“Saya hanya dianggap simbol bagi masyarakat Melayu”

Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim

Terumaramah Mingguan Malaysia dengan Naib Pengerusi dan mantan Senator Tun Aziz Ibrahim yang keluar dari DAP adalah sangat baik.

Sedutan dari temuramah tersebut:

Apakah orang Melayu boleh berharap kepada DAP untuk membela nasib mereka?

TUNKU AZIZ: Sekiranya orang Melayu yang menyertai DAP merasakan parti tersebut akan membela nasib mereka, anda memang salah. Sehingga kini, tidak ada bukti yang mereka telah dan akan memperjuangkan nasib orang Melayu.

Mengapakah agaknya DAP berminat untuk mengambil Tunku bersama mereka?

TUNKU AZIZ: Mereka hanya berminat dengan kemelayuan saya. Saya hanyalah dianggap sebagai simbol bagi masyarakat Melayu manakala Karpal Singh simbol untuk kaum India. Saya dan Karpal sebenarnya tidak mempunyai sebarang peranan dalam DAP walaupun kami memegang jawatan sebagai Naib Pengerusi dan Pengerusi DAP. Mereka berminat mempergunakan saya untuk memancing undi orang Melayu. Secara hakikatnya, saya sendiri tidak pasti apakah peranan saya selain menjadi alat untuk agenda tersembunyi mereka.

Sama keadaannya apabila saya berminat untuk membantu DAP membawa masuk orang Melayu pada awal kehadiran saya dalam DAP, mereka kemudian seolah-olah sengaja melengah-lengahkannya. Mereka sebenarnya tidak berminat untuk membantu saya memperjuangkan orang Melayu. Cukuplah saya seorang sebagai simbol untuk terus mendapatkan sokongan tanpa saya melakukan apa-apa. Kerana itulah, saya telah dua kali membuat cubaan keluar daripada parti tersebut. Kali ketiga, keputusan saya sudah muktamad.

Siapa pada pendapat Tunku lebih berkuasa, adakah Kit Siang atau Guan Eng? Bagaimana pula dengan peranan Karpal Singh?

TUNKU AZIZ: Sudah tentu jawapannya adalah Kit Siang. Kit Siang yang lebih berkuasa dan dominan dalam membuat percaturan politik dalam parti manakala anaknya, Guan Eng akan mengikut rentak bapanya kerana Kit Siang memang bijak. Kuasa sepenuhnya masih milik Kit Siang. Kebanyakan keputusan berkaitan akan diambil oleh Kit Siang dan bukannya Guan Eng. Selalunya dalam mesyuarat, Kit Siang akan lebih berminat untuk menjadi pemerhati daripada membuka mulut. Beliau akan bersikap rendah diri. Dinasti Lim sangat berkuasa dan berpengaruh dalam DAP.

Karpal juga tidak memainkan apa-apa selain menentang hudud bagi pihak dinasti Lim. Tetapi Karpal adalah seorang pemimpin yang berkaliber. Apa yang beliau katakan satu ketika dulu akan sentiasa diulang, tidak ada sebarang manipulasi. Tetapi adalah menyedihkan kerana beliau tidak mempunyai kuasa dalam parti tersebut. Ada ramai lagi pemimpin yang sungguh berkaliber dan berpotensi dalam parti tersebut yang saya tidak dapat nafikan. Cuma saya tidak akan sesekali berkompromi dengan melanggar undang-undang. Saya sesekali tidak akan bersetuju dengan perkara tersebut.

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

Terumaramah ini mengambarkan keadaan sebenar dalam DAP. Malangnya, ada dua orang ‘Melayu Bankrap Politik’ mencari ‘teduhan politik’ bawah payungan yang sememangnya tidak akan menghormati mereka, jauh sekali mahukan mereka.

‘Melayu Bankrap Politik’ Aspan Alias dan Ariff Sabri Aziz disambut Ketua Gerombolan Chauvinis Cina Lim Guan Eng

Hari ini, amat malang dua orang politikus gagal ini menjadi petualang dan menjadi musuh orang Melayu dengan menghentam institiusi yang mempertahankan orang Melayu seperti UMNO dan lain lain organisasi yang bertindak membangunkan orang Melayu seperti FELDA.

Yang lebih malang ialah satu masa dahulu, orang Melayu pernah memberikan kepercayaan mereka kepada dua orang ini. Seorang pernah menjadi ADUN mewakili UMNO bertanding dalam kawasan majoritu Melayu, manakala seorang lagi pernah kunun kununnya memperjuangkan isu isu Melayu melalui Parti Semangat 46.

Jelas mereka sebenarnya mengutamakan kepentingan peribadi membatasi kepentingan masyarakat dan ummah, apabila tergamak mengkhianati Bangsa Melayu dan berpaling tadah kepada parti politik yang ditubuhkan atas gerakan dan bersifat anti Melayu dan Chauvinis Cina. Hari ini, kenyataan mereka digunakan sebagai modal untuk anasir anti Melayu dan mereka yang berkepentingan untuk melemahkan kuasa majoriti ditangan orang Melayu untuk terus berjuang dan mengoyangkan kedudukan kuasa orang Melayu.

Published in: on September 30, 2012 at 17:00  Comments (13)  

‘Goodies for Cronies’ Budget

Anwar Ibrahim’s wet dreams, translated into the fake enticing show for the gullibles

The Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat, vastly circulated in the cybersphere since a few days ago is much like Buku Jingga. It is designed to attract attention especially the larger but immature and gullible young voters without outlining clearly the practicality and implementable policies. This is very much Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s thought process, promising different things for different groups and now aggregated into one, regardless how contradictory it may be.

Abolishment of PTPTN is very much music to many ears of the young Malaysians. It means that Federal Government and the nation provide near 100% subsidy for education, up to the tertiary level. The amount of loan that a graduate has to payback is just 25% of the real cost for a student to be put through tertiary education. It means with the 100% subsidy, each tertiary student need not to take up ownership of anything at all, even to develop them.

That is like pampering students to the maximum and not teaching them to even strive in the reality and dynamism of the modern world challenges.

Minimum wage is very much the hope of many young Malaysians. In July, Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) announced that minimum wage would start from RM 900.00. It is good from the perspective of the society. However, for some industries, it is a mainly increase cost of production burden. For the SME/Is, forced minimum wage probably would burden them with 5-6% of increased cost of production. That is probably the much needed margin.

Now, imagine PR wanted to impose a RM 1,100.00 minimum wage. It would naturally excite the workforce segment of society and the Gen Y upcoming workforce. However, the ability to continuously employ a workforce is dependent on the  economic survival of the firm.

PR also is confident of targeting a minimum household income of RM 4,000.00 within the five years they have the power. That is really doubtful because they don’t seem to have a a new strategic plan on how to increase the economic activities, value and eventually the gross national income. Even in Selangor, the most wealthiest state within the Federation where PR has ruled and managed, they are unable to do that. And yet, more economic activities and people migration happened through out these four and half years.

Then, it is also about reducing cost of living. It is good and noble intention, in the times where the world saw escalating cost of living across the board, particularly cost of production and finance have gone up. How to achieve this, is not spelt. Pure abstract, just to create attention and excite.

PR’s ‘Affordable Housing’ is really interesting. Not that they actually heeded what we discussed here in BigDogDotCom a month ago. It an attempt to excite the rakyat again, PR introduced a concept of ‘shared ownership’ as a method for ‘affordable housing’. A buyer would just come up with only 25% of the cost of acquisition where else a specific agency would pay upfront for the remaining cost.

This is not a full-proof proposal because the mechanism for this ‘shared ownership’ is not outlined nor specified. The few who have glanced through the PR Belanjawan have the impression that these ‘agencies’ for this scheme would be somewhat already translated in how Selangor PKR Government deal and treated Talam Corporation in the Talam-gate scandal.

In this Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat Anwar Ibrahim wanted all CEOs and management of Government Linked Companies (GLCs) to do a management buy out (MBO). It means that controlling shares of these GLCs, some are providing essential services and strategic in nature, would be hived off to the CEO and his management team. Obviously, these MBOs would mean that a lot of financing and services procured for such massive corporate exercises.

Billions of Ringgit Malaysia would be borrowed and local banks would syndicate some of these financing to foreign banks, locally based or abroad. This is where Anwar ‘Darling of the Neo Con Jew’ Ibrahim’s friends come in. Owning businesses on borrowed funds would give the borrower a lot of pressure and the extreme burden of servicing the commitments. PR is also talking about strong anti trust laws where most of these GLCs now currently enjoy near monopolistic stature in the economy.

This is where the big catch is. Due to escalating cost of production due to external forces, these GLCs’ profitability would be elastic enough to create a multiple effect escalating downwards and even horizontally. It is very true when there is a regional or global inflation or recession. The moment this happens, the financiers would claw in to the borrowers, which are the CEOs and management teams.

Eventually, when push comes to shove, there would be a fire sale by these evil Neo Con Jewish financial empire establishments. For the Federal Government to protect the national interests, the denationalization of these GLCs would cost a lot more money. The worse thing is that, Federal Government may not use reserves to pay for the re-nationalisation but instead borrow from the associates of the same Neo Con Jewish financial empire establishments.

It is white-slavery, at its highest form.

Anwar Ibrahim also wanted to establish a second tier oil and gas companies for oil producing states, Sarawak, Sabah, Terengganu and Kelantan. These state government owned companies (State GLCs) would get outside investments for them to venture into marginal oil fields in a scheme called ‘risk sharing contracts’ (RSC). It is taking over the role of Petronas and none of these states have talents, skills nor experience to do the RSC.

This is actually Anwar getting his Neo Com Jewish financial empire buddies to invest and Ali-Baba-ed these State Government for the region’s much prized natural resources.

In the final analysis, Anwar Ibrahim’s cronies like Ibrahim Menudin would make money. The real end loser is the rakyat because the amount of profits realizable for the interests of the nation (currently being upheld by Petronas) are being carved out and fizzle through the many hands in different levels throughout the whole RSC scheme.

Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), a bold initiative by 1MDB formerly known as Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLFID) to rejuvenate some districts in inner Kuala Lumpur into world class financial and capital market hub would be downsized. So will the UDA project for the re-development of the former Pudu Prison. The reason is very simple but clear enough. Anwar Ibrahim’s cronies are unable to undertake and chew into such  ambitious and massive projects. These projects are the type that Soh Chee Wen, Ibrahim Menudin and other smallish entrepreneurs such as Kamaruddin Jaafar and Kamarul Bahrein Abas are able to devour.

The demands of Opposition that Khazanah Holdings Bhd has a dividend policy of RM 2 billion per annum is really peculiar because currently, Khazanah which relies on dividends paid out by GLCs is already dishing out RM 3 billion to the Federal Government.

The bottom-line for Anwar Ibrahim’s Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat is ‘goodies for his cronies’. In the same breadth, PR takes the opportunity to excite the younger and immature voters with this political and rhetorical circus in being the champion of the rakyat. The truth is, he never outlined how will all of these excitement promises be paid. “Biar papa, asal PR bergaya”

Published in: on September 28, 2012 at 14:00  Comments (10)  

Rabid spinning for past cronyism

PKR Crown Princess of ‘Politics of Hatred’ YB Nurul Izzah Anwar is on the rabid track of another special purpose ‘ghost stories’, much like everything else what she, her parents and party stood for and the agenda to forcefully impose the desire of the minority against the will of the majority.

Nurul Izzah wants audit over air traffic control flop

UPDATED @ 05:31:54 PM 21-09-2012
By Mohd Farhan Darwis
September 21, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The air traffic control tower at the Subang airport went “blind” last week for two hours, putting lives at risk in Malaysian air space and prompting PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar to ask today for an independent audit over the system failure.

The Lembah Pantai MP said the Transport Ministry and Department of Civil Aviation should provide answers in an independent audit as a similar system is being used at the KLIA2, the new low-cost terminal in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.

“If the system failure is not clarified in an independent audit, there will be suspicions that millions of ringgit being used for a similar system in KLIA2 will face the same fate,” Nurul Izzah (picture) told reporters outside the Subang airport here.

In the September 12 incident, the air traffic control system at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport failed for nearly two hours from 2.30am to 4.20am when there was “total failure in the system with no radar, no radio frequencies”, said the PKR vice-president.

It is understood that air traffic controllers and aircraft pilots in Malaysian air space were “blind” and air traffic control had to be handled by a neighbouring country.

Nurul Izzah said PKR had earlier requested for an independent audit but the ministry and DCA had dismissed the complaint and did not consider malfunction in the RM125.4 million system as an issue.

In July, Nurul Izzah had called on the Transport Ministry to explain why system flaws in the Malaysian Air Traffic Services Modernization Programme (MATSMP) Improvement Phase 2 (MIP-2) that was upgraded by the Selex Sistemi Integriti (SELEX) Company and Advanced Air Traffic Systems (M) Sdn Bhd (AAT) had not yet been repaired.

The PKR vice president had alleged that ATT was awarded a similar project for KLIA2 even though another firm, AMP Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd (AMCOP), had been identified by qualified consultants as more suitable for the job.

She also criticised the ministry for not answering her question in the June sitting of Parliament regarding the RM128.4 million cost to upgrade the system and its effectiveness.

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

It is clear why in the past three months she has been obsessively on the warpath against the DCA air control tower radar system. A lot of answers have been provided  in the past. Like any other PKR-trumped-up-charged baseless or spun accusations, similar to the Royal Malaysian Navy Perdana Class Scorpene submarines program, the PKR Vice President is never interested in the truth.

In this Free Malaysia Today story, the Director General of Department of Civil Aviation Dato’ Azharuddin Abdul Rahman already clarified that what Nurul claimed is not as serious of what actually happened.

‘Investigate air traffic system failure’

| September 21, 2012

PKR wants probe on the cause of the total system failure at the Air Traffic Control Centre last week. DCA, however, claims it was not a total failure.

FULL REPORT

SUBANG: Aircraft in the local airspace were “flying blind” last week when the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre (ATCC) suffered a “total failure in the system with no radar, no radio” for almost one-hour-plus, alleged PKR today.

The incident occurred between 2.50am and 4.15am on Sept 12, according to a systems log of the Subang Air Traffic Control Centre and a preliminary report of the incident was revealed to the press by PKR vice-presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tian Chua and N Surendran today.

“A total system failure occurred for almost two hours and throughout that time, the Malaysian airspace was rendered blind, with all departures cancelled and existing air traffic handed over to neighbouring countries,” said Nurul outside the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) traffic control centre at the Subang airport.

She said the system failure had put civilian passengers on board the planes at risk as they were cut off from any guidance from ground control, and during the down time Singapore and Thailand were in total control of the traffic system, which “left us completely defenceless”.

Retired Royal Malaysian Air Force director-general of operations, brigadier-general Abdul Hadi Abdul Khatab who joined PKR last year, said that what occurred must be taken seriously as there were “high risks” when the airspace is blind, which can even lead to possible air collisions.

Abdul Hadi, a former pilot and RMAF officer for 45 years, urged the government, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the DCA to immediately take action and investigate the cause of the breakdown.

“We must not allow something like that to happen again. Risking the lives of airline passengers, that is the most crucial aspect to this. As a former pilot, I know that this kind of system is troubling for air crew handling the aircraft,” he said.

He said it was a dangerous when the radar was down and blind, as “nobody is in control of the movements of planes”.

“They cannot give instructions, they do not know the positions of aircraft, there is a possibility that the planes are not flying the right height they are supposed to fly,” he said.

Independent audit needed

Abdul Hadi criticised the report by local contractor Advanced Air Traffic Systems Sdn Bhd (AAT) as being too simplistic, as it has cited “power failure” as the cause of the breakdown.

“Are they telling us that their technicians are not competent enough to bring the system back-up in one hour? Are they saying they do not do daily checks? Something is wrong with the way they handled the situation,” he said, adding that in his years of experience, he has not encountered such a failure.

Meanwhile, Nurul asked why there has been no transparency from the government despite her repeated attempts to highlight the flaws of the radar system maintained by AAT.

“This flawed system that is in operation now cost Malaysian taxpayers 26.05 million euros (RM128.4 million),” she said. “We need an independent audit on what happened on Sept 12, anything less is unacceptable. I really hope that the DCA and MOT take this seriously… if they were really capable, then such instances would not occur.

Nurul also asked:

  • How could the MOT and DCA accept and operate a flawed system without sufficient back-ups?
  • How could the batteries, uninterrupted power supply, generator set or any other form of backup power supply not be working at the time?
  • What will the MOT and DCA do to ensure such calamities do not reoccur in the future?

“Unless this system failure is investigated and explained by an independent third party, there will be serious concerns that the impending hundreds of millions more to be spent on the air traffic control tower for the RM3.8 billion KLIA 2 project will suffer similar catastrophic failures and put lives at risk.”

The government should call for an independent audit of the air traffic control system in Subang by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), she said.

Nurul said that the MOT and DCA are currently the evaluation consultants for the Airspace Restructuring Project (ATMOP), at KLIA 2, in which AAT is also a bidder. She added that she hoped that the most technically qualified bidder will be chosen.

DCA DG: Not as serious as portrayed by PKR

Meanwhile, DCA director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman confirmed that there was a down time in the radar system last week, but implied that it was not as serious as PKR had painted it out to be.

He said that while there was a power supply interruption to the radar system, the radio however still worked, and it was not a “total failure”.

“Investigations found that there was a circuit breaker trip of incoming power supply, and the backup or UPS (uninterrupted power supply) took over but it went unnoticed and it drained out the battery,” he said.

When asked why the system log had noted that both radar and radio were out, he explained that it was merely the “initial assessment” by the supervisor.

“However, when that happened, we initiated our standard trouble shooting procedures and with the aid of radio service, we managed to bring one aircraft to land safely on arrival, without delay at 3.20am.”

Aside from the delay of two aircraft, Azharuddin said that there were no other mishaps or aircraft delays during the hour-plus shortage.

“When the circuit breaker was reset, everything came back [to normal]. We did not have to use the contingency plan to transfer our aircraft movement to other states, as what Nurul claimed,” he said.

Asked how DCA would ensure that such an incident does not recur, Azharuddin said that the department is looking at improving the remote control monitoring system and also looking at a possible upgrade.

On whether an additional investigation will be carried out, Azharuddin said it was unlikely. “We know what went wrong that day. I don’t think any more investigation will be required. Now we have to talk to all concerned to be more vigilant in cases like this.”

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

This is case against the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) air traffic control (ATC) system no different when the Lembah Pantai MP told foreign media in Indonesia two years ago about the Scorpene submarines where unable to dive. It was an explicit clear on manipulation of facts with the specific intention discredit the Armed Forces and Prime Minister, for acquiring military assets that failed to operate.

DCA is the authority on civil aviation. They issue all end-to-end licenses and maintain record and registration for any aircraft allowed to be airborne or any matters pertaining to machines that operate in the Malaysian airspace. They also own and control all civil aviation airborne movements system, which include all operations of air control towers anywhere within the Malaysia airspace.

There is no need of an independent audit on the incidence nor the system. DCA has all the necessary powers, procedures and competency to deal with such matters, in accordance with the standards and practice of international civil aviation regulatory body, international civil aviation organization (ICAO).

Much like the case on the Scorpene submarines, AAT has proven themselves in the radar business and technology. They have not had any near misses in the 18 years of their operations.

Notice how Nurul Izzah is focused on taking on AAT and on the same breadth, repeated the statement that AMP Corporation Sdn Bhd (AMCOP) also bid for the KLIA2 radar system. It was discussed earlier that AMCOP proposal wasn’t the lowest, didn’t include the integration with the main radar system backbone and there was some play involved, probably hanky-panky, in the evaluation for the said system.

It was learnt that the main player of AMCOP Dato’ Mustaffa Abdul Rahman is an associate of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, when the latter was Finance Minister and calling the shots for all Federal Government contracts and awards. They have established the relationship a while back and now, the Princess of PKR ‘Politics of Hatred’ is taking up the fight for ‘an old Papa friend’.

Probably the investigations should be centered on how a former employee of AMCOP Tanapal Balakrishnan, who is someone very close to Mustaffa, was an integral part and played pivotal role in AECOM. AECOM is the consultant appointed by MAHB in the KLIA2 ATC program. That is also why it is not remotely peculiar that neither PKR nor Nurul Izzah take this point up in any of the charges against the KLIA2 ATC system award.

That is not at all peculiar when the points raised by Dato’ Abdul Hadi Mohd Khatab, who is acting on behalf of  PKR Security Consultative Council to make a comment on the matter, was also highlighted by the Opposition friendly online media. Hadi was dishonourably discharged whilst serving as a Brigadier General for the RMAF in the 469th Armed Forces Council. He was stripped of his Brigadier General rank, prohibited from using the rank even after leaving service as a retired air force officer and his 1974 commission as an RMAF officer cancelled. These are due to his misconduct and ‘little enterprise’ whilst serving as the Head of RMAF Logistics Command. Officially, his dismissal is due to “Incompetency”.

How could someone of this reputation and track record be a reference to the said issue which was blown out of proportion by Nurul Izzah, with a clear and explicit extension of Opposition’s ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy?

Then again, the Opposition especially PKR Crown Princess would never admit that the air traffic control system of the Malaysian airspace has a good impeccable back-up system incase the one operated by DCA completely failed. RMAF’s SENTRY system, based in TUDM Butterworth and Kuantan is competent enough to track simultaneous movements of all aircrafts in the Malaysian airspace.

This was demonstrated when RMAF invited new media practitioners for its open day in TUDM Kuantan over three weeks ago.

Please stop frightening the Malaysian public with their ‘ghost stories’  and wasting other people’s time with these games. In all their trumped up charges, all answers have been provided and time and again, they have been proven wrong in their own game and their own ‘weapon’ gets blown in their face. PKR should focus on putting themselves and their house back in order.

Cronyism, then and now, had always been about Anwar Ibrahim, his immediate family, close associates and specific groups of inner circle.

The Opposition leaders, particularly PKR, have to be responsible Yang Berhormat and take up real issues with facts and not manipulated or half truths, with only the intention of sordid cheap political circus stunts. After all, that is what being a Member of Dewan Rakyat in His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong’s Parliament is all about.

Published in: on September 27, 2012 at 03:00  Comments (12)  

Legoland Malaysia, opens

HRH Sultan Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and consort Raja Zarith Sofia with Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and MB Johor Dato’ A Ghani Othman at the opening of Legoland Malaysia

The first international theme park in Johor, Legoland Malaysia, Nusajaya is just being officially opened by HRH Sultan of Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar. Also present at the ceremony is Raja Zarith Sofia Almarhum Sultan Idris, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, MB Johor Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman, MD of Khazanah Holdings Bhd Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Tunku Bendahara Johor Tunku Abdul Majid Idris Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

It’s a catalyst and high impact project that is designed to boost the Johor economy, especially in human capital development and investments. In his speech, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said that it is a dream for many Malaysians to visit and enjoy an international theme park. Legoland Malaysia would not only help boost the tourism industry for Johor, it would provide opportunities for business and growth to Nusajaya.

Fireworks display to mark the official opening of Legoland Malaysia

“This family international theme park would be a major recreation spot for Johor. This will enhance the quality of living of Malaysians, especially Johoreans. Vast amount of money is being spend to ‘capture’ youth. Legoland is designed  to ‘recover’ the childhood so many people”.

“Lego is a very important toy for many. The humble Lego bricks have special place in our hearts. The building blocks is just like how we build ourselves”. The Prime Minister acknowledge the importance of creativity, imagination and innovation that Lego managed to developed the minds of many children all over the world.

PM Najib also announced that so far RM95 billion have been invested in Iskandar Malaysia, where from that 40% is FDI. “Iskandar Malaysia is taking up shape fast. We are proud of the Educity. Soon, there would be Puteri Harbour Theme Park and Lat’s Place”.

HRH Sultan Johor having a chat with Prime Minister Najib

Undoubtably, Johor has benefitted immensely since the inception of Iskandar Malaysia in November 2006. Federal Government has provided a lot of infrastructure projects and programs to help in the investment and catalyst to the Johor economy.

PM Najib also announced that RM500,000.00 worth of tickets to Legoland would be issued to under privileged children and orphans all over Johor. Each tickets is worth RM 110.00. Representatives of these children and orphans were present to receive their complimentary entrance passes at this official opening ceremony.

Legoland Malaysia is the sixth Legoland theme park in  the world. So far, 50 million visitors have been recorded in these parks. Legoland Malaysia expect to get between 1 to 1.2 million annually for the first few years of operations. That is on average 23,000 visitors per week. In the first week of operation, Legoland Malaysia shown very encouraging reception. An average of daily 10,000 visitors have been recorded.

More visitors would be expected as soon as the water theme park of Legoland Malaysia is competed.

*Updated Sunday 23 September 0200hrs

Published in: on September 22, 2012 at 21:30  Comments (7)  

Legoland Malaysia opens

HRH Sultan Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and consort Raja Zarith Sofia with Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and MB Johor Dato’ A Ghani Othman at the opening of Legoland Malaysia

The first international theme park in Johor, Legoland Malaysia, Nusajaya is just being officiated by HRH Sultan of Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar. Also present is Raja Zarith Sofia Almarhum Sultan Idris, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, MB Johor Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman, MD of Khazanah Holdings Bhd Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Tunku Bendahara Johor Tunku Abdul Majid Idris Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

It’s a catalyst and high impact project that is designed to booze the Johor economy, especially in human capital development. In his speech, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said that it is a dream for many Malaysians to visit and enjoy an international theme park. Legoland Malaysia would not only help boost the tourism industry for Johor, it would provide opportunities for business and growth to Nusajaya.

Fireworks display to mark the official opening of Legoland Malaysia

“This family international theme park would be a major recreation spot for Johor. This will enhance the quality of living of Malaysians, especially Johoreans. Vast amount of money is being spend to ‘capture’ youth. Legoland is designed  to ‘recover’ the childhood so many people”.

“Lego is a very important toy for many. The humble Lego bricks have special place in our hearts. The building blocks is just like how we build ourselves”. The Prime Minister acknowledge the importance of creativity, imagination and innovation that Lego managed to developed the minds of many children all over the world.

PM Najib also announced that so far RM95 billion have been invested in Iskandar Malaysia, where from that 40% is FDI. “Iskandar Malaysia is taking up shape fast. We are proud of the Educity. Soon, there would be Nusajaya Theme Park, Lat’s Place”.

HRH Sultan Johor having a chat with Prime Minister Najib

Undoubtably, Johor has benefitted immensely since the inception of Iskandar Malaysia in November 2006. Federal Government has provided a lot of infrastructure projects and programs to help in the investment and catalyst to the Johor economy.

PM Najib also announced that RM500,000.00 worth of tickets to Legoland would be issued to under privileged children and orphans all over Johor. Each tickets is worth RM 110.00. Representatives of these children and orphans were present to receive their complimentary entrance passes at this official opening ceremony.

Legoland Malaysia is the sixth Legoland theme park in  the world. So far, 15 million visitors have been recorded in these parks. Legoland Malaysia expect to get between 1 to 1.2 million annually. That is on average 23,000 visitors per week. In the first week of operation, Legoland Malaysia shown very encouraging reception. An average of daily 10,000 visitors have been recorded.

*Updated Sunday 23 September 0200hrs

Published in: on September 22, 2012 at 21:20  Leave a Comment  

Losing Sense over ‘Politics of Hatred’

The failed ADUN and his master, the disgraced Secretary General and Chief Minister

Some people can be affected by environment. Others are affected by their devotion and commitment. In failed ADUN for Pulau Manis Ariff Sabri “Sang Mangkuk” Aziz’s case, his better judgment apparently has been severely impaired trying to impress his new ‘Politics of Hatred’ masters.

Losing ground over FELDA — Sakmongkol AK47

 
September 10, 2012

SEPT 10 — What is happening to FELDA now, illustrates the state of our democracy under Umno. Settlers and employees got 200.6 million of the 2188.9 million shares to be sold.

The people representing the majority and overriding interest are the settlers and the employees. There are 112,635 settlers and 3835 employees. These represent directly the interest of FELDA people. They are the majority on whose backs and on whose name, this listing was supposed to be done for and benefits meant.

A question to FELDA people. Why get only 200.6 million out of the 2.188 billion shares offered and own the same from the 3.6482 billion of the enlarged share capital? That’s 5.5 per cent of the interest in FELDA. What Najib Razak and the government are doing to you is just cosmetics.

Because you are 116,470 strong you are bribed with RM15, 000, RM380 duit raya, 810 shares worth RM3685 at listing and that your sons’ and daughters’ PTPTN are being paid by the government using money that belongs to YOU. Najib will do anything to keep you corralled and addicted to the cocaine of handouts.

A question to Najib. If settlers represent your vanguard in the agenda to transform the economy, why assign only 5.5 per cent of the enlarged capital? Why not allow FELDA people through their KPF, own 70 per cent?

Because minority and moneyed classes control the actions and decisions of FELDA and the same with government.

So what has the FGVH issue got to do with the state of democracy under Umno? It illustrates that special interest groups determine our democracy instead of the wishes of the majority. The listing of FGVH has more to do with the agenda of the moneyed class than the agenda of the un-moneyed settler class.

Similarly the same is happening to the state of democracy under Umno. The country’s future is being determined by special interest groups who are self-selected and thrive on a single chosen issue.

When the FGVH shares rose up to near RM6 per unit, everyone said that was a testament of the confidence people have with FGVH. But who are the people exactly?

The “people” a nebulous and hazy term which could be infused with whatever meaning one wishes, refers to the various state governments that were asked to buy the shares and the various GLCs that Najib directed to buy FGVH’s stocks.

More important, the “people” are really the moneyed and special interest groups. And, of course, Najib alone represents the people and naturally he wasn’t shy to pat his own back. He must have been an accomplished contortionist.

Now that the price has gone down to around RM4.78, everyone who previously jumped up and down, says that the normal course in share trading. Going down is part of the normal course, but going up is taken to mean much more?

Our take is this: Going by the logic of the majority of us with only weak school certificates to vouch us by, the reduction in price, must be testament to lack of confidence. If the trending is more downwards than upwards, then lack of confidence is the stronger force.

We are not confident FGVH will take settlers to new heights nor are we confident Najib, Umno and BN can take our country to new heights. Najib’s only strategy in economics is to give out money, here, there and everywhere.

Right from the beginning, the listing of FGVH and the choice of the vehicle for listing of FELDA’s business interest was questionable.

There weren’t any settlers’ rep on its board. FGVH does business mostly overseas. Its business record was far from good or sufficiently good enough to inspire confidence that it can bring FELDA to new heights. It incurred continuous losses in its business most of the time and only made spectacular rebound on the profits near the listing date. FGVH may not do this, but we have heard of many cases where companies en route to listing cooked up the numbers.

Most of its profits came from the portion it owns in FELDA Holdings. Now what does FELDA Holdings do? The business done by FELDA Holdings is its brick and mortar business — planting of palm oil trees and selling CPO to the world. It wasn’t anything bordering on rocket science that seems to be preferred by FGVH.

FGVH wasn’t managing FELDA Holdings’ business. It was managed separately. If FGVH was managing FELDA Holdings and the company made profits consistently, then we can argue that perhaps, the profitability was due in part to FGVH management quality.

The facts are: FELDA Holdings made profits, its management was better. FELDA Holdings would be a better choice to buy out FGVH shares in Holdings. With FGVH out of the picture in Holdings, the other owner of FELDA Holdings — the KPF, representing settlers and employees’ interest can own 100 per cent. KPF, who then owns 100 per cent of FELDA Holdings, can hire a management company that can bring in more profits.

It was just paper shuffling. Ask investment bank A to come out with a proposal, it comes out with one that promises an initial listing price of RM5. Ask investment bank B, it comes out with a price of RM6. Hey, investment bank B is better.

A higher initial offer price means more money for the backroom boys. Those who have not soiled their feet in the plantations and perhaps may not even see a palm tree before.

Now that the price is going down, Najib is doing all the firefighting. That is the reason why Najib announced that FELDA is financing all the 91.2 million shares. He has read the writing on the wall. If he doesn’t finance the settlers, they will go up in arms. At stake are the 50 over seats in FELDA areas.

At RM4.55, FELDA will spend RM41,496,000. That’s RM41.496 million. It is a small sum to appease the 112, 635 FELDA settlers. And now has just up the ante, he says FELDA will pay all PTPTN loans of settlers’ children. We don’t know how much.

A number of inferences can be drawn from that. The fact that Najib has to continuously bribe settlers could mean support from settlers isn’t that solid. The additional fact that Najib has decided to finance the FGVH transactions and now pay for the PTPTN loans taken by settlers’ children can only mean that indeed support from the FELDA people isn’t as solid as he would want everyone believe.

Najib’s every move now reveals his true character. He hasn’t got a well thought-out plan and instead he makes it up as he goes along. I have to repeat myself: The settlers were supposed to buy the share with bank loan that came with a RM200 processing fee and a 5 per cent monthly rest. If I am not mistaken, the loan was supposed to be repaid in 6 months.

Otherwise imagine this. The settlers who have held on to their 810 shares must pay 810 x 4.55 = RM3685.50 plus RM200 processing fee. That is a total of RM3,885.50.

If they now sell at RM4.78, they earn RM3871.80. Each settler who now sells loses RM13.70.

That’s chicken feed. But RM13.70 loss represents the anger of one settler. And there are 112, 635 of them. If each settler family has 4 voting members, that will represent 450,000 angry voters.

So it is as I have said from the very beginning. FELDA and Najib were selling an abstract idea formed from illusions and unclear business strategy. It’s just paper shuffling designed in the end to enrich holders of large chunks of stock, the investment bankers, the hordes of consultants.

What new, ground-breaking businesses are offered by FGVH? Nothing other than planting more oil palm and opening up more estates. That’s, the very same business that has been done quite well by FELDA on their own without FGVH.

You change the management, tweaked here and there giving the impression that FGVH has evolved into something super. It’s all a corporate BS.

FELDA got RM10 billion. Najib gave FELDA RM5.99 billion. Where did the balance go? Most probably as promised by the FELDA CEO, the money went to the minister in charge of FELDA:  Najib himself. The PMO got almost RM4 billion to play around to implement the principal economic strategy of Najib — giving out money to buy votes and allegiance.

Let’s see how votes bought stand up against votes given because of beliefs and convictions. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).

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And another one, a day later:

Tsunami over FELDA — Sakmongkol AK47

 
September 11, 2012

SEPT 11 —  If my friend, Pirates of Putrajaya had been a little bit more patient, he will find his views on the FGV vindicated. Probably he underestimated the will of the government to use GLCs under its control to shore up the FGV price.

Nevertheless, his views will be vindicated soon and I and millions of others hope he will come back into blogosphere to share with us, his rapier sharp analyses.

What Najib is doing right now is just putting out fires. He forgot that it all needed but a single spark to light up the prairie fire.

He has given an advance of RM15,000 each to Felda family. I hear, full payment hasn’t been given out yet. Perhaps Felda will use its gain of RM5.99 billion to pay the balance of what has been promised by Najib. Felda pays unto itself using its own money.

He has given almost RM43 million as raya bonus. Each family got around RM382.  That amount was useful to buy cookies, lemang , fresh meats and maybe new curtains for the missus. Because of the drop in FGV share price, he has also announced that Felda will pay for the settlers’ purchase of FGV shares. Once again, that will probably come from the RM5.99 billion.

Finally to placate the settlers’ anger, he has announced that Felda will pay for PTPTN loans taken by the Felda children.

That is his economic strategy. We don’t have to go the Chicago, Princeton, Oxford or Cambridge to do that. Not even Nottingham.

What was the real agenda really? Maybe all this corporate bullshit was about saving FGV. It has done extensive futures trading and had incurred huge losses.  That was why some brainy people came up with the idea, the only way to save FGV was to have it buy out KPF’s share in Felda Holdings and go for listing.

At closing time today, FGV share was RM 4.68, earning the holders of the stock a premium of 13 sen.  If Najib hadn’t come up with the brilliant idea of ordering Felda to finance settlers’ purchase, each settler ends up with a RM94.70 loss.

Actually FGV bought out Felda Holdings to save itself. It has incurred heavy losses doing futures trading. We don’t know how much FGV got by selling its shares. There was no cash payment involved as the purchase was financed by the issue of new shares which were sold to the public through the IPO.  Part of the proceeds were used by Felda to pay its EPF loan amounting to RM6 billion.  Then EPF is instructed to buy FGV shares, now it owns 7% of FGV bought for RM 1.2 billion. Foreign interests are selling down to cut down losses.

What is even more pernicious and atrocious is the betrayal to Felda people. 360,000 hectares of land have been forfeited which could be used in future to create 80,000 new settlers.

It’s dark days looming over Felda and no amount of PR exercise can mitigate the anger that is shoring up. There is a tsunami looming over Felda. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).

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Lets get the first thing right. FELDA Global Ventures Holdings IPO was about Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s transformation plan for rationalize, consolidate and transform all business activities under the FELDA Group, to be a world class plantation-based end-to-end corporate giant. The products are from the processes of upstream commodities into downstream products and value added finished products, which include for international markets.

As a ‘reward’ for the loyalty and commitment of  112,635 FELDA settlers since the 60s, on Budget 2012 Speech on 7 October last year Prime Minister Najib announced the ‘Durian Runtuh’, as the result of FGVH assets being rationalized and “unlocked its values”.

FGVH strong compliment is 22,000 staffs and 40,000 workers. The Group has 70 operating mills nationwide, with 16 million tonnes of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) per annum. Of that, its equally raw materials that came from FGVH’s own plantations, FELDA settlers and third party planters.

The listing of FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) is a outright clear success. Within three months of the listing, the share price went up by 85sen or 18.7% of the IPO price. Considering the sheer size of the number of shares, having such a rapid increase is a demonstration of market and long term investor confidence. This was the same season global investment went down, demonstrated by the ambitious Facebook IPO slightly earlier.

Politically Bankrupt Malay Politicians joining Chinese Chauvinist DAP

Whether or not ‘Politically Bankrupt Malay Politician’ Ariff able to see, the ‘Bumiputra Agenda’ is very strong. The confidence in the FGVH plans to move its forward its entire chain of plantation-based business is very strong, backed by a sound track record.

Undoubtably, the ‘Bumiputra Agenda’ in FGVH is well covered. The IPO allowed 37% being allocated to FELDA settlers via FELDA Authority. FELDA settlers would be allocated 2.5% in the ‘Blue Form’ scheme where else FELDA Authority and FGVH employees and workforce will be allocated 3.0% under the ‘Pink Form’ scheme. On top of that, it is strongly believed that PNB will be allocated 7.5%, various Bumiputra investors and entities (through MITI) 9.5% and several institutions such as Tabung Haji would be allocated 5.0%.

That is effectively 64.5% holding in the name of ‘Bumiputra Agenda’.

FELDA is even extending their progress and growth of the 317 schemes to neighboring villages, so that the Prime Minister Najib’s  ‘Transformation Agenda’ is being synegrised to other rural areas. It is by far an extension of the on-going New Economic Policy which his father Second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein rolled out in 1971, as a follow through of his 1960s aggressive  rural development plan.

What Ariff claimed for FGVH to be in huge losses is totally a lie. FGVH is very profitable. In fact in 2011, the figure is RM1.37 billion. The instruction for EPF to acquire more FGVH shares is not substantiated.

Banners hung in several spots leading to FELDA Jengka 8, a week before Majlis Bersama Peneroka 8 May 2012 where Prime Minister Najib announced the ‘Durian Runtuh’

The manipulation on Koperasi Permodalan FELDA (KPF) is something that Ariff needs to work on. It was some pivotal personalities within KPF senior management who sabotaged Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s original plan to allocated 35% of the FGVH holdings to KPF. That is not withstanding that some KPF members who were agents of PAS via ANAK, took to court and had injunctions to stop EGM to accept proposal to inject FHB into FGVH for 35% of the holdings, twice.

Without the FGVH IPO, values were unable to be unlocked and thus ANAK was actually sabotaging ‘Durian Runtuh’.

There is no reason for the 112,635 settlers, their wives and average four children and their spouses to go against Prime Minister Najib’s leadership and not return BN to power. Probably Ariff and his Chinese Chauvinist masters could keep the score for all 54 Parliamentary constituencies which contain one of these 317 FELDA schemes in all states with the exception of Sarawak and Federal Territory.

For Ariff to  impress his new masters by manipulating and lying about FGVH and rubbishing facts about how the Malays fail to benefit in a mega corporate exercise which should be dubbed as “ASN II” is really low. To be factually convincing would be a herculean task, especially when all the evidence is pointing not his way at all. This was actually his game, right from the start. Had Ariff personally checked, “FGVH IPO would affect personal holdings of FELDA settlers land”. This was one of his lies, compounded since late last year.

Probably by being an ADUN with FELDA schemes in his constituency, Ariff need not be a better Yang Berhormat for him to be a candidate and voted in again. Then again, he never was. A true “Haram Jadah”, par excellence!

Published in: on September 21, 2012 at 06:00  Comments (30)  

Resolution on Rohingya

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
ON THE PLIGHT OF THE ROHINGYA: SOLUTION?
KUALA LUMPUR
17 SEPTEMBER 2012

RESOLUTION

The “International Conference on the Plight of the Rohingya: Solution ” was convened by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 17 September 2012.

The Conference was attended by participants comprising representatives from the diplomatic corps, international organisations, parliamentarians, human rights groups, academia, civil society, non-governmental organisations and media, as well as leaders of Rohingya organisations from several countries.

YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia and President of PGPF, delivered the Keynote Speech.

Other prominent Speakers included as in the appendix.

We, the undersigned organisations and undersigned participants of the Conference;

Acknowledging the minority Muslim Rohingya are an ethnic group numbering more than 1 million presently residing in the Rakhine state of Myanmar,

Recognising that Rohingyas have been living in Myanmar for centuries and had been recognised as full-fledged citizens of the state of Burma (Myanmar) by previous governments of Burma, the international community and the authorities during the British colonial period.

Mindful of the decision of the government of Myanmar to effectively strip the Rohingyas of citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law,

Observing with serious concern that the Rakhine Buddhist community and in particular the Rohingya Muslim community suffered from sectarian violence that erupted in Rakhine State in June 2012,

Observing the current tragic situation facing the Rohingya including violent acts of oppression and human rights violations by state security forces, widespread discrimination by the dominant ethnic Burman society, threats to their security by hostile local Rakhine populations, and continued statelessness that makes them highly vulnerable to abuses,

Concerned over the thousands of displaced and stateless Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia, India, Japan, Pakistan, the Middle East and throughout the world,

Gravely concerned that the government of Myanmar has failed to observe its responsibility to fulfil its international human rights and humanitarian obligations with respect to the Rohingyas

Fully cognisant of systematic crimes against the Rohingya community such as killings, forced labour, rape, and denial of access to adequate humanitarian aid,

Echoing the various concerns about the mistreatment and fate of the Rohingya held by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and citizens concerned with global humanitarian issues,

Noting with disappointment the absence of a comprehensive solution in addressing the plight of the Rohingya,

Seriously concerned with the consequences of a prolonged non-resolution of the Rohingya issue including the segregation of displaced Rohingya in the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe, the continued lack of humanitarian access and sufficient aid to displaced Rohingya, and spill-over effects on neighbouring South Asian and ASEAN member countries,

Recognising the political and ethno-religious nature of the issue and human rights dimensions that require determined action by Myanmar’s leadership with the support of the people,

Unequivocally agree to;

Strongly condemn the continuing acts of violence, rape, beatings, burning of dwellings, killings, arbitrary arrests, detentions and enforced disappearances of the Rohingya,

Strongly deplore all forms of oppression, suppression, persecution, discrimination, intimidation and severe restrictions against the Rohingya on the grounds of ethnicity and religion,

Call on the government of Myanmar to recognise the legitimate rights of the Rohingyas to live in peace, to move freely within the country, and create conditions for the safe and voluntary return of displaced Rohingya to their homes or alternative locations of their choosing without persecution or discrimination including respect for the rights to shelter, food, water, health care, education and basic sanitation according to international human rights law, norms and standards,

Call on the government of Myanmar to amend the 1982 Citizenship Act to recognise or grant citizenship to persons of Rohingya ethnicity on the same basis as others with genuine and effective links to Myanmar by reasons such as birth, residency or descent, and treat them as equal citizens under International and Burmese Law. Ensure, in accordance to Article 7 of the convention on the Rights of the Child, that Rohingya children have the right to acquire a nationality where otherwise they would be stateless,

Strongly urge the government of Myanmar to stabilise the situation in the Rakhine state and to take the necessary administrative actions to protect, safeguard and uphold the lives, dignity and property of the Rohingyas as well as legally recognising them as one of Myanmar’s ethnic groups on the same basis as other ethnic group,

Call upon the government of Myanmar to carry out full and fair investigations and, where warranted, conduct trials meeting international due process standards against those individuals and state security forces who were responsible for criminal offenses, including rape, killings, arson and looting, during sectarian violence in Rakhine state,

Take note of the government of Myanmar’s decision to establish a 27- member Commission to probe the sectarian violence and recommend steps to resolve the crisis,

Welcome the government of Myanmar’s decision to allow diplomatic missions, independent observers and fact-finding teams including those from the OIC, ASEAN and the Perdana Global Peace Foundation to visit Rakhine state to ascertain the situation affecting the Rohingya,

Urge the government of Myanmar to recognise the multi-ethnic reality of the country and that its failure to resolve the Rohingya problem will undermine its current reform and progress towards national reconciliation, democracy and prosperity,

Call on Aung San Syu Kyi and the National League for Democracy Party as well as other political parties to promote ethnic rights and equality in Myanmar and take an unequivocal and proactive role in ending the plight of the Rohingyas,

Request the governments of Bangladesh and other destination countries to provide temporary protection to the Rohingya and to allow the international community to provide food and other humanitarian assistance to them pending a political solution of the Rohingya problem,

Urge ASEAN, to play a more proactive, substantive and effective role in resolving the Rohingya problem in the interest of regional peace and stability,

Call on Muslim groups and communities to show due solidarity and exert pressure on their governments, UN agencies civil and faith – based societies to actively support the rights of the Rohingya,

Strongly encourage ASEAN and OIC’s efforts in bringing up the Rohingya issue to the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York,

Call on the UN to facilitate the establishment of a ‘cordon sanitaire’ for internally displaced Rohingyas to provide a safe and humane environment for the victims pending the attainment of a political solution,

Convey a copy of the Resolution to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, President of Myanmar, the Secretary General of ASEAN, the Secretary General of the OIC and the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
17 September 2012

Published in: on September 17, 2012 at 19:00  Comments (14)  

Remembering Sabra and Shatila

Thirty years ago today, after a long bloody and brutal campaign in Lebanon Israeli Forces opened the gates to two refugee camps Sabra and Shatila for heavily armed Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia to enter and started a bloody and brutal massacre of Palestinian refugees. All were non combatants and most of them were old folks, women and children.

British journo Robest Fisk from The Independent was one of the first western journos who entered the camps after the massacre and estimated 2,000 Palestinians were butchered although some estimated 3,500 lives were lost.

SABRA AND SHATILA

By Robert Fisk

What we found inside the Palestinian camp at ten o’clock on the morning of September 1982 did not quite beggar description, although it would have been easier to re-tell in the cold prose of a medical examination. There had been medical examinations before in Lebanon, but rarely on this scale and never overlooked by a regular, supposedly disciplined army. In the panic and hatred of battle, tens of thousands had been killed in this country. But these people, hundreds of them had been shot down unarmed. This was a mass killing, an incident – how easily we used the word “incident” in Lebanon – that was also an atrocity. It went beyond even what the Israelis would have in other circumstances called a terrorist activity. It was a war crime.

Jenkins and Tveit were so overwhelmed by what we found in Chatila that at first we were unable to register our own shock. Bill Foley of AP had come with us. All he could say as he walked round was “Jesus Christ” over and over again. We might have accepted evidence of a few murders; even dozens of bodies, killed in the heat of combat. Bur there were women lying in houses with their skirts torn torn up to their waists and their legs wide apart, children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall. There were babies – blackened babies babies because they had been slaughtered more than 24-hours earlier and their small bodies were already in a state of decomposition – tossed into rubbish heaps alongside discarded US army ration tins, Israeli army equipment and empty bottles of whiskey.

Where were the murderers? Or to use the Israelis’ vocabulary, where were the “terrorists”? When we drove down to Chatila, we had seen the Israelis on the top of the apartments in the Avenue Camille Chamoun but they made no attempt to stop us. In fact, we had first been driven to the Bourj al-Barajneh camp because someone told us that there was a massacre there. All we saw was a Lebanese soldier chasing a car theif down a street. It was only when we were driving back past the entrance to Chatila that Jenkins decided to stop the car. “I don’t like this”, he said. “Where is everyone? What the f**k is that smell?”

Just inside the the southern entrance to the camp, there used to be a number of single-story, concrete walled houses. I had conducted many interviews in these hovels in the late 1970’s. When we walked across the muddy entrance to Chatila, we found that these buildings had been dynamited to the ground. There were cartridge cases across the main road. I saw several Israeli flare canisters, still attached to their tiny parachutes. Clouds of flies moved across the rubble, raiding parties with a nose for victory.

Down a laneway to our right, no more than 50 yards from the entrance, there lay a pile of corpses. There were more than a dozen of them, young men whose arms and legs had been wrapped around each other in the agony of death. All had been shot point-blank range through the cheek, the bullet tearing away a line of flesh up to the ear and entering the brain. Some had vivid crimson or black scars down the left side of their throats. One had been castrated, his trousers torn open and a settlement of flies throbbing over his torn intestines.

The eyes of these young men were all open. The youngest was only 12 or 13 years old. They were dressed in jeans and coloured shirts, the material absurdly tight over their flesh now that their bodies had begun to bloat in the heat. They had not been robbed. On one blackened wrist a Swiss watch recorded the correct time, the second hand still ticking round uselessly, expending the last energies of its dead owner.


On the other side of the main road, up a track through the debris, we found the bodies of five women and several children. The women were middle-aged and their corpses lay draped over a pile of rubble. One lay on her back, her dress torn open and the head of a little girl emerging from behind her. The girl had short dark curly hair, her eyes were staring at us and there was a frown on her face. She was dead.

Another child lay on the roadway like a discarded doll, her white dress stained with mud and dust. She could have been no more than three years old. The back of her head had been blown away by a bullet fired into her brain. One of the women also held a tiny baby to her body. The bullet that had passed into her breast had killed the baby too. Someone had slit open the woman’s stomach, cutting sideways and then upwards, perhaps trying to kill her unborn child. Her eyes were wide open, her dark face frozen in horror.

“…As we stood there, we heard a shout in Arabic from across the ruins. “They are coming back,” a man was screaming, So we ran in fear towards the road. I think, in retrospect, that it was probably anger that stopped us from leaving, for we now waited near the entrance to the camp to glimpse the faces of the men who were responsible for all of this. They must have been sent in here with Israeli permission. They must have been armed by the Israelis. Their handiwork had clearly been watched – closely observed – by the Israelis who were still watching us through their field-glasses.

When does a killing become an outrage? When does an atrocity become a massacre? Or, put another way, how many killings make a massacre? Thirty? A hundred? Three hundred? When is a massacre not a massacre? When the figures are too low? Or when the massacre is carried out by Israel’s friends rather than Israel’s enemies?

That, I suspected, was what this argument was about. If Syrian troops had crossed into Israel, surrounded a Kibbutz and allowed their Palestinian allies to slaughter the Jewish inhabitants, no Western news agency would waste its time afterwards arguing about whether or not it should be called a massacre.

But in Beirut, the victims were Palestinians. The guilty were certainly Christian militiamen – from which particular unit we were still unsure – but the Israelis were also guilty. If the Israelis had not taken part in the killings, they had certainly sent militia into the camp. They had trained them, given them uniforms, handed them US army rations and Israeli medical equipment. Then they had watched the murderers in the camps, they had given them military assistance – the Israeli airforce had dropped all those flares to help the men who were murdering the inhabitants of Sabra and Chatila – and they had established military liason with the murderers in the camps

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This came a few days after recently elected President Lebanon Lebanese Christian Kataeb leader Bashir Gemayel and followers were killed by a bomb attack assassination. Kataeb members, took their revenge against these Palestinian refugees mainly consisting helpless and non combatant women, children and old folks.

Western witnesses saw the massacre went on by the Lebanese Chritisna militia for days, under the watchful eyes of Israeli Forces. The blamed Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon for the responsibility of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre.

No one was ever taken to face any form of trial for the horrific massacre of these non combatant refugees. It was a horrific tragedy of crimes against humanity which the world failed on these Palestinian refugees. Ariel Sharon later became Prime Minister of Israel and further exercised his thrist for atrocities and genocide in the Palestinian West Banks and Gaza settlements.

It is typical of ‘Israeli Justice’. The mandate to form the State of Israel for the Jews, were justified for those who survived the horror and tragedy of the World War II Nazi Holocaust. They unlawfully and immorally took Palestinian lands for  creation of their new Zionist state 64 years ago. There on, the Zionist Israeli butchers took millions of Palestinian lives to justify their existence and expansion.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre was a demonstration of that brutal mentality which the Zionist Jews put in practice, in their justification to remain as invaders. Even when Sabra and Shatila was about non combatant refugees. mainly consisting of old folks, women and children.

Published in: on September 17, 2012 at 15:00  Comments (4)  

Muhammad S.A.W., in current summary by the West

Muslim revere Muhammad, son of Abdullah who was born on 12 Rabiul-Awal on Year of the Elephants (The year Abarahah from Yemen tried to come to Mekkah valley and destroyed the Ka’abah with his elephants backed army).

He never knew his father. Grew up as an orphan, taken in by his paternal grandfather Abdul Mutalib after his mother Aminah died. When Abdul Mutalib died, his include Abu Talib took the charge of raising the boy. He was a typical playful and jovial boy, and illiterate, just like boys in that era. As he became a young man, he was taught the trade to become merchants and was entrustedB to carry on the merchant trips.

By the age of forty, Muhammad seeks solace in the Hira’ caves, to be alone and ponder on his deep philosophical thoughts.Then Archangle Gabriel appeared with specific instructions from God, antagonized Muhammad and instructing him to read!

That experience was Muhammad being’ baptized’ as a Prophet. He preached in Mekkah for thirteen years before migrating to Medinah. He came back to reclaim Mekkah and destroyed all the pagan worship activities around the house of worship (Masjid-il-Haram) which was built by Abraham.

Through the years, God’s words where communicated to Muhammad S.A.W. via archangel Gabriel. Then the ‘journey of the night’ or Isra’ Mikraj happened, where he was taken on the Buraq to the heavens to be presented to God al Mighty. The journey ascended from Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem.

Muhammad S.A.W. also referred by Muslims as Rasulullah, is a model businessman, husband, father, leader, diplomat, military strategist, teacher, communicator and mediator.

This article is uploaded from Associated Press

Key Questions, Answers About the Prophet Muhammad

By AYA BATRAWY Associated Press
September 14, 2012 (AP)

An overview about the Prophet Muhammad:

Who is the Prophet Muhammad?

Muslims believe that God revealed the Quran to Muhammad starting in the early 6th century through the Angel Gabriel. Muhammad is not only considered part of a long line of major prophets, including Moses and Jesus, but Muhammad is also considered the last prophet.

Muhammad was married to Khadija, a wealthy woman who inherited her family business and was 15 years older than him. She is considered the first follower of Islam after the prophet. The prophet did not marry again until after her death. Among the women he married after are Aisha, who is revered for transmitting to his followers after his death his way of life and habits, and Maria, a Coptic Christian who converted. The revelation of the Quran began in what is celebrated by Muslims around the world as the month of Ramadan. Muslims believe the Quran is a continuation of the core values of the Torah and Bible.

What is the Prophet Muhammad’s role in Islam?

Muslims consider Muhammad both a spiritual and very human figure who is a model of how they should behave in all aspects of life. The Muslim declaration of faith, or shahada, is: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” This declaration is recited often during the five daily prayers as a way of glorifying God and sending blessings to Muhammad, as well as cementing one’s faith in the declaration. Muslims do not worship Muhammad but honor him by trying to emulate his ideals.

Why are depictions of the prophet seen as heretical by most Muslims?

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt US Prophet Film.JPEG
AP
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Among Sunni Muslims in particular, depictions of any prophets, whether it be Muhammad or Jesus or Moses, are shunned to avoid worship of a person or figure rather than God. God is the absolute in Islam and shares no partner and has no associates. Throughout history, there have been some depictions of the prophet in Islamic art, and it is common to find his name in the form of calligraphy. His name as God’s messenger and as part of the Islamic declaration, shahada, is drawn in Arabic and hung in homes and mosques. Shia Muslims are less opposed to depictions and images of Islamic leaders, but drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, positive or not, continue to draw ire by Muslims around the world.

In what ways does the prophet’s life impact Muslims today?

In mosque sermons, Muslim homes, Islamic studies and literature on the religion, the prophet’s way of life and his words are studied and repeated as examples to live by. While Muslims do not believe the prophet to be perfect, as perfection is believed to be reserved only for God, they revere his relationship with his companions, followers, enemies, wives and neighbors as the ideal that humans should aspire to emulate.

The verbal sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad are key elements of Islam that Muslims often refer to when interpreting Islamic law or answering questions that may not be fully addressed in the Quran. A saying or action by the prophet, known as a “hadith,” has been studied in great detail by scholars for centuries to establish its validity. This means the reliability of its transmitters and the accuracy of its lineage back to the prophet must be authenticated.

What is an example of a hadith?

The Prophet Muhammad and his followers were often subjected to mockery, abuse and torture in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by those opposed to Islam and its message during its early years. It is said he remained patient and did not return insult for insult. This is further exemplified by one his teachings or hadith, in which he states; “Should I inform you about the best characteristics of the dwellers of this world and the hereafter? They are: keeping a relationship with one who cuts it off with you, giving to the one who deprives you, and pardoning the one who oppresses or wrongs you.”

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Associated Press religion writer Rachel Zoll contributed from New York.

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That came after massive Muslim world anger against the insult they felt based on Sam Bacile’s “Innocence of Muslim”

14 September 2012 Last updated at 22:33 GMT

Anti-Islam film protests escalate

Violent protests have continued across the Middle East in response to a film made in the US seen as insulting to Islam

At least seven people were killed on Friday in demonstrations over a film made in the US that mocks Islam – as protests spread around the world.

Three people were killed when the US embassy in Khartoum was attacked, Sudanese state radio said.

In Tunisia, two people were killed after crowds breached the US embassy compound in Tunis. There was one death in Egypt and one in Lebanon.

Protests began on Tuesday against the film, Innocence of Muslims.

The film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and leader of a group of men who enjoy killing. Clips were distributed online with an Arabic voice-over.

The film’s exact origin and the motivation behind its production remain a mystery.

Islamic flag

In Khartoum, a crowd of several thousand attacked the US embassy. State radio said three people were killed.

Continue reading the main story

At the scene

Leana HoseaBBC News, Tunis

As soon as Friday prayers were over, hundreds of men streamed out of the mosque in Tunis and started marching to the US embassy. They appeared to be ordinary Muslims angry that their religion had been insulted. As one told me: “Allah and the Prophet are more important than my life.”

Most of the protesters were men, but there were some women, too. When I put it to them that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had apologised and the film had nothing to do with the US government, they all said it was not enough. “We want a proper apology and for the filmmaker to be arrested,” they said.

The embassy was heavily guarded by riot police, an army tank and the access roads were shut. But this was not enough. Clashes soon broke out. The air was thick with tear gas, but people have learned from the revolution that a bit of Coca-Cola in the eyes will take away the burn.

Just opposite the embassy, the American School was looted by young men and boys, who walked off with musical instruments and computers.

The crowds gathered first outside the German embassy, setting it partially alight and causing extensive damage.

The UK embassy nearby was also targeted by protesters but escaped major destruction.

The controversial film has no known links to either Germany or the UK.

Both countries confirmed all their staff in their Khartoum embassies were safe.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s attack and call on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that those involved are brought to justice,” said UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Later, US Vice President Joe Biden called his Sudanese counterpart Ali Osman Taha to express concern over the security of US and other diplomatic missions in Khartoum, the White House said.

In Tunis, hundreds of protesters entered the embassy compound and set fire to several vehicles in the car park.

Earlier reports said three people had been killed but this was later revised down to two.

Police fired shots, but it was not clear whether these were rubber bullets or live rounds.

Demonstrators raised a black flag bearing the Islamic proclamation of faith: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”

The American school in Tunis was looted and set on fire.

Tunisian Prime Minister Rachid Ghannouchi said the attacks were unacceptable.

All the dead are believed to be protesters. There is no indication that any diplomatic staff or members of the security forces were killed.

At least one person was killed in Cairo as protests raged for a fourth day.

Police firing tear gas pushed about 500 demonstrators back from the US embassy. Streets nearby were blocked with barbed wire, concrete and police vehicles.

President Obama : “Their sacrifice will never be forgotten”

Islamist groups and others had called for a peaceful “million-man march” in the city, but a number withdrew those calls on Friday.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi, said it would organise marches and sit-ins in front of mosques – but none outside the US embassy in Cairo.

After talks with Italian leaders in Rome, Mr Mursi reiterated his government’s determination to protect foreign diplomats on its soil. He also condemned the film as unacceptable.

Later on Friday, Islamic militants attacked an international observer post in Egypt’s restive Sinai region.

The base is not far from the border with Gaza and Israel. It houses some 1,500 members of the multinational force, including US troops.

There were also protests in the northern city of Alexandria.

In other developments:

Continue reading the main story

Protest timeline – main flashpoints

Map

11 September

1. US embassy in Cairo attacked, flag torn down and replaced with black Islamist banner

2. Mob attacks US consulate in Benghazi, US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed

13 September

3. Protesters break into the US embassy compound in Sanaa, Yemen, amid clashes with security forces

14 September

4. Sudanese protesters attack German and British embassies in Khartoum, and clash with police

5. One person killed in Lebanon in protest at a KFC restaurant

6. Protesters in Tunis attack the US embassy, with a large fire reported and shots heard

  • In the Yemeni capital Sanaa, security forces fired warning shots and water cannon to disperse protesters near the US embassy
  • The US is sending a fast-response team of 50 marines to Sanaa to boost security
  • In the Lebanese city of Tripoli, protesters set fire to a KFC fast-food restaurant, sparking clashes with security forces
  • In Bangladesh, thousands of demonstrators demanded harsh punishment for the film’s makers, and burned the American flag
  • In London, about 200 protesters gathered outside the US embassy, burning the US and Israeli flags but there was no violence
  • About 1,000 people joined a protest in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, burning an effigy of US President Barack Obama
  • Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem
  • In Nigeria, police in the flashpoint northern city of Jos fired live rounds at a protest outside a mosque
  • There were also protests in eastern Sri Lanka and in the Maldives

The protests against the film began on Tuesday in Cairo.

They spread to the Libyan city of Benghazi, where demonstrators stormed the US consulate, killing the ambassador and three other Americans.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have attended a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base for the return of the remains of the Americans killed.

Mr Obama said the US would “stand fast” against the violence at its diplomatic missions.

The US has said it is stepping up security at its missions globally in the wake of the attack.

The BBC has been told that the US consulate in Benghazi was not given the standard security contract offered to most US diplomatic missions in the Middle East.

The allegation came from Western private military contractors.

A White House spokesman has said there was no “actionable intelligence” in advance about the Benghazi attack.

President Obama has now ordered a review of security at US diplomatic facilities around the world.

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The search is now for “Sam Bacile”:

  • EXTRA
  • September 14, 2012

Who is ‘Sam Bacile’?

New intriguing leads on the man who made the world’s most deadly movie trailer.

By BRET STEPHENS

U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya, Egypt and Yemen have come under violent assault in recent days, all ostensibly on account of an online trailer for a film nobody has seen called “Innocence of Muslims.” The 14-minute clip, almost comically badly acted, depicts the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in a, well, unflattering light. The actors in the clip have insisted they were duped into thinking the film was set 2,000 years ago in (pre-Islamic) Egypt, and that the Muhammad character was named “George.” The anti-Islamic thrust of the clip appears to have been added later by way of some crude overdubbing.

Since then questions have swirled about the identity of the film-maker. On Tuesday, the Journal spoke to a man who claimed to be the director and called himself Sam Bacile. He described himself as a 52-year-old Israeli-American real-estate developer, called Islam a “cancer,” and said the film had been funded by Jewish donors to the tune of $5 million.

But as the Journal reports, there are no records of a “Sam Bacile” either in the U.S. or Israel. The Journal also reports that “Sam Bacile’s” phone number was traced to an address in Cerritos, Calif., which appears to be the home of somebody named Nakoula Bassely Nakoula. Along with a “Sam Basselley,” Mr. Nakoula is listed as one of the film’s producers. In a conversation with the Associated Press, he denied being Sam Bacile but claimed to be a Coptic Christian and the manager of the company that had produced the film. Records indicate that a man named Nakoula Nakoula recently served a prison sentence for bank fraud. Among his known aliases are Mark Basseley Youssef and Youssef M. Basseley.

With help from a tipster, I’ve done some sleuthing myself and come up with a few intriguing leads. Until the page suddenly vanished yesterday, someone named Sam Bassel had a Facebook page in which he identified himself as a male “Movei [sic] maker” in Hollywood, California. Also promoted as a “Favorite” on the page is a movie called “Innocence of bin Laden,” which seems to have been the original title for “Innocence of Muslims.” Most of the written exchanges on the page are in Arabic, and most of Sam Bassel’s Facebook friends appear to be of Arab origin as well. Also listed as a Favorite on the page is a link to a Facebook group called “I am Egyptian.”

The “Sam Bassel” Facebook page abruptly vanished yesterday. But I caught a screen grab of the page before it disappeared.

Note the name under the “Work and Education” tag: “matthew mtta dba,” in Norwalk Calif. A Google search finds that a legal notice for a Fictitious Business Name Statement was posted in the Nov. 4-10, 2010 issue of the San Gabriel Valley Examiner, on page B11. It reads: “The following person(s) doing business as: MATTHEW MTTA” and gives the registrant’s name as “Abanob Basseley,” along with an address in Norwalk.

So who is Abanob Basseley? Yesterday I called a number listed to that name with an address in Cerritos, CA—the same town in which Nakoula Nakoula apparently lives. The number was no longer in service, so the hunt goes on. But a few tentative conclusions:

Sam Bacile/Bassel is not an Israeli-American, and his attempt to pass himself off as one is a potentially deadly slander. His film—if there really is any footage beyond the 14-minute clip—did not cost anything like $5 million to make. There is no cabal of Jewish donors who put up the money. Sam Bassel, or whoever used that name as a Facebook alias, speaks and writes fluent Arabic and likely has an Egyptian background. The name Abanob Basseley is, as one Egyptian friend tells me, as typically Coptic as, say, Mohammad is Muslim or Shlomo is Jewish. (St. Abonoub is a Coptic saint named after an Egyptian child martyred by the Romans.) The fact that the film was publicly promoted by Morris Sadek, the head of the National American Coptic Assembly, also suggests a Coptic connection to the film.

No doubt we’ll learn more about “Sam Bacile” in the days to come. What effect, if any, an accurate account of the video clip’s true origins will have on the protesters rampaging in Arab capitals remains to be seen.

Mr. Stephens writes Global View, the Journal’s foreign relations column.

Published in: on September 15, 2012 at 06:32  Comments (7)  

Making sense for Mersing

The proposed Laguna Mersing. Probably, something that is more at home somewhere in the gulf states area

HRH Sultan of Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar announced the cancellation of the mega ambitious RM 22 billion project for  Mersing, Laguna Mersing. he cited that the developer Radiant Starfish development Bhd failed to raise the RM 200 million paid up capital, as stipulated by the Johor State Government.

Sunday September 9, 2012

Johor Ruler: Mersing Laguna developer failed to fulfil condition

By NELSON BENJAMIN
nelson@thestar.com.my

MERSING: The RM22bil Mersing Laguna project has been cancelled because the developer failed to fulfil a condition in the agreement, announced Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

He said the developer, Radiant Starfish Development Berhad, had failed to raise the paid-up capital to RM200mil within six months as required under the agreement signed on Feb 25 this year.

“Owing to the failure, the project is hereby cancelled,” the Sultan said, adding that he himself had performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the mega project on April 14.

The project was to have involved the construction of hotels and resorts, a marina, a water theme park and shopping malls. It was to also involve land reclamation to create three man-made islands.

Heads held high: Sultan Ibrahim walking past a line-up of soldiers at the Special Forces anniversary day celebrations at Kem Iskandar in Mersing. — Bernama
Heads held high: Sultan Ibrahim walking past a line-up of soldiers at the Special Forces anniversary day celebrations at Kem Iskandar in Mersing. — Bernama

The first phase was to have been completed in seven years.

The Sultan said he would monitor all development in Johor to ensure they were successfully carried out and benefited the people and state.

Meanwhile, palace officials confirmed that Radiant Starfish Development Bhdchief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah died on Friday in Kuala Lumpur from health complications.

In his speech at the Special Forces anniversary day celebrations at Kem Iskandar here yesterday, the Sultan also reminded arms suppliers, including retired army personnel and generals, not to raise the prices of equipment supplied to the armed forces.

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When the developer of Laguna Mersing got the approval for the project and was announced by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak as one of the nine landmark projects in the East Corridor Economic Region (ECER) which are identified to be catalyst and propel development.

Friday March 9, 2012

RM22bil plan to turn Mersing into the likes of Bali and Hawaii

By ZAZALI MUSA
zaza@thestar.com.my

JOHOR BARU: Radiant Starfish Development Bhd plans to position Mersing town into an international tourist destination on par with Gold Coast, Bali, Caribbean and Hawaii.Chief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah said the town had all the ingredients to become a tourist hotspot and its potential had yet to be exploited.“I can guarantee you that Mersing town will no longer look like what it is seven years from now,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Ungku Safian said Mersing, which was located on the north east of Johor, was sandwiched between 40 unspoiled islands and the 200-million-year old Endau-Rompin National Park.

Ambitious plan: Ungku Safian (left) briefing Ghani on the Mersing Laguna project.

He was speaking after the signing of memorandum of agreements withYPJ Holdings Sdn BhdSinohydro Corp (M) Sdn BhdShengrong International Group Co Ltd and CIMB Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhdwitnessed by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

The agreements entail the development of the RM22bil Mersing Laguna, which involves the building of hotels and villas, land reclamation, a water theme park and provide insurance coverage for the project.

Ungku Safian said the reclamation works and related infrastructure would cost RM4.2bil and RM1bil respectively, adding that some RM17bil was required for develop the rest of project which would take seven years to complete.

The components of the project will consists 22 blocks of five-storey boutique hotels with 3,000 rooms, 4,000 villas and service apartments, marina facilities and commercial development

“Mersing Laguna is aimed at attracting tourists with high spending power and travellers who would love nature and eco-tourism,” he said.

Mersing Laguna is one of the nine projects announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya on Feb 28 under the East Coast Economic Region.

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It was said that right from the start, the confidence level for this mega ambitious project by the developer has not been encouraging. To embark into the development of such project requires enormous investment, let alone solid financial back up. The reclamation works alone is valued at RM 4.2 billion, which requires the investment in before any other superstructure works are able to to proceed. Six months ago,  Ungku Safian said the reclamation works should be done in three years time.

From the investment banking standpoint, the risk assessment for a project of such nature, magnitude and economic serrounding is somewhat high.

09 March 2012 | last updated at 01:30AM

Mersing to be RM22b tourist haven

ECO-TOURISM: Laguna project to be developed on 809ha reclaimed land

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (centre) Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (centre) and Radiant Starfish Development Bhd president and chief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah (second from left) looking at model of Mersing Laguna project at an agreement signing ceremony yesterday. With them is one of the company’s partners, Chinese construction conglomerate Sinohydro Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd chairman Fan Jixiang (right). Pix by Roslan Khamis

1 / 1

THE once sleepy district of Mersing in the northeast of Johor is set to be transformed into a RM22 billion high-end international eco-tourism destination in seven years.

Called Mersing Laguna, the resort will see a new wave of exciting developments that include boutique hotels, service apartments and waterfront villas on 809ha of reclaimed land, touted to be the country’s biggest land reclamation project.

The project was launched yesterday with the signing of agreements by master developer Radiant Starfish Development Bhd and four partners — Chinese construction conglomerate Sinohydro Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd, China-based theme park developers Shengrong International Group Co Ltd, Johor education foundation YPJ Holding Sdn Bhd and CIMB Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who launched the event, also witnessed the signing ceremony.

Present were Johor state secretary Datuk Obet Tawil, East Coast Economic Region (ECER) chief executive officer Datuk John Isaace and Radiant Starfish Development Bhd president and chief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah.

Mersing Laguna, which started its three-year reclamation work, is located between the Endau-Rompin and the Marine Parks off the coast of Mersing.

The reclamation project will involve a 36km stretch of the beach. The project was one of the nine announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be implemented in the ECER region that straddles Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and Mersing in Johor on Feb 28.

Read more: Mersing to be RM22b tourist haven – Columnist – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/mersing-to-be-rm22b-tourist-haven-1.57943#ixzz26Hixu6tt

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Sources said that it is unlikely that the developer could manage to convince and bring in that many five star hotel brands, when the project is still at this point. Hotel super brands would want to see the captive market for the said area and be convinced that their brand would be a success, before they would be willing to come in. In short, they would want only success story and their brand not to be impaired in anyway, due to low demand.

It means that the developer must quickly build and have at least an anchor brand and a world class attraction first, even before they start to work hard to sell. Then they would need to do mega-hype promotion exercise to make Laguna Mersing a really known destination, even before it is fully developed. Only then, the hotel super brands might be convinced to come over and lend their brand, at a price.

Skeptics also dwelled on the transportation infrastructure to Mersing. “Will the Federal Government build a new highway linking Mersing to Johor Bahru and the main North South Highway trunk? How about airport?”.

The RM 200 million capital requirement condition for Radiant Starfish Development Bhd is necessary, as it would be more detrimental had the project started to roll out and get stuck in the middle. The debris of an abandoned project would be a hazard if not an eye sore for Mersing.

The six months period allowed for the developer to raise the conditional paid up capital demonstrates that Johor State Government takes the gamble seriously. Only parties who can deliver should be given approval for such a massive project. It is about managing expectations for all stakeholders; Federal Government and State Government economic planning, potential investors, potential contractors and providers and most importantly, the rakyat and how their lives would be affected by this.

Perception, is another matter. For the common simpletons of Mersing, this Laguna Mersing proposal is beyond their wildest imaginations. They are unable to conceive that there would be a huge reclamation exercise and 22 blocks of five star hotels would be erected, a few hundred yards across from the Mersing river mouth. The magnitude of such massive project and how their lives would change is beyond their comprehension.

Hence, the announcement made by HRH Sultan Ibrahim is a timely welcome by some of the Mersing folks. Deputy Minister of Defense Dato’ Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad, who is MP for Mersing said such massive development has yet to be the aspiration of majority of Mersing folks. “Mersing folks are happy because HRH Tuanku is listening to their aspiration”.

Published in: on September 12, 2012 at 17:03  Comments (2)  
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