Agong: Allah is exclusively for Muslims only

His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV Tuanku Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badli Shah made it clear that kalimah “Allah” is exclusively for Muslims only.

Agong says ‘Allah’ exclusive to Muslims, cites 1986 fatwa

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong today said several words including “Allah” were the exclusive rights of Muslims, citing a 1986 decree by the National Fatwa Council on their use.

Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, who is also the Sultan of Kedah, said that religious sensitivity must be observed and the status of Islam as the country’s official religion must be respected.

“Confusion and controversy can be avoided if all parties abide by the law and judicial decisions,” he was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying in his speech during an investiture ceremony at Istana Anak Bukit in Alor Setar, today.

The ceremony was in conjunction with the Sultan of Kedah’s 86th birthday.

The Sultan’s speech was read out by the Sultan of Kedah Council of Regency chairman, Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah.

The Sultan, who is presently the head of Islam in Malaysia, said the public should respect religious and social sensitivities, including on the “Allah” issue, to preserve peace and stability in Malaysia.

“Mutual respect of religion and race in Malaysia’s multiracial society has long been the pillar of stability and peace in the country.”

“Without stability, the state and country would descend into a state of chaos. It is also feared that enemies from within would seize the opportunity to implement their agenda.”

He also urged Muslims to reject all other Islamic schools of thought other than Sunni to preserve the interests of the ummah.

“This is of paramount importance to avoid civil war breaking out among Muslims, like what is happening in other Muslim countries,” the Agong said in his speech.

The Sultan’s speech comes against a backdrop of rising religious tension between Muslim and Christian groups in the country over the use of the word “Allah” by Malay-speaking Christians.

Yesterday, Minister the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri insisted that Putrajaya remained committed to the 10-point solution signed with Sabah and Sarawak, allowing Christians to use “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia Bible.

The 10-point solution was announced in April 2011 to resolve the issue on the use of the word “Allah” in Bahasa Malaysia Bible used by majority of Christians in East Malaysia.

Among others, the agreement, drawn up by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala, allows Bible of all languages to be printed locally or imported into the country.

The controversy boiled over again early this month following a raid by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) at the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), seizing some 300 copies of Malay- and Iban-language Bible and detaining two BSM officials.

Christian and Muslim groups have been at loggerheads after the October 14 ruling by the Court of Appeal, barring “Allah” to the Catholic Church.

The “Allah” row dates back to a 2009 High Court ruling upholding the Catholic Church’s constitutional right to use the word in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly Herald, and has its roots in laws prohibitng non-Muslims from using the Arabic term.

The legal dispute between the government and the Catholic Church is still pending before the Federal Court, which will hear the case on February 24 to decide on whether it would hear an appeal by the Catholic Church. – January 19, 2014.

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His Majesty said this is his titah commemorating his 89th birthday, which was read by Chairman of Kedah Regency Council HRH Tunku Tan Sri Annuar Sultan Badlishah at Istana Anak Bukit, Alor Setar, Kedah.

This is reference to the 1986 National Fatwa Council definition. In 1988, almost all states rectified the Enactment for Propagation of Non Muslim Religions. This is direct reference to existing provisions to safeguard the interest of Malay-Muslim majority as per enshrined by the Federal Constitution Articles 3(1) and 11(4).

This is the highest level titah for HRH Rulers on the definition of kalimah “Allah” exclusively for Muslims only after HRH Sultan of Selangor’s titah on the same matter 6 January 2013.

In his 2012 Christmas Day message, Chinese Chauvinist DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng demanded that Christians be allowed to use kalimah “Allah” in place of God.

The matter of Catholic Church Malay publication Herald to challenge in court Minister of Home Affairs decision to ban the use of kalimah “Allah” in 1986 has been used as a matter of contention to provoke the sentiments of the Malay-Muslim majority. In the same stroke, the matter is used to systematically challenge the sanctity of Islam as the Religion of Federation and position and role of HRH Rulers as Constitutional Heads of Islam.

This had been part of the ‘politics of hatred’ strategy to demonise the authority, which is mainly under the watch of Malay-Muslim power base, to portray the example of ‘The majority oppressing the minority’ when decisions or actions are taken against them. It doesn’t matter is these decisions or actions are within provisions enshrined by the Federal Constitution.

This decree by His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong should provide some bearing on how interpretations of the kalimah “Allah” contention should be made, once and for all.

Published in: on January 19, 2014 at 13:00  Comments (9)  

Defending the Criminally Instituted State of Zionism

Palestine being wiped out into Israel, by brutally criminal Zionists

Palestine being wiped out into Israel, by brutally criminal Zionists

In the remembrance of Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel “Butcher of Sabra-Chatila” Sharon’s passing, international geo-political magazine Stratfor reproduce a Neo Con Jewish geo-political analyst George Friedman on the former last political executive decision before he was incapacitated eight years ago.

The Gaza Withdrawal and Israel’s Permanent Dilemma

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 – 04:02 Print Text Size

Stratfor

By George Friedman

Editor’s Note:The following analysis originally ran in August 2005. We repost it today in light of the recent death of Ariel Sharon.

Israel has begun its withdrawal from Gaza. As with all other territorial withdrawals by Israel, such as that from Sinai or from Lebanon, the decision is controversial within Israel. It represents the second withdrawal from land occupied in the 1967 war, and the second from land that houses significant numbers of anti-Israeli fighters. Since these fighters will not be placated by the Israeli withdrawal — given that there is no obvious agreement of land for an enforceable peace — the decision by the Israelis to withdraw from Gaza would appear odd.

In order to understand what is driving Israeli policy, it is necessary to consider Israeli geopolitical reality in some detail.

Israel’s founders, taken together, had four motives for founding the state.

  1. To protect the Jews from a hostile world by creating a Jewish homeland.
  2. To create a socialist (not communist) Jewish state.
  3. To resurrect the Jewish nation in order to re-assert Jewish identity in history.
  4. To create a nation based on Jewish religiosity and law rather than Jewish nationality alone.

The idea of safety, socialism, identity and religiosity overlapped to some extent and were mutually exclusive in other ways. But each of these tendencies became a fault line in Israeli life. Did Israel exist simply so that Jews would be safe — was Israel simply another nation among many? Was Israel to be a socialist nation, as the Labor Party once envisioned? Was it to be a vehicle for resurrecting Jewish identity, as the Revisionists wanted? Was it to be a land governed by the Rabbinate? It could not be all of these things. Thus, these were ultimately contradictory visions tied together by a single certainty: None of these visions were possible without a Jewish state. All arguments in Israel devolve to these principles, but all share a common reality — the need for the physical protection of Israel.

In order for there to be a Jewish state, it must be governed by Jews. If it is also to be a democratic state, as was envisioned by all but a few of the fourth strand of logic (religiosity), then it must be a state that is demographically Jewish.

This poses the first geopolitical dilemma for Israel: Whatever the historical, moral or religious arguments, the fact was that at the beginning of the 20th century, the land identified as the Jewish homeland — Palestine — was inhabited overwhelmingly by Arabs. A Jewish and democratic state could be achieved only by a demographic transformation. Either more Jews would have to come to Palestine, or Arabs would have to leave, or a combination of the two would have to occur. The Holocaust caused Jews who otherwise would have stayed in Europe to come to Palestine. The subsequent creation of the state of Israel caused Arabs to leave, and Jews living in Arab countries to come to Israel.

However, this demographic shift was incomplete, leaving Israel with two strategic problems. First, a large number of Arabs, albeit a minority, continued to live in Israel. Second, the Arab states surrounding Israel — which perceived the state as an alien entity thrust into their midst — viewed themselves as being in a state of war with Israel. Ultimately, Israel’s problem was that dealing with the external threat inevitably compounded the internal threat.

Israel’s Strategic Disadvantage

Israel was at a tremendous strategic disadvantage. First, it was vastly outnumbered in the simplest sense: There were many more Arabs who regarded themselves as being in a state of war with Israel than there were Jews in Israel. Second, Israel had extremely long borders that were difficult to protect. Third, the Israelis lacked strategic depth. If all of their neighbors — Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon — were joined by the forces of more distant Arab and Islamic states, Israel would find it difficult to resist. And if all of these forces attacked simultaneously in a coordinated strike, Israel would find it impossible to resist.

Even if the Arabs did not carry out a brilliant stroke, cutting Israel in half on a Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line (a distance of perhaps 20 miles), Israel would still lose an extended war with the Arabs. If the Arabs could force a war of attrition on Israel, in which they could impose an attrition rate of perhaps 1 percent per day of forces on the forward edge of the battle area, Israel would not be able to hold for more than a few months at best. In the 20th century, an attrition rate of that level, in a battle space the size of Israel, would be modest. Israel’s effective forces rarely numbered more than 250,000 men — the other 250,000 were older reserves with inferior equipment. Extended attritional warfare was not an option for Israel.

Thus, in order for Israel to survive, three conditions were necessary:

  1. The Arabs must never unite into a single, effective force.
  2. Israel must choose the time, place and sequence of any war.
  3. Israel must never face both a war and an internal uprising of Arabs simultaneously.

Israel’s strategy was to use diplomacy to prevent the three main adversaries — Egypt, Jordan and Syria — from simultaneously choosing to launch a war. From its founding, Israel always maintained a policy of splitting the front-line states. This was not particularly difficult, given the deep animosities among the Arabs. For example, Israel always maintained a special relationship with Jordan, which had unsatisfactory relations with its own neighbors. Early on, Israel worked to serve as the guarantor of the Jordanian regime’s survival. Later, after the Camp David Accords split Egypt off from the Arab coalition, Israel had neutralized two out of three of its potential adversaries. The dynamics of Arab geopolitics and the skill of Israeli diplomacy achieved an outcome that is rarely appreciated. From its founding, Israel managed to prevent simultaneous warfare with its neighbors except at a time and place of its own choosing. It had to maintain a military force capable of taking the initiative in order to have a diplomatic strategy.

But throughout most of its history, Israel had a fundamental challenge in achieving this pre-eminence.

Israel’s Geopolitical Problem

The state’s military pre-eminence had to be measured against the possibility of diplomatic failure. Israel had to assume that all front-line states would become hostile to it, and that it would have to launch a pre-emptive strike against them all. If this were the case, Israel had this dilemma: Its national industrial base was insufficient to provide it with the technological wherewithal to maintain its military superiority. It was not simply a question of money — all the money in the world could not change the demographics — but also that Israel lacked the manpower to produce all of the weapons it needed to have and also to field an army. Therefore, Israel could survive only if it had a patron that possessed such an industrial base. Israel had to make itself useful to another country.

Israel’s first patron was the Soviet Union, through its European satellites. Its second patron was France, which saw Israel as an ally during a time when Paris was trying to hold onto its interests in an increasingly hostile Arab world. Its third patron — but not until 1967 — was the United States, which saw Israel as a counterweight to pro-Soviet Egypt and Syria, as well as a useful base of operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

In 1967, Israel — fearing a coordinated strike by the Arabs and also seeking to rationalize its defensive lines and create strategic depth — launched an air and land attack against its neighbors. Rather than risk a coordinated attack, Israel launched a sequential attack — first against Egypt, then Jordan, then Syria.

The success of the 1967 war gave rise to Israel’s current geopolitical crisis. Following the war, Israel had to balance three interests:

  1. It now occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which contained large, hostile populations of Arabs. A full, peripheral war combined with an uprising in these regions would cut Israeli lines of supply and communication and risk Israel’s defeat.
  2. Israel was now dependent on the United States for its industrial base. But American interests and Israeli interests were not identical. The United States had interests in the Arab world, and had no interest in Israel crushing Palestinian opposition or expelling Palestinians from Israel. Retaining the industrial base and ruthlessly dealing with the Palestinians became incompatible needs.
  3. Israel had to continue manipulating the balance of power among Arab states in order to prevent a full peripheral war. That, in turn, meant that it was further constrained in dealing with the Palestinian question by force.

Israeli geopolitics created the worst condition of all: Given the second and third considerations, Israel could not crush the Palestinians, but given its need for strategic depth and coherent borders, it could not abandon the occupied territories. It therefore had to continually constrain the Palestinians without any possibility of final victory. It had to be ruthless, which would enflame the Palestinians, but it could never be ruthless enough to effectively suppress them.

The Impermanence of Diplomacy

Israel has managed to maintain the diplomatic game it began in 1948 — the Arabs remain deeply split. It has managed to retain its relationship with the United States, even with the end of the Cold War. Given the decline of the conventional threat, Israel’s dependency on the United States has actually dwindled. For the moment, the situation is contained.

However — and this is the key problem for Israel — the diplomatic solution is inherently impermanent. It requires constant manipulation, and the possibility of failure is built in. For example, an Islamist rising in Egypt could rapidly generate shifts that Israel could not contain. Moreover, political changes in the United States could end American patronage, without the certainty of another patron emerging. These things are not likely to occur, but they are not inconceivable. Given enough time, anything is possible.

Israel’s advantage is diplomatic and cultural. Its ability to split the Arabs, a diplomatic force, is coupled with its technological superiority, a cultural force. But both of these can change. The Arabs might unite, and they might accelerate their technological and military sophistication. Israel’s superiority can change, but its inferiority is fixed: Geography and demographics put it in an unchangeably vulnerable position relative to the Arabs.

The potential threats to Israel are:

  1. A united and effective anti-Israeli coalition among the Arabs.
  2. The loss of its technological superiority and, therefore, the loss of military initiative.
  3. The need to fight a full peripheral war while dealing with an intifada within its borders.
  4. The loss of the United States as patron and the failure to find an alternative.
  5. A sudden, unexpected nuclear strike on its populated heartland.

Therefore, it follows that Israel has three options.

The first is to hope for the best. This has been Israel’s position since 1967. The second is to move from conventional deterrence to nuclear deterrence. Israel already possesses this capability, but the value of nuclear weapons is in their deterrent capability, not in their employment. You can’t deal with an intifada or with close-in conventional war with nuclear weapons — not given the short distances involved in Israel. The third option is to reduce the possibility of disaster as far as possible by increasing the tensions in the Arab world, reducing the incentive for cultural change among the Arabs, eliminating the threat of intifada in time of war, and reducing the probability that the United States will find it in its interests to break with Israel.

Hence, the withdrawal from Gaza. As a base for terrorism, Gaza poses a security threat to Israel. But the true threat from Gaza, and even more the West Bank, lies in the fact that they create a dynamic that decreases Israel’s diplomatic effectiveness, risks creating Arab unity, increases the impetus for military modernization and places stress on Israel’s relationship with the United States. The terrorist threat is painful. The alternative risks long-term catastrophe.

Some of the original reasons for Israel’s founding, such as the desire for a socialist state, are now irrelevant to Israeli politics. And revisionism, like socialism, is a movement of the past. Modern Israel is divided into three camps:

  1. Those who believe that the survival of Israel depends on disengaging from a process that enrages without crushing the Palestinians, even if it opens the door to terrorism.
  2. Those who regard the threat of terrorism as real and immediate, and regard the longer-term strategic threats as theoretical and abstract.
  3. Those who have a religious commitment to holding all territories.

The second and third factions are in alliance but, at the moment, it is the first faction that appears to be the majority. It is not surprising that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is leading this faction. As a military man, Sharon has a clear understanding of Israel’s vulnerabilities. It is clearly his judgment that the long-term threat to Israel comes from the collapse of its strategic position, rather than from terrorism. He has clearly decided to accept the reality of terrorist attacks, within limits, in order to pursue a broader strategic initiative.

Israel has managed to balance the occupation of a hostile population with splitting Arab nation states since 1967. Sharon’s judgment is that, given the current dynamics of the Muslim world, pursuing the same strategy for another generation would be both too costly and too risky. The position of his critics is that the immediate risks of disengagement increase the immediate danger to Israel without solving the long-term problem. If Sharon is right, then there is room for maneuver. But if his critics, including Benjamin Netanyahu, are right, Israel is locked down to an insoluble problem.

That is the real debate.

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Brutal war mongers and criminals against humanity would never have the dilemma of choice, since they have no conscience. It is utter shameful for them to justify their cruel actions the past 70 years in the name of Judaisn, trying reconstruct the Third Temple of Solomon at Temple Mount.

Spiritually, God intended that The Temple of Solomon be destroyed by the Romans two thousand years ago.

In reality, Zionists and right wing Israelis would not have a problem to carry on the ‘costly effect’ of using brutal force and extreme cruelty as the only currency for them to remain in existence be it grossly unlawful.

Published in: on January 18, 2014 at 23:55  Leave a Comment  

Rationalising Rice

In the effort to rationalise the price of raw paddy as part of the exercise to minimise the impact of wholesale cartels and middlemen of profiteering at the expense of end consumers, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob issued an instruction to uniform the price.

A statement by MOA Director General of Rice Control:

Ketua Pengarah Pengawalan Padi dan Beras
Datuk Naimah Ramli

PENETAPAN HARGA BELIAN PADI YANG SERAGAM DI SEMENANJUNG MALAYSIA PADA KADAR RM1,200/MT

PUTRAJAYA: Kementerian Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani hari ini menegaskan, harga padi di Semenanjung Malaysia diseragamkan pada RM1,200 setan metrik

Menurut Ketua Pengarah Pengawalan Padi dan Beras, Kementerian Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, Datuk Naimah Ramli, bagaimanapun bayaran sebenar bergantung kepada mutu atau kualiti padi yang dihasilkan.

“Keputusan ini selaras dengan pengumuman yang dibuat oleh Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri di Kelantan kelmarin,’’ katanya dalam satu kenyataan yang dikeluarkan hari ini.

Naimah berkata demikian bagi menjelaskan beberapa persoalan dan kekeliruan berhubung isu ini yang dimanipulasikan oleh pigak-pihak tertentu mengenai harga yang akan mula diselaraskan mulai musim tuaian akan datang.

“Kita menjelaskan perkara ini kerana timbul persoalan mengapa Menteri perlu menetapkan harga belian pada harga RM1,200 per tan metrik.

“Menteri dan Kementerian memahami isu dan masalah yang membebani pesawah selama ini, kerana itu kita membuat keputusan supaya harga diseragamkan di seluruh Semenanjung berbanding sebelum ini di mana harga padi berbeza di antara satu negeri berbanding satu negeri yang lain.” Katanya.

Naimah menarik perhatian, langkah ini juga dilihat dapat mengekang aktiviti pemindahan padi tanpa kebenaran yang dilakukan oleh pihak tertentu dari negeri yang harga belian padi murah ke negeri yang menawarkan harga yang lebih tinggi.

“Bagaimanapun, harga bersih bayaran padi kepada pesawah bergantung kepada mutu padi. Semakin tinggi kandungan padi muda, batang padi, jerami, hampa, batu dan lain-lain akan mengurangkan lagi bayaran bersih padi tersebut,’’ jelasnya.

 

a)    Ketika ini harga belian padi berbeza di setiap negeri.

BIL. NEGERI HARGA BELIAN(RM / MT) KADAR PEMUTUAN  TAWARAN KADAR PEMUTUAN  SEBENAR
Perlis 1,050 17 – 18% 22 – 25%
Kedah 1,050 17 – 18% 22 – 25%
Pulau Pinang 1,050 17 – 18% 22 – 25%
Perak 1,100 17 – 18% 20 – 23%
Selangor 1,200 17 – 18% 20 – 23%
Kelantan 980 23 – 24% 26 – 28%
Terengganu 980 23 – 24% 26 – 28%
Pahang 1,050 18 – 19% 22 – 25%

b)   PEMUTUAN SEBENAR PADA MASA INI ADALAH DI ANTARA 20 – 23%. KOMPONEN YANG MENENTUKAN PEMUTUAN SEBENAR MELIPUTI:

BIL.

KOMPONEN

SEBENAR

AMALAN TAWARAN POTONGAN

I.

IMPURITIES (PADI MUDA, BATANG PADI, JERAMI, HAMPA, BATU, DLL)

10 – 15%

7 – 8%

II.

WAP BASAH

11 – 12%

11 – 12%

JUMLAH PEMUTUAN

21 – 27%

17 – 19%

Sementara itu, Naimah berkata pelaksanaan harga seragam ini akan bermula pada musim penuaian baru dan jadual tuaian mengikut negeri adalah seperti berikut:

a. PAHANG – FEB / MAC 2014
b. KELANTAN – MAC 2014
c. SELANGOR – APRIL 2014
d. PERAK – JUN 2014
e. KEDAH / PULAU PINANG / PERLIS – JULAI 2014
f. JOHOR / MELAKA / NEGERI SEMBILAN – TIDAK BERMUSIM DAN BOLEH DILAKSANAKAN SERTA MERTA.

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The standardisation of price of paddy at the source which is planters’ level would control how the cost of raw material before being processed by the millers.

It would minimise the profiteering, since all rice farmers are made aware of the controlled price that they should sell to millers.

At the moment, the ST15 rice (15% broken rice) is being sold at retailers’ end for RM18.00 per 10kg bag. That comes with MOA subsidy of RM0.30 per kg.

This has been seen as initial step to rationalise price of grocery and food products at consumer end, where part of the rise in price is caused by profiteering by the wholesale cartel and middlemen.

Published in: on January 17, 2014 at 22:00  Comments (2)  

Rationalising Rakyat’s Home Economics

The punt against Prime Minister Najib’s ‘Foot in his mouth’ about the price of kangkung has gone down

In the wake of public outcry and dismay on the shrinking of Ringgit Malaysia and rising cost of living across the board, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and his Cabinet is taking steps in moving the right direction.

15 January 2014| last updated at 05:16PM

Special committee to tackle rising cost of living set up

By Ahmad Fairuz Othman
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PUTRAJAYA: The government has set up a Special Cabinet Committee to tackle the cost of living faced by the people, and laboratory to identify ways to ease the people’s burden in relation to the matter.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the two measures, in addition to a directive by the Cabinet for ministers to ” go to the ground” to listen to grouses of consumers, were among the things that would strengthen current measures to cushion the impact of the rise in cost of living.

Muhyiddin, who would chair the cabinet committee, said it was an expansion of the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) task force on the cost of living, and it would act as the centralised body to handle issues pertaining to the hike in prices of goods.

“The committee will look into the rise of prices which has nothing to do with the fiscal consolidation measures, but is instead due to issues of market structure, including the issue of supply and marketing system.

“The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry will act as the secretariat and facilitating ministry in this special committee. Other relevant ministries and agencies such as the Finance, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Transport and others are appointed as special committee members to tackle the rising cost of living,” said Muhyiddin,  when speaking to reporters at his office in Perdana Putra here today.

The Special Cabinet Committee will among other things,  coordinate policy spanning ministries and agencies, cooperate with the Fiscal Policy Committee, conduct a sectoral study to trace the actual effect of the rise of input cost towards the cost of goods; engage with consumers, and related trade groups and NGOs; and step up enforcement.

The deputy prime minister said a laboratory, which began its task today for the next two weeks, would look into ways to ease the burden of the people.

“The laboratory will comprise those from consumer associations, industry players, academicians, students and others to provide input and views in tackling the rising cost of living.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin with Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Hasan Malek and Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob before the press conference on Special Cabinet Committee to tackle rising cost of living, at his office in Putrajaya today. — NSTP photo by Mohd Fadli Hamzah

Read more: Special committee to tackle rising cost of living set up – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/special-committee-to-tackle-rising-cost-of-living-set-up-1.462950#ixzz2qYqySQB0

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The rise of cost almost across the board ranging from energy (retail price of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and soon electricity tariff), toll rates and most importantly, too many grocery and food items.

Addressing all these is about Home Economics 101, at macro level.

The Special Cabinet Committee is expected to get PEMANDU to set up laboratories and bring in all the stakeholders together and look at the situational position, problem, issues and probable solution in the rise of prices of goods and services, which the rakyat is feeling clamping against them. Particularly in the matters pertaining production, wholesale, distribution and retail of food and grocery items.

Many retailers complain, the consignment price of these items for ordinary food market came at higher level. Scarcity arising from production, which is affected by weather and season is the retailers common blame.

However, these lab members should pay attention on the production of these items, either at farm or jetty (for fish and produce of the sea). The audit must be carried out, to determine the actually quantity produced.

There on, it is the series of wholesalers which provide the strategic distribution from the source to the distribution centres. It is believed that there exist a few oligopolists, which manipulated the consignment price of these items before the distribution cost is factored in.

This is the point where these food items are being marked up and a healthy margin is raked.

Then, the distribution channel. More logistics company should be appointed and be monitored directly, to ensure the distribution channel flow of these goods is seamless. It is the same maginitude and operation just like the oil companies employ. In the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak, the logistics channel should be immensely beefed up.

Finally, the cost at retail end. This is where the consumers have to face the reality of the rising price of common groceries such as chicken, fish, vegetables and fruits. The prices could be checked if the consignment price is lowered, due to wholesale price reduced or eliminated since the produce are supllied directly from source or more AP holders import them directly.

The wholesalers game is the typical cartel, in the market of any products. It is believed these cartels bully the producers, be it the famers or fishermen, where the price is often determined by them. This where food produce are hoarded and when demand exceeds supply due to scarcity, these cartels would start to release the stocks for the retailers.

This Special Cabinet Committee should look into these issues with these probable solutions:

  1. Treat the ‘Rationalisation of Rakyat’s Home Economy’ as a agenda of national importance and urgency, worthy of the setting up of National Economic Action Council (NEAC)
  2. A Special Task force created and answerable to the NEAC
  3. Reduce or do away with the wholesalers system. FAMA could play the lead role for it. Make it mandatory that these cartels do JV with SPVs created under FAMA, which would be monitored jointly by the Special Task Force consisting of  Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer (KPDNK), Unit Kerjasama-Awam Swasta (UKAS) and Implementation Co-ordination Unit (ICU)
  4. More APs are issued to existing food market chains, so that part of cartel system could be penetrated and broken
  5. The rationalisation and restructuring of subsidy for some essential goods amf staple food items, where more than 3 million foreigners in the country are enjoying this direct Federal Government subsidy and rebate
  6. Improve the logistics network and distribution channel
  7. Improve the retail channel. If the current municipal markets, pasar tanis, Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia (KR1M) system are not adequate, then create additional retail and distribution channels. Example is to utilise common retail outlets such as Petronas Mesra Shoppes and Pos Malaysia. Temporary shelters should be erected for the retail of grocery items within the vicinity of these outlets
  8. Provide credit guarantee to retail outlets, especially in the rural areas and kampungs
  9. MOA and KPDNK should organise a large scale campaign to provide consumers the idea for alternative protein, such as imported beef and buffalo, against the dependence on chicken and fish
  10. GLCs involved in plantations should be asked to go into livestock and poultry farming at industrial scale, as part of their cross diversity of produce

All of these programs should run co-currently and project managed.

Rising cost of everyday food and grocery items should be treated as “Desperate situation requires desperate measures”. They say “A hungry man is an angry man”. Reducing the hunger of so many people because the Ringgit Malaysia has shrunk is a good enough drive.

After all, when the rakyat at large no longer feel that their grocery bill have gone up and out of their means, then we see less of these “KFB” punts.

Published in: on January 16, 2014 at 19:00  Comments (6)  

Penny wise, Pound foolish (Pt III)

In the wake up public outcry about rising price of almost across the board of goods and services, political observers see the situation brewing into a point of contention for Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. The resentment does not only come from general public at large but also from the party.

News portal Asia Sentinel’s story:

Malaysia’s Najib Faces Party, Public Protest

Written by Our Correspondent
MON,13 JANUARY 2014
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Aigh what next

Subsidy cuts play into UMNO rebellion

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak enters 2014 beset by growing hostility from both the public and within his own political party, the United Malays National Organization, characterized by a deluge of New Year messages across cyberspace celebrating the “year of barang naik,” Malay language for rising prices of items.

That is a play on the initials BN, for Barisan Nasional, the national ruling coalition. It has become an opposition battle cry to the point where Najib mentioned it himself in a recent speech

Najib is making an astute move now, after national and intraparty elections have been completed, taking on the necessary but unappetizing task of dismantling decades of subsidies that have driven government debt close to the statutory limit of 55 percent of gross domestic product. In the wake of both sets of elections, he is temporarily invulnerable to both opposition and intraparty assaults.

However, electricity tariffs have risen by 15 percent, sugar subsidies have been cut. Last September, Petronas, the national energy company, cut fuel subsidies in a move that it said would save the government RMB1 billion annually. Public anger at the cutting of the subsidies is substantial and growing

In addition, many in the party rank and file are still furious over widespread spending to keep the current leadership in place in the September intraparty elections.

That has brought the prime minister under unprecedented attack from bloggers aligned with the wing of the party controlled by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who are delivering an extraordinary onslaught on his lifestyle and that of his wife, even going so far as an unprecedented call for attention to corruption within UMNO itself. The attacks had been expected from the time Najib blocked Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz, from becoming one of the party’s three vice presidents in the September polls.

Najib has sought to deflect criticism, saying the price hikes have been caused by factors such as the global economy and extreme weather that cut into the fish catch and drove up the price of vegetables. The government has also sought to spread the pain by cutting government ministers’ allowances by 10 percent, banning civil servants from business class flights, restricting expenses on official government functions. However, that hasn’t mollified voters, who staged public protests over New Year’s.

Najib also enraged voters by leaving for most of the holidays, going to Las Vegas and other watering holes with his wife, Rosmah Mansor, whose free-spending ways have alienated large swaths of the conservative Malay Muslim community. He is being called “Mr Nowhere” because of his absences from the country.

“A putsch is in the air, definitely, as the frustration with Najib’s free spending and extravagant lifestyle increases,” a Malay businessman told Asia Sentinel. “Najib is in the weakest position any prime minister in Malaysia has ever seen.”

Calls have been rising to have Mahathir come back to the government administrative center of Putra Jaya as an “adviser” to right the ship, something that appears highly unlikely. Mahathir himself made light of the idea.

In the meantime, bloggers who have been described as aligned with Mahathir have been raising their game, making broadly based attacks on Najib and even other UMNO officials, calling attention to what appears to be corruption in the award of highway contracts.

Kadir Jasin, a former New Straits Times editor and close longtime Mahathir ally, wrote recently that “To many UMNO leaders, the measure of the party’s success is big cars, big houses and expensive watches whose names they can’t even mention.”  In particular, Rosmah has been criticized repeatedly for her taste in vastly expensive watches.

Kadir also called attention to “people with no formal appointments and duties (who) are known to use government on pretext of serving the country,” an apparent reference to Rosmah’s November commandeering of an official government jet to fly to Qatar to attend an international forum.

“Do they know that even the Queen (of England) uses trains and charters planes when travelling overseas? They should because many like the PM studied in the UK. Air transport for the British Royal Family and the government of the UK is provided, depending on circumstances and availability, by a variety of military and civilian operators. But most often they fly using scheduled commercial flights, normally the British Airways.”

“We are complaining about the wrong things he is doing in accommodating the wishes of his wife,” Kadir wrote. “We are asking the government to be accountable. The PM should answer these allegations. The way he bragged about his wife in public, he was in fact saying that his wife has more influence than him with foreign leaders.”

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On 30 December 2013, Prime Minister Najib announced the first round of 11 points ‘austerity drive’ which many saw as insincere, amidst the ostentatious and opulence lifestyle of the first couple globe trotting in super luxury at the expense of taxpayers’ coffer.

The 9M-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang

The 9M-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang

The Federal Government has been spending a little bit too much on operations, managing and running the country. In fact, in the Bajet 2014 presentation speech in Dewan Rakyat last October, more than 82% of the RM264.2 billion proposed budget is spent on operations. For a growing and still developing economy and the need of various infrastructure projects, the development budget or CAPEX is less than 18% per annum.

Even Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad sounded out on the matter and was cynical when asked to comment about the extravagance of the RM181 million per annum VVIP jet cost.

Budget 2014 breakdown

Budget 2014 breakdown

He did not even announce any measures to cut down and cost saving for expenditure pertaining to the extraordinary large staffed and complemented Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Seri Perdana household.

Not all leaders are continuing their lavish lifestyle being the Chief Executive. Conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is adopting the economisation and cost cutting measures.

The British Telegraph story:

Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, opts for economy class on flights

Tony Abbott, Australia’s PM, stuns fellow airline passengers by flying economy class as the nation’s leaders turn frugal

Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister

Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister Photo: AFP

By Jonathan Pearlman

5:33PM GMT 12 Jan 2014

Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, has won praise for his frugality after travelling economy class on a long-haul flight to France.

Mr Abbott and his family travelled economy on a flight from Sydney to Paris, which normally takes a gruelling 24 hours in total. His office did not apparently publicise his decision, but his presence at the back of the plane emerged after a fellow passenger broadcast the news on social media.

In similar fashion, Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has insisted on flying business class rather than first class, and last year rejected her department’s plans to book her in to a £1,000-a-night hotel suite in New York. She has been branded “the iron lady” after choosing to do her own ironing while travelling.

Mr Abbott, wearing a blue polo shirt, was travelling with his wife and two younger daughters during the Christmas holidays to Paris to spend a week with his eldest daughter, Louise, who is living in Switzerland. He reportedly rejected an offer of an upgrade.

The former Rhodes Scholar, leader of the ruling conservative coalition, has shown a particularly frugal approach to the trappings of office since his election last September.

He chose to live in a tiny £65-a-night flat at the police academy in Canberra last year while his official residence, The Lodge, was undergoing repairs. He turned down an offer by the public service to put him up in a home rental or in a luxury hotel but it later emerged that his department had already rented him a £1600-a-week home, which remained empty. Julia Gillard, the former Labor prime minister, also reportedly opted to stay at the police academy while leader.

Since he became prime minister, Mr Abbott and his family have continued to live ordinary family lives as much as possible. He has been photographed taking out the rubbish outside his suburban Sydney house; his wife, Margie, has been photographed lugging armfuls of shopping bags from the local supermarket.

Mr Abbott’s thrifty approach is in line with his political pledges to reduce public spending and cut the civil service. He has reined in travel costs and introduced a rule that ministers must sign off on all civil servants’ expenses above £11,000. Any expenses more than £28,000 must be signed off by the prime minister himself.

“It was a commendable look for the leader of a government preparing to take the razor to the budget this year,” observed political correspondent Bianca Hall in Fairfax Media. “And while Abbott’s office didn’t try to publicise his frugal travel arrangements, they did not go unnoticed… In these days of austerity and belt tightening, no politician can be seen to be living it up on the public purse.”

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It is not like the Australian Government cannot afford to provide an executive jet for its Prime Minister, considering that the country is actually the size of a continent. In factRoyal Australian Air Force owns and operates three BBJ and two Bombardier Challenger 604 VVIP jets.

One of three RAAF BBJs

One of three RAAF BBJs

Prime Minister Abbott was making a point that he is willing to do cost saving, despite the facility exist. It is leadership by example.

Prime Minister Najib has been seen to be obtuse when he condescendingly  if not trying to insult the intelligence of Malaysians trying to justify that not all price of goods and services are going up and gave the price of kangkung in the market currently has gone down, in an appreciation event near Kemaman on Sunday.

That brought about a series of viral punts against him using the kangkung motive.

An initial salvo of on over all strategy for the kangkung consumption

An initial salvo of on over all strategy for the kangkung consumption

It is a clear demonstration of the seriousness how the Malaysian public of treating and reacting to any response pertaining to the escalating cost of living, especially household grocery items and goods and services.

As such, the Cabinet this morning decided on the formation of a Special Cabinet Committee to address the issue.

NST story:

15 January 2014| last updated at 05:16PM

Special committee to tackle rising cost of living set up

By Ahmad Fairuz Othman
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PUTRAJAYA: The government has set up a Special Cabinet Committee to tackle the cost of living faced by the people, and laboratory to identify ways to ease the people’s burden in relation to the matter.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the two measures, in addition to a directive by the Cabinet for ministers to ” go to the ground” to listen to grouses of consumers, were among the things that would strengthen current measures to cushion the impact of the rise in cost of living.

Muhyiddin, who would chair the cabinet committee, said it was an expansion of the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) task force on the cost of living, and it would act as the centralised body to handle issues pertaining to the hike in prices of goods.

“The committee will look into the rise of prices which has nothing to do with the fiscal consolidation measures, but is instead due to issues of market structure, including the issue of supply and marketing system.

“The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry will act as the secretariat and facilitating ministry in this special committee. Other relevant ministries and agencies such as the Finance, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Transport and others are appointed as special committee members to tackle the rising cost of living,” said Muhyiddin,  when speaking to reporters at his office in Perdana Putra here today.

The Special Cabinet Committee will among other things,  coordinate policy spanning ministries and agencies, cooperate with the Fiscal Policy Committee, conduct a sectoral study to trace the actual effect of the rise of input cost towards the cost of goods; engage with consumers, and related trade groups and NGOs; and step up enforcement.

The deputy prime minister said a laboratory, which began its task today for the next two weeks, would look into ways to ease the burden of the people.

“The laboratory will comprise those from consumer associations, industry players, academicians, students and others to provide input and views in tackling the rising cost of living.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin with Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Hasan Malek and Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob before the press conference on Special Cabinet Committee to tackle rising cost of living, at his office in Putrajaya today. — NSTP photo by Mohd Fadli Hamzah

Read more: Special committee to tackle rising cost of living set up – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/special-committee-to-tackle-rising-cost-of-living-set-up-1.462950#ixzz2qT1cAOAO

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Unfortunately, it was explained with the term ‘Laboratory’. Generally, Malaysians are very suspicious when it comes to anything with the connotation of  ‘laboratory’, ‘PEMANDU’ and ‘Consultants’, as the general impression that the Federal Government had been extra lavish and ostentatious in this particular expenditure.

Never before the Federal Government is this unpopular and it is non political.

Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 20:00  Comments (12)  

Sons are not like the father

The father of affirmative action NEP Malaysia and his five boys

The father of affirmative action NEP Malaysia and his five boys

At the 38th anniversary of the passing one of the founding fathers of this nation and the Second Prime Minister Tun Hj. Abdul Razak Husssein, his two most prominent sons remembered their father.

Remembering my father, Tun Razak

BY NAZIR RAZAK
JANUARY 14, 2014

Thirty-eight years ago today, on January 14, 1976, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein passed away in London from complications wreaked by leukaemia.

Malaysia lost its prime minister. I lost my father. Malaysia was 19. I was nine.

The days immediately after were shrouded in personal sorrow and national mourning.

My four brothers and I sought to comfort our mother, while the public and heartfelt outpouring of grief throughout the country served as a resounding reminder that we were not alone in our time of tragedy.

I must confess that given my age and my father’s hectic schedule, I sometimes lament the fact that he gave so much to the country, leaving too little for his family.

However, I have never wavered from being enormously proud of his selfless dedication to our young nation.

iTogether, on his last Hari Raya. – Pic courtesy of Datuk Seri Mohd Nazir Razak, January 14, 2014.Together, on his last Hari Raya. – Pic courtesy of Datuk Seri Mohd Nazir Razak, January 14, 2014.

I did not get the time to know him. But imprinted in me are the values he imparted, the integrity that he insisted upon, above all. Yes, above all, including his family.

I recall the time when my brothers and I approached him one evening and asked that a swimming pool be built at Seri Taman, the prime minister’s residence where we lived.

The lawyer that he was, he insisted that we make our case with logical and rational arguments. We did so, and thought we had presented the argument pretty well, until we noticed his face had started to darken, and the eyes flashed with annoyance.

My father made it abundantly clear that while Seri Taman may be our home, the house belonged to the government and, hence, to the people.

Anything spent on it would have to come from public funds, and there was no way he was going to allow the state coffers to be depleted on something as frivolous as a swimming pool.

“What will the people think?” he thundered.

In my years of growing up, I actively sought to hear from people who knew my father well, including those who had worked with him in government, politics, the Merdeka movement and so on as well as his personal friends.

It was my only way of getting to know him. What stood out for me was that in almost every conversation I had about him, the qualities they always referenced were his values.

As the custodian of the nation’s coffers, his frugality was legendary.

“You had to account for every cent, or he would be on your back,” one former minister told me.

Well, I knew that already. Not just from the swimming pool episode, but many anecdotes.

My elder brothers often talk about one of the rare opportunities they had to accompany him on an official trip to Switzerland.

He made sure he paid their expenses himself, he was so careful with the cost of the trip to the government that he moved his whole entourage to a cheaper hotel than originally booked, and they dined over and over again at the cheapest restaurant in the vicinity of the hotel.

And then there was his final trip to Europe in October 1975 for medical treatment. He must have known that it could well be his last trip, yet he did not allow my mother to accompany him to save his own money; probably concerned about her financial situation after his passing.

She only managed to join him weeks later on the insistence of the cabinet and with a specially approved government budget for her travel.

His integrity was another trait that came up often in conversations. He was guided by what now seems a somewhat quaint and old-fashioned concept of public service; that a public servant is first and foremost a servant of the people whose trust must never be betrayed.

The other point that kept being repeated was his stamina.

Many were later astonished to learn he had been suffering from leukaemia, given that when in office, he was constantly on the move, attending to official duties, immersing himself in the minutiae of policy and, of course, his famous surprise visits to constituencies around the country that allowed him to hear directly from the people about what was happening on the ground.

Of course, few people forget to recount Tun Razak’s dedication to rural development. He was “People First”, long before the sound bite.

But above all, what they unanimously emphasised was Tun Razak’s commitment to national unity – towards building a nation where every single one of its citizens could find a place under the Malaysian sun.

That vision was encapsulated in the two initiatives that my father spearheaded in the wake of the May 13, 1969 tragedy – the formulation of the Rukunegara in 1970 and the New Economic Policy in 1971.

The Rukunegara reconciled indigenous cultural traditions and heritage with the demands of a modern, secular state.

The NEP’s goal, as outlined in the policy announcement, was the promotion of national unity to be undertaken via a massive experiment in socio-economic engineering through the twin thrusts of eradication of poverty irrespective of race and economic restructuring to eliminate identification of economic function with ethnicity.

The debate on the NEP rages on today. I myself have publicly remarked that something has gone awry in its implementation.

The fixation on quotas and the seemingly easy route to unimaginable wealth for a select few have created an intra-ethnic divide in class and status, while fuelling inter-ethnic tensions. Both these developments serve to undermine, if not completely negate, the overarching goal of Tun Razak’s NEP, strengthening national unity.

What went wrong? Some have argued that the fault was affirmative action itself.  For me, it was because its implementation was skewed by the focus on the tactical approach rather than the commitment to the strategic goal.

The NEP has certainly helped eradicate poverty and reduced economic imbalances by spawning a Malay middle class.

However, in terms of the larger vision, the best that can be said about the NEP is that it initially helped blunt the edges of racial conflict in the aftermath of May 13.

Thanks in part to the NEP, Malaysia did not follow Sri Lanka, which became embroiled in decades of strife between the immigrant Tamils and the indigenous Sinhalese.

That is no small achievement. But the NEP promise of strengthening national unity has not been realised.

In fact, there are signs that inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic tensions are once again approaching worrying levels.

What can be done? There is a Malay proverb: “Sesat di Hujung Jalan, Balik ke-Pangkal Jalan.” Loosely translated, it means “When one has lost one’s way, one should return to the beginning.”

And “the beginning” here, in my view, is the values, commitment, vision and inclusiveness demonstrated and embodied by Tun Razak.

I have mentioned earlier the remarks about his integrity, commitment to the concept of public service and his vision of a progressive, prosperous and united Malaysia. But let me close here by emphasising two other highlights of his legacy.

One, he was a true democrat. Two years after running the country as head of the National Operations Council, he disbanded the committee and restored democratic rule.

He held virtually dictatorial power as the NOC chief, but his worldview and values rested on a foundation of democratic rule, not dictatorship. His decision-making style exemplified this as well: he brought in all who needed to be involved and engaged in a consultative discussion before any major decision was adopted.

He never excluded those with contrarian views, he encouraged multiplicity of opinions in order to have the best chance of making a right final decision.

Two, while he was committed to helping improve the material quality of life for the majority Bumiputeras to avert another “May 13”, he viewed this as a national prerogative rather than a racial one. That, to me, explains his determination to involve Malaysia’s best and brightest in this quest, regardless of their racial or ethnic origin.

Just check out those who served him and his administration back then. They were and are, Malaysians all, united in their determination to rebuild this nation from the ashes of May 13.

That was Tun Razak’s legacy to Malaysia. We can best honour it by returning to “Pangkal Jalan”. – January 14, 2014.

* Datuk Seri Mohd Nazir Razak is the son of the second prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak, and a brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. He is managing director and chief executive of the CIMB group.

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Prime Minister dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak vowed to continue the Bumiputera agenda, like his father:

NST story:

14 January 2014| last updated at 10:31PM

PM: Tun Razak’s legacy must continue

By HANA NAZ HARUN | news@nst.com.my
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KUALA LUMPUR: The late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein has left a legacy that must be continued, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib said his father, the second prime minister of Malaysia, who died on Jan 14, 1976, in London, due to leukemia at the age of 53, had drawn up policies that had improved the livelihood of the Malays and the Bumiputeras.

“It is our commitment to fight for the unity of the Malays. With the fighting spirit of Tun (Razak), we will continue this struggle until his aims and aspirations are achieved,” Najib said after joining a congregation in the reading of Yaasin and tahlil for the late Razak at the Ar-Rahah Mosque in Kampung Kerinchi.

Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, arrived at the mosque at 7.10pm.

The mosque was completed in 2012, a gift from Najib’s brother, CIMB Group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir  to their mother, Tun Rahah Mohamad Noah.

Among those present at the tahlil were Rahah, Nazir, Malacca Yang di-Pertua Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad and former Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attends tahlil prayers for his father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein at the Ar-Rahah Mosque in Kampung Kerinchi. Present also are Malacca Yang di-Pertua Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob (2nd from left) and Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad (2nd from right)

Read more: PM: Tun Razak’s legacy must continue – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/pm-tun-razak-s-legacy-must-continue-1.462445#ixzz2qNzyxJ1e

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They may present themselves with the values and upholding the legacy of their father, who as a leader demonstrated unequivocally was an extraordinary selfless man. However, it reality they are actually not.

First of all, Tun Razak really cared and gave a lot of thought to develop downtrodden Malaysians especially the Malays. Even in the infancy of this nation, then the Deputy Prime Minister paid so much attention on national and rural development.

Tun Razak as the Minister in charge of Rural Development, speaking to settlers at one of the FELDA schemes

He was instrumental in the formation of Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), a Federal Government agency incorporated to acquire and exercise land reformation programs for the purpose to develop land schemes. It took the form of communal estates which enabled a of landless farmers to work on and eventually own part of it.

Prime Minister Najib and Nazir took the businesses developed from FELDA and listed it.

The listing of FELDA Global Ventures (FGV) Holdings Bhd. did provide some direct benefits to the 112,635 FELDA settlers nationwide. However, it was CIMB which benefitted immensely in various fees from the IPO as the banker and lead arranging institution for the listing exercise.

Prime Minister Najib and FGV CEO Emir Mavani

Then Prime Minister Najib endorsed Non Malay executives to be brought in and  strategically placed within FGV and eventually be promoted as the Group CEO. Recently, three key positions at Executive Vice President level are being filled by Non Malay professionals.

CIMB was originally incorporated as Bank Bumiputera Bhd., as result of the first Bumiputra Economic Congress in 1965. The congregation of Malay minds in Kuala Lumpur was held to discuss and formulate plans for the Bumiputra Economic Agenda masterplan, organised and sponsored Ministry of Rural Development where Tun Razak then the Minister.

Then Deputy Prime Minister Tun Razak brought in his personal friends and confidante to lead the bank created to help Malay business community and indirectly the Malay Agenda.

The top management of CIMB

The top management of CIMB

Today after various series of transformation, CIMB is no longer a “Bumiputera Bank”. Almost all key positions (with the exeception of Nazir’s post, the Group CEO) are filled by Non Malay professionals. Nazir is unlike his father, who would provide opportunities for Malay professionals to bloom, the most meteoric-risen banker gave emphasis on making money the prominence.

The elder brother too, brought changes into Petronas when he came into power. Despite that Petronas did very well where top and key positions were held by Malay professionals, Prime Minister Najib believed that the ‘necessary transformation’ of Malaysia’s only corporation listed under the super exclusive New Seven Sisters club should include Non Malay professionals.

The Management of Petronas: Fifty percent of the Exec Vice Presidents are now Non Malays

The Management of Petronas: Fifty percent of the Exec Vice Presidents are now Non Malays

As such, 50% of the Executive Vice President and 40% of the BoD posts were restructured and Non Malays were brought in.

It was Tun Razak’s vision and leadership which brought the nation to come together and the New Economic Policy (NEP) formulated, planned and rolled out. The affirmative action policy which is designed to alleviate the socio-economic stature of downtrodden Malaysians, targetted to most to the various Bumiputra communities who dwell in the rural and under developed areas.

On the contrary, Nazir Razak ‘bastardised’ NEP. He did receive a leg up as he started as a broker in the investment banking instead of being a banker doing traditional banking work. That enabled the opportunity to demonstrate his mettle. Nazir tweaked CIMB from a high street bank into a fee-based commercial bank.

Sime Darby, Guthrie and Golden Plantations (formerly known as Harrison Crossfield) are some of the British PLCs in Malaysia that were nationalised via series of ‘dawn raids’, as an extension to the NEP to allow assets and wealth in the form of plantations businesses that made this country great owned by Malaysians, especially the Malays. In 2007, Nazir came up with the bold blue print to merge the three corporations as one.

Hence CIMB formed Synergy Drive Sdn. Bhd., to execute the corporate exercise which saw RM47 billion of assets were transferred and restructured under one group. That earned Nazir and his stream of bankers a cool RM300 million in consulting fees. Nazir lead the process of ‘revolutionising’ Malaysian banking scene to be centered on fee-based activities and commercial papers hawking instead of traditional banking, as a catalyst for productivity and growth.

Prime Minister Najib’s wish for Khazanah Nasional Bhd. as the investment arm of the Federal Government to focus and develop on ROI and adding value in expanding market capitalisation, instead of physical productivity and traditional growth as catalyst for the economy.

Prime Minister Najib’s ‘Transformation’ plans and policies as his bet to be the driving force to build the momentum and expand the economic growth, which is centred with the capital and financial markets as the porpulsion for the engine of growth. On the extreme end, Tun Razak focused on economic activities across the board and emphasised more on industrialsation as the driving force.

The recent Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Program announced by Prime Minister Najib on 14 September 2013 is superficially beneficial for the Bumiputra, especially the Malays which is more than 75% of the Bumiputera populous. Strategically, it most likely would not bring about the desired results and meet the objectives as per laid out.

A bleak nine months in Malaysia Airlines' 65 years history

A bleak nine months in Malaysia Airlines’ 65 years history

Khazanah where Prime Minister Najib sits as the Chairman of the BoD has never been seen as having a ‘Bumiputra Agenda’. He had to tweak on the current chartered path of Temasek-wannabe in his announcement of BEEP in UiTM to require KPI on BCIC growth for all GLC CEOs.

Tun Razak formed Malaysia Airlines system in October 1972 which played the primary role for communication and logistics as the national carrier. 39 years later, his two sons almost killed and buried the national pride.

The more recent development about Prime Minister Najib’s leadership is the cost of running the government under his stewardship. He has been seen as extravagant and opulence. Especially on expenditures for his own convenience, comfort and luxury.

The 9M-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang

The 9M-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang. This is something Tun Razak would not stomach

Like in Nazir’s own story, this is something that Tun Razak would not stomach.

The intresting bit about Nazir’s own penned piece, is about Tun Razak left for London with Dr Pherson on his last treatment for the terminal leukemia. Tun Rahah Mohamed Noah did not accompany him because he wanted to save cost and not make it a burden to the Malaysian Government.

That is so unlike Prime Minister Najib, where his wife Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor several times travelled using the Malaysian Government facilities and expenditure such as the ACJ319 VVIP jet. The most recent was the Women International Entrepreneur Forum in Qatar. That trip is believed to cost the Malaysian Government more than RM1 million.

Tun Razak was once the Foreign Minister and Defence Minister at the same time. He demonstrated being a strategic leader with his diplomacy style and wit during the 1960s  in a region turmoiled in superpowers wrestling for control and domination.

Tun Razak was one of the founding fathers of ASEAN

When he assumed the premiership in 1970, he brought Malaysia away from being an ally of the West in the region into a neutrality. He mooted the idea of South East Asia being a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) where the Kuala Lumpur Declaration was made in 1971. In the same stroke fortified ASEAN where he was one of the founding fathers, to remain a bloc of economic and cultural co-operation between neighbours.

On the other hand, he gave a lot of emphasis for the nation’s sovereignity and realm without compromising on defense and security.

The Armed Forces saw significant growth in man power, assets and capability under Tun Razak’s watch. So did the Police. Example was the formation of VAT 69 Police Commando unit modeled after the British SAS, where combatting the communist terrorists in the deep jungle and border have started to be a precision interjection operation.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, President Barack Obama and wives at the APEC Summit in Hawaii

It is common knowledge that Prime Minister Najib has been trying to be chummies to Western leaders such as US President Barack H. Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Many observers see this as him trying too hard for Malaysia to be really close to the United States. Upon assuming the sixth premiership, he even despatched a confidante to Washington D.C. as the Malaysian envoy with ministerial status.

As part of his ‘political transformation plan’, to the shock of the nation Prime Minister Najib unprecedentedly announced for the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO) on 15 September 2011. Later, this proven to very counter productive both from the national and internal security stand point as well as politically.

Politically, Tun Razak gained respect and admiration of the Chinese at the juncture where they heart of the nation almost burned down due to racism, radicalism and extremism. Prime Minister Najib in his effort to woo the Chinese with his over-bearing ‘generousity’ received the exact opposite. Majority of the Chinese gave him the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ instead.

In many ways maybe these two Tun Razak’s boys would want to believe that they have inherited their father’s personal legacy, which brought tremendous transformation in so little time and space. In reality, they are closer of being contradiction to their famous and legend as their father.

*Updated Wednesday 15 January 2014 1000hrs

Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 23:15  Comments (14)  

Kangkung Consolidated Bhd

They say whenever a problem presents itself, there would be opportunity opened up for it. In the recent growing grouses of increased rise of price of goods and services of almost across the board, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is glad to announce the market price of some goods is actually going down.

It has been learned that Khazanah National Bhd. will be venturing into kangkung in the plantation scale as an extension to Prime Minister Najib’s specific mention on how the most common South East Asian vegetable’s price at the market has gone down.

This shall provide a new major opportunity for the commercialisation of seemingly the most favourite vegetable in the region.

However, the project would not be executed and rolled out without the usual modus operandi of getting very expensive consultants to look into the idea, develop a suitable proposal and several alternative proposals, PEMANDU doing the necessary projection evaluation and transformation impact assessment and eventually CIMB doing the over all plan for IPO listing and exit.

It is probably would be known as Kangkung Consolidated Bhd. upon listing. The initial targeted kangkung plantations size is expected to be 100,000 acres. Several key strategic partners have shown termendous interest, especially when government-guaranteed financing would be made available as this would be classified as a ‘Consolidated High Impact Priority Economic Transformation Project’ or CHIPET.

A synergy business track would also be created by Khazanah to go into krill and shrimp farming. This is part of the restructuring of the prawn business that Khazanah went in, sometime back. Eventually, the two corporations could be amalgamated and consolidated.

An initial salvo of on over all strategy for the kangkung consumption

An initial salvo of an overall strategy for the kangkung consumption

Several kangkung-based end products have been thrown in and discussed at certain quarters within PMO, although it is believed that those are still premature. What is commendable is the speed of Special Officers within PMO responding to the issues raised by the rakyat, especially in social media network and blogs.

Prime Minister Najib’s acknowledgement of the market price of kangkung would be the catalyst for more consumption. A special task force lead by soon-to-be named a senior PMO aide and hand-picked team is to provide for the kangkung comprehensive business push-factor strategy.

The Federal Government would eventually need to work with relevant State Governments for this agriculture-based commercial end-to-end project to work and be productive. The commitment and co-operation is necessary for initiatives such as gazzetting all longkangs and drains for kangkung growing.

This should be seen as nothing less than a brilliant business strategy, capitalising and commercialising on the ‘created demand’ due to rising cost of living of late.

*Updated 2300hrs

Published in: on January 13, 2014 at 19:30  Comments (28)  

Hey, Big Spender!

Times are getting tough. All are asked to be brace for what is expected to be a rough 2014. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and his Government (and present line up of Cabinet Ministers) are steaming ahead with the ‘rationalisation of subsidies’.

First, we heard it from Minister in-charge of ‘Transformation Programs’ Dato’ Idris Jala that the Federal Government would not be able to cope with the annual subsidy of RM43billion. In 2010, he said that by 2019 if ‘business as usual’ and no transformation is made, the Federal Government coffer would go belly up.

Hence, by the second half of 2013 Prime Minister Najib ‘rationalisation of subsidy’ program started. First it was the retail price of petrol and diesel up by 20 sen in September. Then comes Bajet 2014, sugar is completely subsidy free when suddenly the price shot up by 34sen per kg. Consumption tax in the form of 6% GST would be introduced by April 2015, to make up the revenue deficit.

Then the announcements of electricity tariff would go up by 15% and possibility of many of the Non PLUS highways toll rates up too comes in to effect in 2014.

On ground, retail prices are up across the board. Grocery shoppers already feeling the pinch that food stuff across the board gone up, be it chicken, fish, beef, fruits and vegetables. Even spices are up.

Everyone is grousing. Especially the lower income bracket. The most are the lower income and lower middle income segment who are urban and suburban dwellers. Their Ringgit has shrunk termendously. Nothing to factor that their lifestyle is grossly impaired with the traffic jams they have to endure.

Yes, Prime Minister Najib is kind enough to give them hand outs of RM600.00 in BR1M to families with aggregated earning of less than RM3,500.00 a month.  Spread that monthly, would effectively subsidies half a week of grocery bills. By 2013, BR1M was extended to singles. He gladly announced 6 million Malaysians would benefit from this scheme.

Bajet 2014

In reality, other cost is going up. Even rental and school bus fee. In  a nut shell, majority of Malaysians are asked to tighten their belt and change their lifestyle.

One interesting fact is that Prime Minister Najib announced his budget for 2014 at the proposed amount of RM264billion. Only RM46.5 billion is for development expenditure or CAPEX. That is 17.6% of the whole 2014 budget.

The rest which is RM217.7 billion or 82.4% is operating expenditure or OPEX. That is very huge.

The 11 point austerity drive which Prime Minister Najib announced on 30 December 2013 has been seen as ‘insincere’ to substantially reduce OPEX and budget deficit, considering the VVIP travel bill is actually much more than the savings possibly derived. It is actually pittance and should considered as an insult to the bigger majority, finding it toughrer to make ends meet in these days where almost everything is up.

The other side of the field is totally different. Here you have PMO admitting that the Malaysian Government last year spent RM181 million to lease and maintain aircrafts for VVIP travels, especially for the Prime Minister and consort.

How could Prime Minister Najib stomach the fact that he started the vow “Rakyat diutamakan“, is facing a tougher living when the kind of money was splurged on his convenience, comfort and luxury should be seen as nothing but sinful.

 

Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 20:00  Comments (20)  

(Not) Getting wiser after the event

The decision to abolish and do away with very important tools for internal security and strategic apparatus of maintaining peace and harmony  the Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO) is one of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s landmark catastrophic acts as the sixth Prime Minister. The top cop was very frank and bold about it.

Riong Kali dot com:

I wish we could bring back the ISA, says IGP

BY LEE SHI-IAN
JANUARY 10, 2014

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pic) said today he wished that the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) would be reintroduced. (The ISA which was repealed in 2012.)

“Yes, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 is sufficient, but what is wrong with the ISA?” Khalid asked.

“Both laws are suitable for different reasons. As a law enforcement official, I would welcome any law which can help me uphold internal security and public order.”

Khalid’s sentiments appear to echo a suggestion by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the government bring back the ISA to control the “extremist minority” who, he said, has undermined the country’s stability.

“For extremists like this group, we need the ISA,” Dr Mahathir told reporters yesterday after appearing as a guest on the RTM2 ‘Hello On Two’ programme, which was aired live at Wisma TV, Angkasapuri, KL.

Reviewing 2013 at a glance, Khalid said he was disappointed with the number of illegal rallies and demonstrations which were staged last year.

“There was a total of 26 illegal rallies and demonstrations, including one on New Year’s Eve protesting against price hikes,” Khalid said.

“Last year was a challenging year with the general elections, the Lahad Datu incursion and the street demonstrations,” he said.

He pointed the finger at the opposition for stirring up public sentiments on various issues, including Lynas, human rights, price hikes, assessment rates and study loans.

“The opposition played on public sentiments and rallied them against the ruling government,” Khalid said.

“The Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 was drawn up so that the public can have space to voice their frustrations and dissatisfaction.

“However, the rally organisers do not seem interested in following the conditions laid out in the PAA 2012. Instead of working with the police, they are intent on going against us.”

Khalid said certain quarters wanted police to call up the Federal Reserve Unit, complete with batons and water cannons.

“Later, they will blame the police for being violent, brutal and disrespecting human rights,” he said.

“We know how to handle these demonstrations. It is provided for under the law and we will take the necessary measures,” he added. – January 10, 2014.

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Prime Minister Najib believed that Malaysia should move forward and so called ‘archaic and draconian laws which impede on human rights issues’ such as ISA and EO would not be popular with the minority (especially the Chinese) and growing younger Malaysians.

Yet, despite these laws being repealed and abolished since 2012, neither the Chinese nor the bigger younger Malaysian populous politically supported the Federal Government. In fact, Prime Minister Najib as the Barisan Nasional Chairman faired worst since the coalition party was incepted by his father 40 years earlier to replace the Alliance Party.

Historically, these so called ‘draconian laws’ were incepted and democratically elected to ensure peace and harmony is maintained and a tool for internal security against radical, extremist, subversive and militant elements. One of the objectives for ISA when it was introduced in 1960 and passed by Parliament, was to protect the nation from subversive and militant force such as communist rebellion which by then, had gone underground.

The communist rebels and terrorists and their supporter, the Min Yuens, started to move within the typical then Malayan communities and worked their ways via subversive movements.

Almost all of them were Chinese ethnic.

The act, plus EO managed to curb and reduce the effect of subversive efforts guised under the cloak of the ‘right of expression’ and ‘democracy’, from the perspective of the practice to allow open rally and assembly. Never the less, the negative direct result is clearly demonstrated in the 13 May 1969 tragedy.

Still, the racism overtone by Chinese Chauvinists like DAP leaders persists.

Since then, ISA and EO have been very effective. Later, its utility was extended to religious deviants and militants and government employees who were part of efforts to weaken the internal security.

IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar is spot on.

Doing away with ISA and EO and allowing more ‘democratic practices’ such as the loosening the tight on right of expression and public assembly did not alleviate progress for the process of nation building. In fact, it deteriorated further.

Those who opposed these so called ‘draconian laws’ actually never intended to respect or adhere to the rules of new laws such as the Public Assembly Act. They remained defiant, as what they were.

What made it worse is that it is believed that Prime Minister Najib is also ‘soft’ against these law breakers. Police continued to make arrests and mount investigations on these law deviants but very few of them were actually charged.

Even those who clearly committed criminal defamation and seditious acts.

A clear example is FMT writer Mariam Mokhtar who maliciously accused UMNO of “Torching churches and created havoc in the community” when High Court Justice Lau Bee Lan decided for the Catholic church Herald in 2009 on the kalimah “Allah” case against the ban imposed by Home Ministry.

30 November 2013| last updated at 05:08PM

IGP warns portal columnist Mariam Mokhtar

 22  0 Google +0  0 0 comments

KOTA KINABALU: Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has warned freemalaysiatoday.com’s columnist, Mariam Mokhtar, from writing articles that can be deemed seditious.

He was displeased with her article, entitled “One Ideology, Two Reactions”, published on the portal yesterday, in which she questioned the government’s discriminating treatment on the return of two Malaysian-born communist radicals — ashes of the deceased Malayan Communist Party leader Chin Peng from Bangkok, Thailand and Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab, who had been influenced by the political ideology and was allegedly held as a slave in London for 30 years.
“She (Mariam Mokhtar) had better watch out or we will go after her.
“This (article) is highly seditious. Don’t publish just to attract people to visit your website. That can also be an invitation for us (police) to come and apprehend you,” he told reporters after the opening of the Security and Public Order Seminar here today.
The seminar was opened by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Khalid was disappointed that the columnist could not differentiate the degree of the offence committed by Siti Aishah and Chin Peng.
“Even an uneducated person understands why the government allowed Siti Aishah to return home and not Chin Peng’s ashes. It is not because one is a Malay and the other, a Chinese.
“Chin Peng was involved in armed struggle, while Siti Aishah purely adopted a leftist ideology. Tell me how many people has she killed?” he asked.
Khalid said no action would be taken against Siti Aishah should she return to Malaysia on the grounds that she was already 69 years old and that her offence was committed a long time ago.
Regarding Siti Aishah’s citizenship, he said police were still waiting for a report from the United Kingdom on whether or not she had given up her Malaysian citizenship during the 45 years she was in the European country.
The woman, who hails from Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan, left the country in 1968 to pursue her studies at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom, but neglected her studies after being influenced by the leftist ideology. — BERNAMA

Read more: IGP warns portal columnist Mariam Mokhtar – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/igp-warns-portal-columnist-mariam-mokhtar-1.417091#ixzz2q2A9bRls

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There hardly any actions taken on the vast provocations and insults against the position and role of Islam as the Religion of the Federation of Malaysia, HRH Rulers as Constitutional Head of Islam and the administration of Islam and Syariah Courts which tantamount to sedition.

It is amazing the compounded pressure of the Malay-Muslim majority being tested, challenged, provoked and insulted by the minority, particularly the Chinese, have not burst.

Make no mistake about the will of the Malays. When push comes to shove, they would stand up and fight back. In a nut shell, they have been very tolerant and obedient because it is the nature of the Malays that they respect their leaders and authority.

Then again, all these have its limits. At one point, they would eventually distrust the system and authority that they put their trust on would act in the interest of the righteousness and the Federal Constitution that they played pivotal role to incorporate.

Instead, they would probably take matters to their own hands.

The sooner Prime Minister Najib realise and comes to term with that, the faster the nation could get on the track of moving forward.

Now,

Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 01:00  Comments (8)  

High Value Economy and Richer Government, Now

The future has arrived. Malaysia, eventually reached the ‘High value economy’ status head of schedule. In not so many words, Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said this when he is asked to comment the recent Malaysian Government VVIP jet controversy.

I did not need big jets but maybe Putrajaya now has more money to splurge, says Dr Mahathir

JANUARY 09, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: JANUARY 09, 2014 05:08 PM

Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic), said he had no need for a big luxury jet during his tenure but felt the current government may have more funds and as such, was in a position to indulge in such luxuries.

Dr Mahathir said during his 22 years as prime minister, he had even downgraded his jet during the early years of his tenure when there was a slump in the economy.

“In 1981, I inherited a Boeing 737 from the previous PM. He had problems travelling so I can understand why he has to have a big plane.

“I used the plane for a short while and I asked them what is the cost. They told me it will cost the government RM2 million a year. Then we sold  the plane, I need a small plane. So it was reduced to a Challenger,” he told reporters after being interviewed in conjunction with his 10 years of retirement.

Last year, the Prime Minister’s Department told Parliament that Putrajaya now owns at least seven planes, including a Boeing Business Jet.

The aircraft are for use by VVIPs including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the prime minister. They comprised a Falcon, Global Express, Boeing Business Jet, Blackhawk, two Augustas and a Fokker F28.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim last year told the Parliament in 2013 that Putrajaya spent RM14.95 million for fuel and RM160.08 million for maintenance of the jets.

Dr Mahathir remarked that the small fleet of planes should not be an issue today.

“The government is much richer than during my time, then maybe they should upgrade” he said.

Putrajaya’s jets attracted the attention of pro-Umno bloggers last week who demanded to know if Najib’s two luxury jets are in service, as an Airbus ACJ320 was reportedly leased to the government.

Putrajaya replied that the lease of the Airbus ACJ320, which began on February 1, 2013, ended on December 31 last year. It said the lease was necessary as the government faced a shortage of jets. – January 9, 2014.

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

That is a typical sarcasm from the Statesman, incase any of the PMO officials who are supposed to handle media and communications completely missed the punt.

During the Bajet 2014 debate in November 2013, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim said in Dewan Rakyat that the Federal Government spent more than RM181 million in rental and maintenance cost to provide VVIP travel using executive jets for His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong and Prime Minister of Malaysia.

PMO: Jets not just for PM, Airbus rental to plug shortage

JANUARY 4, 2014

The Najib administration had been hit by friendly fire this week after several pro-Umno bloggers criticised its spending on a provate jet to ferry government officials on domestic and overseas trips after slashing subsidies and urging Malaysians to tighten their belts. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe Najib administration had been hit by friendly fire this week after several pro-Umno bloggers criticised its spending on a provate jet to ferry government officials on domestic and overseas trips after slashing subsidies and urging Malaysians to tighten their belts. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Under fire from pro-Umno bloggers, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has defended the rental of an Airbus ACJ A320 last year as a necessity security measure to plug a shortage of government aircraft to fly the King and other government leaders on official trips.

In a statement published by several news companies today, the PMO said the government had previously owned five jets — the ACJ A319, BBJ, Fokker F28, Global Express and Falcon 900 — which were for not just for the use of the prime minister, but also to accommodate the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, state governors, ministers and their deputies, senior government bureaucrats and other dignitaries, including foreign guests of the government on official business.

“Use of the special aircrafts enable the head of state and the head of government to move domestically and abroad with greater security.

“Apart from that, members of the administration who are busy with various work will not be bound by commercial airline schedules besides taking into consideration national image and interests,” the statement said.

The PMO justified the government’s decision to rent another aircraft after three of the five were grounded.

It said that one of the jets, a Fokker F28, was decommissioned in August 2012 as it was past 30 years of age, and had not been replaced.

It added that last year, two other airplanes, the BBJ and ACJ319, were sent in for their scheduled mandatory maintenance, which further compunded the shortage problem as the checks took longer than expected.

“In line with that, the Prime Minister’s Department, which is responsible for the management of the Government’s special aircrafts, decided to rent another ACJ A320 aircraft to accommodate the lack of aircrafts.

“This ACJ A320 was rented between 1 February – 31 December 2013 after it was found that the BBJ required more time for maintenance,” it said.

The Najib administration had been hit by friendly fire this week after several pro-Umno bloggers criticised its spending on a provate jet to ferry government officials on domestic and overseas trips after slashing subsidies and urging Malaysians to tighten their belts.

The statement from the PMO also appeared to differ slightly from the government’s reply on the number of aircrafts it owns.

In a written reply to Seremban MP Anthony Loke last November, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the government owns and operates six private jets known as Government Executive Jets (VVIP).

They include one unit of Falcon jet, one Global Express, one Boeing Business Jet, one Blackhawk, and two Agusta jets.

Shahidan also revealed that the government spent more than RM180 million for fuel and maintenance to fly private for official trips in 2012.

“For the cost of fuel for all aircrafts used in 2012 is RM14,951,448 and RM167,079,541.80 was spent on maintenance costs,” he said in his written reply on November 7, 2013.

In October 013, Shahidan said in a written parliamentary reply to Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming that Putrajaya spends RM28.8 million in annual rental and RM5.5 million to maintain the VVIP government jet ACJ319, the private aircraft used to ferry prime ministers much like the Air Force One in the US.

“To ensure the VVIP government jet ACJ319 remain in a good condition and has the highest level of safety, the government has spent US$25.2 million (RM80.12 million) in rental costs, RM16.52 million for maintenance and RM3.32 million for modification works from the year 2010 to last year,” Shahidan said in his reply.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pmo-jets-not-just-for-pm-airbus-rental-to-plug-shortage#sthash.9KFJzova.dpuf

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Then on the early hours here in BigDogDotCom, it was raised about the high probability that the Malaysian Government leased an ACJ320 VVIP VVIP jet from Malta-based executive jet charter Comlux Aviation. It quickly drew a lot attention and became viral.

The 9M-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang

The 9M-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang

PMO responded within the end of the same day of business, amidst the controversial raised to the exorbitant spending for VVIP. This is when in so many quarters the Malaysian public explicitly expressed their utter displeasure to the rise in cost of living, after the rise of petrol and diesel, sugar, grocery products and expected electricity tariff and tolled road rates.

Part of the ‘rationalisation of revenue’ for the Federal Government is Prime Minister Najib’s announcement of the introduction to consumption tax in the form of 6% GST, scheduled from April 2015.

Typical of a populist political leader, Prime Minister Najib announced what seemingly is a ‘Penny wise, pound foolish’ 11 point austerity drive on 30 December 2013. Probably his advisers had the believe if not the impression that more people are probably gullible enough to accept the sincerity to reduce spending and cost of Federal Government.

Malaysian Government VVIP jet ACJ319 with tail number 9M-NAA

Malaysian Government VVIP jet ACJ319 with tail number 9M-NAA

Despite the controversy and response, it was business as usual for PMO which is taking care of the needs of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. This include his private matters.

On Sunday afternoon Malaysian time, it was captured that the ACJ319 VVIP jet commonly dubbed as “Perdana 1” or “NR1” as a call sign, is actually owned by Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd. and operated and maintained by Jet Premier One Sdn. Bhd., was in LAX.

The ACJ319 9M-NAA on 4 January 2013

The ACJ319 9M-NAA on 4 January 2013

It is believed that Prime Minister Najib was in Los Angeles over the New Year holidays, for a break and not an official or working visit. That round trip from Kuala Lumpur must have easily cost PMO over RM1.2 million in rental, maintenance, fuel, F&B and other related direct charges.

The fact that the Malaysian Government lease the ACJ319 VVIP jet with the 9M-NAA tail number from Penerbangan Malaysian Bhd., a company at ‘cost plus’ basis and the operation and maintenance of the aircraft is carried out by Jet Premier One Sdn. Bhd., added to the cost as opposed if it was under the RMAF. Both companies would have incorporated their own margin.

Six and half hours ago, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in KLIA for a two day official visit. Apparently, the leader of the NATO and EU nation flew on a Turkish Airlines B777-300 which is believed to be chartered instead of a dedicated VVIP executive jet.

The Star story:

Published: Thursday January 9, 2014 MYT 9:58:00 PM
Updated: Thursday January 9, 2014 MYT 10:19:37 PM

Turkey Prime Minister arrives for two-day official visit

Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his wife, Emine Erdogan, arrives at KLIA, welcomed by Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin (right) and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan (left).Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his wife, Emine Erdogan, arrives at KLIA, welcomed by Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin (right) and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan (left).

SEPANG: Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived at the Bunga Raya Complex, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, here, at about 8pm Thursday for a two-day official visit to Malaysia.

He was accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan and a 97-member delegation including the Turkish deputy prime minister, European Union affairs minister, economic minister, energy and environment minister, and youth and sports minister.

They were welcomed on arrival by the host country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

The visit is at the invitation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and is part of Erdogan’s visit to Asia, which includes Japan and Singapore.

It is also in conjunction with the 50th year anniversary of Malaysia-Turkey relations which were established in 1964.

Erdogan is scheduled to attend the official welcoming ceremony at Perdana Putra in Putrajaya Friday, followed by a closed-door meeting with Najib before both leaders lead their respective delegations at a bilateral meeting.

Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor will host the official dinner in honour of Erdogan and Emine at Seri Perdana.

The Turkish prime minister is also scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Transforming Asia Pacific and Turkey” as part of the Tun Abdul Razak lecture series, organised by the Transformation Research Foundation and Razak School of Government.

Erdogan is also to receive an honorary doctorate in management from the International Islamic University, Malaysia. – Bernama

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In the recent official visit to China, British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived on a Virgin Atlantic A340. It is believed, it was a chartered flight too.

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives in China on a chartered Virgin Atlantic A340

It is unacceptable that so much tax payers money is spent for the pleasure, comfort and convenience of VVIP travel when Prime Minister najib over and over again reiterate that the Malaysian Government need to ‘rationalise subsidy’ costing annually RM43 billion and the ‘buck is being passed’ to Malaysians, especially the middle class.

Even Tun Dr. Mahathir sounded out on how the Malaysian Government is lavish and not observant on spending and cost of running the business as the government. He had asked the private sector to clearly voice their concern of the rising factors of production.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's call for private sector to voice the concern of rising cost

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s call for private sector to voice the concern of rising cost

Higher cost of production equates to products would no longer be competitive, amidst the more active regional neighbours which could offer lower cost of production. Inadvertently, the GDP would not go up to the level that Prime Minister Najib and his advisers envisaged.

Hence, achieving the ‘High Value Economy’ would not be able to be realised soon enough.

PM Najib Razak and consort Rosmah Mansor in a typical scene, waiving weil wishers before departing

They say charity begins at home. Unless Prime Minister Najib could ‘rationalise’ with facts that the Federal Government’s revenue have significantly increased and they are able to manage the ‘rationalisation of subsidies’ much better without passing the burden to the rakyat, then they should stop the opulence.

It is a sin for an elected leader to live in utter luxury, at the expense when so many upper lower income and lower middle class rakyat especially in the viscous cycle of urban poverty trap facing the hardship of rising cost and making ends meet.

Published in: on January 10, 2014 at 02:00  Comments (15)