Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya

Malaysia wracked by slow, uncertain leadership change

Hantu Laut

An interesting article from the 'Vancouver Sun' that pretty much sum up what went wrong with the politics in Malaysia.Although I don't agree with the government inflation figure(I think it's higher) it has placed Malaysia's inflation at a scary 27 %, which should send shivers down the spines of the boys at the Ministry of Finance.I am sure readers can spot other inaccuracies in the report.

Malaysia wracked by slow, uncertain leadership change

Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun

Published: Monday, September 29, 2008

Malaysia, once one of the most politically stable and financially sound countries of Southeast Asia, is being wracked by the uncertainty of a seemingly interminable transfer of power.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, a courteous but ineffectual leader, has been on the skids since the ruling coalition led by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), narrowly retained power in March elections.

Significant factions within UMNO want Abdullah to resign soon and hand over the party leadership and government to his deputy, Najib Razak.

These calls for Abdullah's head are driven by the apparent resurgence of Anwar Ibrahim, the previously disgraced UMNO deputy leader and now head of the opposition People's Alliance coalition.

Anwar claims there have been so many defections from the ruling alliance since March that he now controls a majority of seats in parliament and should be prime minister.

But despite the economic decline that sees inflation at 27 per cent and capital flight accompanying this political uncertainty, no one will wield the knife on Abdullah. It's a measure of the supreme importance of good manners and respect for power in Malaysian society.

"We want to ensure that the power transition process does not affect Abdullah's honour. It must be done in a dignified manner," said Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday. Read more....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sex ,China Dolls and Satan

Hantu Laut

Zul Hassan had reportedly told pressmen: “What is important is we did not ask for the women. He (Mohammad Imran) supplied them to us.

“If people sedekah (donate), don’t you want to accept it?” he had supposedly said.

Goodness me! Immoral act of having sex with a prostitute is a sedekah(alms) ?

Sex paid for by someone else, how low can you get? Lodged a report against the same person who supplied sex F.O.C, how stupid can you get?

Can't you differentiate between what is halal and what is haram?

Zul Hassan a PKR member and appointed councillor and businessman Fairul Azrim Ismail lodged a report with the state religious department against Mohd Imran Abdullah(Satan) for encouraging them to commit a sinful act with a woman from China.

Mohd Imran lodged a corruption report with the ACA against Zul and 4 others earlier.

This rookies should learn from the seasoned politicians how to be corrupted and not get caught.

It seems there is little chance of Malaysians getting a clean government, one that will be free of corruption as promised by Anwar Ibrahim if he took over the government.Even now he can't control his men what more if PKR took over the national coffer.

We may get rid of one and bring in another group of monsters.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Expect thrills and spills at Singapore F1

Hantu Laut
Click to enlarge

The glitz,glamour and noses up in the air will fill up the corporate boxes at the Singapore Grand Prix tonight, the first night racing under light in the history of Formula One.

This is the third most watched sport in the world after the Olympic and World Cup.

It wouldn't bode down well with the greenies and down to earth conservationists that at this time of high fuel prices,global financial insecurity and global warming the Singapore government would bring this expensively fast and furious sport to a tiny island and a sport that's going to burn million of calories of expensive energy just to show those modern gladiators in their awesome machines to Singaporeans and the rest of the world to boost the city state image,tourism and hopefully its coffers.

If you are going down to Singapore tonight to watch the Grand Prix, forget about the air and noise pollution and just make sure you get a strategic viewing point if you haven't yet bought your tickets with your hard-earned money, unless you re the rich and famous than you may not have to pay at all, you get invited.

The narrow pit lane at the Singapore circuit, lit up on Thursday evening as teams prepared for track action Friday. (Brad Spurgeon/IHT)
The narrow pit lane at the Singapore circuit, lit up on Thursday evening as teams prepared for track action Friday. (Brad Spurgeon/IHT)

To hell with those nosey saviours of the earth,like Singapore and my good friend Jimmy, I too like F1 races but prefer to watch it from the comfort of my home, cause it's more comfortable and wouldn't burn a hole in my pocket.

Singapore F1 Grandstand at T23

The article below can guide you to where you would have the best vantage point to watch the thrills and spills of the race.

SINGAPORE: Singapore will host the world’s first Formula One city night race at the end of this month. But the entire race track will be lit up as if it was daylight.

With F1 cars whizzing by at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour on what are essentially just city streets, fans can expect some spills and thrills.

The excitement begins from the start at the pit straight where drivers line up for a 61—lap race on a track that is just over 5 kilometres and has 23 turns.

From Turns 2 to Turns 4, spectators will get to see the power of an F1 car as top drivers overtake and establish their leads.

But if it is speed fans are after, they have to wait till Turn 6.

The fastest corner on any street circuit ever, Turn 6 is where cars could go faster than 300 kilometres an hour.

Spills could be likely at Turn 7 — one of the best overtaking opportunities — as cars slow down to take a sharp left.

If it is the best seats fans are after, they should try the Grandstands at Turn 8.

Here, cars will whizz by heritage buildings like the old Supreme Court and the colonial Anderson Bridge, creating a backdrop similar to Monaco’s Casino Square.

Spectators would have to agree that the bridge will definitely be one of the most unique features of the Singapore F1 track.

But from a technical perspective, it will also be challenging for the drivers. Only the left side of the bridge will be used, and at 8—metre wide, will be the narrowest part of the circuit.

The difficulty does not end there. After crossing the bridge, the cars will approach Turn 13, which is the tightest turn on the circuit.

There will be more excitement at Turns 8 and 14 — where it may look like cars are going to crash into one another, because of the way the circuit is designed — slower cars come down one way and faster cars go up the other in an unusual two turns.

Cars will then whizz past Raffles Avenue, where there will be another overtaking opportunity before reaching the Bayfront where a wrong move could possibly land a driver into hot water.

Water is not the only concern for the drivers, as this is also the slowest part of the track, working the brakes hard and really testing the drivers’ skills.

After running along the waterfront in front of the Bay Grandstand, the cars actually turn beneath the grandstand itself at Turn 18 — another aspect of the track that sets it apart from the rest.

After that, a few more turns and the cars will be back at the Pit Building for a thrilling end to the race.

The 'Rich and Famous' list here.

Source:Yahoo News, S'pore

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Enigma Has Spoken

Hantu Laut

In my previous article 'Tunku Aziz: An Enigma?' I raised the question and rationale of him, not so much as joining politics but his choice of political party, DAP a party aligned to Anwar Ibrahim whom, going from some of his past articles , one can conclude that Anwar is not one of his favourite politicians.

In the past, West Malaysian politicians including Anwar himself had ridiculed,condemned and laughted at Sabah politicians, those that can be easily bought by offer of money and positions.Today the disease promoted by Anwar to grab power had come to the Peninsula and those in the Pakatan camp made it sounds so morally acceptable to use this option to take over a duly elected government.What's is even more surprising the Western media which usually screamed their head off on such undemocratic actions are keeping their silence.

Although I don't think the present government is doing a fantastic job I do believe Anwar should wait until the next general elections to mount a challenge to takeover the government.In the meantime he should stay and be a good and effective opposition.

Much as I have suspected Tunku Aziz will not disappoint those who believe in the ballot boxes and the democratic process.Below is his wisdom on Anwar's political philosophy.

KUALA LUMPUR: It is unethical to don the mantle of government other than through the ballot box, says DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim.
In disagreeing with the idea of forming a government by asking politicians to switch sides, he said: "This is really a matter not so much of politics but really to do more with ethics in politics.

"There is no law to stop people from crossing over from one party to another and this has happened in Sabah where opposition members crossed over to Barisan Nasional.

"Still, this does not really give it any legitimacy just because it has happened before.

"I totally disagree with it. The only way you can really achieve legitimacy to govern is through the ballot box. As I have said before, there is a time and place for it.
"The time is the next general election and the place is the polling station," he told the New Straits Times. Read more........

Friday, September 26, 2008

Anwar's No List And Pak Lah's Sleepless Nights

Hantu Laut

Only Anwar Ibrahim has the list of defectors says DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng.Neither leaders of DAP or PAS have seen the list.Anwar keeping it close to his chest and even closer to his heart.

How do you expect this man to rule the nation fairly if he can't even trust his coalition partners who are going to be part of his dream team if he formed the government.Many Malaysians who supported him believe he is telling the truth but with the latest revelation it now appears he might not have the list after all or the names on the list are just put there without expressed consent of the would-be frogs.Anyone can make up a list of lies.

At the UMNO Supreme Council meeting scheduled at 10 a.m today there will be strong opposition for Pak Lah to stay on longer than May 2009.Most MT members would insist on that date but some may resist.Muhyiddin will insist Dec 2008.

I think to remove the pain once and for all Pak Lah should consider as soon as possible but not later than December 08.

If Pak Lah insisted to stick to his original plan both him and Najib would be deleted and assigned to the recycle bin after December this year.

Muhyiddin proposal makes more sense as it will not complicate the line-up at the UMNO Elections this coming December.Postponing the elections to May 2009 make no sense at all except to give Pak Lah more time to re-consolidate his support.That would be perilous to UMNO which is becoming irrelevant day by day.

Pak Lah must not forget there are enemies at the gate.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

America A Bankrupt Nation: Mahathir Was Right

Hantu Laut

President Bush appealed to the nation on Wednesday night to support the bailout financial package of $700 billion to avert a financial meltdown on Wall Street and a prolonged recession that could have serious repercussions on the nation and American people."Our entire economy is in danger" he said.

America is now in early stage of insolvency.Without the rescue package it would be a bankrupt nation.

In the 1997 East Asian financial crisis almost the entire East Asian countries were not spared the effect of the meltdown.The crisis was triggered by the collapse of the Thai baht in July 1997 which led to currency and financial crisis with domino effect that eventually affected other countries in the region.The financial anomaly led to recession in most of those countries.

However, the Malaysian economy and population were not as badly affected by the recession as compared to Thailand,Indonesia and South Korea.Although Malaysia indebtedness was quite high at that time the foreign debt was much lower and unlike Indonesia was not in default of its repayment.Its foreign liabilities did not exceed its foreign exchange reserves so the country was not in dire need of emergency credit facilities including those from IMF (International Monetary Fund)

The meltdown was due to highly speculative currency trading that was traced to one of the biggest fund managers and currency traders George Soros as the culprit who speculated in currency of the regions making billion of dollars for his hedge funds and himself and caused those currencies to collapse.Subsequently, the stock market collapsed and the KLSE Composite Index which stood at 1300 in early 1997 dropped to a low of 262 by September 1998. Mahathir the prime minister at that time blamed Soros and took defensive action to avert a financial disaster by pegging the ringgit.The peg slowed down the flights of capital and ended with war of words between Mahathir and Soros and criticism by the Western media and Western governments of Mahathir's unilateral action.Even his own finance minister at that time didn't agree with him and was one of the many things than that drove them apart.

The 1997 financial meltdown caused the Malaysian government to restructure and amalgamate its financial institutions and bailouts some of the troubled government linked companies

The American government was highly critical of Mahathir's political and financial policies at that time and didn't foresee that they would one day face even worse and more embarrassing situation.They accused Mahathir of bad governance,corruptions and a government that is not accountable to the people.

What causes the financial meltdown in America.A number of things and GREED is top of the list.

Highly speculative trading on Wall Street, over extended sub-prime sector, pay for failures CEO with huge paychecks, over-innovative financial system, poor financial governance and a society that live on credit.

The American stock markets and financial system are tailored to make the rich get richer. Short selling which is a dangerous form of share trading is rampant on Wall Street and financial institutions are willing to finance this risky business because they are conducted by big hedge funds and investment banks.

Britain is contemplating a permanent ban on short selling after the bashings of bank shares in the past weeks.Prime Minister Gordon Brown defending the recent ban said "when a group of people are exploiting a difficult economic situation, it is right to stop it." and said "I think you'll find new rules come in for the future...We have very unusual and volatile financial markets . It would be wrong for good companies to be brought down by speculators."

This will be the most expensive bailouts in the history of the US.Where are the money coming from ? Print more greenback, sell more Treasury Bills or go to war and sabotage the economy of other countries ?

If the American economy collapse and the greenback become useless many countries would go down with America. Their foreign reserves would be devalued and become almost worthless.

Mahathir was the only man who foresees this coming over a decade ago and the West ridiculed him and branded him as anti-Westerners.They condemned him for pegging the ringgit and the bailouts of some of the troubled government-linked companies during the Asian financial crisis.The man certainly has vision 20/20.

George W.Bush is going to put the money where his mouth is and hand over a very shattered economy to his successor.

The rest of the world have no choice.Rescue America or go down with it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Air Asia: What They Don't Tell You

Hantu Laut

The flight on Air Asia was uneventful like most flights are.Yesterday was my third time with the airline and being frequent flyer with MAS and other airlines before I must say it takes a few flights to make the adjustments from being pampered on full-pledged airlines and to no frills flight on this astounding airline.

My flight was at least 20 minutes late out of Kota Kinabalu but managed to land 15 minutes ahead of time at the LCCT at Sepang. My previous flight to Miri a few months ago also arrived ahead of scheduled time.Other then having a good tailwind how the pilot managed to do that frequently I really have no idea.

The aircraft turn around time seemed to be much faster than MAS and other normal airlines.To most airline time is money and time saving means saving costs.What I learned on this trip may sound very scary to some people and for very good reason.

After taking my seat on the aircraft and while still on the tarmac waiting for take-off the cabin crew announced over the intercom that the aircraft is still in the process of refueling and requested all passengers not to buckle their seat belts.It was probably a precautionary measure in case of incident of fire they could do a speedy evacuation of the passengers.Of course they only tell you the aircraft is still refueling but didn't tell you of the danger.

Could they do a speedy evacuation in the case of fire ? Not likely. In the unlikely event the aircraft caught fire while refueling there would be very little time for all passengers to escape as the highly combustible fuel would engulf the plane very quickly and evacuation using the steps would be much slower than using the emergency chute.

However, before you jump to conclusion just think over the years how many million times air crafts had been refuelled. Such incident is rare, therefore, the probability of it happening is as low as your plane falling off the sky.

Air travel in this country had taken a new meaning.With airline like Air Asia and their 'now everyone can fly' motto, most people especially the lower and middle income groups can afford to travel by air, previously the domain of those with money.The airline had also taken off the hassle of air travel by simplifying the whole process from its online booking to its paperless check-in, making it as simple as shuttling on a bus.Another plus for Ais Asia is in its online booking web page.It is more straight forward and faster than that of MAS.

The only drawback with the airline is it has no mercy on heavyweight travellers.Just to warn you no matter how little your excess baggage is you have to pay.To give you an idea on how much it cost for a kilo of excess baggage between KK-KL so you wouldn't make the same mistake as I... ..well not me, it's my wife who decides to bring some Hari Raya goodies for my sister, it's RM15.00 a kilo.It's not the airline fault and I have no complaint against the airline.You get what you pay for, no more no less.

I used to read complaints about the airline from people who pay peanuts and wanted excellent service.I think the airline is wonderful and is good for what it's intended for and for those who wanted more just go and fly the normal airlines.

For Sabah and Sarawak where roads are bad making road travel a torturous journey this airline has provided what MAS failed to do all this while, cheap domestic air fare.

Now MAS copy it in an unfair competition.

Hound Dog And Bulldog: Are We Safe ?

Hantu Laut

It's still a cat and mouse game with the opposition PKR claiming they are in negotiation with Abdullah's ruling party for a smooth transfer of power.

Anwar has been keeping silent the past few days but has appointed PKR Information Chief Tian Chua as spokesman.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi scoffed at the story and said " it's the craziest report I have ever heard"

Malaysians in general are now fed up with the charade from both sides, one is a hound dog and the other a bulldog.Both are responsible for creating the unstable political and economic atmosphere in the country.While many countries are trying to find solutions to their economic woes, this government is busy defending its 'Fort Knox' from falling into the hand of the oppositions.This is not the metaphorical 'El Dorado' but one that truly exists and must be defended at all costs.

On the other side, the opposition is still recklessly playing their mind game and refused to end their psychological warfare even after they had failed to deliver their promise of taking over the government by 16 September.

Until now none of the BN MPs had come forward to announce their change of allegiance. Even SAPP which recently resigned from the BN had declared to stay independent.It can only mean they are unsure of Anwar having the 'numbers' and would adopt a wait and see game.

Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived at the Sessions Court in Jalan Duta at 9:50am this morning for the hearing of submissions to transfer his sodomy case to the High Court.The outcome of this case will decide his fate, whether he can pursue his dream of becoming prime minister of the nation or end up in Sungei Buloh again.

If you think Anwar's sodomy allegation is disgusting consider Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate of even bigger nightmare where the media alleged her husband of incest. The husband had been accused of having sex with the couple's own daughters.

Politics is dirty even in the Bible Belt of America'.Homosexuality,bi-sexuality and kinky sex are no big deal in the West.Screwing your own daughters is akin to an animal, the lowest crime, worse than murder, that a man can be accused of.Anyone who wish to join politics just make sure you have a clean bill of health.

Malaysians waiting for the good news whether there is going to be a reduction in the price of petrol and diesel need not have to wait much longer.With Hari Raya Idilfitri round the corner and in spite of the fact that the price of crude has gone up again I can foresee the government reducing the price.

This government has become so predictable you can actually read what they are going to do next.It has lost all its aces.

After all there, maybe, some good news before the weekend.

Read also:

Malaysia's Anwar calls for patience in power bid

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Saving Abdullah

Malyasian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (R) speaks during a news conference as his deputy Najib Tun Razak (L) looks on at the premier's office in Putrajaya on September 17, 2008. Abdullah, who is facing an opposition bid to seize power, said he might step down before a planned handover to his deputy in mid-2010. From Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images.

The most important political development in town has very little to do with Anwar Ibrahim. Instead, it is about the dynamics of the relationship between the Prime Minister and his deputy and how they approach the UMNO party elections that are set to commence with the divisional meetings on 9 October.

Neither Abdullah Ahmad Badawi nor Najib Tun Razak wants to fight the other. They know that this would be disastrous for the party and even prove to be the final nail in its coffin. Both want to honour the spirit, if no longer the exact letter, of the transition plan which originally intended for Najib to take over the premiership and party presidency in June 2010. It was a deal brokered directly by the two men and endorsed by the party Supreme Council.

But things began to fall apart after the loss at the Permatang Pauh by-election even though this had very little to do with Abdullah's leadership (in fact it was seen more as a battle between Anwar Ibrahim and Najib). There was a resurgence of dissent within party ranks led by vice president, Muhyiddin Yassin, and egged on by Mahathir Mohamed from the outside. This was an opportunity to renew the pressure on Abdullah to go now rather than later. But the spark that lit the fire was Najib's statement a couple of weeks ago that although he was committed to the transition plan, he would also leave it to the divisions to decide whether they want to support it as well. Politics is all about signaling. For many in the party, that statement by Najib was a signal that he would contest the presidency against Abdullah.

Opportunistic dissenters like Muhyiddin latched onto Najib's statement and instigated the grassroots to create a groundswell effect against Abdullah in order to pressure him to bow out in December. For Muhyiddin, this would be a dream scenario with him walking into the deputy presidency of the party probably unchallenged and thereby becoming also the Deputy Prime Minister. Everything came to a head at last week's UMNO Supreme Council meeting where three members – Muhyiddin, Shafie Apdal and Rafidah Aziz - came out to ask Abdullah to hand over power to Najib earlier than the scheduled timetable. Pro-Abdullah forces in the council were told to stand down during the meeting in order to not worsen the situation.

So what does Najib do now? For all intents and purposes, he is still outwardly committed to the transition plan and does not want to fight Abdullah. He knows that if he digs his heels in with Abdullah, the top job will be there for him by mid 2010 at the latest but in all probability much earlier since Abdullah himself has said that he is willing to be flexible about retiring sooner. The only thing that worries Najib is that if he sticks with Abdullah and there is a challenge from a Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah-Muhyiddin team, he might get swept away along with Abdullah. However, these fears are unfounded. Party leaders know that if Najib swings his support totally behind Abdullah and their forces work together on the ground, there is no other alternative combination that can beat them.

For Najib, if he decides not to honour his word to Abdullah, he knows he will be stuck with Muhyiddin as his deputy. This would be a problem for him later because the two men are suspicious of one another having once been rivals for the job of Abdullah's deputy. Muhyiddin has also demonstrated via his dissent towards Abdullah that he is a man who has no qualms stabbing his boss in the back, and may do the same to Najib especially in a time of political crisis. Muhyiddin will also not be beholden to Najib because he will think that his elevation to deputy premier and deputy president of UMNO has little to do with Najib. So for these reasons, Najib will not want Muhyiddin as his deputy.

Najib would be in a much more comfortable position if he goes with the transition deal with Abdullah, and then when the time comes for Abdullah to step down, Najib would have three vice presidents to choose from as his deputy. Not only does this give him the luxury of choice but it will most certainly make the person he selects as his deputy completely beholden to him because it will be entirely Najib's decision unlike the scenario of having Muhyiddin forced on him.

There are also other reasons Najib should stick with Abdullah. As far as UMNO members are concerned, Najib may be popular. This is courtesy of a solid network that he has cultivated for the last three decades. But his image and credibility publicly is something else. For many people Najib is synonymous with the brutal murder of the Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu. Regardless of Najib's repeated religious oaths that he never even met Altantuya, the taint refuses to go away especially since the man accused of abetting the murder, Razak Baginda, was a close advisor and friend to Najib. Apart from the Altantuya case, Najib is also dogged by shady arms purchases notably the procurement of Sukhoi fighter jets and submarines in which Razak is suspected of pocketing hundreds of millions of Ringgit worth of commission direct from the principal. So with the SAS (Sukhoi, Altantuya, Submarine) scandal tarnishing his public image, Najib still needs Abdullah as a shield of sorts. In fact, Anwar is relentless in his attacks on the SAS issues exposing it as Najib's vulnerable Achilles' heel. So long as Abdullah is around, Najib can use the time to rehabilitate his public image especially with his new portfolio at the Treasury where he can enact popular policies to deflect the public's attention from the SAS issues.

Finally, the last thing Najib wants is to go through a bruising fight with Abdullah. Najib may ultimately win the battle with current sentiment against Abdullah and his formidable network in UMNO, but could lose the war because of a damaged and divided party.. Abdullah may be against the ropes but he's not going to be a pushover. His supporters will use every advantage of incumbency to fight any challenge and it will significantly split UMNO. This is something that Najib can ill-afford. Even if he takes on and beats Abdullah, he will be left with a party ruined. The implications of this are serious. If BN component parties see a broken UMNO, they might just take it as a signal to jump ship and join Anwar. That could prove to be the final act on the demise of UMNO and it will be on Najib's watch.

So although Najib may feel insecure about taking his chances with Abdullah for the fear of going down with him, he stands to gain more from sticking to the transition plan and fighting it out by Abdullah's side. It will give him the freedom to choose his deputy, a shield against attacks, time to rehabilitate his battered public image and it will avoid a damaging contest that can destroy UMNO. It must also be remembered that the next few months will be crucial on Anwar front. The sodomy trial will get under way and Najib will not want to be alone when all the sordid details of the case are revealed given his association with Saiful Bukhari Azlan who accuses Anwar of having sodomized him. Without Abdullah, the focus will be entirely on Najib and this could damage further his public image.

Given these arguments, Najib should come out soon to give a categorical statement to support Abdullah's candidacy for party president. It may not only appear to be the wisest choice but also one that will make Najib most secure in the long run

Note:The above article was contributed by Rahman Mohd332, a regular reader of this blog who is also a writer.This blog is not responsible for the content and opinion expressed therein.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Yanks And The Peg

Hantu Laut

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad dropped a hint that due to uncertainty in the world markets and rising costs of doing business in the domestic market the government should bring back the ringgit peg or otherwise known as fixed exchange rate.

The government should take heed and seriously consider this proposal in light of the high inflation and economic instability due to volatility in the world markets.

With the huge financial crisis in the US financial system requiring massive bailout, Malaysia's economy may not be spared the contagion of a US recession.

The financial crisis at Lehman Brothers,AIG and others financial malaise in the U.S can throw the US economy into serious trouble and hit the shores of other countries in matter of months.

The US government is now 80% equity holder of AIG through the bailout of US$85 billion to keep the company afloat.This is the first time in its history the US government had taken majority equity and management control of a private sector corporation.

In an even bigger mess is the sub-prime mortgage sector that put Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into serious financial trouble.
These two companies do business of factoring mortgages from banks and other financial institutions and currently hold guarantee of US$5.4 trillion of mortgages.In the past, US Government bailouts were only in the form of loan guarantee without any equity participation or involvement in management.

The US have copied our ISA to detain and imprison so-called terrorists without trail. Now they are copying Malaysian-styled bailouts.

In 1980 the US Congress approved a loan guarantee of US$1.5 billion to save Chrysler from bankruptcy which amount was considered big at that time.Chrysler paid back the loan few years ahead of time and the government actually made US$313 million profit in stock options.

Why peg? Pegging can take out certain uncertainties in the economy and bring some degree of stability.It can give a stable atmosphere to foreign investors.With a peg investors can know what their investment value is, and therefore will not have to worry about daily fluctuations. A pegged currency can also help to lower inflation rates and generate demand, which results from greater confidence in the stability of the currency.

A pegged currency can also have its bad side.It can be difficult to maintain a peg in the long run.This fixed regime can often lead to severe financial crisis.If the government in its effort to maintain high value of the currency can no longer meet demands to convert the local currency into foreign currency at the pegged rate than the currency can become overvalued.There will be loss of confidence and investors may panic and there can be flight of capitals when investors converted the local currency into foreign currency before the currency is devalued against the peg.Such scenario can deplete the country's foreign reserve.

Such flight of capital can also happen in a floating regime which opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed is happening to Malaysia due to mismanagement of the economy.It can be a bit of both, the unstable economy and political instability.

Pegging is often associated with countries that have unsophisticated capital markets and weak regulating institution.

In the 1997 Asian financial crisis Malaysia took an unprecedented and bold step to peg the ringgit while Thailand, in similar crisis, allowed the bhat to float.By the end of 1997 the bhat had lost 50% of its value.

In the 1997 crisis Mahathir much to the chagrin of former Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim who wanted to adopt IMF sponsored bailout and financial reforms took an unconventional and bold step. He pegged the ringgit to put a stop to speculative currency trading and stabilise the currency.The properly managed peg helped Malaysia to recover faster than expected.

It goes to show that not only Mahathir was a better politician and need not shout his head off to be heard, he has shown that he was also a better finance minister and better economist than Anwar Ibrahim, who had been more than willing to accept the spoon-fed proposal from IMF.

The government of PM Abdullah Badawi should not completely ignore the advice of the former prime minister.The nation needs speedy reforms to create confidence in the economy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

PM Wanted Yong Arrested

Hantu Laut

The Borneo Post's headline today reported that SAPP Deputy President Raymond Tan dropped a bombshell by revealing that PM Abdullah Badawi wanted Yong Teck Lee arrested by the ACA but he pleaded to the PM not to take this unpopular decision.

Raymond said he may have differences with Yong but will do anything to defend him if the government decided to arrest him.

Although I have written articles not in Yong's favour I don't agree with this kind of intimidation and coercion tactics used by the government.Not right.This is a democracy, you just don't arrest people because they don't agree with you or wanted to throw you out as a leader.The ACA should be used only for its intended purpose not as a weapon to coerce those who oppose you.

This kind of tactic will only anger the people even more against the BN government.

Note: At the time of this posting Borneo Post Online was not accessible for me to do a link.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

He Who Cares For Sabah

Hantu Laut

What triggered off SAPP President Yong Teck Lee decision to pull out of the Barisan Nasional(BN) coalition?

SAPP Deputy President Raymond Tan revealed that Yong was unhappy when no additional seats were given to the party in the last general elections. Using the failure of the Federal government to look after the interests of the state were just poor excuses made up by the greed of one man.

Yong had been eyeing the Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seats for a long time of which he wanted the Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary seat for himself. He declared he would contest the seat in the 8th March General Elections thinking the PM would accede to his demand.

Those are seats that belong to other component parties that he wanted the Prime Minister to give to him.If his supporters and those who are blinded for their support of him and Anwar believe in his lies that he is fighting for the interests of Sabah and Sabahans no amount of explanation would suffice to change their mind how unreasonable the man is.Taking from what was revealed by Raymond Tan it is without any doubt he is pushing a self-serving agenda.

SAPP have 2 parliamentary and 4 state seats.The Sandakan Parliamentary seat belong to LDP which Yong's SAPP have been trying to grab since the 2004 General Elections that brought him and former LDP President Chong Kah Kiat at loggerheads. Chong accused him of sabotage in the 2004 Elections when LDP lost the seat to an independent.He was again alleged of having done the same in the last elections.

You can bet your bottom dollar SAPP would never have left the BN if Pakatan Rakyat didn't do well in the last elections and Anwar's promises of taking over the government and the premiership and if Yong didn't see Pak Lah as being weak and can be taken advantage of. You can again bet your bottom dollar that Yong and SAPP would still be in the BN contented with what they have and to hell with Sabah and Sabahans.

Anwar Ibrahim has promised to increase the oil royalty, give greater autonomy and a dozen or so other promises including the return of Labuan to Sabah to entice defections from BN lawmakers.He failed to deliver his boastful promise on 16th Sept, to takeover the premiership and the government.He has now come up with a new trick, he wanted Parliament to re-convene just for him to shout injustice and hope some broken-hearted MPs from BN would unconsciously spur of the moment reaction sympathise with him and cross the floor to give him support.

Can he be trusted to make good his promises for Sabah if he succeded ?

When time is rough for the BN it seems only Yong cares for Sabah and Sabahans.

Somebody should ask Yong what good has he done for Sabah when he was Chief Minister.
Did he make noise about the illegal immigrants problem?Did he goad the prime minister then to act or he would pull out of the BN?

Who accompanied him to Hong Kong to see Anwar Ibrahim ?

Also read:
REVEALED: 'Secret offers' to woo BN MPs

Friday, September 19, 2008

Would You Believe It ?

Let's hope this kind of atrocious fatwa is not festering in the mind of our ulamaks.

Arabs denounce cleric's fatwa on 'immoral' TV

By DONNA ABU-NASR, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 45 minutes ago

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Arabs across the ideological spectrum, from secular-minded liberals to Muslim hard-liners, are denouncing a top Saudi cleric's edict that it was permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV stations that show "immoral" content.

Many expressed worry the recent comments by Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan — chief of the kingdom's highest tribunal, the Supreme Judiciary Council — would fuel terrorism, encouraging attacks on station employees and owners.

The edict, or fatwa, has also focused the spotlight on Saudi Arabia's legal system because of al-Lihedan's senior position in the judiciary. The system is run by Islamic cleric-judges, many of them hard-liners, and has increasingly been criticized by some Saudis because of the wide discretion judges have in punishing criminals and the perception that many judges are out of touch with the realities of the world.

Even conservative clerics who agree that Arab satellite networks show too many "indecent" programs said al-Lihedan had gone too far.

"Our religion prevents Muslims from watching films that provide seduction, obscenity and vulgarity," said Sheik Hazim Awad, an Iraqi cleric, who, like al-Lihedan, is Sunni Muslim.

But "the real Muslim can just cancel (subscriptions to) these channels," he said.

Many conservatives frown on the Arab world's numerous satellite networks for airing music videos — often with scantily clad women singers — or Western movies and TV shows like "Sex and the City," from which nude scenes are sometimes but not always cut.

Obscenity isn't the only thing that disturbs some. On Tuesday, another Saudi cleric, Sheik Mohammed Munajjid, said the cartoon character Mickey Mouse should be killed. Munajjid said in an interview with a religious Web site that under Islamic law, rats and mice are considered "repulsive" and as "soldiers of Satan." Read more.......

Pride Goes Before A Fall

Hantu Laut

The Hebrew proverb "pride goes before a fall" warn a person that pride will cause one to fall or fail.It can also mean that you have too high opinion of yourself or your abilities and something will happen to make you look stupid.It is now a commonly used English idiom.

History has shown that many world leaders had gone down or lost their lives due to pride.Shah of Iran, Marcos of the Philippines and Suharto of Indonesia are just a few of those that have been booted out for having overstayed their welcome.

If anything can go wrong,it will.Murphy's Law.

For the past five years everything have gone against Pak Lah.Some are beyond his control but more are of his own doing.

Sometimes, fate has a strange way of warning us that we may not be suited in what we are doing and the signals maybe subtle in the earlier stage but would become more audible and visible as we keep ignoring it.

The most crucial moment of his entire life will be decided in the next few weeks whether he should hang on to his pride and sees the end of UMNO political hegemony or make a personal sacrifice to save the party.

The voices of dissent is getting louder not only from the oppositions but also from within his own party.It would be perilous to UMNO to maintain the status quo.

Only Pak Lah can decide which direction he wants to go and time may not be on his side.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Malaysia’s political saga deepens

Malaysia’s political saga deepens

With the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition's first defection, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s threats to form a new government gain strength.

While Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim failed to fulfil his promise to form a new government this week, the country’s first ever coalition defection has improved his chances of success. Wednesday’s walk-out by the Sabah Progressive Party from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition guarantees that the country’s six-month long political limbo will continue.

The decision by the Sabah Progressive Party’s two parliamentarians to leave the coalition is an unprecedented move in Malaysian politics. No member of the ruling 14-party BN coalition has ever defected in the coalition’s 39 years of leadership.

Wednesday’s move is the latest in a series of political blows to BN’s leadership since the coalition lost its two-thirds majority in the March 8 elections.

So far, the country’s economic indicators have remained strong and according to Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia’s central bank, the ringgit closed up less than 1% against the dollar at M$3.4470 on September 17. As of August 29, the latest available date, Bank Negara had M$400.2 billion ($122.6 billion) in foreign reserves.

But observers argue that a prolonged lack of political certainty will not go unnoticed.

Standard & Poor’s equity research vice-president and head of research, Lorraine Tan, says that while the rating agency believes Malaysia is “fundamentally attractive”, the continuation of political uncertainty is “weighing on sentiment (and) raising risk perception”.

Since the beginning of Malaysia’s political woes, the business community has indicated its desire for the government, regardless of party, to continue with its current policy mix.

“Businesses [in Malaysia] want stability, including political, economic and medium- to long-term guarantees,” explains Standard & Poor’s analyst Takahira Ogawa.

In the second quarter, the latest period for which numbers are available, the country's GDP grew 6.3% year-on-year to M$188.8 billion ($54.66 billion). However, in July year-on-year industrial production growth slowed to 1.8% from 2.2% in June. At the same time, the consumer price index rose to 8.5% year-on-year from 7.7% a month earlier. Read more.........

Desperate Times,Desperate Measures

Hantu Laut

In a desperate attempt to bolster his crumbling credibility Anwar Ibrahim is trying to do the impossible and the unconstitutional, demanding emergency session of Parliament without showing any proof of his support of simple majority of the house to pass a vote of no confidence against the prime minister.

This is unprecedented and not likely to happen.If he has the majority support than he can wait for Parliament to be back in session to carry out his constitutional rights or alternatively go to the Agong with his list of names.

Of course the Agong would either want to meet those MPs personally or ask for sufficient documentary proof to convince him to the best of his judgement that Anwar has the support.

Anwar, if you have, prove it to the nation, we the people will support you.If you don't have, please, just shut up!

A Living Dog Is Better Than A Dead Lion

Hantu Laut

Anwar drumming of taking over the government by 16 Sept had come to naught.He hasn't got enough frogs required to make his dream come true. From 'prime minister in waiting' to 'prime minister' no more.A fine performance that ends on a sad note.

How he managed to hoodwink the people into believing his story is just incredible.Now that he had failed the many datelines he gave, I find it even more incredible that many Malaysians are still in a state of stupor.

His charisma and hypnotic power are his greatest assets.His smiles and grins are captivating and are facades of his sinister motives.His hurried and uncontrollable desires to attain the highest realm of power is axiomatic to his downfall.

In spite of his repeated failures to capture the government as promised many are still infatuated and felt he had been treated unfairly and,therefore, deserved sympathy and support.His support extends beyond the borders of Malaysia making the skeptics uneasy and suspicious of his source of political funding.He is the darling of the Western media.Almost every major newspaper and magazine in the West painted a rosy picture of his imminent triumph in taking the government.

Anwar has it all.He has everything going in his direction after the recent general elections but his impatience and greed for power will again kill his chance to be prime minister.He didn't have the patience,perseverance and hardiness of the leaders in DAP and PAS who had travelled the long haul and are quite happy to have taken the 5 states as a gift from God.They know if they can administer the 5 states well the payoff would be in the next general elections.

Anwar is like a lion laying in ambush waiting for his victims' weak moment to pounce on them. In 1998 he contemplated  overthrowing  Mahathir after the 1997 financial meltdown that hit many Asian countries including Malaysia.Due to the financial crisis he deemed Mahathir vulnerable and conspired to takeover the premiership.Unfortunately, Mahathir was a polish and better politician than him.His sacking and imprisonment might have been his own undoing.

Although the elections are over his political campaigning is not. He sees Badawi an easy meal and goes on an incessant campaign to weaken the BN government.His constant reminder that he has the 'number' is a psychological warfare to cause a split in the BN.He has succeeded to a small degree, the withdrawal of SAPP and threat of the same from Gerakan.

His request to meet the Prime Minister for smooth transfer of power and to show him the list of defecting MPs was mere rhetoric to fool his supporters and set a trap for Abdullah.The PM was right not to meet him.Why should the PM meet him if he has sufficient number of MPs supporting him.He can assemble those MPs and go public and make a formal announcement.He can than go see the Agong and seek his consent to do what is right under the Constitutions.

There is nothing Abdullah can do to him once he and all the MPs backing him have made the public announcement.The excuses and fear he expressed were for the consumption of his supporters to get them riled up as he had done before.

He who rouses a sleeping tiger exposes himself to danger. No matter how hard one tries there is a limit to one's patience.Abdullah has been extremely patience with the endless mudslinging,name calling and racial slur expressed in many anti-government blogs that has raised racial tension to a worrying level. His patience is running out and for good reasons.

It is not Abdullah that is going to drag this nation to the quagmire.It is Anwar, he is turning this nation into a country in African  where no government is safe from predators who covetousness eventually destroy the nation.

Abdullah has said he is a threat to the economy and a possible threat to the safety of the nation.Of course his supporters would not agree, only an independent person can see where the nation had become a casualty of his perennial politicking.

I used to sympathise with the man when he was thrown in prison and believe his version of the story but since his release and return to active politics I am beginning to see his true colour and am not giving him the benefit of the doubt this time

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Hantu Laut

Given a choice of a long and prolix article and that of a bad one I would rather choose the bad one that convey the message.

Below is an excrept from an article titled “Further Reflections on the Conversations of Our Time,” written by Professor Judith Butler of University of California at Berkeley that won the first price in a bad writing contest held in New Zealand in 1998.The article appeared in a scholarly journal

"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power".

You have to be a genius to make out the meaning of the above gobbledegook.

The Star newspaper had one taken from a blog that would fall in the bad category but not, except for spelling and grammer, as atrocious as the one above.

Not sure whether it was actually bad writing or a made-up.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Current Plomitical in Stability in Malaysia
Posted by: jasonlkwong

Reflecting back on the Ahmad Ismail case, could it be ploy by certain quaters within Umno or BN to topple their own leader? Due to Badawi's soft and slow decision making nature and fickle mind, the plot is to have him delay any action on Ahmad Ismail and invoke anger amongst the BN component parties and expedite further loss of confidence by the Rakyat (not much can be loose already).

It would be hard on Badawi to act Ahmad Ismail as he(AI) percived himself as a Perjuang for their own race, any action would result in gross dismay from their type of Malays. Then there is the Chineses community, without any action taken on AI, would mean the remaining support that Badawi or BN still haves would be eroded also. Therefore, I would look at this drama as a plot by certain quaters from within BN it self to topple the current PM and BN chair person. Read more......

I guess the heading should be "Current Political Instability In Malaysia".

You see, it is easier to understand bad English than bad writing and your doctor's prescription.

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

Hantu Laut

Dedicated to Anwar Ibrahim and Georgie .....?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Now Or Never

Hantu Laut

Barisan National leaders in Sarawak say Anwar's huffing and puffing about taking over the government will be proven to be nothing but hot air.They maintained that it would not be raining “frogs” today and that no BN MPs would cross over to PR to allow the opposition alliance to form a new government.

“Come Sept 16, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will still be the prime minister and Anwar Ibrahim still the leader of Pakatan Rakyat,” said Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Dato Sri Dr James Masing when contacted yesterday.

He emphasised: “Sarawak will still be known as ‘Bumi Kenyalang’ (Land of the Hornbills), not ‘Bumi Katak’ (Land of the Frogs).”

Anwar continues to play the mind game in an attempt to weaken the resolve of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by saying he wanted to see him to show him the list of BN MPs who are defecting to Pakatan Rakyat and for smooth transfer of power. Abdullah had scoffed at Anwar's claims, calling it a mirage.

A pooh-pooh ! would be more befitting.The right thing to do is for Anwar to assemble all those defecting MPs and make them publicly announce a spontaneous show of allegiance to him and than go see the Agong to get his blessing for him to go to Parliament and get a vote of confidence for him to be the next prime minister.It would first necessitate them to pass a vote of no confidence against Abdullah.All this can only be done when Parliament is back in session.

If Anwar is truthful that would be the only option he has to show the nation that he is sincere and not lying and playing a game of poker at the expense of the people and the nation.

Asked why he still refused to give the exact number of defecting MPs or their names, Anwar said there was a fear the MPs would be detained or harassed if their names were released

Anyone can make up a list of names and discreetly show it to the PM hoping he would be fooled and believe the ploy.That's exactly what Anwar is trying to do when he sees the PM.Should the plan fail to go through he would cook-up another story that those MPs reneged on their promises or death threats against those defecting.His claim of arsenic poisoning to get rid of him while in prison was proven not true.

'Time and tide wait for no man'.Anwar knew 'it's now or never'.He must at all costs try grab the government now or lose the chance once UMNO consolidates its power.

Read also: Anwar Ibrahim's Sept 16 press statement in full

I Have A Dream

Hantu Laut

"We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends". Martin Luther King,Jr.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Martin Luther King,Jr.

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves". ~Abraham Lincoln



Monday, September 15, 2008

Is Abdullah In A Quandary ?

Hantu Laut

Zaid Ibrahim has made true his promise.He resigned from his ministerial post today.Would the rest dare do the same? Should they resign in drove to send a clear signal to Abdullah that the situation has reached critical point and the demise of BN is imminent if no solution is found to appease the coalition partners and some UMNO MPs from leaving? It may not happen on 16 Sept but it looks more and more incline in that direction.

The heat is on to save UMNO from disintegration and the government from falling into the hand of Anwar Ibrahim.

On the other side of the political fence the race is on to find enough BN deserters to steal the government from under Abdullah's nose.

Abdullah may not realise that the wind of change is about to reach Category 4 and can soon reach Category 5, the end of the scale and most destructive, unleashing fury of irreparable damage.By then it would be too late to do any repair, the damage is done, it would be total loss.

The recent ISA arrests had inflicted another serious dent in the BN already fractured armour.The Minister of Home Affairs lapse of judgement and ridiculous reasons given for the arrests had hasten the process of destruction.Nothing can be more stupendously ridiculous than saying the use of the ISA was to protect the person concerned from threat to her safety.Does the Minister think all Malaysians were born yesterday? He has done more damage to himself and the government.

Abdullah should take a leaf out of the Japanese political system where the prime minister would resign when he has exhausted his popularity within the ruling party.The situation with him is worse as not only he is unpopular within his coalition, he faces the same on the ground.

Prime Minister Abdullah may have to re-look at the transfer of power. He can either resign now or carry on at his own perils.The choice is his.

Tunku Aziz:An Enigma ?

Hantu Laut

After having done four years in a Malay primary school I was selected to go to one of the premier schools at Jesselton in the then British North Borneo.

Coming from a Malay school I had to attend two years of bridge classes, a kind of preparatory class to learn the English language and learn all subjects in English for entry to secondary level.

My first and second year at that school was the time I met Tunku Abdul Aziz, my English and form teacher.A tall burly man with light pockmarked face who spoke English with a twang, he can either give you comfort as well as strike terror.He was a perfect example of a person you either love or hate.Though I didn't have many years of his teachings, on hindsight, I would say he was a good teacher.

Tunku left North Borneo and went back to Malaya soon after I entered my secondary level.I believe most students have lost contact with him soon thereafter.

I only rediscover Tunku a few years back through his various articles published in our national papers from time to time and his active participation in Transparency International.He has also served in various capacities in the private and public sector.He is an avid critic of corruptions in government and has sat on the advisory boards of various International organisations.He has been apolitical all this while until last month when he joined the DAP which came as a huge surprise to many people.

One would have thought that if he had wanted to go into politics he would join PKR.The choice of DAP was baffling, making him an enigma.He wouldn't want to join UMNO because of his critical view of the party and his constant reminder of corruptions in government.

The probable reasons for him not joining PKR was that he might have burned the bridge between him and Anwar by his article that appeared in the New Straits Times on July 27 2008 titled 'Cut the theatrics,Anwar,and let Malaysians get on with their live'.

What I found inexplicable and one that left me in the lurch is that if Anwar isn't his cup of tea as the next prime minister of this country, isn't joining DAP is in conflict with this political philosophy ?

It is simply stupefying that someone who had written an irate article against the person a month ago can now join forces with him indirectly through a coalition partner who is likely to agree to stage a coup to bring down a duly elected government.

It would be interesting to find out where Tunku Aziz's stand is with Anwar taking over the government by luring BN lawmakers by offering sweeteners to defect to his side?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Well Done, Zaid!

Hantu Laut

Well done Zaid! That's the way those entrusted by the people should act.

Zaid Ibrahim has announced that he would resign if the government continue to use the ISA to arrest civilian.That would make him the first Minister under Badawi who are prepared to forgo his ministerial position against policy that goes against his principle.

It may be the wrong man giving up his job, it looks more appropriate that the Minister of Home Affairs should resign from his job for the blunders and pathetic reasons given by him.How could Tan and Theresa Kok be threat to national security.

It appears that the government is scrapping bottom of the barrel in a desperate move to save itself. Theresa Kok claimed she had nothing to do with the allegation
that she asked the mosque to turn down the volume of its 'azan' call.

I urge Pak Lah to do the right thing.Free all ISA detainees.

The Ugly American

Hantu Laut

"Peaceful expression of political opinions is a fundamental right and critical to a democracy" said a US State official.

The Malaysian envoy in Washington was summoned by the US State Department to express their protest against the Malaysian government crackdown on streets protesters and demonstrations by the oppositions.

The use of the ISA to detain dissenters without fair trail is the bone of contention with the U.S. 

As much as I am against the use of the ISA, I equally detest the U.S interference and meddling in the internal affairs of other nation.Every country has different political structure.We may be a democracy, but it's 'different strokes for different folks' and it's not 'one size fits all' as the U.S wish to think.

The American think they are the most democratic nation on the planet and are the world's policeman and can go round the globe throwing punches and hankering other governments to measure up to their standards.

A claim,  if one were to go by its history of skewed foreign policies, belligerency and wars, certainly did not measure up to respecting  human rights and human lives. The have abused their military might to settle scores with poor defenceless nations without care and consideration of collateral damage to human lives and properties.

They have promoted and protected corrupt and repressive regimes, as long as the villains play and sing their tune. 

From the Shah of Iran, Marcos of Philippines, Sadam of Iraq and to some of the most corrupt and repressive regimes in African and Latin American countries, they have showered these villains with the best weaponry to keep themselves in power. Most were brought down by people's power and by the U.S itself when they started singing other songs. 

The U.S. has committed human right abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan, using its military might bombing and killing hundreds of thousand of innocent civilians in those countries, captured and  thrown suspected terrorists into prison in Guantanamo Bay, denied them rights to legal assistance and fair trail. 

They have helped run torture cells in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries to extract information from suspected terrorists.

Should people like this be allowed to speak up and protest against the laws of other countries when they are the biggest culprits of human right abuses of citizens of other countries. If you are not American, you are not human, in the eyes of the US administration.

If you are not with me you are against me!

When Hamas was elected to power through the democratic process, they withdrew all financial aids to the Palestinian people. If you are friends of America you can get away with murder like the Shah of Iran and his secret police known to have made many dissidents disappear without trace.
If you are friend of America, you can do what you like.

This bunch of hypocrites is now trying to help their poster boy Anwar Ibrahim overthrow a duly elected government because he is a great friend of America.

Shame on you, America!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Never The Twain Shall Meet

Hantu Laut

Some of the BN MPs have returned from their purported study trip to Taiwan.

Mohammad Aziz, one of the MPs upon arrival at KLIA when asked by reporters whether he met the 5 PKR pursuers said "We didn't meet anyone, not even a single ghost."

Mohammad said some MPs have returned to KL and some directly to Sabah while others are dispersed to other places of their own choices for holidays.There may be some stranded in Taiwan due to the horrendous weather.

He said "We are not running from anyone. Maybe some of us are running from the weather,"

The picture would become clearer tomorrow when the 5 PKR pursuers returned home, whether they have met some of the MPs or were sent on a wild goose chase by Anwar.

It came as a surprise that being so sure-footed Anwar didn't pursue the MPs himself or was it, he never had 'the numbers' in the first place?

It would also be easier for him to free himself of blame should his big game plan failed to bear fruits.

A Bad Law Or Necessary Evil ?

Hantu Laut

The government have started the crackdown on those deemed as threat to security of the nation.

The recent arrests of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, journalist Tan Hoon Chang and opposition MP Theresa Kok have put the people in a quandary and a government drifting away from the people.

There are over 60 ISA detainees currently in custody.Most are Malays allegedly involved in suspected terrorist organisations, Jemaiya Islamia and Darul Islam.They are the forgotten lots.Some have been there for as long as 7 years. Read list of detainees here.

Look like a big screw up, sent the messenger to prison and sent the culprit away scot-free. What about the editor, the gatekeeper, who decides what goes in and what goes out ?

Are there anymore sensible people left in the government?

Is the ISA a bad law or a necessary evil?

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Happened In 2006 ?:Bigot Revisited

Hantu Laut

Sometimes, it's difficult to separate the sheep from the goats.

Whether Ahmad Ismail is a bigot, defender of the faith or
Pahlawan Melayu (Malay hero), the man is never short of controversies and strange as it may sound he somehow survives the dangerous waters of politics.People like him and Anwar Ibrahim seemed to have the nine lives.Even the cats would find it difficult to survive such deadly hurdles.

It wouldn't be lack of profundity to say that in every race, group or community there are bound to be the contemptuous black sheep.Ahmad's chauvinistic view is his and not the general perception of the Malay community.

In 2006 Ahmad was again in the limelight over his insolvency status that was widely reported in the media.

1.Umno's leadership will decide the fate of Datuk Ahmad Ismail, who was ordered to relinquish his post as a Penang island municipal councillor because he was bankrupt.
Penang Umno liaison committee secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said it would leave it to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is the committee chairman, to decide.
He said the matter would be discussed when Abdullah returned from his overseas trip.
It was reported yesterday that Ahmad, who is also a director of a firm linked to the Penang Outer Ring Road, had to relinquish his councillor's position as he was a bankrupt.(New Straits Times 24 May 2006)

2.Umno Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail is adamant that he will not relinquish any of his posts.
Ahmad, who was declared a bankrupt, had been ordered to give up his Penang Island Municipal Council position and his Umno post.
He said he had obtained a stay of execution order from the High Court and lashed out at Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon for rushing to announce that he had been stripped of his councillor's post.
"I don't know why a small fry like me has been given such widespread publicity.
"I was declared a bankrupt because of a technicality and I have sorted it out.
"All this could have been avoided if the Chief Minister had checked his facts first," he said
(New Strait Times 26 May 2006 )

3.Bukit Bendera Umno Chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail is not bankrupt and will continue back as a member of the Pulau Pinang Town Council (MPPP).
Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon today said that he had received a letter from the Insolvency Department confirming that Ahmad was not bankrupt.
Yesterday, Ahmad had described the actions of the state government and the MPPP in terminating him from his post of a member of MPPP as being hasty and unreasonable.(Bernama 26 May 2006)

4.)Bukit Bendera Umno Branch chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail will keep his job of councillor in the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP).
Ahmad cleared his name today when the Penang High Court nullified a lower court ruling declaring him a bankrupt.
A jubilant Ahmad said he has received a letter from the state government confirming that he will be retained as MPPP councillor.
He said he was a "victim of circumstances". He acted as a guarantor for a RM1.8-million loan taken by a private company which had defaulted on the repayment.
"I thank Allah that it's all over now. I have cleared my name and now I am looking forward to serving the people of Bukit Bendera (and the MPPP)," he said.(Bernama 27 June 2006)

5.Bukit Bendera Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail claimed that Koh and Chia did not honour their election promises, which included introducing a programme to eradicate poverty and inculcating entrepreneurship among the Malays in the city.
Describing the Malays in Penang as the victimised minority, he asked Koh and Chia to fulfill the pledges they made and asked them to hold discussions with Umno leaders to work out the programme for the Malays.(Bernama 27 Aug 2006)

Time is a great healer. This nasty episode would soon be forgotten and Ahmad would quietly return to his political wheeling-dealing, UMNO unchanged and unrepentant and Anwar still chasing his elusive dream.

This will the closing chapter of Ahmad Ismail's political boo-boo and we should forgive him for the outburst that was probably done in a fit of anger.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Happened In 1998 ?

Hantu Laut

Ahmad Ismail was a staunch supporter of Anwar Ibrahim during the initial period of Anwar's sodomy allegation and the sacking from his deputy premiership and from the party.

His defiance against the sacking of Anwar was much reported in various newspapers at that time.

Below are some of them:

1.The Umno Bukit Bendera division, which held a special meeting yesterday, decided to ask that Anwar be given a fair trial in defending himself against the allegations.
"As stated by Dr Mahathir before, we should not pronounce someone guilty until the courts have stated so.
"Anwar should be given a chance to explain his side to the people so that peace can be preserved in the country," the division said in a Press statement today.
The statement was signed by Bukit Bendera division chief Senator Datuk Ahmad Ismail, his deputy Azmi @ Iskandar S.H.O. Merican, its Youth wing leader Mohd Ismail Mohd Othman, deputy Youth chief Ismadi Abu Bakar, assistant secretary Syed Abdul Kadir Aidid, deputy Youth treasurer Azhar Ahmad and the division's Youth information chief Yahaya Ibrahim.
Other signatories were Bukit Bendera Wanita chief Haslinda Mohd Hashim and her deputy Asnah Hussain.
The division said it supported Dr Mahathir as Umno president and Prime Minister.
"We also support Anwar as both are personalities and leaders who are hard to replace," they added (New Strait Times 9 Sept 1998)

2.The state Umno's recent meeting which endorsed the supreme council's decision to expel former deputy party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was held in proper manner.
Its deputy liaison committee chairman Datuk Mohd Shariff Omar, in saying this, dismissed Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail's claims that the meeting was not properly held and therefore the decision taken by the nine division leaders present was null and void.(The Sun 14 Sept 1998)

3.The crowd of supporters at sacked deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's residence came alive tonight when his wife, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, took centre-stage to thank them for their support.
Another speaker was Senator Datuk Ahmad Ismail of Umno Bukit Bendera who said the division fully supports Anwar. Anwar, who addressed the crowd about 10pm, said he was touched by their support (The Sun 15 Sept 1998).

4.Datuk Ahmad Saad, Datuk Ahmad Ismail and other Penang politicians closely allied with Anwar attended a dinner at Datuk Abdullah's house on Saturday night.
Datuk Ahmad Saad, the acting divisional chief in Anwar's former constituency, said that the former No 2 should have refrained from attacking the party, and put his own interests on the backburner.
"When Pak Lah was dropped from the Cabinet in the 80s, he did not attack the government or anybody. He just kept quiet," he said, referring to the current Deputy Premier. (Straits Times 21 June 1999)

Is Ahmad Ismail a stooge or playing the racialist game just to get more supports from the Malays at the expense of UMNO

Musuh Dalam Selimut ?

Hantu Laut

At last UMNO took action against Ahmad Ismail.He is suspended from the party for three years. Better late than never.The action had saved BN from disintegration.

Rumours abound that Ahmad Ismail is a plant of Anwar Ibrahim to destroy UMNO from within.It's an ingenious idea to break up the BN.What better ways than raising racial remarks to infuriate your partners which may cause them to leave the coalition. A conspiracy theory of the inference kind.Improbable but not impossible.

I received the article below written in Bahasa Melayu (Malay) from one of my commentators.

Pahlawan Melayu atau Pengkhianat Bangsa?

Perwatakan dan gaya Dato' Ahmad Ismail menampakkan beliau seorang Panglima Perang Besar bangsa Melayu yang begitu garang dan tegas. Seolah-olah tidak ada seinci pun yang akan diberikan oleh panglima ini dalam menegakkan kedaulatan dan keagungan bangsa
Tetapi adakah ini kebenaran atau persepsi semata-mata? Kalau benar ia hanya persepsi, silat persepsi sebegini rupa hanya boleh diajar oleh seorang ahli politik sahaja. Ahli politik yang ketandusan prinsip. Ahli politik yang dahulunya berwajah pejuang bangsa dan kini sudah bertukar rupa untuk menjadi musuh bangsa Melayu nombor satu, Anwar Ibrahim.

Seni halus yang dimainkan oleh Ahmad Ismail berbau Anwar. Anwar dengan liciknya menarik perhatian orang ramai kenegeri Sabah dan Sarawak sedangkan pergerakannya banyak tertumpu di Semenanjung Malaysia, terutamanya di negeri kuatnya Pulau Pinang.

Fakta yang sahih menunjukkan Anwar Ibrahim telah mengambil Ahmad Ismail sebagai anak didik politiknya ketika Anwar menjadi Ketua Perhubungan Negeri. Dari ahli biasa, Ahmad Ismail diangkat oleh Anwar hingga beliau memegang tampuk kepimpinan Bukit Bendera. Dalam tempoh ini, segala kemahuan dan nafsu duniawi Ahmad Ismail dipuaskan oleh Anwar. Ahmad Ismail begitu terhutang budi dengan jasa yang telah ditabur oleh mentor politiknya.

Pada tahun 2008, Anwar meraih hutang budinya dari Ahmad Ismail. Namun, bukanlah kenangan kisah silam sahaja yang berjaya membuat Ahmad Ismail mengkhianat bangsa sendiri. Kerakusan dan ketamakan Ahmad Ismail menjadi pendorong utama mengapa dia sanggup menggadai maruah diri, maruah bangsa dan maruah UMNO.

Setelah Pulau Pinang jatuh ketangan Pakatan Rakyat. Dunia Ahamad Ismail menjadi semakin gelap. Dia seolah-olah karam dalam lautan politik yang bergelora ini.Hanya Anwar sahaja yang boleh menyelamatkannya.

Dengan sekelip mata, Ahmad Ismail dengan relanya menjayakan wayang dan mengupas agenda sebenar Anwar Ibrahim yang telah menggegar negara baru-baru ini. Ketika sidang akhbar itu berjalan, pesan Anwar Ibrahim bergema di dalam Ahmad Ismail – "Bakar semangat Melayu, Pastikan BN berpecah tanggal 16 Sepetember ini. Pastikan Gerakan dan MCA keluar dari Barisan. Bila aku kembali berkuasa kau akan menerima habuannya."

Tanggungjawab UMNO ialah untuk memperjuangkan nasib anak bangsa, dan dengan nada yang sama, kepada pemimpin yang sengaja membelakangi tanggungjawab ini demi kepentingan peribadi, UMNO harus berani menjatuhkan hukuman seberat beratnya. Kerana UMNO alaf baru ini tiada tempat untuk pengkhianat anak bangsa dan boneka Anwar Ibrahim seperti Ahmad Ismail ini.

Also read:

Saya Akan Ambil Tindakan Terhadap Utusan Malaysia & Zaini Hassan

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Elusive Dream

Hantu Laut

Despite all those earnest declarations by Anwar of taking over the government latest by 16th September there seemed to be something missing in his calculations of what he called "we have the numbers". There appears to be no logical progression to those numbers under the present circumstances.

Anwar may have to wait until the next elections to try capture the Federal government.His sudden realization that it would be almost next to impossible for him to takeover the government this term unless there is a big exodus from almost all of the non-UMNO and non-PBB components of the BN or a mixture of all including significant number from UMNO.

The biggest stumbling block for him would be lawmakers from UMNO, MCA and PBB in Sarawak who are not likely to switch camp at the moment.

Without the full thrust of MCA and those from Sabah and Sarawak, he wouldn't have a chance of taking over the government.He may only get some of those from Sabah and Sarawak and, maybe, some from MCA, but wouldn't be enough to grab the trophy from Abdullah.It is not as easy as many of us would like to think.

With the exception of Yong Teck Lee of SAPP, other leaders in the BN components may not want to jeopardise their already well-rewarded positions. Only those who have worked out the risk factor, disgruntled and have nothing to lose would cross over to Pakatan.

Without deserters from UMNO and PBB, the maximum he could get from Sabah and Sarawak would be at best only give him 11 from Sabah and 16 from Sarawak, giving him a maximum of 26, not enough to form a simple majority.With only Sabah and Sarawak and without massive defections from MCA, he has very little chance of success.

MCA has 15 parliamentary seats , MIC 3 and Gerakan 2.He has to take at least two-thirds of those seats including the 11 from Sabah and 16 from Sarawak to have a comfortable majority.It is not going to be an easy task for him as he had made it clear he is not offering any monetary benefits or positions to those who wish to cross over.

Politics in Malaysia is all about money, positions and status.Even those who started with a noble value would eventually ended up licking their conscience.It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack to find a politician with one honest bone in them and with strong conviction to only serve the people and nation. Anwar should know this, he came from the same political school.

Would MCA get better treatment if it joins PR (Pakatan Rakyat) with arch rival DAP in there with 28 seats compared to MCA 15 assuming MCA moved over en-bloc? With the two tigers in DAP, Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang, MCA would be food for the tigers.

The political landscape would take a drastic and scary change if MCA and all the other non-UMNO parliamentarians crossed over to Pakatan Rakyat. It would be completely new dawn in Malaysian politics and the end of 'ketuanan Melayu' that our former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad kept reminding the Malays to safeguard.

Below would be the scenario if Anwar can successfully wrestles the Federal government away from Abdullah on the assumption that no UMNO and PBB parliamentarians joined in the crossover.

Pakatan Rakyat new profile:

Non-Malay seats
DAP 28
Sabah(non-UMNO) 11
Sarawak(non-PBB) 16
PKR(non-Malay) 11
MCA/MIC/Gerakan 20
Total 86

Malay seats

PKR 20
PAS 23
Total 43

That would give him 129 seats, just enough to form a weak coalition and for the first time a government without Malay majority. A true Bangsa Malaysia government widely promoted by Anwar Ibrahim.

The above scenario is based on UMNO and PBB not losing any of their parlimentarians to the crossover and would stay as opposition until the next elections.

Another hypothetical scenario, remote but not impossible, is the making of a new and more powerful all-Malay coalition comprising UMNO, PAS, PKR and PBB with 147 seats in Parliament.

Without significant numbers from UMNO and other BN components joining him there is little chance of Anwar taking over the government in the immediate future.

Another stumbling block for Anwar is from his own coalition partners, PAS and DAP.

Lim Kit Siang of DAP had made it clear that his party would not support defections from the BN if based on promises of money and positions.Without these two incentives and knowing the true nature of our politicians, how many would want to cross over to ground zero ?

DAP knew bringing in other coalition partners would erode their power and influence in Pakatan.They are prepared to wait till the next elections to increase their intake of Chinese seats which they are highly likely to succeed as by then Gerakan and MCA would probably be history.

They have waited for this day of glory and are not going to let a moment of greed to destroy what they have fought for over four decades.With Penang and Perak under its control and significant influence in the Selangor state government and well represented in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur they are not in a hurry to be a player at Federal level.

PAS have also sounded the same sentiment albeit on different issues.If there should be racial imbalance in the Pakatan line-up where Malay representation is not adequately met,PAS is likely to stay away from such move.

Both DAP and PAS are not in a hurry to grab the Federal government. Only Anwar is prepared for a coup de grace against Abdullah's government, all for his secret agenda, under the guises of equality for all Malaysians.

Bangsa Malaysia, maybe, an elusive dream after all.

The month of October will see the massive shifting of support from the Abdullah/Najib's camp to the Mahathir/Razaleigh/Muhyiddin's camp.

The only possible scenario that going to happen before the year end is the ousting of Abdullah and Najib as President and Deputy President of UMNO respectively, if they can't stabilise the tense and dangerous political climate the next few months.

Now Abdullah has to face a bigger problem to his already mounting and insurmountable problems.

Not only he has to play kung-fu with Anwar Ibrahim, he has to face an even more potent opponent, his old guru, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad who had declared to rejoin UMNO.