Another wasteful trip for second space tourist?

Why the need for a second astronaut programme now?

QUICK TAKE: Timing and priority is never our government’s forte.

Here’s an example to prove this point – the government intends to send a second astronaut to the International Space Station to conduct scientific research by next year-end.

According to Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, a proposal to that effect would be submitted to the government soon.

“We are currently working out the details through meetings, discussions and consultations with scientists and academics.

“We need to justify what the second programme is, based on the success of the first astronaut programme. So, it means that the mission should be different,” he said.

According to Abu Bakar, the second mission would also be fully funded by the Malaysian Government, unlike the first one, which was offset by the Russian Government.

Wow, what an ill-timed announcement.

The average Malaysian is struggling to get by every day amid the smothering cost of living, and the continuous taxes imposed by the government.

The prices of everything – from food items to toll, petrol, and public transportation fees, are increasing, and the rakyat – some of whom are already being retrenched by their employers in the poor performing economy, are made to shoulder the burden.

The government itself is not doing any better.

The ringgit is a constant poor performer, our reserves are at an all-time low, and the administration is being plagued by myriad scandals involving billions of ringgit.

Why the heck do we need to send another man, or woman, into space, now?

What the heck has the first astronaut programme back in 2007, achieved?

The programme, partly offset by our purchase of Sukhoi jets from the Russians, cost more than RM100 million.

How much is this second programme going to cost, since it is going to be fully borne by taxpayers?

Did the government ever make public the “achievements” of our first astronaut, Sheik Muszaphar Shukor, while in space?

One can remember that he successfully proved that rendang can be consumed in space, but that’s about it.

What are we going to prove next?

That you can make teh tarik and roti canai in space, while flying the Jalur Gemilang?

8 Nov 2015 – Ant Daily
Why the need for a second astronaut programme now?


No honour, accountability or pride. Only self-preservation.

Dr M: Poor Malaysia. No honour, accountability or pride.

Eight prominent people, including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, told the media on Wednesday that “the country was not facing a financial crisis”.

KUALA LUMPUR: If everything is fine in Malaysia, as the newspapers reported on Wednesday, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wants to know why there’s a need to arrest people for “sabotaging” the banking and financial systems in the country. “If they have sabotaged the banking and financial systems in Malaysia, surely they would not be fine,” he pointed out in his latest blog posting. “They would be dysfunctional.”

He was commenting on eight prominent people, including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, telling the media on Wednesday that “the country was not facing a financial crisis and it’s not going to go into financial crisis”.

But is it true that everything is hunky-dory, that everything is fine? asked Mahathir. “It can’t be!”

“The banks and the financial system may be fine, but there are other indicators to show that the economy was not fine.”

The ringgit was down at USD1 to RM4.30, he reminded the “optimists”. “That’s a big drop in value and it’s bound to affect the import business and loans in USD.”

He noted that the stock market was also down with a big loss in market capitalization. “Again this would not be good for the economy.”

The economic growth is lagging behind those of Indonesia and the Philippines, he pointed out. “This is not normal. We use to leave them far behind us.”

Everyone complains of increases in the cost of living, said Mahathir. “The toll rates are up, rice prices are up, there’s GST, cost of production and services, transport, wages for servants, unemployment of graduates etc. etc are all high, reducing the purchasing power of everyone.”

There is a loss of confidence in the government precipitated by the 1MDB scandal, he continued. “There’s an inability to service debts, even as there’s disappearance of money, and cash turns up in the private accounts of the Prime Minister and subsequently disappears, there’s an inability to explain USD100 million, the Budget 2016 monetary gifts, shrinking national resources, the questionable use of EPF monies and KWAP funds, and hardly any Foreign Direct Investments.:”

So, all cannot be well, stressed Mahathir. “Who is responsible? “

“It cannot be some nonentity!”

It must be the people who manage the economy, who manage the country, the people with power and influence and whose words and deeds can affect the economy, said Mahathir.

In many countries, he said, leaders resign when they fail, when their policies fail, when their cures fail. “They also resign when some catastrophe assails their country, recent examples being Australia and Romania.”

“Of course, they also resign when they do badly in elections.”

However, that doesn’t happen in Malaysia. They find other reasons, find scapegoats, and blame the climate or whatever. “Poor Malaysia,” said Mahathir. “No honour. No accountability. No pride. There’s only self-preservation.”

Dr M: Poor Malaysia. No honour, accountability or pride.
November 6, 2015 – FMT


‘Wake up early to avoid toll’ advice is idiocy at its best

QUICK TAKE: If I had a ringgit every time a politician spouted nonsense in light of complaints by the rakyat on price hikes, I would be a millionaire.

Just when we were thinking we have heard it all, comes along Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan to prove us wrong.

Rahman wants those with issues paying increased toll rates to wake up earlier to get to work, so that they can use alternative toll-free routes.

News reports quoted him as saying that “wherever there are tolls, there are alternative routes. So you can just avoid tolls, just that you would have to brave traffic.

“It’s about trading off,” Rahman told reporters recently.

According to him, the government had no choice but to let concessionaires raise the rates as there has not been an increase for some time.

Wow, what an ingenious plan from a genius of a minister.

Rahman’s gem is the latest to join statements spouted by his former and current Cabinet colleagues, most of which are worthy to be listed on the “hall of shame.”

We have had heard things like “plant your own vegetables” if you can’t cope with the hike in vegetable prices. Also, “don’t eat chicken if you can’t afford it.”

We have also heard stuff like “go live on the moon” if you are unhappy with the government.”

It is always the people, the very voters who put these insensitive politicians in office, who are forced to bear the brunt of price hikes, and then “advised” to take ridiculous measures to cope.

It is never about the government understanding the rakyat’s plight and not imposing price hikes and smothering taxes.

05 Nov 2015 – Ant Daily
‘Wake up early to avoid toll’ advice is idiocy at its best


Malaysian government a sick joke

COMMENT | While Malaysia is embroiled in controversy over 1MDB, the tiny Pacific nation of Vanuatu is showing the world it is walking the talk against corruption with a dramatic judicial blow to its corrupt political leaders.

It is in stark contrast in terms of concrete results to what is taking place in Malaysia. It begs the question, ‘How serious is Malaysia in tackling its problem of endemic and high-level corruption?’

When instead a government cracks down on whistleblowers and civil activists and clamps down on opposition politicians who are often the vanguard in the war on corruption – it is indeed baffling – and raises the criticisms and suspicions there is something to hide and someone to protect.

It is a criminal act against the rule of law and an abuse of power to punish those who expose corruption. It turns law enforcement upside down and results in legal anarchy.

The charging of Bersih 4 leader Maria Chin Abdullah is an illustration of the problem. The innocent become political victims when lawful acts of patriotism are deemed crimes when they are spuriously charged with various offences and double standards are applied.

Allegations of wrongdoings rot the fish from tail to head and leave an odious stench in a country’s governance. Unresolved and unconvicted cases of flagrant corruption weaken a country’s administration and give rise to more incidences of corruption.

Yet in Malaysia convictions of big fish despite a boost in anti -corruption government funding are rare. The recent jailing of former Selangor menteri besar Khir Toyo for corruption is proof there are corrupt activities at the top, something that is public knowledge. But so far while high profile former government leaders are sometimes charged, convictions are rare.

Thus in the Malaysian ‘political soap opera’, the incumbent government grapples with its receding credibility and PM Najib Abdul Razak, the star attraction in the 1MDB drama desperately clings to power while his former boss, Dr Mahathir Mohamad tries equally hard to unstage him and constantly harps on his wrongdoings, with justifiable reasons.

If the government is sincere in its political rhetoric against corruption it must prove beyond doubt that no one is above the law and that it will turn on its own to either convict or clear a leader from the taint of wrongdoings.

That has been the Vanuatu lesson to the world, and importantly and relevantly, Malaysia. But that may be a hard ask in Malaysia unless you have a leader of the calibre of Singapore’s late Lee Kuan Yew, who would tolerate no hint of corruption in his government.

Malaysia’s record in its efforts to stem corruption is unimpressive.

Malaysian government a sick joke
5/11/15 – malaysiakini


20 Umno branches call for Najib’s resignation

Branch heads say it is the only way to save the party from further ruin.

KAJANG: Around 20 Umno branches in Sepang have called for Najib Razak to resign as prime minister and party president due to their loss of confidence in his leadership.

They said they had made the call due to Najib’s failure in addressing national issues, specifically that of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

They also urged that the prime minister be replaced by the current Umno deputy president according to seniority, or for party elections to be held instead.

“The 1MDB issue has turned cancerous and weakened Umno, and if it is left to fester, it will debilitate Umno which is already susceptible to the Opposition’s slander. 1MDB has turned into something that can be used to topple the party.

“This is disappointing, we do not want Umno to be turned into Najib’s private party. We hope the issue can be resolved before Umno is rejected in the future,” said its spokesperson Rushdan Mohamed, who is also the Rista Villa Perdana branch head.

Among the branches present during the press conference yesterday were Kampung Meranti, Rista Villa Perdana, Admiral, Taman Desa Dengkil, Dengkil Pekan, Pinggiran Cyber, Kampung Sungai Rasau, Kampung Limau Manis, Semarang, Boundry Permai, while other branches were also present, but did not agree with the resignation call.

Rushdan explained further that as Malaysians, they were embarrassed to have a prime minister who had become the target of ridicule by the international community.

He said that if Najib refused to resign, Umno and Barisan Nasional would lose more Malay votes in the next general election.

20 Umno branches call for Najib’s resignation
November 18, 2015 – FMT


UN body calls for Anwar’s immediate release

Anwar’s imprisonment ‘arbitrary’, says UN body

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 – A UN body has determined that former Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been jailed illegally and called for his immediate release, according to a copy of the opinion released today by his family.

Anwar, 68, was jailed in February for five years after earlier being convicted for sodomising a former male aide. He denies the charge, calling it a frame-up by Malaysia’s long-ruling government to halt recent opposition political gains.

The opinion by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Anwar’s imprisonment was “arbitrary”, that he was denied a fair trial, and was jailed for political reasons.

“The Working Group considers that the adequate remedy would be to release Mr. Ibrahim immediately, and ensure that his political rights that were removed based on his arbitrary detention be reinstated,” said the opinion, dated September 15.

It also said Anwar’s treatment in prison violates international prohibitions against “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Anwar’s family has complained that he is being held in a filthy cell with only a thin foam mattress despite chronic back trouble, and has been denied adequate medical care for a host of ailments include erratic blood pressure and a shoulder ailment.

“I am deeply grateful that the United Nations has called for Anwar’s release,” said Nurul Izzah Anwar, the former opposition leader’s daughter and a member of parliament.

“Its strong stance in solidarity with my father sends a clear and unequivocal message to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and ensures that the sharp decline in human rights under his administration will not go unnoticed.”
Anwar’s imprisonment ‘arbitrary’, says UN body
November 2, 2015 – MMO


The ‘cari makan’ PAC Chairman

Kit Siang: ‘Cari makan’ Hasan not fit for PAC

The PAC Chairman should have acted with honesty and honour and admit his mistake and take the medicine for such parliamentary breach of privilege.

KUALA LUMPUR: Suspended Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang said that he had viewed the video recording of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Hasan Arifin’s “saya pun cari makan” (I am also earning a living) press conference remark and there was no doubt that he was not telling the truth (when he said that he was looking for food and/or joking). “He made the remark 14 minutes into his 18-minute long press conference.”

“The media was only invited to lunch at the beginning and towards the tail-end of the press conference. Hasan also did not state that his remark (cari makan) was off the record.”

Hasan should have acted with honesty and honour as expected of a PAC Chairman, added Lim, and admit his mistake and take the medicine for such parliamentary breach of privilege. “Instead, he’s trying to equivocate, quibble or weasel out of a bad situation of his own creation.”

As the PAC would want all witnesses appearing before it to “speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”, how can the PAC have a Chairman who has the reputation of being the very opposite of such high standards of honesty and integrity? asked Lim. “The last thing MPs and Malaysians want from their PAC members was for them to have the ‘cari makan’ mentality and mind-set in discharging their duties.”

Lim, who was also DAP Parliamentary Leader, was wondering on Hasan’s reason for his shocking stand that PAC was not calling the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to appear before the PAC on its hearings on the 1MDB scandal. “Let him explain the rationale for not calling Najib.”

Najib is the only person in the world who knows the ins-and-outs of the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals, added Lim. “Arul Kanda Kandasamy was only the latest highly-paid ‘operative’ to join the ‘revolving-door’ teams of 1MDB operatives in the past six years to be the company’s ‘public face’.”

Hasan also made the startling statement that Najib’s “donation” scandal was not related to 1MDB, and he quoted as authority the Auditor-General’s Interim Report on the company which was submitted to the PAC in July, continued Lim.

The first thing the PAC Chairman should do was to table the Auditor-General’s Interim Report on 1MDB in Parliament so that all MPs can know whether he was right in reaching the conclusion that the twin mega scandals are two “entirely different subjects”, argued Lim.

Was Hasan right that the Auditor-General in his Interim Report on 1MDB had reached the conclusion that Najib’s “donation” and the 1MDB scandal are two “entirely different subjects” or did he misread the Auditor-General’s Interim Report?

He recalled that Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah had admitted when he was appointed the Cabinet spokesman on 1MDB in the middle of the year that Najib, as the Prime Minister, was the final approving authority for all the company’s deals, investments and transactions and that his written approval was needed for any financial deal undertaken by it.

Kit Siang: ‘Cari makan’ Hasan not fit for PAC
November 19, 2015 – FMT

Where have 2.6 stars gone?
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?
Real Poverty Rate in
Malaysia: 22.6%     ...more


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