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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Najib Abdul Razak - Simpson of 1Malaysia

Read about why Mariam Mokhtar of Malaysiakini equates Najib Abdul Razak to the Simpsons of that famous TV series: Article courtesy of Malaysiakini: 'The Simpsons' in real life:

'The Simpsons' in real life
Mariam Mokhtar

If '1Malaysia' were a TV series, it would be 'The Simpsons'

Reading about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's desire to have nuclear power plants in Malaysia is like watching a replay of 'The Simpsons', the series in real life.

In both - the country and the cartoon, government and large corporations are portrayed as callous entities that take advantage of the common worker and authority figures are seen in an unflattering light. Politicians are corrupt and the local police force is incompetent. Religion is a recurring theme and in times of crisis, the family in 'The Simpsons' turns to God, whilst in real-life Malaysia, politicians are not averse to using religion as a manipulative tool.

In Malaysia's own version of 'The Simpsons', Najib can only be Mr Burns, the evil owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant who is attended to at all times by Waylon Smithers, his obedient and sycophantic aide, confidant and secret admirer.

Smithers has homosexual tendencies and enjoys an intimacy with power that most people will never experience. As I am not privy to the Najib administration or his household, I do not know who, in real-life could assume Smithers' rĂ´le.

Mr Burns cuts corners and endangers people's lives. Najib is about to do that with his mad scheme of wanting two nuclear power plants for Malaysia even though he is aware of Malaysia's poor track record of maintenance.

Our costly mistakes in the Defence Ministry (where a high level of technical expertise is critical) have shown that scant attention has been paid to contracts. Purchases of faulty or obsolete equipment, or non-existent items and the use of low-grade materials in construction and short-cuts in maintenance have resulted in wastage and death.

Just like Najib, Mr Burns is a stereotype of Corporate America. He has an unquenchable desire to increase his own wealth and power, coupled with a lack of concern for his workers, or for the safety and well-being of citizens of Springfield.

Springfield's richest man, built his atomic energy fortune from the ground up after inheriting his father's atom-splitting factory. Najib built his career by piggy-backing on the reputation of his father, Malaysia's second prime minister. Like Mr Burns, Najib has been able to control local elections and possess unparalleled power in the country.

Out of step with public opinion

Mr Burns' state of mind is the subject of frequent jokes on the show. At times, he appears to be completely removed from reality. Looking at the NEM and various BN policies, it is obvious that Najib is also out of step with public opinion. Burns is unaware of the townspeople's general dislike of him. Najib believes that his 69 percent popularity rating is a good sign.

Mr Burns is Springfield's richest and most powerful citizen and he uses his power and wealth to do whatever he wants, usually without regard for the consequences and without interference from the authorities. Many will argue that the similarities between Najib and Mr Burns, are uncanny. Towns which have seen by-elections, like Sibu, can testify to Najib's vote-buying.

Mr Burns spends his time in his office at the nuclear plant. Najib spends his time, when he is not on overseas trips, in Putrajaya. In Springfield, workers are monitored by closed circuit cameras. In Putrajaya, this is no different, where every corner spouts two, possibly more closed circuit cameras and is known to be Malaysia's most 'watched' place.

President Truman thought Mr Burns to be the nation's most trustworthy person and asked him to transport a specially-printed trillion-dollar bill to Europe as the USA's contribution to the reconstruction of Europe. Similarly, Malaysians thought that its prime minister was the most trusted person and could only watch in vain as Najib frittered away the nation's wealth with mega-projects, like the 100-storey Warisan Merdeka.

Burns resides in Burns Manor, a vast, ornate mansion on an immense estate. It is protected by a high wall, an electrified fence, and a pack of vicious attack dogs known as “The Hounds”. Najib lives in his official residence, the ostentatious Seri Perdana which is undergoing a RM65million refurbishment and is similarly well-protected.

Mr Burns routinely subjects Springfield and its residents to his abuse and, as a result, there is a general dislike of him throughout the town.

On paper, we will be shown to have acquired the best and most expensive nuclear know-how. But the whole-world knows we are suckers.

What if we thought we were building a nuclear power that was built to specifications but because of Malaysia's massive sub-contracting and Ali Baba schemes, we ended up with a nuclear facility that was inferior?

Shoddy quick-fix

What if the contract was not properly scrutinised and we found that we were liable for extra costs or maintenance? What if nuclear material went missing? What if terrorist organisations exploited our weakness? What if we invited the friendship of rogue nations because of their nuclear ambitions?

Those in government hardly care if the project fails or not. Those involved will have made their cut of the deal. We may think we are paying for the best when in fact, we are only paying for a shoddy quick-fix job engineered by Ali Baba companies. The disappearance of two jet engines is relatively minor when compared with a problem of nuclear proportions.

In 'The Simpsons', Mr Burns has blackmailed and bribed various officials in Springfield, including the mayor and the nuclear safety inspectors.

That is the scary bit. Will Najib or his administration also attempt to bribe the nuclear safety inspectors and thus endanger Malaysia? Sadly, we do not have a loveable bungling Homer Simpson who will always manage to save the situation with his strokes of good luck.

13th Malaysian General Election will be in first quater 2011

Prediction: The 13th Malaysian General Election will be in the first quarter of next year. What is that based on? It seemed Najib told his cousin twice removed that his wedding cannot be in the first quarter or 2011 if he wants Najib to be the guest of honor at he Kenduri! I understand Hussein Hamid who blogged this have close connections to Pekan Pahang the hometown of Najib.

Read more at Hussein Hamid: And they are Off!

DAP proved Kuala Lumpur not hardcore free


DAP led by MPs Tony Pua and Lim Lip Eng together with supporters carried out food distribution for the poor at the open car park near Sinar Kota Jalan Silang Kuala Lumpur. The event of giving out food to the poor was to draw attention to the fact that there are still thousands of hardcore poor in Kuala Lumput contrary to the claim by Raja Nong Kuala Lumpur is free of hard core poor. See Minister declares KL free of hardcore poor.

Prior to the food distribution, Tony Pua and Lim Lip Eng gave a press conference as well as video interviews with Malaysiakini. The video below is proof that Kuala Lumpur is still haunted by thousands of hard core poor:



Food for the poor by DAP
Tony Pua video interview by Malaysiakini on Kuala Lumpur hard core poor
Lim Lip Eng video interview by Malaysiakini



Location Map



View Sinar Kota Kuala Lumpur in a larger map

Kuala Lumpur has been declared hardcore poverty-free.
Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the number of poor and vulnerable people in the capital had been reduced by at least 50 per cent from a year ago.

He said from next year, the government would increase aid to target groups through programmes such as home sales, education aid and funeral care scheme.

“Under the urban well-being element, we have provided small business skills training for the poor,” he told reporters after launching of the inaugural World Congress on Infrastructure Asset Management here today.

Raja Nong Chik said efforts to completely overcome poverty and the vulnerable in the urban areas would take time in view of the dynamic population.

“We will continue to help the hardcore poor. The poor may be out of the doldrums but they could fall back into the pit again due to insufficient assistance. To say that we can eradicate hardcore poverty 100 per cent is difficult,” he said. —
Bernama

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New country - MalAPCO, PM Najib Abdul Razak

Breaking news!! A new country has just emerged - Malapco whose serving Prime Minister the country never elect is Najib Abdul Razak. At the risk of being unpatriotic (loyalty is not just singing praises for one's country but also exposing wrongs with objectives of reforms in mind), let me rewrite the name of the new country - MalAPCO.

Web definition of mal- a combining form meaning “bad,” “wrongful,” “ill,” occurring originally in loanwords from french ( malapert ); on this model, used in the formation of other words ( malfunction; malcontent ).


APCO Worldwide is an independent communications consultancy with more than 500 employees in 29 worldwide locations. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., APCO founded in 1984 by Margery Kraus specializing on handling sensitive political issues some say for many the world's bad repute dictators.


So who created this “bad,” “wrongful,” “ill,” country. Answer: Najib Abdul Razak who used tax payer's RM77 million a year (around RM1.5 million per week) to engage APCO massage the ruling UMNO/BN Federal government reputation. And we were told that if we don't reduce subsidies, the country will soon be bankrupt. That is hell lot of money for a country heading for bankruptcy. No wonder the "combining form" meaning bad got attached to the rest of the country name.

Actually, the term MalApco was coined by Dean Johns and you can read the rest of his article 1Malaysia or 1MalApco below with permission of Malaysiakini:

1Malaysia or 1MalApco?
Dean Johns
Dec 22, 10

It's tempting to wonder who is actually running Malaysia these days, in light of the fact that the BN regime has chosen to take the word of Apco Worldwide over that of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Apco has denied that it recycled Najib Abdul Razak's '1Malaysia' concept from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's old 'One Israel' campaign line.

The six-month suspension from Parliament of Anwar, for 'misleading' the House, and three other senior Pakatan Rakyat members - Karpal Singh, Azmin Ali and R Sivarasa - for contempt of the House, was in itself a total travesty.

But even more suspicious, and considerably more sinister, is the mysterious nature and purpose of the BN-Apco relationship itself.

The most burning question is still why Apco was hired in the first place; why BN, a regime so anti-Semitic that it refuses to this day to recognise the existence of Israel, would choose to retain the services of an Israeli-owned public relations and lobbying organisation.

This seems contradictory to such a bizarre degree that it's a case for the conspiracy theorists. Could it be that someone - or everyone - in BN is secretly in the pay of Mossad? Or covertly supporting the Zionist movement that Dr Mahathir Mohamad has long been convinced is plotting to take over the world?

Or could Apco be some spooky CIA-backed organisation that has been imposed on the BN regime the better to watch over US interests, or to monitor Malaysian trans-shipments of arms in breach of UN sanctions against terror-sponsoring states?

Of course, it could simply be the case that Apco was the only public relations consultancy on the planet that the lying BN regime could persuade to peddle its preposterous propaganda.

Whatever the truth of the matter, Apco's services apparently don't come cheap, at RM77 million per year, or around RM1.5 million per week, presumably including the customary BN kickback or 'commission'.

In an attempt to justify such lavish expenditure, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz a few months ago finally 'explained' to Parliament that “Apco Worldwide was hired to implement a comprehensive communications service in order to upgrade government communications capacity to be in line with best world practices”.

Expanding slightly on this vague and sketchy statement, he added that Apco also provides “support to the government in international media relations and strategic planning as well as research and analysis”, and training for government personnel in “various areas of strategic communications to upgrade their skill level”, including “basic skills like how to read and monitor media as well as how to build websites on the Internet”.

Not a word from Nazri, however, on specifically why Apco was selected, given that there are countless international consultancies capable of carrying out such tasks, and surely not all of them are owned and managed by citizens of a country of whose existence Malaysia denies, like Israel.

And of course there's no word currently on how Apco, originally hired to aid and abet the BN's miscommunications, has come to be employed as a weapon against the people's opposition in Parliament.

Performing puppets

Far be it from me to presume to recount the pernicious proceedings in which a letter from Apco was used to deny Anwar due process and the opportunity to produce documentary evidence on his behalf, as Kim Quek has covered the whole matter magnificently in his article, 'Democracy butchered in Malaysian Parliament'.

But I must say that even by BN standards, this latest effort by the government to turn Parliament into a House of ill-repute has been absolutely extraordinary.

And whether it was Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak or his confederates in Apco pulling the strings, all the usual puppets performed their appointed roles to an absolute fault.

Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia pandered as pathetically as ever to his BN proprietors, as usual denying the opposition their right to speak, and conspiring with BN members of the rights and privileges committee to deprive Anwar his legal right to submit his defence, before calling for a vote on the expulsion motion without debate.

BN's self-styled boy wonder, Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin compounded this series of atrocities with the blatantly lying declaration that: “Anwar had been given a fair process to defend himself. We in the BN had been prepared to debate the motion on his suspension.”

And in his role as de facto law minister, or given his frequent difficulty with the facts, let's make that de ficto law minister, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz embarked on a ridiculous attempt to turn the BN aggressors into aggrieved victims.

Responding to Karpal Singh's amply-justified accusation that BN had used the “brute force of the majority” in these disgraceful expulsion proceedings, he counter-accused the opposition of practising the “tyranny of the minority”.

Nazri was quoted in Malaysiakini as raving that “knowing that BN is always cautious and may be blamed for victimising them if we use our so-called majority, they will say anything in (the) House...

“They will lie and insult the speaker - this is the tyranny of the minority because they think we are scared to take action (and be perceived as a) brute majority.

“They know we are scared and they do anything (they) want. They think they are immune - that's why they are taking advantage ... they are like tyrants in there and they (think) no one is brave enough to stop them.”

I don't know about you, but my first thoughts on reading this diatribe was that I'd never heard such a load of nit-witted nonsense, even from the notorious Nazri.

But on second thoughts, some of it had the ring of truth.

That “they know we are scared” bit, for example. The BN regime certainly has the growing rage of the Malaysian people to be scared of.

But I fancy Nazri had much more in mind than that - like some secrets that the US, Israel and others are party to concerning certain dodgy arms deals and the related Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, for example.

A thought that leads inevitably to the suspicion that the 1Malaysia/ 1MalApco connection may well be part of a deal that's not so much about communicating the BN regime's message as about keeping its worst crimes quiet.


DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he mentors creative writing groups. Already published in Kuala Lumpur is a third book of his columns for Malaysiakini, following earlier collections 'Mad about Malaysia' and 'Even Madder about Malaysia'.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Taib Mahmud billion dollar bride


Sarawak Report hacked

Suspect people connected to the Sarawak White Hair Rajah Chief Minister Taib Mahmud hacked Sarawak report to prevent news and photos of Taib Mahmud marriage and new bride from being circulated. Many other websites are re-reporting that news to twart the hackers so below is the report from Malaysiakini S'wak whistleblower site 'hacked':

Whistleblower website Sarawak Report, which often publishes documents that it claims are evidence of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's immense wealth, is apparently hacked.

According to a press statement, released through an opposition politician who wishes to remain anonymous, the website is now “temporarily offline”.

“This (attack) follows a number of death threats sent through our mail, which have been notable for their creepy 'black magic' format,” read the statement.

The website suggest that they are the victim of a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, which involves directing heavy traffic to a website to succumb access to it.

“Disabling a website by using millions of hits is a very expensive process, even more expensive than hiring top lawyers.

“So this limits our list of suspects in this case to people who are both very rich and have a direct interest in shutting us up, but who would rather not face the scrutiny of an open court,” read the statement.

The statement also attached an “exclusive” photograph of Taib's new wife, reportedly of Lebanese origin, whose identity remains a mystery.

Thief Minister Taib Mahmud billion dollar bride

Homing in on the opulent jewellery worn by the bride at the purported wedding ceremony, Sarawak Report claims that the gems were “priceless at such a size”.

The wedding was supposed to have taken place on Sunday at Taib's lavish private residence in Demak Laut, Kuching.

It was reportedly attended by 200 exclusive guests, comprising the top Sarawakian political personalities.

Taib's first wife Laila, who is of Polish-Australian origin, passed away in April 2009 due to cancer.

Monday, December 20, 2010

MCLM open for membership - join to support

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Membership (MCLM) is now open for membership and there are 2 categories of membership - paying and non-paying. Hope all those Malaysians and well wishers join, if not as paying (and voting) members, at least as non-paying and non-voting members. Pay £50 or RM50 (I think depending on where you are located) and you get the right to participate in the determination of the direction which MCLM should go, perhaps even a say about who eventually become a candidate and where they stand? Well, I think that is not too much to pay for something as important as that. I am going over to apply at MCLM MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM and hope more concerned Malaysians and well wishers would join us. Also read the MCLM Constitution

MCLM First KL Public Forum
December 20, 2010
Date & Time : Tuesday, December 21 · 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Venue : First Floor, KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) would like to invite members of the public and the media to the movement’s First KL Public Forum on Tuesday, 21st December 2010 where it will announce the second candidate who has volunteered himself as a candidate for the next general election.

On December 12th, MCLM Chairman Raja Petra Kamarudin unveiled human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar as the movement’s first candidate durin…g a live webcast from London at a forum organised by MCLM to explain the group and its mission.

The purpose of MCLM is to help political parties field better candidates by giving suggestions of viable persons who can serve and educate the public.

Among those speaking at the Public Forum on December 21st are:
1. Haris Ibrahim
2. Malik Imtiaz Sarwar
3. Malaysian Overseas Votes Representative Andrew Yong, and
4. The second candidate.

For further information, please contact Haris Ibrahim at 012-2070534 or visit: http://www.mclm.org.uk/
————————————————————————————–
HAVE YOU JOINED MCLM YET? “Negara Kita, Tanggungjawab Kita”.
Come! Join us take ownership of the country. You can pay your membership fee at the forum. Here’s what you do:
1. Complete and submit the MCLM membership form online at
http://www.mclm.org.uk/join-us.html (Mandatory)
2. Handover RM50 CASH with “email id” used for registering (or attach copy of the printed form) to Vineeth Menon at KLSCAH.
NOTE: This is just a one time collection to lend a hand to MCLM. Thereafter, please use one of the Payment Options at
http://www.mclm.org.uk/join-us.html
————————————————————————————–

MCLM’s VISION

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement envisions a nation that has fully realised the aspirations of our founding fathers that Malaysia be a nation founded upon the principles of liberty and justice, her people bound together by a unity of purpose and imbibed with self-belief, to make Malaysia a land of prosperity and peace, ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations,.

MCLM’s MISSION

MCLM believe that many Malaysians desire changes and reforms as comprehensively laid out in The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration. MCLM aims to take a leading role in realising these aspirations and encouraging the wider participation of civil society in shaping the future of our nation.


MCLM Constitution (Click pdf to enlarge)


Constitution Of Malaysian Civil Liberty Movement -

Issues for consideration for 13th general election

Mariam Moktar in Malaysiakini's 1Choice for Malaysia laid out varios problems that Malaysia is currently facing and the issues that the voters need to consider when making their choices in the coming 13th General Election which I reproduce here voters will be better informed:

Malaysia's upcoming general election offers the country its most significant choice for several decades.

The political tsunami of 2008 was an eye-opener. At the second Pakatan Rakyat convention in Kepala Batas, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang acknowledged the weaknesses in the opposition pact and urged party member to unite and remain focused.

The nation faces enormous challenges in the years to come. The economic demands are tremendous. The next government needs to stabilise the economy and stimulate growth in the private sector. It has to deal with its burgeoning debt, cut subsidies and rein in borrowings if it does not want to risk bankruptcy.

Our problems are not just economic. We are faced with a rising tide of extremism from Malay groups, borders which are porous, a rise in Islamic fundamentalism, a rise in racist incidents, problems in our schools and hospitals, the destruction of the police and judiciary, babies being abandoned, high levels of corruption and a weakening of civic society.

These problems demand a robust solution and a strong government to tackle them. The burning question is: Which party is best suited to lead us out of this quagmire?

PKR recently held elections, whilst BN and the other component parties have deferred theirs. DAP and Gerakan have followed suit. This is indicative of the pressures these political parties face. All want to mount a strong challenge when the country goes to the polls.

The parties have resolved to capture the imagination of the voters and the differences between them are obvious. BN believes that only it can solve the country's economic and social ills. Its slogan 1Malaysia remains just that - a slogan because in practice, certain races are held back by an invisible wall - the ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) concept.

In contrast, the Pakatan coalition believes that it can do a better job. It realises that the public mindset is changing. Race-based politics is a thing of the past. It is convinced that Malaysia is an increasing enlightened nation which believes in justice, the recognition of the rights of everyone regardless of race and that each Malaysian desires to be a part of the nation and be able to contribute towards its future.

The future of Malaysia, according to the BN administration, is to capitalise on mega-projects to boost the economy, just as during the Mahathir era.

In his Budget 2011 debate, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said the BN's obsession with “grandeur” will presage its fall.

He said: “This rush for symbolic mega-projects, supposedly to portray pride for the country, is being repeated now under the present prime minister. Here I would like to question the wisdom of Permodalan Nasional Bhd's order from the government to involve itself in mega projects.”

One of these is the 100-storey Warisan Merdeka skyscraper which is expected to cost over RM5 billion. When completed, it will be the tallest building in Malaysia.

Risky strategy

PM Najib Abdul Razak's plans for mega-projects to stimulate the economy is risky as it fails to consider the country's current economic standing and the need to lower the budget deficit and improve competitiveness.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala has said that Malaysia's debt would rise to 100 percent of GDP by 2019 from the current 54% if the government does not cut subsidies.

He said: “We do not want to be another Greece. We do not want to end up like Greece with a total debt of EUR300 billion. Our deficit rose to record high of RM47 billion last year.”

Malaysia's foreign direct investment (FDI), he said, dropped 81 per cent from RM23.47 billion in 2008 to RM4.43 billion in 2009, in comparison with Thailand which recorded an FDI of RM19.01 billion and Indonesia with RM19.08 billion.

Pakatan has warned of an economic crisis due to crony capitalism and corruption; a social crisis due to narrow racial policies; and a political crisis due to democratic fatigue arising from the BN's abuses of power.

Corrupt practices only bring benefits to cronies and hefty losses to the people. Malaysia's failure to attract foreign investment shows a desperate need for change in the management of the economy. Both good governance and a need to improve its competitive edge are vital.

Pakatan has decided to uphold a joint policy and welfare programme to defend the people based on four basic principles:
A transparent and real democracy
A high and stable economic performance
Social justice and human development
A close relationship between state-federal and international policies
Armed with these principles, Pakatan is determined to make Malaysia a better place. The three parties may have their roots in different ideologies – PAS (Islamic credentials), DAP (social ideology) and PKR (liberal ideals).

Perhaps you would prefer to have a government which relies on the Internal Security Act to stifle criticism, one in which corruption goes unchecked and where the judiciary and police are mere stooges of the state.

In order to make the necessary changes to this country, Anwar and his coalition must have a clear mandate to govern.

The best choice for Malaysia is in your hands. Vote wisely! May all your wishes come true - Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Who is funding MCLM? Answer

MCLM or Malaysia Civil Liberties Movement plan to identify suitable candidates in the coming 13th General Election. To succeed, they obviously need funding and a Malaysiakini reported has mentioned rumours about people funding MCLM apparently with negative insinuations. There are also rumours that MCLM is targetting PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) seats probably because of their recent fractious party elections. Hear what Haris Ibrahim have to say about that in the video below.

A bit of summary if you have no time to listen to the whole video. Haris alluded to offers of funding from the Malaysian diaspora - those Malaysians who have migrated to other countries and have done well particularly one Malaysian who have offered 10 million. Nothing wrong with that. Haris also denied they are targetting PKR sear, saying they are not targeting any particular party and have no wish to replace good people with good people.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Live streaming - MCLM Public Forum in London

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) will hold a public forum in London and the event will be broadcast live at 3.00hrs-15.00 hrs GMT (21.00hrs Malaysian local time):







Thursday, December 9, 2010

Is legalized robbery Malaysian culture?

That should be the questions people may ask when Abdul Karim Hamzah, chief political secretary to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, has told Radio Free Sarawak (RFS) that it is only “fair” that Taib should accumulate wealth in public office. That is akin to saying legalized robbery is allowed in Malaysia although we are not sure if all the methods for that White Hair Rajah used to accumalate is legal.

However, it is at least a bit reassuring that there are still Malaysians who think that legalized robbery is not Malaysian culture. Witness the comments some of Malaysiakini's commentators have to say such as this one: "I couldn't believe the words spoken were so brazen and forthright that it could be viewed as standard operating practice for all politicians holding power in the current administration. Sarawakians must really be asleep while this thief plunder the spoils of the state.

Unbelievable, unforgivable and unforgettable

'If Taib wants to go into business for him and his family, he should not stand for public office. In his position, it's no longer 'willing seller, willing buyer'. It's corruption.'

'Unfair' to stop Taib from amassing fortune

Anonymous: The question is, does Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud want to serve the people or amass fortunes? I guess we know the answer now. The people are suffering and are hungry, and this man uses and abuses his power to make himself rich.

Ghkok: This interview is unbelievable, unforgivable and unforgettable. Abdul Karim is saying that it is okay to amass wealth in office. Well, we need to tell him "No, it is not okay!" It is a crime, no matter whether he is in office for one day or 100 years.

Whether businessmen are making tons of money is totally irrelevant. If businessmen are making tons of money illegally, then it is the job of the lawmaker to get them hunted down and prosecuted.

The only legally-allowed fortune for a politician is the fortune they legally obtain before taking office plus the salary and benefits they legally receive in office. It is surely illegal to "receive a piece of land at a cheap price" while in office. This is no different from receiving a piece of land for free.

Abdul Karim did not seem to dispute the allegations against Taib. Has the culture of corruption become so entrenched?

Habib RAK: So it appears that for the next Sarawak state elections, its immigration powers will be used to prevent politicians and NGOs from the Peninsula and Sabah to enter Sarawak. Taib's political secretary Abdul Karim Hamzah is getting bolder and more arrogant. He is challenging the society as though none can touch them. Isn't this a sign of despotism?

Wira: What kind of sick reasoning is that? If Taib wants to go into business for him and his family, he should not stand for public office. In his position, especially when so many resources in Sarawak are at his disposal, it's no longer 'willing seller, willing buyer'. It's either corruption or corruptible action.

Apa Nak Jadi: The morale of the story is, "you must be an idiot to be someone's political secretary, and you must behave like one and also talk like one".

FairMind: What Abdul Karim probably meant is that his BN counterparts from the Peninsula have amassed so much wealth and it is unfair for Taib not to amass wealth for himself. So it must be fair for him to pay a pittance to acquire the ancestral land from the poor natives of Sarawak to make millions of ringgit in profit.

Swipenter: Legalised thievery is fine and that is what Abdul Karim is saying. No wonder our elitist politicians are all living beyond their means through political patronage and rent-seeking activities.
I am sure one ex-PM of 22 years would agree wholeheartedly with this Abdul Karim because his sons are all multi-millionaires and a billionaire (for doing what?). Nobody in his/her right mind would deny anybody from making their fortunes ethically, but not at the expense of the people.

The AP (approved permits) system is one of the most blatant form of legalised thievery in the country with the excuse of protecting our car industry. Billions and billions of ringgit is sucked from car buyers to enrich a few and to protect Proton.

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia: Abdul Karim Hamzah is so completely steeped in the culture of corruption of Taib Mahmud's personal fiefdom that not only does he not see anything wrong with embezzlement of public funds and corruption, he actually thinks it is a divine 'right' that the Taibs and their cronies should continue robbing the state of Sarawak.

Not Confused: I am absolutely speechless at the crass statements made by this boot polisher. So he claims that it is okay to use your position of power to enrich yourself and your family members? Unbelievable!
Ruben: "If you are a minister or chief minister, then somebody comes to you and wants to sell a piece of land at a very cheap price ... and then through the years, that value of land suddenly shoots up 1,000 times ... and you sell it off and make some money, is that tantamount to corruption?"

Of course, it is corruption because of the power that Taib yields. Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is charged precisely because of an similar action when he was in a position of power.

Not Confused: If he has amassed his fortune by the sweat of his (and his family's) brow, then so be it, but we all know that the majority of his fortune has resulted from "acquiring" land and other assets from the state government at knock-down prices.

His business empire is complex and is built on a network of companies, with proxies in charge, but all feeding back to him. At the same time, the Orang Asal have had their customary lands stolen and that land stripped bear for profit. It's an absolute disgrace.

Phra Ong Chao: Okay fine, so the children of the chief minister can be rich. But what about the secret agreement stating that some properties worth millions are held in the name of the CM, and the fact that the CM's own name appears as a shareholder and director of a company in the CCM (Companies Commission of Malaysia) register, holding millions of ringgit worth of shares?

Luke Skywalker: I just can't imagine how stupid our politician are willing to justify their greed and corruption. I don't have problem with rich people, but Taib is treating Sarawak like his 'current account' to buy anything, and for the state to pay for it.

ABIL: What to you mean "unfair" to stop Taib amassing wealth. It is only fair if he should have given up politics if he wants to amass wealth, he should not be doing when he has an advantage. It is only fair if he was not corrupt in amassing his wealth, here he was having the cake and eating it too.

He is a custodian of Sarawak's wealth, the minute he put his hand into the kitty, he is assume to have taken liberty of people's money and hence corrupt. In China it is death sentence to have pecuniary interest in the nation's wealth. Only in Malaysia, people are so corrupted that one can't draw a line anymore.

Friend of Sarawak: It's probably not stupidity. Abdul Karim Hamzah is speaking for Taib and his circle, which has apparently made the cynical calculation that the Orang Ulu who are listening to Radio Free Sarawak will actually believe it is "only fair" that the chief minister should take the opportunities of his office to become rich.

Sarawak is fast approaching being not only a banana republic but 'Adsurdistan' as well.

Sarawakian: To talk like that in public, the moron must have his brain damaged beyond redemption. If that's his attitude, then there's really no hope at all except to drag everyone of these scheming thieves by the collar put them behind bars. They have not an ounce of guilt or moral fibre left in them.

Rick Teo: This clearly shows how degenerated this human being has become - to say that being appointed and elected to the post of CM gives them the unalienable right to plunder the nation's coffers. They have been doing this for so long that such habit has been ingrained and appears to be justifiable. So much so the practice of enriching oneself in public office is their God-given right.

I couldn't believe the words spoken were so brazen and forthright that it could be viewed as standard operating practice for all politicians holding power in the current administration. Sarawakians must really be asleep while this thief plunder the spoils of the state.


And here is the piece that resulted in all the comments above:
'Unfair' to stop Taib from amassing fortune
Keruah Usit
Dec 8, 10

Abdul Karim Hamzah, chief political secretary to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, has told Radio Free Sarawak (RFS) that it is only “fair” that Taib should accumulate wealth in public office.

In an interview with RFS, a shortwave station outside the control of the government, Abdul Karim dismissed criticism of the enormous wealth of Taib's family, as reported by the Sarawak Report website. He also discussed the controversial Sarawak Government White Paper on 'unhealthy political practices', proposed by Abdul Karim himself.
“Personally, I see there must be limitations to everything, you cannot have a free flow of everything... the freedom of speech, there are limitations. I mean to take up an action (for libel) is not as simple (as it seems)… sometimes it's better to just leave things as they are, because it will, after a while, quieten down.”

He brushed off the furore surrounding detailed descriptions on Sarawak Report of Taib's property fortunes in Europe and North America, and land acquisition schemes in Sarawak.

“The way I see it, it's not causing any problem, lah. What is the problem with Sarawak Report? Have they been saying something that is very defamatory or bad? I don't think it's wrong to be rich."

Asked how Taib and his children could have achieved their fabulous wealth based on his modest ministerial salary, he replied: “How can you use that salary as a yardstick, you know? I mean, you must give people an opportunity…I mean, if Taib is the chief minister, I don't think we should stop the children, (that) the children cannot be rich or the family cannot be rich.

“He has been in power for the last 40 years… he has been open to a lot of opportunities, whereby his children also can participate in business, and then, using the kind of networking that they can have, and then build up their riches.”

Asked what these opportunities were, Abdul Karim explained: “Well, opportunities to participate in business and things like that, you know? Take for example… if you are a minister or chief minister, then somebody comes to you and wants to sell a piece of land at a very cheap price… and then through the years, that value of land suddenly shoots up 1,000 times… and you sell it off and make some money, is that tantamount to corruption?

“If you use your position to secure certain businesses or certain contracts, then I would say that would be an abuse of power, but then that depends again, whether that is happening or not…”

He avoided the topic of allegations of Taib distributing contracts to companies under the control of his family members, including CMS and Naim Holdings.

Asked whether cronyism exists in Sarawak politics, Abdul Karim said: “You cannot, you must not equate Taib's family with himself… he has got a lot of 'cronies'. Everybody knows him.

“So, after 40 years in the government, don't you think he deserves to have some level of satisfaction, or some level of wealth that he could accumulate in the right way? Are you trying to tell me politicians must be poor? Only businessmen are allowed to be rich? That's very unfair!

“I mean, if that is how we look at it, then we are not practising democracy, because you are depriving a politician from… having a good way of life. Only the businessmen are allowed to be rich, to fly around, have holidays? The politicians are not?”

“The purpose of the White Paper is to… to… to… more or less define what are the… who are those people who are undesirable, I would say, who could be a threat to the... there are certain… certain quarters of people, whether they are politicians, whether they are NGOs, or whether they are from the media even, whether they are from Malaysia or from overseas, who seem to be wanting to break us up, who seem to be… I mean they couldn't be bothered, they don't have any love for us.

“That's why we want the state to set a proper guideline, who can be welcome and who should not be welcome, to identify what are the things that we can consider as a threat, who are those people who we know have blatantly tried to run down the government, tried to create instability, whether economically or politically, in the state.

“These are the people we should stop, whether they are from the government or not from the government, or whether they are from overseas or whether they are from Malaysia itself, or religious… this covers every angle, I would say.

“We have every right to look after our state… Immigration is in our hands, when we formed Malaysia… we have got that right, that immigration right.

“If we feel that they are not desirable to us, if they are known to be… who have been running us down, from their writing, from their blogs, I think if they are not a friend to Sarawak, I would say, then we stop them!

“The opposition always thinks it is against them, not realising that it is also against certain people in Barisan Nasional (BN).”

Abdul Karim declined to name those in BN who may be kept out of the state.

In response to speculation that the state government wants to muzzle websites like Sarawak Report, Abdul Karim replied, “We can't stop them from publishing, they can have their own right, because the world is free, you see… the Internet world, you can put anything inside there. But then when it comes to coming into our state, we do not want them.”

Abdul Karim concluded his RFS interview by alleging that US president Barack Obama, and British leaders like former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, are all “filthy rich”, and that Taib has done nothing wrong in accumulating wealth.

Source: Malaysiakini: 'Unfair' to stop Taib from amassing fortune

Unruly UMNO/BN Members of Parliment

Watch the video below and see how unruly the UMNO/BN Member of Parliaments were and yet it was Pakatan Rakyat MPs who were suspended:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Malaysia's pack of lying leaders and Wikileaks

Have you stopped being amazed at the blatant lies spouted by Malaysia's UMNO/BN leaders? After so many, hopefully the rakyat have not got immuned to it. Below is an article in Malaysiakini by Dean Johns which should be read by all truth seeking Malaysians:

WikiLeaks and wacky lies
Dean Johns
Dec 8, 10
3:32pm

It's a bit of a mystery to me why the US is getting its knickers in such knots over the betrayal of so-called 'secrets' by WikiLeaks.

Let's face it, the contents of these cables hardly come as a surprise to anyone who regularly reads and watches respectable media coverage of the wackos, weirdos and criminals out there running so much of the world.

It's hardly a revelation, for example, that the US is as aware as the rest of us are that its puppet Karzai (right) regime in Afghanistan is as corrupt as it's clueless. Or that one of the 'secrets' of the Pakistani secret service is that it supports selected terrorist groups; or that Russia is virtually a mafia state; or that the Chinese Communist Party is totally paranoid about criticism and sick and tired of the childish tantrums of its psychotic sole ally, North Korea.

Similarly, it's far from surprising to learn that the Saudis see Iran's nuclear ambitions as a threat to their oil and Haj pilgrim businesses with whose proceeds they help fund Sunni terrorists, and thus would love the Americans to “cut off the head of the snake”.

It's also far from amazing to read that the ga-ga Gaddafi of Libya takes a buxom blonde nurse with him wherever he goes, and very stale news indeed that Italy's Prime Minister Berlusconi is a character straight out of burlesque. Nor is it in the least astonishing to learn that the Malaysian government is again suspected of aiding or at least failing to prevent the trans-shipment of illicit military technology to America's enemies.

It doesn't take a WikiLeaks to expose the Barisan Nasional government's wacky lies. Every utterance by Najib Abdul Razak and the gang is faithfully reported for all to see by BN's fake 'news' agency, Bernama. And, as every word spoken by BN members, cronies and supporters is the direct opposite of the truth, it doesn't take a genius to figure out the facts.

For example, when questioned about the WikiLeaked cable containing the latest US intelligence on Malaysian companies allegedly trafficking in illegal nuclear technology, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's immediate response was that “it's a new issue.”

A very old issue indeed

As you and I and Hishammuddin and the whole world know, it's a very old issue indeed. As old, in fact, as 2003, when nuclear centrifuge parts bound for Libya were intercepted in a shipment by Scomi Precision Engineering (SCOPE), a subsidiary of Scomi Group, an oil-and-gas equipment supplier whose leading stakeholder was Kaspadu, an investment company owned by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son, Kamaluddin.

Then there was the case of Pakistani citizen Jilani Humayun who allegedly shipped parts for F-14 fighters and Chinook helicopters via Malaysia to Iran, after which the US imposed sanctions on 14 individuals, government agencies and companies, including Malaysia's Challenger Corp and Target Airfreight.

These old issues so enraged the US that Najib was summoned to the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC earlier this year and pressured into promising that Malaysia wouldn't do it again.

As you may recall from back then, Bernama misrepresented Najib's humiliation as a triumph, and praised his hypocritical speech to the summit proposing the establishment of a United Nations convention on nuclear security as an act of responsible global citizenship.

But of course it was all a pack of wacky lies and cynical spin, as usual, just like Hishammuddin's current claim that Malaysian companies' latest involvement in the trafficking of nuclear technology is “a new issue.”

But Hishammuddin's latest whopper wasn't nearly as wacky as his lying denial last week that there has been a surge in killings by the Malaysian police. Faced with the fact that fatal police shootings of 'suspects' has soared from 13 in 2007 to 82 in 2008 and 88 last year, he claimed that “the issue has been sensationalised by certain parties”.

Not a shred of recognition, regret or remorse. Not a single sign that, as the minister in charge, he's prepared to take the slightest responsibility. In fact he buck-passed the issue back to the culprits, saying “let the police respond on the data... as such allegations affect their image. If not, I would be asked this question every day when there are other serious matters to respond to.”

Hishammuddin's performance in this case, in fact in his entire political career, seems to me a glaring example of the kind of “delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance” that Najib told the BN conference in KL the other day “can infect parties that have been in power too long and may cause the people to hate them”.

Fraudulent reformist rhetoric

And Najib, for all his fraudulent reformist rhetoric, is as powerful a symbol of delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance as his cousin Hishammuddin or any other members of the BN gang.

Last week, for example, he had the arrogance to try and delude the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in Cambodia that his government had sufficiently overcome its amnesia and inertia as to achieve progress in six National Key Results Areas: reducing crime, fighting corruption, raising living standards of low-income households, improving basic rural infrastructure, enhancing urban public transport and establishing a a high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation.

As everybody knows, his government has delivered absolutely zero in any of these areas. And BN has shown no sign whatever of the “significant transformation” and re-invention of itself that Najib went on to claim to his no doubt incredulous audience.

But nothing daunted, a day or two later Najib (right) was back in KL addressing the true believers at the BN convention, simultaneously warning against delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance and giving a virtuoso display of all these vices in a speech riddled with typically ludicrous remarks.

Parroting sentiments plagiarised from historic US political speeches, he orated that “the clarion call of manifest destiny is beckoning upon (sic) us to bring this great nation, Malaysia, to its fullest potential”.

“It is time,” he went on, for Malaysia to “take its rightful place in the community of nations with dignity and pride, holding our head up high, while being thankful for the blessings of providence.”

He followed these flatulent, fatuous sentiments with some frantic attempts to denigrate opposition parties, warning “beware everyone, be careful everyone, they are very dangerous, they will do anything, including badmouthing Malaysia”.

When the truth is, of course, that the opposition, like all the rest of us, badmouths BN's criminal and incompetent misgovernment of Malaysia, not Malaysia itself. But as he was preaching to the converted and perverted, and being reported by his own corrupt and pathetically compliant 'news' agency, he felt entirely free to shoot from the lip.

Which brings me back to the point that the Malaysian people don't really need revelations by the likes of WikiLeaks, as long as Bernama and the rest of the mainstream media are around to faithfully record and repeat every word of BN's tacky slanders and wacky lies.


DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he mentors creative writing groups. Already published in Kuala Lumpur is a third book of his columns for Malaysiakini, following earlier collections 'Mad about Malaysia' and 'Even Madder about Malaysia'.

Source: WikiLeaks and wacky lies

Price Hike - citizens suffer first, UMNO/BN cronies enjoy

While we have no objection to the eventual removal of subsidies in a planned gradual way, Malaysians citizens and especially the voters should keep in mind that the current UMNO/BN federal government do not have the interest and well-being of its citizens because instead of removing subsidies to its crony companies like the IPP (Independent Power Producers) first which still continues to enjoy fat subsidies with the burden of increase power rates passed to the citizens, it pass the burden to the citizens first.

So I hope PAS directives to people especially in the rural areas put up banners to educate the citizens and voters the poor governance of UMNO/BN such as:

"Barang Naik, Rakyat Kena Dulu" (Prices are raised, the people get hit first),
"Pemimpin Kaya, Rakyat Terseksa" (The leaders get rich, the people suffer),
"Tolak BN, Anda Mampu Mengubahnya" (Reject BN, you can make a difference) and
"Kemana hasil Balak,Kelapa Sawit,Getah, Mutiara, Pasir Dihabiskan?" (Where have the timber, palm oil, pearls and sand revenues gone?


will come to fruitation to raise awareness.

Source: Raise anti-price hike banners in every village: PAS:

Raise anti-price hike banners in every village: PAS
Dec 8, 10 3:45pm

PAS has called on all its branches to raise the political awareness of people in their respective areas by flying high banners about the recent hikes of four items by the BN-led federal government.
“PAS hopes that every information machinery in PAS and Pakatan Rakyat rise to increase the political awareness of the people, especially those who do not access the new media,” said the party's information chief Idris Ahmad in a statement.

In this way, BN leaders will be “schooled” back to remembering “the power of the people” since the ruling coalition seems to have “forgotten” following their wins in the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections in Kelantan and Sabah, respectively.

On Dec 4, the government removed subsidies from fuel and sugar, leading thereby to the hike in price of RON 95, diesel and cooking gas by five sen to RM1.90, RM1.80 and RM1.90, respectively, sugar by 20 sen to RM2.10.

Unlike previous reduction of subsidies, the recent price hikes have received little attention by mainstream news organisations.

Idris also took aim at the government's comparison of the prices of such items to those in Singapore to justify the increase in Malaysia.

This merely insults the intelligence of the people, as the republic is not an oil-exporting country whereas the purchasing power of Singaporeans is far higher than Malaysians, he said.

“Why not take the example of Brunei and other countries that do have oil?” Idris asked further.

He said all PAS branches musthang up banners in every village to make people aware of the danger of maintaining an “irresponsible” coalition in power.

Among other slogans that can be used on the banners are, Idris suggested, are "Barang Naik, Rakyat Kena Dulu" (Prices are raised, the people get hit first), "Pemimpin Kaya, Rakyat Terseksa" (The leaders get rich, the people suffer), "Tolak BN, Anda Mampu Mengubahnya" (Reject BN, you can make a difference) and "Kemana hasil Balak,Kelapa Sawit,Getah, Mutiara, Pasir Dihabiskan?" (Where have the timber, palm oil, pearls and sand revenues gone?).

In a rebuttal of Idris's remarks, Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said PAS should be more sincere given the rise in prices of water tariffs in Pakatan Rakyat-ruled Kedah and Penang,

In Kedah, said Tan, the PAS-led government had raised water tariffs to between 25 percent to 100 percent. Water tariffs had also been raised in PAS' Pakatan partner DAP-led Penang, he added.

“If PAS were sincere in helping the people, I propose that PAS take steps to study the rise in tariffs in all Pakatan Rakyat states.

"I recommend that any price hikes therein be at 10 percent so as not to burden the people,” said Tan.

Public Forum - Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM)

There will be a public forum organized by the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and hosted by Raja Petra Kamarudin, Yolanda Augustin and Farouk A. Peru. At the forum, MCLM will also be announcing the first name of several candidates from the civil society movements who have volunteered to do national service by contesting the coming general election.

Date: Sunday, 12th December 2010
Time: 13.00hrs-15.00 hrs GMT (21.00hrs Malaysian local time)
Venue: The Function Room, Holiday Villa Hotel, 35-37 Leinster Gardens, London W2 3AN
(see location map, Holiday Villa Hotel)

If you are going by transport, the nearest tube station is the Bayswater (District and Circle Line) or Queensway (Central Line)

MCLM will be setting up a u-streaming link for those who would like to follow the event LIVE. Please go to http://www.ustream.tv/discovery/live/all?q=varvoom

THE MCLM MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) envisions a nation that has fully realised the aspirations of our founding fathers that Malaysia be a nation founded upon the principles of liberty and justice, her people bound together by a unity of purpose and imbibed with self-belief, to make Malaysia a land of prosperity and peace, ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations.

The Federal Constitution of 1957 guarantees all citizens of, first, Malaya and, later, Malaysia, the rights and liberties accorded to all free men of all democratic nations and provides for the establishment of institutions of state to secure and safeguard those liberties.

The existence and application of draconian laws in the context of a systemic failure on the part of many of those institutions to honour their duty to uphold, protect and preserve the Federal Constitution has resulted in those guaranteed rights and liberties becoming, for many, illusory.

We believe that many Malaysians desire changes and reforms as comprehensively laid out in The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration. The MCLM aims to take a leading role in realising these aspirations and encouraging the wider participation of civil society in shaping the future of our nation.

To read The People's Voice and The People's Declaration, please follow The People’s Parliament link below:
The People's Voice, the People's Declaration

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS TO ASK THE FORUM YOU CAN POST THEM BELOW

Location map: Holiday Villa Hotel



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Location map: Bayswater tube station



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Location map: Queensway tube station



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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Voter education: Why register to vote and how to wise voter

That post by lawyer Americk Sidhu who acted for Bala the private investigator who implicated Najib in the Altantuya murder is a must reading for voters in Malaysia who should understand why it is extremely important to vote for incorruptible candidates to stop Malaysia going further down the drain.

Americk Sidhu

In my naivety I have often wondered why people choose to become politicians. It is a seemingly thankless task. Thankless because you are theoretically representing thousands of people and there is no way you can please them all. You have to deal with disgruntlement almost every day. This can be quite soul destroying, especially when your salary is not commensurate with the headaches associated with the job. A job that actually takes up 24 hours of each day, 7 days a week and no one ever says ‘thank you’. You would have to be a masochist to want to be a politician.

But people do become politicians. Few are driven by a sense of sincere altruism and a desire to be part of the guiding process that brings about necessary improvement and change for the better. Unfortunately these few are fast becoming an endangered species. They are the ones who get left behind. They are the ones who are laughed at by the rest. And because of the ‘system’ in place, they don’t last very long. If they want to survive past the next election they have to either beat the system or become part of it. It is easier to swim with the tide than against it, especially if you are a novice in this game and are awestruck by the endless possibilities that access to power delivers to your doorstep via a code of unwritten convention.

Let us look at the possible reasons why a semi decent human being gets derailed once he or she becomes a politician. This is contrast to those whose aspirations are far less than commendable a long time before they embark on the road to stardom but are nevertheless honed in to the current and relevant methodology. In other words, there are those who know exactly what they are doing and what they expect out of it.

The first reason would have to be a lack of stamina when it comes to the financial implications of being a YB. One would be forgiven for thinking an ADUN or an Ahli Parlimen would be rewarded handsomely for their efforts. This is not the case. Let’s just study the current salary scale of our elected members of Parliament.

Prime Minister : RM 22,826.56

Deputy Prime Minister: RM 18,168.50

Minister : RM 14,168.50

Deputy Minister : RM 10,847.56

MP (Dewan Rakyat) : RM 6,580.59

MP (Dewan Negara) : RM 4,112.79

Now who on earth is able to survive on these figures and yet afford to lead the type of lifestyle expected of our elected representatives? You cannot possibly be a ‘Yang Berhormat’ without a Mercedes, Lexus, BMW or a combination of all three, a home to put ‘Southfork’ to shame, Gucci suits, a wife and a couple of mistresses or a couple of wives and a mistress, apartments in London, New York and Monaco, Swiss bank accounts, children educated in expensive English boarding schools and Ivy League Universities and drinking copious quantities of ridiculously priced red wine every night.

If you didn’t do all this you would lose respect. The ordinary rakyat is expected to honour and admire an elected representative who is able to portray this air of prosperity, ill defined elegance, bad taste and excessiveness. The ordinary man in the street has been programmed to expect and accept all this without question.

How do these YBs afford all this on their miserable stipends?

This query becomes even more relevant when one considers the extra and necessary expense incurred in the handouts any elected representative is expected to dish out to members of his or her constituency who request one for a variety of reasons ranging from having to purchase school books for the kids to having to pay overdue electric bills.

There has to be a fund set aside to appease the potential voter, who, of course, has been indoctrinated to assume that his YB is a man of means and can therefore afford to pay his bills for him. This voter is playing the system. He knows he will get money if he asks for it. He knows YB cannot refuse him because YB needs his vote to perpetuate his own political existence. He knows old YB is scamming on the side so why not ask for a few bucks? After all, they are only the crumbs.

Therefore, the YB not only has to pay for his mistresses, expensive clothing, financially debilitating education fees, his BMWs, overseas property, Chateau de Rothschild Cabernet but also the everyday expenses of his constituents.

All this on RM 6,000.00 a month?

Now let’s get real. That’s not the way it works. That RM 6,000.00 a month is not even pocket money. It is merely a token gesture. The real bucks come from all those side deals. This is the real reason why the YB is in politics. Lucrative contracts for the company set up in his wife’s or sister’s name. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. That’s when the money pours in. Everyone wants a piece of the action because there is a never ending supply of money. You just turn the tap on and leave it dripping forever. The problem is the water supply is coming from Sungai Rakyat.

What happens when this river runs dry? Well YB et famille will be fine. They would have stored all this water for a rainy day. The chaps on the river bank will die of thirst. It wouldn’t matter anymore whether they could vote or not. The heist would have been complete. The victims would be left in a stupor, stunned and bewildered. They kept their peace during the robbery and chose not to be involved. It was best then not to rock the boat. Live and let live. After all we still had our rice to eat. Status quo was hunky dory. Everyone knew YB was amassing great reserves but no one cared because that’s what YBs do. Par for the course. That was the system. Why would we want to get involved. Money is power and vice versa. Our station in life was to sit by the banks of that river and watch the waters flow away. It was not our culture to complain, or at least that was what we were led to believe. Damage now done. What to do next?

Rant, rave, sulk, criticise, condemn and remonstrate? But it will be too late for all this. Hindsight would be as useful as an ice cube in an oven. The horse would have bolted so forget about closing the stable door. You brought this upon yourselves. You wouldn’t listen. You had the choice but you chose instant gratification instead. You were too spell bound by hollow rhetoric to be able to think. You were too mesmerised by talk of grandeur and prosperity to see the bigger picture. You were hoodwinked and now you feel pretty silly. It was a scam from the start. You gave your vote to the wrong guy. You sold your soul to the devil and the devil fed off your weaknesses. You are now up the creek without a paddle…… but take solace in the fact that there will be many many more joining you. You are not the only sucker. Hallelujah.

It all boils down to the issue of corruption and enough has been said and written on the topic to make any further attempt to do so a precursor to mass boredom.

Suffice to say you reap what you sow If you can live with a corruptible politician then so be it. Vote for him or her. It is your choice. That’s what a democracy is all about. Yes, it is you, the ‘member of the rakyat’ who charts the course of this nation. It is you who is going to be responsible for the nation sinking or swimming. You are the owners of the ship and you get to choose the crew.

Don’t you think it is therefore imperative that you pick the correct crew members? A captain of impeccable pedigree and learning who can be relied upon not to sail the ship into rocks. A first mate of the highest caliber responsible for ensuring navigation is precise. Dedicated sailors who won’t jump ship at the slightest opportunity and no chance of any mutiny lest we all end up as inbred misfits on the Pitcairn Islands in the middle of nowhere with only a very bleak future to look forward to. (Remember Mutiny on the Bounty?).

It is therefore imperative that the right choices are made and made fast.

We cannot afford to have crooks or prima donnas represent us. We need those men and women of unquestionable good character to step forward and present themselves. We need to outnumber the baddies at least 2 to 1. We need to provide the average voter with a choice he or she has no trouble making. We need to get our act together right now. There is no time to pussy foot around. We need to identify all those good men and women who are ready, willing and able to sacrifice themselves in both body and soul to this just and noble cause. We need these people to be known and we need them to be known right now.

May I be so bold as to suggest that the first step after the formation of a new Parliament would be to revise these silly salaries and increase them 5 to 10 fold. Yes, we need to pay our representatives a decent wage comparable to the market rate in the private sector. We must ensure there is no excuse to breach the boundaries of your God given responsibility to King and country by participating in nefarious financial deals of self enrichment at the expense of the taxpayer.

At the same time I would also venture to suggest that the Penal Code be amended to make it an extra special offence carrying an extra special sentence in respect of any elected representative caught with his or her hand in the kitty. Hopefully at this stage we will have a brand new AG who will not hesitate to prosecute at the drop of a hat. No more selective closing of files and sham trials only when it becomes politically expedient to have one. You are now being paid a decent salary so there is no excuse.

This relatively small investment will provide huge returns in no time at all with the savings made on unnecessary projects at inflated prices alone. We have yet to mention all the other potential savings in every single government department. Culture shock is the best way to describe the phenomena that will surface from every nook and cranny. It will take time to get used to but it must be adhered to at all costs and this can only happen with the right people in charge.

So there you have it. We are living in a democracy. This means we have the power to choose. Your vote is yours and yours only. No one can interfere with your choice of representative. You know in your heart of hearts the difference between right and wrong. What you decide to do will change the course of history, if that’s what you want. If you are happy with the way things are, then that is also your choice. You will now be given the opportunity to right all past wrongs. You have a very powerful tool in your hands so use it wisely.

You have seen the results of the change already. The seeds were planted in March 2008. Things are beginning to work. Yes, there have been some hiccups, but the sentiment is intact. There are good people out there and this shows. We need more of the Lim Kit Siangs, the Lim Guan Engs, the Yusmadis, the Theresa Koks, Hannah Yeoh, Sivarasa Rasiah, Karpal Singh, Gobind Singh Deo, Dr. Zulkifi Ahmad, Dr. Hatta Ramli and many more elected representatives of impeccable character who have proved to the world at large that you can do the job and do it properly without the need to resort to extracurricular income. OK let’s call a spade a spade. These good men and women have proven that you don’t have to steal from the rakyat to be respected. You can be a politician and still maintain your principles and ideals. God bless these true patriots.

Now all we need is many more like them.

Source: Malaysia Today: The winds of change

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

London Book Launch: "Questioning arms spending in Malaysia" by Kua Kia Soong

Book Launch
Date: Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Venue: Private function room, Melur Restaurant,
175a Edgware Road,
Paddington,
London, W2 1ET (see location map)
Time : Registration 6.45pm

Talk 7-8pm

Discussion 8-8.30pm

Dinner 8.30pm onwards

We have the pleasure of inviting you to the exciting evening with Kua Kia Soong, at the London launch of his latest book “Questioning Arms Spending in Malaysia”.

Dr Kua is a renowned academic and author of ‘May 13’ and ‘445 Days Under the ISA’. He is also a former ISA detainee and Director of Malaysia Human Rights organization, SUARAM.

Malaysiakini have called this ‘the first groundbreaking expose of Malaysia's military since independence. It contains of A to Z of Malaysia's arms industries and spending, from the unanswered questions surrounding the murder of Altantuya... to the high incidence of accidents involving the Sikorsky Nuri helicopters. It also contains the 1994 revelations from the British press on the RM5 billion arms deals as well as the statutory declarations of private investigator Balasubramaniam in the Altantuya murder case. Dr. Kua has been monitoring the arms trade since the 70's. He unearths the vested interests, corruption, wastage and negligence in arms procurement and alerts us to the growth of the domestic military-industrial complex.’

"For too long, the military has been spared public scrutiny under the guise of 'national security'. Kua's well researched book is bound to ignite public debate and outrage. It confirms that major policy shifts are needed, both in terms of transparency as well as a paradigm shift in how we think of security. A must read!" ~ Premesh Chandran, CEO Malaysiakini.

Places are limited, please register by Dec 13 at http://armsspendingmalaysiabooklaunchlondon.eventbrite.com/

Location map: Melur Restaurant, 175a Edgware Road, Paddington, London




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Books by Kua Kia Soong