Saturday, June 28, 2008

DTRA 8th Blood Donation Drive

De Tropicana Condo Resident Association(DTRA) and Pusat Darah Negara ( National Blood Centre) will jointly organise the 8th Blood Donation Drive as described below:

Date: 6th July 2008 ( Sunday )

Time: 10am to 4pm

Venue: De Tropicana Condominium Multi Purpose Hall

Jalan 2/116B, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama,

58200 Kuala Lumpur.

( Opposite Golden Sun Restaurant)

Dear Potential Donors:

1) Please have at least 6 hours of sleep before donating.

2) Refrain from taking alcohol 1 day before donating.



Sunday, June 22, 2008

Live from Stadium Shah Alam

Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang listening to Khalid speech at the VIP stand

DAP giant banners displayed at the stadium
Part of the strong 40,000 crowds at the stadium

Attended the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat 100 days celebration last Friday at Shah Alam stadium. The stadium was packed with more than 40,000 supporters and the guest of the night is none other than Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The event was also attended by DAP advisor Sdr Lim Kit Siang and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders.Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid in his opening speech announced many goodies to the Selangor rakyat which included free water supply and 14 days paternity leave to government servants.

The stadium was decorated with two giant sized DAP banners and other banners from PAS and Keadilan. There were also some banners asking the Pakatan Rakyat supporters to boycot the Utusan Malaysia papers.Two huge screen was erected in the stadium to provide better view to the the large crowds.

The crowd waited anxiously for Anwar speech anticipating for some important announcement from him. However there is no surprise speech from him. He praised SAPP leader Yong Teck Lee for his brave stance in fighting for the rights of the Sabahan and invited all Umno members to join forces with Pakatan Rakyat for the benefit of the nation. He questioned the logic of the petrol price hike by BN since Petronas is making an hefty 70 billion profit last year when petrol price was just 70 US per barrel and should be earning double profit due to the current price of US 130 per barrel.The government should not compare our fuel price with other developed countries like US and UK which have higher standard of living, he added.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

No action against SAPP for now: Malaysiakini

Barisan Nasional supreme council today resolved not to take action against Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) until it gets an "official statement" from the party for its planned of no confidence vote against the prime minister.

BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor said this today on behalf of all 13 component party members, minus Sapp which was not invited to the emergency meeting.After the two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre, Tengku Adnan read out the BN supreme council's decision to the media."All the BN component parties condemn Yong Teck Lee's (Sapp president) statement. His statement is unprincipled, unethical and is against BN's beliefs and spirit of unity."All the component parties also want Sapp supreme council to confirm or reject Yong's statement yesterday," said Tengku Adnan

Action would only be decided against Sapp after it's "official statement" pertaining Yong's statement, said the BN secretary-general.Another decision reached at the meeting was for parliamentarians from all BN component parties to attend all parliamentary sessions."They must also follow BN's instructions and reject any no-confidence motions against the prime minister. All the component parties here also voiced their support Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the prime minister of Malaysia," said Tengku Adnan.

When asked why Sapp was not invited to today's meeting, he said: "We did not invite them because we were going to discuss about them".He said that BN component parties have been warned before not to air their grievances through the media but to bring it up at its supreme council meetings.Representatives of all component parties were present at the meeting.

However, one notable absentee was Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who could not return on time from his overseas trip.Also absent was PPP president M Kayveas and Upko chief Bernard Dompok, also believed to be overseas. However

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Alternatives News: Malaysiakini,Malaysia Today

The mainstream media is slowly and surely getting less and less readership due to the preference of the Rakyat for a more balance and fast news which they can easily access from the alternative news online portal like Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today.Unlike Malaysia Today which is a free website, Malaysiakini need to be subscribe for a nominal fee.The former is manage by the controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who was earlier charged under the Sedition Act, while the latter by Steven Gan.Both have quite a substantial viewership which could easily outperform the mainstream media like The Star and NST.

Sensing the change in the trend of readership and with the control of 5 states by the Pakatan Rakyat government, The Star was quick to change their pro government reporting to a more balanced news coverage and are able to maintain their readership which easily outbeat NST. However Utusan Malaysia still keep to their old style of coverage and was subsequently blacklisted from the Pakatan Rakyat coalition for their bias reporting.

During the recent 12th General Election, Malaysiakini idea of giving free viewership for 2 weeks was a good strategic move.The website was rewarded with very heavy traffic viewership which could only be access by HTML mode.The latest election news update was fantastic fast and accurate.While RTM and TV3 were slowly flowing out their election results on Sabah,Sarawak and none on the states won by the Opposition,the alternative news were already announcing the forming of the new government by the Opposition in the 5 states. The mainstream media need to take corrective action to change or they will slowly dissappear from the viewer screen.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Your say: 'There was never any subsidy' From Malaysiakini

'BN has been cheating the people. If we follow their logic, then everything the government spends on is a ‘subsidy’ of one sort or another.'

On PM: Understand reasons for fuel hike

Al Tugauw: There was never any subsidy. The BN government is and has been cheating the people. If we follow their twisted logic, then everything the government spends on is a ‘subsidy’ of one sort or another.
It is the Malaysian people that have been subsidising shoddy government, mismanagement and extravagance, even sheer waste and corruption, the brunt of which is being borne by the hardcore poor of the oil-producing states, Sarawak, Sabah and Terengganu, who should rightfully have a far better claim for ‘subsidies’.

BH: Year in and out, we hear GLCs reporting increased pre-tax profits of certain percentage, we hear of toll operators reporting increased profits and we also hear of GLCs intending to increase charges to cover the so-called increased of utilities provision.
Hey, wait a minute. Despite all the hue and cry from the public, these corporations continued to increase prices and later at the end of the year, proudly announced their annual achievements of certain high figures
Doesn’t this sound like robbing from the poor to feed the rich? With all these crazy increases, we should be asking the government to reserve their savings from the subsidies to pay off the toll concessionaires so that all roads can be toll-free.
And return Petronas to the rightful owner - the citizens of Malaysia.

Put Off: This is another example of how the BN government does things without having thorough studies and discussions on the pros and cons of the decision made. I can understand how Sabah politicians feel over the manner of how the hike in fuel prices was decided upon.
So, what are you waiting for Sabah politicians? Umno treats you guys as 'invisible' or 'insignificant' in BN. At least Pak Lah should have consulted you guys in BN before making this harsh decision.

Johnny Koay: Malaysia exports its high grade crude and import the low grade for our usage.
In less than two years, the price of crude has risen five fold, hence the rise in transport and food prices.
This does have a significant effect on the lower-income groups. There will be a hike in utility tariffs again thus helping TNB’s annual profit soar higher than RM200 million ringgit. Why can't TNB take a smaller profit and helps the rakyat with no increase in the electricity tariffs?
If the BN government really cares for the rakyat they should instruct TNB to help. The BN government has bailed out MAS and other non-performing government companies. When they are in a fix, they ask the rakyat to ‘sabar’ or change our lifestyle.
How to change our life style with a poor, shambling public transportation? I think it is time for the opposition to look into this poor public transport system in their respective states and act upon it.
The BN government needs to be change instead of the rakyat needing to change. Perhaps then, our vision to be a developed country by 2020 can be achieved.

Mooshie Mooshie: You who call yourself the prime minister of Malaysia, you have sickened everybody by increasing the petrol price recently. You remember some clown from your cabinet saying the increase will be in August? Look at what has happened., another lie.
Can't anybody from your cabinet tell the truth anymore these days? Maybe you as a PM also like to lie too. Remember what you said about the last increase? The money would all go to improving public transport.
Do you see any improvement in the Klang valley? Or have the monies (about RM4 billion) saved gone ‘to don’t know where’? What happened to the savings promised to improve the public transport system. We are all very disgusted.

Aike Dopan: The PM has stopped listening. And if you recall, he asked fellow Malaysians for more time in office to show what we could do. He ended up not only not improving our lifestyles as citizens but instead advising us to change the way we live.
So what has he achieved so far? Yes, as long as we can keep him in his office, we are sure of one thing - he will continue to raise the cost of living in this country, period.

The Devil's Economist: The reduction in fuel and, by extension, electricity subsidies is painful reminder to both the rakyat (and the government) as to the price to be paid from the wallet (and politically from the fallout) when unsustainable subsidies are offered and eventually forced to be withdrawn.
There is a bigger unsustainable subsidy that will eventually be withdrawn despite Umno's desperate attempts to retain it as a pillar of their power through political patronage. I am referring to the NEP and its variously-named successor policies. When the NEP commenced, it was sustainable as about 45% of the population was subsidising the remaining 55% of the population.
Thanks to differential growth rates in the population (due in large part to BN government policies), that number today is closer 30% subsidising the remaining 70% of the population. Based on current population growth rates, the ratio will eventually reach 20% subsidising 80%.
Go further into the future and we'll reach 10% subsidising 90%. It’s a no-brainer that at some (tipping) point, those numbers are not sustainable. The drag on the economy will be so great that the government will be forced to withdraw the NEP overnight.
The longer the NEP is retained, the harder and more painful it will be for the government of the day to remove this unsustainable subsidy scheme. It may be better to contemplate a phased withdrawal of NEP over a five to 10-year period and give the subsidised population segment a chance to adapt than to be forced to cancel it overnight due to economic collapse. That would be the ultimate betrayal of that segment of the population which Umno claims to represent.
Let this be a reminder to all political parties (including Pakatan Rakyat) aspiring to govern - subsidies may earn you cheap political gain in the short-term but eventually you will pay the price in the future when these subsidies prove economically unsustainable.

Kuberan Perumal: The ex-Mayor of London - Ken Livingstone and some of the UK MPs used to travel using public transport to prove that their public transport really worked and at the same time they could judge for themselves the quality of the services provided.
My question will our MPs and ministers do so for a month just to get the feel of ours?

Rakyat Malaysia: What was the ruling government thinking when they decided on the hike in the fuel price? According to our beloved prime minister, ‘we can’t satisfy everyone’ so who are you satisfying here?
It is an unbelievable decision as though the government is out all the way to punish the voters as to their ‘defection’ in the last general election. The government should have discussed this hike issue in parliament so that the other elected members of parliament are given an opportunity to voice their concerns and be fair to the rakyat.

Stanley Iswara: With this increase in fuel prices I say: 1. Let Malaysians pay the market price for cars. 2. Stop wasting billions on protecting Proton. 3. Revoke the lop-sided agreements the government made with the crony IPPs.
4. Revoke the lop-sided agreements the government made with the crony toll operators. 5. Use the insane profits that Petronas made for over 40 years to offset the high petrol prices for the benefit of the people.
6. Revamp public transport. 7. Publish Petronas’ accounts to show how our petrol money was spent by Petronas and the government and 8. Stop all wasteful projects that benefit cronies.

Edmond Wee: The government implement policies that affect the country. However, many of the policies don't seem to care for the public. They do not appear to know what the general public is feeling. There is now to be paid 78 extra sen for every litre of petrol and RM1 extra for every litre of diesel. That's a big jump.
The government doesn't seem to be very sophisticated in handling this problem. Eight percent of our subsided fuel is smuggled out. Fishermen get their fuel at RM1.43. Wow! Smuggle to Thailand for easy money.
A big problem with Malaysia is that the government aka Big Brother (BB) likes to make all the decisions alone It's a good thing to lead but BB can only lead so much. The time is now fo rwe must make our grievances heard. No more subservience to Big Brother.
Meet your MPs, demand answers from them. Demand improvement from them. Don't stop until there's improvement.

MyMy: Actually, if the Malaysian government fully owns Petronas, then there is not really a subsidy. It is loss in income.

Thanneer: Here is a radical suggestion to fight the reduction in fuel subsidies. Target one of the petrol providers and boycott their stations completely. Once their revenues go down, theoretically they can either close shop or reduce prices.
If they choose to close shop, we can continue this with another company. This can be executed as long as we get mass cooperation from motorists.

Xroy: I, for one, believe that there is a case for the hike in petrol prices, and I am sure many other Malaysians believe so too though what irks the ordinary man-in-the-street is that this increase will have dire consequences on him and yet for others it will mean nothing but a few ringgit more.
For all their hard work, Malaysian workers have been completely ignored for ages by this government, whilst members of parliament and state assembly persons suddenly become rich and very rich.
The poor worker whose toil actually built this nation has been shown nothing but total contempt and disregard, treated with suspicion, and left in the lurch with nothing but empty promises.
The Singapore worker makes more than twice what his Malaysian counterpart does while Thai workers are fast catching up. Yet each time there is talk about minimum wage, the government shuts off the issue.
The gap in salary of the ordinary employee and his boss are light years apart, and yet it is these very people, the bosses, who lobby the government not to provide minimum wage. A comparative study of wages and the gaps between management and worker will reveal that Malaysian workers are indeed exploited, and exploited very badly.
Corruption is the biggest issue that ordinary man in the street is most angry about as corrupt politicians have amassed wealth for themselves and their families. What is the 40 percent rise in petrol prices to these peopleas there is still more to be made for the national coffers.
Now with this hike, the government is promising rebate payments to ‘ease the burden of the poor’. They must really be thinking that the rakyat are nothing more than a bunch of beggars and fools.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Must read! Readers comment from Malaysiakini on Petrol Hike.

Your say: 'Leaders with the thickest skins on earth'
Jun 11, 08 8:58am

'When the rakyat can’t even afford to pump gas, they have the cheek to announce a so-called cost savings plan which still consists of fully-paid holidays but ‘only’ confined to Asean countries.'
PM makes RM2 bil cost cuts after fuel hike

Lemon: We have leaders with the thickest skins on earth. When the rakyat can’t even afford to pump gas to go to work and we are turning off lights at home to save on electricity, our leaders have the cheek to announce a so called cost savings plan which still consists of fully paid holidays for ministers without a spending limit, and which ‘only’ confined to Asean countries. What?
If you guys wanted to for a holiday, shouldn’t you pay for your own as opposed to the government seeking additional funding from the rakyat? For goodness sake, the whole bunch of you, please just resign or you will be booted out of office.
Our most ‘caring’ leaders has also chosen to bleed the rakyat first before digging into their own pocket. Cost-cutting plans, which should have been kickstarted long time ago is only proposed now because the rakyat is getting very angry.

Lilian Tan: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's proposed cost-cutting initiatives to placate Malaysians are truly laughable. Why on earth would we be impressed that our ministers can only now go to week-long vacations to Asean and local destinations when the livelihoods of so many Malaysians are in jeopardy?
To show that he feels for the people, the prime minister should sell his RM200 million jet and fly commercial like everyone else. And how about cutting down the number of ministers from 28 to 14 and replacing their gas-guzzling official cars of Mercedes Benzes and BMWs with Proton Perdanas?

Peter Ooi: At first glance Pak Lah's cost cutting exercise looked very impressive. But knowing that even a beggar in China could part with his last coin to donate to those unfortunate earthquake victims, it was not really of a sacrifice on the part of our ministers.
Before the oil price hike, many Malaysians were already living from hand to mouth. Many of the children of the poor have to labour for a few ringgit just to make sure that their families have two simple meals of broth with salted fish. Oh yes, some may even have to skip one daily meal.
Now the prices of goods would definitely rise higher and would make life for them extremely hard. In view of this scenario, limiting our ministers’ holidays to Asean countries is no big deal. Already they are having such good life.
It would be more reasonable to scrap all holidays for them. Remember beggars can part with their last coin for quake victims. Doing away with their holidays would not in any way make them poorer than the beggars.
One more act that Pak Lah should do is to ban ministers from taking their spouses along on overseas trips. Besides that, the PM should also withdraw servants allowances for ministers and top government officials.
In times of difficulties, their wives can help to cook and wash for the husbands. This is not too big a sacrifice for after all the pathetic conditions we are in are a result of their incompetency in managing the country.
Oh yes, Pak Lah, might have conveniently forgotten to scrap prestigious events like the Monsoon Cup and the Formula 1. Those two races are not actually enriching the lives of the poor and average. As I see it, it is more of an occasion for the rich and well-connected to mingle with celebrities.

Dr Krishnarajah: What? Did we queue up during polling day to vote in somebody in so that he can enjoy life like having free overseas holidays, entertainment allowance, police outriders? If I had known this I would have done some apple-polishing and got myself too to stand for elections, never mind even if it is at Tanjong Rambutan.
Who cares who I am supposed to serve? From what I see, the ministers care for no one but themselves and serve no one but only themselves. Now I understand why. Oh dear. No wonder some with lovely careers throw it away and give some pathetic reason that they want to serve the needs of the people and the country and so become ministers and politicians.
I am too disgusted to comment further – when the tiger has already tasted blood, you mean to say it will settle for 7-Up? No way, man.

Yumcious: In keeping with his performance so far, this PM is again introducing new half- measures. I'm sure I won't be the only one to raise a hue-and-cry about these so-called stand of solidarity the ministers are taking with the people (if you can believe what Najib is saying in the press).
We are still paying for the ministers' all-expenses paid holidays? And we are still paying for their monthly entertainment expenses, albeit 10% less? Half-measures, half-measures. If he is serious, take a pay cut and have no holidays on our dime, and have no ‘entertainment’.
Seriously, does he want to tell us that when they meet somebody, they will pay for the coffee and GROs? And when they have done all that, they then tell us they ‘understand our plight’. They should just shut up.

Yih Feng: The current mess is wholly and entirely the government's fault. Their gross economic mismanagement over the decades and their systematic monopoly of power to deny others a fair chance to manage the economy has resulted in this.
In fact, it is obscene for such fools to be paid close to what they are paid for doing essentially nothing. In any other job, they would have been sacked long ago. But with their many instruments (state-owned media, ISA etc.) they've prevented their own sacking.
I find it digusting that our DPM claims that the government is shouldering the burden just because they lose 10% of their close to RM20k 'entertainment' allowance a month. I find it even more disgusting that no apology has been made for their complete incompetence, and that they find it perfectly okay for the rakyat to be burdened with their own misdeeds.

Confused: It's a tough decision for Pak Lah to reduce the oil subsidy and raise the petrol prices as we really need to optimise our resources. However, what we cannot understand is that certain policies and wasteful projects continue to steam ahead.
Examples - the issuance of AP permits to a few fat rent-seekers. Why can’t we allow the motorists to bid for the AP permits and the onies go directly to the treasury? Why allow wasteful projects to continue but discontinue beneficial projects like the Penang monorail which is ‘green’ and provide an alternative for motorists there to save on petrol and avoid the nightmarish jams?

Nick Chang: Due to the fuel hike, our PM is always comparing the fuel price with other countries such as Japan, UK, US, etc but may I know did he ever think or compare our car taxes with those other countries?
The car taxes here alone are more then the car selling prices in other countries. Who can compare with this? Can somebody tell me? How many times have the rakyat requested for the government to show us the Petronas accounts but still there no news about this.
Why? Should we happy to be Malaysians as PM always says 'We should be proud of being Malaysian'? But what do we get instead?

KevinP: Firstly, thanks Mr PM for making it known to Malaysians the benefits of all the cabinet ministers and deputy ministers. In fact, it would be good to actually publish the salaries and all the terms of their employment. After all, we Malaysians put you there so I guess we have the right to know what are your perks while in office are right?
Secondly, Mr. PM, a 10% cut of their entertainment allowances? All the while I was led to believe that you were normally being entertained rather than the one doing the entertaining? No?

Rop: This barang naik government should do away with all the unnecessary perks and sky-high allowances for all their ministers and MPs who are slyly enjoying at the rakyat’s expense. If they really want to empathise and feel how the ordinary rakyat is going to experience the great, big financial crunch that is looming, why can't they tighten their belts like we have by paying for their own transport instead fo posh taxpaer-paid transport?
Why don't they force themselves to live and suffer like how we ordinary the rakyat are going to do in the near immediate future? The recent cuts announced are just a mere pittance compared with the perks and allowances they get. Cakap kena benar-benar serupa bikin.

Stv: The costing down of the BN government announced by Pak Lah is actually a symbolic move. The rakyat has no intention to cut the national leaders’ allowances and we even can increase their salaries and allowances by double if they are capable of managing the country well in terms of security, safety and the economy.
This costing down was only 2.86% of Petronas last year's profit (RM70 billion). We are more focused on the profit of national oil company and we want to know where has its profits gone?
To the BN government, please do not treat the rakyat as children. Cutting down on the allowances of ministers and deputy ministers will not divert the rakyat's attention from Petronas’ RM700 billion profit since its establishment in 1974.

One Rakyat: If these people (the ministers etc) are honest in serving the rakyat, there is really no necessity for an ‘entertainment allowance’ for them. Contentment in heart through doing a good job is enough to give satisfaction to good souls.
No necessity for an ‘entertainment allowance’ at the rakyat’s expense. The rakyat go on their holidays etc out of their own pockets. Why can’t these people do the same? After all, they have opportunities to make big money (like it or not, they do use their clout).
If these ministers don’t like the idea of a zero entertainment allowance, they are welcome to pack up and go. The rakyat do not really want them, Use the allowance and salary money to subsidise the fuel.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Anwar: I will resign if I fail to reduce petrol price

By Kevin Tan The Edge Daily

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is expected to become the prime minister if the opposition coalition takes over the government, said he will resign if he fails to reduce pump prices of petrol.

“As soon as Pakatan Rakyat forms the government, oil prices will be reduced. I will resign if oil prices are not reduced,” he told a press conference at Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) new headquarters here yesterday.

Anwar said Pakatan was committed to reduce the pump prices of petrol and would announce the mechanism to reduce the prices at the appropriate time. “I have no qualms (on reducing petrol prices). It is not an irresponsible statement as alleged,” he added.

He said the coalition would still reduce the pump prices of petrol even if the price of crude oil went above US$200 (RM650) per barrel. However, Anwar said he understood concerns of fund managers and economists about macroeconomic stability and the principle of subsidy reduction.

“I am a firm believer of market economy and I don’t believe that a huge subsidy will be sustainable in the long term but I am also a humanist,” he said.

He added that the income of common people might not increase even though Malaysia would amass the equivalent amount from its crude oil export when prices shot up to US$200 per barrel.

Anwar also hit out at the fact that the government could offer “incentives” to independent power producers (IPPs) while removing subsidies for the common people.

“You must support market economy but must temper it with a strong increase in welfare for the people and social justice. Otherwise, the economy cannot be sustainable,” he said.

Earlier, Anwar announced that Pakatan leaders from PKR, DAP and PAS would meet today to discuss the next course of action in response to the hike in fuel prices.

He said Pakatan-controlled state governments were urged to take whatever actions they could to show that they were aware and concerned about the hardship faced by the people.

On the claim that Pakatan would take over the government by Sept 16 this year as it already had more than 30 Barisan Nasional (BN) members of parliament who were willing cross over to the coalition, Anwar said it was on schedule and it had become more attractive following the fuel price hike.

“Under normal circumstances, we don’t encourage crossovers but only when they have absolutely no confidence in the Umno-led BN and the way they manage the economy.

“They are in a state of denial. They are refusing to recognise certain development and macroeconomic realities,” he said, adding there was no moral basis to support the leadership that had failed the nation.

Asked when he would announce the crossovers, Anwar said he had to deliberate the matter at length with other Pakatan leaders.

He explained that Pakatan had to do it cautiously as the current system in the country was still “quite repressive” and those from BN who wanted to discuss the matter had to quietly fly to the capital of neighbouring countries just to convey their message to him.

Anwar said he would not be involved in the undertaking without confidence but he also needed to protect his friends in the BN.

He also dismissed the notion that those who cross over would not sit comfortably with some leaders in Pakatan.

“They accept the fact and will consider the application of anyone who subscribes to the objectives of Pakatan, multiracial agenda with constitutional guarantees and the New Economic Agenda,” he said, adding that Pakatan would consider those who accepted these as part of the team.

On DAP chairman Karpal Singh’s remark that he had no confidence in those who cross over, Anwar said Karpal’s statement had been taken out of context.

“He is concerned, and I share his concern, if the arrangement is politically expedient and not talking in terms of the agenda. If the agenda is accepted, the people can accept the fact that this is the Pakatan Rakyat agenda and policies, he doesn’t have problem with that,” he added.

Asked what if those who were supposed to cross over did not do so by the deadline, Anwar said: “Why are you so pessimistic? I will say what will be will be. Que sera sera.”

He explained that Pakatan needed to be cautious on the matter as there was a racist agenda to thwart the plan by suggesting that there would be a shift of power from the Malays to non-Malays, which he described as a flawed argument with malicious intent.

Although he would not risk political stability, Anwar said it was not an excuse to continue with the present system.

On his trip to Manila, Anwar said he met Filipino leaders such as former presidents Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada. He also revealed that he met some members of parliament from Sabah and Sarawak.

When asked why Utusan Malaysia was barred from Pakatan’s press conference, Anwar said it had to bar the newspaper as it was allegedly playing a racist agenda and had a blatant disregard for ethics.

“I am not suggesting that the other media is completely free from that but they have gone to the extreme on this,” he added.

On why Pakatan did not sue Utusan Malaysia, he quipped: “In which court? In (Datuk) VK Lingam’s court?”

Anwar also announced the appointment of new supreme council members for PKR and accepted new members into the party yesterday.

He revealed that PKR headquarters had accepted 50,000 new membership applications, including many from BN, over the past three months.

“We are asking that the membership forms that are still with the state offices to submit them as soon as possible,” he said.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The 2nd Tsunami! ( Part 3)

I Image extract from Malaysia Today

Image from extract from Susan Loone's blog

After the flip flop policy on banning foreign registered car from filling up their gas tank, the Pak Lah administration now want to introduce softener measures to ease the Rakyat burden from the steep hike in petrol price. One day after the fuel increase, the construction sector faced an immediate increased in ready mixed concrete with an sudden jump of RM37 per metre cube.The transporter immediately raised their transport charges by 40%.
After raising the petrol by 40%, the flip flop BN government are discussing ways to mitigate the hardship faced by the Rakyat. Very simple, just revert the oil price to normal Not need to crack their head and can then go back to sleep again...

Meanwhile, The Star reported today that the impact of the fuel price rise is starting to affect consumers, with transport and crane operators now increasing their rates by between 29% and 45%. Sabah Federation of Lorry Transportation Associations president Chua Pui Ming said its members had increased rates by 45% since June 5. Under the new rates, traders who used to fork out RM600 to send a shipment of goods overland from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan now have to pay RM870.

Stating that the federation's 3,000 members had no choice but to increase rates, Chua said the fuel subsidies that some of them received through the fleet card system was minimal.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Association of Tipper Lorry Owners of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur said they would increase their rates by 40% with immediate effect. President Lee Keen Seng said the increase was in the rate for transporting goods by tipper lorries.

In BUTTERWORTH, Mobile Crane Association North Malaya president Lee Tuck Woh said the association had decided to increase mobile crane charges in four states by RM100, effective Friday. “It is not just the price of diesel that has gone up. The cost of steel cable wires, tyres, batteries and spare parts have also increased in the past few months,” said Lee.
The RM100 increase is for seven types of cranes, ranging from seven to 60-tonne and sky-lift equipment.

Lee said they used to charge RM350 per day for a seven-tonne crane. He added that rental for 20m to 24m sky-lift equipment would now cost RM500 per day compared to RM400 previously. Although the new charges would affect the construction and industrial sectors and haulage industry, he said they had no choice in the matter. The association represents 60 members from Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak, who operate about 600 mobile cranes.
Reuter reported today that,Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the government's unpopular decision to raise fuel prices will hasten its fall, as more members from the ruling coalition break ranks.The hike in line with a global surge in oil prices has stoked public anger against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is already battling for his political life after the worst electoral performance in his coalition's 50-year rule in March.

Small and scattered protests have taken place against the 41 percent increase in petrol prices and 63 percent for diesel, which Anwar said was the result of the government's failure to manage its finances well despite being a new oil exporter.The government says fuel subsidies have become financially crippling. Pump prices in Malaysia are still one of the cheapest in Asia.
"Politically, the message was clear on 8th of March, economically it's now a disaster. That is why we are calling on them to resign," Anwar told a news conference ahead of a rally called in the capital to build support against the ruling coalition.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, has previously said that he had enough lawmakers to topple Abdullah's government following the election on March 8 and was waiting for the right moment.On Sunday, Anwar, sensing blood, said the plan for a change in government was on track as more members from Abdullah's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition were drawn to his group, angry over what he said was the "highest single increase" in fuel prices around the world.
"Our timetable (for party crossovers) is still on. It's on schedule and now it's more attractive after the price hikes."

Friday, June 6, 2008

The 2nd Tsunami! ( Part 2)

Malaysian experienced the first Tsunami on 8th March 2008 after the shocking 12th General Election results and is now feeling the effect of the second Tsunami from the drastic fuel hike.

In an immediate response to the sudden petrol hike from the government after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, DAP have organised simultaneous protest against the price increase at Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh on the next morning. In Kuala Lumpur, among the DAP leaders who attended the protest were Teresa Kok, Fong Kui Lun, Tan Seng Giaw, Lim Lip Eng and Janice Lee which was lead by Cheras MP YB Tan Kok Wai.

"We want the Government to immediately announce that the increment will be stopped immediately because the public anger has reached to the maximum. We call on the Government to act wisely. Stop robbing the rakyat!" Tan pronounced.He warned that the Government's failure to do so would result in a nightmare.

His colleague, Teresa Kok, added that businesses would be seriously affected by the last-minute price increase and would thereby pass on the higher costs to the consumer."We can anticipate the prices going up. This is a serious inflation. We've been told the Lorry Association are going to increase their transportation costs."We're a petrol exporting country. All these years, the government earned so much from export (of oil). Instead of increasing petrol prices, they should be giving back to the people. They don't talk about this anymore," she noted.

This afternoon some 200 people held a peaceful assembly at Komtar in George Town, Penang.They held placards condemning the hike, chanted anti-government slogans and called on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down immediately.

Kebun Bunga state assemblyperson Jason Ong Khan Lee, who was at the scene, cautioned that the fuel hike would elicit social unrest and spark off new wave of criminality as middle and lower wage earners would struggle to meet the ends.He warned that the surging cost would force several industries to close down or downsize, resulting in economy collapse."The federal government should review the fuel hike immediately to prevent such socio-economic tribulations," he said.Change YOUR lifestyle BK Ong questioned whether the government leaders were prepared to change their lifestyle, a cliché used to the people, to adjust to the fuel hike."They should eat less, cook less, travel less, socialise less, tighten their belts, buy less cars, use less energy and perhaps live lifeless."Are they prepared to do so?" he shouted to the crowd, adding that politicians should not preach what they won't practice.

Meanwhile the reaction from the Sabah leaders were uncompromising.Sapp president Yong Teck Lee warned Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of a serious political fallout for the BN, the party's Youth wing went a step further by calling for the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet."If the government losses the faith of the people, then it will find it even more difficult to govern," he said."For those who have just been earning enough to make ends meet every month, the fuel price increases will be a serious blow as they will have to now pay more at the petrol pump and when they buy groceries," Yong elaborated.

He said even middle-income earners would be reeling from the inflationary effect resulting from the fuel price hike.In this regard, Yong doubted the impact of the one-off RM625 rebate for vehicle owners and RM125 for motorcyclists as the there was a time lapse between when money was spent on fuel and when they could receive rebates.Yong further added that many people continue to question why Malaysia as a net petroleum exporting nation till 2014 was experiencing a negative impact from a spike in global oil prices."The man on the street is puzzled as to why Petronas is making so much money while the ordinary folks are losing out,"" he pointed out.Losing trust and confidence.

While Yong was merely sounding a warning bell, Sapp Youth chief was more straightforward in calling for leaders who "failed to safeguard people's interest" to step down.Au Kam Wah, in a statement issued from Kota Kinabalu, said these leaders should allow others who are more capable to take over.

Meanwhile The Malaysian Insider reported that during the Umno Supreme Council retreat, a few ministers disagreed with the decision to reduce subsidies and allow the pump price of petrol to increase to RM2.70 per litre. In this group were Muhyiddin and Rais. The Malaysian Insider understands that the Foreign Minister was also among a clutch of ministers who during the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday felt that the government should hold off reducing the subsidies for a few months.

But the majority of ministers during the Cabinet meeting including Najib and Muhyiddin felt that the government could not afford to continue with high levels of subsidy for much longer. Since the 40 per cent petrol price hike was implemented on Thursday, there has been an adverse reaction on the ground, including from Umno members.
Stinging SMSes have been sent from the grassroots to politicians in the capital, questioning the fitness of Abdullah and the Cabinet to continue running the country and pleading with the leadership to show empathy.

This strong reaction from the Umno ground may have prompted Muhyiddin to have second thoughts about the timing of the price increase. With the branch elections only weeks away and anger against the hike percolating across the country, Umno politicians seeking higher office in the party will have to distance themselves from this unpopular decision of reducing subsidies.
There is a good chance of many more Umno ministers slamming the price hike before the branches start meeting in mid-July.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hilary to end historic candidacy,support Obama

WASHINGTON, June 5 — Hillary Rodham Clinton is ending her historic bid to become the first female president and will back rival Barack Obama on Saturday, capping a 17-month quest that began with the words "I'm in it to win it" with a more humble plea for party unity.
Hours after Barack Obama sealed the nomination, Democrats coalesced around his candidacy, sending a strong signal to Clinton that it was time to bow out. The former first lady told House Democrats during a private conference call yesterday that she will express support for Obama's candidacy and congratulate him for gathering the necessary delegates to be the party's nominee.
"Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, DC, to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity. This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Senator Clinton's supporters who want to attend," her communications director Howard Wolfson said.
Also in the speech, Clinton will urge once-warring Democrats to focus on the general election and defeating Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
The only degree of uncertainty was how. Clinton is exploring options to retain her delegates and promote her issues, including a signature call for universal health care.
The announcement closed an epic five-month nominating battle pitting the first serious female candidate against the most viable black contender ever.
Obama Tuesday night secured the 2,118 delegates to claim the Democratic nomination, but Clinton stopped short of acknowledging that milestone. Instead, she was defiant, insisting she was better positioned than Obama to defeat McCain in November.
"What does Hillary want? What does she want?" Clinton said, hours after telling supporters she'd be open to joining Obama as his vice-presidential running mate.
But by yesterday, other Democrats made it abundantly clear they wanted something, too: a swift end to the nominating contest.
Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean and the Democratic congressional leadership released a statement urging the party to rally behind Obama, and several lawmakers including Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu all endorsed their Illinois colleague.
Obama also announced he had named a three-person vetting team that included Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy.
An adviser said Clinton and her lieutenants had discussed various ways a presidential candidacy can end, including suspending the campaign to retain control of her convention delegates and sustain her visibility in an effort to promote her signature issue of health care. This adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorised to discuss the conference call Clinton held with her congressional supporters.
Other options include freeing her delegates to back Obama and ending her candidacy unconditionally. The official stressed that neither Clinton nor her inner circle had decided specifically what course to take other than to recognise that the active state of her bid to become the nation's first female president had ended. — AP

Johore Bahru Flooding

My childhood friend Richard who is working in JB sent me the photos of the recent flood which hit the city last week.This is what he commented...
These are photos taken during the height of the flooding in JB last week. Even the habitat of the rats were not spared as rats were awaken from their hibernation and were seen struggling amidst the rising water as they could not swim !!!
Many cars which were parked at the basement of hotels and commercial buildings were submerged in the dirty and murky overflow water from the stinking and filthy Sungai Segget. What a shame, Johor Bahru !!!! This incident came under the spotlight of the press and The Star paper took the opportunity to give the notorious Johor Bahru a "free advertisement" by publishing the floodings at no cost to the town council !!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The 2nd Tsunami!

Photo courtesy from Malaysiakini

The sudden announcement of the petrol hike of 78 sen by the PM after the Cabinet meeting have caught many Malaysian by surprise.It contradicted with the earlier statement by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Minister, Datuk Shahrir that the actual implementation will only take place in August. The reaction from the ground was filled with anger and disappointment.Have earlier received the bad news from my buddy at 5.35pm and thought it was just another rumours but was confirmed later at 6pm by text messages.

Managed to have my tank fill up at one of the petrol station at Jalan Kuchai Lama.The terrible queue at all the petrol stations to meet the midnight deadline have caused unnecessary traffic congestion.

Now let's us compare the price of our petrol with other OIL PRODUCING countries

UAE– RM1.19/litre

Eygpt– RM1.03/litre

Bahrain– RM0.87/litre

Qatar– RM0.68/litre

Kuwait– RM0.67/litre

Saudi Arabia– RM0.38/litre

Iran– RM0.35/litre

Nigeria– RM0.32/litre

Turkmenistan– RM0.25/litre

Venezuela– RM0.16/litre

MALAYSIA– RM2.70/litre

The above statistics clearly show that we have the highest price among all the oil producing countries. Another Malaysian achievement! Malaysia Boleh!

Majority of Malaysian drive to work because we do not have an efficient public transport system like Singapore to rely on. This increase will definitely cut deep into the pockets of the ordinary Rakyat.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is taking a major political risk in removing subsidies on petrol. "It is not an attempt to be popular, we have to think in the best interests of the people,"
"God willing I hope Malaysians will not demonstrate over this," he said.
But his call may go unheeded as fresh protests over the price increases are likely, said PAS parliamentarian Mohd Hatta Ramli who led anti-inflation demonstrations earlier this year.
"This is a massive hike and will create big problems for all and sundry. It will have a knock-on effect of increasing prices of all kinds of goods," he said.
"We strongly feel that it is a severe misjudgement on the part of the government," he said. "In all probability, there will be a protest."

With the instability of the current BN government and the dependency of the East Malaysian party for support, the above political risk taken by the Pak Lah administration might have adverse repercussion.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ezam Rejoined Umno

PM Dato Seri Ahmad Badawi receiving Ezam application form to rejoin Umno- Photo courtesy from Malaysiakini

Ex-Parti Keadilan Rakyat Youth chief, Mohamed Ezam Md Nor rejoined Umno after being sacked from the party 10 years ago.He was accepted to the party by Dato Seri Ahmad Badawi in a simple ceremony but was given extensive coverage from both the mainstream and alternative media.His entry to the party was to help in the reform measures which will be undertaken by the Pak Lah administration to build the sagging popularity of Umno after the disastrous 12th General Election.

Meanwhile Ezam's decision to rejoin Umno was cautiously welcomed by Umno leaders.Displaying sign of uneasiness among Umno leaders, Umno Vice President Tan Sri Muhjiddin Yassin have asked Umno Supreme Council to consider Ezam's application thoroughly. He said that party members were not happy with the preferential treatment accorded to Ezam on his application. He said application to join Umno should go through the normal process which is through the branch chief.Ex-PM Tun Mahathir Mohd warned party members that his entry to Umno could paved the way for the entry of his mentor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Umno. He also could be a 'Trojan Horse' for PKR.

In an extensive interview with the online political news portal Malaysiakini, the ex-political secretary to Anwar refuted claim that he has personal agenda for joining Umno. I have no agenda. I returned to Umno without a personal agenda for anybody - not for PKR or Umno, or even Abdullah. I am in Umno with a reform agenda. To be a spy is the lowest moral standing that any politician should have and that's definitely not my stand.

Certainly Ezam decision's to rejoin Umno has raised eyebrows from both Umno and PKR. Both sides are bound to keep a close watch on what his political game is with the looming Umno election schedule to be held by end of December 2008.He had earlier denied claim that he is fighting for the Umno Youth chief post which was quoted by many major dailies.