Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dr M returns fromTokyo to some fanfare

Reported by Debra Chong from Malaysian Insider

SUBANG, May 27 — Some had been waiting since 4pm while others started gathering at the layby leading to the private airstrip where Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s plane would touch down from about 5pm. The former prime minister was due back from Japan.
The 300 odd supporters – some from as far as Jerlun, Kedah – and members of the media had gathered by the side of the road to greet Tun Dr Mahathir. Banners and placards welcoming him home were in evidence and every other person was seen wearing a blue badge which read "Perjuangan mu belum selesai." This line echoed the title of a poem Dr Mahathir wrote way back in May, 1996 – "Perjuangan Yang Belum Selesai."
Meanwhile, moisture-laden rain clouds were overhead. Finally, a metallic silver SUV with Dr Mahathir on board headed down the road. It was part of a convoy of cars leaving the area. The time was 6pm and a few drops of rain were beginning to fall.
He popped up through the sun roof and the crowd cheered: “Hidup Tun! Hidup Tun!” Although he looked cheerful, he sounded a tad tired as he addressed the crowd with a megaphone.
Even though he only spoke for a few minutes, he did not miss an opportunity to take yet another dig at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In an obvious reference to the loss of Pedra Branca, Dr Mahathir said, "Dengan Singapura pun takut."
He continued saying that Pak Lah was someone who "tidak kenang budi". This was another reference to Tun’s claim that Abdullah owes Dr Mahathir for bringing him back from the political wilderness, that he is where he is now because of Dr M’s kindness.
Finally he said he did not think he was treated any differently now that he had left Umno. Then he was off. The rain started coming down in earnest and the crowd disbanded. The three busloads from Jerlun, the ones from Tanah Merah, and the others from neighbouring Puchong drove away.
Dr Mahathir is back and we are sure to be hearing from him in the next few days.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Change Lifestyle to Curb Inflation- PM

It amused me that our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had to call upon Malaysian to change lifestyle to curb inflation. He made the statement in an interview with Japanese media in Tokyo. Interestingly on the same day it was also revealed in the Selangor state assembly that the wives of the former Barisan National state leaders ( Balkis ) made extreme expenses on

1. Use of Sports Facilites RM158,000
2. Batik Clothing for members & husbands RM128,000
3. Souvenir books RM49,000
4. Sports programme RM100,000
5. Deepavali & Hari Raya celebrations RM200,000
6. Sports uniforms RM100,000
7. Food for sports event RM30,000

I would suggest that the above advice should be directed to all BN leaders to change their lifestlye not to spend unnecessarily and not to the Rakyat who are actually living through their means from the high cost of petrol,rice and household products.They should follow the good example set by YAB Lim Guan Eng, the Chief Minister of Penang who not only refuse to stay at the CM residence but also fly in economic class.(reported in my earlier blog).

All those wasteful spending on Mega projects which does not really benefit the Rakyat should be stop. It was also reported that there are now many white elephant projects in Selangor which are hardly utilise like the Shah Alam Stadium and the 3C Complex in Subang Jaya.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pulau Batu Puteh Verdict...The Winner is S'pore

THE HAGUE, May 23 — Malaysia’s conduct since 1953 showed that sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh had passed over to Singapore, the International Court of Justice said today, ruling 12-4 in favour of the republic.
This decision resolves a thorny issue that has haunted bilateral ties between the countries for 28 years. But the ICJ decision will not be the final word on this matter in Malaysia where loss of territory to Singapore – even an outcrop of rocks – could turn into a political issue. For the past few weeks, Johoreans have been conducting special prayers in the hope that the court will decide in favour of Malaysia.
But the ICJ noted that the strength of Singapore’s claim lay in a letter sent by the state secretary of Johor in 1953 to the Singapore government where he informed that "the Johore government does not claim ownership of Pedra Branca." It could not accept Malaysia’s argument that the state secretary did not have authority or legal capacity to disclaim or confirm ownership of the island, said Judge Awn Shawkat al-Khasawneh.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pulau Batu Puteh Judgement...KL or S'pore?

May 21 — RTM1 will telecast live the judgment of the International Court of Justice on the sovereignty dispute over Pulau Batu Puteh from 4 pm on Friday, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said today.
The live telecast from The Hague in the Netherlands would enable Malaysians, especially Johoreans, to follow the proceedings from the Malaysian angle, he told a briefing at Parliament House.
Shabery said many Johoreans had been holding special prayers for a favourable judgment as the matter was something close to their hearts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tun Dr Mahathir and Sanusi Junid quit UMNO.

Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama reported that outspoken former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have announced that he is quitting UMNO with immediate effect.The shocking announcement came while delivering his speech at the 'The Position of Malays post-12th General Elections' in Alor Star.His resignation appears to be part of his strategy to force Abdullah to step down in the wake of the ruling coalition disastrous results in the recent General Election.Meanwhile The Malaysian Insider reported Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, a party veteran, also leaves Umno.

In an immediate response as reported by Malaysiakini, Shahrir Samad, the minister for domestic trade and consumer affairs, said Mahathir's surprise move could trigger a flurry of resignations from the embattled party that could force Abdullah to hold fresh general elections.

The Star's website quoted Umno information chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib as saying he was surprised at Mahathir's abrupt departure.
"Every member has the right to join or leave the party," he said.
Asked whether Umno would convene an emergency meeting in response to the move, he said that "we will wait and see".
Meanwhile, The Malaysian Insider reported that Dr Mahathir's son Datuk Mokhzani said his father's decision was a sign of no confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is fighting for political survival with many party members calling for his resignation to take responsibility for the losses in the March 8 general elections. He has asked other members of the party to follow suit," Mokhzani, a businessman, said.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

YAB Lim Guan Eng- Leadership by Example

Extract from Ning's Manager Blog

As Ning and I were lining up to board our flight to Penang on Wednesdayafternoon, I spotted a familiar face standing in front of us in the queue.So I whispered to Ning.

Me: Look in front of us. It's Guan Eng.

Ning: Who? Me: YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng, the Chief Minister of Penang.

Ning: No lah.

Me: Yes lah! I know how he looks lah. It's the CM lah.

Ning: Takkan CM jalan sorang sorang. If he's the CM, where's the bodyguards and the officers and the rombongan and kaum kerabat?

Me: Tak percaya? Watch and learn.

So I walked up to Yang Amat Berhormat, introduced myself and asked to takea picture. He smiled and obliged.

YAB CM: Hey, I know you! You're Ning Baizura!

Ning: YAB Lim, good afternoon.

YAB CM: Come, come, we take a picture. Vernon, here's my card. Email me the pictures OK.

Me: Definitely, sir.Ambik kau.
CM pun peminat katanya!Ning and I really felt honoured. But we felt more surprised that the ChiefMinister of a state was travelling all by himself like any normal rakyatjelata. But the biggest surprise in store for us was yet to come.As usual, we sat in First Class. I expected the CM to be seated somewherein front of us but then I realised he wasn't in First Class. Where did he
disappear to???
I popped my head round the curtain that veils First Class and Economy Classand guess who I saw sitting in the front row seat of Economy quietlyreading the newspapers?YAB Mr. Lim, you have my deepest respect. You have made history by beingthe first Chief Minister in this country to sit in Economy Class whilst inoffice as Chief Minister. You really mean what you say when you talk aboutcost-cutting. Sir, you have shown me leadership by example.
Of course I asked permission to take his picture sitting in Economy and helaughed. And I said I'd blogged about it and he laughed some more, and gavepermission. Ketua Menteri yang berjiwa rakyat.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Alma Mater...more photos of Malacca High School

Malacca High School assembly area where we used to assemble for our Monday Negaraku song

Malacca High School field surrounded by some of the old blocks and HSOBA building.

The school hall which was built from student and public donation during my time.

My Alma Mater, Malacca High School is the second oldest school in the country after Penang Free School. I was admited to Malacca High School in the year 1975 doing my Form 1 and left school after completed my Form 5. Even though I was qualified to attend Form 6 Arts, I opted to study Building Technology at Tunku Abdul Rahman College in Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

My wife cutting the Mother's Day celebration cake.

My three Angels with her mum in front of the cake.

The lovely Mother's Day cake

Last night we have a simple mother's day celebration at home. My three daughters bought a small cake for her mum from their own pocket money.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grand Saga vs People Saga

The Bandar Mahkota Cheras to Cheras Kajang Highway Map from Malaysiakini

The never ending dispute on the 3 feet concrete barricades put up by the Grand Saga toll concessionaire have caused much frustration and and anger to the surrounding residents of Bandar Mahkota Cheras. Not only they were forced to travel extra 6km but also have to pay extra 90 sen for the toll. After the change of the Selangor state government to Pakatan Rakyat, the residents are getting bolder and supported by their newly elected MP have taken down the concrete barriers on their own.
But with the help of the police, Grand Saga managed to erect back the barrier. However the concrete blocks were swiftly tear down again by the residents. Emotion ran high at yesterday incident which saw more than 1,000 residents and some 100 police forces involved in a showdown whereby teargas and water cannons were fired at protesters. The MP for Segambut was also injured in the tussle and was admitted to the hospital for observation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Controversial political blogger Raja Petra chooses to go jail than to post for the RM5,000 bail over the Sedition charge. The clampdown on bloggers who are only offering their opinion and views on current issues are seen by many as a step backward by the Pak Lah administration.

Immediately after yesterday arrest a fundraisng was organised to collect fund for posting the bail and the updates as at 09.09am 7th May 2008 - Total Donation after they call off the campaign
From CIMB bank account : RM24,500.00
From Paypal account : $4,330.10 USD

The support from the public was fantastics and overwhelming. In an immediate response, the Bar Council expressed shocked and disappointment over the government's decision to charge Malaysia Today webmaster Raja Petra Kamaruddin with sedition.

Calling the Sedition Act 1948 an "archaic legislation which should be repealed", its president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Act was incompatible with Malaysian society. Meanwhile,
the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) are concerned that the Sedition Act continues to be used to harass bloggers, contradicting the positive attitude that the government exhibited towards bloggers post election.

Later today, Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin refused to meet his wife who went to the Sungai Buloh Prison to persuade him to post bail for a sedition charge.
Raja Petra's counsel Jadadish Chandra said Marina Lee Abdullah went to the prison with another counsel Matthias Chang at about 9am to facilitate the bail process.Jadadish said Raja Petra had informed prison officers he did not want to meet anyone including his wife."Raja Petra is refusing bail and officers had told Marina her husband had also refused to eat since Tuesday," he told Bernama.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Raja Petra charged with sedition- source The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, May 6 — Prominent blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin was charged today with sedition for allegedly implying that the deputy prime minister was involved in the sensational killing of a young Mongolian woman.
Raja Petra, editor of the news portal Malaysia Today, pleaded innocent to the charge. He was allowed bail of RM5,000 but failed to post it. Hearing of his case has been set for Oct 6-10.
Dozens of opposition members and bloggers gathered to show support for Raja Petra outside the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court where police summoned him to be charged.
His supporters slammed the charge, which carries a maximum punishment of three years in jail, as a blow to freedom of speech.
"Raja Petra has done a lot to raise people's awareness of issues," said Nurul Izzah Anwar, an opposition member of Parliament and daughter of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Alma Mater...more photos of Banda Hilir

The back gate of Banda Hilir English School where some of the students waited for their buses.

The school football field which still exist and the canteen at the background.

The school assembly area where we gather every Monday for the Negaraku and speeches

Banda Hilr school hall entrance which still exist.Remember watching the Mohd Ali boxing match live on TV in this hall.
I like to share with my schoolmates who were in Banda Hilr English School the inside photos of some of the school blocks and facilities. Most of the old blocks are still there while there are old blocks replaced by new buildings. However the school hall and library are still around and so is the football field.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Down Memory Lane...revisited my Alma Mater

The main block of Malacca High School.

In front of Malacca High School Guard House entrance

Myself in front of Banda Hilir English School entrance

Signboard of Banda Hilir English School.

Returned back to my Alma Mater after a lapse of more than 30 years.Went back to visit my primary school which was then called B.H.E.S Banda Hilir English School.Last left the school in the year 1974 after completed my Standard 6.Luckily the guard was kind enough to let me in to take some photos. Most of the school buildings remain intact except with new coat of paint and some minor renovation.It was located in Jalan Banda Hilir and I can still recalled we waited for our school bus at a field opposite the school.However the field is now occupied by Dataran Pahlawan, a new shopping complex.

Later went over to Malacca High School,my secondary school which was just a walking distance away from BHES.Luck was again with me when the guard allowed me in to take photographs. Walked into the school field where there was a cricket game going on.Fond memories returned as I strolled along the school.Managed to snap some photos of the school blocks,canteen,field and assembly area.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mother's Day Celebration in Malacca.

Group family photos taken with mum and dad after the dinner

Myself with my parents and other family members.

My mum and dad enjoying the vegatarian dinner

Went back Malacca with my family to celebrate Mother's Day with my mum and dad.My brothers and sister also came with their family members.We gather without fail every year at one of the vegetarian restaurant at Melaka Raya.Usually we will celebrate early to avoid the crowd.

Friday, May 2, 2008

THE WINDS OF CHANGE- Source The Economist.

AS MALAYSIA'S new parliament opened this week, a mood of change was in the air not felt since the country's independence from Britain in 1957. The governing coalition, led since then by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), is panicking after suffering its poorest-ever showing in the general election held in March. The knives are out for Abdullah Badawi, the prime minister. The opposition, newly assertive and, so far, united behind its leader, Anwar Ibrahim, claims that at least 30 MPs from the ruling coalition are preparing to defect, which would be enough for it to take power. A change of government in Malaysia—a fanciful notion until recently—now seems a real possibility.
To fend off calls for his resignation Mr Badawi has said that after UMNO's annual conference, which has been postponed until December, he will discuss handing the party leadership (and thus the prime ministership) to his deputy, Najib Razak. Not soon enough, say his internal critics, including Mahathir Mohamad, the prime minister's embittered predecessor, and Razaleigh Hamzah, a former finance minister and rival to Dr Mahathir, who intends to run for the leadership. Mr Badawi has pleaded with local party branches to stop calling emergency meetings to discuss the poor election result and question his leadership, so far to no avail.
In a bid to salvage his reputation, Mr Badawi has belatedly started keeping the bold promises of reform that he made on coming to office in 2003. Foremost among these was curbing corruption within the government. But the public thinks it has actually worsened under his administration. Last year, grave allegations against the then head of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the national police chief were dismissed by the attorney-general's office for “lack of evidence”. The prime minister announced this month that the ACA, widely seen as subservient to the politicians it is supposed to supervise, would be replaced by a more independent body. Opposition leaders are pressing him to create an independent police-complaints body, a promise Mr Badawi had broken after meeting stiff resistance from police chiefs.
Another of Mr Badawi's pledges, unkept until now, was to reform the country's weak and mistrusted judiciary. The justice system was wrecked by Dr Mahathir in 1988, after the courts ordered UMNO's dissolution. Dr Mahathir had the constitution changed to strip the courts of their independence from government. He also sacked the head of the Supreme Court and five other senior judges. Last year the opposition highlighted the need for judicial reforms by releasing a video-clip of a top lawyer apparently boasting of his ability to fix judicial appointments. In his cabinet shuffle after the election Mr Badawi appointed a prominent legal reformer, Zaid Ibrahim, to shake up the justice system. Last month the prime minister announced that the changes would include a new, independent commission to recommend candidates for the judiciary. The six judges sacked in 1988 will be given compensation but no apology.
Other better-late-than-never measures from Mr Badawi include loosening the state's tight grip on the press. Mr Anwar's People's Justice Party is to be allowed to publish its own newspaper, a right it has been seeking for ten years. The government has also revoked its ban on Makkal Osai, a paper read by the country's ethnic-Indian minority, which had given ample coverage to the opposition's election campaign and to Hindraf, a radical protest group campaigning for the Indian minority's rights, which the government has accused of terrorist links. The government is also reconsidering some of its lavish public-works projects, which have a tendency to be awarded to UMNO-friendly firms. A high-speed “bullet” train link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, costing 10 billion Malaysian ringgit ($3.2 billion), was the first to come under review.
Welcome as they are, these moves seem unlikely to save Mr Badawi. Mr Anwar crows that his opposition coalition, the People's Alliance, will be in government by September. He says he is simply waiting until he has enough potential defections from the government benches to secure a comfortable majority before making his move. There have been a few defections at state level but, so far, no MPs have jumped. Mr Anwar has been courting support in the Malaysian part of Borneo, hoping that some of the gaggle of pro-government parties there—on which the ruling coalition now depends for its majority—might defect en masse.
Mr Anwar has been prime minister in waiting before. He was deputy to Dr Mahathir until 1998 but the two men fell out and the then prime minister had him jailed on dubious charges. A ban on Mr Anwar's taking political office expired last month. Rebranded as an anti-UMNO reformer, he can now stand for parliament again. His chances of success in his second shot at power hinge not just on whether he can attract enough government MPs—ideally principled ones, not just those available to the highest bidder—but on whether his opposition coalition, an uneasy mix of secularists, Islamists and ethnic-Chinese activists can hold together.

Anwar in Times Magazine 100 most influential people- Source Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — He is not in Parliament yet and is still putting finishing touches on a coherent Opposition in Malaysia but Time magazine have picked Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as one of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2008.
He shares the platform with the Dalai Lama, Hu Jintao, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rupert Murdoch, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and others.
This is the fifth annual list of leaders, thinkers, heroes, scientists, sports stars drawn up by the US news magazine. The de facto leader of Pakatan Rakyat is one of a clutch of Asians who were listed in the leaders and revolutionaries category. The format calls for a prominent individual to write a short essay about each person on the top 100 list.
Anwar’s citation was penned by Paul Wolfowitz, the former US Deputy Secretary of Defence. This is what he wrote:
"During the 1990s, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and a group of US Senators organised a forum to exchange views among East Asians and Americans. Asked at one session about the role of Islam in politics, Anwar replied, 'I have no use for governments which call themselves Islamic and then deny basic rights to half their population.'
"This devout Muslim leader was an impressive and eloquent advocate of tolerance, democracy and human rights. So we were shocked by his arrest and trial in 1998 on charges of corruption and sodomy. I felt his real 'crime' had been to challenge Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose impressive record will be forever stained by his treatment of Anwar.
"I joined Senator Sam Nunn and others to speak out in Anwar's defence. When he was finally released from prison in 2004, US policy on Iraq was unpopular in Malaysia, and Anwar was harshly critical. It would have been easy for him to disown our friendship, but he is not that kind of person. He kept the channels of dialogue open, even while making clear our disagreements.
"Anwar, 60, is back in the centre of Malaysian politics. The coalition led by his wife Wan Azizah has become the main Opposition bloc. His future role can be determined only by Malaysians. One can hope that they will embrace his brand of tolerance, valuing dialogue across political differences, and that this courageous leader will continue to play a leading role on the world stage."
This recognition for Anwar comes at a time when he is still trying to stabilise the alliance between the DAP, PKR and Pas, and find a place for himself in the new political landscape of Malaysia. He was barred from contesting the election on March 8 because his conviction for abuse of power.
Over the years, Anwar has tried to fight off claims that he is a stooge of the United States and the West. That was one of the main planks in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s attack on Anwar after sacking him from government and Umno in 1998. More recently, Anwar has had to defend his ties with Wolfowitz, who resigned as the head of the World Bank in shame and is viewed as one of the hawks in the Bush administration which encouraged the US to invade Iraq in 2003.
Still, Anwar’s inclusion in the top 100 list shows how far he has managed to rehabilitate his reputation since his conviction on sodomy was overturned by the Federal Court in 2004. In Malaysia, he has been touted as the prime minister-in-waiting and abroad Anwar has recaptured the media headlines.
There is a clutch of individuals on the list who will raise eyebrows, including Baitullah Mahsud, the alleged mastermind of the Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.
Time in its report said that he is known to be in his mid-30s and to lead thousands of militants, many of them Mehsud tribesmen, in Waziristan, a tribal region on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. In his first television interview, conducted by al-Jazeera last year, Mehsud said his ultimate aim is to attack New York City and London.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Enter Mahathir the Blogger

Finally our outspoken ex PM have created his own blog with his first comment on the Judiciary which have invited more than 300 comments. Quite a good start.Most are welcoming comments unlike those sarcastic comments on Khir Toyo and Ali Rustam blogs. This shows that Tun Dr.Mahathir still command the respect from the people.Have just added his blog to my Blogroll for your convenience. Happy blogging.