A sound decision

Minister in-charge of Islamic Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department Maj. Gen. Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Baharom admitted the Tabung Haji parcel for luxury residence in Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) which was with malice made contentious by a rogue blogger slightly over six months ago, is too valuable to be hived away.

The Malay Mail online story:

LTH land in TRX too profitable to sell, minister says

Tuesday December 29, 2015

 

 

According to Malaysiakini, the minister said this in a parliamentary reply on December 3 when explaining the delay behind the fund’s plan in May to sell the 1.56-acre plot.

“The land at TRX has high value in terms of integrated development, strategic location and return on investments,” Jamil Khir was quoted saying in the reply to PAS’s Temerloh MP Nasrudin Hassan.

The minister, citing news reports, also said that LTH had purchased the plot for RM2,773 per square foot (psf) when other buyers paid between RM3,000psf and RM4,500psf.

He added that the purchase is expected to rake in an estimated profit of about RM177.5 million.

Nasrudin had reportedly asked Putrajaya to explain why LTH had delayed selling the TRX land.

LTH had purchased the land from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) for RM188.5 million in April but was subjected to much scrutiny from various parties for allegedly using public funds to bail out the state investor.

The pilgrimage fund made a decision to immediately sell off the land soon after but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak insisted in August that LTH was making a mistake by doing so.

He instead said the negative perception towards TRX and the land deal was created by people with bad intentions, who wanted to “create negative perception on the deal”.

LTH has yet to sell off the land despite promising to do so by end of May.

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

In early May, a blogger with the malicious intent to demonise Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s leadership broke a story which revealed part truth of TH acquisition of the 67,954 sq. ft. parcel for strategic commercial purpose. It was portrayed that monies of old and poor folks saved in the TH scheme was “Plundered by pirates, to cover for 1MDB financial scandals”.

Undoubtedly, it was with the malice intent to rile up the Malays against Prime Minister Najib and topple him.

As an immediate reaction, TH Chairman Dato’ Seri Azeez Rahim announced that the parcel would be hived off quickly, to recover the investment and bring the matter to rest.

It is a very sound decision to keep the plot. The potential of TRX is enormous. It is proven with the various interest shown and deals quickly taken up, for strategic commercial investments with the newest luxury district within Kuala Lumpur.

Published in: on December 30, 2015 at 14:03  Comments (1)  

The greatest and last

Published in: on December 24, 2015 at 12:56  Leave a Comment  

Bridging the Gap

Minister of Rural and Regional Development Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob initiative to give a leg up to Bumiputera ICT traders and retailers as part of the Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s policy of empowering the Bumiputera economy, has transpired with the initial success of MARA Digitial.

The above the expected demand and sales of the Bumiputera ICT traders and retailers’  first ten days provided the initiative good motivation to replicate the program to other states, despite skepticism.

Channel News Asia story:

Mixed reactions to Malaysia’s first digital mall for Bumiputera traders

The MARA Digital Mall in Kuala Lumpur is the first of a series of Bumiputera-only malls planned across the nation. It is part of the nation’s longstanding policy of affirmative action for ethnic Malays and indigenous groups.

By Sumisha Naidu, Malaysia Correspondent, Channel NewsAsia
Posted 18 Dec 2015 21:43 Updated 18 Dec 2015 22:21

KUALA LUMPUR: In early December, Malaysia launched its “first” digital mall exclusively for traders who are Bumiputera, the collective term for the ethnic Malays and indigenous groups who make up the majority of the Malaysian population.

For six months, shop-owners at the MARA Digital Mall in Kuala Lumpur will not have to pay rent, all part of Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s plans to help “disadvantaged” Bumiputera entrepreneurs break into a lucrative market.

At a press conference, he said: “The opportunities for Bumiputera at other IT malls are scarce. At other IT malls, the rent is too high so the ability of Bumiputera entrepreneurs to rent these places are limited. And the opportunities given for Bumiputera entrepreneurs to rent at these malls are very limited. So we have to provide a place where they can afford the rent and so on.”

The launch of the Bumiputera mall comes months after a protest in July, sparked by a petty theft case at Low Yat Plaza, a digital mall occupied primarily by ethnic Chinese traders.

The mainly Malay protesters accused Chinese traders of swindling Malay customers by overcharging them and selling counterfeit products. In September, these claims were echoed by another group of Malay protesters outside Petaling Street, also known as Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.

Minister Ismail Sabri then announced plans for the mall in Kuala Lumpur that would give Malay and other Bumiputera traders a level playing field. He said the wheels are now in motion for more such malls to be set up across the country.

It is an idea that has been welcomed by Malay traders who say they have faced discrimination.

“Sometimes when you apply to rent out shop lots, the mall will see what company you’re from, if you’re Malay … If you are, they’ll put aside your application first and prioritise Chinese,” one security camera shop worker told Channel NewsAsia.

Other Malaysians, however, have ridiculed the move on social media.

CHAMPIONING MALAY INTERESTS

But policies championing the rights and advancement of the “native” people of Malaysia are nothing new. The New Economic Policy detailing affirmative action policies was introduced in the 1970s and UMNO, the largest party in the only ruling coalition Malaysia has ever known, is dedicated to championing Malay interests and their “special position”, as recognised in the constitution.

These are policies that have caused tensions in the past among Malaysia’s multi-ethnic population, which includes Chinese and Indians who have lived in the nation for generations.

One of the fiercest advocates for the need for affirmative action for Bumiputera was the nation’s longest-serving prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But speaking to his supporters on the sidelines of December’s UMNO General Assembly, Dr Mahathir lamented that current Prime Minister Najib Razak had replaced his pro-Bumiputera policies with a more inclusive “1Malaysia” approach.

He accused the Prime Minister of taking away more scholarship spots from needy Malays and giving them to the ethnic Chinese. “1Malaysia means priority is no longer given to Malays and Bumiputeras so that they can improve their economic prospects so they are at the same level as Chinese,” he said.

“I don’t hate other ethnicities but the fact of the matter is they’re richer, they have more opportunities than us,” added Dr Mahathir.

But analyst Amir Fareed Rahim from the KRA Group said that while ethnic Malays may still have some catching up to do in certain areas, it may be time to revisit the notion of socio-economic disparities based on ethnicity.

He told Channel NewsAsia: “There is a growing gap between the rich and the poor in Malaysia and when this happens, you must not look at it from a racial point of view but look at it from an economic perspective. You should help alleviate everyone into a better economic standard rather than looking into races and trying to champion certain causes.”

“IT WILL DESTROY THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF MALAYSIA”

Still, the special position of Bumiputera remains a no-compromise area for many UMNO members and its voter base.

Dr Mahathir accused Mr Najib of suddenly espousing “Malayness” at the recent UMNO AGM because he is “desperate” to win their support.

The Prime Minister and UMNO chairman has been fighting off unproven allegations of corruption, many of them hurled against him by Dr Mahathir himself.

At his opening speech at the general assembly, Mr Najib pledged greater efforts to help Bumiputera and boasted of UMNO’s success in getting the special privileges of Bumiputera recognised at an international level through the 12-nation free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

He told UMNO delegates: “We have made history whereby the TPP members have accepted and acknowledged the Bumiputera policy as part of the terms to the TPP on a global level. This means the UMNO struggle has succeeded, and the Bumiputera agenda is no longer just a national agenda. Now the Bumiputera agenda has been elevated and acknowledged on an international level.”

During the same speech, Mr Najib extended an olive branch to Islamist party PAS, a former member of the now-defunct opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat.

The move has been viewed as the first steps toward a potential alliance with PAS that could shore up a solid win for UMNO in the next general elections – due by 2018 – thanks to PAS’ strong Malay-Muslim voter base.

But analysts cautioned that this partnership would not be well-received by Malaysia’s non-Muslim population, especially because of PAS’ well-known push to implement a Shariah penal code in the nation.

UMNO’s partners in ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), are unlikely to be supportive of the move either.

Said Mr Amir: “This PAS-UMNO cooperation in theory makes sense for UMNO. But we must ask the question, at what cost? We understand in the political field that when you go into absolutes, going for the totality of votes for one single segment of society, then you lose the bigger picture.

“The PAS-UMNO cooperation, though it may benefit Malay parties in the short run, in the long run, it will destroy the social fabric of Malaysia. It will create a very hegemonic Malay polity that is not what the founding fathers had in mind when this nation was founded.”

But the ethnic minority vote may now be a low priority for UMNO, after significant swings by Chinese voters toward the Opposition at the last general election.

– CNA/ms

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

Some of the traders and retailers in the new MARA Digital managed to source their products from the importers without middlemen, thus able to pass to the consumers a wider range of competitive products and offerings.

This program should be nurtured further beyond the 6 months rent-free as announced by the Minister, with agencies for the development of Bumiputera entrepreneurial and commercial programs coming up with new packages and commercial development programs.

Good financing and letter of credit would enable the expansion of sourcing of goods. Technical support is also a key ingredient of after sales and maintenance program. These would provide upstream the economies of scale, which would be translated in competitive goods offered to consumer.

There on, it should be infused with programs such as vendor and franchise development to enable more Bumiputera traders and retailers be created.

The critics should appreciate this affirmative action program is a progressive form of positive discrimination.

Malaysians should support Ismail Sabri’s blue ocean strategy, as a next phase to the development for the New Economic Policy for the Bumiputera to participate in the retail sector, originally brought forth by Second Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein.

Published in: on December 19, 2015 at 18:00  Leave a Comment  

False fearture for FGV

image

Errand social media users with ill intent to demonise the FGV Group of Companies for the purpotedly bad medical letter guarantee for the employees, have been viralising the fake information.

FGV issued an official denial to quash all these bad press, which already ridiculled many of the workforce.

This is clearly an abuse of the democracy for information with the advancement of technology and content for communications.

This is not the first case of such abuse. Earlier yesterday, false information of demise of Jalan Ampas film industry legend Tan Sri Jins Shamsuddin viralled in social media.

Published in: on December 18, 2015 at 15:45  Leave a Comment  

Is the ‘unexplained sum’ actually was interest income?

In 1MDB’s reply of the WSJ’s erroneous posting of USD850million transferred to the British Virgin Island accounts via three different transaction, it is believed that the USD690million to many ‘yet to be explained’ is actually interest income.

1MDB press realease:

Media statement by 1Malaysia Development Berhad

Issued on 17 December 2015
For immediate publication

We note with surprise that the Wall Street Journal continues its campaign to malign 1MDB, a campaign based on old and recycled allegations which were first published by an online blog, now known to be working hand in glove with certain political interests in Malaysia.

In fact, it is interesting that a number of opposition leaders and publications openly sympathetic to the opposition republished and commented on this latest article barely minutes after it was published, raising questions as to whether this too is part of a broader orchestrated campaign against 1MDB.

The fact is that the allegations contained within this article are simply a regurgitation of old claims carried by the Wall Street Journal in September, which it has re-written and re-published without offering any new information or evidence.

The timing of the article also raises questions, coming as it does at a time when 1MDB has made significant progress with its rationalisation process, as reflected in the successful execution of a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with CGN Group, and the impending selection of a preferred development partner for its Bandar Malaysia project.

With respect to 1MDB’s past dealings with IPIC, the two companies continue to enjoy a strong business relationship. This was reflected in the execution of a binding term sheet that saw IPIC assume obligation for a USD3.5 billion bond principal and interest, currently held by 1MDB, and followed a USD1 billion cash payment made by IPIC to 1MDB in June 2015.

Furthermore, IPIC has since reaffirmed its commitment to working with 1MDB via a public statement issued in October 2015, and made interest payments on the aforementioned bond in October and November 2015.

Rather than engage in mud-slinging attacks against 1MDB, we ask those elements within the media and the opposition who are seemingly intent on derailing this process to await the results of the investigations currently being conducted by various independent lawful authorities, to whom 1MDB is extending its full cooperation.

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

That is in immediate response to the Wall Street Journal story about the purportedly three transaction their journo saw.

WSJ story:

Malaysia’s 1MDB Sent $850 Million to Entity Set Up to Appear Owned by Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund

Transfer deepens mystery over 1MDB state-investment fund, which is under investigation in at least six countries

By BRADLEY HOPE
Updated Dec. 17, 2015 3:08 a.m. ET

A troubled Malaysian state investment fund sent at least $850 million last year to an offshore entity set up to appear that it was owned by an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund, a transfer which deepens the mystery over billions of dollars that are unaccounted for, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter.

The 1Malaysia Development Bhd. fund, or 1MDB, set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to promote economic development, is under investigation in at least six countries over a broad array of allegations that money was siphoned off for political spending and for personal gain.

One focus of investigation is $2.4 billion in payments that 1MDB said it made to a unit of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co., or IPIC, as part of a deal involving the Malaysian fund’s purchase of power plants. The Journal reported in September that IPIC officials had concluded they did not receive the money, according to people familiar with the matter.

A 1MDB unit transferred at least $850 million via three transactions last year to a British Virgin Islands-registered company with a name that made it look like it was controlled by IPIC, according to wire transfer documents viewed by the Journal and two people familiar with the matter.

The 1MDB fund sent the money to “Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.” which closely resembles the name of IPIC’s wholly owned subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS, the wire documents show.

Malaysia’s 1MDB Decoded: How Millions Went Missing
The scandal involving Malaysian government-investment fund 1MDB and millions of dollars in missing money has caused a political crisis in an important U.S. ally in Asia. The WSJ explains this story of political intrigue and follows the money trail.

ENLARGE
Aabar, the IPIC subsidiary, is an Abu Dhabi-registered company that holds prominent investments in the space tourism venture Virgin Galactic and a 5.1% stake in UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest bank.

Executives at IPIC and Aabar investigating the transfers have concluded neither of the two Abu Dhabi funds ever owned or controlled the British Virgin Islands company, according to the people familiar with the matter. Records in the British Virgin Islands don’t give any details on the owners or directors of the company.

The records show the British Virgin Islands firm was incorporated on March 14, 2012, and liquidated on June 23 this year, a time of growing criticism of 1MDB from opposition politicians and within Mr. Najib’s ruling party.

The 1MDB fund, in a statement to the Journal after publication of this article, did not reply to questions previously submitted about the transfers. The statement said “that the Wall Street Journal continues its campaign to malign 1MDB.” The fund also said it was cooperating with investigators. 1MDB in the past has said it stands by its financial statements, which show it made the payments to the Abu Dhabi fund.

An IPIC spokesman did not respond to questions. The Abu Dhabi fund hasn’t made any public statements about its relationship with 1MDB or the missing money.
Mr. Najib promised the fund would spur economic development by investing in new industries like renewable energy. But it has only bought existing power plants and land, while rolling up over $11 billion in debt that it is struggling to repay.

The transfers involving Abu Dhabi are among a series of transactions by 1MDB that are the focus of investigations. In Malaysia, the fund is being probed by the auditor general, the nation’s anticorruption body, the central bank and a parliamentary committee.

In 2012, 1MDB issued $3.5 billion in bonds to fund the purchase of power plants in Malaysia and overseas. The Abu Dhabi fund guaranteed the bonds.

The 1MDB fund’s publicly-available financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2013, show it paid $1.4 billion to IPIC’s unit Aabar as collateral for guaranteeing the bonds. The Malaysian fund said it paid another $993 million to Aabar in 2014 to cancel options granted to IPIC to buy a stake in 1MDB’s power assets, according to a copy of a draft report into 1MDB by Malaysia’s auditor general and 1MDB board minutes reviewed by the Journal.

Officials at IPIC say neither they nor any subsidiary received this money, the Journal reported. It is not clear why the payments were made to Aabar since IPIC made the guarantee.

IPIC’s consolidated financial statements, which include Aabar, make no reference to the collateral payment. A footnote in the 2014 statements said that as of the end of that year 1MDB owed IPIC $481.3 million in outstanding payments for the options.

No substantial amount of money was received by IPIC, the people familiar with the matter said. It isn’t clear how IPIC arrived at the $481.3 million figure and whether it relates to the $993 million transfer 1MDB says it made to IPIC as partial payment to cancel the options.

IPIC’s former managing director, Khadem Al Qubaisi, was dismissed in April by a presidential decree. The new management team of IPIC has been scrutinizing Mr. Al Qubaisi’s activity at the fund, according to the people familiar with the matter.

How $2.4 billion in payments from Malaysia’s 1MDB to the gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi appear to have gone missing.
A London-based representative of Mr. Al Qubaisi said he declined to comment.

The latest twist in the 1MDB saga comes as Mr. Najib battles a separate scandal linked to the fund. Malaysian investigators said earlier this year that nearly $700 million was transferred into his personal bank accounts through entities linked to 1MDB, including a private Swiss bank owned by IPIC.

The source of the funds was unclear and the government investigation didn’t detail what happened to the money that allegedly went into Mr. Najib’s accounts.

Malaysia’s anticorruption body in August said the funds were a donation from the Middle East. The donor wasn’t specified.

Mr. Najib has denied wrongdoing and said he didn’t use any money for personal gain. He said this month that using money from a donor was appropriate and legal.

As well as Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, authorities in the U.S., Switzerland, Singapore, and Hong Kong are looking at 1MDB’s activities.

—Nicolas Parasie and Yantoultra Ngui contributed to this article.

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

The USD600 million is derived from the USD5.5billion minus bond principal plus interest of USD3.5billion (USD1.75billion X 2) and the payment made to IPIC in March 2013 of USD1.4billion.

WSJ has been known to have fabricated their ‘evidence’ to justify their story.

The sum could be ‘channeled by the mysterious Arab’, probably because of the ‘non-shariah-compliant’ terms and nature of the net income derived from the commercial papers issued.

The principal-plus-net-interest-receivable could very well explain the ‘units’ for the residue of all the accounted bonds and borrowings by 1MDB, which baffled so many.

Non-shariah-compliant interest income is a likely sensitive matter for some West Asian investors and private wealth account holders.

1MDB did explain about the issuance of very long term bonds (30 years) when the strategic investment corporation started to raise fund through borrowings in he form of bonds, at the first few years of inception for the purpose of productive investments.

Regardless, it interesting how these ‘revelations’ would eventually bring out the truth which many already formed their conclusion based on previously fabricated and manipulated information.

 

 

Published in: on December 17, 2015 at 23:59  Comments (2)  

Megalo-hearted

UMNO General Assembly 2015 last night gave Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak the thumping support by the majority of the 191 UMNO Divisions and Wings delegates, when the room for reconciliation is still opened for the sake of the party and the survival of the Malays.

Joceline Tan’s Sunday column:

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Najib stronger than ever

 

BY JOCELINE TAN

Olive branch: Najib extended an olive branch to his estranged deputy president at the close of the Umno general assembly.
Olive branch: Najib extended an olive branch to his estranged deputy president at the close of the Umno general assembly.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s control over Umno was never in doubt. He has emerged even stronger after the Umno general assembly and has offered an olive branch to his estranged deputy.

A PICTURE speaks a thousand words and the empty chair adjacent to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the Umno general assembly spoke volumes of the political crisis in Umno.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who came under fire from the delegates during the debates was missing for a significant part of the pro­ceedings. It is not easy to sit on the stage listening to someone tell you off in front of more than 2,700 dele­gates.

His empty chair was like a metaphor of his political downfall, especially his sacking from the Cabinet. A government post is crucial in politics, and it has been like moving around on one leg since he lost his Deputy Prime Minister job.

Politics is a cruel game. People who were kissing Muhyiddin’s hands just a few months ago are now biting at him. Some of Muhyiddin’s former ministry staff complained they could not get passes for the general assembly.

And during the times when Muhyiddin was at his place on stage, the body language between the top two said it all. The pair hardly exchanged two words between them and Najib, whether deliberately or subconsciously, sat with his back half turned away from Muhyiddin.

The Muhyiddin-bashing was expected. The “kesian wave” or sympathy was there for Muhyiddin. You could see it in the spontaneous applause and cheering when Muhyiddin and his wife made their usual rounds at the assemblies of the three wings on Wednesday.

It is a very Malay and Muslim thing to feel sympathy for those who are going through rough patches. But Muhyiddin made a colossal blunder in staging the Kampung Baru forum a few days before the general assembly. It would have been justified had he done it after being denied his chance to address the assembly. For many delegates, it was somewhat like former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attending the Bersih rally.

The delegates took the cue from Najib’s presidential speech on the opening day to speak their mind on Muhyiddin but some of them went too far in their criticism.

It is understood that the speakers were told to stop the attacks and the debate continued in a more decorous fashion after that.

One of the fiercest speakers was Bukit Mertajam Umno chief Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzil but many people felt he had the locus standi because he is in his 70s and has a reputation for not holding his punches.

They liked it when he made an impassioned appeal to Dr Mahathir to stop trying to destabilise Najib. He recalled all the junctures in Umno’s history when he had to defend Dr Mahathir even though he disagreed with what Dr Mahathir had done.

“Does he know what I went through to defend him when he sacked Anwar Ibrahim. Not only was Anwar the DPM, he was our Penang Umno chief,” he said.

He begged Dr Mahathir to show the same support for the current president.

The Telegram chat group of the Umno division chiefs was on fire with comments and congratulations for Musa even before he finished speaking.

Vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was largely spared. Many delegates seem to think he is being used by Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin, that he is a pawn in the big game. But Shafie’s wife Datin Seri Shuryani Shuaib was crushed and had reportedly sought comfort in Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor on the sidelines of the assembly. She had cried as she poured out her misgivings to Rosmah who tried to console her.

The current political turmoil in Umno pales in comparison to the some of the crises during the Mahathir era. But it has been yet another crucial political lesson on the powers of incumbency.

This particular incumbent not only has control of the machinery and resources, he is what KRA Group political analyst Amir Fareed Rahim describes as a “masterful and astute politician”.

“Look at his political career, Najib is a product of the system. It’s in his blood, he knows where all the nerve points are, and which buttons to press,” said Amir.

Anyone who plans to take on Najib has to understand all this and it is obvious that Dr Mahathir himself has under-estimated Najib as an opponent.

The irony is that many delegates do not blame Najib for the troubles that the party is going through, instead they are blaming Dr Mahathir for the way he has kicked up sand to get his way.

Najib’s image outside of Umno is still shaky but he is unassailable inside Umno. The general assembly not only showed he is in control, but he has emerged stronger than ever.

Before this, it was part assumption and part fact that he has the support of the Umno division leaders and the supreme council. The proof of his support in the party was there for all to see the last few days.

Wanita Umno has always been the bedrock for the party and the women have again stayed above the politics.

“We know things are tough, but we have to be there for our president. I have never gone against any of our party presidents. If you don’t like the president, go by the party constitution and wait for the correct time.

“People have treated Najib badly, he does not deserve it. He is not perfect but he has been good to the Wanita wing,” said Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil.

The politics between the party’s top two almost eclipsed the fact that the rest of the party has held together.

KRA Group’s Amir found the level of debates at the three Umno wings to be much more mature and well-prepared this year.

Puteri Umno chief Mas Ermieyati Samsudin has found her footing and grown more focused after a shaky start. Being appointed a deputy minister has also lent her the sense of authority and prestige to move around and she is said to be a hard worker.

Unlike previous Puteri chiefs, her relationship with the Wanita Umno wing has been smooth from the start. She is not insecure about the fact that her wing is the junior partner in Umno, she works closely with the senior leaders and does not hesitate to approach them for advice.

The Khairy Jamaluddin mania is still not over. In fact, the Umno Youth chief has an amazing following inside and, more important, outside of Umno. Part of it has to do with the fact that he has brought a fresh and dynamic style as the Youth and Sports Minister.

Even critics of Umno are interested in what he does and says and that says a lot.

Khairy had a controversial start to his career but he has matured and is bringing something different to Umno politics. He has come to represent the sort of shift or trend that people want to see in Umno, and he has the attention of the youth generation.

The younger women, of course, go ga-ga over him. One Puteri Umno politician joked that she wished she was the Puteri chief so that she could sit on stage next to Khairy.

His policy speeches at the Umno Youth assembly are something to look forward to because they are never the same old same old stuff that one gets from politicians. His challenge now is to not let all the accolades and adulation go to his head again.

There was warm applause from the Umno Youth delegates when Muhyiddin and his wife dropped in on the wing’s assembly. Khairy who was seated onstage, quickly got up from his seat and came down to greet Muhyiddin. They shook hands and exchanged hugs.

It was a gentlemanly gesture from the younger man to the beleaguered leader. They are not exactly close because the fourth floor boys around Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had not supported Muhyiddin when the latter was vying for the No. 2 post in the 2009 Umno polls. But as they say, there are no permanent friends or foes in politics.

On the surface, Khairy seems to be taking an understated part in the current Umno crisis. But there were all sorts of rumours swirling the last few months of clandestine alliances by certain Umno Youth figures to take advantage of the political crisis.

In politics, calm waters do not always mean there are no crocodiles lurking beneath. There have been a few incidents involving Umno Youth officials that raised questions as to where Khairy stands in the present crisis.

Other new alignments are also taking place. Everyone noticed how vice-presidents Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein have become besties.

Their buddy-buddy body language onstage were a contrast to that between Najib and Muhyiddin. They tried to engage their other fellow vice-president Shafie but the latter was in no mood to reciprocate. Shafie was a shadow of his normally chirpy self and looked glum and disconnected.

Dr Ahmad Zahid and Hishammuddin wanted to present a united front for everyone.

“They also want to signal that the leaders are still together in these tumultuous times. They moved around together, took lots of wefies with people and even held joint press conferences where they sometimes finished each other’s sentences,” said Amir.

The reconciliatory gesture that delegates were looking for came at the very end when Najib, after a spirited winding-up speech, declared he did not intend to retreat or surrender (read: I am here to stay).

Then, spreading his arms wide, he looked towards Muhyiddin and said that he wants to be magnanimous about all that has happened.

“I believe the president is saying that he does not want to sack anyone. I hope the attacks against the party and the president will end after this,” said Ketereh assemblymen Datuk Alwi Che Ahmad.

As Najib walked back to his seat, he stopped to shake hands with Muhyiddin as shouts of “peluk” or embrace came from the floor.

It was quite a long handshake but the embrace did not happen.

The body language was still terribly stiff and Muhyiddin and Shafie were reluctant to stand up during the standing ovation for Najib.

Too many bitter words have flown back and forth in the last one year. There will be no overnight mending of ties but at least Najib has made the first move.

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

In the midsts of multi-facetted challenges which include global trade, global politics, geo-politics, domestic economy and global terrorism, Prime Minister Najib demonstrated that moving the nation forward is utmost priority. It is above politics but without, making sure the Malays progress along.

He has put the intention for the majority to design what Malaysia should be beyond 2020 when it reaches the developed nation status and the interest of all, especially the Malays would be included and accommodated in the new targeting setting with a new strategy.

“I have already announced the ‘Malay Agenda’ is a national agenda. I chair the Bumiputera Economic Empowerement Committee every month”.

In the challenges of global economic slowdown Prime Minister Najib noted the grave complaints on domestic economy, “Ekonomi rakyat” where he promised tighter price controls on essential goods in the effort to control cost of living.

He also admitted that his administration had to deal with many painful legacies, which some of it were left as very log term contracts inked during Fourth Prime Minister’s tenure and vowed to make them better, depute the need to balance the variables.

There a lot of take aways for the Malays in this year’s UMNO General Assembly. The process in the progression of the Malays would automatically spur domestic growth and provide the trickle down and multiplier effect for the nation as a whole.

Published in: on December 13, 2015 at 12:30  Comments (1)  

Democracy of UMNO

The popular notion of ‘dictatorship’ when MT UMNO decided on Wednesday that the tradition of some top leaders to give winding up speeches has not been uphold, proven to be a silver lining when the delegates representing the grassroot voices were allocated more time.

More delegates got to deliver their message for covering vast issues, in the period of the afternoon of the third day annual assembly usually reserved for selected top leaders.

This is more democratic, if the argument that MT UMNO decided that the tradition top leaders except the President should do the winding up speech is ‘dictatorial’ and denying the rights of top leaders to address UMNO delegates.

*Updated 0100hrs Sunday 13 Dec 2015

Prime Minisiter Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak gave a strong speech, striking against his detractors at the winding up speech.

The Star story:

Saturday, 12 December 2015 | MYT 7:35 PM

Umno AGM: Najib’s closing speech

 

BY D.KANYAKUMARIandAKIL YUNUS

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) offered an “olive branch” to his party detractors with the hope of ending any discord but warned that there will be “no retreat, no surrender” for him.

“I choose to be magnanimous, to open my doors and my heart, and to offer a hand in friendship to all so that we can strengthen the party.”

“But I want to issue a stern warning, that if any quarters continue to oppose and seek a fight, they’d better be careful. This isn’t personal anymore.

“They will not just be opposing me as Najib Razak, the party president, but they are also clearly opposing reconciliation and Umno AGM’s decision,” the Umno president said in his winding up speech at the party’s general assembly on Saturday.

Najib received a standing ovation at the end of his speech when he concluded: “No retreat no surrender!”

Najib started his speech by saying that he wondered how this year’s assembly would turn out especially as several episodes prior to the assembly had occurred.

Quoting the Quran, he said “Allah is the best of planners. As Malays, we are taught to be respectful and to be loyal to our leaders.”

“Advising leaders and voicing views also has a proper way. If you want to advise leaders in Umno, there is the right method to do so,” he said.

Najib, who is prime minister, urged members not to believe in assumptions that are not backed up with evidence. “This is to avoid vilification,” he said.

Making reference to the fall of the Malacca empire, he said, that internal squabbling caused the empire to fall to a foreign power.

“If there is no loyalty, even a party as strong as Umno can collapse. If you do not learn from history, history will condemn you,” he said.

Najib said he “listens to the people’s suffering and the points raised by delegates.”

On ERL price hike, Najib said the agreement was signed with the company in 1997. “It was a long-term concession,” he said, equating this to YTL dominance during the time of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s premiership.

Najib said he had opposed the agreement at the time.

“I want to tell you, I accepted the legacy that was placed on my shoulders. But I have every intention to rectify the problem,” he said.

“Where ERL is concerned, discounts will be given to various groups,” he said, adding that he had ordered KTMB to offer 50% discount to students aged between 7 and 18 years.KTMB will make a statement on the matter soon.

Najib also said there would be a “special increment” for civil servants next year, aside from the minimum wage of RM1,200 announced in Budget 2016.

“But that means productivity must also increase,” he said.

Najib said he had instructed the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry to increase enforcement, so that prices were not hiked freely.

Najib said next year would be the start of discussions on the country’s future beyond 2020 and he planned to initiate discourse on the matter, so that Umno would spearhead Malaysia’s direction after 2020.

“I want Malaysia to break into the top 10 in the World Economic Forum report on global competitiveness from its current 18th spot,” he added.

Najib said he also told US president Barack Obama during the TPP negotiations that the “bumiputra agenda was a red line for Malaysia.”

“If that is not fulfilled, we would have exit from the TPP talks,” Najib said he told Obama.

Najib said previous free trade agreements that Malaysia signed with other countries were also risky but they ended up bringing plenty of positives.

On preparations for the next general election, Najib said those on the ground need to start registering new voters, improve the communication flow.

He said the bloggers also need to do their job and not just ‘cari makan’.

Najib said Malaysia had not been targeted by Islamic State because the authorities had so far been efficient in weeding out threats.

On issues raised by delegates on religion and education, he said he would leave them to the ministers in charge to play their role.

 

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and on YouTube

Saturday, 12 December 2015 | MYT 7:35 PM

 

Umno AGM: Najib’s closing speech

BY D.KANYAKUMARIandAKIL YUNUS

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) offered an “olive branch” to his party detractors with the hope of ending any discord but warned that there will be “no retreat, no surrender” for him.

“I choose to be magnanimous, to open my doors and my heart, and to offer a hand in friendship to all so that we can strengthen the party.”

“But I want to issue a stern warning, that if any quarters continue to oppose and seek a fight, they’d better be careful. This isn’t personal anymore.

“They will not just be opposing me as Najib Razak, the party president, but they are also clearly opposing reconciliation and Umno AGM’s decision,” the Umno president said in his winding up speech at the party’s general assembly on Saturday.

Najib received a standing ovation at the end of his speech when he concluded: “No retreat no surrender!”

Najib started his speech by saying that he wondered how this year’s assembly would turn out especially as several episodes prior to the assembly had occurred.

Quoting the Quran, he said “Allah is the best of planners. As Malays, we are taught to be respectful and to be loyal to our leaders.”

“Advising leaders and voicing views also has a proper way. If you want to advise leaders in Umno, there is the right method to do so,” he said.

Najib, who is prime minister, urged members not to believe in assumptions that are not backed up with evidence. “This is to avoid vilification,” he said.

Making reference to the fall of the Malacca empire, he said, that internal squabbling caused the empire to fall to a foreign power.

“If there is no loyalty, even a party as strong as Umno can collapse. If you do not learn from history, history will condemn you,” he said.

Najib said he “listens to the people’s suffering and the points raised by delegates.”

On ERL price hike, Najib said the agreement was signed with the company in 1997. “It was a long-term concession,” he said, equating this to YTL dominance during the time of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s premiership.

Najib said he had opposed the agreement at the time.

“I want to tell you, I accepted the legacy that was placed on my shoulders. But I have every intention to rectify the problem,” he said.

“Where ERL is concerned, discounts will be given to various groups,” he said, adding that he had ordered KTMB to offer 50% discount to students aged between 7 and 18 years.KTMB will make a statement on the matter soon.

Najib also said there would be a “special increment” for civil servants next year, aside from the minimum wage of RM1,200 announced in Budget 2016.

“But that means productivity must also increase,” he said.

Najib said he had instructed the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry to increase enforcement, so that prices were not hiked freely.

Najib said next year would be the start of discussions on the country’s future beyond 2020 and he planned to initiate discourse on the matter, so that Umno would spearhead Malaysia’s direction after 2020.

“I want Malaysia to break into the top 10 in the World Economic Forum report on global competitiveness from its current 18th spot,” he added.

Najib said he also told US president Barack Obama during the TPP negotiations that the “bumiputra agenda was a red line for Malaysia.”

“If that is not fulfilled, we would have exit from the TPP talks,” Najib said he told Obama.

Najib said previous free trade agreements that Malaysia signed with other countries were also risky but they ended up bringing plenty of positives.

On preparations for the next general election, Najib said those on the ground need to start registering new voters, improve the communication flow.

He said the bloggers also need to do their job and not just ‘cari makan’.

Najib said Malaysia had not been targeted by Islamic State because the authorities had so far been efficient in weeding out threats.

On issues raised by delegates on religion and education, he said he would leave them to the ministers in charge to play their role.

Published in: on December 12, 2015 at 17:00  Comments (1)  

Bang Din Gambit

The bad, worse and worst

The bad, worse and worst

It would be remembered as a day of infamy as Former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin inadvertently sacrificed himself in the gravely wrong angle in the blatant attempt to champion the 1MDB fiasco which blew into his face, especially when he was then part of the ‘Collective Decision’ and had channels to sort matters out.

Pro-Anwarista newsportal story:

Why didn’t Muhyiddin seek info on 1MDB while in Cabinet, says Najib

Published: 8 December 2015 12:13 AM
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should have gathered more information on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) while he was still the deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

The prime minister stressed that the former deputy prime minister and Cabinet members had also been briefed about the 1MDB before.

“As the deputy prime minister then, he had the right to call the management of 1MDB to seek further clarification,” Najib said in an interview with TV3 in conjunction with the Umno General Assembly 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.

The interview was conducted by Media Prima News and Current Affairs managing editor Datuk Seri Mohd Ashraf Abdullah, group managing editor of The New Straits Times Press and Media Prima, Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid, and Utusan group editor-in-chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak.
The video of the interview can be viewed online.

The prime minister said Muhyiddin had also discussed the matter with him and he had given an explanation to him.

“There is no real excuse not to get information. Everything about the 1MDB can be known,” the Umno president said when asked if Muhyiddin had not received the full details about the 1MDB.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said several information sessions have been held, and continue to be held, by 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

The prime minister also said while it was true that 1MDB had debts, but its assets were more than the debts.

“We have a rationalisation plan, and this situation would not have happened if we had launched the initial public issue in November 2014. When the sentiments are too negative and the issue politicised, the atmosphere at that time did not encourage investors’ confidence to buy shares in 1MDB,” he said.

“Give us time to prove that 1MDB can be resolved. The Cabinet has agreed and I have made an announcement and we are in the process of resolving the 1MDB problem.” – Bernama, December 7, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/why-didnt-muhyiddin-seek-info-on-1mdb-while-in-cabinet-says-najib#sthash.Ne7ibhf5.dpuf

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

It not sure what was discussed in Cabinet. However, Muhyiddin as member of the Cabinet ever since 1MDB could have had the opportunity to raise the issue.

1MDB was not news after Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad started to bring it to glaring light, as the excuse to attack Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. It was an issue the Opposition tried to pin Prime Minister Najib for, long before Tun Dr. Mahathir started to politicise, manipulate and lie about the facts which are confusing so many.

The fact is that Muhyiddin was present on 29 May 2015 when 1MDB Group Executive Director and President Arul Kanda Kandasamy met the Cabinet and presented the ‘Rationalisation Plan’. It is wrong for the UMNO Deputy President to speak at UMNO Cheras in July.

The very least Muhiyiddin must established the proper facts on the 1MDB matter before he starts to give out his opinion openly to UMNO members, especially when they is media.

It is not fair for Muhyiddin to proclaim that he had to learn about 1MDB from pro-Anwarista business newspaper The Edge.

We are not sure whether he did try to acquire and go through the 1MDB annual statutory financial declarations, available from the Company Commission (SSM). Had he done it and sought assistance from persons familiar to Malaysian financial reporting standards, the glaring lie by The Edge and also the one time Finance Minister could be noted.

Even within UMNO at Division Chiefs level, there are several Chartered Accountants and former senior bankers, who Muhyiddin could sought opinion.

It is almost unbelievable someone at the Deputy Prime Minister level is unable to do some high level corporate espionage work. It is to understand the workings and position of 1MDB, which include all the commercial papers that have been issued and the purpose for the fund raising, especially from a niche bond market.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Najib was interviewed for two and half hours by MACC and his statement was obtained. It is believed to be a concluding part of the investigation.

In an interview with Supremo Chief Editors of NST Group Dato’ Abdul Jalil Hamid, Utusan Group Dato’ Aziz Ishak and TV3 Dato’ Ashraf Abdullah, Prime Minister Najib said that the controversy RM2.6b was neither from public funds nor 1MDB but instead a donor.

“It is not against the law and current political practice.  Bank Negara (Malaysia) was informed when the accounts were opened”.

Pro-Anwarista newportal story:

Bank Negara aware of RM2.6 billion donation, says Najib denying any wrongdoing

Published: 8 December 2015 1:39 AM
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today repeated his claim that the RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal bank accounts was a donation and the transactions were all above board.

According to Bernama, he said that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was notified of the donation and the accounts that were created for the transfer of funds from the donor.

“There is no intention at all to cheat or to commit an offence because Bank Negara had been notified about the existence of this account.

“Do not be confused, the account is in my name, but it is not like a personal account. And I am sure that once the investigation is completed, the truth will prevail,” he said in an interview aired on TV3 tonight, in conjunction with the Umno General Assembly 2015 this week.
The interview, which was conducted by Media Prima News and Current Affairs managing editor Datuk Seri Mohd Ashraf Abdullah, The New Straits Times Press group managing editor Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid and Utusan group editor-in-chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak, can also be viewed online.

In the interview, Najib also denied the RM2.6 billion was from any public fund nor had any link to state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had alleged in a July report that the money came from firms linked to 1MDB, and Putrajaya had previously denied the claims.

“I have not committed any offence or malpractice, and this has been explained in Parliament by the deputy prime minister (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi),” Najib was quoted as saying by Bernama..

Asked why the funds were transferred into his personal accounts, Najib said it was simply the donor’s wish and also because the donation was made in a personal capacity.

He said the donation issue was verified by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and that its officers had even met the donors.

“The donors have been verified and found by the MACC and the agency has also obtained their statements,” Najib said.

MACC investigations division director Datuk Azam Baki was quoted by the New Straits Times today as saying that the meeting with the donor was held recently in the Middle East.

Azam also said the MACC would submit a report to Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali as soon as the investigation was completed.

He, however, did not reveal further details on the person’s identity, saying the probe was still ongoing. – December 7, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bank-negara-aware-of-rm2.6-billion-donation-says-najib-denying-any-wrongdoi#sthash.JcHwy94m.dpuf

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The full transcript of the interview, courtesy of Utusan Malaysia:

‘Saya akan terus galas amanah ini’

08 Disember 2015 1:23 AM

Najib Tun Abdu l Razak diwawancara oleh (dari kiri) Abdul Jalil Hamid , Abdul Aziz Ishak dan Mohd. Ashraf Abdullah di Putrajaya, semalam.

Walaupun terbeban dengan pelbagai cabaran dan ujian dalam kerajaan mahupun parti, Perdana Menteri yang juga Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tetap tenang menghadapinya.
Dalam wawancara dengan media di pejabatnya di Putrajaya semalam menjelang Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2015, Najib menjawab dengan jelas dan tegas semua persoalan termasuk isu panas 1MDB, derma RM2.6 bilion serta hubungannya dengan Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad dan Timbalan Presiden UMNO, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Ikuti wawancara khas Najib dengan Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan Utusan, Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak; Pengarah Urusan Kumpulan Rangkaian Televisyen dan Radio Media Prima, Datuk Seri Mohd. Ashraf Abdullah dan Pengarang Urusan Kumpulan NST, Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid.
SOALAN: Bagaimana persediaan Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2015 terutama apabila diadakan dalam format berlainan dan UMNO juga berdepan dengan beberapa isu?
NAJIB: Saya bersedia dan segala persiapan untuk perhimpunan agung nampak berjalan dengan baik dan lancar. Perhimpunan ini sa­ya harap akan kita jadikan satu platform yang kita boleh menguatkan semangat, iltizam ahli-ahli parti untuk terus berjuang memperlihatkan UMNO sentiasa relevan. UMNOlah parti yang boleh menjamin masa depan Malaysia yang tercinta ini dan UMNO juga parti yang orang Melayu bumiputera boleh bergantung harap.
Apakah perhimpunan kali ini paling mencabar kepada Datuk Seri sebagai Presiden?
NAJIB: Setiap perhimpunan agung ada cabarannya. Walaupun cabaran yang berlaku pada setiap perhimpunan itu berlainan, misal­nya tahun lalu soal Akta Hasutan merupakan isu utama. Pada tahun ini isunya berlainan, namun barangkali kalau dilihat suhunya, kepanasan politik tahun ini lebih mencabar berbanding tahun sudah.
Namun dalam sejarah perjuangan parti kalau kita menyorot kembali pada perhimpunan dulu, ia le­bih panas daripada tahun ini. Jadi saya menganggap ini asam garam dalam politik. Sebagai Presiden parti saya akan tangani apa jua cabaran dengan kesungguhan dan kebijaksanaan supaya parti akan muncul daripada perhimpunan ini dengan kekuatan yang baharu, insya-Allah.
Ada tanggapan me­nga­takan UMNO tidak lagi demokratik, tidak boleh bersuara, adakah ini benar?
NAJIB: Ini tidak benar sebab mereka lupa bahawa sayalah Presi­den parti yang telah mengubah Perlembagaan UMNO. Saya dipilih oleh 160,000 perwakilan di pering­kat akar umbi. Maknanya kalau dulu dalam Perlembagaan UMNO, sesiapa nak bertanding jawatan Presiden mesti dicalonkan oleh 63 bahagian. Cuba bayangkan tentu sekali amat sukar sesiapa yang ingin lawan Presiden untuk memperoleh 63 pencalonan. Jadi saya memberanikan diri mansuhkan peruntukan tersebut agar UMNO lebih demokratik, lebih terbuka kerana saya ingin menjadi seorang Presiden yang dipilih oleh perwakilan yang jauh lebih ramai daripada mereka yang ada di dalam Dewan Merdeka atau pun ada syarat-syarat seperti kuota untuk bertanding. Kalau saya nak pilih jalan mudah, saya kekalkan Perlembagaan lama tetapi saya berpendirian UMNO harus le­bih terbuka dan demokratik.
Apabila persidangan sayap-sayap tidak dibuka oleh Timbalan Presiden, ini juga menimbulkan persepsi dan tanggapan bahawa parti sekarang sudah menjadi ‘parti Najib’.
NAJIB: Tidak, sebenarnya hasrat ahli Majlis Tertinggi apabila mem­buat keputusan tersebut. Per­tamanya, cadangan itu datang daripada ketua-ketua sayap sama ada Wanita, Pemuda dan Puteri yang telah mengeluarkan cadangan terlebih dahulu di peringkat Exco masing-masing dan bersetuju untuk bawa ke Majlis Tertinggi.
Kedua, Majlis Tertinggi membincangkan perkara ini, yang kita lihat bahawa ini merupakan konvensyen. Ini bukan soal dalam Perlembagaan. Yang kita nak utamakan ialah mesej kepada perhimpunan itu. Bukan bererti kita hendak mengongkong ahli daripada berbincang, bersuara, pendapat atau sebagai­nya. Tetapi kita nak mesej itu, mesej yang satu sahaja atas nama kepemimpinan parti supaya ahli-ahli tidak akan berserabut dari segi fikiran mereka. Supaya mereka tahu tentang hala tuju, apa yang perlu dilakukan dengan isu-isu semasa sebab kita mahu berdepan dengan pilihan raya. Sehubungan itu parti mesti bersatu, parti mesti kukuh, parti tidak boleh berserabut, parti mesti dilihat sebagai satu pasukan yang jitu. Jadi itulah hasrat kita bahawa perhimpunan ini dalam apa jua keadaan mesti dilihat sebagai satu usaha untuk mengukuhkan perpaduan dan kekuatan parti.
Kita tahu tentang konspirasi ingin menjatuhkan Datuk Seri baru-baru ini tetapi Datuk Seri tidak banyak bercakap mengenai­nya.
NAJIB: Mungkin ada pelbagai pendapat tentang hal ini. Saya tak nak sebut secara jelas perkara ini sebab mungkin bergantung pada beberapa andaian atau pun persepsi atas apa yang telah berlaku. Yang pentingnya saya mesti menunjukkan bahawa saya tidak melakukan kesalahan dan kalau saya tidak melakukan kesalahan, saya di pihak yang benar dan bukan sahaja dari segi undang-undang tetapi moral. Itu yang penting bagi saya.
Adakah isu ekonomi akan dapat perhatian pada Perhimpunan Agung UMNO kali ini terutama kos sara hidup?
NAJIB: Saya amat sedar dan mengetahui bahawa ini merupakan isu utama dalam kalangan rakyat malah kalau kita buat kajian isu ini lebih besar daripada isu 1MDB dan RM2.6 bilion. Sebab ini isu yang dekat di hati rakyat. Soal kos sara hidup yang dinyatakan meningkat, ia ada kaitan dengan kedudukan nilai mata wang kita. Kalau kita lihat kedudukan nilai mata wang Malaysia, ini adalah disebabkan tiga faktor utama. Satu, kejatuhan harga minyak begitu ketara sekali sehingga semalam kita lihat harga minyak berada pada paras AS$42, AS$43 setong. Setahun lebih dahulu AS$110 dan ini menyebabkan tekanan kepada mata wang kita. Kedua, ekonomi China yang menguncup perlahan, pertumbuhan yang lebih perlahan dan juga langkah Amerika Syarikat yang mungkin menaikkan kadar faedahnya.
Ini semua menjejaskan negara ekonomi membangun, maknanya ia berada di luar kawalan kita. Jadi tidak boleh kerajaan dipersalahkan, macam krisis kewangan 1997. Kebanyakan faktor itu luar daripada kawalan kita, jadi kita telah melalui krisis yang lebih buruk lagi dulu. Sekurang-kurangnya hari ini ekonomi kita masih berkembang hampir lima peratus. Sekurang-kurangnya bilangan pekerjaan masih boleh te­rus bertambah. Jadi kita pun boleh menolong rakyat melalui Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) dan beberapa langkah yang lain yang telah kita lakukan. Jadi kerajaan akan cuba melakukan sedaya upaya kita tetapi yang saya hendak nyatakan di sini, kita mempunyai kekangan sebab tahun hadapan hasil negara akan berkurangan sebanyak lebih RM39 bilion apabila harga minyak jatuh. Ini menyebabkan kemampuan kita untuk melakukan lebih daripada yang boleh atau pun kita lakukan pada masa ini, ada hadnya.
Apakah agenda perhimpunan agung lalu sudah tercapai ?
NAJIB: Ya, ada. Boleh katakan aku janji pilihan raya berjalan baik. Kita telah melaksanakan hampir semua aku janji kita. Sebab itu kita akan membuat sedikit pameran pada Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2015, di luar Dewan Merdeka untuk memaparkan pencapaian yang kita telah dapat lakukan berdasarkan pada aku janji pilihan raya yang lalu. Ada yang dalam proses misal­nya janji kita dalam bidang perumahan, ia dalam proses. Ia tidak boleh siap dalam masa dua tahun sepenuhnya tetapi yang pentingnya kita telah pun ambil tindakan dan komitmen kita itu dapat kita lihat.
Tiga tahun lagi kita akan menghadapi PRU Ke-14 dan Tun Dr. Mahathir berpendapat Datuk Seri adalah liabiliti kepada parti.

Apakah Datuk Seri yakin UMNO dan Barisan Nasional (BN) boleh mengekalkan kemenangan?
NAJIB: Saya tetap yakin, insya-Allah kita boleh mencapai kejayaan sebab kalau kita lihat alternatif yang ada sekarang ini, pembangkang berada dalam keadaan yang lebih kucar-kacir dan kepemimpinan mereka pun tidak begitu menentu. Saya rasa mereka pun ada masalah untuk menentukan pemimpin utama yang boleh memimpin mereka.
Walaupun saya akui mungkin kedudukan kita menurun sedikit disebabkan isu-isu yang dipermainkan oleh pihak tertentu tetapi kita ada masa lagi untuk berusaha dan salah satu daripada cabaran kita ialah media sosial. Media sosial ini yang mempengaruhi pemikiran rakyat dan itu menyebabkan kita berhadapan dengan cabaran yang lebih besar berbanding pada masa lalu.
Apa yang paling mengganggu fikiran Datuk Seri pada perhimpunan kali ini?
NAJIB: Saya mahu parti kita padu, saya tak nak ada keadaan yang lihat bahawa parti kita seolah-olah bercelaru keadaannya dan kita ini tidak sehaluan. Bukan bererti saya ingin mengongkong pendapat yang berbeza dalam parti tetapi perpaduan itu penting. Bekerja sebagai satu pasukan itu penting dan kalau kita dapat merapatkan barisan kita, saya percaya tiada sebab mengapa UMNO tidak boleh terus berjaya.
Apa pandangan Datuk Seri tentang pelabur asing lebih yakin pada ekonomi Malaysia se­perti Dana Kewangan Antarabangsa (IMF) memberi laporan yang bagus tetapi orang Malaysia sendiri merasakan pengurusan ekonomi kita gagal?
NAJIB: Sebenarnya orang yang mengeluarkan pendapat sedemikian tidak mengatakannya dengan fakta yang sebenar, sebab kalau kita tengok badan-badan seperti Bank Dunia, IMF dan juga badan-badan penarafan seperti Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s mereka datang melawat Malaysia bukan untuk sehari dua tetapi kadangkala untuk tempoh yang lama dan mereka berjumpa dengan pelbagai pihak, Mereka minta fakta. Mereka minta angka dan sebagainya dan baru mereka membuat kesimpulan. Semua badan ini memberi penarafan dan memberi kesimpulan yang sama ada mengekalkan penarafan mereka atau pun menjadikan penarafan mereka itu lebih positif.
Tiada langkah untuk downgrade Malaysia tetapi kalau kita tengok pada suara-suara sumbang dalam media sosial dan beberapa pihak yang lain, tidak sepatutnya mereka ini memberi penarafan yang negatif atau pun downgrade Malaysia. Inilah yang kita mesti beritahu pada rakyat bahawa banyak yang telah dilakukan oleh kerajaan tetapi tahap apresiasi mungkin tidak setimpal dengan apa yang dilakukan oleh kerajaan.
Macam mana hubungan Datuk Seri dengan Timbalan Perdana Men­teri?
NAJIB: Saya baik dengan Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi sebab dia sudah kenal dengan saya telah lama. Dalam Pemuda dan sebagai Setiausaha Politik saya dahulu. Jadi saya lihat bahawa ini penting, kalau kerajaan perlu suarakan aspirasi rakyat dan aku janji kita pada rakyat, dua jawatan utama dalam kerajaan, Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri mesti bekerjasama dengan penuh keyakinan antara satu sama lain. Itu kunci kepada kejayaan Malaysia. Sebagai sebuah kerajaan, saya anggap ini perkara yang perlu wujud malah Dr. Mahathir juga pernah mengambil tindakan terhadap timbalannya. Jadi saya percaya dan yakin beliau lebih faham mengenai perkara ini.
Kalau kita tengok di peringkat cawangan sudah ada yang mengkritik, meminta Datuk Seri melepaskan jawatan.
NAJIB: Kita ada 20,000 lebih cawangan UMNO dan saya percaya majoriti besar masih yakin pada saya pada pimpinan parti dan kerajaan. Apa telah berlaku boleh katakan hampir setiap bahagian, beberapa cawa­ngan juga tidak puas hati dengan kepemimpinan bahagian mungkin ada pihak bertanding bahagian yang kalah dan sebagainya. Jadi mereka yang tidak puas hati itu yang cuba mempengaruhi untuk membuat ke­nyataan dan berkumpul untuk meluahkan rasa tak puas hati. Tetapi jika kita nak kumpulkan, kita masih lagi dapat kumpulkan jauh lebih ramai penyokong kepada pimpinan sedia ada.
Bagaimana Datuk Seri menangani tekanan yang dihadapi setiap hari dan memastikan momentum kekal dalam melayari bahtera?
NAJIB: Saya menggalas amanah dan saya tidak akan membiarkan mana-mana pihak yang melemparkan kritikan yang saya tahu tidak berasas tetapi mungkin ada motif tertentu sebab kerusi Perdana Menteri ini ada satu sahaja. Dalam sejarah tanah air kita setiap Perdana Menteri memang tidak akan sunyi daripada menghadapi cubaan untuk menjatuhkannya. Dalam sejarah kita, kita melihat pada 1987, Dr. Mahathir menang dengan cuma 43 undi sahaja. Jadi ini bukan perkara baharu, setiap pemimpin akan hadapi pelbagai cabaran tetapi ini ujian kepimpinan kita. Ujian inilah yang perlu saya lalui. Mudah-mudahan saya dapat teruskan amanah ini dengan sokongan parti sebab banyak lagi tugas kita untuk negara, untuk parti yang kita mahu sempurnakan.
Datuk Seri dilihat media asing sebagai reformis apabila menjadi Perdana Menteri, tetapi sekarang dilihat menindas contohnya pengenalan Rang Undang-Undang Majlis Keselamatan Negara baru-baru ini yang dikata bukan disasar kepada pengganas tetapi ahli politik.
NAJIB: Ia masih berjalan dan banyak yang kita jangkakan untuk menjadikan negara kita lebih demokratik dan terbuka umpamanya pemansuhan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA).
Tetapi kalau kita merupakan seorang yang pakar melakukan sesuatu ancaman dalam bentuk tindakan keganasan, tanggungjawab saya se­bagai pemimpin negara untuk me­lakukan apa sahaja yang saya mampu untuk tidak membenarkan perkara itu berlaku misalnya di Amerika Syarikat sekarang ini. Presiden Barack Obama dipertikaikan sebab berlaku tembakan menyebabkan 14 orang mati di Ca­lifornia dan mungkin ada peristiwa-peristiwa yang lain di Paris tetapi di Malaysia tidak berlaku apa-apa kejadian se­perti itu sebab kita ada tindakan yang proaktif. Yang inilah saya utamakan. Jangan biar sesuatu kejadian dalam bentuk keganasan berlaku. Sebab kalau sudah berlaku, buruk padahnya.
Jadi apa yang kita buat dengan undang-undang baharu ini, semata-mata untuk menjaga rakyat Malaysia terselamat. Itu sahaja yang saya lakukan sebab tidak boleh pandang ringan perkara ini misalnya ancaman kumpulan tertentu dari selatan Fili­pina. Kejadian seperti di Lahad Datu, bukan sesuatu yang tak boleh berlaku sekali lagi tetapi kalau kita berwaspada dan ambil langkah proaktif insya-Allah kita boleh hindarkan perkara itu daripada berulang.
Adakah Malaysia ter­lalu menjurus dalam political thin­king sehingga kemungkinan boleh menjejaskan agenda pembangunan negara kita?
NAJIB: Ya, mungkin terlalu banyak political thinking kita lihat dalam Malaysia terutama sekali mereka yang menggunakan media sosial. Apa yang berlaku sekarang ini kurang tentang perkara baik yang dilakukan oleh kerajaan.
Kedua, kecenderungan pihak-pihak tertentu keluarkan pendapat yang negatif yang kontra walaupun mereka bukan pakar dalam bidang tersebut. Mereka anggap diri mereka pakar. Macam-macam pendapat yang dikeluarkan dan kita patut sedar ini merupakan pendapat. Ini bukan fakta sebenarnya dan ini bukanlah mencerminkan pendapat majoriti. Ini berlaku dalam suasana politik tanah air.
Nasihat kepada perwakilan.
Saya berharap perwakilan memberi keyakinan sebab suasana da­lam perhimpunan ini dipantau bu­kan hanya di luar dewan tetapi dilihat mereka di luar negara. Jadi imej parti itu penting dan kita mesti menunjukkan bahawa kita ini parti yang berkuasa, bermakna parti yang bertanggungjawab dan kita menjaga kepentingan parti kita dan sentiasa mahu parti kita dihormati.

Isu Muhyiddin: Timbalan mesti selari dengan Presiden
Bagaimana Datuk Seri melihat Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin sebagai Timbalan Presiden UMNO tetapi pada masa sama mengeluarkan kritikan terhadap Datuk Seri?
NAJIB: Saya seperti juga Presiden dan Perdana Menteri sebelum saya, berpegang kepada prinsip bahawa Timbalan Presiden, Timbalan Perdana Menteri mesti selari dengan Presiden parti. Kita nak bekerjasama dengan timbalan, seorang timbalan itu mestilah selari dengan apa kita nak lakukan, apa keputusan kita dan bekerjasama dengan penuh keikhlasan dan kesetiaan dalam mengemudikan parti kita. Tetapi itu bukan bererti sebagai timbalan, Tan Sri Muhyiddin tidak boleh berbeza pendapat dengan saya.

Saya bersikap terbuka dalam forum tertentu dan dalam perjumpaan tertentu Presiden dan timbalan boleh berbincang. Kita boleh tidak bersetuju pun tetapi apabila kita berdepan dengan orang ramai kita mesti mempertahankan keputusan yang dibuat oleh parti. Dan inilah yang saya nak tegaskan, ini adalah prinsip asas dalam mana-mana organisasi, kerajaan atau pertubuhan. Kita perlu seorang sahaja yang jadi ketua tetapi mesti bersikap terbuka, menerima pelbagai pendapat. Tetapi apabila keputusan telah dibuat, semua dalam parti itu mesti mempertahankan keputusan tersebut.
Antara kritikan Muhyiddin ialah tentang isu 1MDB, apakah beliau tidak diberikan penjelasan atau tiada platform untuk mendapatkan penjelasan ?
NAJIB: Isu 1MDB telah pun diberikan taklimat kepada Kabinet dan sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri, beliau berhak memanggil pengurusan 1MDB, Lembaga Pengarah 1MDB untuk mendapatkan penjelasan. Jadi tiada alasan sebenarnya beliau tidak mendapat maklumat sepenuhnya tentang isu 1MDB, malah sekarang ini kita buat macam-macam majlis penerangan yang diberikan oleh Ketua Eksekutif 1MDB. Jadi isu 1MDB sepatutnya diketahui segala-galanya. Kalau tidak pun, beliau sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri ketika itu boleh minta maklumat tambahan, penjelasan lanjut dan sebagainya.
Beliau juga tidak meminta penjelasan daripada Datuk Seri?
NAJIB: Kita ada bincang juga soal 1MDB dan dia ada beberapa pendapat tetapi saya telah pun menjelaskan kepadanya pendirian kita. Jadi pada akhirnya saya sebagai Perdana Menteri kena buat keputusan. Keputusan itulah yang saya telah beritahu pada Kabinet bahawa kita ada pelan rasionalisasi bagi menyelesaikan masalah 1MDB. Masalah 1MDB ialah kerana 1MDB telah dipolitikkan. Bukan kerana ia tiada aset. Ada hutang, tetapi aset melebihi hutang dan kita ada pelan rasionalisasi dan keadaan itu mungkin tidak berlaku kalau IPO pada November 2014 dapat kita lancarkan. Tetapi apabila sentimen terlalu negatif, apabila isu ini telah dipolitikkan, suasana pada masa itu tidak menggalakkan pelabur untuk membeli saham 1MDB.

Apabila kita tidak lancarkan, hutang tidak dapat kita kurangkan.
Dan apabila pelan rasionalisasi 1MDB kita umumkan dan saya kata berilah tempoh masa untuk kita membuktikan bahawa masalah 1MDB boleh diselesaikan. Maka Kabinet bersetuju dan saya pernah membuat pengumuman secara terbuka dan kita dalam proses untuk menyelesaikan masalah 1MDB. Kita dapat lihat bahawa ada tanda-tanda memang isu ini boleh diselesaikan terutama sekali apabila Edra telah dijual dan jumlah hutang dengan penjualan tersebut susut lebih kurang RM17 bilion.

Derma RM2.6 bilion

Salah satu isu ialah derma RM2.6 bilion. Apakah Datuk Seri tidak rasa ragu dan bersalah?
NAJIB: Sangat jelas, saya tidak melakukan kesalahan dari segi undang-undang atau dari segi amalan. Perkara ini telah pun dijelaskan dalam Parlimen oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Saya nak mengulangi bahawa ada beberapa aspek yang perlu diketahui. Pertamanya RM2.6 bilion itu bukan duit awam dan bukan duit 1MDB dan perkara ini telah pun disahkan oleh SPRM. Kedua, penderma telah pun disahkan dan ditemui oleh SPRM dan SPRM telah pun mengambil kenyataan. Ketiga, waktu akaun ini diwujudkan, Bank Negara telah dimaklumkan jadi tidak ada niat sama sekali untuk menipu atau melakukan sesuatu sebab Bank Negara telah pun dimaklumkan tentang kewujudan akaun ini, Keempat, penderma tidak ada apa-apa niat untuk mendapatkan balasan atau timbal balas, Penderma tidak anggap benda ini rasuah tetapi ini donation dan sebagai gift, kalau sebagai derma, ini tidak menyalahi mana-mana peruntukan undang-undang.
Duit dimasukkan dalam akaun peribadi Datuk Seri?
NAJIB: Ya, itu atas kehendak penderma. Dia derma pada saya secara peribadi. Sebab itu akaun itu atas nama saya. Tetapi jangan salah, akaun itu atas nama saya tetapi tidaklah dianggap akaun peribadi saya, itu bukan kegunaan peribadi. Saya yakin bahawa setelah siasatan berjalan sepenuhnya, kebenaran akan timbul pada kesudahannya.

Hubungan dengan Dr. Mahathir
Jadi kalau ada desakan berterusan daripada Dr. Mahathir antaranya meminta Datuk Seri berundur, tidak akan dilayan?
NAJIB: Soal undur tidak undur, ini ada hak mengikut Perlembagaan parti dan Perlembagaan negara. Saya sebagai seorang yang percaya kepada prinsip demokrasi berparlimen. Kita ada dua cara, satu melalui pilihan raya. Maknanya apa pun, apabila sampai pada masanya, rakyatlah yang memilih, 14 atau 15 juta rakyat Malaysia memilih siapa dan parti mana yang patut memerintah dan (satu lagi) waktu pemilihan dalam parti.
Jadi ada dua kaedah dan kaedah lain adalah kaedah yang tidak ikut prinsip Perlembagaan. Inilah yang penting kita mesti ikut prinsip Perlembagaan.
Kalau kita ikuti tulisan Dr. Mahathir, kita akan tahu beliau sering menukar dakwaan contohnya RM22 bilion menjadi angka lain dan mengakui semua tuduhan adalah dakwaan belaka, tetapi adakah Datuk Seri khuatir ada ahli UMNO terperangkap dalam permainan dakwaan itu.
NAJIB: Ya, mungkin ada sebab kita mesti faham bahawa apa yang disebut Tun Mahathir itu adalah pendapat dia, andaian dia, melainkan dia ada bukti. Kita ambil dakwaan yang pertama RM42 bilion yang dikatakan hilang dan lesap. Sehingga hari ini dia tidak boleh mengeluarkan bukti dan semalam dia mengakui dia tidak ada bukti. Kalau RM42 bilion dah lesap, masakan kita boleh jual Edra dengan nilai RM17 bilion, boleh jual tanah TRX dan boleh ada tawaran lumayan untuk membangunkan bandar Malaysia.
Jadi semua ini sebenarnya tidak ada asas bukti dan sebab itu kita tetap pertahankan apa yang kita lakukan. Sebab itu kita pulihkan 1MDB kerana kita nak supaya imej negara kita dibetulkan sebab telah berlaku apa yang dikatakan kemusnahan reputasi dengan kenyataan-kenyataan seperti itu. Ini merosakkan imej negara kita, bukan sahaja 1MDB.
Mengapa Dr. Mahathir amat marah dengan Datuk Seri. Adakah soal 1MDB?
NAJIB: Tidak tahulah. Boleh tanya kepada Dr. Mahathir sendiri. Tetapi pada tanggapan saya bukan soal 1MDB. Satu ketika dahulu dia pun selalu berjumpa saya, nampak ada banyak dia tidak bersetuju dengan keputusan saya atau ada perkara yang dia nak, saya tidak buat.
Jadi saya dapat simpulkan bahawa Dr. Mahathir, dia nak seorang Perdana Menteri yang cakap mudahnya, ikut cakap dialah. Kalau ikut cakap dia mungkin saya Perdana Menteri yang amat baik. Apatah lagi apabila dicadangkan diwujudkan Council Elders yang tidak pernah dalam sejarah negara kita dan mana-mana negara pun iaitu ada Council Elders yang mengatasi kuasa Kabinet dan Majlis Tertinggi dan tidak ada peruntukan dalam Perlembagaan sama sekali.
Sebab itulah bukan saya tidak hormat dia sebagai seorang negarawan tetapi saya berpegang kepada prinsip bahawa saya adalah Perdana Menteri yang sah diplih oleh rakyat. Saya juga Presiden yang dipilih oleh parti. Saya berhak untuk mentadbir negara dan parti mengikut pendapat saya yang sebaik mungkin untuk negara dan parti. Saya bukanlah seorang pemimpin yang tidak mendengar pandangan, tidak mendengar nasihat, tetapi pada kesudahannya saya mesti membuat keputusan atas apa yang saya fikir yang terbaik untuk negara dan parti.
Sekian lama Dr. Mahathir tidak lagi mengkritik pembangkang, sekarang kritikan tertumpu kepada Datuk Seri?
NAJIB: Sebagai anggota parti sepatutnya kita menjaga kepentingan parti maknanya kita mempertahankan parti dan menyerang pembangkang. Tetapi apa yang dilakukan Dr. Mahathir sebaliknya. Macam mana pun kita perlu perjelaskan kepada rakyat dan anggota parti kita setiap kali dibangkitkan sesuatu isu. Kita bagi penjelasan supaya rakyat tidak terkeliru.
Alhamdulillah dalam Parlimen baru-baru ini bajet negara telah diluluskan dan kita tengok ada parti pembangkang pun keluar beberapa kenyataan yang boleh dikatakan agak positif kepada kerajaan. Ada yang tidak sokong pembangkang dalam undian Dewan Parlimen atas kelulusan Bajet. Ini menunjukkan bahawa parti yang ada hari ini ada majoriti selesa dalam Parlimen. Sekarang ini kita mesti yakin dalam diri kita bahawa kalau kita dapat beri penjelasan kepada rakyat dan kalau dapat menjernihkan suasana dan membetulkan sentimen, tidak ada sebab mengapa kita tidak boleh berjaya dalam pilihan raya akan datang.
Apa pandangan mengenai tindakan Dr. Mahathir atau Muhyiddin yang dilihat sebagai untuk menyelamatkan parti dan menjaga kepentingan UMNO?
NAJIB: Itu pendapat mereka tetapi hakikatnya kedudukan kita boleh bertambah baik lagi dan saya lihat sehari dua ini pun ada tanda-tanda bahawa keyakinan terhadap kerajaan sudah menunjukkan ada tanda yang positif. Saya percaya kalau isu-isu ini dapat kita selesaikan dalam masa terdekat, kedudukan kita boleh bertambah positif lagi. Tetapi saya tidak anggap ini sebagai satu keadaan yang terlalu selesa bagi kita tetapi kita mesti mempunyai strategi untuk memulihkan keadaan dan mara ke hadapan. Inilah yang saya anggap sebagai tugas parti, tugas saya sebagai Presiden parti untuk pastikan bahawa apa yang kita rancangkan nanti dan strategi-strategi itu dapat kita laksanakan dengan berkesan.
Bagaimana hubungan Datuk Seri dengan Dr. Mahathir. Adakah boleh dipulihkan?
NAJIB: Dengan Dr. Mahathir tidak tahulah. Tengok pada keadaan tetapi dia mengeluarkan pendapat yang terlalu peribadi. Saya dapat menerima perbezaan dari segi dasar dan sebagainya tetapi jangan terlalu peribadi. Saya hendak seorang pemimpin itu menjaga kepentingan parti. Itu yang penting sekali jangan ikut sedap.
Adakah Datuk Seri jauh hati terhadap Dr. Mahathir kerana Datuk Seri pernah bersama beliau waktu susah senang dahulu.
NAJIB: Sebab Dr. Mahathir pernah kata, waktu kita dalam kerajaan kita mesti hargai sokongan daripada orang bukan dalam kerajaan. Apabila kita luar kerajaan, kita mesti sokong orang dalam kerajaan itu dia ucap banyak kali. Tetapi kita lihat Dr. Mahathir dalam banyak hal tidak amalkan apa dia cakap sewaktu dia dalam kerajaan.

Muafakat UMNO-Pas
Banyak suara mahu UMNO dan Pas mendekatkan lagi nilai kemuafakatan terutama dalam isu agama Islam.
NAJIB: Isu itu memang diberi perhatian umat Islam. Saya sudah nyatakan bahawa saya percaya bahawa prinsip ini amat penting. Kalau umat Islam berpecah, kesannya amat buruk. Kita tahu implikasinya. Jadi kita mesti lakukan ke arah penyatuan ummah. Ada kenyataan yang menggalakkan umpama kenyataan daripada Presiden Pas, Mursyidul Amnya boleh dikatakan positif dan pengundian bajet tahun ini, mereka tidak menyokong pembangkang untuk menolak bajet walaupun mereka tidak mengundi pihak kita. Tetapi mereka tidak menolak bajet. Jadi ini tanda-tandanya yang saya anggap sebagai menggalakkan.
Presiden Pas dan pimpinan Pas dilihat lebih memahami dan menghargai Datuk Seri.
NAJIB: Mereka berpegang pada prinsip Islam, haram menjatuhkan kerajaan Islam dengan cara tidak diizinkan termasuk demokrasi jalanan dan sebagainya. Itu diharamkan mengikut Islam. Jadi apa yang disuarakan pemimpin Pas itu adalah selari prinsip Islam.
Sejauh mana kerjasama muafakat ini boleh lagi diperhebatkan?
NAJIB: Saya terbuka, terpulang pada keadaan. Cuma kita tidak boleh paksa perkara ini berlaku, mesti nawaitu ikhlas dan kita biarkan proses itu berjalan selangkah demi selangkah. Tetapi yang penting sekali, kita sedar, Maknanya pemimpin UMNO dan Pas sedar bahawa perpaduan ummah adalah penting untuk umat Islam dan agama Islam.
– See more at: http://www.utusan.com.my/rencana/8216-saya-akan-terus-galas-amanah-ini-8217-1.166807#sthash.RaOz3zH5.dpuf

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Early today, MACC pronounced that they have met the donor for RM2,6billion, which is the centre of any controversy and/or scandal remaining on the slowly dying issue of 1MDB.

NST story:

MACC admits: We’ve met donor of RM2.6bil

BY SHARIFAH MAHSINAH ABDULLAH – 7 DECEMBER 2015 @ 4:37 PM

KOTA BARU: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today confirmed that it has sent a team to the Middle East to meet the donor of the RM2.6bil political fund.

MACC investigations division director Datuk Azam Baki said the meeting with the donor was held recently. However, Azam could not disclose any details, including the identity of the donor, as investigations were ongoing.

“Investigations into the case are still ongoing. Once we have completed our investigation, we will hand over the findings to the Deputy Public Prosecutor, who will decide on the next course of action.

“I would like to explain that MACC will update the public on the case from time to time as promised.

“However, we cannot simply disclose results of the investigation,” he said. Azam was speaking to reporters after attending the presentation of certificates of appreciation to 33 Road Transport Department who took part in a special operation to nab cloned car syndicates recently.

Azam said he would also investigate the leakage of information social media regarding his officers going to the Middle East. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had in the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 3 that MACC has identified the donor of the RM2.6 billion political fund and that Bank Negara Malaysia has been informed of the account.

He said MACC had also confirmed that the money was not from 1Malaysia Development Bhd. It was reported on Sunday that MACC has recorded a statement from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over issues concerning SRC International and the RM2.6 billion political donation.

Earlier, MACC said it had met representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office to discuss a possible date to record Najib’s statement.

The commission also recorded the statements of Low Taek Jho and SRC International director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/12/116016/macc-admits-weve-met-donor-rm26bil

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The attacks using 1MDB as the excuse to topple Prime Minister Najib has proven to be inconsistent. It shifted from “RM42billion hilang” to “RM42billion hutang”.

Muhyiddin should be able to differentiate between ‘bad investment or business decision’ and ‘bad intentions’. As the Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President, he is duty bound to defend the institution first before trying to be seen as ‘Going with the popular notion’.

Of course, he is expected to be posses the resources to come up with his own facts through his own intricate network.

We are not sure why Muhyiddin is making this gambit. What is slowly making its appearance to be the residue of a deduction theory, that he has been a victim of his own heroism or worse still, someone’s agenda to topple Prime Minister Najib.

Now that clearly Muhyiddin has already made his bed, he has to lie in it. Volantile non fit injuria.

*Updated 0200hrs

Published in: on December 8, 2015 at 00:15  Comments (4)  

Prime Minister Najib has gone soft

In the blatant flavour of many attempting to portray Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak as a ‘dictator’ and “Leader who is afraid and clinging on to power”, the recent development in the scandal implicating 1MDB is a surprise and probably unbelievable to skeptics.

Supremo bloggo-journo Datuk Rocky scooped about the MACC interviewed Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, for the investigation of SRC International.

The MACC investigation officers took two and half hours for ask Prime Minister Najib questions. That is undoubtedly a very long time and latitude provided by a ‘dictator’.

The skeptics actually bought into the propaganda of the fallacy that Prime Minister Najib is afraid of the truth prevailing. Probably a few “No” which would take no longer than 15 minutes ought to be suffice, to provide the cloud of camouflage of the statutory requirement that ‘he is co-operating and no cover up’.

Nevermind the fact that Prime Minister Najib earliest action of the quick and heightened controversy arisen from the purportedly scandalous acts of white crime within 1MDB, was to announce the Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to investigate and make enquiries.

Earlier in the week, Group Executive Director and President of 1MDB Arul Kanda Kandasamy was present in Parliament, to face the PAC. In the words of the PAC Chairman, “Arul was very co-operative”.

Probably the skeptics are impatient to see Prime Minister Najib fall down because of 1MDB and is unable to fathom that the development is moving the opposite way, in the right direction.

As a leader who should have ‘dictatorial power’ and “Very afraid and clinging on to power”, allowing latitude should be seen as soft.

Published in: on December 5, 2015 at 17:00  Comments (4)  

Faulty equipment and mis-communication an isolated case?

It is worrying that air crash investigators of Air Asia Indonesia QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore three days after last Christmas which attributed to ‘faulty equipment’ and ‘miscommunication between both technical crew in the flight deck’ was an isolated case and not a reoccurring situation.

BBC.com story:

AirAsia crash: Faulty part ‘major factor’

A section of AirAsia flight QZ8501's tail is loaded onto a boat for transportation to Jakarta from Kumai Port, where it had been stored since it was recovered last month, near Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan 7 February 2015 in this file photo taken by Antara

A section of AirAsia flight QZ8501’s tail is loaded onto a boat for transportation to Jakarta from Kumai Port, where it had been stored since it was recovered last month, near Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan 7 February 2015 in this file photo taken by Antara

18 minutes ago
From the section Asia
Faulty equipment was a “major factor” in the AirAsia plane crash last December that killed all 162 people on board, Indonesian officials say.
The plane’s rudder control system malfunctioned four times during the flight, officials said in a report.
The crew’s response to the fault also contributed to the disaster, the report added.
The Airbus A320-200, travelling from Surabaya to Singapore, crashed into the Java Sea on 28 December 2014.
Investigators had initially indicated that stormy weather was a major factor in the crash – however, they now say that this was not a cause of the crash.
The new report from the National Transport Safety Committee, released after a year-long investigation, found that the soldering on a tiny electronic part in the system that controlled the rudder was cracked, causing it to send four warning signals to the pilots.
The crew tried to fix the problem by resetting the computer system, but this disabled the autopilot. They then lost control of the plane.
The plane then entered “a prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover”, the report said.
Maintenance crews were aware of the problem as it had occurred 23 times in the past year, and resetting the system was one of several methods used previously to address it, the report added.

The report also said that:
Inadequacies in the maintenance system led to “unresolved repetitive faults occurring with shorter intervals”
There appeared to be miscommunication between the pilot and co-pilot – at one point, the pilot commanded “pull down” but the plane was ascending
At another point, the two men appeared to be pushing their controls in opposite directions.
The report does not apportion blame or liability, but is intended to help the industry avoid future accidents.
Eka Santoso, who lost several family members in the crash, told AFP news agency: “AirAsia must find the people who were responsible for this problem [with the faulty component].”
Those who failed to fix the fault should be prosecuted, he added. “It has been proven there was a weakness.”
Caskets containing the remains of AirAsia QZ8501 passengers recovered from the sea are carried to a military transport plane before being transported to Surabaya, where the flight originated, at the airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan in this 2 January 2015 file photoImage copyrightReuters

Only 106 bodies have been retrieved
Malaysia-based AirAsia’s Chief Executive Tony Fernandes thanked investigators on Twitter and added that “there is much to be learned here for AirAsia, the manufacturer and the aviation industry”.
“We will not leave any stone unturned to make sure the industry learns from this tragic incident.”
Since the crash, AirAsia had carried out 51 measures to improve safety standards, the report said.
Meanwhile, an Airbus spokesman said: “Airbus has just received the final accident report. We are now carefully studying its content. With safety being top priority Airbus is fully committed to push the safety track record of our industry even further.”
Analysis: Karishma Vaswani, BBC News, Singapore
Families of the 162 people on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 have been waiting anxiously for the results of this investigation.
Indonesian investigators did not release their preliminary findings earlier this year, saying they were under no legal obligation to do so.
Covering the crash at the time, the working theory was that pilot error must have been a major contributor, or that bad weather was a factor.
But this report shows that it was actually the response of the crew to a chronically faulty component on the plane that caused the plane to crash and that bad weather had nothing to do with it.
AirAsia will now have many questions to answer about why the aircraft was not better maintained and why its pilots were not better prepared to handle these problems.
Read more: Who were the victims of the AirAsia crash?
The plane’s wreckage was found days after the crash at the bottom of the Java Sea near Borneo.
Most of the passengers were Indonesian, and others on board included a French citizen, a Singaporean, a Malaysian, a Briton, and three South Koreans.
Only 106 bodies have been retrieved so far.
The crash came at the end of a year of major air disasters, including the disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of MH17- both flights operated by Malaysia Airlines.

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The air crash investigators also reported that the component controlling the rudder recorded 23 times fault in the past 12 months prior to the accident.

Channel News Asia story:

AirAsia plane crash caused by faulty component, crew action: Probe

Repeated problems with the system led to the pilots disengaging the autopilot in stormy weather in a bid to fix the situation, and then losing control of the Airbus A320-200.

POSTED: 01 Dec 2015 15:27 UPDATED: 01 Dec 2015 18:44

JAKARTA: A faulty component and the crew’s inadequate response caused an AirAsia A320 to crash into the Java Sea last year, killing all 162 people on board, an Indonesian report said on Tuesday (Dec 1).

Flight QZ8501 plunged into the ocean in stormy weather on Dec 28, during what was supposed to be a routine flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

The crash of the Airbus A320-200 triggered a huge international search, with ships and aircraft from several nations involved in a lengthy hunt that was hampered by strong currents and bad weather.

The bodies of 56 of those who died have never been found.

In their final report into the accident released on Tuesday, Indonesia’s official National Transportation Safety Committee said poor maintenance and a fault with the system that helps control the rudder’s movement was a major contributing factor to the crash.

Cracked soldering in the component caused it to malfunction and send repeated warning messages to the pilots, it said. In response, they tried to reset a computer system but in the process turned off the plane’s autopilot, sending it into a sharp roll from which they were unable to recover.

“Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to control the aircraft,” said the report. The plane went into a “prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the crew to recover”, it said.

Investigators said there was miscommunication between the pilots as the plane plunged towards the sea, with the men at one point pushing their control sticks in opposite directions.

Investigator Nurcahyo Utomo said that AirAsia pilots flying Airbus aircraft had not received adequate training for when their planes became severely destabilised, as it was not recommended by the manufacturer.

Up to the time of the crash, Airbus was indicating in its training manual that it was not necessary for pilots to be trained in the recovery of aircraft in an ‘upset condition’, which is when a plane loses control and is in a dangerous position.

Airbus said this was because it never anticipated that one of its planes would ever be in such a position. NTSC said the aircraft went into an ‘upset condition’ during its flight after encountering a failure in its rudder travel limiter system four times.

The report said the faulty component, the Rudder Travel Limiter, had suffered 23 problems in the past 12 months, citing maintenance records. “The investigation found some inadequacy in the maintenance system, leading to the unresolved, repeated problem” with the rudder system, said Utomo.

Before crashing, the plane climbed fast and went into an aerodynamic stall, losing lift. The French co-pilot, Remi Plesel, was at the controls in the moments before the crash, rather than the more experienced pilot.

Following the accident, AirAsia Indonesia performed 51 safety actions in order to prevent similar future incidents. These included training its pilots on how to recover an aircraft from an ‘upset condition.’

‘FIND THOSE RESPONSIBLE’

Family members of those killed in the accident had been waiting anxiously for the report, and Eka Santoso – whose brother, sister-in-law and their two children died in the crash – urged AirAsia to take action following its recommendations.

“AirAsia must find the people who were responsible for this problem,” he told AFP, referring to the faulty competent, and adding those who failed to fix it should be prosecuted. “It has been proven there was a weakness.”

The crash was the first major setback for Malaysia-based AirAsia, which has enjoyed a spectacular 13-year run of success, and the group’s flamboyant boss Tony Fernandes thanked the transport committee for their work.

“These are scars that are left on me forever but I remain committed to make AirAsia the very best,” he said.

An Airbus spokesman said the company was studying the report.

Rescuers faced difficulties in the choppy waters of the Java Sea, but the main body of the plane was eventually located on the seabed by a Singapore navy ship and both black box data recorders were recovered.

Search efforts were finally called off in March after almost three months.

The crash was one of several aviation disasters in the sprawling archipelago in the past year.

In August, a turbo-prop plane operated by Indonesian domestic carrier Trigana crashed in the remote eastern region of Papua during a short flight in bad weather, killing all 54 people on board.

And in June an Indonesian military plane went down into a residential neighbourhood in the city of Medan, exploding in a fireball and killing 142 people.

Indonesian airlines are expanding rapidly after years of strong economic growth and the emergence of a new middle class, but carriers are struggling to find enough well-trained personnel to keep up with the boom, experts say.

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It is important for the CEO of the Air Asia Group Tony Fernandes to assure the public especially those who frequent services on the region’s most successful low cost carrier that the attributes of the crash is something extraordinary.

It the past, Air Asia have been talked about on ‘questionable operating procedures’. This include the various mishaps during landing.

The Independent story:

Another AirAsia plane overshoots runway on landing in Philippines as concerned passengers say they are ‘following the QZ8501 news’

The flight to Kalibo was, like QZ8501, already delayed by bad weather
Adam Withnall @adamwithnall Tuesday 30 December 20140 comments

An AirAsia plane has overshot the runway on landing in the Philippines, forcing passengers to evacuate the aircraft on emergency slides, it has been reported.

Those on board the domestic Flight Z2 272 from Manila to Kalibo had already endured an anxious wait as bad weather caused two-hour delays, according to a journalist travelling on the plane.

The incident comes just days after AirAsia flight QZ8501disappeared during a storm while on route from Surabaya to Singapore. Search teams on Tuesday recovered at least 40 bodies from the sea near where the plane was lost.

Rappler’s Jet Damazo-Santos reported that today’s short flight to Kalibo airport came down with “a hard, abrupt landing” followed by “a very abrupt stop”.

Emergency services were waiting on the grass at the end of the runway, she said, and elderly passengers received medical attention in the wake of the evacuation.

Prior to this week, AirAsia had an excellent safety record, with none of its planes having ever been involved in a fatal incident.

*********

Three low cost carriers under the AirAsia Group have been listed by The Daily Mail for ‘questionable  \\safety standards’.  AirAsia Indonesia was quick to announce their rectification for the low cost carrier.

Reuters story:

AirAsia Indonesia says upgrades training, enhances safety after crash

Reuters
1 hour ago

JAKARTA (Reuters) – AirAsia Indonesia said on Tuesday the firm has upgraded pilot training and enhanced safety standards following the crash of its plane last year, killing all 162 onboard.

Earlier on Tuesday, Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) released the first public report on the disaster of the Airbus A320 that crashed into the Java Sea on Dec. 28.

“KNKT’s final report on QZ8501 highlights that a combination of several factors contributed to the tragedy,” AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement.

“There are many lessons to be learned for the entire aviation industry.”

(Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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

However, AirAsia in Malaysia is the biggest within the Group.

The issue here is not merely rectification, as per announced by AirAsia Indonesia. How would the Group ensure that the factors in this QZ8501 deadly air crash and other mishaps, do not reoccur.

It would cost the Group a lot of money. The heavily debt-burdened Group would be expected to be affected, if stricter technical audits are carried out. Then again, it is only money versus the risk.

*Updated Wednesday 2 December 2015, Noon.

It seems that AirAsia dominoes of bad luck has started to topple the rippling effect. The low cost carrier now has been ‘plagued’ with pilots’ influenza, which left tens of thousand of passengers fuming mad.

NST story:

Flight delays, cancellations left AirAsia passengers fuming

BY NST TEAM – 2 DECEMBER 2015 @ 11:17 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Budget carrier AirAsia was hit by multiple flight delays and cancellations on Monday and yesterday after 13 of its pilots were allegedly grounded by flu.

The havoc caused to flight scheduling left hundreds of passengers fuming as many were forced to endure multiple lengthy delays and cancellations.

Some had no choice but to spend the night on airport floors. The delays affected not only local flights but also to and from international destinations, including flights from Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport. Passengers on flight AK6130 bound for Kota Baru from klia2, scheduled for 7.05pm on Monday, were initially told their flight was delayed, then moved to another flight, which was cancelled.

A reader, who contacted the New Straits Times, said the passengers were given food packs at 11.30pm shortly after being told their flight was cancelled due to technical requirements by AirAsia ground staff.

Another reader confirmed that a flight from klia2 to Penang on the same day was also cancelled, with some passengers left to sleep on the airport floor as accommodation was not provided. AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes confirmed in a text message that the problem was due to a number of the airline’s pilots being down with flu.

“There was a flu epidemic in AirAsia and 12 captains were sick. So, no choice,” he said. Efforts to contact AirAsia chief executive officer Aireen Omar for more details proved futile, but the airline’s corporate communications department later confirmed that by yesterday evening the number of their pilots struck by flu was 13.

“We do not have the official data yet, but several flights were delayed or cancelled. “As of now, 13 of our pilots are down with flu,” a spokesman said. Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said they had not received any official complaints, but the matter seemed like an operational issue which would usually not involve his department.

“This is an issue which AirAsia will have to solve,” said Azharuddin.

Reports by: Arnaz M. Khairul, Hani Shamira Shahrudin, Tasnim Lokman And Hashini Kavishtri Kannan

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/12/115017/flight-delays-cancellations-left-airasia-passengers-fuming

***********

Maybe the Executives of AirAsia now have to take up ‘Flu Insurance’ and draw up a ‘Influenza Crisis Plan’. of course it would add up to the annual operation and eventually passed down to the passengers.

No fancy marketing strategy and tactical plan could deal with ‘Flu Risk’.

Published in: on December 1, 2015 at 19:59  Comments (3)