Quid pro quo

If the psy-war against UMNO-PAS political co-operation long term be detrimental to the Malaysia as the arguments that union would continue in the promotion racism and religious bigotry, then the blame should be against the Chinese Chauvinist DAP in the first place which is the consistent and continuous protagonist-provocateur on the matter for the past 50 years.

Pro-Anwarista portal story:

Umno-PAS’s anti-DAP card not good for nation-building, analysts say

BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, FEATURES AND ANALYSIS EDITOR

Published: 10 January 2016 9:00 AM | Updated: 10 January 2016 12:57 PM
An Umno-PAS alliance that uses race and religion to attack DAP would keep Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in power for at least one more term, but this would be at the cost of the country’s stability, analysts say.

They said such an alliance would give rise to a strong Malay government and a Chinese-dominated opposition.

This would destabilise a multiracial country such as Malaysia, and make nation-building extremely difficult, said vice-chancellor of University of Selangor (Unisel), Datuk Dr Redzuan Othman.

“This approach, whether used for the coming election or in the short term, will bring victory to Umno and PAS. But in the long run, it will not benefit the country,” said the former director of Universiti Malaya’s Centre of Democracy and Election (Umcedel).
He said some people were still toying with racial sentiments and telling Chinese Malaysians to “return” to China.

“This shouldn’t be happening anymore. Those notions are relics from the past, fit only to be uttered before independence.

“Strangely, after 50 years of independence, people are still playing with that issue,” said Redzuan.
Hisomudin Bakar (pic, right), who heads independent think-tank Ilham Centre, said PAS’s willingness to work with Umno was a huge feather in the cap for the Malay party.

“It’s proven that after the issue of cooperation came up, PAS, the former main enemy of Umno is no longer attacking Umno and Najib. PAS also chose not to vote against Najib’s Budget 2016.

“This signals a huge achievement for Najib and Umno, given that they have been under attack from within the party and from other opposition parties,” said Hisomudin.

Hisomudin said Umno’s efforts to forge a relationship with PAS were driven by its need to overcome its internal problems, which came to a height when Najib dropped his party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal from the Cabinet.

“That move shook Umno, especially in Johor and Sabah. I expect at least 10 Umno seats in both the states will be affected.

“By bringing in PAS, with its 21 seats, Umno is able to compensate for those losses. This is why I believe this strategy is to save Najib and defend Umno for at least one more term.

“The question now is, what does PAS want from this cooperation? We already know what Umno wants,” he said.

The analyses by Hisomidun and Redzuan follow the findings by Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) that more Malays in Selangor were angry towards DAP, based on a survey conducted in November.

The survey attributed anti-DAP sentiments to Umno-PAS rhetoric demonising the largely Chinese-based opposition party.

Long under attack from government agencies and Umno propaganda, DAP has a new nemesis in the form of PAS, which said it was cooperating with Umno based on Islamic and national interests.

PAS and DAP have been at loggerheads ever since the Islamist party decided to cut ties with its Pakatan Rakyat partner in June last year.

PAS also chose not to join the new opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan comprising DAP, PKR and splinter party Parti Amanah Negara.

PAS research chief Dr Zuhdi Marzuki recently claimed that Israel offered RM1.2 billion to DAP should it win the 2013 general election.

He also said one of the conditions attached to the money was allowing Israel to set up a military base in Malaysia, should DAP take over Putrajaya, a claim DAP has strongly denied

Yesterday, at the Pakatan Harapan leadership convention, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he plans to sue those who have accused him and his party of having relations with Israel. – January 10, 2016.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/umno-pass-anti-dap-card-not-good-for-nation-building-analysts-say#sthash.DqVTv69s.dpuf

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That notion is probably relevant in the current political flavour where many issues against the fundamental values and practice of the Malay-Muslim majority is under constant attack by pockets and special interest groups of the minority.

However, these issues are being echoed, magnified and manipulated with the explicit malice intent to create anguish and hatred by non other than the activists of DAP.

The fact is that, UMNO-PAS co-operation was a political manoeuvre and understanding achieved by Second Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein in 1973, when Barisan Nasional was formed to replace the Alliance Party.

Then mainstay of Alliance Party, UMNO-MCA-MIC expanded to accept parties in Sabah and Sarawak as component members and former Opposition PAS and Gerakan were drawn in, for the fundamental of nation building with the New Economic Policy model to address issues of the bloody racial conflict of 3GE between 10-13 May 1969.

Chinese Chauvinist DAP stayed out of the whole process and continued to be the venomous  thorn of anti-Muhibbah is the tones and flavour envisaged then by Tun Razak, Tun Dr. Ismail, Tun Ghazali Shafie, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun VT Sambanthan and other architects of then the new Federation of Malaysia.

The fact is that neither UMNO nor PAS Presidents then nor now used race and religion to mount the first salvo against the Chinese Chauvinist DAP. It had been the other way around.

History has proven that it is the nature of the Malays to accept immigrants into their society and allow them to be on with their own business and way of life, free from any interference.

That very notion drew Chinese and Indians traders to settle down with the Malays when Melaka was the thriving economic empire in the region, over half a millennium ago.

Even when the British colonialists brought large number of labourers from China and India to serve their economic and administrative interests beginning 150 years ago, on top of the colonial way of life, the Malays never tried anything ugly against the immigrants of the land of the Malays.

These sundry of provocations especially on issues that would be very sensitive against the Malay-Muslim majority in various angles, spectrum, philosophy and connotations have been getting more frequent, intense and blunt.

History have proven the Malay-Muslim majority even in power have never denied the Non Muslims. Yet, the nation-state then thrived, where the Non-Muslims are free to go about their business in all directions.

The Malay-Muslim majority would ‘encircle their wagon’ when the Chinese Chauvinist DAP or any of their agents through various ‘likeminded intellectual entities’ use racial and religious issues to provoke Malay-Muslim majority with a sinister intent and agenda.

The ‘encircling of the wagon’ is the point when the Malays stand up and state themselves aloud for the values, spirit and convention of the harmonious Malaysia as they have been living it through the over 600years of Malay-Muslim tradition and heritage, much more when it is enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Hence, Newton’s third law do apply. Quid pro quo.

Published in: on January 10, 2016 at 13:30  Leave a Comment  

“There was never any interference!”

The tone of Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali on vehement detesting the fallacy notion that his apex law enforcement agency on “Interfering or being interfered” and “Covering up” on all the investigations pertaining to the national controversy 1MDB, is reflective of his annoyance.

It is against the compounding disbelieve, criticism and consistent lies that the matter have not be addressed appropriately in accordance to the law. The Bar Council President Steven Thiru is not spared.

Attorney General Apandi also drew the attention about the perennial challenge confidentiality and transparency, a dilemma he is facing when the tough demands of the rakyat in their interpretation of their right to know and practice of democracy.

Malaysian Digest story, using Bernama:

AG To Study Probe Papers On RM2.6 Billion Donation Closely

Print Email Details Published on Friday, 08 January 2016 22:20
KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said on Friday he will study thoroughly the investigation papers on SRC International Sdn Bhd and a RM2.6-billion political donation submitted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

He noted that evidence had been compiled from over 100 witnesses.

“It’s not just one file. So I have to go through them thoroughly with a fine-tooth comb,” he told reporters at the opening of the Legal Year 2016 here.

The MACC said in a statement on Dec 31 that it had submitted the investigations papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on that day.

SRC International is a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad. It was placed under the Finance Ministry in 2012.

In his speech, Mohamed Apandi said there must be a balance between the desire for accountability and transparency against the need for the retention of confidentiality of sensitive official information from the public eye.

This, he said, was to avoid misuse, particularly in high-profile, sensitive and complex cases and issues.

He reminded the audience that the Attorney-General’s Chambers, as part of the apolitical Malaysian civil service, was bound by the legal constraints of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.

It also had to adhere to internal directives as well as the specific secrecy and confidentiality provisions as contained in the laws enacted by Parliament, he said.

“Regardless of this in-built reticence in engaging with the media and public directly, the Chambers and I have found ourselves compelled to do so in dealing with several high-profile and public-interest cases,” he said.

-BERNAMA

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Attorney General Apandi also appreciate the notion of being transparent and also implies the challenge of the burden in building the case tightly, especially against high profile individuals.

Pro-Anwarista newsportal story:

A-G yes to transparency in high profile cases, but says exceptions apply

Published: 8 January 2016 12:33 PM
Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said he had to balance confidentiality and public policy, amid calls for greater transparency in high profile cases.

Malaysiakini reported Apandi saying that while he acknowledged public demands for transparency, there were also “standard exceptions” that he had to consider.

“Transparency is not a constitutional right. Freedom of information is not a value necessary at the expense of other laws.
“There are common exceptions and this includes matters pertaining to national security and foreign affairs… Hence there is a need to balance the conflicting demands of transparency and how to best serve the public interests,” Apandi was quoted as saying at the Annual Legislative Malaysia 2016 event in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said the A-G was bound by the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Apandi also took note of Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru’s speech at the same event today, in which the latter criticised the sudden transfers, detentions and questioning of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers last year during probes into alleged financial scandals involving the prime minister.

The A-G, however, said while he “was tempted” to answer issues raised by the Bar, he would use “other platforms” to do so. – January 8, 2016.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/a-g-yes-to-transparency-in-high-profile-cases-but-says-exceptions-apply#sthash.hRDT1esx.dpuf

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Earlier, Attorney General Apandi rebutted against Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on his pre-emptive strike in compounding on the doubt that the investigation RM2.6billion in donation which was allegedly credited into the account of Prime Minister Najib and SRC International.

He purposely shared his doubt over media, to compound on the suspicion that all the cases pertaining to 1MDB would be sorted out appropriately through the principle, provisions and processes of the rule of law.

The Sun story:

AG vows to act without fear or favour on RM2.6b probe findings

Posted on 5 January 2016 – 07:50pm
Last updated on 6 January 2016 – 01:10pm

by ASHRAF SHAMSUL
PETALING JAYA: Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali says he will not ignore the probe findings on the RM2.6 billion transferred into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s personal bank accounts.

“I will study (the cases) according to the law,” said Apandi, who vowed to act without fear or favour.

He was referring to three investigation papers submitted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the RM2.6 billion, and two other cases involving RM42 million relating to former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Apandi dismissed former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s “prediction” that he (Apandi) would ignore the findings, stressing that he would act fairly and thoroughly.

Mahathir had said that Apandi would disregard the MACC’s investigation papers on the RM2.6 billion and RM42 million from SRC International, which allegedly found their way into Najib’s personal bank account.

Mahathir has also dismissed the argument that the RM2.6 billion transferred ahead of the last general election in 2013 was a donation from a Middle Eastern source, whose identity continues to remain a mystery.

Apandi, when interviewed by news portal Malaysiakini, retorted: “You ask him, how did he come to that opinion? He’s merely trying to use reverse psychology on me.”

He said Mahathir should cease resorting to such tactics.

“He just tries to put pressure on me. I don’t work under pressure. Just like any judge, we don’t work under pressure,” said Apandi.

“I am a law man. Tell the whole world that I am a law man. I decide according to the law. Nobody puts pressure on me.”

He also denied speculation that he was appointed to protect Najib.

Apandi became attorney-general after his predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was suddenly dropped from the post due to health reasons last year. The latter’s sudden removal from office ignited speculation that he was on the verge of hauling the prime minister to court.

Najib, who has denied any wrongdoing, also replaced his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Rural and Regional Development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who were critical of the 1MDB issue.

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This was in response on Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s remark to cast the doubt on Attorney General Chambers ability to investigate and build the case against the RM2.6billion donation and SRC International.

Pro-Anwarista funded Opposition news portal Free Malaysia Todays story:

AG will ignore MACC reports on 1MDB, Dr M predicts

Arfa Yunus | January 5, 2016

Former Prime Minister says this is due to the Attorney-General’s previous rejection of Bank Negara’s report and recommendations on 1MDB.

PUTRAJAYA: If Attorney-General (AG) Apandi Ali could reject Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) earlier, the same thing would likely happen again now that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has submitted its report on SRC International and the controversial RM2.6 billion political donation.

In an exclusive interview with FMT, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad predicted Apandi would once again ignore the investigation papers on the scandals although the report was submitted by a relevant authority.
“I think he (Apandi) will reject it (MACC’s report) too. But this is just my prediction,” he said when met at his office at Perdana Leadership Foundation, here yesterday.
Mahathir made this prediction following Apandi’s earlier rejection of BNM’s recommendations for action to be taken against debt-ridden 1MDB, after finding no wrongdoing had been committed by any of the state-owned firm’s officials.
“I believe the Bank Negara had submitted their report (on 1MDB) before and Bank Negara is not some institution without rules.
“They made detailed investigation on it and had certain evidence which required the case be brought to court. But the AG rejected it blindly.
“So I would not be surprised if the AG rejects this (MACC’s report) too.”
On December 31, the MACC announced that they had submitted three investigation papers to the AG – two papers related to the probe on SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, and another on the RM2.6 billion political donation.
On July last year, international news agency the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed that RM2.6 billion was channeled into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts, and that the funds were allegedly channeled from 1MDB.
The MACC however denied the allegation saying the money was in fact a donation made to Najib by an Arab from the Middle-East to help Barisan Nasional (BN) win the General Election in 2013.

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It was part of the bigger 1MDB ultra controversial case with the Fourth Prime Minister used as the primary basis to mount an attack and charge for Prime Minister Najib, in the strategy for the Sixth Prime Minister  be ousted from office.

The Conference of Judges at KLCC Convention Centre isn’t the first time Attorney General Apandi reiterated that his work was never interfered by Prime Minister Najib:

The Malay Mail Online story in mid August 2015:

No interference by PM in 1MDB probe, AG says

Thursday August 20, 2015
10:17 AM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not influence the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has said.

The Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) portal quoted the AG as saying that the investigations into the state investment firm would be conducted professionally and legally.

“We are free (from influence), we will act in accordance with the law,” Apandi reportedly said.

He added that the AGC was currently examining the findings of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) probe into 1MDB.

“We are still studying the papers. I have no comment. The papers was handed to us late in the evening or before 5pm on the same day Bank Negara Governor (Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz) had a press conference,” Apandi said.

Last Thursday, Zeti told a press conference that BNM’s had concluded its probe on the state investment firm and that its findings have been submitted to the AGC.

Zeti also noted that the bank’s findings are the culmination of several years’ worth of prior informal monitoring of 1MDB’s investment activities, which she said has required BNM to follow closely as the firm was highly geared.

The BNM chief stressed, however, that the bank cannot publicly discuss the contents of the report submitted to the AG, though she did say it had to do with information on the relevant accounts shared by local banks and the central bank’s international counterparts.

In early June, Bank Negara announced that it had launched a formal inquiry on 1MDB’s activities to establish if there were any contraventions to the country’s financial rules and regulations.

The investigation included taking statements from individuals involved in the governance process and obtaining information from other relevant domestic and foreign parties.

Apandi replaced Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General last month, after the latter was removed for health reasons.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/no-interference-by-pm-in-1mdb-probe-ag-says#sthash.d0tPJNdC.dpuf

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It is responsible for Attorney General Apandi to stand up and make his position very firmly, especially all the allegations is against Prime Minister Najib and the burden to do a thorough investigation and build a really water tight case is of paramount national interest.

The fact is that 1MDB ‘Rationalisation Plan’ which was tabled on 29 May 2015 to the Cabinet, was realised right on the dot before year’s end.</

image

The controversial RM42billion borrowings which was stated in the strategic investment corporation’s 31 March 2014 annual report but instead proclaimed by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in April 2015 in first open attack against Prime Minister Najib using the 1MDB as a basis of demonisation, “RM42billion is missing”.

In has since been proven to not true. Now, almost all of the debts have either been resolved and swapped to investments.

The Opposition, pro-Opposition NGOs in the likes of Bar Council, Suaram, BERSIH, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and small pockets of rebels within UMNO, pro-Opposition and the concerted spectrum of foreign media, working in tandem with utmost consistency, perseverance and intensity, especially in the strategy to demonise Prime Minister Najib, is very revealing.

Published in: on January 9, 2016 at 08:30  Comments (1)  

It is time for everyone to pull their socks, together

It is the time for everyone to put their personal and political interest aside and come together as nation is in peril, mainly due to unavoidable external factors such as the sundry of global economic recession, escalating geo-political conflict, low global demands, sluggish global financial and capital markets.

NST story:

Najib: 2016 Budget to be adjusted in line with global economic developments

[VIDEO] 8 JANUARY 2016 @ 9:56 AM

PUTRAJAYA: The 2016 Budget will be adjusted soon, taking into account the current global economic developments.

Announcing this today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the strengthening of the US dollar, plummeting oil prices and major commodities, as well as the shrinking of major economies such as China, were among the factors taken into consideration.

“When I tabled the 2016 Budget, oil prices were at US$48 a barrel. Yesterday, the price was US$31.58. “As such, the 2016 Budget will have to undergo a recalibration in line with the current economic situation.

“I do not want to paint an unrealistic picture that isn’t based on facts. “It is better to be honest and upfront in our responsibility to uphold the best interests of the rakyat,” he said in a special assembly with Finance Ministry staff this morning.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, described 2016 as a challenging year, especially in terms of the economy. He said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) net revenue for 2016 is expected to reach RM39 billion.

Najib said had the GST not been implemented, Malaysia’s deficit would increase to 4.8 per cent instead of 3.1 per cent this year.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/121079/najib-2016-budget-be-adjusted-line-global-economic-developments-video

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The Star story:

Friday, 8 January 2016 | MYT 9:41 AM

Najib: Budget 2016 to be recalibrated

BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS

PUTRAJAYA: The 2016 Budget will be “recalibrated” to reflect the current eco‎nomic climate, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said that adjustments would have to be made to this year’s budget as much had changed since it was tabled last October.

“This is to ensure that it is accurate, realistic and according to the economic situation we are currently facing,” he said when addressing Finance Ministry staff on Friday.

Najib, however, did not give a specific date when the adjusted Budget would be presented, but indicated that this would be done soon.

The changes would include additional measures to be taken to optimise expenditure and the role of Government-linked companies.

The Prime Minister assured that despite the adjustments to the 2016 Budget, the people’s well-being would continue to be the Government’s priority.

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The nation needs the resources, energy and attention of everyone. The Government is preparing to realign the planned economy 2016, which needed to take into the consideration all the volatility and changes in the variables.

The firms, enterprises and commercial entities must do their bit to ensure the Government is successful in bracing the the economic crunch. Despited the forecast GDP growth is still good, the slide of earlier projected GDP growth with revision from 4.5-4.8% to 3.1-3.4% is telling about the brunt on the Federal Government income.

When Budget 2015 was prepared before Oct 2015, it was projected the crude oil would be at USD48.00 per barrel. Today, the Federal Government is ready to a revised projection of a barrel of crude oil for USD32-35.00.

That would translate to a reduction of revenue for the Federal Government by RM4.5billion.

Federal Government is committed that existing essential subsidies such as a list of food items, medicines, gas for energy, oil and other subsistence such as BR1M and other programs, shall not be reduced.

Prime Minister Najib did ask all Federal Government arms to look into reduction of spending and lowering cost of operation, without impairing service especially to the rakyat.

Hence, the reduction of income would naturally be mitigated with trying into increase revenue from heightening productivity of economic activities, other direct and indirect taxes and lowering spending (such as allowing concession holders to increase charges in lieu of compensation).

On top of that, utilising reserves to reduce and treatment against long term financial commitments.

Improving the collection of revenue would definitely help and tight controls against leakages, wastage and excesses would be the combined compounded variables towards a more positive position of the Treasury coffer.

Tighter enforcement is a boon for revenue of regulators, local authorities, law enforcement agencies and all revenue collection entities be it in the Federal or State Governments.

In all, it is a responsibility of all. Politicians (ruling, opposition and independent), civil servants, GLCs, MNCs, private sectors, SMEs/SMIs, petty traders, workers union, all and sundry to pull up their socks.

Published in: on January 8, 2016 at 23:00  Comments (2)  

The School for Supervising the Skyways

Department of Civil Aviation is an expanding its wing to be a global provider for the development civil and commercial aviation operations by developing countries which require a bugger regulator and operator agencies role.

DCA has started to pitch the presence in Africa continent through its civil aviation commission African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC). AFCAC comprises of 54 member states and it is very strong component in International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

ICAO is the United Nation body for commercial and civil aviation which issues the standards and recommended practices (SARP), in accordance with the international law for aviation.

In the recently 25th AFCAC Conference in Egypt, Minister of Transport Dato’ Seri Liew Tiong Lai said after the plenary session “The ties between Malaysia (DCA) with AFCAC is soaring. Malaysia and AFCAC have long standing of successful partnership”.

The training of foreign air traffic controllers, search and rescue and security supervision for airport management are being undertaken by the Malaysian Aviation Academy (MAvA). It is an arm under DCA.

MAvA is in the process of getting acredditation, is now an associate member of the ICAO Trainair Plus Programme network of training organisations. DCA is working to get the full membership with Train Air Plus.

DCA have trained AFCAC operators under Malaysian Technical Co-operation Program (MTCP), which a fund under the management and disbursement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.. The most recent is we have trained three of their personnel for “search and rescue” operation course.

Malaysia have also reached MOU with Latin American states.

Training programs for civil and commercial aviation authority operators on under and developed nations just like the one with MAvA utilsing the MTCP fund, is actually an extension of the Malaysian foreign policy.

It is derivative of the South-South Co-operation, where technical expertise are being extended.

This opens up the opportunity that the trainings offered by MAvA be operated in the host countries where more people could be trained and in their operating environment.

It is also good opportunity for Malaysians to go, be exposed and learn from their people there.

DCA have been the implementer for MTCP since 1984 and now with the expansion of MAvA, the role and exercise could be expanded further with the indirect benefit be translated through a further extension of the Malaysian foreign policy and better position in global arena.

This is already made history after the experience of the loss of MH370 on 8 March 2015 and MH17 on 17 July 2015, where recommendations made by the DCA through the Minister of Transport presentation in ICAO meetings, have been put to the works.

As the cliche’ goes, ‘People get wiser after the event’. Here is an opportunity where the wise comes before the event. It is wise for Malaysia. It wise of Malaysians travelling by air. It is wise for other people in other carriers travelling by air through the Malaysian airspace.

DCA offer training for courses that are not being offered by other agencies. In the words of DCA Director General Dato’ Seri Azharuddin Abd. Rahman, “We are already there, and we want to move forward”.

Published in: on January 8, 2016 at 02:45  Leave a Comment  

“Mamak, tak mau roti ini hari!”

That was the prank note our common friend on the fridge of her Staffordshire university flat shared with other fellow Malaysians, in the spring of 1990. Growing up in suburban Petaling Jaya in the 70s, the phrase was most probably used by her family to daily breadman serving the neighbourhood almost on the dot every evening.

That was before the time Mamak eatery shops were popular. In fact, it was a rare treat to get a roti canal. Let alone a complete set nasi beriyani-ayam kurma, with popadom. It is often factored in with the treat of watching football matches in Stadium Merdeka.

Those were the days teh tarik wasn’t the nation’s most favourite beverage.

In the mid-80s, ‘Go Mamak’ amongst the youths of suburban Pee Jay and Kay El, mainly students of sixth forms and external accounting and law courses in private colleges in the neighbourhood of China-town simply connotes having stall food.

It was the boom-time stalls in the same area, notable for the banking and capital market staffers along ‘Benteng’. Otherwise, the real Mamak restaurants were a few along Jalan Masjid India and Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

Social behaviour professor Dato’ Dr Shamsul Amri has the opinion it is the Mamak phenomena which brought Malaysians closer together.

NST story:

UKM unveils ‘Mamakization’ theory

BY KOI KYE LEE – 6 JANUARY 2016 @ 11:24 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: In an age when the very foundation of Malaysians society is being tested with numerous challenges, a humble Malaysian institution may be responsible for keeping the diverse people in this country together.

The ubiquitous ‘mamak’ stall, often overlooked in the grand scheme of things, is currently the subject of an academic study which seeks to understand how it contributes to social cohesion in the country.

In the paper ‘Mamakization’: Food and Social Cohesion in Multiethnic Malaysia, authored by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Institute of Ethnic Studies (Kita) director Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, and Eric Olmedo, the ‘mamak’ is scrutinised for its role in nation building.

“Food is a vital social cohesive element and also welding force for the nation. ‘Mamak’ shops are famous amongst Malaysians and even foreigners and is seen as a social gathering centre positioned in the same vein as cafes and coffee shops. Food is the universal language to bring people together, across age, income, race and even culture.

It also plays an equally important role in society, as everyone has to eat and this helps to cultivate the nature of bringing multi-ethnic Malaysians together.,” said Shamsul Amri.

Speaking to the New Straits Times recently, he said: “People of different ethnic groups and also various social standings gather at mamak stalls for meals.”

Shamsul Amri added that mamak restaurants were able to accommodate and incorporate different cultures under one roof and this has indirectly led and encouraged further social cohesion in the country.

“There are different things going on at a ‘mamak’ shop. You can see that they are able to serve various dishes that come from Malay, Indian and even Chinese cultures.

“It is also a place for Malaysians to gather and catch a game of football, which is of a totally different culture, since English, Spanish, Italian leagues football matches are also aired,” he said.

He further added the trait of social cohesion was strong at ‘mamak’ shops, making all Malaysians feel comfortable. It is considered as a place for all regardless of their race and religion.

Based on lessons from the field, Shamsul Amri said the research also found empirical evidence of inclusivity as Malays, Chinese and Indians all crowded the food outlets.

“Not only that, we have also observed that workers use Tamil language to communicate, but they have also managed to adjust to their customer’s language, regardless if it is a mixture of Bahasa Melayu and English. It is a striking example of ethnic alignment which leads to social cohesion,” he added.

Shamsul Amri said the research had summarised that mamak shops play an active role in social innovation, especially on how people behave and interact which in the end creates social cohesion.

Asked what was the purpose of his research into finding the ‘mamak’ theory, Shamsul Amri said it was to show that Malaysians are innovative in solving ethnic problems, and it was not the sole responsibility of governments or politicians.

Shamsul Amri said this study could help the public to look at things from a different perspective, via the lens of social cohesion or symbolic interactionism.

He said it was impossible to stop negative news from circulating via social media platforms, but this ‘mamakization’ theory can show Malaysians how to focus on the good things that make the country wonderful.

“This study will expose the social cohesion in our country through a connector such as ‘mamak’ shops. It will also allow the public to see for themselves how they are creating an initiative through social innovation that fulfills social cohesion,” Shamsul Amri said.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/120852/ukm-unveils-mamakization-theory

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The other more common Mamak then was the rojak-cendol phenomena, mostly found under the most tree shaded corner spots all over in Petaling Jaya.

In many places, Mamaks were offering mi-goreng from their pushcart for a small affordable price, even for boys coming from from rugby or hockey practice for the annual inter-school district and state level games.

We must admit we have not gone through the study yet. However, the anti-thesis to Shamsul’s opinion is the term Mamak do come with a negative connotation of overcharging, inconsistent of charge and short selling at an eatery.

Never the less, otherwise it is a typical eatery where the standard for service, price and value is almost expected.

Published in: on January 7, 2016 at 02:22  Comments (2)  

Twice toned Tony

The DAP Strategist and MP for Pedaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua had his face egged again when he had to be reminded through social media by fellow Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) MP for Simpang Renggam Liang Teck Meng to stop the using the PAC as his political theatre and work together, as representative of the rakyat.

WHAT IS THE POINT OF HOLDING A PAC INQUIRY IF THE TRUTH CAN BE CONCLUDED JUST BASED ON PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION?

Press statement by Liang Teck Meng, member of PAC Parliament.

YB Tony Pua seems to have forgotten that it is not only me who is asking you to be careful with your words and not bring the Parliament PAC into disrepute.
After YB Nur Jaslan had stepped down in July and before new PAC Chairman Hassan Arifin took over, your fellow DAP YB and PAC Co-Chairman, also reminded YB Tony to be careful of what he said and I quote:

““If you do not have any evidence to back (it) up, then, do not raise the issue. “If there is an allegation, the person needs to prove it,”

And YB Tan gave you this piece of wisdom which I hope you will never forget again: The “PAC is all about establishing the truth.

Was your DAP YB Tan also “polishing apples” when he similarly criticized you then?

YB Tony Pua seems to have had a momentary lapse in memory. I hope it is not permanent. He seems to have forgotten what he wrote on New Year’s Day.

It was clear from his post which I had criticized in my statement yesterday that YB Tony did not merely “speak up” or criticized 1MDB but he had already made a judgement that “crooks” have caused “tens of billions of public money to be lost”.

And in reply to my statement, he had arrived on that conclusion based on public information.

I am puzzled on where he got his evidence from public information that “tens of billions have been lost due to crooks”. Did he base it on the audited reports or did he read Sarawak Report and arrived at that conclusion?

And if we can draw conclusions based on Public Information then what is the purpose of holding a PAC inquiry?

YB Tony needs to understand that the inquiry onto 1MDB was held precisely to find out the truth behind the allegations made by the public media.

If we can come to a conclusion based on public information then there would be no need for a PAC inquiry and there is no need for YB Tony to waste his precious time in the many sessions of the PAC inquiry.

We might as well disband the PAC and sit at home to read anonymous blogs such as Sarawak Report if it has become acceptable practise to come to a conclusion based on “public information”.

As a member of the PAC, I have invested much of my time on these proceedings and I do not want my fellow PAC members to bring the entire PAC and Parliament into disrepute while the rest of us are intent on reaching a final conclusion based on actual facts, evidence and witness interviews – and not on “public information”.

Is this so hard for YB Tony to understand? Is it that hard for YB Tony to work with the rest of us to collectively come out with a proper fact-based conclusion instead of undermining the credibility of our entire team and process with his unproductive and politically-motivated statements?

There is really no point making hundreds of statements if the majority of them are politically-motivated that is not based on actual facts. It adds to the noise and confusion and not on the truth.

For YB Tony Pua to react to my statement this way further reinforces the growing public belief that, despite multiple warnings including from his fellow DAP YB in the PAC, YB Tony Pua’s continued wild accusations his dirty political game.

Again, I plead with you: Please stop continuing to try to get yourself sacked from the PAC to manipulate public perceptions and bring the PAC and Parliament into disrepute.

Please stop playing games. It is unfair to the rest of us on the PAC and to the public.

Liang Teck Meng,
Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam,
Member of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

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

Pua, was quick to react with the excuse of “Exposing crooks” despite highly respected DAP respected MP for Kepong Tan Seng Giaw and co-Chair of PAC apprehended Pua for his unsubstantiated political theatrics riding on the 1MDB investigation currently being heard by the PAC.

The Star story:

Monday, 4 January 2016 | MYT 12:21 PM

1MDB: Tony Pua responds to Liang Teck Meng’s allegation

BY TAN YI LIANG

PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua has responded to Gerakan secretary-general Liang Teck Meng over his call for an MP to stop playing “disgusting dirty politics” and focus on evidence-based investigations on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“What is wrong with wanting to ‘expose the crooks’ behind the multi-billion ringgit scam behind 1MDB which has resulted in tens of billions of ringgit of taxpayers losses,” said Pua in a press statement on Monday.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said that this was not the first time that Liang has told him off for speaking out on 1MDB.

“Liang, who is also the Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam, who is never heard raising issues which matter to the man-on-the-street, has been impressively first-off-the-mark to criticise me whenever I comment on 1MDB recently,” said Pua.

Pua added that Liang has claimed that he was trying to deliberately get himself suspended from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by speaking up on the issue.

Both Pua and Liang are PAC members.

In his statement, Pua added that he never breached the Parliamentary Standing Orders, which states that the information provided by the relevant parties privy to the PAC is not allowed to be disclosed before tabling in Parliament.

He said that the Standing Orders did not gag PAC members when it came to information that was already in the public domain.

“I’ve spoken in the past on the National Feedlot Corporation, KLIA2 and even the 1MDB scandals even as the PAC investigated them without any issues. Even the former PAC chairman put it on record that I’ve been very disciplined when issuing statements,” said Pua.

On Sunday, Liang said he had read a statement by one of his fellow committee members on New Year’s Day and was stunned.

Alhough he did not expressly identify the “Yang Berhormat”, it is believed that Liang was referring to fellow PAC member and Opposition MP Tony Pua.

Liang went on to say that no sane person would try to prejudice and dishonour himself and the PAC in such a manner unless he had a hidden political agenda that was not based on the truth or on factual evidence.

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

Pua should be able to show a little more maturity and behave less arrogant, out of respect as a member of a very exalted body of public enquiry considering that he has no other appropriate choice but to maintain decorum.

Slightly more than three months ago in the centre of contentious allegations and rumours about 1MDB which was still under PAC and Auditor General’s investigation, Dr Tan demanded that a full enquiry be instituted after leaked documents privy to the PAC hearing found its way to foreign media.

The Star story:

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 | MYT 11:51 PM

Dr Tan should demand full enquiry into leaked PAC documents, says 1MDB

KUALA LUMPUR: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw should demand a full and transparent enquiry on how confidential PAC documents on 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) landed in the hands of a foreign media publication, said 1MDB.

1MDB in a statement Wednesday said Dr Tan at the same time should advise Tony Pua, his party member who is also a member of PAC, that one should not say things based on hearsay or without evidence.

“1MDB welcomes this profound advice of the eight-term MP for Kepong as timely and wise, to seek proof before making accusations and to uphold the rule of law, that one is innocent until proven guilty.

“We trust Dr Tan will prescribe the same advice to his junior Tony Pua,” it said.

The statement added Pua’s claim to fame is recycling unproven allegations on 1MBD, but when answers are given and facts shared, he was proven wrong.

However, he (Pua) would ignore the facts, change the topic and wait quietly for the next sensationalist and unproven allegation, it added.

The statement was issued in response to Dr Tan’s advice that one “can’t say things based on hearsay” pertaining to the leaks on PAC’s confidential documents to the foreign media publication. His remarks were carried by a news portal Tuesday. – Bernama

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

It is unsure how Parliament as the legislative institution and PAC as a committee to Parliament would stomach Pua’s theatrics, which is getting old and no longer getting the attention which the Opposition crave in the strategy to demonise Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s premiership and the Federal Government.

However, Pua is working on getting to be ‘victimised’ since the combined effort with fellow Opposition leaders, pro-Anwar media, foreign and Neo Con Jewish sponsored media working together in tandem to achieve the said objective, is dying out and fizzling away.

Published in: on January 4, 2016 at 12:30  Leave a Comment  

Happy New Year

The 2016 which comes with fresh hopes for a better future kicks off with the delightful news from the courts, when the suit by UMNO rebels led by former UMNO Langkawi Wanita member Ainina Saadudin against the party President and Executive Secretary was struck out.

The Star story:

Friday, 1 January 2016

High Court strikes out civil suit against Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno received a “New Year gift” when a civil suit filed by a former member of Langkawi Wanita Umno against its two office-bearers on a “political donation” of RM2.6bil for use and benefit of the party was struck out by a High Court.

Yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and its public officer Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh succeeded in their bid to strike out the suit.

In his ruling, High Court Judicial Commissioner Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab said he found the plaintiff “does not have reasonable cause of action”.

Anina Saadudin had claimed to have filed the civil action for the benefit of Umno and its members.

In elaborating, JC Mohd Zaki said Anina had no legal standing to bring the civil action as she was not a public officer or office-bearer of the party to do so as stipulated under Section 9(c) of the Societies Act 1966.

He said he agreed with the contention of the defendants’ lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun that only a public officer and the office-bearer of the party would be the competent person to initiate such legal actions.

JC Mohd Zaki said Anina must continuously be a party member in order to be able to bring derivative action.

“It (her status) changes when she was terminated by the party. The plaintiff cannot proceed with the derivative action when she is no longer an Umno member,” he added.

Besides that, he said, it involved internal party matters.

He ordered Anina to pay RM5,000 in costs to each defendant.

Speaking to reporters later, Mohd Hafarizam described the decision as a “good New Year gift for Umno”.

“With this decision, we hope it will put to rest any attempts to put Umno to scandal and public odium,” he said.

Anina’s lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said they would appeal against the decision.

“We will carry on to the next level,” said Anina.

She had said she was a lawful member of the party when she filed the derivative action on Aug 28.

Among others, Anina sued Najib for the return of part of the RM2.6bil donation allegedly deposited into a Singapore bank account.

In asking for an account for all monies received by Najib in the form of donations, Anina claimed that the Prime Minister had breached the Umno constitution, the provisions of the Societies Act 1966 and his common-law duties as a trustee.

Mohd Hafarizam had argued that the civil action was scandalous, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of court process filed with an ulterior purpose which ought to be struck out by the court.

He also argued that Anina had automatically lost her membership when she brought the civil action, as clearly provided for under Article 20.7 of the Umno constitution.

He noted that another High Court had on Dec 7 also struck out Anina’s challenge over the termination of her membership on grounds that it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Mohamed Haniff has applied for the civil dispute to be heard in a full trial, saying that there was no decision ever made by Umno with regard to the RM2.6bil donation.

***********

The defendants, who have instructed to pay the cost of the case, are determined to rebel on further. Ainina Saaduddin was automatically sacked as an UMNO member when she sued the UMNO President “On behalf of UMNO for the purportedly criminal breach of trust about the RM2.6billion donation”.

Those, especially were former strong UMNO activists and supporters who have since rebelled against Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak a year ago at this point of time had different level of confidence. They were convinced that the sixth prime minister and seventh UMNO President would have either quit or toppled within three months time.

More and more allegations in the combined form of manipulated facts and fabricated ones, where incessantly thrown against Prime Minister Najib and were viralised especially in the age and practicality of  ICT democracy. This is not without the extensive and intensive input and assistants by the foreign media, many which are controlled by Neo Con Jews with an agenda.

The malicious intent is the strategy to demonise, which were designed to rile majority of the rakyat to the point of anguish and demand, either through party, Parliament or mob street demonstrations to topple Prime Minister Najib.

The manipulation is so intense even a handful of UMNO current and former leaders were taken in and bought into this demonisation game.

However, Prime Minister Najib’s rather cool approached stretched the game further as new information surface and brought forth with substance to dispel fallacy and popular myth, actually drew compounding and added the already multi-facetted stories (which deemed ‘scandalous’ to many!) into a three-dimensional spiralling confusion.

The basis of the allegations were on the over-manipulated commercial deals and decisions of 1MDB, which the bad ones are the basis of the strategy to demonise Prime Minister Najib’s leadership and inadvertently, the Federal Government.

Many confused and equally ignorant blind loyalists of the former Prime Minister drawn up as ‘Minutemen Militia’ against the rebellion to topple Prime Minister Najib, which in the first week of April with the scandalous raison d’être of “RM42 billion of hilang“.

Between 29 May 2015, where the Cabinet was briefed on the ‘Rationalisation Plan’ of the strategic investment company, rolled out a careful plan to unbundle and rationalise all assets, liabilities and deals.

The deal with IPIC in June, the sale of Edra Global to CGN and the final deal of Bandar Malaysia yesterday, brought relief to the stressful cashflow commitments of 1MDB, which was the reason of the financial woes.

Even on the political front, Prime Minister Najib’s July Cabinet reshuffle which saw Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin’s departure since being a member in April 1995 and other Cabinet Ministers proven to be the right judgment call.

Some of the rebellion hopefuls were banking on the rebellion by BN MPs at the last session through the ‘Vote of No Confidence’ motion and some strategic UMNO leaders and more than handful delegates openly demand for their President to go in the party Annual Assembly in early December.

Alas, non avail. BN and UMNO proven to have more confident with Prime Minister Najib to stay on. The immediate next week, Prime Minister Najib and PAS President Dato’ Seri Haji Hadi Awang openly embraced the window of ‘co-operation and working together’, in a clerics conference.

Hence, as the year end drawn and a new chapter has opened, even a strong player in the demonisation game conceded that the tide is turning towards Prime Minister Najib’s advantage.

Pro-Anwarista news portal:

After surviving a rough year, Najib heads into 2016 stronger than ever
BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA

Published: 1 January 2016 8:58 AM
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be near invincible this year even as he is expected to face more strident calls from within and outside Umno to quit.

Although 2015 was the roughest year of his six-year leadership, the 62-year-old Umno president managed to cement his hold on the Malay ruling party and quash his internal enemies, including the widely influential Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The only real opposition to Najib outside Umno, the Pakatan Harapan parties, are in disarray and are unable to tap into a disenchanted electorate to muster an effective multi-ethnic movement against him.
In fact, Najib has started a subtle yet effective initiative to further divide the opposition and cement his position among the Malay-Muslim masses by courting PAS, the country’s second largest political party after Umno.
In his policy speech at the Umno general assembly on December 10, Najib offered PAS the chance to work together to build a “perfect” Malaysia.
On December 17, Najib and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang donned colour-coordinated traditional Malay dress to jointly officiate the Al-Azhar University alumni dinner in Kuala Lumpur.

He reiterated his olive branch towards PAS and urged the two parties to come together for the sake of the Malay-Muslim community.

Hadi responded to these overtures by saying on December 26 that PAS wants to be “adviser” to the Barisan Nasional ruling government, which Umno heads.

For many Malay-Muslim voters, an Umno-PAS cooperation would be a dream come true and any leader who could actually pull it off would stand to gain much goodwill, said Ibrahim Suffian of the independent polling agency, Merdeka Center.

“He can mute criticism towards him in Umno with something as big as this because he will show that he can expand support for Umno.”

One reason why the internal rebellion inside Umno has not caught on is the support Najib has from the party’s middle-ranking division leaders, said analyst Wan Saiful Wan Jan of the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas).

Although the slow-brewing uprising is catching fire at the lower ranks, it has not been enough to unseat Najib, even when it is being spurred on by Dr Mahathir.

But main problem with the anti-Najib movement, from within and outside Umno, said Wan Saiful, was that there was no clear replacement for Najib and this crippled its momentum.

“The two elements have to come together. You can’t really ask him to resign and yet not provide an idea of who will take over.”

Right now there is no clear replacement. Najib’s estranged deputy in Umno Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal have not positioned themselves as replacements.

Both were dropped from their ministerial posts by Najib in a Cabinet reshuffle in July.

And neither is Najib’s new handpicked Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi seems interested.

Najib’s supporters in Umno had also attempted to quash the uprising among branch leaders movement by suspending eight of them.

Meanwhile, the opposition’s prime minister-designate, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is serving his five-year prison term for sodomy since February.

In some ways, Najib’s trials are reminiscent of his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was hounded out of office in 2009.

Abdullah also faced intense pressure from his own predecessor, Dr Mahathir, to step down.

The difference is that Najib and his supporters are entrenching themselves and fighting back, and that sparks questions about what is at stake if he were to quit.

“Abdullah showed that when there was pressure, he was willing to step down. He was not afraid to let go,” said Wan Saiful.

Yet Najib, when faced with the same demands, is the opposite, thus creating the impression that he has something to fear if he resigns, said Wan Saiful. – January 1, 2016.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/after-surviving-a-rough-year-najib-heads-into-2016-stronger-than-ever#sthash.tidryjxW.dpuf

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

Despite having the emotional storm for the charged-up political uprising which have yet materialised, it is a happy new year indeed with Ainina not able to progress further in what shall be a demonisation of UMNO. Politically, it shall be an interesting 2016 indeed.

Published in: on January 1, 2016 at 14:00  Comments (1)  

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  
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