautious, laying the foundation over the last couple of years.
“Indicators show that the effect is having a broader impetus on the economy, and we want this to have legs,” said one source.
“Those who are more optimistic are the high-end business people. Those in rural places are also benefiting from high commodity prices. We expect the trickle-on effect to come down to the man-in-the street, especially when the wealth effect spreads from the buoyant stock market,’’ he said.
In 2006, Malaysia drawn a record of over RM20bil in foreign investments in the manufacturing sector, with 1,077 manufacturing projects worth RM46bil being approved last year, exceeding the RM27.5bil annual target set under the country’s Third Industrial Master Plan.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said recently that last year’s 12.8% increase in foreign direct investments from RM17.9bil in 2005 was the highest level recorded to date.
Analysts and dealers also concurred on further strong corporate earnings from companies to keep the upward momentum of the stock market.
Report from BERNAMA stated that nearly half of Malaysia's senior corporate staff employed in companies want to leave their present employers, a study reveals. This is the conclusion drawn from a study on attitudes and engagement of employees in several Asia-Pacific countries, including Malaysia. The study was released recently by ISR, a global employee research and consulting firm, with offices in a number of countries. The study concludes that companies in this region would face enormous challenges retaining talented employees, attributing this trend to rigid management styles among companies in the region. Five major economies in the Asia-Pacific region -- Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand -- were included in the study.
Here is what the study revealed :
- the region was full of what it described as "talent-at-risk" staff -- employees wanting to leave their present jobs, with the largest proportion of employees who define themselves as either disillusioned or actively disengaged,
- 47 per cent of Malaysia's most talented staff indicating they are "mere steps" away from considering leaving their companies.
- 40 per cent of Singaporeans were disillusioned or actively disengaged, accounting for about 30 per cent of talented staff in Australia, China and Thailand.
- "The majority of talent-at-risk staff in the Asia-Pacific region reported that they would leave as soon as they have an acceptable new job offer," said Patrick Kulesa, ISR's global research director."This means the risk to current employers is immediate and must be addressed," he said.
- ISR also found that 88 per cent of the talent-at-risk staff in China had indicated that they would leave their current position as soon as they found an acceptable new job offer,
- while 92 per cent of Australia's talent-at-risk and 95 per cent of Singapore's talent-at-risk employees said the same.
These findings reflect the massive economic growth the region had experienced over the past few years. Employees and top talents have the freedom to choose their employers and expect to work for employers who will nurture their talents and allow them to share in the economic success.
The study appears to vindicate an earlier report issued by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). In its 2006 Economic Policy Report, issued in November 2006, the APEC had predicted that labour migration issues in four of the countries -- China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand -- cited in the ISR study would be compelling reasons for pushing a host of education, training and labour reforms. They are expected to impinge on these economies in 2007.
These findings further illustrate the importance of pro-active talent retention strategies for businesses in the region. The study identified a number of key factors that are likely to motivate Asia-Pacific's most-talented employees to leave their present employers. All these factors are related to the corporate management style. The talent-at-risk employees were more likely to describe the management style in their companies as reactive rather than pro-active; risk avoidance as opposed to open to calculated risk; directive instead of participative; and short-term not long-term oriented.
In fact, the ISR research shows top talents enjoy being part of organisations that are focused on long-term success and offer opportunities to achieve long-term targets. ISR also found that high-performing employees preferred working for companies that have formal succession planning and talent management programmes.
"Companies that successfully engage their talent base ensure that career development plans meet the employees' personal needs and encourage employees to continually develop their skills and abilities," said Hamish Deery, ISR's regional executive for Asia-Pacific and Middle East.
"Key drivers of talent engagement are similar across the Asia-Pacific region vis-a-vis career development and training," he added.
From Manik Mehta, NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Bernama)
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
How true is this statement, Please comment.
In my mind it is simple. The Mental Revolution is about reforming the sub-concious in order to bring about true change to humanity. It is about knowing yourself and realizing you are in a global community; how to improve yourself mentally, spiritually and physically. A place of inspiration, motivation and success. A Personal development, creativity and financial independence community. We are the ones who are truly wise as to what must happen; THE Revolution, the great mental change that shall make us see life in a totally different light; that of truth, that of nothingness and what can be done to bring our true organic visions of holiness, not what those above you have claimed to be holy.
There are the parasites, a beautiful society shall shun parasites, they will be cast out to die in the cold since they could not survive without feeding off of the strength of others, but they cannot just be killed, they shall be given their chance to prove themselves in survival; their challenges may be far harder than those who make better choices in their early life but if they truly are fit for a beautiful society than this experience will reform them.
Our instincts, like our morals of olde, are not fit for a modern technological society. The true moral that our society should be based upon is to hold all other morals loosely, re-analyze your ideals and what they mean to the world constantly; this is the only way that we can truly apply them effectively. Our instincts are responsible for leading us to pity and morality; these things come from our core to help our species survive by relying on one another. We are no longer in need of the survival instincts for the wild, morality must be replaced by logic.
Now you know what is real, if you cannot judge nor think then you are enlightened to what is completely true; from here you must re-evaluate what life means to you and how you must manage your priorities to reach your goals.
In our new world we will cast away entertainment and luxury and replace it with art, culture, and education. We can no longer come home after ten hours of work to plop onto the cozy couch and turn on the zombie tube, watching of RTM1, RTM2, TV3 for the 'brain washing' session. This will not be a rule forced by the government. A key to maintaining a productive people without crossing the line into a mechanical oppression, is to keep our freedoms, but to cast these things out of society based on a cultural ideal. When we come into power, a new breed of philosophers will rise up, screaming for the people to cast parasitic filth from their lives, it will be the responsibility of the individual on a local level and the collective whole on a planetary basis. Society will shun those that live in decay (entertainment and luxury), clinging onto the feet of the overman, (click, Link)desperately trying to convince you to slow your pace so that he might maintain his grip! (“(But) we said no to expansion that was too rapid). Our masterplan must govern our actions; our concept must permeate throughout our planning, and our quality of life is the reward for our hard work,” - Taib Mahmud). Together as a people we will rise above, not being forced by our government or else we will cry of oppression. We cannot oppress ourselves, only build upon our body and mind with an iron will towards success in this Earthly life (the only life that we are guaranteed).
The Great Mental Revolution will be the point when everyone begins to understand the nature of reality, hopefully a good number of idiots will turn to the route of fatalism and take their own lives so that the overpopulation is fixed (slightly) and evolution can still play it’s part. But when we all see what must be done and that there will be no consequences apart from what happens in this physical, three-dimensional realm, we can begin to look at logical solutions. Nihilism must become a more outspoken philosophy; it appears to be the only one that holds any truth in a universe governed by the laws of reality. The solution lies not in overthrowing the government and controlling the people; that cannot be permanent without the support and understanding of those that you are governing. This must be a revolution for humanity; the government will just adapt itself to a changing population. The solution lies in the spread of this philosophy.
**nihilism - the belief that nothing has any value, especially religious and moral principles. -oxford english dictionary
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Thursday, February 8, 2007
SINGAPORE, Feb 7 (Reuters Life!) - Think you deserve a throne? A U.S. plumbing firm has created a luxury toilet equipped with laptop computer and flat-screen TV which it plans to give away in an online sweepstake.
Ohio-based Roto-Rooter says its "Pimped Out John" is designed to "fulfill all your wildest bathroom dreams." Special features include an iPod music player and speakers, an Xbox video game console, a refrigerator filled with drinks and snacks and a cycling exercise machine.
"The bathroom is the perfect place for your very own throne. It shouldn't always be regarded as the room of last resort," said Steven Pollyea, Roto-Rooter vice president of marketing, in a press release emailed to Reuters.
"The average person spends 11,862 hours in the bathroom, which equals one year, four months and five days in a lifetime... a toilet should be the most wonderful location in your home."
Roto-Rooter spokesman Paul Abrams said the firm spent about $5,000 on parts and components to customize the toilet.
Any resident of the United States could win this "gleaming monument to personal convenience" by entering the sweepstake at http://www.rotorooter.com/ before April 2.
You might never want to leave your bathroom again.
© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.
- Effective leaders stay focused on the outcomes they wish to create.
- Leaders who are authentic attract followers, even leaders who are viewed as being highly driven and difficult to work for.
- The challenges facing leaders are immense, and require great courage to overcome.
- Effective leaders know how to listen empathetically … thus legitimizing others' input.
- The single most critical facet is in knowing when to make critical decisions and when not to. All of the other facets must be viewed as subservient to getting the timing of critical decisions right.
"in what ways, DCCI nulong bansa kitai iban? tell me. nothing much. we iban work alone. improving alone. loan alone. struggle alone. tender alone."
Prudent path to success.
... all DCCI can do, only give a talk about business. might as well i can do so. no need DCCI, i also can give a talk about business. others comm. chambers connected with govrn. do DCCI connected with state/federal govern? conclusion : govern. please help us. all i can say to DCCI, may the force be with you.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
'Man In The Hood' Tells Of His Tale In Abu Ghraib
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 (Bernama) -- Ali Shalah, popularly known as 'the man in the hood' in a famous photograph depicting the torture suffered by Iraqis at the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, today spilled the beans on the inhumane treatment he received at the detention centre.
Ali, who now heads an organisation representing tortured victims in Iraq, captivated some 2,000 people with his story at the three-day War Crimes Conference at the Putra World Trade Centre, organised by the Perdana Global Peace Organisation headed by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"They asked me if I was Sunni or Shiaa. I replied that we didn't have that kind of difference in Iraq. They also claimed that I had helped instigate people to oppose the occupation and to reveal the location of Osama bin Laden.
"They also said I was an important person in the Iraqi resistance. I was then marked to be transferred to Abu Ghraib. They wrote "big fish" on my forehead denoting that I was an important detainee," he said, relating his experience at a special session chaired by Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, the wife of Dr Mahathir.
He said he was then beaten up and put in the truck and then transferred to the prison, which had five sectors with each sector having a tent surrounded by a wall and barbed wire.
The living conditions in these tents were bad with each tent accommodating 45 to 50 detainees, he said, adding that each tent was given only 60 litres of water daily for washing, cooking and cleaning.
"Our breakfast was at 5am, lunch at 8am while dinner was at 1pm. During Ramadhan, food was given at midnight but food was again given during the day, encouraging us to break our fast.
"Ali said he was interrogated twice during his stay at the infamous prison but "I heard that detainees were tortured using lighted cigarettes and by injecting hallucinogens".
"After one month, I was called up and my hands were tied, a hood put over my head and transferred to a cell. At the cell they asked me to strip but when I refused they tore my clothes and tied me up again. They then dragged me up a flight of stairs and when I could not move, they beat me repeatedly.
"When I reached the top of the stairs, they tied me up to some steel bars. They then hurled me human waste and urinated on me. Then they put a gun to my head and said that they would execute me there. Another soldier used a megaphone to shout abuses at me and this went on the whole night," Ali further recalled.
He said the next morning he was asked the names of resistance fighters in Iraq and when he replied that he did not know any, they inserted a jagged wooden stick into his rectum, followed by the barrel of a rifle, which caused him to bleed profusely.
"The next morning the interrogator came to my cell and tied me to the grille of the cell and then played the pop song 'By the Rivers of Babylon' continuously until the next morning. The effect on me was that I lost my hearing and lost my mind," he added.
On the 15th day of detention, Ali was given a blanket, in which he made a hole and used it to cover himself. Soon after this, the former lecturer said he was forcefully placed on top of a carton box containing canned food, had wires connected to his fingers and ordered to stretch his hand out horizontally, and the electricity was switched on.
"As the electric current entered my whole body, I felt as if my eyes were being forced out and sparks were flying out. My teeth were clattering violently and my legs shaking violently as well. My whole body was shaking. I was electrocuted on three separate sessions," he said to pin-drop silence in the hall.
Throughout the torture, he said the interrogators would take photographs of him. He said he was then left alone in the cell for 49 days, and during this period the torture stopped.
"At the end of the 49th day, I was transferred back to the tents and after 45 days at the tents, I was informed by a prisoner that he overheard some guards saying that I was wrongly arrested and that I would be released.
"I was released in the beginning of March, 2004. I was put into a truck and taken to a highway and then thrown out. A passing car stopped and took me home," he ended his tale.
To a question from the floor after his talk, he said only God kept him alive during his ordeal but the suffering he went through was only "a drop in the ocean".-- BERNAMA
Friday, February 2, 2007
Published by ProMahathir on 2/01/2007 at 8:47 AM.
Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad had reporters in stitches today when he offered his views on reports that his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had purchased an executive jet worth millions. When this issue was raised at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today, Mahathir oozed with sarcasm. He considered the jet as something "very necessary" but expressed disappointment that the government opted for something relatively cheaper. “They should have gone for the (Boeing) 747 or (Airbus) 380. This plane (ACJ 319) is only worth RM200 million,” he quipped.
Thursday, February 1, 2007
By: A Kadir Jasin (http://kadirjasin.blogspot.com/)
[No anonymous comments will be posted. Please use your real name or a suitable pseudonym. Please avoid seditious and defamatory statements. And, if possible, don’t call anybody bodoh (stupid).]
"Kerja untuk saya dan bukan bersama saya. ..work for me and not with me"
Who elected and pay for the upkeep of the government? The taxpayers and the voters. PMB is, therefore, a rakyat-owned. It was set up on the advice of the celebrated Bina Fikir consultancy as part and parcel of the so-called unbundling and restructuring of Mas in the aftermath of the 1997/98 regional financial crises that saw the government taking the airlines back from Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli.
What does PMB call itself? From its website --- A "global" company "of choice" in providing aviation services.
1. To be a dynamic and professional aviation company focusing on high value assets, operating to best practices standards in all aspects of its business as well as to enhance competitive advantage in areas with growth potential;
2. To generate sustainable value for its stakeholders and offer the highest quality of care and services to its customers;
3. To continuously explore innovative ways of doing business;
4. To strive for strong sustainable profitability and growth for the domestic airline business; and
5. To provide a growth-oriented workplace that recognises the interests, rights and ideas of its employees as well providing a corporate environment that encourages high integrity and ethical standards; and ensures compliance with all regulations and laws.
Its guiding Principles
1. Integrity and Honesty -- to earn the trust of stakeholders and community by being committed to the utmost standards of ethics, honesty and integrity in all our business dealings;
2. Resourcefulness -- to have the confidence to passionately seek out opportunities for success and to strive for innovation;
3. Openness -- to be an active listener, genuinely consider others' viewpoints, not be pre-judgmental and also be transparent in our dealings;
4. Accountability -- to acknowledge personal accountability for our actions and endeavour to honour our commitments; and
5. Mutual Respect -- to acknowledge and appreciate human diversity through our words and actions
To whom does it answer to administratively? Its website says the PMB was incorporated in July 2002 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Inc. Who is the Minister of Finance? The Prime Minister of course. In short, PMB, which is under the Finance Minister Inc, whose ultimate boss is the Prime Minister, bought the jet and leased it to the government, whose ultimate boss is also the Prime Minister. In simple term, the Prime Minister, through PMB, bought the plane and leased it to the government, which he leads.
[Tambahan (Addendum), Bahasa Melayu ]
Isu Jet Mewah Dipermudah
1. PM kata kerajaan tak beli tapi sewa;
2. Yang beli adalah Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad (PMB);
3. PMB adalah anak syarikat milik penuh Khazanah Nasional Berhad (KNB);
4. KNB dimiliki kerajaan melalui Menteri Kewangan Diperbadankan (MKDp -- Minister of Finance Incorporated);
5. Pengerusi KNB adalah PM;
6. Menteri Kewangan adalah PM;
7. PM dan kerajaan dipilih oleh rakyat jelata; dan
8. Rakyat jelata bayar cukai untuk membiayai kerajaan.
1. Beli atau sewa, pembayar cukai tetap terpaksa tanggung perbelanjaannya;
2. PMB, KNB, MKDp, Menteri Kewangan dan PM adalah entiti yang sama dan berkaitan;
3. PMB kini menanggung beban hutang yang besar dan mustahil akan membeli jet mewah kalau tidak diarahkan atau direstui entiti-entiti di atas;
4. Malah PMB sedang berusaha menjual beberapa buah kapal terbang miliknya jenis Fokker 50; dan
5.PM selaku Ketua BN yang mendapat mandat paling besar dalam sejarah pilihan raya umum Malaysia adalah juga Menteri Kewangan dan pengerusi KNB “telah membeli” jet mewah berharga antara RM175 juta hingga RM200 juta dan memajaknya kepada Kerajaan Malaysia yang dipilih dan dibiayai oleh rakyat jelata.