Abdullah Badawi As “Practise Leader”


 

M. Bakri Musa

Morgan-Hill, California

 

March 31, 2008


In his novel Gadis Pantai (“The Girl From The Coast”), Pramoedya Ananta Toer revealed a quaint custom in ancient Malay culture. That is where the lord of the kampong upon reaching adulthood would grab the prettiest village virgin to be his “practise wife.” Then when he becomes sufficiently well honed in his “husbandly” skills or when he gets bored with her, he would toss her out like a piece of soiled rag. He with his now enhanced skills would go on to marry a lady of “proper” background.

 

 

I believe that Fate has gifted Malaysians with a “practise leader” in the person of Abdullah Badawi. He is so inept, so spineless, and so lacking in ability to make decisions that he practically invites scorn and contempt. Or in Tengku Razaleigh’s words, Abdullah showed a “stunning ineptness in managing … straightforward functions of government.” Today, in the kedai kopi (coffeehouses) even taxi drivers are not hesitant in ridiculing Abdullah.

 

 

Granted, some of the criticisms leveled at Abdullah are crude and clumsy, but then so would the village nobleman’s initial experiences with his “practise wife.” The concern is less with finesse and artistry, more with getting it done! With time and practice, rest assured things would only get better!

 

 

Once Malaysians have become accustomed to being critical of Abdullah and are unafraid to criticize or even challenge him, then we would toss Abdullah out, as the village nobleman would of his “practise wife.” Malaysians would then be ready for a proper leader.

 

 

 

Consequences of Uncritical Citizenry

 

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein

 

Fate has blessed Malaysia with capable leaders in the past. There was Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Father of Independence, who successfully led us out of colonial rule without shedding a drop of blood. However, as Malaysians had not yet learned to be good followers, we were not sufficiently critical of him. Thus he got carried away with being the “world’s happiest prime minister” while letting problems fester away until they blew up in his and our collective faces.

 

 

The Tunku was succeeded by the able Tun Razak, but his life was tragically cut short by cancer. As such he was spared from being spoiled by an adoring and uncritical populace. His reputation remains intact and unblemished.

 

 

His successor Hussein Onn may not have been the most capable but at least he knew his limitations. He was wise enough to voluntarily relinquish his position. He also took his oath of office seriously. Thus he was meticulous and unusually astute in the choice of his successor.

 

 

Tun Dr. Mahathir

 

In Dr. Mahathir Malaysians had a leader of exceptional brilliance, unorthodox convictions, and courageous innovations. He transformed Malaysia . Like any other mortal, he too had his share of mistakes. Unfortunately his uncritical and unabashedly adoring followers were equally blind to his mistakes thus preventing him from recognizing and rectifying them.

 

 

Had Malaysians generally and UMNO members specifically been more critical of Mahathir in his choice of a successor, for example, the nation would have been spared the current political muddle.

 

 

This uncritical and sheep-to-shepherd dynamics also characterize other Asian and Third World societies. Indonesia was blessed with the charismatic and brilliant Sukarno. He united those polyglot islands into a cohesive nation while bravely taking on the Dutch colonialists at the same time. China has its Mao. However, as their uncritical followers did not rein in their leaders’ initial excesses, those leaders got carried away.

 

 

Making Malaysians more critical

 

 

Malaysians are excessively deferential to their leaders, rarely challenging or even criticizing them. Our leaders are always clad in the finest fashion even when all they have on is a piece of tattered, stained loincloth. The relationship is akin to that of a flock of sheep and its shepherd, of blind obedience.

 

 

That may be fine for a flock of docile sheep but it is hardly the recipe for a progressive society. Nor is it the recipe for a competitive society, or at least one that would merit the adjective “modern.” In such a society, leaders must be held accountable, and followers in turn must not hesitate to hold their leaders to exacting standards. This reciprocal relationship means that followers must be willing and not fearful to criticize and challenge their leaders. That is the best way to ensure accountability. It would also discourage these leaders from being led astray by their blind ambition or abusing the trust we grant them.

 

 

Without being unduly Pollyannaish, the only way to make sense of the current political mess is to believe that this is part of a divine design, of Fate providing Malaysians with a “practise leader” in order to better prepare us for a real leader in our future.

 

 

Anwar Ibrahim

 

There are two towering personalities in the horizon that fit my characterization of a real leader: Anwar Ibrahim and Tengku Razaleigh. In their previous incarnations, these two had their share of fawning followers who egged them on to make unwise decisions. For Anwar, it led to his imprudently challenging Mahathir. He (and us) knows only too well the disastrous consequences of that fateful decision. Tengku Razaleigh, again at the behest of his admiring supporters, left UMNO briefly to form the Semangat–46 Party.

 

 

The problem is not with Anwar or Ku Li challenging Mahathir, rather that we as a society have yet to deal with or learn the art of challenges and criticisms. Our standard response then was either to split the organization or riot in the streets. Enter Abdullah as “practise leader;” now we have learned at least not to riot, a significant advancement!

 

 

I believe that Anwar and Ku Li are now wiser. They would be even better leaders if we let them be, meaning that we should not let our guards down lest they would be tempted to be led astray by their uncritical admirers. On the personal side, I note a certain humility and magnanimity in both Anwar and Ku Li. To them, the travails and weaknesses of Abdullah Badawi truly pain them. To these two nationalists, challenging Abdullah is not a route for the fulfillment of their personal ambition, rather a patriot’s obligation.

 

 

To young readers who may not yet quite grasp the “practise wife” concept, let me substitute a sports metaphor. Abdullah is a convenient punching bag for Malaysians to practice on how we should learn to handle future leaders. For now, his ineptness and incompetence make those lessons easy for us, though not for Abdullah.

 

 

In Pram’s novel, the young nameless lady who is the nobleman’s “practise wife” returns to her village. Only through her strength of character could she maintain her dignity and respect in her village.

 

 

When Abdullah gets tossed out, as inevitably he would, lacking strength of character, the public scorn heaped upon him would be merciless. Abdullah’s predictable humiliation would not arouse any pity from me, but his destroying what was once a fine Malay institution – UMNO – would.

 

 

The only redeeming part to the whole ugly saga would be that Abdullah would also bring down with him the “practise pundits” and “practise editors” in the mainstream media, as well as the “practise academics” and “practise intellectuals” in our universities.


Away in Singapore


 

 Dear Friends,

I will be away in Singapore from today (March 31) and will be back in town on April 2. I will try to blog from there so that my webblog is active. I will also have a short report for you on the ISEAS (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies) seminar on the New Economic Policy (NEP), where I will be one of the panelists.

I am sure my views will be criticised by the media here. But frankly, I believe that we must not live the past, and instead we must move forward into a new era of good governance.

Malaysia is not a hotel. It must be a place where we all can call our home, a place where we belong and there will opportunities for all who are willing to work hard. But we must have compassion for the less fortunate among us. The poor Malaysians need help and given their dignity back; and they must be given the help so that they can be empowered to take care of themselves and their families. This is possible in PKR’s constitutional state (negara madani).

So, Affirmative Action Policy, YES, but NEP, as it is now and has been for the past 37 years, NO. I support Anwar Ibrahim’s Malaysian Economic Agenda because it is the way forward. Let us not be afraid of change, especially when it is positive. There must be “Justice for All”.—Din Merican.

Natalie Wood: My Venus


Guys, she was my Venus. She first came to my attention as the opposite to James Dean in A REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. She was an overnight sensation in my kampong, Bakar Bata by Sungei Kedah, Alor Star, Kedah Darul Aman, where my friend Kawan Wat Siam is now enjoying his retirement.

To all the Venuses who are reading my blog, this song by Frankie Avalon is for you, all beautiful people. Thank you for making our world a great place to be, occasional problems excepted. Enjoy your weekend, and swing it in great rhythm.—Dee Jay Din Merican.

Crisis In Trengganu? What Crisis?


by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

March 30, 2008

It may be that in all the posturing that is happening within UMNO, within the Federal Government and the Attorney General’s Chamber concerning the events in Trengganu, some of the actors in the unfolding saga have lost sight of the obvious. In the absence of the Sultan, His Royal Highness the Regent of Trengganu has the absolute power and discretion to appoint the Menteri Besar of the state. Put another way, the choice is that of the Regent, and no one else. It is as simple as that.

The Constitution of Trengganu is a document in 3 parts: Laws of the Constitution of 1911, Laws of the Constitution of Trengganu (First Part) and Laws of the Constitution of Trengganu (Second Part). In determining the constitutional position on any matter pertaining to the state, all 3 parts must be read harmoniously. Put another way, all three parts must be reconciled.

It follows, therefore, that in determining the ambit of powers of the Sultan (referred to as Raja in the constitutional documents), or the Regent as the case may be (and for ease of reference, only the Sultan shall be referred to in this comment), reference must be made to all 3 documents.

Chapter Six of the 1911 Laws emphatically provides that His Royal Highness is empowered as the sole authority for appointing ministers and officials. The chapter does not qualify the power of His Royal Highness to do so nor does it set out any criteria by which His Royal Highness is required to exercise his power. As I see it, Chapter Six vests an absolute discretion in the Sultan to appoint ministers and officials. This would necessarily include the Chief Minister or Mentri Besar.

Article 63 of the First Part expressly preserves the prerogatives, powers and jurisdiction of the Sultan except where expressed otherwise in the First Part. This is significant as the absolute power of the Raja to appoint a Mentri Besar is preserved except where otherwise expressly provided.

Article 14 of the First Part provides for the appointment of the State Executive Council including the Mentri Besar. The appointment is made by His Royal Highness. The language of the provision does not detract from His Royal Highness’ power to appoint. Criteria are however provided as follows: the candidate selected must be a member of the Legislative Assembly AND must be a member who in His Royal Highness’ judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly.

The Second Part is silent on this aspect of the powers of the Sultan.

Reconciling Chapter Six of the 1911 Laws with Article 14 of the First Part, two points are manifest. The power to appoint the Mentri Besar is that of the Sultan and only that of the Sultan. In exercising this power, His Royal Highness must choose a member of the Legislative Assembly who in His judgment commands the confidence of the majority of the Legislative Assembly. Put another way, it is the subjective view of the Sultan that matters and not of anyone else. Though expressions of support are factors that should be taken into consideration, the Constitution does not bind the Sultan to act only in accordance with such expressions of support.

Furthermore, it is unreasonable to suggest that all that matters are the numbers. The Sultan cannot be expected, nor does the Constitution require His Royal Highness, to act as a rubber-stamp.

In this context, I am of the view that the Sultan may take into consideration all matters that His Royal Highness may reasonably view as having a bearing on the question of confidence. What if the Sultan formed the view that he was not confident that a particular member who seemingly had popular support would not make a suitable Chief Minister. Statements issued by the Palace indicate the concerns of the Palace over the handling of the Pantai Batu Burok episode as well as events that occurred during the recent General Election by Idris Jusoh. These are matter that are evidently bearing on the minds of those who advise the Regent.

These are considerations of weight that go to the question of confidence more so for the fact that it is glaringly obvious that twenty UMNO assembly-men who have endorsed the appointment of Idris Jusoh may not necessarily be acting in accordance with their own conscience but rather the dictates of the party. There is, in a manner of speaking, a dimension of duress in the saga, made obvious by the threats of disciplinary action that have been leveled against Ahmad Said by UMNO. To this end, it is questionable whether it can be said that Idris Jusoh truly commands the confidence of the majority of the Legislative Assembly.

These factors go to show that there is basis for doubt in the mind of the Regent and the advisory council as to the appropriateness of appointing Idris Jusoh. If so, this doubt may reasonably undermine the belief of the Regent and the advisory council that Idris Jusoh truly commands the confidence of the majority.

Regrettably, the rhetoric of the Prime Minister and the Attorney General lend to a conclusion that the Regent and the advisory council are expected to rubber stamp the wishes of the majority. Though this may have been how appointments were made in the past, this does not bind the Sultan or the Regent in the present, more so where the past practice may not have been Constitutionally thought through. In the same vein, I would say that there is no basis for the assertion that the Regent is acting unconstitutionally. In the circumstances, such statements verge on being disrespectful.

For purposes of argument, I would go further. Even if the Regent had decided for no apparent reason to appoint Ahmad Said as Mentri Besar instead Idris Jusoh, there would be no basis for challenging the decision to appoint the said person. The decision is solely that of the Sultan and as such, is in my view not justiciable in a court of law. The only recourse for those members of the Legislative Assembly who disagree is to move a vote of no confidence in the Legislative the Assembly. This is clearly envisaged under the Trengganu Constitution (Article 14(6)).

Significantly, if that were to happen, a new State Executive Council would be appointed unless the Sultan is requested by the Mentri Besar to dissolve the Legislative Assembly in which event elections would have to be held. This may not be politically expedient for those who complain.

And perhaps that is what this is all about in the final reckoning.

Comment:

One would have expected the Attorney-General to understand the laws of the State of Terengganu, but in stead, he was trying to please his boss, the Prime Minister. In some countries like the United States, the Attorney General would have resigned, but not in our case. It is not our tradition, some would say. But it is time we change that culture. We must develop a culture of public accountability. If you fail to give good advice, then you should resign rather than become a tool of some soon to be defunct politician (an adaptation of Keynes).

Alas, the Terengganu saga is over and the people of Terengganu are proud that their Sultan stood firm on the point of law. If the politicians have truly listened to the voices of the rakyat, there was no need for intervention by the Sultan. If there is no controversy, things would have gone on smoothly.—Din Merican

To Wipro’s Bashah: Bloomington, Indiana and Los Angeles, California


May this James Ingram’s popular hit tune bring back memories of your days in Bloomington, Indiana and Los Angeles, California . It is obvious to me during recent kopi tarik sessions that America did a lot in defining your worldview. American trained guys do not quit. They are trained to take the ups and the downs in equal measure, getting stronger, more determined and very focused on redefining the rules with each passing phase in the journey of life. Keep it that way. We must engage in an ongoing struggle to find a new “S”-curve. To compete, we must innovate.

Bashah, not bad for a boy from Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang. Great times ahead, pal, once we have sorted out the political mess and have our Pak Sheikh back in Putrajaya, inshaAllah.—Dee Jay Din Merican.

 

 

What’s next?


UMNO Eats Humble Pie PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 March 2008
By TAY TIAN YAN

What is the most unpalatable pie in the world? It is not apple pie, nor it is “Popeye”. It is “humble pie”. This is a lame joke. Once upon a time, the Western elite would finished all the meat they hunt. Meanwhile, the remaining viscera would be made as pie eaten by the servants. Of course, the taste is bad, but they still had to eat it. Therefore, we have the proverb “humble pie”.

The BN has also eaten “humble pie” under the current Terengganu political situation. They have been complacent and overlooked the attitude of the palace. They thought it is such a matter of course for Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to continue in his position as the state’s Menteri Besar.

The delay of Idris’ appointment is already a warning. However, the BN didn’t do anything to solve the problem. By the time the palace decided to appoint Datuk Ahmad Said, the BN was caught unprepared.

“The BN can’t afford to lose the sixth state.”

The BN showed a tough stance and wanted to strip of Ahmad’s UMNO membership. At the same time, they claimed that they have received the necessary support from the Terengganu state assemblyperson.It seems the BN is strong and wanted others to follow them. However, they were actually bluffing and did not have much to go on with. They should have know that they are hopeless. The palace’s strategy is comprehensive and foresighted. They moved forward steadily and knew that they will win.

The party membership is no longer important after Ahmad was appointed as the Menteri Besar. Even though he may be expelled from the UMNO, he is still the Menteri Besar.

He has 90 days to rope in PAS and BN state assemblyperson to join the state government under his leadership. With the support from the palace and the position as exco member, surely some people will change their mind and support Ahmad.

Of course, the BN still has the trump card. They can deny Ahmad through their votes during the state council meeting. The question is, are they able to pool enough votes?

Even so, the palace and Ahmad are able to face it readily. Ahmad may request the Sultan to dissolve the Executive Council to hold another state elections.

Does the BN have the courage to face another elections after a great setback? Moreover, Terengganu UMNO has been divided. It is not easy to win the state elections. The BN can’t afford to lose the sixth state.

Perhaps they can take the risk. They can declare emergency so that the central government could takeover Terengganu. This practice had been used in Kelantan.

However, a emergency declaration requires the approval from the Sultan or the Regent Advisory Council. I’m afraid that the problem will be more complicated.

There is no way for them to forward or backward. They are helpless and can only eat humble pie. (Translated by LEE MEI NYEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

source:www.malaysia-today.com

Wake Up Call to Mainstream Media: Back to Basics or We will boycott You–Din Merican


www. malaysiakini.com

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz

March 29, 2008

The newspapers have to go ‘back to basics’ in terms of journalistic and professional ethics if they are to remain relevant in Malaysian society today, said a report by three media watchdogs. If they do not heed the message made clear by voters on March 8 – that voters had not been taken in by the powerful pro-BN media machinery – the newspapers would risk losing the last remaining shreds of credibility and relevance that they enjoy, the report added.

Launching the report today, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) executive director Gayathry Venkiteswaran said this return to the fundamental role and purpose of journalism includes doing away with government-prescribed ‘ratios’ that determine how many ‘pro-Barisan Nasional’ (BN) versus ‘pro-Opposition’ reports are published.

“(The general election) really showed how irrelevant the kind of coverage in these newspapers (was) because, despite the bombardment of these (pro-BN) articles… and ads…, the results showed otherwise,” she told a press conference at CIJ’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

“Something had happened, and I think the people had already made up their minds not to believe the newspapers and maybe the ads just went beyond the limit. People just said, ‘forget it, lah’.

“I think it’s really time to go back to the basics of what journalism is all about. That is step one. We should not have to say what is the ratio of what is pro-BN and what is pro-Opposition,” she added.

The report – a quantitative analysis of the election reporting of six English, Malay and Tamil-language newspapers – was a ‘Media Monitoring Initiative’ jointly-conducting by CIJ, Writers Alliance for Media Independence (Wami) and Charter 2000-Aliran.

The report provided a quantitative breakdown of newspaper articles in relation to BN component parties and BR parties (PKR, DAP and PAS). According to the report, The Star was the most partial among English newspapers in terms of elections reporting in favour of Barisan Nasional (BN) with 63.12 percent its election reports being ‘pro-BN’.

Various pro reports

The daily was also found to have had the smallest proportion (5.5 percent) of pro-Opposition reports, while 31.3 percent of its stories were ‘neutral’.

‘Pro-BN’ and ‘pro-Opposition’ reports refer to those that put the BN coalition or opposition party in a positive light.

‘Neutral’ reports, on the other hand, are those that provide space for the various parties concerned to give their side of the story. Neutral reports also pertain to those stories which do not contain any clear ‘persuasions’ in favour of or against one coalition or party, said Gayathry.

Not far behind The Star in terms of partiality towards the BN was New Straits Times (NST), Gayathry said further.

While the NST had slightly more space (5.9 percent) for pro-Opposition stories than the Star, it had only slightly more (31.31 percent) of neutral stories.

In terms of pro-BN stories, the NST is up there with The Star as having 60.29 percent of its stories being in favour of the ruling coalition.

The Sun was found to have dedicated the most space (40.87 percent) in its pages to ‘neutral stories’. Just over 16 percent of its stories, furthermore, could be described as pro-Opposition.

Pro-BN stories, however, still dominated the “free” newspaper with just under 43 percent.

Other than the English newspapers, the three broadsheets covered by the Media Monitoring Initiative were Malay daily Utusan Malaysia, and Tamil dailies Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai.

Utusan Malaysia had allotted about 83 percent of its pages for pro-BN reports, and only 1.89 percent for pro-Opposition reports.

Of all six newspapers, Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai contained the most space for pro-Opposition stories.

While 23 percent of Makkal Osai’s election reports were ‘pro-Opposition stories, Malaysia Nanban carried pro-Opposition reports that took up 19 percent of its pages.

Makkal Osai’s pro-BN stories took up 66 percent of its pages while 70 percent of Malaysia Nanban’s stories were pro-BN.

Gayathry said the report could not provide a quantitative analaysis of the Chinese-language newspapers as there were not enough human resources to conduct the monitoring exercise systematically and regularly.

Ensure justice is done

In addition to the internal reforms of newspaper organisations, the government needs to allow for the emergence of more publications and media houses so that the ensuing increased competition can ensure the justice is being done to the journalism profession, the report recommended.

“For this to be done, the laws that govern the licencing of media need to be relaxed while anti-monopoly regulations (should be) introduced to create a healthy market of ideas and information.”

Restoring the people’s faith in the existing print media houses also require the doing away of laws that impede the growth of diverse, plural and credible media, the report said further.These include the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act and the Sedition Act.

“In their place, there are more effective models of self-regulation that will ensure that rights and responsibility grow hand-in-hand.

“The media bosses need to take the challenge to set aside ringgit and sen differences and to take on board the task of demanding that these laws be dismantled. The governing parties at the federal and state levels should know it is in their interest to support this move.”

Comment:

There is a strong message in the above report to the Managing Editors and their teams in The New Straits Times, The Star and Utusan Malaysia and those in TV3. In this list, I would personally include BERNAMA which is headed by a Badawi bodekist, Dato Anuar Zaini. They should take notice of the findings in this report, stop being lapdogs of the Government in power, learn the basics of good journalism and television, and behave like a true Fourth Estate.

We need accurate, balanced and careful coverage based on the principle that a well informed public will make intelligent choices. Malaysians are increasingly Internet savvy, and can also find their own information. Otherwise, our mainstream media will face serious consequences.

Civil Society Groups—the Fifth Estate— led by Haris Ibrahim of The Peoples’ Parliament, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Institut Kajian Dasar Executive Director Khalid Jaffar are now leading the campaign to boycott the mainstream media and advertisers and companies who use them. Anwar Ibrahim specifically called for the boycott of Utusan Malaysia and TV3. Let us hurt their pockets by supporting the call to boycott the mainstream media.—Din Merican

Ole Blue Eyes is Back


Guys and Gals,

Ole Blue Eyes Frank is back to entertain you for this weekend. This time he sings one of my favorites, That’s Life”, followed by “My Way”. Have a lovely and swinging Saturday night with the one who is truly cares. Treat her or him nice. Forget this week’s messy politics and focus on having a good time. Take care.—Dee Jay Din Merican

 

Here is Dean Martin too.

 

 

Dr M: Ask the tribunal to apologise


 
March 28, 2008
“Ask the tribunal to apologise.”

This was the direct retort of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to calls for him to apologise for the ‘wrongs’ surrounding the 1988 judicial crisis.

lingam tape inquiry day 4 170108 mahathirIn remarks written by him which was published today by English daily The Sun, Mahathir said the dismissal of former Lord President Mohd Salleh Abbas and Supreme Court judges Wan Sulaiman Pawanteh and George Seah were not his doing.

He, therefore, feels no obligation to apologise.

If any party were to apologise, it should be the members of the tribunal led by Hamid Omar which sacked Salleh, said Mahathir.

Mahathir also said he was open to the authorities investigating his person for any “misdeeds” during his 22 years as Prime Minister.

“Unless there is a frame-up, I think there should be nothing to pin on me,” he said.

Moving on to the suggestion by DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh that he apologise for the 1988 debacle – which many regard as ‘the darkest moment’ for the judiciary – Mahathir said on this point his conscience was clear.

“Even other accusations against me, including the dismissal of judges, were not my doing and I do not feel obliged to apologise. Ask the tribunal to apologise,” he said.

Being more correct than correct

Taking a potshot at Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Zaid Ibrahim – who had asked for the government to apologise for the sacking and suspension of the five judges – Mahathir said the lawyer had “forgotten” that he had supported the then-government for its actions.

judiciary forum lingam tape 171107 salleh abbas palace of justic“The person asking that the government should apologise for what happened to Tun Salleh Abbas may have forgotten that as President of the Muslim Lawyers Association, he fully supported the action that was taken,” said Mahathir.

“He castigated the Bar Council for condemning Tun Hamid Omar over the dismissal of judges. Now he wants to be more correct than correct. I wonder why,” he added.

In 1988, Mahathir had convened the special tribunal to try Salleh on charges of misconduct and for questioning constitutional amendments that seriously eroded the powers of the judiciary.

Supreme Court judges George Seah and Wan Sulaiman – who had ruled that the tribunal was convened unconstitutionally – were also sacked after being found guilty of misconduct by another tribunal.

Three other judges – Azmi Kamaruddin, Eusoffe Abdoolcader and Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh were suspended.

Probe misconduct in Terengganu

In his article, Mahathir also suggested investigations – preferably by “credible foreign agencies” –  should be conducted to look into allegations that abuse of power and misconduct had led the Teregganu royal palace to reject Barisan Nasional’s (BN) initial choice for menteri besar (MB).

According to him, rumour has it that various “unnecessary and wasteful” state projects worth billions of ringgit had been contracted to outsiders behind whom are members of ‘the first family’.

abdullah ahmad badawi and idris jusoh and ahmad said and terengganuIt was also alleged that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had “influenced” former MB Idris Jusoh who was responsible for such a state of affairs and from which he had “benefitted financially”, said Mahathir.

“These are all rumours. It will be quite impossible to prove anything as the perpetrators are skilled in hiding themselves,”he said.

He also said that the public was “leery” of investigations by government agencies and departments.

“The people believe, not true of course, that the government has been interfering with the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), the Police and the Attorney General (A-G)’s Chambers. The say this is borne out by the results of investigations by these agencies,” he said.

As such, the job should be left to foreign experts to look into the matter, he added.

“The public cannot be blamed for not having faith in government agencies doing investigations. The public cannot be blamed for suspecting cover-ups by the government or worse still the government may be using these enforcement agencies to threaten people,” he said.

“To clear its good name, the government should get credible foreign agencies to do the investigation. Of course, they must be given full access to the documents etc,” he added.

source:www.malaysiakini.com

People are trying to stop Tun Dr. Mahathir from Criticizing Badawi


Comment:

Tun Dr. Mahathir, like the rest of us, has the right as a private citizen to criticise Prime Minister Badawi for being incompetent, inept and weak. I do it all the time. It is a fact that we have a spineless chief executive of our country. As a member of UMNO of good standing, the Tun can express his view that his party President Badawi is not providing the leadership that UMNO needs to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

My views of Badawi are a matter of public record. I questioned Prime Minister on many issues including his relationship with Kalimullah Hassan, Patrick Lim-Badawi, Dato Anuar Zaini (Bernama Chairman), and his award of contracts to Scomi owned by his son, Kamaluddin Abdullah, to his brother Ibrahim Abdullah with regard to catering to airlines including MAS and to Khairy Jamaluddin and his daughter Nori Abdullah. In my view, he is the father of nepotism in our country.

Corruption is rampant in our country. Crime is on the rise and the economy is slowing down.On corruption and abuse of power,he was not able to explain why he did not take action against UMNO stalwarts like Khir Toyo and the late Zakaria Ideros. Now he has yet to give a full accounting of what happened to wang ehsan funds for Terengganu and why Idris Jush is not acceptable to His Highness The Sultan of Terengganu. Why did His Highness Raja of Perlis did not want Shahidan Kassim as the Menteri Besar.

It was Harry S. Truman who said the buck stopped at his desk. That dictum applies to Badawi. He cannot pretend that as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, he does not know what is happening. “Dunno” is unacceptable. He cannot now say he does not know that the March 8 elections conveyed a loud and clear message that we as a nation no longer have any confidence in his leadership.

The writing is on the wall and the most honorable thing he can do short of committing “harakiri” is to step down and go away. Mukhriz Mahathir, you have got guts and I admire you for that. You are not a member of UMYES.—Din Merican.

————

(AP) – Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad claimed Friday that people were trying to dig up evidence that he committed crimes during his time in power to stop him from criticizing his embattled successor.

Mahathir was the first public figure to urge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign after the ruling coalition suffered unprecedented losses in March 8 general elections. Several other coalition members, including Mahathir’s son, have since echoed the demand.

Mahathir, who has repeatedly accused Abdullah’s administration of corruption and nepotism during the past two years, said he knows his detractors believe he “did worse things” when he headed the government between 1981 and 2003.

“I am aware that people are looking into possible misdeeds by me during my 22 years so as to threaten me and ask me to shut up,” Mahathir wrote in a letter to The Sun newspaper, without identifying the people.

“So far they have not found anything,” Mahathir said. “Not only have I not taken anything that was not due to me while I was prime minister, but I have given back to the government and the people everything that I had received as gifts during my tenure of office.”

He added that “unless there is a frame-up, I think there should be nothing to pin on me.”

An aide to Abdullah declined to immediately comment. The prime minister has repeatedly rejected Mahathir’s allegations of impropriety.

In his letter, Mahathir took fresh jabs at his hand-picked successor over a high-profile dispute between Abdullah and the country’s constitutional monarch, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Last week, Mizan dismissed Abdullah’s advice that Idris Jusoh, the former chief minister of oil-rich Terengganu state, should keep the post after the elections. Abdullah conceded defeat Thursday and accepted the king’s candidate.

“It should be noted that this kind of thing had never happened during the premiership of the four previous prime ministers. Concerned Malaysians should wonder why,” Mahathir said.

Mahathir claimed the ruling coalition had implemented many “totally unnecessary and wasteful” infrastructure projects in Terengganu since 2004, adding there were suspicions that contracts for the projects went to those who had connections to Abdullah’s family.

Mahathir’s latest comments add to Abdullah’s troubles after his National Front coalition lost its two-thirds majority in the recent elections, though it retained power with a simple majority. The coalition also lost control of five state legislatures.

Abdullah announced late Thursday his party is delaying internal elections for top officers to December, four months later than anticipated. But he insisted he was not running away from rivals who might challenge him for the party presidency.

(source: http://www.malaysia-today.net)

Gwo Burne: Our Man in Kelana Jaya


 
Soon Li Tsin | March 28,2008
New Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne has dismissed rumours that his father had paid a sum of money to PKR in order to secure his parliamentary seat during the 12th general election.In an interview with Malaysiakini, the 34 year-old business consultant laughed and labelled the claim involving his father, Loh Mui Fah, as nonsense.

loh gwo burne interview 270308 02Gwo Burne also revealed he decided not to practice law in Malaysia after filming the scandalous VK Lingam video clip despite having pursued his law degree in University of Hull, United Kingdom and a masters in the China University of Political Science and Law.

Candidly labelled a ‘video maker’ after the scandal, Gwo Burne said he has no plans to be involved in politics until a Sin Chew journalist asked him what was he going to do with his fame.

Below are excerpts of his interview with Malaysiakini which has been edited for clarity.

You were easily the most controversial and mysterious candidate in the 12th general election. How do you feel about that?

Being in the unique position, I think there are advantages and disadvantages. I have been judged unfairly by some reporters. On the other hand, unlike other candidates I also got a lot of exposure from the mainstream media. Negative media is better than no media (laughs).

How did you face criticisms that anybody could have won in Kelana Jaya this elections?

The fact is before the elections, I was told that the Kelana Jaya seat was a hot potato. Nobody wanted to contest there because they thought Lee Hwa Beng was too great a mountain to climb. But after the elections, people said, “He won, how (can this happen)?” So after the dust has settled down, you can say whatever you want.

Basically (before the elections) everybody told me that I was going to lose (laughs). So I said, “Really? I don’t know but I think I’ve got a chance.” I wasn’t surprised. When I came in, I went to the ground and spoke to people and we already had 40 per cent of the support from the community before we did anything. I believed we needed to gain another 15 to 20 per cent to be safe. If I thought I had no chance of winning, why would I be doing this in the first place? (Laughs)

How did this candidacy come about? Are you a PKR member?

Obviously I am a PKR member. This was done one week before the elections. There was a chain of events. Running for elections wasn’t really on my mind but it actually started after a Sin Chew reporter asked me the question, “Now that you are popular what are you going to do?” What I intended to do at that time after the royal commission was [...] everybody told me that I was in danger. I wanted to leave after this but is that what (I’m) suppose to do?

But when I met Anwar he asked why don’t I join the (party and contest in the) election? That became something more substantial as opposed to going back home and hide under my shell. I told Anwar that if you think we can contribute, then I am at your service. He said, “I think you can” so the next was to look at our areas and he asked, “Why don’t you go to Kelana Jaya?” Then I thought yeah, we can do this.

vk lingam tape inquiry 210108 loh gwo burne and loh mui fahThere are rumours that you father paid a huge sum of money to PKR to secure your seat. Is that true?

No (laughs). I don’t even know where that came from. That’s nonsense.

What have you been doing since March 8 until now?

We went around quite a bit thanking people and (I attended) some party meetings with official bodies and lots of interviews. I went back (to China), terminated my lease, packed all my stuff and got back. I anticipate getting a lot busier come April or May. So I wanted to settle everything before Parliament starts.

What specifically have you done for the constituency since being voted in? What are the main needs in the short- and medium-term?

Up till now, we have been trying to do some stuff but we’ve achieved absolutely nothing yet. For example in Desaria, people have been complaining about a U turn and I’ve been trying to talk to some people to do something about it because it is very dangerous.

Eventually we met up with the MPSJ (Subang Jaya Municipal Council) people but after a while we found that it wasn’t under their area but MBPJ’s (Petaling Jaya City Council). So there are a lot of ways and we’re still learning the ropes to get relevant bodies to get involved.

Actually we’re trying to talk to the residents and police about it. In my constituency, the crime rate is a real thorny issue. I think crimes can be reduced with more efficient policing. So we’re trying to talk to the local enforcement and find the best way to move forward. The security issue can be solved within a short period.

Another issue is traffic. It is not something that you can deal with within Kelana Jaya itself but the whole Klang Valley. Unless we change our policy and shift towards an efficient public transport system, we cannot solve the transport problem. It will take a lot of effort and willingness from the executive.

Do you think it is problem that you have absolutely no experience in handling such matters?

Well, what sort of experience do you need to raise issues? Maybe the problem is finding the right people to raise the issue to. In that sense it take you one or two days to know exactly which area this place is under. Of course our party itself is rather new. So many of us are learning the ropes and trying to get out to know exactly what to do so that would take a bit of time.

How are you coordinating with the Hannah Yeoh (Subang Jaya) and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Seri Setia) representatives and state government?

Well, with Hannah for example, a lot of people go to her with many issues. Some of them are state issues while some are federal issues. When she gets a federal issue it is obviously beyond her scope so she comes to me. Frankly all the issues I’ve been getting are state issues (laughs). So I do get to work closely with Hannah and Nik Nazmi.

Are you setting up a service centre soon?

Yes, we’re actually in the process. Somebody found a place for us but we discovered after looking at it yesterday that, “What is Chew Mei Fun’s office doing here?” (Laughs). If I’m not mistaken, this is not within my territory. So we’ll sort it out in a couple of weeks.

I decided that we want it near Sunway because one of the two state assemblyperson’s service centre is on two sides of the LDP (Damansara-Puchong Highway) one is in Seri Setia and the other in Subang. So Sunway would be in between both of them. It would be convenient for both fo them to find me.

What kind of services will you be offering at your service centre?

I would like to say I just want to offer services as a member of Parliament but in reality people would come with an array of issues so we try to do our best even if it’s a personal thing. If it’s a state issue, we cannot ignore it as well. We’ll try our best to do it, if we cannot then we’ll just have to bug Nik and Hannah.

How are you going to brush up your knowledge on your constituency?

We’re in the process of doing that. We plan to set up machineries where we have one person in each area who will work for the party or volunteer because we don’t have any money (laughs). I hope to see them constantly, the person will bring me around. That way we hope to go to every nook and corner. If we get enough of these machineries going, I will know Kelana Jaya at the back of my hand.

What kind of issues will you be raising in Parliament?

loh gwo burne interview 270308 01Of course I will raise the five points raised by our party leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Personally, the judiciary is one of my main agendas because we have seen what is wrong with our judiciary. There are other issues like economic development. For me the national car policy is a big issue because I believe it is the cause of our traffic problems today. People want to support the national car policy and the public transportation system was made inefficient which leads to all these traffic problems and the tolls. I think everything is related.

So it is very hard to say we’ll focus on one thing but it’s related other things. The judiciary is related to corruption and when you talk about corruption then you wonder what our Anti-Corruption Agency is doing. But the ACA is under the control of the executive so what is the executive doing? What is their agenda? Also, if the government is not doing a proper job, what is the media doing? Why isn’t the media exposing all this? So it boils down to press freedom in the end.

Have you started Bahasa Malaysia lessons yet?

I think I’m starting tomorrow. I can understand Malay, I’m just not very good at it. I can go the stall and buy stuff, order food in a mamak stall. I can actually converse and understand basic Malay. But if you’re asking me to give speeches, that’s totally different.

Right now it’s seriously touch and go so I need to get my Bahasa up to speed. Hopefully in a month’s time I can at least manage (the language). My plan it to get somebody to teach me and another person to follow me around and talk to people with me. So hopefully that would push me along much faster. I think anybody can do basic Malay but doing the oratory stuff in Parliament or on stage is the problem.

Have you seen how Parliament debates work? Do you think you can emulate them and speak BM as fluently?

Yes but the parliament debates I’ve seen, I don’t want to emulate because they are shouting profanities. Whenever I look at the parliament debates, they are shouting nonsense and the language used is not befitting of a people’s representative.

Can you give directions from the Kelana Jaya LRT station to SS18 in Subang Jaya?

Directions? Oh, I’m very bad at that (laughs). One of the problems with me is that I never remember the name of the roads. You go down the LDP, before you reach the toll you take a U turn to get to the other side of the LDP. Turn into Sunway when you see Sunway Pyramid on your left and go straight down. After how many flyovers then you’re at SS18 already, right? You just turn in left or right. (Laughs)

Would you declare your assets for the sake of transparency to prove you are clean and corrupt-free?

I can declare my assets right now. I actually do not own any fixed assets. So I have nothing to declare (laughs).

Do you have any liabilities?

No. I have nothing. No assets and no liabilites (laughs).

How did the transition happen – from studying for your masters in China to doing business consultancy work in a chemical company?

Actually after I got back from my masters degree I was considering going into law. Not long after that I took the video. Call me a romantic but I believe in certain ideologies. I mean honestly if you were a law student and just graduated, would you see what I’ve seen and heard, would you still want to go into law?

So you decided not to practice law because of the incident which you filmed?

loh gwo burne interview 270308 03It’s not like I didn’t want to practice but I didn’t want to practice in this environment.

Does this mean you knew what you were filming at that time?

Of course. When it started out, I was trying to take picture of the vase. But I decided to continue because I knew what was going on. I did not fully follow all the things they were talking about. At that time I did not know who Tengku Adnan (Tengku Mansor) really was. I couldn’t follow some of the conversation.

Given this environment, you can have all the best lawyers in the world but you will lose the case simply because the case has been fixed. So what’s the point? For me that was the rule of the game in Malaysia and I don’t subscribe to this game. I would rather play different rules, so no, not here.

Do you have a message to those who have criticised you and thought you should have lost in the elections?

(Laughs) Well different people have different opinions. So there are people who like me and those who do not. Fortunately, more people like me than not so here I am. Since I’m here, regardless of criticisms or just opinions, that is immaterial right now because it is me sitting in the parliamentary seat for this area at this point.

So I would do my best to represent everybody whether they support me or not, whether they like me or not. Even if a person came to me and said, “I hate you, I despise you, I did not support you, I will never support you but I have problem and I need you to solve it” I will still do it because that’s my duty.

Will you be giving up your seat for anybody?

Right after the elections we had a gathering among the candidates at Anwar’s house and he declared he would not be taking his seat from his wife or daughter. So I thought that would be a real pity because it would be much more interesting with Anwar in Parliament. Actually, I told him that if required, he can have my seat but he said ‘no’ (laughs). He thinks that we’re credible candidates and he would not want to take the seat from his own party members.

Do you intend to run for a second term?

At this point we will have to see how things go. I have to try to do a job, I believe I can do it but if people say I’m ineffective and I’m just not good at this then I would not want to be hogging the seat for personal reason. If there’s somebody else better at this and is more effective, I would simply move aside but I don’t intend to quit halfway through my term. People who voted me expect me to do my job for that duration of time and I wouldn’t want to let them down.


source: http://www.malaysiakini.com

S JAYASANKARAN:Needing Time to ‘regroup’ after General Election



By Business Times, March 26, 2008

ELECTIONS in the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), Malaysia’s dominant political party that leads the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, are likely to be postponed because of the political uncertainty gripping the country. Umno officials say this was the impression they got after meeting Umno president and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday. Mr Abdullah also told them the party needs to stamp out ‘money politics’ because that would only make the people angrier.

On March 8, the Barisan Nasional (BN) was given a hiding at a general election, losing control of five states and its two-thirds majority in Parliament. Originally, Umno was supposed to hold its elections in August. The party’s constitution stipulates elections every three years for all posts from the president down, but also allows for deferment. In this case, elections must be held by March next year. Umno officials openly admit they never expected such a drubbing at the GE, at which voters from all the country’s races, including the majority Malays, rebuffed the BN.

‘The feeling now is that we have to unite and avoid any in-fighting because that could split the party,’ an official told BT. ‘For that, we need to time to regroup.’ Whether this will happen is uncertain. Waiting in the wings is Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, 71, who is offering himself as an alternative to Mr Abdullah as leader of Umno and the government.

Tengku Razaleigh is a prince from Kelantan, founder-president of national oil corporation Petronas and a former finance minister under two prime ministers – Hussein Onn and Mahathir Mohamad. In 1987, he challenged Dr Mahathir for the Umno presidency and lost by a narrow 43 votes. Ironically, at the time, Mr Abdullah was on the Tengku’s side and was one of the few on his team who made the cut as one of Umno’s three vice-presidents.

Whether the Tengku will be allowed to challenge Mr Abdullah is the big question. After the 1987 elections, the rules were changed to make a presidential bid against the incumbent all but impossible. The rules now demand that a presidential challenger obtain nominations from 30 per cent of Umno’s divisions – or 58 nominations. Asked recently about Tengku Razaleigh’s chances, Dr Mahathir said he did not think there would be divisions ‘brave’ enough to support him openly against an incumbent prime minister. But in the present climate, Dr Mahathir could be wrong.

Political analysts say it would take only a few brave souls to speak up for a stampede to begin. And a trickle of support has begun. Over the weekend, 80 Umno branches in Muar, Johor, spoke up in support of the Tengku, who has asked for an extraordinary meeting of Umno to be convened to discuss the election debacle. Indeed, the postponement of the Umno polls could help the Tengku’s cause, giving him time to canvass divisions across the country. That would help get his message directly to his audience, given his inaccessibility to the mainstream media which is resolutely pro-Mr Abdullah.

The Tengku could also be helped by repeated mis-steps on Mr Abdullah’s part that suggest weak leadership. For example, the impasse over the Terengganu crisis could be resolved soon, but only with damage inflicted on Mr Abdullah.

Last Saturday, the state’s Sultan (who is also Malaysia’s King) appointed Umno assemblyman Ahmad Said as chief minister over Idris Jusoh, Mr Abdullah’s nominee, who was also supported by 22 other state assemblymen. The appointment triggered a constitutional crisis. If Mr Abdullah’s numbers were right, the Sultan acted unconstitutionally – a word Mr Abdullah himself used.

Yesterday, however, Mr Abdullah seemed to back down. He said he was seeking an audience with the King. And at a news conference, Mr Idris apologised to the King for ‘everything’ that had angered him. While Mr Idris maintained that Mr Ahmad does not deserve the chief minister’s position, he seemed to throw in the towel, saying he would accept any position given to him.

Barisan Nasional is finished if Pak Lah is not replaced by end April 2008


source: http://www.malaysia-today.net

March 28, 2008

by Matthias Chang

I just could not believe my eyes, when I read in the New Strait Times newspaper, business section – Business Times – that Bank Negara projects 5.6 pc growth this year. Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz was quoted as saying:

“We have done several simulations of different packages which can be implemented in the event of any significant slowdown, which we do not see on the horizon at this point in time.”

I am sure that the “simulations” were all done and tested prior to the 12th General Elections of March 8, 2008. So they are no longer valid as they failed to take into account the post-election reality.

Bank Negara must be wearing blinkers or under directions from Pak Lah and his spin-doctors to spin a story that all is well and good. The observation that no significant slowdown can be seen on the horizon at this point of time can be tested by reviewing some independent observations.

Spiegel reported on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 that:

“Germany and other industrialised countries are desperately trying to brace themselves against the threat of a collapse of the global financial system. The crisis has now taken its toll on the German economy, where the weak dollar is putting jobs in jeopardy and the credit crunch is paralyzing many businesses.”

Why is the Governor of Bank Negara playing down this acknowledged global financial meltdown – the financial tsunami? Is there a conspiracy of silence among the world’s central bankers?

Spiegel has let the cat out of the bag when it reported further that:

“For some time, there has been a tacit agreement among central bankers and the financial ministers of key economies not to allow any bank large enough to jeopardise the system to go under – no matter what the cost. But on Sunday, the question arose whether this agreement should be formalised and made public. The central bankers decided against the idea, reasoning that it would practically be an invitation to speculators and large hedge funds to take advantage of this government guarantee. Everyone involved knows how explosive the agreement is. It essentially means that while the profits of banks are privatised, society bears the costs of their losses. In a world in which the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, that is political dynamite.”

There you have it – the global conspiracy of silence by central bankers and finance ministers. Yet, it is I that has been accused of being a conspiracy theorist.

The Malaysian Ticking Time Bomb

Besides the impending global financial tsunami hitting our shores in the very near future, Malaysia is waiting for a ticking time bomb to explode that will leave our country totally defenceless.

No one has even given a thought to this time bomb. What is this time bomb? It is the total dislocation and disruption of the entire 9th Malaysian Plan.

How can this be? Simple! The informal Barisan Rakyat has captured four critical states, more precisely the four critical economic states of Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kedah (part of the rice bowl of Malaysia) and retained Kelantan. There used to be a MIMALAND (Mini Malaysia) in Gombak. But that was a mere tourist attraction. These five states is the real deal, the Real Mini Malaysia, without which the BN government is useless, a toothless tiger.

The 9th Malaysia Plan (and all previous Five Year Plans) envisages that a substantial portion of the RM200 billion budget spread over five years will be allocated to the “state economic engines” of the Malaysian economy, namely Selangor and Penang – the crown jewels. When combined with Perak and Kedah, these states provide the crucial infrastructure, human resources and more importantly the critical mass for the massive investments needed to prepare the economy to meet the impending threat of the global tsunami and at the minimum, to enable the country to float just above the water till the tsunami rolls back to deeper waters.

Just a few days ago, Pak Lah acknowledged this stark reality and conceded that some of the mega-projects will have to be scaled back. Pak Lah and the corrupt and greedy politicians of the Barisan Nasional cannot bear the thought that they will not be in control of these massive investments in the states of Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah.

The 9th Malaysian Plan cannot be implemented successfully without the close cooperation between the central Federal Authority and the state counter-parts. This is a given ; the BN state partners-in-crime to loot the national treasury is absent. Pak Lah and his family have the money but the same cannot be diverted to the coffers of cronies at the state level, when they are no longer in power and have no control of the state governments.

The nightmare for the Barisan Nasional is not that they lost their 2/3 majority in Parliament and the massive reduction in the popular votes, but that they can no longer enrich themselves as before.

The whole system of patronage that confers absolute power to the President of UMNO and Prime Minister has been rendered ineffective and the rewards for a subservient power hierarchy cannot be guaranteed. Pak Lah and his goons will no longer be able to wield the threat that should the leaders of the political multi-level organisation fail to toe the line, the gravy train will not stop at their stations. The gravy train stations are now in control of Barisan Rakyat!

So long as Pak Lah and his family are control of the levers of power and the treasury, the economy will be in a gridlock and the entire system will come to a standstill. Checkmate! There are enough reasons to remove Pak Lah as demanded by the electorate in the just concluded elections. But the nail that hammers in the lid of the coffin is the consequences of this stark economic reality.

The Prime Minister who replaces Pak Lah must be one who is without controversy, baggage and more importantly must be acceptable to the leaders of the Barisan Rakyat. This will provide the minimum basis for cooperation between the two “Barisans”. And such a leader will then be able to reform the present system and save the economy from dislocation and disruption and the unimaginable consequences that will assuredly flow from the present gridlock.

Time is against us.

Pak Lah must be removed when Parliament convenes, if the Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament have the interest of the country at heart and not their warped interest for power and self-enrichment.

No one to date has the guts and the convictions to take on Pak Lah and his goons except Tengku Razaleigh. He has offered to serve the country. He should be given a chance.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has also called for Pak Lah’s removal. Members of Barisan Nasional must heed their call to remove Pak Lah. The nation must ensure that the momentum generated by the results of the General Election must gather speed and force to sweep away the political debris of Pak Lah, his family and his goons!

And God help us and Malaysia should we fail!

Comment:

I agree with Matthias Chang that when the financial system suffers another major meltdown, our country will not be spared its consequences. We are not ready, given the attitude of professionals who are in charge of institutions like Bank Negara Malaysia and the Treasury. We will also not have a Prime Minister with an astute understanding of economics and business, guts, drive and commitment who is an experienced a crisis manager and a reassuring figure to Malaysians during difficult times.

I remember what the Late Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali, the legendary Governor, used to tell me in the mid 1960s in his lighter moments—he was alway serious and focused—that he was concerned that our reserves were not never enough to deal with sudden and persistent attacks on our currency. He was also a man who would call a spade to spade. Tun Ismail took his role as financial advisor to the Government, It was his special responsibilty to provide sound advice founded on facts, and careful analysis of data and trends. He was backed a team of outstanding economists in the Bank’s Economic Research Department. He spoke with integrity, and our banking system and investors would take heed from his comments on the economy.

Yes, Matthias, I agree with your statement:- “God help us and Malaysia should we fail!”. —Din Merican

“Kerajaan BR timbang boikot Utusan, TV3″ Anwar Ibrahim


March 27, 2008

(KLpos) KETUA Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim membayangkan bahawa pakatan lima negeri yang dikuasai Barisan Rakyat, NGO dan orang ramai diajak untuk memulaukan dua media arus perdana, iaitu Utusan Malaysia dan TV3.

Anwar dalam kenyataannya berkata,  Utusan Malaysia dan TV3 masih beranggapan pilihanraya belum selesai.

“Media milik Umno ini terus membelasah KeADILan, PAS dan DAP.

“Mereka meniupkan sentimen kaum dan puas mengalih perhatian khalayak dari krisis kepimpinan Umno, penipuan Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya dan krisis Terengganu,” katanya.

Menurut beliau, orang ramai yang ditemuinya mengusulkan agar kerajaan negeri pakatan rakyat, parti, NGO dan rakyat amnya diajak memulau kedua media tersebut.

“Saya, pimpinan parti dan kerajaan negeri sedang menimbangkan saranan tersebut,” ujarnya.

Pada 29 November lalu, sebuah gabungan boikot media yang dikenali sebagai Gerakan Anti Salah Maklumat (GASAK) ditubuhkan bagi menggerakan kembali kempen boikot media perdana.

GASAK dipengerusikan oleh Pengarah Eksklutif Institut Kajian Dasar (IKD), Khalid Jaafar.

Khalid dalam kenyataan sebelum ini berkata, GASAK akan mengemukakan tiga tuntutan minima kepada media yang terbabit kerana memberikan laporan yang seimbang, dengan mengetepikan pandangan dan melaporkan daripada dua dimensi iaitu pimpinan kerajaan serta pihak yang menganjurkan sesuatu perhimpunan atau apa-apa acara.

“Industri media hendaklah bebas dalam editorial dan tidak bersandarkan kepada tekanan daripada pemerintah atau pemilik syarikat tersebut. Ia tidak seharusnya dipengaruhi oleh sesiapa yang boleh memutuskan mengenai berita atau maklumat itu melainkan Jabatan Pengarang media itu sendiri,” ujarnya dalam sidang media pelancaran kempen “Boikot Media Pembohong” dalam sidang media yang sama.

source: http://www.malaysia-today.net