Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Malaysia's International Business Environment 1984

Hantu Laut

Assessments and predictions of Malaysia's political climate made at conference of "International Business Environment" in April 1984 at Magdalen College,Oxford University.


Malaysia must still be regarded as one of the more stable members of ASEAN.It is prosperous and, despite the effects of the global recession, is likely to become more so in the later 1980s and 1990s.

Nevertheless there are constitutional, religious and socio-economic problems to face.None pose an immediate threat to the country's relative stability; but, as with any multi-racial, multi-lingual and predominantly Islamic nation with a wide gulf between rich and poor, conditions exist for long term tension.

The country's medium term outlook is dominated by three major concerns:

--firstly, the delicate constitutional balance between elected politicians and the Sultans.There are likely to be continuing conflicts between progressive democrats and those who believe that certain powers should remain with the traditional rulers;

--secondly, the recent rapid growth in the influence of Islam overlaps the constitutional struggles.The Islamic movement is notionally headed by the Sultans and other traditional rulers.Decisions which cause affront to the Sultans could inflame Islamic passions already smouldering under the influence of global Islamic revival.

--thirdly, there is a long term threat to Malaysia's comparative serenity stemming from the complex and ambitious economic reorganization launched in 1971, the New Economic Policy.The NEP has its main target a massive increase in public ownership by the Malay (or bumiputra) community.By 1990, the NEP architects say, bumiputra participation in the economy should be at least 30%--a target which non-Malay critics say is too high.But the firm implementation of the policy suggests that some of the targets will be realized.After 1990, though, any further favouring of the bumiputras might exacerbate tensions between the racial groups--a spectre which, since the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, remains at the back of all Malaysian ruler's mind.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cut the theatrics,Anwar,and let Malaysians get on with their live.

Cut the theatrics, Anwar, and let Malaysians get on with their live
By : Tunku Abdul Aziz

IT seems to me that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is suffering from paranoid delusions. His preoccupation with what he sees as political conspiracy against him is doing his reputation and credibility, such as it is, enormous damage.

To compound the growing cynicism about his version of events, he has not, to date, been able to produce any verifiable evidence to support his contention.

As far as I am concerned, and for all practical purposes, his claim of victimisation at the evil hands of the authorities is just so much political posturing, and has to be viewed, sadly, as a ploy to gain sympathy for his cause and confuse the gullible in our midst.

And there are many who see a conspirator in every nook and corner, in much the same way that Americans, at the height of McCarthyism, looked under the bed before retiring for the night, half expecting to find a communist lurking there.

While Anwar expects the highest standards of proof in others, he is somehow both careless and cavalier about his own. He has made the preposterous accusation that the charge of sodomy brought against him by his former aide is part of a diabolically clever plot to stop his prime ministerial ambitions dead in their tracks.
That, too, must remain a matter for conjecture unless it can be proved otherwise. Many Malaysians await Anwar’s irrefutable evidence with bated breath.

Does he not realise that many people can, and will, draw their own conclusions about the real reason behind his persistent refusal to give his blood for the purpose of a DNA test?

Let us get that over and done with so that the police can make a quick determination as to whether or not he had been maliciously accused of something he is innocent of.

Readers will no doubt recall that when he was in custody 10 years ago, he accused the authorities of administering arsenic to poison him.

All very dramatic, and the world was understandably aghast and shocked by that revelation.

Independent tests done in Australia, however, proved negative. Anwar showed absolutely no remorse about his having blackened his country’s good name and reputation.

On the premise that there is one law for all, no one should reasonably expect normal police criminal investigation procedures to be set aside or compromised on the spurious ground of a lack of trust in the police. What is the evidence for this?

Anwar, for all his political savvy, now runs the risk of being likened to “the boy who cried wolf” — once too often.

He should submit himself voluntarily to the DNA test, and if need be, under an independent expert observer group if this would help.

The police have been more accommodating in his case than I have seen in some others. And if he is innocent of the charge against him, there is “nothing to fear, but fear itself”.

Conspiracy or no, even Anwar must know that the devil is in the detail: how does he propose to seize power except by resorting to unprincipled political machinations and manipulations?

He has to show that he has not totally abandoned his moral and ethical principles and this is the only way that he will ever recover the moral and intellectual high ground that he once occupied.

The moral support of right thinking people everywhere that he could at one time take for granted is beginning to wear thin.

What has happened to the mass exodus to his camp of ethically deficient political malcontents from The Land Below The Wind, across the South China Sea, that he predicted with an almost messianic zeal and prophetic certainty to help him topple the government and transform the nation?

He has done our Sabah politicians grave injury to their reputation. They have proved that they stand by certain personal values and standards of ethical behaviour.

I cannot imagine anything baser and more grotesque than attempting to corrupt and seduce perfectly decent and honourable parliamentarians to betray the trust of the voters who had put them there in the first place to represent them in their constituencies.

What kind of message is Anwar sending to the people of this country, and in particular to the young people now beginning to take an interest in political issues?

Dislodge the government by all means, if this is your purpose in life, but there is a time and place as provided under our electoral process.

The place is the ballot box, and the time is the 13th general election.

This is all part of our democratic system and what business have any of us to bring about a change of administration outside of the legal electoral framework?

I am well aware of the opposition song-and-dance about what they claim to be a defective electoral system before every election. But this constant refrain about the unfairness of it all is muted, now that the same defective process that they used to vent their spleen on with demonic vehemence has catapulted them into power in five states.

I suppose even they must now admit that it has not been that bad, after all, for those who were not expected to pick more than a few crumbs off the floor.

Anwar has made great play of his having to remove his clothes for his medical examination and implied that he was being singled out for special treatment.

I am assured by my doctor friends that it is normal procedure for certain types of examination. Many of us have been through this and we were none the worse for wear.

In my own case, on my visit to Israel two years ago, I was asked very politely to remove all my clothes by airport security.

More than at any time in my entire life, faced with the prospect of having to bare all, and not even paid for it in front of total strangers, I remembered my mother, thinking how right she had been to remind my brother and I always to wear clean underpants!

Like Anwar, I did not like the strip act one little bit, but unlike him, I did not kick up a fuss and neither did I call a press conference to denounce this “barbaric” practice against a senior United Nations official which was what I was at the time.

If I had been gripped by paranoia, I suppose I would have seen the whole exercise as being specially devised to humiliate me, a Muslim.

It was a security requirement and I respected their right to do everything possible in the interests of their country’s security.

Anwar should desist from involving the international community in what is essentially a simple case. He somehow feels that the United States, the European Union and Japan should fight a proxy war against his country to shield him from the due process of law of his country.

I do not claim, naturally, to speak for other Malaysians, but there are people I know personally who are beginning to suspect his motives. It is poetic justice.

We must all take responsibility for our actions, and if we feel that we have been defamed or otherwise unfairly accused, we should place ourselves in the hands and at the mercy of the courts.

Anwar should submit himself to the country’s criminal justice system like the rest of his fellow Malaysians and lead by example.

He is, after all, according to his supporters, a prime minister-in-waiting. I hope they are not holding their breath.

We are all getting a little sick and tired of the “Anwar factor” that is turning out to be an absolutely unnecessary distraction at a time when we need to get on with our lives

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

UMNO:A Ship Without Rudder

Hantu Laut
Is UMNO a political party or a family business or some kind of monarchy system where retiring leaders can appoint their own successors to take over their positions.

Why not abolish the party elections and let the new system takes over and allow everyone from the President down the line to branch chief to nominate their own successors.IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR THE PARTY as there is no need to have an AGM and waste money time and again to conduct its annual affair.

First to the fore was the Prime Minister and President of the party who named his deputy Najib Tun Razak as his successor but needs 2 years for Najib to understudy him before he can confidentally hands over the baton to him.Najib has yet to reach a level of competency to be prime minister.

Than something even more absurd came out of the coconut shell a couple of days ago.Former Minister of Trade and Industry and Wanita Chief of the party Rafidah Aziz announced that her successor is Sharizat Abdul Jalil and that she would be handing over to her in mid 2009, but first, following in the footsteps of the Prime Minister, she must contest in the party elections in December, just six months before she hands over the job. It shows that Sharizat is wee bit smarter than Najib, needs only six months to understudy her boss.

Well, they say great minds think alike, only fools differ.I am not sure whether this is still applicable in today's modern and technological era.It is probably redundant because as we all know the world has progressed much due to people wanting to be different.The scientists,engineers,doctors and most every profession in this world have people that necessitate them to be different from his fellow men to achieve greater height in new discoveries and inventions.

It appears that UMNO has become directionless.It is unable to reinvent itself or make sacrifices for salient changes.It's like a ship that has a captain and a compass but lost its rudder in a storm and drifting aimlessly towards no known direction.

Do you really need to stand for an election just to hold the position for six months? The great minds that think alike didn't see that the fools that differ can read the minds of insincerity and self-servitude. How can the rank and file in the party be enlightened to be servile to party principles and democratic process when the heads apathetically show total disregard for its compliance.

The use of thuggery and violence in jockeying for position has become appallingly vicious.

In Perak a branch committee member was clobbered with a golf club by a fellow committee member upon discovering that his elder brother was not nominated to stand as deputy chairman of the Gopeng UMNO division.In Batu Manikar Labuan police were called in to restore calm and order when a fight almost broke out at the branch meeting.In Sabak Bernam Selangor former Menteri Besar Khir Toyo and his only challenger for the divisional head post are both claiming to have asked ACA to investigate money politics.

All these are not for God and country but for a ride on the gravy train, the exclusive domain of the chosen few.

The one that takes the cake is the report to ACA against the President Abdullah Badawi and Deputy President Najib Tun Razak for alleged abuse of power.The report was lodged by former Youth exco member Datuk Mazlan Harun.Some are probably making trouble for the President to be used as excuses to jump ship when time is opportune to do so.

The party seems to be riotously out of control and Abdullah appears powerless to deal with the thugs, goons and bullies in the party.

Please leave comments on main page.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Snitching and Sodomizing

The Anwar Case

Snitching and Sodomizing


We are watching re-runs from Kuala Lumpur.  It’s 1998 again.  Then, Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister, was catapulted from office to prison on sodomy and treason charges.  The instigator then was the mercurial colossus of Southeast Asian politics, Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad.  Having initially welcomed Anwar as the prodigal son of Malaysian politics, he debunked him in a most conscious act of Saturnalia. 

In the theatre of Malaysian politics, buggery is almost as serious as the charge of deviationism in Mao’s China.  The statute books permit imprisonment for up to twenty years.  Dr. Wan Aziza Wan Ismail, Anwar’s wife, could only respond with characteristic stoicism as Anwar was not merely incarcerated but neutralised in Malaysian politics.  

The vicious all-consuming father of Malaysian politics retired in 2003, aged 78.  With Mahathir gone, Anwar could return.  Released in 2004, the former deputy was still on ice, and could only run for office after five or so years.

It’s fine in Malaysian politics to talk about reform as long as a sense of inertia is maintained above the chatter of promised change.  Splendid inactivity – one observes Malaysia’s current Prime Minister, the staid, dull Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as a case in point – suggests continuity.  Change, marked by the dangerous word reform, suggests chaos, the disruption of gravy trains and networks of graft.   Anwar’s mistake then and now was to violate the canon of inertia. 

The ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional) was shaken by recent political showings by Anwar’s opposition alliance, the PKR.  On 8 March, their hold on power suddenly loosened.  The opposition alliance had broken through a barrier that seemed untouchable: reducing the sacred two-thirds majority held by the National Front in Parliament since 1957.  Five of the twelve state legislatures were lost.  The PKR then came up with a bold policy – to form a new Federal Government by 16 September.

Enter (some argue literally), the 23 year-old man who volunteered to work for the opposition during the tumultuous election earlier this year.  He had been Anwar’s aide, and duly fronted with accusations of sodomy at the end of June.   The charges were made public by Bakri Zinin, the federal police chief for criminal investigations. 

Having seen it all before, Anwar fled to the Turkish Embassy, citing assassination fears.  ‘I have been told that my assassination has not been ruled out as means to subvert the people’s will and bring an end to the transformational changes taking place in Malaysia.’  Istanbul, then accused of undue interference in Malaysian politics, hastily ejected the accused.

These political re-runs take place because the main party of Malaysian politics, UMNO (United Malays National Organisation), has run out of ideas. It’s a despotism that has run dry of creativity, not merely in policy, but in dealing with rivals. 

UMNO is naturally following the script: its members had nothing to do with it.  That is the line peddled by Kelantan UMNO information chief, Alwi Che Ahmad: ‘Nobody from UMNO has anything to gain from trying to fabricate (accusations against) Anwar especially in the current political landscape.’  The only flaw in this statement is that UMNO has everything to gain by Anwar’s demise.

That was evident in 1998 itself when Anwar was declared, not merely to be a rampant sodomite with a penchant for chauffeurs, but a masochist: he had, for instance, mysteriously punched himself.   Torture was vigorously denied: the Malaysian police has scrupulously ‘observed’ his rights in detention, but in truth had tried beating the suspect to a pulp. 

Added to the mix now by his opponents is the suggestion that Anwar is America’s snitch.  Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar recently gave a sense of how ‘impartial’ the government is on the subject of Anwar’s innocence: ‘Anwar is a snitch for America.  Every time anything happens, he reports back to America.’  A character portrait of Anwar according to Barisan Nasional: a sodomizing snitch with masochistic tendencies.

The Malaysian authorities have run out of talented conspiracy scriptwriters – they can only revert to programs that were used during Mahathir’s time.  The opposition are even mimicking them, accusing current Deputy Premier Najib Razak of having an affair with a woman before she was killed two years ago.  Najib palmed it off: this was merely a sodomy diversion.  Anwar remained the true star of the show.  Malaysian politics has not merely run out of steam – it has run out of imagination.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge.  He can be reached

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Proton Perdana And Harley-Davidson

Hantu Laut

I was right in my condemnation of the quality of Proton cars.The MB of Pahang and Kelantan had also come out and said their Perdanas incur high maintenance costs.

The high costs in Trengganu were not merely because of Proton poor quality, there must be some element of hanky-panky, those individuals in charge of sending the cars for service and maintenance must be in cahoots with the dealers.

Federal and all state departments should also stop buying Proton cars to send a clear message to those in Proton to pull up their socks to improve the quality of their cars.Those guys are resting on their laurels and are quite happy to produce crappy machines.

If Proton wish to continue producing low quality cars and expect to sell well I suggest they send their marketing boys to Harley-Davidson to learn all about marketing hype.How to sell crappy machines at premium prices.

Harley-Davidson image marketing was so good it managed to fool the whole world big bike lovers to buy their crappy over-sized and under-powered machines at mind-boggling prices.It's an image that comes with a big noise of broken tail pipe,masochistic apparels,swollen balls and wannabe Hells Angels. Exhibitionist of the first order on glorified two-wheelers.

Real bike enthusiasts don't buy Harley, they buy other high-end bikes, Japanese or European.

Harley recently bought over M.V.Augusta, one of the finest and highly regarded high-end bike manufacturers dumped by those myopic men in dark suits at Proton a year ago.

Let's hope Harley don't introduce their crappy engineering to those superb machines.

Lastly, the purchase of those Mercedes Benz cars by Trengganu is now a fait accompli and the Prime Minister, if he can't remove the MB, should let it be and allow those cars to be used by the assemblymen.

Sometimes, favours don't come free, you have to buy them.Maybe, the Menteri Besar of Trengganu should enlighten the Prime Minister why he was so generous to the councillars even in time of economic downturn when government should be tightening its belt.

One thing for sure, he knows the Prime Minister can't remove him, he was appointed by the Sultan.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Virgins from the Philipines at Labuan

Virgins from the Philippines at Labuan

Joe Fernandez | Jun 10, 08 4:07pm

All the banks have only one desk in Labuan
which is touted as an International Offshore
Financial Centre (IOFC). No work is
done in Labuan. All the work is done
in KL and elsewhere. Labuan is just
used as an IOFC address.


IOFC is just a big scam to hoodwink
the country and the world.

If you go to Labuan, you will find no
development taking place despite the
newspaper articles written by journalists
in KL. The place is a lot cleaner than it was
many years ago, well landscaped, but that's
about it. The Labuan International Seasports
Centre etc etc, marina and similar developments
are all white elephants sitting in the
sun in eerie silence.

The new international airport is very quiet.
Two AirAsia flights a day from Labuan to KL.
Some other MAS flights, all rip-offs. There
are quite a number of international hotels
and cheaper hotels.

I told the Labuan Malaysian Airports
Berhad chap that I like Labuan Airport because
every time I am there, I have almost the
whole place to myself. Keep it that way,
I told them. It's like being in heaven.
Try the nasi lemak at the only restaurant
at the airport. Booze and chocolates are
cheap (buy in town) because of the free
port status and taxi drivers don't cheat.
Nothing else is cheap. But prices are not
higher than elsewhere.

I am happy for Labuan. No development.
I am anti-development. No crowds.
I am anti-crowds. The people and the
territory somehow manage, despite the
politicians. Now, the big thing is nightclubs
with virgins from the Philippines.
They have been mushrooming.

I think the patrons come from the offshore
oil rigs, Brunei, Miri and Kota Kinabalu (KK).
If you can get a zero airfare AirAsia flight to
Labuan from KL, try to visit the nightclubs.
I haven't been there myself because I don't
patronise such places. That doesn't mean
I am against people who patronise such places.

Labuan is a great place to retire. You have
direct flights to KL, KK, Bunei and Miri.
From KK, you can get direct flights to
many places in East Asia and Australia.
Labuan to KK is only 20 minutes by flight.

Better don't take MAS because it's a rip-off.
Take the ferry and bring your laptop and
some books along. Only RM36 first class to
KK but it takes three hours. Good chance
to catch up on many things. There's an
Atur system on board for telephone calls.

Don’t die without visiting Labuan and
seeing for yourself.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Another Piece Of Artistic Nudity

Brooke Burke, host of 'Wild On' in her classic nudity pose with a guy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dr M:Blame the'Sultan' and the Kid

Dr M: Blame the 'Sultan' and the Kid
Syed Jaymal Zahiid | Apr 1, 08 6:07pm

Umno was thrashed in the general election because of poor selection of candidates by ‘Sultan’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and ‘Kid’ Khairy Jamaluddin - so claimed former party boss Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

mahathir khir toyo kmu forum 010408 05In full cry this morning in Petaling Jaya, Mahathir amused some 1,000 party supporters with his caustic wit as he expanded on a pet theory - how Umno has been turned into a “family party” where power is concentrated in the hands of Abdullah and his son-in-law.

The event was organised by pro-Mahathir Umno supporters’ group MyKMU.Net, as a post-election forum.

The three-hour session first featured three speakers - former Umno Selangor chief Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, Umno Youth executive committee member Mukhriz Mahathir and Johor Umno information chief Dr Mohd Fuad Zarkashi - who analysed why the party had done badly in the March 8 polls.

mahathir khir toyo kmu forum 010408 07Mahathir, who took the podium alone at the end, kept his audience captivated for about 30 minutes with his delivery entirely in Bahasa Malaysia.

“Of course, everyone knows that the list of candidates is chosen and submitted to 'Sultan' Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) by state leaders but once it reached to the party president, somebody else takes over,” he said.

abdullah ahmad badawi and barisan nasional bn manifesto election 2008“There is somebody in the ‘next office’ that has a say when choosing the candidates. This led to better and capable Umno candidates being dropped to make way for candidates that ended up losing.”

Saying that this nexus is destroying Umno, Mahathir told his audience with trademark sarcasm: “But this is just a rumour, don’t listen to my bad mouth!”

khairy jamaluddin interview 011107 assuresTo thunderous applause, he continued the verbal offensive against Khairy (right), painting him as a power-broker in Umno and a significant influence on Abdullah’s every decision in politics and economics.

“The baffling thing is why Umno leaders so afraid of this kid. The ministers should have no problem to tenyeh (smash) this kid, but it seems that they are too afraid and I don’t know why,” Mahathir said.

Abdullah ‘shameless’

Predictably, Abdullah was pulled into the tirade for his weak leadership of the party and country.

“Crises in Umno are normal. When leaders at the time of each crisis could not handle it well, for the sake of the party, they resigned. This particular leader, however, has refused to do so.

“This leader is the country’s only prime minister to ever come from an opposition state (Penang)...,” said Mahathir.

Loud laughter prompted him to pause before he completed his statement to more laughter: “When I was prime minister, the state I come from (Kedah) belonged to BN. Has he (Abdullah) no shame?”

Mahathir said he believes that Abdullah has no option but to step down in order to save Umno from further humiliation and destruction.

ku li tengku razaleigh and umno agm 241106In this respect, he expressed support for Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to be held immediately.

“Umno must conduct an immediate review of the party’s poor performance. The EGM must also discuss the possibility of amending the party constitution,” Mahathir said, explaining that this would enable other leaders to mount a serious challenge for the top post.

umno party post polls quotaUmno rules stipulate that any candidate who wants to contest for the presidency must obtain 30 percent of the nominations (currently, 58 of the 193 divisions). The rule was introduced during Mahathir’s tenure “to ensure that only serious candidates” offer their candidacy.

However, he is now of the view that “times have changed” and that abolition of the quota system would not be detrimental to the party in any way.

“In my time, if anybody wanted to challenge me it was permissible to do so as long as (they had) sufficient support. I never stopped anybody from challenging me,” he said.

“But now the quota system has been abused to quell any challenges to the presidency post and this is not right. It must be changed.”

He also fielded questions at the end of his presentation, including:

Do you think that Najib Abdul Razak is still capable of becoming a good successor now that he seemed to be Pak Lah’s ‘yes’ man?

Mahathir: We cannot be exact any more about anything. That is why we need to amend the party constitution so that more capable candidates can challenge if the leadership is seen to be weak.

What is your reply to Zam (former information minister Zainuddin Maidin) who blamed you as a factor for BN’s poor performance in the polls?

(With a smirk) Yes, I admit this. I don’t want to be seen as supporting a weak leader. I will never support a weak leader. BN people voted against BN because of the party’s weak leadership so I don’t mind being blamed for it.

Later, when asked if he would lead a movement to reform Umno, he asked for stronger support for the suggestion, saying “we have to fight together”.

There was no doubt of his popularity in this quarter of the party. As he was escorted to his car, it was to shouts of Hidup Mahathir!


PM has 'no shame' for refusing to quit

PM has 'no shame' for refusing to quit
Apr 1, 08 5:14pm

Veteran ex-leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched his strongest ever attack against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today, and again called for his resignation following disastrous election results.

Abdullah, also president Umno, is facing increasing calls to quit from party leaders.

"I ask (Abdullah) to resign," the former prime minister, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years, told a gathering of at least 1,000 Umno members.

The focus of the meeting was to analyse the March 8 election results but it turned out to be a platform to demand Abdullah's resignation.

Umno members criticised Abdullah and the alleged influence son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin, who is a deputy leader of the powerful Umno youth wing, has over him in decision-making.

"Anyone else would have already resigned but (Abdullah) has no shame," Mahathir, who hand-picked Abdullah to succeed him in October 2003, told a cheering crowd.

Dr M: Stand by my side

Mahathir said Abdullah had ignored the will of the people, while the veteran's son, Mukhriz, a lawmaker, echoed the call for Abdullah to go.

"To bring about (reform), the top leadership has to be held responsible. The prime minister must gracefully withdraw," Mukhriz said.

He urged Umno members to speak out and not be intimidated.

"Be brave, if you love your country and speak out," he said. "We have been told to keep quiet but I ask you now to stand by my side."

Abdullah, 68, has claimed a mandate to rule despite unprecedented election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time.

Senior lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had said he would challenge Abdullah's leadership if he received enough support.


Dr M having second thoughts on Najib l 10 min
If you love your country, be brave: Mahathir
l 9 min
Mukhriz: Something's wrong with Pak Lah l 7 min


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mysterious Mengalum Anchor

The Mysterious Mengalum Anchor

The mysterious Mengalum Anchor is located in Mengalum Island about four hours boat ride from Kota Kinabalu is a mystery, that is no one knows how and when it came to be lying on the island. It appears that its earliest recorded existance was by Captain Edward Belcher in H.M.S. Saracen's log in 1854. The wrought iron anchor is however believed to be a Richard Pering improved anchor or Admiralty (British) anchor, manufactured from ca. 1819 to 1845. Local reports of the anchor, as early as 1931 described it as a "keramat"; it is venerated by fisherfolk who assumed its supernatural powers and which cannot be removed from the island. Therefore, it is not unsual to see offering of rice, tobacco, eggs and other foods placed on the anchor.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ahmad to start work as MB tomorrow

Ahmad to start work as MB tomorrow
Mar 24, 08 4:46pm

Kijal state representative Ahmad Said, who has been appointed

by the Terengganu sultan as mentri besar against the wish
of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will start work tomorrow.

terengganu and ahmad said and umnoAt a massive gathering at his
house in Teluk Kalong, Kemaman,
late this afternoon, Ahmad told his supporters that he would assume the post tomorrow.

Eyewitnesses say that several
hundred people had gathered to hear Ahmad speak.

“I never dreamt of being the menteri besar of Terengganu,”
he told his supporters.

“I will work hard,” he said, adding that he would be
“going to office tomorrow”.

However, it is still unclear when Ahmad would be
sworn in as MB.

Earlier today, he had an audience with Sultan Mizan
Zainal Abidin - who is also serving as the Agung -
in Kuala Lumpur.

On his way back to Terengganu, he was escorted by a
strong crowd of 2,000 from the Pahang border to his
house - a 10-kilometer long journey.

It is also learnt that he has managed to convince 13
out of the 22 BN state representatives to back him for the post.

Meanwhile, opposition party PAS today fully supported the
move by the Terengganu palace to appoint Ahmad as MB.

Hadi Awang: Respect palace's decision

hadi awang 010807Party president Abdul Hadi Awang said he believed the
decision by the palace was in accordance with the real wishes of the people of Terengganu.

“We are confident that the palace’s decision to appoint Ahmad
was based in the dissatisfaction of the palace and the people
of Terengganu against the former menteri besar,” he said in a
statement today.

He added that the people of Terengganu would definitely
understand and accept the appointment of Ahmad as it was
them who had to “suffer in the hands of the previous person’s ineffectiveness”.

“We urge the people of Terengganu to respect the wishes
of the palace for the sake of stability and prosperity in the
state,” he added.

The state of Terengganu is presently in a
constitutional turmoil following the appointment
of the palace-backed Ahmad over the previous menteri
besar Idris Jusoh, who has the support of Prime Minister
Abdullah and the 22 BN state representatives in the state.

In the general election, Idris-led BN retained the retained
the state comfortably by winning 24 out of 32 state seats.
PAS won the rest. He was then given the assurance by
the prime minister that he would be reappointed
as the menteri besar.

However, the sultan is not in favour of Idris and has chosen
Ahmad to lead the state. Ahmad is believed to have the
support of the grassroots Umno members and leaders.

PKR: Don’t be provocative

Ahmad, also the Kemaman Umno division chief, received
his appointment letter from the Regency Advisory
Council yesterday morning, almost at the same time
when the 22 BN state representatives submitted
a protest letter to the palace against the appointment
of Ahmad.

Idris and the 22 state representatives also met up
with Abdullah last night to discuss the matter.

Umno too has decided to take action against Ahmad
for disobeying the party line in accepting the palace’s
appointment. He is expected to be sacked the moment
he participates in the swearing-in ceremony,
to be held on Wednesday.

Ahmad however is confident that he has the necessary
support of the state representatives to form a state
government. He has asked for two to three days to
name his exco line-up.

Meanwhile PKR Terengganu today expressed its
disappointment in the crisis over the appointment
of the menteri besar.

The opposition party also urged Umno to respect the
wishes of the palace in the appointment of Ahmad.

“Even if they disagree to that appointment, they
should not be issuing provocative or insulting
statements against the palace,” said the state PKR
secretary Razali Alias in a statement today.

He added that all Terengganu citizens must firmly
stand behind the decision made by the sultan,
who is also the present agong.


Monday, March 24, 2008

MB crisis deepens in Terengganu

MB crisis deepens in Terengganu
K Kabilan | Mar 23, 08 10:45am

Kijal assemblyperson Ahmad Said this morning officially received his appointment letter as the Terengganu menteri besar but a constitutional crisis looms as he was sacked from Umno.

The head of the Regency Advisory Council Raja Tengku Baderulzaman gave Ahmad his appointment letter in a ceremony at Istana Terengganu at 8.30am today. None of the other 22 BN state representatives were present at the ceremony.

ahmad said terengganu 230308However, Ahmad (left) has not been sworn-in yet with the palace expected to fix Wednesday for that ceremony.

According to observers the swearing-in ceremony now looks remote after Umno earlier today sacked Ahmad from the party for disobeying party leadership.

The state’s party leadership decided at a meeting last night to strip Ahmad of his membership after he defied the party leadership by agreeing to take up the post.

Umno president and prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had backed former menteri besar Idris Jusoh to retain the menteri besar post. Idris also had the support of all the 22 BN assemblypersons, excluding Ahmad.

A fallout with the sultan

However Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu - who is also the present king - preferred Ahmad to take over as the state’s menteri besar. Idris is believed to have had a fallout with the sultan over several issues.

It is learnt that Ahmad also had the support of the grassroots Umno leaders and members. Sources say that he had the support of seven out of eight Umno divisions in Terengganu.

Yesterday the sultan’s office announced that Ahmad, also the Kemaman Umno division chief, would be the new menteri besar, finally putting to an end to a 14-day wait for a person to be named for the post. Terengganu was the only state not to have a menteri besar after the March 8 polls.

idris jusoh and terengganuIn the general election, Idris-led BN retained the retained the state comfortably by winning 24 out of 32 state seats. PAS won the rest.

Immediately after the palace’s announcement, the state Umno went into a frenzy as it has been rooting for the re-appointment of Idris, who is also the state Umno chief.

Twenty-two BN state representatives immediately announced that they were boycotting the swearing-in ceremony today to object to the appointment of Ahmad.

Federal Umno leadership also issued a warning to Ahmad not to accept the post, threatening to sack him from the party. That threat materialised last night when the state Umno leadership decided to act against the maverick assemblyperson.

Also this morning, state Umno secretary Rosol Wahid handed over to a palace official a letter signed by the 22 Umno assemblypersons protesting Ahmad’s appointment. The letter also insisted that Idris should be sworn in as the rightful menteri besar.

A snap poll soon?

Constitution expert Prof Abdul Aziz Bari pointed out that under the present situation, it would be difficult for the party-less Ahmad to assume the post.

He said that even if Ahmad is sworn-in, the BN state representatives can call for a vote of no confidence against him.

“In such circumstance, the sultan would then have to name another person who enjoys the support of the majority of the elected representatives or call for a snap state election,” he said.

He said that there was also another precedent to this in Malaysia, going back to the situation in Kelantan in 1977.

“In Kelantan, the PAS assemblypersons - the majority in the house - passed a motion of no confidence against their own menteri besar Mohamed Nasir.

“As it happened however he refused to resign and this gave the federal government an opportunity to declare emergency on the state and eventually called a snap election - and won the state - in 1978,” he added.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another BN MP ready to jump ship?

Another BN MP ready to jump ship?
Tony Thien | Mar 21, 08 1:12pm

BN-SPDP's Mas Gading MP Dr Tiki Lafe, dropped from his deputy minister’s post, has neither denied nor confirmed speculations that he is quitting his party to join the opposition when contacted today.

Dr. Tiki LafeAsked on the rumours over the phone this morning, the Bidayuh 'ear, nose and throat' specialist-turned-politician would only say, "I am on holiday with my family."

Pressed further on the matter, he added, "I am not saying anything."

Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), one of four components in the Sarawak BN, has four MPs, including Tiki who was not re-appointed deputy minister on Tuesday.

Instead, the party has two new faces as deputy ministers - Jelaing Mersat, an Iban and Saratok MP, and Jacob Sagan, a Kenyah and Baram MP.

Tiki first contested Mas Gading in the 1999 general election, defeating incumbent and State Reform Party (Star) president Dr Patau Rubis.

Immediately after his victory, Tiki’s then party, Snap, nominated him to replace party veteran Peter Tinggom as deputy minister in the federal cabinet.

When SPDP was formed following the Snap crisis in 2002, Tiki joined the new party and continued as deputy minister in Kuala Lumpur after the 2004 general election.

In the May 8 polls, Tiki defeated Patau and two other independents to win Mas Gading for the third time.

Interestingly, it is learnt that there was a lot of lobbying within SPDP for Tiki to be replaced as candidate for the just-concluded election but last-minute intervention from a third party saw his name back on the candidate’s list.

Meanwhile, Tiki is said to have replied to a Sarawak journalist via SMS today that ‘I am still in KL and due to leave for overseas later."

Richard changes his mind

In another development BN-SUPP's Serian MP Richard Riot, who was reported to have quit his party yesterday, has a change of mind today - he has decided to stay.

richard riot supp bn 200308However, the denial did not come from him directly.

Supp publicity chief Alfred Yap said in a press statement after meeting Serian Supp branch leaders this afternoon that party president Dr George Chan has spoken to Richard today, adding that the MP was upset by newspaper reports about him quitting the party.

Yap said Richard pledged full support for Supp and loyalty to the BN under the leadership of the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He added that the MP, who is a party's vice-president, is now in Kuala Lumpur to meet Abdullah to clarify his position.

Yap did not say when Richard would be returning to Kuching or when he would issue a statement to the media.

Attempts by Malaysiakini to contact him on his mobile today were unsuccessful.


T'ganu Umno rejects Ku Li's offer

T'ganu Umno rejects Ku Li's offer
Mar 21, 08 2:43pm

Veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s offer to take over the party presidency today received a massive blow when the party leadership in Terengganu refused to back him.

idris jusoh and terengganuTerengganu Umno state chief Idris Jusoh said that there was no need for a change of leadership in Umno as the present leaders were capable of helming the party and country.

“Let us wait for the Umno general assembly. I believe that with the confidence placed in the prime minister by his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, there will be no tussle for power in Umno," Idris told reporters after a function in Marang, Terengganu.

He said he believed that the next Umno general assembly - to be held in June - would endorse Abdullah's leadership.

He also said that Terengganu Umno would continue to back the prime minister.

Idris, the menteri besar before the state assembly was dissolved for the recently held general election, said that though the BN was only eight seats short of a two-thirds majority in the Parliament, the people nevertheless had given their mandate to the coalition and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"The cabinet line-up named by Pak Lah (Abdullah) is cohesive and he has laid out a good plan of action (to restore the people's confidence in BN) and I do not see why we need any change,” he said.

Calling for EGM

umno 2007 tengku razaleigh ku li 081107Earlier this week, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh said he was willing to take over the leadership of the party in order to heal the party in the face of its disastrous defeat in the polls.

"Haven't Umno members realised we've lost five states? Are they still sleeping?" asked the 71-year-old former finance minister.

His Gua Musang division would be holding a special meeting on April 4 to discuss the party and BN's showing in the general election.

Tengku Razaleigh, a Kelantan prince, is also calling for a special Umno general assembly on May 11, when the party celebrates its anniversary, to discuss Umno's showing in the recent polls.

Under the party's constitution, at least 50 per cent of Umno's divisions must agree to such an assembly before it can be called.

Idris’ own position to retain his menteri besar post is still unclear even though it has been 13 days since the election.

It is believed that while he enjoys the support of the BN state representatives, the Sultan of Terengganu is however rooting for another candidate.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anwar says BN MPs mull defection

Anwar says BN MPs mull defection
Mar 17, 08 7:01pm

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today said he had held talks with a number of ruling coalition members of parliament interested in defecting after this month's landmark elections.

Anwar, a former deputy premier who was sacked and jailed a decade ago, helms a three-party alliance that made unprecedented gains in March 8 polls against the Barisan Nasional coalition which has ruled for half a century.

anwar ibrahim vk lingam hearing pc 290108 talking"People have come and approached me," Anwar said, adding that he had spoken with "quite a number" and told them their support would not be bought.

"If you want to surrender at a price, then you have chosen the wrong party," he told reporters, adding that they would be welcomed "if they accept our agenda".

Anwar confirmed he was canvassing support from coalition lawmakers in East Malaysia, which represents a power bloc that could unseat the government if it changed hands.

Barisan Nasional will have 140 lawmakers in the new 222-seat parliament, against 199 in the outgoing 219-seat parliament. The opposition alliance claimed 82 seats from just 20 previously, and four more states.

The opposition was today sworn into power in the last of the five states it now controls, including Kelantan which was already held by the Islamic party PAS, while Barisan Nasional was still trying to resolve its power struggles.

Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS was installed as chief minister in Perak, ending a public squabble among the three opposition parties who will rule there in coalition.

Fighting for political life

Abdullah is fighting for his own political life as he fends off calls for his resignation to take responsibility for the election debacle.

The premier has rejected the pressure to quit, and pushed ahead with the formation of his new administration, with a new slimline cabinet expected to be unveiled tomorrow.

abdullah ahmad badawi election annoucement 130208 talkingAbdullah has promised "new faces" and observers said the line-up will indicate his appetite for reform after the polls, which have transformed Malaysia's political landscape.

The previous cabinet had a whopping 32 ministers, 39 deputy ministers and 20 parliamentary secretaries, with jobs handed out to many of the 14 race-based parties that make up the coalition.

The large cabinet had been criticised as unwieldy and wasteful, and there is speculation that some ministries could be merged in line with the smaller Barisan Nasional representation in parliament.