Friday, April 27, 2007

Malaysian By-Election Campaigns Go Into Their Final Lap

And so the accusations and slandering starts (time to show off your laundry):

Najib accuses Khalid of being greedy (how come he wasn't accused then?)

Anwar accuses Najib of having a hand in the Mongolian murder case

Mahathir: Anwar will be PM only in his dreams

Najib's tainted defense contracts deals

Err... can anyone remember who is the other candidate in this by-election?

BBC prefers to interview Anwar rather than Pak Lah

Oooohh.... how it hurts when we put in so much effort and they don't even bother to interview us. How could they chose a "bankrupt politician" (who doesn't even have a seat in our august Parliament) over our beloved PM to interview. Tsk, tsk... the unfairness of it all!

Lots of sour grapes around. I didn't think BBC would have so much clout or influence over the Malaysian public. Now, according to our Information Minister, they do!

Apparently this was reported in The Star and China Post

Ex-PM Mahathir urges Ijok's voters to think before voting

Excerpts from the Ex-PM's interview with

“If you don’t think (about) what you are doing, you don’t use your vote intelligently, then of course, you are to be blamed.”

“Don’t vote BN blindly, don’t vote PAS blindly, don’t vote DAP blindly. Think. Use your faculties to think.”

“Unless you send a signal to the government that, ‘Look, if you don’t behave yourself, you may not get my vote at the next election,’ then the government will say, ‘You see? The people are voting for us. We are doing well.’

“If you vote (BN) because you get a lot of money or because you get a lot of projects, you may get a rotten government which uses money in order to buy your vote.”

Using Hooligans To Scare Voters

One would have thought this would be the tactic of the Malaysian Opposition but it is now used by the present BN government to scare the Malaysian voters into voting for them. What would they think of next?

Read more from Jeff Ooi's Screenshots

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More brickbats for Penang CM from Malay contractors

The Star - 24 April 2007:-

The Penang Malay Contractors Association is upset with the Penang Municipal Council for awarding projects to contractors from outside the state since early this year.

Chairman Mohamed Fadzill Hassan said it had sent a protest letter to Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon recently.

“If nothing comes out of this we will even consider raising the matter with the Finance Ministry or Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” he said yesterday.

He was commenting on the council’s decision to award road sweeping, grass cutting and drain cleaning projects to several contractors from Selangor recently. The Star had reported that the council awarded the RM8mil project to 33 contractors. Of this, it is learnt that eight contractors were from Seberang Prai and four from Selangor.

Mohamed Fadzill said: “I don’t mind projects being given to those from Seberang Prai but why give them to contractors from Selangor? “Will the local authorities in Selangor award such projects to contractors from Penang or other states?” he asked. Mohamed Fadzill said it was not legally wrong for the council to award projects to outsiders. He said it was an “ethical” issue as many contractors from Penang were facing problems in securing projects.

Citing another example, he said the council had awarded an RM800,000 road resurfacing project to a contractor from Selangor early this year. “A Penang contractor submitted a lower bid but he was not chosen probably because the council feels that he could not complete the project.”

Is "Acting President" Dr Koh trying to lobby the more powerful KL-based contractors?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Blogger assaulted while having lunch with Opposition candidate

Blogger Jeff Ooi and his co-photographer was recently assaulted while having lunch with the Opposition candidate in Ijok, a small town in Selangor with an upcoming by-election.

Read his blog entry

Racial equality (inequality?) in Malaysia

They say a picture is worth a thousand words

Read about the prided effects of the so-called "power sharing" among the Malaysian politicians as portrayed by this Thai (or is he a Malaysian living in Thailand?) blogger:

Read the article at The Nation Web Blog

Read Anwar Ibrahim's view:

MCA and MIC leaders cannot fight for minority rights because they kowtow to UMNO

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sarawak CM Abdul Taib to be accused of corruption

KUCHING, April 13 (Bernama)
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has threatened to take legal action over newsreports linking him to RM32 million in logging kickbacks in Japan.

His press secretary, Amin Sahmat, in a one-paragraph statement faxed to the media here today, said Taib had instructed his solicitors to initiate legal action to clear his name in reference to reports in the Japanese and local newspapers alleging that the chief minister was involved in corrupt practices.

Yesterday Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted as saying that he was leaving it to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to investigate a report of RM32 million in logging kickbacks implicating Taib.

He said he had not received any report on the matter so far and no proper report had been lodged by any party for an investigation to be carried out.

Abdullah was asked to comment on a newsreport in Japan Times which claimed that Japanese shipping companies paid RM32 million to a Hong Kong agent allegedly linked to Abdul Taib.

Meanwhile, 20 Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat members led by its liaison chairman, Wan Zainal Abidin Wan Senusi, lodged reports with the ACA and the police today over the allegations.

He told Bernama that the action was in response to Abdullah's comment yesterday that no report had been lodged by any party for an investigation to be carried out.

Here are some foreign news reports:-

Japan Times

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bloggers and Mahathir

The Star,19 April 2007 - Dr M: Bloggers should always write the truth

The former prime minister said bloggers should not tell lies and untruths, and because there were no laws governing them, their freedom to write anything could negatively affect the development of the country.

"Although bloggers are not subject to the same laws governing the mainstream media, they should write the truth all the same", he said.

OK so, bloggers should tell the truth - what about you?

In the same article:-

Dr Mahathir also apologised to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for accusing him of owning a house in Perth, Australia.

He said he got carried away when he mentioned it at a talk in Kulai, Johor, on March 29 recently and added it was based on a rumour.

He was responding after web portal Malaysia Today's Raja Petra Kamaruddin pointed out to him at yesterday's press conference that through an independent search, it was discovered that the house belonged to the wife of a prominent Malaysian businessman.

So, should we believe RPK since he is a blogger? Who is telling the truth and who is lying?

Watch the video:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Read The Sydney Morning Herald on a more balanced(?) account of this report.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anwar Ibrahim campaining in Machap

Anwar in Machap (Part 2)

Anwar in Machap (Part 1)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Singapore has the Best Paid Ministers In The World!

Singapore, which prides itself on having one of the world’s most competent bureaucracies, this week gave its top civil servants pay rises of as much as 60%, a hike that would make the world’s most generous private-sector employers blush.

Coming at a time when the income gap between rich and poor in the city-state is widening and ahead of a hike in taxes, the move provoked normally placid Singaporeans into a rare show of public outrage.

Almost 2,000 have signed an online petition against the pay hike and newspapers have been flooded with angry letters. Mild perhaps by international standards, it has nonetheless been an unusually strong public outcry in a place where rallies are banned without a permit and there is no political opposition.

Under the pay hike plan, the annual salary of the chief executive of Singapore Inc., Prime Minister Lee, will rise to 3.1 million Singapore dollars ($2 million), up from S$2.5 million now ($1.65 million), roughly five times the pay of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Lee will rank as the 102 nd-biggest earner in the city-state of about 4.5 million people under the new salary scheme, up from 164th before, but still lower than his No. 63 ranking in 2000.

But the biggest pay increase will go to entry-level ministerial officials, who will receive an annual salary of S$1.9 million ($1.25 million) by next year, up from S$1.2 million ($790,000) now.

In 1994, Singapore’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, created a system that pegged the salaries of top civil servants to what they might earn in the private sector.

Lee, who is the father of the current prime minister, decided that ministers would earn two-thirds of the median of the top 48 earners in six professions: lawyers, accountants, bankers, engineers and the top employees in multinational corporations and local manufacturers.

Latest news has it the their PM will give his increment portion to charity, I wonder which one - NKF?

A blogger's take on this issue

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Leaving no indelible mark

The Star - 9 April 2007: Keng Yaik ends 26-year tenure as Gerakan chief

Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik has ended his 26-year tenure as Gerakan president.

Yesterday, he officially passed over the baton to Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who will become acting party president.

Famous for his witty remarks, Dr Lim “caused a stir” after secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye tabled three resolutions: for Dr Lim to retire as president, his appointment as national adviser and for Dr Koh to take over.

As he took the podium to deliver his farewell address at the extraordinary national delegates conference, Dr Lim told Chia: “Even before I step down (as president), you are saying this and that in the resolution. What if I don’t want to retire?”

Wouldn't you have cried too if:-
(1) Everyone was so eager for you to leave
(2) Your smiling successor says he "can't wait forever"
(3) No one mentioned anything about your achievements for the past 26 years (were there any?)

To be fair to Dr Lim, this blogger welcomes anyone who can give positive comments for Dr Lim. I for one think he was the only non-Malay Barisan MP with balls.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dr Koh still an acting president

The Star - 9 April 2007: "I don’t want to be acting president forever"

Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who declared that he wants party elections as soon as possible, said he did not want to be acting president for “longer than necessary.”

He said it was not true that he would be acting president until 2010 as suggested by Speaker Datuk Dr Chin Fook Weng at the start of the extraordinary national delegates’ conference here yesterday.

“I do not know how he arrived at that year but it is not the intention of the leadership to have me as acting president without a party election,” Dr Koh told members of the media before chairing the central committee meeting, his first after taking over the leadership from Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.

Read more

Penang owes Kedah so much

The Sun (Archived June 2004)

BEFORE the 1970s, Penang island’s drinking water was sourced from within the island while Seberang Perai sourced its water from the Muda River. The Muda River has its source in the hinterlands of Kedah but discharges into the sea on the borders between Seberang Prai Utara and Kedah.

“Hence, for Penang, it seems the water has always been there for the taking,” says Malaysian Water Association president Datuk Syed Muhammad Shahabudin. Since the early 70s, Penang island found that demand had outgrown supply from within the island so it began getting some of its drinking water source from the mainland, i.e the Muda River.

“When demand for water from the Muda River escalated, there was talk about charging Penang for the water but the talk fizzled out after a while. “Besides, Penang has always held that it has a right over the water as the river flows along the borders of Penang.” Water demand from the Muda River has increased drastically over the years. The water source is used mainly for irrigation of padi fields in Kedah and Penang and for domestic and industrial consumption.

Syed Muhammad says it is quite logical for Kedah to charge Penang for the water it is using considering the amount of money and work the state has to spend in ensuring adequate and quality supply, not only for its own use but for Penang.

“Kedah ensures that the river water is regulated and there is enough stored to be released during a drought. “If nothing is done in the upper reaches, the water may not be enough to reach Penang during the dry season. So in a way, Kedah is providing a service to Penang by regulating the water in the upstream in order for water to reach Penang,” says Syed Muhammad.

He also believes that one reason Penang is able to keep its water tariffs is because it does not have to spend so much on operating or maintaining water infrastructures like dams in the upper reaches. It should not be forgotten that Penang was once part of Kedah. Kedah ceded Penang island in 1796 and Province Wellesley (now known as Seberang Perai) to the British in 1800 for a sum of 10,000 Spanish dollars a year.

Today, a token sum of RM10,000 is paid annually by the state government to Kedah.

It is "good" to know that our subsidy mentality is still alive and healthy!

More water news from NST and Bernama

Monday, April 02, 2007

So who's weak and who's not?

Datuk Shahrir and Dr M traded barbs recently on who's calling who weak.

The Star - 1 April 2007:-
It is insulting to suggest that Johor Malays are weak and incapable of competing with others in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), said Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad.

He was commenting on a recent statement by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said that he was not confident that the Malays could compete with the people coming into the IDR.

Shahrir said it was not fair to say that Johoreans were weak.

While he has respect for Dr Mahathir’s views, he felt that the former premier had himself created such a situation and was now complaining about it.

“This is the result of his own strategies and policies. The present Government is just building upon what he has created.

Shahrir noted that Kedahan Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary had control over much of the logistic hubs in the IDR with his ownership of the Johor Port, Senai airport and 70% of Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP).

“Maybe its true that we are weak and since he (Dr Mahathir) is Kedahan, maybe that is why he decided to give the ports to a Kedahan.

“That’s why he has always taken advantage of us, but we intend to prove him wrong,” he said.

Geez... I am still trying to read between the lines

Read more

Trying hard to find a suitor for Proton

PM going to play role of Mak Andam to match our "old maid" away to VW

The Star - 2 April 2007:-
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected to meet top officials from Volkswagen over the future of national automaker Proton, a senior official said.

“A high-level meeting is expected soon. It is being arranged,” the official who is familiar with the talks on a possible tie-up said yesterday.

Proton going "lock, stock and barrel"?

Read more

Thank you - and see you in court?

Can someone please explain to me how you can thank someone for his services rendered and at the same time investigate him for corruption?

Malaysian politics is weird isn't it??!

Read this article on our outgoing ACA Director

Dr Koh still wanted by Penangites?

Is Dr Koh losing sight of his ambitious Federal post?

The Star - 31 March 2007:-

"Outgoing Gerakan president Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik has hinted that his successor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon will most likely continue as Penang Chief Minister to keep the Perak-Penang balance in the party.

Keng Yaik said he had made his views known to Dr Koh, who will be acting Gerakan president on April 8, that he should consider the Perak-Penang factor.

He said that it was important for Dr Koh to keep the balance because Perak was still a fortress and there was a need to ensure Penang was not lost in the next general election."

Dr Koh also said he would not "run away" from his constituency.

Is Gerakan so short of capable leaders?

Read more

More Rubbish Surfacing In Penang

Penang's pride filled with trash.

The Star - 31 March 2007:-
The scenic Gurney Drive used to be the pride and joy of many Penangites.

However, unsightly mudflats and the putrid stench of sludge and rotting garbage now greet joggers and visitors at one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations.

One observer noted:
“The state has focused much of its efforts in upgrading roads and building five-star hotels and malls at Gurney Drive but the most important attraction – the seafront – has been neglected.”

Read more