Saturday, March 31, 2012

Malaysia, where are you on the global pay scale?

Hantu Laut

Following my post "Are Malaysians Too Lazy To Deserve Minimum Wage", I came across this rather interesting article, which, paradoxical, it may seem, actually makes sensible deduction of what would be the average income of every employed human being on the face of this earth, the hypothesis of which is as good as "laughter is the best medicine" cure for the sick.

It's just a meaningless academic figure.
How nice if it can be a reality, we would not have poor souls on this earth.

The world's average salary is US$1,480 per month. Malaysia sits at No.48 out of 72 countries.Not so good standing compared to South Korea at No.10 and Singapore at No.14.

Carry on reading:

If there were no rich and poor, and everyone had an equal share of the world's total pay packet, how much would they earn?

The total value of world income is closing in on $70 trillion (£43.9tn) per year, and there are seven billion people in the world, so the average income is heading towards $10,000 (£6,273) per person per year. Easy.

But not everyone has a job and some of those seven billion are children. So another question you could ask is: "What is the world's average wage?"

That is more tricky to answer, but a group of economists at the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO) has had a go, though they have never gone public with this information. Until now.

Let's consider the scale of the Herculean task the number crunchers at the ILO set themselves.

First, they work out the total wage bill for every country in the world. To do that they get the average salary from each office for national statistics, and multiply that amount by the number of earners in each country.

Data limitations

  • The data (for 2009) covers 72 countries, and misses out some big ones, Nigeria for example
  • Only wage earners are counted - not the self-employed or people on benefits
  • In some countries the data is incomplete - in South Africa, for example, it leaves out public sector workers and agricultural workers, while in Uganda it covers only the manufacturing sector

In this way, they are able to give more weight to countries which have more workers in them. The average salary in China has more influence on the world average than the average salary in New Zealand, where many fewer people live.

Once they have the total wage bill for each country, they add them all together and divide by the total number of earners in the world.

That gives you the answer - the world's average salary is $1,480 (£928) a month, which is just less than $18,000 (£11,291) a year.

But these dollars are not normal US dollars. The economists use specially adjusted exchange rates - the average salary is calculated in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) dollars. One PPP dollar is equal to $1 spent in the US.

Essentially, the PPP dollar takes into account the fact that it is cheaper to live in some countries than others. The idea is that we don't care how many actual dollars somebody is paid in, say, China, but we care about what sort of stuff those dollars can buy.Read more.

Do you earn more or less than the world's average wage? Type in your monthly salary and we'll give you the answer.

Go to the page here.

The average wage, calculated by the International Labour Organization, is published here for the first time. It's a rough figure based on data from 72 countries, omitting some of the world's poorest nations. All figures are adjusted to reflect variations in the cost of living from one country to another, and as Ruth Alexander of BBC radio's More or Less programme underlines, it's all about wage earners, not the self-employed or people on benefits.Read more.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Are Malaysians Too Lazy To Deserve Minimum Wage?

Hantu Laut

Can employers be trusted to pay fair wages to their employees?

Malaysia's salary structure at the lower end of the spectrum is unfair and invidious.Employers can't be trusted to pay fair wages to their employees. That's why Malaysia needs to introduce a minimum wage legislation to compel employers to pay minimum basic pay for workers to enable them to sustain a decent life for them and their families.

The plantation,construction and manufacturing industries are making too much money for themselves at the expense of the Malaysian workers.Most companies in Malaysia have poor or non-existence incentive schemes where employees get share of the profits.

Malaysian employers may not be the worst in the world but are still below par compared to countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. Significant portion of our GDP still come from the sweatshops, where bigger chunk of the labour market and low wages are concentrated.

The are two conflicting schools of thought about minimum wage.The proponents say that it increases the standard of living of workers, reduces poverty, and forces businesses to be more efficient, while the opponents of minimum wage say that if it is high enough to be effective, it increases unemployment, particularly among workers with very low productivity. Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohammad was against minimum wage.

The absence of minimum wage in Malaysia has shied away locals from menial jobs or those they consider below them and attracted swarms of cheap migrant workers to this country.Our low wage is low for Malaysians but not low for these migrant workers.The construction and plantation industries are the two biggest employers of migrant workers.Send just half of them back home and you would see the collapse of these two sectors.

In 2006 Indonesian workers remitted a whooping US$2.7 billion back to their home country.The figure did not include foreign workers of other nationalities.Malaysia has almost 2 million registered foreign workers and possibly close to the same figure illegal foreign workers who came in illegally into the country, making Malaysia the biggest importer of labor in Asia.

Malaysians do not realise that over US$6.0 billion left this country annually as foreign workers remittances.If allowed to continue, this anomaly will eventually make Malaysian workers fall into the hardcore poor category and raising the unemployment rate as locals refused to take up these types of low paying jobs.

According to World Bank estimates, global remittances totaled US$414 billion in 2009, of which US$316 billion went to developing countries that involved 192 million migrant workers.In the Asean region, Philippines is still the biggest recipient of overseas workers remittances which stood at 13% Inflow and 0% Outflow in 2007.

Among the Asian tigers only Singapore and Malaysia do not have minimum wage policy. While Singapore let market forces set the minimum wage, Malaysia still allow sweatshops, utilising cheap foreign labour and victims of human trafficking to exist, resulting in the country being placed on the US Congress TVPA Tier 2 Watch List on human trafficking.

With minimum wage and wage increase there must be corresponding increase in productivity, locals taking up jobs previously held by migrant workers and the reduction of outflow of remittances.

Without these goals in mind and achieving them successfully, minimum wage would be disastrous and one that would put Malaysia in much bigger trouble.

Unless, the government can assure the goals are met, minimum wage would create higher unemployment, higher inflation and even bigger cash outflow out of the country.

The eventualities would be even grimmer than now if locals still refused to take up the jobs and migrant workers continue to stay, thereby, increasing the outflow of cash remittances exponentially.

There is a high likelihood that the minimum wage may failed to spur the nation to higher economic progress, because secretly the government knew the bumiputras, which form major part of the employment market are lazy and the man who knew better is Tun Mahathir Mohammad, hence his objection to its implementation.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cowgate Shahrizat's Continuation Baffles The Politicios

Malaysia's UMNO Keeps a Scandal-Plagued Pol
Asia Sentinel

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak apparently is having considerable trouble persuading Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the minister for women, family and community development and the source of a controversy over alleged misuse of public funds, to quit the United Malays National Organization.

It was announced three weeks ago that Shahrizat, who also serves as the head of Wanita Umno, the women’s wing of the party, would step down from the ministry when her Senate* term ends on April 8 as a result of what has become known as the Cowgate scandal. Her husband, Mohamed Salleh Ismail, and other members of the family have been accused of misusing a major portion of a RM250 million soft loan from the government to establish the National Feedlot Corporation, to slaughter cattle under Islamic dietary rules.

Mohamed Salleh Ismail has been charged with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act in relation to allegations of misuse of RM49 million of the funds given to the company. According to a report by Malaysia’s Auditor General, the money was steered into the purchase of things that had nothing to do with the project to slaughter 60,000 cattle annually. The Auditor General found that the project had never come remotely close to meeting its goals. Subsequent allegations have involved the purchase of condominiums in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, travel for the family, a Mercedes-Benz sedan for Shahrizat and other items.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad reportedly has repeatedly told party leaders Shahrizat must go, party insiders say, and her main protector, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, is also said to be backing away from supporting her.

“Dr M wants her out and his people have told me so,” a source told Asia Sentinel. “So does Muhyiddin who is distancing himself from her. So she is quite alone.”

However, political bloggers in Kuala Lumpur say Shahrizat apparently has demanded successfully that she stay as a member of parliament, and to keep her job as head of Wanita as well.

“It’s common knowledge that the PM doesn’t dare sacrifice Shahrizat or hold her accountable or even ask her to quit her Wanita post because he doesn’t dare take the chance of a revolt within Wanita Umno so close to the elections,” the source said. “Knowing Malaysian and Malay politics, I can see his dilemma.”

Shahrizat, the source continued, remains popular with the women’s wing of the party “and Wanita Umno are the biggest vote getters for Umno and Barisan Nasional. During campaigning, they are very effective, going house-to-house, using the soft touch to win hearts, giving away sarongs and gifts and so on. It’s easier for a woman to enter an opposition stronghold than for men and that’s where Wanita Umno’s usefulness is to Umno and the Barisan.”

Despite the fallout over the National Feedlot scandal, the current administration has tried to distance Shahrizat from the NFC, saying she was wasn’t involved with what her husband and children were doing. Read more.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Very Talented Mr Anwar Ibrahim

Hantu Laut

I foresee an all out war between Raja Petra and Anwar with more inglorious truths coming out of Petra's cannon. Knowing Petra's style, he would not back off, until he sees Anwar in the quagmire.

We should know what Anwar's respond would be, flogging the same old dead horse............another conspiracy by Najib and UMNO and the whole hungry wolves in Pakatan would back him to the hilt.

You, probably, have read the book or seen the movie "The Talented Mr Ripley" who took extreme measures when his original mission failed.

Our very talented Mr Anwar Ibrahim really have the nerves and the balls to continue fooling Malaysians to believe in his innocence.

Read the "Very Talented Mr Anwar Ibrahim" here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

‘Anwar’s RM445m plot against Dr M’

KUALA LUMPUR: Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin today levelled another serious allegation against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, accusing his one-time ally of siphoning off RM44

5 million when he was deputy prime minister.

The firebrand blogger claimed in his latest posting on Malaysia Today that the money was to finance his political ambition – ousting then premier and archrival Dr Mahathir Mohamad who later sacked him and had him jailed for sodomy and corruption charges.

Raja Petra claimed that the money, obtained through a syndicate of lenders in 1997, was “arranged” by tycoon Quek Leng Chan whom the blogger alleged was one of Anwar’s closest “cronies”.

Quek owns one of Malaysia’s biggest bank, Hong Leong Bank Bhd. Raja Petra charged that he had managed to buy the bank with the help of Anwar who was also the finance minister at the time.

He added that Anwar’s alleged hands in the bank acquisition gave him the needed financial backing to plot his coup against Mahathir, while Quek wanted the former as premier to further his own ambitions.

“As I have always said: behind every Malay Umno politician is a Chinese business tycoon. The Chinese need the Malays to get ahead. The Malays also need the Chinese to get ahead.”

Plot thickens

Raja Petra claimed that it took Anwar RM200 million to oust Ghafar Baba as the Umno deputy president in what was described as the “dirtiest” Umno polls in 1993, so the former deputy prime minister needed more to oust Mahathir.

Quek had allegedly arranged for Anwar to receive RM445 million. The loan was originally meant for the purchase of Inchcape Timuran shares as well as the purchase of a least known financial institution, Kewangan Bersatu Bhd (KBB).

Several of Anwar’s supposed cronies were allegedly involved in the arrangements, said Raja Petra. He named then Penang Umno treasurer Ishak Ismail and one of Anwar’s speech writers, Faiz Abdullah.

Ishak was the owner of KBB while Faiz was the person tasked with arranging the Inchcape Timuran deal with the help of Seow Lun Hoo, the former president and CEO of Hong Leong Credit Bhd.

“The plan was to use the RM420 million syndicated loan facility to acquire Inchcape Timuran and KBB. KBB, which had a finance licence, would then borrow from another financial institution to repay the original loan from Hong Leong.

“And the beautiful part about this whole thing is: KBB was already owned by Ishak… so it would be merely transferring money from one pocket to the other,” said the blogger.

Where’s the money?

Raja Petra said that the acquisition of KBB, however, did not take place and Hong Leong had filed a legal suit against eight nominees used to obtain the loan in what he claimed was an intentional move to implicate Anwar. Read more.

Block Buster Of The Year: Script Writer RPK

Hantu Laut

The dirty linens of the murky world of dirty politics, stolen money and broken promises would be washed in our court house in Kuala Lumpur starting today as reported by Raja Petra here.

This could be the block buster of the year as it promises a startling performance of a very prominent politician who has portrayed himself as the cleanest politician in Malaysia.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Re-Posted: Are Chinese Most Racist? Is DAP Killing the Malay Votes for Pakatan.

Hantu Laut

When Kit Siang called for the Chinese to unite under DAP and vote against the BN, it's not racism.When UMNO called the Malays to unite under UMNO, that's racism ....according to some Chinese racist politicians.

I always thought the Malays are the least racist among the three major races in this country.At least they don't call other races "kui" or hantu.

My late paternal grandfather, a Pathan who hailed from the North West Frontier was also a racist as I remember him when I was a young man.The irony is he married my grandmother, a native woman completely of different cultural background, successfully subdued and converted her to his cultural demands.A strict disciplinarian, he would not accommodate anything that may change his cultural hangovers.

Those are things we don't understand when we were kids, ignorant, impressionable, nurtured within our own cocoon and we could not accept when we were told not to mix with certain group people, our friends.

Children, would never be racist, they are colour blind, it is the adults that teach them to be racist.

Now, DAP instigated Chinese educationists to pressure the government to remove all non-Mandarin speaking teachers from all Chinese schools.

Read eddy of "Just My Thoughts" on the subject here

More here.

If this isn't racism, tell me, what is?

When I was in school during the colonial days my English teacher was an Indian, my maths teacher was an Indian, my history teacher was a Chinese, my geography teacher was a Chinese, my physic and chemistry teachers were Indians and my principal was a white man and a homosexual.

I, sometimes, joked with my close Chinese friends that the Chinese are probably the most racist people on earth because every other race they called "kui" which means devil........Malaikui, Kelingkui, Bengalikui and so forth.

If you are an English man in Hong Kong you would be called a "Gweilo", another form of devil. The Chinese have many racially deprecatory words for foreigners.

Thank goodness, my close Chinese friends are not racists, at least they don't seem to show it in front of me.

The only one not "kui" are the Chinese

How nice to be Chinese!

Kit Siang Confirmed Witch-Hunting Pakatan's Priority

Hantu Laut

As I have predicted in my earlier post Pakatan will be busy witch-hunting when they take power.

Here , straight from the horse's mouth, Lim Kit Siang confirmed they will probe AG Ghani Patail and former IGP Musa Hassan for abuse of power and corruptions.

Good luck Pakatan, the big "IF" you can take Putrajaya?

Don't forget Sabah and Sarawak will kick your arse so hard you wouldn't know where it's coming from.

One consolation, if it makes you feel better, your DAP will gain some Chinese seats in Sabah and Sarawak, but not enough to dethrone BN.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Anwar Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin.

Hantu Laut

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

The "tough" is not Anwar, it's Raja Petra, who had from the very beginning says he is prepared to face Anwar.

You can see the sheepish grin on Anwar's face when he tried to avoid the controversy surrounding his demand for Wikileaks to drop Raja Petra from the forum and of him, subsequently, being called a chicken by Raja Petra.

Raja Petra stripped naked his hypocrisy and falsehood.Anwar deemed himself so powerful, unconsciously, he already behaving worse than the devil he wanted to get rid off to bring more freedom to this country.

Though, I hate to use this somewhat idiotic American phrase which is gaining popularity among Malaysian politicians and writers such as he did not "WALK THE TALK", or "WALK THE WALK", or "TALK THE TALK". What's wrong with the original and proper English version of "TALK IS CHEAP" or "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THEN WORDS", or "PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH"

I prefer the one in Malay, sounds more euphonious and appropriate "CAKAP TAK SERUPA BIKIN"

What did he do? As versatile as a chameleon he quickly changed colour to suit his surroundings, out of the blue, asking Najib to be included in a debate on the Wikileaks sponsored forum.

His mistake of demanding the exclusion of Raja Petra sank his big fat bullshit about making Malaysia "land of the free" The abrupt turnaround is definitely his attempt to try to "tutup malu" by diverting attention.The man doesn't have a single grain of sincerity and honesty in him.In the first place, Najib was never invited, why should he bring Najib into the picture now.

This is the kind of cunningness Anwar possessed.

Unfortunately, to scatterbrained Malaysians he is right, he is the hero, the saviour, the infallible and the man who is going to save Malaysia from clutches of evils.

Anwar is unsuitable to be leading this nation, a person who can tell one story to one community and a different story to another community.

I must admit he is a good orator that can impress the uninitiated.If you care to look deeper and analyse his actions and speeches you would be surprise how inconsistent and contradictory the man is.

He had never impressed me from the day he became active in UMNO when his political speeches were full of bombastic Malay words I have never heard of before.His earlier speeches were designed to impress rather than for want of delivering the substance.

Anwar loves the world stage where he can show off his oratory articulation and show the whole wide world his chamelonic skills.

A picture speaks a thousand words.Only in Malaysia where leaders can shake your hand and look the other way.Most Malaysians don't mind this kind of rudeness, my grandfather would have flogged you to death.

It is Najib prerogative to participate or not.Political debate has never been a tradition in Malaysia.Why now!

A good orator does not necessary make a good leader.

As an employer before, I have met those who excel at interviews just because they can talk better but turned out to be pretty useless on the job.

Don't judge a book by its cover, it's the inside pages that matter.

Latest!Breaking News:

Cops say scuffle did not involve Nazri’s son

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Like Father, Like Son

Hantu Laut

If you are son or daughter of a prominent figure you might be better off going for a tinkle before you show your biceps to some poor security guard.

No matter how right you were, you be deemed the guilty party.Never argue or fight with people below your level of gray matter.Don't expect a security guard to have initiative and uses his own discretion to entertain your wishes.

Minister in the PM Dept Nazri's son was reported to have assaulted a security supervisor

(That looks like an expensive Cubano cigar)

It took me back to the past, about three decades ago, when I had to intervene an ugly scene from ensuing between my friend and a club bouncer in Singapore, over a little misunderstanding.Coincidentally, my friend was also a son of a prominent figure in Sabah, no less a chief minister.To cut it short, I reminded my friend that this is Singapore and I am a resident here and lest he forgets his father is not a chief minister here.I was young then but my good sense saved us a night at the police lock-up, me calling my wife to bail me out and worse me picking up a criminal record.

Let see, why this young man has to travel with bodyguards? Is he trying to show off or he has too may enemies? Are the bodyguards to protect him or protect his expensive toy?

Being a son of a minister one may ask if he is he a successful business man to be able to buy a Porsche, which is an expensive toy to maintain if you don't have a deep pocket.If he is not, than tongues would be waging where he gets the money from.

Top of the range 911 Porsche would set you aside well over RM1.0 million.Not sure which model he claimed proud ownership?

What is it about this kind of people? Do they glean vicarious power from that of their fathers?

For some, it seemed to run in the family.

Friday, March 23, 2012

In The Land Of The Free,Freedom Is A Myth

The US touts itself as the land of free, but it has laws which are designed to crush criticisms of the state.
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the US has spent about $635bn to militarise the country's local police forces [GALLO/GETTY]

New Haven, CT - In 1893, a massive financial panic sent demand for the Pullman Palace Car Company into a downward spiral. The luxury rail car company reacted by slashing workers' wages and increasing their work load. After negotiations with ownership broke down the following year, the American Railway Union, in solidarity with Pullman factory workers, launched a boycott that eventually shut down railroads across the US. It was a full-scale insurrection, as the late historian Howard Zinn put it, that soon "met with the full force of the capitalist state".

The US Attorney General won a court order to stop the strike, but the union and its leader, Eugene V Debs, refused to quit. President Grover Cleveland, over the objections of Illinois' governor, ordered federal troops to Chicago under the pretense of maintaining public safety. Soldiers fired their bayoneted rifles into the crowd of 5,000, killing 13 strike sympathisers. Seven hundred, including Debs, were arrested. Debs wasn't a socialist before the strike, but he was after. The event radicalised him. "In the gleam of every bayonet and the flash of every rifle," Debs said later on, "the class struggle was revealed".

I imagine a similar revelation for the tens of thousands of Americans who participated in last fall's Occupy Wall Street protests. As you know, the movement began in New York City and spread quickly, inspiring activists in the biggest cities and the smallest hamlets. Outraged by the broken promise of the US and inspired by democratic revolts of Egypt and Tunisia, they assembled to protest economic injustice and corrupt corporate power in Washington.

Inside Story: US 2012 - Attacking the unions

Yet the harder they pushed, the harder they were pushed back - with violence. Protesters met with police wearing body armour, face shields, helmets and batons; police legally undermined Americans' right to assemble freely with "non-lethal" weaponry like tear gas, rubber bullets and sonic grenades. There was no need for the president to call in the army. An army, as Mayor Bloomberg quipped, was already there.

Before Occupy Wall Street, many protesters were middle- and upper-middle class college graduates who could safely assume the constitutional guarantee of their civil liberties. But afterward, not so much. Something like scales fell from their eyes, and when they arose anew, they had been baptised by the fire of political violence.

Income inequality isn't just about justice; it's about freedom, too. One view of freedom minimises the state's role in an individual's life and maximises markets so that individuals are free to risk whatever they want to risk to be whatever they want to be. Another view sees the obligation of the state to hedge against the risk of the marketplace so that individuals can feel secure enough to be what they want to be.

Obviously, the libertarian view favours someone who can afford risk; the socialist view favours someone who can't. One view has confidence in the market while the other is skeptical. One view sees income inequality as natural while the other sees it as politically oppressive.Read more.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Am Gay By CHOICE !

Hantu Laut

One's sexual orientation or preference is one's own business, which is best kept behind closed doors.

The burning question I have always wanted to ask is, is homosexuality a biological defect, a perversion or just a genetic variance of human sexuality?

Homosexuality also exists throughout the animal kingdom. Unlike humans, animals do not have highly developed brains, yet some have homosexual tendencies.

It reminds me of poor old "Whiskey" who keeping humping my leg every time I get invited to my friend's house for dinner.I suspect Whiskey is not only homosexual but sex-starved.Obviously, you don't have to be another dog, any leg will do, as far as Whiskey is concerned.

Homosexuality, have existed since time immemorial, since before Biblical time and Sodom and Gomorrah.The Abrahamic religions frown upon homosexuality and consider it a perversion rather than a natural trait.Islam imposes severe punishment on those found guilty of sodomy.

Besides homosexuality we have a third dilemma, those who enjoy the best of both worlds.....the bisexuals, which again is a burning question, is it a matter of choice or an anomaly of natural selection, where one have no control over one's sexual orientation?

Here, Anwar Ibrahim's former friend and confidante has openly accused him of being bisexual and threatened to expose the names of women and boys who slept with him during his time as deputy prime minister.

I have some homosexual friends who were as straight as a ruler when they were young and became full-blown homosexuals when they grow up to be adults.

Can homosexuality be latent in a person's body and manifest later in life? Do some men and women find the opposite sex body so repulsive that makes them looked the other way? Can you be gay by choice? Read Cynthia Nixon's revelation "I am gay by CHOICE" that got her a backlash from the gay community.

Gay by choice: Cynthia Nixon has revealed she chose her partner Christine Marinoni over a man of her own free will

I have come to term with homosexuals, I think it has something to do with the genes, the chromosomes or whatever other names the sciences called them, but bi-sexuality, that's a choice, a perversion, greed.One kind not enough must have both kinds to fulfill their licentious desire.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hypocrisy : A Tribute That Vice Pays To Virtue

Hantu Laut

An honest, sincere person need not dissemble, only deceitful ones would.

Hypocrisy! As we all know is to pretend to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principle. etc when the person actually possessed none of them.It is also often called "tribute that vice pays to virtue"

If one have read Boris Pasternak's Dr Zhivago in one of the passages Yuri Zhivago flayed hypocrisy as "Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike... Our nervous system isn't just fiction, it's part of our physical body, and it can't be forever violated with impunity."

No matter how careful you are the day of reckoning will come when you would "slip and fall" in front of the very eyes of society you deceived or try to deceive.

Enter the true Anwar.......... hypocrite, magician and snake charmer, if you may.The charismatic man of contradictions, freedom come, freedom go up to his whims and fancies, freedom is for him alone, not others.

He cowardly refused a face-off with Raja Petra and now making stupid excuses that RPK was never supposed to be in the forum in the first place.Does it matter whether RPK was chosen earlier or later? His objection to RPK presence at the forum clearly shows he feared RPK's "no hold barred" attitude and that he may spill more beans at the forum.

With Salman Rushdie, his refusal to sit at the same table is a different ballgame altogether.Anwar would very much love to meet Rushdie but his "Satanic Verses" and the rage against him by the Muslims world is still out there and the Muslims in Malaysia would not be happy if he is seen rubbing shoulders with the "shaitan"

You see, sooner or later not only your hypocritical self but your past will catch up with you too.

His former good friend and confidante Nalllakaruppan says here "Anwar is a bisexual" and asked Anwar to sue him if he is man enough and threatened to reveal the names of people's wives and boys who slept with him.

Would Nallakaruppan stake his name if there is no truth to his claim?

Here's a funny one from Megan Fox, the actor whom every man would die for to take to bed and she said "I think people are born bisexual and they make subconscious choices based on the pressures of society. I have no question in my mind about being bisexual. But I'm also a hypocrite: I would never date a girl who is bisexual, because that means they also sleep with men, and men are so dirty that I'd never sleep with a girl who had slept with a man."

I am not about to debate on other people's sexual inclination, I think they should be left to themselves.

However, our culture are not matured enough to accept such anomaly in politics and to allow homosexuals and bisexuals to reach the top of the political ladder.What one might think is politically right in Australia, Britain and other Western countries is not necessary right here.

Anwar has been very successful in hiding his true self and the Malaysian public is convinced he is a victim of calumny by his political foes.

Bad days for Malaysia if this man become prime minister.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mr Strawberry Nightclub Tinggalkan UMNO Dia Kata Penipu Rakyat

Hantu Laut

Baru bangun tidur kah? Tidak mahu pemerintah menipu rakyat ?

Selama beberapa tahun didalam UMNO adakan kamu sedar yang pemerintah termasuk kamu sebagai menteri menipu rakyat? Pada masa itu kenapa tidak letak jawatan menteri dan keluar parti?

Baca seterus disini.

Rakyat bukan bodohlah Mr Strawberry Nightclub!

Dimanakah kredibility bekas menteri UMNO ini?

(My first short Malay composition)

(Strawberry nightclub is in Kota Kinabalu where Kadir Sheikh Fadzir used to hang out with his businessman friends whenever he visited KK as Minister of Tourism)

Kadir resigned from UMNO.Read here.

Do not agree with political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.Kadir is a spent force, he has no grassroots in UMNO, it's good riddance.

Investigating Judges Named in Malaysia Submarine Graft Case

French case draws closer to Malaysian officials

Two magistrates have been nominated in Paris to investigate the politically explosive 2002 purchase of Scorpene submarines by the Malaysian Ministry of Defense when Najib Tun Razak was Defense Minister.

The case focuses on a 1.2 billion euro contract called a
“programme soumalais” with the state-owned French defense giant DCNS, formerly known as DCN. The contract was later transferred to Armaris, a joint venture between DCNS and the French company Thales. In questioning in the Dewan Rakyat, the Malaysian Parliament, it transpired that a €114 million (US$150 million at current exchange rates) commission had been paid to a newly-minted company called Perimekar Sdn Bhd, nominally owned by the wife of one of Najib’s best friends, Abdul Razak Baginda, then the head of a Malaysian think-tank.

It is likely to take several years before the case comes to fruition. In the meantime Najib, now Malaysia’s prime minister and head of the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest political party, is preparing for snap elections, possibly in May or June, according to political observers in Kuala Lumpur.

At the heart of the story are allegations of a massive scandal involving not only Malaysian officials but top French politicians and arms purchases in Pakistan, Taiwan, India, Chile, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and other countries as DCNS geared up to sell naval equipment across the planet. The allegations include blackmail, kickbacks, a string of murders in Pakistan, Taiwan and Malaysia and involvement of such top figures as former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and others.

Other magistrates are handling different aspects of the affair. One, called “
l’affaire Karachi,” has raised suspicions of the involvement of the current French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who faces a difficult re-election campaign. Sarkozy has angrily denied any involvement. In that case, the deaths of 11 French engineers who were blown up in Karachi was first laid to a bomb set by Al Qaeda. However the bomb was later believed to have been set off by Pakistani military officials angered because the French had reneged on bribes promised by Balladur but cancelled by Jacques Chirac after he defeated Balladur for the presidency.

Judges investigating the affair have been probing whether Balladur received “retro commissions” or kickbacks for the contract. Balladur has given no credible explanation for 10 million French francs (€1.5 million) which found their way into his campaign coffers. Sarkozy was his campaign finance minister at the time.

In accordance with the French legal system, the Malaysia case has first been the subject of a preliminary survey from the financial division of the legal police. So the appointment of the two investigating judges, Serge Tournaire and Roger Le Loire, follows more than two years of investigation. The two are known for previous investigations on national and international corruption matters. They have broader powers to investigate independently and can call witnesses and conduct international surveys.

According to financial statements, the cost of the program was divided into four contracts:

  • The contrat Scorpene, about €670 million, for two Scorpene submarines, built in France and Spain, and delivered in July 2009 and July 2010 ;
  • The contrat Formation, signed in 2003, to train 156 submariners over four years.
  • The contrat Ouessant for the rehabilitation of an Agosta-type submarine which has never seen service and is now a museum in Malaysia. The two together amount to 313 million euros/
  • The contrat Malsout, provided logistics for the installation of Malaysian navy personnel, over 200 people located in Brest and Cherbourg, from December 2002.

The payment of bribes -- called commissions in this case – to foreign public officials as part of international contracts has been illegal in France since the ratification of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Convention on bribery of September 2000.

Since the beginning of the probe, bribes amounting to €32.5 million have been investigated, authorities say.

In other cases involving DCNS, particlarly the Karachi one, Nicholas Bazire, 54, the best man at Sarkozy’s wedding to supermodel Carla Bruni, was arrested and charged with misuse of public funds in Balladur’s 1995 presidential campaign. Another friend, Thierry Gaubert, Sarkozy’s cabinet chief when he was budget and communication minister, was arrested earlier.

Sarkozy is seeking avoid the appointment of an instruction judge in other aspects of the DCN case.. But the political knives may be out, especially if Sarkozy loses the presidential election.Having been named in the press in the Karachi case, observers in Paris say he could use the Malaysian case as a weapon against the Socialists. Currently his Socialist opponent, Francois* Hollande, leads him by 10 percentage points. The first round of voting is to be held in May.

The case also holds obvious political implications for Najib. A former DCN financial director, questioned in another case, alleged that the Malaysian case violated the OECD bribery convention. The Malaysian end of the episode has received widespread publicity, not just because of the €114 million commission paid to Razak Baginda’s company, but because of the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian translator and party girl, who was killed in 2006 by two of Najib’s bodyguards and whose body was blown up with military explosives in a patch of jungle outside Shah Alam.
Read more.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Panoply Of Lies,Half-Truths And Make-Believes: Malaysia's Future Fuhrer

Hantu Laut

Arrogant, hubristic, intolerant and I mightier and smarter than thou complex.The man who couldn't tolerate dissents and differences of opinion.

Say "yes" to everything Anwar says and does, you be loved, say "no" , you be damned.

That's Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's future fuhrer and dictator.

"If I don't like you I can remove you or get you removed" which he did to many of his colleagues, close friends and political aides the moment he saw them as threats to his position.The last victim was the gullible Zaid Ibrahim who seemingly posed a threat to his leadership.

Zaid left PKR with his tail in between his legs, claiming cheating in the party elections he attributed the plot by Anwar and Azmin Ali to boot him out of the party.

Too bad for Raja Petra, he should have known better Anwar is more powerful than him.He sees RPK as a nobody, a tool to be used and abused.

Anwar managed to bar Raja Petra from attending Wikileaks global forum where RPK will be one of the invited guests.The former darling of the pro-opposition movement has fallen out with the de facto opposition leader calling him morally unfit to become prime minister. RPK said "how could he imagine debating Prime Minister Datul Seri Najib Razak "when he is too chicken to face me"

Anwar can never have true and royal friends.All those around him are sycophantic good time friends.His insecurity is reflected in his nepotistic way, putting his wife, daughter and his sidekick Azmin Ali in crucially powerful positions in the party.

Even the once most powerful PM, the bedevilled Mahathir Mohammad did no such thing.He allowed his son Mukriz to enter politics and take active involvement in the party only after he stepped down as PM.

That Assange guy? Certainly not the type one should associate with, as morally repugnant as our prime minister wannabe. He has no balls to tell Anwar you either come on my terms or don't come at all.

I anticipate some adverse reactions from the U.S.administration over Anwar's participation in the Wikileaks forum.

Assange, the man behind Wikileaks is considered by the U.S government as high-tech terrorist.

You see Petra! He views you as insignificant.The man whom you blindly supported for years at high cost to your personal liberty now look down on you as he did to all those whom he sees below his dignity and level of importance to bother with.

The man who countenance the use of street protests to bring down a government.His Geobbles were already on massive propaganda campaign inducting venoms in the mind of the masses that if they were to lose the elections it was due to massive cheating by BN and an uprising of people's power is justified to bring down such government.

Not only he behaves like that, some pro-opposition bloggers, the Geobbles of Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat, would drop your blog from their blogroll, if you dare criticise Anwar or any Pakatan leaders.They couldn't stand the idea of sending traffic to your blog to read your piece that they can't stomach. It shows the uncouthness and the contradictions of these political greenhorns, though, have come of age , have not grown any wiser.

These are the very same people who talk endlessly about lack of freedom in this country, about the opposition not given accessibility to mainstream media, about the ISA, about corruptions and just about anything they can find to blast the government.

We have chief minister and menteri besar in opposition controlled states, on one hand, calling for more freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to crap on the streets, freedom to screw the government, on the other hand banning certain mainstream media from covering their press conferences.

A panoply of lies, half-truths and make-believes.

I shudder to think of them becoming the government.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Najib, Close Down MAS And F.O The Union.

Hantu Laut

I still remember the day Lee Kuan Yew threatened to close down SIA.That was in 1980 when I still lived in Singapore.

Lee's fiery speech telling the Singapore Airlines' Pilot Association, in no uncertain term, what he intends to do if they continue with their 'work to rule' action that have disrupted several of the airline flight's schedule.The pilots were asking for higher salaries and greater benefits.

At that time SIA had many expatriate pilots.

Lee personally confronted the pilot and told them he would close down the airline, sack all of them, if he had to, and start a new airline.

As a consequent, the association was de-registered and its officials prosecuted and SIA continued to soar into the blue yonder.

Lee has shown how tough he can get when facing a threat.This is what true leader should do when confronted with threat from a small group of people, too selfish to care about the nation's interests.

The great Mr. Lee taking on the Americans.

In 2004, Lee, this time not as PM, but as minister mentor had head-on collision with the SIA pilot union again.Taking up a personal charge to clean up the problem posed by the SIA pilot union Lee warned of "cracking head" if the pilot union moved toward a strike.His concern is two of Singapore's biggest assets, SIA and Changi Airport, which is already facing severe challenges from budget airlines and long-haul air crafts which could bypass Singapore as stopover point.

As they say 'the rest is history' and without me saying, you should know who  the winner was?

I must say, I am disappointed with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.He succumbed to too many demands made by the oppositions, his own party belligerents and now he seemed to have succumbed to the MAS employees union and the root of the matter is not even over wages and benefits for the union workers but about who can buy into MAS and who can't.

The union is now interfering in the business and management of the company.

Obviously, Najib is listening to the wrong people advising him how to deal with MAS woes.

MAS massive losses of MR2.5 billion incurred last years has nothing to do with the share swap.The share swap was done in August 2011 which is slightly over six months now.

Any nincompoop would know there are gestation periods involved before the company can show profitability. To say MAS is at the losing end of the deal is preposterous.If you replaced one shitty management with another one of the same standing should you expect any better?

Like the carpenter who blame the tools for his shoddy work, MAS management keep harping on increased cost of fuel as the gremlin of their problem. 

What about SIA and other profitable airlines, are their planes running on water? What about Air Asia, the cheapo airline, how the hell they can show profits for the same period? Maybe, their planes are running on sugarcane juice?

It's a shame that this bunch of Malay technocrats never seemed to get their act together, more attune to playing the blame game than getting down to serious work of saving the airline.

Instead of looking into cost cutting, redundancy, retrenchment and boosting sales, they found a new rat on board that may be cutting the ground under their feet.

The rat is no other than Tony Fernandez, whom they see as a threat.

It was reported that officials of MAS union went to see the PM to state their displeasure and opposition to the share swap with Air Asia.The PM should have showed them the door and tell them it is not their business to tell him how to run the government, their business is to look after the welfare of their members.If MAS goes down, they all be out of a job, anyway.

Would 20000 MAS employees scare him into breaching the MAS/Air Asia tie-up? Would a new government entity taking over the airline makes it profitable? I cast my doubt.

(The Malaysian Insider has learnt that Putrajaya officials are working on a plan for Khazanah to divest its stake in MAS first before a general offer is made for the remaining shares from other shareholders, including tycoon Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ Tune Air, which owns a 20.5 per cent stake in the national airline. In the August 2011 deal, Khazanah got a 10 per cent stake in Asia’s biggest budget carrier AirAsia.) Unquote.

Food for thought!What happened if Tony Fernandez refused to sell after the restructuring. What you do? Shoot him,ISA him or sent him to Ceylon?

Najib should make business decision, not political decision.He should not entertain the MAS union's demand.It absurd that 20000 MAS employees can save his premiership and he sacrificing more taxpayer's money to appease them.

Najib is moving in the right direction but he must show that he is control, he is the boss, not swayed by people who are harbingers of doom.

Quote (
Failing to placate the union could turn into a political hot potato for Najib as MAS operations are centred in Selangor, an important industrial state Najib wants to wrest back from the opposition in elections that could be held within months. MI) Unquote.

Close down the damned airline and F.O the MAS union.It's the people money that's going down the drain.

Alternatively, sell MAS to Tony Fernandez for a song.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rotten Cheese By Any Other Name Is Still Rotten.

Hantu Laut

Raja Petra wrote "The East Malaysians are not concerned about transparency, accountability, good governance, human rights, civil liberties, etc. Those are values and notions of those in West Malaysia, in particular the urbanites. In East Malaysia it is about nationalism and self-rule. And they do not feel by voting PKR or DAP they will achieve that."

Wrong! We do care and much more. However, we don't want to suffer a fate worse than death............... from the frying pan into the fire.We are not about to replace the devil we know with the devil in sheep clothing.

So, we are likely to vote BN again.

Anwar Ibrahim does not impress us at all. His slate is not as clean as what he projects himself to be.We still remember what he did to Sabah before.He was DPM and No.2 most powerful man in the government that he now accused of massive corruptions.What was he doing then, sleeping or participating ?

The unfortunate things about West Malaysians, when it comes to politics, they are emotional and irrational, they can't separate the wheat from the chaff.They want to change just for the sake of change without looking at the replacement government under the microscope,
blinded by the opposition's rhetoric, they missed seeing the very same kind of germs they wanted to get rid off .

In the case of RPK, East Malaysia is a lost horizon to him, he may know the Malays and West Malaysians' psyche well but he knows little of East Malaysians.

RPK has forgotten the fact that Sabahans are politically more savvy and practical, we have been through four different governments, we don't make as much noise as the West Malaysians, we don't scream, shout, drum the empty cans or throw insults, we quietly wait for polling day and quietly cast our votes and when the results came out the following evening. Shabas!, Sabahans have exercised their democratic rights wisely, we sent the incumbents off to the twilight zone.

We have changed wayward government at least three times in the past.We sent USNO to the dustbin of history, Berjaya to the grave, both never recovered, USNO was de-registered, Berjaya was dissolved and someone pocketed the money from sale of the Berjaya building.The same ex-Berjaya leaders are now in SAPP screaming their heads off calling for clean government and Sabah for Sabahans.These political eunuchs think Sabahans are stupid.What good is Sabah in the hands of uncaring and corrupt leaders like them.

Than came Anwar Ibrahim with his politics of federalism, culture of fear, threatened a few PBS leaders with prosecution for corruptions and, unashamedly, engineered a coup, offering the few PBS kataks money and positions to jump ship that brought down the thin-majority PBS government.

Today, the same PBS turncoats are either in SAPP or BN, also screaming their heads off against corruptions and Sabah for Sabahans.

Why should Pakatan leaders complain about Najib and the Perak coup when their de facto leader was as guilty as sin in the Sabah coup.
The three dinguses in Perak must have been offered attractive packages using the Anwar's well tested formula, accept the red package or prosecution for corruptions .

Sabah and Sarawak will again be the kingmakers and let hope this time around, unlike the ungrateful Pak Lah, our PM Najib Tun Razak give more credits to Sabahans and the Sabah CM for delivering the seats.I am positive Sabah and Sarawak would deliver a comfortable majority.

We are likely to lose a few state and parliamentary Chinese seats to DAP .The others, PKR, PAS and local parties SAPP, Star and the one suffering the same malady as Anwar of wanting to be NO.1 and Huguan Siou of the KDM people would be severely trounced.Yong of SAPP and Jeffery Kitingan of UBF have lost credibility with the people.

West Malaysian politicians learned a lot about dirty money politics from East Malaysians, particularly Sabahans.

There were no money politics and "politik katak" (strangely, some Malaysian writers are confused between frog and frogging, they are not the same, frogging is a coat fastening consisting a loop and a button and leapfrogging has nothing to do with politics either) in Peninsula Malaysia before.

Nothing to be proud of, Sabahans do it all the times, as they strongly believe in democracy and no one should be deprived of the freedom of association, which kind of the same as the First Amendment of the Constitution of the U.S.To protect their backside and to stop elected representatives from leaving the party for another, PBS during its tenure, introduced anti-hop law in Sabah

The only difference, in Malaysia, freedom come, freedom go, with the dirty hands of politics.

PBS "anti-katak" law passed in the Sabah state assembly was later abrogated by the BN, reason being it was against Article 10 of the Federal constitution.The irony is, the same article also made it illegal for the government to stop peaceful assembly and they did, everytime without fail, forcefully stopped such assembly, knowing it was against the constitution.

Even more ironic when Anwar Ibrahim blow his trumpet of an impending coup in the BN, where he claimed to have enough support of BN MPs to topple the BN, one clown in UMNO, a minister with very short memory, one Zaid Ibrahim said he would proposed to the cabinet to pass an anti-hop law.This same man later joined Anwar Ibrahim's PKR.

What happened to Article 10? Isn't it supposed to be"What sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander?

Can you trust politicians?Aren't they all the same. A bunch of liars and lawbreakers.

Money politics has become a way of life for our politicians.It has nothing to with principle or conscience, it's all about money and position.Unfortunately, in UMNO some are made sacrificial lambs to appease the opposition when everyone in the party, including the top echelon are rotten to the core.

In Malaysia those who joined politics are out to make money, don't kid yourself that they are out to serve the people.

Sabahans have learned a bitter lesson, changing government in the hope of getting better leaders and better administration of the state is like chasing the receding horizon, you can see it but never able to reach it.

Every succeeding government do exactly the same as the one you gotten rid off.

So, we may, again stay with the devil we know, not, as RPK says, we don't care about good governance, human rights and civil liberties, we do, but we are just fed up with every leader that came along with empty promises and lies.

Rotten cheese called by any other name is still rotten.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shahrizat Coming Home To Roost

Hantu Laut

Shahrizat sacrificed herself says the PM. She should have in the first instance when the scandal was exposed to the public tendered her resignation voluntarily.

She rejected the clarion call for her to step down gracefully.She ignored ignominious public opinion against her. Sad to say a little too late, the damage is done, her resignation has lost its value.

Though the PM tried to save her the embarrassment and soften the blow to her pride, it's obvious she was under pressure to resign.As they say pride comes before a fall.

UMNO leaders should discard their politics of arrogant if they want to win the coming election.

Najib should also drop half of his cabinet ministers from contesting the elections.I will not name who are the deadwoods as the PM should himself know who they are.

Story here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Karpal, Letter Of The Law or Spirit Of The Law?

Hantu Laut

Find fault with the judge if you can't find fault with the judgement.It's a trend among opposition leaders to ridicule judges when they couldn't find flaw in the judgement.

Anwar did it many times, asking judges to be removed from his case accusing them of being bias, his tactic to delay the trial.His Sodomy II trail ended with him off the hook more out of incompetent evidence provided the police rather than anything else.The prosecution appealed the case.

In his sedition case Karpal the nutty as a fruitcake lawyer couldn't find any flaw in the Court Of Appeal's judgement decided to insult one of the three judges, Datuk Clement Skinner for not being fluent in Malay and implied he couldn't have understood the written judgement in Malay because of his poor understanding of the language.It's obvious he is scrapping the bottom of the barrel.There were two Malay judges on the panel,there must have been discourse among the three judges before they reach a consensus.The written judgement is just academic.

Here, he politicised punishment by the court for contempt of a crazy imam who threw his shoes at the judges because he was not happy with the judgement.He was sentenced to a year imprisonment which Karpal and a few other half-past six lawyers say too excessive.If the imam were an UMNO man they would say the opposite, too lenient.

Throwing shoes at people is the biggest insult in any culture and are not taken very lightly in the Malay culture.

This ex-imam and ex-Mat Rempit is lucky, if I were the judge I would give him one for each shoe, two years in prison and five stroke of the cane.

One year is not enough deterrent, particularly, for 'kurang ajar' imam.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mahathir's Bashing Fever

Hantu Laut

Anwar Ibrahim was DPM and Minister of Finance from 1993 t0 1998.The question is why did Anwar continue to serve Mahathir even after the Bank Negara debacle. Why stay and serve a bad leader if you are so morally upright?

As finance minister wasn't it his job to advise Mahathir and if he refused to listen than Anwar should have, as a matter of principle, resign his position as finance minister.Now, he disclaimed everything, making Mahathir the sole badass.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness trust upon them.....(Shakespeare)

Unfortunately, Anwar has none of it, and he should know "God's mill grind slow but sure". If you are not yet fated to be prime minister, you'll never be, no matter how hard you try.

This excessive Mahathir's bashing may have negative effects on Pakatan.Mahathir is still a very popular man in spite of all the mud slinging against him.

Mahathir's Disastrous Financial Speculation

A murky and embarrassing case is closed, hiding top government officials’ involvement

Sometime over the next few days, a court in Kuala Lumpur will put the finishing touches to an agreement that allows Tajudin Ramli, the former head of Malaysian Airline System, not only to walk away from charges that he had allegedly looted the airline of tens of millions of US dollars but with an RM580 million (US$293.2 million) out-of-court settlement from the government.

It appears to be a settlement that the government would rather keep to itself. At the heart of the agreement with Tajudin is a convoluted story that began as long ago as the 1980s when Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, at the urging of then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, began speculating aggressively in global foreign exchange markets, at one time running up exposure rumored to be in the region of RM270 billion -- three times the country’s gross domestic product and more than five times its foreign reserves at the time.

Eventually, playing with the big boys came home to roost. In 1992 and 1993, Mahathir became convinced he could make billions of ringgit by taking advantage of a British recession, rising unemployment and a decision by the British government to float the pound sterling free of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

Mahathir ordered Bank Negara to buy vast amounts of pounds sterling on the theory that the British currency would appreciate once it floated. However, in what has been described
as the greatest currency trade ever made, the financier and currency wizard George Soros’s Quantum hedge fund established short positions borrowing in pounds and investing in Deutschemark-denominated assets as well as using options and futures positions.

In all, Soros’s positions alone ac counted for a gargantuan US$10 billion. Many other investors, sensing Quantum was in for the kill, soon followed, putting strenuous downward pressure on the pound. The collapse was inevitable. Quantum walked away with US$1 billion in a single day, earning Mahathir’s eternal enmity and earning Soros the title “the man who broke the Bank of England.”

Mahathir and Bank Negara, on the other hand, walked away with a US$4 billion loss, followed by another US$2.2 billion loss in 1993, the total equivalent of RM15.5 billion. Although the disastrous trades destroyed the entire capital base of Bank Negara, after first denying it had taken place, the then-Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim repeatedly reassured parliament that the losses were only “paper losses” and, now that he is Opposition Leader and head of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition, has managed to skate free of the controversy.

Eventually, the Finance Ministry had to recapitalize the central bank, almost unheard of for any government anywhere. It is reliably estimated that Bank Negara lost as much as US$30 billion in this and other disastrous currency trades, costing the head of the central bank and his currency trader deputy their jobs.

It was at one with Mahathir’s unfortunate penchant for believing he could beat the global financial system in other ways. In the early 1980s, at his behest the Malaysian government attempted to corner the tin market through Maminco Sdn Bhd, a dummy company set up to buy tin futures and physical tin to push up prices on the London Tin Market. Malaysia at that point was producing 31 percent of the world’s tin.

However, the rising prices as a result of Malaysia’s action caused miners to increase production in the other 69 percent of the tin world. At the same time the US government released its tin stockpile. The price collapsed, costing Malaysia RM1.6 billon with the subsequent low prices wrecking Malaysia’s tin industry. Mahathir has repeatedly railed against western governments for rigging the rules against him.

The attempt to corner the tin market and the subsequent loss established an interesting precedent in terms of what would take place with the speculation in the pound sterling. Rather than acknowledge the losses in the tin speculation, the government set up another dummy company called Makuwasa Sdn Bhd, creating new shares supposedly reserved for ethnic Malays which were allocated to the Employee Provident Fund, the country’s retirement fund for private and public workers. The plan was to sell these cheaply acquired shares at market price for a profit to cover Maminco’s losses. Finally, in 1986, Mahathir was forced to admit that Makuwasa was created to recoup the government’s losses from the Maminco debacle and to repay loans to Bank Bumiputra.

Fast forward to today and the out-of-court settlement between several government-linked companies and Tajudin Ramli, in which the government quietly cancelled Tajudin’s debt of RM840 million. It is believed to be the biggest such sum awarded in Malaysian history.
Read more.

Ghosts Of The Past

Hantu Laut

Some have skeletons in the closet that would only haunt them decades later.

Ghosts of the past coming back to haunt those who betrayed the poor kampong folks or was it a ploy by the oppositions. Read the story below.

Angry Murut converts cry foul over land promise

TENOM: Murut natives who had converted to Islam in 1979, under the then Berjaya government-linked mass Islamisation programme which promised new ‘recruits’ individual land titles, are now claiming that the government had cheated them.

The converts were given land plots in Kpg Masanopi, Kembong and have been occupying this area since then. However they have now discovered that the land is not theirs and instead belongs to someone else.

A villager, Ariffin Abdullah, 70, whose original name is Arot Bin Ukab, said that the ‘planned’ village was created in 1979 during the rule of the Berjaya government as a new settlement for a group of Muruts who were willing to convert to Islam.

The converts then went on to develop and till the land providing for themselves by planting rubber trees, orchards and padi. Ariffin was their village head or Ketua Kampung.

But now, so many years later, the villagers who were promised their individual land titles had found out that their settlement area belonged to someone else.

“What is most disappointing is that the land owner turns out to be the person who was entrusted by Harris Salleh (to manage the distribution of the land to us as the new converts,” Ariffin said.

“And our worst nightmare happened when we found out that the person had sold the land to a businessman.

“Imagine, now this businessman has just sued us for illegal occupation of our land!”

“The suit was lodged in Nov 29, 2011. So how can anyone blame us for feeling so humiliated and very angry,” added Ariffin.

Conned all the way

Arffin said that their hard work to develop and till the land had been going on for more than 30 years and during the three decades they were repeatedly assured their land titles would be issued to them in due course.

According to the official records, the first single land title was issued on Oct 30, 1980 under the name of Mohamad Abdul Rahman (then the District Officer of Tenom).

Another was issued to one Anthony Lamb and yet another to Theodore Douglas Lind (the former official of the then Chief Minister).

Ariffin claimed that these three persons were entrusted by Harris to manage and administer the land for the benefit of the converts, but they never got to have the individual land titles issued to the different families as they had promised.

“Instead, they spent the whole 30 over years asking us to be patient.

“But now it is proven (that) their plan (all along) was to own the land, and now thyey have sold it behind our backs,” added Ariffin.Read more.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Harris:RM430m Bum-Bum Bridge A Waste

Hantu Laut

Former Sabah Chief Minister has taken to task the Federal government decision to build a bridge linking the mainland with Bum-Bum Island in Semporna initiated during the tenure of former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

Harris is indeed right, the unlikelihood of any potential economic growth of the area would make the bridge a white elephant.Story here and here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

MAS:National Pride Or National Shame?

Hantu Laut

There have been many fatalities in the airline business.

The three most well-known demises of national airlines were Pan Am, Swissair and Sabena of the U.S, Switzerland and Belgium respectively. 

I have had the honour of having flown with all three airlines before they were destined to the graveyard.

One must not have false sense of pride or foolish sentiments when come to running a business. If the business continued to lose money, sell it or close it down. Pouring taxpayer's money into this bottomless pit is completely irresponsible of the government, which eventually would become even more costly to shut down.

The Malaysian taxpayers should not be made to pay money to this sick child just because the government think they are beholden to keep employing those 20,000 grossly overstaffed MAS bumiputra employees and maintain a false and costly national pride.

The government should not be beholden to those good-for-nothing MAS management and employees, but should protect taxpayers money as trustee of the people.

MAS losses were not due to external market forces.It's just incompetence and bad management. Its major losses were due to gross mismanagement arising out of over staffing, overpricing of supplies by sub-contractors, high fuel prices due to poor financial planning and in a nutshell a blundering amateurist management team headed by people who have no knowledge of the aviation industry. MAS has enough business in the air, but excessively high expenditure caused the massive losses.

Its airline core business revenue increased by 2% to RM13.9 billion in 2011 but suffered a massive loss of RM2.52 billion.Higher fuel costs were due to management lack of foresight. A competent management would know how to hedge fuel prices.Since passengers help subsidised fuel cost by paying fuel surcharges, MAS management cannot claim that most of it losses were due to higher fuel costs.

Using the 2011 loss as a yardstick, MAS would have lost 10 Boeing 737-800 in 2011, literally chopping them up for the scrapyard, which hypothetically also means it could have paid the purchase of 10 units of new Boeing 737-800 in cash.Current price of Boeing 737-800 is at US$83-100 million depending on the configuration.

The airline had gone through various management changes over the past decade, yet nothing good had come out of it.

As I have predicted correctly of past management failures, I am still not convinced the new management team put in recently would be able to save the airline.There will be lots of talk but little improvement.

Political interference and corrupt practices are rampant in the airline.Many MAS supply contracts were given to relatives and cronies with highly inflated prices. Remember the RM75 or RM150 per serving of nasi lemak episode not long ago?

Can MAS pay for air crafts due for delivery this year and next? 

They are 5 units A-380, 13 B737-800 and 5 A330-300 awaiting delivery. MAS needs almost RM10 billion for the next two years to pay for aircraft deliveries.

How are they going to pay when they only have RM1.1 cash reserve, which will be exhausted soon to pay for the continuing losses. 

With a severe red balance sheet will the banks lend them money or they may have to go to Santa Clause to get the money, the people's money.

Three things the government can do, forget about national pride, it's a national shame.............sell the damned thing to a private concern, close it down, or chop it up, bit by bit, and feed to the dogs.

MAS, national pride or national shame?

Blast from the past, read here, talk is cheap!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chop Suey!

Hantu Laut

A good orator does not necessary make a good leader.Hitler was one such person. He was imprisoned after a failed coup d'etat (Beer Hall Putsch). During his time in prison he wrote his memoir, Mein Kempf (My Struggle).

He gained popular support after his release from prison and became the Chancellor in 1933 and transformed Germany as the Third Reich.He was a charmer, a charismatic orator that eventually became the most notorious beast, a monstrous and murderous dictator of the modern era. He murdered 11 million people including 6 million Jews.Many more millions died fighting the war.

Hitler did not suffer from any mental disorder, he was just a clever conniving, ruthless and needless to say, a person who was just born bad.

Sometimes, a leader we least expected to be bad can become a monster when given too much power. Of recent time, Pol Pot of Cambodia killed almost 2 million of his own people within a spate of less than four years.It took the Cambodians many years to recover the aftermath of the genocidal regime.

Take Africa and the Middle East, almost two-thirds of the region had been or still under the rules of despotic leaders. These countries are ripe for revolutions and the Middle East countries have seen conflagration of uprisings involving Tunisia,Egypt,Libya,Yemen,Bahrain and ongoing uprising in Syria, which has become as bloody as the Libyan revolution.

Clearly, the Western powers are not prepared to intervene where there is no oil and Western interests at stake.Assad is at liberty to do what he likes, including killing the innocents to instill fear in the population.He may end up same as Qaddafi or able to put down the rebellion with high human cost.Over a hundred people are killed everyday.

Saudi Arabia is the next hotspot, volatile for change.At the moment the kingdom has managed to contain the discontentment by bribing the people with cash handouts, it may not be this year, it may not be next year, but it will come. As Brutus says "not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more". History has shown brutal regime cannot stand for long.

The Asean region have had its share of dictators and bad leaders, it has seen two dictators brought down by people's power, Marcos of Philippines and Suharto of Indonesia.When it come to human right abuses they are mild compared to Arab leaders who are prepared to perpetrate iniquity to stay in power.Criticising the leaders is a crime and political prisoners are regularly tortured in those godforsaken countries.

No matter what the opposition and the Western press tell you about Malaysia, our government is not as brutal as those countries, physical torture of political prisoners are not common occurrences here as in Africa and the Middle East.Malaysia do not have political prisoners languishing in prison for long period of time.Most of those detained under ISA were considered security risk to the nation or involved in terrorist activities.Sometimes, the ISA is a necessary evil.

Almost all the tyrants and despots of the so-called democratic world were put there by the people and allowed to have absolute power to run the country as they deemed fit until the people found out that their mouths are muffled and their freedom restricted and those opposing the regime either gone missing or in prison.

The Arab Spring gained momentum due to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs.These sites can provide instant information and can be updated anytime.The alternative media is now the media of choice providing the people the thirst for political gobbledygook.

In Malaysia the anti-government blogs get more visits than pro-government blogs.Even in Singapore, considered squeaky clean and excellent government the Internet has played a role in helping to swing opinion against the government.The PAP popular vote declined by 6.46% from its 2006 elections to 60.14%, the lowest since independence, losing 6 seats to the opposition Worker's Party.

If excellent government can suffer unforeseen and unexpected decline in its popularity what awaits the less than excellent ones.

The results of the March 2008 General Elections were indicative of the powers of the Internet and its influence on the masses, particularly, the youth.Malaysian homes are well wired especially in urban and semi-urban areas. The alternative media have become the media of choice for most Malaysians. The Malaysian government ignoring the alternative media at its own perils.

Anwar Ibrahim was all excited talking about a Malaysian version of the Arab Spring if Pakatan don't make it to Putrajaya. His insatiability for power and to be prime minister had taken over his good sense.Majority of Malaysians are more level-headed than he assumed.They will not go on to the streets to topple a duly elected government.

Pakatan leaders, instead of telling Malaysians what they can and will do for the people if they form the next Federal government, spent more time on witch-hunting, self-aggrandizing and distributing lie-goodies to the people

Be careful of wolf in sheep clothing and whom you elect to lead this country.

Chop Suey, shap sui or za sui, does it matter, they are all the same!