Mavi Marmara attacked, 16 died

MV Mavi Marmara, carrying 800 activists and aid workers for Gazans brutally attacked by Israeli Defense Forces this morning

Freedom Flotilla which sailed from Turkey carrying activists, aid workers and basic aid for the war stricken Gazans was attacked by Israeli Defense Forces this morning. IDF gunships opened fire on the non combattant liner which houses 800 activists and aid workers ranging from 1 year old to 80 year before full battle fatigue Israeli commandos boarded Mavi Marmara in open international waters.

Aljazeera.net report on this vessel which comprises of non combatant activists. No other communications received after Israeli commandos boarded the ship.

Unconfirmed reports stated that Israeli Defense Forces commandos already seized control of six vessels under the Freedom Flotilla mission. The attack on MV Mavi Marmara is thought to be at a location 65km of the coast of Gaza. Official Israeli statement stated that “The Freedom Flotilla violated naval blockade on Gazan coast”.

Since last week, Israeli and New Con Jewish controlled media have been hyping the news that  this flotilla is an attempt for provocation against the sovereignty of Israel and Israeli Defense Forces would attempt to stop any aid mission directly to Gaza, for their excuse that aids would enhance position of Hamas. Thus further threaten Jews and State of Israel. Any attempt to reach Gaza would be intercepted and diverted to Israeli port of Ashdod where the activists either deported back to their home nation or face trial and jail in an Israeli prison.

Perdana Global Peace Organisation President Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad would be calling for a media conference on the brutal attack at his office in Perdana Leadership Foundation, Precinct 8, Putrajaya at 400pm.

*Updated 1600hrs

All PGPO activists on board MV Rachel Corrie is safe as the vessel is one day away behind this main flotilla which was attacked by the Israeli commandos. So far six Malaysians on board MV Mavi Marmara is safe but the fate of two Astro Awani journalists Ashwad Ismail and Shamsul Kamal is not known.

*Updated 2130hrs

Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad regards Israel as “arrogant and rogue state”. Bernama.com report on Tun Dr. Mahathir’s media conference:

May 31, 2010 21:19 PM

Malaysia Condemns Israeli Raid On Gaza Aid Flotilla

PUTRAJAYA, May 31 (Bernama) — Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad condemned Israel’s interception of an aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip Monday.

“I feel very angry that the Israelis have used force against people totally unarmed. I am sure the Israelis will say that these people are carrying weapons. That is ridiculous,” he told a media conference here.

“We have made certain that they are all non-combatant and they come from many parts of the world including America and Europe.

“Their intention is to travel in boats to deliver the supply to Gaza. They know that the Israelis may try to stop them, but we don’t expect the Israelis to resort to such violence as to shoot with live bullets.

“The Israelis claim these people have sharp objects. I don’t know what is meant by sharp objects,” he said.

The flotilla, originally made up of nine ships, was organised by pro-Palestinian groups and a Turkish human rights organisation.

One of the ships, Mavi Marmara, was attacked by Israeli soldiers Monday morning, near Gaza, with two Malaysians — a journalist and a cameraman from Astro Awani — on board and their fate is still unknown.

However, six PGPO representatives who are in another ship, are safe.

Dr Mahathir said his order to the PGPO representatives was to go ahead and pull back if there is warning from the Israeli army.

Updating the location of the three PGPO ships, the former prime minister said they were still in the Mediterranean on the way to Gaza.

He said two ships broke down, thus making them a bit far behind to join the other six ships that gathered in Cyprus earlier.

“It will take at least three days for them (Malaysian ships) to reach Gaza,” he added.

Asked on his message to United States President Barack Obama following the incident, Dr Mahathir said: “He could make promises during the elections like in Malaysia too. Especially when you thought you were not going to win, you made more promises. When you have won, you find that you cannot fulfill the promises.

“I have said this before. I never thought Obama would be able to do anything against Israel because when addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (IPAC), a Jewish lobby group, he was reported to have expressed continued support for Israel,” he said.

Obama had previously said he was promoting a more stable and prosperous Middle East in the United States’ long-term national security and economic interests.

Meanwhile, the Malay Consultative Council and 126 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will hold a peaceful demonstration and hand over a protest note against the Israeli aggression to the US embassy at 11am Tuesday.

At a press conference here Monday, Pertubuhan Peribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said they would also perform “hajat” prayers and hold a “tahlil” session at the Kampung Baru Mosque at 7.15 Tuesday where Dr Mahathir is also expected to attend.

Ibrahim said as Malaysia had no diplomatic relations with Israel, the rally organisers wanted the US ambassador here to pass on the protest note to the Israeli prime minister.

He said Israel had become arrogant and brutal because it was supported by the big powers, especially the US.

“I am urging all Malaysians who condemn such brutality and join our peaceful demonstration tomorrow,” he said.

***********

*Updated 2145hrs

Several Malay NGOs lead by PERKASA, GPMS, Majlis Perundingan Melayu and several others will hold a protest march in front of the US Embassy in Jalan Tun Razak tomorrow, Tuesday 1 June 2010 @ 1030hrs. They are expected to enter the embassy grounds and hand over their protest note by 1100hrs.

The same group would be holding a special tahlil prayer session at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru after maghrib (1930hrs) on the same evening.

*Updated 2230hrs

Malaysian sponsored aid vessel for Gaza MV Rachel Corrie is steaming full speed ahead towards Gaza despite the brutal attack on the Freedom Flotilla, which saw the killings on board MV Mavi Marmara.

Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 14:02  Comments (3)  

Bingkisan dari MV Rachel Corrie

'Rachel Corrie' with some of the activists/volunteers, which include PGPO's Matthias Chang and Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal

Salam.

Delegasi Malaysia dari Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) akan
menaiki kapal kargo Rachel Corrie jam 10malam waktu Malaysia.

Rachel Corrie telah berlepas dari Dundalk, Ireland pada 14 May dan
berlayar sejauh 2200 batu nautika untuk sampai ke Pulau Malta dan
disini, delegasi PGPO dan Ireland akan menaikinya untuk meneruskan
perjalanan sejauh lebihkurag 1,000 batu nautika lagi untuk sampai ke
Gaza.

Rachel Corrie adalah satu dari tiga buah kapal yang dibiayai oleh PGPO
hasil sumbangan dari rakyat Malaysia yang disokong oleh Datin Seri
Rosmah Mansor, isteri Perdana Menteri dan juga Wisma Putra.

Dua lagi kapal tajaan rakyat Malaysia ialah Challenger 1 dan
Challenger 2 yang merupakan kapal penumpang dan penumpang-penumpangnya
terdiri dari ahli-ahli parlimen Eropah, aktivis dan pejuang
kemanusiaan.

Kedua-dua kapal ini sekarang berada diperairan Cyprus dan dijangka
dapat berlayar lewat hari ini.

Rachel Corrie telah menghadapi pelbagai tekanan dan halangan sejak
ianya berlepas dari Ireland dimana terdapat usaha-usaha yang
dipercayai didalangi oleh sekutu-sekutu pro-Zionis utuk menggagalkan
perjalanannya ke Gaza.

Dibeberapa pelabuhan yang disinggahi oleh Rachel Corrie, pihak
berkuasa pelabuhan mengenakan pelbagai syarat dan peraturan yang tidak
dikenakan kepada kapal lain sebelum ianya boleh mengisi minyak untuk
meneruskan perjalanan.

Delegasi Malaysia dan Ireland yang dicadangkan untuk menyertai kapal
Challenger supaya dapat ke Gaza dengan lebih awal bersama kapal-kapal
lain didalam “Freedom Flotilla” telah memilih untuk menunggu Rachel
Corrie kerana ia adalah kapal utama Malaysia dan juga untuk rakan
sekutunya Free Gaza Movement.

Setelah menunggu lebih dari seminggu untuk Rachel Corrie sampai ke
Malta, kapal itu akhirnya berjaya memasuki perairan pulau Malta hari
ini (30 May) lebih kurang jam 4 pagi waktu Malaysia.

Apabila ia berlepas dari Malta sekita jam 10 malam ini waktu Malaysia,
Rachel Crrie dijangka akan mengambil masa lebih kurang empat hari
untuk memasuki Gaza jika tidak dihalang oleh pihak Tel Aviv.

Selain tiga kapal biayaan Malaysia, terdapat lima lagi kapal lain
didalam Feedom Flotilla yang dibiayai oleh NGO dari Turki, Greece,
Sweden serta beberapa pertubuhan NGO Eropah.

Untuk rujukan:

Peserta Malaysia (tiga wakil PGPO – Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal, Matthias
Chang, Ahmad Faizal Azumu, MP dari Parit Drs Mohd Nizar Zakaria, dan
seorang wartawan TV3 (Halim Mohamed) dan seorang jurukamera TV3(Mohd
Jufri Judin).

Lima peserta dari Ireland (Derek Graham dan isteri Jenny Graham -
kedua-duanya wakil Free Gaza Movement), bekas penolong setiausaha
agong PBB Denis J. Halliday yang juga ahli panel penasihat PGPO,
pemenang Nobel Keamanan (Nobel Peace Prize) Mairead Maguire dan
penerbit dokumentari Fiona Thompson.

Seventeen year old Rachel Corrie's lifeless body

Untuk latarbelakang nama Rachel Corrie:

Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American
member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who was killed
by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while
attempting to prevent IDF forces from demolishing the home of local
Palestinian pharmacist Samir Nasrallah. According to the New York
Times, Corrie and others were acting as “human shields.” A student at
the Evergreen State College, she had taken a year off and traveled to
the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada.[1] The details of the
events surrounding Corrie’s death are still disputed.

Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal

MV Rachel Corrie

Untuk latabelakang projek Freedom Flotilla:

freegaza.org

Published in: on May 30, 2010 at 18:21  Comments (2)  

Brunei embracing the ‘New Media’

IMPACT OF THE NEW MEDIA ON SOCIETY AND THEIR ROLE

Thank you Mr. Chairman Tuan Haji Bujang.

Your Royal Highness Princess Hajjah Hayatul Mutawakillah Bolkiah, Attorney General Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Hajjah Hayati, my learned panelists, ladies and gentlemen.

I would to express my utmost sincere appreciation to the Attorney General Chambers for inviting and giving me an opportunity and room to share my thoughts and a little bit of the Malaysian experience in the ‘New Media’.

New Media

  • It exist because of technological advancement in ICT, especially technology in broadband, engines and equipments itself, available widely at very affordable prices and rates.
  • This is a new frontier and dimension of media as these advancements and massive availability revolutionise information, be it text, audio and now video. New media now being embraced by even children at unimaginable age, one and half decades ago
  • The growth of the ‘New Media’ is exponential, allowed and gave a lot of room for User Generated Content (UGC).
  • Everyone now seamlessly can say almost anything and everything, at the convenience of their circumstance anywhere equally in the globe and be ‘heard’, real time
  • Suddenly, ‘Digital democracy’ is born.

This is the purest form of democracy where everyone could stand up and their voices and opinion could be heard. Most importantly, the intensity and outreach of these ‘voices’ are so  huge

Role of the New Media

It has a social, political, cultural and economical role in society, particularly amongst the internet savvy cybernet citizens of the world

  • Social – More and more people are able to reach out in a borderless and seamless world of exchanging information. Examples are social networking portals such as Facebook, Twitter, Friendster and the various chat rooms, which evolved from then the famous bulletin board, irc and applet driven. Even e mail groups have now diminished its popularity

New UGC phenomena such as Youtube is really taking the ‘New Media’ by whirlwind storm. Case in point is that since the last 7 months, Youtube daily users doubled from 1 billion. Malaysians, especially the younger generation (particularly generation Y) caught on with this new ‘info-tainment’ phenomena.  A lot of materials, which include historical events and speeches not previously seen elsewhere are now made available.

  • Political – ‘New Media’ facilitated more and more news portal which have political agenda to flourish and gaining more ‘market share’ in the attention for political news and opinion readership. The situation is more compounded when the Malaysian Government political leadership started to ‘dictate’ the More and more people exercise their democratic right via internet, text messaging and phone chats such as weblogs, sms and Blackberry messaging.

This is important as the new media impaired people’s thinking and how they form opinion, long before they go to ballot boxes.

Case in point – The Malaysian ‘Political Tsunami’ of the 12th General Elections on 8 March 2008 where the ruling party Barisan Nasional unprecedentedly lost 5 + 1 states and for the first time since 1955, BN no longer control the psychological 2/3rd majority in the Parliament.

It is the newest political propaganda phenomena that hit the Malaysian media scene where politicians turn to weblogs, to reach out. Opposition leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang are very active in their blogging and tweeting.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is by far the most successful political blogger in Malaysia. In two years, his blog chedet.cc recorded 30 million visitors. This is by far more successful than all the mainstream media news portals combined.

  • Cultural – More and more people are able to share their talents via the new media. In the Malaysian experience, a few young girls managed to be successful recording artistes from their render of their talents via Youtube. Case in point is Zee Avi and Yuna, which now have taken the entertainment business by storm

New Media also facilitated the growth of education. More and more content and methods are not available online and real time for a bigger target audience.

  • E-commerce – New Media facilitated a lot business activities, on line. More information could be transmitted via the New Media, at much lower cost and thus giving higher value for money and margin. Not only for the sole purpose of A & P, New Media allows critiques to test the products and services offered, which eventually lends bigger credibility and acceptance.

New Media facilitated the lesser dependence on interactive  for counter services, such as in consumer banking., which has now taken a major prominence. Government and authorities too embraced the New Media to improve services, expand efficiency and better dissemination of information. Electronic payment system has now been employed to collect revenues such as local authority charges.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility – The New Media managed to provide a very effective tool to highlight the plight of some individuals.

Case in point – Recently Rocky managed to raise money from highlighting the plight of a traffic policeman who is bedridden for an accidentally in the line of duty at the juncture where the Malaysian Police Force has been negatively discredited for the shooting of a 15 year old teenager.

My personal case in point is Prof. Hashim Hussein Yaacob’ s experience, January 2009. Prof. Hashim, then a penniless former lecturer of developmental economics and a social activist for the hard core poor rural Malaysians needed a CABG surgey, which cost about RM 40,000.00. He had no money and no pension as he was summarily terminated by USM Vice Chancellor, then Musa Mohamed. My blog posting managed to attract the attention of his ex-Royal Military College ‘Old Putra’ mates, which include people in high places such as bank and airlines chairman. It also attracted the attention of IJN Foundation.

The Malaysian Experience in New Media

There are existing laws in Malaysia  that govern New Media, such as Seditions Act, Penal Code and Official Secrets Act. All these laws are passed by the Parliament by representatives of the rakyat. The practicioners of new media must restraint themselves from ‘crossing’ these ‘legal lines’, otherwise they see themselves in hot soup.

  • The most prominent example is Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK). For his scandalous and unsubstantiated claims of a particular VVIPs  present in the execution of a foreign national by serving police officers (then being charged in a highly controversial murder case and awaiting trial), he was charged for criminal defamation under the Penal Code. Instead of facing his Public Prosecutor accuser in a criminal court, he chose to run away and now in hiding as fugitive, strongly believed in the UK.

RPK has since lost his credibility and integrity as a blogger and his onetime ultra popular Malaysia Today has lost much of its readership.

  • For a private charge, the most prominent is premier Malaysian daily NSTP sued bloggers Ahirudin “Rocky’s Bru” Attan and Jeff Ooi. That civil action brought upon bloggers into a bi-partisan together and the National Alliance of Bloggers (All Blogs) were born and that attracted more attention, which snowballed into something unprecedented, with regards to the ‘New Media’. Suddenly, socio-political (SOPO) bloggers became very veracious in their attacks against the Leadership, who were very close to Rocky’s and Jeff’s accuser.

The role of bloggers in influencing how Malaysians, especially the internet savvy became more prominent. This facilitate the exponential growth of SOPO blogging and alternative media in Malaysia, which contributed to the 8 March 2008 ‘Political Tsunami’.

A twist of fate inadvertently arrives. Rocky is now the Chief Editor of a powerful Klang Valley afternoon daily and Jeff Ooi is now the DAP MP for Jelutong

  • In the corporate scene, articles produced in the blogs attracted far too much attention as some of the blogs are followed by the most affluent Malaysians.

    Case in point recently is the appointment of a former Opposition party Vice President as the Head of Corporate Communications, Petronas and the scandals in the world largest plantation conglomerate Sime Darby. That attracted a lot of attention and controversies.

Moving Forward

Existing laws is adequate for the legal parameters of Malaysian New Media. However, the more advancement in technology and reliable and accurate information being presented, the more new media practitioners need to profess and advocate for:

  • Self regulating – Practitioners of new media who cannot provide reliable, substantiated and accurate information would be discarded and avoided. Malaysia Today is a very good example.
  • The integrity of and between practitioners of the new media themselves would self impose the restraints
  • Educate and create awareness – Good practices within new media self impose ethics would promote healthy and progressive development of the New Media.

I end my short presentation with again a huge thank you. I welcome any question and opinion.

Published in: on May 30, 2010 at 10:11  Comments (3)  

Tun Dr. Mahathir: Melayu berpecah menjadikan mereka minoriti dalam tanahair sendiri

Perdana Menteri Malaysia IV Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad mengingatkan kepada orang Melayu bahawa orang Melayu berpecah sehinggakan mereka ‘hilang kuasa’. “Kita menerima sistem demokrasi dan menolak feudalism yang memberikan Raja hak mutlak apabila terbukti Raja tidak lagi menjadi kepentingan orang Melayu (dalam episod Malayan Union). Orang Melayu asalnya ada 80% kuasa undi. Lepas Merdeka, kita bagi orang lain hak kerakyataan, kita hanya ada 60%. Hari ini, orang Melayu (sebagai majoriti) terpaksa bergantung kepada orang lain untuk meluluskan apa apa”.

“Kita menerima Bukan Melayu sebagai warga negara tanpa syarat dan memberikan mereka hak mengundi. Kita percaya masa itu orang Melayu  yang mempunyai kuasa 60% undi akan berkuasa selamanya. Apabila kerajaan ditubuhkan, kita mengundang mereka dalam Kabinet. Kita tidak boleh menyalahkan mereka (pemimpin terdahulu) keranakita tidak sangka orang Melayu akan berpecah dan bermusuh sesama Melayu. Kita sekarang menjadi ‘minoriti’ kerana orang Melayu berpecah kepada 3, walaupun orang Melayu ialah 60% warga negara Malaysia”, jelas lengkap menyingkap sejarah dan mengupas dengan keadaan semasa.

“Perpecahan orang Melayu hari ni tidak lagi menjamin suara dan kuasa majoriti orang Melayu itu dapat menjadi teras kekuatan pentadbiran, yang dahulunya diterajui orang Melayu”. Dalam perkataan lain, Agenda Melayu sudah terjejas kerana kuasa orang Melayu itu tidak lagi menjadi jitu dan padu “Apabila kita berpecah, golongan minoriti kini sudah berkuasa. Kedudukan kita sebagai majoriti tidak lagi menentukan kuasa. Kita sebagai majoriti, terpaksa menggemis dan meminta minta dari golongan minoriti semata mata sokongan yang kecil”.

“Kalau kita masih lagi menolak kebenaran (denial), maka kita tidak akan terus keadaan ini. Kita terkenal kerana membangun paling pesat kerana kita mempunyai kuasa, akibat kita bersatu padu. Hari ini keadaan berbeza. Kita sudah menjadi lemah. Sebabnya, mereka menyalah gunakan sistem demokrasi yang sepatutnya menentukan kuasa dan membangunkan orang Melayu”.

Beliau juga menegaskan sistem demokrasi yang dipilih oleh pemimpin UMNO semasa mencapai Kemerdekaan ialah untuk memberikan kuasa kepada massa. Ini adalah pembaharuan kepada sistem feudal dan difikirkan menjadi cara terbaik untuk membawa rakyat kehadapan. Keadaan sudah berubah apabila kuasa demokrasi itu disalah gunakan untuk golongan tertentu untuk menentukan pemimpin tertentu untuk terus berkuasa.

“Tegur menegur adalah untuk membawa kebaikan. Selama lima tahun kita tidak menegur pemimpin kita kerana mungkin takut atau kehilangan peluang. Kalau kita tidak menegur, jika pemimpin buat salah, kita yang mengangkat pemimpin juga akan bersalah”.

Jelas beliau menggunakan pengalaman semasa kelemahan pemerintahan PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, sehingga sistem politik dimana orang Melayu teras kuasa menjadi lemah dan terpaksa bergantung kepada ehsan orang lain. Beliau mengambil contoh dimana pemimpin massa Melayu bangkit untuk menentang Raja Raja Melayu apabila sekelian baginda menerima Malayan Union pada 1 Mei 1946. “Kita terselamat kerana ada pemimpin yang berani menegur Raja apabila Raja membuat salah. Mereka berani menghulurkan tengkuk. Hari ini pemimpin lebih mementingkan menjaga kedudukan sendiri dan mengambil risiko melakukan apa yang betul”.

“Hari ini persepsi bahawa pemimpin UMNO tidak lagi menjaga kepentingan orang Melayu kerana kurang kepercayaan kepada UMNO menjaga kepentingan orang Melayu” sambil menjelaskan mengapa NGO Melayu seperti PERKASA dan Veteran MAYC ujud sebenarnya menyuarakan perasaan massa Melayu, untuk menjaga kepentingan dan mempertahankan hak orang Melayu “Mereka tidak yakin lagi kepada UMNO tetapi tidak percaya untuk memberikan undi kepada orang lain. Itu sebab kita dapati banyak undi rosak, walaupun dalam kawasan majoriti Melayu”.

Beliau menegaskan bahawa amat penting bagi orang Melayu bersatu untuk menubuhkan kerajaan yang kuat untuk menjadi kepentingan orang Melayu terus terpelihara. “Kalau Kerajaan yang sepatutnya Melayu menjadi teras menjadi lemah, maka percayalah kita tidak akan dapat membawa apa apa pembangunan kepada mereka yang memerlukan”, sambil menjelaskan pembangunan orang Melayu berterusan sebagai elemen paling utama kestabilan sosio-politik Malaysia dan kesefahaman dan harmonian sebagai negara yang pelbagai etnik dan fahaman ugama.

“Apabila kita mempertahankan kepentingan diri, tidak bermakna kita mengabaikan hak orang lain. Ini bukan perkauman. Kita memberikan orang lain hak tidaklah sampai mereka bersuara untuk menafikan hak orang Melayu, seperti Hak Keistimewaan Orang Melayu”.

Mengulas mengenai konsep ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, “Kita menjadi ‘Tuan’ hanya apabila kita berjaya. Apa makna kita ada ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ apabila kita terpaksa tunduk kepada orang lain? Kalau kita tahu cara mengurus diri kita, kita akan menjadi seperti orang Melayu di Singapura. Apabila seorang orang Melayu menjadi Brigadier General, ianya menjadi satu kejayaan yang amat besar sedangkan disini kita benarkan orang lain menjadi lebih dari itu”.

Presiden UMNO V itu mengingatkan bahawa orang Melayu perlu berkejakeras untuk menentukan mereka terus berjaya. “Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) adalah sementara, untuk menentukan orang Melayu ada kelebihan sehingga mereka mampu bersaing. Ianya ‘tongkat sementara’ dan bukan untuk selamanya. orang Melayu perlu menggunakan seluruhnya peluang dalam tempoh dan peluang DEB ini untuk menguatkan kedudukan (ekonomi dan daya saing) mereka. Namun ada orang Melayu salahguna guna DEB untuk tidak berkerja keras dan menjamin untuk mempertahankan kedudukan mereka. Kita ada kuasa politik bukan untuk kepentingan diri tetapi menjaga kepentingan Bangsa kita. Kita harus menggunakan kuasa politik yang ada untuk menentukan kepentingan Bangsa Melayu sentiasa terjamin”.

“Hari ini kita tidak menggunkan kuasa majoriti untuk kebaikan tetapi menjaga kepentingan peribadi. Sekiranya mereka tidak berjaya mendapat kuasa dari sistem demokrasi, mereka tergamak untuk memecah belahkan orang Melayu dengan menggunakan ugama (PAS) dan pendekatan liberal (Anwar). Hari ini, sebab perpecahan ini orang Melayu tidak lagi mempunyai kuasa yang padu dan sebagai majoriti, terpaksa meminta minta kepada minoriti sehingga berasa takut kalau kalau mereka tidak menyokong kita. Kita mengemis kuasa politik dari golongan minoriti”.

Jelas Tun Dr. Mahathir mengingatkan orang Melayu untuk kembali bersatu dan tidak terpengaruh dengan isu isu yang membawa kepada kuasa Melayu berpecah.

“Inilah sebab majoriti orang Melayu mula kecewa dengan keadaan dan mula berpaling dan munubuhkan NGO untuk menjaga kepentingan orang Melayu sebagai majoriti”.

“Hari ini ramai antara kita sudah lupa sebenarnya asas Perjuangan kita”, sambil merakamkan kekesalan ada terdapat segelintir pemimpin UMNO menyalah gunakan kedudukan mereka untuk menentukan kedudukan mereka terjamin dan mengaut kepentingan sendiri sehingga tergamak melakukan rasuah. Sebagaimana biasa, beliau mengesa akar umbi menolak pemimpin begini. Jelas UMNO perlu membetulkan diri sendiri dengan segera untuk menentukan orang Melayu kembali dengan keyakinan untuk terus memberikan sokongan dan kuasa Melayu itu menjadi padu semula, sebagaimana kuasa yang sama memungkinkan orang Melayu mencapai Kemerdekaan.

“Kita hanya mempunyai satu peluang sahaja lagi. Sekiranya kita tidak membetulkan keadaan, maka kita akan kehilangan kuasa dan ianya tidak akan kembali. Percayalah”.

Liputan ini dibawa dengan ehsan www.marahku.blogspot.com

Semasa sessi soal jawab, Ketua Pemuda UMNO Pasir Gudang membangkitkan isu isu yang menjadi bahan penting dan sensitif bagi orang Melayu Johor seperti soal Jambatan Bengkok. “Saya tidak nampak kenapa projek ini tidak dapat diteruskan, termasuk sekiranya ada pihak yang ingin membawanya ke Mahkamah. Kita ajak Singapura untuk  bekerjasama dan membangunkan jambatan ini bersama. Namun mereka tidak memberikan respon. Oleh itu kita ambik keputusan untuk membina jambatan ini dalam kawasan kita”.

Beliau juga memuji keberanian Ketua Pemuda UMNO Pasir Gudang membangkitkan isu ini “Inilah cara yang betul. Akar umbi menegur Kepimpinan. Tanpa teguran, tidak mungkin Kepimpinan akan menyelami hati akar umbi”.

Beliau menjelaskan rakyat Johor menolak isu penjualan pasir semasa isu untuk merundingkan jambatan ini dibina sepenuhnya (dan bukan separuh). “Saya akan bersetuju sekiranya kita benarkan pesawat tempur mereka terbang dalam ruangan udara kita sekiranya mereka benarkan pesawat Sukhoi kita terbang dalam ruang udara mereka. Itu sebabnya rundingan untuk membuat Jambatan Lurus gagal”.

Menjelaskan apa yang berlaku kepada parti komponnen BN ialah kerana “UMNO sebagai tulang belakang BN menjadi lemah. UMNO membiarkan pemimpin yang berkepentingan sendiri membawa UMNO menjadi parti yang menjadi lemah. Apabila parti komponen BN  tidak dapat menyelesaikan masalah sendiri kerana menjadi lemah dan tidak mendapat lagi mampu mendapat mengekalkan kuasa bergantung kepada undi yang UMNO bawa, maka mereka akan menyalahkan UMNO sebagai tulang belakang BN. Percayalah, sekiranya UMNO menjadi kuat, maka BN akan menjadi kuat semula”.

“Hanya UMNO sahaja yang dapat menjaga kepentingan orang Melayu”.

Sambil menggulaskan mengenai kedudukan orang Melayu dalam IPTA dan IPTS “Kita sekarang mula menggurangkan kemasukan pelajar Melayu dalam IPTA tetapi orang Melayu amat kurang dalam IPTS dan ianya tidak bertambah. Oleh itu orang Melayu akan rugi dan ketinggalan sekiranya kita terus memberikan mereka ruang (dan  sebaliknya mereka tidak memperuntukan untuk orang Melayu)”.

“Orang Melayu hanya mempunyai peluang untuk mendapatkan kontrak dari Kerajaan tetapi tidak dari swasta. DEB harus diteruskan. DEB bukanlah penghormatan bagi kita. Kita perlu rebut peluang dalam DEB. Saya bersetuju DEB diteruskan dalam bidang bidang tertentu. Sekiranya kita tidak guna peluang dalam masa DEB, maka ianya memalukan kita sebagai orang Melayu”.

Menggulaskan mengenai peranan Bukan Melayu terutama etnik Cina dalam pembangunan “Apa akan jadi sekiranya kita buang semua orang Cina? Apa akan jadi? Semua akan lumpuh. Kita perlu realistik dan berpegang kepada kebenaran. Apa yang patut kita buat meningkatkan diri kita. Kalau kita nak ambik alih peranan mereka, kita perlu sediakan diri kita untuk mengambil peranan itu”.

Mengulas mengenai kenyataan Pengerusi Eksekutif PEMANDU Dato’ Idris Jala bahawa ‘Malaysia akan bangkrap menjelang 2019′, “Semasa saya menjadi Perdana Menteri selama 22 tahun, Petronas bagi RM 174 billion. Semasa Pak Lah menjadi Perdana Menteri, Petronas menyumbang RM 254 billion. Mana pergi wang itu? Itu saya tak boleh nak jawab”.

Published in: on May 29, 2010 at 11:10  Comments (29)  

Sime Darby: Its time to move on and forward

The acting Group CEO of the largest plc in Malaysia Sime Darby Bhd. Dato’ Azhar Abdul Hamid met the press and analysts to announce the third quarter pre-audited results of their financial year on Thursday. After making adjustments and provisions of RM 964 million to all the financial scandals which now out in the open, Sime Darby recorded RM 277.5 million loss for the period. The value of net assets per share dropped from RM 3.56 to RM 3.49.

That is expected as Sime Darby board of directors (BOD) announced the much talked about losses from scandalous projects, Bakun, Qatar Project and Maersk Oil Qatar and the summary ‘dismissal’ of Group CEO Dato’ Seri Zubir Mursyid 12 days ago.

Azhar the Sime Darby Plantations boss, now acting Group CEO

In the session to meet analyst on Thursday evening,  Azhar spoke about on what actions to be taken up next. Sime Darby BOD complained that they were ‘misled’ by ‘management’ (Zubir) on the three scandalous projects all these while as being, “Cost overrun and ‘variation order’ “. New measures are now being taken on the reporting to the BOD. Two ex-officio BOD members the Group COO and Group CFO would now accompany the Group CEO in BOD. This ‘Troika’ will now have more freedom to report to the BOD on the latest info and take any questions. Of course more tighter controls, which include BOD members sit in one of the five divisions’ committee set up to monitor progress.

The bantering that Sime Darby went these past two weeks will be a really good lesson to learn. As business managers, the BOD and management now are compelled to be very vigilant. The confidence of the stake holders is pertinent to ensure that Sime Darby is allowed to progress and more importantly venture into business operations. Then again, ventures coupled with good strategy and corporate governance is the only way to sustain growth.

In a private meeting after announcing the third quarter results yesterday, Azhar was asked what would be his plan to drive Sime Darby forward, if he is being confirmed at the Group CEO’s job. He would like to drive Sime Darby forward more aggressively and bring much better values for the share holders. For one, he wants to double Sime Darby’s turnover and net income by 100% within 5 years, an ambitious steady growth of 20% per year.

“Why not? We have to aim to achieve”.

This is very ambitious. The fundamentals look convincing. When the global capital market shows positive recovery, Sime Darby would eventually go uptrend. Then again it is all about the numbers. The strong cash position will ensure that all activities could be continued to progress upwards and expectation of the stakeholders are met.

The Group which rely 70% of their income activities from plantations already almost achieving the 1 million hectares land bank target soon. This include ‘greenfields’ abroad, which include 200,000 in Liberia. Within five years, all of these estates would be ready to produce palm oil and making Sime Darby the largest producer in the world. The fact that the current ‘Troika’ comprises of accountants all from plantations background shows how serious they are in focusing on making the Group work.

“We have to balance on our plantation projects. ‘Brownfields’ could be pricey but at the right price, it will bring almost immediate returns. Sometimes we have to sacrifice profits now for bigger profits after five years. That is why we need a good strategy and execution planning”.

Growth is also set on the motor, industrial and properties divisions. The motor division is set to be a major player. Being the largest property developer  in the country, they now aspire to be the best with innovative products and probably significantly change the Malaysian home style and home dwellers behaviour and lifestyle. “The we will now let home buyers tell us what they want in their homes”.

On the re-development of KLGCC, which upgrade and renovation works which started from a planned budget of RM 80 million and now going above RM 200 million,  he justified by stating “We have to offer a golf resort at that level. Now that we have developed the product, its time to sell. Kuala Lumpur needs a golf resort of this stature”.

Azhar would want the managers with Sime Darby to deplore all resources available such capital, processes and market clout to grab business opportunities “We want them to be ‘hungry’ and entrepreneurial in their ventures. This is how we can achieve growth and bring value for the shareholders”.

When talking about new areas that Sime Darby should be venturing into, he said that the conglomerate which merged in the end of 2007 from three plantations conglomerate had already been involved with ‘capital intensive investments’. “We already have too many of these ventures. We should be looking into new areas such as ‘negative capital’ business activities”. It was obvious that he was talking about retail and hypermarkets and there is tremendous growth for the consumer driven cash business. “There are ready markets and consumers”.

It is obvious that whilst all the investigations is ongoing to determine what actually happened and responsible parties be identified, Sime Darby should be charting its course on full steam on recovery and serve the interest of the stakeholders. “We cannot undo what have been done. We now should focus on realising the full value what we can offer, especially being a true Malaysian global conglomerate”.

Azhar is well aware of PM Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s bold New Economic Model of making Malaysia into a high value economy. Realising the full potential and aiming to reach a RM 85-90 billion turnover level by 2015 is his way of translating the courageous plan to move Malaysia forward. When asked about the ‘minimum wage’ being proposed, he said that Sime Darby already paying between RM 1,300-1,600 per plantation worker a month, which include productivity incentives. “Yes, this will bring our cost slightly up but we expect productivity. We have to be realistic on our cost of production, taking in the inflationary factors”.

This ‘value proposition’ is refreshing. No doubt Azhar is new at this, doing it for the Group. However, we are confident that he learn fast. Sime Darby as Group now need to come together and work as a formidable team. He seems to be  open to listen and accept new and innovative ideas, including bringing in fresh personalities from outside. He is even open enough to engage new media, which include bloggers, which we find very refreshing.

“Our core values and philosophy remain the same. Our dividend policy is still at 50%”, is very comforting  to learn from the person who is at the helm and on top of things, despite a lot obstacles in the way and it is not the best way to take over a steaming ship.

It seems Azhar knows exactly what he wants to do, where he is going, how to get there soon, the ability to realise the full potential of Sime Darby workforce and human capital and realistically understand the limit of all the Group’s resources. Its time to move on and go forward. 8 million ASB and ASN unit trust schemes are dependent on Sime Darby Bhd. going the right way and making the right decisions.

*Updated 0830am

Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 01:12  Comments (10)  

B’nai B’rith pins down Anwar but what about the New Con Jews?

Former-abuse-of-power-convict Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim has now irked the traditional opinion leaders with the international Jewish community. It seems partyless-Opposition-Leader Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim has been fried by Jewish NGO against antisemitism B’nai Brith, for his antisemitism stance.

Barking Magpie wrote this piece:

Influential Jewish organisation, B’nai B’rith, condemns Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim!

PostDateIconThursday, 27 May 2010 11:04 | PDF Print E-mail

B’nai B’rith International, the global voice of the Jewish community, is the most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights, and advocacy organization. Since 1843, BBI has worked for Jewish unity, security, continuity, and tolerance. BBI’s reach extends to more than 50 countries around the world.

B’nai B’rith International is a national and global leader in the fight against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias; provides senior housing and advocacy on issues of vital concern to seniors and their families; helps communities in crisis; and promotes Jewish identity through cultural activities.
In a strong letter of protest sent to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate chairman, the honourable Senator John F. Kerry, ranking member of the committee, honorable Senator Richard G Lugar, B’nai B’rith condemns Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim for his “flagrantly anti-Semitic pronouncements”. Below is copy of the letter B’nai B’rith sent to both Kerry and Lugar:

“May 25, 2010

The Honorable John F. Kerry, Chairman
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar, Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar:

On behalf of B’nai B’rith International’s more than 200,000 members and supporters, we write to express our deep concern about the flagrantly anti-Semitic pronouncements of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim.

Ibrahim, who spent several years living in Washington, D.C. cultivating a pro-Western image, has nonetheless used his position in the Malaysian parliament as a platform for spreading anti-Semitic propaganda. His frequent criticisms of the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak are infused with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel slanders, such as his April 30 assertion that Israeli spies are “directly involved in the running of the government.” On another occasion he alleged the presence of “Israeli intelligence personnel in the Police IT unit.”

Ibrahim also has said in parliament that the “Jewish-controlled” public relations firm hired by the Prime Minister was attempting to manipulate Malaysia to support U.S. policies. In the run-up to Malaysia’s 2008 elections, he said in an interview with IslamOnline, “I have evidence proving that the government is backing the Jewish lobby in the U.S. and some parties inside Israel.”

In light of the role that Ibrahim has played in the resurgence of anti-Semitic polemics in Malaysian politics, we ask that U.S. officials suspend their ties with Anwar Ibrahim. A purveyor of anti-Jewish hatred such as Ibrahim should not enjoy the measure of legitimacy that a positive relationship with the United States would confer upon him.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation. We look forward to remaining in communication with you about this matter in the near future. ….read more here if you wish!

Respectfully,

Dennis W. Glick     Daniel S. Mariaschin
President                       Executive Vice President

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

How this will affect Anwar, have yet to be seen. The real supporters for Anwar’s politics and networking are the New Con Jews. These are the decision makers and opinion brokers for the New Con Jewish controlled businesses and media, the two most important ingredient in how the “Jews rule the world by proxy”. The tentacles of these New Con Jews are so far reaching that they could easily tip the balance even the political and economical equilibrium of a nation.

The reaction of other Jewish NGO besides B’nai Brith and corporations, especially Neo Con Jewish media conglomerate which shape how the common opinion of the consumers will have to be observed and how the tone will be set further. This will be a good barometer for the genuine antisemitism feeling on Anwar by the Jewish communities.

Needless to say, this development must watched carefully and with a ‘pinch of salt’. There could be a strategic move to  portray the disassociation of him from the ‘Jewish network’, for the cover of gaining more of Malaysian and Muslims confidence and eventually support for his cause in the ‘Future World’.

Anwar’s strategic moves are unimaginable. He was said to be closely linked to the CIA sponsored operatives within the region, when he was still the Cabinet Minister. The Political Desk Officer of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is always seen around events, especially party that involves Anwar making landmark speeches and ‘revelations’.

This big ‘game of chess’ must be seen and played on the ‘Risk’ board game. It is very complicated and the variables are too intertwined.

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 12:16  Comments (9)  

Pro-UMNO bloggers urging PM Najib

Pro-UMNO bloggers initiated by Outsyed-the-Box came out strongly against PM Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak to be very mindful on personalities that will be appointed into the Cabinet and strategic posts in GLCs.  At the top of our heads, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop, Dato’ Seri Mohd. Nazri Tan Sri Aziz, Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, Dato’ Khaled Nordin and Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.

Nor Mohamed is obvious about all the failures and scandals in GLCs, especially Khazanah Holdings Bhd. Nazri is about his uncouth remark against Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad being a “racist”, for defending BTN.  Dr. Rais is about the being the Foreign Minister during the recently uncovered ‘Block L & M and Limbang’ scandals.  Khaled about his one failure after another in two Ministries, now disbanded Entreprenuer and Co-operative Development and Higher Education, and the fact that he is no longer Majlis Tertinggi UMNO member. No need further explanation on highly controversial and onetime ‘The most powerful 28 year old” (as per described by The Star political columnist Joceline Tan in 2005)  Khairy.

Amongst the demand is for UMNO Youth Leader to remain outside the Government and focus on bringing back the aggressiveness in once the primary pressure group with the nationalist party. The lackluster attitude of UMNO Leaders, especially the much disappointing UMNO Youth Leaders to speak up and ‘fight’ for the interests of the Malays, now being systematically challenged not only by Chinese Chauvinist DAP and NGOs such as Dong Zhiong but also BN component parties such as MCA and Gerakan. The void is now being carried on by Malay NGOs such as PERKASA. In fact, recently MCA President Dato’ Seri Chua Soi Lek blamed PERKASA for their failures.

UMNO Youth badly need to prove themselves and they don’ actually have much time to do it.  Any position, even in position such as Chairmanship of GLCs or statutory bodies must now come as a reward.

*Updated 1000pm

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 17:27  Comments (22)  

Are we seeing the ‘1819 Treaty’ all over again?

Earlier this afternoon as we were queueing at the immigration of the finest airport on Asia continent, news text announced that visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak to the island-state, reached an agreement with Singapore Prime Minister Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong on the joint development of the 271 acres land belonging to Malayan Railway (KTMB) and the station would be ‘relocated’ from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands by 2011.

Later after arriving at our destination, checking in and attending a semi-protocol dinner, we learnt in full details what had been achieved.

Asia News Network has the report:

 

 

KTMB station in Tanjong Pagar to relocate to Woodlands by July 2011

By S Ramesh | Posted: 24 May 2010 1432 hrs

   
 
Photos  of      

   
 

 Video
KTMB station in Tanjong Pagar to relocate to Woodlands by July 2011

 

SINGAPORE: Singapore and Malaysia capped a historic day in relations on Monday with agreement on a long outstanding bilateral issue.

After 20 years, both sides have arrived at a solution on the Malayan Railway Land in Singapore.

The leaders of the two countries agreed to move the station at the heart of the city centre in Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands Train checkpoint, near the border by the 1 July 2011.

The smiles said it all – of a retreat that has been fruitful with significant moves.

The centrepiece must surely be the issue of the railway land and lines, spelt out in the Points of Agreement (POA) signed in 1990.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: “Our focus has been developing our bilateral relationship at a time when we face many challenges in an uncertain and rapidly globalising world.

“There are many competitive alternative centres growing in Asia where we need to work together bilaterally in ASEAN and where we also need to clear issues which have been hanging over us for some time so that we can move forward and develop a win-win relationship.

“It is a matter for rejoicing. It is a good deal. Both sides are happy and this will benefit both sides considerably.”

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said: “A year ago, when we met, we decided that we wouldn’t allow outstanding bilateral issues to be in the way of developing and strengthening bilateral ties and move forward in areas where we could achieve common agreement between our two sides.

“With that positive mindset in mind, we have achieved much within a year starting with the officials from both sides who have been working very hard to find a common ground.

“Today is quite historic because we see now the light at the end of the tunnel with respect to an outstanding issue which has been lingering for almost 20 years.”

Having waited this long, the next move is to move fast.

PM Lee said: “There is urgency. This matter really cannot wait indefinitely because it is already 20 years. And there are many development projects in Singapore which have been held up because the POA has not been implemented as it should have been many years ago.”

So the 1990 Points of Agreement has now been supplemented by new terms and conditions to maximise the potential of the Malayan Railway Lands in Singapore.

When the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB station) moves to the Woodlands train checkpoint by 1 July 2011, Malaysia will co-locate its railway Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facility there.

On its part, Singapore would ensure that there are bus services to connect KTMB station at Woodlands with a nearby MRT station for the convenience of train passengers.

Another key issue settled is the development of several land parcels linked to the train line.

Both countries will also set up a company known as M-S Pte Ltd by December 31 this year.

Malaysia will have a 60 per cent stake under Khazanah Nasional Berhard while Singapore will have a 40 per cent share to be held by Temasek Holdings.

This company will handle the joint development of three parcels of land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands as well as another three pieces of land in Bukit Timah.

These land parcels could be swapped based on the equivalent value for pieces of land in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor.

Both sides will conduct valuation studies.

Prime Minister Lee will visit Kuala Lumpur within a month to discuss the land swap.

The transfer of the land parcel to M-S Pte Ltd will take effect at the time when KTMB vacates the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

Mr Lee added: “Land prices have been moving over this last one year. You have seen the property market is quite active. That is the reason why we did not settle the land swap today. I wanted an updated valuation.

“On the basis of updated valuations, we will make them an offer and it is up to them whether they want to take the offer for the swap. It is substantial. These are very valuable pieces of land if they are developed.

“And that is why the POA as it was and even more now as it has been updated and rounded up is a win- win proposal for both countries because it enables us to develop the land.

“It enables M-S Private Limited to share in the upside of the land which is KTM land and I think enables us to move forward in so many other areas to cooperate and work together for mutual benefit without having this outstanding issue always there a question mark. If you can’t solve this, how can you talk about new things?”

“So with the understanding we have achieved at today’s meeting, we can more or less say that the POA agreement with some enhanced features should be finally put to rest particularly when PM Lee meets me in a month’s time.

“The spirit and political undertaking is to find a resolution on a mutually beneficial manner so that both countries can benefit the finalisation of the enhanced POA agreement.”

Both leaders also agreed the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station’s passenger terminal will be conserved given its historical significance. It will also be the centrepiece for the proposed new development on this site.

The job is now in the hands of a joint implementation team.

It has to complete its work by the December 31.

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

So it would seem that Khazanah Holdings Bhd. will have a 60 percent stake in the joint development company. That would translate to a lot of money, especially when land could be easily valued at SGD 1,500.00 per sq. ft. net buildable area on the land is roughly calculated at SGD 90 billion, of which Khazanah’s portion is in the neighbourhood of SGD 55 billion. At today’s exchange rate, that is RM 132 billion.

Then again, that is quantifiable money. The “Thirteen Million Plus Ringgit” question, is it worth it to get the money (in kind) for the sovereign land that Malaysia (which managed to protect despite the little ‘red-dot’ expulsion from the Federation on 9 August 1965) has come to agree to give up, in one ‘retreat discussion’?

Since the latest scandal of ‘Giving up Block L & M’ in one single visit to Bandar Sri Begawan in March 2009, our next question is: Were Wisma Putra experts on Singapore relations and Attorney General Chambers senior Federal Counsel on International Affairs present at this ‘retreat discussion’ and swift decision? Was there other consideration achieved in this ‘trade of’, which at the moment strategically does not seemed to be too beneficial to us?

That is actually only a fraction of Petronas money being handed to the Malaysian economic system via taxes, royalties, dividends and other payment intruments during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s tenure, which was calculated at RM 253 billion.

Our contention here in BigDogDotCom is that the monetary gain from this decision, which could be recovered in probably a little over two years of Petronas operations is the repeat of the ‘1819 Treaty’, where Temenggung Abdul Rahman of Johor and Sultan Hussein of Singapore signed with Stamford Raffles and gave the island Singapura (pre-Sang Nila Utama’s days known as Temasek) up for (then) a princely sum of a few thousand British East India Dollars, for life. The Johor Riau Empire and Malay Archipelago lost a very strategic site between the highly lucrative trading route between Europe, West Asia, India and East Asia, particularly China and spice rich Nusantara.

In the joint media conference, PM BG Lee also announced that the long standing 20 year ‘Point of Agreement’ signed between then Sinagpore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Malaysian Finance Minister Dato’ Paduka Daim Zainuddin which was ‘untangled’ this morning would “Resolve a lot of property issues in Singapore. We are rejoicing. Many development projects in Singapore have been held up because of the POA. We have managed to benefit considerably”, which is deemed by Singaporean corporations which will benefit for the Singapore Government ‘privatisation’ of the 271 acres land. This agreement inadvertently benefitted mush more (than the SGD 35 billion Singapore Government got from the ‘deal’) on the Singapore side as it has multiplication effect on their property sector.

It is learnt that the deal is for valuable parcels of land along Tanjong Pagar, Bukit Timah and Kranji much sought after development areas for a ‘land swap somewhere in the Marina’ area. These KTMB lands are premium inland parcels as compared to the reclaimed Marina area.

If it is the repeat of the ‘1819 Treaty’ all over again but simply in different form, then too bad for Malayans. Inadvertently Malayans got short-changed for something which is superficial such as, ‘money’, again. The other “Thirteen Million Plus Ringgit” question: How many times do we want to see wool pulled over our eyes?

Don’t we ever learn from history? Malaysia under PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah already sold of the most valuable part of Johor off to Singapore and under his watch, negligently lost Pulau Batu Puteh. Then it is proven as what George Santayana once said, “Those who never learned from history are doomed to repeat the same mistake”. Or so they say….

Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 22:58  Comments (24)  

The Star: Chinese Chauvinist agenda to downplay Malay support for BN

The Star has portrayed clearly its Chinese Chauvinism agenda in Joceline Tan’s much read Sunday Star political column. Tan is of the strong opinion that the Malay support for BN has waned and of late ready to give it to Chinese Chauvinist DAP.

Sunday May 23, 2010

Greater shift in the Malay vote

INSIGHT
By JOCELINE TAN

Contrary to public perception, it is not the Chinese vote but the Malay vote which has seen the biggest shift to the opposition over the last five general elections.

ANYONE catching a flight out of Sibu the day after the by-election would have noticed the number of Malays wearing shirts and caps bearing the rocket logo of the DAP.

They were from Peninsular Malaysia and had been in Sibu to campaign for the DAP.

“It’s just a logo. After all, they also carry our logo when we need their help,” said one Malay man, a PAS member who was waiting for the Air Asia flight to Johor Baru.

It was another sign of the shift taking place in Malaysian politics.

The Chinese electorate have made themselves heard loud and clear in the two recent by-elections and it has sent shock waves through political parties.

As a result, the rallying cry of right-wing Malay individuals and groups in recent weeks has been: “Apa lagi orang Cina mahu (what else do the Chinese want)?”

There is clearly a mismatch of awareness and perception between the more extreme ends of the two communities. Malays feel the Chinese are already ahead, economically, as least. The Chinese feel this country is as much their motherland as it is that of the Malays.

The Malay-Chinese debate will continue for a while more because it is one of those polemic issues where the proponents have made up their minds that they are the right, and the other side is wrong.

But are most of those indulging in the by-election post-mortem barking up the wrong tree?

According to Rita Sim of Insap, the MCA think-tank, Chinese support for the DAP has not changed much over the last 20 years.

Contrary to public perception, DAP’s support from mainly the Chinese, and to a lesser extent the Indians, has hovered at around one million votes for each of the last five general elections.

But support for parties like PAS and PKR shot up by more than two million votes over the same period. The Barisan Nasional, on the other hand, saw its support increase by one million votes over the same period.

“The Malay vote has shifted the most. The Chinese vote has been quite constant in trend,” said Sim.

Issues like corruption, abuse of power and good governance cut across race lines. Malays are equally concerned about these issues and that may explain why they have taken their votes elsewhere.

But the significant number of Chinese voters in the last two by-elections made it seem as though the Chinese had swung or, as some would put it, are ungrateful.

Shift to PAS

PAS has been the chief beneficiary of the Malay shift. Its share of votes has increased three-fold from only about 376,000 in 1990 to 1.1 million in 2008.

PKR’s support began with 774,000 votes in 1999, dipped to 578,000 in 2004 and surged to        1.5 million in 2008. Its support has been from primarily the Malays and Chinese who are not comfortable with the way DAP handles issues.

Politics, said Insap chairman Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan On, is also about convincing people to support you because you can guarantee their future and that of their children. It is not about whether people are ungrateful or disloyal to a political party.

“If they think we are not delivering what they want, they go elsewhere. That’s the politics of voting and it’s the same in every part of the world,” said Dr Fong.

He said the perception that the Chinese are content with immersing themselves in business and leaving politics to the Malays is also a myth in modern Malaysia.

Chinese make up only 25% of the population, but they have a high voter registration rate and make up about 32% of the electorate.

The implication here is that political awareness among the Chinese is high, and they keep in touch with issues, some more so than others. A large proportion of them are connected to the Internet.

“It’s one of the arenas where they feel that they have equal rights and they want to exercise it to the fullest. This is where parties like MCA and Gerakan feel the brunt of Chinese frustration,” said Sim.

The Chinese stuff all their anger and dissatisfaction into the ballot box. The 2008 general election was the perfect example of that.

DAP’s share of the vote in 2004 was only about 700,000 as the Chinese supported Barisan and gave Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a ringing victory.

But barely a year later, they were stunned when he sat back and allowed Umno leaders including his son-in-law to wave the keris and rant about Malay supremacy.

Four years later, they pulled back their support and DAP’s share of the total votes increased to 1.1 million.

The Chinese are rather tactical with their vote and they look at issues. As such, DAP’s share of the votes goes up and down each election depending on the issues of the day. Likewise, that of Barisan and PKR.

PAS alone has been going up like a comet since the 1990 elections.

In that sense, the Malay shift is not only significant, it is consistently on the upward trend, with PAS drawing them like a magnet.

“The writing is on the wall, the old way of doing things are no longer working, such as goodies in exchange for votes. People are more educated, information is transmitted so fast,” said Khaw Veon Szu, executive director of Sedar, the Gerakan think-tank.

The slogan “the people are the boss” became very popular among Chinese politicians several years ago. It was borrowed from the street politics of Taiwan, where it was the common folk’s way of telling their political leaders that power lies in the hands of the people.

These days, the catch phrase among Chinese political activists is, “the people are not stupid.”

“You can’t force people to buy into an idea, you’ve got to persuade and convince them,” said Khaw.

Equal partnership

The biggest challenge to the Barisan leadership today is that voters, whether Chinese, Malay or Indian, have choices.

“They look at the various Pakatan states, they see fundamental differences among the Pakatan Rakyat components like what is happening in the Barisan. But they can also see that parties in Pakatan have a more equal partnership. DAP does not allow PAS to bully it. PAS leaders dare to tell PKR off when they disagree,” said Khaw.

Many Chinese families, said Dr Fong, have been here for more than 100 years.

“To hear Malay politicians telling them to be grateful for their citizenship is hurtful and insulting,” he said.

He said they should not be made to feel they are at the mercy of the another community. They are looking for social acceptance and mutual respect and want to be regarded as meaningful partners in nation building.

The younger generation of voters have reached the stage where they feel they do not have to put up with differential treatment.

“Instances of Indonesians getting blue ICs after only two years here, that sort of thing does not sit well on people, including Malays. And giving citizenship to old Chinese grandmothers on the eve of elections, it backfires on the authorities,” said Dr Fong.

“The Prime Minister understands it very well but those below him are still struggling to come to terms with political reality,” said Dr Fong.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has provided strong leadership since taking over and he is sincere about wanting to fix what has gone wrong.

But he has also inherited a legacy that has its roots in the Mahathir years. Najib and his 1Malaysia vision are battling decades of Chinese unhappiness and frustrations. Such sentiments cannot be reversed overnight.

The Chinese vote cannot make or break the Government because of the way parliamentary seats are configured. But enough angry Chinese can help push the other parties across the finishing line.

Those who followed the recent Sibu campaign had the feeling that many of the Chinese in Sibu, like their counterparts in Hulu Selangor, had made up their minds about voting for change. Hence, the limited effect of all those generous gestures to Chinese schools and local infrastructure.

Does this mean that the majority of Chinese are a lost cause to the Barisan and that they have decided to throw their lot with Pakatan?

“The Chinese vote will definitely be hard to get in the next general election but if the PM keeps up the momentum and reaches out, it will cool the anger and stem the tide,” said Sim.

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

The analysis is believed charged with an agenda. The fact is that, the Malay support for PAS has actually started to reduce. This is apparent in the Manek Urai and Bagan Pinang by-elections, where PAS candidates are pitted against UMNO-BN. Despite the reduction of Chinese support for BN at the Hulu Selangor by-elections few weeks ago,  P. Kamalanathan amassed almost 2,000 votes shift against the PKR Malay candiddate Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim, compared to the general elections two years ago. These votes could only be attributed to the majority Malay support for BN, even though PKR had a Malay candidate and PAS went in as full force, which include the appearance of PAS spiritual leader Dato’ Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

It was the UMNO charged Malay votes that is mainstay of BN still retaining power in most states in the Peninsular.  As a matter of fact, MCA, Gerakan and MIC still have representatives because of Malay votes in their respective constituencies. Gerakan and MIC are actually paralyzed as even their own members no longer vote for them.

Miss Tan’s analysis is skewed. Hulu Selangor by-elections saw the down shift of Chinese votes against BN. In the Sibu by-elections, the 65% Chinese majority population is the force being shifted votes from BN to Chinese Chauvinist DAP.

In a nut shell, there is no shift for Malay support towards Pakatan Rakyat and specifically for DAP. On the contrary to this analysis, PAS is the one actually suffering from slight diminishing of the Malay support. Even former PAS strategy director Dr Zulkifli Ahmad admitted this.

This analysis could be seen as nothing but the editorial playing the Chinese Chauvinist agenda card in a poor sordid attempt to deflect on MCA’s poor performance to entice and bring back the Chinese votes. As a senior partner of BN, MCA is dependent on Malay votes for their 15 MPs to be voted in the last general elections. The pressure should be on the MCA, who is supposed to work harder to convince the more sophisticated Chinese voters. Instead, recently at Hulu Selangor by-elections MCA President Dato’ Seri Chua Soi Lek has resorted to blame PERKASA for the diminishing Chinese votes for BN. The counter argument against that is very apparent: PERKASA wasnt around in the last general elections and MCA’s already plagued with miserable performance when they lost more than half the Parliamentary seats contested.

There are Malay liberals especially in the urban areas are now ready to vote Chinese Chauvinist DAP but the number is very small and pathetically marginal to make a slight change. To charge there is actually a ‘shift’ is wholesomely deflecting the real and grave issue that the MCA failed and continuously failing to bring in the Chinese votes.

Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 08:29  Comments (10)  

Dr Zul: Tanpa Islam, PAS sama seperti UMNO

MP Kuala Selangor YB Dr. Zulkifli Ahmad mengaku bahawa “PAS tidak akan menghilangkan ‘perjuangan Islam’nya kerana tanpa ‘Islam’, PAS hanyalah sama seperti UMNO. Tiada beza”. Beliau menjawab soalan  Pengerusi Jawatankuasa BUM 2010 Y L Chong semasa menjadi panelis dalam sessi ‘Pengasingan Ugama’ (Religious Divide), Bloggers United Malaysia (BUM) 2010 semalam di Subang Jaya.

Beliau berkongsi pentas bersama MP DAP Seputeh YB Theresa Kok dan pejuang militan dan rasis tegar Hindu P. Uthayakumar, yang juga pengasas HINDRAF.

Mantan Pengarah Stategi PAS itu juga mengaku bahawa mereka tidak lagi memberikan fokus untuk menubuhkan ‘Kerajaan Islam’ malah sedia berkerjasama dengan parti Chauvinis Cina DAP untuk menjayakan Pakatan Rakyat dan mengutamakan ‘nilai persamaan’ (shared values) seperti ketelusan, pembaikan sistem penyampaian, memerangi rasuah dan semestinya agenda menjatuhkan Barisan Nasional. PAS amat komited untuk menjayakan kerjasama bersama dalam Pakatan Rakyat.

Dr. Zulkifli mengaku beliau merupakan seorang ‘Islamist Democrat‘. Apabila disoal mengenai  samada kesanggupan PAS untuk membatalkan perjuangan ‘Islam’, beliau mengelak dengan meminta agar mereka diberikan peluang atas konsep universal ‘menghormati hak dan pandangan orang lain’, “Saya menghormati hak dan pandangan Tuan dan sama seperti meminta pandangan saya juga dihormati”.

Walaupun majoriti peserta BUM 2010 terdiri dari Bukan Melayu dan dijangkakan  rata rata tidak akan bersetuju dengan pendekatan Islam PAS, yang berjuang atas “Al Quran dan hadith”. Namun tumpuan dan perhatian diberikan kepada P Uthayakumar yang memberikan persembahan slide yang amat rasis dan fakta dan sejarah yang dimanipulasikan dengan menyalahkan semua pihak kerana terdapat masyarakat etnik India yang miskin dan melarat dan gagal mendapat perhatian, termasuk media alternatif dan media baru yang mendukung perjuangan politik Pembangkang.

Uthayakumar juga mendakwa ada etnik India sanggup menganuti Islam kerana ‘jalan keluar’ dari permasalahan sosio-ekonomi mereka dan kuil Hindu dalam negeri Selangor diruntuhkan dengan kadar satu setiap minggu. Beliau juga gagal mengambil kira sistem budaya etnik masyarakat India sendiri yang mengamalkan sistem kasta merupakan salah satu penghalang tradisi proses pembangunan masyarakat mereka. Dalam debat yang hangat semasa sessi soal jawab dengan peserta, seorang aktivis HINDRAF Ganeson bangkit dan secara secara berbohong mendakwa setiap keluarga etnik India Malaysia mempunyai ahli keluarga yang sedang atau pernah merengkok dalam penjara.

Jelas persembahan rasis dan militan Hindu Uthayakumar sebagai panelis terakhir menenggelamkan thema BUM 2010 dan topik sessi dan usaha mendekatkan bloggers terutama sosio-politik yang dari pelbagai kedudukan politik kearah kesefahaman sejagat dan saling menghormati ini gagal.

Apabila ditanya diluar sessi, Dr. Zulkifli bersetuju bahawa ada ruang dan titik persamaan agar PAS dan UMNO duduk berbincang dan mencari titik pertemuan atas isu isu tertentu, tetapi bukanlah bergabung untuk menubuhkan ‘Kerajaan Perpaduan’. Beliau juga menegaskan bahawa semua rakan kongsi Pakatan Rakyat berkompromi atas dasar dan perjuangan masing masing untuk sampai ke titik pertemuan yang ujud dalam kerjasama hari ini, walaupun ramai penganalisa politik menganggap sebagai “rapuh, tidak ikhlas dan ‘perkahwinan yang tidak ikhlas semata mata kepentingan’ (unholy marriage of  (in)convenience)” dan tidak berdaya maju untuk mentadbir dan memajukan negara secara jangka serdehana-panjang.

Dr. Zulkifli juga menegaskan bahawa semenjak berkerjasama dalam Pakatan Rakyat, penerimaan PAS oleh Bukan Melayu terutama masyarakat etnik Cina makin meningkat dan memberansangkan. Namun, beliau juga mengaku gagal untuk meningkatkan sokongan orang Melayu.

Jelas mentaliti pemimpin PAS hanya berminat untuk mengekalkan kuasa yang ada dan meraih sokongan baru dari pengundi Bukan Melayu, hanya semata mata survival politik tanpa sebenarnya menimbang kepentingan orang Melayu secara strategik. Mereka mula membelakangkan ‘Perjuangan menubuhkan Kerajaan Islam berdasarkan Al Quran dan Hadith’, yang menjadi asas penubuhan PAS apabila golongan ulama ini keluar dari UMNO pada 15 September 1951 atas alasan “Kita perlu berkerjasama dan mendapat sokongan orang lain (Bukan Melayu)” dengan bekerjasama dengan Chauvinis Cina DAP dan pendukung perjuangan peribadi dan kroni Anwar ‘Mat King” Leather PKR.

*Kami di BigDogDotCom dengan rasa penuh takzim ingin mengucap jutaan terima kasih kepada pembaca dan pengunjung blog ini, kerana dengan sokongan yang kini merakamkan kunjungan yang ke tiga juta, dari 1,083 arikel  yang diterbitkan dan hampir 20,000 komen yang diberikan.

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 11:06  Comments (10)  
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