Selling sand to Singapore, still?

Are we still selling sand to Singapore?

We are made to believe that Malaysia banned the selling of sand to Singapore. It became a highly sensitive and heated issue when the “proposal to sell 1 billion cubic metre of sand” was brought into the ‘Scenic Bridge Replacing Johor Causeway’ negotiations tabled in first quarter 2006, which saw the outcry of Malaysians especially Johoreans.

The other reason was the request as a part of the condition for the Scenic Bridge buy in to allow Johor airspace for low flying Singapore Air Force aircrafts. As a result, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi abruptly and unceremoniusly cancelled the ‘Scenic Bridge’, amidst construction already started and the RM 1 billion brand new CIQ complex in Bukit Chagar was nearing completion.

The “Selling of 1 billion cubic metre sand proposal” later was discovered to be a ‘Malaysian proposal’, instead a formal request from the Singaporeans at the negotiations table. As a reaction of the outcry, it was announced that the sale of sand to the island city state was banned.

Today, it seems the situation is a little different. Yesterday, Works Minister Dato’ Shaziman Abu Mansor announced in Johor Bahru that “500 trucks carrying sand passed through the Causeway”. It somewhat caused traffic congestion, on top the usual goods that go to Singapore on road.

NST has the story:

Extra lane at CIQ complex to ease traffic congestion

2009/11/18

 

JOHOR BARU: Contractor Gerbang Perdana will build an extra lane to ease congestion at the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.

Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said the extra lane would be a ramp leading to the new Eastern Dispersal Link on the Johor side, and would be completed in a month.

Shaziman said once the new lane was completed, there would be three lanes for cars to enter Johor Baru, after the Customs checkpoint.

The new lane is among several routes, called medium-term routes, that will be completed by the end of next year.

“We have asked Gerbang Perdana to complete the work earlier as all medium-term routes are supposed to be completed in March 2011.

“The work is 47 per cent complete. The medium-term routes cost RM253 million.”

On complaints of congestion caused by lorries at the Causeway, Shaziman said the problem should be resolved as the cargo checkpoint for lorries in Tanjung Puteri began operating 24 hours since Sunday.

He said the congestion was caused by Singapore-bound lorries that wait near the Tanjung Puteri cargo checkpoint after clearance by Customs.

“Many lorry drivers wait for the right time to enter Singapore. They usually wait for the operation hours (of businesses) to begin at 9am before proceeding. This is one cause for the congestion,” Shaziman said after visiting the CIQ complex and cargo complex for lorries at Tanjung Puteri.

He said 700 lorries travelled from Singapore to Malaysia through the Causeway daily, while the daily number of lorries from Malaysia to Singapore was 1,000. About 500 of the Singapore-bound lorries carry sand.

Shaziman said he would brief the cabinet on Friday on other measures to ease traffic congestion at the CIQ complex.

Among them is a proposal to add another 36 immigration booths to the current 36 at the complex. “PLUS (Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan) Bhd has agreed to this.”

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

If there is a ban against the ‘Sale of sand to Singapore’, why is it there are “About 500 of the Singapore-bound lorries carry sand” passing through the Sultan Iskandar Complex, daily?

When was the ban on the ‘sale of land’ to Singapore lifted? Who is responsible to allow this to happen?

It is appalling to learn from the NST report that Works Minister Shaziman is only briefing the Cabinet on the congestion, without discussing the ‘sale  of sand’ via the Causeway that is calculated at one milliion cubic metres per annum.

For the record, we decided to call Dato’ Seri Abdullah “Prime Minister ‘Flip-Flop’ ” starting from the ‘Flip-Flop’ decision to cancel the ‘Scenic Bridge’ project, nine weeks after making a strong statement that the project “Is proceeding as scheduled“. Tengah Air Base, is situated at north west of the island republic which is only a few kilometres of the coast of Kota Iskandar in Nusajaya is the most likely where SAF aircrafts need the Johor airspace for easy clearance. Johoreans at Gelang Patah and Tanjung Piai area have been complaining of these low flying aircrafts for years.

And the msytery of the sale of sand, looms……….

*Updated 730pm

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 12:00  Comments (30)  

HDC: Something not quite halal

The Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) was established in October 2006, with the objective of developing the Halal industry and to contribute to the national GDP. The establishment of HDC was approved by the Malaysian Cabinet headed by PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato Seri Abdullah Hj Ahmad Badawi with a launching grant of RM25 million as a MOF company.

This GLC like most projects incepted during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah has a lot of ‘Level Four Boys’ insivible hand in it.

The Halal Industry had huge potential with 1.6 billion Muslims and the market size of USD 1.2 trillion. Many companies with the JAKIM Halal Certification were able to export to Muslim countries particularly in the West Asia. Headed by Dato Seri Jamil Bidin but his leadership is very much to be desired. 

HDC, since its inception engaged many consulting companies to conduct study on the halal market. Most notably was the Halal Master Plan which was conducted by Ethos Consulting but there were many other reports which include the business plan study by a big five firm of which some of the contents were “plagarised” from Ethos and some HDC internal documents. There was also a report conducted by Merdeka Centre based on Halal Industry Surveys and SME Surveys and reported their findings. There was a study conducted by MDS Logistic on A Cluster Study on How to make Malaysia a Global Hub. HDC also commissioned GFRA (Global Food Research &Adviser), a company linked to Kasehdia to conduct a Market Study in Europe and Asean. 

These studies cost the tax payers a huge amount of money but not much of these studies and reports have been implemented by HDC. These reports remain on the shelves of HDC gathering dust. For instance, the Halal Master Plan was approved by Cabinet after the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) submitted the Cabinet Paper in mid 2008 but actions were lacking. EPU had informed HDC to conduct a Halal Industry Event to share with the industry the Halal Master Plan but it was really an act of omission by HDC. To date, the Halal Industry Master Plan is about the best kept secret. 

In its early days, HDC was reporting directly to the Prime Minister’s office to get it started with the RM25 million grant. When Datuk (now Tan Sri) Amirsham Abdul Aziz (former Maybank CEO) was appointed as Minister in Charge of EPU, the Cabinet decided that HDC should report to EPU. However, HDC was restless under Amirsham and Dato Jamil Bidin lobbied to move HDC under Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the then Minister in the Prime Minister Office in charge of Islamic Affairs more based on personality rather than an objective move. PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah consented with the move much to the displeasure of EPU. When Dato Seri Najib Razak became Prime Minister, the new Minister in charge of Islamic Affairs changed to Mej. Jen. Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom while Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi moved to the Defence Ministry. Again, Dato Jamil Bidin was restless under Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and lobbied heavily to move under MITI with Datuk Mustapha Mohamed as the Minister. 

This move had cost HDC major relationship set back with the various stakeholders especially EPU and MOF. During April 2008, the Cabinet under PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdulah consented that Local Halal Certification under JAKIM was to be transferred to HDC and the process of transfer was completed in July 2008. Halal Certification was a different kettle of fish for HDC. It had neither the experience nor the ability to manage Halal Certification. There were blogs that opposed the move and stated that a company even under MOF should not be given the tasks of issuing Halal Certificate. After JAKIM Halal Certification was finally moved to HDC, HDC issued its own Halal Certificate but it was such a shoddy piece of work that the HDC certificate was not recognized by many countries. This has caused shipment of halal goods from Malaysia to be stuck at port of entry of countries due to non recognition of the HDC Halal Certificates. This caused a lot of grief for the exporter and the staff of HDC trying to resolve issues with the non recognized HDC Halal Certificates. 

During the same time, Dato Jamil Bidin had appointed Halim Ihsan in May 2008 who is/was the Internal Auditor of HDC as Strategic Adviser. Halim passed his ACCA in 1976 and was in Coopers & Lybrand, Bumiputra Hella Factoring Sdn Bhd and KPMG before starting his own Audit firm. Obviously, this appointment is a conflict of interest but Halim convinced Dato Jamil Bidin that he had resigned from his audit firm. According to sources, Halim as strategic adviser was part of the CEO’s office with Fahmi (also part of the CEO’s Office then) as his whipping boy.  This is about the one of the biggest mistake amongst many mistakes that Dato Jamil Bidin did as CEO of HDC.

As an accountant, Halim has no knowledge of the intricacies of the Halal Industry yet he would interfere with operational matters in Halal Integrity, Halal Certification and Industry Development Divisions of HDC. He operated by undermining the various VPs of the HDC divisions buy going direct to their staff and making decisions for them without notifying the VPs first.  While Halim should only focus on Strategic matters, the interference got worse. Quite a few high level staff resigned as a result. During the time, when JAKIM Halal Certification was under HDC, with the consent of Dato Jamil Bidin, he sent Fahmi to head the Halal Certification Process. Fahmi’s high handed approach did not go well with the JAKIM staff and about 30 staff decided to go back to JAKIM Hq and do not want to be under HDC. This was again the doing of Halim but Dato Jamil Bidin was equally to be blamed. To date, Halim is still in HDC but some thought the damage he has done to HDC is unprecedented and staff morale is at the lowest in HDC. 

In March 2009, Dato Jamil Bidin hired Farid Hamid, the ‘big five’ Consultant who developed the HDC Business Plan as mentioned earlier, he “plagarised” contents from the Ethos Halal Master Plan and some HDC internal documents. Again, as consultant to a ‘big five’ firm, he has very little knowledge about Industry development particularly about SME development. He was made the VP of Operation and this appointment can be regarded as Dato Jamil Bidin’s  big mistake. 

It was said that what Farid wants, Farid gets and since Dato Jamil Bidin is a very hands-off person, Farid is running the show although he lacks experience in Industry development and Halal Certification. He has a very high handed approach and would threatened staff with termination if he did not get his way. As a result, he has suspended 3 industry development staff and accused them for insubordination. Those suspended are intending to take legal actions against HDC. The staff morale is extremely low and most staff in HDC is just marking time until they get offers from other companies and they would leave in droves. 

When Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom was appointed Minister for Islamic Affairs under Prime Minister Najib Razak, the first thing he did was to  move back Halal Certification to JAKIM. The Cabinet made the decision after feedback from various government agencies such as EPU, MOF and JPA. Since Dato Jamil Bidin had ruffled EPU with his move from Amirsham to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, EPU was very much in favour for Halal Certification to be moved from HDC back to JAKIM. Besides, HDC through Halim and Fahmi had destroyed a lot of goodwill in JAKIM. 

HDC is now under MITI and this will pose the biggest challenge for Dato Jamil Bidin. MITI has SME Corp handling SMEs including Halal SMEs with the availability of proper funding and grants. At the same time, Matrade also promotes Malaysian companies abroad including Halal companies and is currently the custodian of MIHAS, the largest Halal exhibition in the country. MIDA provides attractive incentives by attracting investment into Malaysia including Halal investment. HDC will be marginalized with the move to MITI and needs to find their niche. The marginalization of HDC is Dato Jamil Bidin’s own doing and will be his biggest mistake and regret ever.

For the record, the World Halal Forum is championed by non other than Khairy Jamaluddin, son-in-law of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah.

In the final analysis, HDC was never an ill concieved idea. It was just about insincerity of people exploiting the circumstance and flavour of the government’s effort moving forward for the betterment of the muslims. The hopes of the rakyat were high. Then again, as the Chair of OIC PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah could have done more. Probably he had really bad very close advisers.

The HDC episode is a very good example of people with acute lack of experience in macro planning and management attempting to thread onto turfs they have very little comprehension about. Time and again, people with wisdom, exposure and experience deficiencies should not be allowed into strategic roles. As some people thoroughly believe, the ‘Level Four Boys’ would never get anything right. And for the HDC, like other not well thought through programs crafted by ‘Level Four Boys’, never delivered what it supposed to do.

Wasting money and failure to deliver hopes at all if not any dues, by any justification is definitely Non Halal.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 19:54  Comments (14)  

Petronas pandemonia premonition

petronas

Recently, some pro-UMNO and establishment blogs painted the perception that Petronas President and CEO Tan Sri Hassan Merican as falling out of favour from Prime Minister VI Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. They suggested that Hassan either should leave or be made to leave prematurely, for blatantly defying wishes (more like ‘instructions’) of PM Najib.

PM Najib was insistant of appointing former Special Function Officer and currently Ethos Consulting CEO Omar Ong as a Non Executive Director of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas). Despite two board of directors (BOD) meeting rejecting the ‘request’, PM Najib ‘forcefully installed’ Omar in.

The repercussion of Omar’s appointment into Petronas BOD is far reaching. For starters, Omar was a Petronas sponsored scholar who had a bond to complete for a term of service but failed to do so. He prematurely left just under two years of service in February 1997 to join Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman. Later he left MDeC to join McKinsey & Co. From McKinsey, he formed Ethos Consulting with Dr Liew Boon Horng in 2002. During this time, Petronas issued a letter of demand for the remaining value of the bond yet to be completed.

Petronas has a policy to not admit personnel who left, to seek greener posture. As a matter of principle, the admission of Omar back into Petronas is morally and ethically wrong. Despite the admission is not as an employee but instead a member of the BOD, it can be seen as Petronas failed to uphold its own policy and ruling.

The amount sought by Petronas and awarded by the Shah Alam courts is not small. It is almost RM 200,000.00.

The appointment into the BOD is deemed demoralising amongst Petronas people. Not only a loan bond defaulter who was subjected to a court judgment and still ignored his dues, later he was ‘rewarded’ with a very strategic position in Petronas.  This could send a message within Petronas that a ‘diliquent’ not necessarily needed to be reprimanded but instead rewarded, as long as one could earn a political patronage.

Despite being a wholly owned Government corporation, the organisation remained apolitical. Petronas management comprises professionals, which include top civil servants. Never has Petronas admitted a political appointee. PM Najib insistant of Omar’s appointment to the BOD could be perceived as Petronas being made serving political needs. It can also send the signal and set a precedence that Petronas personnel are free to breach any rule and/or directive, as they like.

Petronas is one of if not the best example of a GLC which has developed a formidable succession plan. The processes, work culture and dynamics and productivity have reached a point where results can clearly be seen,  tactically and strategic. Bringing in ‘outsiders’ for a short term grooming process to take over as the CEO will definitely create ripples within the long serving executives of the state oil corporation. Some actually have illustrious service track records.

Loyalty and adhering to traditions are virtues that made a lot of corporations where they are today.

Oil and gas industry is the most productive sector in the Malaysian economy today. The productivity is glaring amidst regional and global economic slwodown. Hence, the sluggish Singapore’s economy has now set their aim to capture businesses being developed in Malaysia, which Petronas is taking the lead. Some even believed that this is one of the agenda to bring Omar into the BOD.

The excuse that Eisenhower Foundation Fellowship Alumni Omar was ‘sent’ by PM Najib is to look into  ‘corporate governance’. How and why Petronas needed an extra independent director to oversee the ‘improvement of governance’ is not clear yet. So far, Petronas’s results have been far more than impressive. Unlike under other GLCs, for instance Khazanah Holdings Bhd., The investment arm of the Malaysian Government is known for spending lavishly and make bad returns despite  ‘GLC restructuring master’ Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop (now Minister in charge of EPU) specific instructions on ‘ROI’ and bullish obsession on ”value creation’. Some of the dealings could only be perceived as Malaysians being shorthanged. For the record, Khazanah Holdings has the fondness of outsourcing their consultancy jobs to firms like McKinsey and Co.

As is, Petronas people are not paid like the oil majors, despite outstanding success stories. Needless to say, their productivity still remain high. ‘Rumblings  the interior’ is very much the flavour amongst her 23,000 personnel. Of course, Petronas has lost a stream of good oil and gas professionals due to the ‘below market’ remuneration packages for the lucrative industry.

These ‘interventions’ will have a pessimistic reaction, if not adverse for Petronas. Thoroughbred Petronas people would definitely be affected. The boost morale is not an easy task. For a corporation which has a turnover of RM 254 billion and almost RM 90 billion EBITDA, mutiny is something the Federal Government should want to avoid at all cost. That result is analitically 60% of the Malaysian GDP (PPP adjusted) for 2008.

In sundry, recent developments are premonition to pandemonium within Petronas. PM Najib and Federal Government should really think through deeply.

Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 18:09  Comments (29)  

Nik Aziz hiprokrit

 

Nik-Aziz-Lim-Kit-Siang-DAPAS

Nik Aziz in a Chinese Chauvinists anti-Islam/Malay DAP function with Lim Kit Siang

Murshidul Am PAS dan MB Kelantan Dato’ Nik Aziz Nik Mat ialah seorang pemimpin yang hipokrit. Dalam bahasa Arab berthemakan Islamnya, sebagaimana yang sering PAS selalu perkudakan: Munafiq!

Ariffahmi

Ir Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman, CEO PMBK and Son-in-Law to MB Kelantan and PAS Murshidul Am Dato Nik Aziz Nik Mat

Ini kerana menantu kesayangan beliau, CEO PMBK Ir. Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman ialah seorang ahli UMNO.  Beliau yang bernombor keahlian 02666057 merupakan ahli berdaftar Cawangan Kg. Chakong, Bahagian Machang. Beliau merupakan seorang yang datang dari keluarga ahli UMNO.

Maklumat ini disahkan Kepimpinan UMNO Bahagian Machang.

Nik Aziz pernah mengeluarkan kata kesat “Pergi jahanam UMNO” semasa membuat komen keatas cadangan Presiden PAS Dato’ Hadi Awang dalam ucapan penggulungan Muktamar PAS mengenai ‘Kerajaan Perpaduan’ dan kemungkinan berkerjasama dengan UMNO ditimbulkan oleh media untuk ulasan.

PAS-TIPU

Nampaknya, kemelut Kepimpinan PAS yang melibatkan ‘warna sebenar’ pemimpin mereka, terutama yang diagungkan sebagai “Tok Guru” akhirnya mula menampakan apa yang sebenarnya. Pembohongan PAS memperkudakan emosi orang Melayu terhadap ugama Islam dijadikan senjata untuk dimodalkan sebagai sasaran politik hanya untuk meraih kuasa.

Hipokrasi Nik Aziz sebagai MB Kelantan bermula lebih awal lagi. Antara slogan PAS Kelantan semasa kempen pilihanraya ialah “Membangun bersama Islam” dan menyifatkan Kelantan sebagai “Serambi Mekah”. Setelah 19 tahun memerintah, pembangunan fizikal dan Islam dalam Kelantan amatlah mengecewakan.

Sebelum ini, Nik Aziz sebagai seorang hipokrit dibongkarkan apabila beliau pada mulanya menerima tawaran mengerjakan haji pada musim ini dengan empat orang ahli keluarga lain dengan kos RM 65,000.00 seorang, yang sepatutnya ditakrifkan sebagai rasuah. Namun setelah pendedahan tawaran dari sebuah kontraktor papantanda diKelantan itu dalam media alternatif dan mula mendapat perhatian rakyat Malaysia dalam tempoh yang amat singkat, Jumaat lepas beliau mengumumkan membatalkan pemergian itu yang sepatutnya dilakukan hari ini.

Isu ‘Baiah Cerai Talak Tiga’ yang mula mula diketengahkan oleh  ADUN PAS Gunung Semanggol Hj Ramli Tussin semasa PRK Bukit Gantang April 2009,  pada 10 Nov 2009 disahkan oleh MP Shah Alam Khalid Samad dan dipaparkan NST dan kemudian disahkan oleh Setiausaha PAS Selangor Mohd. Khairuddin Othman. Namun, setelah timbul kontroversi yang mendapat liputan meluas media, ianya dinafikan oleh Kepimpinan PAS sebagai dasar rasmi parti, termasuk Nik Aziz sendiri. 

Laporan Bernama.com:

10 November, 2009 17:25 PM

Nik Aziz Nafi Wujud Bai’ah Dalam Pas

 

KOTA BAHARU, 10 Nov (Bernama) — Mursyidul Am PAS, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat Selasa menafikan wujudnya apa yang dinamakan sumpah bai’ah yang membawa kepada perceraian isteri sehingga menjadi polimik baru dalam kepimpinan PAS sekarang.

Menteri Besar Kelantan itu berkata isu itu sengaja ditimbulkan oleh pihak tertentu di kalangan orang Islam sendiri yang dengki terhadap perjuangan PAS yang mula diterima oleh masyarakat umum.

“Sebenarnya PAS ini telah didengki oleh orang Islam sendiri, oleh kerana parti ini berkembang akhir-akhir ini maka golongan sekular ini berusaha juga dan mencari juga jalan yang boleh menggugat kedudukan PAS.

“Di Kelantan, isu bai’ah ini tak timbul langsung,” katanya kepada pemberita di sini hari ini, mengulas isu yang ditimbulkan oleh anggota Parlimen Shah Alam, Khalid Samad baru-baru ini.

Khalid dari Pas, mengakui wujudnya syarat yang menghendaki pemimpin-pemimpin parti itu melafazkan bai’ah iaitu sumpah taat setia bahawa akan jatuh talak tiga terhadap isteri masing-masing jika mereka mengkhianati parti.

Bagaimanapun Naib Presidennya Salahuddin Ayub berkata Majlis Syura Pas tidak pernah mengeluarkan sebarang dasar yang menghendaki pemimpin-pemimpin parti itu melafazkan bai’ah sedemikian.

Namun Anggota Jawatankuasa Pas Pusat dan Anggota Exco kerajaan negeri Kelantan Datuk Husam Musa pula mempertahankan bai’ah yang wujud dalam parti itu dengan alasan untuk mengelak wakil rakyat mereka daripada dibeli oleh Umno.

Reaksi daripada itu Kerajaan mahu kepimpinan PAS memberi penjelasan mengenai dakwaan bai’ah itu.

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom berkata ini kerana pihak kerajaan melihat bai’ah adalah suatu keputusan yang hanya dibuat sebelah pihak tanpa perbincangan dengan pihak wanita.

Bagaimanpun Nik Abdul Aziz mengakui sebelum calon PAS bertanding (dalam pilihan raya) ada angkat sumpah dan ianya terdapat dalam borang taat setia sebagai akujanji sebagai tanda setia dan amanah kepada parti.

“Kita kahwin dengan orang pun ada ijab kabul, ijab kabul itu yang dipanggil bai’ah,” katanya.

Ditanya mengenai wujudnya bai’ah sedemikian di kalangan PAS Selangor, Nik Aziz berkata sebagai Menteri Besar Kelantan masalah Selangor adalah masalah individu dan terserah kepada tugas jawatankuasa disiplin utuk menyelesaikannya.

Di KUALA LUMPUR, Presiden PAS Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang berkata, PAS tidak akan mengambil sebarang tindakan atau memberikan penjelasan lanjut mengenai isu bai’ah kerana menganggap isu itu telah selesai.

“Tak payah (siasatan), tidak ada (bai’ah), benda tu tidak ada, ia sudah selesai, sudah habis,” jawabnya ringkas ketika ditanya pemberita di Lobi Parlimen.

Abdul Hadi berkata, perkara itu hanya dibangkitkan oleh media dan bukannya anggota PAS.

Sementara itu, Naib Presiden PAS Salahudin Ayub berkata, parti itu tidak akan mengambil sebarang tindakan terhadap Khalid yang membuat kenyataan itu memandangkan pemimpin tertinggi dan Majlis Syura PAS memberitahu bahawa sebenarnya bai’ah yang didakwa tidak wujud.

Baginya, isu bai’ah itu tidak menjadi liabiliti kepada parti itu bahkan ia dianggap sebagai satu percambahan minda yang sihat dalam parti serta mencerminkan kebebasan bersuara di kalangan anggota PAS.

— BERNAMA

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

Pemanipulasikan fakta ini merupakan hipokrasi PAS secara institiusi. PAS sebagai parti politik dan pemimpin mereka sebenarnya tergamak menguna dan manipulasikan Islam semata mata untuk menagih simpati, mengelirukan, meraih sokongan dan mendapat undi.

Nik Aziz tidak terkecuali dari amalan ini.

*Dikemaskini 400pm

 

Published in: on November 15, 2009 at 11:06  Comments (25)  

It is a bribe for Nik Aziz to accept the RM65,000 Hajj trip

It is ethically and morally wrong for MB Kelantan and PAS Murshidul Am Dato’ Nik Aziz Nik Mat to accept the luxurious RM65,ooo per person Hajj trip under ‘package scheme’ offered by TH Travel Sdn. Bhd. Accepting the offer should be classified as a bribe. However controversial Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan Bhd. CEO Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman, who is also Nik Aziz’s son-in-law says it is was not wrong for the latter to accept the luxurious pilgrimage trip.

The Star has the story:

Published: Friday November 13, 2009 MYT 7:24:00 PM

Nik Aziz was not wrong in accepting paid trip to Mecca: Son-in-law

By SYED AZHAR

KOTA BARU: Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nikmat’s son-in-law Abdul Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman said there was nothing wrong in his father-in-law, who is a revered Ulama, to accept offers from people willing to sponsor him for Haj pilgrimage as they felt his presence would spiritually enhance their stay in Mecca.

He added that it was a norm for people to spend money to take Tok Gurus from Pondoks or Zawiya (monastery) in Kelantan to perform the Haj in Mecca.

“Its like this, he (Nik Abdul Aziz) is like other Tok Gurus and many people want to go to the Holy land with people like him because his knowledge of Islam is inspiring.

“Naturally many would want to perform Haj with him including me.

“We can benefit from his knowledge, tazkirah, his experience that would have an effect to our soul, he said this to reporters during an interview at his house in Pulau Melaka recently,” he said.

Abdul Ariffahmi, 35, who is also the chief executive officer of Kelantan Mentri Besar Incorporated (PMBK), was asked to comment on this issue after talk emerged that Nik Abdul Aziz had accepted a RM65,000 sponsorship to perform the Haj from Nov 18.

Earlier this week, Nik Abdul Aziz, who is also the PAS spiritual adviser, said it was okay to accept sponsorships from individuals to perform the Haj, saying that this was not an act of corruption.

Abdul Ariffahmi added that many Tok Gurus did not have enough money to perform the Haj and that it was not out of the ordinary for someone to volunteer to pay for the trip.

Abdul Ariffahmi said he was expected to leave for the Holy land on Sunday.

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

For the record, the company which offered to pay for Nik Aziz’s Hajj trip Abroad Technology Sdn. Bhd. is a contractor for billboards all over Kelantan.

Nik Aziz, who is also PMBK Chairman should not be accepting gifts from contractors and/or suppliers to the state GLC. Legally and ethically, it is no difference if Nik Aziz and company were to be given an all expense shopping holiday in London and Paris.

It is extremely sad that this Ariffahmi’s statement is made. It demonstrate how PAS Leaders have little regards for moral and ethics and even willing to manipulate Islam for the purpose to justify their wrong doings. PAS has misled Muslims with their skewed and narrowminded intepretation of Islam to suit and justify their actions for so long.

For Ariffahmi to say “Its like this, he (Nik Abdul Aziz) is like other Tok Gurus and many people want to go to the Holy land with people like him because his knowledge of Islam is inspiring. We can benefit from his knowledge, tazkirah, his experience that would have an effect to our soul, he said this to reporters during an interview at his house in Pulau Melaka recently,” also means that as a Spirtual Leader and respected Tok Guru, only the affluent and connected persons are able to personally enjoy the wisdom, knowledge and benefits of such as man and not public at large. It short, Nik Aziz’s own practice just made his position as a Spiritual Leader as a ‘privileged commodity’, where only some persons can benefit.

PAS-TIPU

This skewed and narrowminded intepretation of Islam to suit and justify their political actions and policies had gone a long way. In the early sixties, PAS ulamas issued a fatwa that it is wrong and sinful to work (in a coalition government) with Non Muslims. This was meant to justify that UMNO leaders were sinful working with MCA and MIC leaders in the Perikatan and Federal Governement. And yet since 1990, PAS has had working relationship and partnership with not only Non Muslims, but anti-Islam/Malay Chinese Chauvinists like DAP.

In 1999, to justify PAS lifelong member Shahnon Ahmad’s vulgar novel “Shit”, Nik Aziz said on national TV that “Allah also swear (Allah pun mencarut)!”. Then post 10th General Elections later in the same year, he proclaimed that “Its alright to work with Syaitan”, to justify the working relationship with anti-Islam/Malay Chinese Chauvinist DAP.

The most recent outburst of Nik Aziz is “Damn UMNO (Pergi jahanam UMNO)!”, on the suggestion of PAS President Dato’ Hadi Awang’s closing address of the PAS annual assembly for the possiblity of forming a ‘Unity Government’ with UMNO. This is unbecoming of a PAS Spiritual Leader and Chief Executive of a state and seen to create a new polemic to wedge further the disunity of the Malays.

*Updated 830am

Published in: on November 14, 2009 at 01:16  Comments (30)  

MCA should shape up or ship out!

MCA

The Leadership fracas in MCA is dragging far too long and complicated. It is also eroding the confidence and eventually votes of the Malaysian of Chinese ethnicity, As a founding member of Perikatan and an intergral part of Barisan Nasional (BN), MCA should consider shaping up or risk being shipped out.

There is a call for Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, who is the BN Chairman to intervene.

The Sun has the story:

 

MCA third force wants PM to intervene

 
by Giam Say Khoon


Ling Liong Sik
In a press conference, third force spokesman Datuk Tan Kah Choun said if Najib is unable to meet all past party chiefs, he should at least see two in particular: Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Michael Chen.
Ling helmed the party for 17 years, while Chen, who was MCA deputy president and the secretary-general of the Alliance during former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak’s tenure, did much to move Sino-Malay friendship forward, said Tan.
“Some of the 11 past presidents and deputy presidents had undergone party crises and they have deep impressions and ideas on how to solve the present problem. The prime minister will get the most suitable idea and help to solve the crisis and it should not be seen as Umno interfering into MCA party matters.
“If the above measures are unable to resolve the crisis, I strongly recommend the PM consult former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also known as ‘Doctor Malaysia’, as he had successfully resolved at least three MCA crises,” he said.
Tan said the third force, which emerged on the scene just before the Oct 10 MCA extraordinary general meeting (EGM), had succeeded in ousting both party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek as both had their leadership rejected by the central delegates at the EGM.
However, following this, the duo then joined forces to come up with a unity plan for MCA.
He said the greater unity plan (GUP) is a positive approach for the party as Ong and Chua are prepared to work together for the benefit of the party unity and the nation.
“This dramatic change proves the saying ‘in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies’. Such dramatic change requires intelligence, wisdom, and mutual undestanding to make it a success.
“I must reiterate that MCA does not have any resources to split and BN does not have time to wait (before the next General Election),” he said.
Tan added that unfortunately, some of the central committee (CC) members were afraid or worried that they may be left out from the GUP and decided to call for a second EGM on Nov 28 to safeguard their own positions and interests.
The Nov 28 EGM was requisitioned by vice-president Datuk Seri Liong Tiong Lai’s faction to call for a fresh party election as they felt that the incumbents have not respected the outcome of the Oct 10 EGM.
Asked what the ideal solution is for the MCA, he said all parties should put aside their personal interests and make the GUP a success.
“We do not mind who will be the president or the deputy president as long as the party can be united,” he said.
Tan said if Ong and Chua can work together for party unity, Liow should try to adapt into this system and stop having other agendas.

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

The legacy during Fourth Prime Minister and Third BN Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure was a smart move. The wisdom of the BN Chairman for over 22 years and going through two MCA Leadership stand-off should be taken into consideration.

This has been done before. The ‘Team A’ Vs ‘Team B’ is now a tradition within MCA.

The first was when Tan Sri Michael Chen stood for the MCA Presidency against Tan Sri Lee San Choon who was the incumbent in the 1979. He lost and resigned as Housing and Local Government and eventually left MCA in 1981.  Then  it was the stand off between the factions of Tan Koon Swan Vs Dato’ Dr. Neo Yee Pan in November 1985. Then came Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik having a Leadership stand off with Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek in 2ooo, which escalated again in 2003. The latest is Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting Vs Dato’ Seri Chua Ji Meng. In all stand off, the Leaders left or were made to leave. After these leaders leave, then MCA members via the central delegates are free to decide who to choose.

There were precedence Leadership fracas in MCA and UMNO Leaders in their capacity wearing the BN hat intervening. In the 1984-5 MCA stand off, Tun Ghaffar Baba (then BN Secretary General) moderated and an amicable solution was reached that kept MCA intact. Then the stand off between President Tun Ling Liong Sik and Deputy President Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai in the lates 80s was resolved by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad moderating.  Then under the instructions of BN Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad after the request of the warring factions within the Chinese BN component party, Deputy BN Chairman PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sent to moderate the long stand off between the MCA top leaders that saw Ling and Lim leaving simultaneously in 2003 and handing over the Presidency and Deputy Presidency to Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy respectively. Its time for MCA to allow PM Dato’ Seri Najib as the BN Chairman to step in and moderate an amicable solution for the party and keep the confidence and support for BN intact.

The right thing to do at the moment is to get BN Chairman PM Dato’ Seri Najib intervene and for President Dato’ Seri Ong Tee Keat and Deputy President Dato’ Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek to resign immediately. After all, the MCA Leadership fracas now is the personality of the two leaders clashed as the result of poor MCA succession planning. The prompt resignation will then lead to let another EGM to decide who should lead. It is also a good time for MCA central delegates to weed off all ‘undesireable’ personalities, whose true colours are shown this round.

If this MCA Leadership fracas is not resolved, then it will definitely effect the Malaysian Chinese support for BN. As the second most important partner and founding member of BN (then Perikatan), MCA has the moral obligations to set things right, now. BN cannot afford to prolong this. Especially as UMNO has managed to start to gain grounds amongst the Malays (who are the fixed deposit for BN) and now Pakatan Rakyat is having a lot of inter and intra party problems.

The fact is that, MCA is unable to do their bit. The 12th General Elections demonstrated that in the final analysis, MCA did not deliver the Chinese votes. In fact, MCA now enjoying 15 seats in Dewan Rakyat is out of the goodwill of the Malay fixed deposits, courtesy of UMNO’s grassroot effort at the respective constituencies. Neither were they able to improve the support amongst Malaysian Chinese voters in the series of by-elections since. So, MCA should buck and and get into shape. BN can no longer tolerate this slacking.

In short; MCA: Shape up or ship out, now!

*Updated 600pm

*Updated 700pm

The comments of Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman BN Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yasin on the call for PM Dato’ Seri Najib to ‘intervene’ in the MCA Leadership fracas is captured by Malaysian Insider:

Muhyiddin hints at MCA intervention

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 13 – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reiterated today that Barisan Nasional (BN) will only step in to mediate in an on-going MCA leadership tussle if such intervention is agreed to by the party’s central committee members.

The ruling federal coalition has thus far kept a hands-off policy in dealing with its second-biggest component party, which has seen its president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek fight and make up, only to join forces against a “third force”.

“What we have said previously is that we do not want to interfere and prefer MCA leaders to find the way to a solution for the political crisis, which is taking too long,” the BN deputy chairman said here.

“But what has been said by the prime minister … if all of the central working committee members agree for us to play a role, then we are ready.

“It is certain that I and the prime minister are ready but we want a consensus because if only two agree and the rest don’t, then it will not happen,” he told reporters after presenting certificates to members of the Malaysian contingent to the World Robotic Olympiad 2009 here.

The Malaysian Insider understands that BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak favours the “greater unity plan” to be implemented in the next six months but is inclined towards fresh polls in MCA in the long run.

The deputy prime minister explained that intervention is an option only if a consensus for it could be reached by the party but stressed that BN has had a role in previous MCA crises.

“I am of the opinion that there must be a solution to this problem, which is becoming more complex, so maybe if they find it hard to solve the problem among themselves, then they might need to find a middleman.

“I remember during Tun Ghafar Baba’s time and Tun Dr Mahathir’s time, there have been cases … but that is the decision that they themselves must make and it is not because we purposely want to interfere in their problems,” he added.

MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong have recently revealed that they are willing to meet with Najib to discuss ways to resolve the crisis.

Wee had said that that prime minister’s intervention would not be seen as an Umno leader meddling into MCA’s problems.

Today, MCA’s “third force” spokesman Datuk Tan Kah Choun, a central delegate, asked Najib to consult 11 MCA party veterans, in particular Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Michael Chen.

Other veterans named by Tan as men Najib should consult were Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, Tan Sri Lee San Choon, Datuk Dr Neo Yee Pan, Datuk Mak Hon Kam, Tan Koon Swan, Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai, Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek, Ka Ting and Kong Choy.

As a last resort, he added, Najib should consult Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had “solved three previous MCA crises.”

Dr Mahathir has also called on Najib to help MCA resolve its present leadership crisis.

*********

Its time for MCA members to pressure the CWC to invite PM Dato’ Seri Najib to ‘intervene’.

Published in: on November 13, 2009 at 16:12  Comments (4)  

PM Najib should cut NMY’s pay

The recent developments of the economic planning and control of the nation’s wealth via Federal Government planning and spending within the last five years have left much to be desired. Depsite the national coffer Petronas dishing out to the amount of RM 253 billion in taxes, dividends, royalties, advance payments, capital market instruments and other forms, the economy is still sluggish and no tanglible projects visible or known to be in the pipeline.

Within the last five years, Malaysia saw:

1. The inception of  ‘Level Four Boys’ in 2004 which effectively took over the role several of strategic Federal Government agencies such as EPU, ICU, MAMPU and even set the tone and direction of several Cabinet Committees. Several bad decisions were done by this inexperienced ‘kitchen cabinet’ with a serious deficit in macro planning and policy execution

2. The birth of the term ‘GLC’ (copycat from Singapore) and the restructuring of Federal Government investment arm Khazanah Holdings Bhd. All GLCs then after are given KPIs to focus and deliver on profitability,  return on investment (ROI) and ‘increasing value’ with enlarging market capitalisation in mind

3. The hiving off MOF Inc controlled Avenue Capital Resources Bhd. (ACRB) to ECM Libra for the ‘cover of a merger’ and the financial scandal presiding the exercise beginning December 2005. The exercise saw how irregular tactics such as the impairment of goodwill was carried out to devalue ACRB and pump up the market capitalisation of ECM Libra, the even out the value of ‘an anchovie eating a whale’.

4. The sharp and unplanned increased of retail petrol price from 1.62 to 1.92 per litre in mid 2006 and a economically suicidal but dissastrous jump from RM 1.92 to RM 2.70 mid last year. To alleviate the burden of high petrol cost of the rakyat, a subsidy scheme was introduced as a thought after and proven to be a failure.

5. The re-structuring of the automobile industry in 2006 which almost saw the slow and painful but certain demise of national car maker Proton and the scandal evolves the hiving off  the price motorcycle brand MV Agusta to Gevi SpA for an unbelievably meagre sum of Euro 1

6. The ‘Federalisation’ agenda on the state economic planning units with the inception of economic corridors since 2006, which saw macro management and exposure deficient professionals taken out from GLCs to do pseudo EPU-cum-implementor work at incredible cost and worst of all, progressed to little beyond the academic and theoretical approach

7. The borrowings that has been incurred by GLCs from the capital market since Khazanah restructuring is unbelievable. The amount of wastages and project failures that Khazanah investment is amazingly dangerous. Example is a a RM 200 million prawn rearing project in Setiu, Terengganu called “Blue Archipelago”.

8. The plan to systematically kill national icons such as KLIA with the proposal to develop a dedicated LCCT, a few kilometres away which got the imaginatons and very strong opposition from the Malaysian public

9 The plan to hive off IJN to Sime Darby and later when that proposal failed, to ‘privatise’ for the intent to IPO it in the future

10. The scandals involving the decisions made the Federal Goverment such as PKFZ in Port Klang and the redevelopment proposals in Penang (the home state of then MOF I PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and MOF II Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yaackop) such as the PGCC and PORR , that could seriously impair the confidence for the rakyat and market.

11. A more elusive by highly strategically damaging proposal is for Malaysia is the redevelopment proposal of KTMB Lands along its Singaporean track

12. Another elusive proposal in the pipeline is to list Petronas subsidiary MLNG, as an effort to boost the Bursa Malaysia. Some said even FELDA has been proposed to be listed as well.

At the helm of these dissastrous decisions and scandals still remain another constant personality which has yet to be reprimanded. Former Minsiter of Finance II and now Minister in charge of EPU Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop has his hands in all of these botched schemes.

NMY

Why he is still in the Cabinet under Prime Minister VI Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is still unclear. He has no political clout within UMNO and the market no longer regard him as a ‘national asset’. Probably he  was employed as Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister to do what he did best by then Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad; the revolutaionary and anti-IMF ‘Capital Controls and pegging of RM’ on 1 September 1998. His experience as a treasury man within Bank Negara has proven success to support Tun Dr. Mahathir’s unorthodox remedy to the unique Malaysian economy.

There after, he was given more responsibilities. Of course, his success of co-ordinating the turn around and restructuring of so many GLCs post the sacking of Deputy Prime Minister Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim is something that can be proud of. Anwar “Darling of the Jews” Ibrahim was an advocator to IMF prescription, which saw many Malaysian coroprations suffering from certain and slow death due to high interest rates and shorters NPL period and RM to the USD, which has risen as high as 4.88.

After the landslide BN win of 11th General Elections, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah invited Nor Mohamed into the ‘Feel Good’ Cabinet. He was the Second Minister of Finance (MOF II) for one and a quarter term or five years to be exact. He was the ‘functional finance manager’ of the nation as 90% of this tenure PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah was the MOF I and it does not take much to figure out the latter was completely oblivion to the job. Hence, the spending pattern under Nor Mohamed is very worrying. From the Petronas figure, the Federal Government and some state government took RM 19 billion in 2004, RM 28.1 billion in 2005, RM 37.8 billion in 2006, RM 44.1 billion in 2007, RM 56.8 billion in 2008 and RM 67.8 billion for this year. The reason for the huge deficiency in Federal Government books must be due to poor management, on top very poor budgetting and tax planning work.

As the Minister in charge of EPU, he wold have a direct responsibility of the National Economic Advisory Council. So far, not much could be desired from this council which is filled with IMF alumnis. Presently, even the mechanics of the NEAC has yet to be completed. The only announcement that Nor Mohamed could be made responsible for is the revocation of the FIC ruling and the incorporation of the elusive and confusing Ekuinas as a substitute. The rakyat should also be made aware that under the second stimulus package, an SPV called Danajamin Bhd with a RM 1 billion paid up was incorporated designed to underwrite the issuance of syariah compliant commercial papers, which is something that existing structure like Takaful and Takaful Ikhlas could do with lesser operating cost.

Now that his usefulness has been saturated, it is time to reprimand him for his bad economic planning and execution. The more drastic approach is to ‘dismiss’ him from the Cabinet (the politically correct term be, ‘retire’). This could be politically boon or bane for PM Najib. Boon is that he is willing to make decisive move, to restore the confidence of the rakyat and capital and financial services market. The bane is that, Nor Mohamed could turn around and bite him back where it hurts, especially at a point where Pakatan Rakyat particularly PKR and partyless-Opposition Leader Anwar “Drama King” Ibrahim are scandalously vulnerable and would use all opportunities no matter how insignificant  to remain afloat, even temporarily.

Otherwise, a ‘softer’ approach would be to deduct RM 100.00 (One Hundred Ringgit Malaysia Only) a month from his pay will suffice. It is all about his KPI as the MOF II for five years and now Minister in charge of EPU. Obviously Nor Mohamed failed, at a mind blowing exorbitant cost. The planning and implementation of RM 253 billion dished out by Petronas within one electoral term  but no real and tanglible results being seen, felt nor believed in is undoubtably mind boggling to a point of very unacceptable.

 The call is made in the spirit of ‘1 Malaysia’, “Rakyat didahulukan, pencapaian diutamakan”.

*Updated at 200pm

 

 

Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 10:15  Comments (26)  

‘Level Four Boys’ Head Honcho set for MRCB top job

Former Head of Policy in Prime Minister ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s office Dato’ Ahmad Zaki Zahid is set to be the next MRCB CEO. After the near humilating ouster of the Fifth Prime Minister, Zaki managed to arrange himself into a mainstream conglomerate which is into high end and premium property development and IPP.

The Star has the story:

Wednesday November 11, 2009

Who is the new man who is going to make more money for the EPF?

By TEE LIN SAY

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) group managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan has been tipped to become chief investment officer (CIO) of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), a post that has been left vacant since early this year.

According to sources, the announcement will be made as early as next week. Shahril, 39, will succeed Johari Muid.

MRCB executive director Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid looked set to take over the top position in the company, succeeding Shahril, sources said.

Zaki was appointed to the MRCB board in January 2005 and was redesignated as executive director in May this year.

Sources said Shahril’s appointment as CIO of the retirement savings fund, which currently has over RM350bil in its coffers, would help expand EPF’s investments beyond the traditional asset classes of Malaysian Government Securities, loans and bonds and equities.

Historically, property made up less than 1% of the fund’s total investment portfolio.

“It is hoped that Shahril, given his experience in turning around and driving the property group over the years, will be able to steer and expand the fund’s investment in property as well as private equity, areas it has long wanted to expand into,” one source said.

Observers say Shahril’s experience and track record of having turned around MRCB from a loss-making entity to a leading property and construction group and the visible success of the company’s flagship project KL Sentral development should hold him in good stead in his new job.

With an estimated gross development value of RM13.9bil upon completion in 2015, KL Sentral is the landmark development for MRCB, which currently has several ongoing projects with a total estimated gross development value of RM4.3bil.

MRCB’s majority shareholder is the EPF which has a 30.97% stake.

The EPF has generally invested a large portion of its money into fixed income, given that it is the safest option. But it has come at a price – returns or yields from fixed income has been relatively low.

As for equities, which makes up 20% to 25% of the fund’s investment portfolio, although the rewards can be relatively higher, so are the risks given the high volatility of equity prices.

With that in mind, the fund has been eager to expand its income by looking at alternative sources of investments while retaining capital preservation as its top priority.

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

Zaki, a former Securities Commission man who later joined consulting firm Booze Allen Hamilton had his first stint in politics after the success of negotiating with Suqiu for the ’17 Demands’ back in 2000 and taken as Special Officer in Minister of Youth and Sports Office, then Dato’ Hishamuddin Hussein. Hishamuddin was also the UMNO Youth Chief. In 2002, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah, then Deputy Prime Minister took him in as a Special Function Officer. After the landslide and thumping BN success of 2004 11th General Elections, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah brought in son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin as the Deputy Chief Secretary in Prime Minister’s Office and restructured the whole outfit, role and function. Hence, the creation the position of Head of Policy at PMO and they became very powerful as most decisions and policies are made by this outfit instead the Cabinet via advice from agencies such as EPU, ICU, MITI, NEAC etc.

The much talked about ‘Level Four Boys’ was born.

New policies such as economic corridors, particularly Iskandar Development Region (now Iskandar Malaysia) and Northern Corridor Economic Region was championed by Zaki. He envisaged the role and function of the State Economic Planning Units being ‘Federalised’ and co-ordinated by new form government outfits such as IRDA and NCIA, which get direct instructions and approval by his position, as the head policy adviser to then Prime Minister. For someone who has never been in macro management and planning especially for a nation which is the world’s 17th largest trading economy, this was incredibly risky game to play.

These economic corridors have spent hunreds of million tax payers money doing all sorts of planning and ‘blue prints’, which have yet proven to be anything worthwhile. This is because professionals from private sectors without any tangible and exposure to do macro management and planning are plucked in with ‘tall order to ‘Federalise’ SEPUs and bottomless pit coffers’ instructions. So far, little can be desired by these trial-and-error effort by professionals who thought they can do better but had to teach themselves first what they need to do, with an exorbitant cost.

It was reported that Petronas dished out RM 263 billion in taxes, dividends, royalties and other payments to the Federal Goverment and some state governments during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s tenure should be considered. A very little and tangible can be seen with this spending and one often wonders where did the money go.

The nation must also be reminded that it was in Zaki’s time as policy adviser to PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah stewardship that decisions such as hiving off MV Agusta from Proton to an unknown buyer Gevi SpA at a mere One Euro (RM 4.60) was made (Gevi SpA eventually sold Husqavarna to BMW Motorad for a whopping Euro 93 million!). Malaysia also had a foreign policy shift to ‘lead a constructive engagement (meddle around and interfere) in a neighbour’s domestic politics’ when in Nov 2005 Head of Government ASEAN summit in KLCC Convention Centre led a charge to ‘discipline’ Myanmar into democratization.

Zaki, who was one of former Minister of Finance II (now Minister in charge of EPU) Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop’s trusted man is now set to take over a property and power producing conglomerate MRCB. With a book order of over RM 13 billion with RM 4.3 billion just on the KL Sentral property alone, there is a lot that an ambitious and cunning professional could manipulate.  Especially if there is a ‘hidden agenda’. MRCB is the rakyat’s interest as 30.6% of its shares is owned by EPF.

MRCB today is a cash rich conglomerate. In an economic storm and glut, MRCB is cash rich enough to issue a rights issue and satisfy the dividend yield. Zaki, who has been known to ‘make deals’, is sitting on a ‘gold mine’. KL Sentral has been eyed by Singaporean property players such as Capital Land, as part of the “6,000 mile radius hinterland plan”.

Nor Mohamed as the Economic Adviser recruited bright young Malay professionals as a process to clean and beef up GLCs, post Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim era. Chartered Accountans like Azman Mokhtar (then Binafikir founder and present CEO Khazanah Holdings Bhd.), Mohamad Zainal Shaari (then partner PWC and now Deputy CEO Khazanah Holdings Bhd.), Abdul Wahid Omar (then UEM CEO, later Telekom Malaysia CEO and now Maybank CEO), Che Khalib (then KUB CEO and now TNB CEO), Abdul Rahman Ahmad (then Media Prima CEO and  now Ekuinas CEO) and Shahril Riza (then MRCB CEO) surfaced from the world of investment banking and debt and capital market to answer the ‘national service’ call. As Rahman remembers it well when he first met PM then Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for the new assignment, the warning was simply  “Don’t do side deals”.

Recently, Nor Mohamed hits the headlines again with the controversial decision of hiving off IJN to Sime Darby made public and later, another proposal with a privatisation agenda of for the national heart institute. On the proposal of privatisation of Plus Bhd., a statement made by Nor Mohamed was contradicted by PM Dato’ Seri Najib, even though he was then abroad.

This MRCB corporate move should be watched closely. For someone who has failed which led to PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah failed miserably must be remembered, so that a conglomerate like MRCB is not being made taken advantage of. So much can be gained from a very wealthy conglomerate like MRCB, which at the moment is a ‘gold mine’.

Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 11:20  Comments (36)  

Iskandar Malaysia: A structured and systematical annexation of South Johor

At the eve of this year’s Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) which will be hosted by Singapore, it is best that we Malaysians strategically relook into Iskandar Malaysia and what it stood for. Especially in the context of ‘prosper thy neighbour’, particularly Singapore.

Iskandar Malaysia II

Iskandar Malaysia evolved from Iskandar Development Region, which originally was planned as South Johor Economic Region. IDR was launched by PM ‘Flop-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi exactly three years ago, amidst a controversy of rejection by majority of Johoreans. Despite being a Federal Government initiative in Johor, the Johor state via UMNO Johor and the Johor Civil Service were ‘forced down the throat’ a Khazanah led plan which later became the IDR Act, passed in Dewan Rakyat late 2007. The draft which was recycled over eight times before JCS reluctantly agreed.

Like other corridors which were designed for the ‘Federalisation’ all state economic development function, SJER was initiated by then the ‘Level Four Boys’. Political Secretary Dr. Vincent Liew aspire that South Johor to be ‘serving’ the high growth Singapore economy and argues that Johor could benefit from the ‘spill over effect’. In actual fact, South Johor were to ‘serve’ and ‘facilitate’ for the Singaporeans to concentrate on the high value industries and sectors and leave all the low value, ‘dirty and smelly’-backyard and potential hazard to the environment industries all over South Johor. In short, South Johor is the wet-kitchen for the Singapore’s gourmet economy serving premium dishes and goodies.

Of course investments will start to pour in. One would argue that Johor has had ten of thousands of Singaporean investments and businesses incorporated all over South Johor for over thirty years which created so many jobs, increased in aggregate demand and spur sales of properties, especially high end and commercial and all the benefits from the ‘Singapore catalyst’ to the Johor economy. However, there were never once it was done in a strategic, structured and intensified effort to woo the Singaporeans into Johor.

How will this economy, which is 69% dependent on service sector, providing a GDP per capita of USD 37,500, and having a foreign reserve of USD 174 billion ‘help’ the economy of South Johor?

It is obvious that Singapore would not ‘extend’ her high value industries with Johor. In fact, if there is any effort to develop similar programs within Malaysia which include Johor, the Singaporeans would do all they can to ensure that they will do better at the same time ‘kill’ their competition of. This ‘kiasu’ness of the majority Chinese with the Western flavour for greed and colonialisation aptitude. Even mainland Chinese regard Singaporean Chinese as ‘Banana’ (yellow on the outside, ‘white’ in the inside).

Many people believe that a lot of these services are ready to be out sourced to South Johor, thus creating jobs all around Johor Bahru. In actual sense, these jobs created for the people of South Johor are not high value operations for the service industry they support. On the paper, these jobs created might portray an impression of high value of nature such as project management, design and R & D, investment banking and co-operate advisory or consulting being the focul point of the exercise for Singaporeans to relocate their ‘support’ services and industry of their high value economy. Reality, only menial jobs such as call centres, customer service or out sourced services such as printing of bills and statements.

P1050386

Having  a large middle income and professional workforce is a very important ingredient for Singapore to sustain their high value industries growing at the pace that they planned. Officially, Singapore reached its 5 million population mark recently. Majority of them are the middle class and income bracket workforce. Most of the Singaporeans who migrate abroad are persons in this category. The rising cost of living and slowly becoming unbearable is usually the cause.

Hence, there is  strategic effort to make Singapore a city-state where only persons wih high value income live. It is suspiciously that the Lees intend to make Singapore like Lichtestein, Luxembourg and Monaco. The middleclass an working class to support these high value incomers should be residing outside of Singapore. What better than make South Johor the new habitat for  the Singapoean middle class. They live in Johor, shop all around JB in lower cost that Singapore, afford a high end lifestyle with middle income Singapore earnings and not loosing all their rights as Singaporeans. This makes sense as Singapore HR consulting groups are busy establishing themselves all over JB, for this ‘relocation program’.

As such, Singaporean developers are now making inroad into Malaysia, specifically South Johor. Iskandar Malaysia provide a perfect opportunity for Singaporeans to ‘invest’ in properties.

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There are already plans for Singaporeans to set up nursing and old folks homes within South Johor. Naturally this  seen by many as a business opportunity. In reality, this ‘dumping program’ is nothing but Singapore’s dirty laundry is being processed in Malaysia. This a perfect cover for Singaporeans to shift their ‘problems’ into other peoples’ hands and only the fit and productive is left as wanted and appreciated people. Soon, South Johor will be made to process Singapore’s physical garbage and industrial waste.

It is obvious that the Singaporeans are envious of the Malaysian oil and gas success story, especialy Petronas. Of course, it is natural that they would want to carve part of the very lucrative pie of the Malaysian economy. Since the support for the oil and gas service industry is based in Singapore, mainly because of the history of the shipping industry, ship maintenance and building infrastructure, they are seriously eyeballing the most productive industry in Malaysia.

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The property play is very important to the strategic interest of Singaporean tourism. The recent announcements  about theme parks such as Legoland in Iskandar Malaysia is a illustration more attractions are needed to complement Singaporean ambitious entertainment and tourism sector. With the upcoming Marina Sands Casino and Sentosa Genting Casino complexes and Universal Studio, the ambitious RM 750 million investment which 80% of it came from Khazanah Holdings Bhd. Legoland expect between 1.8-2 million visitors will pay RM 80.00/pax to throng the 40 acre park. Many doubt not many South Johorean families can afford to cough out that kind of money to sustain the 5-6,000 constant visitors daily.

The fact is that, Singapore economy has been ‘living of’ the reources of other lands. This is very much the cololianlist mentality that the Anglo Saxons and Europeans have, when they ‘own and live of the lands and resources of places far away’. They became masters and enslave the territories that they over power.

Now this ‘re-colonialisation’ is being seen in a different way. They set up menial operations elsewhere but make the head quarters being maintained within the city-state. They enjoy to fruit from the menial operations where else the real high value and ‘realisable control’ is captured as economonical and legal datas being  recorded in accounting terms at where the homebase is domiciled; the registered address. The high cost of production has now being shifted elsewhere. And yet, the Singaporean economy enjoy as these corporations are domiciled at home and pay taxes to the Singapore Government instead of where the bulk of the profits from these operations are derived from.

The fact is that Singapore were never interested in helping others, despite what other people did for them. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The issue of over 300,000 Malaysians who had but no longer serve the republic an never get to see their rightfully earned forced savings in the Central Provident Fund (CPF). And yet, till present the republic is still dependent on Malaysians to serve the menial workforce needs and exploit their RM2.40 to the dollar exchange rate.

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The ‘power of purchase’ of the Singaporeans is really enormous. The Singapore bourse has a larger market capitalisation as compared in Bukit Mahkamah, Kuala Lumpur. This high value market capitalisation stock market is remarkable a perfect tool of Singaporean ‘players’, with the joint effort of the financial services sector (which is funded by Wall Street and The City) to control the Malaysian bourse. The ability to control the bourse will have a coherent effect on the perception and confidence of Malaysians at large.

The clout of the Singaporean financial services sector is really far reaching. Despite starting later than Malaysia, Singaporean financial institutions have managed to develop better and larger syariah compliant instruments. It also managed to attract West Asian deposits. The fact that Singapore investment arm Temasek Holdings is involved with so many blue chips financial powerhouse (in cohorts with Wall Street and The City) demonstrate the financial prowess that they can ‘prey’ onto economies such as Malaysia’s.

Malaysian banking

Through control via commercial banks, at the moment Singaporeans already have their hands in 19% of the loan and debt market in Malaysia. This is a figure that should be concerned. This is ‘invisible hands’ of the Neo Con Jews, which have far reaching implications.

This ‘power of purchase’ from the higher value market capitalisation and excess of enormous source of Neo Con Jewish funds, coupled with the large middle class Singaporeans that would be ‘relocated’ all over Iskandar Malaysia and the strategic participation of Singapore officials in policy decision made for Iskandar Malaysia is a recipe of the ‘annexation’ of South Johor into the ‘little red dot’ republic.

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The ‘Annexation of South Johor’ is important for Singapore to develop herself into a high income and value market. The resources of Johor such as land, labour, raw materias, water and food supply are the lifeline ingredients for Singapore to survive. The strategic move to ensure these ingredients are protected is to ‘control’ at source.  The ‘control at source’ began when PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah reached an agreement with Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong in Langkawi, May 2007.

Singapore’s attitude of kiasuness is clearly non negotiable. Nor can it be compromised. The ‘Scenic Bridge Replacing The Johor Causeway’  is a very good example. The paranoia of the ‘seige mentality’ is very apparent and significant, despite their arrogance of the ‘supperiority complex’ and chest-thumping. The ‘Mas Selamat’ episode is the clear example of the system failure despite superiority power. To top it all,  Singapore is Israeli’s strongest ally in South East Asia, which in the past raised some senstivities to the Muslim majority region and immediate neighbours. In a nutshell, Singapore has never been a ‘good, trustworthy and dependent neighbour’. And now with an agenda to ‘Annex Iskandar Malaysia’, this is worrisome.

This year’s APEC theme is ‘Sustaining growth, connecting the region’. The theme basically says it all for the ‘Annexation of Iskandar Malaysia’ agenda in parallel on them ‘biting the bullet and embracing for hardtimes’. It is almost like Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has described that  the control-freak “The little emperor of the ‘Middle Kingdom'” who has the ambition to be the South East Asia superpower as according to him, the “Singapore hinterland extends all the way 6,000 miles radius”. His agenda is reflective of his last visit here, the Malay heartland of South East Asia.

*Original source of graphics: The Edge 9-15 November issue

*Article was updated noon Tuesday 1o November 2009

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 20:49  Comments (38)  

Nik Aziz IJNised

 

Nik Aziz LKY

Nik Aziz a 'thumbs up' endorsement to anti-Malay/Islam Singaporean Supremo Lee Kuan Yew

Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS Spritual Leader Dato’ Nik Aziz Nik Mat has been admitted in IJN. Sources close to the Kelantan Supremo said that he was brought in at IJN last night for coughing blood.

It was reported that MACC offcials visited PMBK yesterday, a controversial Kelantan GLC now headed by Nik Aziz’s son-in-law Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman. It was said the cronyism practices within PMBK is making Kelantanese very unhappy.

Nik Aziz is known to have heart ailments and was seriously hospitalised last year. A team of IJN specialists were flown in to assist the USM Hospital cardiac team. His response to PM Najib’s announcement of ‘Compassionate Payment’ be accorded to Kelantan instead of the ‘royalty’ demanded is “Grateful but not satisfied. Hence, the Kelantan State Government budget for 2010 would be the least on the minds of Nik Aziz and Azizistas at this point of time.

He is currently in Kuala Lumpur for the Rulers’ Conference. He is expected to deliver an address at the PAS political seminar at their Taman Melewar centre which was decided by the PAS Exco last week to replace his original suggestion to have an EGM and eventually ‘cleanse’ (sack) Deputy President Nasharuddin Mat Isa, Secretary General Dato’ Mustapha Ali and Selangor PAS Commissioner Dato’ Dr. Hassan Ali who are pro-‘Unity Government’, with UMNO.

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Nik Aziz in a Chinese Chauvinists anti-Islam/Malay DAP function with Lim Kit Siang

Ten days ago, Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad urged Nik Aziz to step down because “It’s about time he goes. Like me also lah, when you become old, you become nanyuk (senile),”.  Nik Aziz has been on the helm of Kelantan stewardship since the 1990 PAS’s success to wrest the state from UMNO/BN. Ten years ago, he created a national controversy when he proclaimed “Allah also swear (mencarut)”  in support of PAS life member Shahnon Ahmad outragous book “Shit”. Later, to justify PAS working with Chinese Chauvinist and anti-Islam/Malay DAP, he proclaimed “Its alright to work with syaitan (devil)”.

*Updated 956pm

NST reports the latest on Nik Aziz being IJNised:

Nik Aziz expected to leave IJN tomorrow

2009/11/06

 

KUALA LUMPUR, Fri: The Mentri Besar of Kelantan, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who is receiving treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) here is expected to be discharged tomorrow.

His private secretary, Rosdi Abdullah, said Nik Aziz was admitted into the IJN about 10.30am yesterday due to fatigue from lack of rest over a week.

“His condition is stable and he is expected to leave the IJN tomorrow morning and will continue with his duties as usual,” Rosdi said when contacted here today.

He said the Pas spiritual leader will attend the Pas Political Seminar at Markas Pas in Taman Melewar, Gombak tomorrow. — BERNAMA

*Updated Saturday 7 November 2009 1200noon

Despite being ill with cardiac related illness which causes fatigue for Nik Aziz , he insisted that he would show up at PAS Political Seminar organiseat Markas Tarbiyah PAS, Taman Melewar, Gombak this morning.

The Star has an update:

Published: Saturday November 7, 2009 MYT 10:49:00 AM
Updated: Saturday November 7, 2009 MYT 11:50:24 AM

A frail Nik Aziz leaves PAS seminar (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat attended the PAS political seminar but had to leave at 10.12am after listening to party president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s keynote address citing health reasons.

The PAS spiritual leader was earlier hospitalised at the National Heart Institute due to fatigue as a result of not getting enough rest over a week.

The seminar was a result of a call by Nik Aziz to hold a special muktamar to discuss issues caused by “problematic leaders.”

He had been unhappy with the pro-Umno stance of these leaders and wanted the party to make a clear stand regarding its role in Pakatan Rakyat.

Nik Aziz has been in Kuala Lumpur since Monday for the Rulers’ Conference.

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This is most probably he needed to show his supporters that he is still very much able to ‘hold his fort’, as the event was PAS Exco’s compromise and substitute to his suggestion of holding an EGM ‘to cleanse (sack) some Leaders’, namely Deputy President Nasharuddin Mat Isa, Secretary General Dato’ Mustapha Ali and Selangor PAS Commissioner Dr Hassan Ali. The trio have been seen as “insincere in co-operating with Pakatan Rakyat partners” and ‘leaning towards working with UMNO/BN’.

The Murshidul Am has been seen as the ‘patron’ to the ‘Erdogan faction’ within PAS. The Erdogan faction such as Dato’ Kamaruddin Jaafar, Senior Kelantan Exco Dato’ Husam Musa and former DAP-puppet MB Perak Dato’ Seri Nizar Jamaluddin are PAS’s linkage with party-less Opposition Leader Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim.  Hence, this explains UM lecturer Dr Abu Hassan Hasbullah’s presentation on his survey that before the 8 March 2008 12th General Elections youths prefer the leadership of Nik Aziz over PAS President Dato’ Seri Hadi Awang. In another study, it was found that majority Young Malaysians lost faith in PAS’s ability to lead.

Nik Aziz was said to have gone to Rumah Kelantan to rest. The 78 year old MB Kelantan plans to show up at Bukit Jalil Stadium this evening to lend support for the Kelantan team in the Malaysia Cup Finals. If he is able to make it, then he would have amassed enough energy. It was told that if his health deteriorates as he rests in Rumah Kelantan, then he would have to be brought back to IJN for more treatment.

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 14:05  Comments (28)