FINAS’s finesse

DG of FINAS Naguib Razak

It was leaked that Director General of Filem Nasional (FINAS) Mohd Naguib Razak’s term ends on the day Malaysians celebrate the 55th commemoration of nationhood. The bet is who will be the next man to head the agency which is supposed to develop and promote local movie-for-cinema industry.

The minister-in-charge of information, communications and culture Dato’ Seri Dr Rais Yatim Ph.D appointed this filmmaker to to the top FINAS job last September. And it is for only one year. This is not peculiar to the Minister as he also appointed Chairman and CEO of Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission Dato’ Mohamad Sharil Tarmizi for only one year term. Unlike Dr Rais who is fast approaching seventy, both are men in their early forties.

The former Director General of RTM Dato’ Ibrahim “Tiger” Yahya’s appointment was also for two years.

Dr Rais has been back in the Federal Government since November 1999, after he managed to take back his Jelebu Parliamentary seat after an interregnum period of nine years lost in the woods of Malaysian mainstream politics. For the record, Dr Rais was sacked from the Cabinet in April 1987, when he proclaimed “I have burned my bridge with Dr Mahathir” as he was firmly backing then Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the UMNO Presidency challenge on 25 April 1987.

Dr Rais during the days of an UMNO dissenter in Semangat 46

He stayed on with Ku Li and when UMNO was de-registered on 4 February 1988, Dr Rais stood by Ku Li when they tried to form UMNO 46. Both of them and their supporters because dissenters when UMNO was re-established and they went on to incorporate Parti Semangat 46. Dr Rais became the Deputy President of Semangat 46. For the next two elections, Semangat 46 tried to unseat UMNO but they failed.

When Semangat 46 was dissolved and its members brought back to the UMNO fold, Dr Rais found himself back where he once was. After the 10th general elections in November 1999, then Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad brought Dr Rais back into the Cabinet. He was then the only ex-Semangat 46 politician to be accorded with a ministership.

So if Dr Rais could remain continuously in Cabinet since 1999, why is he having this habit to appoint CEOs of all agencies that report to him in very short stints? What does he expect for these men to achieve within one to two years in the job?

These posts are strategic in their respective industries and also tactical for the implementation of policies set by the Ministry. These agencies supposed to formulate their own game plan and execute it, after getting the policy approved from the Ministry. The Minister is not supposed to have a hand in the executive decisions that these agencies do.

Minister-in-charge of Communications, Information & Culture Dato’ Sei Utama Dr. Rais Yatim Ph.D

Unless the Minister insist that every major decisions made by these men goes through his desk for approval first. Then, it is justifed why these men are appointed for very short stints. At least to how the Minister act and behave is his own ‘little kingdom’.

Our ‘Thirteen Million Ringgit Plus” question is the decision of public screening of the much awaited ‘Tanda Putera’ been rescheduled from its original date on 13 September indefinitely is the result of FINAS DG would no longer be Naguib but instead someone else?

The appointment of Naguib as the DG for FINAS a year ago is without controversial. Earlier, it was highly speculated that the job would be given to Ahmad Idham. However, the industry was vehemently against it. Knowing how things are with the Ministry, it is highly unlikely for the speculation of Ahmad Idham’s appointment was not pointing to where the Minister’s choice was heading.

Then, come what may, decisions to screen the movie about lives of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman between May 1969 till January 1976 should be decided much earlier on grounds in tandem with why FINAS supported Pesona Pictures to make the movie in the first place. Making a movie is about performing arts, being put through the proper processes of finesse.

Never the less, it was that that the Minister was grousing about Naguib being in FINAS. However, no one would want to bet whether the Minister is willing to admit that he made a mistake on the appointment of DG FINAS. Just like the Police report he made against Datuk Rocky almost two years ago.

Too many blunders from one Minister. And people are watching. Minister, please take note of that. Probably, now is the best time for him to reflect of his own relevance to the ‘bigger picture’.

Published in: on July 31, 2012 at 18:35  Comments (6)  

Jangan benarkan sekolah Cina bebas

NGO Sekolah Sekolah Cina Dong Zong telah mendesak agar dibenarkan sebuah sekolah Cina yang bebas diujudkan semula di Segamat. 3,000 orang, majoritinya ketrurunan Cina telah mengadakan demosntrasi untuk mendesak tuntutan ini.

Dong Zong rallies for Segamat school

More than 3,000 people today rallied in Segamat, Johor to pressure the federal government to allow the revival of a Chinese independent high school in the town.

Organised by Chinese educationist group Dong Zong and local Chinese guilds, it is the third of its kind in four months.

Held at a field in Kampung Abdullah, rally participants mostly wore red to symbolise their struggle.

The event, which lasted one hour, saw two resolutions being passed.

Firstly, participants expressed their support the establishment of a branch of Batu Pahat’s Hua Ren independent school in Segamat.

Secondly, participants urged the education department to respect the board of governors of Chinese schools and allow it to have more say.

26 year campaign

Organisers are hoping that the Segamat rally would have the same impact as two previous rallies, which has seen some success in the campaign to revive an independent school in Kuantan.

Segamat was once home to the Seg Haw independent school which uses Mandarin as the medium of instruction.

However, it was converted into a national type school following the introduction of the Education Act 1961. A campaign to revive the independent school started in 1986.

Many participants carried numerous homemade posters to voice their support for the campaign, including a newlywed couple.

The couple’s arrival caused a bit of a stir, attracting hordes of photographers and hoots of approval from the rally participants.

Reps from PAS and MCA

Bride Tey Pei Pin, 22, said she is a resident of Kampung Abdullah and hoped that the future generation would be able to enrol in an independent school in Segamat.

“This is our right,” she said, in explaining why she and her husband took time off for this event.

Another participant who was warmly received by the crowd was Normala Sulaiman, PAS’ candidate for the Tenang by-election in 2011.

Normala (left) was seen signing a petition in support of the school.

Oddly enough, an MCA representative was spotted among the crowd, despite MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek’s earlier criticisms of the campaign.

‘Work with MCA’

Lee Hoon Tee, the state assemblyperson for Jementah, said he was present because he was representing the Segamat MCA division as their leader.

He said his party was with the Chinese people of Segamat, which is why he is donning the campaign’s official T-shirt.

“I hope Dong Zong and other Chinese groups work together with MCA because our goals are the same,” he said.

However, Lee accused DAP and PKR of attempting to hijack the event because their personnel were seen holding banners at the event.

Previously, Chua had accused Dong Zong of launching campaigns at the eve of every general election to cast MCA in bad light.

Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian denied this, pointing out that the campaign was initiated in 1986 and there has been no official reaction from the government since.

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Ini merupakan demonstrasi ketiga dalam tempoh empat bulan.

Tuntutan Dong Zong ini bertentangan dengar Akta Pelajaran 1996.Tuntutan ini juga wajar dilihat sebagai keterlaluan kerana di Johor, sudah pun ujud 214 sekolah jenis kebangsaan Cina dan 8 sekolah persendirian Cina. Ini jelas membuktikan bahawa kepentingan dan sensitiviti masyarakat Cina untuk mengekalkan budaya mereka sebenarnya dilayan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan, melalui lesen lesen yang dikeluarkan oleh Kementerian Pelajaran.

Sekolah Cina bebas bermakna sukatan pelajaran bukanlah sebagaimana yang diguna pakai oleh Kementerian Pelajaran. Keujudan sekolah Cina bebas bukan sahaja tidak menepati akta dan dasar pelajar, malah dilihat usaha untuk terus menentukan polarisasi antara kaum makin besar jurangnya. Pelajaran dan sekolah menjadi alat dan platform untuk membentuk masyarakat Malaysia yang saling memahami, bersefahaman, memupuk kesahabatan dan kerjasama dan akhirnya, penerimaan perbedaan dan bukan lagi menyisihkan antara masyarakat. Sekolah Cina bebas adalah platform menjurangkan lagi apa yang ada dan kemudian, akan menjadi pemangkin kepada jurang antara kaum yang lebih besar.

Tuntutan ini wajar dilihat sebagai usaha minoriti terlalu menjaga kepentingan sendiri tanpa menimbangkan keperluan masyarakat majmuk dan suasana muhibbah oleh golongan yang taksub dengan agenda rasis mereka. Ianya wajar dilihat sebagai keterlaluan kerana susah tentu mengundang reaksi, yang jelas akan mengakibatkan rasa kurang senang antara pihak pihak tertentu dalam masyarakat.

Jelas golongan minoriti yang mendukung agenda sebagai yang diketengahkan oleh Dong Zong ini tidak menghargai konsep ‘Sosial Kontrak’ dan bertapa pentingnya untuk bertoleransi dan tolak ansur dalam masyakarat plural dan majmuk seperti Malaysia, dimana sensitiviti masyarakat majoriti sebenarnya perlu dipelihara. Mereka juga tidak menghargai agenda untuk mengintegrasikan semua etnik dalam sekepakatan dan bergerak sealiran sebagai satu bangsa yang berpelebagai latar belakang.

Menteri Pelajarean dan Menteri Besar Johor mesti sepakat dan tegas dalam isu ini. Lesen untuk sekolah bebas Cina tidak wajar dikeluarkan lagi. Masyarakat Cina di Segamat mempunyai pilihan lain untuk menentukan anak anak mereka mendapat pelajaran yang berkualiti, tanpa mengabaikan keperluan untuk menjaga sebahagian dari kebudayaan Cina mereka.

Published in: on July 30, 2012 at 01:00  Comments (35)  

Age of extinction

The minister of information, communications and multimedia Dato’ Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Ph.D really blundered the past few days. The logo for this year’s commemoration of 55th independence and formation of Federation of Malaysia is really ghastly and hedious, if not amateurish and of low class.

It is as if it is the work of a teenager, who concocted this logo from the simple but lazy art of cut-and-paste, probably as an end of term assignment. With all the might and clout of the Minister and his ministry, plus the instant co-operation that he would highly get from media corporations, this is the result that they could come up with.

It is appalling. It is shameful. The first time this logo is shown to any of our peers, they are either flabbergasted caught by surprise or laughed their brains out.

Slightly earlier than that, it was the decision that was reported to have been made on FINAS’s decision not to allow public screening of ‘Tanda Putera‘, scheduled for 13 September 2012..  It was said that the instructions were either do the ‘necessary cut’ (which was said to be in the neighborhood of 30%) or screen it after the 13th General Elections.

Bloggers, who have had the privilege to watch the sneak preview or those who have not, including whose  comprehensive personal understanding of the whole episode of the 13 May 1969 racial riots were quick to criticize.

If any of these turned to be true, then it would a grave shame for the minister-in-charge of arts, archives, culture and media to have agreed for the decisions made, let alone was responsible to lead the discussions that resulted with the logo and/or immediate fate of ‘Tanda Putera’.

Minister-in-charge of Communications, Information & Culture Dato’ Sei Utama Dr. Rais Yatim Ph.D

It was said the Minister didn’t have the opportunity to watch ‘Tanda Putera’ right to the end even though he was privy for a sneak preview. Had he stayed on till the end, then he would understand the movie is about the lives of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein (from May 1969 till his passing on 14 January and funeral on 16 January 1970) and Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman (from May 1969 till his passing on 2 August 1973). The radical-elements-and-extremists incited 13 May incidence was an integral part of these duo’s lives and so was the crisis, challenges, decisions made by the duo and outcome of the racial riot.

Dr. Rais should have valued the work of art based on facts and historical accounts, which would be something worthy to allow younger Malaysians understand the bitterness of the nationhood process, till its present state and achievements. Discounting the accounts that lead and are integral landmarks in the darkest week of modern Malaysian history that were portrayed in ‘Tanda Putera’ would have marred a significant point of telling the history.

Let us hope of the best. Decisions such as these would naturally deem the Minister fallen into the band of no longer relevant and should be ‘extinct’. It is time the press get the Minister’s response to all these.

BTW, Shuhaimi Baba commissioned a much better theme song for her ‘Tanda Putera’ as compared to this year’s Hari Kemerdekaan ‘Janji Ditepati’. A really shoddy job, befitting a student’s half bake project waiting between sahur and subuh.

We at BigDogDotCom hope the decision of this Minister on the subject matters at hand would not have adverse effect on the rakyat’s perception towards the Prime Minister. Otherwise, he is counter productive and should be shelved or stored as an artifact in the archives, immediately. It is for the sake of the ‘bigger picture’ and betterment of the nation.

*Updated 12 noon

Published in: on July 29, 2012 at 06:00  Comments (14)  

If it’s good, it sells

The scene at Seri Taman, where Tun Dr Ismail, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein confered

Acclaimed Malaysian film maker Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba’s prolific movie about the most trying time and crisis of two selfless leaders Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman had to endure between May 1969 till January 1976, ‘Tanda Putera’ which is scheduled to be released  for public screening on 13 September, would be postpone to an undisclosed time.

The excuse given is rather lame.

From gua.com.my:

Tanda Putera Ditangguh Bukan Bermotifkan Politik

19 JUL 2012, 11:14AM   |   MISS AYU  |    UTAMA > BERITA ARTIS >
Tanda Putera Ditangguh Bukan Bermotifkan Politik
Kongsi Article Ini:
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Filem mengisahkan perjuangan Perdana Menteri kedua Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak dan timbalannya, Tun Dr. Ismail, ‘Tanda Putera’ sudah pun mendapat tarikh tayangannya iaitu pada 13 September hadapan. Namun, secara tiba-tiba tarikh tayangan ini ditunda kepada satu tarikh yang tidak dapat dipastikan lagi.

Timbul dakwaan mengatakan penangguhan ini dibuat kerana bersangkutan dengan perihal politik. Kononnya mahu menunggu Pilihanraya ke -13 (PRU 13) selesai.

Dakwaan ini bagaimanapun dinafikan oleh Ketua Pengarah Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional (Finas), Mohd Naguib Razak. Jelas orang kuat Finas ini, penundaan tayangan ‘Tanda Putera’ tidak ada kena-mengena dengan agenda politik, mahupun PRU 13.

“Pada awalnya memang kami memang mahukan tarikh 13 September itu sebagai tarikh pembukaan tayangan. Namun setelah memikirkan pelbagai acara dan aktiviti bakal diadakan sempena Bulan Kemerdekaan dan sambutan Hari Ra ya, kami merasakan adalah lebih baik tarikh tayangannya ditunda bagi membolehkan filem ini dipromosikan dengan baik.

Bukan kerana pilihanraya yang bakal diadakan nanti. Filem ini cukup istimewa, sebab itu kami mahu pastikan ia berjaya dan mendapat sambutan memberangsangkan. Kami mahu filem ini ditonton oleh pelbagai lapisan masyarakat. Jadi, rasanya tidak perlu tergesa-gesa dengan tarikh tayangan. Biar lambat sedikit asalkan sambutannya nanti memuaskan hati,” ujar Naguib yang ditemui selepas prebiu ‘Tanda Putera’ di Cineleisure @ Curve pada Rabu.

Dalam masa yang sama, Naguib juga memberitahu pihaknya sedang merancang beberapa siri promosi sebagai salah satu strategi pemasaran filem ini. Jelasnya, bukan mudah untuk menarik minat orang ramai untuk menyaksikan filem bercorak sejarah sebegini.

“Apabila  kita mempunyai satu naskah filem yang baik, sudah pasti kita tidak mahu sia-siakannya dengan bergantung kepada tarikh wajib tayang. Kita perlu buat sesuatu supaya filem ini ditonton oleh peminat filem. Kami merancang untuk buat beberapa tayangan perdana di sekolah-sekolah dan universiti dan diharapkan cara ini boleh memberi publisiti positif,” ujar Naquib lagi.

Sementara itu, pengarah filem ini, Datuk Paduka Shuhaimi Baba memberitahu beliau akur dengan keputusan Finas untuk menangguhkan tayangan ‘Tanda Putera’. Baginya badan profesional itu pasti punya alasan kuat untuk berbuat begitu.

“Tidak dinafikan, apabila mendapat tahu pihak Finas mahu tangguhkan tayangan filem ini, saya berasa agak kecewa kerana segala promosi yang sudah dirancang perlu disusun semula. Bagaimanapun, saya percaya ia adalah keputusan yang baik. Pasti Finas ada strategi untuk memastikan filem ini berjaya di pawagam. Saya faham dengan situasi mereka dan terpulang kepada Finas untuk memilih tarikh tayangan yang dirasakan sesuai,” ujar Shuhaimi.

Filem Tanda Putera dibarisi oleh pelakon-pelakon berbakat seperti Rusdi Ramli, Zizan Nin, Faezah Elai, Linda Hashim, Norman Hakim, Riezman Khuzaimi dan ramai lagi. Filem itu diterbitkan oleh Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd dan Finas dengan kerjasama Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). Kos pembikinan filem ini menelan belanja RM4 juta.

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It doesn’t make sense at to postpone the release of the movie because of “activities”.

It was previewed to a selected audience including media on 17 July. Almost all who prevalently exited out from the cinema after the movie was screened, were teary-eyed. One could actually hear sporadic soft sobbinsg during some scenes in the movie. They saw how the two leaders endure challenges and gave the ultimate sacrifice to put Malaysia back on the rail towards unity, togetherness, progress and most important of all, mending the wounds of bloody racial riot of 13-16 May in the path of challenges from the extremists, subversive elements and communist terrorism.

The scene during National Operation Council (NOC)

And all agreed that ‘Tanda Putera’ is a great movie and its sense of historical events and all the mitigating circumstances of these events should be portrayed to Malaysians, especially the younger generation, so that the nation shall not repeat these events. It is about reliving Malaysia’s most trying formative years.

If it is that good, then it should sell. Malaysians would want to see this movie. The power of consumerism would be tested here amidst all pre-conceived connotations and prejudices about this movie. In short, it would be a very commercially viable, come-what-may what ever ‘activities’ that some would think that it would distract or impair the sale-ability of this movie.

Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, played by Rusid Ramli, making his rounds visiting the rural folks in his national and rural development program implementation

The minister-in-charge of Information, Communications and Multimedia, who is also responsible for the archives and antiquities, should ensure that the movie is out during this Hari Raya Aidil Fitri period, which also co-incide with school holidays. The Minister should use all the media available and friendly to him to promote and ‘sell’ this movie. More over, when National Film Board (FINAS) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC) are collaborative partners to Pesona Production in making this much awaited movie happened.

Unless the minister-in-charge has some political motives for not being bold enough to challenge the younger Malaysians’ reaction as an outcome from the public screening of this movie. Then, the Prime Minister should be aware of what Tun Dr Ismail used to sound out if he had to face such an issue or situation; “Don’t sweep things under the carpet”. It is a matter of principle.

Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was suffering from leukemia and Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, who was suffering from chronic heart disease and throat cancer

Majority of Malaysians don’t even know what Tun Razak did, how he did it and what challenges he faced. Let alone Tun Dr Ismail. His service as the Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister only lasted a little over four years. The duos’ contribution to what Malaysia is today from the decisions made within the five-and-half years are immense and very strategic. Some of their policies are still implemented till present day, as important tools of nation building.

Screen this movie. It is worth it. Commercially worth it. Historically worth it. Yes, to some people the truth hurts. But to majority of the people, this movie is so enlightening. Better to bite the bullet now, than later. It is the perfect ‘gift’ for Malaysians in this 55 years commemoration of nationhood.

Published in: on July 26, 2012 at 09:30  Comments (19)  

Ismail: Its routine restructuring

Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob

“It is routine restructuring. Its not vendata”, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said when contacted.

He responded to the issue raised by Rocky Bru on the  report of the summary dismissal of Co-operative Commisson Executive Chairman, Deputy Chairman and five Directors. He dismissed the summary termination of the two top most executives of co-operative regulatory body, which report to his ministry.

“Usually, there are two reasons why civil servants are transfered; 1. restructuring 2. not performing. We cant keep non performing people around, do we?”.

Ismail also added, “Restructuring is due. Every three to four years, we restructure our (ministry) enforcement officers and move them around. Its normal ministry procedure and practice”.

Published in: on July 25, 2012 at 18:40  Comments (9)  

The Selfless Man

Tun Razak was never tired to go to the rural areas and see for himself, including new FELDa schemes

This article written by an anonymous appeared on New Straits Times on 20 January 1976, six days after the shocking passing of Malaysian’s much loved Second Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein in London, whilst on treatment for leukemia.

The Selfless Man

Tun Razak was a faithful Muslim and knowledge of the more rapid approach of his own death was received with the equanimity and fortitude of the truly faithful. He did not turn away from his fellow men nor seek to spend the remaining years to ensuring a place in afterlife for himself alone.

Selfishness did not overcome him. Instead he redoubled his dedication to service towards others, to his people, his country and most certainly to his religion. This dedication took a heavy toll on his health. But his doctors were never able to deter him from his self-imposed tasks.

He performed the Hajj in 1970 again and threw himself into his work with renewed energy and unshaken faith. In all that he did, there was now a note of urgency as the days and months rapidly telescoped in the face of the inevitable. Sometime tiredness showed through. How often he must thought of approaching death have assailed him.  Those to whom the inevitability of death looms large and real know well the fear and helplessness.

It would have been natural to falter, to seek pity and sympathy, to retire and rest the tired mind and body. It would have been easy and justified, for there were laurels to rest on. But never once did he falter. To the solicitous comments of his friends, close aides and even immediate members of his family that he looked unwell, his response was to deny and to dismiss. He was fir, he said, and then invariably the subject was switched to work that had to be done.

Towards the end he was particularly concerned over the economy of the nation. He considered it his personal duty to show a good example. But even as he set about doing this, his health deteriorated further.

Advised to seek medical care in Europe, his first thought was over the expense. Repeatedly, he explained that he couldn’t pay and hoped that the Minister of Finance would not mind paying. To justify this unexpected expense, he submitted a full medical report to the Minister of Finance.

Finally convalescing in London, he chafed over his absence from the country. He wanted to return because he had to preside over the meeting of Menteri Besars in Langkawi, Kedah and other pressing issues.

And when death was rapidly approaching, he preyed for three more months. There was the Third Malaysia Plan to launch and a few loose ends to tie up.

This was the man whom we have lost and mourned. He was not perfect. Like very mortal, he had his faults. But there is no man, no leader of his people who was more selfless.

He gave every moment of his life to service to others and heeded not to his own needs. He did this fully aware that his days were numbered.

May Allah have mercy on his soul and place him amongst the Defenders of the Faith, for his selfless service to his people, his country and to Islam is not only in accordance with teachings of Islam but is also a measure of his abiding faith in his religion.

For us who still live, the life and death of Tun Haji Abdul Razak Bin Datuk Hussein, Prime Minister of Malaysia, is worthy of most profound study and contemplation. There is a lesson there that denies that the purpose of life is the pursuit of self-interest and attention to one’s own selfish needs, spiritual or otherwise.

Life, the exclusive gift of Allah, must be dedicated to high purpose as it is eternal, and death rested as if it will come tomorrow.

From Allah he cometh, to Allah he returneth.

- A COLLEAGUE -

It has since been identified that this ‘Colleague’ is then Minister of Education Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, who later became the fourth Prime Minister.

Today, is Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak’s 59th birthday. We would like to wish him ‘Happy Birthday’ and may Allah S.W.T. watch over him, bless him with the perseverance, wisdom and live up to all the hopes that Malaysians, especially those who lived through his father’s short-lived but examplry premiership. May his quest in stepping into his father’s footsteps and legacy in making Malaysia a better place for everyone be as dedicated as he father was, a truly a ‘Selfless Man’.

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 12:00  Comments (10)  

Someone should tell Nurul Izzah Ramadhan is the month of repentance

Ramadhan in the holiest in Islam lunar calendar. This month should not be used to slander, with an ill intent. In her effort to uphold Opposition’s ‘Politics of Hatred’, Lembah Pantai MP and PKR Vice President Nurul Izzah Anwar is already on that verge of slander, with manipulation and distortion of facts, designed to instill doubts on the rakyat’s mind.

Nurul Izzah: Faulty radar supplier awarded KLIA2 contract

By Hafidz Baharom
July 20, 2012

Nurul Izzah said AAT did not meet the technical requirements needed for it to secure the contract. — File pic

PETALING JAYA, July 20 ― PKR has revealed another Putrajaya contract issued to a company that was not recommended for the job, adding today that purported recipient is also controlled by a son of Umno MP Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis.Citing documents in her possession, PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar alleged today that Advanced Air Traffic Systems (M) Sdn Bhd (AAT), the firm involved in the faulty air traffic control system in Subang, has now been awarded a similar project for KLIA2.

She said AAT was awarded the contract even though another firm, AMP Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd (AMCOP), had been identified by qualified consultants as more suitable for the job.

“After Malaysians were shocked over the problems of the radar system developed by Selex Sistemi Integrati (SELEX) and AAT at the National Air Traffic Control Centre (NATCC) in Subang, PKR now understands that one of these firms was awarded a project for KLIA2 even though they were the losing bid,” said the Lembah Pantai MP told a press conference here.

AAT is linked to Ikwan Hafiz Jamaluddin through a company called Tirai Variasi, of which he is the largest shareholder. Ikhwan is the son of Jamaluddin, Malaysia’s Ambassador to the US with ministerial status. SELEX is also alleged to own 30 percent of AAT.

According to the Lembah Pantai MP, her allegations were based on a report she sourced from Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s hired consultant, AECOM.

“For the KLIA2 project, a firm called AECOM was hired as consultants to MAHB and began collecting information, data and reports since February 2010 in order to present a comprehensive opinion, especially in three aspects which are the air control system, procedures and equipment,” she said.

She added that AECOM also had reservations with the efficiency of SELEX’s system and recommended that it be upgraded in order to cope with expected flight capacity once KLIA2 begins operations.

“According to the technical valuation report by AECOM dated December 9, 2011, they recognised the ability of AMCOP to carry out the said contract better and had endorsed them, but in the end the contract was handed to AAT ― a firm that, according to the report, did not meet the technical specifications needed for this project,” Nurul Izzah said.

She also pointed out that while the cost of AAT’s bid was lower compared to AMCOP’s, approval could only be given if AAT met all technical aspects listed, which they did not.

According to Nurul, MAHB’s special procurement committee meeting had also clearly given their valuation and recommendation for AMCOP to be chosen on March 15 this year.

“The choice of AAT is surprising because prior to this, AAT was already embroiled in a controversy that questioned the effectiveness and safety of Malaysia’s air traffic system as well as air transport passengers, through internal memos which lists the flaws and stability maintenance of the MIP-2 radar system for the Subang Airport,” she said.

Nurul Izzah also said that MAHB and the Transport Ministry must now justify awarding the air traffic control system for KLIA2 to AAT given the firm’s track record.

Last month, the PKR leader had highlighted that the ministry awarded a RM128.4 million contract via “closed tender” to Selex and AAT to develop the radar system for the NATCC.

Nurul Izzah said that the system installed at the NATCC by AAT and Selex was “so flawed controllers revert to the old system of not using radar,” putting the lives of millions of passengers at risk.

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In this The Malaysian Insider story, Nurul Izzah threw the name of firms such as  KLIA air traffic control (ATC) system maintenance AMP Corporation (AMCOP) and consultants appointed by MAHB for the KLIA2 project AECOM in her mitigation indirectly out to implicate former Malaysian Ambassador to United States of America Dato’ Seri Dr Jamaluddin Md Jarjis in the tone of cronyism for the KLIA2 ATC system and the maintenance of NATCC.

However before the Vice President of a party of nepotism and family first (her fomer-abuse-0f-power-convict father is party Adviser, mother is President and widely speculated that her sister would be a party candidate in the upcoming 13 GE) continuously shoots her mouth, she better do some serious checking. Probably she did but purposely manipulated information that could be used for political demonisation.

Let us have the record straight. AMCOP is the firm maintaining the KLIA ATC system since three years ago after winning the tender. All the other ATC system and NATCC is being maintained by AAT. AAT is ISO certified and employs 120 certified mechanical engineers (ME) for the ATC system. They won all bids and they have been maintaining the system well, above international and ICAO standards.

In a letter to The Malay Mail editor dated 22 June 2012, AAT founding Director and shareholder Dato’ Mohamad Munip stated:

“The availability and safety standard of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the international regulator for civil aviation, is 99.5%. AAT has thus far provided excellent maintenance services to Malaysian ATM systems operated by Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) delivering system operational availability averaging 99.97% continuously for the past 17 years and without any air safety incident. To infer otherwise in that safety has been compromised is both malicious and irresponsible. It is to be noted further that AAT’s capabilities and services are not only in support of ATM’s systems within Malaysia but also exported to other countries like China, India, Nepal, Myanmar and the Middle East.”

If the Malaysian ATC system has shown no ‘air misses’ the past 17 years, why is Nurul Izzah making statements that KLIA2 ATC systems project was awarded to a faulty radar supplier?

The KLIA2 ATC system is an interesting project. MAHB appointed a consultant AECOM to look into the system requirement and make necessary recommendations. AECOM proposed that MAHB go into negotiations with AMCOP for the ATC system.  It is believed that the AMCOP proposed bid was RM 111 million. It is above MAHB budget of RM 100 million.

Then, it was highlighted to Second Minister of Finance (MOF2) Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah the MAHB was negotiating directly with AMCOP for the job and the bid was above the budget. MOF2 summarily asked for a tender for the job to be opened. Amongst the bidders in this tender is AAT. AAT bid was for RM 85 million against AMCOP’s RM 101 million. Despite there was a tender and AMCOP was not the lowest bidder, AECOM as the consultant advised MAHB to award to the tender to AMCOP anyway.

Nurul Izzah highlighted that AECOM recommended AMCOP be awarded the job. This advice was flawed. This is because:

1. There was no technical clarification by MAHB before deciding on the award of the contract. The bidders were not called by AECOM and have MAHB present to have their bid presented and technically evaluated.

2. The tender document prepared by the consultant AECOM was flawed because “INTEGRATION” between new KLIA 2 tower and current Air Traffic Control Centre (ATCC) in Subang (currently manage by AAT with Selex as OEM) was not included in TENDER SPECIFICATION but only in Tender Bill of Quantity.Under TENDER SPECIFICATION, if any tenderer did not meet specification, they will be disqualified immediately without MAB opening their commercial offer. However, the consultant hide this requirement under Tender Bill of Quantity which meant that INTEGRATION is not pre requisite in evaluating the tenderer and whoever selected eventually must do the INTEGRATION.

3. It was also highlighted to MOF 2 and MAHB that AMCOP price of RM105 million is a ATC system stand alone price for the KLIA2 new ATC tower and shouldn’t be regarded as a final cost for MAHB, as there will be additional cost to integrate AMCOP’s system into the main ATCC system.

The fact is that AAT bid price of RM85 million is comprehensive and final price and include INTEGRATION into the main ATCC system, stationed in NATCC outside Lapangan Terbang Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Subang, Selangor.

It was highlighted to MOF2 and MAHB that no parties could integrate any system at new KLIA 2 tower with ATCC in Subang without AAT and Selex participation and the fact is that AMCOP never bothered to ask AAT how much it cost to integrate into the main existing system, which is under AAT maintenance.

The fact that Nurul Izzah should investigate who is behind AECOM. The main personality for the project in Malaysia in Tanapaal Balakrishnan. Between Feb 2007 and Apr 2009, Tanapaal was employed by Dato’ Mustapha Abdul Rahman in AMCOP and was the Project and Intergration Manager for the DCA LCAT upgrade project. It was convenient for AMCOP since less than a year after joining AECOM, MAHB commission the consulting firm for KLIA2 in Feb 2010. Naturally, AECOM acted the manner they did and favoured AMCOP despite that:

1. AMCOP’s bid was not the lowest

2. AMCOP’s bid did not include integration into the main ATCC system

3. The bidders were not called to present their themselves and do technical presentation, until a complaint was lodged with MOF2

There are fundamental issues here which got us wondering why Nurul Izzah is very persistent about going after AAT in all the issues involving the airports and ATC system. This is clearly a business issue between AAT winning the bid (offering the lowest price and best deal, which include integration to ATCC) against AMCOP (which bid price is actually above MAHB budget and integration into ATCC system not factored in). Moreover, AAT is technically competent and as opposed to Nurul Izzah’s attempt to demonize the company, it is with an impeccable service record, even  by ICAO standards.

Nurul Izzah now should explain why she is persistent. She even firmly stated that AMCOP was technically more competent compared to AAT even though AMCOP did not even provide how they would integrate KLIA2 ATC system into ATCC and had no track record of doing so. In fact in its own website, AMCOP “was created to cater for the maintenance of Malaysia Sea Surveillance System (MSSS)”.

People in the ATC community now are wondering whether Nurul Izzah has direct or indirect interest with AMCOP, since all her statements are obviously leaning in AMCOP’s favour and intentionally demonizing AMCOP’s opponent, AAT. Her previous statement when she went after AAT was clearly defective.

There is another issue why Nurul Izzah working in tandem with The Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini in their concerted effort to demonize AAT. In their reporting, the absence of why didn’t MI/MK talk to AMCOP and getting the quote for unfairly losing the job and AECOM for their comments on the award to AAT is very glaring. Are these two firms are the pro-Opposition online news portal and YB Lembah Pantai MP sources?

The Malaysian Insider news portal also is not reflective that they learned from the ‘Sandering Tajudin Ramli episode’, where almost needed to pay RM200 million in claims. Their choice of this story’s title could land them with another law suit and eventually, another apology in the mainstream media.

This is a month of repentance. It is a month abstinence. Someone should remind Nurul Izzah about what this month should be about.

Published in: on July 21, 2012 at 20:30  Comments (16)  

I choose Malaysia

Published in: on July 21, 2012 at 01:16  Comments (2)  

Ramadhan is here, again

Muslims most revered and holiest month of self control, giving alms and thoughts about and for the poor, Ramadhan is here. Muslim minors and above all over the world observe strict self control and fasting from dawn to dusk, for the whole month.

This is the best time to do an internal audit and take stock. This is the best month of submission and to seek for forgiveness from God al mighty. This is the best month to self-correct one’s path. Muslims are required to pay tithe in the month, which must be settled before the special Eid-ul Fitri prayers on the first day of Syawal to mark the successful submission in Ramadhan.

Have a good and meaningful Ramadhan.

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 23:15  Leave a Comment  

How now PAS, LGBTs & liberals are anti Islam?

Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib today classifies lesbians, gay, bi-sexuals and transvestites (LGBT), liberals and pluralists as anti Islam, in front a congregation of 11,000 imams and clergymen. These groups are some of the justification for those who are spinning these issues in the name of ‘rights’ , in their systematic attack against Islam.

Najib: LGBTs, liberalism, pluralism are enemies of Islam

UPDATED @ 02:08:08 PM 19-07-2012
By Hafidz Baharom
July 19, 2012

Najib said it was compulsory in Islam to combat pluralism, liberalism, and LGBT behaviour.—File pic

SERDANG, July 19 ― The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community along with liberalism and pluralism were today branded as enemies of Islam by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in front of a crowd of over 11,000 imams and mosque committee members from across the nation.“LGBTs, pluralism, liberalism ― all these ‘isms’ are against Islam and it is compulsory for us to fight these,” he said.

Najib also said the government supports human rights, but within the boundaries of Islam.

“We do support human rights, but we must do so within the boundaries set by Islam,” he said.

The prime minister also told Muslims to avoid discord which could threaten those who safeguard Islamic principles.

“If the nation falls into a state of chaos, who will safeguard these people?” he asked.

The event, organised by the Prime Minister’s Office, started off with the Minister in Prime Minister’s Office Maj-Gen (R) Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom saying that imams must defend the government against these threats.

“There are so many attacks on our religion. LGBTs, pluralism, liberalism, Seksualiti Merdeka. We must stand strong and defend the government,” he said.

Attendees were also given a book which was written by Najib himself, entitled “Agenda Islam Dalam Transformasi Negara”.

Yesterday, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also said that he did not support the rights of LGBTs and advocates the sanctity of marriage being that between a man and a woman.

Liberalism is the belief in total liberty and equality of an individual, while many conservative Muslims are opposed to religious pluralism because of fears it could lead to other religions being put on the same standing as Islam.

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This is inline what Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s position on the same matter, where he describes LGBT as :Not natural and can lead to end of mankind” :

Published: Thursday June 28, 2012 MYT 4:50:00 PM

Dr M: LGBTs “not natural” and can lead to end of mankind

By TASHNY SUKUMARAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that LGBTs were “not natural” for biological reasons.

“Men marrying men, women marrying women… It’s not natural. Just imagine if we all indulge in that. No children. One generation and the whole human race is wiped out.”

Speaking at a forum “Politics and Business: The Malaysian Connection” at a hotel here, Mahathir said that once you catered for a specific group such as the LGBT, others would follow suit and ask for more rights too.

“Now we have institutions for men and men, women and women. I want to see how many children they have,” he said.

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Opposition Leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Azmin Ali, Tian Chua and Elizabeth Wong are giving total support to these groups now deemed ‘Anti Islam’, which include the LGBT communities. In their desperate effort to woo support from any quarters possible, they are willing to defy the Federation of Malaysia Constitution for the support of LGBT rights.

PAS in the past had been extremely silent on the matter, especially on LGBT issue.

So if PAS is a partner-in-crime with PKR and DAP in their ‘marriage-of-(in)conveniences-between-strange-bedfellows’ and fully support each other as a partner, then PAS as a political party must come and state their position on the matter. Their silence and appliance-of-complete-ignorance on the matter is not reflective of their official stance.

In past, PAS has been severely lambasted even by its own members for their stance to support the ‘Kalimah Allah’ in the Malay bible episode, their silence in the  protelyzation process at Damansara Utama Methodist Church August last year and their willingness to drop the struggle for ‘Hudud Law’ and their own battle cry of ‘struggle to institute an Islamic state based on Al Quran and Hadith’ in favor of the sensitivities as ‘joint venture partners’ to the liberals within PKR and anti Islam and Chinese Chauvinists of DAP.

PAS can no longer afford to be silent on their stance as many voters in the Malay heartland, even their own members and supporters, whose irritation are growing by the non committal attitude on fundamental issues.

Published in: on July 19, 2012 at 16:38  Comments (5)  
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