AWO as ‘Red Box’ Minister?

AWO as the ‘Red Box’ Minister, to focus on the finance in PM Najib’s transformation agenda

Rumours circulating that Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is relinquishing his post as Minister of Finance and Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (in charge of EPU) Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar will replace him in a Cabinet reshuffle anytime soon.

Wahid who is Fellow Certified Accountant and member of Malaysian Institute of Accountants was the immediate past President of Maybank Group. Before that he was the CEO of Renong Group and Telekom Malaysia.

He has had more than 28 years of hard nose experience in merchant and investment banking, corporate finance, over all and turn around management in infrastructure, telecommunication and commercial banking is thought to be the best candidate to assume this job. His wealth of experience, which include macro economic and economic transformation planning the past two years would be invaluable to propel the nation forward under the stewardship of Prime Minister Najib.

Prime Minister Najib has less than five years to bring up the nation to a level befitting a developed nation status, as per envisaged by Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad when he started the initiative as ‘Vision 2020’ almost a quarter century ago.

He also wanted to reduce the deficit of the Malaysian economy, rationalise and restructure subsidies aimed for the needful lot and address the borrowings.

At the same time, all these initiatives are couple with economic transformation programs to propel the nation into a high value economy and provide more jobs and opportunities, especially in a vast growing younger Malaysian denomination and live up to the challenges of their expectations.

It makes perfect sense to have a full time Finance Minister, who is able to focus on both the strategy and tactical roll outs. The fact that Wahid is apolitical and play the role with utmost professionalism would be a boon for Prime Minister Najib to realise his transformation agenda for Malaysia.

Other names have also been floated around in the Cabinet reshuffle. This include a new Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Deputy Finance and Information and Communication Ministers.

Published in: on April 17, 2015 at 12:30  Comments (6)  

Noble intentions

Writer of the letter and Fourth Prime Minister and the dotting wife

The banter between Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak on several strategic issues, gets different perception from different people which include professionals below thirties.

7:54AM Apr 14, 2015
By Goh Wei Liang

I believe

I believe Dr Mahathir Mohamad had noble intentions when he raised a few questions publicly to the prime minister. At his age, what else could he possibly want? Dr Mahathir spent three decades of his life in government (22 years as PM) and continued to give advice on issues even after his retirement. He only wants what is best for the party and the soil that we stand on today – Malaysia.

I believe the prime minister still has the highest level of respect for Dr Mahathir, judging from his tone and angle during the Soal Jawab. The sacrifices and contributions Dr Mahathir made in developing unity and growing our economy throughout his years as prime minister are engraved in the hearts and memories of many of us. He gave the good years of his life to this country.

I believe Dr Mahathir’s questions on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) were fair. Many are confused with what’s happening. But the confusion stem from the complexity of the topic (money markets and corporate finance are dry topics to many) and further complicated by the many statements out there. There have been too many contradicting statements including those from the Treasury and 1MDB CEO.

Let’s not forget the fact that people also read Sarawak Report and The Edge’s stories on this topic. I wonder why the government or Treasury hasn’t setup a 1MDB Taskforce (Comms) just like we always do with other issues. If we are gonna talk, shouldn’t we have just one source, one voice and one storyline with solid facts?

I believe that the RM50 billion assets and RM42 billion liabilities are on the table as audited. But we must understand also that 1MDB is losing money with these assets and investments. Soon, the net assets will become net liabilities if we do not restructure not just the debt but also the subsidiaries and the operating procedures soon enough. We cannot depend only on monetising some of the ‘idle’ assets quickly, such as Tun Razak Exchange.

We must never forget those companies and transactions that cause 1MDB to be in the red. Otherwise, profits from TRX will just end up covering the losses elsewhere. I know we have the expertise in government, Treasury and other investment arms to help turn around this into a success and I believe we can.

I believe the prime minister has taken bold steps and was being transparent in his actions on 1MDB. He made the right move when he ordered the auditor-general to verify 1MDB accounts after which the report will be passed on to the Public Accounts Committee which comprises of opposition leaders like Tony Pua. Let’s be fair and honest here. Did you expect the prime minister to make this move? Surely not if you think he has something to hide.

Whatever reasons or explanation the prime minister gives on 1MDB will never be accepted by critics now. As supporters of the government, the party and as concerned citizens, we should wait for the auditor-general’s report on 1MDB before we comment further.

Table audit on 1MDB fast

I believe we should applaud the prime minister when he agreed with Umno Youth’s request that the audit should be thorough and completed as soon as possible. This is the single, most credible piece of document that could answer all questions out there, hopefully, and we must have it on the table fast.

I believe the Economic Planning Unit of both the federal and state government of Johor should come out publicly to share and explain the cost benefit analysis for the proposed crooked bridge (within the borders of Malaysia). The government can afford a bridge but the benefits must far outweigh the costs for anyone to invest in it. Besides environmental and legal issues, of course. Surely someone has done some studies on this project, no?

We have heard the argument that the bridge will allow ships of certain sizes to pass the Straits of Johor and it could boost the shipment volume in Tanjung Pelepas, Pasir Gudang and perhaps Kuantan. But there might be other issues and challenges that we don’t know and the agencies should not leave the prime minister in the shooting range. Speak up!

I believe the prime minister when he said that he did not order anyone to kill Altantuya and he has never met or known her. Swearing on the Quran is not a small matter. It is a grave and heinous sin if the truth is otherwise. And there is not a shred of evidence which links the victim to the prime minister. The closest we have seen was the doctored photo by an opposition leader.

I believe Dr Mahathir still cares for the prime minister and perhaps wanted to see a different side of him. The prime minister and Barisan Nasional must enter into the combative mode – attack and not backpedal to defend ourselves all the time. We must make a stand on policies and key issues, make it loud and clear. We need to focus on the details in whatever we do and whenever we communicate.

After all, in this age of digital and social media where information flows freely and perception is key in politics, we should be detailed, fast, strong and articulate or risk falling behind.

I believe with Dr Mahathir’s vast experience in politics and government, if both could still work with each other, Barisan Nasional will be at its strongest when that happens.

.
GOH WEI LIANG is a senior analyst at a government agency. He blogs at http://manifestogwl.blogspot.com

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

This is a letter published in Malaysiakini by a young man who grew up and benefitted from the nation building and growth during Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure. He has since looked up on the Statesman.

Mr. Goh is an economics graduate from Australia and crunch up numbers, for the purpose of measuring up and strategic planning in Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s transformation plan and agenda.

Mr. Goh’s letter makes most sense as compared to all the “We fully support the leadership of Prime Minister and UMNO President Najib” calls, almost daily events now being featured by mainstream media especially tv stations.

It is a good time for UMNO leaders to wise up quickly and learn something from young Mr. Goh.

Published in: on April 14, 2015 at 10:30  Comments (41)  

PLA protagonists’ powerful ploy

China People’s Liberation Army finally admitted using cyber-technology as an offensive weapon, affirming their position on their cyberspace prowess in the age where all walks of everyday life is dependent on communication and connectivity.

China (Finally) Admits to Hacking

An updated military document for the first time admits that the Chinese government sponsors offensive cyber units.

shannon-tiezzi
By Shannon Tiezzi
March 18, 2015

China’s military has finally pulled back the curtain on its cyber strategy, admitting for the first time that it (like countries around the world) has cyber units set up not only for defense, but for attack.

Officially, China’s line has always been that its government does not sponsor any form of hacking. Those denials rang hollow to foreign experts, however, who pointed both to evidence of Chinese cyberattacks and to the sheer folly of a country of China’s size and global importance not including cyberespionage in its intelligence-gathering arsenal.

Now Beijing may finally be ready to drop the charade. The updated edition of The Science of Military Strategy, an authoritative analysis of China’s military thinking, includes references to China’s cyber-warfare units. “This is the first time we’ve seen an explicit acknowledgement of the existence of China’s secretive cyber-warfare forces from the Chinese side,” Joe McReynolds of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis told The Daily Beast. “[T]hey’ve come out and said, ‘Yes, we do in fact have network attack forces, and we have teams on both the military and civilian-government sides.’”

The Science of Military Strategy, published in Chinese in 2001 (and translated into English in 2007) is a staple reference not only for Western scholars but for senior PLA strategists and decision makers, explains Andrew Erickson, an expert on Chinese military affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. The updated edition was published in Chinese in December 2013 but only recently became available to foreign analysts. China is well aware that the book is widely studied by foreign experts as well as Chinese military thinkers, meaning the reference to cyber-attack forces was likely a carefully considered decision.

McReynolds said China has dedicated cyber units operating in both the military and the civilian sphere. Within the PLA, China has “specialized military network warfare forces” for carrying out both offensive and defense cyber operations. China also has cyber specialists within civilian organizations, including the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Public Security, “authorized by the military to carry out network warfare operations.”

China has previously acknowledged that its military employs cyber experts – for example, a story about a 30-person “Blue Army” of PLA cyber-specialists made headlines in 2011. However, China continued to insist that its cyber capabilities were 100 percent focused on defending Chinese networks, rather than probing foreign systems for information or weaknesses. “The Blue Army’s main target is self-defense. We won’t initiate an attack on anyone,” a senior PLA official insisted when news of the unit’s existence broke.

Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry spokespeople have likewise consistently and categorically denied that the Chinese government sponsors hacking activities of any kind. Now that The Science of Military Strategy has stated otherwise, “[t]hey can’t make that claim anymore,” McReynolds said.

The news that China does, in fact, have units of cyber spies won’t be “earth-shattering” to foreign experts, James Lewis, an expert on China’s cyber strategies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Daily Beast (see here for more from Lewis on China’s cyber activities). However, the new openness on the part of the PLA could have long-lasting implications if it does turn out to be part of a policy shift.

The U.S. government has been seeking to entice more PLA transparency on cyber issues by openly explaining its own cyber-strategy. Those overtures hadn’t paid off – China continued to block any real discussion by denying it partakes in any cyber-espionage activities. The acknowledgement of offensive cyber units in The Science of Military Strategy may mean that Beijing is increasing cyber transparency, which could pave the way for discussions on the issue.

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

This very much attest the theory of China’s invasionary and dominance attitude.

Published in: on April 13, 2015 at 18:30  Comments (10)  

Mega Malaysia

image

Extending the legacy of growth, to propel the nation forward is a very tall order but it was expected of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak when he took the reigns of the Federal Government exactly six years ago this week.

Making Malaysia a great nation and realising its full potential as an extension if not value added to work already done the previous three and a half decades is what Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad expects from Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is able to do and deliver.

In twenty two and a third years, Tun Dr. Mahathir challenged odds in the transforming Malaysia. He introduced heavy industries and literally got the wheels in motion for Malaysia to be an automotive producing nation by his third year in office.

Islamic banking was introduced. Trade was multiplied and industrialisation was a big agenda. Infrastructure programs were planned and realised in mega proportions (then in the late eighties), where acts as the catalyst for domestic trade.

In short, everything was big. Really big for Malaysia and in the eyes of most Malaysians, then.

He did not give a toss whether it was popular or not, even by the people. He weighted the odds and went for it. Government owned utility and infrastructure service owners and providers were privatised and corporatised, to improved on efficiency and ability to expand without resting the burden on the government.

“If we need to alleviate the livelihood of the people, we gave them education, created jobs and provided opportunities. We didn’t give them money”, the Doctor who was in the House opposing to BR1M. “If they are really poor, then we help them. Its our responsibility. But not like this!”.

All these sounds about what British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did, despite being very unpopular when her ballsiness.  Regardless, these bold strategic actions did pay off. British economy grew into into a powerhouse in the late eighties.

Then Malaysia too, had the progressive growth bullish enough to project the nation to be propelled as a developed nation’s status by thirty years time. Launching it in 1991, Tun Dr. Mahathir calls it ‘Vision 2020’.

Tun Dr. Mahathir saw the pace and adreline steaming towards 2020 being dismantled during the bleak leadership of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Despite having a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ of not interfering, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah was the one who broke promised when he cancelled all the projects and programs decided and agreed during Tun Dr. Mahathir’s time.

It was exactly nine years ago this week Tun Dr. Mahathir openly went against PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah. It was because the latter unilaterally cancelled the ‘Scenic Bridge Replacing the Johor Causeway’. This was despite then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in writing didn’t oppose Malaysia’s intention to remove the causeway and replaced it with a bridge on Malaysia’s side of the waters.

GCT I

GCT II

GCT III

GCT IV

CGT V

Tun Dr. Mahathir expected Prime Minister Najib to reinstate the project and reclaim the ‘face lost’ when PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah cancelled it, which was seen favouring Singapore instead upholding the pride of Malaysia is free to do what we want at our end. However, Prime Minister Najib had a different approach and agenda when dealing with Singapore.

Then multi billion Ringgit burning contention is the 1MDB. The interview with Hamdan Ahmir did see Prime Minister Najib providing answers, However, those aren’t to the questions Tun Dr. Mahathir raised.

“Yes, I watched it”, stating it with his usual smirk.

“All these AG’s (Auditor General) report takes time. Would there be any investigative audit? How long before we get to know all these?”.

We did ask him about his call for Prime Minister Najib to withdraw and pass the baton on to someone else. “What should the new Prime Minister do (for 1MDB)?”.

“Bite the bullet. Even if it breaks his teeth. We will lose some but its alright”.

On politics, Tun Dr. Mahathir opined that despite doing so much and involved is so many programs, Prime Minister Najib faired worse than his predecessor.

“The ‘Sleepy Head’ even did better than him!”.

He stressed that the Chinese are not with Prime Minister Najib. “It would not work (without the Chinese). When the Malays were not with me (during his last election, 10GE November 1999) because of ‘Mata Lebam’ (Anwar Ibrahim’s black eye), the Chinese were all out supporting me. I won more than two third (majority in Dewan Rakyat)”.

“The Malays are divided. The Chinese are not with him. How to win (14GE)?”, the simple analysis. Since the formation of Barisan Nasional (BN) by PM Najib’s late father Tun Abd Razak Hussein in 1973, the latter led BN to win its first at the 4GE. When PM Najib led BN to face his first (13GE), the coalition faired the worst performance of 10 GEs.

“I want to see Malaysia to be great”, the sincere parting words of an old man who did so much for nation building.

Like it or not, this man with a very sharp mind despite of being short of a decade to be a centenarian, in his stride defied unimaginable odds to win in the toughest of all challenges. Economic, political and global.

In the course, he did transform the nation into a different landscape, on all sides. Malaysia was put in global map as a trading nation and also on the global diplomacy arena.

Malaysia was even a nation of impeccable principle when he committed armed forces for the peace keeping role in Bosnia, when the Europeans and Americans were still wishy-washy about it.

It is obvious that Prime Minister Najib could learn from the vast experience, strategic perspective and wisdom of a man who was actually part of his father’s Cabinet after the Great Tun won his only GE after Barisan Nasional was born and the New Economic Plan was introduced.

It is a perfect time to do mid-term review. Some serious restructuring (Cabinet, Khazanah, GLCs, civil service, commissions) must be done and course correction put in place, necessary to move forward. Prime Minister Najib should get Tun Dr. Mahathir actively involved in some of these capacities.

After all, he has proven to be engaged globally for this thoughts and visions. This is on top assuming the position and role of Chairman of the Proton BoD.

Then again, Prime Minister Najib should be the bigger man and work with Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, in the course of nation building to make the Mega Malaysia. It is not quite suffice with  just the proclamation of respect.

Published in: on April 12, 2015 at 11:00  Comments (14)  

Power to the people

It is sublime when one amongst peers enabled by law to increase one’s pay. Especially the pay rise is 75% from the current salary and over all, an increased package of 39%.

image

MPs give themselves RM4,500 pay raise

Published: 10 April 2015 7:53 AM

According to a report by Bernama, the bill to hike the salaries and allowances of members of Parliament was deferred to the current sitting of Parliament from the previous.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, when tabling the bill for second reading, said the amendments were made due to current factors which were challenging to the members of Parliament.

“In addition, the duty of the members of Parliament is getting heavier in carrying out the high hopes of the people, and this will boost the spirit of the elected representatives to work with more commitment and dedication,” he said.
The bill provides for the monthly salary of a member of Parliament to be raised to RM16,000 from RM11,500, members of the Dewan Negara from RM7,000 to RM11,000, Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker and Dewan Negara Deputy president from RM16,000 to RM22,000 and Dewan Rakyat Speaker and Dewan Negara president from RM20,000 to RM31,000.

Currently, members of Parliament receive a basic pay of RM6,508.59 a month besides a monthly allowance of RM5,000 for entertainment, driver’s pay, travel and handphone bill.

They are also paid a meeting allowance of RM200 a day when attending Parliamentary sittings and a daily allowance of RM150 to attend meetings with government agencies.

On November 27 last year, the Dewan postponed the bill after no agreement was achieved on the matters discussed. – Bernama, April 10, 2015

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

The new package for MPs brought their salary equivalent to JUSA B/C officers in civil service. This scale is not withstanding the claims that the MPs are allowed to make, by attending Parliament.

It is not reflective to the frugal lifestyle which the rakyat have to endure in the midst of rising cost of living.

Taking into consideration that MPs volunteer to offer themselves as candidates in GEs, it is interesting the “first amongst equals” have the democratic power to reward themselves. This is not withstanding the consideration that a pay rise indexed to market growth.

 

Published in: on April 10, 2015 at 09:30  Comments (3)  

Bring in the Marines

Finally, Government has brought in the MOF in-house consulting group which has tremendous illustrious experience in capital restructuring, debt recovery and cash-flow management, as a solution to resolve 1MDB’s woes which drew too much attention and a lot of flak from so many quarters.

The Star story:

Prokhas steps into 1MDB

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

PETALING JAYA: Prokhas Sdn Bhd, the in-house restructuring outfit of the Finance Ministry (MoF), has been tasked to help sister company 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) deal with cash-flow problems tied to its debt obligations.

It is learnt that Prokhas was roped in to assist 1MDB, which needs about RM5bil this year to meet its debt obligations.

“Prokhas has come into the picture, which is why CIMB Investment Bank Bhd that was appointed two weeks ago to look into the sale of 1MDB’s energy assets has been out of the job,” said a source.

The amount due this year is largely to cover the payment of a US$975mil term loan taken by 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd that falls due on Aug 31 this year. At the current exchange rate of 3.64 to the US dollar, the maturing term loan is valued at RM3.55bil.

1MDB Energy Holdings is the energy unit of 1MDB that was supposed to list by the first quarter of this year under the new name of Edra Global Energy Bhd. But 1MDB withdrew its proposal on Feb 28 this year because it could not meet the listing requirements.

“CIMB was roped in to arrange for the sale of Edra Energy, which is about the only asset that can be sold immediately to raise funds for 1MDB to help meet its debt obligations,” said a banker.

But its mandate was terminated on April 1 – just a week after the investment bank was appointed.

The other portion of the RM5bil obligation this year comes from interest cost totalling around RM1.4bil on all other outstanding loans that 1MDB has taken over the last five years.

1MDB is RM41.9bil in debt to fund a buying binge over the past five years, as the company built up a portfolio of power and energy assets, as well as amassing prime landbanks earmarked for future development.

While the power plants acquired from Genting Bhd and Tanjong Plc are generating some cashflow for the company, it is not enough to cover its interest cost and planned development expenditure.

Last year, 1MDB had to defer a debt payment taken to finance the purchase of Tanjong’s power plants in 2012 for RM8.5bil.

An outstanding amount of RM2bil was finally settled with the assistance of billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan, who owns Tanjong, after two delays.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah had, in his winding-up speech in Parliament on March 25, said that the Government had formed a special task force to look into 1MDB’s performance, as well as the debts borne by the firm.

He had earlier in March told Parliament that 1MDB’s financial position was “unsustainable” with a cashflow problem.

The Government, Husni said, had already extended RM950mil to 1MDB as a “standby credit” facility to address its short-term financial needs.

The firm generated a revenue of RM4.26bil for the year ended March 31, 2014, but reported a loss of RM665mil as finance cost ballooned to RM2.4bil.

As it is, 1MDB’s total US dollar-denominated borrowings stand at a staggering US$7.5bil, or RM27bil, at the current exchange rate.

Based on these outstanding debts, 1MDB’s interest payment cost amounts to at least RM1.2bil a year over the next seven years.

In 2022, the massive US$3bil bonds taken by 1MDB Global Investment Ltd will reach maturity.

1MDB is 100%-owned by the MoF, but unlike other Government-linked investment companies, the ministry has never had board representation in the company.

But as worries about 1MDB’s financial obligations are reaching a boiling point, the Government has taken a more active role.

Prokhas is a special project outfit under the MoF and is involved in various corporate restructuring work for the Government. The company was set up in 2005 to take over the role of Danaharta Nasional Bhd.

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

Pro-Khas was an SPV created by then Minister of Finance Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as a solution after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-8 saw the 38 banks and financial institutions were laden with bad debts and non performing loans.

It came into operation the day Tun Dr. Mahathir took the reign of the MOF and the economy, which was bleeding due to the currency attack mounted by hedge fund managers led by George Soros.

All of these bad debts and NPLs were taken over by Danaharta and systematically hived off, so that the financial institutions could focus on their business as banks and finance companies.

Amongst the outcomes are the banking system and capital-debt market did not crash and completely paralysed commerce and the economy. The rationalisation of the banking-financial system and capital-debt market provided opportunity where local banks are merged into six groups and the fittest stockbrokers survived.

That provided opportunities for new universal stockbroking licenses were issued then onwards and boutique investment bankers started to colour the capital-debt market, which provided the catalyst to commerce and expand the economy.

This is something that Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak should have taken much earlier and quashing the opportunity for so much loose talk and speculations been made about the Government’s strategic investment house.

Pro-Khas is a very familiar and credible entity to resolve capital-debt related issues, which was initiated by the Government and put the debt and capital market back on track in a short span of time.

The same time, transparency is required to absolve the leadership and 1MDB which undergone so much attention in bad light and put 1MDB back on track.

Amongst many other programs designed for the majority of Malaysians in the rural areas, 1MDB has been providing a lot CSR projects, especially in utmost remote and under developed areas and settlements. It specifically enabled the fast track solution which alleviated the delivery of infrastructure such as electrification, processed water and communications.

This initiative is a good move indeed. Never the less, the story about 1MDB still needed to be told for all the right reasons.

Published in: on April 8, 2015 at 11:00  Comments (4)  

The Lame Blame Game

The failure of Opposition MPs to co-ordinate themselves to defeat the Government on amendments to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) Bill was passed without changes, resulted to the lame blame game amongst the partners-of-unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows.

Pakatan MPs defend absenteeism in Parliament after anti-terror law passed unchanged

BY SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL

Tuesday April 7, 2015
02:54 PM GMT+8

ICYMI

Tottenham Hotspur to play post-season friendly in Kuala LumpurTottenham Hotspur to play post-season friendly in Kuala Lumpur

Chong Wei awaits moment of truth in Amsterdam this SaturdayChong Wei awaits moment of truth in Amsterdam this Saturday

Singaporeans to get a taste of London’s MEATliquor burgersSingaporeans to get a taste of London’s MEATliquor burgers

Going to work in Singapore? Allegations of bias hiring is top grouseGoing to work in Singapore? Allegations of bias hiring is top grouse
KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — On the defensive after the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Bill was passed unchanged today, opposition lawmakers blamed the Home Ministry for what they claimed to be undue haste in pushing through the new law that revives preventive detention.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs said their 26 colleagues who were missing during the debate of the bill in the Dewan Rakyat last night had “legitimate” reasons for skipping out, adding that there was no prior instruction for all opposition lawmakers to be present.

“When tabling laws like this, they should give more time as the Act is not a small issue,” PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad told Malay Mail Online, referring to the Home Ministry.

“Don’t make it normal practice to drag proceedings until 2am,” he added when met at the Parliament lobby.

PAS chief whip Datuk Mahfuz Omar, who was himself absent last night, claimed that he had no idea there would be block voting on the anti-terror law.

“I had a planned engagement in Kedah.There was no instruction for us to be present.

“I did not know there would be block voting,” he told Malay Mail Online.

PKR chief whip Datuk Johari Abdul played down the absence of PR MPs, saying that “most” of the them were present.

“Most of them were, only a few were not here and we had concrete reasons,” Johari, who was also absent said.

But DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua asserted that most of his party’s were present, and that federal lawmakers were aware that the Pota would be deliberated yesterday.

“We were here. Of course there would be block voting, the point is to be prepared for that,” he told Malay Mail Online.

The Pota was passed without amendment at the Dewan Rakyat at about 2.25am this morning after a debate of more than 12 hours.

The bill was passed after the ninth block voting, with the final voting favouring the government when 79 MPs from Barisan Nasional (BN) agreeing on the bill while 60 MP from PR disagreed.

Tabled in Parliament last Monday, Putrajaya’s proposed new law will allow authorities to detain suspected terrorists without bringing them to court for up to two years, with a Prevention of Terrorism Board (POTB) empowered to renew the detention order for an indeterminate amount of time.

Judicial reviews of such sentences are not permitted, according to the Bill, except for questions on its compliance with procedural matters.

Opposition lawmakers have claimed such provisions mirror that of the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 which was often used to silence political opposition to the establishment.

They also argued that the government already have strong existing laws like the Special Security Offences (Special Measures) Act to deal with terrorism, noting that it allows for long detention for investigation.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not address the question but argued that existing laws were not equipped with preventive powers, which is required to deal specifically with terrorism.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pakatan-mps-defend-absenteeism-in-parliament-that-passed-anti-terror-law-un#sthash.1lugUqQu.dpuf

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

In an extended several proposals by Opposition MPs which include notable lawyers such as N Sunrendan and Mohamed Hanipa Maideen to make changes to the POTA Bill.  The whole process saw these proposals being debated and voted and Dewan Rakyat sitting ended at 0225hrs earlier today.

Despite some heated exchanges between MPs of both side of the augur chamber, the Opposition failed to change the Bill which was introduced and defended by Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

NST story:

Dewan Rakyat passes POTA without amendment

7 APRIL 2015 @ 7:30 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prevention of Terrorism Bill (POTA) 2015 was passed without amendment at the Dewan Rakyat at about 2.25am after a debate of more than 12 hours.

The bill was passed after the ninth block voting, with the final voting favouring the government when 79 members of parliament (MPs) agreeing on the bill while 60 disagreed.

Earlier, the bill which was smoothly debated at the policy stage, passed through a difficult committee stage when numerous amendments were proposed by opposition members of parliament to the extent that the debate and winding up stage had extended into the early morning.

The situation was made more difficult when the opposition insisted on amending almost all the 35 Clauses, forcing eight block voting to be carried out for each motion for amendment proposed throughout the debate at the committee stage before the final vote was made to pass the bill.

However, all the block voting ended with the vote favouring the government, thus rejecting the motions for amendment proposed by the opposition.

Among the motions for amendments proposed by the opposition were for the rank of the police officers involved in the arrest of any suspected person should not be lower than a Superintendent and for the period of remand not to exceed 14 days compared to 21 days as the proposed in the bill.

The opposition also proposed for several provisions, including under Article 13-28 concerning detention order and restriction be scrapped as they were described as having mala fide (bad intention).

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi when winding up the debate at the committee stage said the government was not in the opinion that the amendment proposed by the opposition should be made now.

He said POTA should be seen with the eyes of faith to really understand the government’s intention in introducing the law, while at the same time, should not be compared to the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959.

Earlier, when winding up the debate at the policy stage, Ahmad Zahid said the element of rehabilitation was the main priority in the implementation of Pota.

He pointed out that this was because Pota could not be viewed only from the legal aspect alone as it was more ‘preventive’ in nature.

“The element of rehabilitation on the detainees is a priority. The detention record of the detainees to the extent that the act was abolished, that is, from a total of 10,800 ISA detainees, 90 per cent were successfully rehabilitated,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid also gave an assurance that Pota would not be abused and no one who had political differences of differing opinion would be detained under this law.

“This is the transparency of the present government where we allow the freedom of political differences,” he said.– BERNAMA

***********

The fact that Opposition MPs fail to co-ordinate amongst themselves intra and inter party for this Bill is reflective of the coalition is getting brittle by the day.

Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 18:30  Comments (7)  

Rolling out the ‘3L’ program

Former Opposition Leader and now sodomy and sexual deviant convict Anwar Ibrahim’s petition for a Royal Pardon has failed. So it is time to capitalise this opportunity and make the best of it.

The Malay Mail online story:

Anwar denied royal pardon, say lawyers

Wednesday April 1, 2015
10:01 AM GMT+8

ICYMI

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Malaysia has rejected a petition seeking a royal pardon for jailed opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is serving a five-year prison term for sodomy, his lawyers said today.

The petition was filed by Anwar’s family in February after his sentence was upheld by Malaysia’s highest court. There was no immediate comment about the ruling from Malaysia’s government.

Anwar, who once posed the greatest threat to Malaysia’s long-ruling coalition, was found guilty of sodomising a former aide, a charge that he said was a politically motivated attempt to end his career.

He was head of a three-party opposition alliance that made stunning gains in the 2013 election, which for the first time raised the prospect of a genuine challenge to the coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.

Anwar was the ruling party’s rising star in the 1990s until he fell out with then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. His family and political party have voiced concern about his health and conditions in prison since his sentence was upheld. — Reuters

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/anwar-denied-royal-pardon-say-lawyers#sthash.tlTYCwWQ.dpuf

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

Anwar’s political career will end here too.After this, the Director General of Prisons probably would write to the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and His Excellency would do what is provided in the Federal Constitution; declare Permatang Pauh Parliamentary seat vacant.

The Star story:

Published: Friday March 27, 2015 MYT 10:25:00 AM
Updated: Friday March 27, 2015 MYT 2:56:43 PM

Anwar no longer Permatang Pauh MP, says lawyer

BY CHRISTINE CHEAH

KUALA LUMPUR: Senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh says the petition for a royal pardon over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction by his family has been disposed, and he is no longer Permatang Pauh MP.

“Our stand is a decision has been made. The Constitution has spoken for itself,” Amarjeet said to reporters.

However, Anwar’s lawyers N. Surendran, Latheefa Koya and Dr Dheeraj Bhar said the decision by the Pardons Board was not confirmed and would only be made known in the Appellate and Special Powers Court here on Wednesday.

The decision was conveyed to Anwar’s lawyers in the form of an affidavit issued by Datuk Nursiah Arshad, the Prime Minister’s Department legal affairs director-general, who is also part of the Pardons Board secretariat.

Amarjeet said the applicants had asked for the delay in announcing the decision in order to convey it to Anwar first.

Surendran confirmed that neither Anwar nor his family was informed of the decision, which was made Thursday.

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

He then will inform the Election Commission Chairman and the EEC would convene to decide on the by-election for the rakyat of the said constituency to be given their right, for an MP to be elected and represent them in Parliament.

PKR is facing disintegration. Along with it, the Opposition loose coalition of (un)holy-marriage-of-(in)conveniences-between-back-stabbing-strange-bedfellows would disintegrate too.

The cracks are very clear when DAP CEC issued a statement that they no longer want to work with PAS President Dato’ Seri Hadi Awang, because of Hudud. Hadi is not an Opposition Leader without experience or contribution. He was one time the Opposition Leader in Parliament (11th Parliament Nov 1999-Apr 2004).

The best to do now is salvage whatever reminiscence of Anwar’s political tracks and make it satirical.

Probably someone could make a bit of money, as Anwar’s bizarre political legacy could be preserved so that more especially younger Malaysians could have the opportunity what he did and how he tried to burn the nation down, for his quest for power and hoodwink people for his in-despicable lust and sexual addiction.

The Prisons Department could provide one corner within any of the prisons complex and do a showcase centre about Anwar Ibrahim’s life; a fiery student leader, ISA detainee, admission into UMNO, won the 6GE and given a post as a Deputy Minister, toppling UMNO Youth Chief and eventually toppling UMNO Deputy President and taking over as Deputy Prime Minister with Minister of Finance job.

During these times, Anwar had several despicable sexual habits of buggering up men, adulteration with married women and fornication.

He was exposed by the Special Branch of the Royal Malaysian Police in 1993 but then Prime Minitser Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was not convinced enough until 2 September 1998 when he was summarily sack from all Cabinet posts. A day later, UMNO Supreme Council sacked him as a party member.

He riled up the people with voracious and malignant lies about Dr. Mahathir, his closes Cabinet colleagues, IGP, AG and eventually the entire Federal Government system and got too many to rise against the system in a massive mobstreet-styled demonstration, known as ‘Reformasi’.

‘Reformasi’ later became transformed as a political party, KeAdilan and PKN later combined with the Partai Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia to become Parti KeAdilan Rakyat as we know today.

The showcase centre would serve as a facility to exhibit the chronology of Anwar’s life; as an anarchist, political animal and sexual deviant. Artifacts and video footages would be displayed. Most of all, at the end of the showcase, visitors are allowed to view Anwar’s lifestyle as a sodomy convict through looking glasses.

This special program, which would we opened to public should be called as ‘Lawat, Libur, Liwat’ of the ‘3L’ program. The number of visitors admitted in day should be limited because Anwar is an old man (68 years old). Hence, the hours that visitors are allowed to have a peek at him through the glass (probably during his reading, feeding or political pantomimes) should be limited to probably 4-5 hours a day only.

It is in a way a living monument for the nation to honour Anwar as a failed politician, citizen, family head and probably someone who is supposed to embrace the teaching of God.

Most of all, Malaysians could benefit from the entire end-to-end big picture truth and watch for themselves a sick man who for a few times almost became the Prime Minister. After all, Anwar Ibrahim was an addict of attention even though how negative it was and he would enjoy meeting five thousand new faces every weekend and public holidays, if not everyday.

The mini gift shop at the end of this facility could provide jobs and activities for thousands of inmates of the Malaysian prison system, via the cottage industry program.

Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 10:44  Comments (11)  

Divine

image

Generally, in many counts Malaysians are bent against changes. Even when these changes brought about progression.

The story captured is from Facebook posting of the Kedah-northern-most-small-town-of-Kokdiang-born Norizan bin Shariff. He is also very well known in the cybersphere as Nobisha.

The negative-mindedness of these small village local surau clergies is so bizarre that they are even willing to charge then Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad with such unimaginable slander for wanting to be divine. Just because of synchronising the clock between Semenanjung and Sabah and Sarawak.

Same goes with the consumption tax introduced in Budget 2014 (October 2013), Goods and Sales Tax (GST), which comes into force today. Ministry of Finance issued a brief to explain GST broadly.

Just like the synchronisation of the clock almost thirty four years ago, changes brought upon questions by the dis-informed society. Like the clock story, rather than getting more information, many would rather speculate, manipulate and ridicule which adds to the confusion further.

Earlier was the Hudud Enactment, unanimously passed by the Kelantan State Assembly. Even learned ones refuse to deploy proper methods and processes despite the hype surrounding then the propose Bill, which had so huge traction through time.

When it was passed, many reacted in very childish mannerism although they proclaim to champion the many universal values but being stupid about things and issues that they disagree or not music to their ears. The media that prop their agenda even lied about it.

When they are dealt with, they are unable to deal with their own lies based on inability to respect the overwhelming wishes of the Kelantanese people.

In different ways, the synchronisation of time then and introduction and enforcement of GST is for the betterment of Malaysia.

Maybank Group President Dato' Abdul Farid Alias's statement on GST

Maybank Group President Dato’ Abdul Farid Alias’s statement on GST

We believe, in time these people today who ridicule GST would be proven wrong.

Benefits of the GST are expected to provide the uptrend in export and mechanism for a more balanced Federal Government budget which expected to be surplus by the time the nation enters the developed nation status by 2020.

Unfortunately, some of these information and mechanisms are probably too technical for the average Malaysians’ immediate consumption. It is like combining the understanding of the mechanism of a new tax with macro economy and monetarist policy, all in the same breadth.

The simple diagram to explain the effect of GST to consumers through the supply chain

The simplified diagram to explain the effect of SST to consumers through the supply chain

Hardly it is impossible to translate them in making the common people understand better. Its more likely the case of not doing enough.

Then again, trying hard enough must include the effort to simplify it for the consumption of the majority. For instance, in the words of a blogger who contributed so much in translating economics language into chewable food for thoughts, “I think the most important reason for backing GST is that its the one instrument that can raise enough revenue to properly fund the required social transfers to make a real dent in inequality“.

Simplified diagram to explain the mechanism of GST

The simplified diagram to explain the mechanism of GST

What is the downside of this episode is that all the Federal Government agencies and departments had a full eighteen months to work out the whole strategic communication strategy and roll out plan.

The synchronisation of information gathering, strategic communication planning, roll out of medium term and tactical plan and timing of dissemination of information isn’t godly at all. However systemic failure, should be seen as sinful.

Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 00:37  Comments (2)