Monday, 20 December 2010



KUCHING, 20 Dec 2010: Sarawak Barisan Nasional is ready to go with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak if the latter decides on joint polls.

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said the state's four-party coalition of Pesaka Bersatu Bumiputera (PBB), Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Democratic Progressive Party (SPDP), would accommodate any request that Najib has.

"If Najib is inspired to hold the election soon, it is probably better for both parties to synchronise it with the state polls,” he said.

Taib has todate not announced the state polls which must be held before June 2011. He sparked rumours of a December polls when on his return from Mecca, he said "he was inspired".

But Kuching-based political analyst, Stanley Bye Kadam Kia, once said Taib was unlikely to hold polls before early April because March 26 was Taib's 30th anniversary as chief minister.

"Also, April is a month of rejuvenation. The weather in Sarawak at this time of the year is favourable for campaigning and, above all, it is also a time of celebration for the BN people," Kidam had said.

At stake in Sarawak are 71 state seats, 63 of which are held by the state BN coalition. PBB holds 35 seats, SUPP 12 (after Engkilili's Johnical Rayong was accepted into BN fold and as an SUPP member) and both PRS and SPDP have eight each.

The opposition in Sarawak hold the rest. Sarawak DAP holds six while PKR and an independent have one each. At parliamentary level, BN holds 30 of the 31 seats. DAP wrested the Sibu parliamentary seat from SUPP in the May by-election.

An empowered opposition in Sarawak is confident of creating a bigger dent in the BN shield. Already speculations are rife that DAP is confident of winning 15 seats in the coming polls which Taib is yet to announce.

Several online polls run by the local media show that PKR will win more than “one seat” this time round.

PKR has been in the frontline campaigning on native and native customary land (NCR) issues.

No level field

State chairman Baru Bian, who is also a well-known lawyer on NCR matters, has said that on a “level field” PKR stood a very good chance of winning.

But he added that it was unlikely to be so. Bian is expecting BN to sweep in at the final hour with the combined force of money, machinery and media.

Meanwhile, Taib has to put up with the opposition issues ranging from the Bakun Dam to NCR lands and his personal and family accumulated wealth.

The impoundment of the RM7 billion Bakun Dam continues to be a thorn in Taib's side as does the state's proposal for 12 more dams under the Sarawak economic corridor plan.

Opposition and activists are against these projects which they alleged have already had adverse effects on the state's ecology.

The recent logjam ecological disaster along 250km of the Rajang River is “only one such incident”, noted an activitist.

"These are unnecessary projects that affect native lives and livelihood. The logjam disaster simply crippled the lives of the communities dependent on the river.

"Bakun Dam has displaced the native community. It has been almost 15 years and many issues including compensations are still unsettled," the activist said.

Thus far, Taib has not commented on the numerous police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Corruption Commission (MACC) reports made against him over allegation of widespread corruption.

For now, he appears to be preoccupied with a government proposal to publish a White Paper aimed at gagging the opposition and stiffling its activities.

Claiming that the White Paper was a preventive and not a punitve measure, he, however, said that it could be implemented anytime – before or after the state election.

Earlier, Taib had directed PBB to set up a unit to monitor all the exposé on the Internet following a series of explosing character-crippling revelations by online news portal Sarawak Report's investigating team.

Taib's response, as shown on YouTube, to this was to tell a longhouse audience that he was indeed wealthy and left it to his family to look after the wealth. Free Malaysia Today

Thursday, 9 December 2010


HEY all. I know, its been a while since I last updated this blog. Well, more to come. This is all about the supposedly snap polls. There is merit and demerit. My personal view? Let us live as if today is the last day of our life.


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — The DAP is preparing for possible snap polls and will be ready to take on the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in as little as two months, a party leader revealed.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua revealed that the party held an election committee meeting yesterday afternoon to discuss preparations for the next general election, widely speculated to be called as early as next March.

“We have to ramp up, there’s no question about it,” the Petaling Jaya MP said last night.

During the meeting, party leaders discussed “reviews, steps, setting up the sub-committees, leaflets” and other election machinery-related issues to prepare for the 13th general election, Pua said.

He stressed that DAP could go to polls tomorrow if needed, and that these preparations were to merely ensure “near-peak condition” for the party.

“We hope to be not so much ready — I mean, you can call elections now and we can still do elections — but we hope to achieve near-peak condition in two months,” Pua said.

He said in the months following that DAP will “maintain and sustain” the momentum by focusing on leaflet designs, campaign teams and manifesto production.

The first-term lawmaker also revealed that committee members had disagreed on when elections will be held, with some settling on March or April while others thought June or September more likely.

“But, to us, we have to prepare for the worst case, which is when it’s early — March, April — so we have to get ready by then,” he said.

He explained that he was “ambivalent” about whether Selangor should dissolve its state assembly to coincide with the general election as there were “pros and cons” to both, but declined to comment further as the decision was not his to make.

On the election outcome in Selangor, Pua said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) “had the edge” for the moment but cautioned that the coalition cannot rest easy and must continue to send a message that it was better at governing than BN.

“We are in continuous improvement mode. We want to make better policies, and the key difference between our government and the Barisan government is you don’t find our mentri besar enriching himself by improper means,” he said, in a thinly-veiled reference to former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Khir was charged on Monday in the Shah Alam Sessions Court with land fraud under section 165 of the Criminal Procedure Code in connection with the purchase of two plots of land and a bungalow in Section 7, Shah Alam.

If found guilty, the 45-year-old Khir faces up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.

Pua said all three PR component parties would meet up some time soon to discuss election preparations but did not furnish a date.

In Election 2008, PR won 17 out of 22 parliamentary seats in Selangor and 36 of the 56 state assembly seats, losing one as a result of defection.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang noted last month that eight PR parliamentary seats in Selangor were won with less than 10 per cent majority, namely Hulu Selangor, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat (these were won with less than five per cent majorities) and Selayang, Gombak, Ampang and Kelana Jaya.

In a recent by-election, PR lost Hulu Selangor, which was won with the slimmest majority of 0.4 per cent in 2008, he added.

For the state assembly seats, PR won 10 seats with less than 10 per cent majority, namely Sekinchan, Bukit Melawati, Cempaka, Damansara and Teluk Datuk (these five were won with less than five per cent majorities) and Ulu Kelang, Bukit Antarabangsa, Lebah Jaya, Kota Anggerik and Selat Kelang.

BN won only three parliamentary seats and 12 state assembly seats in Selangor in 2008 with less than 10 per cent majorities, Election Commission records show. The Malaysian Insider

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


THIS is from The Nut Graph. An exclusive interview by Deborah Loh with my boss, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Upko President cum MPIC minister and Penampang MP. Proud to be able to offer (albeit in small ways) my service to him, full time since 2001. Happy reading. CLICK HERE FOR FULL INTERVIEW


PLANTATION Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok is one of the more outspoken federal government leaders. On a few occasions, especially when it comes to issues affecting Sabahans, he’s spoken up against cabinet positions.

The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president supports the use of “Allah” for Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians. He has opposed the Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline project because it won’t benefit Sabah, where the gas comes from. And he’s not hesitated to put Umno in its place, calling the political party a hindrance to realising 1Malaysia.

The Penampang Member of Parliament spoke to The Nut Graph about his early years, his purpose in preserving missions schools, the Kadazandusun language, and what being Malaysian means in an interview on 28 Oct 2010 in Putrajaya.

What kind of Malaysia do you want for yourself and future generations?

I want a Malaysia in which everyone — and this is what I’ve been trying to get inserted into our Barisan Nasional manifesto — where everybody who is Malaysian is treated the same under the Malaysian sun. Implementation of the constitution must not be selective. As I said, [recognition of] the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, must be one sentence.

Therefore, I would like to see Malaysia implement its policies based on its diversity. Nothing less. The government is a government for all Malaysians. The rulers are rulers for all Malaysians and not just the Malays. So therefore, my right as a Christian in this country also has to be protected by the ruler, because he’s my ruler. He’s my Agong.THE NUT GRAPH

Thursday, 28 October 2010


I FEEL for her. Really. Her husband passed away suddenly only on Oct 9. In my Kadazandusun culture, she would still be in mourning. All the best Linda.


“I have had my moment of tears. Especially when I am on my own. Of course... I still miss my husband,” she told The Malaysian Insider during lunch after a hectic walkabout session in Bandar Ramai-Ramai here.

In a halting voice, the 54-year-old explained that she has had to deal with two deaths in the family this year, the first being that of her father, who died in June at the age of 92.

“It has been challenging... a new chapter in my life. Suddenly, I have to stand on my own two feet and I have to stay strong for my four kids,” she said. READ MORE HERE

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


THIS is the first by-election in Sabah. Will be interesting to see the result. We just have to wait and see. I take this opportunity to say, I knew the late Datuk Edmund Chong. There were times when I sat next to him on the plane in the 6.05am flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur, usually on Mondays. I was also with him when my boss was chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity. May he rest in peace.


SANDAKAN, Oct 26 (Bernama) -- As expected, the Batu Sapi by-election will see a three-cornered fight involving Barisan Nasional (BN), Sabah-based opposition party Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
BN's Datin Linda Tsen Thau Lin of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) is up against SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who is a former Sabah chief minister, and PKR Tuaran division chief and prominent lawyer Ansari Abdullah.
The list of candidates was announced by returning officer Mohamad Hamsan Awang Supain, who is also the Sandakan Municipal Council secretary, at the nomination centre, Sandakan Community Hall.
Mohamad Hamsan accepted the papers of all three candidates as there were no issues raised during the one-hour objection period.
Ansari was the first to arrive at the nomination centre and handed in his nomination papers at 9.08am, followed by Yong at 9.09am and Linda Tsen three minutes later.
About one thousand supporters from all parties gathered in this coastal town since sunrise before going to the nomination centre.
They were shouting slogans but maintained discipline.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman led the BN supporters and Tsen to the nomination centre.
Also present were PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas and other representatives of BN component parties.
The PKR camp was led by its president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, DAP deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw and PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali, while Yong, the SAPP candidate, led a small group of supporters.
Tsen when later approached by reporters, pledged that if she is chosen, she would work hard and do her best to carry on the good work of BN.
Yong, meanwhile, praised the Election Commission for handling the nomination process smoothly.
"We thank the Election Commission and its officers for all the preparations made. There were no problems and no objections.
"As for our campaign, we will highlight issues such as unemployment, poverty, land, rising cost of goods and empty promises made (by the government)...We will change all that to return honour and autonomy to the people of Sabah through Batu Sapi," he said.
Ansari said the Batu Sapi contest was a chance for PKR to have a member of parliament from Sabah, adding that his campaign would also focus on the issue of poverty of the Bumiputeras here.
He also claimed that SAPP is "not a real opposition party, but an 'independent' party".
The Batu Sapi parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of its incumbent and two-term MP, Datuk Edmund Chong, in a road accident on Oct 9.
Chong won the seat in the 2008 general election by a 3,708-vote majority, defeating independent candidate Dr Chung Kong Wing.
Chong polled 9,479 votes against Dr Chung's 5,771. He won the same seat in the 2004 general election unopposed.
Batu Sapi has 25,582 voters, of whom 24,047 are ordinary voters and 1,535 postal voters.
Muslim Bumuiputeras comprise 15,099 or 59.02 per cent of the voters, non-Muslim Bumiputeras 689 (2.69 per cent), Chinese 9,737 (38.06 per cent) and others, 57 (0.22 per cent).-- BERNAMA

THE Galas state by-election in Kelantan will also be held Nov 4. MORE HERE

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


HOW would I be after spending 69 days in a cramped, dark, always-in-danger mine some 700 meters underground?
I have been following this story whenever I could. And like a sponge near water, I tried to absorb as much as I possibly could. The lesson, is, put simply, beyond words. It is a miracle. Yes, a miracle. A mysterious grace meant to touch our lives. Praise God. And congrats to the world, especially the Chilean government. And the 33 miracles......

Chile mine rescue

By Juan Forero and Jonathan Franklin
Wednesday, October 13, 2010; 6:45 AM

SAN JOSE MINE, CHILE - After 10 weeks in a dark, hot purgatory 2,000 feet underground, the first of 33 trapped miners were hoisted to freedom early Wednesday, a rescue marking the beginning of the end of a drama that captivated people worldwide.

The rescue operation continued at a steady pace of about one miner per hour, with eight men brought safely to the surface so far, each emerging to cheers of "Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!" -- the country's name. The operation to free all 33 miners could last until Thursday.

Florencio Avalos, 31, emerged in the cold of Chile's northern Atacama Desert just after midnight Wednesday (11 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday), 69 days after he and his fellow miners were sealed in a cavern. They were trapped Aug. 5 when hundreds of thousands of tons of rocks collapsed on the gold and copper mine.

A specially designed rescue capsule, sporting the Chilean flag and shaped like a missile, maneuvered deep into the Earth down a 28-inch-wide emergency shaft and extricated Avalos. He was welcomed back to the surface with spirited cheers and tearful hugs before medical personnel led him away for a checkup.

The capsule, meanwhile, was quickly sent back down to bring out Mario Sepulveda, 40, whose whoops of joy could be heard even before the capsule broke the surface. Once freed, Sepulveda exubrantly handed out souvenir rocks he brought up with him in a yellow satchel, even giving one to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

"I think I had extraordinary luck," Sepulveda later told reporters. "I was with God and with the devil - and God took me."

Among the other rescued miners was the youngest -- 19-year-old Jimmy Sanchez, who hugged his waiting father -- and a Bolivian, Carlos Mamani, who shouted, "Gracias, Chile!" when he emerged from the escape capsule.

The plight of the miners has gripped this country of 17 million, and the dramatic nighttime rescue of Avalos played out on national television. The government carefully choreographed several facets, including Pinera's pep talk to rescue planners and the singing of the national anthem.

"We made a promise to never surrender, and we kept it," Pinera said as he waited to welcome the miners.

The government also provided a televised feed of events at both ends of the rescue shaft that was seen worldwide.

The rescue drew scores of people Tuesday night to the Chilean Embassy in the District. High hopes mixed with anxiety as the crowd watched live coverage from a Chilean network on a jumbo television screen, and they celebrated Avalos's arrival with an eruption of cheers and the popping of champagne corks.

The 33 men are believed to have survived longer underground than anyone else in the history of mining accidents.

"All Chileans are with you, and may God be with you," Pinera told rescuer Manuel Gonzalez moments before he entered the capsule and went deep underground. "And may you bring us the miners."

When Gonzalez reached the cavern 18 minutes later, he hugged several of the miners and then helped Avalos fit into the capsule. A winch then pulled Avalos on his bumpy, claustrophobic journey to the surface.

Every step of the operation had been meticulously planned, from the engineering that went into the construction of the rescue capsule to Tuesday's tests of the winch.

The miners had been given a special diet to help prevent their becoming nauseated on the way up. After weeks in the sweltering mine, they were also expected to wear sweaters for their reentry into the world above; temperatures in the Atacama Desert can drop close to freezing at night.

Rescue planners chose Avalos to go first after careful consideration. An expert miner used to working in tight places, he was considered fit of body and mind and thus seen as capable of dealing with any unforeseen problems, such as the capsule becoming lodged in the rescue shaft.

The three miners picked to follow Avalos to the surface are also considered capable of handling difficulties on the way up. The next group includes those who are weaker, older and suffering from a range of ailments. The final group of miners, like those who led off the rescue, are also strong and able.

The last miner to be raised is scheduled to be Luis Urzua, 54, shift chief when the mine collapsed and a steady leader for the other miners.

Speaking by phone from the mine Tuesday morning, Urzua reflected on the saga, carefully choosing his words to describe what it was like for such a large group to be imprisoned in such tight quarters for so long. "This was a group with different personalities and manners of being," he said.

"We have had a stage here in our lives that we never planned for," said Urzua, who has been mining for three decades. "I hope to never live again like this, but that's the life of a miner."

Taking charge after the collapse, Urzua rationed food, giving each miner one spoonful of tuna every 48 hours during their first 17 days trapped underground. He also kept order, something that NASA specialists who have been monitoring the crisis say was vital to keeping up morale and preventing discord.

"We had to be strong," Urzua said. "All the workers in the mine fulfilled their roles."

One miner became the spokesman to the outside world, for instance, while others provided comic relief for their comrades and still others simply showed fortitude for their less experienced colleagues.

Asked about the dangers of mining, particularly at this copper and gold deposit, Urzua said he and the others knew of the hazards. "We always say that when you go into the mine, you respect the mine and hope you get out," he said.

'We knew they were alive'

The miners' lifeline to the outside world since late August has been a tube no wider than an orange, through which they have been able to converse with rescuers and family members by telephone. They have received necessities such as medicine and food but also personal items to pass the time, such as music.

"They think this is room service," quipped Jean Romagnoli, a doctor who has been monitoring the miners' health through special straps that track their heart rate and blood pressure.

The miners have been told how their saga mobilized a battalion of rescue planners, medical authorities, mining executives and even NASA engineers, who helped troubleshoot some of the equipment the Chileans designed for the rescue.

Mining expertise permitted rescuers to drill a bore hole 17 days after the mine collapsed that reached the space where the miners had been trapped. Rescue workers on the surface heard a faint clanging on the drill bit.

"It was like they were hitting it with a spoon," said Eduardo Hurtado, who operated the machine that enabled rescuers to make that first contact with the miners. "Then a far stronger clanging came up. We knew they were alive."

Then on Saturday, another drill finished chewing through hundreds of feet of rock, creating a wider shaft. That hole is only about the diameter of a bicycle tire but is big enough for the capsule designed to hoist the men up, one by one.

The capsule rises at a rate of about a yard per second, bumping against the sides of the tunnel. A camera on the vessel allows doctors on the surface to monitor how each miner reacts as he is being raised. Rescue planners were also to be in constant radio contact with the men as they made their way up.

Those waiting on the surface include medical teams that will quickly examine the miners before they are airlifted to a hospital in Copiapo, a town nearby.

Preparing for exit

In their final hours underground, the miners tried to wash up and comb their hair to appear presentable. Special clothes, tailored to each man, were sent down. Some of the miners gathered a few rocks to take with them, a memento from the place they called home for more than two months.

Richard Villaroel, 26, said by phone that he was excited about reuniting with his wife, who is expecting a baby this week. "I didn't sleep at all last night," he said. "I couldn't."

Up in Camp Hope, where the miners' families have lived for weeks as authorities methodically planned the rescue, loved ones could hardly contain themselves as word spread that the operation was about to begin.

"I feel anxious," said Olga Carmona, 36, the niece of Mario Gomez, 63, the eldest miner. "We have waited all these weeks, so it's just hours away, but it is eternal."

Belgica Ramirez, Gomez's sister-in-law, said she could imagine how they will all want to embrace. "We will just hug him and cry," she said. "Then we plan to do a cookout and celebrate."

Franklin is a special correspondent. Staff writer Mary Pat Flaherty contributed to this report from Washington.

MORE STORY HERE about miner's encounter with God and the devil

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

2 x 5 MAYBE

HA HA HA. I could already hear you murmuring... See, Albert is now "attacking" the opposition. Memperlekehkan, some will say. Well, the thing is, in the last two weeks or so, I met friends who also "belittle" my alignment towards the ruling government. They said, it is high time for me to do a soul searching and switch camp. I asked them then: Leave BN and go to PR? And they said, yes yes yes. So I asked them again: Is the grass at the other side more green? And they said, yes yes yes. That's the reason why I post this article here. Tepuk dada, tanya selera. And click also the one about what Tian Chua said. Then, we can all have a brainstorming session(s) again. And again. And again....
PAPAR: Former PKR divisional chief for Papar, Sylvester Balon Mujim, wants the party to nullify the election results for the division and hold a fairer and more organised polls. He claimed the Papar polls on Saturday, in which he lost to lawyer James Ghani, was marred with various discrepancies.
"It was one of the worst-organised and dirtiest elections held. I am filing an official complaint to the Party Election Committee and I hope they will reconvene and hold a fresh polls for Papar," he said here yesterday.
James polled 223 votes to defeat incumbent Sylvester who chalked in 165 votes, and Husin Lamsin who garnered only 50 votes.
According to Sylvester, the monitoring team assigned by party headquarters to monitor and run the polling, had failed miserably to ensure a democratic voting by allowing aides of his opponents a free hand in assisting members to mark ballot papers.
"There were other incidents in the meeting which even I as the incumbent head was denied a say to correct things.
“Ballot papers were being brought from outside and the whole voting process was a chaos.
"The voting process itself was carried out even before the meeting proper was held. Ballot papers were handed to people approaching the counter without really scrutinising their names on the party membership rolls," he alleged.
Sylvester also claimed that his opponent involved himself in money politics at yesterday's poll.
"I have members to testify on this," he said.
Sylvester was one of the 12 members from Sabah who were recently disciplined for their involvement in the aborted attempt to register a PKR-breakaway Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS). Free Malaysia Today


Tuesday, 7 September 2010


WHAT is in store for the ruling Barisan Nasional? Can we actually do away with race-based political parties such as Upko, Umno, MIC and the likes and be united in one party, the BN? To cut the story short, I will be surprise if this happens in my life time. So, lets play our role, based on "As is, where is" concept. Simple. And practical. But with a vision....


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Several Umno leaders have predicted that a proposal to allow direct membership into Barisan Nasional (BN) would result in the federal ruling coalition having a “two-tier” membership system, and see the continued existence of its component parties.

Under this new party system, BN’s membership would consist of existing members from affiliated parties like Umno, MCA and MIC as well as members who are part of BN through direct membership.

They, however, argued that dissolving race-based component parties within BN and transforming it into a single party would be “difficult” because many component party members were still “attached” to their respective parties and preferred fighting for issues on the existing race-based platform.

“The one way in which BN can become a multiracial party is if the direct membership for BN exceeds the membership of the (existing) component parties. This would then be fait accompli.

“What’s ideal for the future would be direct electorates. Look at the United States. They have Republicans as well as Democrats. Their parties are not race-based. The whole idea is to get the best Malaysians to represent BN,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz. READ MORE HERE

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Perayaan Hari Merdeka memaparkan

setiap rakyat Malaysia boleh

mencetuskan sesuatu yang indah.

Everybody needs to play

their respective roles,

if we are to succeed as a nation...

31 Ogos - Selamat Merdeka kepada Sabah,

Sarawak dan Malaya...

“Please remember that Malaysia is our homeland; this is the place where we were born, the place where we grew up, where we find our livelihood, a place where we find happiness and where we shall be laid to rest,” said Najib. READ MORE