Neighbourhood bully

These are the islands where Defence Minister supposed to visit tomorrow with Malaysian media, which Chinese Ambassador protested to Wisma Putra

Minister of Defence Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s planned visit to the Layang Layang atolls tomorrow with Malaysian media for some ‘rest and recreation’ at the resort island had to be cancelled last minute. It was believed that Ambassador to the Peoples’ Republic of China handed a protest note to Wisma Putra for this visit.

Zahid’s visit was planned to expose Malaysian media on the beauty of one of regional’s most prized sport diving spot, along visitation to the Malaysian armed forces detachment stationed on the island. The island is part of Malaysian sovereignty.

It was believed that China was “Uneasy” with Defence Minister’s visit to the islands.

The visit, although organised by ATM and would be flown into the airstrip on TUDM’s C130Hs, is not military in nature. There is no military exercise will be conducted by any of ATM’s services in commemoration with this visit. Nor there will not be any armed military assets maneuvre planned in the area. Therefore, the protest from China should be considered as ‘diplomatically unbecoming’ to stop a Malaysian Cabinet Minister making a recreational trip to islands which are and had always been part of Malaysian sovereignty.

In short, this should be considered as a ‘diplomatic bully’.

Imagine, what would China’s reaction be had ATM do a major military exercise in the same area involving frigates, submarines, air superiority fighters and as a finale, half a battalion of armed paratroopers being dropped on the islands.

Published in: on June 14, 2012 at 16:45  Comments (16)  

Sultan Johor: Nizar hina rakyat dan kedaulatan Johor

DYMM Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al Haj, Sultan Johor

Semasa pembukaan sessi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Johor di Kota Iskandar pagi ini, DYMM Tuanku Sultan Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar bertitah bahawa Mantan MB-boneka-DAP Nizar Jamaluddin bukan sahaja mendatang kemurkaan kepada baginda, malah membelakangkan adat resam orang Melayu, menghina rakyat dan kedaualatan negeri Johor.

TITAH

DULI YANG MAHA MULIA SULTAN IBRAHIM IBNI ALMARHUM SULTAN ISKANDAR,

SULTAN DAN YANG DIPERTUAN BAGI NEGERI DAN JAJAHAN TAKLUK JOHOR DARUL TA’ZIM

MERASMIKAN

PEMBUKAAN PENGGAL PERSIDANGAN KELIMA DEWAN NEGERI JOHOR KE DUA BELAS

PADA HARI KHAMIS 14 JUN 2012

DI BANGUNAN SULTAN ISMAIL, KOTA ISKANDAR, NUSAJAYA.

ASSALAMMU ALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAHHI

WABARAKAATUH

DENGAN NAMA ALLAH YANG MAHA PEMURAH LAGI MAHA MENGASIHANI. SEGALA PUJI BAGI ALLAH, TUHAN PENTADBIR SELURUH ALAM. SELAWAT DAN SALAM, KEPADA JUNJUNGAN BESAR KITA NABI MUHAMMAD, SEMULIA-MULIA RASUL, SERTA KELUARGA, DAN PARA SAHABATNYA SEKALIAN.

YANG BERHORMAT DATO’ SPEAKER,

SAYA BERSYUKUR KE HADRAT ALLAH SUBHANAHU WATAALA KERANA DENGAN LIMPAH KURNIA DAN IZINNYA DAPAT SAYA HADIR MERASMIKAN PEMBUKAAN PENGGAL PERSIDANGAN KELIMA BAGI DEWAN NEGERI JOHOR YANG KE DUA BELAS PADA PAGI YANG BERBAHAGIA INI.

SAYA JUGA MENGUCAP SYUKUR KERANA KITA MASIH LAGI DAPAT HIDUP DALAM SUASANA YANG AMAN DAN MAKMUR.

RAKYAT JOHOR AKAN MENIKMATI KESEJAHTERAAN HIDUP YANG LEBIH BAIK LAGI HASIL DARIPADA PERTUMBUHAN EKONOMI YANG TINGGI DAN BERTERUSAN. DALAM SUKU PERTAMA TAHUN INI SAHAJA, NEGERI JOHOR TELAH MENERIMA PELABURAN LEBIH 2 BILION RINGGIT. ISKANDAR MALAYSIA PULA TELAH MEREKODKAN PELABURAN KOMITED TERKUMPUL UNTUK TEMPOH TAHUN 2006 SEHINGGA MAC 2012 BERJUMLAH 87.56 BILLION RINGGIT.

SAYA BERASA SUKACITA KERANA RAKYAT JOHOR JUGA BAKAL MENERIMA MANFAAT BESAR DARIPADA PROGRAM TRANSFORMASI EKONOMI NEGARA YANG DILAKSANAKAN OLEH PERDANA MENTERI MALAYSIA. DI MANA LEBIH 30 PERATUS DARIPADA NILAI PROJEK PERMULAAN DI SELURUH NEGARA, DILABURKAN DI NEGERI JOHOR. IA MEMBOLEHKAN KITA MEMASUKI BIDANG YANG BARU, IAITU INDUSTRI MINYAK DAN GAS, YANG BAKAL MENJADI PENJANA EKONOMI UTAMA DI SELATAN NEGERI JOHOR.

OLEH ITU, KERAJAAN PERLU MEMASTIKAN RAKYAT DILENGKAPKAN DENGAN KEMAHIRAN YANG SESUAI DI SEMUA PERINGKAT TERMASUK PROFESIONAL, TEKNIKAL DAN VOKASIONAL BAGI MEMBOLEHKAN MEREKA MENJADI TENAGA KERJA DALAM BIDANG BARU INI.

PELABURAN YANG MASUK KE NEGERI JOHOR JUGA TURUT MEMBUKA PELUANG PERNIAGAAN KEPADA INDUSTRI KECIL DAN SEDERHANA DALAM PELBAGAI BIDANG. PADA TAHUN LALU SAHAJA, INDUSTRI KECIL DAN SEDERHANA DI JOHOR TELAH MENJANA PENDAPATAN YANG BESAR DI ANTARA 330-350 JUTA RINGGIT. POTENSI BIDANG INI HENDAKLAH TERUS DIKEMBANGKAN SUPAYA DAPAT MEMBERI SUMBANGAN LEBIH BESAR KEPADA EKONOMI DAN RAKYAT JOHOR.

SAUDARA SAUDARI SEKALIAN,

SAYA MENGHARGAI USAHA KERAJAAN DALAM MENINGKATKAN KESEJAHTERAAN HIDUP RAKYAT SECARA MENYELURUH SAMA ADA DI BANDAR MAHUPUN DI LUAR BANDAR. INI TERMASUKLAH DENGAN PEMBINAAN JALAN KAMPUNG, PENYEDIAAN LAMPU JALAN, SISTEM PERPARITAN, PEMBETUNGAN DAN PENGURUSAN SISA PEPEJAL.

USAHA MENYEDIAKAN PERUMAHAN RAKYAT DAN RUMAH MURAH KERAJAAN YANG SELESA DAN BERKUALITI HENDAKLAH DITERUSKAN BAGI MEMBANTU GOLONgan YANG MEMERLUKAN. RUMAH YANG DISEDIAKAN PERLULAH SELESA UNTUK DIDIAMI IAITU DARI SEGI SAIZ, REKABENTUK, DAN KEMUDAHAN YANG DISEDIAKAN. USAHA INI HENDAKLAH DITERUSKAN SUPAYA LEBIH RAMAI RAKYAT DAPAT MENIKMATI KUALITI HIDUP YANG LEBIH BAIK.

KUALITI ALAM SEKITAR JUGA PERLU DIBERI PENEKANAN AGAR RAKYAT DAPAT HIDUP DALAM SUASANA YANG SIHAT DAN SEJAHTERA. DALAM PEMBANGUNAN INDUSTRI MINYAK DAN GAS DI PENGERANG, SAYA PERCAYA PIHAK KERAJAAN DAN SYARIKAT YANG TERLIBAT AKAN MEMASTIKAN ALAM SEKITAR TERUS DIJAGA DAN DIURUS MENGIKUT GARIS-PANDUAN YANG DITETAPKAN.

SEMUA PIHAK PERLU MEMASTIKAN PENCEMARAN ALAM SEKITAR DAPAT DIKAWAL DENGAN SEMPURNA. INI BUKAN TUGAS KERAJAAN SEMATA-MATA. SYARIKAT-SYARIKAT SWASTA JUGA JANGAN-LAH MENGAMBIL JALAN MUDAH DENGAN MENCEMARKAN SUNGAI, MELAKUKAN PEMBAKARAN TERBUKA DAN MENGABAIKAN KEBERSIHAN SEHINGGA MENYEBABKAN MASALAH LAIN SEPERTI GANGGUAN LALAT DAN PENINGKATAN KOS BEKALAN AIR.

SUKA SAYA MEMBERIKAN TEGURAN DI SINI KEPADA PIHAK “SOUTHERN WASTE MANAGEMENT (SWM)” YANG MEMEGANG KONSESI PENGURUSAN SAMPAH DAN KEBERSIHAN DI BANDAR-BANDAR DALAM NEGERI JOHOR, SUPAYA MENINGKATKAN MUTU KERJA DAN TAHAP KEBERSIHAN DI KAWASAN YANG DIURUSKAN. BERIKANLAH PERKHIDMATAN YANG TERBAIK SEBAGAIMANA YANG DIJANJIKAN SEMASA CADANGAN DAHULU.

SAUDARA SAUDARI SEKALIAN,

USAHA JUGA PERLU DITERUSKAN UNTUK MEMBANTU KEHIDUPAN RAKYAT YANG KURANG BERNASIB BAIK TERUTAMA SEKALI DALAM SOAL TEMPAT KEDIAMAN, SUMBER PENDAPATAN DAN PENDIDIKAN ANAK MEREKA. GOLONGAN INI HENDAKLAH DIKELUARKAN DARIPADA BELENGGU KEMISKINAN DAN ANAK-ANAK MEREKA HENDAKLAH DIBERI PELUANG UNTUK MENDAPATKAN PENDIDIKAN YANG BAIK. BEGITU JUGA KUMPULAN SEPERTI NELAYAN, PEKEBUN KECIL, ORANG ASLI DAN ORANG KURANG UPAYA, MEREKA PERLU DIBANTU SUPAYA TIDAK KETINGGALAN DALAM ARUS PEMBANGUNAN.

SAYA JUGA GEMBIRA KERANA KERAJAAN NEGERI TELAH DAPAT MENYELESAIKAN BANYAK isu BERKAITAN TANAH SEPERTI pengeluaran hakmilik tanah peneroka Felda, DAN PEMBERIAN TAPAK KEDIAMAN UNTUK GENERASI KEDUA fELDA.

ISU-ISU HAKMILIK BAGI penempatan ‘Kampung-Kampung Baru’ YANG TELAH DIDIAMI SEJAK BEGITU LAMA JUGA TELAH DAPAT DISELESAIKAN DENGAN BAIKNYA.

SELAIN ITU JUGA, LEBIH 30 RIBU Ekar tanah yang melibatkan permohonan oleh individu dan syarikat telah diselesaikan bagi tempoh permohonan 2010 sehingga Mei 2012. SAYA HARAP SEGALA USAHA KERAJAAN INI, TELAH DAPAT MEMBERI KESELESAAN KEPADA RAKYAT JOHOR.

KECEKAPAN PERKHIDMATAN SEPERTI INI HENDAKLAH TERUS DITINGKATKAN OLEH KAKITANGAN KERAJAAN NEGERI JOHOR. MEREKA JUGA HARUS PEKA DENGAN KEPERLUAN RAKYAT DAN MEMBERI PERKHIDMATAN YANG CEMERLANG, . BERINTEGRITI, JUJUR DAN AMANAH.

SAUDARA SAUDARI SEKALIAN,

kerajaan JUGA perlu meneruskan usaha PENYEBARAN syiar islam melalui pengukuhan akidah dengan MENYAMPAIKAN ilmu di sekolah-sekolah, di kelas-kelas agama dan di masjid-MASJID dALAM negeri johor ini.

peranan kerajaan dan masyarakat di dalam membudayakan al-quran amatlah penting. kerajaan negeri SUDAH-PUN MELAKSANAKAN PENYEDIAAN TENAGA pakar tafsir al-quran di peringkat sarjana untuk ditempatkan di daerah-daerah. PROGRAM ini HENDAKLAH DIMANFAATKAN SEPENUHNYA DENGAN memperluaskan PERKHIDMATANNYA kepada kumpulan sasar YANG LAIN, dan tidak terhad kepada komuniti masjid sahaja.

masyarakat islam di negeri ini JUGA HENDAKLAH MENYAMBUT USAHA KERAJAAN MENGUKUHKAN LAGI INSTITUSI KELUARGA MELALUI PELAKSANAAN PROGRAM KELUARGA sAKINAH, DAN MENINGKATKAN PENGHAYATAN PROGRAM KEAGAMAAN SEPERTI MAULIDUR RASUL, TILAWAH AL-QURAN DAN SYARAHAN AGAMA.

SUKA JUGA SAYA INGATKAN KEPADA PIHAK YANG BERTANGGUNGJAWAB DALAM HAL PENGURUSAN MASJID DAN SURAU SUPAYA MEMASTIKAN TAHAP KEBERSIHAN SENTIASA DIJAGA. INGATLAH, MASJID ADALAH TEMPAT UNTUK BERIBADAT DAN BUKAN DIGUNAKAN UNTUK TUJUAN YANG LAIN. DAN SYARAT UTAMA BAGI SEBUAH TEMPAT IBADAT IANYA MESTILAH SENTIASA DALAM KEADAAN BERSIH.

SAUDARA SAUDARI SEKALIAN,

SAYA INGIN BERTERIMA KASIH KEPADA ANGGOTA-ANGGOTA KESELAMATAN YANG MENJAGA KETENTERAMAN AWAM DI SELURUH NEGERI JOHOR. DENGAN USAHA YANG GIGIH DARIPADA PASUKAN POLIS JOHOR, KADAR JENAYAH JALANAN DI NEGERI INI TELAH BERJAYA DITURUNKAN SELAMA 4 TAHUN BERTURUT-TURUT.

KERJASAMA ORANG RAMAI JUGA AMAT PENTING DALAM MEMBANTU ANGGOTA KESELAMATAN UNTUK SAMA-SAMA MEMBENTERAS JENAYAH BAGI MENJAMIN KEHIDUPAN YANG AMAN, TENTERAM, DAN SEJAHTERA.

SUKA SAYA INGATKAN ADALAH PENTING UNTUK KITA MENGEKALKAN KEAMANAN YANG TELAH KITA NIKMATI SELAMA INI. KESTABILAN DAN KEMAKMURAN NEGERI HANYA AKAN DAPAT DINIKMATI APABILA SEMUA PIHAK MELAKSANAKAN FUNGSI DAN TANGGUNGJAWAB MASING-MASING. INGATLAH BAHAWA PERPADUAN MERUPAKAN ASAS WUJUDNYA NEGARA INI DAN KEMAJUAN YANG KITA PEROLEHI ADALAH HASIL DARIPADA PERPADUAN YANG TELAH WUJUD SEJAK DULU LAGI.

NAMUN BEGITU AKHIR-AKHIR INI, ADA SESETENGAH PIHAK YANG BERUSAHA UNTUK MENGGUGAT PERPADUAN RAKYAT DEMI UNTUK KEPENTINGAN POLITIK YANG SEMPIT.

MEREKA SANGGUP MENABUR FITNAH DAN MENGHASUT RAKYAT UNTUK MEMBENCI RAJA SERTA MEMBANGKITKAN ISU-ISU SENSITIF KAUM DAN AGAMA DENGAN TUJUAN UNTUK MENIMBULKAN KEBENCIAN DAN MENGHANCURKAN KEAMANAN DAN KEMAKMURAN NEGARA KITA. NAMUN BEGITU SAYA PERCAYA, RAKYAT JOHOR BUKANLAH MASYARAKAT YANG MUDAH TERPEDAYA DENGAN TIPU HELAH “MUSANG YANG BERBULU AYAM” INI.

OLEH ITU, MARILAH KITA BERSATU UNTUK MEMPERTAHANKAN KEDAULATAN NEGERI JOHOR INI DAN BERPEGANG TEGUH KEPADA PRINSIP-PRINSIP RUKUN NEGARA YANG TELAH KITA IKRARKAN SEJAK MERDEKA LAGI.

SAUDARA SAUDARI SEKALIAN,

SUKA SAYA INGATKAN DI SINI, KEPADA AHLI-AHLI YANG BERHORMAT WAKIL-WAKIL RAKYAT DAN PEMIMPIN MASYARAKAT, SUPAYA SENTIASA MENJAGA ADAB DAN TINGKAH LAKU SERTA BERHATI-HATI APABILA MEMBUAT SESUATU KENYATAAN, BAK KATA PEPATAH “CAKAP SIANG PANDANG-PANDANG, CAKAP MALAM DENGAR-DENGAR”

BARU-BARU INI, ADA PEMIMPIN POLITIK YANG SECARA TERANG-TERANG MENGKRITIK TINDAKAN SAYA MEMBIDA NOMBOR PENDAFTARAN DI J.P.J. ADA-KAH DIA LUPA TENTANG ADAB MELAYU? ATAU SEMEMANGNYA DIA SEORANG YANG JAHIL DAN CETEK AKALNYA?.

JANGANLAH CUBA BERLAGAK PANDAI JIKA TIDAK BERILMU, DAN JANGANLAH MENGELUARKAN KENYATAAN SESUKA HATI JIKA TIDAK TAHU PERKARA YANG SEBENAR. BUKANKAH BERDIAM ITU LEBIH BAIK DARIPADA BERKATA YANG TIDAK BAIK?. KEPADA PEMIMPIN SEPERTI INI, NASIHAT SAYA “JANGANLAH SIBUK MENCARI KUDIS DI KAKI ORANG LAIN, SEDANGKAN TOKAK DI KAKI SENDIRI TIDAK MAMPU DIUBATI.”

SETIAP TINDAKAN YANG SAYA BUAT ADALAH MENGIKUT CARA DAN JALAN YANG BETUL, DAN SETIAP KEBAJIKAN YANG SAYA BUAT JUGA TIDAK PERLU DIPERBESARKAN.

TINDAKAN PEMIMPIN INI BUKAN SAHAJA MENDATANGKAN KEMURKAAN KEPADA SAYA, TETAPI JUGA SATU PENGHINAAN KEPADA RAKYAT DAN KEDAULATAN NEGERI JOHOR. SAYA HARAP DIA SEDAR SIAPA DIRI DIA, DAN KESILAPAN YANG TELAH DIBUAT. JIKA DIA HENDAK MINTA MAAF, MINTALAH MAAF KEPADA SEMUA RAKYAT JOHOR, BUKAN KEPADA SAYA SEORANG SAHAJA. PEPATAH MELAYU SERING MENGINGATKAN, “TERLAJAK PERAHU BOLEH DIUNDUR, TERLAJAK KATA BURUK PADAHNYA”.

SAUDARA SAUDARI SEKALIAN,

SAYA JUGA INI MENGUCAPKAN BERBANYAK TERIMA KASIH KEPADA AHLI-AHLI GABUNGAN PERTUBUHAN BUKAN KERAJAAN (NGO) DAN SELURUH RAKYAT JOHOR YANG TELAH MEMBERIKAN SOKONGAN KEPADA SAYA DAN MENYEMBAHKAN IKRAR TAAT SETIA YANG TIDAK BERBELAH-BAGI UNTUK SAMA-SAMA MENJAGA KEDAULATAN RAJA DAN NEGERI JOHOR DARUL TA’ZIM YANG KITA SAYANGI INI.

AKHIR KATA, DAN DENGAN LAFAZ: BISMILLAH HIRRAHMAN NIRRAHIM, SAYA DENGAN SUKACITANYA MERASMIKAN PERSIDANGAN KELIMA BAGI DEWAN NEGERI JOHOR YANG KE DUA BELAS PADA HARI YANG BERBAHAGIA INI.

SEKIAN, WABILLAHI TAUFIK WALHIDAYAH WASSALAMUALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAHI WABARAKAATUH.

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

Ini merupakan kali pertama baginda menzahirkan kemurkaan baginda, pada tweet MB-boneka-DAP Nizar, yang dikeluarkan dalam sosial media tiwtter dua minggu lepas.

Baginda juga membangkitkan usaha pihak tertentu untuk mengugat perpaduan dengan menabur fitnah, dalam usaha menjana pengaruh politik sempit mereka. Dalam titah ini juga, baginda mengesa agar keamanan sentiasa dijaga dan kestabilan dikekalkan agar kemakmuran yang telah dinikmati selama ini dapat dikekalkan.

DYMM Tuanku Sultan Johor semasa majlis perasmian DUN Johor di Kota Iskandar, pagi ini

Mesej jelas dalam titah ini amat relevan, terutama perkembangan politik oleh Pembangkang dalam empat tahun kebelakangan ini. Semenjak meraih sedikit pengaruh sesama PRU 12 8 Mac 2008, Pembangkang semangkin angkuh dan konsisten mencabar kesabaran majoriti.

Ini jelas semasa perasmian DUN sekarang ini empat tahun dahulu, ADUN DAP mewakili Bentayan Gwee Tong Hiang enggan memakai songkok walaupun dalam majlis rasmi dimana DYMM Tuanku Sultan Johor mencemar duli untuk merasmikan. Pengerusi PKR Chua Jui Meng juga secara terang terang mengadakan ceramah politik apabila Tuanku Sultan Johor menarik semula darjah kebesaran SPMJ yang membawa gelaran ‘Dato’.

Sepanduk PKR ini keluar berleluasa dibeberpa kawasan serata Johor, setelah darjah kebesaran SPMJ Chua Jui Meng ditarik semula oleh Sultan Johor

Sebelum ini, Setiausaha Agung DAP dan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng juga semasa dalam sessi pertemuan diluar negara telah mengeluarkan kenyataan memperkecilkan Johor sehingga Tuanku Sultan Johor tersinggung dan murka. ADUN Bentayan Gwee merupakan protege’ Lim di Johor.

Usaha Pembangkang secara sistematik menghina DYMM Raja Raja Melayu jelas menunjuk sikap mereka sebagai golongan minoriti yang tidak menghormati mana mana pihak, mengatur langkah dan mencabar kesabaran dan seterusnya kedudukan majoriti. Ini termasuk kesediaan menggunakan peruntukan undang undang bertindak keatas mereka, yang akan digunakan sebagai moal bagi memaparkan bahawa ‘majoriti menindas minoriti’.

Pembangkang yang didalangi oleh personaliti yang Chauvinis Cina dan Anti Melayu itu juga menggunakan pendekatan ‘Memomokkan Polis’, agar rakyat tidak menghormati undang undang dan agensi penguat kuasa undang undang. Ini jelas dalam perhimpunan haram BERSIH 3.0 yang bertukar menjadi ganas apabila perusuh mula menyerang barisan pemisah Polis, walaupun Polis membiarkan mereka berarak dengan aman.

Ini adalah ulangan peristiwa berdarah 13 Mei 1969. Baginda sebenarnya mempunyai asas kukuh untuk bertitah demikian dan agar rakyat menolak ‘Politik Kebencian’ ini dan mengekalkan rasa menghormaati, perpaduan dan yang paling penting, keluhuran undang undang sebagai tunggak kestabilan perjalanan masyarakat. Ini merupakan kali ketiga baginda menitahkan mesej yang sama, dalam tempoh sebulan.

Baginda juga merakamkan bahawa Johor telah mendapat kesan dari program transformasi ekonomi yang dijana oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan.

*Dikemas kini 245pm

Published in: on June 14, 2012 at 13:10  Comments (7)  

Pejuang ‘Perang Dingin’ menentang Min Yuen masih relevan

Kolumn Ketua Penolong Pengarang Utusan Malaysia Dato’ Zaini Hassan pagi ini amat menarik. Dipercayai, ianya melibatkan seorang pesara pegawai tinggi pasukan keselamatan yang terlibat dalam kerja kerja risikan dan ‘penyelidikan’.

Jangan dipersia-siakan orang seperti ini…

Oleh Zaini Hassan

PAGI semalam semasa minum bersama seorang sahabat karib di sebuah kedai mamak di Seksyen 3, Shah Alam, kami terserempak dengan seorang tokoh strategik negara yang cukup banyak baktinya kepada negara.

Saya tidak berapa mengecami beliau. Sahabat sayalah yang memperkenalkan beliau kepada saya. Terkejut juga kerana sebaliknya dia cukup mengenali saya.

Orangnya sudah lama bersara. Dia kelihatan cukup tenang. Berkaca mata. Wajahnya tidak menampakkan beliau dimamah usia yang tua. Dia sudi duduk dengan kami dan bercerita.

Pemikirannya masih tajam. Cita-cita beliau ingin menghabiskan bukunya, yang tinggal beberapa bab lagi. Buku itu jika diterbitkan akan menjadi buku bacaan pengkaji dan peminat bidang strategik, perisikan dan keselamatan di seluruh dunia.

Pengalamannya cukup luas. Walaupun saya tidak rapat dengan beliau semasa dia berkhidmat dengan sebuah agensi keselamatan kerajaan dulu, tapi saya cukup mengenalinya dari jauh. Namanya cukup terkenal. Namanya saja cukup digeruni dan dihormati oleh rakan dan lawan.

Sekitar 1980-an beliau ada bertemu dengan Chin Peng di sebuah hotel di Bangkok. Sambil duduk, beliau bertanya khabar isteri kedua Chin Peng di Hong Kong. Chin Peng tercengang, tidak sangka beliau tahu dia mempunyai isteri lain di kepulauan itu. Orang hanya tahu isterinya seorang saja dan tinggal di Sitiawan, Perak. Isteri di Hong Kong itu adalah seorang jutawan yang cukup terkenal.

Pendek kata, tokoh yang bersembang dengan kami ini cukup hebat.

Sepanjang kerjayanya, beliau sentiasa berkhidmat di belakang tabir. Tapi amat rapat dengan pucuk pimpinan negara. Boleh dikatakan berganding bahu.

‘‘Tugas saya macam saudara juga iaitu seperti pemberita, tapi berita saya tidak diterbitkan.’’ Ia akan disimpan untuk tujuan keselamatan negara dan lain-lain hal. Sudah tentu dia tahu banyak rahsia. Yang elok dan jelek mengenai orang politik, kerajaan atau apa-apa sahaja.

Dia juga tahu mengenai kisah-kisah salah laku sumbang orang itu dan ini.

Ceritanya cukup menarik. Mendengarkannya menyebabkan teh tarik saya sedar-sedar sudah sejuk, belum terhirup. Mata saya tepat memandang beliau.

Namun, dalam suasana di Malaysia ini orang yang hebat sepertinya selepas pencen, hanya tinggal di rumah sahaja.

‘‘Saya tidak buat apa-apa. Duduk di rumah,’’ katanya pendek, tapi penuh bermakna apabila saya bertanya apa yang beliau lakukan sekarang.

Jika di Amerika Syarikat atau di Barat, peranannya masih lagi berharga walaupun sudah pencen. Khidmatnya akan menjadi cukup bernilai.

Pengalaman luasnya tiada tandingnya. Tidak boleh dibeli dan dipelajari. Beliau tahu selok-belok sepak terajang permainan politik, subversif, pengganas, keganasan serta macam-macam lagi.

Dalam tempoh kira-kira sejam bersembang dengan beliau banyak yang saya dan rakan saya pelajari. Banyak teori dan praktikal gerak saraf – covert dan overt atau perang saraf secara tertutup atau terbuka – diceritanya. Siap dengan contoh-contohnya sekali. Semuanya ada dalam tangannya. Semuanya ada dalam fikirannya.

Beliau mengenali saya, walaupun saya tidak mengenalinya secara individu. Beliau bertanya mengapa wajah saya berbeza dengan yang ada dalam gambar di kolum ini?

Saya tersenyum seorang apabila memikirkan soalan itu. Ternyata pemerhatiannya cukup tajam.

Tapi sayang, orang begini apabila bersara, dibiarkan terpinggir. Jika di Amerika Syarikat atau di Barat, dia akan menjadi pakar rujukan oleh media, pihak keselamatan, parti politik dan macam-macam pihak.

Di Amerika, bekas-bekas pengarah perisikan, pengarah keselamatan negara atau pun bekas penasihat keselamatan kepada presiden akan diminta pandangan dan pendapat. Dan mereka akan lebih bebas bercakap kerana tidak terikat dengan perkhidmatan.

Jika pembangkang dapat mendekatinya dan menguasainya, maka pihak pembangkang itu akan menjadi juara dalam gerakan strategik mereka.

Tapi sayang, orang UMNO mungkin menganggap orang-orang seperti ini sudah tidak diperlukan.

Lokasi kediamannya dengan pejabat UMNO Selangor, yang menjadi pembangkang sekarang, hanyalah dalam lingkungan kurang 3 kilometer.

Adakah mereka tidak nampak beliau dan menyedari kewujudannya.

Amat sayang sekali, orang seperti ini tidak lagi digunakan. Otaknya amat berguna untuk sumbang saran sesiapa sahaja yang berniat demi keuntungan mereka.

Sayu amat sayu sekali, beliau kemudian meninggalkan kami dengan memegang senaskhah akhbar percuma, The Sun. Berjalan beliau seorang diri ke rumahnya dengan seribu perkara bermain dalam fikirannya.

Beliau amat sayangkan negara ini dan kerajaan semasa. Beliau tidak mahu melihat kerajaan yang ada jatuh ke tangan orang lain. Risikonya terlalu besar.

Tapi sayang pandangan dan nasihatnya sudah tidak diperlukan lagi.

‘‘Jika kini saya berada dalam satu majlis keramaian dan ada Perdana Menteri di situ, adakah beliau masih mengenali saya lagi…?’’ tanyanya sambil ketawa kecil.

Sebelum kami berpisah, saya sempat berkata kepadanya: ‘‘Tolong siapkan buku yang ditulis itu. Ia adalah satu kewajipan untuk disiapkan dan disiarkan. Kami semua mahu membacanya. Saya mahu membacanya dan dunia juga mahu mempelajarinya.’’

Kawan saya turut menghulurkan khidmat sukarela untuk membantu beliau menyiapkannya.

Sekurang-kurangnya, kata-kata kami itu cukup memberi semangat kepada bekas orang kuat sebuah cawangan keselamatan negara ini.

Oleh kerana saya tidak mendapatkan kebenaran beliau untuk menulis mengenainya, maka biarlah namanya saya rahsiakan.

Moral cerita saya ialah: Jangan dipersia-siakan orang seperti ini.

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

Pengalaman dan susur galur apa yang dilalui Dato’ yang dimaksudkan Zaini itu amat relevan hari ini. Mungkin Parti Kominis Malaysia telah secara rasminya meletakan senjata apabila Hadyaii Accord ditanda tangani pada 2 Disember 1989 dan peperangan insurgensi melibatkan pengganas kominis secara rasminya berakhir. Namun, mentaliti dan iktikad Min Yuen saki baki PKM itu masih lagi ujud, relevan dan perjuangan minoriti untuk menguasai majoriti itu masih subur hari ini.

Malah, orang seperti Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng tidak pernah meninggalkan pegangan ideologi kominis melalui keganasan itu.

Semasa pertengahan tahun 60an, PKM mendapati berperang secara gerilla dan mengalahkan pasukan pasukan keselamatan yang terdiri dari Polis DiRaja Malaysia, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia dan angkatan angkatan tentera Kommonwealth seperti British, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal dan Fiji tidak berhasil dan malah makin merosot. Oleh demikian, mereka menggunakan pendekatan menguasai kesatuan kesatuan sekerja dan perlahan lahan, menggunakan perjuangan memartabatkan golongan perkerja ini diterapkan dengan ideologi sosialism.

Akhirnya, bibit bibit komunism ditiupkan kepada aktivis yang tegar, yang kemudiannya menjadi konduit dan akhirnya kepada gerakan kominism ala ‘sosialism progressif’ ini.

Parti parti politik yang berlandaskan sosialism dan menjaga kepentingan golongan pekerja pun mula lahir dan aktivis dan pemimpin mereka, yang berganding bahu dengan kepimpinan gerakan kesatuan pekerja mula meraih keyakinan dan sokongan rakyat marhaen. Ini secara strategik kerana industri dalam negara seperti perladangan dan perlombongan sudah mula tepu dan industri baru seperti pembuatan dan perkilangan mula popular dan membuka peluang pekerjaan baru.

Parti parti politik berasaskan gerakan sosialism dan memperjuangan golongan pekerja mula lahir di Malaysia. Min Yuen menggunakan sepenuhnya peluang ini untuk menerapkan agenda neo-kominism mereka yang di’topeng’kan dengan gerakan sosialism melalui platform ini, tatkala dunia berubah dengan arus sosialism yang memunjak diperingkat global. Rantau ini juga tidak dikecualikan.

Akibtanya, Min Yuen ini berjaya menghasut sehingga berlaku peristiwa berdarah 13 Mei 1969. Semenjak pra-13 Mei lagi, mereka dengan semangat dan sikap Chuavinis Cina mereka secara sistematik mencuba kesabaran majoriti yang bertahan agar tidak berlaku lagi ulangan 13 Mei dan mereka sebagai minoriti dipertontonkan kepada kacamata dunia sebagai ‘mangsa’ dan ‘golongan yang ditindas’.

Satu badan professional menggunakan pendekatan  ‘wacana intelletual’ untuk menghasut kebencian pada Pasukan Polis dan Agensi Pelaksana Undang Undang

Min Yuen hari ini menggunakan manipulasi perundangan, pendekatan inetelektualism dan pencernaan pendapat, untuk mencabar kesabaran majoriti secara sistematik dan konsisten. Mereka juga tidak segan silu menggunakan platform politik sediada bagi menentukan agenda mereka terus marak.

Ini termasuk percubaan membawa pulang Setiausaha Agung PKM Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng oleh pemimpin politik tertentu.

Percubaan dilakukan bertubi tubi secara konsisten dan sistematik, termasuk menggunakan media antarabangsa dan media baru untuk menentukan agenda ‘minoriti ditindas majoriti’ ini segar berterusan. Antara strategi yang digunakan ialah ‘Politik Kebencian’, memaparkan ‘Polis dan Pihak Berkuasa Sebagai Jahat’ dan ‘Negara Polis’.

Agenda menggunakan ‘kebangkitan rakyat melalui jalanan’ yang dengan popular dibeberapa rantau, terutama dalam apabila ‘perjuangan menentang majoriti menindas minoriti’ ini menjadi citarsa politik global masa kini. Padahal, reliatinya mereka merupakan golongan yang menghasut agar orang ramai melanggar undang undang, demi kepentingan ‘drama’ untuk menunjukan ‘Polis Ganas’ apabila tindakan berasaskan undang undang diambil.

Pendekata, premis politik berasaskan anarki ialah pendekatan mereka.

Apa yang golongan majoriti perlu ingat dan waspada ialah ada dikalangan kita adalah bukan sahaja berjasa, malah mereka juga amat berpengalaman dan mempunyai kemampuan psikologi untuk berjuangan dengan cabaran ini. Mereka adalah sumber yang baik untuk menjadi rujukan dan penasihat. Namun, mereka memerlukan sedikit perubahan cara dan penyampaian.

Hakikatnya, jangan majoriti hari ini menjadi ‘Melayu Mudah Lupa’.

Published in: on June 13, 2012 at 14:18  Comments (5)  

Making the right MH moves

Malaysia Airlines in this current form would be forty this October. It had gone a long way from the six B737-200s and six Fokker Friendship F27s as the result of separation from Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). Now that the share swap reversal is firmly left in the pages of history, Malaysia Airlines management have made positive steps towards the airline’s business turnaround.

For starters, the reversal of the share swap had undoubtably provided the sense of psychological relief and ‘lifted’ morale of the mostly very loyal employees. It was the major murmur in almost all of the 20,000 odd staffs and many folds other retirees. It was an unnecessary business decision that would have prolonged enough to escalate into a major political backlash, at least for BN’s chances of getting back Selangor.

The recent first quarter results were a much welcomed surprise, it no doubt put a spring in the step of many of the national carrier’s executives, fatigued after so many months of bad news. In short, losses narrowed as result of cutting unprofitable routes, fuel expense decreased by 1% mainly from better capacity management.

The longing and much awaited A380-800s has finally arrived after almost four years late delivery. The first of these state of the art planes that have begun flying on some routes puts Malaysia Airlines back into serious competition with its premium rivals, SIA and Cathay. By August, the lucrative KUL-LHR route would be served by this type on daily basis.

Malaysia Airlines A380-800, starting service to London Heathrow 1 July 2012

In the past, we have argued about not having the right product to remain competitive in the 5 star premium airlines’ market. Malaysia Airlines’ A380-800s have been customised to offer a premium flying experience comparable if not better than others in the region. It is first class and business class cabins have fully flat beds, and wider seats in economy. All these, coupled with Malaysia Airlines staff’s world renowned and award winning service, will give premium passengers a ride that they would want to return to time and again.

Over on the business side of things, Malaysia Airlines has also slashed several of its most unprofitable routes to focus on maximizing revenue on routes that are more lucrative. These include long-haul flights to Dubaii, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Rome and other low-yielding routes.

A cost saving program, Malaysia Airlines has also given its staff the option of a 2-year Voluntary Leave Programme. This is a scheme similar to what SIA recently offered its pilots, and it is hoped that it would allow the airline to control its operating costs without reducing too much staff. The upside is that the influential MAS union, MASEU, has given its support for the VPL.

The 25 years contract of Brahim-LSG Sky Chef would be renegotiated

More on business side of things. Malaysia Airlines is also actively reviewing its vendor contracts and renegotiating them when necessary. One of the more glaring contracts awarded during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s time is the one about then MAS Catering. They have recently renegotiated the 25-year contract with LSG Sky Chefs, a contract that many observers thought unusual for its length, and financially onerous, considering the state of the national carrier.

On 1 June 2012, Malaysia Airlines has appointed former Westjet Arilines EVP for Strategy Dr Hugh Dunleavy as the airline’s Director of Commercial. He is also the candidate the eight unions and associations of Malaysia Airlines had recommended to take over as commercial director. The position is important for Malaysia Airlines as it requires the planning of routes to chart the airline’s path back to profitability. He comes with 30 years of experience, having worked with WestJet Airlines, Lufthansa Systems, Star Alliance, Air Canada and at PROS (passenger revenue optimisation systems) Revenue Management.

Good news for some. Unpopular personalities in and out of the company, acting commercial director Shane Nollan and Danny Yusoff are no longer in Malaysia Airlines. Malaysia Airlines could have been spared from the months of banter because of these two. Now, CEO Ahmad Jauhari Ismail could freely chart its path and bring on board really credible ‘airliners’.

Firefly B737-400

On a positive node, the growingly popular Malaysia AIrlines’ answer in the low cost carrier segment, Firefly, is back with the jet service. It will introduce weekly scheduled charter service between Kuala Lumpur and Christmas Island in Australia from July 7, utilizing its B737-400 aircraft, which has a seating capacity of 162.

The injection of fund via RM 9 billion Sukuk will give the turnaround plan stronger legs to carry out what everyone has admitted as a monumental task. The terms and space of this sukuk would allow a lot of room for the turnaround plan to manouvre. This is the much awaited investment that Malaysia Airlines needed to move forward. Malaysia Airlines need to replace some of the older fleets with newer aircrafts and inadvertently infuse new products for the national carrier market repositioning.

Now that A380-800s finally had arrived and soon would start to replace the 23 years old B747-400s, the fleet of 17 B777-200s are also 15 years old. These now aging fleets require replacements too as Malaysia Airlines’ destinations in Europe, Australia, West Asia and East Asia needed the capability and capacity of these aircrafts, as the market is still strong.

The market talking is about Malaysia Airlines intrinsic value:

Monday June 11, 2012

What is MAS’s intrinsic value?

PETALING JAYA: While the share-swap agreement between Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia Bhd may have been unwound, there is still the likelihood that a controlling interest in the national flag carrier could be sold in the future due to the ongoing divestment programme by the Government, said industry observers.

“Not to be ruled out is a divestment of Khazanah (National Bhd) stake in the future, in the same vein that it so with other companies in its stable,” said a party familiar with the situation. Khazanah, which holds close to 70% of MAS, has successfully sold down its stakes in Time dotCom Bhd,Pos Malaysia Bhd and Proton Holdings Bhd.

A crucial question though is this: Assuming MAS is to be put up for sale, what would the likely price tag be? The value placed on the carrier may or may not be the same as its market value, which at the current price of RM1.12 per share stands at about RM3.7bil.

MAS’ intrinsic or actual value was likely to be obtained based on the perception of the company’s true value, said analysts and investment bankers.

OSK Research Sdn Bhd analyst Ahmad Maghfur Usman uses the enterprise value (EV) to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) method to come up with how much MAS is worth. This method takes into account a company’s debt that its acquirer will have to assume, unlike some other conventional valuation methods.

OSK now values MAS at RM1.38 or some RM4.6bil that is premised on 7.5 times MAS’ EV/EBITDA for financial year 2014 (FY14).

MIDF Research uses the same method but recently adjusted its target price to RM1.16 from RM1.35 previously to incorporate the execution risk for loss-making MAS’ business turnaround plan.

Its valuation is based on FY12 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation, and restructuring or rent costs (EBITDAR) by pegging it to 5.9 times EV/EBITDAR, which is the average of its regional peers.

Meanwhile, Maybank Investment Bank uses the price/earnings ratio method, which measures the company’s current share price compared with its per share earnings.

The research house values MAS at 97 sen or some RM3.2bil, implying a projected price/earnings ratio for FY13 of 10 times, the mid-level valuation of the aviation cycle.

Maybank IB, however, is understood to be in the midst of preparing a lengthier and more in-depth report on MAS which will seek to paint a more “real” value of the company.

In order to do this, it is understood that the analysts are likely to break down the different units under the airline such as its maintenance, repair and overhaul sector and its cargo operations, which are doing relatively well, and analyse their real values should these units be spun-off to buyers.

“It’s the international flight routes operation that is truly killing the airline … with the inclusion of this operation, the value of the airline gets massively depressed.

“So, it’s important to separate it from the other units that are doing okay to find out the airline’s true potential,” said an industry observer.

MAS reported its fifth consecutive quarter of net loss of RM171mil for the first quarter ended March 31 amid a RM199mil foreign exchange gain.

When stripped of the non-cash items, MAS’ core net loss for the quarter stood at RM347mil.

********

These snapshots of market valuation on Malaysia Airlines is rather fair. Then again, when these new investments are being slotted in and new products being introduced, Malaysia Airlines is expected to be able to expand their captive market. Then that would be the right time to value the national carrier.

The physical fundamentals of Malaysia Airlines are strong. The assets, plants and equipments are well endowed and ready, and the workforce is matured. Probably retraining is required to some of them before they could be reassigned, to suit the optimum productivity for the airline. The brand is good and more importantly, there are high potential for the brand to reach out beyond its existing market, sectors and segments.

Malaysia Airlines MRO facility; well equipped to push the national carrier forward

Malaysia Airlines had been successful to balance the important axis of an airline; the service and management of technology. They have maintained high service standards, on the ground and particularly onboard and they impeccably managed the air operations.

Moving forward also requires market confidence on the management. This is important to give the extra motivation for the staff to bring Malaysia Airlines to its glory days. It is all about the factors of production working in tandem. The national carrier is a national project. Regardless what had happened in the past. Its time the nation should come together and follow it through.

*Updated 1600hrs

Published in: on June 11, 2012 at 14:30  Comments (14)  

Johor Roulette

HRH Tuanku Sultan Johor doing the ‘1 Malaysia’ sign as Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak flags off Kembara Mahkota Johor, the presence of MB Johor Dato’ Ghani Othman, Kulaijaya 13 May 2012

Today, more than 6,000 Johoreans are expected to converge at a hall next to Istana Pasir Pelangi where HRH Sultan of Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Sultan Iskandar Al Haj reside. They have come to show support in the recent gross disrespect by DAP-puppet former MB Perak Nizar Jamaluddin in his tweets about HRH’s success to bid for a special car registration no., ‘WWW 1’.

Published: Sunday June 10, 2012 MYT 1:45:00 PM
Updated: Sunday June 10, 2012 MYT 1:54:28 PM

Huge show of support for Sultan of Johor

By MOHD FARHAAN SHAH

JOHOR BARU: Thousands of people have converged and are heading towards Istana Pasir Pelangi to show their support for the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar on Sunday.

Johor Umno Youth organised the gathering to have the people show their support for the Sultan of Johor and also to protest against Perak PAS deputy commissioner Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin for allegedly questioning the Sultan’s successful RM520,000 bid for the WWW1 car registration number.

Its head, Mohd Fadil Maskon, was previously reported as having said that more than 300 NGOs were expected to participate in the “Loyalty Pledge” gathering, including members of Barisan Nasional component parties, to also express the people’s readiness to check any attempt to belittle the institution of the monarchy.

He had also said Johor Umno Youth would hand over to the Sultan a memorandum pledging undivided loyalty to the monarch.

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

This is not the first time HRH Sultan Ibrahim having a serious tiff with the Opposition. Last September, Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng had to apologize for offending HRH Sultan Ibrahim in a statement he made. The insult, brought Johoreans out and express their displeasure aloud.

This is not the first time a DAP elected representative by conduct, insult HRH Sultan Johor as the Constitutional Head. In one of the opening ceremony for the current State Assembly cohort in June 2008, DAP ADUN for Bentayan Gwee Tong Hiang actually refused to wear the songkok, even in the presence of HRH Sultan Johor. It was then something unimaginable where an elected wail rakyat openly demonstrate his blatant disrespect for a HRH Sultan.

HRH Sultan Johor at Dataran Nelayan, Mersing to an eagerly awaiting crowd 14 May 2012

Two years ago, HRH Sultan Ibrahim issued a ‘titah murka’ against Johor PKR Chairman Chua Jui Meng for instigating his rakyat when the latter’s SPMJ was revoked. Chua was found to have sabotaged the list of Johor Chinese community leaders allocated to get medals for HRH Sultan Johor’s birthday.

These Oppositions’ track to be downplay the position of the Malays via the counter assertive on their gross disrespect for the HRH Sultan Johor, as symbol for the custodian of the Malay tradition and culture is very blatant. They are unable to convince the Malay majority to back them up for mandate and power, thus they subtly do it against HRH Malay Rulers.

ADUN DAP stood on one of the DUN’s bench table and yelled as HRH Regent of Perak is still present in the august State Assembly

These episodes is also prevalent in Selangor and Perak, where the number of Non Malays is almost equivalent the number of Malays. When Opposition lost the control over the Perak State Government in February 2009, HRH Sultan Perak asserted powers provided in the Perak State Constitution to determine the Menteri Besar. That was when DAP-puppet MB Perak Nizar Jamaluddin lost his Exco and along that goes with it, the DAP power over the state where there is a Sultan.

Time and again, HRH Sultan of Perak, Pahang, Johor and Raja of Perlis spoke against this effort to strategically and systematically challenge the Malays and institutions of the Malays.

HRH Sultan Johor meeting the rakyat in Tg Leman, near Mersing

Then again, if they try to be funny in Johor and think they could stir up the Malay sentiments enough to shake the support enjoyed by the ruling party so far, then they are wrong. It is clear that HRH Sultan Johor’s relationship with the rakyat is symbiotic in nature. Johoreans love their Sultan. They adore him and in many ways, very proud of him. This is evidently clear in the series of twelve Kembara Mahkota Johor HRH Sultan Johor participated.

The most recent in early May, Johoreans of all ages from all walks of life waited to greet him by the roadside, throughout the 1,012 km journey in ten districts all over Johor. They waived and cheered him first thing in the morning, in the middle of the scorching heat and humidity in afternoons and even in the wettest torrential rainstorm in the evenings. They assembled in tens of thousands in almost all rendezvous points.

Johoreans feel blessed their Ruler is cordial with them. They feel honoured that their Sultan make the annual trip, even to their most rural kampungs and feast with them. In the past, some of these lucky Johoreans have had the honour of HRH Sultan Johor and his consort Tuanku Raja Zarith Sofiah spend the night in their humble homes.

HRH Sultan Johor and HRH Tunku Mahkota Johor greeting the eagerly awaiting rakyat at Ladang Achi Jaya, Cha’ah, near Segamat 14 May 2012

HRH Sultan Johor, a constitutional leader whom preside over the powers of the state assembly, understands the importance and history of the rakyat support of the Royal Household Institution. Infact, HRH Sultan Johor just like his late father and grandfather, is proud that UMNO was born in the Istana Besar on 11 May 1946 with then HRH Sultan Ibrahim’s consent. UMNO, which enjoyed the overwhelming support of the Malays, managed to displace the Malayan Union and kept the position of Royal Household Institution intact with the Malay society.

And HRH Sultan Johor’s heritage is part of that history.

This history is precursor on the mandate to create the Federation of Malaya where HRH Rulers’ position and role is enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The symbiotic relationship of the rakyat via the mandate on the leaders and HRHs remained strong and respectful.

UMNO semasa ditubuh di Istana Besar, Johor Bahru, Johor pada Kongress Melayu Ketiga 11 Mei 1946. Ditengah tengah barisan hadapan ialah Pemangku Sultan Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim

HRH Sultan Ibrahim maintained the extension of this relationship with the government, particularly the Johor State Government. The members of the Johor Civil Service, are appointed with his consent. The mandate of the Johor rakyat via the elected State Government is to ensure status quo is preserved, is stronger than ever.

The Opposition in their systematic sordid attempts to break ranks within the Malays’ strength of the majority through subtle attacks against HRH Sultan Johor or for that matter any other HRHs, would just be a ‘Johor Roulette’ that would eventually see them slumped with the pool of blood. Their propensity to spin anything and everything, might probably place the bullet right in the chamber before they pull the trigger.

*Updated 1445hrs

DAP-Puppet Ex MB-Perak Nizar Jamaluddin’s twitter earlier last week

It has been reported more than 25,000 Johoreans of all walks of life, ages and ethnic groups assembled, in support of HRH Sultan Johor at Pasir Pelangi this afternoon. Pemuda BN Johor and several Johor-based NGOs rallied support for this, to express their anger to former DAP-puppet MB Perak Nizar Jamaluddin for his insult against HRH Sultan Johor’s personal bid. They also pledged support and loyalty to HRH Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al Haj, Sultan of Johor.

HRH Sultan Johor who greeted them at his palace, was teary eyed, after overcome  with emotions to the thundering cheer of ‘Daulat Tuanku’.

In his short titah, HRH Sultan Ibrahim thanked everyone and had asked Johoreans to unite. “Its my responsibility to care for my subjects. I’m here because of the rakyat. If there is no rakyat, then there is no Ruler. Together we should be stronger when we are closely united”.

In HRH Sultan Johor’s own words, “Raja dan rakyat, berpisah tiada!“.

HRH Sultan Johor and his ‘WWW 1’ car registration no. which he successfully bid for RM 520,000.00 and now on a Proton Satria Neo

* Updated Monday 1000hrs

The Star report on the historic assembly:

Monday June 11, 2012

Johoreans march to istana and pledge loyalty to Sultan over WWW 1 issue

By MOHD FARHAAN SHAH
farhaan@thestar.com.my

JOHOR BARU: The Istana Pasir Pelangi grounds here was a sea of people who came from all over the state to pledge their loyalty to the Sultan of Johor and his royal household.

The clouds gave way to sunny skies as the masses marched toward the palace with banners proclaiming their love for their Ruler, amid shouts of Daulat Tuanku, yesterday.

The mammoth gathering, organised by non-governmental organisations and the Johor Umno Youth, was held in the wake of criticisms over the successful bidding by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar for the WWW 1 car registration plate.

Former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had raised a storm when he tweeted that the RM520,000 bidding price could have been better used to meet the needs of the poor.

Befitting honour: Sultan Ibrahim with his new custom-made Proton Satria Neo fitted with the WWW 1 number plate at Istana Pasir Pelangi in Johor Baru Sunday.

Defending his father, Tunku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim counter-tweeted, saying that the money allotted to him and the Sultan every month went towards the Yayasan Iskandar and Yayasan Ibrahim funds to meet the social and welfare obligations of the two foundations.

He said neither he nor his father had taken a sen from the Government.

Sultan Ibrahim was visibly touched by the support. “To me, the rakyat is my responsibility and my wish is to see my subjects unite as one.

“I will never forget this historic moment and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank each and everyone of my subjects who came here,” said the Sultan, who unveiled his orange custom-made Proton Satria Neo with the WWW 1 number plate.

“Without the rakyat, there would be no Ruler,” he said, adding that the huge turnout was “the voice of the people”.

Later, giving his critics a royal rebuke, he said: “Engage your brain before shooting your mouth.”

Meanwhile, one of his princes, Tunku Abdul Jalil Iskandar Sultan Ibrahim said he was amazed at the size of the crowd.

“I could hear people screaming Daulat Tuanku from the istana’s balcony.”

Published in: on June 10, 2012 at 12:26  Comments (10)  

Lunging Lotus

 

DRB Hicom’s decision to summarily sack flamboyant but expensive Lotus plc CEO Dany Bahar brings about a lot of questions. The direction of Lotus and what is expected of the UK respected motorsports design house and development facility, is now the focus of many observers. More importantly, how Lotus would bring about value to Proton and DRB Hicom automotive group.

The previous Khazanah Holdings Bhd’s controlled BOD of Proton Holdings Bhd. brought in Dany Bahar who was a Senior Vice President of Commercial and Brand for Ferrari, to make something really explosive for Lotus. He hand plans. He is supposed to bring in other big motorsports name. He wanted to launch five different models of Lotus, all at once. In short, Bahar was paid a lot of money, given a free hand and after three years, failed to deliver anything.

Proton Holdings Bhd. under Khazanah controlled BOD also did not progress far. It started with upstream. Khazanah did not bring in investments. As such, Proton did not get to develop new models for quite a bit. Sales went down. Naturally, productivity. They brought in Dato’ Seri Syed Zainal Abidin from Perodua and it moved a little bit. However with lack of investment and good products to work with, there is not much strategy could be formulated and followed through.

In 1996, then Malaysia auto mogul the late Tan Sri Yahya Ahmad acquired Lotus from Bugatti owner Romano Artioli. Yahya had big plans for Lotus, as well as Proton. However, a helicopter crash not long after the acquisition short-lived that dream, vision and of course, the roll out and follow through.

Dato’ Seri Mohd. Khamil Jamil and Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim, during the signing ceremony of collaboration with VW

Now, DRB Hicom willing to put in money for the national car corporation. Being an existing player with the distribution of some serious brands under its belt and confidence to assemble other good brands such as Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Suzuki, they already invested a steady huge of monies for their auto-city in Peramu Jaya near Pekan.

DRB Hicom is also into manufacturing of components, which Proton is  a major customer. In fact, a hefty sum of their income comes from this. They are also in the business of distribution and after sales service of Pr0ton cars. Within the group, they also do  the hire purchase and lease financing of Proton brands. DRB Hicom also owns a private college within the Peramu Jaya industrial park, training students for the automotive industry and soon will be accorded with a college-university status.

Now the whole chain of the automotive industry is completed. Had they own petrol distribution chain and concession rights to tolled highway, then their entire value chain is comprehensive. Regardless, DRB Hicom now needs to strategise on the full extend of the chain of their automotive industry.

At one end, they already have the Lotus as a design house and development facility. The brand needs new products. Their business model needs to be revamped and polished. The brand already have a stream of existing contract manufacturers that they can work with.

Where the global automotive industry is heading is where Lotus should be. Technology developed and derived by Lotus for high powered cars which include Formula One could be commercialised for the more popular models for the masses. It is time to monetize all that technology being developed.

Dato’ Seri mohd. Khamil Jamil and Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim at the signing ceremony with a representative of Liverpool’s John Moores University recently

This and what should be expected of Proton should be laid out in the open. After all, DRB Hicom now is carrying the responsibility of the national car project, first rolled out in 1985. Proton should not remain as a ‘rebadger’. With the clout of the international motor industry, DRB Hicom is expected by many to infuse better technology and design for new Proton products be developed and launched.

This is actually a more demanding deliverable for Dato’ Seri Haji Mohamed Khamil Jamil and Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim. They not only now got to make good of Al Bukhary Group’s monies in Proton but also have the responsibility to propel the national car project to a higher level. After 27 years, it is what the simple expectation of Malaysians towards Proton.

The magic they did to turn around and place DRB Hicom where it is now in such a considerably short time would now be the benchmark what they could do for Proton and Lotus. Now that they also have the indirect support of the Federal Government, they must make good for this task and defeat the skeptics in their own words.

If they need to be lunged, then be it. They have to start to lunge Lotus, immediately. They have to lunge the legacy of Collin Chapman and make it big enough, for the sake of Malaysia’s pride. After all, Lotus and Proton were award winning badges.

Published in: on June 9, 2012 at 18:29  Leave a Comment  

Plugging the ‘Lotus Leak’

DRB Hicom, Proton Holding Bhd’s new owners today in a statement announced the appointment of Aslam Farikullah as the new CEO for Lotus plc and confirms the summarily exit of Dany Bahar. Farikullah is the COO for Lotus plc.

MEDIA STATEMENT

 

LOTUS APPOINTS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Confirms dismissal of Dany Bahar

 

Norfolk, 7 June 2012 – As a result of several media queries, Group Lotus plc (“Lotus” or the “Company”) can today confirm that, Mr Dany Bahar has been terminated from his employment as Chief Executive Officer of Lotus with immediate effect.

The decision was made by the Board of Group Lotus plc following the results of an investigation into a complaint made against him by the company’s penultimate holding company, DRB-HICOM Berhad.

The Company today also announced the appointment of Mr Aslam Farikullah as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer with immediate effect. Mr Aslam, aged 51, has over 26 years working experience, most of which was in the automotive industry. He graduated from University of Bath, England with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Engineering. A British permanent resident, Mr Aslam and his English wife of 27 years have three children aged 26, 22 and 16.

Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM Berhad and also Chairman of Lotus said: “I would like to assure you that we remain committed to ensure the ongoing and future business operations of the Lotus Group as we take the Lotus Group to the next level to remain relevant in the global automotive industry. I look forward to bringing mutual benefits to not only DRB-HICOM and PROTON Holdings Berhad but also the Lotus Group and its employees as well as contribute to the growth of the British automotive industry.”

–         END OF STATEMENT   –

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Flamboyant Bahar was seen to have crazy ideas for Lotus like launching five models in one go (Geneva Auto Show 2010), although how to deliver that had always been ambiguous. Now that DRB Hicom has proper grip on Proton and inadvertently, Lotus, a more focus business plan and strategy is expected.

Published in: on June 8, 2012 at 09:47  Comments (5)  

Our house

This video was watched live at circa 0545hrs Malaysian time. This was the three and half hours concert in honouring Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years reign celebrations, now ongoing this week in London. His Majesty and her family joined 80,000 odd crowd to party, in really good style on a purpose built stage on top of the Queen Vinctoria Memorial, which is at the end of The Mall and outside the north gates of  Buckingham Palace.

This is by far probably the most creative way to use the 300 odd years old Buckingham Palace as an entertainment medium.

British pop group Madness performed live from the rooftop of the iconic palace, situated in up market Belgravia area of the 2,000 years old city.

Dame Shirley Bassey rendering her 1971 James Bond title track “Diamonds are forever”.

Aussie pop diva Kylie Minogue doing her bit at the Diamond Jubilee Concert.

Of course, the Diamond Jubilee Concert would not be perfect without Sir Paul McCartney.

Queen Elizabeth II has been residing in this palace since her father King George VI ascended the British throne 75 years ago. The royal family never opted for a safer accommodation dn left the 775 rooms palace even though the Luftwaffe was raining terror with almost everyday bombing over London, during the early days of World War II.

Published in: on June 5, 2012 at 21:43  Leave a Comment  

Lotus leakage

Supremo bloggo-journo Datuk Rocky scooped this story about then Lotus Ltd CEO Danny Bahar’s leadership where Lotus had some monies missing. That was three months ago. It was during the weeks before ownership of Proton changed hands.

A few days ago, BBC reported that Bahar has been suspended.

29 May 2012 Last updated at 23:01 GMT

Lotus in limbo after chief executive Dany Bahar’s suspension

Jorn Madslien

By Jorn MadslienBusiness reporter, BBC News, Hethel, Norfolk

Lotus models in the factory
Production levels have not been affected by the uncertainty about Lotus’ long-term future

Signs of prosperity and progress are everywhere at the Lotus headquarters in Hethel.

The sportscar maker’s test track has just been spruced up, ready to receive a string of new models scheduled by chief executive Dany Bahar to be launched over the next few years.

In the factory alongside the track, workers who are used to building an array of Smarties-coloured cars by hand are preparing to make the transition to a partially automated production line.

An extension of the carmaker’s factory is being erected to make room for production to double to about 6,000 per year by 2015, creating some 1,000 jobs in the process.

However, the initial impression of healthy growth is deceptive, belying the chaos behind the scene.

Lotus factory
Lotus is extending its factory to make space for a sharp increase in output

Persistent fears

The sportscar maker and engineering group’s difficulties came to a head over the weekend, with the shock announcement that Mr Bahar had been suspended pending the outcome of a two-week investigation into “his conduct”.

As yet, no one has said why the former Ferrari and Red Bull executive has been forced to step aside, nor indeed has it been made clear whether or not he is expected to return.

Dany Bahar
Dany Bahar’s suspension means no one can say what will happen next at Lotus

But the plight of the group’s chief is perhaps not at the forefront of the minds of Lotus’ 1,200-strong workforce, who worry a great deal more about the conduct of DRB-Hicom Berhad.

Ever since January, when the Malaysian holding company acquired a controlling stake in Lotus’ parent company Proton, repeated assurances have failed to alleviate their concerns.

The persistent worry is that DRB-Hicom might see the consistently loss-making UK subsidiary as a non-core Proton asset that could simply be hived off.

Many here have been jolted by waves of rumours that DRB-Hicom is considering a string of options that could include anything from filing for administration, to shifting production out of the UK, to an outright sale.

The uncertainty has been broadly dismissed by DRB-Hicom, yet the government has responded by putting plans for £10.4m of funding on hold until a clearer picture emerges.

Concerned Malaysian financiers, which have lent some £270m to Lotus in exchange for guarantees from Proton, have also responded by imposing restrictions, according to press reports there.

Credible rival?

In Hethel, the workers’ concerns are matched only by their pride in the cars they produce; cars such as the supercharged Exige S, the fastest accelerating production car yet to leave the factory.

The Exige S could be seen as a potent symbol of all that is right, as well as of all that is wrong, with Lotus.

Jorn Madslien drives the Lotus Exige S
The Exige S is well equipped for a Lotus, though it appears primitive when compared with upmarket models from Ferrari or Porsche

Taking it for a spin on the track, the car’s pedigree becomes evident. It is an outstanding specimen of Lotus engineering, delivering performance that has earned it favourable comparisons with the almost twice-as-expensive Porsche GT3.

Out on the open road, meanwhile, the Exige S comes across as extraordinarily well kitted-out, at least by Lotus standards, coming as it does complete with airbags, orthopaedic seats and a switch that activates the touring mode.

There are even patches of superfluous suede leather in the centre of the doors.

But compare it to the considerably more expensive and sophisticated rivals that have long been on Mr Bahar’s radar, and the Exige S comes across as terribly crude.

And as such, it does little to vindicate Mr Bahar’s ambitious vision of transforming Lotus from a niche player into an upmarket sportscar company.

Committed workforce

On the factory floor, production continues uninterrupted in spite of the turbulent rumour mill.

Skilled workers are painstakingly bonding together lightweight glass fibre panels, making complete car bodies that are bolted onto lightweight aluminium and composite chassis.

John Vigar, manager in charge of continuous improvement, development and training, Lotus Cars
Lotus workers are incredibly loyal and highly skilled, insists Mr Vigar

The company’s owners, meanwhile, have been eager to mollify all those concerned.

DRB-Hicom has put four of its own people in charge of the day-to-day business, and Proton’s executive chairman Sri Haji Muhammad Khamil Jamil has reiterated that Lotus is not being sold “despite recent media reports based purely on speculation and rumours”.

“Lotus is an iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce,” he says.

Not much more can be said until the outcome of the operations and legal audit has been concluded and Mr Bahar’s future has been determined.

But whatever its owners and executives end up doing, there is no doubting the commitment of its staff, according to John Vigar, manager in charge of continuous improvement, development and training.

“They are, I think, the cream of the workforce in Norfolk,” he says.

“If you cut the wrist of a Lotus employee, you get yellow and green blood.”

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

He was said to have not delivered what he had promised when the Proton BOD hired him a few years ago.

Then there is this report about Bahar The Big Spender. Now, the story on Bahar is about the ostentatious lifestyle:

The high-living Lotus boss and a row over £1m flying expenses

PUBLISHED: 20:11 GMT, 2 June 2012 | UPDATED: 20:11 GMT, 2 June 2012

There could hardly be a greater clash of cultures. Straight-laced Malaysian executives from one of the country’s leading manufacturing conglomerates, and Dany Bahar, the millionaire boss of British sports and racing cars group Lotus – a man with film star looks and a lifestyle to match.

Malaysian group DRB-Hicom bought Lotus earlier this year but chief executive Bahar was suspended two weeks ago amid allegations of irregularities with his expenses and other misuses of company money.

Financial Mail has established that the accusations centre on hundreds of thousands of pounds spent refurbishing his rented home, and more than £1million on private aircraft, including jets and helicopters to fly Bahar to Formula 1 races and other events around the world.

Friends: Dany Bahar, left, with singer Alicia Keys and her husband, rapper Swizz Beatz, who was given a job with Lotus

Friends: Dany Bahar, left, with singer Alicia Keys and her husband, rapper Swizz Beatz, who was given a job with Lotus

Bahar does not contest any of this, but according to friends he insists the spending was all part of his employment contract and entirely appropriate for the boss of a luxury car brand involved in Formula 1.

What appears to have infuriated DRB is that while Bahar enjoyed the lifestyle of successful luxury products company boss, Norfolk-based Lotus lost more than £1million in 2011 and has debts of £200 million.

Bahar, 41, who was born in Turkey but is now a Swiss citizen, was paid £1.2million for his job and mixed with stars such as singer Alicia Keys and her husband, New York rapper Swizz Beatz.

Bahar appointed Beatz as Lotus’s vice-president of creative design and global marketing.

A month after the Malaysians bought Lotus, they began investigating the running of the company and how it was performing. It was this examination by accountancy giant Ernst & Young and a team from financial adviser Rothschild Group that resulted in Bahar’s suspension on May 25 while an investigation was launched into a complaint about his conduct.

Refurbished: Dany Bahar's rented home

Refurbished: Dany Bahar’s rented home

The company and Bahar have refused to comment on the affair, or even to go into the reasons for the suspension of Bahar, who was appointed to the role only in October 2009 having been recruited from Ferrari by previous owner Proton, another Malaysian company.

But Financial Mail understands that the accusations concern Bahar’s alleged extravagant use of company money and an interpretation of his contract, which was drawn up with Proton.

According to industry sources, the charges relate to the contract itself as well as expenditure on a rented home in Norfolk, company spending beyond agreed limits and using company money to travel excessively by helicopter and business jets, something said to have astonished the new owners.

But Bahar’s friends insist that all expenditure was specifically written into his contract. They also say he had permission to use helicopters and jets because this was the way that business was done in the supercharged world of Formula 1.

It was part of his job to represent Lotus all over the world where the cars were racing and where its engines were being used.

It is also claimed by his friends that Bahar had permission in his contract to approve expenditure up to £5 million and to do up his rented house for about £35,000.

Bahar’s friends insist the issue of his home is typical of the way he is being smeared. ‘When he was headhunted by Lotus, they agreed to rent him a small house until he found a more suitable home,’ said one.

‘He did find a house and a deal was reached with the landlord that for no rent for a while the home would be refurbished. The bill for this work, which was around £35,0000, was paid for initially by Lotus, but the key thing is, he is paying the company back through his monthly pay packet on a regular basis.’

There should have been no surprise when he was appointed that he was a man who lived a glamorous lifestyle.

But his private life remains just that. Very private. He married Anne Johansson, daughter of a leading Swiss headhunter, and they have two children.

Bahar was born in Istanbul, where his mother was a cleaner and his father an electrician. When he was a child, the family moved to Switzerland. The beginnings of his career are shrouded in mystery but he became a senior executive at Red Bull, the Austrian drinks company with a racing team and large sporting interests.

From there it was off to Ferrari, where he was headhunted by Proton to rescue Lotus, where he set about taking on Porsche and Ferrari.

He was happy to tell newspapers about his style preferences. ‘I am a watch lover and I chose the ones that speak to me. This Rolex is the GMT-Master and I have had it for a year. I prefer the classic styles of timepiece for the office and sportier ones for going out.’

Bahar’s solution for Lotus was a £200million revamp to introduce four new models. According to some company sources, it is this project that is not going well – hence the challenge to Bahar’s spending by the owners.

But some in Bahar’s camp believe that the Malaysians want to sell Lotus to the Chinese, something strongly denied by DRB, which insists that it backs Lotus in Britain.

For the time being, Lotus, one of Britain’s most famous brands, is without a chief executive and the road ahead look far from smooth.

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

House renovation of GBP 5 million is definitely a lot of money. Especially for a salaried executive.

The shareholders and stakeholders should lodge reports with the authorities about Bahar’s watch of the missing millions.  A thorough audit is necessary, to determine whether there was any irregularities and if the was any, who is responsible. According to the story, Bahar was free to sign of a lot of expenditures.

The new shareholders should also ask questions who hired Bahar and agreed to pay him the GBP 1.2 million salary and the deliverables that should have come with it.

Published in: on June 3, 2012 at 20:33  Comments (7)  

A region of Super Powers’ chess board

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta

Looks like the South East Asia region is back into the active strategic play for the Super Power. At the on going Shangri-La Dialogue in Sinagpore, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made this announcement:

Panetta: Majority of US warships moving to Asia

Defense secretary provides first details of new strategy

By David Alexander

updated 29 minutes ago

US Defence Minister Leon Panetta, Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono and Singapore Prime Minister Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong during Shangri-La Dialogue 2012

SINGAPORE — The United States will move the majority of its warships to the Asia-Pacific in coming years and keep six aircraft carriers in the region, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Saturday, giving the first details of a new U.S. military strategy.

Speaking at an annual security forum in Singapore, Panetta sought to dispel the notion that the shift in U.S. focus to Asia was designed to contain China’s emergence as a global power.

He acknowledged differences between the world’s two largest economies on a range of issues, including the South China Sea.

“We’re not naive about the relationship and neither is China,” Panetta told the Shangri-La Dialogue attended by senior civilian and military leaders from about 30 Asia-Pacific nations.

“We also both understand that there really is no other alternative but for both of us to engage and to improve our communications and to improve our (military-to-military) relationships,” he said. “That’s the kind of mature relationship that we ultimately have to have with China.”

Some Chinese officials have been critical of the U.S. shift of military emphasis to Asia, seeing it as an attempt to fence in the country and frustrate Beijing’s territorial claims.

Panetta’s comments came at the start of a seven-day visit to the region to explain to allies and partners the practical meaning of the U.S. military strategy unveiled in January that calls for rebalancing American forces to focus on the Pacific.

The trip, which includes stops in Vietnam and India, comes at a time of renewed tensions over competing sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, with the Philippines, a major U.S. ally, and China in a standoff over the Scarborough Shoal near the Philippine coast.

The South China Sea is a flashpoint but, with about 90 percent of global trade moving by sea, protecting the teeming shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca is equally vital.

“Maritime freedoms cannot be the exclusive prerogative of a few,” Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the forum. “We must find the balance between the rights of nations and the freedoms of the world community.”

Overlapping maritime claims – often fuelled by hunger for oil, gas, fish and other resources – are compounded by threats from pirates and militants, delegates said.

China’s ‘critical role’
China has downgraded its representation to the Shangri-La Dialogue from last year, when Defence Minister Liang Guanglie attended and met then-U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. This year the Chinese military was represented by the vice president of Academy of Military Sciences.

Panetta, by contrast, was accompanied by General Martin Dempsey, the military’s top officer as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Panetta said he was committed to a “healthy, stable, reliable and continuous” military-to-military relationship with China but underscored the need for Beijing to support a system to clarify rights in the region and help to resolve disputes.

Video: Panetta cautions troops against misconduct“China has a critical role to play in advancing security and prosperity by respecting the rules-based order that has served the region for six decades,” he said.

Fleshing out details of the shift to Asia, Panetta said the United States would reposition its Navy fleet so that 60 percent of its warships would be assigned to the region by 2020, compared to about 50 percent now.

The Navy would maintain six aircraft carriers assigned to the Pacific. Six of its 11 carriers are now assigned to the Pacific but that number will fall to five when the USS Enterprise retires this year.

Video: How will budget cuts impact the US Navy? (on this page) The number will return to six when the new carrier USS Gerald R. Ford is completed in 2015.

The U.S. Navy had a fleet of 282 ships, including support vessels, as of March. That is expected to slip to about 276 over the next two years before beginning to rise toward the goal of a 300-ship fleet, according to a 30-year Navy shipbuilding projection released in March.

But officials warned that fiscal constraints and problems with cost overruns could make it difficult to attain the goal.

Regional partnerships
Panetta underscored the breadth of the U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific, noting treaty alliances with Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia as well as partnerships with India, Singapore, Indonesia and others.

He said the United States would attempt to build on those partnerships with cooperative arrangements like the rotational deployment agreement it has with Australia and is working on with the Philippines.

Panetta said Washington also would work to increase the number and size of bilateral and multilateral military training exercises it conducts in the region. Officials said last year the United States carried out 172 such exercises in the region.

(Additional reporting by John O’Callaghan; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Jonathan Thatcher)

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At the recently concluded 6th ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting in Phnom Penh, they have jointly agreed to strengthen the cooperation and working relationships and resolve all disputes within dialogues and bilateral relationships. ASEAN nations’ military is now actually an extension for diplomatic tools for and within the 10 neighbours.

The theme for this years’s ADMM is “Enhancing ASEAN Unity For A Harmonized and Secure Community” was very apt.

One of the agenda is to facilitate the formalization of the ADMM Plus dialogue, which will be an agenda of the 7th ADMM in Brunei next year. ASEAN Defence Ministers took the opportunity to jointly called on the Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie on the evening the 6th ADMM ended, who was on official visit in Cambodia during the 6th ADMM.

Last year in Indonesia, United States was invited to the 5th ADMM and the concept of ADMM Plus started to roll, where the ASEAN Defence Ministers agreed to have an ADMM Plus every three years. This year in Phnom Penh, the dialogue would be shortened to two years.

Now that the Americans were quick to flex their muscle soon after ADMM’s cordial relationship with China has been strengthened, it seems that the ASEAN region now is back active as a strategic chess board between these Super Powers. During cold war and post fall of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to communist control, the stand off between United States and China and Soviet Union was so eminent, it even affected regional geo-politics.

The symbol of US military might; A Nimitiz Class nuclear powered aircraft carrier

Several South East Asian saw the changing of regimes and domestic conflicts escalate, because of the different vested factions are aligned and being supported by one Super Power against the other. Through out 60s to 80s, hostile change of government via coup d’etat were very common. One of the most severely affect was Cambodia. The Vietnam War provided the opportunity for the Americans to use Cambodia as a tool and staging area, which provided the backing for Gen Lon Nol topple King Sihanouk in 1970 during a state visit to Beijing. There on, the Americans staged a war from the side against North Vietnam and hundreds of thousands of Cambodians were killed because of the US carpet bombings on the ‘Vietcong Trail’, deep within Cambodian jungles.

That inadvertently provided opportunity for China backed communist Khmer Rouge to grow and continue build up in secret army under cover.

Upon the fall of Vietnam and Cambodia and complete abandonment of the US by April 1975, saw Khmer Rouge coming into power. Phnom Penh was captured on 16 April 1975. For the next 3 years and 8 months, the Khmer Rouge did the most brutal genocide tragedy in the region where 3 million innocent ordinary Cambodians were slaughtered and the Cambodian economy taken huge step backwards.

The ‘Super Powers’ strategic chess board’ in the region also saw several dictators came into power. The last one ousted was Gen. Suharto of Indonesia. Before that, Gen. Ferdinand Marcos, who is a known regional Cold War warrior and backed by the US. Currently, Myanmar is still under military junta.

Now that the recovery from all of these already progressing well and economies grew, ASEAN region is facing new challenges. ASEAN was formed in 1967 in the height on regional Super Powers backed Cold War and has been resolving joint borders and regional issues through dialogues and diplomatic means. Although some ASEAN neighbours do joint military exercises on their own, the community have as a whole avoided military option for common disputes in spirit of regional understanding and co-operation.

In Phnom Penh on Tuesday, ASEAN Defence Minister also agreed that this region is free from civil war and an ASEAN Security Masterplan. The 6th ADMM also took another significant step towards the realization of an ASEAN Political Security Community by 2015 through practical security co-operation. It is a lot to do outside military initiative per se. An example is that Malaysia’s approach of ‘prosper thy neighbour’ and creating a true ‘common wealth’ for the region, will ensure that peace and stability is continued to be fostered in the region.

Probably this ‘stand off’ could be made more productive if the two Super Powers along with the ASEAN ‘partners’ work closely on prevalent common issues in the region such as humanitarian aid disaster relief (HDAR) and anti terrorism, which include anti piracy exercises and probably joint operations. US could commit their readiness to do more information sharing within ASEAN countries in their bid to eradicate terrorism in the region.

Published in: on June 2, 2012 at 13:30  Comments (14)