Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't cry for him ... Robert Phang

What song you wanna sing, Uncle Loh-Bird?

The Malay has saying, "Siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas." We do not need to translate that do we?

George Bush used to say in a presidential debate, "If you can't stand the heat, you get out of the kitchen."

This is what exactly happened today.

Tan Sri Robert Phang announced his resignation from the MACC Committee on Prevention. He cited all sort of conspiracy theories and speculation which his spin masters will further elaborate and add colour.

This is to give him face. Do give him his last words.

The Malaysian Chronicle reported:

Phang Quits MACC Panel

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 JANUARY, 2011: Tan Sri Robert Phang announced his resignation today as a member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel amid the graft allegations that were leveled at him following his urging for an investigation into alleged corrupt practices in Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Phang, who is also a Justice of the Peace, explained that he wanted to preserve his integrity and that of the anti-graft body.

Yesterday, the MACC announced that it had decided to keep Phang as a member of the panel after he had made a request to be relieved of the post to enable MACC to investigate allegations that he was involved in corrupt practices.

Phang claimed that he was a victim of a character assassination attack aimed at intimidating him after he raised concerns regarding the lack of action in the MAS scandal.

He has consistently demanded that Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail be probed for graft, saying that Abdul Gani’s explanations to the panel had failed to dispel suspicions that he was “consorting” with Shahidan Shafie, an alleged proxy for former MAS executive chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.

Phang added that the attack on him was an orchestrated attempt to discredit his reputation by “rogues from within and outside the government”.

He said he was not surprised that the attacks are also centered on his past business in Sabah as Abdul Ghani and deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk V K Liew, are also from Sabah.

Liew had urged the MACC to initiate an investigation into Phang after the allegations of bribery emerged on an online blog.

Phang had demanded that Abdul Gani explain allegations that Tajuddin’s recent haj pilgrimage was sponsored by Shahidan, who was also said to have gone for the same haj trip.

Tajuddin was MAS executive chairman from 1994 to 2001. During his tenure, the national airline experienced losses totaling RM8 billion which led to complaints being lodged against him.
What a party pooper?

We were just getting started and it has not reached the bikini stage of the strip poker where the real fun is.

Before anyone start to think of giving him any sympathy, let this blog say stop it. We are ready to even release stark evidence of his activities.

Robert is leaving because he can feel the heat. He knows we have pressed the right button to trigger off more explosion to close in on him. Why would an influential and powerful man like him quit if there is not truth in what was divulge?

Believe me folks, there is no conspiracy. This is solid investigation and information sharing from network of bloggers and friends.

If there is any conspiracy, it is coming from the other side. It is a PKR and Anwarista thing. It is in their blood and brain to always imagining and cooking up things.

If only Robert Phang waited longer, we were going to release who tipped off Robert of Tan Sri Gani Patail and Shahidan's pilgrimmage. The person tipped someone who we believe is the mastermind and real conspirator.

He is the person who left clues all over the documents Raja Petra released to lead it back to him. Someone thinks they are smart, but on this, Allah gave me lead to the truth.

In the meanwhile, let's hope our mastermind cospirator did not quit from his job or leave the country from just that clue.

It'll spoil the fun.

However, do hope that the law catches up on this man who calls other as corrupt but he is the real corrupt one.

Unless Mr Fix It like Phang who goes around pretensiously as corrupt fighters is rid off, we will neve rid off this country of the disease of corruption.

Thank Allah that it was effortless to rid him out of MACC and enable them to do their jobs without such snitch.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Unless MCA buck up ....


... the winning majority for BN in Tenang won't be 5,000.

When UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin expressed his wish to see such majority, when he announced the candidate for BN last week, there were more out of confidence for the solid Malay votes of about 47%.

To achieve a majority of 5,000, that is equivalent to one third majority for the nearly 15,000 voters, Malay votes will not be enough. Chinese make-up about 39% of voters and Indian about 12%.

There is hardly any issue of significance but the big hurdle lies with MCA.

The win is assured but BN needs to see a significant increase in majority from the 2008 tsunami of 2,492. Otherwise, there is no sufficient momentum to call for a General Election that is likely to coincide with the Sarawak State General Election.

Without the late Dato Sulaiman Taha as Division Head, the UMNO Division seemed to be struggling to get their act together.

The Johor Menteri Besar, Dato Gani Osman who is Election Director and acting Division head for a while is not grasping his role to direct the Division's election machinery.

Gani initially boasted that the machinery of the State UMNO involving the Divisions is strong enough but later realised he needs help from outside. The other state UMNO machinery is only beginning to trickle in.

Gani made a paranoid decision to sidelined all the local UMNO wings and that gave the impression that Wanita and Pemuda boycotted the by-election.

The problem has got little to do with so-called sabotage by the 15 in the candidate list rejected by UMNO leadership.

Being a traditional UMNO state, they will be able to ward off attack on Felda and hold on to the Malay block.

On the Indian side, only PPP seemed to be consistently involve with the Indian voters. The local MIC is as good as dysfunctional, but claim to represent Indian interest in the area.

The voters spoke of issues that is more to do with the employer and need to be addressed at national level. But the real problem is allocation and assistance tak turun. There is likelihood there is leakage and voters needs are sidelined to party members needs.

This is the source of dissatisfaction in the community and should have been addressed long ago, the least before the by-election.

The competition between the three Indian political parties of MIC, PPP and IPF is not making things simple. During this campaign, Makkal Sakti party is divided into two camps - supporting BN is the faction leading the party and supporting Pakatan is the faction of the past president.

Despite MIC's Murugiah triggered Interlok issue that had been manipulated by once unsupportive opposition in Tenang, the majority Indian support remain for BN. There are Indian anti MIC but volunteering for BN in the campaign effort.

The Chinese is the tricky bit here.

As a traditional MCA area, one would have thought Chinese support would remain to save face for MCA. The current MCA President Dato Dr Chua Soi Lek was the former Parliamentarian for Labis and his replacement is his own son.

Soi Lek had been doing pre-election visits to traditional local power brokers and Chinese schools. His son has been acknowledged as a hard working MP. Early commitment points to a more than 5,000 majority.

But little is known that Soi Lek has problems with local popular boy but send outside to Bekok as State Assemblyman, Tan Kok Hong.

Talk is he does not get along with Tan and had banned him from coming to campaign for the Tenang by-election. And he is a member of the Johor exco capable of addressing localised issues!

The MCA branch has problems facing up to their weakness.

In the local BN meeting, BN became sensitive when UMNO merely mentioned of the need to work together to regain three peti undi area.

By mentioning the losing balloting areas, Soi Lek took it that UMNO was blaming MCA for the losses in Chinese votes.

Few weeks before the nomination, one MCA blogger described the by-election as about "Chua Soi Lek versus Chua Soi Lek."

The Soi Lek of the past - a Minister and local politician versus Soi Lek of the present - MCA President, unhibited to be vocal and critical, and a man with a "past".

The Soi Lek of the present seem to rear an ugly head to criticism, honest feedback and indenial.

It is heard from an MCA source that Soi Lek became hypersensitive and blamed local UMNO as "bawak mulut" when PM advised him to work harder.

If only Soi Lek knew where and who have been giving the feedback, he would have give that advise a lot more respect. It is unfair to blame UMNO when work have been carved out clearly - UMNO handle the Malay voters and MCA handle Chinese.

In that arrangement, Soi Lek will sulk if he knew UMNO is lending a hand, not even wooing directly Chinese voters.

UMNO is seeing Chinese voters slowly moving towards PAS but is helpless. Soi Lek would rather see BN's traditional Chinese move away than allow UMNO campaign directly.

The ceramah held by DAP started with a couple of people as audience but last night had grown to few hundred. If Soi Lek continues with his egoistic attitude, it could lead to the repeat of Sibu where it culminate into a mega political gathering never seen before.

In the meanwhile, UMNO Youth made a mistake to disturb Lim Guan Eng ceramah in Felda Chemplak by spewing racist remark and slogan. These are fodder for opposition spin masters to broadcast nationwide.

This is what Soi Lek fear most. At the lower ranks, UMNO has not changed and they do not understand the changing perspective of political correctness.

UMNO must not take the issue raised by Mazlan Aliman for granted. Despite the weakness of his profile and fact and figure, he is expressing the perception of the Felda Second and Third Generation of the Felda management.

With Felda communication and propaganda weak under Tan Sri Yusof Nor, it is a matter of time Mazlan Aliman will gain more inroad with Felda. [A Voice is still holding on to issues on Felda.]

Back to Soi Lek, the biggest fear for Soi Lek should be that support and campaign for BN from within the Chinese community are coming from NGOs and they insist that MCA are not invited for their program.

MCA has only done one political program to date. The number Pakatan's assembly without police permit is already 17.

When Mukhriz was doing his walkabout yesterday, one Chinese shopkeeper was saying, "Itu anak Mahathir boleh turun tengok kita, Soi Lek mana?"

That is dangerous sign for Soi Lek.

Unless Soi Lek buck up and stop sulking, this by-election could be similar to Waterloo is to Napolean. but it is not Soi Lek's Waterloo but MCA's Waterloo.


Edited 8:00 am

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Anwarista cavalry arrived!


Thank god they are not gay!

Remember that we wrote this:

This maybe dispelled by the other side's spin master as only stories. They will claim that there is all no proof and heresay as the first line of response.

Then they will pick pockets of information from the past that doesn't tally or is wrong. Maybe pick on some weak arguments or storyline. Hopefully the whole allegations on Loh-Bird can be thrown out.

The person involve in this conspiracy against our institution maybe the ones themselves making the proclamation to throw out the whole posting.

This is despite the obvious conflict of interest. They will not have their cybertroopers defend them because they have a Professor and/or a Dato to lend credibility. A fugitive running away from the law won't do.
As expected, Din Merican here reacted accordingly. Phang issued a statement.

Din went further to make an all out campaign to call on all Malaysians to rise and defend Robert Phang against these rogues and liars. Isn't he overreacting for only an introduction to the story?

This is typical of Anwarista, said Bigdog.

One wonder why Government must entertain his presence as Fellow of MIER. That is a Government funded research institution and meant to assist Government policy making. What use is to have a man dead on destroying the present Government there?

Go ahead an call an ex-PKR MP. This was already raised with a PM Office personnel.

Now ... the first response of any typical Anwarista is to call and label the other side. In the same manner Anwar tried to implicate the Government with APCO to cover his 40 years link as "agent" of Zionist and CIA, Din called this blog a rogue and liar.

This is blog is only starting. There is still many issues on Robert Phang that need to be answered.

Din is clearly over reacting.

It is because he fears that his whole facade will be exposed. He has just been awarded a Datoship and he knows carry around a Dato Prof prefix to his name. At the late age of 70, he finally received the acknowledgement he felt he deserved.

In a posting here, this blogger took a swipe at Din for a past arrogant attitude he carried around in his day as Sime Darby Director. Despite remembering what the reason was, he rebutted:
With regard to you calling me SOB, you should know what you did to incur my wrath. I did not suffer fools then, and I still don't. You were lucky I did not throw you out of the window for the kind of work you did, like this rubbish fabricated story.
That is an indication of his arrogance which he acknowledge as perception. And this blogger replied:
On what my mistake is, I doubt you remember what it was you claim to incur your wrath.

I remember exactly what it is. There werent any mistake or error.

You were just a plain arrogant axxxxxe!
In short, his reply and call reflects his insecurity and arrogance.

Din should realise that he is not the only one accessible to information. None of his postings has he been objective to give the other side of teh story.

If he is really so damn concern about ROGUE AND LIARS, he should know himself. The sufi say "Awwaluddin marifatullah." To know God is to know oneself.

To know a rogue and liar, is to know himself.

Undeniably as member of Anwar Ibrahim staff, he is part of the plant that manufactures lies and spins to be used by their propaganda team of alternative media and blogs.

Let's pick just two examples among the many - the Altantunya accusation and Saiful sodomy issue. For safe measure, there is the APCO fabrication he dutifully defended Anwar.

Imagine the number of people he lied and tricked into.

And you expect this man to tell the truth in his conspiracy with Raja Petra and Robert Phang to demonise tricked the public into believing things which are untrue?

Din, Raja Petra and Robert Phang are all motivated to change the Government of the day. But that is not the issue. This blogger was a pain in the butt to the last PM.

They are essentially fabricating stories to make the public lose confidence in the whole institution of Government. In this case, it is the police, attorney general, and MACC. They have been harping on the judiciary forever.

They are purveyor of anarchy!

For a man who claim to champion democrasy and free speech, why does he fear the revelation this blogger is about to reveal?

Don't tell me a "Prof" can't rebut a common bloke like moi? He is too old for me to ask to grow up.

This is just the start and more is about to unfold.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Phang got petty and personal


Since our revelation of MACC "Adviser", Tan Sri Robert Phang involvement in an attempt to bribe a Ministry's KSU here, he claims ignorance in The Malay Mail yesterday.

He said he will be reading this blog if The Malay Mail could e-mail link to this blog. Don't see why anyone should, because he has his own blog here. He should know how to read Rocky Bru's blog and get the link back to this blog.

Hope he will read this posting too. There is more to be told of this MACC officio that misrepresented himself as Adviser and Commissioner.

Phang began to take his personal fight against Tan Sri Gani Patail to national prominence in his November 30th 2010 press release. The Sun report by Karen Arukesamy below:

Phang wants A-G to clear the air

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30, 2010): Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should clear the air once and for all on the cases investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which escaped prosecution.

Social Care Foundation chairman Tan Sri Robert Phang said today Abdul Gani should explain and clarify to the people the reasons some of the cases submitted to the A-G’s Chambers were not prosecuted or resulted in acquittals without the defence being called.

"The A-G must dispel all doubts to uphold the dignity of his office and clear the public perception on MACC, which has been accused of selective prosecution," he told a press conference at a hotel here.

"Of late, MACC has been criticised over its handling of several high-profile cases, and many have said that its performance is not up to the mark."

He said the cases the MACC has been accused of selective prosecution included:
  • the failure to prosecute former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo over his ownership of a mansion reportedly valued at RM24 million whereas several Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen in Selangor were subjected to investigations over alleged abuse of allocations amounting to only RM2,400 like the Teoh Beng Hock case;
  • the prosecution of Tourism director-general Datuk Mirza Thaiyab whereas others responsible were not held accountable;
  • the prosecution of certain people in the multi-billion ringgit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal whereas the forensic audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers had named many other personalities, including former transport minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy; and
  • no decision to act against former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Abdul Gani, after former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim published letters accusing these two officials of manipulating and tampering with evidence in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's "black eye Incident".
"The MACC does its best to investigate and gather evidence before submitting a case to the A-G’s Chambers for a decision to prosecute. That is the role of the MACC," Phang, who also sits on the MACC Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, said.

"Malaysians have every right to judge and criticise MACC’s performance but that must be done fairly. They cannot blame or hold MACC responsible for failing to decide on prosecution because that is the power and jurisdiction of the A-G’s Chambers."

Phang, who said he is not defending MACC or speaking as an advisory panel member, pointed out that MACC does not have the power to prosecute.

"Sometimes the A-G would not decide to prosecute a case because of lack of evidence, so the case would be sent back to MACC to continue with the investigation," he said.

Urging the people to encourage and support MACC in its efforts to eradicate corruption, Phang said MACC’s success rate in convictions should be acknowledged and highlighted.

"If there is lack of evidence, then the A-G must not try to bulldoze its way and order a case to be prosecuted because when a case is lost in court, the public is always quick to blame the MACC, not the A-G," he said.

Phang also urged Abdul Gani to clarify an allegation posted on the Malaysia Today blog, saying that Abdul Gani is currently performing the haj with someone associated with a public figure that has been tried in court.

"Another case that has caught public attention involves lawyer Rosli Dahlan. The alternative media has created the perception that Rosli has been victimised as a result of his professional role in pursuing civil and criminal action against former Malaysia Airlines chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli," he said.

Phang said he has received two letters from Rosli, asking MACC to withdraw a charge that it had preferred against him and learnt that MACC had recommended to the A-G that it would like the case to be withdrawn.

"However, till today, the A-G has not responded," he said.

"I hope the public will understand that in matters relating to prosecution of an offence, Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution vests the A-G with the discretion to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings.

"As such, MACC does not have the power to withdraw the charge against Rosli unless the A-G agrees to do so."

Phang also called on Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz not to delay the cabinet’s investigation on allegations against Abdul Gani, and to ensure transparency in the matter.
The detailed press release is available on his blog here.


From this report, Phang was clearly getting personal when he picked on such petty issue as Gani's Haj trip with Shahidan Shafie.

This issue took a life of it's own and Gani had to eventually face a panel of 30 Committee members of MACC.

When Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said he was satisfied, Phang did not secede. He insisted on pounding this personal issue. However, he had a real Adviser on his side as in Prof Ishak who seem to express some reservation.

Why the big fuzz over Gani being seen in Mekah with someone during Haj?

If one goggle, one will find a report claiming Shahidan as a proxy of former MAS Chairman, Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.

Since there is a past police report, later an ACA report and recently MACC report against Tajuddin for allegations of undetailed MAS loss of RM8 billion and MAS subsidiary MAS Cargo loss, Shahidan's trip is seen as in conflict of interest.

Shahidan's name was featured in Malaysia Today's 8-series feature, The Untold MAS Story from July 4th till July 21st 2009. The claim was that Shahidan was the go-between man for Tajuddin and Gani.

Just like friendship between both recently acquited former CID Chief Dato Ramli Yusof and lawyer Rosli Dahlan, Gani and Shahidan are friends that go way back.

My source claim that Shahidan was formerly with the police force and later took up law and practised. He neither advise nor represent Tajuddin, formally or informally. And he never worked with Tajuddin.

The claim that the friendship gave rise to conflict of interest is far fetch. Legally, any conflict of interest that can arise from marriage is limited parent-children, spousal and inter-sibling relationships.

How can it be for Shahidan who happen to be cousin to Dato Bistamam Ramli's wife, Datin Rizana? Bistamam is younger brother of Tajuddin.

There is no legal conflict of interest to arise from cousin relationship and what more with two more layers before reaching Tajuddin.

If there is such conflict, Phang has to show proof and not merely speculate. He is not a blogger or analyst making assumptions for an analysis or Singapore's Wikileak-ed Special Branch gathering information.

To make an issue of the Haj trip, Phang is being petty and personal.

Never mind the fact that maybe two or more out of the 30 present during Gani's explanatory session is not quite happy. If Ramon express satisfaction and the decision making is not consensus base, it is assumed the majority cleared him.

Ramon is a man with impeccable integrity and brevity to call a spade a spade. There are times Ramon's remark do touch the nerve of this blogger. But as a former Government servant, he is more diplomatic and refined than a runner boy between a politician and a Chinese taiko.

So where is the objectivity of those, who supported Phang blindly or out of vengence, villifying Ramon now but praised Ramon when he was critical towards Government?

There is another twist to this Haj accusation which Phang held back from the public. Not only was Gani seen with Shahidan in Mekah, Gani was seen with Zulhisham Ayub.

Zulhisham Ayub is a former Manager in Celcom. If Shahidan is claimed as close with Tajuddin, Zulhisham hated Tajuddin. He left Celcom and started the advertising firm, Pakar Media with one Mirza Tariq.

Mirza Tariq is the brother of Dato Mirza Thaiyib, the Tourism Director General charged in court for corruption by Gani for dental work.

The dentist was Dr Kamsiah, former wife of Zulhisham and now wife of recent Dato Prof Din Merican. Kamsiah was also a college friend of former Tourism Minister, Dato Azalina Mohd Said.

Many believed Mirza was fixed and he was saved by a fraudulent receipt presented in court.

How will Phang treat the encounter?

Will he accuse Gani as being in collusion with Zulhisham to help lose MACC the case against Mirza Thaiyib? But Phang was defending Mirza Thaiyib.

Will he take the position to accuse Gani as in collusion to charge Mirza Thaiyib again? It was the fell out between Zulhisham and his then wife dentist Dr Kamsiah that led to Mirza Thaiyib being charged.

Coming back to the Haj story, Phang never and will never be able to experience Mekah. He should just shut-up.

There are millions of Muslims going to Haj and Malaysia sent about 24,000 Muslims for pilgrimmage annually. One is bound to share facility with many acquintances, friends, families and even enemies.

Talking about enemny, Azmin Ali shared tent with Dr Khir Toyo in the last pilgrimmage season.

In Mekah with millions of people from all over the world within a small space, anything could happen and anyone could bump to anybody.


Now, one wonder how Phang could secure the information of Gani going to Haj with Shahidan.

One source would likely be Tabung Haji who has the list of all pilgrims. Another could be the Airline i.e. MAS. Rosli Dahlan is lawyer for MAS in their case against Tajuddin.

Gani's pilgrimmage trip is an open secret. One can bet that the legal community has knowledge of Gani's one month disappearance for Haj.

Somebody must have tipped off someone with access to information at MAS or Tabung Haji. Could it be Rosli Dahlan?

Rosli Dahlan takes the MAS cases against Tajuddin very personal since he believe the acquited cases against Ramli Yusof and himself was a conspiracy set-up by the likes of Tajuddin, Gani and Tan Sri Musa Hasan.

Another possibility is someone saw Gani and Shahidan together in Mekah. That someone should have known that Gani was seen with Zulhisham too. Then no one would have wrongly tipped Phang.

Phang's first statement against MACC could not help one feel hopeless to a sense of anarchy developing in this country.

All the loud talk by a member of MACC's committee against MACC, Police and Attorney General office is based on perception created by the writings on Malaysia Today and Din Merican's blog.

He is making a series of accusations and allegations based on perception orchestrated by the wild stories of Raja Petra and Din Merican.

Phang's list of concern seemed long but the focus is on Tajuddin and MAS. There will be some revelation that will embarass them. All in due time.

The frustrating part of this pretensious attempt to clean-up the corruption is that it is based on the writing of two person who believed the Pusrawi medical report of Saiful Bahari as in existent.

Spinning from a non-existent report, one of the person revealed a statutory declaration from the doctor. Using these fraudulent reports, they are dead set convinced and intent to convince all Malaysians to believe Anwar did not sodomise Saiful.

Both of them still believe that Rosmah killed Altantunya despite pictures of Rosmah at an orphanage home function at that very night widely available on the Internet. The subjects one "third party" statutory declaration claim to see the murder had denied and made statutory declarations (still not reversed unlike Bala's.)

Where is the credibility of the sources used by Phang to make allegations? His sources are a fugitive running away from the law and an economic "professor" dabbling in the intrigue of crooked politics and business he is unaccustomed.

There can only be one source of information for them to write on. Keep it for later.

Hmmm ... by the look of things, Phang should stop claiming himself as Community leader, philantropist, MACC Adviser or Commissioner. He is behaving like a cybertrooper, hardly a blogger.

There is still another link to look. During Phang's heydays in Sabah time with Tan Sri Wee Boon Ping and Dato Harris Salleh, there is one man he come to be acquinted with.

That is Ramli Yusoff, the then Sabah CID. He was the Sabah Deepthroat, the police insider that leaked information to Malaysia Today and most of the story is directed towards Musa Hasan.

Rosli Dahalan is his friend, lawyer and fellow plaintiff.

Together with recently noisy, former Kuala Lumpur CID Dato Md Zin IBrahim, they are all with Raja Petra and Din Merican pitching for Anwar Ibrahim.

Phang seems to be playing it from both end of MCA/SUPP and DAP. Dua alam ...

* Edited 8:00 am Jan 20th 2011

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Exposed: MACC adviser bribed a Ministry Sec-Gen!


Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam made a press remark expressing his satisfaction to explanation by Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail to 30 members of the board and panel members of MACC.

There are five board of advisors, panel and committee running MACC. Read back posting here.

Gani gave a detailed explanation of his Haj pilgrimage in Mecca with his family which philantropist Tan Sri Robert Phang claimed Gani was seen together with Shahidan Shafie, who was said to be close to former Malaysia Airlines chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.

The actually happening will be posted in the future. It will be embarassing to many but let's wait out.

Ramon was lambasted by Robert Phang for his remarks. He was accused of breaching the confidentiality of the meeting.

Is this man, who recently was seen as friendly and had donated money to DAP and had been showered with accolades as philantropist and community leader, really a purveyor of good against evil of power abuse and corruption?

Read on. It is interesting inside story with a great cliff hanger. I promise.

Offensive

For few months, Robert Phang had been on a streak of vocal diatribes against MACC, Attorney General Chambers, and Police institutions using the cases involving MAS, Tajuddin Ramli, former CID Chief Dato Ramli Yusof, lawyer Rosli Dahalan, and allegations by former KL CID Dato Mat Zain Ibrahim as issues.

It is undeniably the issues fought hard for the last few years by Malaysia Today's Raja Petra Kamaruddin and new Dato and blogger, Din Merican. [Congratulations is in order.]

The basis Robert Phang used to whacked at Ramon did not really bat an eyelid. It is a reaction and merely to sustain his attack mode against the AG.

He called Gani a rogue. One wonder who taught this Chinaman the word rogue?

Front

Tan Sri Robert Phang Miow Sin is the Chairman of Social Care Foundation. That way he has the platform to claim himself as philantropist and look dignified.

My life experiance dealing with Chinese businessmen tells me to be cautious of characters making such claims. He is likely to be a taiko or gangster or in crude language, a crook.

Neither is the newspaper claim that he is a community leader any true. His late boss was a community leader in East Malaysia and amongst the Chinese businessmen but not him.

Nor is he the MACC Commissioner or Adviser as he claim himself to be in Sabah. Read MCA Youth chief and Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong tweeted on Dec 15, 2010 when it was announced that he was off the hook by MACC:

“Glad to hear that MACC has finally cleared my name & nikabdulaziz 4 the separate graft claims. Truth has prevailed after the thorough investigation by MACC. Thankful to MACC Chairman & Dep Chairman as well as Advisory Main Panel (except for 1 self-proclaimed Advisory Panel – he is only a sub com member) for carrying out their duties professionally. I urge those irresponsible ppl stop spreading lies with malicious info 4their personal political gains.”
That self-proclaimed advisor and sub-committee member is Robert Phang and he is only on MACC's committee on prevention of corruption. That's the fifth in the pecking order of importance. Read our earlier posting on MACC here.

Why would someone who is neither an Adviser nor Commissioner of MACC goes around by that title?

Lunner Loh-Bird

Before moving on, let's rephrase something. Our subject's name will be referred as Phang Miow Sin and the short name will be Phang or Tan Sri Phang. No need to mention his orang putih name Robert.

Aisay Chinaman, have some jati diri. How to take seriously as Robert when you pronounced it as Loh-Bird.

All these claims are nothing but to hide the his past background. It is not so much about his humble beginning as a Wearne Brothers car salesman. It was his activities after that which he need to cover.

His luck as a car salesman changed for the better when Dato Harris Salleh turned up at his showroom one day and grew fond of this sweet talking salesman.

Harris now 79 was the former Sabah Chief Minister from Berjasa that managed to topple the legendary Sabah freedom fighter Tun Mustapha. He held the position between 1976 to 1985 before being toppled later by Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan of PBS.

Harris brought Phang to be his runner, collector, go-between or whatever name to be called to be the link between him and the late late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wee Boon Ping. What else could a lowly educated salesman do but be a lunner?

Wee is the real community leader, not Phang. This timber tycoon believed to hail from Sibu was the one of the first Chinese member and financier of the dayak-based political party SNAP. SNAP was a BN component party until ejected in 2004 and joined Pakatan Rakyat in April 2010.

However, Wee's son Datuk Wee Kok Tiong is with SUPP and is expected to run for the Padungan state seat in the next Sarawak election.

The late Wee's monumental contribution is in his leadership of the The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM). He managed to established Unico Holdings in the 70s.

It was the Chinese community reaction to the emergence of new Bumiputera entrepreneours in corporate scene. Chinese were pooling their money into saving mechanism and emulating PNB and ASN. Read passages of this book here.

The indication of that link between the late Wee and Harris can be established in newspaper report on the lawsuit by current ACCCIM President Tan Sri William Cheng Heng Jem and the ACCCIM Deputy President Datuk Lim Kok Cheong against its honorary Advisor and seven others over a piece of land in Sabah.

Read the reports of Harris taking the stand here, here and here. The argument in defence of Wee can be found here.

This was Sabah of the go-go era. There was abundant money to be made if one find the correct connection.

Phang was a smooth talker and networker. He was building connections in Sabah. Along the way, he made money for himself. There is those typical businesses in projects and contracts. Maybe some trading opportunities here and there making use of his connections and network.

There was one activity of him that made him reknown in close circles.

Phang can fix

Phang was known then in Sabah as Mr Fix-It.

Don't say Government was never concern for corruption. There were always concerned but there was always leak in the system that enable cheats, corrupts and power abusers to get away. Phang was one conduit for such personality to save themselves.

Over the years, he had befriended many important and powerful people. Maybe by carrying out their errands, being good host or being generous to powerful but financial insufficient blokes.

One person he was closed to the former Attorney General and current Suhakam Chairman, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman. He was able to go in and out of the AG office without much hindrance.

The suspicion is that he had contacts inside that enable him to fix anyone in Sabah having problems with the predecessor to MACC, the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA).

Maybe at first it was legitimate arranging of meeting between affected people to AG personnel handling cases to explain the accused side of the story. But what evolve after that, God knows.

Phang basically had free access in and out of AG office during the time of Abu Talib till the late Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah took over untill he was promoted to the bench.

In came Sabahan Tan Sri Gani Patail as AG on Januario 1st 2002. One of his first circular to all at the AG's Chamber was to stop Phang from roaming freely inside AG's office.

That made Phang fuming mad.

He maybe expecting another Sabahan to be more helpful to this naturalised Sabahan Chinaman from Semenanjung but it did not. This is like cutting his supply line and his rice bowl. He became vindictive and waiting for the time to punce back on Gani.

In the meanwhile, Phang was also friendly with the Pak Lah appointed and fomer Commssioner of MACC, Dato Ahmad Said Hamdan. When ACA was elevated to Commision status in 2007, Phang was invited into the "sub"-committee on corruption prevention.

But in Sabah, he goes around claiming he is MACC Commissioner for Sabah. He was the one to solve a problem to involving a Michael Chia (?).

Gani may have heard of it on his balik kampung trips. Perhaps, current Commissioner Dato Abu Kassim heard of the same rumour flying around too. His access in MACC may have been curtailed by Abu Kassim.

It is not a coincident that when Ahmad Said was not extended and replaced by Abu Kassim, Phang decided to go after both of them.

Raya T-shirt gift?

This maybe dispelled by the other side's spin master as only stories. They will claim that there is all no proof and heresay as the first line of response.

Then they will pick pockets of information from the past that doesn't tally or is wrong. Maybe pick on some weak arguments or storyline. Hopefully the whole allegations on Loh-Bird can be thrown out.

The person involve in this conspiracy against our institution maybe the ones themselves making the proclamation to throw out the whole posting.

This is despite the obvious conflict of interest. They will not have their cybertroopers defend them because they have a Professor and/or a Dato to lend credibility. A fugitive running away from the law won't do.

The story above is merely background story and it is not made up out of a figment of imagination. Sufficient money was paid on phone bill to call Sabah and Sarawak to verify and not to mentioned makan-makan with sources. Now here is the meat.

Before Hari Raya, Phang paid a visit to one Ministry Sec-Gen. Let's just use the Malay acronym KSU. So much for him being pro-DAP, he is still using his MCA card to get around.

According to our deep throat, he spoke a lot about a RM900 million contracts to be given out by that Ministry. To cut the visit story short, he told the KSU that he has a T-Shirt for him.

The KSU was puzzled. Why would someone give him a T Shirt out of the blue? Is it a golf T Shirt meant for some Golf Tournament of what? Maybe there was no golf tournament in his schedule.

Usually there is no mention of the word corruption or bribery in a corruption preposition. They are usually very subtle. In money politics, it could be called belanja makan-makan, duit awak simpan, duit buat belanja, duit terima kasih kerana tolong, and many other permuatations of seemingly legitimate names. The ignorant ones may not even realise it is corruption.

Praise to Allah, there are still honest people in this anarchic world.

This KSU wants to be clear what it was. There are gift he has to refuse. He asked Phang what it is.

Phang may have lost his head or failed in his homework. He said there is an envelope in the T-Shirt.

He was asked again what was in the envelope and Phang answered, "Duit Raya."

Instantaneously, the KSU yelled at the top of his voice, "Get out of my office!"

As he lectured Phang, he warned that he is willing to expose this and make a report to the relevant authorities.

Who is the KSU concerned? What Ministry has an upcoming RM900 million contract? Another Alcatel?

Just like what Rocky and Bigdog did on the rape issue, the KSU name will not be revealed. He will reveal himself by owning up to his threat. The bigger the fuzz by Phang and his coterie of collaborators, the earlier the revelation.

In the meanwhile, let's observe if Phang added any new issues to his long list of tantrum.

All his tantrums will be answered in due to time. All the allegations against the various individuals and institutions will be revealed as farce and well organised political propaganda.

All in good time. Mun mun loh ...

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Is the Azan calling too loud?

Here we go again.

One early morning back in early September 2008, the jemaah for a surau in Puchong had a surprised visitor. YB Theresa Kok, Selangor state exco, MP for Seputih and State Assemblyperson for Kinrara requested that they lowered the speaker volume for azan.

That became a political issue between UMNO and DAP with PAS taking Theresa's side. Naturally, words like insult on Islam was used and both UMNO and PAS were trying hard to score political brownie points.

There is a demonstration on a complain of loud azan at Pantai Dalam. This time the complainant is an MCA man. The same emotional and political play is at work.

Is the surausand masjids too loud these days that it has exceeded the level of acceptance and tolerance by non-Muslim Malaysians? Or has Malaysian lost their sense of acceptance and tolerance to the religious diversity of the country?

After a tense GE 2008 in March, the azan issue raised by Theresa ended her being detained on September 12th 2008 under Section 73(1) of the Internal Security Act.

There was police report made against her on September 14th by NGOs like Perwaris, Pekida, and such for allegedly banning suraus in Puchong Jaya, Kota Damansara and Sri Serdang use of loudspeakers for azan, especially for subuh.

After her release, Theresa Kok was still hogging the limelight when she visited the Masjid As Salam Puchong 25 September 2010 in skirts. Her dress was inappropriate for entering the Masjid for it is not in accordance with Islamic aurah restriction for women.

In my understanding of ISA, the reason for detention could be beyond that. It must be a serious security issue to get held up for ISA.

The same aurah issue repeated again and again in September 2010 when DAP's Sri Serdang Assemblyman Teoh Nie Ching visited a Sri Serdang surau and recently held a senamrobik within a Masjid compound in unacceptable attire.

Many other DAP and Pakatan leaders like Xavier Jayakumar, Gobind Singh Deol, William Leong, Tian Chua, and perhaps others seemed to have a new fascination to ply their political skill by visiting surau and masjid but end up creating controversy for not understanding the required code of conduct.

That is that.

This time around last Friday a similar issue is heating up involving a former press secretary to former MCA President, Ong Ka Ting, lawyer Ng Kian Nam and the jemaah of Masjid Al Ikhlasiah, Pantai Dalam.

Ng who lives at a Kondo Pantai Hill Park wrote a complain to various authorities and Ministers, including the Prime Minister, claiming the azan is excessively to loud, particularly in the morning.

It is believed that Federal Territory Minister, Raja Dato Nong Chik had requested Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) to look into the matter. JAWI had instructed the Masjid to lower the volume.

This created furor and a group of NGOs had demonstrated in front of the masjid after Friday prayers to express their disappointment and unhappiness against Ng.

This time PAS took their turn to whack back at UMNO and the Government.

Similarly during the Hulu Selangor by-election, YB Khalid Samad made a wild accusation that BN candidate now YB P Kamalanathan had campaigned inside a masjid and PAS bloggers doctored pictures to show such.

Kamala had got even with Khalid since then.

So much for politicians and their constant need to create chaos by agitating the public to draw political support. But politicians cannot agitate the public, if the public do not easily lose their head and become gullible to such emotional stirrings.

Where does my stance on this issue as a Muslim and pro-UMNO blogger?

The natural tendency would be to side with the masjid in both cases of Theresa and Ng.

What has happened to Malaysians and their acceptance and tolerance to the religious diversity of the country? That would be the question to ponder.

Most Malays and Muslim could accept (not just tolerate) their neighbours' spiritual need to burn joss-sticks and tolerate the emanating unfamiliar smell. Non-Chinese neighbours tolerate the midnight burning of firecrackers on Chinese New Years.

No one have any problems with Hindu temples playing their drums loudly in the evening.

Except that, it may not be quite tolerable to the jemaah of the affected surau at Section 21 for a temple to be relocated next. For theological or ritual reasons, Maghrib is a time for solace to the Muslim and noise is hindered.

The Hindu must respect and oblige to accept and tolerate that customs of the Muslims. They should be considerate to not insist their temple be relocated next to a surau and insist on other options.

This is where the MP for Shah Alam, Khalid Samad, exco for Selangor in charge, Xavier Jayakumar and MB for Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Samad failed to find an amicable solution. They started the agitation and they must solve it.

Most Malaysians do not complain of the perceived higher incidence of drunk driving on Christmas but just accept the higher than usual consumption of alcohol and be extra careful on the road.

Coming back to the issue, so why can't the non-Muslims learn to accept the Muslim make-up of this country they adopt as home and tolerate the azan?

Is Ng being ridiculously stubborn or self centered?

After all, Ng's condominium is located a mile away from the Masjid. He had just moved into the neighbourhood some 15 months ago. Why is it an issue when his neighbours learn to accept and tolerate it?

An MCA friend asked explained that before Ng wrote those letters as a citizen, he had asked the question in his Facebook (see here). The feedback he had received was that the azan is excessively loud.

I have no way of gauging if the azan of Masjid Al Ikhlasiah, Pantai Dalam or suraus and masjids approached by Theresa is too loud. One will have to accept it in good faith even if there are intolerable individuals claiming it.

But I am about to give a non-conventional view on the loud azan issue because I face the same problem myself. Mind you, as a son of an Imam, I live next to Masjids all my live.

I have no issue with the azan. It helps to remind me of the prayers time. Furthermore, it is hardly more than two minutes.

However, it is the broadcasting of the kelas ugama by the neighbourhood surau, usually in between maghrib and isya, and after subuh, that is irritatingly loud. It is so loud that the words of the ustaz is inaudible. The speakers is blasted beyond its sonic capacity.

Since it is as loud as the azan, I began to realised that the azan is excessively loud. It is unnecessary because there are altogether 6 suraus and masjids within our two miles radius.

I have no problem with the ustaz's ceramah despite his cleverly in-fused PAS anti-Government political propaganda because the jemaah in the neighbourhood are not gullible to such cheap politicking. The jemaah sacked few ustazs for being partisan.

My concern was the volume disturbed the attention of schoolchildren studying at home. In the early subuh, it disturbs babies and younger children still sleeping. That is about the time parents are busy preparing their children to schools and themselves to work.

In my case, I expressed my issue with the relevant people of the surau. Over time, it is solved.

In the case of Theresa, she helped solve the problem of low quality speaker system of the suraus and masjids that had been the cause of irritation to the non Muslims in the neighbourhood.

Shouldn't Ng and others complaining the same approach the responsible people of the masjid instead of showing power and applying his political influence to force the masjid to lower the volume?

Is it a case of a lawyer used to the adversarial ways of practicing laws and authority that they lose sense of community and humanity?

Ng's approach sent the wrong signal and invite animosity. Newton's third law of strong action results in strong opposite reactions.

Ng should understand Muslims sensitivity. If the local authority in Switzerland had banned the building of minarets, one can understand that it is not an Islamic country. Islam is constitutionally the religion of the federation and not just ceremonial official religion. Muslims will expect more leeway.

Politicians being politicians, PAS will only take advantage of the situation and create a perception of animosity between MCA and Muslims and Malays. Tenang by-election is just days away.

Ng should have taken a less adversarial and politically more correct solution. He should show more tolerance and acceptance till an understanding is reached.

It is most unlikely for someone involved in politics but let's assume Ng is naive and ignorant as most Malaysian are in the culture and practices of other Malaysians outside their race and religion.

Government has an important issue to be addressed for the future. Is there such policy on environment that determines the acceptable decibel level for religious houses broadcast?

Is there a procedure and authority to settle inter-religious disputes at the localised level within the neighbourhood? In the urban areas, we do not have that wise and respectable penghulu personality that solve localised disputes.

That should certainly help citizens like Ng and others.

Not every dispute and issue is a calling for the struggle for alif ba ta.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Airasia skidded off the runaway


This poster picture of the recent airport accident involving Airasia can be considered heartless and insensitive, but please don't say we never told you before?

This blog have been talking about the danger of Airasia flight operation for so long. Airasia is profit and cost driven without care for the danger they pose to passengers.

Bigdog had written a history of Airasia accidents here.

Airasia skidded off the runway while landing under heavy rain at Kuching Airport on Monday night. Four passengers were slightly injured and had to be sent for treatment to Kuching Hospital.

The Kuching airport had to be closed for 24 hours and caused great inconvenience to other airlines and passengers. One e-mailed a complain to FMT, reproduced below:

I’m disappointed in you Tony Fernandes

January 12, 2011

FMT LETTER: From Francis Siah, via e-mail

The Kuching Airport closure yesterday caused me to miss my meetings in Miri with our MoCS group and the press. I was scheduled to meet our MoCS group in Miri for lunch and thereafter called a press conference at 3.30pm.

The SMS received from AirAsia for the flight cancellation at 9.30am (my flight was at 11.10am) was that of an emergency runway closure of Kuching Airport.

I thought it was the bad weather. It has been raining heavily for two consecutive days in Kuching. I even went to the airport at 10am and no one at the AirAsia counter informed me of the accident.

When I called the MAS counter at the Kuching airport at 1pm to enquire whether the airport has opened, the guy over the phone was kind enough to tell me the reason for the closure.

“You don’t know about last night’s accident ka? That Tony Fernandes is so powerful…he can black out news about accidents involving Air Asia planes.”

Of course, the guy was from MAS and he further lamented MAS’ losses of flight cancellations and having to put up stranded passengers in hotels and paying for their meals.

So now I know. You can only get bad news on Air Asia from MAS and I suppose vice-versa. Air Asia staff will stay mum about accidents involving their aircraft. This is most unprofessional.

The accident took place at 10pm on Monday and none of the local newspapers carried the news. I was surprised or should I be?

Working as an editor for years, I will be very sore with my reporters if they do not get such a ‘major’ story back to the office.

For such a big story, I would even delay the printing deadline to ensure that the story is out next morning.

Apparently, things work differently these days. I rang one editor friend and asked him if he was aware of the accident. He laughed, saying “we knew about it on Monday night already”.

Then came the familiar tale which we have all heard before: “Aiya…AirAsia is spending millions in advertisements with us every year la”.

Of course, I know…I heard this so many times before.

My editor friend then told me that the news will have to be carried in following day’s papers because it has become a national disaster with passengers stranded throughout the country with the closure of the Kuching Airport.

Bernama only carried this story online at 12.11pm, some 14 hours after the accident. So much for speed in the news world these days!

And to AirAsia and the ‘almighty’ Tony Fernandes, let me tell you this – You have done a great disservice to your passengers.

You told the whole world, “Now, Everyone Can Fly”. You lie and you were not decent enough to tell me why I cannot fly.

I have to hear it from a third party. I think you have been most unprofessional and I’m very disappointed with you and AirAsia today.
Don't stop there, Francis.

It will be a matter of time before AirAsia change their slogan from "Now, Everyone Can Fly" to "Now, Everyone Can Die."

This blog have been making much exposure, reminding and warning the public on the bad boy of the local airline industry to no avail. Simply because Malaysian come to the defence of cheap fare AirAsia.

Malaysian public just refuse to hear of the behind the scene cheating, power abuse and manipulations of AirAsia.

The cheap fare of AirAsia come with the danger to passengers safety.

One MAS Aircraft Engineer used to describe the bare minimal safety standard of Airasia aircraft before the ordered fleet of Airbus A320s came in. In the case of MAS, they go multiple of the safety requirement.

Below is a 2009 video of mechanical faults at mid-air, as alleged by the video author, of Airasia's:


Many more safety issues are highlighted in this recently found anti-Airasia blog here and here.

This blogger was once told by an aviation analyst that in order to save fuel during landing, AirAsia pilots were instructed to began descend from afar and glide at low speed into the runaway.

He claimed that as the reason for several mishaps at the Kota Kinabalu Airport in a year.

However, one senior pilot spoken this morning refused to believe such happening as it is not in accordance to the aircraft manufacturer landing manual. He is too good hearted or perhaps naive to assume AirAsia is a responsible a corporate citizen as his company MAS is.

Be that as it may.


Because of AirAsia's cheap fare, Malaysian consumers are willing to be subjected to abuse by AirAsia's indiscriminate cancellation, perpetual delay, and system designed long wait.

Their ticket sales practise have been openly questioned by airline practitioners. No terms and condition attached to tickets for flyers to read and agreed to.

As one of the country's leading aviationist highlighted in a meeting with bloggers few months back, AirAsia practise a no refund policy. This is in contravention of the aviation act.

Malaysian do not care and emphatise to the fact that Airasia grew at the expense of MAS.

Unlike MAS, Airasia is privately owned and have majority 53% foreign shareholdings. Yet they have the cheek to seek status of national carrier.

Where MAS take into account and sacrifice in many aspects for national interest, local and abroad, Airasia will have none of that.

AirAsia managed the Rural Air Service (RAS) but within the short while, returned it back to MAS when they realised there was not much money in it. The aircrafts was cannibalised and in bad shape when returned.

Malaysians have been too pissed with the endless story of losses by MAS that they do not care about the manner the Airline Rationalisation Policy was instituted.

Despite cabinet approved an already deliberated Airline Rationalisation Policy, Tony Fernandez, Zaki Zaid dan Khairy hijacked the paper on it's way to Pak Lah's office to redo over the weekend and got Pak Lah to annouce a different policy on Monday without prior cabinet approval.

Naturally, it is structured to benefit foreign majority shareholding, AirAsia immensely but at the expense of the country and MAS.

Malaysians do not give a damn that this foreign majority shareholders airline do not pay the airport taxes charged on consumer to the Malaysia Airport Berhad.

Foreign majority shareholding AirAsia is involved in unsavory accounting practice.

They manipulated their account to not consolidate their 48.9% owned Thai and Indonesian AirAsia.


By equity accounting losing subsidiaries, the could bring down the size of their balance sheet to con rating agencies.


And, the analyst join the con to recommend buy.

As usual, SC Chairman, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar kept her eyes closed on anything to do with friends of her husband, Dato Azizan Abd Rahman.

Nor Yakcop, Kalimullah and Khairy have keen interest in AirAsia. They are salesmen of the nation as in selling away assets of the country.

Finally, if this does not get Malaysians blood boiling, Malaysians must be the most corruptible and self interest indifferent citizen of the world. For cheap AirAsia fares, they allow this company to get away with taxes.

Not only this foreign majority shareholding company do not pay airport tax, they do not pay taxes.

It is unthinkable that the Minister of Finance can allow Nor Yakcop to talk him into giving AirAsia a further 5-year extension of investment allowance.

This entitled AirAsia to claim an income tax exemption of 60 per cent on qualifying capital expenditure to set off against 70 per cent of statutory income for each year of assessment from 2010-2014.

This is in the midst of Pemandu telling the country subsidy will bankrupt the nation and prices of basic good like sugar will shoot the sky.

Isn't this tax break indirectly subsidising corporate tax? And, it is for foreign majority shareholding company.

This blogger has vowed to never fly AirAsia and will be loyal to national carrier MAS. Same as my loyalty to Malaysian brands like Malayan Banking, Petronas, Proton, etc.

Malaysian can go ahead to be kiasu and abused by AirAsia's cheap fare. But not me.

With MAS, one feel safe and sound with the record that the last time MAS got into any operational problem was back in 1995. Still, it is not as frequent as AirAsia.

But one never know.

Accidents can happen and it can happen to MAS too. The comfort will be that with MAS, they have records of my seats and could identify and retrieve my body.

Not in the case with free seating AirAsia.

And, I am not to sure, like in the case of your airport tax, whether they pay the insurance company for the flight insurance they charged you.

Have a nice flight on AirAsia.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The myth of Syed Mokhtar’s RM25 billion debt

Receiving Tokoh Maal Hijrah award for his philantrophy work

Utusan Malaysia wrote two articles on MMC Corporation on January 6th 2010 here and January 8th 2010 here.

It was meant to dispel allegations made by Straits Times Singapore that Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar is facing with a debt problem of RM25 billion, in which RM21 billion of borrowing is by MMC.

Having been in the corporate world before, negative news or rumours usually emanate from Singapore, especially those to ridicule Bumiputera corporate businessmen.

It is like a coordinated effort within and without the country to stem any gains in Bumiputera economic empowerment.

In our recent posting here and here, we have partly question the accepted myth of Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli losing RM8 billion at Malaysian Airlines System Berhad (MAS). Along the way, we learnt the need to stem rumours before it is assumed as undisputable truth.

This blog pursue to investigate the Malaysia Today's MAS story and found many untrue claims and dark sides of this concerted effort to ridicule the ACA, MACC, Attorney General and former Inspector General of Police.

The conspiracy involving Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Din Merican, Rosli Dahlan, Dato Ramli Yusoff, Dato Mat Zain Ibrahim and so-called philantrophist Tan Sri Robert Phang will unfold soon.

Until such time, let us debunk this myth of Syed Mokhtar’s RM25 billion debt.

The market talk of Syed Mokhtar sitting on a mountain of debt has been making it’s round for quite a number of years. Part of the reason that Syed Mokhtar have been pursuing, taking on and taking over endless list of strategic assets.

This opens him to jealousy and negative speculations. More so that he is a Bumiputera businessman that is supposed to stereotypically fail and expected to be inferior to Chinese.

Not only he has to face up to Singapore newsmen and analysts, he has to deal with the Tingkat 4-linked Khazanah people who looks at him with much disdain. It is heard that the RM25 billion debt figure came from Khazanah people.

Their close association with Singapore is an open secret with Nor Yakcop's hand pretty much in Khazanah affair. Nor Yakcop is a long close associate of Tun Abdullah's cabal, Dato Kalimullah.

Syed Mokhtar is no close allies. The first act of Tun Abdullah when he assumed premiership was to cancel the strategic double tracking project meant to be awarded to Syed Mokhtar. There were many other project reviews, cancellations and postponements after that.

There is talk that when he submitted the proposed buyout of PLUS last year, Khazanah changed UEM's plans and decided to give it to EPF. The finality is yet in sight.

With Bumiputera like this, one do not need other races to sabotage Bumiputera businessmen.

Let’s look at MMC. Is there such size of debt?

MMC is one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates with leading positions in transport & logistics, energy & utilities and engineering & construction. They own the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), Johor Port and Senai Airport.

MMC's engineering team built the innovative and award-winning SMART tunnel project. They are currently undertaking the renewed but more expensive RM12.5 billion electrified double tracking railway project between Ipoh and Padang Besar.

MMC was recently awarded the role of Project Delivery Partner for the development of the RM36 billion urban mass rapid transit project for Kuala Lumpur.

MMC has interests in Malakoff, Malaysia’s largest independent power producer with an effective generation capacity of 5,020MW or 23% of Peninsular Malaysia’s total installed capacity.

Through Aliran Resources, MMC is expanding abroad to the Middle East into water treatment plant Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Jordan. If our memory has not fail us, Syed Mokhtar’s group controls Air Johor Berhad.

Earlier in October 2010, The Malaysian Insider here wrote of the billionaire's growing strategic asset is raising concerns.

Syed Mokhtar had strategic presence in basic food like rice, sugar and flour. An area the Chinese wish to strategically hold a monopoly. They claimed he was bidding for the RRI land in Sungai Buloh.

In early December 2010, his name turn up for the 32% stake in Pos Malaysia up for sale by Khazanah and it ties very well with his other logistic and supply chain businesses. Read Rocky Bru's here.

Many would have suspected and speculated that Syed Mokhtar and MMC have high gearing. Is it really so?

Since MMC is the largest of Syed Mokhtar’s vehicle, let us take a look at it.

The manner Syed Moktar structure his loans is that debt are contained at the operating subsidiary level. So does with MMC.

These subsidiaries have sufficient cashflow to comfortably cover their respective debt service requirements. Most debts have been secured on a non-recourse basis.

As of third quarter 2010, MMC has a total gross debt of RM20.4 billion on a group level. This less by RM470 million from the 2009 level. After netting cash, net debt level stands at RM15.9 billion.

The bulk of these borrowings reside in Malakoff and its ports. These borrowings are structured such that the obligations are secured.

Excluding Malakoff, MMC debt level is only RM6.7 billion.

This is not to telling to ignore Malakoff. Again, like his other operating subsidiaries, Malakoff debt is standalone tied with the energy concession.

MMC have been receiving dividends from its subsidiaries and associates. The third quarter dividend for 2009 was RM189.3 million and 2010 was RM204.25 million which increase the ability to repay its loans.

MMC has options to pare down debt at the holding company level by RM3.57 billion.

Credit Suisse analyst report dated 30 September 2010 forecast MMC’s EBITDA for 2010 of RM3.25 billion. Put that against borrowings of RM20.9 billion. Any problem now?

Finally, the interest cover and gearing ratio is at fairly comfortable level. See figure 2 below:

All Syed Moktar need to do is to explain for his other smaller corporate vehicles like Tradewind, Bernas, DRB Hicom, and etc.

Is it a debt problem or racially or politically related corporate sabotage?

If there is no such jealousy or conspiracy, this is something observers need to understand. Most analysts and business reporters suffer from looking at the obvious and visible, thus for the pessimistically inclined view.

Most businessmen have a trick at their sleeve. The real key to their success is usually hidden and not openly known.

As a hint, all that is done by Syed Mokhtar is amal jariah and national service. Some speculate it as to realise Tun Mahathir's dream.

Not many knows Syed Mokhtar's real business, thus the tendency to misread him. However, we will not say a word to respect his trade secret.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Public land and rising prices: Rakyat didahulukan?

A dispute is brewing in Bandar Tasek Selatan between developer Maju Holdings and the rakyat.

About 200 residents from both side of the political divide, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat supporters, held a protest against the developer.

Star blog reported shouting match in the meeting between residents and developer in the presence of Federal Minister, Raja Dato Nong Chik.

Bandar Tun Abdul Razak UMNO Division Secretary and blogger Sang Kelembai, Zaharin Yassin was thrown out from the meeting. It is heard that Zaharin is threatening to resign his UMNO post if the Federal Territory Minister compromise with the developer.

Maju is owned by entrepreneur Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamad or popularly known as Abu Juling (cross-eyed Abu). They developed the Bandar Tasek Selatan in Bandar Tun Abdul Razak, Cheras.

The dispute is about Maju deciding to forego the approved planned construction of 2,033 units of apartments and changed plan to build five bungalows. And the dispute also involved the erection of fences on land earmarked for public recreation and access road.

Over the weekend, prices of basic controlled item goods are rising unannounced. Domestic Trade Minister is said to not know. And BN is facing a by-election in Johor.

Are these the kind of issues necessary for a rakyat didahulukan Government?

Zaharin could not be contacted to confirm. [Bro, you don't owe me money. Don't worry to pick up my call.]

The Bernama report on this dispute below:

Maju Holdings Must Tear Down Fences, Says Nong Chik

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 (Bernama) -- The government will issue a 14-day notice to Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd (Maju Holdings) to tear down the fences built on a land earmarked for a public recreational park in Bandar Tasik Selatan here.

Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said although the land was owned by Maju Holdings, it cannot construct any structure other than a recreation area as originally planned.

"They have to tear down the fences which were built on a public access road, otherwise action will be taken against the company.

"Maju Holdings should be sensitive to the needs of the people who have waited for so long for a recreation area there," he told reporters after inspecting the Integrated South-Bandar Tasik Selatan Transport Terminal (TBS-BTS) here Friday.

Last Sunday, about 200 residents from both Barisan Nasional and the opposition protested against the construction of five bungalows by Maju Holdings executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed on a piece of land near the TBS-BTS which was said to be earmarked for a recreation park.

Raja Nong Chik, who later met the residents, said the construction plan of the bungalows owned by Abu Sahid had yet to get the approval of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

Meanwhile, Abu Sahid said the government had no rights to seize the land as it belonged to the company since it started developing Bandar Tasik Selatan 30 years ago.

"The land in dispute is under Phase 6 of the township development, which was initially meant for the construction of 2,033 units of apartments, but I changed the plan to build the bungalows," he said.

He said had the company built apartments there, then it would have to hand over the land for the construction of a recreation park as previously planned.
Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak stepped in to order removal of the fences. Does the PM need to step in to help when the Minister is already empowered?
Najib Wants Wall Near TBS-BTS Demolished

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has directed Syarikat Maju Terminal Management and Services Sdn Bhd (Maju Tmas) to demolish the wall obstructing a public passage near Terminal Bersepadu Selatan-Bandar Tasik Selatan (TBS-BTS).

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said it includes the wall surrounding the bungalow of Kumpulan Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed.

He said the government will not hesitate to withdraw the company's TBS-BTS operating licence if it continues to ignore the directive.

Abu Sahid had given the area to the government for public use provided the surrounding area was developed but it the plan did not materialise.

"He can't take back what had been given up. This is the final decision," he said at a new year meeting with residents in Pantai Dalam Sunday.

Abu Sahid plans to build 2,033 units of flats under Fasa 6 of Bandar Tasik Selatan but changed to five bungalows.

The plan has yet to receive approval from Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

Raja Nong Chik said Abu Sahid has the right to take legal action but it would not benefit anybody and victimise the people.

"We hope both parties will not lose out. Abu Sahid and nearby residents can use the recreation area and lake."

On another matter, he said operator has agreed to find a location near TBS-BTS for traders who could not afford to rent lots in the terminal.

The bus terminal which began operation on Jan 1 is managed by Maju Tmas, a subsidiary company of Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd.
Reader Ghaffar from Muar sent an SMS to give his view of the dispute:
The rich squatting on public property, because of what?

This is an issue of people versus errant developer. Huff and puff by Abu Juling (is an) offshot (of) a row in the meeting (between developer and people) with Ministry of Federal Territory over a disputed land matter of Tasik Selatan.

Abu Juling walked out claiming that the whole of Tasik Selatan belong to him. He bought it in 1986.

(That is) Juling's unschooled and birdbrains spelt out by his ignorant and adamant (ways) as pictured.

The status of a private land is no longer private when the land had been located for development. By law, the land (should) be under the control of the Federal land Commissioner.

The disputed land was designated for recreation and for public usage in the first approved development plan. (But) Juling had built bungalows and included (is) his own (home) on this said land which was approved for apartments.

How was it approved for apartments at the very first place and later on converted to bungalows required investigation?

Knowing Juling, he usually get away with it.
That is something the rakyat have no tolerance to hear. Should a rakyat didahulukan Government allow such selfish personality get away? And should they forego rakyat's needs for the greedy needs of the rich?

Barisan Nasional is already getting a bad rap for unannounced sharp increases in basic controlled item foodstuffs.

Where is the high income in the New Economic Model?

The only model the rakyat is seeing is the Rising Cost of Living reality.

Words are it is Pemandu that raised sugar prices. This has long been planned by them in their effort to cut subsidy.

But why not cut sugar subsidy for the biggest user of sugar like Najib's pet project for the largest planned Coca Cola bottling plant in Nilai? Not only are soft drink companies benefitting from subsidised sugar, there are also food and confectionary companies.

Does that make corporation the major beneficiary of subsidy over the rakyat similar to IPPs in energy subsidy?

One cabinet minister in a meeting with bloggers recently was said to express questions on Najib's over reliance on Pemandu.

This begs the question: Is Pemandu insensitive or unappreciative of the living condition of rakyat in their economic planning?

The question is relevent because it seems EPU's economic planning role had been hijacked to Pemandu. Omar Ong and his coterie of expensive foreign consultants plus his own Ethos Consulting is in the background and forefront.

To make things worse, the kids in Pemandu seems to be more loyal to their liberal economic guru in some foreign land than to serve the nation and political master. They are generally upper class and foreign in outlook.

In fact, putting non-partisan Idris Jala is a problem by itself. The Butcher from Shell is rakyat insensitive.

Someone better keep tab on this urban and foreign outlook Pemandu people.

Better still, dump that Kelabit in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle. Dumb are those over awed only by his Shell-style Powerpoint prowess. He failed to turn around MAS.

The Government better be serious about their rakyat didahulukan slogan. They should live up to the slogan.

Najib's recent 72% popularity may not be able to carry BN through the general election if prices keep escalating and public recreation land is being robbed by the rich.

Does he want the rakyat to talk in class struggle language and demand leadership be reserved for the rakyat marhaen who truly understand the rakyat?

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