Archive for December, 2011


Will BN win the 13th GE?

It certainly has the edge but the big question is why is Najib running scared of calling for the polls.


Yes, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is too afraid of holding the 13th general election. He is afraid that BN will not win, and in reality he has no confidence of winning.

Otherwise, why would he not immediately call for the polls to be held the moment after he had presented the Budget on Oct 7, 2011?

After all, it is blindingly obvious that the civil service, the national institutions, the rural folk and those in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak are supporting him. With this so-called overwhelming support, it is indeed amazing that he still lacks the courage to call for the general election.

In addition to that, he has also thrown in the RM500 aid as bait. However, the RM500 is no big deal as it is only a one-off. Even if he were to give this sum every five years, it only amounts to RM100 a year. And that is equivalent to RM8.45 a month – peanuts and pittance! Is Najib trying to make monkeys out of the rakyat?

Be that as it may, here is a brief guide highlighting the unique features on the scenario in all the states in Malaysia:

Will BN win the 13th GE?
December 31, 2011 – FMT


Towards a bankrupt Malaysia?

(courtesy Aliran)

That the budget that was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on 7 October 2011 was an election budget is very clear. There have been numerous detailed comments on the budget by politicians and analysts (since then). In this article, we are just going to focus on one of the long term issues from the budget. It concerns the increasing debt burden of the federal government.

How big is the government debt?

The accompanying chart shows the federal government’s outstanding debt at the end of the successive years. As can be seen, the debt has been increasing since 1970. From the detailed data available form Bank Negara’s website, in 1991, it reached a temporary peak of RM99bn and then decreased to RM90bn by 1997. From then, it has been virtually doubling every five years. By the end of 2011, we can expect the figure to reach RM450bn.

In other words, since the Asian crisis of 1998, we have been growing by borrowing heavily. In the 10 years since 1999, our debt has quadrupled. If we continue on this path, by 2020, our national debt will reach RM1.6 trillion. If our population is 40 million then, each Malaysian will have a debt burden of more than RM40000 and this does not include our own personal borrowing. Assuming an interest rate of 5 per cent, paying the interest alone will cost the taxpayers RM80bn per year!

The government has been reassuring us by saying that our debt is manageable. It argues that the debt at the end of 2012 will be only 54 per cent of our GDP, which is relatively low compared to the current crisis nations like Greece and Italy. (GDP is a measure of the total value of all the goods and services produced in a year in the country.) While it may not reach the levels of Greece by 2012, at our current rate of borrowing it won’t take long before we become another Greece. Just to put this in perspective, our giant neighbour, Indonesia has a debt of only 23 per cent of GDP! Singapore has no debts.

The federal government debt alone does not tell the full story. Many government-owned enterprises also have borrowings. If these figures are included, then the total debt would be much higher. It is difficult to get the complete data on these borrowings.

Why has the debt been growing so rapidly?

Since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, the government expenditure has consistently exceeded its revenue by a considerable margin. For example, in 2011 the spending is estimated to be RM229bn while the revenue will be only RM183bn. So the shortfall of RM46bn has to be met by borrowing.

Of course it is not expected that the government balances its books every year. Prudent economic management requires the government to balance its budget over an entire business cycle. So we can have deficits during bad years and budget surpluses during good years. Since 1998, we have had at least two business cycles; yet every year without fail we have had budget deficits!

This is evidence of fiscal irresponsibility. Here is a government which does not know the meaning of saving for a rainy day. A good example is the situation in the current year.

Towards a bankrupt Malaysia? — Subramaniam Pillay
December 27, 2011 – Aliran


After NFC, navy vessels scandal next

How did the cost of six offshore patrol vessels increase by RM3 billion each and why were there no payment vouchers?


Over the last 10 years, we lost over RM1 trillion through illicit transfer.

To say that the Barisan Nasional government hides a monumental submerged portion of financial excesses and rip offs is an understatement.

In this context the current National Feedlot Corporation fiasco involving RM250 million is just a tip of the iceberg.

We are, in fact, readying ourselves now for the exposure of the next big financial scandal…and the next!

Immediately the next possible source of financial legerdemain, with all the necessary ingredients of manipulations and underhand moves, is certainly the cost of six offshore patrol vessels from Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd at RM1 billion each.

The cost has now increased by an unexplainable RM3 billion. How does Boustead get into the vessel building business?

Now, the history of the Malaysian Navy’s purchase of weaponry is a dismal one.

So, let’s get into a little history lesson.

Contract cost ballooned

The original contractor chosen to build Malaysia’s first generation naval vessels was PSC-Naval Dockyard. It was controlled by Amin Shah Omar Shah and his brothers.

(Amin Shah, 53, was reportedly a high-profile tycoon known for his close ties to former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin. This was during the era of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

(Under the 1990s privatization programme advocated by Mahathir, Amin Shah was among the few bumiputera entrepreneurs who were able to secure government concessions and contracts. And one of these key contracts was the Naval Dockyard in Lumut.

(In 1995, the government privatised the Naval Dockyard to the then PSC Industries Bhd (PSCI), for RM300 million. Amin Shah had a substantial stake in this and the dockyard was renamed PSC-Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd.

(In 1998, PSC-Naval Dockyard was awarded a mammoth RM24 billion contract to build 27 offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy.)

By mid 2006, only two of the 27 offshore vessels (worth RM24 million) were delivered. But both failed to pass the pre-delivery trials.

There were 298 recorded complaints about the two boats, which were also found to have 100 and 383 uncompleted items aboard them respectively.

The original RM5.35 billion contract ballooned to RM6.75 billion by January 2007.

No payment vouchers or documents

The auditor also reported that the Defence Ministry had paid out RM4.26 billion to PSC up to December 2006 although only RM2.87 billion of work had been done, an overpayment of RM1.39 billion, or 48 percent.

In addition, Malaysia’s cabinet waived late penalties of RM214 million.

According to the Auditor General, 14 “progress payments” amounting to RM943 million were paid out to PSC from Dec 1999, but there were no payment vouchers or relevant documents dealing with the payments.

How did the government explain such blatant abuses of financial discipline?

After NFC, navy vessels scandal next
December 23, 2011 – FMT


In GE-13, the choice of young Malaysians will be ABU

The 2008 setback for UMNO was unanticipated by many political observers but post-election analysis attributed the dent on UMNO and BN to the leadership factor of UMNO at that time. On the way to the next general election, UMNO is once again perceived by the masses as a weak party with a weak leadership.

Out of about 16 million eligible voters this time, there will be some 2.6 million newly young registered voters. The forecast is, the number of people who would actually vote could be about 10 million with about 1.5 million young voters – comprising 17 per cent of the electorate. Outwardly, according to studies, young voters and the new media will favour the Opposition more. Apparently the majority of these young voters have an anti-established tendency. They seem to have lost trust in the pro-government media. With many young voters becoming voters in the next general election will possibly tip the scale away from victory for UMNO and BN.

“The strategy is wrong. When the media go for the overkill it will backfire. Showing spliced pictures of personalities on television to tarnish the Opposition and fool the people has also backfired. The people don’t believe what they hear or see on television these days. They prefer the alternative media,” remarked a local university student.

More ripples within BN component parties

In the first six months of 2010, the voter registration drive saw Pakatan edging Barisan Nasional. DAP led with 32.5 percent, followed by UMNO 32.3 percent and PAS 22.7 percent. Voter registration for DAP and PAS combined was more than UMNO’s. This trend is continuing. If the trend and figures are taken to be a measure, it is a precursor that there is strong fervour among new voters to shore up the Opposition.

DAP has successfully recruited many Malay and non-Malay members, PKR has the advantage of attracting young members and PAS has also been a lure for young Muslim professionals. The road to victory will be too tough for UMNO. Dropping the present batch of aspiring candidates from becoming election candidates will cause more ripples within UMNO. Those dropped will have supporters who will sabotage the party like what had happened in the 2008 general election.

A young government servant had this to say: “The people – especially the young – are now aware of their rights to become registered voters, they want a two-party system and the sentiment on the ground is that the people want to see a change of government after being too long under the same old government.”

In GE-13, the choice of young Malaysians will be ABU – Anything But Umno
27 December 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle


‘It’s really unbelievable; Taib’s family controls S’wak’

Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund’s revelations of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s billion dollar business empire is not going to let-up in 2012.

‘Dictator-ship like rule’

As well as land mapping and setting up a pre-school and healthcare facilities, BMF have also helped the Penan take several land right cases to local courts and raised awareness of the situation elsewhere in Europe.

But faced with Sarawak’s “dictatorship-like rule”, it hasn’t been enough to make a significant change, the organisation says.

“Our biggest concern today is that the same government is still in place in Sarawak, as it has been for the past three decades, and the same family rules that state of Malaysia and it’s a kleptocratic form of governance,” Straumann said.

The family in question is that of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who Straumann says controls politics, the economy and the media. Taib is also the minister in charge of finance and planning.

The BMF website regularly reports on allegations of corruption in Sarawak. In February it launched an online campaign against Taib and 48 “blacklisted” companies.

The campaign stepped up a notch when BMF recently published a list of 332 companies in Malaysia with ties to Taib’s relatives, many of whom are directors or shareholders.

Another 101 such companies are located elsewhere in the world.

BMF gathered the information from company records and registers and tried to find patterns. Dissecting the data further they found that Taib’s four children were involved in 342 firms worldwide.

“It’s really unbelievable. They are basically controlling the whole state,” Straumann said.

The BMF also alleged that the Taib family is hiding assets abroad. Probes into alleged illegally gained assets are being carried out in Switzerland and Britain.

‘It’s really unbelievable; Taib’s family controls S’wak’
December 28, 2011 – FMT


Spouse of ex-Iskandar top exec charged with graft

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The husband of a former senior official in Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) was charged with corruption today in Johor Baru for allegedly soliciting RM1.6 million as inducement to obtain a project.

Mohd Amin Suhaimi, 52, claimed trial at the Sessions Court in Johor Baru to three counts of soliciting and receiving bribes from construction company Detect Engineering Sdn Bhd to secure the tender for the construction of a boarding school in Pulai.

It is believed the project, sited at Lot PTD Mukim Pulai, is worth some RM40.8 million.

According to Star Online, Mohd Amin was alleged to have solicited RM816,900 in cash from Detect Engineering Sdn Bhd director Mohd Hassan Madon, 48, through middleman Mohd Iskandar Fahmi Abdullah, 52. He was accused of committing the act at a hotel on Jalan Harimau in Taman Century, Johor Baru, at about 5pm on April 22 last year.

Under the second charge, Mohd Amin allegedly received RM500,000 from Hassan through Mohd Iskandar at a parking lot inside a shopping mall on Jalan Wong Ah Fook at 4pm on June 4 last year.

Under the third charge, he was accused of receiving RM316,900 in cash for helping the company obtain the project from IIB, at a parking lot in a shopping complex along Jalan Trus between 2pm and 3pm on June 9 last year.

He was accused of committing the offences under Section 16(a)(A) and charged under Section 24 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC) 2009.

The charge carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Bail was set at RM100,000 and the Sessions Court judge fixed January 27 for mention.

According to previous reports, it is believed Mohd Amin is the husband of Arlida Ariff, formerly IIB’s chief executive officer who was removed late last year amid speculation of alleged irregularities in the awarding of infrastructure contracts.

Spouse of ex-Iskandar top exec charged with graft
December 27, 2011 – MI


The tragedy that is Umno

Mariam Mokhtar

Umno is not for the Malays. Umno exists only so that its leaders will thrive to the detriment of the normal, ordinary Malay.

Umno is full of Malays who are afraid to say “No”. “No” to corruption. “No” to power abuse. “No” to seeking as well as giving patronage.

Perhaps one can add, “No” to Mahathir, “No” to Najib.

Umno has been in power for over 54 years. Not all Malays wish to be in Umno, but Umno does need all of the Malays for it to be a potent force. Today, Umno refuses to accept that Malays are abandoning Umno.

Around the time of independence, Umno may have had people of quality within its ranks. Today, it is alleged that loyalty is determined by money. Is that what Umno think the Malays are proud of? That their allegiance is easily bought? Umno strips Malays of self-worth and self-respect.

Instead of using intelligent discourse and logic to dissect any issue, Umno uses sexual allegations or character assassinations, to blacken the reputation of members of the opposition. Opposition leaders had their characters or their children’s character tarnished with untrue allegations in pro-Umno blogs.

Gutter politics are prevalent in Umno and was witnessed during the last Umno general assembly. Name calling and snide insinuations seemed to be the order of the day. These men and women, who are supposed to be leaders and pillars of Malay society, are a disgrace to themselves and the nation.

In Umno, men who were guilty of sexual acts, against their hired help or against minors, talk about the sexual behaviour of other people, as if they led blameless lives. Those who are guilty of money politics tried to distract attention by calling on opposition members to resign. What happened to accountability and responsibility?

These men and women, talk about religion as if they were themselves, free of sin. These same people use any opportunity to say that the failure of the Malays is because of the dominance of the non-Malays.

In education, for instance, the Malays are given the best chances for obtaining a higher education. Things are made deliberately easy for them. The undesirable side-effect is that they and their children grow up lacking aspiration and ambition.

Malays who wanted to improve themselves by learning English are now considered traitors. Many Malays who study overseas have a poor grasp of English. Many who were not allowed to mix with other races at home, found great difficulty adapting to life with non-Malays.

Is this what Umno leaders want of the Malay? For them to be cocooned and their minds closed to what is happening in the global arena?

The tragedy that is Umno
December 24, 2011 – Hornbill Unleashed


RM4b Perak ore hub ‘recipe for disaster’

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — A residents’ group in Perak opposing the RM4 billion iron ore hub being built by the state’s biggest investor said yesterday the project may hurt the environment and the interests of the state and its citizens.

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Perak (CCCP) said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir has given Vale, the world’s leading iron ore miner, a “free hand” in the project “and that is a recipe for disaster.”

“We believe this project could be heading for a disaster if proper controls are not put in place. Besides the environmental impact, there is also a cloud of worry and despair hanging over us should this project proceed unchecked,” CCCP chief Zainal Abidin Osman said.

Zainal said in a press statement that contracts worth millions of ringgit were handed out without a tender process, adding this only benefited foreign companies as state-linked firms were not directly involved in the transhipment hub.

“Why did Perak give exclusive rights to Vale to construct a RM700 million jetty when it is considered a legal landing point and should remain in the hands of the government as a national asset?

“The lackadaisical attitude of the state government under MB Zambry is worrying because he has not put any in place any safety net for the people,” he said.

Ports in Malaysia are viewed as key assets and it is standard practice that either the state of federal government will hold a golden share.

It has been reported that Dutch firm Royal BAM and Australia’s McConnell Dowell secured a RM677 million deal along with local contractor See Yong & Son to build a jetty in Teluk Rubiah.

This is the second billion-ringgit project in Malaysia that has faced resistance from locals this year, after Kuantan residents effectively forced the delay of Australian miner Lynas Corp’s RM1.5 billion rare earth plant there citing fears of radiation pollution.

Residents’ group claims RM4b Perak ore hub ‘recipe for disaster’
December 23, 2011


Rosmah’s Deepak exits share market amid talk of Dr M displeasure

Deepak Jaikishan, most famous for his denial of being First Lady Rosmah Mansor’s toy boy, shocked the stock market by selling his entire stake in oil-and-gas wannabe Envair Holding Bhd.

His sudden and full exit, after a public assurance he was in for the long haul, lent credence to speculation that there had been objections from the highest quarters of Umno to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s family entering the O&G sector on the coat-tails of national petroleum firm Petronas.

“There is talk Mahathir is not happy. Firstly, he doesn’t want to share the Petronas goodies but apparently, his people also say he doesn’t think Najib deserves any government contract from Petronas,” an investment manager at a local stock broking firm told Malaysia Chronicle.

Promised to stay for the long haul

The families of former premiers Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Badawi are both involved in the sector through Kencana and Scomi respectively, with Petronas contracts forming the bulwark of revenue generators for both firms . Given Malaysia’s worsening record on the world corruption indices, Najib’s perceived entry into the O&G world via Deepak had raised eyebrows.

Deepak’s entry into Malaysia’s corporate world had also been frowned upon amid fears that it would bring scandal of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and Scorpene submarines kickback into Malaysia’s corporate world. Najib, Rosmah and Deepak, who have been implicated in the murder, have denied involvement.

“I have, by announcing my stake in Envair, decided to be part of this new business (oil and gas) and over the next few months, combine our strengths, to build the business further,” Deepak had told the press earlier this month.

“I aim to be part of this thriving company’s executive board and management. I hereby reiterate that I will not be selling down my stake in the future and, instead, hope to build it up in the days ahead.

A manufacturer of air and water filters, Envair had last month surprised the market by entering the O&G sector, after signing a joint marketing agreement with Resscom, which has a licence from Petronas to procure diesel and other oil and gas products.

Envair even assured investors that it could supply two million barrels of light crude oil monthly for 60 months to a China-based company, An Hong Shenzhen. It is unclear if Deepak’s withdrawal three weeks after buying in would sink these high ambitions.

Rosmah’s Deepak exits share market amid talk of Dr M displeasure
23 December 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle


Dr M, Taib locked in death embrace

In Mahathir’s case, as with Taib, there is no punishment as yet devised for the enormity of their crimes against the state and people.


Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who needs no introduction, has characteristically come to Taib Mahmud’s defence in helping to fend off the incessant attacks against the latter for his unexplained and stupendous wealth. Taib needs no introduction either and for obvious reasons.

Simplistic as usual, Mahathir has declared Taib innocent as otherwise the authorities would have thrown the book at him. He attributes the stepped up attacks against Taib to the imminent 13th general election which seems to be always around the corner since the last two years.

The defence of Taib comes after Mahathir declared that he had never heard of “Projek Mahathir” in Sabah to place illegal immigrants on the electoral roll in the state with MyKads which may be either genuine – but the holder not being entitled to it – or bogus. In the latter case, the details of the holder are not on record with the National Registration Department unlike in the former.

Both men have been safe so far from being incarcerated as laws in Malaysia are not enacted to be enforced but just in case they need to be enforced. Cases in point are those, on paper, against sodomy, fellatio and other carnal acts against the order of nature (Umno). Hence, public persecutors are “cleverly” disguised as public prosecutors.

In Taib’s case in particular, Mahathir laid down a Golden Rule while he was in office for 22 years as prime minister: any investigation file on a Barisan Nasional leader had to be sent to him personally for approval. No prizes for guessing that Mahathir locked away such files in a drawer until his own personal circumstances forced him to betray the suspect.

This was how fallen Angel Anwar Ibrahim, under Mahathir’s direction, was mercilessly dragged through the Court on Sodomy 1 and corruption charges. By the time of Sodomy II, Anwar was no longer a BN leader and the sycophants among the authorities fell all over themselves in pleasing the powers-that-be.

Just as Mahathir hijacked the system, Taib has done likewise in Sarawak because he has a licence from Putrajaya to be corrupt as long as the state not only remains within the BN fold but within Malaysia.

So, on “national security” grounds, the separatist-minded non-Muslim Dayaks had to be kept out of the chief minister’s chair. Taib, Dayak as a Melanau, was nevertheless okay in the eyes of Putrajaya. He was a fellow Muslim who could be trusted to do the right thing for “bangsa, agama and negara”.

Both Mahathir and Taib, being birds of a feather, are locked in a death embrace. Their day of reckoning is coming sooner rather than later, and with good reasons too.

Dr M, Taib locked in death embrace
December 22, 2011 – FMT

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah


Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah


What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
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?