Asian Correspondent » Ahirudin Attan http://asiancorrespondent.com Asian Correspondent Wed, 20 May 2015 11:20:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Rakyat di Bagan Pinang bodoh? http://asiancorrespondent.com/11104/rakyat-di-bagan-pinang-bodoh/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/11104/rakyat-di-bagan-pinang-bodoh/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 14:08:30 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/11104/rakyat-di-bagan-pinang-bodoh/ Blame the rakyat, YBs. After so many by-election victories, you don’t expect the Pakatan Rakyat camp to be graceful in the Bagan Pinang defeat. But I expected the leaders to be retrospect, to also look at themselves for flaws.

Anwar Ibrahim, in his blog, reproduced Azmin Ali‘s posting here which unabashedly, and quite unfairly, blamed the voters for electing Isa Samad. So bitter was Azmin that he suggested that there was now no need for Umno to reform the party as its candidate at Bagan Pinang was clearly the choice of the rakyat despite his “corrupt past” (Isa was found guilty of money politics by Umno when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was president).

Azmin wrote:

“UMNO perlu membuat persiapan awal untuk menghadapi Pilihan Raya Umum ke 13 dengan menonjolkan barisan calon-calon UMNO di kalangan perasuah kerana itulah cita rasa rakyat Malaysia.”

Blogging from New York, YB Zul could not believe that the people of Bagan Pinang had voted for Isa. In his postinghere, he lamented:

“Saya melihat ini dengan suatu perasaan yang gementar, apa dah jadi dengan masyarakat Malaysia. Bagaimana kita boleh menjadi toleran kepada sang koruptor, dan membenamkan Hang Jebat. Apakah ini petanda masyarakat Malaysia sudah menjadi masyarakat yang rosak, atau apakah UMNo/Be End sedang mempercepatkan proses menalqinkan diri mereka.”

Kit Siang hints at foul play by Umno (“What was unexpected was Isa’s 8,013-vote and thumping majority of 5,435 votes sweeping all the eight voting streams – the result of gross abuses of power, money politics as well as the postal ballot chicanery“) but the veteran is probably the only one brave enough to ask the Pakatan Rakyat leaders to also look within:

 

“With the rout in Bagan Pinang, Pakatan Rakyat must go back to the drawing board and address the many issues bedevilling the coalition but which had been swept under the carpet, aggravating public concerns about its unity, discipline, cohesion, viability and sustainability as the alternative of the Barisan Nasional for federal power in Putrajaya.

“For a start, Pakatan Rakyat leaders must stop being shy about the need to demonstrate discipline and common sense of purpose at all levels of Pakatan Rakyat as well as have the courage to admit and to resolve any crisis of confidence undermining public support for the coalition.”

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Bagan Pinang, Viva MIC! http://asiancorrespondent.com/11103/bagan-pinang-viva-mic-2/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/11103/bagan-pinang-viva-mic-2/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 14:07:29 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/11103/bagan-pinang-viva-mic-2/ 11/10 Official Bagan Pinang result: Barisan’s Mohd Isa Samad wins with a huge majority, getting 8,013 votes against 2,578 for PAS’s Zulkefly-Majo-5435

Before Jai [It takes Isa Samad to win] and Parpukari [Nizar Moron!Keputusan Live dari Bagan Pinang] alerted me of the official results, I received an SMS:- MIC count says out of 1,870 Indians who cast their votes in B.Pinang today, BN got a whopping 1,387 and PAS only 483. Viva BN, Viva MIC!

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“Even if there was only one man in MIC …” http://asiancorrespondent.com/9254/even-if-there-was-only-one-man-in-mic/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9254/even-if-there-was-only-one-man-in-mic/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:18 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9254/even-if-there-was-only-one-man-in-mic/
The real Sakti. That the MIC’s president-in-waiting G. Palanivel is not too pleased with the warm reception BN leader Najib Razak has shown Makkal Sakti, the latest political party that will rival the MIC for the support of Malaysian Indians, is understandable.
The country’s first PM would not have turned his back on the MIC. “Unfortunately,” Palani laments in his latest blog posting, “we no longer live in the era of leaders like the Tunku.” [Who is the real Sakti? by Palani 11/10/09]

Yesterday, Najib quashed talk that Makkal Sakti was his baby [Government will work with anyone who back 1Malaysia concept, Bernama 10/10/09].


“Makkal Sakti was not formed on my instigation but eventually it would be good for these (Indian-based political parties) to consolidate. The formation of this party is probably the political evolution for Indians in the country,” he added.

“I do not want to say whether the MIC failed or succeeded (in assisting the community)…but it is the choice of the Indians (formation of MMSP). What is important is that they support the government,” said Najib.

Asked if MMSP would be BN’s trump card in winning back the support of the community, which deserted the BN at the 2008 general election, Najib said it was not up to him to say if the newly launched party would be BN’s trump card in facing future general elections.

“But Makkal Sakti has brought a lot of support and we hope it can attract more support. On their inclusion into the BN we will discuss that later. It is up to the BN supreme council. Whether they are in or out (of the BN), we are willing to work together and that is the most important thing,” he added.


It’s too early to tell how MIC and Makkal Sakti leaders will react to Najib’s consolidation hint, but much depends on how the BN fares in the Bagan Pinang by-election today (LIVE coverage here), where Indian voters are said to be crucial in deciding if Pakatan Rakyat’s by-election winning streak will end) and Palani’s own brand of leadership when he takes over the MIC presidency from Samy Vellu (which is expected to happen very, very soon .. sooner than most pundits would dare expect).

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Bagan Pinang, Viva MIC! http://asiancorrespondent.com/9253/bagan-pinang-viva-mic/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9253/bagan-pinang-viva-mic/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:17 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9253/bagan-pinang-viva-mic/
11/10 Official Bagan Pinang result: Barisan’s Mohd Isa Samad wins with a huge majority, getting 8,013 votes against 2,578 for PAS’s Zulkefly-Majo-5435

Before Jai [It takes Isa Samad to win] and Parpukari [Nizar Moron!Keputusan Live dari Bagan Pinang] alerted me of the official results, I received an SMS:- MIC count says out of 1,870 Indians who cast their votes in B.Pinang today, BN got a whopping 1,387 and PAS only 483. Viva BN, Viva MIC!

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OTK, Chua punished by delegates http://asiancorrespondent.com/9255/otk-chua-punished-by-delegates/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9255/otk-chua-punished-by-delegates/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:18 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9255/otk-chua-punished-by-delegates/
HEADNOTE: Article 35 of the MCA Constitution states that an EGM needs the votes of two-thirds of the delegates to oust the President.

Now, consider the outcome of the voting on Resolution 1: That the members of the general assembly have no confidence in the leadership of president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

There were 1155 delegates who voted FOR this resolution, against 1141 delegates who voted AGAINST it.
The margin, therefore, is 14.

That is clearly NOT a two-thirds margin!

Original Article:

Extraordinary, indeed. Yes, it is. The MCA members decided at the Extraordinary General Meeting today to pass a vote of no-confidence against their president, Ong Tee Keat, and to close the door on Chua Soi Lek’s hope to be reinstated as the deputy president.

It looks like the members were fed up and decided to punish both men. Someone said it reflects the maturity of the MCA delegates.

The party is now without a president and a deputy president, but somehow many think this is the best outcome possible and that the next step for the party will be a step up.

[NST says it’ s “Losers All”; it’s “Dramatic Decisions” over at the Star. But Bernama decides to show us its sense of humor by asking Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his opinion here].

Footnotes: The Malay Mail’s online take, 2 Losers, 3rd Force Victors

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Mark of (the Original) Zorro in Bagan Pinang http://asiancorrespondent.com/9256/mark-of-the-original-zorro-in-bagan-pinang/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9256/mark-of-the-original-zorro-in-bagan-pinang/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:19 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9256/mark-of-the-original-zorro-in-bagan-pinang/
Election violence, or just poor acting/make-up? In silat, the Malay ancient and mystical martial arts, to master the art of kebal (invincibility) is the exponent’s ultimate goal. The Unspinners, who are in Bagan Pinang covering the otherwise dull by-election, think this chap who claimed to have been slashed by a parang panjang is kebal.

Click here for more pictures of Z Z Z, the mark of the Original Zorro. I hope the cops get the attackers.

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Dr M’s message to the Umno General Assembly http://asiancorrespondent.com/9257/dr-ms-message-to-the-umno-general-assembly/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9257/dr-ms-message-to-the-umno-general-assembly/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:19 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9257/dr-ms-message-to-the-umno-general-assembly/
Suntikan Semangat Satria II
at Dewan MBPJ
tomorrow 10.10.2009 at 10 am
[click here for full address and map]

Those were the days when Pak Lah was PM and listening to Dr Mahathir’s speeches could be more dangerous than taking part in a street demo organised by Bersih or the Bar Council. I’d love to be there tomorrow but I’ll be with a group of final journalism students at UiTM.

Go to Big Dog‘s to find out what the Old Man has to say tomorrow.

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Universiti Malaya’s back in Top 200! http://asiancorrespondent.com/9258/universiti-malayas-back-in-top-200/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9258/universiti-malayas-back-in-top-200/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:19 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9258/universiti-malayas-back-in-top-200/ Updated:
Malaysian varsities ranked. UM and UTM climbed; the others faltered.


Original article
Harvard’s No 1, NUS 30th
. The country’s top university, UM, is back in the world’s Top 200 varsities at no 180. That’s 50 places better than it was last year!
I say, fantastic.

Now to go for the Top 50, where it’s cousin the National University of Singapore nestles.

See the full ranking here.

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Najib hasn’t seen toll proposal http://asiancorrespondent.com/9259/najib-hasnt-seen-toll-proposal/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9259/najib-hasnt-seen-toll-proposal/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:20 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9259/najib-hasnt-seen-toll-proposal/
BH 08/10: Kerajaan belum membuat sebarang keputusan rasmi berhubung cadangan menjual Plus Expressways Bhd dan konsesi tol yang lain: Najib di Paris

So no decision yet on Asas Serba. Read the Bernama story here.
Whether or not the government is going to accept, reject, consider, put on hold or whatever else with regards to Asas Serba‘s proposal to bring down toll rates by 20 per cent, or whether the government is going to call in other parties to make their pitch, there should be a process to decide where we are going with toll.

During this process all the stakeholders, especially we the toll-paying people, should be made part of that conversation. Rakyat mesti diutamakan.

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How to pre-empt your boss http://asiancorrespondent.com/9260/how-to-pre-empt-your-boss/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9260/how-to-pre-empt-your-boss/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:20 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9260/how-to-pre-empt-your-boss/
Toll tales. Either Nor Mohamed Yakcop has discussed the proposal by Asas Serba with Najib, or he thinks he is still the Finance Minister II and therefore can decide without asking what the PM thinks or if the views of the Cabinet on Asas Serba’s proposal ought to be sought. [Nor was 2nd Finance Minister under Pak Lah; the post went to Husni after Najib became PM and took the finance portfolio as well].

Whichever way you think, what’s certain is this man formerly nicknamed “Top Cat” sounded like he knew exactly what he was talking about yesterday.

“If anyone has a plan to buy (the tolled roads), good luck but we have no plans to sell.” - Top Cat

According to the Star’s report here, Nor Mohamed was responding to questions regarding a report that said private entity Asas Serba Sdn Bhd was to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on its proposal to consolidate the management and operations of all highway concessionaire companies in the country, including PLUS Expressways Bhd and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd, in a deal estimated at RM50bil. It is reported that Asas Serba would be able to reduce toll charges by some 20% after the consolidation while lessening the Government’s subsidies by some RM114 bil but to do so, it might need to seek a longer concession period.

According to the Business Times/NST, about a month ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said state investment agency Khazanah Nasional Bhd has no plan to sell PLUS. Recent reports quoting Asas Serba’s allies, however, claimed that the Prime Minister was now interested to listen to the firm’s proposal, and that a briefing was supposed to have been held last week. Khazanah directly and indirectly holds 64 per cent of PLUS. The EPU is responsible for carrying out a study for the government to take over some of the busier highways including PLUS to ease the burden of toll users. It further reported that Asas Serba had in May this year proposed to the Works Ministry to acquire all 22 highway concessionaire companies for RM50 billion. The company is manned by four businessmen, two of whom are former senior executives of the former Renong conglomerate.

We are paying too much toll, especially those of us who commute daily on intra-urban expressways. We all want something to be done by the government to reduce our burden. But I happen to think that making us pay less but for a longer period just won’t cut it. If all Asas Serba is thinking is that, then it will not go down well with most.

BUT is that what Asas Serba’s proposal is about?

Has the proposal gone to the PM and the Cabinet? (And if not, why did NMY pre-empt them?).

Does NMY has a better idea?

Andif it’s not the PM, shouldn’t the official take on such a plan come from the 2nd Finance Minister?

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MIED’s not walking away http://asiancorrespondent.com/9261/mieds-not-walking-away/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9261/mieds-not-walking-away/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:21 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9261/mieds-not-walking-away/

Palani blogs. Before politics, the MIC deputy president, G. Palanivel, was a Bernama journalist. We worked quite closely together when he was the press secretary for S. Samy Vellu, who was the Works Minister back then.
If Palani’s concerned or unhappy about the way the mainstream media are treating his boss with regards to issues affecting the party and the Indian community (the latest being Samy’s purported intention to “hijack” the Maju Institute of Educational Development or MIED), he’s handling it well. No table and chest thumping from this man. This morning, he merely sms-ed me to say that he has posted his views on the MIED issue on his blog h e r e and asked me to read it when I have the time.

Another blogger just added to my blogroll is Lim Kok Wing. His latest posting here warns Malaysia that it will continue to lose its best if the system continues to ignore its wealth of talent.

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Bloggers’ FT http://asiancorrespondent.com/9262/bloggers-ft/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9262/bloggers-ft/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:21 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9262/bloggers-ft/


Less than 24 hours since its launch, the Blog4FT project has drawn more than a dozen postings. The pictures above are taken from 3 of them. The monthly blogging competition is open to public, juniors, media and foreigners.
So far, the journo-bloggers and the tourists/expats are still adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

Met many old and new bloggers at the launch yesterday, including Syed Akbar Ali, Desiderata, Mahaguru, Tengku Zafrul, Elviza, Nicholas, Akramshah, and a 20-yr old varsity student whose blog basuhbaju.blogspot.com boasts of more followers (231) than many socio-political blogs that I read.

To enter the contest or enjoy the entries, pls go HERE.

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Blog for FT http://asiancorrespondent.com/9263/blog-for-ft/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9263/blog-for-ft/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:22 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9263/blog-for-ft/
Blog and win a Peugeot 308! During a dinner with some of us bloggers on June 10, Raja Nong Chik spoke of doing an international or regional bloggers’ do in KL. This Monday at 2.30pm (venue Pavilion, KL), the Federal Territories Minister will be launching that do. The organisers are calling it Blog4FT.

Essentially, it is an essay writing competition. You blog about KL, Labuan or Putrajaya and if the judges find yours to be the best entry, you win a prize. There will be categories for journalists and international travelers to Malaysia. The competition will be held over 3 monthly legs – Nov, Dec and Jan – which means there will be 3 monthly prize presentations (including laptops, I was told).

The overall winner will drive away with a Peugeot 308 (see pic below). You choose the color you want.


Get details HERE. I will update with more info this Monday.

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Dead man’s DNA on dead man’s belt http://asiancorrespondent.com/9264/dead-mans-dna-on-dead-mans-belt/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9264/dead-mans-dna-on-dead-mans-belt/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:22 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9264/dead-mans-dna-on-dead-mans-belt/
NST 02/10: Beng Hock’s inquest: DNA found on Teoh’s blazer and belt belonged to deceased M. Gopala whose post mortem was conducted just before Teoh

BH 02/10: DNA misteri pada mayat Teoh Beng Hock adalah milik M. Gopala yang dibedah siasat di meja sama sebelum Teoh di HTAR Klang.

What happened to “proper” post-mortem procedures? After the Kugan Ananthan’s case, where two pathologists came up with rather contradicting autopsy results, the independent investigating committee of experts appointed by the Health Ministry to decide on those two autopsies recommended, among other things, that “Proper post mortem procedures should be followed in all autopsy cases”.

That recommendation was made in April this year and, obviously, nobody gave a damn. In the post-mortem conducted on Teoh Beng Hock, one of the most basic proper procedures, which is to wash/sweep clean the table on which the post-mortem was to be conducted, was clearly neglected.

As a result, we have a dead man’s DNA on another dead man.

How lar, YB Liow?

Notes: I am making a link to a Press Release issued by the Health Ministry in April on the findings of the Independent Investigating Committee on A. Kugan’s death in police custody. It’s a long document, but it’s worth reading it. Click HERE.

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Meet OO, latest Petronas director http://asiancorrespondent.com/9265/meet-oo-latest-petronas-director/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9265/meet-oo-latest-petronas-director/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:23 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9265/meet-oo-latest-petronas-director/

Updated
Other blog posts on OO’s appointment:

1. A Soulless nation called home by SatD [note: rantings on OO in a local dialect]
2. Omar Ong slipped into Petronas by A Voice
3. Hmm .. Omar Ong is Petronas director by Shamsul Y


Original Article:
Omar Ong. He’s young, he’s bold and he’s on the Board of Directors of Petronas!

Read the Malay Mail, here.

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Only Isa can win it for Bagan Pinang? http://asiancorrespondent.com/9266/only-isa-can-win-it-for-bagan-pinang/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9266/only-isa-can-win-it-for-bagan-pinang/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:23 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9266/only-isa-can-win-it-for-bagan-pinang/

Doing the right thing. Isa Samad was found guilty by his own party for money politics. Umno, that party, has not cleared him of the crime. Therefore, the idea that his supporters wanted Isa Samad to be the candidate for Bagan Pinang by-election is an absurd one. Most absurd, I mean. Bagan Pinang is not a party election, it is a national election. It’s not just about Umno or Isa Samad’s supporters, it’s about the people.
So even if Isa Samad wins big at Bagan Pinang, it will be an absurd victory.
We don’t know if Umno will pick Isa or someone else, but Isa should be doing the right thing and not wait for that potential mistake by Umno. As Dr Mahathir said, the former Negri Sembilan menteri besar should say he did not want to be nominated and instead and throw his support behind whoever the BN leadership chose.

That way, Isa would endear himself to all.

The full report Isa should be reading is here.

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Malaysian fugitive meets family in Singapore http://asiancorrespondent.com/9267/malaysian-fugitive-meets-family-in-singapore/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9267/malaysian-fugitive-meets-family-in-singapore/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:24 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9267/malaysian-fugitive-meets-family-in-singapore/
update 9.30 am 28/9/09. Waytha and daughter after breakfast in Singapore yesterday, before they said goodbye – he for London and she for Malaysia. Check out the Malay Mail online for the full story in a while.


Original article:


From UK with love. One of the ringleaders of Malaysia’s banned Hindraf movement, lawyer P. Waythamoorthy, 43, has been in Singapore for the last nearly two weeks to meet his family from Malaysia. He left for London today.

Waytha spoke to me in my capacity as The Editor of The Malay Mail just before he left.

In Singapore he also met up with P. Uthayakumar, the other ex-Hindraf ringleader who ended up under the Internal Security Act during Pak Lah’s watch (released last May and recently set up a political party to champion the Indians in Malaysia).

My exclusive interview with Waytha should be out in The Malay Mail tomorrow.

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Green light for NSTP’s “privatization” http://asiancorrespondent.com/9268/green-light-for-nstps-privatization/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9268/green-light-for-nstps-privatization/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:24 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9268/green-light-for-nstps-privatization/
And the birth of a new media giant. The relevant parties have agreed to go ahead with plans to take the NSTP private. The decision was made late Thursday. The bosses of NSTP and Media Prima will have a joint committee to draw up details of the scheme, including the proposed general offer, date of delisting, etc. Expect a statement soon, and promises that this will be good for the group.

I sincerely hope so.

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Dr M at The Mines today, F1 Spore tomorrow http://asiancorrespondent.com/9269/dr-m-at-the-mines-today-f1-spore-tomorrow/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9269/dr-m-at-the-mines-today-f1-spore-tomorrow/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:25 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9269/dr-m-at-the-mines-today-f1-spore-tomorrow/
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be honoring the Singapore F-1 tomorrow night with his presence. The man who helped bring F1 to this region via Sepang will be watching the race, together with the “drivers” of the RM308 million-a-year 1Malaysia F1 team [see excerpts below and link here], from a super-exclusive paddock, which should also see S.M. Nasa, the son of the late Nasimuddin, founder of the Naza Group, making his first public appearance with the 1Malaysia team.

Tony Fernandes has so kindly invited me to join the Tun but I had to decline, even though I will be in Singapore to celebrate Eid with friends and relatives. I will be watching the race from elsewhere just to experience the “unique” night F1, but basically I am not a motor sports fan.

For those who can’t join Dr M at the Singapore race but want to wish him Hari Raya personally, his Open House today beckons you at 58, Jalan Kuda Emas, The Mines, Seri Kembangan, until 5pm. Expect the longest queue, though, because I hear a lot of those who could not make it to his open houses the last 5 years are making their enthusiastic comebacks today!

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Pakatan MPs for UNGA http://asiancorrespondent.com/9270/pakatan-mps-for-unga/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9270/pakatan-mps-for-unga/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:25 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9270/pakatan-mps-for-unga/
Malaysian delegates. They’ll be in New York for 2 weeks. Not a holiday, mind you. They will have to sit in for meetings of UNGA, its sub-committees, envoys, etc. “It’s a great chance for me to represent my country,” one YB was overheard saying.

A move on the part of Najib’s government certainly to raise eyebrows on both sides of the political fence. Read HERE.

CORRECTION: The MM got 2 out of 3 right. The New York-bound DAP man won’t be Chong.

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Taking the NSTP private http://asiancorrespondent.com/9271/taking-the-nstp-private/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9271/taking-the-nstp-private/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:26 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9271/taking-the-nstp-private/
Updated: The Scribe, a former GEIC of the NSTP: Protecting NSTP’s Brandname and Goodwill

Original Article:

NOT a good idea.
A journalist from the Edge asked me about the initiative to take the New Straits Times Press private. I said I heard a decision was going going to be made in a day or two. I also said that if it happens, there would be bad press for Najib or Umno. My friend isn’t the only one who agreed.

The accountants can cook up 1001 means to justify the end (the favourite line I’ve heard is that taking NSTP private would “unlock its potential”, or something to that effect). But the move, I’m afraid, will not be just about economic gains and financial potential. The NSTP is the media apparatus closest to Umno and the Prime Minister (even though its reports don’t usually reflect that, especially lately). Which means, there is a political angle to the story which may override the “unlocking-the-potential” factor offered by the accountants.

The thing is, I don’t think those accountants have taken time to gauge the political feedback. If they had, they would have stopped dead in their tracks upon realising the political backlash they could be unlocking.

Most of the people I talked to about the move to take NSTP private offered the same conclusion or, rather, assumption: That the plan is to PRE-EMPT a defeat by the Barisan Nasional to the Pakatan Rakyat at PRU13!

I was stumped. How does that happen?

Well, as another analyst told me, it does look like UMNO or Najib thinks an insurance is needed in the event of a defeat to PR in PRU13, crucial assets like Media Prima/NSTP don’t fall to the enemy. I argued that the fear of losing the next general election was perhaps very real when Pak Lah was still the PM, but certainly it is no longer the case. I thought there was more confidence on BN’s part now that they would do better at PRU13, especially with Najib winning the battle on the economic front?

Was I wrong?

Taking NSTP private will provide his detractors with the firepower to accuse Najib Razak of trying to put the media under his direct control. Anwar Ibrahim attempted the same with the Management Buy Out of the NSTP in the mid-90s. Such a negative perception will not be in the interest of the PM, who has said he would give more latitude to the media under his watch and who has thus far done well to keep to his word.

Any suggestion that the move to take NSTP private will be good for transparency and media freedom will be rendered idiotic. If they wanted to “free” the NSTP of direct political control and intervention, they should have done it as soon as PRU12 was over. We are now almost two years after PRU12!

On the contrary, if this idea of taking NSTP private involves a merger with Media Prima and its television channels (which are all doing very well without NSTP, anyway), Umno and Najib should be concerned with the prospect of having ONE media tsar controlling all the apparatus under the group.

We saw a glimpse of that in the last 6 years when Pak Lah “surrendered” the business of managing/controlling the media in the hands of one person that he and only he trusted.

That was the time when the Government believed in its own propaganda.

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Johor’s Retort http://asiancorrespondent.com/9272/johors-retort/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9272/johors-retort/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:26 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9272/johors-retort/
Blow by Blow. A special body or council should be set up to resolve problems involving members of the Malaysian royalty. They should not be allowed or encouraged to attack each other in public. It makes excellent copy for the newspapers, but it’s downright demeaning to have a royal family mud-slinging another during a press conference and then have the other party returning the favour.

Which is what the Johor’s Raja Muda is likely to do this week in order to protect his good name, or so says the front page article of the Malay Mail today. Read the article “No way, says Johor Royalty [Negri’s RM50 million demand extortionate, they say]” here.

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11/10, a turning point for Umno? http://asiancorrespondent.com/9273/1110-a-turning-point-for-umno/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9273/1110-a-turning-point-for-umno/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:27 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9273/1110-a-turning-point-for-umno/
Bagan Pinang by-election. Blogger Sakmongkol, his AK-47 in their faces, is telling the “PR people” to prepare to lose. In Bagan Pinang – Vote for Normalcy, he said things are getting back to normalcy and that’s bad news for Pakatan:
… once things get back to normalcy, PKR starts to get panicky. This is what the situation in Bagan Pinang represents. Things are getting back to normalcy.”

Sakmongkol, I think, is tired with PR’s claims that postal votes are going to be rigged in favor of the BN. He sees the postal voting issue as just an excuse offered ahead by PR to blame UMNO for its loss.

“This coming win by BN in Bagan Pinang will expose the PR as a party which thrives only under abnormal conditions and that their extensive win at the 12th General Elections was just an aberration. This coming by elections, the Bagan Pinang folks are voting for normalcy. That’s why they are voting BN.

Sakmongkol’s words, NOT mine. I just happen to agree with a lot of the things he wrote here.

Nomination is Oct 3 and polling has been set for Oct 11, a Saturday.

Related reading: PAS tak payah berlakun, dah pun kempen dalam kem

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Aidil Fitri http://asiancorrespondent.com/9274/aidil-fitri/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9274/aidil-fitri/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:27 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9274/aidil-fitri/
Selamat Hari Raya
Maaf Zahir & Batin

This is my 4th Aidil Fitri in blogosphere. How time flies. The things I have written on Bru weren’t all sweet and pleasing, so where my words and pictures have offended you, bros and sis, please accept my ampun-maaf in the spirit of wonderful Syawal.


This beautiful photograph is of the Syed Al-Bukhary mosque in Alor Setar, courtesy of jeebsion.com [Correction: The pix is of another masjid – Masjid Zahir. I’ve included the other pix by the same photographer, which is of the Syed Al-Bukhary’s mosque, at the end of this posting]

Blogger Reme Ahmad has a collection of Singapore mosques in his Raya greeting here. The Masjid Tentera in Clementi is probably where I first performed my Hari Raya prayers, circa end-60s. They have a basement/underground masjid too.


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Dara Naquiah denies demanding RM100 million from Johor prince http://asiancorrespondent.com/9275/dara-naquiah-denies-demanding-rm100-million-from-johor-prince/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/9275/dara-naquiah-denies-demanding-rm100-million-from-johor-prince/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 13:33:28 +0000 http://123.242.230.222/9275/dara-naquiah-denies-demanding-rm100-million-from-johor-prince/

updated, Fri:
The Star also front-paged the news, and its EIC blogged about it
here.


Original posting:

Only RM50 million. I’d heard earlier of the multi-million ringgit demands made by one royalty family against another but didn’t want to post it. Pooh-poohed it, in fact. But now that Dara Naquiah has owned up to having sent a letter of demand seeking RM50 million in compensation* from the Tengku Mahkota Johor, I’m thinking that maybe I should have taken what I’d heard earlier more seriously.

The Negri Sembilan royalty’s beef is with the police, actually. The “victim” told a press conference today that the cops were sitting on the case. What I’ve heard was that there was no case. But I’ll let the cops say that.

Washing dirty linen in public (and in Ramadan, too) isn’t going to help spruce up anyone’s image, least of all the royalty’s. Why can’t these people just shake hands, grow up and move on? It’s Hari Raya, sama-samalah bermaaf-maafan.

* from Malaysiakini:

(Dara Naquiah) also denied rumours that she had demanded RM100 million from the Johor royal house as compensation.

“I said (to the Johor royals) my son is priceless. Even RM100 million would not suffice,” she said.

However, Dara Naquiah said a letter of demand has been sent to Ismail’s lawyers for RM50 million in compensation for damages and an apology.

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