Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Iraqi shoe-thrower captures Mideast rage at Bush- Reuters

By Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent - Analysis

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The hurling of shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush on his farewell visit to Iraq strikes many in the Middle East as a fittingly furious comment on what they see as his calamitous legacy in the region.

Arab and Iranian TV stations have gleefully replayed the clip, sometimes in slow motion, of an Iraqi reporter calling Bush a "dog" and throwing his shoes at him -- the Middle East's tastiest insults -- at a Baghdad news conference on Sunday.

The affront was a twisted echo of the triumphal moment for Bush when joyous Iraqis used their footwear to beat a statue of Saddam Hussein toppled by U.S. invading troops in 2003.
"It indicates how much antagonism he's been able to create in the whole region," former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told Reuters, adding that the incident was regrettable.
Bush had harmed America's reputation and the friendship many had felt for it. "Despite past mistakes in its policies, there was always a redeeming factor. In this particular case, there doesn't seem to have ever been a redeeming factor," Maher said.

Muntazer al-Zaidi, who works for independent al-Baghdadiya television, has shot to local stardom for his attack on Bush and his cry: "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog."
He has also won instant fame abroad -- a poem on an Islamist website praises him as "a hero with a lion's heart" -- although the Iraqi government slated his "barbaric and ignominious act."
Zaidi's crude public display of disdain for an incumbent U.S. president hit a chord with many in the Middle East.

"The Iraqi journalist is a true and free Baghdadi," said a Saudi private sector employee who gave his name as Abu Faisal. "He was brave and did us proud. Bush destroyed (Iraq) so surely he deserved to be beaten with a shoe."
Khalid al-Dakhil, a Saudi university lecturer in social politics, said the incident summed up Bush's impact on the Middle East, which "will haunt this region for a long time."
Dakhil, who said Bush had committed war crimes in Iraq after launching a war based on "lies" that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, nevertheless fretted about the shoe-throwing.
"While understandable, it wasn't the most sophisticated and constructive way to express one's anger at Bush, especially coming from an educated Arab journalist. It reinforces the stereotype ideas in the Western world about Arabs."

Some Palestinians, whose hopes of independent statehood have withered in the eight-year Bush era, relished the moment.
"A shoe company in Hebron claimed the attack on Bush and they will give the attacker shoes all his life," runs one joke being exchanged on mobile telephones in the Gaza Strip.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How to become very rich in Malaysia- The Star

Connections and the ability to flip assets can get you going places

If you have ever wondered how to get rich in Malaysia – fabulously rich and very quickly at that – here’s a model that you might want to look at very closely. Not easy to do but if you do have a couple of projects in the bag, it will set you up for several lifetimes.

First you need connections – strong ones, the higher the better and if it goes right up to the top all the better. You need this because you need to convince the powers that be that your projects are good.But you might ask if your projects are so good, why do you need connections? Why don’t you just go out and execute? Good questions, those. Here’s the answer - you need the state to give you something to do the deal that will help the nation.

Still can’t figure it out? See, it’s like this. You want to help the country, right? The country needs say a port. But you can’t build a port just like that. You need land to build a port. You tell the state or federal government you need land – cheap land, preferably free to build the port.
Or to take another example, you want to help the country by building a power plant. But look, you need land too and not only that you need the power to be sold. So you want an agreement – an iron-clad one to sell the power to Tenaga Nasional and to pass through all costs.

You see, that’s your reward as an entrepreneur – you get someone else to build the power plant, they guarantee the performance of the plant and someone else guarantees to buy your power and pay for all your costs. Nice deal? You bet. Billionaires have been made that way.
Or you may want to start an air hub. If you are persuasive enough, you can even convince the government to compulsorily acquire the land and sell it to you cheap. Once you have cheap land, lucrative contracts and concession agreements, the sky’s the limit.

Let’s take it a step further. If you want to realise the value of all of these things that you have and still keep control of them, it’s nice to have a listed company into which you can inject them. Inject one asset for shares and you gain control of the company.And then inject others over the years for cash, taking the money out of the company. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?Do it right and get a flow of assets to inject in (you can do anything with discounted cash flow valuations – just change the discount rate, and presto, the value changes!), and you get a tidy flow of profits and cash into your personal accounts over the years. I mean a really tidy flow.
Just how much can you make this way, you ask? Why don’t you take a guess first? Did you say RM500mil? Guess again. RM1bil? How about five times that and you may be getting into the right order of magnitude.

One Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary actually made some RM4.5bil that way - actually more because he still controls the listed company. (MMC’s latest RM1.7bil deal irks investors7) We are not saying he is the only one, which makes your chances of joining the ranks better – if you are connected to high places that is.But then again, if things change – and that’s still a big ‘if’ – you might not find it so easy anymore.

P. Gunasegaram is managing editor of The Star. He thinks it is high time we changed the way we did business

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

High Time for Samy to leave...

After the disastrous General Election results in March, reform in the leadership of Barisan National component parties seems to be moving in the right direction with the changing of old guards taken place.Slowly but surely most of the leaders have to give way due to unpopular support from the grassroot members.UMNO President Abdullah Badawi have to step down to pave the way for his Deputy Najib to take over by March next year.

MCA, the second largest component party of the ruling front have just elected Ong Tee Kiat and Chua Soi lek as their new President and Deputy President respectively in the just concluded MCA election last weekend.This is possible as both Ong Ka Ting and Chan Kong Choy refuse to defend their present post.Another component party,Gerakan also see Koh Tsu Khoon returned unopposed as their new President after their veteren leader Lim Keng Yaik retired.

Among the old guards of Dr M era who are still around are MIC president Samy Vellu and UMNO Wanita Chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.Interestingly Datuk Shahrizat, have qualified to contest for the Wanita President post after gaining enough nominations to challenge the incumbent Rafidah even though she have announce her intention not to contest for the President post.

However only MIC President, Samy Vellu have stubbornly refuse to step down even though he was humiliated after losing his Sg Siput Parliament seat.He had yet to see the reality of Malaysian politics.Now he is still keen to fight for his political survival as reported by Athi Veeranggan from Malaysiankini...part of the report are as follows...

Politics is the art of the possible and impossible possibilities becoming impossibilities and vice-versa. MIC president S Samy Vellu stands out among those who have mastered the art.Just two years ago, he backed G Palanivel to challenge and successfully oust incumbent S Subramaniam for the deputy president's post.Prior to that, Subramaniam had been stripped of his government post by the party supremo when he was dropped as MIC candidate for the Segamat parliamentary seat in the 2004 general election

Now, Samy Vellu is said to be planning a reconciliation with his old nemesis Subramaniam to oust Palanivel, with whom the MIC leader no longer sees eye-to-eye.Palanivel was widely regarded as Samy Vellu's successor as party president.Insiders stressed however, that Samy Vellu only wanted Palanivel as an interim deputy to eventually make way for another stalwart, S Sothinathan.The Samy Vellu-Palanivel partnership can be described as rocky at best, and things boiled over just before the March general election, in which many MIC leaders, including the party president and Palanivel, were booted out by voters across the country.Just before MIC's humiliating performance on March 8, Palanivel is believed to have told Barisan Nasional chairman and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that "he was ready to take over MIC" from beleaguered Samy Vellu, who had lost his commanding influence among Malaysian Indians.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


*From a Disappointed Member (Malaysiakini) Nov 14, 2008 4:20pm

It is nice to know that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi thinks anyone can become PM in Malaysia. He must think we are stupid and blind to the realities of being ethnic minorities in Malaysia.If Barack Obama was unfortunate enough to have been born in Malaysia, he couldn't even become the general manager of PKNS, never mind, president of the US, the most powerful country in the world.If he became a born-again Christian in his teenage years, keeping in view his father was African Muslim, Jakim would have hauled him off to a religious rehabilitation detention centre in Malaysia, and his kids would have been taken away from him.Michelle Obama would then have been advised by our racist religious authorities to divorce him.

Just for not being Malay, Umno would have overlooked his obvious talents and intelligence, and they would have denied him permanent residence or a citizenship and he can forget about any potential scholarships, job promotions or a place in a public university.Like Vijay Singh, world champion golfer, he would have been forced to emigrate to live elsewhere.If Barack Obama had advocated equal opportunity and equal rights in Malaysia, he would have been demonised by* Utusan Malaysia* as being anti-Malay and anti-Islam and taken into custody under the ISA just like what happened to Teresa Kok, and he would have had Molotov cocktails chucked into his parent's house, and had curly daggers waved at him.

If he had advocated rule of law like Zaid Ibrahim, they would called him a traitor to the Malay race.If he advocated democracy like Anwar Ibrahim, then Umno, the world champions of fitnah would have fixed him for sodomy.If like the jailed Hindraf 5 leaders, Barack Obama tells us to 'hope for change' and have the 'audacity of hope' then it would have been ISA and water cannons for him and his supporters.For practicing freedom of religion and conscience, and following the religion of his choice, he would have been charged with apostasy, and don't forget, some of our Malaysian politicians have advocated death for apostasy, just to prove their religious standing in the eyes of theirethnic voters.

Abdullah Badawi's statement that anyone can be PM in Malaysia is a sick joke and a clear attempt to mislead the public, and to assuage the collective privileged guilt of Umno's wealthy and corrupt warlords who head a party dedicated to race supremacy, religious and racialapartheid, and the worst type of racial and religious politics.

I am so glad Barack Obama will be the next president of the US. It goes to show that ordinary voters in the most powerful country in the world are prepared to reject the evils of racism, and embrace solidarity with their fellow voters in the context of equal rights and equal citizenship.They have shown long-suffering ordinary Malaysians what real muhibbah looks like instead of the dagger-waving displays (Umno AGM), Umno Youth beating up women delegates at peace conferences (Apcet II, KL), and nameless criminals chucking Molotov cocktails into women MPs' houses - that is, what I would term the Biro Tata Negara brand of nation-building by Umno.

I doubt if Barack Obama can have any impact on Malaysia's racist politics but it is good to know that people in America can still make a common stand with their fellow voters across racial lines for the common good.I challenge Umno to invite Barack Obama to Malaysia to show him the political and judicial wonders of our Malaysian system.I challenge Umno's gutless politicians to tell Barack Obama, president-elect of the United States of America what opportunities he would have had if he were born in Malaysia

Anwar faces long trek

KUALA LUMPUR - AFTER a botched bid to oust the government in September, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will likely have to bide his time until elections in 2012-13 before making another bid for power.

From watershed elections in March to his triumphant return to parliament after a decade's absence, Anwar dominated the headlines. Even his arrest and trial on fresh sodomy charges failed to thwart his campaign to topple the government by his self-imposed deadline of Sept 16.
Victory seemed within his grasp when the government apparently felt compelled to ship 40 MPs to Taiwan on a 'study trip' in mid-September to prevent them from defecting to Anwar's camp and thus giving him a majority in parliament.

The deadline passed. Financial turmoil swept the globe, and with an economic slowdown looming, voters in this Asian country of 27 million people suddenly had more immediate worries than Malaysia's chronic political intrigue.
Now the 61-year-old Anwar, whose People's Justice Party holds its annual convention this weekend, has to explain why he is not addressing the meeting as the new prime minister of Malaysia.

'His (Anwar's) strategy of haste that he adopted after March 8 (elections) stopped working after Abdullah was forced to retire,' said Ooi Kee Beng, an analyst at Singapore's Institute of South-east Asian Studies.
'Now, he has to do it the patient way.' Lacklustre Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi essentially derailed Anwar's express train to power by deciding to hand power to his more assured deputy, Najib Razak, earlier than planned.

Affirmative selectionMr Abdullah's National Front coalition, which has ruled uninterrupted for 51 years, stopped being transfixed by Anwar and started making policies to deal with an economy that is expected to grow by only 1.5 per cent next year from 5.4 per cent this year.
Mr Najib, 55, will take office in March when he becomes president of the United Malays National Organisation, the dominant party in the 13-party National Front.
Mr Najib, who is deputy premier and finance minister, has taken the fight to Anwar by linking him to unpopular measures proposed by the International Monetary Fund when Anwar was finance minister during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, while projecting an aura of economic competence himself.

He has announced some measures to offset lower economic growth, but hasn't raided the treasury to do so, putting US$2 billion (S$3.02 billion) saved from petrol subsidies into pump-priming measures.
Mr Najib even stole some of Anwar's thunder by relaxing a requirement that ethnic Malays have to own 30 per cent of companies - one of the affirmative action programmes that aim to uplift Malays who constitute 60 per cent of the population.
Anwar's opposition coalition had campaigned for abolition of those programmes in the March elections.

Inflation is falling rapidly from a peak of 8.5 per cent in mid-year and the central bank on Monday unexpectedly cut interest rates for the first time in five years.
'There's a widespread acceptance that Anwar will no longer take over the country,' said an investment analyst at a foreign bank in Singapore. 'Being PM is out of the question right now.' 'Najib is reinforcing his power base. He's the new face of Malaysia,' he said.
Snap elections?The opposition and some pro-government newspapers have started to push the idea of snap elections soon after Mr Najib takes power in March, saying he would need to win a popular mandate.

But Umno's coalition allies are still in disarray after the electoral debacle eight months ago.
'The risk (for snap polls) is very great. It will be suicidal because of the hangover from the March political tsunami,' said political author Yahaya Ismail.
Other analysts said Mr Najib would likely wait for mandatory re-drawing of electoral boundaries in 2012 before calling for polls. The government's current five-year mandate ends in 2013.
One glimmer of hope for Anwar could be polls in the timber- and petroleum-rich state of Sarawak on Borneo island. Sarawak has been a Barisan stronghold since it joined Malaysia in 1963 and may hold state elections as early as next year.

Provided Anwar can fend off what he says are politically motivated sodomy charges that are a reprise of the court action that got him jailed in the 1990s, and can keep his fractious three-party coalition together, victory in Sarawak could be another lever to apply pressure to government legislators.

Key to that will be how well the opposition runs the five states it controls. There has already been a backlash in the pro-government media over issues ranging from race relations to dual language street signs.
'The next electoral showdown is the Sarawak election, so it is a given goal for (the opposition coalition) to make an impression there,' analyst Ooi Kee Beng said. 'It will try to open the floodgates so that the 'March 8 tsunami' will flow into east Malaysia as well. -- REUTERS

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bolehwood Drama

The last few weeks have been an interesting period for Malaysian as we witness a number of dramatic political events taking place in our Bolehland. It started with the sodomy charges lodged by Dato Seri Anwar former aide En Saiful against him. Anwar fight back by acussing our DPM Najib to have a hand on the issue and even claimed that En Saiful was planted by Umno to discredit him.

Later yesterday Razak Baginda private investigator Mr P Balasubramaniam make a shocking statutory declaration linking Najib to the Altantuya murder case. The declaration was reveal in a packed press conference held by Party Keadilan De Facto leader Dato Seri Anwar which was also attended by Bala lawyer and few PKR leaders. Later in the Parliament, Najib deny the allegation and said the truth will prevail.

However in less than 24 hours, Mr P Balasubramaniam made a dramatic turnabout and retracted the first Statutory Declaration with an amended new Declaration with Najib name ommitted. It surely generate more anxiety and intensity to the already volatile political situation in the country.
The local share markets, Bursa Saham reacted negatively by tumbling almost 30 points at lunch break.It is a political showdown between the incumbent DPM and the former DPM of Malaysia and interestingly our PM position is not shaken with this latest event.
It was reported in Malaysiakini that Anwar will have another press conference later today and Malaysian are sure to expect another drama unfolding...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

BN: No action against SAPP for now - Malaysiakini

Barisan Nasional supreme council today resolved not to take action against Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) until it gets an "official statement" from the party for its planned of no confidence vote against the prime minister.

BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor said this today on behalf of all 13 component party members, minus Sapp which was not invited to the emergency meeting.After the two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre, Tengku Adnan read out the BN supreme council's decision to the media."All the BN component parties condemn Yong Teck Lee's (Sapp president) statement. His statement is unprincipled, unethical and is against BN's beliefs and spirit of unity."All the component parties also want Sapp supreme council to confirm or reject Yong's statement yesterday," said Tengku Adnan

Action would only be decided against Sapp after it's "official statement" pertaining Yong's statement, said the BN secretary-general.Another decision reached at the meeting was for parliamentarians from all BN component parties to attend all parliamentary sessions."They must also follow BN's instructions and reject any no-confidence motions against the prime minister. All the component parties here also voiced their support Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the prime minister of Malaysia," said Tengku Adnan.

When asked why Sapp was not invited to today's meeting, he said: "We did not invite them because we were going to discuss about them".He said that BN component parties have been warned before not to air their grievances through the media but to bring it up at its supreme council meetings.Representatives of all component parties were present at the meeting.

However, one notable absentee was Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who could not return on time from his overseas trip.Also absent was PPP president M Kayveas and Upko chief Bernard Dompok, also believed to be overseas. However their representatives were at the meeting.

The mainstream media is slowly and surely getting less and less readership due to the preference of the Rakyat for a more balance and fast news which they can easily access from the alternative news online portal like Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today.Unlike Malaysia Today which is a free website, Malaysiakini need to be subscribe for a nominal fee.The former is manage by the controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who was earlier charged under the Sedition Act, while the latter by Steven Gan.Both have quite a substantial viewership which could easily outperform the mainstream media like The Star and NST.

Sensing the change in the trend of readership and with the control of 5 states by the Pakatan Rakyat government, The Star was quick to change their pro government reporting to a more balanced news coverage and are able to maintain their readership which easily outbeat NST. However Utusan Malaysia still keep to their old style of coverage and was subsequently blacklisted from the Pakatan Rakyat coalition for their bias reporting.

During the recent 12th General Election, Malaysiakini idea of giving free viewership for 2 weeks was a good strategic move.The website was rewarded with very heavy traffic viewership which could only be access by HTML mode.The latest election news update was fantastic fast and accurate.While RTM and TV3 were slowly flowing out their election results on Sabah,Sarawak and none on the states won by the Opposition,the alternative news were already announcing the forming of the new government by the Opposition in the 5 states. The mainstream media need to take corrective action to change or they will slowly dissappear from the viewer screen.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Second Tsunami ( Part 3 )

After the flip flop policy on banning foreign registered car from filling up their gas tank, the Pak Lah administration now want to introduce softener measures to ease the Rakyat burden from the steep hike in petrol price. One day after the fuel increase, the construction sector faced an immediate increased in ready mixed concrete with an sudden jump of RM37 per metre cube.The transporter immediately raised their transport charges by 40%.

After raising the petrol by 40%, the flip flop BN government are discussing ways to mitigate the hardship faced by the Rakyat. Very simple, just revert the oil price to normal Not need to crack their head and can then go back to sleep again...
Meanwhile, The Star reported today that the impact of the fuel price rise is starting to affect consumers, with transport and crane operators now increasing their rates by between 29% and 45%. Sabah Federation of Lorry Transportation Associations president Chua Pui Ming said its members had increased rates by 45% since June 5. Under the new rates, traders who used to fork out RM600 to send a shipment of goods overland from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan now have to pay RM870.

Stating that the federation's 3,000 members had no choice but to increase rates, Chua said the fuel subsidies that some of them received through the fleet card system was minimal.In a statement issued yesterday, the Association of Tipper Lorry Owners of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur said they would increase their rates by 40% with immediate effect. President Lee Keen Seng said the increase was in the rate for transporting goods by tipper lorries.

In BUTTERWORTH, Mobile Crane Association North Malaya president Lee Tuck Woh said the association had decided to increase mobile crane charges in four states by RM100, effective Friday. “It is not just the price of diesel that has gone up. The cost of steel cable wires, tyres, batteries and spare parts have also increased in the past few months,” said Lee.The RM100 increase is for seven types of cranes, ranging from seven to 60-tonne and sky-lift equipment.
Lee said they used to charge RM350 per day for a seven-tonne crane. He added that rental for 20m to 24m sky-lift equipment would now cost RM500 per day compared to RM400 previously. Although the new charges would affect the construction and industrial sectors and haulage industry, he said they had no choice in the matter. The association represents 60 members from Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak, who operate about 600 mobile cranes.

Reuter reported today that,Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the government's unpopular decision to raise fuel prices will hasten its fall, as more members from the ruling coalition break ranks.The hike in line with a global surge in oil prices has stoked public anger against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is already battling for his political life after the worst electoral performance in his coalition's 50-year rule in March.
Small and scattered protests have taken place against the 41 percent increase in petrol prices and 63 percent for diesel, which Anwar said was the result of the government's failure to manage its finances well despite being a new oil exporter.The government says fuel subsidies have become financially crippling. Pump prices in Malaysia are still one of the cheapest in Asia."Politically, the message was clear on 8th of March, economically it's now a disaster. That is why we are calling on them to resign," Anwar told a news conference ahead of a rally called in the capital to build support against the ruling coalition.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, has previously said that he had enough lawmakers to topple Abdullah's government following the election on March 8 and was waiting for the right moment.On Sunday, Anwar, sensing blood, said the plan for a change in government was on track as more members from Abdullah's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition were drawn to his group, angry over what he said was the "highest single increase" in fuel prices around the world."Our timetable (for party crossovers) is still on. It's on schedule and now it's more attractive after the price hikes."

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Second Tsunami! ( Part 2)

Malaysian experienced the first Tsunami on 8th March 2008 after the shocking 12th General Election results and is now feeling the effect of the second Tsunami from the drastic fuel hike.
In an immediate response to the sudden petrol hike from the government after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, DAP have organised simultaneous protest against the price increase at Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh on the next morning. In Kuala Lumpur, among the DAP leaders who attended the protest were Teresa Kok, Fong Kui Lun, Tan Seng Giaw, Lim Lip Eng and Janice Lee which was lead by Cheras MP YB Tan Kok Wai.

"We want the Government to immediately announce that the increment will be stopped immediately because the public anger has reached to the maximum. We call on the Government to act wisely. Stop robbing the rakyat!" Tan pronounced.He warned that the Government's failure to do so would result in a nightmare.

His colleague, Teresa Kok, added that businesses would be seriously affected by the last-minute price increase and would thereby pass on the higher costs to the consumer."We can anticipate the prices going up. This is a serious inflation. We've been told the Lorry Association are going to increase their transportation costs."We're a petrol exporting country. All these years, the government earned so much from export (of oil). Instead of increasing petrol prices, they should be giving back to the people. They don't talk about this anymore," she noted.

This afternoon some 200 people held a peaceful assembly at Komtar in George Town, Penang.They held placards condemning the hike, chanted anti-government slogans and called on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down immediately.

Kebun Bunga state assemblyperson Jason Ong Khan Lee, who was at the scene, cautioned that the fuel hike would elicit social unrest and spark off new wave of criminality as middle and lower wage earners would struggle to meet the ends.He warned that the surging cost would force several industries to close down or downsize, resulting in economy collapse."The federal government should review the fuel hike immediately to prevent such socio-economic tribulations," he said.

Change YOUR lifestyle BK Ong questioned whether the government leaders were prepared to change their lifestyle, a cliché used to the people, to adjust to the fuel hike."They should eat less, cook less, travel less, socialise less, tighten their belts, buy less cars, use less energy and perhaps live lifeless."Are they prepared to do so?" he shouted to the crowd, adding that politicians should not preach what they won't practice.

Meanwhile the reaction from the Sabah leaders were uncompromising.Sapp president Yong Teck Lee warned Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of a serious political fallout for the BN, the party's Youth wing went a step further by calling for the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet."If the government losses the faith of the people, then it will find it even more difficult to govern," he said."For those who have just been earning enough to make ends meet every month, the fuel price increases will be a serious blow as they will have to now pay more at the petrol pump and when they buy groceries," Yong elaborated.

He said even middle-income earners would be reeling from the inflationary effect resulting from the fuel price hike.In this regard, Yong doubted the impact of the one-off RM625 rebate for vehicle owners and RM125 for motorcyclists as the there was a time lapse between when money was spent on fuel and when they could receive rebates.Yong further added that many people continue to question why Malaysia as a net petroleum exporting nation till 2014 was experiencing a negative impact from a spike in global oil prices."The man on the street is puzzled as to why Petronas is making so much money while the ordinary folks are losing out,"" he pointed out.Losing trust and confidence.

While Yong was merely sounding a warning bell, Sapp Youth chief was more straightforward in calling for leaders who "failed to safeguard people's interest" to step down.Au Kam Wah, in a statement issued from Kota Kinabalu, said these leaders should allow others who are more capable to take over.

Meanwhile The Malaysian Insider reported that during the Umno Supreme Council retreat, a few ministers disagreed with the decision to reduce subsidies and allow the pump price of petrol to increase to RM2.70 per litre. In this group were Muhyiddin and Rais. The Malaysian Insider understands that the Foreign Minister was also among a clutch of ministers who during the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday felt that the government should hold off reducing the subsidies for a few months.

But the majority of ministers during the Cabinet meeting including Najib and Muhyiddin felt that the government could not afford to continue with high levels of subsidy for much longer. Since the 40 per cent petrol price hike was implemented on Thursday, there has been an adverse reaction on the ground, including from Umno members.Stinging SMSes have been sent from the grassroots to politicians in the capital, questioning the fitness of Abdullah and the Cabinet to continue running the country and pleading with the leadership to show empathy.

This strong reaction from the Umno ground may have prompted Muhyiddin to have second thoughts about the timing of the price increase. With the branch elections only weeks away and anger against the hike percolating across the country, Umno politicians seeking higher office in the party will have to distance themselves from this unpopular decision of reducing subsidies.There is a good chance of many more Umno ministers slamming the price hike before the branches start meeting in mid-July.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Second Tsunami! ( Part 1)

The sudden announcement of the petrol hike of 78 sen by the PM after the Cabinet meeting have caught many Malaysian by surprise.It contradicted with the earlier statement by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Minister, Datuk Shahrir that the actual implementation will only take place in August. The reaction from the ground was filled with anger and disappointment.Have earlier received the bad news from my buddy at 5.35pm and thought it was just another rumours but was confirmed later at 6pm by text messages.
Managed to have my tank fill up at one of the petrol station at Jalan Kuchai Lama.The terrible queue at all the petrol stations to meet the midnight deadline have caused unnecessary traffic congestion.

Now let's us compare the price of our petrol with other OIL PRODUCING countries
UAE– RM1.19/litre
Eygpt– RM1.03/litre
Bahrain– RM0.87/litre
Qatar– RM0.68/litre
Kuwait– RM0.67/litre
Saudi Arabia– RM0.38/litre
Iran– RM0.35/litre
Nigeria– RM0.32/litre
Turkmenistan– RM0.25/litre
Venezuela– RM0.16/litre
MALAYSIA– RM2.70/litre

The above statistics clearly show that we have the highest price among all the oil producing countries. Another Malaysian achievement! Malaysia Boleh!
Majority of Malaysian drive to work because we do not have an efficient public transport system like Singapore to rely on. This increase will definitely cut deep into the pockets of the ordinary Rakyat.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is taking a major political risk in removing subsidies on petrol. "It is not an attempt to be popular, we have to think in the best interests of the people,""God willing I hope Malaysians will not demonstrate over this," he said.

But his call may go unheeded as fresh protests over the price increases are likely, said PAS parliamentarian Mohd Hatta Ramli who led anti-inflation demonstrations earlier this year."This is a massive hike and will create big problems for all and sundry. It will have a knock-on effect of increasing prices of all kinds of goods," he said."We strongly feel that it is a severe misjudgement on the part of the government," he said. "In all probability, there will be a protest."
With the instability of the current BN government and the dependency of the East Malaysian party for support, the above political risk taken by the Pak Lah administration might have adverse repercussion.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grand Saga vs People Saga

The never ending dispute on the 3 feet concrete barricades put up by the Grand Saga toll concessionaire have caused much frustration and and anger to the surrounding residents of Bandar Mahkota Cheras. Not only they were forced to travel extra 6km but also have to pay extra 90 sen for the toll. After the change of the Selangor state government to Pakatan Rakyat, the residents are getting bolder and supported by their newly elected MP have taken down the concrete barriers on their own.

But with the help of the police, Grand Saga managed to erect back the barrier. However the concrete blocks were swiftly tear down again by the residents. Emotion ran high at yesterday incident which saw more than 1,000 residents and some 100 police forces involved in a showdown whereby teargas and water cannons were fired at protesters. The MP for Segambut was also injured in the tussle and was admitted to the hospital for observation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Controversial political blogger Raja Petra chooses to go jail than to post for the RM5,000 bail over the Sedition charge. The clampdown on bloggers who are only offering their opinion and views on current issues are seen by many as a step backward by the Pak Lah administration.

Immediately after yesterday arrest a fundraisng was organised to collect fund for posting the bail and the updates as at 09.09am 7th May 2008 - Total Donation after they call off the campaignFrom CIMB bank account : RM24,500.00From Paypal account : $4,330.10 USD
The support from the public was fantastics and overwhelming. In an immediate response, the Bar Council expressed shocked and disappointment over the government's decision to charge Malaysia Today webmaster Raja Petra Kamaruddin with sedition.

Calling the Sedition Act 1948 an "archaic legislation which should be repealed", its president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Act was incompatible with Malaysian society. Meanwhile,
the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) are concerned that the Sedition Act continues to be used to harass bloggers, contradicting the positive attitude that the government exhibited towards bloggers post election.
Later today, Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin refused to meet his wife who went to the Sungai Buloh Prison to persuade him to post bail for a sedition charge.Raja Petra's counsel Jadadish Chandra said Marina Lee Abdullah went to the prison with another counsel Matthias Chang at about 9am to facilitate the bail process.Jadadish said Raja Petra had informed prison officers he did not want to meet anyone including his wife."Raja Petra is refusing bail and officers had told Marina her husband had also refused to eat since Tuesday," he told Bernama.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

After the Tsunami...

Dear Comrades,The unexpected results of the 12th GE have not only caught BN off guard but the Opposition ill prepare.Suddenly the Opposition alliance or some called it Barisan Rakyat or Anwar termed it as the Government in waiting stared at how to form the 4 new states governments.The most complicated state is Perak where you have DAP winning 18 states seat whereas PKR and PAS getting 7 and 6 respectively achieving a slim majority of 31 seats against BN 28 seats.As commented by Kit Siang in his blog,he thought he will have a well deserved rest after the election but he was fully occupied and hardly sleep to attend to all the new political development after the election.Initially there were rumblings on the ground on who should be the Menteri Besar with even DAP and PKR threatened to pull out if PAS candidates were given the MB post.Hovever goodwill prevailed and a loose coalition have been agreed to run the state with PAS given the MB post and DAP getting the lion shares of the exco seats.This is what we call the birth of new cooperation between DAP and PAS and it will be interesting to see how they will run the state effectively.Penang was one of the earliest state government controlled by BR which started work.The new CM Mr Lim Guan Eng immediately formed the new exco with 2 Deputy CM and the first Indian Deputy CM in Malaysian history.He announced new measures to curb corruption with the implementation of open tenders for all state projects and results posted in the website for all to view.He even refuse to stay in the CM residence preferring to put up at his father's place because the CM place is leaking and need RM300,000 to repair which he reluctant to spend.THIS IS THE TYPE OF LEADER WE NEED.I remembered when the new MB for Selangor moved in,he spent lavishling on the MB residence.While waiting for the renovation to complete he stayed at the expense of the taxpayers money at one of the 5 star hotel in Selangor.Thats is where all our rakyat money gone due to their sheer waste of public money.On the BN front, Terengganu is the only state without a MB.This is due to the dissatisffaction of the present Agung to some of the state issue before the GE namely the handling of the Bersih demo by the MB at Batu Buruk where gunshots were fired to disperse the crowds.This definately a slap to our PM after the Perlis saga where the PM preferred candidate was sidelined.Finally we can see the Royalties exert their power towards the Executives.The new cabinets lineup announced by PM was quite unexpected with the dropping of the Iron Lady Rafidah Aziz but the appointment of Mohd Taib tainted with the Australian airport scandals have somehow prove that the PM have to outweigh his personal interest above national interest,to boost his sagging support for the upcoming Umno elections.To be continue...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Dawn of a New Era

8th March 2008 was my happiest day in my life.The Rakyat have spoken loud and clear that enough is enough of the corrupt,arrogant and rotten BN government.Makkal Shakti, people's power have overthrowned 4 more states in West Malaysia to the hand of the Opposition.What a Tsunami effect and the swing towards the opposition was strong not only from the Indians and Chinese but also surprisingly by the Malays electorate.

The frustration by the Rakyat have been boiling over the years by the increased in fuel prices,crime rates,high cost of living. The Indian have been severely discriminated by the unlawful demolision of their temples,snatching of their corpse by Muslim religious authority,holding of the Umno AGM on Deepavali day with no due respect to the Hindus.The last straw was the detention of the 5 Hindraf activist under ISA.

Finally when our Sleeping PM announced the dissolution of the Parliament on 13-2-2008 and campaign period of 13 days,his lucky 13 have turned to be the unluckiest for him.The ceramah organised by the Opposition have attracted huge crowds and the amount of donation collected was tremendous.The biggest ceramah was the one organised by DAP in Penang which was able to atrract 40,000 people and collected RM123,000 two days before the Election.Kit Siang and Anwar were the star attraction in most of the ceramah held.

Went back Malacca to vote at Kota Melaka and rushed back to KL to assist DAP Seputeh as Polling agent at Salak South New Village.Sign of BN losing their grip started flowing in at 7pm when news report from our DAP Penang reported that all the 3 Gerakan CM designate lost to DAP candidates.The attendance at Salak South polling stream was surprisingly high at 88% compared to last election of 75%.This show that the Rakyat are coming full force to teach the BN a lesson.My polling stream result was DAP 424 and BN 67.

Later we were told that Teresa Kok won by a whopping 36,000 majority,the highest in the country.Went over to Sri Petaling polling centre to congratulate Teresa and she managed to speak to the reporters on how MCA have been teasing DAP all the years that we can only talk but can do.Now we can show them that we can even form a state government in Penang.

Few factors contributed to the downfall of BN in this election.The biased reporting in the mainstream papers,TV and radio have angered the people and an insult to their intelligent.However the Internet,SMS have really helped the Opposition to win this battle.Most people are frustated by the one sided reporting and have resorted to the internet to get the Opposition news.U tube also played the ceramah of the opposition to the comfort of their home.

DAP have really done a good groundwork for this election.They have their own campaign song,election tools,and group pf young and enterprising professionals like lawyers,activist and blogger to plan their strategy.In most of their ceramah,they effectively played their campaign song, JUST CHANGE IT.which was really touching and sent a strong message to the electorate.

To be continue...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Election Campaign update live from KL!

Have been busy helping up with DAP Seputeh putting up buntings and banners the last few nights and also assist them at the operation centre checking on the electorate polling centres. In between still managed to attend to some of the DAP ceramahs held at PJ,Seputeh and Klang.The response from the Rakyat was fantastic and overwhelming.Last night went all the way to Port Klang to witness one of the biggest DAP ceramah ever.The crowd estimated to 10,000 spilled over to the main road.The guest speaker of the night was none other than Lim Kit Siang.Surprisingly Indian make up almost 30% of the crowd.One of the DAP candidate for the Bandar Klang state is the ISA datainee Mr Manoharan.Her wife,children and mother were there to lend support to her husband and looking at the strong support the Indians gave I am sure that Manoharan can win the state seat.Most of the crowds there waited eagerly for Kit Siang arrival even though it was drizzling the whole night.Finally Kit Siang came at 11.15pm and was given a hero welcome from the huge crowd.Cries of Makkal Sakti ( People Power from Hindraf group) was echo from the Indian crowd when Kit Siang shouted the slogan.The DAP veteran leader spoke on the need to deny BN 2/3 majority so that there are check and balance towards BN policy and rampant abuse of power.The supports from Klang supporters were fanstatic! Almost 50 cars and motorbike were colourfully decorated with DAP flags and posters.I can feel the edge of change is coming to Klang and the DAP campaign song really lived up the whole atmosphere.The total donation collected that night from the crowd was RM42,000.Another interesting ceramah was at PJ SS2.PJU is a parliamentary seat contested by Tony Pua, the youngest Singapore listed IT company who resigned to join DAP. Attended two of the ceramah which was held on Monday to pull the Pasar Malam crowd.The weather was quite fine when the first few speaker spoke but when Raja Petra spoke,it was raining dogs and cats.Raja Petra the editor of the popular political web site Malaysia Today told the crowd that the rain was nothing compared to the chemical laced water cannon spray during the Bersih and Hindraf rally.The crowd stood on throughout the whole speech during the rain.The guest attraction of the night was Fong Po Kuan aka Chili Padi.She came at about 11pm and was warmly welcome by the crowd and they really love the way she deliver her hard hitting speech.Will be going back to Malacca to vote on Friday night and rush back to KL the next morning to help DAP Seputeh as a polling agent.So friends, please vote for change,you can do it!To be continue... live from the polling centre.