HERE WITH YOU
FOKUS BERANI IKHLAS



Saturday, 31 May 2008

ORIGIN

LONG time ago in the land of the promise land
The Kadazandusun people came to be
Rich in culture, wonderful in nature
We were one. In unity. In life
Good governance is order of the day
Not now. Not tomorrow
How I wish the olden days
How I wish we stick to basic
Then expanding it accordingly

Friday, 30 May 2008

ON your mark, set, go............... I love the Olympics :-)

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Be ready for a snap Parliamentary election
Raja Petra Kamarudin Malaysian politics is most interesting indeed, which is an understatement of sorts. And the winner amongst all this chaos and turmoil appears to be Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. And the longer Abdullah can hold on to power the more chance Khairy Jamaluddin has of becoming Prime Minister. If I were asked to rate the chances of who will become the next Prime Minister I would rate it as follows:

1. Khairy Jamaluddin
2. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
3. Muhyiddin Yassin
4. Anwar Ibrahim
5. Najib Tun Razak

Currently there are a total of 122 Malay Members of Parliament against 100 non-Malays. 79 of the Malays are from Umno, 23 from PAS, and 20 from PKR. This makes it higher than even in 2004, Barisan Nasional’s best performance in Malaysian election history. The number of Malay Members of Parliament has never gone above 120. So 2008 makes it a new record.

Therefore Barisan Nasional is still Malay-dominated: 79 Malays against 61 non-Malays. And Pakatan Rakyat is also Malay-dominated: 43 Malays against 39 non-Malays. Whether you look at Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, both are the same. The Malays outnumber the non-Malays. So Umno’s campaign of misinformation fails. The Malays have not lost political power. The Malays not only now have more Parliament seats but in both coalitions the Malays form the majority. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

HARVEST

SOME things are better left unsaid.... happy reading


Thursday May 29, 2008

Sabah looking forward to good ‘harvest’

By MUGUNTAN VANAR and LOONG MENG YEE

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah leaders are expecting some “goodies” from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during his two-day visit to the state from Saturday to attend the national-level Tadau Kaamatan or Harvest Festival celebrations.

Among the announcements Abdullah is expected to make is the abolition of the controversial Department of Federal Development Sabah (JPPS), set up when the state was ruled under then-Opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah in 1991.

Following this, federal development funds are expected to be channelled through the Sabah Development Office, under the Chief Minister’s Department that will identify projects needing federal funding. CLICK HERE FOR MORE FROM THE STAR

Thursday, 29 May 2008

NEW MEASURES

THE government is introducing several measures to resolve issues that were highlighted, especially by opposition parties in the recent general elections. Am posting this piece because it may in someway affect my day-to-day job soon... I promise to update you all on this the soonest possible


Thursday May 29, 2008 MYT 8:23:18 PM

Parliament may sit throughout the year

By SIM LEOI LEOI


KUALA LUMPUR: Parliament may sit throughout the year instead of the current practice of meeting three times a year.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this might happen as, more MPs were taking their time to debate and pass the bills in the new Dewan Rakyat.

“For this meeting, we have had to postpone a few bills, which were supposed to be debated, to the next because of time constraints. Maybe we will have to change into a Westminster-style Parliament that sits for the whole year with holidays in between.

“In Malaysia, our Parliament meetings is fixed for three times a year," he told reporters in the lobby on Thursday as the Dewan Rakyat struggled to finish debating and passing the Supplementary Supply Bill and the Pensions (Amendment) Bill despite having an extra two days.

The Government had earlier chosen to postpone several bills including as the Geologists Bill and the Tourism Promotion Board (Amendment).

Wan Junaidi said the year-long Parliament proposal had to be considered by a Parliamentary select committee after which it had to be proposed to the Government.

“Now that the Selection Committee has been appointed by the House, it can sit and deliberate on the number of select committees needed. Once a parliamentary select committee has been appointed the matter can be proposed for consideration,” he said.

However, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said having more Parliament meetings or extending the number of days would not solve anything if MPs did not discipline themselves when debating.

“When we first decided on the number of days, there was a suggestion that we allowed a longer time. But now, even with the extra two days, we can’t finish as well."

"In the west, it’s rare even for the Prime Minister or the Minister to take 30 minutes to deliver his speech. Here, some MPs spoke for two days,” he said, adding that he wished that an MP would restrict himself to just 15 minutes. - THE STAR

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

CONTENDER

THIS article from the Malaysia Today spells out the other side of the on-going tussle within Umno. Interestingly, Ku Li speaks about the same concern as voiced out by many other people. Including my boss.....


Ku Li steadfast on renewal and inclusion
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Posted by Super Admin
Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The Malaysian Insider

Part 4: The Malaysian Insider looks at the impact the resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has on the major players in Umno. The spotlight today is on Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
He has been chugging along quietly, bringing his message of renewal and a better Malaysia to different parts of the country, from run down school halls to the swanky Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu.
Sometimes the audience is in the hundreds, rarely does it breach the 2,000 mark. He hardly gets a mention in the newspapers and is still not considered a serious contender for the ultimate prize in Malaysian politics – the presidency of Umno.
But Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has caught the attention of the de facto Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The former deputy prime minister likes the big picture quality of Ku Li’s message to Umno members.
In an interview with Asia Inc. he said: "A lot of people consider Tengku Razaleigh as a has-been. But don’t forget he was in the Opposition for nearly 10 years so he has the experience of fighting from the outside. He was finance minister for a long time so he understands the economy. And I think of all the Umno leaders, he actually gets it because he is talking about real change. He thinks it should appeal to all Malaysians rather than just Malays. He can be a formidable opponent."
Members of Anwar’s camp say that he is not looking at the Kelantan prince as an opponent but an ally, a valuable addition to the Pakatan Rakyat – someone who with his royal credentials would be acceptable to the Malay Rulers, a key power centre in the new Malaysia.
Someone who with his credentials could persuade Umno politicians to cross over to the Opposition and legitimise the PKR-Pas-DAP government in the eyes of the Malay electorate.
Someone with the gravitas sorely needed by the Opposition.
It is unclear if Anwar’s camp or anyone in the Opposition has made any overtures to Ku Li but the Umno veteran’s aides say that he is an Umno man and is not keen on achieving power outside of elections or through unconstitutional means.
Also, he believes that his campaign to reach out to the party’s grassroots is getting traction. And with Dr Mahathir’s resignation and his campaign to force Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi likely to hit overdrive soon, Ku Li stands an improved chance of getting the precious 58 nominations from Umno divisions needed to contest the party president’s position.
What makes Tengku Razaleigh appealing to the neutral is his inclusiveness and sharp mind. He speaks about the need to preserve the Malay language and assures Malays that their special rights are protected by the Constitution. But he is also prepared to leave the safe zone and blast Umno members for their arrogance and addiction to power and patronage.
So far, he has not played the race card and was uneasy hearing the pitch Dr Mahathir took in Johor a week ago when the former prime minister cautioned the Malays about the demands being made by some non-Malay groups such as the Hindu Rights Action Force.
On Saturday night in Sabah, he spoke the language of change, calling on the people in the East Malaysian state to show their famous independent streak and change their own circumstances. He agreed that there should be a review of oil royalties paid to Sabah; said that Sabah should have its own gas plant and that qualified Sabahans should be promoted to top civil service positions across the country.
Ku Li also proposed that it was time to review the 1948 tax agreement. This legislation gave all powers of taxation to the federal government and with states only given capital, growth and other grants. And then for the first since he began his campaign of renewal after the March 8 elections, he told the branch chiefs that if they had confidence in him, they should translate it to nominations at the divisional meetings.
He also made a case for making Umno more democratic. Umno should democratise, with leadership and representation both in party and Parliament to be determined locally than from the top. State liaison chiefs should be elected by the divisions rather than by the president. Delegates to the AGM should be elected by members, not appointed by division chiefs, he suggested.
"Our party is no longer democratic. We have lost our sense of mission and struggle. The Umno culture has become sycophantic and fearful, dominated from above. Our highest value is now money," he said, adding that he had called for an extraordinary meeting to consider proposals that will return powers of selecting leaders to the grassroots.
Stirring speech aside, Ku Li still has an Everest to scale. The idealism of the party’s founding members that he preaches about no longer courses through the veins of this vintage. It has been replaced by pragmatism and self-interest.
Umno has become a business and only those leaders who can keep members contented with a steady diet of projects and positions are supported. Worse yet, the levers of power in the party are controlled by the 193 division chiefs, state liaison chiefs, supreme council members and the party president. Only a major amendment to the party constitution could return power to the rank-and-file as Tengku Razaleigh suggests.
But the electoral college consists of division chiefs, their nominees, supreme council members, etc. It is not in their interest to upset the status quo.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

FORMER PM SPEAKS

BEEN reading his blog for a while. This http://www.chedet.com/ is a page written by Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Following is one of his latest postings. Happy reading.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

THE RULE OF LAW

Malaysia is a country which practices the rule of law. Our laws must cover every aspect of our societal life, so we will know exactly what we can do and what we cannot do. Prime Ministers in particular must have everything spelt out for them in this respect. This will enable them to be charged if they had breached the rule of law long after they had retired.

Governments, serving Prime Ministers and Ministers are well placed to initiate action against others. But when the Government, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister do something wrong, like cover-ups for example, then police reports may be made against them. But how can the person reporting be sure that the police will investigate without fear or favour.

I believe some reports have been made but so far there have been no results. Public confidence would be undermined if investigations by the proper authorities are not made. If the investigation is only to clear the name, then can we say the rule of law is being properly practised?

We therefore need to have more Royal Commissions manned by people of impeccable character like the ones on the Lingam tapes. The Commissions can then make proposals based on speculations and possibilities can then investigate the possibilities and probabilities and help clear those in power. When this is done we can say that this beloved country practises the rule of law.

BORN TO BE A STAR

AM I proud to be a Kadazandusun
A star was born 1990
Stracie Angie Anam
Saturday night, 24 May 2008
Stacy AF6 as she is now known
Won the hearts of millions
Congrats little lady
You made us all proud


Stacy AF6 is a Sabahan, she was a member of Evoke group (Dancer and singer). She wanted to joined the TV reality talent show in Malaysia called Akademi Fantasia. The sixth AF which ended over the weekend saw the 18year-old crowned champion! CLICK HERE FOR MORE (IN BAHASA MALAYSIA)

Saturday, 24 May 2008

WINE TASTING

THIS Tadau Kaamatan season.
Filled with drink and food. And beauty.
In Johor Bahru, I choose a pageant
In Penampang, I tasted luxury
Not one. But 13 jars of the best
Hard to pick the winner
Still, one will always be
May be its me
Me the judge. I enjoyed them all
Wish there are more tapai (rice wine) competition
Kotobian Tadau Kaamatan

Friday, 23 May 2008

MAHATHIR QUITS UMNO

FORMER Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad quit Umno recently. Here is an elaborate interview concerning his decision. Am following this political strategy very closely. Learning.

Dr M: I’m offering alternative for Barisan

By MERGAWATI ZULFAKAR

TOKYO, Friday May 23, 2008:: Umno is preparing its own demise and that of Barisan Nasional if it continues to have Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the helm, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Thursday.

He also said that his son Datuk Mukhriz, who decided against following his move to quit Umno, might face “difficulties” staying on should Abdullah continue to be the president.

“Yes, Umno can consider me irrelevant. It is their funeral and not mine. Today the Barisan has been destabilised by Abdullah not being able to lead it to victory in the general election.

“Barisan, in some cases, has become irrelevant. Gerakan has become irrelevant, MIC could not win. All this was due to him. He not only destabilised Umno, he destabilised component parties and he destabilised Barisan,” Dr Mahathir told The Star Thursday in an interview here.
Dr Mahathir, who is here for a dialogue session at the Nikkei conference, said he predicted Barisan would be finished in the next elections if Abdullah continued to serve as Prime Minister.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Sunday, 18 May 2008

KING MAKERS

I FIND this article rather telling. I even copy paste the whole text. It is that good. Happy reading.

The Kingmakers: Sabah, Sarawak and the 12th Malaysia General Elections
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Posted by kasee
Sunday, 18 May 2008

By Anthea Mulakala, THE ASIA FOUNDATION

The Economist last week featured a telling pie chart on Malaysia's 12th general election results. It revealed, without analysis, that Malaysia's Barisan National (BN) coalition has the electorate in Sabah and Sarawak to thank for saving its narrow majority in parliament.
While the BN was toppled in key states like Penang and Selangor, there was barely a ripple in voter trends in Malaysia's eastern most states. Almost all BN candidates in both states won with a solid majority. The BN has been the ruling coalition in Malaysia since 1974, though its dominant party the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has been in the governing seat since independence in 1957.
These often ignored states are now enjoying the limelight as kingmakers for the BN and are well placed to cash in on the attention.
Geographically separated from Kuala Lumpur by the South China Sea, Sabah and Sarawak comprise 5.4 million people or 20% of Malaysia's population of 27 million. Together the states gave the BN 54 seats out of 140 in the Malaysian parliament. 41 of these seats are held by local Sabah and Sarawak parties that have joined the BN coalition.
However, the BN's success in Eastern Malaysia should not lead observers to believe that Sabahans and Sarawakians are satisfied with the BN's governance, accountability and service delivery in their states.
Despite their wealth in natural resources, Sabah and Sarawak are amongst Malaysia's poorest states.
In Sabah, 24% of households live below the national poverty line and child poverty rates are 42%. More than one fifth of the population aged six and over has never been to school.
Malaysia enjoys the unflattering distinction of having the highest Gini coefficient in Southeast Asia attributable to the high incidence of poverty in Eastern Malaysia. Sabah's GDP per capita is less than 50% of the national average. Furthermore, most of Sabah and Sarawak's poor come from the non-Malay Bumiputra population (61% of Sabah and more than 50% of Sarawak).
Clearly, the affirmative action New Economic Policies of UMNO and the BN have not been successful in alleviating these indigenous people from poverty.
Why then, when their development has lagged under decades of BN and UMNO rule, did the local parties, give the BN so many seats in parliament? First the local parties in Sabah and Sarawak are homegrown; the opposition parties are not and are seen to represent the interests of peninsular Malaysians. Until the opposition parties establish roots in Eastern Malaysia they will continue to have limited traction amongst the electorate. Second, everyday Sabahans and Sarawakians worry that voting for the opposition may result in the loss of vital development grants and projects for their states. Certainly BN politicians have dangled the fruit of these grants temptingly during the campaign.
Sabahans also feel that constituencies which fell to the opposition parties in the 2006 state elections were subsequently denied federal development grants. Voter education workshops with citizens in Eastern Malaysia reveal that they feel their needs are more likely to be addressed as part of the governing coalition than the opposition.
Furthermore, though peninsular Malaysians very rarely refer to Sabah and Sarawak in their political debates, national politicians are acutely aware of the importance of the Eastern votes and have rewarded their vote bank by building highways and airports.
However if Sabah and Sarawak are to emerge from the development doldrums and their voters kept "on side" the BN must reward the backbone of its support with more than tarred roads. In the future, they may demand more power at the centre and more meaningful growth-led development.
Sabah's shifting demographics add a further layer of complexity to this analysis. 25% of Sabah's population is comprised of non-Malaysian citizens, mostly Muslim Indonesians and Filipinos, many who entered Malaysia illegally through the state's porous borders, many seeking jobs and a better life.
Many have become "regularized" by the federal government and thereby earn the right to vote. While the means through which these citizens have acquired their papers may be dubious, they form a significant power base for the Muslim dominated UNMO. Critics cry fowl and claim this is an attempt to buy votes in exchange for citizenship. The issue is one of increasing social tension in Sabah and Sarawak which UNMO will need to adroitly navigate.
There was much more to Malaysia's 12th General Elections than meets the eye. Not least, it provides a pivotal opportunity for the citizens of Sabah and Sarawak to exercise more influence over national policy and get a better deal for themselves.
Recognition of their role as 'kingmakers' has already sparked grumbling within Sabah and Sarawak that they only received 5 ministerial seats out of 27 in the new cabinet. With 54 seats in parliament, the time is ripe for Eastern Malaysians to put their key issues – like land rights, illegal immigration, persistent poverty, and sub-par economic growth – on the table. If the BN does not pay attention the outcome of the 13th General Election is likely to be quite different than the 12th.

Anthea Mulakala is The Asia Foundation's Country Representative in Malaysia. She can be reached at amulakala@asiafound.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

TWO BY FOUR BOX...

AGAIN, The Star came out with a good write-up of the current political situation in the country. It reminds me of the animated movie Bug's Life. An idea needs only to come from one person. Two by four box, says Yong. It is a refreshing quote after a hectic day filled with several Tadau Kaamatan festival.... Me, drunk? Hey, look who you are talking to mates....

Yong airs Sabahans’ grievances
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Posted by kasee
Sunday, 18 May 2008

A shift in position by Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders is causing ripples in the country’s political arena. Among the more vocal of the leaders is former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee. The 50-year-old Sabah Progressive Party president speaks to Sunday Star on why they are making their stand clear.

By MUGUNTAN VANAR, THE STAR

Your meeting earlier this week (May 13) with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is seen as a move by the Prime Minister to head off any possible crossovers by restless Sabah MPs. What did the Prime Minister tell you?


Q: If a situation arises where you are unable to obtain the concessions for the state, what will your next move be? Does pulling out of Barisan constitute one of your options?

A: If we are unable to achieve results after this window of opportunity has closed, then either we become subservient to the federal establishment again like in the last few decades or else the situation will explode. Explosion means that the mainstream Barisan people will have no control over the political process. Opposition parties, NGOs and people power of some sort might emerge. This is because people might lose hope in the Barisan political process. By then, whatever SAPP does is not relevant to the political process. Whether SAPP or some other component party pulls out or not is no longer important. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Saturday, 17 May 2008

A THREAT?

I WAS there on Friday when the reporters asked my boss, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, with sensitive and in-depth questions about the political scenario in the country. Of course, the papers have their own angles and priorities and thus the varied reports. But I must say, I like how it was published in The STAR. A real threat........

Crossovers a real threat, says Dompok

By MAZWIN NIK ANIS

PUTRAJAYA, Saturday May 17, 2008: Another president of a Sabah Barisan Nasional component party has sounded the alarm bell over the “very real” possibility of crossovers.
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the frustrations of Sabahans and their representatives in getting the Federal Government to solve their long list of problems are “extremely real” and talk about MPs crossing over to join the Opposition is symptomatic of this frustration.
He said the longstanding issues affecting Sabahans could no longer be “swept under the carpet” and MPs were under a lot of pressure to resolve the people’s problems.
Any decision for Upko to leave the Barisan fold will be made by the party and not by him, Dompok stressed to the press yesterday.
He said that while Upko’s three other MPs had not raised the subject of leaving the party “at the moment,” he admitted: “Their frustrations are real. I think no one can deny it”.
When asked if any of the Upko MPs, including himself, had been approached by the Opposition leaders, Dompok replied: “Not yet as far as I know.
“But if these people (from Pakatan Rakyat) want to talk to me in Parliament, there is no reason why I should not talk to them.”
He said there were still many issues, among them immigration and basic infrastructure, waiting to be resolved in Sabah.
“The people of Sabah have been taken for granted because we are a laidback, easy-going people. The state is thousands of kilometres away from the nation’s capital. As they say, out of sight, out of mind,” he said.
Dompok said constituents in Sabah have always been vocal but failed to grab the media’s attention until “recent changes in the political environment”.
To a question, he said that the majority of the grassroots wanted action and they would not mind if their MPs crossed over as long as their problems were ironed out.
“There are people who condemn crossovers, saying that it is immoral and such. But who are they and why are they taking the moral high ground, when in their previous lives, they too, have done it.
“But if you ask me, I don’t think the Opposition will make the numbers,” he said. - THE STAR


'Party, not MP, should decide'

PUTRAJAYA: A Sabah party leader and minister says any decision to cross over to the opposition should be decided by the party and not the MP alone.

Commenting for the first time on the threat of crossovers, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok deftly evaded questions about his intentions but said that such a major decision should be left to his party.
The president of the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation, one of the smaller parties in the Sabah BN coalition, said: "That (crossing over) is not up to me, that's a decision for the party to make. Even my nomination to the cabinet was decided by the party."
He also suggested that crossing over with the support of one's constituency was not immoral if the MP was able to deliver what the people wanted.
"Those taking the moral high ground on crossovers, previously they have done it."
Dompok said at his office after launching Junior Chamber International Malaysia 2008 young entrepreneur award competition that the government must be confident that what it is doing was right.
"Nobody will desert you if you are doing the right thing." - NEW STRAITS TIMES

Friday, 16 May 2008

PATRIOTISM

THIS Tadau Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) season
Here. There. All the days
In Johor Bahru one day. In the Kuamut jungle another
Yet atmosphere is similar
Joy. Fun. Goodwill. Thanksgiving
Even patriotism. This boy in full war gear
Simple yet courageous
Eating the practical way
It's my way. In more ways than one
Happy Tadau Kaamatan

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

FOOD

IT'S lunch time
KFC. McDonalds. Pizza Hut. Kenny Rogers. The list goes on
Me?
I love all that. And more. I crave for traditional food
What's yours?
You are what you eat
May be

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

LIES LIES LIES

IT HAS been quite a while since I last posted a JOKE on this humble blog. I was reading this one and honestly, I was quite amused. Then again, some other people may find this article a waste of time. May be we should learn to read between the lines a little bit more....(and yes, I label this under General Election... for want of a better label).

Boleh caya Malaysia Today ke? (Can we believe Malaysia Today?)

NO HOLDS BARRED


Raja Petra Kamarudin Tuesday, May 13, 2008

“Tak boleh percaya langsung (can’t believe one bit),” says an Umno website that is currently running a poll to determine whether what Malaysia Today says is absolutely true, a little bit true, or totally false. Okaylah, kalau tak boleh percaya tak boleh percayalah! Nak buat macam mana? After all, bloggers are liars, say some Umno leaders.
Let us go through the various lies that Malaysia Today has been spinning to help strengthen the findings of this Umno website poll. These are of course amongst only some of the lies that Malaysia Today has been spinning these last couple of years and there are certainly many more. CLICK HERE FOR MORE LIES

MAY 13

Today is May 13
Way back in 1969
It became a black dot in the history of the country
But not where I was
May be because I was only five years old then
Or because May 13 was in the West
Sabah is in the East
My hope. We can all journey as a nation
The picture: Yes, am the one with red necktie
In Parliament, the number one authority in the land
My future: Who knows...
Success is the journey, not the destination

UNDUK NGADAU

UNDUK Ngadau. The Kadazandusun beauty pageant
I was in Johor Bahru (southern part of West Malaysia) over the weekend
My boss was requested to officiate the Tadau Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) celebration
It was organised by Sabahans in Johor Bahru
Don't know why but the organisers asked me to be one of the judges for the pageant
It was a joy to see the contestants' enthusiasm. And off course beauty
So the winner is Jesisiah John of Keningau
Jesily Anthonius (left) and Judith Joseph were second and third respectively
My conclusion: my people do look pretty where ever they are

(Tadau Kaamatan will end on May 30-31 with the Sabah State Level celebration at the Hongkod Koisaan, Penampang. The Kaamatan Festival is also a national event especially in the annual National Open House organised by the Federal Government. Surely, my people is contribution much to the nation building of the country!)

TOMORROW?

HERE we go again. Speculation. Speculation. Speculation. But then again, I read somewhere, speculation or rather rumours tend to turn out as a fact in Malaysia. I did asked my boss about it. He said nothing. Wait and see.....

Anwar predicts change of govt by September
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Posted by Super Admin
Tuesday, 13 May 2008

He says would-be BN defectors' support for his alliance is growing

In recent days, Umno officials have privately said that as many as 17 BN Members of Parliament, mainly from the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, could defect to the opposition as early as tomorrow.

By Leslie Lopez, THE STRAITS TIMES

OPPOSITION leader Anwar Ibrahim insists that support for his Pakatan Rakyat alliance is growing among politicians and parties from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government, and that a change of government will take place before mid-September.
In an interview with The Straits Times yesterday, he also said that Umno leaders were showing signs of desperation by stirring racial tension and harping on the sensitive issue of the possible erosion of Malay rights should the opposition take over the government.
'We won't fall into the trap of racial politics. This fanning of Malay chauvinism is a clear sign of desperation on the part of Umno leaders because they know the prospect of losing power is very real,' said Datuk Seri Anwar, who also leads the multiracial Parti Keadilan Rakyat party.
Dismissed as sheer political posturing only weeks ago, Datuk Seri Anwar's claims of forming a new government by accepting BN defectors to his opposition alliance are now being taken seriously by senior Umno leaders such as former premier Mahathir Mohamad and former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
In recent days, Umno officials have privately said that as many as 17 BN Members of Parliament, mainly from the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, could defect to the opposition as early as tomorrow.
'We'll let Umno speculate. We already have the numbers to form the government and we'll move when the time is right,' Datuk Seri Anwar said, adding that the opposition-led government could be in place before Malaysia Day on Sept 16 which commemorates the establishment of the Malaysian federation.
'I stand by that date,' the former deputy prime minister told reporters yesterday.
He declined to discuss the extent of his support among BN politicians and its component parties. But people close to the politician say that the number of BN parliamentarians who could defect is 'in the high 30s'.
The Anwar-led opposition alliance made sharp inroads in the general election in early March, winning control of five state governments, 82 of the 222 parliamentary seats and just under half of the popular vote.
The opposition coalition needs only 29 defections to secure a simple majority in Parliament, but people familiar with the opposition leader's political game-plan say that he is holding out for more defections so that he can put together a more stable government.
BN politicians speculate that the switch in alliance in favour of the opposition will most likely take place in Sabah first.
Sabah is a fiercely parochial and ethnically diverse state with a history of tossing out incumbent governments since the early 1970s.
Over the past decade, there has been widespread disenchantment with Umno because many Sabahans believe that economic opportunities in the state are being dished out to business groups linked to the state's Chief Minister, Datuk Panglima Musa Aman, and his BN allies in Peninsular Malaysia.
Datuk Seri Anwar has promised BN politicians in Sabah and their counterparts in Sarawak greater autonomy in running their states, including increasing the petroleum royalties that the state government receives to 20 per cent from 5 per cent currently.
'These things are powerful pull factors and we are confident that many will take up the offer,' said Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan, who heads the opposition alliance in the Sabah state.
'With this kind of deal, I am sure the politicians in Sarawak will also have to consider the Pakatan Rakyat offer.'
Close associates of Datuk Seri Anwar say that he is still undecided as to whether the defections should be carried out on a staggered basis or in one fell swoop.
'The current position is that defections in a staggered fashion will help build the momentum and entice other fence-sitters to the opposition,' said a businessman close to Datuk Seri Anwar.
The businessman and others close to the opposition leaders say the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is not in a hurry.
Umno leaders have increasingly issued warnings that the country's ethnic Malays could lose their privileges should the opposition form a government.
But Datuk Seri Anwar said these concerns are misplaced.'We are here to uphold the Constitution, including the special position of the Malays and Islam. There is nothing that the Malay community and the non-Malay communities should fear,' he said. The Straits Times

Saturday, 10 May 2008

LONGER LIFE?

I AM now 44years old. So I have 14 more years before I retire - that is if I am a full time government servant. I am on contract so it does not really apply to me. But I will be very grateful if I could live that long....

Public Sector Retirement Age Raised To 58

PUTRAJAYA, May 10 (Bernama) -- The mandatory retirement age of public sector employees has been raised from 56 to 58 effective July 1 this year as part of several incentives announced Saturday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
One of the other incentives is the calculation of the pension based on a maximum of 30 years of service, up from the current 25 years, for all public employees effective 1 January 2009.
The derivative pension would be maintained at 100 per cent, also effective 1 January 2009, he said at the public sector Workers' Day gathering at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), here.
Abdullah also said that the contentious Efficiency Level Assessment (PTK) would not be abolished but the method of implementation would be improved from time to time.
The prime minister said that after considering the lifespan of Malaysians, the government decided to raise the public sector retirement age.
"Based on a government study, raising the retirement age will not jeopardise the employment opportunities of fresh graduates.
"This is important as the new generation of public employees should not feel that their opportunities for career development are diminishing but rather increasing," he said.
On the PTK, he said that since 2003, the government had continued to improve the implementation of the assessment.
This included increasing the regularity of implementation to expedite the process of career development of officers.
He said that this year, the government agreed to make several improvements, such as:
* not using the PTK written test for Grade 1 to 16 officers. The competency assessment boards of ministries, states and agencies would determine alternative methods, and
* reviewing and implementing in stages the method of implementation for officers in other grades.
On the derivative pension, Abdullah explained that current regulations stipulate that the derivative pension received by the next-of-kin would depreciate to 70 per cent of the total pension after a lapse of 12-1/2 years from the date of retirement or death in service of a public sector employee.
"Based on a study, this would pose a financial burden for the families with young children. To alleviate this burden, the government has agreed to abolish the depreciation of the derivative pension as of 1 January 2009, meaning that the pension will be paid 100 per cent to the next-of-kin," he said.
Abdullah, who is also Finance Minister, said the government had also agreed to calculate the pension according to a formula based on a maximum of 30 years of service for all pensioners and pension recipients effective 1 Jan 2009.
Currently, the pension of public sector employees is calculated by taking into account a maximum of 25 years of service.
"This new policy also covers retirement and death in service prior to the implementation date. However, the recalculated pension will only be paid from 1 January 2009 without any arrears.
"Both these new policies governing pensions will incur an additional annual expenditure of RM718 million and will benefit about 310,000 pensioners and pension recipients," he said.
Abdullah also said that the government had also agreed that the mother or father of an employee who dies and has no next-of-kin would be given one lump sum payment or ex-gratia payment and not a derivative pension.
The prime minister said the government was still studying the other demands, such as a review of the housing allowance and the absorption of contract employees into the permanent service, and would announce its decisions before the tabling of the 2009 national budget in parliament, scheduled for Aug 29.
Abdullah also urged public sector employees to give of their best to every assignment they were given.
"We cannot be lackadaisical towards directives but should have a sense of urgency to implement all decisions reached. Any decision or programme will be meaningless unless it is implemented well. I feel that monitoring of implementation is very important," he said.
The prime minister also said that public employees should set for themselves a high level of integrity because it was pointless to have mastery of knowledge without a good attitude.
"What I want to emphasise here is that the public service plays an important role in creating a conducive atmosphere for the country to be competitive and progressive. It is the public sector that will determine the success or failure of the country in its march towards Vision 2020 (of becoming a developed nation)," he said. - BERNAMA

Thursday, 8 May 2008

PROTEST

Wednesday May 7, 2008 MYT 5:53:24 PM

Raja Petra still declines visitors, gets specs

By M. MAGESWARI


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin remains adamant in his refusal to meet anyone, even his wife who twice tried to see him at Sungai Buloh prison on Wednesday.

After having failed to meet him at 10.30am, Marina Lee Abdullah, who was accompanied by their youngest daughter, Sarah, and lawyer Matthias Chang attempted again at noon.

Marina, 54, said she had insisted that she wanted to meet her spouse but Raja Petra refused to have any visitors.

However, she managed to deliver the spectacles he had requested earlier via a prison warden.

The housewife said she also believed that Raja Petra is declining meals in prison as he had also done so when he was detained under the Internal Security Act for three months in 2001.

"I will try again to see him Thursday. I already asked the prison official to convey a message to him that I will not stop visiting him daily until he sees me. This has only caused the official to smile at me," Marina said when contacted.

The mother of five children, however, said she was glad that the prison warden was polite with regards to her request on both occasions.

"I will discuss with the lawyers over the next course of action," she said with a sigh.

On his condition in the prison, Marina said she was not worried about his safety.

Raja Petra's youngest daughter, Sarah, 19, said her mother was trying her level best to meet him.

"She wants to get the green light from him before withdrawing the money for his bail," added Sarah.

His lawyer J. Chandra said the defence team was not able to met Raja Petra on Wednesday but would try again on Thursday. Chandra confirmed that Raja Petra had refused bail earlier.

At the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court here, there were well-wishers who came to the court to find out if Raja Petra would post bail Wednesday following press reports that his readers had contributed RM24,500 and US$3,283.61 (RM10,441.87) via an online campaign for his bail.

At 4.30pm, a court official confirmed that nobody had approached them to process Raja Petra's bail application.

"If his wife or anyone approach us for his bail, the court would have to issue an order to produce (OTP) him in court for the purpose. The police will normally need a day to make the necessary arrangements for this," she added.

Raja Petra had on Tuesday claimed trial in the Sessions Court here to publishing a seditious article in its website on April 25

WHAT'S NEW?

WELCOME? All the best? Politics...

Wednesday May 7, 2008 MYT 8:30:19 PM

Opposition to set up Pakatan Rakyat in Sabah

By Ruben Sario

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's opposition parties are coming together under the Pakatan Rakyat umbrella by establishing the state chapter of the opposition grouping.
PKR vice-president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the setting up of the Pakatan Rakyat Sabah (PRS) would enable opposition parties here to coordinate their activities.
"If the Opposition hopes to win and rule the state in the future, it must begin to plan and work together now.
"We cannot afford to be split and in competition among ourselves, like in the last elections, as we have one common opponent, the Barisan Nasional," he said Wednesday.
He said Pakatan Rakyat Sabah would among others formalise cooperation among the Opposition parties in Sabah and outline its common vision and policies for Sabah.
Dr Jeffrey said the grouping would also adopt, coordinate and implement policies formalised by Pakatan Rakyat in the peninsula.
He said the umbrella grouping would also discuss plans and strategies for the next general elections and share responsibilities on issues against the current administration.
Once the Pakatan Rakyat is formalised in Sabah, its elected representatives will have full information and research backing to ensure its members act like professionals in the Assembly or Parliament. STAR

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

PURPLE

FLOWER. Purple.
Life is beautiful.
Let us make the best of it...

IN PROTEST

AND I thought the so-called political tsunami is over! Will we ever learn?

Blogger Raja Petra goes to jail for Alctantuya
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Posted by kasee
Wednesday, 07 May 2008

DAP supremo and MP (Ipoh Timur) Lim Kit Siang raised Raja Petra’s issue in Parliament, while debating the Royal Address. He criticised Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor for “abusing the laws” in allegedly getting Raja Petra to be charged for sedition. And urged husband and wife to use other legal means to deal with Raja Petra (Malaysiakini).

He goes to jail and refuses to post bail @ RM5,000. He chooses to remain in prison until the hearing date, which is 6 October, according to a sms I received. And until the RM5,000 is collected. We shall do our part, we brothers and sisters of Raja Petra.

Only an innocent man will choose this path. I can’t say much for the murderers of Altantuya.



A legend in the making PDF Print E-mail
Posted by kasee
Wednesday, 07 May 2008

CHAN KOK LEONG, MALAYSIAKINI

Highly controversial and largely influential blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin wrote himself into the annals of Malaysian history today when he became the first blogger to be charged under the Sedition Act 1948.

After a three-hour delay and a switch of courts, Raja Petra finally heard for the first time what he was being accused of.

Clad in a light yellow shirt and blue jeans, the 58-year-old bald-headed writer was charged under Section 4 (1) (c) for nine paragraphs of a story which appeared in Malaysia Today on April 25.

The article allegedly implied that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife were involved in the killing of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Whether it was confusion or mere inefficiency, what took a just 30 minutes in court, after factoring in a 10-minute recess called by justice Nurmala Salim, the entire matter consumed more than three hours.

During the morning session at Jalan Duta, some 100 bloggers, well-wishers and press hounds were treated to hourly briefings of how he has been victimised by the government.

The flow of listeners were constant and instead of a day of sombre which is normally associated when friends or family have clashes with the law, the gathering in the morning carried an air of festivity.

Journalists had a field day collecting quotes and photographs of the notable people who had turned up to see him charged.

Among the wakil rakyat who turned up to see him were Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tian Chua, Lim Kit Siang, Sallahuddin Ayub, Liew Chin Tong and Wan Azizah Ismail, who showed up at Petaling Jaya later.

Other notables include human rights lawyers Haris Ibrahim, Malik Imtiaz, bloggers Bernard Khoo, YL Chong, Yassim Salleh, Ahiruddin Attan and Nuraina Samad.

Four other MPs - Karpal Singh, Gobind Singh, Lim Lip Eng and William Leong - made up his defence team alongside Jasvinderjit Singh, J Chandra and K Balaguru. The prosecution team only had Nordin Hassan.

'He believes in his innocence'

After more than one-and-a-half hours of waiting, as the case was neither registered there nor were there any charge sheets available yet, the crowd continued their session at the cafeteria.

At about 10.20am, one of Raja Petra's lawyers, Leong, informed everyone that the case had been moved to Petaling Jaya Sessions Court.

What ensued was a convoy of cars, like those you see on the highway on their way to kenduris, headed towards the modest court in PJ State.

And if the authorities thought it would be over quickly, they must have been greatly disappointed. For the royal son of Selangor did not capitulate meekly. Instead of paying bail and keeping quiet until his trial date in October, Raja Petra chose the reverse.

In the courtroom, one of his lawyers had already told several reporters that his client would not pay bail because he believes in his innocence.

And as the news filtered out of the small Sessions Court in Petaling Jaya of his reluctance or inability to post bail, the crowd of well-wishers, bloggers and well-wishers gasped in astonishment at the thought that Raja Petra would be jailed until October.

If the authorities had expected to see him vilified and subdued, they were sorely mistaken. For instead of seeing him subjugated, the former businessman and ex-journalist is now a legend.

Clasped in handcuffs like a common criminal, photographers followed his every step as he was led in and out of the court after he did not post bail.

Well-wishers shocked

Meanwhile, outside the court room, Raja Petra's wife Marina Lee Abdullah said: "This is a statement he wants to make. He feels that he has done nothing wrong and we don't have the funds.

"If we do a campaign of RM1 a person and when we raise sufficient funds, we'll take him out as soon as possible."

During a quick lunch at a fast-food restaurant opposite the court, I watched and eavesdrop on several conversations around me. The well-wishers who were at the court moments earlier had converged here for the same reasons as I.

But more importantly was their conversations. As instead of focusing on the charge or the alleged sedition Raja Petra is accused of, their conversations understandably revolved around the injustice he has been meted out with.

Needless to say, more was made of the fact that he will now have to linger in jail for causing Barisan Nasional's defeat in Selangor and four states.

And more will be said about how he was targetted after an Umno Youth vice leader in Petaling Jaya Utara was said to have told a meeting that "we have to arrest Raja Petra".

And this is how legends are made.

MORE NEWS HERE

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

TASTE OF VICTORY

AM delighted with this news. But am also realistic in admitting that this is going to be a long battle. The truth will prevail...

Malaysian Catholics win right to challenge 'Allah' ban: lawyer
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Posted by Super Admin
Monday, 05 May 2008

(AFP) — Malaysian Catholics on Monday won the right to mount a legal battle against a government ban on the use of the word "Allah" as a translation for "God" in their main publication.
The Muslim-dominated government last year declared that the word could only be used by Muslims and threatened to close down The Herald newspaper if it defied the prohibition.
The newspaper, which features articles written in English, Chinese, Tamil and Malay, is circulated among the country's 850,000 Catholics. In January it nearly lost its publishing licence after using "Allah" in its Malay section.
Authorities warned The Herald not to print the word in future, but instead it is asking the High Court to revoke the ban and make a declaration that its use is legal.
High Court judge Lau Bee Lan on Monday overruled objections by the state's counsel to the case going ahead, saying they were "without merit and therefore dismissed."
"The issues should be determined in the next stage," she said.
Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of The Herald, welcomed the decision which paves the way for a judicial review of the government ban.
"I am very pleased that we can now proceed. We will see what will happen at the next stage," he told reporters.
The church's lawyer Porres Ryan said they would soon submit an application to proceed with the case.
"The effect of the decision today is that our application is not frivolous and we can now proceed to address the issues at the review," he said.
Malaysia is dominated by Muslim Malays and the minority ethnic Chinese and Indians have become concerned over the growing "Islamisation" of the country.
In recent months there have been controversies over a ban on the construction of a Taoist statue on Borneo island and the destruction of Hindu temples by local authorities. - AFP

SABAH PART OF THE PHILIPPINES?

I WAS in Tagaytay, Philippines for several months in 1990. My classmates were all Filipinos. When they asked and told me that Sabah is part of the Philippines, I remember having a hearty laugh. It occurred to me then that such claim was ridiculous, to say the least ... hahahahahaha!

Sabah question looms large behind stalled peace talks
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Posted by Super Admin
Monday, 05 May 2008

(Manila Standard Today) - THE separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front has “sold” Sabah to Malaysia in exchange for Kuala Lumpur’s support in the guerrilla’s peace talks with the government, a top Palace official claimed yesterday.
The Palace official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said this was the reason Malaysian peace facilitators were pressuring the government into resuming the peace talks despite the “unconstitutional” demands of the separatist group over the composition of its future territory in Mindanao.
“Are you not surprised why the Malaysian government has been siding with the MILF and making [the Philippine government] look like fools with their conflicting statements? Have you ever wondered why the MILF never included Sabah in its ancestral domain claim when they are in a position to do so?” the official asked.
“When we first invited Malaysia to be the facilitator, they were with us. But since they revived their claim on Sabah over the past three to four years, and since our lawmakers are in the process of drafting our [territorial] baseline, they are now siding with the MILF,” he said, referring to the north Borneo territory to which both Malaysia and the Philippines have laid claim.
“It is now in their best interest to make sure the MILF gets what they want to silence any Philippine claim on Sabah,” said the source who has been involved in key security and peace process issues in various capacities.
MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal has admitted that the MILF has been silent on the Sabah claim “out of respect” for Malaysia, which is facilitating the peace talks.
“Never for a single moment did we talk about [the Sabah claim]. With Malaysia as facilitator, it is only practical for us not to bring that up or include Sabah in our proposed homeland,” Iqbal said. “We are silent on the issue. We never said it belongs to the Bangsamoro people, just as we never said it does not belong to us. It is a non-issue for us at this point.”
Iqbal said the government was “just justifying the delay and diverting the issue by bringing up Sabah at this point.”
Igbal echoed the remarks of chief Malaysian peace talks facilitator Othman Abdul Razak, who criticized the government Friday over the delay in talks about the MILF’s proposed territory because of possible violations of the 1987 Constitution.
The government said it was “deeply concerned” with Othman’s statement, especially since it was at the same time that President Arroyo conferred a Philippine Legion of Honor title on visiting Malaysian military chief Gen. Abdul Aziz Zainal.
“Mr. Othman’s public display of exasperation and undue blame on the government for the delay is totally unexpected from one who is tasked to facilitate. We suggest instead that Mr. Othman stay the course and help the parties through,” said Romeo Montenegro, spokesman of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Montenegro said Manila was disappointed that Othman “still does not comprehend” that the government has to adhere to the Constitution as a framework for the negotiations.

YOU CHICKEN?


CHICKEN! You chicken?
How I wish am one of you
On a green pasture
Acres of grass
Relaxing. Sun bathing
Who cares what others think
Chicken? You and I chicken?
What will be will be

(As I mentioned before, the Bingkasan family house in Kampung Kionsom is
surrounded by nature and chicken and dogs and squirrels and birds
and scorpion and what have you.
I woke up the other day and saw these simple creatures enjoying the morning sun.)

Sunday, 4 May 2008

THIS IS ALSO NEW?

I POST this news piece because of two reasons. First: It has something to do with one of the most known bloggers in Malaysia. But the more important reason is: I am just singing to the tune of the government news agency BERNAMA of taking a story from a blog and making it into a news story. Progress is refreshing....


Towering Malays and the ‘hush’ on Peace Hill
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Posted by Raja Petra
Saturday, 03 May 2008


The bottom line is, either they get off my back or they throw me in jail and throw away the key. I could not be bothered one bit what it is going to be. I am prepared for the worst. My objective is plain and simple. Altantuya’s murderers are going to be sent to hell. And I don’t mind going to hell myself to see this happen.


NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Sorry for not writing earlier. I know many of you must be anxiously waiting to hear what I have to say about yesterday’s episode at Bukit Aman. You know, of course, I no longer possess any computers and I don’t dare buy a new one lest they again come to my house and confiscate that one as well. So expect some delay between articles until I get back my computers.

They have already confiscated my computers three times since 2001 and although they are eventually returned many, many months later, the computers are all screwed up and can’t be used any longer. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

THIS IS NEW

I POST this news piece by BERNAMA because of two reasons. First: It has something to do with Sabah. But the more important reason is: This is the first time the government news agency BERNAMA (that I see or stumble upon) putting to the wire a news story from a BLOG. Progress is refreshing....

Overcome Hardcore Poverty By Developing Agriculture Sector - Dr Khir

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 (Bernama) -- A mega project in the form of agricultural infrastructure should be developed in Sabah as a means to overcome hardcore poverty, said Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.
The former Selangor menteri besar said the available infrastructure in Sabah needed to be identified so that it could be used as a catalyst to develop agricultural activities in the state.
This, he said, could help increase productivity and improve the standard of living.
"The current poverty will become more severe the next time there is an increase in the price of essential food items like rice, sugar and flour.
"Sabah is only able to produce 30 per cent of its population's rice consumption.
"With the increase of between 40 and 50 per cent on the cost of rice, its hardcore poor would have to severely cut down on their intake," said Dr Mohd Khir in his blog entry at www.drkhir.com
The Umno Supreme Council member, who visited Sabah recently, noted that the irrigation systems in the Kota Belud padi fields left a lot to be desired as compared to the Barat Laut project in Selangor.
Dr Mohd Khir, who was a government dentist in Sandakan (Sabah) from 1990-1991, said although the people of Sabah were hardworking, they were unable to increase their agricultural produce and income because the current infrastructure was unsuitable.--BERNAMA