Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is MCA at the political cross-road?

MCA reaps disastrous results in the 12th Malaysian general election and the current political turmoil left the Chinese based party almost split between the opinions that should MCA pull out from Barisan Nasional or otherwise. MCA finds itself at the historical cross-road once again after 1969.

Will MCA leaves BN? Will racial politics more relevant than multi racial-coalition? On the political scene, the performance of MCA leadership has been more critically received especially the president. Critically, it seems that MCA needs a leadership revamp badly rather than pull out from Barisan Nasional as it’s the historical political partner in nation building.

Undeniably, the lack of capable political leadership in MCA especially the ability and experience to position itself in Barisan Nasional is crucial factor. Attributes the interest in multiculturalism, the MCA leaders who can compromise their convictions within acceptable limits, without betraying their consciences, in order to achieve the best for all especially MCA, as they understand the best to be, in cooperation with their political opponents are by far needed.

The qualities of MCA leadership that made for political success in the past are enduring, but courage, fearlessly to enunciate government policies and to confront the country's problems, is now required more than ever. The ability to be able to differentiate between political mediocrity and quality, regardless of what camp the person is from as a shift to the political establishment.

Ironically, bad roots will always produce bad fruits. It was devastating for MCA in becoming a euphemism in architectural and cultural circles for narrow-mindedness, provincial conservatism without a clear path and future vision for Chinese community.

The scandals surrounding many political leaders raise the question of whether character matters in the leader, character does count, and morality—both private and public—is essential in the leaders. But it seems that the Chinese community by large wanted the leader not only capable of changing their minds but admitting their errors in an era of political realignment of MCA.

Historically, there are people of great character and honor in Malaysia especially founding father of UMNO Dato' Onn Ja'far and that was, for it to be a multi-racial party, but he was against to run for political office.

By and large, the majority of Chinese community had neither the full incentives nor the clear understanding of the deep forces needed to generate substantive political change, although it has been known for its radical politics in Barisan Nasional. This trend of radicalization is also visible in the coalition parties in Barisan Nasional.

It seems that the Chinese community as well as the party members wanted MCA to be more assertive in having political leaders of ability and experience, wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance to achieve the best for all through a clear path and future vision for Chinese community.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Saya mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri kepada semua rakyat Malaysia yang beragama Islam, khususnya kepada pelayar laman blog ini.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Is MCA Politics ethically and morally corrupt?

It’s without a doubt that MCA is loosing more of their seats after the 12 general election. How damaging is it when members of BN begin to publicly turn on BN coalition parties, as is happening in the 12 the General Election.

Ironically, MCA is being disrespected by members and supporters lately especially after the 12th General Election. Is MCA or rather BN deserving so?

The serious question arises, is MCA politics ethically and morally corrupt and became the disrespected political party? The smear tactics and low performing on going again could be the final death knell for MCA in Malaysian politics.

Politically, smear tactics are considered by many to be a low, disingenuous form of discourse; nevertheless it is being claimed that it is mobilized among MCA party delegates to defame the candidate which attempt to undermine the credibility in next month’s party polls.

A smear campaign or smear tactic is a negative campaigning and often based on information gleaned from opposition research conducted by paid political consultants, intentional, premeditated effort to undermine an individual's or group's reputation, credibility and character including such colloquialisms as mud slinging, or shit-eating.

It often consists of ad hominem attacks in the form of unverifiable rumors and is often distortions, half-truths, or even outright lies.

As usual, the smear campaign is being mobilized among MCA party delegates now. MCA vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat said, those resorting to smear campaigns to defame a candidate in next month’s party polls should stop immediately,

He said using dirty tactics such as caricatures, poison-pen letters and fabricated letters to attack another person was equivalent to committing murder.

He was commenting on the statement by party deputy president candidate Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who claimed that a conspiracy was being mobilized among party delegates to defame him through caricatures.

Ong viewed such dirty tactics with amusement and disdain.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Has dollar pegging paid off for Malaysia?

Pegging is the policy of controlling the value of a currency by linking it to another currency. The US dollar emerged as a currency used as a peg for many currencies including Malaysia ringgit in 1997-98 Asian currency crisis.

Since January 2003, when the dollar depreciated about 27 percent against the Euro, most of the Asian currencies have been appreciating against the dollar, ranging from 6 percent by the Singapore dollar, to 10 percent by the Thai baht and 12 percent by the Korean won.

The Malaysian ringgit was initially pegged to the US dollar following the Southeast Asian economic crisis. It shifted in 2005 from pegging to a managed float against a basket of currencies. Immediacy, ringgit rose on Monday to 3.4200 to the dollar from 3.4610 at the close of Asian trade on Friday.

Undeniably, the record shown that Asian central banks had been intervening foreign exchange market to prevent strengthening of their currencies, through some kind of soft peg against US dollar. Apart from China’s Renminbi, Hong Kong’s dollar and Malaysia’s ringgit, the rest of the Asian currencies did have some degrees of flexibility against the US dollar.

Since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, most emerging Asian market economies had implemented de facto or explicit peg against the US dollar, and continue maintaining the policy of undervalued currencies.

A key factor in the dollar's fall was seen to be happened when US has run huge trade deficits over the last couple of years that caused officials from the Group of 20 industrial and major developing countries in Germany called for the US to cut its federal deficit.

The falling of US dollar in value against other currencies has great economic impact toward the economic of the world. It caused the risen of oil prices close to record highs when dollar has touched all-time lows recently. When Brent crude hovered just under $80/bbl, while the euro moved to $1.38 and the dollar sank below its 1995 lows on a trade-weighted basis against major currencies.

The dollar fell 1.6 percent to US$1.4227 against the euro, the strongest since September 18, 2007. The dollar has gained almost 12 percent since touching the all-time low of US$1.6038 per euro on July 15, 2008, the weakest level since euro made its debut in 1999, as the European economy slumped and crude oil dropped more than 30 percent to about US$100.95 a barrel from its peak of US$147.27.

The era of the strong, overvalued dollar had gone with the wind, as a result of weaker US growth, a large and persistent trade deficit, and surging commodity prices. The most recent strong dollar period started in 1995, gradually dissipated after 2003, and now is in clear retreat.

As US is the world's leading importer of goods, the rise of euro means everything is more expensive for Americans. They have to buy at higher prices, but getting easier for manufacturers to sell products overseas more competitively. It costs more dollars for American to buy euro or yen or products from Europe or Japan. The products become more expensive, resulting less attractive to Americans hence huts the standard of living.

China and other Asian export powers have also accumulated dollars by keeping their currencies undervalued. China has accumulated $1.5 trillion in foreign reserves, which it is beginning to deploy. State-controlled natural resource companies in Russia are buying into international energy firms and industries such as aluminum. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has an estimated $500 billion to $875 billion pool that it is using to build stakes in foreign enterprises and domestic petrochemicals industries.

The huge foreign liquid reserves and a weakening dollar are making US based assets increasingly attractive to foreign buyers. Weaker dollar makes it cheaper for foreign investors to acquire key US assets.

Undoubtedly, the weakening dollar causes US economic growth remains clouded. Investors seem to pile into the Japanese yen when risk aversion spikes, analysis are ambivalent about the near-term direction of the yen/dollar exchange rate. Therefore, it’s believed weaker dollar will manifest itself via European currencies.

In 1994, China devalued its currency and pegged it to the US dollar at around 8.3 yuan to the US dollar within an extremely narrow band that permits no more than infinitesimally small variations in the yuan-dollar exchange rates. Four years later, Malaysia fixed its exchange rate at 3.80 ringgit to the US dollar in the midst of the 1997/98 financial crisis.

Both China and Malaysia have increased their external reserves enormously. China’s reserves have swelled from US$143 billion in 1997 to US$578 billion in 2004, while Malaysia’s reserves have grown from US$21.7 billion to US$66.7 billion during the same period. It is quite obvious that the growing inherent strengths of the fundamentals of these two economies are not reflected in the exchange rates.

Although Malaysia with a small domestic economy but the weakening of dollar definitely harm Malaysian economic too as the exports value is greatly reduced in the US or in other economies tied to the dollar. Malaysian companies will face pressure on their export sales. But in deciding re-pegging, Malaysia seems to follow China's foot steps as China’s Renminbi and Malaysia’s ringgit have one thing in common: they are wedded to the US dollar.

Although it was said Malaysia has the capacity to determine the value of the ringgit because it has sufficient foreign currency and substantial savings, with the Employees Providence Fund alone holding more than RM200bil in its coffers, thus shouldn’t float the currency as the country would lose money if the currency is vulnerable to external forces.

Hypnotically, if Malaysia could strengthen the value of the ringgit by 10%, by pegging the ringgit to the US dollar, the import value should depreciate by 10%. When the price of imported goods is reduced, the impact would immediately be felt by consumers.

China today is very different from what it was in 1994. The Chinese economy has been growing at near-double digit rates year after year. As the second largest economy in Asia, any move by China on the yuan exchange rate will have far reaching impacts on other currencies, with serious financial and economic consequences.

Ironically, a $700bn bail-out for Wall Street is the US government’s political decision to commit such big amount taxpayer money to fixing the problem showed the seriousness economic crisis in US.

US have become increasingly erratic and unreliable on the world stage. The sinking US dollar definitely harm Malaysian economic, should the ringgit consider re-pegging, euro is the only one to be considered.

By and large, the ringgit exchange rate will be more flexible based on market condition and a managed float against a basket of currencies as it is now.

Car loans interest rate hike

It’s painfully clear that whenever the prices go up, it will pass over to the consumer. As a consumer, the question now is how to maximize the consumer welfare as welfare are measured cardinally in terms of ringgit and cent.

The evidence on consumer behavior suggests that, with respect to prices, consumers respond to interest rates in choosing a borrowing institution, thus to value and to be able to recognize several of a bank’s attributes when searching a borrowing institution, the consumer not only should be selective but let the bank hear and understand your issues and share your concern.

The only way that we’re going to lower the interest rate is by lowering our actual demand for borrowing car loans.

Maybank hire purchase senior manager Nor Siah Othman said the bank had experienced a drop of about 40% in car loan applications in the past two months due to higher rates.

She also advised car owners to restructure their loans to stretch the monthly payments longer after a few years of repayments if they find it a burden to service their loans.

A freelance car salesman identified only as Teo said a buyer taking a RM42,000 loan would have to pay about RM54,000 over seven years - about RM4,000 more compared to the RM50,000 paid when the interest rate was 2.7%.

AmBank group public relations manager Norlidah Abd Rahman said not all banks charged as high as 4.3%.

“If the car bought now did not carry extended warranty under comprehensive insurance, the interest rate could be as low as 3.6% - 3.9% too,” she said.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Car Dealers and Credit Companies Association president Khoo Kah Jin said interest rates for new cars were not that high at between 3.5% and 3.7%.
He said there was no reason for used car interest rates to be as high as 4.5% - 7.5%.
Khoo said the association had always pushed for the interest rates for used cars to be only 1% higher that of new cars.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hindu temple demolition against Opposition’s promise

The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) officers had taken action to tear down a Hindu temple, the Sri Maha Kaliamman temple in Kampung Tasik, Jalan Baru in Ampang on Sept 9 2008.

After being informed of the demolition of the temple on Wednesday, Selangor MIC Youth Chief M. Yogeswaran immediately lodged a report at the Ampang Jaya police station.

MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu condemned the action, saying it went against the Opposition’s promise during the election campaign not to demolish any temples.

“It is very careless of the local council to demolish the temple without first relocating the temple,” he said in a statement.

Human Resources Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam said the MIC was extremely disappointed with the Pakatan Rakyat state government and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ).

“Our stand all along has been that if a temple needs to be relocated due to road expansion or some other major development, it can be relocated with the agreement that a new place of worship be built in an ideal area,” he said.

Mahdzir Khalid urged DAP to take action against Kok for her 'almost like dog food' comment

Kedah Umno Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said a politician who is educated and has credibility will not make a statement which can hurt other people’s feelings.

He said Umno would have taken action against its member should the person concerned make such a remark as in the case of Bukit Bendera Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail.

He urged DAP leadership to take
action against the party’s central executive committee member, Teresa Kok, for her “almost like dog food” remark on the food served to her while in detention under the Internal Security Act.He said that as a political party, DAP should take action against Kok, who is Seputeh Member of Parliament, for insulting security officers and also jeopardizing the country’s good name.

“Teresa knew what she ate while in detention, but after her release she said the food served to her was almost like dog food.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Pakatan Rakyat’s empty boast over transfer of power

The date set for a Pakatan Rakyat takeover, Sept 16 had come and gone with the BN still firmly in control of the government. The BN government is likely to grow even stronger before it’s predicted.

It is unacceptable that the undemocratic transfer of power was allowed to happen.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat has yet again falsely claimed that talks were being held with the Barisan Nasional on a transfer of power. It is the latest baseless strategy to twist and empty boast over transfer of power.

Although Pakatan Rakyat claimed that the opposition coalition having enough defections to topple the government and negotiations had begun with the ruling coalition over a transfer of power, however, not even a single defector has come forward.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday scoffed at a Parti Keadilan Rakyat claim that talks were being held with the Barisan Nasional on a transfer of power.

The prime minister, who is BN chairman and Umno president, also described PKR information chief Tian Chua's claim that contacts had been made between intermediaries of the two sides as "the craziest report I have ever heard".

While Abdullah had denied this, Pakatan Rakyat supremo Anwar Ibrahim also appeared to be in the dark about the negotiations.

"I'm not aware of any negotiations taking place between Pakatan Rakyat and the prime minister - statements made yesterday suggesting that a line of communication was open were misinformed," said the opposition leader in a statement.

Anwar added: "No, not that I'm aware of… he (Tian) may be privy to other information but as far as I'm concerned what the PM said was right.

"Very rarely do I agree with Abdullah Badawi."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is US potentially a bankrupt country?

Although the economy of the United States is the world's largest national economy, but the exploiting nature of the capitalist system of economy which being taken advantages of by politicians, landed the country's financial policies benefited the wealthiest Americans for decades.

Interestingly, the economy of US is in a strange situation of being both the world's greatest debtor and the issuer of the world's principal reserve currency. The implication of the scenario is that US is exploiting the wealth of other countries for its consumption.

For decade, the economics and politics are dictated by the US. The fall of the Soviet Union was the biggest debacle of the 20th century, and now the Money System of US is on the verge of collapse is the new destructive debacle.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed the biggest bankruptcy in US history after Barclays plc declined to buy the whole of the investment bank and the failure of AIG, the world's largest insurer’s multi-billion-dollar loss jeopodized the US economy and triggered economic slump, the damages caused to the financial system are inestimable if AIG collapsed.

It was reported that the US government using US$85 billion federal loan to bailout AIG which faced three quarterly losses amounting to US$18.5 billion.

The business of AIG covered US$441 billion of fixed-income investments for banks and other parties, including US$57.8 billion in securities tied to sub-prime mortgages. It included almost every financial institution in the world and insured US$88 billion worth of assets including mortgages and corporate loans.

The out-of-scale boom-insider trading, accounting cover-ups and corporate scams to portray unrealistically high profits are believed to be the reasons indentified the causes of the US historical economic debacles.

Ironically, the US is absorbing about 80% of the net flow of international capital and the market is believed to be controlled by powerful person with money and maximizing profit is the ultimate aim. Today China, Middle Eastern oil magnates and other large investors from abroad are voicing that if US interest rates are keep on go down and measure to be taken to devalue the already-sliding dollar portfolios further, they will no longer support with their investments the bloated US trade and fiscal deficits.

The economy of the US is still the world's largest national economy with the gross domestic product (GDP) reported as $13.8 trillion in 2007. As of June 2008, the gross US external debt was over $13 trillion, thus without ability to borrow abroad; US practically cannot continue to consume $800 billion dollars more each year than the economy produces as well as carry out the role of internationally polis and conduct the claimed anti-terrorist wars.

The US dollar has lost 60% of its value during the current Bush administration. A few years ago the value of euro was 85 cents but today it worth $1.48. This is an enormous decline in the value of the US dollar and a huge drop in the value for those who hold the dollar.

The US economy succumbs to the pressure of balance-of-trade imbalances and money market fluctuations. It’s facing the worst financial crisis in decades and the stock market plunged up and down. The irony of course is the US had to put its financial house in order as well as to improve the trade imbalances.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Syed Hamid says, Teresa Kok’s release decided entirely by police

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said in a statement that police were satisfied with the cooperation rendered by Kok during the investigation and there was no longer any reason to continue her detention.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the release of the Seputeh Member of Parliament, Teresa Kok, from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was decided entirely by the police without referring to him or requiring his approval.

He said he was in fact informed of the matter after Kok had been released, and believed that the release was made after police investigation revealed that the detention was no longer necessary.

"I don't ask questions because when it comes to police exercising their power, I let them do their work without any hassle.

"And if they feel there is no need to make any recommendations and they are satisfied, they will release in accordance with the powers that they have.

Kok, who is also a Selangor State Executive Councilor, was released at 1.30pm after being detained for eight days under Section 73(1) of the ISA 1960 as she was alleged to have raised racial and religious sentiments.

Syed Hamid said that under Section 73, an individual could be detained for up to 60 days for investigation if the police suspected that he or she was a threat to national security.

He said that his role as the minister was only needed to approve detention that exceeded the 60-day period, where police felt that the extended detention was a necessity.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


SAPP digs its graveyard by pulling out from Barisan Nasional

By pulling out from BN, SAPP seems to dig its own political gladiator graveyard and bury its political future. The party needs to do more with graveyards than mow the grass now.

Can the mosquito party dig his back up out of his own graveyard is an interesting question and the answer is waiting for by many political analysts and partisans.

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is no longer a member of the Barisan Nasional. Its Supreme Council decided today that the party will pursue an “autonomous political path.”

The party’s supreme council, which met this afternoon, has opted to be an opposition party but has no plan to join Pakatan Rakyat for now.

"The SAPP supreme council has declared that the party is no longer a member of the Barisan Nasional coalition," party President Yong Teck Lee.

"We will be independent at the moment and provide quality opposition in and outside the parliament, as well as the state assembly, until the time comes when SAPP is ready to be back in the government."

Prime Minister takes over as defense minister

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has announced that effective immediately his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will be Finance Minister while he takes over as defense minister.

Abdullah also said that he may step down earlier than 2010 depending
on Najib's performance.

The prime minister also described Anwar as a "threat" to national security.

"He has become a threat to the economy and security," he said

"I will not indicate what plan I will take, what I do will be in the best interests of the people and the country," Abdullah said .

He also confirmed he would not agree to the opposition leader's request for a meeting to discuss a peaceful transition of power.

"There is nothing to discuss," he said.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The government will not be weakened by Zaid’s resignation

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government is strong and will not be weakened by Zaid’s resignation as the government is not dependent on a single individual.

He said the government’s move to introduce law reforms in the country will definitely continue, whether the minister responsible for the reforms, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, is around or not.

De facto Law Minister Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim once had his party membership suspended, and was denied the chance to contest in the election to retain his parliamentary seat.

Nevertheless, he was handpicked by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be appointed as a Cabinet minister despite the fact that he was not an elected representative, and be charged with the duties to oversee judicial reforms.

Six months after being handpicked, he resigned as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department but remains as a Senator. Is he “kacang lupakan kulit?”

He was reported to have submitted his resignation letter to Abdullah on Monday, a day after he had expressed unhappiness over the manner the government had used the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng; Seputeh Member of Parliament and senior Selangor state executive councilor Teresa Kok and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Anwar's strategic bluff

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that today September 16 the opposition coalition was poised to take over the Federal Government is merely a strategic political bluff.

Anwar chose Sept 16 as the day to form the government is a strategic political move as it is the day Malaysia was formed. It aimed at convincing parties in both Sabah and Sarawak to cross over. They were promised to be given more power and more respect under a Pakatan-led government but unfortunately he failed to do so.

We believe the grand strategy to attract BN parliamentary members to cross over is a remarkably astute political move by Anwar. If he has enough members of parliament, why does he not form the government as claimed for?

Could this be an audacious bluff? Ironically, it clearly shown the application of “Moke Theory” to condition and attract the members of parliament to cross over for fear of being left behind.

Initially, Anwar was reported as approaching one of the ruling parties in Sarawak and saying that he already had 20 MPs from Sabah. Those in Sarawak will be left out if they do not cross over and vice versa in Sabah. Now he is claiming that more than 31 Barisan MPs will cross over to Pakatan Rakyat.

The ruling party UMNO in Sabah currently holds 32 out of 60 state seats and PBB in Sarawak currently holds 35 out of 71 state seats. As far as they are concern, they are staunchly pro-BN.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi laughed off opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's claims that he had enough numbers to form the Government and that he would only show the list of crossovers from the Barisan Nasional to Abdullah with whom he is seeking a meeting.

"He would not have requested to see me. He would have just barged into my office with his MPs and supporters," Abdullah said.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tan detained as life was 'under threat'

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng was detained under the Internal Security Act because police believed her life was "under threat".

He said police intelligence had ascertained that Tan's safety was threatened because of what she had written about former Bukit Bendera Umno division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail.

"She had received threats recently from unknown individuals," he said at Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman, stressing that there was no political interest in the recent detentions.

The swift action was to ensure her safety, he said.

Syed Hamid said Tan was released yesterday after police were satisfied with her answers during questioning.

The reporter was released at 3.30pm and returned to her home in Bukit Mertajam.

Asked why police had to detain her under the ISA instead of just summoning her to a police station, Syed Hamid said police had acted according to the law.

"The police are just doing their job to ensure that national security and public order are maintained."

Pressed again on why the ISA was used against Tan, Syed Hamid said the report made by her was on a sensitive issue and police needed to get to the bottom of it.

"Umno also suspended Ahmad from holding any post for three whole years."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Should the UMNO transition plan in mid-2010 be challenged?

Pursuing the persuasion of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to rejoin Umno and Muhyiddin's call for the PM to rethink his transition plan, it seems that the intensifying pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi to quit ahead of the timetable is exerting.

Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recent statement said that the time frame for the national leadership transition in mid-2010 is too long and should be hastened.

He said he had no intention of hurting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s feeling but felt that it was his responsibility to convey the views.

Interestingly, Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Najib Abdul Razak said he would leave it to party members to decide if they wanted to accept a power transition pact knocked out between himself and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi whereby the latter would hand over the top post in both the country and party to him by 2010.

The new scenario arises after former Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Sabaruddin Chik, who disclosed that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been persuaded to rejoin Umno and the decision to support Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the post of Umno president in the party election in December. These were among the matters discussed at a private meeting at Dr Mahathir’s Cyberjaya residence last Saturday.

Besides Dr Mahathir and Sabaruddin, the meeting also involved Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tengku Razaleigh and former secretary-general Tan Sri Sanusi Junid.

Abdullah had said he was taken by surprise over the party vice-president's statement. Could the PM be forced to consider appointing Najib as the acting PM sooner than he had envisaged, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is the next Umno president or business is usual? Politics is the art of impossible, let’s wait and see.

Raja Petra detained under ISA

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was detained under Section 73 (1) of the ISA as he was deemed a threat to security, peace and public order.

He said Raja Petra, 58, was picked up at his house in Sungai Buloh at 1.10 pm under Section 73(1) of the Act.

Section 73(1) of the ISA permits the detention of an individual for up to 60 days.

Syed Hamid said the detention came in the wake of various statements published by Raja Petra in his blog “Malaysia Today”, the latest being a commentary which allegedly ridiculed Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

“We have called and advised him many times following the publishing of his statements but he has continued to write, so much so that they (the statements) could pose a threat (to security and public order),” he said.

Syed Hamid also confirmed that Sin Chew Daily, The Sun and Suara Keadilan were issued show cause letters. "They have been given a week to reply," he added.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cabinet ordered reinstate access to all blocked websites

The Cabinet’s decision to order the Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) to reinstate access to all blocked websites, including the controversial Malaysia Today news portal has been incredibly well received.

Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said, the Cabinet has asked the ministry to direct MCMC to reinstate access to any blocked website with immediate effect.

The order was made because there were other “harsher” laws in the country which the authorities could use to take action against the owners of blogs and websites, instead of blocking them.

“At the same time, it is asking MCMC to closely cooperate with the police, the Attorney-General’s Office and the Home Minister to monitor websites and blogs to ensure that they do not contain seditious, racist or religiously insensitive remarks.

“Instead of blocking access to such websites, the Cabinet wants authorities to investigate and act quickly against the owners of these sites,”
To monitor the content of websites and blogs hosted in Malaysia, Shaziman said that a committee comprising representatives from the A-G’s office, the police, and his ministry as well as the Home Ministry, had been set up two weeks ago.

NIK AZIZ: Mahathir to attack UMNO from within

Suddenly it seems that everyone is caught by the political move of Dr Mahathir.

It seems that Dr Mahathir's latest strategy against his successor Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is to make a return to UMNO and back leaders to take on and topple Abdullah as party president and prime minister.

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said it would be better for Dr Mahathir “to attack UMNO from within”.

“I’m excited as this will weaken UMNO. I don’t understand it when he left UMNO to attack Pak Lah (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi). I don’t see the logic of attacking UMNO from the outside... now he can confront the party from within,” he said.

Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said Pakatan Rakyat will benefit should Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rejoin UMNO as there will be “chaos in within Umno.” “It will be exciting to see him creating chaos,” he told reporters at his office here.

"I'm excited as this will weaken UMNO. I don't understand it when he left Umno to attack Pak Lah (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi). I don't see the logic of attacking UMNO from the outside... now he can confront the party from within," he said.

Police warns, stop making statements that will incite racial hatred

The professionalism, expertise and integrity of the polis force are well respected. As the body responsible for maintaining internal security and public order, polis carry out its duties in a professional manner and always comply with the constitution and abide by the law of the country.

In the highly sensitive political racist sentiment issues, polis once again commit to acts with the independence necessary to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing without fear or favor. The professionalism consistently had shown the enhancing in maintaining internal security and public order.

In the strongest manner yet, police yesterday warned all political parties, the public and the media not to make or post any statements on racial issues.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the issue was getting out of hand and threatening national security.

"We are warning everyone, irrespective of who you are, that all statements on racial sentiments must cease immediately or police will take action.

"This includes the press, whether it is the print, broadcast or electronic media. There have been too many statements on racial issues by various parties, which have been nothing but lies and deceit.

"These statements are in turn exploited by other irresponsible parties through text messages, multimedia messaging and various blogs on the Internet," he said.

Ismail said police would not hesitate to use the powers at their disposal against irresponsible parties.

"These statements on racial issues and sentiments are a threat to public order and national security. It is time to nip the problem in the bud before it boils over."

He assured the public that police were investigating the case against Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail, who was suspended for three years from the party yesterday, adding that it would be wrapped up as soon as possible.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MPs enjoying Ramadan in Taiwan caused Sept 16 target failed

As expected, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s targeted date of Sept 16 to takeover Government did not happen on Sept 16 due to the said defector MPs are currently ‘enjoying Ramadan’ in Taiwan.

He said he had information that the MPs, who went on the Taiwan trip, were not allowed to return before Sept 16 in order to thwart the Pakatan takeover. The Pakatan Rakyat leader had initially proclaimed that his takeover would happen on Sept 16.

“We definitely have sufficient numbers (of MPs) but we would have to wait first as they are currently ‘enjoying Ramadan’ in Taiwan,” said Anwar sarcastically.

“After discussing with PAS and DAP, the date can be postponed even though our target was Sept 16 previously. He added that detailed discussions would be held with Pakatan component parties PKR, PAS and DAP to study any possible consequences.

The meeting on Pakatan’s preparations for Sept 16 will be held tomorrow evening or the following day as he had to follow court proceedings before that.