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A couple of days ago Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad wrote an article to highlight his complaints on the direction of this country, particularly to criticise the administration of Prime Minister Najib Razak. As a citizen of this country, and like everybody else, he has the right to criticise and give his views.
Basically, in his 34 paragraphed article, he outlined a few of those grievances. We are sure there are many, but perhaps these are the main ones (in 6 paragraphs only):
25. Apakah dianya yang saya fikir salah. Ia bermula dengan pendirian melayani semua tuntutan musuh. ISA dan undang-undang buang daerah dimansuh. Tindakan ini tidak sedikit pun mengurangkan tentangan oleh parti lawan. Sebaliknya jenayah bertambah dengan banyaknya kerana pembebasan ketua-ketua geng.
26. Demikian juga dengan sikap merendah diri kepada negara jiran sehingga urusan dalam negeri pun tertakluk kepada pendapat Kerajaan negara jiran. (JMD: this is pertaining Singapore, on how the way we develop Johor; our own state, and the high speed rail must take into account what Singapore wants)
27. Tetapi pendapat kaum dan parti yang kuat menyokong untuk menyelamatkan kedudukan Kerajaan tidak diberi layanan yang saksama.
28. Wang Kerajaan diguna untuk mempengaruhi sokongan rakyat apabila sahaja pilihanraya umum diadakan. Ini menjadikan rakyat terlalu bergantung kepada Kerajaan untuk segala-galanya. Bagi yang betul-betul miskin, bantuan seperti ini memanglah wajar. Tetapi beribu rakyat yang ditawar menolak bantuan wang seperti ini. Semangat rakyat untuk bekerja menjadi luntur apabila mereka diberi ganjaran tanpa apa-apa usaha oleh mereka. Semangat ini tidak akan menolong pembangunan Negara.
29. Dasar ekonomi mengutamakan tuntutan pengguna. Impot barangan digalakan dan industri tempatan diabaikan, bahkan dihalang oleh dasar Kerajaan.
30. Cuti ditambah sehingga adakalanya pekerja bercuti lebih satu minggu. Sebaliknya gaji minimum dinaikkan tanpa mengambilkira kenaikan kos yang boleh menjadi perniagaan dan perusahaan tidak bedayasaing dengan barangan impot.
31. Sesungguhnya banyaklah dasar, pendekatan dan perbuatan Kerajaan pimpinan Dato Seri Najib yang merosakkan hubungan antara kaum, merosakkan ekonomi dan kewangan negara.
32. Semua ini disebabkan penyokong Kerajaan tidak pernah menegur pemimpin.
The above are his grievances on how the policies and changes made by the PM is disastrous and have little benefit for the country as a whole.
BUT WHAT ARE THE REPLIES FROM UMNO LEADERS CONCERNING THESE PROBLEMS?
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has to come to the defence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, saying he is doing his best in administering the country.
The defence minister cited accomplishments such as the handling of the remains from the MH17 tragedy, where he was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini that Najib succeeded where US president Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin had failed.
“If Najib did not take the brave stand of facing the separatists, I may not be standing here today to organise the arrival of the corpses (of Malaysians),” Hishammuddin was quoted as saying by the portal.
“Ask if Obama could do it, ask if Putin is able to do it.”
Najib’s handling of the MH17 tragedy allowed investigators to access the crash site and bring back the remains of the MH17 victims.
What has MH17 got to do with the grave error in listening to the opposition calls to repeal the ISA? Do you know why the ISA is still needed? Because sometimes, when anti-opposition groups made unsavoury remarks towards the opposition, the opposition themselves want people who made those remarks to be treated under the ISA!
But the main point is, why isn’t the points made by Tun Mahathir are replied specifically? Is it because there are no replies forthcoming? Are the braincells incapable to think? This is precisely what Tun Mahathir had said in his article; when the most obvious mistakes are made the PM, the Umno leaders are incapable to criticise those mistakes.
And changes made if it is not beneficial to the society, it could be disastrous for the nation. Tengku Adnan, another Umno leader seemed not to get what Tun Mahathir had said.
“Give Najib a chance to make changes to bring the country forward. It takes time to make those changes,”
Yes ultimately, any PM wants to make a change. But if those changes are strategically disastrous (as mentioned by Tun Mahathir), then BN really do not need time. They really need a miracle to make things better.
The inability of Umno leaders to address each and every point made by Tun Mahathir is really comical. Not to mention the reply by Umno Federal Territory Youth Chief. The skill of saying something which addresses nothing is really being honed here. Again, if the changes prove to be a disadvantage for Barisan Nasional in surviving the next general election, there is no need to say that the PM is working hard to make these changes.
Umno Youth should just focus on making themselves attractive to GLCs. Who knows one day they may sit on the Tender Committee Board and dish out tenders for friends? If there’s a way to use a shortcut to get whatever you want in your political career, why not use it? Right?
But using a shortcut to reply on the points made by Tun Mahathir is really not an intelligent way to address the problems facing this country. If you couldn’t deal with simple questions by Tun Mahathir, how do you expect people to believe you can handle more complicated problems facing us?
As a conclusion, no hard feelings. Maaf zahir dan batin.
If anyone of the readers here haven’t read the Confessions of an Economic Hitman book, here is a Youtube video where the author summarily describes the content of the book in about 11 minutes.
Locally, our own economy is floundering.
None of the great economic consultants employed by the Prime Minister are able to find the right formula to revitalise the local economy yet. Today, the blogger Darah Tuah wrote a snapshot on the economic position of this country right now particularly the economic relationship between the bumiputera and the non-bumiputera. The blogger gave recommendations as well.
Maybe PEMANDU and other advisers can learn a little bit of something about it too.
Please have a read HERE.
Lim Kit Siang and his ilk (including his son, Lim Guan Eng) will never fail us in delivering spiteful and racist festive messages promoting hate among the people of Malaysia.
Lim Guan Eng in his infamous Wesak Day speech some time ago was even more acrimonious and vindictive. He seditiously tried to agitate the buddhists and the christians against the malays and muslims.
Malicious people are incorrigible. Malaysia is truly unfortunate to have this father-son combo who preach fairness/equality and peace but in reality, a hypocritical duo of antagonists who will not hesitate to use religion, racism and dictatorial tactics just to attain and retain power.
Compared to the Prime Minister’s Christmas message which are inclusive and even reconciliatory, Lim Kit Siang’s holiday message seemed to be a call to religious war of sorts. Will Lim Kit Siang see the faint light at the end of the tunnel and change for the better in the twilight of his years? Don’t hold your breath.
The Ketua Pemuda Umno too wrote a Christmas message in his facebook account. Although he claimed that it is not a standard christmas greeting by politicians, it is in fact a standard festive greeting usually written by malay apologists in web columns such as The Malaysian Insider.
This is not going to be a standard Christmas message. I thought this year, let’s not have someone draft the same generic message that politicians get their office to churn out year in, year out.
I went to a Catholic primary school in Japan. Unlike most convent schools in Malaysia, my school was run by Canadian Catholic priests. Many of my teachers were priests. Brother Raymond, a tall, curly-haired Québécois was once such teacher who left an impression on me about hard work and fair play.
Everyday we would begin school with prayer. For non-Christians like me we just bowed our head in silence out of respect while Christian students prayed. Sometimes I would recite the Al Fatihah quietly to myself. Sometimes I would just daydream.
There was a crucifix in every classroom. Brother Raymond wore a big cross around his neck on a chain on top of his black clerical shirt. Many of my friends went for their Holy Communion and had their pictures taken for the yearbook.
We all sang in a choir. When it came to Christmas, non-Christians also sang the non-religious songs. I think some even sang the religious songs but just kept quiet during certain lines!
I went to my friends’ houses for Christmas. I was given presents. My parents were well prepared so I brought presents with me also to give to my hosts.
None of this affected my own faith. My parents instilled in me a strong foundation in Islam. I led congregational prayers among my peers when I was small. I took part in Quran recitals organised by the embassy. Nothing I experienced at my Catholic school could undermine or shake my faith.
The point of my brief recollection is this: have faith in your own faith. If your belief is strong, no one can make you lose your religion.
And if you are sure of your own convictions, you will respect others even more. You won’t view them as a threat, as people secretly working to proselytise you. You might even learn from them as I did from Brother Raymond.
To everyone celebrating, have a happy Christmas.
What a touching christmas greeting. It is more of chastising the malay muslims here in Malaysia, rather than a direct message for the Christians here. Hence, due to his capacity as Ketua Pemuda Umno, he feels that it is his right to straighten his fellow muslims and therefore, a tacit apology for non-muslims for the behaviour of his fellow muslim brothers and sisters. In this regard since it is the Christmas period, the implied apology is for the christians.
It is certainly not wrong to ask for forgiveness and extend the olive branch. Thank you Ketua Pemuda for apologising on our behalf. A liberal will always be an apologist for his race.
Hopefully during Hari Raya Aidilfitri there will be christian politicians who will write in their Facebook like below. We have took the liberty to copy the Ketua Pemuda’s message and interchange certain keywords to fit the Hari Raya message appropriately:
This is not going to be a standard Hari Raya message. I thought this year, let’s not have someone draft the same generic message that politicians get their office to churn out year in, year out.
I went to a national primary school in Johor. Unlike most national schools in Malaysia, my school was run predominantly by malay muslims. Our headmaster was a strict ustaz. Many of my teachers were religious malay muslims. Cikgu Rizal, a tall, curly-haired malay was once such teacher who left an impression on me about hard work and fair play.
Everyday we would begin school with prayer. For non-Muslims like me we just bowed our head in silence out of respect while muslim students prayed. Sometimes I would recite some psalms quietly to myself. Sometimes I would just daydream.
There was an Allah inscription in every classroom. Cikgu Rizal wore a songkok and carries a small Yassin book whenever he goes. Many of my friends went for their Khatam Quran in the afternoon religious class and had their pictures taken for the yearbook.
We all sang in a choir. When it came to Hari Raya, non-Muslims also sang the non-religious songs. I think some even sang the religious songs but just kept quiet during certain lines!
I went to my friends’ houses for Hari Raya. I was given duit raya too and eat their Raya food.
None of this affected my own faith. My parents instilled in me a strong foundation in Christianity. I attend mass on Sundays with my peers when I was small. I took part in catholic choirs organised by the local church. Nothing I experienced at my primary school could undermine or shake my faith.
The point of my brief recollection is this: have faith in your own faith. If your belief is strong, no one can make you lose your religion.
And if you are sure of your own convictions, you will respect others even more. You won’t view them as a threat, as people secretly working to undermine your religion. You might even learn from them as I did from Cikgu Rizal.
To everyone celebrating, Selamat Hari Raya Aidifitri.
Will Hannah Yeoh write something similar? Will Lim Guan Eng pose this kind of messages?
For certain, only the malays are more tolerant and reconciliatory. Spiteful and racist politicians especially from DAP do not apologise for who they are.
“Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.”
- John Steinbeck from his book, East of Eden
The majority of the thinking society would feel that a political leader needs to be inherently intelligent enough to know that doing things right is paramount than doing things just to be popular.
Take for example the previous Prime Minister. He wanted to do things which will make him popular with a few factions of people which in the end, led him to become the shortest serving Prime Minister in the history of Malaysia (at 5 years and 5 months, less than Tun Hussein Onn’s at 5 years and 6 months).
Being popular is good for a career in politics but that must be complimented with genuine hardwork and results which people can really see and experienced.
If wanting to be popular for the sake of being popular then people can easily see through the leaders’ smokescreen and be exposed as fake, or a con-artist. Not so much a leader, but a buffoon trying too hard to be popular.
The current Prime Minister and his cabinet has this tendency to be popular with the masses while disregarding the concept of good leadership. We can see the apex of the attempts to gain popularity concocted up by his advisors during the run up of the recent general election.
Ranging from giving too much money to vernacular schools, running election campaigns much akin to the US Presidential election (personality-driven) rather than a cohesive, BN driven (coalition-centric) campaigns, repealing important laws just to pander towards opposition sponsored ‘human rights’, etc.
But all these bending over backwards just to become popular did not yield the returns that they had hoped for. In fact, just as we had foreseen, the majority of the people saw it through and were not impressed. Popularity is never about one-off announcements to wow the crowd. It has never been about shock-factor (just to borrow a few of consultants’ jargons), quick-wins or ‘picking the low hanging fruits’.
Having a crowd to pat you on the back after giving out goodies to people will not make you more popular.
Even Winston Churchill kept perspective on the crowds that gathered to hear him speak by conceding they would be twice as big if they gathered to see him hanged.
Popularity is a series of leadership by example, a series of doing the right things and not flip flopping on decisions that will make you be seen as less intelligent. Above all, popularity will come when you do not seek it.
It’s all about action and results.
Actively trying to be popular without any substance to begin with will only make you look pathetic. Just look at Anwar Ibrahim for example. Those with critical thinking knew him as a snake oil salesman, who would sell his principles just to be popular. Even a foreign publication had called him a chameleon.
Even in his hey days of popularity back in 90s, that couldn’t make him last long in politics. As history sees it, his popularity did not save him from falling in disgrace – exposed for his inefficient handling of the 1998 currency crisis and engaged in morally wrong conduct.
On the contrary and of course as a lesson to the current crop of leaders, going against the tide will often make you last longer in politics.
Take Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for example. He did several unpopular things during his premiership which will bring dread even to the most courageous of politicians. He sacked Anwar Ibrahim at the height of his deputy’s popularity, he clashed against the monarchy and kept their behaviours in check when a few of the rulers were misbehaving and unruly towards the people. These were extremely unpopular decisions at that time and could spell an end to a political career if popularity is what a leader seek.
But it was the right thing to do and Tun Mahathir did it because it was good for the people.
He even agreed to accept all 600,000 members of Semangat 46 back into Umno’s fold in 1996 for the sake of malay unity – a decision which was highly unpopular among Umno members when the likes of Rais Yatim, Tengku Razaleigh and Shabery Cheek returned to Umno after nearly 8 years as an opposition in Semangat 46.
In 1984, after Musa Hitam defeated Tengku Razaleigh again for the post of deputy president in Umno General Election, Tun Mahathir still appointed the latter as a minister eventhough Musa Hitam, a powerful Deputy Prime Minister and a Home Minister at that time was so much against it.
But he still appointed Ku Li nevertheless as the minister in MITI (albeit downgraded him from the Finance Minister post) since Ku Li is a capable leader and as the malay proverb goes – “kalah sekali, bukanlah kalah semua.”
Tun Mahathir made many unpopular decisions – be it concerning the capital controls during the currency crisis, his unwavering stance in curbing racist and religious extremists as well as his decisions to chastise the west and the jews for their hypocrisy and terrorism.
All these led him to become the longest serving (at 22 years 3 months) Prime Minister in the history of Malaysia.
Can we imagine any of the Prime Ministers after him doing such unpopular things? Of course we can’t. What is lacking in the current crop of Umno leaders is gumption and the believe of doing things right. In its place is the mistaken belief that their careers will last longer if they are popular. Unfortunately, they had got it backwards.
And it’s also a fact that Tun Mahathir is arguably the most popular Prime Minister we ever had. He is a walking and living brand and is a successful one at that. And all that stemmed from the fact of doing things right and not wanting to be popular.
How many times have we hear him say that he is merely stating the truth and do not care what people think about him? Plenty of times. He lives by his principles and sticks to it like glue.
On the contrary, what we have now are Umno leaders desperately trying to be popular.
Take for instance, the Ketua Pemuda Umno who is also the Minister of Youths and Sports. Apparently the day the kalimah Allah judgment was read out in the Courts of Appeal, the youth wing leader of agama bangsa dan negara party was more busy tweeting and promoting himself for a popularity contest.
The Shout Awards is a popularity award show organised by Media Prima to honour popular artists in the field of music, tv, movies and radio.
But lo and behold, a minister crept in and found himself in the nominees list as well!
How more pitiful (deserving or arousing pity) can you be when you are already a minister but still want to vie in a popularity contest? A contest where you are not really in sync with any of the categories mentioned.
Truly this is a new low for Pemuda Umno and Umno as a whole. In the face of current issues facing the party and the malays such as the attacks on the kalimah ruling by the liberals, as well as on other fronts, did the Pemuda Umno made any statements to defend the position? The only notable but half hearted statement by Pemuda Umno was when they seek explanation over news of US spying from its KL embassy.
Apart from that, the now liberal Pemuda Umno Malaysia is more than happy to enter popularity contests or collect Pakatan Rakyat leaders as their fans. God forbid, even the incorrigible Lim Kit Siang is the number one fan of Ketua Pemuda Umno now.
Nobody pointed a gun to his head and made compulsory for him to join this fluffy event. Yet he is there, tweeting and soliciting votes from the masses to vote for him for this award.
The ridiculousness of this glam-craze escapade underlines a bizarre, yet comical attitude of the Ketua Pemuda in wanting to be popular at all cost. The less he have, the more he is required to brag.
But since this is an era of liberalism and where Umno leaders want to be popular regardless if they have any substance at all, we should not be surprised. The Prime Minister and his myriad of advisors themselves are also in the forefront and believer of populist movement.
Just sit back and enjoy the entertainment all these leaders are providing us. After all, Umno is now a play and some of their leaders are actors.
You might like to read this too.
Here is an article written by a commentator:
The illogic of a liberal and progressive UMNO – Part I
The recent statement by UMNO’s new Ketua Pemuda (who is also the old Ketua Pemuda, of course) defies logic. And that drives me nuts. Enough to make me put finger to keyboard and write something so that people can see just how nonsensical it is. And how nonsensical Pemuda UMNO has become.
Yes. The Emperor-in-waiting has no clothes, and this is why:
1. Ketua Pemuda is quoted as saying, in Pemuda UMNO’s official mouthpiece, that his win was a sign that UMNO wants to be more progressive and liberal. In other words, that UMNO wants to be like him and his big boss. Yet, the recent elections suggest this approach makes no sense:
a. If the Malay majority had indeed wanted a more liberal and progressive leadership, surely they would have voted for PKR and/or PAS en masse at GE13? Why didn’t they?
b. Instead, they turned around and gave UMNO an even bigger win this time. Why? Was it because at that moment they saw UMNO as a more progressive and liberal Malay party?
c. Is this then to be taken as a sign that the majority of Malays wants UMNO to become more progressive and liberal? If so, we wonder how these folks read roadsigns.
2. Related to that: it’s not just the Ketua Pemuda who makes the mistake, but these days almost everyone on top in UMNO, too – I loathe to use the term “UMNO leadership” because at present time they are showing anything but. They confidently proclaim that the reason why the Malays turned and gave UMNO a bigger majority was because – get this – the majority Malays accepted and endorsed Agenda Transformasi that UMNO brings through its president President (if you get what I mean).
I got a one word response to that. Unfotunately, it is unprintable.
a. We have to ask the President and his deluded minions: if that is supposed to be a sign that the Malay majority wants UMNO’s Agenda Transformasi, what does it say about the 95% Chinese voters who soundly REJECTED it?
b. Why continue with an agenda that is accepted only by 55% of the electorate, and soundly rejected in the urban areas?
No need to answer the rhetorical questions because we all know that the present stand – “Melayu sokong dan mahu Agenda Transformasi UMNOOOOO!” – is just a classic “cover line”, to use the popular Malay term.
The delusional belief stems from an effort to save the UMNO President’s self esteem that got whacked kaw-kaw at the recent elections. Despite the greatness of his Agenda Transformasi, 95% of the Chinese who were supposedly eating out of his hands rejected BN/UMNO. Who can forget the face of the BN/UMNO President the day after the results were announced? Terkulat-kulat sampai tak tahu nak duduk atau nak berdiri. Priceless. But then, just a few months on, he has found a way to excuse his bad performance, and is now back to his arrogant self.
Delusions is what you get when you hang out with the rakyat to watch footie on teevee only in Bangsar and Subang Jaya. Go down la to the various Uptowns and Downtowns and see what is really going on the minds of the REAL Melayu who are UMNO’s constituents. Then maybe you would know – as we on the outside already know clearly and without any doubt – the over-riding reason why the Malay masses turned to UMNO during the last elections.
3. Ketua Pemuda declares that he wants to make UMNO more centrist. WTF. UMNO _is_ centrist. This has been covered elsewehere, so I will keep it short:
The extremists are PAS and DAP, both extreme parties that are trying desperately – and succeeding – to cover line their extremism.
UMNO has always been centrist: UMNO’s policies – despite repeated attempts to paint them as negative, even by its own Ketua Pemuda – benefit everyone equally, if not favouring more towards the nons. Even with the NEP, when Malays get government contracts, they bring these jobs to suppliers – who make up the vast majority of these suppliers? The NEP succeeded in creating a huge Malay middle class – who benefits from this huge market made up of almost 70% of the nation’s population?
The illogic of a liberal and progressive UMNO – Part II
4. Again, we start by querying the logic: WTF do you want to turn UMNO into PKR for? Offering the same shit as the other side? Where is your USP then? The Malay noobs who want to be liberal and progressive, they should just go vote for PKR. Which in fact, was what they did.
a. But hang on. Excuse me, didn’t UMNO itself say that the majority of the Malay male youth voted BN/UMNO in GE13? So where’s the problem, yo?
b. You think by doing a PKR you would out-PKR PKR? How is that logical?
The analogy is of a nasi lemak seller who becomes an overnight success. So the very next day what happens? A new nasi lemak seller opens up a stall. Right next to the incumbent nasi lemak seller. Familiar story, innit? Who would have thought that Pemuda UMNO wanted a Ketua Pemuda who has the mentality of a jealous nasi lemak seller?
To put it another way: when you go and ape Apple, you are doomed to be stuck in Apple’s shadow. Nothing you come out with will ever be better than an iPad because, hell, iPad is Apple. Solution: offer something that is not an iPad. Like Android. And a company whose philosophy is not Apple’s. Like Google. See, you _can_ offer an alternative and still be cool.
You just need to, I dunno, think. Innovate, rather than copy. And here we thought innovation was the in-thing du jour of Bapak Presiden.
Create a new category, the way Apple had created a new category jugak dulu. When people offer A, you offer B. That’s logical. That’s a real alternative. When people offer A, you ejaculate in your pants and hurriedly turn the ship’s wheels around to offer A as well. When it is not even yet proven – as we have seen from the GE13 results – that 60% of the masses want the philosophy that A has. WTF is that if not insanity?
5. Related to that: one, in GE13 95% Chinese went out to vote vs 55% Malay/Bumis, yet UMNO still won. What does that say? Two, stats I have come across suggest the Malay youth under 30 mainly voted for BN. What does that say?
The logical thing to do would have been to strengthen your existing base. AND THEN you go look for new markets. At that time you can use your Bapak Presiden’s favourite Blue Ocean strategy – might as well, right, since you already paid millions for it.
Where is the logic of going for new markets before consolidating your existing one? Pre-assuming – based on denials and false assumptions – what your current market wants? That’s why perhaps after graduating from a prestigious alma mater the proper thing to do would have been to look for a job rather than a well-connected soulmate to marry. Masuk wataniah, jadi model majalah, ada dapat bayaran yang contribute kepada income Melayu naik to First World levels ke, dik.
6. The Malays have to change in order to compete in this new world. I agree wholeheartedly. But at what cost?
a. Do we need to be like others and become ultra-kiasu just to compete with them?
b. Do we have to set our religious principles aside in order to become successful?
We Malays have our set of principles, we have our way of life. At least in this country we could still create an environment where we can live the way we want to live.
So why are we dancing to the tune of others when it is we – who form 67% of the population – who should be the ones beating the gendang – not drum, ye Bapak Presiden, no need to get excited – for others to dance to?
This is UMNO’s role and responsibility. To create that environment for the majority of Malays. But it doesn’t want to do that. Instead it wants to become exotic little creatures that everyone would coo and ahh to, massive exercises of ego-massaging for people with low self esteem and such desperately low self confidence in their own capabilities that they need a battalion of advisors.
The question we majority Malays are left with at the end of the day is this:
If UMNO becomes “liberal dan progresif”, where are we majority Malays who are “tradisionalis dan konservatif” supposed to turn to? We already _have_ a traditionalist and conservative Malay party: it’s called UMNO.
Those who crave to be liberal and progressive should just decamp to PKR. Why are you still in UMNO?
The Prime Minister’s pride and joy, the invulnerable Khazanah Nasional was under the microscope of Auditor General as well.
Thank you to a commentator by the name Wanita Bukit Tinggi who highlighted the Auditor General’s findings on this company where Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak is also the Chairman
If Khazanah Nasional cannot even complete a shrimping project, do we honestly think they can make money in other ventures? Remember the Air Asia – MAS share swap? That apparently was the pinnacle of their intelligence.
The point is, although Khazanah Nasional was given the thumbs up by Auditor General for achieving profits every year, they gain most of their income from dividends of their shareholding in 86 companies. This business model does not need much brain power. How to increase our profit this year? Just sell Proton!
But we believe getting profits every year will be the main lullaby for the Khazanah Nasional to lull the easily impressed Prime Minister into his slumber.
But what the Prime Minister doesn’t know that there are a pile of stench under his nose which had escaped his attention but unfortunately didn’t escape the people’s notice.
Too bad because he was supposed to be the Chairman and ultimately responsible for the propriety Khazanah Nasional’s management staff.
Certain individuals in the government’s financial arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, are still allowed to use its corporate charge card despite Khazanah failing to declare its expenses from the earlier months.
As a result, unrecognised expenses on charge cards issued to Khazanah Nasional accumulated to RM1.26 million last year alone, the highest amount in four years.
This comprises unpaid balance in excess of one month at RM487,317; a sum of RM291,400 for two months and RM485,187 over a period of two to six months.
In 2009, the amount of unpaid dues was RM610,902; while in 2010 it dropped to RM270,330 and it hiked to RM726,462 in 2011.
The audit report states that based on a financial communication note dated June 1, 2006, American Express charge cards were issued to directors and the chief executive of Khazanah Nasional. As of Dec 4, 2012, there were 106 such charge cards issued by Khazanah, with no limit on the usage.
The report also says that the charge card users have been reminded to prepare an analysis of their monthly expenditures, verify the expenditures with the receipts attached and to get approval from their heads of department.
“If the expenditures are not approved, the payment will be obtained from the card holders by cutting their salaries. Failure to provide an analysis and verification for three times would result in such privileges being revoked,” the report says.
The auditor-general also found there were some Khazanah staff who failed to send or declare their monthly expenses, resulting in the unpaid RM1.26 million in card charges.
According to explanations from the Khazanah officer responsible, the balance has been settled by Khazanah despite the staff not declaring their expenses.
Khazanah further explained that it had conducted an internal audit on the expenditure claims between 2011 and 2013, and the failure by those responsible to send in their lists of expenses was also discussed.
The staff may use the corporate credit card even though they failed to declare the expenses for the month before. There is minimum risk in this, since Khazanah can cut the salary of the individual concerned to recover the expenditure.
Khazanah added that it would take action to stop the use of the corporate charge card of staff who keep failing to declare his or her expenses.
However, the auditor-general said failure to file the monthly expenses declaration was improper.
Artworks not properly kept.
The report also found that Khazanah had purchased 93 artworks worth RM6.4 million.
Of the amount, 55 works of art costing RM3.05 million that were purchased since 2005, have not been properly displayed or kept in a proper manner and there are concerns that these could be damaged.
Khazanah in its reply in May and June this year said it was planning to place the artworks at a proper room on the 32nd floor of its office block and also in its new offices overseas.
It also plans to change the location of the existing paintings and for all the artworks to be placed after renovations to the interior decoration of its office, which was approved this year.
The renovations should be completed by the end of the year.
The auditor-general also said all the Khazanah assets needed to be fully utilised to justify their purchase.
On a positive note, the auditor-general commended Khazanah for making profit for the fourth consecutive year.
The bosses in Khazanah Nasional thinks the people’s money that we pay every month as income tax are something which they just can burn in a blink of an eye. RM64 million for 93 paintings?!
That is averaging about RM69K per painting! On whose God given right was it that they can just buy expensive paintings and waste it by not keeping it properly?
If that doesn’t make your blood boil, then the fact that 106 credit cards with unlimited ceiling are issued with impunity must take the cake.
This is a disgrace. Apparently, dishonourable men with no qualms in burning money can be held in high esteem by our Prime Minister.
So what are they going to do with the credit cards and the paintings? Business as usual? Issue more bonuses to the credit card users, painting buyer and the Board of Directors of Blue Archipelago Bhd?
That was precisely what they did. After all, they achieved profitability every year.
Just a few days ago, we tweeted:
The answer is found in a newsfeed by Bernama:
Najib opens Khazanah office in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officiated Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s regional office for the Amerikas, Khazanah Americas Incorporated (KAI), in San Francisco Sunday.
He hoped that the opening of this office would help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by the year 2020.
The Prime Minister said Malaysia’s visionary ambitions to reach a developed nation status by 2020 could be achieved by moving up the value chain and creating an economy driven by knowledge, innovation and technology.
Najib said this when officiating the office located at the 45th Floor, 101 California Street, San Francisco, the third Khazanah’s regional office after Beijing and Mumbai.
Also present were his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin; Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Director, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Commerce Mark Chandler.
The Khazanah Americas Incorporated office has a scenic view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the world’s longest and tallest suspension bridge when the bridge was completed in 1937, to connect San Francisco with Marin County across the 1,600 metre-wide strait known as the Golden Gate which links the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.
Complimenting Khazanah for “the great choice of sparkling office with a nice view”, Najib said Khazanah had made the right choice to be in San Francisco as the city is the centre of innovation in the United States – one of the most dynamic regions in the world, home to the most admired and innovative businesses and institutions.
Najib, who is also Khazanah Nasional Berhad chairman, said the opening of the office has shown that the Malaysian government fully supported and underpinned its seriousness on creating a competitive, sustainable and innovation-friendly environment and encouraged private and government entities to invest in key sectors abroad.
The Prime Minister also said Malaysia was keen to invest in exciting high-value areas such as life sciences, green technology and cutting-edge innovation that could help Malaysia’s transformation efforts.
Najib said Malaysia hoped to learn from the United States its remarkable culture of innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship to spur Malaysia’s own economic growth.
He said he was looking forward to see the innovation that would emanate from this regional office initiative.
He said that over the years, Malaysia’s business and economic interests had expanded across the globe and hoped that the Khazanah office would be able to identify potential partners and get the people in innovation in Americas to partner with those in Malaysia.
Najib also said that Iskandar Malaysia in Johor had established itself as a high value innovative centre and its Pinewood Studios, an integrated media production studio facility, are expected to be completed and opened next year.
He said Malaysia had a lot to offer to investors such as big economic growth number of 4-5 per cent a year, its Vision 2020 efforts on track and a low inflation rate of 2 per cent, which was not bad considering the current external factors affecting the world economy.
“With Khazanah Americas, we can further strengthen our presence and build strong networks with businesses here and I hope we can identify potential partners in America to help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by 2020,” he said.
In his welcoming speech, Khazanah Nasional Berhad Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the opening of the Khazanah Americas Incorporated office would be a hub for Khazanah into innovation and technology as well as a bridge between the two countries and regions.
Najib, who arrived in San Francisco with his wife early Sunday, is on a working visit here until Sept 24, prior to his visit to New York to lead Malaysia’s delegation to the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from Sept 25 to 29.
He is scheduled to deliver a statement at the High Level Meeting UNGA on Nuclear Disarmament on Sept 26, and Malaysia’s statement during the General Debate on Sept 28. – Bernama
… and the CONmen go marching in.
This time a lavish Khazanah Nasional rep office in one of the most expensive downtown office towers in very expensive San Francisco. Where the in-building parking (if you can find one) charges run at U$3 (RM10) per 15 minutes or US33 (RM110) per day. That would be RM3,300 per month for one car in a dingy basement — the rental rate of a very comfortable KL apartment.
While being fawned head-over-heels by CONmen from Frost & Sullivan and likeminded parasites, PM Najib reportedly complimented the breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge and praised Mr. Non-Performer Royale, Azman Mokhtar for making “the great choice of sparkling office with a nice view.” Yes indeed. A million dollar view that will captivate many a heart. But is Khazanah promoting Malaysia or Northern California?
Who will staff this luxurious office? How many Malaysians? From where and based on what criteria? Another bunch of cocky 26-year olds “selected on merit” who will splash scenes of their wild parties and sinful weekend getaways — this time in exciting SF — on FB? Don’t be surprised if some of the PEMANDU party animals get recycled and sent here to liven up the wild Bay Area LGBT nightlife.
So how much are the rakyat (yes, Malaysian taxpayers) paying these people? Let me guess ………… a lot. Yes, a lot because San Francisco is one of THE most expensive cities in the U.S., with rental rates three times the U.S. average. The median rent for a 1-BR, yes one bedroom apartment in this city is about US$3,300 (almost RM11,000) per month. In preferred neighbourhoods, 1-BR rentals — if you can actually find one — would be US$3,600-4,500. For 2-BRs? You’re staring at US$5,000-8,000 per month. 3-BR? Don’t ask. And we have not even looked at other costs in a city ranked in the top 3 most expensive in the U.S.
How I know all these? I have a SF rep office as well. You pay through your nose in rental, parking and staff costs but as long as you make money, lots of it, its fine.
So will Azman Mokhtar and the merry-men and -women of Khazanah actually “make money” to cover this yet another splurge of the rakyat’s hard earned ringgits?
By bringing in investors? Isn’t that job already done by the likes of Mida, Matrade and Miti? Seriously, what can Khazanah do that Mida and Matrade cannot do or has not already done? Mida has six offices across the U.S. — Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, Boston, Chicago and Houston. Martrade has offices in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. And we have investment minister-counselors in our Washington, D.C. embassy and consulates general in New York and Los Angeles. Throw in Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines and you’ll have a heck of a lot of “rep offices” offering the same thing again and again to confused Americans.
So what exactly is Khazanah’s role in SF? To attract investments? Again, that’s Mida and Miti’s job. To expand trade? That’s Matrade’s job. To secure tourist dollars? That’s Tourism Malaysia’s job. To play a hand in diplomacy? That’s the foreign office’s job via the embassy and consulates.
Oh, I forgot ….. Khazanah is supposed to SPEND money, NOT make money. While part of the fat budget has been blown on expensive office rental and staff costs, there must be quite a chunk left for a Silicon Valley spending spree. Najib reportedly said in SF, “Malaysia [is] keen to invest in exciting high-value areas such as life sciences, green technology and cutting-edge innovation that could help Malaysia’s transformation efforts.”
What exactly do all those Powerpoint jargons mean?
I’m sure Mr. Kool wannabe here would throw in “value proposition” and “value chain” and “leading edge” and “next-gen” and “ears and eyeballs” and other so-very-90s-lah CON-sultant bullsh*t somewhere in his speech.
As for stopping the spending spree, its too late lah people. The depleting chequebook’s out. Khazanah must be seen to spend on something somewhere to justify their SF office adventure. You see, their No.1 KPI is “to spend money, lots of it” and No.2 KPI is “to lose money, most of it” and No.3 KPI is “blame others, all of them.”
I’m just waiting for some announcement of a “strategic investment” in some “new economy” scam involving solar powered green-coloured multiheaded dildos or something like that run by a couple of Taiwanese H-1B visa abusers out of a Sunnyvale garage repackaged, of course, into some sustainable eco-friendly healthy green technology gizmo that purportedly will yield a financial windfall for Khazanah and propel Malaysia to new heights of economic ecstasy ….. blah, blah, blah. Sounds familiar? A sucker born every minute? Remember InventQjaya? Remember E-Village in the Dengkil boondocks? And don’t let me get into cow farms and such. Just finished a late dinner meeting with some old ex-ministers and the possibility of regurgitating the horrendous raw sturgeon wrapped in salty seaweed and boiled cabbage is very real indeed.
Oh, ….. saw in the newsfeed that Najib had just committed the rakyat’s money into yet another new fund management company, Putra Eco Ventures Inc. The report said: “The company will channel the investments and provide business consultancy services to green technology companies.” Now, that’s a triple whammy of oxymoronia. “Channel the investments”? “Provide business consultancy services”? These types of phrases have scam and leakage and abuse and misadventure written all over them. Throw in “green technology” and you are looking at a financial trainwreck in the making.
So people, another little chapter of the follies of GLC Malaysia unfolds away from the public radar. While the rakyat bicker about twenty sen fuel price hikes and lack of decent affordable housing, the jet-setting chimps-in-suits of Khazanah (… and soon PEMANDU and TalentCorp and 1MDB and other disasters) throw our tax money into bottomless pits in faraway America.
My problem with Najib is that every time he launches or announces or officiates something somewhere, I get an overpowering sense of mindless, needless wastage of the rakyat’s money. And this Khazanah rep office in San Francisco is no different. Again, I just don’t understand the logic. To attract investments, Mida, Martrade and Miti and our embassy and consulates have already done that for umpteen years. No need expensive, lavish office overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in SF. On the other hand, if you just want to throw money at American companies, to invest in their business schemes or scams, they couldn’t care less about your office. They just want your money, lots of it. Heck, they wouldn’t give a hoot even if you work out of a Motel 6 by the 101 freeway …. as long as you give them money.
So again, what’s this “great choice of sparkling office with a nice view” in San Francisco really about? Is this a necessary strategic move to oversee the deployment of our sovereign funds — our children’s money — in foreign-based ventures crucial to our economic competitiveness, ……. or is this yet another expensive stupid out of control ego trip by some chimps-in-suits condoned by a weak, gullible Prime Minister easily fooled by meaningless CONsultant jargons liberally dished out in slick Powerpoint presentations?
We value second opinion. Please share what you think.
Blogger Din Turtle wrote his opinion about it here >> http://dinturtle.blogspot.com/2013/09/najib-buka-satu-lagi-pejabat-milik.html?m=1
Let’s get something straight. A catchy tagline, symbolic logo, pretty colours that symbolize the ‘personality’ of the brand and a custom designed font are not Nation Branding.
Glossy advertisements that push the creative envelope and consist of content that is impossible for stakeholders to buy into or live up to, is not Nation Branding.
Expensive brochures and other marketing collateral that use light gray colours on white backgrounds and font sizes impossible to read is not Nation Branding.
Hugely expensive billboards that create awareness but do little else and are soon lost in the fog of the tens of thousands of messages consumers are exposed to every day is not Nation Branding.
It might have been possible to use such creative-driven branding to build a Nation Brand in the 1960s – 1990s, when countries and their advertising agencies focused more on getting attention than getting results.
But this is a different era. There are now so many channels to consumers, so many competitors all with a similar offering and so many distractions that it is no longer possible to build a Nation Brand in this way.
Furthermore, too many taglines have made promises the Nation couldn’t possibly keep or their marketing or PR collateral has left potential customers underwhelmed. This may not have been the fault of the Nation or it may be the result of poor internal implementation but it has resulted in a delivery failure that has negatively impacted all efforts till then. A case in point is the Incredible India campaign and the multiple attacks on women over the last year.
Moreover, engaging (not reaching) target markets through traditional channels with traditional tools is virtually impossible today. Especially in the digital age when consumers are more knowledgeable, have more choice and are more demanding.
So how do we make the Malaysia Nation Brand successful?
So how do we make it successful?
We would like to thank the people behind these websites for trying to correct our earlier article regarding the consultants’ slip-up:
There is always room for a right of reply here in this blog.
But it was not about who copied whom. But it is more about the people who had thought of the idea for our PM and how they had done a really sloppy job in making background check about the slogan.
But since there are over 50,000 words in the English vocabulary, the chances of two words coming together and coincide with national slogan of two countries is one in a billion, therefore it is no longer by chance. It is by design. Popular notion is, the same brand consultant was used.
It was written in the blog – Brand Consultant Asia:
At the end of last year some firms were invited to “submit slogans for a new Nation Branding project”. Of course a slogan isn’t a Nation Branding project but it was considered a start.
The slogan chosen was probably “Endless Possibilities” because this was used during the World Economic Forum in Davos to promote Malaysia as a South East Asia location for investment and tourism.
Therefore, it is advised that the PM’s department to screen these firms/consultants properly and carefully vet them for their previous and current clients. Do we need another embarrassment where our slogans were used by countries that are not really having good reputation with the majority of Malaysians? But in this case, it was none other than Israel.
Now here’s another youtube video from Mongolia taken more than a year ago.
(Taken from the blog – FOUL, with thanks)
There is really not enough thinking being done by the consultants when we paid them to come up with ‘Endless Possibilities’.
It could just be surfing the internet and youtube for catchy phrases. Was our money spent, justified?
We wonder how much money was spent by the consultants in Prime Minister’s inner circle for coming up with this new slogan that will ‘complement’ the previous 1Malaysia slogan.
Think of all the tax payers’ money spent to pay for those consultants in order to produce those two words.
And read the sites below as to where they had copied it from.
Please give the world something original. If you can’t even sort out a proper slogan and had to copy from other countries, then your implementation and grandiose ideas are doubtful to begin with. Any sane people will sack their advisors. But knowing this PM, he may promote them instead. Or give medals of honour. Even the phrase – Endless Possibilities doesn’t give out positive connotations.
What are the possibilities Barisan Nasional to lose the next general election? Endless!
But of course soon we will definitely hear the sorry excuses like – we thought about it earlier than the Israelis, or, it was just pure coincidence, both Prime Ministers of Israel and Malaysia have the same kind of thought patterns etc.
Sometimes, we just cannot rely on advisors who have time and time again proven to be liabilities to the government.
Just a small tip: please google the phrase first before giving it to the PM for him to announce; this might avoid any embarrassment.
TOURISM MINISTRY LAUNCHES DEDICATED WEBSITE PROMOTING ISRAEL AS A DESTINATION FOR CONFERENCE AND INCENTIVE MARKET
Written by Israel Tourism Ministry
Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi: “Israel is very well suited to the conference and incentive market – it is a modern, vibrant country with Jerusalem at its center and its advantages include a good year-round climate for events, its relatively small size that allows for easy, fast access from everywhere and its varied geography.”
The Ministry of Tourism promotes international conventions in Israel and is working to establish Israel as a major player in the incentive market. To this end, the ministry has recently launched a dedicated website promoting Israel as a unique destination for international conferences and incentive travel, under the slogan “Israel. One place. Endless Possibilities”.
The site, which is available in English and Russian, is aimed at the decision-makers and tourism specialists working in the conference and incentive market, in particular in Russia, UK, Germany, Italy and Holland. The website launch is being supported by a NIS 200,000 campaign in print and digital media.
In order to promote convention and incentive tourism, the ministry participates in trade fairs, organizes seminars and hosts orientation visits in Israel for tourism specialists and decision-makers in which they are introduced to the many options available for pre- and post-conference touring and activities for participants and their partners.
Research shows that employees who receive an experiential prize from their employees remember it better and for longer than a financial reward. Based on experience and research, the experiential incentive makes the recipient feel more loyal to his/her workplace and better appreciate his/her employer who not only invested money but also time and effort in arranging the experience. Employees who receive a special incentive return with greater motivation to the workplace and positively influence their colleagues who also want to share the experience.
Included within the website are videos, images, and detailed, user-friendly information that show how Israel can accommodate conferences from 50 – 10,000 participants in hotels and universities with state-of-the-art convention facilities, and a wide and varied range of incentive options underlying the message of one country with endless possibilities. These are divided into four main categories:
The site also includes contact details of relevant Israeli service providers who specialize in conference and incentive travel, as well as the Israel Government Tourist Offices around the world.
We read with glee when the Prime Minister said the government will aid cops in improving effectiveness to tackle crime. Ironic because he was the one responsible to create the mess that the police and the public is currently nose-deep in.
PUTRAJAYA- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the government is prepared to give the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) whatever is needed within reason and affordability to raise the effectiveness of the force in fighting crime, particularly serious crime in the country.
The Prime Minister also expressed concern over a spate of killings using firearms lately, saying it affected public confidence and increased fear with regard to security and serious crime.
In this regard, he said the police must take immediate action to regain public confidence following the developments with regard to security lately.
“It is up to the police to ask from the government what they require in terms of enhancing the capability within reason and within affordability. We will provide the police (with the necessary tools) to fight organised crime and serious crime in the country.
“We are prepared to consider the request and requirements of the police as long as there is a guarantee to safeguard against abuse of power and human rights,” he said at a media conference after chairing the National Finance Council Meeting 2013 at the Finance Ministry, here.
For immediate action, Najib said the police would use the existing law to implement whatever possible in the fight against serious crime.
In addition, he said a sub-committee comprising several ministers including the Home Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department would be set up.
Najib said the sub-committee would discuss with the Attorney-General and Inspector-General of Police to determine additional provisions in the law that could strengthen the police capacity to act.
“This matter can be brought up to the next Parliament session.
“We cannot allow the situation to persist. Immediate and serious action must be taken by the authorities to bring back public peace and confidence,” he said.
The stupidity continues.
The reason why there is a spate of killings in this country is because of the sudden influx of mercenaries and drug lords. Where did they come from? You can bet they came from the 2,600 criminals being released when the Emergency Ordinance Act was repealed back in 2011 together with the ISA.
The reason why ISA and the EO were repealed because the Prime Minister, under the wrong advise given by his consultants, thought that ISA and EO are against human rights, because eventhough it is good for the country, there are bound to be abuse of power.
Therefore, if we repeal the ISO and the EO, we will definitely win more votes as the people will see that the government is having a first world country mentality.
Those were some of the words bandied about by the Prime Minister’s consultants and his myriad of advisers. All these liberals and so-called first worlders have this deluded perception that should the very laws and the social fabric of this country be reformed based at par with other first world democratic countries, the PM will get more votes than his predecessor. Two thirds majority even.
But in actual fact, that wasn’t what the rakyat needs. That is like putting the cart before the horse. You first need to win votes, then reform the country with the huge mandate you are given. Not the other way around. That would be as the malays say – “yang dikejar tak dapat, yang dikendong keciciran”.
What say you advisers and consultants? Busy counting money and driving Aston Martins?
You want the PM to be a reformer? Look what you have gotten the country into. And with an even fewer parliamentary seats.
And back in 2011 when the ISA and EO were repealed on the eve of Malaysia Day, they were repealed without the proper consultation with the police and the public.
If there were consultation, reviews and proper research, there wouldn’t be such lawlessness in this country as the result of that decision. And now, like an after thought, the PM is seen like a buffoon, chastising the police for being weak in combating crime when he himself had clipped their wings.
The only reason why the ill-advised move was made is because the PM was too busy serving the interests of the opposition leaders instead of the interests of the rakyat.
ISA and EO was repealed only due to its probability of being abused for political mileage.
So how do we deal with abuse of power? We punish the abuser! We do not repeal the whole law.
Yes ISA has the perception that it was abused every now and then but did the government do anything to curb the abuse? In the famous debacle involving a journalist being detained under the ISA by Syed Hamid Albar a few years ago, did Syed Hamid goes to court for it? Or at least being subjected to an inquiry? Was he ever penalised about the fiasco? No he did not. Not getting elected as a general election candidate certainly cannot be classified as a punishment.
Similarly, if there are dirty cops, do we disband the whole police force?
The same goes to the law. We do not repeal the law and then made the mess out of it and in the end tries to enact a new one which are similar to the previous one. Isn’t that foolish? Isn’t that stupid?
In the case of the EO, since when do we concerned ourselves with the human rights of drug lords and assassins? So what if these drug lords and gangsters were locked up without trial? Since when is the rakyat’s safety and security stand second to the rights of these criminals?
Is the government that daft? Do you know who are terribly afraid of prevention laws? Yes, the criminals and perhaps some politicians who are actively against it. Maybe they do not have loved ones. Or maybe they do not fear being randomly shot at by drug lords and their henchmen. Or maybe they themselves are up to no good.
This blog has written about the security issues of this country should the ISA be repealed nearly 2 years ago. It can be read here (please re-read it).
Given the severity of the issue and also the changing world environment we are living in, the abolishment of such laws will have a direct and quick impact on the citizens.
… the continuity of our nation’s peace and stability is paramount no matter what is at stake and as the US had shown us, even human rights to freedom has to take a backseat when dealing with dangerous elements within the country.
It is hoped that Malaysia will safely chart its course based on the same wisdom and the same experience that had made it relatively one of the most peaceful and successful country ever existed today.
And now yet another stupidity is about to happen. The repeal of Sedition Act. And in its place, the National Harmony Act or whatever.
PUTRAJAYA: The government’s power in dealing with any actions threatening national unity and harmony will not be affected by the decision to abolish the Sedition Act and replacing it with the National Harmony Act.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the new act would be guided by three key principles to deal with actions that could incite hatred and insult any institutions and existing provisions under the Constitution.
“(Firstly,) the new act will address any action that can incite hatred and raise disloyalty towards the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any ruler,” he said after chairing the 10th Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) council meeting and witnessing the signing and exchanging of four memorandums of agreements on developmental projects in the northern corridor worth RM1.96 billion.
Najib said, secondly, the new act would address actions to spread malicious intent and create racial tension among the different segments of the population in the country.
“Thirdly, it will deal with any attempts to question matters involving the rights, status, special privileges, sovereignty or fixed prerogative as stipulated and protected under the Federal Constitution or Articles 151, 153 and 181 of the Federal Constitution.
Referring to sex bloggers Alvin Tan Jye Yee and his Singaporean girlfriend, Vivian Lee, Najib said the young couple’s rude and disrespectful act towards Islam showed that abusing the freedom of voice and opinion could harm society.
“Although the government would like to guarantee the freedom of speech, it cannot be abused to the extent that it can harm national unity.”
The controversial couple had incurred the wrath of Malaysians over their Facebook posting of a picture of them eating bak kut teh with the caption “Selamat berbuka puasa” on Facebook.
The picture had a halal logo and the words “wangi, enak, menyelerakan” (fragrant, delicious and appetising) were used to describe the herbal pork dish.
It was reported yesterday that the couple could be charged under the Sedition Act 1948.
Najib yesterday also reiterated the government’s firm stand against attempts to incite hatred and stir racial discord. He said the nation’s main pillars of national unity and harmony could crumble if the government was not firm in dealing with actions threatening them.
“We must be firm on this. There cannot be absolute freedom at the expense of national interest and harmony. I have always stressed the principle of freedom with responsibility. The government’s position on this is clear and we will maintain and uphold the principle,” Najib said, stressing that the people must be sensitive to differences in religions and cultures.
Najib also said the government would look into views asking for a new law similar to the repealed Emergency Ordinance 1969.
He said the relevant stakeholders would be involved in the discussion including the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers on this proposal.
“We can get the views of Suhakam and even from the Bar Council.”
On whether the government would be seen as back-tracking should it come up with an act similar to the Emergency Ordinance, Najib said it should not be viewed as such.
“It is not back-tracking. We want to ensure that the fight against crime will be effective.
“At the same time, we must strike a balance to protect the rights of individuals and the interests of society by ensuring there is no abuse of power.“
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had earlier this month said he was discussing with Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail the draft of a new law following the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance.
Concerns were raised after it was revealed that many of the more than 2,600 detainees released from the Simpang Renggam detention centre after the Emergency Ordinance was repealed had returned to a life of crime.
There you go again, that word – ‘abuse of power’. Just because there could be abuse of power, the Prime Minister wants to repeal Sedition Act and replace it with an act so similar it could just be its clone. But of course, since the the lawmakers have nothing better to do, why not waste precious time debating about the same act in Parliament and waste further money and resources to pass it as a new law.
All this is beyond stupidity. Why is the Prime Minister too busy thinking about the human rights of the perpetrators and evil doers? Will this get him more votes? We are laughing as we are writing this. Yes, please seek more advice from the Bar Council. They are the best in defending the human rights of criminals.
Now let us look of what could happen to the new ‘ Sedition Act’.
Let us look at the Peaceful Assembly Act the government had triumphantly gazetted in 2012. This act replaces some of the provisions of the Police Act.
Penalty of up to RM20,000 is the maximum punishment for anyone who had broken the Peaceful Assembly Act above. There is no jail term. If the magistrate says – “You are sentenced to RM3,000 fine”, then Anwar Ibrahim would just have to ask the contractors from Penang to pay the fine on behalf of his rioting supporters.
This kind of act has lost its tooth. People are not afraid of paying fines. They are more afraid of being sent to jail. While the police act provided some jail term as one of its punishments, this new act has none.
The same fate could fall to the National Harmony Act when it is being debated by the opposition in Parliament. Opposition will surely fight for a no jail term clause. And since the Prime Minister will bend over backwards to please the interests of the Opposition leaders, this will definitely happen.
Advisers and consultants are nice to have if they know what they are doing. Being liberal and progressive is fine; but if you do not know the head and tail of an issue, please do not give the wrong advice. This is because the person is probably no longer capable of thinking straight.
ANY, many years ago lived an emperor, who thought so much of new clothes that he spent all his money in order to obtain them; his only ambition was to be always well dressed. He did not care for his soldiers, and the theatre did not amuse him; the only thing, in fact, he thought anything of was to drive out and show a new suit of clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day; and as one would say of a king “He is in his cabinet,” so one could say of him, “The emperor is in his dressing-room.”
The great city where he resided was very gay; every day many strangers from all parts of the globe arrived. One day two swindlers came to this city; they made people believe that they were weavers, and declared they could manufacture the finest cloth to be imagined. Their colours and patterns, they said, were not only exceptionally beautiful, but the clothes made of their material possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.
“That must be wonderful cloth,” thought the emperor. “If I were to be dressed in a suit made of this cloth I should be able to find out which men in my empire were unfit for their places, and I could distinguish the clever from the stupid. I must have this cloth woven for me without delay.” And he gave a large sum of money to the swindlers, in advance, that they should set to work without any loss of time. They set up two looms, and pretended to be very hard at work, but they did nothing whatever on the looms. They asked for the finest silk and the most precious gold-cloth; all they got they did away with, and worked at the empty looms till late at night.
“I should very much like to know how they are getting on with the cloth,” thought the emperor. But he felt rather uneasy when he remembered that he who was not fit for his office could not see it. Personally, he was of opinion that he had nothing to fear, yet he thought it advisable to send somebody else first to see how matters stood. Everybody in the town knew what a remarkable quality the stuff possessed, and all were anxious to see how bad or stupid their neighbours were.
“I shall send my honest old minister to the weavers,” thought the emperor. “He can judge best how the stuff looks, for he is intelligent, and nobody understands his office better than he.”
The good old minister went into the room where the swindlers sat before the empty looms. “Heaven preserve us!” he thought, and opened his eyes wide, “I cannot see anything at all,” but he did not say so. Both swindlers requested him to come near, and asked him if he did not admire the exquisite pattern and the beautiful colours, pointing to the empty looms. The poor old minister tried his very best, but he could see nothing, for there was nothing to be seen. “Oh dear,” he thought, “can I be so stupid? I should never have thought so, and nobody must know it! Is it possible that I am not fit for my office? No, no, I cannot say that I was unable to see the cloth.”
“Now, have you got nothing to say?” said one of the swindlers, while he pretended to be busily weaving.
“Oh, it is very pretty, exceedingly beautiful,” replied the old minister looking through his glasses. “What a beautiful pattern, what brilliant colours! I shall tell the emperor that I like the cloth very much.”
“We are pleased to hear that,” said the two weavers, and described to him the colours and explained the curious pattern. The old minister listened attentively, that he might relate to the emperor what they said; and so he did.
Now the swindlers asked for more money, silk and gold-cloth, which they required for weaving. They kept everything for themselves, and not a thread came near the loom, but they continued, as hitherto, to work at the empty looms.
Soon afterwards the emperor sent another honest courtier to the weavers to see how they were getting on, and if the cloth was nearly finished. Like the old minister, he looked and looked but could see nothing, as there was nothing to be seen.
“Is it not a beautiful piece of cloth?” asked the two swindlers, showing and explaining the magnificent pattern, which, however, did not exist.
“I am not stupid,” said the man. “It is therefore my good appointment for which I am not fit. It is very strange, but I must not let any one know it;” and he praised the cloth, which he did not see, and expressed his joy at the beautiful colours and the fine pattern. “It is very excellent,” he said to the emperor.
Everybody in the whole town talked about the precious cloth. At last the emperor wished to see it himself, while it was still on the loom. With a number of courtiers, including the two who had already been there, he went to the two clever swindlers, who now worked as hard as they could, but without using any thread.
“Is it not magnificent?” said the two old statesmen who had been there before. “Your Majesty must admire the colours and the pattern.” And then they pointed to the empty looms, for they imagined the others could see the cloth.
“What is this?” thought the emperor, “I do not see anything at all. That is terrible! Am I stupid? Am I unfit to be emperor? That would indeed be the most dreadful thing that could happen to me.”
“Really,” he said, turning to the weavers, “your cloth has our most gracious approval;” and nodding contentedly he looked at the empty loom, for he did not like to say that he saw nothing. All his attendants, who were with him, looked and looked, and although they could not see anything more than the others, they said, like the emperor, “It is very beautiful.” And all advised him to wear the new magnificent clothes at a great procession which was soon to take place. “It is magnificent, beautiful, excellent,” one heard them say; everybody seemed to be delighted, and the emperor appointed the two swindlers “Imperial Court weavers.”
The whole night previous to the day on which the procession was to take place, the swindlers pretended to work, and burned more than sixteen candles. People should see that they were busy to finish the emperor’s new suit. They pretended to take the cloth from the loom, and worked about in the air with big scissors, and sewed with needles without thread, and said at last: “The emperor’s new suit is ready now.”
The emperor and all his barons then came to the hall; the swindlers held their arms up as if they held something in their hands and said: “These are the trousers!” “This is the coat!” and “Here is the cloak!” and so on. “They are all as light as a cobweb, and one must feel as if one had nothing at all upon the body; but that is just the beauty of them.”
“Indeed!” said all the courtiers; but they could not see anything, for there was nothing to be seen.
“Does it please your Majesty now to graciously undress,” said the swindlers, “that we may assist your Majesty in putting on the new suit before the large looking-glass?”
The emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put the new suit upon him, one piece after another; and the emperor looked at himself in the glass from every side.
“How well they look! How well they fit!” said all. “What a beautiful pattern! What fine colours! That is a magnificent suit of clothes!”
The master of the ceremonies announced that the bearers of the canopy, which was to be carried in the procession, were ready.
“I am ready,” said the emperor. “Does not my suit fit me marvellously?” Then he turned once more to the looking-glass, that people should think he admired his garments.
The chamberlains, who were to carry the train, stretched their hands to the ground as if they lifted up a train, and pretended to hold something in their hands; they did not like people to know that they could not see anything.
The emperor marched in the procession under the beautiful canopy, and all who saw him in the street and out of the windows exclaimed: “Indeed, the emperor’s new suit is incomparable! What a long train he has! How well it fits him!” Nobody wished to let others know he saw nothing, for then he would have been unfit for his office or too stupid. Never emperor’s clothes were more admired.
“But he has nothing on at all,” said a little child at last. “Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child,” said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said. “But he has nothing on at all,” cried at last the whole people. The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.
To Be Continued..
In the mean time, you might want to read this article.
First and foremost, we would like to congratulate The Mole for being brave in publishing articles which are critical towards Barisan Nasional, its ministers, and especially towards the PM Najib Tun Razak.
Once in a while, The Mole has published this blog’s more stinging articles directed to the group stated above and we are gratified that there still exist credible media platforms which are not afraid to publish excoriating write-ups for the sake of exposing the weaknesses identified. Hopefully all this constructive criticisms will be taken into account to improve further on the back of a disastrous general election recently.
As we all know, the next general election is less than five years away and we have, as the rakyat, another five years to criticise, expose, analyse, judge and even guide the top leadership of this country from any missteps and wrong decisions made. Therefore, please brace yourselves. Politicians, especially the young ones who can’t stand the heat, please stay out from the kitchen. Similarly, the malay phrase for this is – if you are afraid of the waves, then don’t live near the seashore.
But all these criticisms will be written in another article although barely two months after the general elections, there are already a few dozens blunders made and are begging to be written about.
But today we are going to read is about a brief analysis on the recent movement of people in the media industry.
The big news for the past week is the exodus of Leslie Lau, his sister Joan Lau and their band of misfits from The Malaysian Insider to The Malay Mail.
There is a mystery on why the Malay Mail shareholders didn’t find it necessary to own the majority shares of Trinity Diligence Sdn Bhd, or employ Leslie Lau and Joan Lau right under their payroll. That would be safer, and more cost effective and have all the necessary procedures to discipline any wayward behaviour of editors. Because it doesn’t make sense for Malay Mail to outsource another company to manage an online media that uses The Malay Mail brand. If there are any negative news published in that online platform, it will have an impact on the reputation of Malay Mail as a company, not to Trinity Diligence.
How can they control the day to day operations and editorial direction?
Unless of course, Malay Mail directors and its shareholders are glutton for punishment and love firefighting activities where they had to mitigate any repercussions after a damage has been done.
And why would the contents of The Malay Mail paper are entirely different from its ‘outsourced’ online platform? Why would the owners of the brand ‘Malay Mail’ do it this way? Unless of course, there are different agendas (read: propaganda) planned for it. As we all know, there are different rules and laws applied between a newspaper and the online news platforms. Newspapers need to have their permits and licenses; online portals don’t.
Hence, online portals are freer to publish its contents without any parameters to adhere to.
And we all know where the loyalty of Leslie Lau lies with. He made no secret of it. As a very pro-Pakatan Rakyat editor with trails of articles lambasting Barisan Nasional and their leaders (although he is quite fond towards Pak Lah and very anti-Dr. Mahathir), his skewed and often biased writings can be searched easily in the Malaysian Insider.
There is no point to announce that the new Malay Mail online is independent and support neither Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat when history of his writings speaks for itself.
There in lies the bigger picture..
..that another pro-Pakatan Rakyat portal has been established – whether accidentally or by design, right under the nose of the owners of The Malay Mail who incidentally, have very close ties to the Najib administration. With this latest development, this oldest newspaper in Malaysia, will never be the same again.
Of course with the arrival of an editor and his team of journalists, the current chief editor of The Malay Mail has to make way for Leslie Lau. Terence Fernandez, allegedly made his way to fz.com as the result of this. A few of The Malay Mail editorial staff are already there. Terence is slightly less partisan than Leslie Lau in terms of his writings but it is not a difficult thing to say that his leanings is definitely towards Pakatan Rakyat. Therefore, fz.com gained another pro-Pakatan Rakyat senior editor to shape its direction.
Wither Barisan Nasional’s online news presence.
Speaking of which, we now move on to The Star.
The Star ‘s editorial stand is a puzzle to begin with. Eventhough the company belongs to MCA, it often act as DAP’s mouthpiece. They spray DAP’s propaganda in its pages and would even promote shamelessly the key figures in DAP party. A fact that is not lost on the blogger Helen Ang. She is well known in exposing’s The Star’s treacherous articles against MCA and Barisan Nasional.
Are the owners of The Star that stupid? Calvin Sankaran aptly described The Star – “I would compare The Star with a girl who is high maintenance who spends her rich boyfriend’s money freely and having a good time doing it while at the same time sleeping with her BF’s sworn enemy and making jokes about her BF.”
Why would the owners (read: MCA) let this happen?
We would surmise this through one of MCA’s local leader’s tweets a few days ago. Although Ti Lian Ker’s opinions are his own and may not necessarily reflect the MCA leadership, we can take his as a base perspective. Ti Lian Ker was responding to an article forwarded to him about The Star’s backstabbing nature. What we can deduce from the tweet interaction is the fact that The Star had chosen to engage the middle ground. Thus they want to portray themselves as giving more space to DAP leaders compared to BN leaders.
But when most of the news that are originally sourced for example, from Lim Guan Eng’s foul mouth or Hannah Yeoh’s anti-malay stance, there is nothing more to engage the middle ground. The Star, had erroneously believed that in order to gain more readers and be seen as independent, they are helping MCA garner more votes which, according to the recent general election, The Star had failed to do so.
In order to gain more votes for Barisan Nasional, what The Star should have done (this is where Wong Chun Wai had failed to do so) is whenever Lim Guan Eng or Lim Kit Siang give out anti-BN jibes in a press conference, the reporter should contact any BN leaders, get comment from them to rebut whatever the father-son had said in order to give it a more balanced story fit to be published. This is what we call ‘balanced and independent’.
You don’t let a story run by itself and imprinted in the readers’ mind for days on what the DAP leaders had said without even having the right of reply by a BN leader WITHIN the same news story. This happens everyday for the past few years. And if the middle ground read all these, do you think they will suddenly want to vote Barisan Nasional?
Even the editorial staff of The Star are blatantly supporting Pakatan Rakyat’s leaders through their twitter accounts. What kind of message do you want to give to Barisan Nasional voters? That it is okay to vote for Pakatan Rakyat?
When the mouthpiece of MCA is singing praises and letting DAP leaders hurling vitriol towards Barisan Nasional, why would voters vote for Barisan Nasional?
There is no more middle ground among The Star’s readers. Especially among the english speaking chinese. Majority of them have swung towards DAP. No thanks to The Star’s ‘middle ground engagement’.
MCA leaders must be high on drugs when they say that The Star should be given space to run its story. And for the purpose of comparing who gets the job done, Utusan Malaysia was successful in getting the malay votes. Umno’s increased seat is proof to that. How do they do it?
What has The Star done to help MCA getting the votes? It doesn’t matter if you receive millions of advertising money from The Star. We can’t believe MCA leaders are looking at things as immaterial as advertising money. Even till today, MCA are like headless chickens running around not knowing what to do when decisions in every Barisan Nasional state seemed not beneficial towards their community. Just swallow your pride and take the posts which were generously offered by Barisan Nasional top leadership.
How could you be the defender of your race if you do not want to be part of the decision making body? You want other people to take care of your fortunes? What happened in Melaka today is fine example when there is lack of participation in the state exco. When the chinese do not want to vote for Barisan Nasional, what do you expect to happen? It is not something by design. If you are not part of the process because you chose it that way, then do not come out crying foul over something that was decided when you weren’t there.
And it seems Wong Chun Wai’s number two – Wong Sai Wan has moved to The Malay Mail (the paper) to be in charge of ‘Special Projects’. We do not know yet what that entails but surely if The Malay Mail is moving towards what The Star is doing, then obviously we will get another version of a paper that is ‘attracting middle ground’.
If you you know something is not working, then stop doing it.
Ultimately, from the recent movement of people in the media, we can conclude that Barisan Nasional has been losing an english daily with the highest readership and it is also losing the battle in english speaking online portals. Being independent does not win you votes. Being smart is. And Barisan Nasional leaders and their friends who are owners of the media are definitely not smart. You have less than five years before you lose in the next general election. What are you going to do?