BigDogDotCom article translated into French

This blog produced a story about the naming of the first of two TLDM’s submarine squadron, a Perdana Menteri Class Scorpene SSK submarine, at Cherbourg, France today, last week. It will be officiated by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak while Chief of Navy Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan Mohamed Ali, Malaysian Ambassador to France Dato’ Hamidah Yusof and Head of Submarine Project Team Laksmana Pertama Mohd. Rosland Omar bear witness.

The article was translated into French and published in the French Navy portal:

Cérémonie de baptême du premier Scorpène Malaisien

Par Rédacteur en chef
Publié le 20 octobre 2007, dernière mise à jour le 20 octobre 2007.

Le vice-premier ministre et ministre de la défense de Malaisie, Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, présidera la cérémonie de baptême du premier sous-marin Malaisien en début de semaine prochaine à Cherbourg. Le premier sous-marin construit par DNCS sera baptisé KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, le premier Premier Ministre et père de l’indépendance de la Malaisie.

Sous-marin Scorpène
Sous-marin Scorpène
De la Marine Malaisienne

La cérémonie aura lieu à l’arsenal de Cherbourg. Le chef de la Marine Malaisienne, Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan Mohamed Ali, assistera à cette cérémonie ainsi que de hauts responsables des forces armées dont l’attaché de défense à Paris. Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan se trouve actuellement aux Etats-Unis assistant à un syposium sur les sous-marins.

Un mélange d’Air Yassin (eau sainte) et d’eau du puits de Zam-Zam à La Mecque (la ville la plus sainte de l’Islam) sera utilisé pour bénir lors du baptême du premier des 2 sous-marins de la première escadrille de sous-marin du pays, au lieu de la traditionnelle bouteille de champagne.

Ce premier sous-marin a été jonctionné (avec toutes les installations principales déjà installées) le 15 mars 2007. Il sera prochainement prêt pour des essais à la mer. La livraison de ce premier sous-marin de la classe Perdana Menteri à la marine Malaisienne est prévue en janvier 2009. Le deuxième, qui sera baptisé KD Tun Razak, a été jonctionné en juillet dernier. Il est actuellement en finition au chantier Navantia Izar de Carthagène et devrait être livré en 2010.

Tun Abdul Razak est le deuxième premier ministre et le père de Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

Le sous-marin école Agosta
Le sous-marin école Agosta

Actuellement, 140 officiers et marins sont formés à l’école de formation sous-marine d’élite de la Marine Nationale (NAVFCO) à Brest, en utilisant un sous-marin d’entraînement de la classe Agosta, le “Ouessant”. Les commandants désignés pour les 2 sous-marins, le Lt. Cdr. Zulhelmi et le Lt. Cdr. Baharuddin Md. Nor, sont les 2 sous-mariniers les plus expérimentés de la Marine Malaisienne.

Remarque :Cette cérémonie devrait se dérouler en présence du ministre Français de la défense, Hervé Morin.

 

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It is an honour for Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia) and BigDogDotCom indeed.

Published in: on October 23, 2007 at 11:56  Comments (7)  

A year after the four-eyed meeting

It has been exactly a Gregorian year, since Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi agreed to meet with former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The four-eyed meeting begin at 4.00pm, 22 October 2006 at the Residence, Seri Perdana Complex, Putrajaya.

The meeting transpired after former BN’s representative association MUBARAK mooted the idea to reconcile the differences between the two supreme UMNO leaders. It was brokered by Dato’ Mokhzani Mahathir, Tun Dr. Mahathir’s second son and also a business associate and good friend of Dato’ Kamaluddin Abdullah, the Prime Minister’s eldest of two children and only son.

tun-dr-mahathir-pc-23-oct-2006.jpg

This is what transpired from the meeting where Tun Dr. Mahathir called for a media conference held on the morning of 23 October 2006, at the grounds of his residence, Seri Cahaya, Mines Resort City. It was decided a media conference should be held after the press was hounding him for news and comments on what transpired during the private meeting.

The Star’s report dated 24 October 2006 (First day Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, 1427H):

Nation

 

Transcript of Tun Mahathir’s press conference

Media Player| Real Video
Media Player| Real Video
Media Player| Real Video
Media Player| Real Video

THE following is the transcript of what former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said at the press conference held at his house in the Mines Resort City, just outside of Kuala Lumpur on Monday – a day after his meeting with the present Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dr Mahathir: First, I’d like to give the background to all these things because I think many people are unaware or confused about the reason why I met Pak Lah.

Actually, Mubarak (the organisation of ex-members of parliament and state assemblymen) approached Mokhzani, my son, to try and help resolve this problem – the problem being my criticism of the Government.

They suggested three things: that I should meet the Umno supreme council; if that cannot be done, I should meet the Malay members of the Cabinet; and if that too is not possible, for me to see Pak Lah.

Zani, I don’t know what he did, but he said Pak Lah agreed to see me. So that was that and I was informed that I should meet Pak Lah.

Since this was initiated by Mubarak, I said I would like to see Mubarak first to find out what it is that they are asking me to do.

Mubarak came, five of them including their president, and Tan Sri Zaleha (former National Unity and Social Development Minister Zaleha Ismail) and they said they would like me to see Pak Lah because Pak Lah has agreed to see me.

I said if I wanted to see Pak Lah, I would like to tell him very bluntly: What have I to gain by criticising him? I told Mubarak what I felt about things and after Mubarak listened to me, they felt that I should tell these things directly to Pak Lah.

I said if I am free to speak frankly then I would see him.

After that, I believe Mubarak went to see Pak Lah and Pak Lah agreed to see me, and a date, time and place was to be fixed by him.

I had requested that there should be one person as witness for each of us but the agreement was that there would be nobody at all and I said that was fine.

Yesterday, the time was fixed at 3pm. Pak Lah met me at the door with his son Kamal. I went to the office, it used to be an office when I was living there anyway. I told him that I will record our dialogue.

I set up the recorder on the table and told him I would like to start and of course told him about all the things that I was critical about the Government. Of course, there were too many things I had to mention but in one and a half hours I covered a whole lot of things.

After that he explained, because he interrupted me several times when I was talking. For example, when I said it’s not true that the Government has no money for projects because before I stepped down in 2002, I made sure of a few things.

That the country is stable, Umno regains its popularity and the economy is doing well.

That the finances of the Government is in good shape. Only after that did I decide to step down.

But I said there’s no question that when I stepped down the Government had no money. He said that the Government now has more money, implying that when I stepped down there was no money.

During my time the profit made by Petronas was RM26bil.

I know that subsequently Petronas made RM58bil and the last financial year Petronas made RM86bil, which is bigger than the total collection from income and corporate taxes, which will be around RM60bil this year.

So the Government has money, which he agrees now. But he didn’t say that at the time I stepped down there was no money.

But I insisted that there was. He also said that when I said his son and son-in-law telephone people to give contracts to so and so, he said that while he did not know he will ask them but he didn’t think they did it.

On Scomi, he said that it is the only company in the region with the technology and mud engineering. Besides, it is 100% bumiputra so that is why Petronas gave the contract to Scomi.

There were a few other things he mentioned but he stopped, thinking it was already two hours. I figured the meeting was over and I collected my recorder and said good bye to him at the door and I came out.

Did you ask him to step down for the good of the country?

Dr M: I didn’t.

Do you want that to happen?

Dr M: I was there to tell him what I was not happy with. I was not there to suggest what he should do and it is up to him to decide what he should do.

He did say that as a result of what I did I have become unpopular and he has become unpopular too and that the only people who benefited were (former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim and Nik Aziz (Kelantan Mentri Besar and PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat).

It is wrong what TV3 reported, saying that I agreed with him that what I had done made me and him unpopular and only Anwar Ibrahim and Nik Aziz benefited. This is what he said, not what I said.

What is your feeling on the comment that you have become unpopular?

Dr M: He said that they had done a survey before I met him. And they had given him a briefing of the survey, that shows this result. If he wants to believe, that it is his right.

I said I don’t care about being popular or not but if anybody does things that don’t benefit the country and Malays in particular, I reserve my right to criticise whenever I think necessary.

And I pointed out to him that firstly, this has become a police state. Because every time anybody invites me to give a talk, they would be called up by the police and warned, called up by the police and told to withdraw the invitation.

Someone was not allowed to hold any meeting at all which involves me. This happened to many people. They were very shy to tell me about it but they were called up by the police and of course they were also called up by the mentri besar as well.

I did not tell him about this so I don’t think it is right for me to tell you what was said.

But I consider this a police state. And I consider also that my civic right has been taken away from me because I have every right to talk to Umno people, university people, civil servants and that’s my right.

But every time I want to do this and if people invite me they were told to withdraw. I told him more than 10 invitations had been withdrawn.

And of course in some cases police would meet these people. Umno people were told not to invite me. I know many Umno divisions want to invite me but are not allowed to.

So I am not allowed to speak to many groups of people. I consider it my right to speak to Umno people as a member and as ex-president. I have a right to speak to Umno people.

Did you talk about your agreement with him that was made before you step down?

Dr M: No, we did not.

What was Pak Lah’s reply to what you said on this being a police state?

Dr M: He said it was not true. He doesn’t agree with me that this is a police state.

Do you think the Prime Minister is going to do anything differently?

Dr M: We will have to wait and see. But my criticisms had some effect. For example, the activities of ECM Libra. At first you read reports in newspapers that ECM was doing these things but now it seems there is a complete blackout of ECM Libra activities.

There is no more report on Scomi activities.

Do you still plan to attend the Umno general meeting and to speak?

Dr M: I have not decided. But I have not been given any slot to speak so I don’t know how I am going to speak.

You’ve expressed unhappiness with Abdullah’s leadership. Do you think your unhappiness is being respected in Umno?

Dr M: I am not allowed to talk to Umno people at all. I have no means to assess this thing because I am not allowed to talk to Umno people. So I won’t be able to assess.

If I talk to them and explain to them what it is I am criticising then they will have to give their opinion. But I’m not allowed to explain anything, and I believe lots of people do not understand.

Did you talk about the incident at the Kubang Pasu division meeting?

Dr M: Yes, I said it was due to corruption. Whatever may be the finding of the committee I know for a fact that money was given.

Five people have reported. But there were others who said they received money but were not willing to come forward.

You are the founder of modern Malaysia. Are you concerned that your legacy is being chipped away by the controversy?

Dr M: It is not being chipped away by the controversy. It is being chipped away by the actions of the Government. For the past three years there has been no move.

The economy has not been doing well. People have not been able to have jobs and unemployment is still high.

Nothing has been done really to improve the economy. Although of course we read of very good figures but we see retail business is not good, contracts are not easy to come by, Class F people have no jobs and many contractors have folded.

Did you give him an ultimatum, because the last time you said he should undo what he has done wrong?

Dr M: I didn’t say that. I didn’t say that. I went there just to tell him. I didn’t give him any ultimatum. Because Murabak wants me to tell, that’s all.

Did he say anything about the incident in Kubang Pasu?

Dr M: He didn’t.

Why did you raise Ku Li’s name as a possible successor in the Bloomberg interview?

Dr M: No, I didn’t raise Tengku Razaleigh’s (former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) name. They were asking whether there are other candidates who might want to, well, I thought Tengku Razaleigh was interested the last time and he might still be interested.

I mean, any Umno member can contest.

I did mention that the postponement of the Umno election is wrong. The excuse that I too did that when I was Umno president is not quite correct.

I did it because the general election was coming the following year and therefore I had to postpone the party elections the year before the general election.

But here, the general election can be held in 2009, and it is 2006 now.

Is there any reason why the party election cannot be held? Are you giving yourself a time frame to see changes after your meeting with Pak Lah?

Dr M: Well, I don’t talk about time frames. But if I am scheduled to meet people, if I am allowed to meet people, I will talk. I will mention why certain things are wrong.

Just like what I am telling you.

What do you want to achieve? You didn’t ask the Prime Minister to step down and you didn’t set a time frame.

Dr M: The Government has been criticised before and a government which is sensitive would take into consideration the criticism.

It may take the form of resignation, it may take other forms like stopping all these wrong things, the things that got people criticising.

From your point of view, what is the state of the economy?

Dr M: The economy is bad. I know because a lot of Chinese business people are very unhappy. Some of them, and I told this to

Pak Lah, some of them have said they will not vote for Barisan Nasional at the next elections. And some of them said today they prefer to go to China to do business because there are more opportunities in China than there is in Malaysia because they don’t fine it easy to do business in Malaysia.

Are you convinced or satisfied at all by any of Pak Lah’s responses?

Dr M: At the moment no.

Why?

Dr M: Because he said he didn’t think his children were involved. He said that Khairy (Jamaluddin) was his son-in-law and he has been working with him before he became his son-in-law.

And he says he will ask them, that’s all.

Does that mean that from Pak Lah’s responses and reactions to what you had to tell him, your assessment is that you have not actually achieved much in this meeting?

Dr M: I have achieved the objective of telling him in quite substantial detail. I am quite sure that the reports that are in the controlled press, the spin from people like (News Straits Time group editor) Brendan Pereira and (NSTP deputy chairman Datuk) Kalimullah (Hassan) and all that would have given him a completely wrong impression of what I have done.

Now I have the opportunity to tell him as it is, no Brendan in between, no Kalimullah in between.

So to that extent I am satisfied, no “spinning” that things were not going like that. (Makes spinning motion with finger.)

Do you wish that you had never stepped down?

Dr M: I wish I had stepped down in 1998, if it had been possible. I could have stepped down in 2002 but I was asked to … he did tell me that he willingly asked me to stay on for another year, which is something I appreciate. But this is not a question of what you do or a character thing.

This is not about his or my character. This is about what is happening. I must admit that what is happening is something I never suspected at all or expected. I didn’t expect any family involvement.

I pointed out to him that it is wrong to have family involvement.

I also spoke about this oil-for-food thing, which is wrong. It was during the time when he was deputy prime minister and there was his name in this list published by the UN that he was involved in oil-for-food.

Although they say that him being a beneficiary, he did not gain anything. But that is the oil-for-food report from the US.

But as you know the US excluded all the American companies involved in oil-for-food so the US publication contains elements of cover-up.

But I don’t know whether the US is covering up or not in this particular case.

But he admitted that he wrote a recommendation for this chap Taufik or whatever it is, who happens to be a distant relative of his, married to his sister-in-law.

And when he did that of course he was the deputy prime minister.

When the company was formed, Trade or something or rather, he was deputy prime minister.

As deputy prime minister or as a minister, you should never get involved in the formation of any company or running of any company.

So when you met Pak Lah, to back up your statements did you show him any documents that you have?

Dr M: No documents.

So by raising this issue about his son-in-law and his involvement in oil-for-food, are you accusing the Prime Minister of corruption?

Dr M: Well, it is up to the public to assess. It is up to the legal people to decide on this but as far as I am concerned, it is wrong that a serving deputy prime minister should get his name listed among the companies in the oil-for-food trade with Iraq.

But Pak Lah never denied he recommended two or three companies that is related to him.

Dr M: As far as I am concerned, if you are in the Government you should not form any company in which you are listed as beneficiary. You should not write letters of recommendation for your own relative.

You can write letters of recommendation in a very general way or for some other company.

So will you support Najib as Umno president?

Dr M: That is hypothetical.

Do you think he will make it as Prime Minister?

Dr M: That is up to them to decide, not for me to decide, not for me to say I support or don’t. It’s entirely dependent upon Umno.

But I must admit that I had appointed Najib deputy prime minister and in the course of time, according to tradition, the deputy prime minister should succeed the prime minister.

When do you think the PM should call for the general election?

Dr M: The general election can be held anytime up to 2009, when the life span of the present Parliament terminates, so it is up to him to decide.

When do you like to see it?

Dr M: I don’t care what I like (sic).

What’s next for you after this?

Dr M: I told him I will continue to make criticisms and I will continue in my usual way.

But I do hope the habit of asking the police to frighten people should stop and my civic rights should be restored.

That I have rights to speak to Umno, the right to speak to any audience that I like.

You said the Chinese would vote for the Opposition, aren’t you afraid that the Opposition will have a bigger majority?

Dr M: Yes, I think it is possible. My assessment is that it is not possible for the Opposition to win but they may be able to reduce the majority of the Government.

Don’t you think what you are doing now is bad for the party?

Dr M: I see that what he is doing now is bad for the party and unless you criticise and stop what he is doing now, it will have bad results for the country.

It is not an internal problem of Umno alone. It’s not a question of unity within Umno.

Umno cannot win the elections without public support and today the public is very critical of the present conditions, the present economy, the present system of administration, the involvement of family members, the telephone calls, the contracts won by the children’s company.

This concerns the public and if the public doesn’t support, even if 100% of Umno were to support our candidates, they will still lose.

What is your assessment of the Prime Minister’s personal integrity. Is he an honest man?

Dr M: Well, I don’t know. But how does he get involved in the oil-for-food business?.

He says no, he is not involved but his name is there as the beneficiary.

But didn’t you know that when you were the Prime Minister?

Dr M: I didn’t know about it when I was PM.

The first time I heard about it was when it was published by the (New) Straits Times that his name appeared there. Subsequently Najib said: “Don’t talk anymore about it.”

And of course there were no more reports about this affair in the Straits Times or any other newspaper.

Recently in the course of writing my memoir, I tried to get hold of the copy of the Straits Times which reported this thing but it seems to have disappeared.

The Berita Harian was there but the copy of the Straits Times has disappeared. Maybe somebody has a copy, can lend it to me.

You said you touched on approved permits (APs) and Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz?

Dr M: Yes, I said the AP thing, I told the story already from the beginning, why it was issued.

I said it was wrong to give to two friends of Rafidah and this constitutes abuse of authority by the minister. And I am surprised the minister is still retained in the Cabinet.

On Proton, I said: “You have destroyed Proton.” When Mahaleel (former Proton CEO Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff) was there, the share price was about RM8.60.

Today the share price is about RM4.60 or something like that, you know RM5.

And Proton is losing money. Only a few years back Proton made RM1.5bil profit, now it is losing money and this is due entirely to the change, the removal of Mahaleel and the appointment of a man acting as its non-executive chairman but who is actually doing the work of the executive chairman.

Of the RM2bil reserve that Mahaleel left, how much is left?

Dr M: I would like to know. I want to know. I wonder …

The market says the reserve is down to zero and now they are talking about borrowing. Is this true?

Dr M: The market may know something. I cannot say something which I have no knowledge of.

Are you unhappy with Najib for not saying much?

Dr M: Whether I am happy or not, whatever happens to him is something that will happen to him, not to me.

What do you mean?

Dr M: Whatever he does of course will affect his future.

But he is somebody whom you had lobbied for.

Dr M: Yes I did, but beyond that I am not prepared to do anything more.

By what you said about retaining Rafidah, Proton, the AP and all that, you are practically telling the PM how to run the country?

Dr M: Why not? If you are doing it the wrong way, you are destroying the economy of the country. There is no FDI coming in now.

There is no local investment also and people who want to invest in this country find great difficulty getting through.

And investors from outside, one of them at least has been given back his deposit and told that he is technically wrong or whatever.

So, the country is not doing well. If you want to believe that the country is doing well and pooh-pooh what people are saying on the ground, that is up to you.

Do you believe the economic figures given by the Government?

Dr M: Sounds a bit strange to me when I see companies going down the drain. Companies like Proton which was very profitable before is now losing money.

And I wonder, of the companies in the Khazanah stable, how many are doing well because these are companies which do not seem to inform people of their situation.

Najib recently announced RM40bil in investments by companies.

Dr M: Announce is OK. It’s like announcing the Ninth Malaysia Plan, it has been announced two years ago but up to now as far as I know none of the projects have taken off.

I did also comment (to Pak lah) on this private financing initiative. Now what is private financing initiative? It sounds as if it is the private sector which is going to do everything and the Government does not have to spend one sen.

It sounds like privatisation but it is not. It is the same as build, lease and transfer.

It means the private sector build this bridge at whatever cost and then lease it to the Government.

Of course, when you lease it to the Government it must give the company profit and sufficient money to pay off debts.

And in the end of course the Government will pay.

Your view on bumiputra equity ownership at 18% or 45%?

Dr M: I think the Government has to explain how it reached the figure of 18% and the other side has to explain how it reached the figure of 45%.

I don’t think the figure of 45% is correct.

As far as 18% is concerned, it may be nearer the actual figure than the 45% figure. So let’s clear this up. Don’t say: “Don’t question this thing.”

To every criticism directed at the Government, the answer is: “Don’t question this thing, don’t raise this issue, stop talking about this.”

Have you anything good to say about the Government? Has the Government done anything good?

Dr M: (Scoff) The Government has still maintained that we are still an independent country although foreign policy-wise we are less highly regarded than before especially by developing countries and Muslim countries.

Abroad they are asking what’s happened to Malaysia. But this wanting to be friendly with Mr Bush is something other people are commenting and I can’t understand.

Are your criticisms a reflection of the rakyat’s unhappiness over Pak Lah’s administration rather than overall corruption, for example the councilors issue?

Dr M: I think the councillors are having a field day. MPs, they are … ministers are off on their own. So I don’t know what is happening.

But crime rate has gone up, there is no sufficient attention paid to drug problem, to the increased cases of rape, and all kinds of things.

The police I don’t know what they are doing, maybe they have lots of other things. Crime rate today is very high. Everyday we read not only about snatch theft but people just up and kill people.

During your time it was also evident.

Dr M: Yes it was evident but not to this extent.

You said Malaysia has become a police state. Isn’t it ironic because your critics said the same thing about your administration.

Dr M: I never stopped people from making speeches. In 1987 when Tengku Razaleigh, (a former deputy prime minister Tun) Musa Hitam and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi challenged me, Abdullah remained as Minister.

They were travelling all over the country, campaigning with Umno branches and divisions and I never stopped them.

But of course, Pak Lah now says he was stopped.

Umno branches said they heard him when he came to talk.

And I know because when I went to his area to speak, he came up on the stage and he spoke also. I never stopped him from speaking.

I never stopped Tengku Razaleigh from speaking, which is why, although I was nominated by 86 divisions and Tengku Razaleigh was nominated by 37 divisions, I barely managed to win because of the intensive campaigning carried out by Tengku Razaleigh, Musa Hitam and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

But now, I am not allowed to speak to anybody. I know I’m speaking to the Press now.

I know the New Straits Times will have to make some kind of spin about this, TV3 too will have to spin somehow, but fortunately for us that in my time, we have the Internet, so I would advise people to read the Internet and not these newspapers because they are all getting phone calls.

Now, Kalimullah is not here but there is another man on the fourth floor who does the reading.

Will you meet Pak Lah again?

Dr M: If there is a chance to meet him and if there is any use, then yes, I would meet him. If there is a problem and I only speak to him and others don’t know about it, the effect would not be there.

On Pak Lah’s relationship with US President George W. Bush, when he met Bush earlier, he did not touch on the two Malaysians detained in Guantanamo, he did not touch on the FTA, he did not touch on the American nuclear ships visiting Port Klang. What did he talk to Bush about?

Dr M: He said he agreed with Bush that the Pope did not mean what was reported.

How was Pak Lah’s body language during the meeting?

Dr M: It was good.

What is your next step?

Dr M: I know what I am going to do. After this, if I see something I should speak up about, I will do so.

If someone asks me, I have to explain, if not, I’ll be unpopular, according to his statistic.

Do you think he has changed compared to before?

Dr M: Yes, there is change. When he was deputy prime minister, his children and son-in-law were not involved. And he agreed … everything decided by the Cabinet.

He was a very good deputy. But people change when they have power.

At that time, Khairy was not yet Umno Youth deputy head, it was after I had resigned.

What I am uncomfortable with was that the wives of ministers already had Bakti (the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers) to do charity work.

But he agreed that his wife, as the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife, set up another body.

I think there was no need for two or three charitable bodies because one is enough to do charity work.

Because, if we have a welfare body, we have to ask money from people.

It is not nice if we ask money from people.

I didn’t say anything because he had already formed the body.

But about Khairy’s appointment, I was disappointed, because there was supposed to be someone who wanted to contest the position but he was called by Hishammuddin (Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein) and ordered not to contest.

I know that the practice of appointment without contest is something which happens in Umno but it happens when someone has long served Umno and proven their worth.

But this is someone who had just joined Umno and who has not shown any bakti (service) to Umno but won without contest.

There were messages through the telephone that everyone had to vote. And I know that even though people voted, they were not satisfied and they booed him.

But the following year, there was no more booing.

Probably some things had happened until there was no more booing Khairy.

Do you think the PM grasped all that you brought up?

Dr M: I am not in a position to say whether he grasped it or not. But what I know is that he listened to me.

I don’t know what he wrote in his notes, you see he may write something else.

But as far as I can see he wrote something in his notes.

How long more are you going to be patient?

Dr M: I will continue. Until there are some changes, until I achieve some result.

Of course I am 82 years old, people believe that if they delay long enough this interfering Nosy Parker will disappear or would not be able to speak.

Would you like to see the PM leading for a second term?

Dr M: Depends on how he performs.

Are you saying that Pak Lah is losing control?

Dr M: It’s some people opinion that he has lost control.

You said the police called up people who invited you, he said it’s not true. Why don’t you test it with an invitation for you to talk?

Dr M: I want to wait and see whether any Umno division would invite me. Before they can call me, people will come. Not the police but party people.

The mentri besar will come and give warning.

All this I know, so there is no need to deny. I also know about a telephone call from Perth, when I wanted to go to Kelantan, that was received by (Kelantan Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri) Annuar Musa.

When I went to Kelantan, Mubarak’s function was cancelled. I don’t know who called from Perth.

Tengku Razaleigh told me because he was with Annuar Musa at the time, who was in the hospital.

Tengku Razaleigh said Annuar Musa said: “I will make sure he does not speak.” I don’t know what “making sure” means but what actually happened is that when I went there, I wasn’t allowed to speak.

During your time, you did not see eye-to-eye all the time with former premiers Tun Hussein Onn or Tunku Abdul Rahman. Don’t you think it seems like one big cycle going round and round?

Dr M: But when Rahman and Tun Hussein sided with Semangat 46, I never stopped them. They went around, they spoke, they criticised me but I never stopped.

But why are they stopping me from speaking, censoring me in the mainstream media? Why are they spinning stories about me, digging up something that happened during my time to prove that I was a bad PM?

I didn’t do those things. Did I dig up stories on Tunku Abdul Rahman? Can you show evidence I dug up stories about Tun Hussein committing whatever?

I’m not talking about details. I am talking about former prime ministers not seeing eye-to-eye on the running of the country (with the present prime minister).

Dr M: Yes, that was not seeing eye-to-eye but could speak. This is not seeing eye-to-eye and not allowed to speak and everybody is forbidden from hearing the former prime minister speak.

Seems like you made a terrible mistake choosing the PM?

Dr M: I make a lot of mistakes. I choose people and they all turn against me. I am very bad.

You know when people come and are nice to me, they cry and something like that to me I said ya, I think he is sincere.

Although they were stabbing me before, they come back to me, I accept them.

In the 22 years, you had no rival.

Dr M: Despite all people trying to pull me down. You know Musa tried to pull me down, he thought he was more popular and he would win but he lost.

And Tengku Razaleigh tried to pull me down and of course Anwar Ibrahim also did.

Despite all this I survived. Because this is democracy you have to allow for people to criticise you and if you have a good answer you win, if you don’t have a good answer, you lose.

Had I lost to Tengku Razaleigh, I wouldn’t have been PM for 22 years.

In democracy you need an opposition party to talk about the Government but you …

Dr M: In most countries, the main party, like the LDP or the Labour Party that you see in England, and even the American party, within the party, they are allowed to criticise the leadership.

But here, everybody must say yes, I support.

Even if yesterday they say this bridge must be built, this is our side.

Tomorrow the PM says we won’t build this bridge because Singapore might be upset, immediately the comments from people with pictures, their faces in the Straits Times with comments “We must not build this bridge, It is wrong.” You see the change is fantastic.

Would you like to form an Opposition party with like-minded people?

Dr M: No, I don’t want. I am a loyal Umno member. What I am trying to do, people might not believe it is to save Umno from bad leadership

******************************************************************************

So Tun Dr. Mahathir spelled out face-to-face the 19 points he was not comfortable with and far too many flaws being made, which are detrimental to Malaysia and UMNO, since PM Abdullah took over nine days short of three years earlier.

What Tun Dr. Mahathir raised to PM Abdullah has been very consistent on his grouses about the Double-Tracking system, Scenic Bridge, Proton and AP issues and other issues pertaining the family of the Prime Minister having a hand in Government’s, Administration and/or UMNO’s decisions.

Tun Dr. Mahathir himself had been systematically denied to speak to the people and UMNO members, where there was a concerted effort to stop him from representing his UMNO Division as a delegate in last year’s UMNO Assembly and UMNO quarters who wished to organise a session for him to talk were being ‘harrased and presured’ by party superiors and even the Police. He referred that experience as “Malaysia now being a Police state”.

In response to the much talked about Tun Dr. Mahathir’s media conference, especially when he said PM Abdullah only reacted matters pertaining to his family during the four-eyed meeting, PM Abdullah said publicly he will respond to each of the 19 points raised.

This is The Star’s report on the subject matter:

Nation

PM regrets Dr M didn’t wait for explanation

derrickvinesh@thestar.com.my

KEPALA BATAS: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is deeply grieved by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s renewed attacks against him, which the Prime Minister likened to “stronger doses of venom.”

Breaking his silence over their meeting last Sunday when Dr Mahathir spoke for two hours on what he thought was wrong with the present administration, Abdullah said he was saddened that the former premier had continued with his criticisms in the media.

“I feel sad because he has told me all that he wanted to say. I will need time to respond. But he repeated (his criticisms) with stronger doses of venom.

“What else (is there) to do? Allahualam (only God knows), he still wants to continue. I had hoped that he could wait for my explanation,” he told a press conference at his Hari Raya open house at Dewan Milenium here yesterday.

Abdullah said it upset him that people who came to his open house still talked about the issue, and many had directly asked him about it.

During Sunday’s meeting – which Abdullah described as “calm, without any exchange of harsh words” – he said he did not talk much because he wanted Dr Mahathir to say his piece.

BIG TURN-OUT: Abdullah greeting guests at his open house at Dewan Milenium in Kepala Batas on Thursday.

“I was not interested in arguing with him. He wanted to convey what was on his mind; and I gave him the opportunity to do so,” Abdullah said.

“Some of the other details I had explained in the past. So I did not want to repeat them.

“Tun himself has said before that if the Prime Minister did not want to give explanations, he could ask the ministers to do so on his behalf.

“So, I followed his advice and allowed other ministers to give the necessary explanations.”

Abdullah said there were several junctures during the meeting when he felt compelled to debate with Dr Mahathir, because he disagreed with the latter’s views.

“If I did that, it would take time. Tun would not be able to tell me everything. And that will become an issue,” he said.

He said Dr Mahathir first asked him whether the country was now a police state.

“I told him that was not true. I have no intention of turning Malaysia into a police state,” Abdullah said.

He also told Dr Mahathir that his allegation that Umno members were now afraid to voice their opinions was incorrect.

“Umno members feel happy under my leadership because they are relieved that they can talk. This democracy was created by Umno leaders themselves,” he told newsmen.

On Dr Mahathir’s claim that his movements were being restricted, Abdullah said he had not imposed any restrictions.

On the contrary, he said, Dr Mahathir might not be aware that in the days when he was Umno vice-president but was not holding a Cabinet post, people who were trying to please Dr Mahathir had restricted his movements.

“But at that time, I was an elected vice-president and held a party post. If we go by that, I could have gone anywhere,” he said.

Abdullah said he also denied claims of his son Kamaluddin’s involvement in securing a contract under the Scomi Group to make bus body parts.

On the Sultan of Johor’s statement that Dr Mahathir should behave like a “pensioner” and stop “making noise,” Abdullah said the Sultan’s view reflected the feelings of many people.

Asked if there would be another meeting with Dr Mahathir, Abdullah said: “We will see. Everything is possible, and everything is also impossible. Allahualam.”

The most important thing post-this-four-eyed-meeting is what action will PM Abdullah take and do? It has been a year now, has there been any changes?

Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 00:03  Comments (6)  

Angkasawan Negara landed!

The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft carrying the Angkasawan Negara and the crew of ISS Expedition XV landed in a ballistic trajectory ten minutes after re-entry at a location 400km north east of the targetted landing spot at 6.43pm (Malaysian time).

More news will follow suit of well being of the crew and scientific specimens and experiments result conducted in space.

*Updates.

This is Reuters’ report, as of 7.05pm:

 

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Malaysia’s first astronaut landed safely in Kazakhstan on Sunday with two Russian cosmonauts after spending 11 days in space, a Reuters witness at Moscow’s mission control reported.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopaedic surgeon and university lecturer from Kuala Lumpur, returned to earth in a Russian-made Soyuz capsule with International Space Station commander, Fyodor Yurchikhin, and flight engineer, Oleg Kotov.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

 

This is Bernama.com’s report, as of 7.24pm:

October 21, 2007 19:24 PM

Angkasawan Returns Safely To Earth E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news

 

 

From Abdul Rahman Ahmad

MOSCOW, Oct 21 (Bernama) — After 11 days in space, Malaysian angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha returned to earth, marking the success of Malaysia’s first space mission and the country’s active participation in the space industry that was once a dream beyond imagination.

The Soyuz TMA-10, carrying him and two other crew member, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, landed at the space drop zone in Arkylk, Kazakhstan, some 1,500km from here at about 2.37pm local time (6.37pm Malaysian time) after travelling three hours and 23 minutes from the International Space Station, ISS.

His safe return was received with great relief and applause by the crowd at the packed Mission Control Centre, here. They included Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and Science, Technology and Innovations Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.

High ranking officials of the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, including its Director, Anatoli Perminov, were also present to witness the landing.

Others present were the angkasawan’s parents, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Sheikh Shukor and Datin Zuraidah Sheikh Ahmad and his elder brother, Sheikh Ahmad.

Immediately after the landing, a logo of the Malaysian angkasawan mission was affixed on the wall of the Malaysian Technical Control Centre, a symbol of Malaysia’s success in completing the mission.

As the spacecraft undocked from the ISS at 11.15am local time, many prayed for a safe landing for the Soyuz TMA-10 as the impact from the fall would be great after travelling at a speed of 755 metres per second upon entering the earth atmosphere.

But the impact was minimised after the parachutes were released from the spacecraft at a height of 10km before hitting the ground.

Six helicopters were deployed to locate the spacecraft.

The Director of the Malaysian Space Programme, Col Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh was at the landing site to take Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor to a temporary medical centre to rehabilitate the Malaysian angkasawan from the microgravity he had experienced for the past 11 days while in space.

The Malaysian angkasawan was later taken to Chakalovsky airbase near the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Star City, here where a ceremony would be held to receive him by Najib.

And the Malaysian angkasawan will stay in Moscow for the next two weeks for quarantine and rehabilitation before returning to Malaysia.

This is The Star’s report on the successful landing of Angkasawan Negara, as of Monday, 22 October 2007:

Nation

 

Angkasawan in good condition

Angkasawan’s return to earth

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor completed his 11-day stint in space and returned safely to Earth on Sunday.

Safe return: Dr Sheikh Muszaphar getting off a helicopter in Kustanay after landing in the Kazakhstan steppe on board the Soyuz TMA 10 space capsule yesterday. (Inset) Sheikh Mustapha praying before his son’s landing. — Reuters

The Soyuz TMA-10 capsule which brought him back to Earth, together with commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, landed in Kazakhstan at 6.37pm Malaysian time.

There were anxious moments though, when Nasa, which was broadcasting the event live, said the capsule had veered off course and landed some 340km from the target landing spot in Arkylk, Kazakhstan.

Muszaphar’s mother Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad, who was watching, broke down in tears.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis and their wives at the control centre then offered a thanksgiving prayer.

Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) chief Anatoli Perminov then congratulated Najib.

A recovery team comprising six military Russian helicopters later located the capsule and brought out the cosmonauts at 6.52pm, beginning with Yurchikhin, followed by Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and finally Kotov.

They were brought to a tent set up next to the capsule and given immediate medical attention as part of the recovery procedure.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar’s health was reported to be in “very good” condition. He had earlier bid farewell to the crew at the International Space Station where he spent nine days conducting experiments.

He also hugged and shook the hands of Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchencko and new ISS commander Peggy Whitson, both of whom had flown with him on the Soyuz TMA-11 on Oct 10.

The returning Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft undocked from the ISS at 3.14pm Malaysian time and began its quick descent to Earth.

At 5.47pm, the capsule commenced its de-orbit burn and engine rockets fired for just over four minutes to slow the craft down in preparation for its separation into three parts, one of which – called the descent module – contained the crew members. The other two parts were disposed of in space.

The craft entered the outer reaches of the earth’s atmosphere at 6.14pm. It then picked up speed as it began to be pulled by Earth’s gravity, travelling at speeds over 200m per second.

Once in the atmosphere, the external part of the capsule heated up to a temperature of as high as 9,000 degrees Kelvin (8,700°C).

There was also a 10-minute “communications blackout” when the capsule entered the atmosphere – a normal occurrence caused by a surge of overwhelming heat generated by the capsule, rendering any form of communication impossible.

There was also suspense when it took a few moments for the Mission Control Centre (MCC) in Moscow to re-establish contact with the capsule and to confirm that the crew inside were safe.

When confirmation came, there was applause from the Malaysians at the control centre.

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 18:51  Comments (3)  

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad discharged from IJN today

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, 82, who underwent a landmark second multiple by-pass on 4 September and an open chest debridement surgery on 22 September, will be discharged this morning (10.30am) from IJN.

The surgeons, physicians and other essential cardiothoracic professionals in IJN are happy with his progress and confident he is well enough to leave the dedicated coronary hospital seven weeks after admission and being infirmed.

An official media statement would be issued later by IJN, via his PA Sufi Yusoff.

We would like to express our utmost gratitude and appreciation to the hardworking and dedicated surgeons, physicians and all IJN staff who had cared for him through out these trying seven weeks.

A special tribute also to Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali, all the children and the rest of the family and private staff of them, for their love, dedication and support for Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

To the rest, for their doas and prayers, may Allah s.w.t. repay your kindness and sincerity to see Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad well again.

* IJN’s media statement via Sufi Yusoff, 11.30pm:

MEDIA STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Institut Jantung Negara, 21 October…..

 

YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad has been discharged from Institut Jantung Negara today.

IJN doctors are happy that Tun Dr Mahathir has made encouraging progress in his post-surgical rehabilitation process since undergoing a second surgery for wound debridement on Sept 22.

He had been admitted to the IJN on Sept 2 for a coronary bypass procedure which was done on Sept 4.

Tun Dr Mahathir is expected to continue with physiotherapy exercises at home.

During this post-surgical rehabilitation process he is also expected to undergo periodical checkups at the IJN.

-ENDS-

 

For media enquiries please contact Sufi Yusoff

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This is Bernama.com’s story on the discharge from IJN, as of 12.20pm:


General October 21, 2007 12:20 PM
Dr M Discharged From IJN E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 (Bernama) — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was discharged from the National Heart Institute (IJN) this morning, 47 days after undergoing a second coronary bypass operation on Sept 4.

The former prime minister has made encouraging progress in his post-surgical rehabilitation process since undergoing a second surgery for a wound debridement on Sept 22, the IJN said in a statement today.

A cheerful-looking Dr Mahathir waved to the public at the IJN as he walked out of the VIP ward at 10.20am in the company of his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, his children and doctors to a waiting car.

Dr Mahathir will continue with his physiotherapy exercises at home and come for periodic check-ups at the institute as part of his post-surgical rehabilitation process, it said.

His daughter, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, told reporters at the IJN lobby that doctors have advised her father to rest at home and continue with the rehabilitation programmes and follow-up treatment.

“My father is happy to be able to go home. He wants to be in a different environment and wishes to rest,” she said, adding that the family would hold thanksgiving prayers soon.

Marina said Dr Mahathir expressed his gratitude to IJN staff who took care of him during his stay at the country’s premier heart centre.

“We have agreed to discharge Tun Mahathir now that he has fully recovered,” said Tan Sri Dr Yahya Awang who headed the panel of heart surgeons who operated on the former prime minister.

Two nurses from IJN would observe Dr Mahathir at home over the next few days, he told reporters.

Other members of the surgical team were chief of cardiothoracic surgery of the US Mayo Clinic, Prof Hartzell Schaff, Datuk Dr Rozali Wathooth, Datuk Dr Azhari Yakub, Datuk Dr Venugopal Balchand and Dr Mohamed Ezani Mohd Taib.

The anaesthetics team led by Datuk Dr Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Ariff included Dr Sharifah Suraya Syed Tahir, Datuk Dr Syed Abdul Aziz Syed Zain and Dr Nor Azlina Abdul Jalil.

– BERNAMA

Also please stay tune for something from Dato’ Marina Mahathir, on behalf of the Mahathirs.

*Photos are courtesy of photo-journo-blogger, Minaq Jinggo

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 10:07  Comments (1)  

In memory of Mustaffa Dapat

Allahyarham Mustaffa b. Dapat (b. 21 October 1964, d. 28 August 2004).

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Mustaffa Dapat was born to a former British Army employee, Dapat b. Selamat. He grew up in Kampung Stulang Baru, Johor Bahru, Johor and attended Larkin School. His father by then became a Postman at Bukit Panjang Post Office, Bukit Panjang, Singapore while his mother run an eatery stall in Larkin.

Later he attended MARA Junior Science College, Kuantan, Pahang (1977-1981). He went to Oklahoma to study engineering but later transferred to Ohio University in Columbus, Ohio and earned a bachelor in aeronautical engineering in 1986.

He came back to Malaysia during the first economic recession. After his mother passed away in 1987 to stomach ulcer, Mustaffa enrolled in the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) KD Pelanduk as a Cadet Officer. He graduated and commissioned in 1989 as the best cadet officer and earned the golden sabre from HM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong, beating more than a dozen ex RMC cadet officers in his intake.

He was initially destined to be trained as the engineer for the RMN’s Air Wing KD Rajawali. However, still as a Sub. Lt., he was sent to Royal Australian Navy submarine school near Sydney in 1992 instead. He earned his ‘dolphins’ in 1993, the first RMN officer to be certified as submariner, along with Lt. Abdul Rahman Ayob and Senior Petty Officer Suhaimi after the training in an RAN Oberon Class submarine.

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His track record was so impressive that the RAN, through Australian MINDEF, requested their Foreign Office to ask MINDEF, through Wisma Putra for Lt. Mustaffa to come and serve for another tour of duty, in the RAN submarine squadron. During this time, he participated in a submarine exercise with the US Navy.

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After serving ten years of short commission service, Mustaffa left the RMN in 1997 due to economic reasons. He joined ATSC Sdn. Bhd. and served as the Project Manager for the MiG 29N maintenance program, based in TUDM Kuantan, under former RMAF Brig. Gen. Richard Robless Sr. He later joined Rajawali Aerospace Sdn. Bhd. as a General Manager, also following Robless.

In 2001 when Perimekar Sdn. Bhd. put up the bid for the submarine project, Mustaffa was employed as a consultant to the project. He later joined Perimekar as a Project Manager and facilitated the project management during the lengthy technical negotiations between DCNi, Thales (now Armaris), Perimekar and the RMN. The contract was signed in June 2002 for the acquisition of two Scorpene Class SSK submarines. By then, LTAT through Boustead Bhd. was a 51% shareholder of Perimekar.

Mustaffa was sent to Cherbourg, France in December 2002, to facilitate for the Perkimekar’s contract to ensure the RMN Submarine Project Team’s work supervising and monitoring the construction, testing and commissioning of the two submarines are fully completed, according to the contract.

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In late July, Mustaffa fell ill due to viral fever and was admitted to the Louis Pasteur Hospital, Cherbourg in early August. Five days later he was transferred to another hospital in Caen where he remained for the next two and half weeks. Within that time, it was diagnosed that Mustaffa suffered a rare penicillin allergy called ‘Steven Johnson syndrome’. He went into a coma and eventually just before six a.m. Saturday, 28 August 2004, Mustaffa Dapat died never regained consciousness.

His body was bathe and kapan (covered with burial shroud) at the Caen mosque. Then the remains was taken to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport on the afternoon of Monday 30 August 2007 and was flown back to Kuala Lumpur onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH 021 at noon, national day of 2004. His remains arrived in KLIA on 5.30 am 1 September 2004, accompanied by his wife Masniza Mansor, his 8 year old son Muhammad Faza Aiman, his three month old baby Misha Elyssa, Puan NorAishah M. Nasri (wife of Deputy Leader, Submarine Project Team Capt. Rosland Omar), his best friend and fellow submariner (who also represented the RMN), Cdr. Abdul Rahman Ayob and Perimekar manager based in Cartagena, Spain, Anuar. Lt. Cdr. Zulhelmi Ithnain and Lt. Cdr. Baharuddin Md. Nor were there at KLIA to receive the body and those who accompanied the remains of Allahyarham Mustaffa Dapat.

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His was then remains taken to Masjid Kampung Chempaka, Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya and later was interned at Kampung Tunku Cemetery that noon. Relatives, former colleagues from the RMN and the Defense Attache’ of the French Embassy of Kuala Lumpur were there to pay their respect. So were representatives of DCNi and Armaris.

Mustaffa Dapat would have been forty three today if he was still with us. His passing was missed by the entire submariner community in this country, especially the RMN. I remembered specifically in LIMA ’01, during breakfast at Awana Porto Malai, former Chief of Navy Laksamana Tan Sri Ilyas Md. Din (then Fleet Operation Commander Laksda Dato’ Ilyas Md. Din) said to me “Mustaffa’s departure from the Navy was a great loss to us but later proven to be a great service to the nation. He would one day made Chief of Navy had he stayed on and served”. So did former RMN Inspector General Laksmana Pertama Danyal Balagopal confirm the same point, separately.

Adieu, mon kapitan.

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 00:58  Comments (15)  

The naming of the first Scorpene submarine ceremony, next week

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Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak will grace the naming of the first submarine early next week, in Cherbourg, Normandy, France. The first DNCS built submarine will be named KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, after the First Prime Minister and father of independent Malaysia.

Bernama.com has this story:

October 19, 2007 16:19 PM

Najib To Attend The Launch Of Malaysia’s First Submarine In France E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Bernama) — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be attending the launch of Malaysia’s first Scorpene submarine in Cherbourg, France, on Tuesday.

The launch is part of the official programme for his four-day visit to France beginning Monday, according to a Wisma Putra statement here.

The 1.04 biilion Euro (about RM3.4 million) procurement of two Scorpene submarines was signed in June 2002 between Malaysia, a French shipbuilding, submarine and naval services company, Direction des Constructions Navales Services (DCNS), and Spanish shipbuilder Navantina.

Najib, who is also Defence Minister, will also hold a bilateral meeting with his French counterpart, Herve Morin, the statement says.

He will deliver a public lecture at Institute Francais des Relations and Internationals and meet author of the Blue Ocean Strategy, Prof W.Chan Kim of Institute Europeen d’Administration des Affaires (Insead).

Najib is also expected to meet the Malaysian community in France.

Wisma Putra said the visit will further strengthen and deepen the existing bilateral relations and cooperation between Malaysia and France.

In another statement, Wisma Putra said Najib will also make a two-day visit to Russia on Oct 21-22 to receive Malaysian astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, whose Soyuz TMA-II spacecraft is scheduled to land on earth on Sunday.

He is also scheduled to meet Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on Monday.

– BERNAMA

This ceremony will take place at the Arsenal, Cherbourg Dockyards, Cherbourg, Normandy, France. The Chief of Navy Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan Mohamed Ali, TLDM, will attend this ceremony, along with senior TLDM officials which include the Defense Attache’ to the Malaysian Embassy in Paris. Laksmana Tan Sri Ramlan is currently in the United States attending a submarine symposium.

A mixture of Air Yassin (holy water) and water from Zam-Zam well, Mecca (Islam’s holiest city) would be used to grace at the naming of the first of two boats in the nation’s first submarine squadron, instead of the traditional practice of using champagne for sea going vessels.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak will fly off to Paris from Moscow, after witnessing the safe return of Angkasawan Negara. This first submarine was completely joined (with all major components installed) on 15 March 2007, will complete its fitting out and ready for extensive sea trials soon. The delivery of this first Perdana Menteri Class submarine to TLDM is expected in January 2009. The second submarine, which will be named KD Tun Razak and completely joined in July 2007, is now being fitted out at the Navantia Izar docks in Cartagena, Spain and expected to be delivered to TLDM in 2010.

Tun Abdul Razak is the second Prime Minister and father of DPM Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

At the moment, 140 odd officers and men are being extensively trained by the French Navy elite submarine traning school (NAVFCO) in Brest, Britanny, France using a dedicated Agosta Class training submarine, “Ouessant”. The designated COs for the two submarines, Lt. Cdr. Zulhelmi Isnin, TLDM and Lt. Cdr. Baharuddin Md. Nor, TLDM, are the two most experienced and highly dedicated submariners in TLDM today.

Published in: on October 20, 2007 at 00:36  Comments (3)  

Retail oil price hike imminent, GE will have to wait

So much speculation about the General Elections will be held first quarter of 2008. It is because the last GE was held on 21 March 2004 and March 2008, would mark the exact four years, which is the average and ‘fashionable’ period in between the full parliamentary terms before a compulsory GE is required to be held within sixty months full term of the last one.

However signs are not showing in that direction. Crude oil prices have been galloping now, very recently almost breaching the USD 90.00/barrel mark. At the moment, it has been lingering at the level of almost USD 88.00/barrel. There have been projections that the crude oil price will hit above the much feared psychological level of USD 100.00/barrel early first quarter 2008.

Therefore, the domestic retail petrol price hike is very eminent. At the current almost USD 88.00/barrel crude oil price, Government is already more than double the subsidy on the domestic retail petrol prices, since the last sharp increase of RM 0.30/litre to RM 1.92/litre, early last year the consumers paying at the moment.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Minister Dato’ Shafiee Afdal confirmed this domestic retail petrol price hike speculations today. The Star has the story about this:


MYT 5:40:09 PM

Get ready for higher fuel prices: Shafie

SEMPORNA: Malaysians should brace themselves for the prospect of higher fuel cost in view of the increasing world oil prices.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said the Government may not be able to continue subsidies in view of the high international oil price and other factors.

Shafie, however, assured that the Government will keep its promise not to increase oil prices this year despite the rising international prices.

“High cost of fuel is not only affecting oil-importing countries but also oil-producing countries like Iran,” he said, adding that weather situations as well as wars were forcing international oil prices to rise.

“Our oil reserves could only last us for about another 10 to 15 years,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house here.

Shafie said the Government was taking steps to reduce the country’s reliance on oil by encouraging the use of alternative renewable energy, among other steps.

He said the alternative energies being adopted included the use of bio-diesel as well as solar energy in rural areas.

People must be prudent in the use of fuel and prepare themselves for any increase in fuel prices that could be expected some time in the future, he added.

The Malaysian economy will suffer a major shift in the inflation index as cost of production and operation of almost everything would be immensely affected by this domestic retail petrol price hike. As is, except for three sectors, which is primary products such as rubber, palm oil and oil and gas, the other sectors have had very little growth, especially construction and property. Even the backbone of the economy which is manufacturing is stagnant and this much reflective of the low investments from abroad, in favour of countries in the ASEAN region such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Industries such as logistics, which is heavily dependent on fuel prices would be severely affected by these new developments; cost of operations will increase and create a spiral effect on the cost of other products and services.

This is The Star‘s report on Malaysia Airlines with regards to this sharp fuel price hike:

Airlines shares under pressure

PETALING JAYA: Volatility in the oil market over the past few months has kept the world on the edge. Oil prices settled at a fresh record high of US$87.48 on Tuesday triggered by a weaker dollar and tensions between Turkey and Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq.

Consequently, shares in airline companies, for which fuel is a major cost component, were marginally lower in anticipation of higher fuel prices slashing profit margins.

According to Bloomberg data, jet fuel rose 3.5% to a record US$98.05 a barrel on Tuesday, the biggest single day increase since February 2006.

Analysts said some selling pressure was seen yesterday as investors worried earnings of airlines would be affected if oil prices continued to surge. They said the costlier oil was expected to weigh on the airlines’ earnings outlook

OSK Investment Bank analyst Chris Eng said airlines with hedging strategies in place would better weather high oil prices.

However, with the current oil prices, the bank believed airlines would soon raise their fuel surcharges.

“Jet fuel prices had narrowed their margins earlier but have now almost touched US$100 per barrel with the recent spike.

“We believe the airlines are still enjoying strong profits given demand growth for air travel despite the hike in fuel surcharges.

“Our fair values are conservative but we have a ‘buy’ call for Malaysia Airlines and a ‘neutral’ call for AirAsia Bhd,” he said.

In an e-mail reply to StarBiz, Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) managing director Datuk Idris Jala said oil was the single largest cost element for MAS, representing 30% of its operating cost. He said any increase in oil price would unfavourably impact its financial position.

“We hedged 60% of our fuel requirements at US$62 per barrel. We recover part of the fuel cost through a fair and competitive fuel surcharge in line with the industry.

“We have also implemented the best practices as per the International Air Transport Association’s guidelines on fuel efficiency,” he said.

Idris said industry-wide, the higher oil price was expected to be offset by stronger-than-expected demand for passenger traffic and a general improvement in the airlines’ financial performance.

He said MAS would monitor the oil price situation closely and watch what other airlines were doing before deciding if it would increase its fuel surcharge.

“However, it is important to note that fuel surcharge only offers partial relief from the price of jet fuel,” he added. MAS has hedged 20% of next year’s fuel requirement at US$69 per barrel.

CIMB Research said investors in airline stocks should not be unduly worried despite the substantial increase in oil prices since early 2007.

“In a strong demand environment, airlines have an arsenal of defences that will limit the hit to the bottom line, including raising fuel surcharges and traditional hedging instruments,” it said.

In Seoul, Korean Air Lines Co fell the most in two months on concern costs may rise as oil prices climbed to a record. Its shares fell 4.82% to 73,000 won.

Despite two economic development corridors launched and another soon, the affects of these planned multi billion Ringgit economic development plans have not trickled down on the hands of the man-on-the-street. So is the Ninth Malaysia Plan (RMK 9) projects announced early last year.

The likeliness of the Government maintaining the “Feel Good”, despite media like the Media Prima Group trumpetting the message across boldly, the much talked about unsustainable factors are seriously doubtful within the short term. More over, Barisan Nasional is under tremendous pressure to retain its 90% control of the Dewan Rakyat, since the 21 March 2004 thunderous landslide General Elections results given to the newly succeeded Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi then.

It seems that PM is unable to fulfill most of what had been promised in the BN 2004 GE manifesto. Thus now, on top of the inadequate deliverance on the last manifesto, BN has to face the people again but added challenge of increased petrol price hike. That is not too favourable variable for the PM to take BN and face the people.

It is not likely that PM (who is not known to “take the bull by its horn”) will take BN head on to face the Malaysian voters with these accumulated issues and adverse points. Many believe that the Government would bank on stabilising these factors first and bring back the “Feel Good” factor, before they are confident of maintaining a comfortable position at the next General Elections.

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 03:22  Comments (6)  

PM visit Tun Dr. Mahathir in IJN

A day before 1 Syawal 1428H, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dropped by and visited former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who is now recuperating at Bunga Raya ward, IJN after the succesful second multiple coronary by-pass on the 4 September. This visit came after the PM and wife visited TeeHui Yee, who underwent to cardio-thoracic transplant surgery last week, which caught the attention of the whole nation.

The Star has the story:

Pak Lah visits Dr Mahathir at IJN

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah paid Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a visit Friday.

“I came to wish him Selamat Hari Raya.

“He’s well and stable, and the doctors are happy with his condition,” he told the press after his 45-minute visit at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

Abdullah also visited heart transplant patient Tee Hui Yi, 14, and lung transplant patient Langkong anak Akon, 39, who had their operations on Oct 3.

“I thank the IJN doctors, nurses, paramedics and specialists as they have done so much. They are so dedicated and so determined to save their patients,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir has been at the IJN since Sept 2, when he was admitted for a second coronary bypass operation.

He had another operation for a wound infection on Sept 22, and was recently transferred out of the intensive care unit to a normal ward.

Dr Siti Hasmah has been with him since his admission.

This what Bernama.com reported:

General


October 12, 2007 18:00 PM  

PM Visits Dr Mahathir At IJN

RELIEVED… Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah visit Tee Hui Yi after visiting former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir and was happy with the progress of both. Pic: Md Mudanoran

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he is proud of the medical team at the National Heart Institute (IJN) which successfully operated on former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The prime minister said the medical experts had also done well in carrying out the heart transplant on Sarawak teenager Tee Hui Yi.

“They are very dedicated and highly motivated. This is the result of cooperation between the patient and doctors and also technology,” he told reporters after visiting Tun Dr Mahathir and Hui Yi at IJN here today.

Present were his wife, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, IJN chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, its chief executive officer, Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus, and chief cardiothoracic surgeon Datuk Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub.

Abdullah, who spent 45 minutes at the IJN, was happy with the progress of Dr Mahathir and Hui Yi.

He said he wished Tun Dr Mahathir and his family “Selamat Hari Raya”.

Tun Dr Mahathir had coronary bypass surgery on Sept 4 and wound debridement surgery on Sept 22 while Hui Yi underwent a second heart transplant last Friday after the first one on Thursday failed.

Abdullah and his wife first visited Dr Mahathir on Sept 5 after his coronary bypass and called on the people to pray for his predecessor.

– BERNAMA

When the PM came and visited his predecessor the first time right after the surgery, he was unable to meet him as Tun Dr. Mahathir was placed under strict critical ICU observation.

Published in: on October 15, 2007 at 09:53  Comments (3)  

Salam Aidil Fitri

hari-raya-card-2007.jpg

 

Dear blog readers,

I would like to express my utmost sincere Salam Aidil Fitri wishes to all readers of this blog.

It is a time for rejoice for the Muslims, after successfully overcoming indulges and temptations, to adhere Allah s.w.t. al-Mighty’s call to feel the suffering of underprivileged, less fortunate people and people in peril. It is compulsory time to give tithe and encouraged to give alms, for the poor and needy. It is also a customary time to forgive mistakes that we do to each other and share this glory of Ramadhan completion with family, love ones, neighbours, friends, worshipers or non believers alike.

Please say a prayer and give thoughts to those who are unable to celebrate this Hari Raya Aidil Fitri because of work and responsibility commitments, especially men and women in essential services, for our comfort and security and those who have to spend this joyous moment recovering in hospital or at home.

Especially to former Prime Minister and UMNO President Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who is still infirmed at IJN after his successful second multiple coronary by-pass and Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali, who has shown so much patience in providing so much strength, comfort and determination for the recovery.

Also say a prayer to Angkasawan Negara aka ANSARAwan Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie who is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 360km and celebrated Hari Raya Aidil Fitri today (Friday, 12 October 2007).

 

 

 

 

 

Eid Mubarak, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and Maaf Zahir dan Batin

 

Yours sincerely,

Biggum “BigDog” Dogmannsteinberg
1 Syawal 1428H

Published in: on October 12, 2007 at 16:22  Comments (6)  

Salam Aidil Fitri Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad & Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali send their Salam Aidil Fitri to all Malaysians and utmost sincere appreciations for their kind thoughts and prayers for to both of them.

 

Saya dan isteri saya mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin kepada semua rakyat Malaysia, khususnya kepada yang beragama Islam.

Saya minta maaf kerana pada tahun ini saya tidak dapat merayakan Aidilfitri bersama-sama dengan mengadakan rumah terbuka seperti biasa. Saya juga ingin meminta maaf kerana tidak dapat menerima pelawat sepanjang berada di Institut Jantung Negara atas nasihat doktor.

Bagaimanapun saya dan isteri saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan terimakasih kepada semua yang telah mendoakan kesihatan saya agar cepat pulih.

Kami berdua juga ingin menyampaikan penghargaan kepada semua yang telah menghantar ucapan selamat, yang telah mengadakan solat hajat serta majlis doa selamat untuk kesihatan saya.

Alhamdulillah keadaan kesihatan saya bertambah baik berkat doa yang dipohon serta usaha yang dilakukan semua doktor pakar yang terlibat serta staf-staf perubatan IJN.

Di sini saya dan isteri saya juga merakamkan ucapan terima kasih serta penghargaan kami kepada kesemua mereka yang telah berkorban masa dan tenaga sepanjang bulan Ramadhan untuk berusaha memulihkan kesihatan saya.

Tidak mungkin kami dapat membalas segala usaha ini. Namun saya dan isteri sentiasa berdoa agar semua yang dilakukan dibalas dengan keberkatan dan dirahmati Allah s.w.t.

Sekali lagi saya dan isteri saya mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin.

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad

Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali

1 Syawal 1428 Hijrah

tun-dr-mahathir-mohamad-from-ijn.jpg

 

*Photo is compliment of Tara Sosrowardoyo and more photos via Dato’ Marina Mahathir

Published in: on October 12, 2007 at 00:06  Comments (10)  
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