Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Facing up to the truth


There was just no such losses!

Last Monday, September 12, Raja Petra wrote a piece, "Not cheating, just bending the rule" which relates to alleged loss of RM8 billion loss of MAS during the tenure of Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli as Chairman.

This time we are not responding to another of his grumbling to keep his conspiracy theory alive and defend the reputation of crooked, manipulative and arrogant lawyer Rosli Dahalan. This time Raja Petra and Din Merican (read here) are trying to make something out of a recent MACC raid on the house of Attorney General, Tan Sri Gani Patail in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.

Earlier on August 29th, we responded to his attempt to deny us the satisfaction of proving his many years of false allegation by a cute spin to claim we do not trust the police. We wrote, "The police we trust, Your accomplice we don't", where we made further expose as to why we can't trust the characters close to him.

Yesterday, a report broke out yesterday that there is an out-court settlement to the RM200 million lawsuit by Tajuddin against The Malaysian Insider. The settled amount is said to be in the tune of RM30 million.

The out of court settlement serve only to save MI's face. Tajuddin has proved his point and it only add further proof of our hunch that there was no such RM8 billion MAS loss.

How will they respond to this news? If only they know that it is better to admit to the truth and move on than continuing to sustain an untrue story. It will open up the story to more discrepencies. No wonder the Christians always say the truth shall set you free.

Yes, free from ill will, bad intention and impure heart.

The Bernama report on the out-of-court settlement below:

Parties Seek Out-of-court Settlement In Tajudin's Suit Against News Portal

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (Bernama) -- The parties in the RM200-million suit brought by former Malaysia Airlines executive chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli against The Malaysian Insider news portal are seeking to settle the case out of court, counsel for The Malaysian Insider said Monday.

Lawyer George Miranda said this after he, Tajudin's counsel Lim Kian Leong and the news portal's executive and journalist had met Judge Harminder Singh Dhaliwal in chambers.

The case had been set for case management today. After the meeting, the judge set Sept 28 for case management.

On Aug 18, Tajudin filed the suit over the news portal's publication of an article on the airline company.

He named The Malaysian Insider Sdn Bhd, its chief executive officer Jahabar Sadiq and journalist Shazwan Mustafa Kamal as defendants.

Tajudin, who helmed the airline from 1994 to 2001, had stated that the portal had published defamatory words in the article on May 31, 2011.

He also claimed that the portal repeated the defamatory words in other articles, despite a letter sent to it to not do so.

He said the Malaysian Insider, when responding to his letter, stated that the words in the article were not defamatory and that they had obtained the information from multiple sources.

Besides general damages of RM200 million, Tajudin is also seeking aggravated damages and interests.
Our hunch for the truth stems from a simple fact that everyone refuse to remember and by design, intentionally hide from the public. Tajuddin sold MAS shares at RM8 per shares when market was lower but everyone forgot that he bought it at RM8 billion when the highest the market was trading RM4-6 per share.

Tajuddin was cleaning up the mess of Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop at Bank Negara
Malaysia. The vindictive snaky Mamak he is, instead of thanking him, Nor Yakcop did several numbers on him. It puzzles us why Najib still keep him in Cabinet?

The out of court settlement only shows The Malaysian Insider have no proof to back their allegation.

Neither do politicians Salahuddin Ayub, Saifuddin Nasution and Mahfuz Omar making the same allegation in press conferences and ceramahs.

The last one would expect from politicians is to admit they are wrong. If it is below their dignity to admit they are wrong, the least they could do is to honourably refrain from talking about it anymore.

Nor are the conspirators.

Rosli Dahlan, Dato Ramli Yusof, Raja Petra, and Din Merican with their barking dogs, Tan Sri Robert Phang and now Dato Md Zin Ibrahim could only make allegations but for the past few years could not produce a single shred of proof.

The police under conspirator, Ramli Yusof could not. MAS officers, who supposedly have access to records, documents and accounts, only made the same allegation but never could prove it.

The little proof they attempted to spin have been debunked and Court of Arbitration have proven them wrong.

If they are purveyor of good, then live with the truth and move on. They have been proven wrong and pursuing it further only shows their lack of honour.

Such quantum of loss just do not exist and is merely a figment of someone's imagination to develop a perception on Tajuddin. Why?

It is our suspicion that a larger hand is out there to create a perception of a villain on someone to justify an evil intention so that he will continue to be blame. That unlucky villain happen to be Tajuddin.

Not only has this off court settlement partly proof the allegation is false, the fact that Government is willing to negotiate a global settlement with Tajuddin add further indication that he was victimised and the Government has no choice but to sit down and settle.

How will Government settle Tajuddin's lawsuit of RM13 billion, which could be more than RM20 billion by now?

Tajuddin should know Government can't afford it. Thus, the amount he is willing to settle down for would give him a chance to show he is the better man than the nasty perception created out of him.

One wonders why him?

Could it be because Tajuddin was a serious boss that hardly smile? But that only shows Malaysian as a spoilt brat.

Really, what so bad about having a difficult perfectionist boss? It puts you on your toe and you get better from the higher expectation. If it really happened as what the gossip say, what is so embarrassing about getting thrown files for scrappy work? Face up to the boss again with better work. He should appreciate.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Haris Ibrahim: A law unto himself?


Dr MIM posting on a fake news from the hacked pages of the Bangla Deshi Prime Minister Minister's website caught our attention. [Read here]. The quick respond of the opposition raised the suspicion that they had a hand in hacking the Bangla Deshi PM's website.

This observation was highlighted further by The Mole here. They ended their story by asking: Harris Ibrahim - Where is the proof?

Having read all the materials, it is difficult to comprehend how The Mole could have used comments made by Haris Ibrahim regarding the issue of Bangladeshis to vote in Malaysia when all he did was make accusations without a shred of evidence.

In fact, Haris contradicts himself from the word go.

First he claims to have a reliable source to back his claims that foreign workers in Malaysia had been given MyKad and registered as voters, to vote in Penang.

In the very next breath, Haris said: “We are investigating this matter and trying to get the verification from certain quarters about this.”

So which is which.

Is Haris saying that he had already made the accusations when he is still investigating the matter and trying to verify it?

So far no proof and in the next sentence he accused Umno’s involvement and when asked on what premise, Haris retorted by saying “Do you know of any non-Umno Home Minister?”

It is actually surprising that Umno and the Home Minister had not sued Haris for such slur. Then again, the Umno Home Minister is only known to issue warnings without any gumption to walk the talk.


To make the issue more interesting, Haris had put up a posting on the issue based on a Malaysian Insider’s report about Bangladeshis being given citizenship to allow them to vote in the next general election. The citizenship is on the condition that they vote the present Government.

Now that it had been exposed that Malaysian Insider had been irresponsible and reported on a website that had been hacked without attempting to verify it.

The Malaysian Insider had proven itself to be unreliable in the past and overzealous in undermining Umno and BN.

Now it has been exposed to write a story without verifying the source and contents.

Is Haris and Malaysian Insider a case of birds of a feather?

Click Here to Read More..

Perkasa's position on the abolishment of ISA


Perkasa is one of the most vocal supporter of ISA. Since the annnouncement on abolishment of ISA, they have held back any comment. They were assessing the situation.

After their emergency meeting yesterday, in which ISA was high on the agenda, Dato Ibrahim Ali stated their stance in a press conference yesterday.

Ibrahim Ali is a wice detained former ISA detainee. While, their Information Chief, Encik Roslan Kassim was detained once under ISA. In addition, there are 8 lawyers, a former Deputy IGP, former Air Force Chief and many community activist on Perkasa's Dewan Tertinggi.

Perkasa insist that the preventive element in the new law in the newly enacted law to remain. They expressed reservation of the courts in making decision in extension of detention. The new law must give people's right for security and safety and not be made political tool of both ruling and opposition party. This is in concurrence with ABITW view here.

Secondly, Ibrahim expressed agreement to certain relaxation to the current ISA practices believed to be implemented in the new preventive law. Among others are family visitation rights, shorter detention period from 60 to 30 days, etc.

Read The Malaysian Insiders report on the call to maintain preventive spirit:

Perkasa to reject new laws if too unlike ISA

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 – Perkasa will reject the new anti-terrorism laws the prime minister has proposed if they do not keep to the “preventive spirit” of the recently scrapped Internal Security Act (ISA).

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said it was necessary to preserve or even improve upon the preventive aspects of the ISA to ensure security forces have a viable “instrument” with which to quickly stamp out subversive activities and keep the nation safe.

The Malay rights leader cited alleged insults to Islam and increasing criticism of Article 153, which accords a special position to Bumiputeras, as examples of activities that could threaten the stability and safety of the people.

“We know who did it but it’s difficult to prove in court. But security (forces) know who is responsible,” he told reporters here after Perkasa concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the ISA’s repeal.

Ibrahim stressed that there should be no compromises when formulating the new laws as Malaysia’s development and progress hinged entirely on its security, adding that the ISA was one of the most effective tools to ensure the nation’s peace.

He urged the government to discuss the new laws with stakeholders, especially the police, before deciding on the contents of the proposed anti-terrorism laws.

“I hope the government doesn’t bend to political sentiment from any party when creating these new laws... What’s key is that the people should decide on their own security. This is the people’s right,” he said.

Perkasa will meet with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein soon to discuss the details of the new laws, Ibrahim added.

On Thursday night, the prime minister announced that the repeal of the ISA and the three Emergency Declarations when both the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat have their next sitting.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said new laws will be enacted to protect the peace, harmony and security of the country.
The Bernama report on Perkasa's agreement on some relaxation:
Perkasa Wants New Law Replacing ISA To Be More Fair To Detainees

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 -- The Malay right-wing group, Perkasa, hopes that the two new laws replacing the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 will have improvements and will be more fair to the detainees.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said that in addition, the movement wanted preventive elements in the ISA, which had become an instrument for the police in checking subversive activities in the country all this while, to be retained.

"We want the two new acts to be better than the previous act, such as reducing the detention period.

"But at the same time, we want preventive elements to be retained because two aspects in the ISA, namely prevention and rehabilitation had been most effective in tackling security issues in the country," he told reporters, here Sunday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his Malaysia Day message on Thursday, had announced that the ISA would be abolished and two new laws would be formulated to preserve the peace prevailing in the country.

In this context, Ibrahim said, he and the Perkasa supreme council members would meet with Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein shortly to discuss elements that should be included in the two new acts.

"Perkasa also hopes that political sentiments from any group will not influence the formulation of the new acts, whether from the opposition or the government in order to fish for votes.

"We will not hesitate to reject the two new acts if they are perceived as not containing the preventive elements because we want the people's security to continue to be defended," he said, adding that the government should also review the Universities and University Colleges Act and the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Click Here to Read More..

Big Dog and Cuit-Cuit seen at PAS's Hasan Ali raya open house

This is a picture received from a mole. No, not The Mole but a mole at the Ghufran Masjid at Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

It is the picture of Mohamad Zakhir Mohamad, Dato Dr Hassan Ali and Dato Zaini Hassan at the open house raya celebration at Hasan Ali's home.

Mohamad Zakhir is Big Dog, the blogger Rocky usually described as rabid pro-UMNO blogger. He was recently known for exposing Christian pastors making in an oath swearing ceremony to turn Malaysia into a Christian state and have a Christian Prime Minister.

He has not been happy lately with Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib for abolishing the ISA.

Hassan Ali is the Selangor exco in charge of Islamic affair.

He is likely not quite happy with the recent gag order and actions of the Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with regard to the JAIS investigation on suspicion of proselytising Muslims by the Damansara Utama Methodist Church.

Hassan is no more the favoured name for PAS party line-up but the recent controversy brought back some PAS grassroot support for him.

There is an event to gather 1,000,000 Muslim against proselytising of Muslims on October 23rd. Pemuda PAS has expressed support. But the Syariah court date on DUMC case is October 19th. Why demo after?

What can one speculate from that picture?

Is Big Dog, whose in an all blue attire, turning green? Is he there to celebrate raya or becoming a PAS member?

Will PAS as purveyor of welfare state allow dogs in their ranks?

Or is Hasan Ali whose a Selangorian Giant fan with their traditional Yellow and Red jerseys, turning Yellow and Red too?

Don't know what to expect of the presence of Zaini.

Zaini Hassan is the Editor of Utusan Malaysia and columnist Cuit-cuit. As mainstream media, Utusan supports the Government and is the favourite target of opposition for raising issues that's putting them on the defense.

Proselytising of Muslim and Selangor issues is pretty much in their alley.

He could be either applying for a job at Harakah or present to stop Big Dog from filling in PAS membership form.

One can bet that Khalid Samad or dubbed by pro-UMNO cybertroopers as Khalid Gereja will look at this picture with glee.

It is easy to spread rumour that Hassan is jumping ship and betraying the baiah oath required of PAS wakil rakyat.

But if Khalid is in raya spirit and non political mood, it means nothing to him.

There are time for politics and time to put it aside for raya celebration. That means even with ones political enemy or competitor.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Neither Politicians nor Judges should decide on preventive law


To prevent undesired subversive activities, organised violence, and criminal activities from causing harm to the safety and security of the public, two new laws will be enacted under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution to replace the Internal Security Act, 1960 (ISA) and other existing preventive laws.

Some view it as not wise on the part of the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak to announce the abolishment when the two new laws is not passed by Parliament yet. Dispel any thoughts of some Menteri Besar or Prime Minister have a personal development project on the sites of the Kemunting or Simpang Renggam ISA detention camps.

It can be seen positively as the Prime Minister inviting comments, responses and inputs from the public.

The PM's position is that the new laws will take into account the Fundamental Liberties spelled out in Part II of the Federal Constitution.

Najib said that detention without trial for questioning will be shorter than the maximum of 60 days under the ISA and the power for further detention will be shifted from the Minister to the courts, except for those relating to violence will remain in the hands of Minister.

In the opinion of this blogger, neither politicians nor judges should be empowered to decide on further detention. Instead of the power vested in a SINGULAR person, it should be based on a committee of experts.

Najib’s position

Before arguing further, let's read again Najib's speech with regard to the abolishment of ISA, below:

23. Sepertimana yang saya janjikan dalam ucapan sulung saya semasa mula-mula mengambil alih jawatan Perdana Menteri pada 3 April 2009, bahawa Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri 1960 (yakni ISA) akan dikaji secara komprehensif. Sehubungan dengan itu, suka saya mengumumkan pada malam yang bersejarah ini, bahawa Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri 1960 (yakni ISA) akan dimansuhkan terus.

24. Untuk mencegah perbuatan subversif, keganasan terancang dan perbuatan jenayah bagi memelihara ketenteraman dan keselamatan awam, dua undang-undang baru yang sesuai akan digubal di bawah semangat serta payung Perkara 149 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Pokoknya, akta-akta ini nanti bermatlamat untuk memelihara keamanan, kesejahteraan, kesentosaan serta kerukunan hidup rakyat dan negara.

Article 149 together with Article 150 and 151 form Part XI of the Federal Constitution that deals with Special Powers Against Subversion, Organised Violence and Acts and Crimes Prejudicial to the Public and Emergency Powers.

The Prime Minister's position as per the quote from his speechis still vague:
25. Di atas segalanya, Kerajaan akan tetap memastikan hak asasi mereka yang terbabit terpelihara. Apa-apa undang-undang yang diperbuat akan mengambil kira hak dan kebebasan asasi berlandaskan Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Undang-undang baru ini akan memperuntukkan tempoh tahanan oleh polis yang secara substansialnya lebih pendek daripada apa yang ada sekarang dan apa-apa tahanan lanjut hanya boleh dibuat dengan perintah mahkamah kecuali undang-undang berkaitan keganasan, masih dikekalkan bawah kuasa Menteri.

26. Di sudut lain, kerajaan juga memberi komitmen bahawa mana-mana individu tidak akan ditahan semata-mata hanya kerana ideologi politik. Umumnya pula, kuasa untuk melanjutkan penahanan akan beralih daripada badan eksekutif kepada badan kehakiman kecualilah undang-undang berkaitan keganasan itu tadi.
This allows for public discussion and input into the enactment process. This could be done direct to those in authority or via their representative Member of Parliament.

Hopefully this time, the Menteri Amaran Dalam Negeri will not be a chicken out pondan who cancelled several scheduled dialogues with bloggers to discuss ISA amendments. Most unfortunate that he is stuck with those labels and any political harm done. He should blame the many kaki bodek around him.

Consider it as part and parcel of public life. For the common rakyat, they have to bear the collateral damages from the blunders of Ministers with aristocratic and royal background that's totally vague of the rakyat's predicament.

Understanding Preventive Law

Politicians come and go but the laws remain forever. Since politicians are usually more concerned with their popularity than making the right decisions, it is the rakyat that have to bear the down side of their myopically-enacted laws. Here lies the long term risk on public safety and security.

The first thing that needs to be understood is that preventive law as the term describe is meant to prevent the occurrence of violence, public unrest, and crime from happening. If the violence, public unrest or crime had occurred, it is too late and no more needed prevention.

In the past, the "official" or "operational" reason for detentions without trial under ISA were to secure information. The detainees may not have committed any offenses but is detained to help investigation.

Will it mean there will be no more such detentions deemed as imposition on individual's civil liberty for the benefit and safety of the majority?

If detainees cooperate and do not pose any threat to the public, they are released. If they do not cooperate and/or pose a threat to the public, the new prevention laws will require politicians or judges to decide whether to extend detention.

Our contention is: can politicians or judges, with their limited background, capability, and inclinations, able to decide as to anticipate the possible threat the detainee pose to the public?

Questioning Politicians and Judges

Based on books and references on organised subversive and criminal activities, detainees are usually part of an organisation and they operate in small cells. Can politicians or judges appreciate the possible links with other activities of the same organisation?

Then there are cases involving ideologies and not related to violence and crimes, like deviationist teachings.

Judges relies on legally proven evidences to make judgement and that can only be obtained after event. Will any crime prevention agencies be able to secure evidences to legally prevent such occurrences as the Guyana mass suicide by reverend Jim Jones and sarin gas attack in Japan?

Their inclination to see cases as black or white, innocent or guilty will not be applicable in deciding in preventive laws meant to protect the rights of the majority for peace and tranquility.

Legally minded judges or popularity minded politicians will most likely not be able to appreciate the technical information in the operations of subversive activites, organised violence and crimes. It will result in delays in decision-making by judges. While 11th hour decision maker type politicians will create bureaucrasy to stall decision and may put lives at stake.

By leaving it in the hands of individual judges or politicians to decide, does it ensure that their decisions are independent, objective and most important free from political pressure and threats?

The more than 55 times delayed sodomy case of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim leaves much confidence on the judiciary to put justice above politics. Will the judiciary be able to put public safety and security ahead of political and legal consideration and pressure?

This is not taking into possible hazard in the system due to judges on the take, in collusion with friends and family members, intervention by more superior judges, etc.

Are judges capable of evaluating cases of economic sabotage which is more complex and sophisticated than insider trading cases in which the court's track record in conviction worldwide is less than satisfactory?

Supposed providers of essential goods like sugar and flour decide to withhold supply and put the nation in their economic strangle, but no crime is committed, how will a judge, used to the usual treatment of evidence, make a quick decision to protect the public?

Also, there is serious doubt that judges can help stem subversion activities by communist trade unions activist working to stifle public transportation like what happened in the 1950s, without any efficient and effective preventive laws. This sort of occurrence can repeat itself in this millennium and the ringleaders need to be swiftly apprehended.

In the case of deviationist teachings that usually occur within the Muslim community, it had resulted in sectarian clashes within the community and criminal activities like in the case of Al Maunah. If the security had known, the arms heist could be prevented and no lives sacrificed.

Are judges capable of justifying such cases?

And, can indecisive and popularity seeking politicians act fast enough?

Preposition

By now, the point that should hit home is that the best for decisions be left to the experts in the area of security, crimes, and terrorism including deviationist teachings and economic sabotage.

Not only should politicians or judges not be empowered to act on extending or canceling further detentions, no one should SINGULARLY be empowered.

The informed consensus decision of many experts is better than that of a person.

There is a need to protect the civil liberty rights of the individual, but the stakes are more for the security and safety of the masses. It can be done better by a committee of experts than individual politician and judge.

Do take into consideration.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Ready or not, Malaysian must rise to this newfound freedom

Chaos & Order by 000studio

In his Malaysia Day message delivered just a couple of hours ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak made major announcements towards relaxing restrictions on civil liberties in this country.

He announced the annulment of the three emergency declarations that are still in force today under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution.

In his maiden speech as Prime Minister on 3rd of April, 2009, Najib had promised Malaysians that he would review the Internal Security Act, 1960, but in his speech tonight the Prime Minister announced the abolishment of the preventive law.

There will be a new law in place under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution as a preventive law, specifically against subversion, organised violence, and criminal acts.

He also promised a comprehensive review of the Restricted Residence Act 1933, Banishment Act 1959 and Printing Press and Publication Act 1984.

There will be a review of Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 with regards to the rights of assembly under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. Street demonstrations are still not welcomed but permission to assemble will be given in accordance with international norms.

This milestone announcement is quite a surprise in today's climate of unbridled politics of slander, spin and diversions. Will this newfound freedom lead towards more wild accusation, slanders and untruth?

In light of the newfound freedom amplifying into people's revolutions in the Middle East, Najib's decision is considered bold. He saw what happened next door in Singapore in their recently concluded general election.

Instead of resisting, he is going with the flow.

Suppression of personal freedom eventually led to such people's revolution in the Middle East. The question now is: will Najib's announcement douse any subversive effort to create a Tahrir Square-like revolution here?

Now, in the event of real threats to public security and lives, will the yet-to-be-enacted law be sufficient to prevent such subversive and criminal activities?

The changes announced today will definitely shift public discussion from the viability of such freedom to whether Malaysians will be able to rise to the occasion.

Are Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion, educational background, economic status, occupation, urban or rural, West or East Malaysia, and political inclination, ready to transform themselves for more open, freer and less constrained politics with maturity, greater intellect and better articulation?

It means politics should shift from the old-school politics of brawn and benevolence to brains and big ideas. Nor more is it about propaganda and psychological warfare but reasons and rationale. Will Malaysians be ready to agree to disagree in the environment of greater diversity to come?

This has been what the more liberal segment of society and opposition supporters (usually in the more urban areas) have wanted over many decades but resisted by economic, social and intellectual disparity within and between urban and rural, and other subdivisions.

Since it has finally arrived, what will their response be? What will their excuse to reject or downplay this change be?

You can bet Lim Kit Siang and the DAP will say it is not enough because they have a long list on their plate. Is it the same list that the people of Singapore demanded of the DAP’s sister party, the PAP?

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ramlah Adam's homerun Mat Sabu's pitch

Was Mat Indera a freedom fighter or a communist terrorist? Was the police a British stooge?

That was the controversy Mat Sabu had created.

As far as I see, if someone led an army of 180 to 200 to charge and burn a police station at the peripherel of a jungle and burn the bodies of policemen, women and children, they are terrorist killing the citizen of the country and not freedom fighters.

If they were anti-British, their target should be British.
Below is a homerun answer on video by Professor Dr Ramlah Adam at a Perkasa do last night.



Read on for more answers to questions and excuses by PAS politicians to repel this pressure on Mat Sabu.

This video is explanation by Dato Zulkifli Abdul Rahman, who was former Director of Special Branch of the Royal Police. He divulged what Chin Peng himself admitted of Mat Indera.



Click Here to Read More..

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When a bureau chief resist intimidation


Hanging around press people for the past couple of years have developed this blogger's respect for them. The dedication and persistence of journalist and cameramen to get stories keeps the rest of the country in the know of happenings.

Not all of their information come out as stories in the paper. It only means the untold bit of information is more than the stories that come out. Press people are good source of information. They have lots of contacts, access to primary sources of information, witness to events themselves, and other reasons. I do get tips from them.

Because of that camarederie and respect, I have no tolerance when press people are victimised by establishment.

That was the reason this blogger went after Dato Azizan Abdul Rahman and Securities Commission Chairperson, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar. Ever since, they keep landing in trouble till today.

Instead of getting their own information, Zarinah allowed the SC investigating officers to harrass the press as the shortcut way of securing information in their investigation on Kenmark. That is an infringement of press freedom. Just like the case of the indiscriminate firing of a staff by a press secretary to a Minister, it is an abuse of power.

Today, we are revealing the story of a news bureau chief being victimised for not playing ball to a press secretary.

Whether it has relation to that press secretary of a Minister, we will not comment. This press secretary to a Minister is not happy with the bureau chief of the News Straits times (NST).

For what reason, I cannot gauge but if the bureau chief has a different angle, maybe critical and opposite to the desired way the press secretary wants, the press secretary has no business to meddle in his work.

He should apply his skill in press relation. But instead he known by the local press community for being abusive and intimidating. In this case, he fixed the bureau chief.

If he had been professional, he could have applied his press relation role as a press secretary to a politician to engage with the press. When the press are well informed with facts and information, they are unlikely to come out with stories detrimental to the politician and his establishment.

The press secretary have to be aware of all comments, remarks and rumours for or against his boss to be able to give the right fact and information.

He should not dictate tell what and how the reporter should write or the bureau chief to approve. Even though he has the power or the bureau chief could be his former subordinate, he should remain professional.

The last one should do in press relation is to call up the press people and address them in anger to spew words like "bodoh", "pu*imak", "sial" and the likes.

Most of the press are from mainstream media, owned by parties friendly with the government and are cooperative with the Government. There is no reason to be so worked up to the point of verbally abusing them.

Not only has this press secretary to a Minister behave in an unprofessional manner, it has come to our attention that he went to the point of doing something that even the 11 press secretaries and officers to the Prime Minister do not do.

It was made known to this blogger that the press secretary and one of his superior went to meet the NST's Editor-in-Chief, Dato Zainur Ariffin and Political Desk Editor, Rashid Yusof to complain about the bureau chief and demanded that he be taken back to Kuala Lumpur to be replace with someone else.

The other reporters are saying there is nothing really seriously wrong about the bureau chief, except that he does not play ball with the press secretary. And he may have not tolerated the rough intimidating and abusive ways of his ex-colleague.

For the press secretary to meet the top people of a newspaper and interfere in the placement of staff, that is an abuse of power and influence. The superior that came along used to contribute for NST. Both the press secretary, his superior and Rashid Yusof are what one can describe as in a common political camp.

The problem with conforming to their request is that the bureau chief has long been rooted in the area. His family is there. His children are schooled there. His probably bought a house and rear chicken there.

And he has medical problem. Displacing him to Kuala Lumpur will deprive him of family care on his down days.

The press secretary knows of that and he doesn't care. Just like he doesn't care the bearing his attitude, manners and behaviour on the public perception of his Minister boss. Nor does he give a damn that his constant and extensive threat to the press and bloggers is giving his Minister boss a bad name.

He thinks his insidious way of leaking information and cooperating with opposition blog to shame someone is not traceable. His game and coterie of paid people is known. He already drag someone else in trouble. And he could be in trouble.

He thinks the people, public and authorities are not aware of his long list of collusions and wrongdoings.

Since they can't force the bureau chief to transfer out without being seen as inhumane, they insist on NST management to demote him to a regular reporter and another bureau chief will replace him.

That is both an insult on the bureau chief and illegal on the company. Someone cannot be demoted unless it is established by due process in accordance with the labour law. Whatever he had done, he is now a victim of this mean press secretary.

If the bureau chief decide to get a legal recourse and from an pro-opposition lawyer, it will only become a bullet for the opposition against his boss. The press secretary's action have become apolitical liability to the Minister.

There is a great possibility that there are other complaints against the press secretary by the other members of the local press community. Although his Minister has a glaring smile, no wonder he is not getting quite the right support from the press.

With his press secretary behaving like a local gangster, what does he expect?

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Not just defending a PM


Rocky blogged here about Joceline's Tan article which quoted him saying, below:

“Tun Mahathir supports Najib, that much is clear. He told us, ‘If I don’t support Najib, who else is there? You people want Anwar Ibrahim?’”
Without having to give the answer to his question, the answer is understood.

Joceline may not be right on the timing. It was not quite exactly before Ramadhan because Tun Dr Mahathir said to those effect several times. I was there too and Tun said those words.

Rocky, you sure spoilt the fun from the speculation in the blogosphere.

As Tun effectively said, the choice is between Najib and Anwar.

From the level of competency, Najib is way ahead of Anwar. But on politicking, propaganda and psywar, I will give to Anwar. But that is no compliment because it is effectively saying Anwar is typical of left wingers, all talk and rhetorics.

If all the interest under the umbrella of Anwar were to get their way, Pakatan Rakyat government will be a cocophony of conflicting interest of ideology that will only lead to chaos and at it's worse, a civil war will break out.

As far as I am concern, Najib is the far better choice.

However, supporting Najib does not mean having to defend his every move and decisions. It is our role also to alert him from making mistakes. As he had requested before, it is important for us to give feedback.

Leadership is a two way process. The leader provides us the direction and we follow. If his direction is wrong, it is our responsibility to tell him that.

More so, if you are a party supporter whose able to see the implication of certain direction and moves by the PM will be detrimental to the voters and subsequently the party, one has to voice out.

The PM have his sources of information but we being those down here may know certain things better.

Same like the PM maybe familiar with someone working under him in the past. But everyone treat the PM differently than they way they treat the marhaen like us.

Knowing someone from work may not be good enough than knowing him or her as a relative, as a fellow student activist, and knowing someone socially. When we wish to know of someone, we also get feedback from friends, enemy, competitors, family etc.

Same like the PM may know someone from his work in a certain capacity BUT someone may know him as a boss for many many many ... years. That someone may have heard of his private remarks, comments and jokes thus that enables one to gauge him more than his public image.

Sometimes we have certain skill or foresight from our experiance, network and expertise that no politician know or dare give as feedback.

Defending the PM is not just about defending and making excuse for him but reminding, giving feedback and guiding him.

That is my stand!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Does photo op with Najib a dereliction of duty that warrant immediate dismissal?


If it is so, there is a major conspiracy hatching against the Prime Minister.

This is a group picture taken with the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the end of a buka puasa event at their residence on August 22nd, 2011.

Yours truly was there with Bigdog but due to my poor of health then, we left immediately after breaking fast and maghrib solat.

It came to our attention that this picture brought out the fury of a Press Secretary to a Minister. One chap in this picture was dismissed instantaneously from his job at a Minister's office by the said Press Secretary. His salary paid by a foundation was immediately stopped.

According to labour law, one can only be dismissed immediately for serious contravention to one's term and condition of employment for matters almost criminal in nature like corruption, embezzlement, etc.

Otherwise, they have to undergo due process involving show cause letter, enquiries, committee, etc. before any disciplinary action like dismissal can be taken. The Minister's officer may have seriously contravened the labour law and is liable for a lawsuit.

One wonders if it is a serious dereliction of duties that warrant immediate dismissal to attend a buka puasa to have a photo op with the PM and his wife? The Minister's office we are talking about is a Barisan Nasional Minister.

----------------------

In a glance, this issue is more that of the Press Secretary than the Minister. This has been going on for a while but he is still retained by the Minister. If the Minister allows it to prolong, public perception will implicate him along.

The Press Secretary has a history of insidious manouvering that strained political relations. This was made known to his boss, the Minister.

And, his arrogant attitude and rude conduct that strained his Minister's relation with the media community, fellow collegeous and the constituencies is an open secret known all the way to the higher echelon of Putrajaya and PWTC.

With this dismissal, it only shows the Press Secretary refused to change. His interventions and interceptions in the Minister's affairs is known so widely on the ground that he is dubbed as the Minister II.

The labelling is one thing but it is creating more problems for the Minister to carryout his administrative and political duties. Why is the Minister still insist to keep him around?

With so many conspiracy rumours making it's rounds, this could be wrongly construed to affirm some of the conspiracy theories spreading at the raya open houses of politicians.

Over the past few days, there were talk of a conspiracy led by the Minister for Information, and Multimedia, Dato Seri Utama Rais Yatim and the telcos to sabotage the PM using the recent telcos' decision to raise pre-paid cards by 6% using the excuse they are not absorbing the already in place since 1998 tax on consumers.

That unpopular decision is seen could have a serious effect on mass sentiment against the Government in the dark light of rising consumer prices.

Since telcos come under the perview of Rais and he was in his usual attitude of passing the buck to others, namely the PM, instead of taking charge, that gave rise to such speculation. His recent statement was to bring it to Cabinet to decide and in contradiction to PM's call for review. Rais seemed to refuse to take responsibility and address the problem of rising prices.

Before that, there was a rumour spreading that Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is conspiring to bring down the PM.

Having known of some intimate details in a few private events involving Muhyiddin in 2008 prior to the fall of Tun Dol from premiership, that theory is a total hogwash. This blogger believe it was spread by a faction famously known to create ridiculous conspiracy theory in the mould of the illogical old school style psywar.

However, the creator and originator of the conspiracy was only made known to this blogger recently.

It has to do with few names surfacing and spreading in a blog claiming to bring the PM down. It is believed that the blog is operated by a former journalist paid by Omar Ong.


Some blogs and twitters are labelling Omar Ong as Ong Rasputin after the mystic Russian monk, Rasputin said to have much influence over the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II. Rasputin became a magnet for public scorn and that led to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917.

The suspected Omar Ong created conspiracy point finger at Rocky Bru and his team of five bloggers with yours truly also fascinatingly speculated to be one of them.

The blog then mentioned Muhyiddin's name as a party in a Muhyiddin-Hishamuddin duo-conspirator role. And, another name, Dato Alies Nor later surfaced.

Obviously, it is attack on those close and supporting the PM. I would bet my last drawn paycheck that Omar Ong will deny but why is Dato Idris Jala sibuk-sibuk trying to understand cyberwar. Does he want to be a mas ... opps I mean, mice to fix another pumpkin?

That blog's problem is his story does not make sense.

He should get a crash course from my friend, Raja Petra in spinning or one wet behind the cheek PhD student trying to give theoretical talk on psywar but is a World War II pamphlet thrown from a helicopter style.

One barking bird had speculated earlier of a trio of conspirator of Tengku Razaleigh-Muhyiddin-Anwar Ibrahim. Having Muhyiddin name does not make sense, but why was it thrown in?

Since Tengku Razaleigh launched Amanah, Dato Kadir Sheikh Fadzir had launched a series of criticism on Government as though he and his brothers are angels without a past.

Speculation on the ground is that Amanah is Ku Li's transition to jump to the other side and lead Pakatan Rakyat to fill the vacuum expected to be left by Anwar Ibrahim.

Amanah serve as a justification.

Enquiries with Ku Li's boys only gets one denial response. One Dato one can described as belonging to Ku Li's faction said in our chance encounter in the ERL from the KLIA to Kuala Lumpur that they are genuinely concern with racism and other socio-political phenomenon that is splitting the people and nation.

He denied Ku Li have political ambition but not ready to say he will vacate Gua Musang seat. Why is then criticism only levied on BN? Why was Ku Li pulling the brakes on BN campaign at Galas?

Amanah Facebook only happens to talk of Third Force.

By the way, Rais Yatim was Deputy to Tengku Razaleigh when he was President of Parti Semangat 46, the political vehicle of UMNO's Team B faction aligned to Ku Li.

After attending few buka puasa and raya open houses, one theory as to the reason Muhyiddin was mentioned in the conspiracy trio was to cover for the real person being Tun Dol.

Pak Lah's faction have lately been heard moving on the ground. Other than the likes of Dato Ali Rustam, talk is those from Pak Lah's faction have not been cooperating with the PM. They have refused to initiate any reforms and political initiatives at their divisions and branches.

Their interest is only self preservation. Their political manouvring seems to be as though BN will have easy passages everywhere.

It is so endemic that there is a Tun Dol's faction Minister who could not survive the next election. Seeing that possibility, his Divisional Deputy and Vice Heads agreed to work together and stand down from any rivalry.

Instead of working to save his Parliamentary seat, he is more concerned with shooting his rival so that he could survive the party election.

Talk is Tun Dol's faction could spring a surprise on the PM later.

This faction, which include Khairy Jamaluddin, wishes to see that Najib have a shorter term than sleepy Tun Dol, thus proving Tun Dol as a better PM than Najib.

Najib's problem was that he does not have a stranglehold on power but for whatever justification, he is seen as compromising to keep all the deadwoods and corrupts politicians, senior civil servants and corporate people from Tun Dol's administration.

Rumour is spreading that there is a pressure on him to put Khairy in cabinet and one of Najib's political secretary is promoting Khairy.

----------------------

Let us return to our conniving and vindictive Press Secretary.

His Minister will naturally claim he is fine with Najib and working very well closely with the numero uno. This is despite his past association with practically all the names mentioned from Anwar Ibrahim, Tun Dol, Muhyiddin, Khairy and even Ku Li likes the chap.

But why is the Press Secretary so paranoid and jumpy of his staff being seen in a photo with Najib and Rosmah? He could be in photo with Sam Ketot of AMK, but it should not mean anything else but only a picture. It does not warrant an immediate dismissal.

Since the Press Secretary is dubbed as Minister II, does it mean he is leading his Minister and any of his staff from being associated with Najib, thus the explanation for his paranoia towards his staff being to seen with Najib?

Honestly, the Minister should stem any bad rumours of himself from surfacing and strain relation with numero uno. Why procrastinate from getting a new, better and more effective Press Secretary?

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kalimullah's friend, Leslie Lopez keen on GO


Our posting, "GO or no GO, Zarinah and SC under scrutiny" attracted Raja Petra's attention and he gave us a link.

For those newcomers in blogging i.e. post 2008 bloggers, something important to learn. There is no permanent "enemy" or permanent "friend"in the blogosphere. It all depend on the issues. Yesterday's "enemy" could be a "friend" today.

Remember that we are moving the country forward. Again, we are moving it issues by issues. Off course, ignore those twisted and lying portals. They will eventually face the consequences.

Returning back to the issue, in that posting, we said Sime Darby may be facing the possibility of doing a GO together with the 30% shares vendors, Datuk Tham Ka Hon or known as Terry Tam, Tan Sri Wan Azmi, and GK Goh Ltd.

We raised the issue of SC Chairperson's husband, Dato Azizan Abdul Rahman purchased shares before the deal announcement. SC's response is that they will look at all E&O transaction in relation to the Sime deal.

Something is strange. Why is Dato Kalimullah's man in Singapore Straits Times, Leslie Lopez echoing us? Scary to have Kalimullah agree with us. It's looking rooting for some sleepy devil.

Below is Leslie's article:

Sime Darby's E&O bid poses policy dilemma

Singapore Straits Times
Friday, 09 September 2011

The plot tickens and all the attention is on the SC. With the Chairman of the SC being married to the Chairman of E&O, who bought shares of E&O just before the takeover by Sime Darby, making things even more intriguing. It is time for SC's next move, and everybody is watching.

Sime Darby, Malaysia’s financially bruised plantation-based conglomerate is presenting the country’s securities watchdog agency with an awkward policy dilemma with its acquisition of a 30 per cent interest in public listed property concern Eastern & Oriental (E&O) for RM 766 million.

Central to the widening public debate is whether the state-controlled group should be compelled to make a mandatory general offer for the remainder of E&O shares, a deal which could cost an additional RM 2.6 billion.

E&O is a property concern with lucrative rights to carry out large reclamation works in the northern island of Penang.

Critics of the deal argue that Sime Darby’s purchase of the block from three groups, including Singapore’s GK Goh Holdings, was structured in a way to circumvent the country’s takeover code.

But proponents of the transaction insist that Sime Darby was merely opting for a more cautious approach to its investment in E&O, and that a general offer could being the offing in the coming months.

In any case, the deal is presenting the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) with a prickly regulatory problem over whether it should force Sime Darby to make an immediate general offer in the interest of protecting the rights of minority shareholders

On a separate level, the brewing Sime Darby-E&O controversy has also put SC chairman, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, in a tight spot. That is because her husband, Dato Azizan Andul Rahman, who is also the E&O chairman, had raised his personal stake in the company just weeks before Sime Darby announced its proposed acquisition in E&O.

Ms Zarinah did not respond personally to queries posed by The Straits Times. But an SC spokesman said in a written response that the agency was “examining the circumstances surrounding the Sime Darby-E&O transactions for any Takeover Code implications, and will determine the action based on our findings”.

The spokesman added that the agency was “examining all transactions in the Sime Darby-E&O deal”.

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In recent days, Sime Darby executives have dismissed suggestions that the company was acting in concert with the sellers of the E&O shares, a situation that would definitely trigger a general offer.

But critics of the deal are not convinced. They note that Sime Darby, which is still recovering from heavy losses sustained from its foray into the oil and gas sector, would be negligent to its own minority shareholders for entering into a huge amount of capital without having some form of control.

How the SC decided will be crucial. There is already speculation that other shareholders of E&O are considering legal action to force a general offer.”

Taken from pro Anwar news portal, Asia Sentinel
Can we safely assume that Kalimullah is keen on a Mandatory General Offer?

Kalimullah's are friendly, if not have interest in Fox Comminication and FBC. After Tun Dol forced intop early retirement, Sime Darby kicked out Fox Communication for Public Relation work. FBC was recently kicked by the current administration.

Is there an element of revenge in play here?

Malaysian Insider (MI) seems to be against the Sime Darby-E&O deal. MI is a Kali-Brenden (formerly of Fox Communication.)

And now, Kalimullah's friend at Singapore Straits Times, Leslie Lopez.

Also, analysts condemning Sime Darby could well be led by ECM Libra led by Kalimullah and Lim Kian Onn. Remember David Lim left them not long after the ECM Libra-Avenue merger was consumated.

By Kalimullah declaring his interest for a GO, how do one makeout Kalimullah getting out while his business associate, Azizan is left stuck with the purchased 100,000 shares in E&O?

Let's look at this possibility.

If Sime Darby and the vendors managed to be exempted from doing a GO, the new shareholding structure will be 30% Sime Darby, 12% from the three vendors, Kalimullah & Associates believed to be 20%, and floating shares the maximum is 38%.

Under the collaboration agreement, founder Terry Tham will remain at the helm for the next three years.

Bigdog smelt a rat.

He thought Kalimullah was planning to do an asset strip. Since SP Setia pulled out and the block was not coming his way, Kalimullah may have tried to railroad the deal by leaking to the press and made it more costly.

This project require serious pumping of money and Sime Darby's financial strength could make the project undertaken on Penang island come through.

Why do we have this strange feeling that Sime Darby will lose control of E&O when the project cashflow is flowing nicely?

Dato Bakke, beware!

There is no permanent "enemy" or permanent "friend".

* Updated 6:51 PM 10/11/2011

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Friday, September 09, 2011

MAS workers union threaten strike


Three of MAS unions representing 15,000 employees was reported threatening a strike. If the strike happens, it could affect the nation's transport system as the pressure will be on other mode of transport to pick up the slack.

Their concern is MAS was forced by the disbanded exco to cannibalise the potentially successful Firefly and be replaced by Sapphire.

The issue is more than just that.

The exco, comprising of representative from MAS and Air Asia, was making major decisions before the collaboration agreement and stewardship is in place. The suspicion by the unions is that more MAS interest is being sacrificed for Air Asia interest.

While the unions' concern for its members is genuine, the integrity of the MASEU President is questionable. That relates back to the very issue that previous MAS kept avoiding to address. And that is bleeding the company.

A new suitable CEO is needed and they can't pick a wrong one again and again.

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The Star report on the picket below:

Unions threaten to picket over MAS-Air Asia deal

Thursday September 8, 2011

SUBANG JAYA: Some 15,000 members from three Malaysia Airlines (MAS) workers' unions say they will picket if the MAS-Air Asia deal goes through.

"We do not agree with the collaboration or the move to establish the new airline Sapphire (under the deal)," said MAS Employees' Union (Masue) president Alias Aziz.

Maseu joined forces with the Airline Workers Union of Sarawak and Air Transport Workers Union of Sabah in announcing their ultimatum to the press here Thursday.

Alias said the airline and its union workers would be on the losing end of the collaboration between budget carrier Air Asia and national carrier MAS.

"This is not the way to revitalise MAS. We should straighten out our own affairs starting with the decision makers," Alias said.
The mistake was that the exco or a committee established to temporarily managed until a replacement for the outgoing CEO, Tengku Azmil was found was not just doing day to day management.

They were seriously dividing up MAS's business in favour of Air Asia without the supposed collaboration agreement and stewardship of the company addressed first.

The problem with the exco was it's membership - which include Tan Sri Tony Fernandez and Dato Kamaruddin Meranun of Air Asia and Dato Rashdan "Danny" Yusof, a member of Binafikir that came up with the "half-bake" idea of Wide Asset Unbundling (WAU) and now Executive Director of MAS - were not personalities MAS employees are comfortable. The half-bake comment will eventually be explained.

Only two staff managed to speak their mind in the uncustomary short townhall-style briefing on August 11th. Both expressed frustration and unhappiness with the past Government appointed CEOs that failed to address the problems and turnaround the Company.

In the first place, the employee of MAS do not trust most of those involved in this deal, be it in the Air Asia side and MAS side, and at all level of the collaboration.

The reason being that the employee knew they, including former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi who is the sleepy Adviser of MAS and supposed to take stewardship of MAS, were the one who wrecked MAS badly after Tan Sri Mohd Nor Yusof executed the WAU restructuring. It is as the Malay proverb say, seperti tikus membaiki labu, which means expecting the gnawing mice to repair the pumpkin.

Even the collaboration was leaked by Kalimullah's news portal, The Malaysian Insiders (MI) on August 6th first before the official announcement on August 8th.

The employees had a series of non-airliner and inappropriate background of airliner leading the company. It only further worsened the company's situation. It doesn't help that part of Air Asia and Air Asia-X success came at a price to MAS for being forced to give-up valuable routes.

Since the fundamental mistake of in-bred Dato Fuad Dahlan, MAS was constantly being downsized by uncreative accountant-styled management in favour of cost cutting instead of revenue generation and capacity utilisation (if not capacity building). The subsequent CEOs had little business acumen and entrepreneurship.

The union only knew of the plan to dump Firefly to put in place Sapphire. That gave the impression that Firefly is being cannibalised in favour of Air Asia.

Khazanah Nasional CEO, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar had given assurance in his briefing with bloggers that there will be no cannibalisation into the business of the three parties involved; namely Malaysian Airlines (MAS), Air Asia and Air Asix-X.

Most of the staff that attended the August 11th briefing did not know the reason Mohd Nor left early and Executive Director Danny did not utter a single word was that the first exco meeting was scheduled at 11 AM.

It wasn't because Mohd Nor said there is a gun on my head and his nasi lemak turf war analogy. Nor was it because Danny was uncomfortable when veteran pilot, Captain Azmi and Alias demanded that the CEO must be an Airliner and not accountants (or in essence, no more book-keepers and financial man).

In the first exco meeting, the whole company's financial and business details were laid naked for Tony and Kamaruddin, MAS long time competitor to see.

The London route was slashed down from a 747 to 777 and caused headache to the branding. Naturally, Air Asia X will fill-in the vacuum left by the reduced capacity.

Alias could sense they is a long list of chop chop and expressed further concern. Read the News Straits Times on August 13th, below:

Don't sideline capable staff, says MAS union

By Adeline Paul Raj

SUBANG JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) biggest employees' union says it isn't necessarily against the latest changes taking place at the national airline but wants assurance that the employees will be well looked after.

Malaysian Airline System Employees Union (MASEU) president Alias Aziz said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had assured him on Thursday that would be no job cuts nor voluntary separation schemes (VSS) to follow the latest reshuffle at the airline.

The prime minister's "guarantee" had somewhat helped soothe staff concerns about job security, he said.

But, the union is hoping for more. Key among its wishes is that the airline's new management will not sideline experienced and capable staff when looking to fill top positions.

"We've observed that every time there is a reshuffle at MAS, we are always disappointed as the new managing director (MD) tends to bring in about 30 to 40 of his own people for middle-to-top management posts.

"Some work well, but we notice the bulk of them -- maybe 70 per cent -- are not well-versed in the airline industry and we are the ones who have to teach them.

"Sadly, there are very capable people who have worked here for 20 to 30 years and have not been given the opportunity to take on these roles," Alias said at the MASEU headquarters here yesterday.

Alias, a station head for MAS at the Kota Baru airport, has worked under seven different MDs in his 15 years of helming MASEU.

The union, one of eight for MAS, represents about 75 per cent of the airline's 20,000 graded staff all over the world.

Alias, who hopes the new MD will be from within MAS, said the union had identified at least three individuals who were capable of turning around the ailing airline.

He declined to name them, but said they were currently heads of divisions. The union passed on their recommendations to MAS new chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof at a recent townhall session.

"They've turned around departments, so they should be given the opportunity to turnaround the airline."

Alias said employees were "shocked" to find out last week that there was to be yet another management reshuffle, and that individuals from rival AirAsia Bhd were to become shareholders. Morale has since been low.

A share swap will see AirAsia's Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun end up with a 20.5 per cent stake in MAS via Tune Air Sdn Bhd.

In turn, MAS' parent Khazanah Nasional Bhd will have a 10 per cent stake in AirAsia and its sister company AirAsia X.

"When enemies want to become friends, we don't know if the intention is sincere... we can only hope it is," he said.

MAS is currently on the lookout for a new MD following the recent resignation of Tengku Datuk Azmil Zaharudin. The airline lost 2,500 staff via a VSS in 2006 when Datuk Seri Idris Jala came in as MD.

Alias urged politicians not to take advantage of the situation by making "all sorts of comments" about weaknesses within MAS.

"We ask for support to bring staff morale back up so that productivity can be raised. Politicking about the situation doesn't do us any good."

He said there was scepticism about the latest reshuffle as past experience had shown that only a a few top individuals would benefit, while the lot of the staff remained the same.

MAS changed MDs so often that it was difficult for staff to get excited about another change, he said.

"We are still left out. For example, we don't have benefits like attractive houses and vehicle loans that other government-linked companies tend to have."

Alias said, in his short meeting with Najib last Thursday, the prime minister conveyed his hope that employees would work hard and change the culture at the airline.
The exco have disbanded, and there is a long list of things to do before the collaboration commenced. It is cannibalisation before the no cannibalisation collaboration.

One new source of information broke to this blogger that 7,800 empoyees will be retrenched. The numberis a wee bit alarming but that is what was told by source.

During the reign of the Butcher from Shell, Dato Idris Jala was doing his retrenchment masqueraded as MSS instead of VSS. Eventually he went against his first word said in his first briefing with the staff to bring in a lot of new and inexperianced staff and mid management level position from outside, particularly Shell and Ernst and Young.

Alias's words are justified concerns, but he himself is of questionable integrity.

The much talk within MAS is that he is more worried of his web of interest in the company than representing the best interest of the employees and companies.

He remains in leadership of MASEU because he pays for his position. As one reliable source described there was instance of him offered bribery in the tune of RM5 million a year to his potential competitors.

CEO

It is already more than a month and Khazanah has yet to decide on a new CEO for MAS. Thus how do you plan for the turnaround.

In a 3-series to reveal many untold story inside MAS to begin next Monday, the new CEO must not only heed Alias advise to sort out MAS own affair and not resort to another morale depressing move as to retrench the employee.

The new CEO must address the moral hazard attitude at the first and second level management and corrupt "cartels" existing since god knows when in the likes of Alias.

The problem of MAS is complex and require a person familiar with Airline's nature of business. The person is capable to go to the ground to understand the reports, information and numbers fed to him or her and read in a comfortable air-conditioned room.

Equally important, the new CEO must be respectable or earn the respect of the staff in order to get their cooperation and commitment.

The decision to collaborate with Air Asia is seen as another quick fix solution that is not addressing the problems in MAS.

In addition, the deal is shrouded with doubts and mysteries.

As a blogger who fought against the previous administration for their insidious corporate moves like ECM Libra-Avenue Merger, Parkway purchase of Pantai, subsequent green-mailed control of Parkway and many more, it is disheartening that similar style of deals still prevail under the current administration.

The reason obviously is because the same people in charge and given free hand to charter the wrecking of the country. The Prime Minister refused to reshuffle the cabinet and corporate personalities.

The Star published a commentary by the CEO of Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group, Rita Benoy Bushon. Although she seemed a tad bias for Air Asia, her issues are quite legitimate. To be fair, she could only comment on publicly available information.

It is likely to be beyond her to know the behind-the-scene insidious dealings of Air Asia in the National Airline Rationalisation plan in 2005, rural air service, demanding and ditching things at his whims and fancies, unpaid airport services, etc.

Are minority shareholders being given the full picture of MAS-AirAsia collaboration?

Comment by Rita Benoy Bushon

THE recent share swap arrangement between the major shareholders of AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) comes with the benefit of a period of contemplation.

On Aug 9 a collaboration agreement was announced between Tune Air Sdn Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the major shareholders of AirAsia and MAS respectively, to strengthen their collaboration to “further align their respective interests in AirAsia and MAS”.

Our views are from a minority shareholder perspective on both sides of the public listed companies (plcs). Firstly, the collaboration sees two domestic competitors wanting to work together for a common good. It also seemed like a move toward acknowledging the seemingly unsolvable problems that MAS poses, and the Government allowing Tan Sri Tony Fernandes to come in and shake things up. MAS minorities gain the considerable expertise of Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, two of the four pioneers of what is essentially one of the best low-cost airlines in the world.

However, this significant advantage is somewhat cancelled out by a couple of key challenges.

One of them could be a new chief to handle the mindset of MAS' 20,000 employees under the old bureaucreatic way, quite the opposite of AirAsia's entrepreneurial and achievements-based culture of Fernandes' team.

Another issue that further blots MAS' long-term view is an out-of-court settlement involving MAS' former executive chairman, Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli where MAS is among a number of GLCs negotiating for global settlement of all civil suits against Tajudin.

The case management has been set for Sept 29.

Our interest is centred on the following:

That the respective GLC boards, including MAS, assess the merits and demerits of the proposed global settlement, and to be transparent to their shareholders including the timelines, settlement term, the pros and cons, rationale, the ringgit amount involved, and other financial and non-financial impacts.

Interested directors should also declare their interests and abstain from participating in any discussion or voting on the proposed settlement.

The boards are responsible and accountable to all the shareholders, hence full and proper disclosures will go a long way to help to clarify the doubts of the shareholders.

As we know from recent announcements, the problems at MAS kept adding up. It reported a wider-than-expected second quarter loss of RM530mil, bringing its year-to-date losses to a staggering RM745mil.

And what of the perspective from an AirAsia minority shareholder? Slightly negative.

Where MAS benefits from the added expertise of Fernandes and Kamarudin, it in turn could be AirAsia's loss. Shareholders would have bought into AirAsia's attention to costs management, brand-building, fleet and regional expansion. And until recently, both Fernandes and Kamarudin executed brilliantly on all these counts.

This share swap could dilute their attention.

However, this is still an arrangement that can work, since two heads are better than one provided always that execution and absolute accountability is the order of the day. Any less, and any one of a number of externalities, such as volatile fuel costs, uncertainty over global economies and trading activity, makes this partnership of unequals an arrangement that could yet trigger the exit clause under the five-year duration of the collaboration agreement.

It is also a deal made by the parents of both airlines, and thus does not involve the buy-in of the shareholders of either airline. But given the significance from both a national as well as public-private initiative viewpoint, the interested parties must at all times make their key decisions transparent.

To recap, the announced deal saw an agreement to acquire from each other existing shares of both companies, with the result that Tune Air will hold 685,142,000 ordinary shares of MAS representing 20.5%, while Khazanah will hold 277,650,600 ordinary shares in AirAsia representing 10% equity interest in AirAsia.

In addition, a proposed warrants exchange was announced, which involved AirAsia issuing 111,060,240 free AirAsia warrants to MAS shareholders and MAS issuing 274,056,812 free MAS warrants to AirAsia shareholders. Assuming all the warrants are exercised, the total number of AirAsia shares to be issued amounts to 111,060,240 shares, or 4% of the total. And the total number of ordinary shares in MAS be issued assuming full exercise of the MAS warrants is 274,056,812 MAS shares, representing 8.2% of the total.

Some of the stated positives are collaborating in areas where there are “substantial synergies” to be realised, either through joint procurements, increased scale, migration to best practices, lower cost, and the enhanced ability to capture non-captive third party revenues.

And the recognition that there is significant potential in areas like maintenance, repair and overhaul, ground-handling, training, catering and cargo. The plan envisaged an early focus on quickly-achievable synergies such as joint procurements.
Not just shareholders, but are interest of all stakeholders considered?

* Edited 11:30 PM

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

The calling


May Allah show me the path ...

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Mat Sabu taking PAS down a slippery slope


By Zainal Epi
Free Malaysia Today

The Islamic party is taking another hard knock over the controversial Mat Sabu's remark on the Bukit Kepong massacre.

KULA LUMPUR: PAS, which is riding high in Pakatan Rakyat, is fast losing its popularity among the Malays, with the eruption of another controversy caused by its deputy president Mohamad Sabu.

Many Malays who supported the party but are not registered members are shying away from the party as it struggles to keep its position as the only party that champions the Malay and Islamic cause.

Many PAS members on the ground are in a confused state as their cherished struggle is questioned by kampung folk who want to know whether the party recognises the communist insurgents whose ideology was against Islam.

An Islamic party based on Islamic fundamentalism, the party is now being viewed by many of its Malay members as a “mere tool” being used to benefit its partners in the Pakatan alliance, which are the Chinese-based DAP and Malay (Liberal)-based PKR.

Mohamad Sabu, or popularly known as Mat Sabu, stirred a hornet’s nest when he allegedly said the communist terrorists led by a Malay, Mat Indera, were the heroes in the attack on a police station in Bukit Kepong, Johor, during the Emergency in 1950. All the policemen and their family members including children were massacred.

This is not the first time Mat Sabu has put the party in an awkward position among the Malays who support its struggle for an Islamic state. His remarks (which he said were distorted by Utusan Malaysia) on the Bukit Kepong massacre is considered the worse statement to emerge from the party.

‘Mat Sabu a rabble rouser’

“Mat Sabu is not of leadership material as he is only a rabble rouser in the party. However, since the party delegates had elected him as the deputy president, we had no choice but to endorse his position.

‘However, we do not agree nor endorse many of his statements made in his current capacity given his level of intelligence is lower than that of the former deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa,” said a PAS member who wanted to remain anonymous when met during a Hari Raya gathering.


Several PAS members joined the numerous calls made for Mat Sabu to apologise as the Bukit Kepong killings is a sensitive issue that is close to the hearts of the Malays.

They said Mat Sabu should have steered clear from the incident which was recorded in history as one of the many atrocious acts of the communist insurgents in the country.

They agreed that Mat Sabu’s statement has somewhat damaged the party, especially when it is at the forefront in championing the Islamic cause. Support for PAS is eroding among many Malays who have yet to make up their minds on which party to vote for in the coming general election.

“Many Malays who supported us in the 2008 general election have yet to fully throw their support to us as their votes in that election were just ‘throw-away votes’ because they were dissatisfied with the then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” said a PAS member.

Detrimental to PAS


“And this time, these Malays, who are neither PAS nor Umno members, may just throw their support to Umno when they look at the current situation.

“PAS now is considered insensitive to Malay sentiments, it is not having a good relationship with PKR and DAP as many of its actions in the past two years ran counter to the principles and objectives of its partners, and also within PAS itself its members displayed no real unity towards the leaders elected in the last party election.

“All this is detrimental to PAS’ position in the Pakatan alliance,” he added.


Said another party member: “What we fear is that Mat Sabu is being used to make the (Bukit Kepong) statement to divert public attention away from the Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial.”

“If this is the case, then Mat Sabu is wrong in his act as he is a deputy president. What he does must always be with the aim of protecting the party, not to expose it to more problems,” he added.

With the way things are going now, PAS is indeed in trouble not only over the alleged insensitive remarks of Mat Sabu but also because of the internal politicking. The infighting may well see Kedah falling to the hands of the Barisan Nasional in the coming general election.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

GO or no GO, Zarinah and SC under scrutiny


According to The Star's analysis yesterday, the ball is on the Securities Commission's feet or court, which ever way one may like to call it, to determine the party in control of Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O).

Sime Darby only purchase 30% stake in E&O from vendors Datuk Tham Ka Hon, Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah and GK Goh Holdings Ltd. The usual practise to require a Mandatory General Offer (GO) is 33% or more.

However there is more to it than just that.

Our highlight of the possibility of an insider trading infringement yesterday here by E&O Chairman and "Mrs Zarinah", Dato Azizan Abdul Rahman and long time business associate, Dato Kalimullah's ECM Libra attracted an interesting view from an anonymous commentator.

There is the possibility that Azizan and Kalimullah's ECM Libra with their associates is taking a lucrative greenmail ride to cash out on a GO by Sime Darby.

This leads to the game Dato Nazir Abdul Razak's CIMB is playing. Have this big bad 'I Banker" been ethical in this dealing?

The Chairperson may not literally have the balls but it is at her feet. GO or no GO, the SC's actions or inactions and decisions or no decisions hereon are under public scrutiny.

Collaboration, Collusion or In-Concert

The Star's analysis yesterday, below:

Will SC require general offer on remaining shares of E&O?

Tuesday September 6, 2011

PETALING JAYA: Questions have been raised as to whether Sime Darby Bhd will be required by the Securities Commission (SC) to launch a mandatory general offer (MGO) for the remaining shares in Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O).

This stems from the recent announcement by Sime Darby that it was buying a 30% stake in E&O from a group of shareholders at a price that worked out to a 60% premium to market at the point of the announcement.

While the Takeover Code states that an MGO is only triggered by a 33% or more change in shareholding, there are other instances in which an MGO can be required by the regulator.

According to Para 6.2 of Practice Note 9 of the Takeover Code 2010, the SC has the right to consider all surrounding circumstances to deem if control has been passed to a new party, thereby mandating the new party to launch a general offer.

Among the specific criteria laid out in Para 6.2 is “the consideration for the acquisition of the voting shares” in other words, the premium to market that was paid for those shares.

Other criteria that will be looked at include changes to the composition of the board and to the business of the target company.

A corporate lawyer explained: “Under this provision, acquisition of voting shares higher than the fair value or market price of the voting shares may tend to suggest that the acquirer has obtained control of the company.

“Ultimately, the SC would need to be satisfied that all the evidence gathered demonstrates that the vendor is acting in concert with the acquirer such that the acquirer could exercise control, which is equivalent to having more than 33% in the company and which in turn requires it to conduct an MGO.”


Just before the Hari Raya break, Sime Darby had announced it was acquiring a 30% block of E&O at a price of RM2.30 per share when the market price of those shares was RM1.45. The deal is scheduled to be completed this Friday.

Sime Darby is set to acquire 273 million shares in E&O and 60 million irredeemable convertible secured loan stocks, representing a 30% equity interest, for RM766mil cash.

When the deal is done, Sime Darby will be the single largest shareholder of E&O.

The vendors of the block are E&O managing director and founding member Datuk Tham Ka Hon, Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah and Singapore-listed GK Goh Holdings Ltd.

E&O's share price has risen steadily since the acquisition was announced, closing yesterday at RM1.67 just three sen short of its three-year high of RM1.70 at the peak of the rumours about its supposed merger with SP Setia Bhd.

The most recent uptrend in E&O's share price began since Aug 24.

Just two weeks prior to that, several shareholders of E&O had raised their stakes in the company. GK Goh, on three consecutive days, increased its stake to 12% while Datuk Azizan Abd Rahman, a director of E&O, purchased 100,000 shares.

However, it should be noted that the possibility of triggering the MGO would not arise if the vendor of the shares did not hold any more shares in the target company.

Such was the case of Khazanah Nasional Bhd's divestment of its 32.2% stake in Pos Malaysia Bhd. As Khazanah did not own shares in Pos after the divestment, the buyer could not be deemed to be in control of Pos.

In Sime Darby and E&O's case though, all three vendors of the 30% block will still hold a collective 12% stake in E&O post-transaction.

In an interview with a business weekly, Sime Darby denied any collusion with the vendors of the block. As at press time, the SC had not replied to queries from StarBiz.
The collaboration agreed between the Sime Darby the acquirer and the three vendors is for current management under Dr Tham to remain for three years.

While Sime Darby may have denied they are in-collusion with the vendors, it raises another issue to the issue of vendors still holding on to some shares.

The collaboration means that Sime Darby is working-in-concert with the vendors. The block of
Sime Darby's 30% and the vendors collective 12% adds up to 42%. That has obviously exceeded the 33% trigger point and a GO is mandatory.

Probably CIMB dealmaker Nazir in their capacity as adviser to ECM Libra may have missed out on this possibility. How will SC, particularly SC Chairperson, Tan Sri Zarinah act? GO or no GO?

Kalimullah's greenmail

Bigdog's reading of the situation when it was known that Kalimullah's ECM Libra entry into E&O yesterday:
This story about Sime Darby ‘talking for the acquisition’ surfaced at The Edge about a month ago. It is believed that Riong Kali ‘leaked’ the deal to the press.

The intention is very clear. ECM Libra has vested interest in property developer. Probably, they are looking into controlling E&O. The end game of the acquisition is most probably do an asset stripping exercise baloney style, ‘slice-by-slice’.

Of course it was not about value adding into the property development plc. It was never their skill or ability to inject any projects or even any brand to the acquired company.

Most probably, it was about getting a quick buck from the garage sale.
In Bigdog's view, "if their adviser is also CIMB, it would be up their avenue for that kind of corporate game."

Will they cash out upon a MGO? If they do, just like what happened to Khazanah on the Parkway deal, Sime Darby will be the sucker. This will invite public uproar.

Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Dato Najib should take notice.
Public funds is involved and the dealmaker is his own brother whose least interested in saving the brother's face.

Bigdog added further that "SC should be looking into this probable insider trading since ECM Libra already got its footing in a few months ago. Then again if the deal is about the involvement of ECM Libra, it is doubtful that SC under Zarinah would actually do anything. Selective prosecution had always been the SC practice under her."

E&O's Chairman Azizan bought into E&O prior to announcement of this collaboration and there is that possibility that Kalimullah's ECM Libra bought into it with tips from Azizan. As Chairman, Azizan should be subjected to investigation on insider dealing too.

Will Zarinah allow SC to investigate her husband?


Nazir's double dealing

There could be another possibility that CIMB's Nazir decided that rather than allow ECM Libra do an asset stripping, it is better to take the deal to another of their client, in this case Sime Darby, whose more genuine businessman.

This means that CIMB was double dealing. ECM Libra could be bastards at one time but it unethical for an Investment Banker to betray the trust and interest of it's clients in favour of another client. SC should investigate the business conduct of CIMB.

It should be more glaring now for PM to stop thinking that Nazir should be viewed as a separate individual than himself and he is entitled to his own life.

In the same manner Omar Ong have been prancing himself around, Nazir may have abused his position as brother and misrepresented or gave the perception that his proposals and suggestions as directive of the PM.

Both these two close advisers of the PM including Dato Idris Jala have been influencing policies that is making PM increasingly unpopular with BN's traditional voters, particularly the Malays.

BN has opened itself vulnerable to a possible loss in the next general election due to these individuals. Many traditional segment of voters have began to be sceptical with Government for many peculiar reasons and generally it originates from these individuals.

Party members and supporters should also take notice to not allow such risk and voice their concern.

In the meanwhile, all eyes on Zarinah and SC.

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