Last Thursday's posting on six corvette contract for RMN has yet to be answered by Istana Negara media. Perhaps their approach is to ignore and hope it would die down.
Rumour going around that there is a Conference of Ruler meeting for tomorrow Tuesday February 2nd. It partly explained for SteadyAku47 timely release of division among brother rulers on the decision for emergency and his motivation to update on the contract and revive decade old exposes.
According to SteadyAku, Sultan of Selangor is in agreement with Agong on the emergency decision. Consequently last week, it was exposed that Penjana Kapital VC Fund are being managed by Fund Managers linked to the Selangor royal household.
Penjana denied the accusation, but held back from providing any information to dispute the revealed information to instead resorted to legal threat. That is suppression rather than engagement and explanation. It does not discredit the revelation but raise more suspicion.
There are questions being raised on Social Media on the methodology or precisely the transparency of the escalating Covid number that has reached above 5,000 and Director General Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah forecasted to reach daily level of 8,000 for March 2021.
Is that to scare off the apparently more number of sceptical brother rulers to support Agong's decision for emergency and albeit save the premiership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin?
Penjana and Nepotism?
Prime Minister announced in his most recent, but declining in popularity, "Perutusan" of a RM600 million fund for Penjana Kapital as part of the economic stimulus.
Its one of those few and rather small programs of the restricted budget of Muhyiddin administration as "matching funds-of-funds programme that is part of the government’s economic recovery plan and is spread across different funding stages – seed, series A & B, growth and venture debt".
Naturally it will be subjected to scrutiny.
On December 27th, Emmanurel Samarathisa revealed in his Tweeter that two of the Fund Manager is linked to Tengku Zafrol family. His tweeter next day provided link to his article on The Vibe with the details that linked it to the Selangor royal family. An extract below:
According to publicly available records, Tuas Capital Sdn Bhd founder Syed Haizam Syed Jamalullail is linked to Tengku Zafrul through extended ties in the Selangor royal household.
Syed Haizam is the nephew of Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, while Tengku Zafrul traces his lineage to Selangor royalty through his paternal great-grandmother, who was the then sultan’s daughter. Zafrul’s wife, Raja Datin Sri Johanna Raja Arshad, is the great-granddaughter of the fifth Selangor sultan.
RHL Ventures Sdn Bhd co-founder Raja Hamzah Abidin, meanwhile, is Tengku Zafrul’s cousin.
Raja Hamzah’s father is former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin, whose sister – Datuk Raja Zaharaton – is Zafrul’s mother.
It's not directly linked to the Sultan and distance relative of the royal household to answer for. It does raise question on Tengku Zafrol. It is not the first time his family name surfaced in government contracts.
It was only in mid-December that his mother's name was linked as a Director in Taliwork, a northern water contractor company. It cropped up in a conversation between him and PAS Minister, Dato Takiyuddin Hassan who requested direct negotiation for Langkawi water civil contract.
Kedah MB is held by PAS. And Taliwork has a long history dating back to the days of Mahathir as forth Prime Minister.
Zafrol under pressure?
Penjana reaction to threaten lawsuit "against anyone who suggests that was irregularity in the two appointments" is rather harsh and oppressive against media, particularly investigative journalism. [Read FMT here]
The company said any conflicts of interest was declared by the applicants. It means they acknowledged there existed conflict of interest similar to the presence of Raja Zaharaton in Taliwork. The family relationship to Tengku Zafrol was not denied in the report. Is Emmanuel liable then?
The harsh and emotional reaction of Penjana is indicative of Tengku Zafrol could not tolerate the pressure of the job in this age of transparency and public scrutiny. There was a market saying back then that "everytime he fails, he rise". Has he reached the pinnacle of what they say as rising to the level of incompetence.
In his first interview as Minister of Finance, he has a poker face to cover his bull and more so, public yet to know him well enough and still in awe of his bank CEO resume.
Time is up and social media revealed he lied in the numbers presented for Budget 2021, namely hyping up revenue by showing growth at a time it is impossible to see any increases in number.
Tengku Zafrol was accused of lying for not honouring the promise for easy RM10,000 per person EPF withdrawal after agreeing in Parliment to UMNO demand. People demanded easy withdrawal but instead, he approved for easier car import for the wealthy:
More where it came from
One cannot blame the media because he tried to bull his way on FDI at a time FDI is clearly moving out of Malaysia due to the political instability brought about by PPBM.
Eurocham gave an embarrassing reply:
Perhaps, the blame on the inability to stop foreign investors from leaving the country should also be blamed at the Prime Minister and Senior Minister for Economics, Dato Seri Azmin Ali.
They are too focus on politics, Covid, and spending Government money to win political brownie points.
Pressure or not, Tengku Zafrol wanted the job so bear with it. The show of force by Penjana under his watch only gives a bad name to the Selangor royal household.
To the simple thinking folks, they could wrongly presume that Tengku Zafrol flexed his royal muscle to cover up for the family.
More so, in this sensitive times when the general public perception of the emergency is that it is meant to keep Muhyiddin's job and together with the MCO, it only worsen the spread of Covid and the retail economy.
Suspicious Covid positive
The suspicion has its basis. In the last Parliament, the positive number was suspiciously made to be high to limit the session and postphone the vote of no confidence. The numbers conveniently came lower on days near the end of Parliament.
Could the above 5,000 positive numbers are manipulated to scare off brother rulers?
Tan Sri Noor Hisham conveniently revealed their forecasting methodology anticipate daily 8,000 as a possibility in May. An American forecaster believed 20,000 is within sight.
Back in November, prior to reaching 1,000, there were Social Media commentator predicting the number could reach 3,000 and even as high as Imperial College forecast of 7,000 within the short time.
Selangor decided to take charge of its pandemic effort thus their high current number is being blame on former Minister of Health from Amanah, Dato Dr Dzulkiflee.
However the Selangor MB's claim of backlog and failure to report real time has long been heard. As a matter of fact, after Sabah election, talk from the ground is that the numbers were postphoned from publication and testing held back
Need for transparency
One insider source could alert when numbers could go up, when it could go down, and its level. It depends on when raid on factories or foreign workers are done and when the results will turn up and booked in.
These are not revealed by Noor Hisham in his daily press briefing, but yesterday he admitted.
As Donald Trump used to campaign, stop the testing and number could go down. Noor Hisham should be more transparent to reveal how many swab test daily, how much of the positive is due to forced testing, and how much due to infection.
At one time, medical personnel claim the cases at the hospital were far in between, but numbers were reported as rising.
Then the issue of the PCR test is also up in question. The test is dependent on its ability to detect antigens but raise the cycle, it could detect even dead cells and non-Covid viruses. This leads to a known phenomenon known as false positive.
Under Biden, there have been calls to reduce the cycle to a more realistic level for Covid detection. The Noble prize winner that developed the PCR was quoted as saying it may not be suitable for Covid. However, there are websites claiming it is fake news.
The flip side to false positive are false negative or infected but shows no symptoms for detection till it is too late. Both the numbers need to be disclosed to not alarm the public, decision makers, and result in false policies to combat Covid, its after effect, and political manipulation.
Quite sure there is a research methodology that is consistent and has control for comparison.
In the absence, reported data does not indicate the Covid pandemic in Malaysia is deadly. There is a very high percentage of recovery. The percentage of death is only 0.3 to 0.4% of the total number of positive.
Why is it that the government hospital was the only one allowed to address the Covid incidences and Ministry of Health has the final say in the choices of testing methodology, and reagents which sources claim is monopolised by a handful of companies?
There are more than 100 approved suppliers in the US FDA, but as one medical supplier questioned, why the specifications and authorised suppliers drastically limited by the Health DG even for the private sector?
Are the private hospital incapable of playing a role and it is profitable for government hospital to monopolise till they could not handle anymore?
One Social Media astute observer pondered on the silence of the Malaysian Medical Association on the Covid pandemic. Among the roles of MMA are as follows:
1. To promote and maintain the honour and interest of the profession of medicine in all its branches and in every one of its segments and help to sustain the professional standards of medical ethics.
2. To serve as the vehicle of the integrated voice of the whole profession and all or each of its segments both in relation to its own special problems and in relation to educating and directing public opinion on the problems of public health as affecting the community at large.
Their voice and views are not heard. Why are they not seen as given their due role in the Covid pandemic? Are they suppressed or threatened with a lawsuit should they speak up as in the case of Penjana?
In the early part of the pandemic, one could hear critical voices emanating from doctors with political alignment to PKR and Amanah. But what happen to the more authoritative MMA?
The only voice heard is the open letter by 45 personalities to Prime Minister [read Malaysiakini here and The Star here], in which only one is not related to the medical profession. Muhyiddin replied but its obviously Noor Hisham answering for himself, including defending the PCR testing.
It looks like the rise from zero to thousands will continue with the same set of personalities insist to remain in control.
Only hope there is no conspiracy theory being concocted of some royal family given monopoly for PCR test and other medical supplies to MOH or glove trading approved permits.