Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mother India:Rocky's Bru's Indian Brew

Hantu Laut

Hahahah! When some Malays called the Chinese and Indians as "pendatangs" politicians on the other side of the political fence quickly politicised the issue accusing UMNO leaders of racism.When PM Najib introduced the 1 Malaysia concept to bring Malaysians of all creeds and cultures together they ridiculed him to no end.When Anwar Ibrahim sex tape was shown all over the Internet that showed a spitting image of him screwing a "China Doll" every Pakatan leaders including his own wife declared it was not him.

Now, two Pendatang MPs from DAP have gone to India to seek help from leaders of BJP political party to help Malaysian Indians discriminated and marginalised by the Malaysian government.

Maybe, DAP should declare that the 2 MPs that went to "Mother India" asking for help from the Indian government are impostors, they are not DAP parliamentarians.

Read Rocky's Bru post on this most appalling, stupid and unpatriotic action of two Malaysian Indian MPs from the political grouping called Pakatan Rakyat. The story was widely published in India. Read story full text here, here and here.

Now, I understand why the Ceylonese Tamils don't want to be called Indians, preferring themselves as Jaffnese or Elam Tamils.

The moral of the story is................if you don't want to be called "pendatang", don't behave like one.

Euro in danger, Europe races for debt solution


PARIS (AP) - European leaders rushed Monday to stop a rampaging debt crisis that threatened to shatter their 12-year-old experiment in a common currency and devastate the world economy as a result.

One proposal gaining prominence would have countries cede some control over their budgets to a central European authority. In a measure of how rapidly the peril has grown, that idea would have been unthinkable even three months ago.

World stock markets, glimpsing hope that Europe might finally be shocked into stronger action, staged a big rally. The Dow Jones industrial average in New York rose almost 300 points. In France, stocks rose 5 percent, the most in a month.

More relevant to the crisis, borrowing costs for European nations stabilized. They had risen alarmingly in recent weeks - in Greece, then in Italy and Spain, then across the continent, including in Germany, the strongest economy in Europe.Read more.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lim Kit Siang For Prime Minister, Anwar Deputy ?

Hantu Laut

"Pakatan ready to take over the federal government" says Anwar Ibrahim here.

Sounds similar to his Sept 16 farce.The man waging psychological war against the BN government trying to hoodwink the people to ally to his side to fulfill his ravenous desire to be prime minister is once again doomed.

Anwar said three years ago, the party has no strength in Sarawak and PKR Sabah was a mess.

Anwar is still unable to ratiocinate Sabah and Sarawak politics and wake up to reality that things have not changed, PKR is still in a mess and unlikely to make much inroads into Sabah and Sarawak's politics.

Pakatan's chances of winning Sabah and Sarawak in the 13th GE is bleak.The spoilers, PKR and PAS.

As far as Sabah and Sarawak are concerned, PKR and PAS are the monkey wrenches in the works, they have nothing to offer other than empty promises that would eliminate Pakatan's chances of taking the two states.The only party that would do well in the East Malaysian states would be DAP, taking most, if not all, predominant Chinese seats.The unfortunate thing is, DAP alone do not have enough seats to form the government.Anwar's life long dream of taking over the federal government and he as prime minister would stay forever a dream.

DAP would do well nation wide and would collect the biggest number of seats among the 3 coalition partners.PAS insistence on hudud law would backfire among non-Muslims and forward looking Muslims.It would not perform well as the Malay votes would be split between PAS and UMNO taking bigger slice of the Malay vote bank.PKR is a lost cause, a wannabe multiracial party that has become a party for Anwar and his family. A party that only exist on sympathy votes for Anwar. Now, that the people have seen the real Anwar Ibrahim the "undi kasihan" have evaporated leaving PKR in a quagmire, fighting an uphill battle to maintain its influence.It would get less seats than those won in March 2008.

If Pakatan do pull through than the man that should be prime Minister should be Lim Kit Siang, Anwar as his deputy and Karpal Singh as minister of finance. As Anwar was against making mandatory a Malay as PM than he should not complain if he has to play second fiddle in the event PKR performed badly.

The West Malaysian scenario will not happen in Sabah and Sarawak.There is no guarantee that Pakatan would be a more benevolent government and not likely to be better guardian of state rights.

Some of their leaders are already behaving like gangsters threatening to break down prison walls if Anwar is incarcerated and threatened to deploy massive street protests should BN win the 13th GE.

Even if BN won, in free and fair elections, Pakatan can still accuse BN of cheating to justify them copying the Arab Spring which they have stupidly indicated they would do.

The contentious hudud, Anwar's sex tape and the oppositions incessant melodramatic attacks against Najib and his government may change the voting pattern as people begin to see the falsities of these attacks.The BN may even regain its two-thirds majority in the 13th GE .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Altsom:Malaysian Insider The Master Embellisher

Hantu Laut

What you read in Malaysian Insider is not necessary exactly the same with what was reported from the sources they picked up some of their news.

They report on Altsom paying bribes in Malaysia was highly embellished and stinks of politics.Sure, there are many corrupt deals in Malaysia, but should so-called purveyor of news indulged in gutter journalism and embellished news they sourced from other parties.

Read what the various foreign newspapers published.They all carry exactly the same story except Malaysian Insider. There was no specific mention of Tenaga or any other Malaysian companies in the other reports.

Read the full report from Malaysian Insider:

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — French engineering group Alstom was fined RM133 million by Swiss authorities after its employees were found to have bribed civil servants in at least three cases including the award of contracts in Malaysia.

It is the second French company in as many years to be fined for bribing government officials in Malaysia, after telco firm Alcatel-Lucent paid RM435 million to resolve US criminal and civil probes in December 2010.

The four-year probe centred on payments made by Alstom Network Schweiz AG to middlemen — termed “commercial agents” by the company — in return for securing government contracts to build power stations in 15 countries since the 1990s.

The Financial Times reported today that the Swiss Office of the Attorney-General said it had not found criminal wrongdoing by the French company and a Swiss affiliate, which, “as far as can be ascertained” did not know about the bribes.

“But it accused Alstom of ‘failing to meet the standards for an international group employing over 75,000 people’, sanctioning the group for ‘corporate negligence’,” the international business daily said.

The Washington Post also reported Alstom as saying it was satisfied with the outcome of the case as it concluded “the absence of any system or so called slush funds used for bribery of civil servants.”

Alstom supplied Malakoff’s gas-fired power plant in Lumut. — industcards.com pic
But the US daily also reported the French firm as acknowledging “that prosecutors had concluded that ‘improper payments were made to civil servants in Latvia, Malaysia and Tunisia.’”

“In two out of these three cases, Alstom itself would appear to be a victim of the actions of some of its employees, who would have benefited from kickbacks. In the third one, Alstom was simply a subcontractor of a consortium,” the company said, according to Reuters.

Alstom was awarded a RM2.8 billion contract by Tenaga Nasional earlier this year to provide key power generation equipment to Southeast Asia’s first 1,000-megawatt (MW) supercritical coal-fired power plant Manjung, Malaysia.

It also won turnkey contracts in 1994 and 2000 to build four power plants including the 1,300MW Lumut and the 670MW Kuala Langat plants and deals in 2003 and 2004 to install environmental control systems for the Tanjung Bin and Jimah coal-fired power plants.

Alstom was also appointed by Tenaga to supply two 125MW hydro power turbines, a generator and ancillaries for the 250MW Hulu Terengganu hydro power plant in 2010.

Alstom says it is “the largest original equipment manufacturer in Malaysia” having supplied key equipment for nearly 7.5 gigawatt (GW) of the country’s installed power generation capacity.

The ruling will have significant repercussions for a concurrent criminal investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office. Brazil is also investigating some of the company’s contracts.

The Swiss authority also looked at alleged wrongdoing by Alstom in 12 other countries but did not find compelling evidence.

In July, a former Alcatel employee was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with giving a RM25,000 bribe to a Telekom Malaysia (TM) officer, in a case linked to the French company’s admission last year that it had bribed government officials to win a US$85 million (RM255 million) contract.

From The Wall Street Journal

By Samuel Rubenfeld

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General said Tuesday it closed a probe into Alstom SA, and ordered a unit to pay 38.5 million Swiss francs ($42.2 million)

lstom Network Schweiz AG, a unit of the French power engineering and train company, was fined CHF2.5 million for negligence in implementing proper controls to prevent bribery by company officials in Latvia, Tunisia and Malaysia, and it was ordered to pay an additional CHF36 million for profits connected to the negligence. Dow Jones Newswires reported on the story, and there’s more here, here, here and here.

The Swiss attorney general said in a statement that during a broader investigation of Alstom, eventually focused on 15 countries, it found that the company “had implemented a compliance policy that was suitable in principle, but that it had not enforced it with the necessary persistence.”

A summary judgement issued by the attorney general’s office said the group “failed to meet the standards” of an entity employing 75,000 people around the globe. Alstom’s compliance department was understaffed, it said, and “filled with employees with too little experience and/or training in compliance issues.”

That lack of experienced compliance personnel, according to the Swiss attorney general’s office, enabled the corruption to happen without the knowledge of the French parent.

“The investigation showed that consultants engaged by Alstom on the basis of consultancy agreements in the mentioned three countries had forwarded a considerable part of their success fees to foreign decision makers and thereby had influenced the latter in favor of Alstom,” the statement said.

Alstom said in its own statement that the use of consultants for tenders is both legal and customary so long as their relationship “correspond[s] to actual services and [does] not contribute to illicit activities led by these partners.”

The company is not going to appeal the finding, it said. Further, it burnished itself in the wake of the announcement, saying the company did not engage in systemic corruption.

“Alstom notes with satisfaction that, after thorough investigations, the Office of Attorney General has concluded the absence of any system or so called slush funds used for bribery of civil servants to illegally obtain contracts,” it said in the statement.

The company is under investigation for alleged bribery by the U.S. Justice Department, as well as by authorities in several other countries, including the U.K.Read more.

From Washington Post/Bloomberg

BERN, Switzerland — A subsidiary of French engineering company Alstom SA has been ordered to pay 39 million Swiss francs ($42.7 million) in fines and compensation to end a long-running corruption case in Switzerland, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The four-year probe centered on payments made by Alstom Network Schweiz AG to middlemen — termed “commercial agents” by the company — in return for securing government contracts to build power stations in 15 countries since the 1990s.Read more.

From Reuters

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Swiss authorities have fined French power and engineering group Alstom 38.5 million Swiss francs ($42 million) for corporate negligence, after a global bribery probe.

Alstom said on Tuesday it was fined 2.5 million francs for negligence in three cases involving company officials in Latvia, Malaysia and Tunisia. It must also pay around 36 million francs, corresponding to estimated profit related to the cases.

"In two out of these three cases, Alstom itself would appear to be a victim of the actions of some of its employees, who would have benefited from kickbacks, 'enriching themselves at the expense of the company'," Alstom said.Read more.

From Swissinfo

The Swiss subsidiary of French transport and engineering company Alstom has been found guilty of corporate negligence following a lengthy corruption inquiry.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office said on Tuesday Alstom Network Schweiz AG had been fined SFr2.5 million ($2.74 million) and ordered to pay SFr36.4 million in compensation relating to three cases where it had failed to prevent the bribery of foreign officials in Latvia, Tunisia and Malaysia.

The punishment comes after investigations into the company’s actions in 15 countries were reopened in 2008. The investigation concluded that Alstom had failed to enforce a compliance policy with the “necessary persistence”.

“Therefore, acts of bribery in Latvia, Tunisia and Malaysia were not prevented,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“The investigation showed that consultants engaged by Alstom… had forwarded a considerable part of their success fees to foreign decision makers [in the countries concerned] and thereby had influenced the latter in favour of Alstom.”

The prosecutor’s office said that after “considerable investigative efforts” it had detected some breaches of internal compliance methods, but no additional acts of bribery in the other 12 countries.

It dismissed proceedings against parent company Alstom SA in relation to the Latvian, Tunisian and Malaysian cases after imposing costs of SFr1 million.

In a statement, Alstom said it was satisfied that the Swiss prosecutor’s office had not found evidence “of any system or so-called slush funds used for bribery of civil servants to illegally obtain contracts”.

The company said that in two of the three cases were it was found to be at fault, it was a “victim of the actions of some of its employees”, while in the third, Alstom was “simply a subcontractor of a consortium”.Read more

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Life as a White Supremacist

John Matthews had long been a presence in his son Dan’s life. Every six months it was a new city, a new state, a new apartment. Dan, who lived with his mother, suspected something illegal was going on. He was estranged from his father and even used his stepfather’s last name, Candland. Once, when Dan was 16, Matthews called him from a pay phone to say he was going underground and might appear on the television show America’s Most Wanted one day. Months later, when they reconnected, neither brought it up.

Matthews, who is now 59, recognized how he must have looked to his son: a troubled Vietnam veteran, a paranoid man who wandered between jobs and marriages, despised the government, and always kept a camouflage backpack filled with food, water, and clothing by his bedroom door. “Danny always figured I was trash,” Matthews says. “Or a bad person.”

Now they were outside the federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City; Dan, 33, had no idea why. A grizzled man in a Stetson hat smoking a Toscanelli cigar introduced himself as Jesse Trentadue, attorney at law, and led them into his office across the street. There, Matthews divulged the secret he had harbored for two decades: while his family thought he was hiding from the law, palling around with white supremacists and other antigovernment activists, he was working as an informant for the FBI, posing as an extremist to infiltrate more than 20 groups in an effort to thwart terrorist attacks. “[Dan’s] eyes got bigger and bigger,” the lawyer recalls. For Dan, the revelation brought sanity to a childhood of mystery and frustration. Finally, he says, “it all made sense.”

It is rare for an informant to unmask himself, especially one who has found his way into the violent world of heavily armed bigots. But Matthews had developed a fatal lung condition and a drastically weakened heart, and he wanted his family to know his true identity before it was too late. “I ain’t gonna be around for more than a couple of years longer,” he says. “So I figure whatever’s gonna happen is gonna happen.”

Matthews’s story, which Newsweek verified through hundreds of FBI documents and several dozen interviews, including conversations with current and former FBI officials, offers a rare glimpse into the murky world of domestic intelligence, and the bureau’s struggles to combat right-wing extremism.

No one can forget how Timothy McVeigh set off a bomb in front of a federal building in Oklahoma City in April 19, 1995, killing 168 people including 19 children under the age of 6. FBI efforts to avert another outrage have taken on increased importance in recent years, as fears of Islamic terrorism, a sour economy, expanded federal powers under the Patriot Act, and the nation’s first black president have swelled the ranks of extremist groups. Since President Obama’s election, the number of right-wing extremist groups—a term that covers a broad array of dissidents ranging from white supremacists to antigovernment militias—has mushroomed from 149 to 824, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based civil-rights group.Read more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kuala Lumpur:Urban Sprawl And Crawl

Hantu Laut

I have written a number of articles about Kuala Lumpur as a growing metropolis particularly the mishmash urban development and its horrendous public transportation system.It has one of the worst taxi services in the world and a limping public transportation system.

To add to its woes, productivity in the service industry is still much to be desired compared to other growing economies in the region.

As a simple measure, go to any fast food chains in KL or anywhere in Malaysia, it's normal to wait 10 minutes before you get your food delivered to you, which loses the very essence of a fast food outlet.Some Chinese and Indian hawker's stalls can serve food much faster than franchise chains like KFC and McDonald. People who goes for fast food either go for the price or they are time constrained.

My KL friends used to laugh at me and think I am talking cock when I say KL is becoming a dysfunctional city.Its ostentatious looks tells a different story. You have to be a world traveller to understand whether a city is fully functional or not and Kuala Lumpur is not one of them.Some American and European cities are not much better.

I used to hate Manila,Jakarta and Bangkok with the terrible macet (traffic jam).I used to do day trip to Bangkok and Jakarta before, go early morning flight, finished doing my business and returned same day to Singapore, where I used to live.

Unless, you have been to many other cities of the world you wouldn't have a clue how to rate a city.The World Bank has came up with a report here deriding KL as a poorly planned and inefficient city due to bad and poor planning.

The haphazard urban sprawl has brought with it the big urban crawl.Bumper to bumper traffic is a common sight in KL.The city planners are not forward looking, lack planning skills, or just couldn't care less.In spite of building more roads and flyovers at great costs they have not been able to resolve the problem.

Malaysia, should change its "five-year" plan policy and look at longer term planning.Five years is too short and infrastructures could be quickly overwhelmed.

A good example of poor foresight is the LCCT in Sepang, which is now at bursting point creating great discomfort to travellers, while the bigger KLIA main terminal is grossly under utilised.Arrived anytime during the day, one would not fail to see there are only MAS aircrafts parked on the tarmac.

Malaysian Airports (MAB) is solely to be blamed for the poor traffic, they have failed miserably, to attract foreign airlines to KLIA with their uncompetitive pricing and lack of facilities.KLIA, must be one of the few airports in the world that has no bars where weary travellers can unwind themselves. The travesty! They sell all kind of alcohol beverages in the duty free store and serve the same on the national carrier.Foreign airlines still prefer Singapore and Bangkok as transit stops.With the type of management running the airport KLIA would continue to stay a ghostly airport.Mahathir's dream of taking away business from Singapore would forever stays a dream.

Kuala Lumpur is also the most pedestrians unfriendly city.Try walking along Bukit Bintang and the multitudes of steps ups and downs that make walking a knee-crunching experience, particularly for the elderly. Take a walk at Orchard Road, Singapore and see the vast difference between the two.It tells a lot about the city planners in both cities.Singapore, has also made its roads, streets and buildings handicap friendly.

KL also have poor maintenance culture.I once went to KL Tower to get aerial view of the city and took some photographs.It's such a disgrace, the glass that surrounds the viewing deck were all dirty, stained, probably never been cleaned since the day it was installed, leaving it to the mercy of the elements.

In anticipation of the big urban migration, Kuala Lumpur should have planned and built its mass transit system some 15 years ago.The excuse given before, if I remember well, was because of high water table the mass transit couldn't go underground, which now appears to be completely untrue.

Although it sits on karstic limestone with high water table there are technology that can do the job available more than a decade ago.Bangkok, suffers from the same phenomenon of high water table but have overcome it and now have in place a fully functional underground network.

The Smart Tunnel completed in 2007 using tunnel boring machines (TBM) was an example of such technology.Now, taxpayers would have to pay more building the mass transit, which, I believe, is again being planned haphazardly.

The first attempt, a politically motivated project and an attempt at bumiputras eugenic engineering was a costly disaster.The government eventually have to take over the STAR and PUTRA transit system which is a far cry from being a true mass transit.

The proposed mass transit would be the most expensive project ever undertaken and probably would suffer many rounds of cost overrun..... Malaysian style.... that put money into the wrong pockets.

Most cities in the region have built their mass transit decades ago.

Seoul completed its first Metro line in 1974, Hong Kong in 1979, Singapore 1987 and Bangkok in 2004. Only Jakarta,Manila and Kuala Lumpur do not have a fully functional mass transit.

It tells you something about Malaysia,Indonesia and the Philippines and the quality of leadership.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving Islam A Bad Name

Hantu Laut

The Muslims can't even get their act together let alone expand an Islamic empire.Muslims killing each other in the name of their religion.Suicide bombing killing innocent civilians are some of the most gruesome act of terror perpetuated by Muslims against their own kind.

What's happening in the Arab countries, in Afghanistan and in Pakistan are depictions of Muslims showing disrespect to their own religion and desecrating the sanctity of Islam.This morbid fascination of going to the Garden of Eternity filled with vestal virgins have brought great embarrassment to the religion.

The Koran prescribed reward for martyrdom, but in no uncertain term, proscribed suicide in whatever form.Killing innocent men,women and children by strapping bomb to your body and blowing yourself up and those around you is not by any stretch of one's imagination considered martyrdom.You have to be really stupid to believe in such deviant teaching.

Islam does not encourage the propagation of violence and militancy, no mention of honour killing in its scriptures and so were most of sharia laws, some from the Koran but majority were taken from the hadiths formulated over hundreds of years after the death of Prophet Mohammad in A.D.632.The sharia was assembled over many centuries by Mohammad's followers and Islamic dynasties.The Koran sets out basic standards of human conduct, but does not provide a detailed law code.

This bunch of shitheads who come to other people's country and want to impose their religious law on others should be locked up before they start spreading their madness to gullible and uninitiated Muslims.They are danger to society, not only in Britain, but to the rest of the world.They should go back to where their forefathers came from.

Malaysia have just arrested using the ISA 18 Islamic militants in Tawau, Sabah, who were caught with arms and explosives, to be used God's knows where, to kill civilians.Yet, human rights groups like Sukaham and political party PAS/PKR admonished the government for doing so.I am sure if there were terrorist bombing in this country they would also blame the government.

Watch this most cruel and brutal punishment and public execution carried out in Iran.

Do you want this in Malaysia?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Aquino vs. Arroyo: It's personal

Hantu Laut

Every president will have his/her hand in the cookie jar.

The next one, supposedly to clean up the mess, would continue the tradition.

A feud between two powerful political families embarrasses the Philippines

The pathetic standoff at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport involving former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Philippine immigration officials Tuesday evening, only highlights how far contradiction among the country’s privileged elite can go – a bitter clash that could plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.

Both camps – the Arroyos and President Benigno S. Aquino III – have only themselves to blame.

Arroyo, bearing a Supreme Court order to allow her to leave to seek medical treatment for a reputed rare bone disease, arrived with her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo to board a flight to Singapore. However, immigration authorities stopped them on orders from Aquino and the Justice Department.

That sets up a confrontation with the Supreme Court, the majority of which she had appointed, issued the order allowing her to seek treatment in any of five countries that do not have extradition treaties with Manila.

Legally, there is nothing that would and should bar the besieged former president from leaving the country in the absence of a proper court order. In fact, Aquino’s Justice Secretary, Leila de Lima said that authorities can’t arrest the Arroyos because no charges have been filed against them. There is an executive order, ironically issued by the former president herself, however, that places a person under a watch list and whose flight outside the country may be stopped by immigration officials. It is an executive edict that is now being questioned before the highest court of the land by the Arroyos.

The Aquino government believes it has a case against the former president and is morally obliged to perform its duty of preventing a potential fugitive from justice from leaving the country. As it now appears, the Aquino government is taking the risk of being cited in direct contempt by the Supreme Court for what the current president believes is his moral obligation.

Longtime personal feud

The NAIA standoff however is not just mere legal and political issues between two of the country’s powerful political clans, it also has personal undertones to it.

During several attempts to impeach President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when she was still the president, the Aquinos – at least the Cojuangco side of the president’s family – were among the leaders of the movement that sought her resignation. President Noynoy Aquino’s late mother Corazon, also a former president, went to great lengths to apologize to former President Joseph Estrada for joining the protest movement that led to his ouster. Corazon Aquino played a major role in the installation of Arroyo as president of the republic in the aftermath of Estrada’s impeachment.

Ironically, it is Corazon Aquino, and to some extent her son, who also were among the first to drop Arroyo as an ally and call for her resignation due to corruption and widespread electoral fraud in 2004. It is a falling out that left Arroyo enraged. Under her watch, the vast Hacienda Luisita property of the Cojuangcos was declared subject to the coverage of the land reform program.

Aquino in turn has not got over the fact that the Arroyos pulled all the plugs during the 2010 presidential elections in which the current president won convincingly on an anti-corruption platform.

Both the former and current presidents share the same place in the history of Philippine politics. They are the only presidents whose parents also served as presidents of this oldest republic in Southeast Asia. They practically share the same origin, having roots in central Luzon. Their parents were stalwarts of the Liberal Party, one of the oldest political parties of the country. They are also among the old rich families in the Philippines. Read more.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Home Is Hell For DSK

By Tracy McNicoll

Two months after returning to France, and six months after the former International Monetary Fund chief was first accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in Manhattan, salacious new tattle has made life miserable for the man who not long ago thought he would be France’s president. Ensnared in a tentacular prostitution scandal—the so-called Carlton affair, which pundits believe has killed his last distant hope for a return to public life—Strauss-Kahn is floundering as he fights to clear his name. On Monday, he and his wife, the former TV journalist and art heiress Anne Sinclair, added a media lawyer to their legal team and issued a broad threat to sue over gossipmongers’ “most detestable voyeurism” after rumors swirled through the weekend suggesting the couple might divorce. But DSK’s real foe is bigger than idle curiosity. Instead, the battle is against no less than his compatriots’ hunger for a grand collective catharsis.

The headlines are pitiful. “DSK, an Isolated Man,” read the front page of the popular French daily Le Parisien on Monday over a photo of Strauss-Kahn alone in a parking lot, with tousled white hair, open shirt, lazy eye, and grizzled beard. “DSK ‘Sick’: ‘A Broken Man’ on the Verge of Divorce,” declared France-Soir, another daily. The articles linger on the plight of DSK, stuck in his luxury apartment on the posh Place des Vosges. They cite anonymous friends who say he plays a bit of chess, escapes into math equations, cannot bear to watch TV, bites his nails down to the bleeding quick. “He used to take two days to answer a text message, now he responds within the minute,” an anonymous relation told the Journal du Dimanche. Hardly anyone visits anymore, the reports declare, and DSK rarely goes out, fearing the “frequent” insults from strangers. “DSK suddenly seems no more than a lonely old man,” Le Figarochimed in this weekend, in a piece singled out for legal action by the couple’s lawyers on Tuesday, titled “Anne Sinclair’s Profound Distress,” which suggested divorce was possible for the couple, married 20 years this month, after the latest embarrassing developments in the Carlton affair.Read more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Doggoned MP Bung Mokhtar, MAS Is Not Worth Crying For

Hantu Laut

Does he know anything about doing business? 

Can he interpret a "Balance Sheet" or read and make sense of "P&L" account statement, or understand what "PE" ratio is, or what is meant when a company is "highly geared" ? Has he any idea what is quick ratio/acid test or what are the negative aspects of "LBO" and what "insider trading" are?

I am sure this kampong bully who made it to the august house do not understand the intricacies of the corporate world.
Just because some smart sounding alecs and clueless opposition leaders and equally clueless bloggers criticised the share swap between the two companies, politically motivated and out of envy rather than concerned for financial probity. 

Envy, because that Indian(Sri Lankan, if you wish, a good Ceylonese friend of mine refused to be called Indian, preferring to be called Jaffnese, which he thinks is more exotic) wiz-kid can do what they can't even dream of, let alone doing it. 

Bung Mokhtar's grandstanding here.

Tony Fernandez is an icon of corporate Malaysia, a true entrepreneur, rag to riches story that one should emulate and be proud of. He has done more for this country than some of the asses in our august house.

From opposition leaders with politically motivated agenda, the dickhead leaders of MAS Union, to this hillbilly from Sabah, I suggest you know your subject first before you open your big mouth. MAS is a public listed company, anyone can buy into it.

Business is not run on emotion or sentiment, it's fuelled by money, the more the merrier.

Get it into your thick head, MAS is a very sick company, a cash guzzling monster ran by incompetent people. 

When it was wholly owned by the government the accounts were never published publicly, so we have no way to gauge its performance then, keeping the people in the dark and it was taxpayer's money that kept it going.

We only come to know the state of its health and the incompetence of its management after it went public. The government should wash its hand off this sick baby, either privatise the airline or close it down and let free enterprise takes over the airline business in this country.

Air Asia has done more for air travel in this country than MAS ever did.It has made air travel affordable to the poor and low income group.

Unfortunately, MAS has still not woken up to its mistakes, the management is still fast asleep and they still have the highest fare among airlines in this region.They are only interested in winning stupid awards like "finest 1st class cabin service" and so forth.

While other airlines reduced fares to get bigger business volume, MAS is only interested in maintaining its "haute couture" image, which it can hardly afford.The only way it can survive is to sack half the workforce. Tony Fernandez and the new board should do just that.

To give you an idea on how incompetent those running the airline, I would like to show some online fares of various airlines from Kuala Lumpur to London.

I booked for my family of 4 adults and 2 children lowest fare of no less a premier and much superior airline than MAS on exactly the same dates.The difference is shocking.

MAS fares are an airline death wish.

Below are fare comparisons:
Adults 4, children 2. (London/KL Return)






All are full-frills airlines. SIA is using Airbus A380 and MAS using its ageing B747 -200 and 400.

Those who think so great of MAS better think again.Just look at the prices. 

All the other airlines fares are pretty close, which means, they understand competition, while MAS is still sitting on its laurel waiting for Santa Claus to save the airline.

Tony Fernandez has a track record of turning a loss making 2-plane airline formerly owned by the government, which he bought for a song and a huge debt and turned it into the pride of the nation. The biggest low cost carrier in Asia, making air travel a reality for the ordinary people.

What has Bung Mokhtar and all the bumiputras, who ran MAS have to show the world what good they have done for this country.

People who lives in glass houses should not throw stones.

He is a coward using parliamentary immunity to shield himself from libel action. 

He should repeat what he said outside Parliament.

Monday, November 14, 2011

MACC told: Probe Shafie's projects

MACC told: Probe Shafie's projects

Daily Express:Published on: Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kota Kinabalu: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has been urged to investigate alleged irregularities in the rural development projects in Sabah awarded through the Federal Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.

DAP Member of Parliament Dr Hiew King Cheu claimed the irregularities involved 49 projects, which were part of the 209 rural development projects awarded by the Ministry for implementation between the period of 2011 and 2012.

The lowest contract sum was RM7.7 million and the highest sum was RM41.7 million.

Speaking to reporters, Saturday, Hiew said a bulk of these contracts involved rural water and power supply projects covering various parts of Sabah, from Pulau Banggi to Sipitang.

Hiew claimed that all the 49 rural development projects totaling RM1.3 billion were 1,500 per cent or 15 times higher than the normal contract price.

"It is ridiculously overpriced," he exclaimed. Only 129 of the 209 rural development projects awarded had been announced.

On top of that, most of these projects, which were either invited tenders, negotiated tenders, or directly awarded, which he claimed were not properly done through the Tender Board.

"Most of the companies awarded these projects are RM2 companies and some of the contractors involved are found to be directly linked to certain senior BN/Umno politicians from Sabah," he alleged.

Hiew said a careful study of the detailed tender documents provided by an insider indicated that the lowest tender did not get the job, but someone with a higher tender price of almost 1,500 per cent from the lowest bidder gets the job.

For example, he said the "Rural Power Supply Project for the Connection of Power Grid No.1" (for 2011 - 2012) was awarded with a price of RM41,736,809.77 and the lowest tender price was only RM7,775,000.00, with a difference of RM33,961,809.77.

While the "Hybrid Solar Power System" for the Semporna islands was awarded at a tender price of RM95,282,322 which many deemed too high a price.

"With that amount of money, I can always get someone to build a power station," he said. Similar project was awarded to another company for a whopping sum of RM81,475,281.42 to supply power to Pulau Banggi, off Kudat.

Another project involved the installation of a 4km long undersea power cable to generate power supply for Pulau Gaya at the cost of RM42 million.

"A random survey conducted with several qualified local contractors revealed that this can be done at just RM5 million," he said.

He said what the Pulau Gaya folks urgently needed was clean water supply, and not power supply, citing that there's already a "power station" on the island.

He said it may cost another RM100 million if the water supply project is to be implemented by the Ministry after this.

To substantiate his claims, Hiew also distributed copies of the detailed tender documents containing the list of projects and names of contractors to the reporters.

He said the documents were earlier sent to the DAP Member of Parliament for Beruas, Ngeh Koo Han, who later extended some copies to him since they also involved projects implemented in Sabah.

Hiew also noted that when queried by Ngeh during the Budget debate session at the Committee Stage in the Parliament last week, the Minister concerned Datuk Shafie Apdal, refused to answer him.

Describing what transpired as blatant corrupt practice by those in power, Hiew urged the MACC to immediately swing into action to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

"We call on the MACC to immediately step in to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter as we cannot tolerate the manner the taxpayers' money being misused. We strongly believe there is a strong element of corrupt practice and abuse of power," he said.

Also at the press conference were Sabah DAP deputy chairman Frederick Fung, vice chairman Edward Mujie, Medical Bureau Chief Dr Felix Chong and Publicity Chief Chan Fong Hing.