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FOKUS BERANI IKHLAS



Tuesday, 30 December 2008

FATHER & SON PRIESTS

ITS just two days before 2009. I just came down from a three-day trip to my sister Juvita in Keningau. The usually 2hour 30mins drive became a six-hour trip when the diesel filter of the vehicle I was using failed to function properly. Still, thank God, apart from the forced slow journey, everything else (including my hang over) went very well. Then I saw this article. Well, this would perhaps be among the things they call, ordinary miracle... meanwhile, I try to check list whether I have accomplished my 2008 resolution

FATHER AND SON BECOME PRIESTS
LONDON (The Deacons Bench) - Well, this made me put down my coffee cup and go "Wow." A father, a son, a conversion, and more... From the Times of London:

"In what is believed to be a first, a father and son, both former Anglican clergy, have been ordained as Catholic priests and are now working for the same archdiocese, Birmingham.Father Dominic Cosslett, 36, and his father, Father Ron Cosslett, 70, were both ordained by Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Nichols is the favourite to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor as Archbishop of Westminster when he steps down early next year and the latest ordination of Father Dominic on 20 December shows he is continuing in the tradition of true Catholicity to which the British church has so long been witness. MORE

Saturday, 27 December 2008

BN PKR POSITIONS

STILL on holiday mood? Sure we all are. Still, when going round, wishing relatives, friends and even total strangers a memorable festive season, I do get once in a while a question about the political situation in our country. The Malaysian Insider article here proposed its own insight. I may or may not agree. I rest my case...(and I cut and paste it here in full to save u the trouble to click on the link... see, am still in a very generous Santa Claus mood).

BN GETS ITS GROOVE BACK
DEC 27 — Slowly but surely, the Barisan Nasional government seems to be recovering its poise. Ruling coalition politicians do not tense up every time Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim prepares to make a statement; Umno politicians fret less about whether it is possible to govern this country of 26 million people without the two-thirds majority in Parliament; and foreign diplomats here have called time predicting the fall of the government.

This is not to say that BN is back to the days before March 8 when it had the swagger of invincibility. Far from it. Gerakan, without the anchor of Penang, is still seeking a role in Malaysian politics, the MIC is flirting with irrelevance and the smaller coalition parties are adrift.

But the senior partner in the coalition, Umno, has steadied itself; boosted by the smooth transition of power from Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the realisation that after the initial burst of euphoria, Pakatan Rakyat is struggling with the mundane day to day of governing.

There is a quiet confidence among Umno politicians these days. They believe that the worst days are behind them. They believe that the party election machinery in Kuala Terengganu will not stutter like it did in Permatang Pauh in August. The reason: the vexing issue of succession in the party has been settled and everyone seems to be falling in line behind Najib, partly out of respect for the individual and partly because Umno politicians are a pragmatic lot.

In coffee houses in five-star hotels in Kuala Lumpur, the talk among the party operatives has moved far beyond Abdullah, his weak leadership and the debacle on March 8. It is about the party elections in March and who will receive the all-important endorsement from Najib. Occasionally, conversation swings to Anwar but in less revered tones.

His gambit of predicting the fall of the BN government by Sept 16 has taken some gloss off his image which was burning bright after Pakatan Rakyat denied BN two-thirds majority in Parliament and took control of five states. More importantly, the man who could do no wrong after March 8 now appears to be strangely vulnerable.

He has his hands full keeping politicians from the PKR, Pas and DAP on the same page. PKR's MP for Kapar S. Manikavasagam is threatening to resign from the party, claiming that there is infighting among Selangor's PKR leaders while DAP's Klang MP Charles Santiago is involved in an ugly public spat with DAP central committee member Teng Chang Khim.

Also, Umno/BN politicians expected the former student leader and firebrand orator to give the government a much tougher time in Parliament than he has. Not surprisingly then that there is a spring in the step of ruling party politicians today.

Najib in an interview with the Edge said that there is less concern over the future of the government and the fact that it no longer has two-thirds majority in Parliament.

"We have shown with the passing of the two Bills a few days ago that it is a majority that can lead to a very, very functioning government, not a dysfunctional government,” he said, referring to the safe passage of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Bill and the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill.

He also said that foreign investors and Malaysians are not talking about a change in government. "I think we have passed that point, '' said Najib.

The Kuala Terengganu by-election could be the clearest sign yet that Umno/BN has recovered its poise. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

RIGHT AND WRONG

I SAY yes, you say no. Black. White. Good. Bad. Remember the story of four blind men trying to figure out how an elephant looks like? This festive season, a lot of things could happen. May be it is good to be extra careful. But do good and things should end that way too....

GOOD SAMARITANS MISTAKEN FOR THIEVES
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 (Bernama) -- Bernama journalist Zulkiple Ibrahim was on his way to the office this morning when he stumbled upon two teenagers on a motorcycle acting suspiciously in Bandar Tasik Puteri, Rawang, near here.

Sensing something amiss upon seeing the pillion rider holding two traffic cones marked "POLIS", Zulfiple, 47, who is attached to the Features Desk, decided to follow the motorcycle which was moving against the traffic flow.

His suspicion was allayed when he saw the motorcycle heading towards a police patrol car which had come to a stop on a road divider in the township after ploughing into a lamp post.

As it turned out, the two youths were only trying to help the policemen who had come to grief.

They had rushed to the housing estate's police beat base to get the traffic cones to place along the road to warn motorists of the accident. -- BERNAMA

SOUL SEARCHING


TODAY is 23 Dec 2008
Tomorrow Christmas Eve
Then the day Christ Jesus is born
Five days later 2009
Have a blessed
Have a memorable
Have a wonderful Christmas to one and all

Monday, 15 December 2008

NOT FOR SABAH

WELL, the JAC being debated now in Parliament is creating lots of comments from various quarters. This is one of them. And yes, I label this under General Election. For want of a better heading? I rest my case.....

SABAH COUNCIL: JAC NOT FOR SABAH

(NST) - The Sabah Justice of Peace Council said that appointment procedure of judges in the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bill is contrary to the Federal Constitution.

Council honorary secretary Datuk Lawrence Thien Shin Hing said the new procedure would be a departure from the present model and in direct conflict with Article 122B of the Constitution.

Under Article 122B, a person is appointed judge by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, acting on the advice of the prime minister after consulting the Conference of Rulers.

Before tendering his advice as to the appointment of a judge to the High Court, the prime minister shall consult the chief judge of Malaya or the chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak.

Thien noted that the JAC was not a constitutional amendment but an ordinary federal law compared with the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the federation. MORE

Friday, 12 December 2008

REFORM?

THE MACC and JAC are now in Parliament. Read on. Just for information. For me, if it is good, accept it. If not, reject. If half-good? Is there such a thing as half-good?


DEC 11 - The thing about reforms is, it appeases no one.

And one is damned for doing it or not doing it at all, depending on the perspective of the critics. With that in mind and a diminished political majority and clout, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi went to Parliament yesterday to table his long-awaited reforms package against corruption and for judicial appointments.

Both bills - the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision and Judicial Appointments Commission - were immediately buffeted by criticisms from all sides, reflecting the huge interest and need for reforms in fighting graft and putting in men of integrity to interpret and enforce the country's laws apart from defending the Federal Constitution. MORE

Monday, 8 December 2008

STRATEGY

THIS article from Malaysia Today could complement my earlier posting on PAK LAH POSER. Its the festive season. But who says we should set aside current development? May be this year end is a good time to do a soul searching, of sort. Me? An annual leave will sure refreshes my tired me....

WALKING ON THIN ICE
The non-Malays do not like to hear this. It sounds too much like racism. Many Malays do not like it as well. But this is the reality of Malaysian politics that continues to haunt us.
Politics, in Malaysia, is about race and religion. And no Malaysian can escape that. And this is why the 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament should not cross over yet, not if it is going to be 30 non-Malay Members of Parliament.
It should only happen if the 30 are half Malay and half non-Malay.
Then Umno will be silenced. Umno can no longer claim that the Malays have lost political power. Umno can no longer suggest that we are now seeing a repeat of May 1969. And Umno can’t propose that they need a May 1969 ‘solution’ to solve the ‘problem’. MORE

PAK LAH POSER

HEY, the political game is still very much alive. This festive season, first today, being the Hari Raya Haji, then soon, Christmas, then the New Year 2009, then the Chinese New Year and the list goes on. A lot more could happen. This posting is but a food for thoughts for you and me.... Enjoy your holiday mood!

SO, IS HE GOING... OR STAYING?
DEC 8 — Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang says that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should only step down as Prime Minister once he has fulfilled his slew of promises to Malaysians.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah says that Abdullah can stay on as Prime Minister even if he is no longer the Umno president.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says that there is every possibility that Abdullah will go back on his word and remain in the top job after party elections in March.

What's happening? What is driving this sudden examination and speculation of Abdullah's options? Is Abdullah reconsidering his retirement plans?

The short answer to the last question appears to be NO. Sources told The Malaysian Insider that Abdullah has already made plans for his post-Prime Minister days. He will shift out of Seri Perdana and move into a kampung-style house in Sungai Penchala, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. As for filling up his retirement days, he has told his friends that he would like to spend time strengthening ties between Malaysia and the Middle East. MORE

Thursday, 4 December 2008

ZAID SAYS

WELL, this was a long awaited press conference. Zaid (my kind of guy) spells out quite a bit of his thoughts. Correct? Wrong? It depends which side you are on.

ZAID: Not joining opposition... yet?

"I am shocked at the way I was sacked as I was not asked to show cause. Obviously, in Umno the rules apply only to some and not to others.

"In Umno, some people have made fun of and ridiculed Pak Lah," he said, referring to party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"They even make racist remarks. But no action has been taken against them as they are very powerful people, so there are double standards."

Since his resignation from the Cabinet in September, speculation has been rife that he would be joining one of the PR parties.

Last weekend, he was seen attending a DAP dinner and the opening of the PKR annual congress.

These appearances led to his sacking from Umno on Tuesday night.

Zaid also claimed that he was sacked from Umno for his views, and not for attending opposition functions.

"They did not like me or my ideas. They resent my views and accommodating approach," he said. MORE

RUMOURS VS FACTS

THIS is self-explanatory. Happy reading

RPK: 99pc of rumours become fact in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 – Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin said tonight that 99% of the rumours he reports on his website eventually turn out to be true.

Defending himself from a caller on a special interview with Riz Khan on satellite television station Al Jazeera who asked why he persisted in writing about rumours, he said time and time again he had been proven right with his stories.

“I have always been told that two things sell and that is sex and politics. And sex involving politics sells even more,” he quipped.

He also denied the perception that Malaysia Today was an opposition mouthpiece, pointing out that he had been critical of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as well.

Raja Petra added that he would also not consider playing a role in government if PR succeeded in toppling Barisan Nasional (BN).

“I do not wish to be in government. I wish to be in a pressure group. I have joked that if Pakatan forms the government I will then join Umno,” he said.

Besides Raja Petra, the other guests on the show were playwright Jo Kukathas and journalist Kee Thuan Chye.

All three guests offered their respective views on a gamut of issues from censorship and the media to the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar also joined the discussion by telephone and made a stout defence of the ISA.

Offering the government’s condolences to the people of India over the recent Mumbai attacks, he justified the continued existence of the ISA by saying the law was the reason why Malaysia had not suffered any major terrorist attacks.

He also contended that it was only what he described as a vocal minority of Malaysians who were against the ISA while the majority wanted safety and order in society.

Kukathas responded, however, to the minister’s arguments by pointing out that most of those who were ever arrested under the ISA were not terrorists. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

OBAMA-CLINTON TEAM

YOU and I know how Obama and Clinton, Hillary that is, went for each others throat sort of, during the primaries. I remember posting, I like Obama but my gut feeling is Clinton will be the Democrat's presidential candidate. Am proven wrong. But, such the the maturity of their politics, Obama not only embrace Clinton but gave her a very powerful cabinet post, the Secretary of State. Malaysians and I can learn one or two from Obama. And Clinton....

Obama makes Clinton Secretary of State

"President Kennedy once said that engaging the world to meet the threats we face was the greatest adventure of our century," Clinton said during a news conference in Chicago, Illinois, when Obama unveiled his national security team.

"Well, Mr. President-elect, I am proud to join you on what will be a difficult and exciting adventure in this new century."

Clinton said she would work to restore America's position as "a force for positive change" in the world.

"America is a place founded on the idea that everyone should have the right to live up to his or her God-given potential. And it is that same ideal that must guide America's purpose in the world today," she said. MORE

Monday, 1 December 2008

ARE YOU WITH ME OR

I WAS a reporter for about ten years. I know how some people or even so-called leaders who speak without thinking thoroughly first the consequence of their statements or answers to the press fraternity. Whatever lah. You with me or against me... (was in church yesterday and I heard somebody said, we are all equals in the eyes of God. How about in human's eyes? Or better still, Melayu's eyes?)

Commenting on Chua’s call to drop the 'Ketuanan Melayu' concept, Hishammuddin said: “It is better for leaders of BN component parties to join the Opposition if they want to continue questioning historical facts.’’

He is not alone. Other Umno leaders also believe that their friends in BN have become too vocal and need to pipe down and accept the reality of politics in Malaysia. If this “I know best’ approach permeates through discussions at the BN convention in February, it could persuade a few BN leaders that their future may lie outside the coalition.

Worse yet, it could be the clearest sign yet for many Malaysians that the BN - the political behemoth - is on its last legs. MORE

ANWAR AT IT AGAIN

HAD we not heard it all? Some people are saying the PR people will wait until the cow comes home. Others give them the benefits of the doubt. Me? Yes. And No. I know, it is not saying much. But am saying something. So we will see.

ANWAR: WE WILL TAKE OVER PUTRAJAYA ASAP

(The Star) - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has once again stressed that Pakatan Rakyat would form the Federal Government but would not say when.

Saying it would occur in “the shortest possible time,” the PKR adviser said it was not a question of “when” but that it involved the people.

“Insya Allah, we will certainly be in Putrajaya soon,” he said in his address yesterday at the close of the PKR national congress.

Anwar said there was no other option because the people would no longer support the current system which he said was corrupt and insulted their intelligence.

At the March 8 general election, Barisan Nasional won 140 parliamentary seats while the Opposition secured 82.

Anwar, however, said he was confident he could topple the Federal Government as there were more than enough Barisan MPs who wanted to cross over to their side.

He had earlier claimed that the Pakatan Rakyat would be able to form a new government by Sept 16.

When that failed to materialise, people began having doubts and some have even accused him of lying.

Anwar said the plans were still on track, adding that he believed in the power of prayer and the wisdom of the people. His wife, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail rose to his defence and the takeover plan.

She reminded delegates they had already won by making a comeback in the recent elections after being nearly wiped out in 2004. On members who kept asking if the takeover would really happen, she advised them to be more patient.

Deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali and vice president Azmin Ali also told the delegates to have faith in Anwar’s takeover plans.

Dr Syed Husin said he had known Anwar for more than 40 years and was his lecturer at university.

“Some are cynical about the road to Putrajaya. But from my experience, I believe and trust in his confidence to get to Putrajaya. This is not empty talk,” he said in his winding-up speech.

Azmin, who said he had known Anwar for 25 years, said he was certain the takeover would happen soon. THE STAR

Friday, 28 November 2008

WHEN I WAS YOUNG


When I was young
Still green, full of sap
Was in Bogor, West Java
Getting close to earth
Meditating others' culture
Eating tempe (soya bean product)
Drinking jahe (ginger)
The world waiting to be known
When I was young
(The pictures is courtesy of my SPMA Negeri Bogor classmate
Didiet Pursadin. Don't know where he obtain my photo
but am glad now to get a copy here. Tks Diet!)



Tuesday, 25 November 2008

YOGA YOGA

YOGA is banned. Frankly, I do not know too much about yoga, except that some of those who practise it are said to be able to stand on their heads. Well, it is always good to fall back on commonsense. Am sure the authorities meant well when they made the decision. Am sure too that those practising it have very good reasons doing so....


JAKIM EXPLAINS

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25, 2008: The Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) says the last word on the yoga fatwa is with the Malay Rulers.

The various states can choose to either accept or reject the National Fatwa Council's decision to ban yoga for Muslims.

The statement comes amid confusion caused by separate statements from the Sultan of Selangor, a Perak state official and other groups following the National Fatwa Council's announcement last week of a ban on Muslims practising yoga.

The decision to ban yoga for Muslims has sparked a roiling debate among various conservative and liberal Muslim groups as well as criticisms from non-Muslims.

Jakim director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz explained today just how a fatwa by the National Fatwa Council is implemented, or even rejected.

He said the council's decision will now be discussed at state-level fatwa committees who answer and report to their respective Rulers.

"Once it is agreed upon, any decision will then be presented to the various state religious councils who then in turn bring the decision to the Sultans for consent," he said in Ipoh today.

The Sultan of Selangor has said that the fatwa would not come into force in the state yet as the Selangor Fatwa Committee would have to first discuss the matter.

Perlis Mufti Dr Asri Zainal Abidin had also spoken out against the fatwa, arguing that yoga with unIslamic elements removed should be allowed.

Commenting on the intense debate surrounding the fatwa on yoga, Jakim's Wan Mohamad said it showed Malaysians in general appeared to be interested in understanding Islam.

"It is good and bad. It is good that we can explain the beauty of Islam to non-Muslims.

"As we live in a multi-religious country, it is good for our religious authorities to share information and knowledge with one another," he said.

But he reminded the public to give due respect to Islam as the country's official religion. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Thursday, 20 November 2008

RAZAK BAGINDA SAYS

ALTANTUYA. Yeah, we all know her. And Razak Baginda. He was acquitted recently. Following is his statement read during a press conference today. Try read between the lines. And yes, I label this, yet again under General Election.....

Razak Baginda: I am innocent

Court of public opinion believing he is still implicated:

"I can't really be responsible for that. When you say public opinion I really wonder who you have in mind. When you talk about people's power, you look at Thailand, you say, wow the people are against the government. A hundred thousand, 500,000, the media blows it out of proportion. But hang on a minute, is that democracy?

If you talk about 500 people going out in the streets as opposed to a population of 100 million is that reflective of democracy? If I have money and pay everyone RM10 and get 100,000 people out today in the streets and protest against the government is that people's power? Is that public opinion?

Blimey, that's not public opinion, that's just manipulation. So you talk about public opinion as if it is a coherent, consistent consensus and I don't think there is a consensus.

So I don't want to pander to the so-called public opinion and I'd like to ask you who is the public opinion? Can a blogger reflect the public opinion? Blimey, if that is the case, I can run you down as well, mate, and say this is the public opinion.

If we descend to a level where a taxi driver, for example, someone who doesn't know the facts, writes, and that becomes public opinion then I feel sorry for society.

Just one individual, two individuals, one blogger, two bloggers can form an opinion and that becomes public opinion? Come on, give me a break." MORE

AMONG EQUALS WHAT

THE Nut Graph comes up with the following article. It is about relationship among the Barisan Nasional component parties. It is self explanatory...


BN's POWER PLAY


As an example, he points to the memorandum submitted by nine non-Muslim cabinet ministers in January 2006 calling for a review of laws to resolve religious disputes that affect the non-Muslims. After Umno leaders objected, eight of the ministers subsequently withdrew their endorsement of the memo. Only Dompok, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, had the guts to refuse.

A year later, Dompok once again broke ranks with his cabinet colleagues by speaking out against Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's remark about Malaysia being an Islamic state. The fact that he still remains in the cabinet is proof that some amount of criticism at least is tolerated within the BN.

Both Wee and Dompok note that the coalition is slowly responding to criticism about being overly dominated by Umno, and that some changes, such as regular surpreme council meetings, are under way. But Umno must do more to accommodate its smaller partners.

"US now has the first black president, but our country is still talking about ketuanan Melayu. In Sabah we don't have 'tuan'. The last 'tuan' left in 1963," Dompok says. MORE

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

ANWAR STORY

ITS been eight months after Marc 8. Many things have passed. 916 among others. What happened? To refresh our minds, if u like, I posted here an article I stumbled upon in Malaysia Today. Its a good read. Correct or not, that's another story. Happy reading...


Anwar fails?


Nevertheless, pressure is mounting on the Umno to prove that it can seal the various races into a nation and failing to do so will impede its chances of a quick recovery in the next general elections (GE). With these elements in his favor, Anwar Ibrahim should be able to cause more damages to the Umno and the BN in a future GE but it is not certain whether the Umno will tumble and fall this time around. It is also not certain whether the PAS will continue to play second fiddle to the PKR in the future as the party is facing internal pressure to advance further in its agenda of becoming a national party rather than remain a 'Malay' belt party. The PAS has a great need to win more Parliamentary seats in order to influence the course of the nation's future. Winning 20 seats will not help it contain the largely non-Muslim supporters and their agendas for a more secular Malaysia to emerge after the downfall of the BN.

With Sabah now calm and the possibility of a massive cross-over dimmed, the Anwar Ibrahim plan to seize power must now focus on the Umno and its supporters and MP's. Why? The Umno remains the largest political organization in the country. The attempts at chipping away the BN with the wooing of non-Muslim parties to leave the coalition having failed, the Umno is the most attractive and lucrative target for Anwar Ibrahim and the PKR. And that would include, though with limited chances, a return of Anwar Ibrahim to the Umno! MORE

Monday, 17 November 2008

PETRONAS SAYS...

SEE, I told you. The announcement by my boss on the gas pipeline is not the last words on the issue. I post here Daily Express and New Straits Times exclusive interview with Petronas chief Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Merican. My say: The truth will prevail. And I stand by my boss....

Petronas chief: Gas is national resource

Q: Are you saying it is unfair for certain quarters to portray that the State Government led by Datuk Seri Musa was hardly involved?

A: What I can say is that they have been fully involved since the time we discussed and presented the concept to them in 2006. It was not out of thin air. Like I said from the beginning, I am not a politician but a technocrat. I can give you facts, the history and how we've done it. The rest you interpret whichever way you want it.

Q: It is fair to say then that in the case of the State Government, the Chief Minister, himself, was aggressively involved in the petrochemical plant project, contrary to the perception that has been created?

A: Yes. I think it is fair comment. And also together with him (Musa) we even discussed this with the national leaders, both the Number One and Number Two since 2006.

The only thing is people always criticise Petronas. They say we keep things quiet. But in this industry, this is how to do it. MORE

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

MALAYSIAN OBAMA

THIS piece, from The Nut Graph, was written by a person I know, Tricia. Happy reading...

US-Malaysia political parallels

Many Malaysians desire the same sort of change. The same obstacles faced by those driving "change" in the US also encumber those in Malaysia. Ridding a political system of corruption, cronyism, and patronage is just the tip of the iceberg. The more difficult task is to overcome barriers of prejudice, superiority complexes, racism, and exclusivity.

Someone from the I-VOTE programme asked if it was possible for "anyone" to become Malaysia's prime minister. After all, we had just witnessed firsthand the rise of an African American to lead the US, just 40 years after the Civil Rights Act 1968 was passed. I shook my head and sadly answered that the basic criteria is still that the person is Malay, Muslim and male. Only time will tell whether US-Malaysia parallels can be stretched to include diverse possibilities of leadership.
MORE

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

UMNO NOMINATIONS

President
(58 nominations
to qualify)

1

Datuk Seri Najib Razak

185
2

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

1
Deputy President
(39 nominations
to qualify)

1 Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin 92
2 Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam
48
3 Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib 45
4 Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad
1
Wanita Umno Chief
(39 nominations
to qualify)

1 Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz 116
2 Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil 74

Deputy
Wanita Umno Chief

(29 nominations
to qualify)

1 Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil 113
2 Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim
54
3 Datuk Seri Azalina Othman 19
4 Datuk Halimah Sadique 2
5 Datuk Dr Norraesah Mohamad
1
6
Datuk Maznah Mazlan
2
Umno Youth Chief
(39 nominations
to qualify)

1 Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir 74
2 Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Khir Toyo 61
3 Khairy Jamaluddin 52
4 Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin 1
Deputy Umno Youth Chief
(29 nominations
to qualify)

1 Razali Ibrahim 98
2 Datuk Reezal Merican Naina Merican 74
3 Bahrul Razha Chuprat
4
4 Faizal Abdullah
1
5
Marzuki Yahaya
1
6
Khairy Jamaluddin 1

THIS table is courtesy of The Malaysian Insider. Am posting it just to show what is happening in Umno, the so-called backbone party of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. The election will be held in March 2009....

LETS LEARN

IT IS transition time. From Pak Lah to Najib. Oppsss... I mean from Bush to Obama. It is never too late to learn. Read on my friends and lets learn how the DEVELOPED nation goes about things such as transition....

In the end, Bush the stateman emerges

WASHINGTON, Nov 11 - No matter how people remember President George W. Bush’s time in office, let there be no doubt about how he wants to end it: gracefully.

Never mind that Democrat Barack Obama spent all that time during the presidential campaign deriding Bush for “failed policies,” or mocking him for hiding in an “undisclosed location” because he was too unpopular to show up with his Republican Party’s own candidate, John McCain. This is transition time. Outgoing presidents support the new guy.

And on that front, Bush is going well beyond the minimum. He has embraced the role of statesman with such gusto that it has been hard to miss.

The result is that Bush’s last image at the White House will be one of a magnanimous leader. Whether it will improve his legacy is another matter. MORE

Monday, 10 November 2008

I HOLD YOU TO YOUR WORDS

HEY, did I say something to this effect before? That this Zaid is my kind of a leader? The harakiri kind? Two years ago, my boss Tan Sri Bernard Dompok resigned from being chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity based on principle. That's something isn't it?

Zaid: A minister's word should mean something

Kuala Lumpur, November 10 - Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim took a swipe at his successor Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for disclosing the amount of ex gratia paid to six former Supreme Court judges.

He pointed out that a "word of a minister should mean something," in referring to his promise to the judges that the amount paid out would not be revealed.

The former minister, who quit the Cabinet because he felt there was a lack of support for his reform measures, also pointed out that the PM had agreed to not disclosing the ex gratia amount.

Nazri had said in Parliament last week that requests from MPs, especially the opposition, had forced the government to go back on a promise made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi's Cabinet to keep the amount a secret.

Zaid told a press conference today: "I remember I said, well if the Cabinet said that I should divulge I would because I was bound by the government's decisions, but I would not cave in to the opposition because my word to the judges means more and the opposition should accept that."

He explained that it was the request of the judges that the amount should not be disclosed and he believed that it was a fair request since they never asked for the payment.

"But I don't think they announced it because the pressure was from the DAP. I think the pressure comes from somewhere else," he added.

Datuk Seri Nazri had also contended that the judges were not sacked as they were being paid their pensions.

This has been refuted by both Zaid and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has been blamed for instigating the removal of the judges.

Zaid argued that if the pension was paid it does not imply that they were not fired and if it is due to early retirement then other judges could also request for it.

He said that the sacking is the basis of the ex gratia.

The payment was made by the government because there was a miscarriage of justice, he said.

He pointed out that the judges not only experienced financial losses but also had to face attacks on their dignity and reputation.

Zaid believes that his issue should not be politicized because "this will disrupt our good intentions and our Prime Minister's good will." THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

CATHOLIC-MUSLIM DOCUMENT

TO BE honest, I have yet to readc the declaration. But the introduction alone looks good. Will certainly read it in full when I could afford the time. In the meantime, this reminds me of the inter-faith committee which was proposed to be set up in our country... it met a dead end long before it was even studied properly. Wonder why...

The Catholic-Muslim joint declaration
VATICAN CITY (AsiaNews) - An important and demanding declaration was published today by the Vatican and by representatives of the 138 Muslim scholars who wrote the well-known letter to the pope and other Christian leaders.
Among other things, it affirms respect for life and for the dignity of each person, man or woman, which involves, among other things, respect for freedom of conscience and religion; the rejection of discrimination on account of faith; the importance of bearing witness through prayer to the transcendent dimension of life in an increasingly secularized world; an affirmation of the duty to give young people a solid moral, civil, and religious education, and teach them about the faith of others.
The declaration also speaks of the possibility of creating a permanent mixed committee, and announces a second forum to be held within two years, in a Muslim majority country. MORE

Friday, 7 November 2008

FULL-FLEDGED PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY

TO MY English-speaking friends, my apology. The posting below is my boss statement about the gas pipeline from Sabah to Sarawak. It will go on. But the Cabinet Meeting today, where he raised the issue, agreed to establish a full-fledged petrochemical industry in Sabah...congrats to the people of Sabah

Kenyataan Akhbar – Jumaat, 7 Nov 2008

YB Tan Sri Bernard Dompok

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri/Upko Presiden/MP Penampang

“Saya telah membangkitkan dalam mesyuarat Jemaah Menteri di Putrajaya hari ini mengenai isu pembinaan paip gas daripada Kimanis, Sabah ke Bintulu Sarawak oleh Petronas.

Kabinet Persekutuan kini bersetuju untuk mewujudkan ‘full-fledged petrochemical industry’ di Sabah menggunakan gas dan minyak dari Sabah.

Hanya lebihan gas (excess gas) akan disalurkan ke Sarawak kerana pembinaan paip gas dari Kimanis ke Bintulu akan turut diteruskan.

Ketetapan ini pasti mempelbagaikan lagi aktiviti ekonomi Sabah. Kilang seperti refinery itu nanti bakal menyuntik semangat dan menjadi pemangkin kepada Koridor Pembangunan Sabah (Sabah Development Corridor).

Saya bagi pihak Upko dan rakyat Sabah mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Kerajaan Persekutuan di atas keprihatinan ini.

Akhirnya, Sabah, salah satu daripada hanya tiga negeri pengeluar minyak dan gas di Negara Malaysia kita ini boleh turut serta aktif dalam aktiviti hiliran industri gas dan minyak.

Pembinaan serentak petrochemical plant itu dan paip gas mampu membantu Sabah, yang selama ini ketinggalan dari segi pembangunan terutama industri gas dan minyak, untuk terus maju dan menikmati arus perdana pembangunan negara.”

Dikeluarkan oleh Ewon Benedick – Setiausaha Akhbar kepada YB Tan Sri Bernard Dompok – 019-5832009, 016-8235061

1000 WORDS...

OBAMA and his wife Michelle walked home
after his victorious
outing in the Nov 4th presidential election in the USA.

MUSLIMS in Pakistan took a ride home
after a religious ceremony on Nov 2.

You and me
Lets walk home too
any which way
be the best that we could be
!
(pix courtesy of time.com)

RPK FREED

IT was about 9.50am today that I came to know about RPK being freed. This certainly is good news. But, he could be re-arrested moments after he is freed. You know, for other charges....

SHAH ALAM, Nov 7 — The High Court today ordered that Raja Petra Kamarudin, editor of the popular news portal Malaysia Today, be released from detention after ruling that his arrest for allegedly causing racial tensions was unlawful.

High Court Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad ruled that the Home Minister acted outside his powers in having Raja Petra arrested on Sept 12, said the blogger’s lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

He quoted the judge as saying the grounds given for Raja Petra's detention were insufficient and that his arrest under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.

The ISA allows the government to detain anyone for an initial two-year period without charges, and to extend the detention indefinitely.

Raja Petra, who was accused of threatening public security and causing racial tension by publishing writings that ridiculed Islam, will be taken to court later today to be formally set free.

Malik said the order was a "historic ruling”.

It's not the first time that a court has ordered the release of ISA detainees, and the ruling also does not prevent the government from re-arresting him under the ISA. The government can also appeal the ruling.

Raja Petra, 58, has increasingly infuriated authorities by publishing numerous claims about alleged wrongdoing by government leaders on his highly popular site, Malaysia Today. The government has denounced most of Raja Petra's allegations as lies.

He is also on trial in a separate case, having been accused of sedition by implying that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman. Raja Petra denies the allegation. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.

The detention came at a time when the government's popularity hit at an all-time low and is riven with factional fighting and faces the threat of being ousted by the opposition.

The ISA is a holdover from British colonial days, when it was used against communist insurgents. Independent Malaysia's post-colonial government has kept it in the statute books and has used it sparingly against political dissidents, ignoring calls from opposition groups and others to disband the law.

Raja Petra's arrest triggered widespread protests by civil society groups, lawyers and other online commentators.

Some of Malaysia's most popular blogs offer strong anti-government commentaries and present themselves as a substitute for mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them. The government estimates there are more than 700 Malaysians who blog on social and political issues.— AP

Thursday, 6 November 2008

QUO VADIS

THE million dollar question is, what will Upko do? Leave BN? Join another bus? Stay put and fight from within? The cabinet meeting is tomorrow. My feeling? We will cross the bridge when we reach it.... hahahahahha

Upko determined to get Petronas gas pipeline scrapped

By Muguntan Vanar

KOTA KINABALU: Upko is keeping everyone guessing as to what it will do if it fails to get the controversial RM3bil Petronas gas pipeline project scrapped.

Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said that he wants to first bring up the issue of the proposed 500km pipeline from Kimanis in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak to the Cabinet.

“To be fair, we will cross that bridge when we come to it,” Dompok said when asked if Upko will get off the Barisan Nasional bus if it fails to get the pipeline project scrapped.

“We have to take things one at a time. I will be talking to the Cabinet about this on Friday and I want to pursue it,” he said when asked if Upko planned to leave Barisan if it fails to get the project scrapped.

On PKR’s call to Upko to quit Barisan, Dompok replied: “They are entitled to express whatever opinion they have. We are not beholden to any other party, our client is the rakyat.”

Dompok, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told this to reporters Thursday after launching an integrated multi-agency mobile public complaints programme at Buhavan Square in Penampang here.

He said that the contention about the gas pipeline project is that Kimanis is only a natural gas landing point as the gas would be piped to Bintulu where it would be processed and exported as Liquefied Natural Gas.

“What we are saying is that the gas could be used here (in Sabah) as a pit stop for a lot of other downstream activities - urea, fertiliser and all this. The gas can be used for the generation of electricity, so that we can have energy security,” he explained.

He said the Gayang Independent Power Plant in Tuaran had about 20 years guaranteed supply and questioned what would happen after the gas ran out.

What we want to do is to explain the need for energy security for Sabah itself, he said, adding that the Prime Minister on May 31 had announced that the gas pipeline project was scrapped and a power plant would be built.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Saturday said the gas pipeline project was on and assured that the state government would be paid oil royalties while Petronas would build a narural gas-powered plant in Kimanis. THE STAR

THIS IS HOW DAILY EXPRESS USES IT, IF IT IS USED AT ALL

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

OBAMA DREAM

HAIL the President-elect of the United States of America, Senator Obama. Following is his maiden speech after the historic victory...


Obama: Yes, we can

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. MORE

GRACIOUS

I WAS following as much as possible the America Elections. Obama, a Democrat, won. Republican McCain lost and he conceded defeat. And my oh my, I wish we politicians in Malaysia are like them. Read the speech in full and you will know why...

McCain: Obama has achieved a great thing

My friends, we have -- we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Sen. Barack Obama to congratulate him.

To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight. MORE

SOURCE OF JOY


SHE 12, the other barely 14months
Allysha, Allyshearha
Sisters, further enriching
the princesses of Bingkasans
Yeah, we have many more
Silia, Juvita, Julitah
Mary, Nelly, Maireen
Rachel, Suzanne
Juvie, Debbie, Clarice, Jenny, Fifi
Allyshandhra, Alistrina
Thanks for being a family
And to Allyshearha my princess
the miracle baby
you light up my world
Praise God!



Tuesday, 4 November 2008

LOST IS LOST

THIS is what a Sabah State Minister said about the gas issue.... happy reading.


"Let's not cry over spilt milk but look into the future. Let's think about something which is still not done or undecided. Because crying over spilled milk does not solve our problem. It just shows that we are being childish.

"To me let's rationalise, meaning we have lost this one and it's okay. But we will see them and ask them what they can do to help Sabah É that should be the approach, as I always believe in practical solutions and not the emotional ones," said Masidi.

On the calls by certain Sabahan leaders for more allocation to be given to Sabah if Petronas is too tight with its oil and gas deals, Masidi said that is a good suggestion.

"But let's not just make noise about a problem, let's solve the problem. One should not think of becoming a great person or a hero by making noise about a problem because finally the people will want to know if you solved the problem, I think that is the issue," he said.

"Yes, we can actually find a solution. Let's be part of a solution and not be part of the problem," he said. MORE

DOMPOK vs PETRONAS

SEE, I told you. The PM announcement on Nov 1 that the gas pipeline is on, will continue to be active. This is the latest incident where my boss is unhappy with the Federal Government... and they said its very risky.

Dompok to raise gas pipeline issue with PM

BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS

PUTRAJAYA: A Sabah Barisan Nasional component party is unhappy with the Federal Government’s decision to give Petronas the go-ahead to build a gas pipeline. Its president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok plans to bring this matter up with the Cabinet on Friday.

Dompok, who is United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president said the party is unhappy with the decision, claiming that a majority of Sabahans are unhappy too.

As he sits in at Cabinet meetings in his capacity as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dompok said he would raise the issue with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Friday.

“I don’t see how the project will benefit Sabahans except for the landowners whose property are bought over to make way for the gas pipes.

“Sabah is an oil and gas producing state but there is no related activity whatsoever; there is no refinery, no university and no petrochemical or other related industry.

“The industry is good for the state’s economy which is overly dependent on oil palm plantation and tourism. We need to be more diverse. Oil and gas is right before us and we should capitalise on it,” he told reporters Tuesday after launching the Education Services Commission website.

On Nov 1, Abdullah confirmed that the Petronas gas pipeline from Sabah to Sarawak would go on, despite an earlier decision to scrap it.The 500km pipeline from Kimanis to Bintulu, worth RM1.5bil is expected to be operational in 2011.

Asked if he would be getting support from the Sabah government to “fight” this issue, Dompok said: “There is no support from the state government. As for my colleagues from other parties in Sabah, they should know what to do.

“Even though this matter has been decided upon, I will still bring it up with the Cabinet again,” he said of the project. THE STAR

THIS IS HOW BERNAMA WRITES THE SAME STORY

Monday, 3 November 2008

NAJIB SAYS

WE have now the sixth Prime Minister in waiting. It will be official in March 2009. May be its just me, but it just felt rather odd, the time between now and March. Transition period. Lame duck. Politics. On, off, on, off. Scores of phrases came to mind...

Najib vows to repay trust placed in him

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 - Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who won the Umno presidency unopposed today, has expressed his resolve to shoulder the trust placed in him by the Umno grassroots.

The Umno deputy president and deputy prime minister said he believed the nominations reflected the confidence of the grassroots in the transition plan he had formulated with Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“I resolve to shoulder this trust and responsibility to the best of my ability to tackle all the challenges faced by Umno and Barisan Nasional.

“I am thankful for and touched by the trust which has been translated into nominations by the 134 divisions signalling my victory unopposed as the president of Umno,” he said in his 1Malaysia.com.my website.

Najib said he hoped that the ongoing election process would proceed in a clean and orderly manner.

“Let’s work together to carry forward the noble struggle for the sake of religion, the people and nation,” he said. - Bernama

Sunday, 2 November 2008

FLIP FLOP

UPKO is against the project. In fact, PM announced on May 31 this year that it was scrapped. Now, its on. I believe this issue will drag on. On, off, on, off, on.... whatever happens to promises and words of the Chief Executive of the country!
PM: Kimanis-Bintulu gas pipeline on
KOTA KINABALU, Nov 1 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the project to build a gas pipeline from Kimanis, Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak would be carried out.

"Yes the project is on," he told reporters after opening Parti Bersatu Sabah's annual assembly here today.

He said this when asked to comment the latest status on the project following calls from several quarters, including United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Organisation (UPKO) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok for it to be scrapped.

According to Dompok, the gas was more needed in Sabah for the implementation of development projects and downstream industries like urea and plastics manufacture apart from electricity generation.

Abdullah said Sabah would get its fair share of gas supply from Kimanis and that its electricity needs would be met.

He said fears that Sabah would lose out on revenue because of the shipping of gas from Kimanis to Sarawak were unfounded.

"If the resource is from Sabah...the state will get the revenue due to it," he said.

On prices of goods, he said the government's call to hypermarkets to reduce prices was only an initial step following the drop in world oil prices.

He said the people must also do their part by shopping wisely which will have the effect of more traders bringing their prices down. -- BERNAMA

Friday, 31 October 2008

RAZAK ACQUITTED

RAZAK is acquitted. Cops to answer charges. Altantuya of course is long gone. I rest my case....


As Razak left the court house today he was surrounded by hordes of press photographers and reporters whom he calmly told to move aside so that he could go home.

After nearly two years the ordeal is finally over for him.

But for his close friend Najib, this will be a bitter-sweet moment.

His friend is acquitted, but the acquittal will almost certainly give rise to more allegations against him. MORE

Thursday, 30 October 2008

FROM THE PRISON WALLS

I KNOW. The font of this posting is extra large. Click on the link and you will know why I posted this. Am puzzled as to how RPK could write and post this in Malaysia Today. Will he be in trouble with the fact that he is still able to tell the world about what he thinks? What is prison then, in this context? Don't ask me. I am asking you. Whatever it is, whether it is the real RPK or a fake, the points raised merit discussion.....

Before I sign off, I would like to apologise for the quality of my articles. It is not so convenient to type from where I currently live so I need to just get my points across without much focus on the presentation. I hope this will not be for long and that I may soon be back with you. Anyway I was told that Malaysia Today is under control and in good hands. Till we speak again. MORE

PAK LAH REPORT CARD

THIS is what we call a transitional period. Pak Lah had clearly said he would be Prime Minister only until March 2009. Then, "I hope it will be Najib," he said. Najib is another story. For now, this piece by The Nutgraph is an attempt to see Pak Lah the last five years or so....


THE NUTGRAPH: Abdullah, who was known throughout his long political career as a clean politician, took office on 31 Oct 2003 in an atmosphere of good will and much anticipation. He promised a kinder, gentler form of governance. He vowed to do away with corruption and cronyism, and to put the people's interests first. To counter the threat posed by PAS, he put forth a progressive face for the religion by espousing Islam Hadhari.

In his first address in Parliament on 3 Nov 2003, Abdullah outlined his vision for the country, pledging to continue with his predecessors' policies. More importantly, he called on legislators, administrators, the private sector, political parties, the media and Malaysian citizens from all walks of life to "work with" him. MORE

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

REVISED BUDGET

JUST a brief note. I hope to be in Parliament when Najib speaks about the economy...

Clearer picture on Malaysia's economy after Nov 4

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — November 4 could be a make or break day for many Malaysians. On that day, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will reply to questions raised during the Budget debate and is likely to lay out a buffet of new measures to cushion the effects of the world economic slowdown.

He is likely to redraw all the assumptions that went into preparing the Budget which was presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in September.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Najib could also downgrade economic growth forecast for next year from 5 per cent to 3 per cent. He has little choice. The recent freefall of palm oil prices and the sharp drop in crude oil prices will dent the government's revenue in 2009 and 2010 and impact on its ability to fund projects over the next few years. MORE

Thursday, 23 October 2008

UMNO TWIST

FRANKLY, I saw this coming. Many more twists to come. I believe so....

Umno election Dec, Pak Lah to be PM till March

OCT 23 - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi said today the Umno supreme council will meet next Thursday to consider bringing forward Umno polls to December.

However the Umno president said that even if the party holds its elections in December, he will still hand over power to the new Umno president only in March assuming Barisan Nasional (BN) remains in control of the government.

Abdullah has already announced he will not seek re-election as Umno president, and Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the favourite to take over the party's leadership.

The party's general assembly had been postponed to next March to ensure a smooth transition of power, but some senior Umno leaders have been asking recently for the polls to be held in December instead.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, was speaking in Beijing after opening the Khazanah Nasional Berhad Beijing Representative (BRO) office.

Abdullah said the timeline of the power transition in March next year remains unchanged.

Bernama reports the Prime Minister as saying "We already have a transition plan. The transition plan will be in March next year," he said after launching the Beijing representative office of Khazanah Nasional today.

Abdullah was asked by Malaysian newsmen on reports of moves by some Umno members to push for the party elections to be reverted to December this year.

The party general assembly, originally planned for December, was moved to March to pave the way for a smooth transition of leaders.

Elections for the Youth and Wanita wings of the party will also be held at the general assembly. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER