Saturday, February 27, 2010

Treachery in MCA (1)

When Tee Keat finally went for a show down with Soi Lek (the famous 10.10.10 EGM), all the knights of MCA were FULLY, UNANIMOUSLY supporting Tee Keat - Liow Tiong Lai, Chew Mei Fun, Wee Ka Siong, Wong Foon Meng etc.

Remember ? You forgot ? This can perhaps remind us all.

But some analysts
realised that the 10-10-10 EGM might go awfully wrong than intended. These were based on the attendance at the pre EGM dinner and sentiments on the day of the 10.10.10 EGM before votes were casted.

One politician highlighted an important point to me recently - MCA politics thus far is all a numbers game. Both camps knew their support and their numbers.

Using the "Central Delegates voting" system, support and votes can be pre determined or calculated all these while.

Tee Keat's support were measured and calculated and so was Soi Lek's prior to the 10-10-10 EGM. Not all, but to a large extent as some Central Delegates tend to remain independent of current and past MCA warlords' influence.

I cannot stop but wonder if someone pulled the carpet from Tee Keat's leg. Someone must have known the numbers game very well.

If it is true, then the "traitors" in Tee Keat's camp must have considered the payoffs of the EGM if the three resolutions go against Tee Keat and Soi Lek during the campaigning period as we approached the 10-10-10 EGM.

The payoffs surely would have benefited those whom are next in line - the Third Force as first hypothesized by Datuk Ti Lian Ker.

With perfect information on the numbers game in hand, only minimal effort is needed to influence a small group of Central Delegates to cater for their intentions (e.g. own support base).

After the 10-10-10 EGM, "a cartel" arranged several meetings on their own. One of these involved coaxing MCA Central Committee members, Ministers and Deputy Ministers to sign a letter to pressure the President. (Hotel N**** ?)

Several meetings were organized and held to discuss and collude on who to fill the "vacancies" before the Central Committee even met to discuss the results of the 10-10-10 EGM and produce a solution.

There were NO CALLS from this "cartel" for fresh elections to determine who to fill those "vacancies" either.

They decided to collude and decide on the office bearers among themselves. And to them, that is democratic and acceptable.

The status quo now have caused a particular group to be seen as knife and dagger wielders out for career progression while riding on righteous but veiled values like democracy, principles and respect.

Let me now point to you what Liow Tiong Lai once said about Ong Tee Keat and you can compare it with his stand today.

  • "Today, in MCA's core leadership, the pair of Ongs is more capable in agglomerating and leading the party. This is too important for MCA," said Liow. (My Sinchew - 23 September 2008)
  • The MCA is now on a difficult and tedious journey to redeem itself and to win back the support of the Chinese community in particular and all Malaysians in general. We need a leader who has the credibility and moral standing to make the MCA a modern, reconfigured and cohesive party that is able to support and strengthen the Barisan Nasional (BN). Ong is our clear choice to perform such a task. (joint statement by MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers, My Sinchew - 23 July 2009)
  • MCA leaders at all levels have pledged their full support to party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat in overcoming the current challenges, said party vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. He said the delegates understood the hurdles that Ong is facing and believe that what he is doing is in the interest of the party and Barisan Nasional. (The Star - 17 Aug 2009)

Today, a different tune is sung.

Are these the sort of leaders which the Chinese community want and support ? And are these the type of leaders that UMNO, MIC and Gerakan want to work with ?

I will publish two more related articles soon and I will republish an old article over the next few days. It is time we end this once and for all.

I call these Treachery in MCA and I call the 3rd force "a cartel".

Friday, February 26, 2010

Brain drain solution

In my letter sent to The Star and NST some time ago which was not published by the two news portal, I proposed a solution for the brain drain.

Let us walk the talk and stop the brain drain. There is no point for us to have a NO ACTION, TALK ONLY policy.

So, read on. I shall call it, an Open Letter to the Cabinet of Malaysia. (Interested parties - bloggers, politicians, and the press - can reproduce this article with credits to APOMM)

The Brain Drain Solution !

With reference to the call by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to the best Malaysian brains to return home made recently in London, I say it is a wise statement and an assurance that the Government knows the issue of brain drain.

However, I wish to bring to the attention of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that such effort should begin from within the country and Government.

Each year, the Public Service Department, Petronas, MARA and various other GLCs sponsor a total of 3000 students approximately to local and foreign universities.

Needless to say, these students are among the creme de la creme of the country not just in education but in other aspects such as co curricular achievements as well. In other words, these are all rounder scholars.

I can't speak much for MARA or Petronas scholars since I was once a JPA sponsored student. I shall comment from the perspective of a JPA Scholar.

At the moment, JPA sponsored graduates have a waiting period of within 1 year for SPA's interview or arrangement which is not even guaranteed. Many private firms and agencies are hesitant to hire due to our underlying contract and uncertainty of a call up by SPA.

Year after year, I have heard many JPA Scholars who graduated from top universities in New Zealand, UK, Australia and United States were not offered positions by the Government.

I do personally know friends whom are top graduates under JPA and did not get called up even for an interview by the Public Services Commission (SPA).

The Government must improve this matter of brain drain by first looking at scholarship holders.

For starters, sponsors like MARA and JPA should liaise and create a network with private and public listed Malaysian corporations as well as Goverment-linked companies (GLCs).

If the Government cannot accommodate or provide jobs to the JPA and MARA sponsored graduates, then the Government should place them in a network with Malaysian firms especially GLCs for screening and employment opportunities.

This can be done with the condition that the Bond of the scholarship is transferred directly to the potential employer of the scholars.

Such a move will definitely ensure that
  1. the tax payers money are not wasted and
  2. top Government sponsored scholars return home to contribute to our country.

An optimistic rallying call by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must be met with efforts and coordination to ensure that the best brains in the world return to the country to improve and develop the nation especially the scholars sponsored with tax payers money.

I can be reached at my email for further clarification if needed by interested parties.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Proposal for MCA

Some time ago, I did approach MCA Infocom with a proposal to create an actively managed MCA Facebook Fan Page (official one).

It was purely simple, logical and practical which had been implemented by UMNO, MIC, Gerakan and BN as a whole for a long time. (just like the Opposition parties)

I doubt those involved or those who have heard my proposal will take it seriously (I might be wrong). I am skeptical. So I decided that I should go public via A PIECE OF MY MIND after such a long time.

I don't claim to have the best proposals and neither am I stuffing the proposals down the throat of the Department.

I just want the best for MCA and if I can see some youths coming together to do it for BN as a whole and some leaders doing it for UMNO, MIC and Gerakan, why can't the 2nd largest component Party called MCA do such things ?

I did receive some replies in our communication with the initial one saying that it would be considered but I would say it wasn't quite a reply. I wasn't happy with the replies to be honest.

At first when I penned this blog article down, I planned to tell all. In the end, I reasoned it out with myself that I am not on a witch hunt here but I want to see positive work being done.

Allow me to write publicly my proposal to MCA. Whoever wants to follow this up, do it please ! Whoever wants to attack me, feel free. I await the wonderful excuses which I don't like but I will accept logical reasoning.

MY PROPOSAL (just a brief version - some rebuttals edited due to confidentiality of Party matters)

  1. I wish to see a MCA Facebook Fan Page online just like UMNO and MIC where the Rakyat flock to these pages to share their thoughts, request for help and raise their grouses. Why?

  2. MCA should bridge the gap between Leaders and the Rakyat. We should be able to provide an avenue of communication for the people to share their opinions, input suggestions or bring matters to the attention of MCA elected reps and leaders across Malaysia.

  3. In other words, MCA should transform to be a service oriented political party (at least in our Online campaign). People First, Performance Now.

  4. This official Fan Page should have a major objective which is to encourage the people to come forward to raise grouses, share opinions and request for help or assistance in ONE CENTRALIZED PAGE.

  5. Some are not comfortable and find it inconvenient to go to the MCA Service Centres to seek help, raise grouses or share opinions. Some don't even know where to voice out or interact with MCA.

  6. The Facebook method which is free and centralized should be used to interact and engage the people. No need to take big sum of money from the Party to set up official websites or online portals (I heard something like this happened before - hearsay or just a rumour maybe).

  7. Word can be passed around easily among the people such as - "You have complains ? You need help ? Which area are you from ? Easy, just post your questions, suggestions or complains on MCA's Facebook Fan Page Wall and they will look into it."
  1. Isn't this better than - "Eh you got problems ? Ok why don't you go online to search for the MCA Division website ? None ? Maybe you can try searching for numbers with Telekom or MCA main website. Hm what's the website ah ? Wait let me check....can't remember now. Oh your local MCA service centre is not doing anything ? Wisma MCA will entertain our complains meh? hardly see your reps around also huh...Aiseh. I also don't know who to tell." (After office hours, how ? Facebook is available 24 hours and convenient for all at their own will or leisure time)

  2. For example if we receive a complain that some areas in Penang need help on our Facebook wall, the relevant State MCA Chief will be informed immediately and he/she can follow up. (Fast, free, easy and definitely People First Performance Now)

  3. State MCA leaders can play a role whereby any complains or appeals for help in their States will be dealt with swiftly when raised by netizens. Of course, State leaders and Cabinet MCA leaders can disseminate information or make announcement for the Rakyat using this MCA Facebook Page as well.

  4. Many people do not know about grants or scholarships up for application or Government welfare payments for the needy based on their personal conditions. This Fan Page can surely be used to create a corner called "Do you know that .... " (If MCA Infocom don't know how or don't understand, please learn from MIC or call me, I can teach you)

  5. People nowadays are always in one centralized networking page called Facebook. Tell me, who doesn't have Facebook ? Many do. Even my relative at the age of 70++ has a Facebook account !

  6. I doubt many will take the trouble to type and click to contact the relevant people when in fact with a Facebook Page actively managed by MCA, they can just post a comment or question on the Wall at their own leisure and pleasure. (It is free oi !)

And I don't care if I make enemies at such a young age in politics. Kalau saya rasa tak betul, saya tegur. That's my policy. I await to see MCA Infocom's progress.

If you are not capable, officers in the Department should quit their posts and let others do it.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Malaysia's top 20 schools

Today, we shall analyse the "top 20 schools" vs Australia's latest move. Two weeks ago, it was hotly debated in the Letters to Editor section of The Star.

Do you know that we once had "Program Sekolah Bertaraf 5 Bintang, 4 Bintang, 3 Bintang" ? I remember hearing from educationists that schools also had a classification called Sekolah Premier.

Now, at the national level, we have 20 Sekolah Terbaik di Malaysia. Does it help to improve our education system and competitiveness among students or schools ?

The star ratings of schools did not, the Sekolah Premier status did not. I have more questions in fact.
  • How will justifications of budget allocation to schools be done ? Do we give a large chunk to the best schools or do we give a large chunk to the under performing schools ?
  • Do we go all out to focus on the creme de la creme - i.e. best teachers, best allocation funding, best facilities, best programs, best rewards ?
  • Or do we trade our focus away from the elite schools and spend time nurturing or developing The Last, The Least and The Lost (I think we should) ?
  • Will there be proper monitoring systems on the 20 best Malaysian schools so that the PTA, the Board of Governors and the School administration do not abuse their status for higher school fees, "expedition of application", membership fees for co curriculum activities or use of facilities ?

I once heard that some Premier school(s) encourage "donations" to be made to the school funds if the Parents want to enrol their children there.

But browsing through the list of top 20 schools, 10 of them are full residential schools !

Aiseh Tan Sri Muhyiddin, this is not right. The list has so many residential schools which are not accessible to all students - only the creme de la creme with quota policy as well.

We aren't sure if it is because of the school, the discipline, the commitment, the environment and the teachers that contributed to the successes or is it due to the fact that the pool of students are already the best among the rest ?

I was surprised to see VI or SJI not among the list, to be honest. Come on.

Victoria Institution, Catholic High School, St. John's Institution (Najib's alma mater) are also elite schools who have produced CEOs, Directors, Ministers, Politicians and Academicians.

Year after year, they produce top folks you know ?

Having said all these, I heard that the Japanese education system ranks their schools too. I was told that La Sallian schools are among the best in that country when I was studying in Japan.

My only worry is that The Last, The Least, and The Lost will not receive ample attention if the hype surrounds the elite schools only.

Now, there are plans to extend the list to "100 best schools".

Just a suggestion, the Education Ministry should take a look at this - My schools : Private vs Public by Australian Government (Julia Gillard).

The latest news article explains Rudd's plans to expand the My Schools Website. Read it HERE.

We should do the same to compare the academic and non academic achievements of private and public schools, or something similar.

I think Rudd Government's guidelines and regional comparisons are better. And someone should read TSMY's KPI by Syed Akbar Ali - PM must change team

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Politicized CNY celebration

2 main news made way to my ears and caught my attention in the midst of my hectic schedule with friends and family.

First of all, we saw the embarrassing and immature anti Ong-Chua banners unfurled at Wisma MCA on 14 February 2010.

Liow Tiong Lai must control his “supporters”. Word must have travelled up to Wisma MCA way earlier on.

I am quite sure someone silently “encouraged and endorsed” the banners to be printed and unfurled for all to see – journalists, politicians, community leaders and the rakyat – at Wisma MCA on the 1st day of CNY.

Indeed, it is unprofessional and unbecoming of MCA politicians to embarass the Party on such an important day.

Visitors and well wishers to Wisma MCA as well as National leaders were uncomfortable at the sight of such banners which ridiculed and criticized the top two leaders of MCA while praising the Vice President Liow.

Such acts only happen in the Opposition camp where they pursue the acts of intimidation, defamation and affirmation seeking. So, perhaps Tiong Lai should reconsider his strategy and political moves.

If Tiong Lai condemned the acts, then I challenge him to take the initiative to table a motion during the Central Committee meeting and serve warning letters to those who showed great disrespect to the Party and the Chinese New Year celebration.

As for Ronnie Liu, his days are numbered I believe. Feared DAP warlord Teng Chang Khim grilled him for finishing up his allocation (RM 600,000) in 6 months. [Read : Rep grilled over yearly allocation]

Ronnie Liu wasn't aware of his spending pattern. But you can only hear deafening silence from Opposition leaders, alternative media and pro Opposition blogs.

Pro Opposition bloggers and alternative media would have spun the story interestingly if it was by a BN elected representative.

Then, it was rumoured that Ronnie Liu ordered the removal of banners by private companies and residents around midnight.

These banners and welcome notes were erected by the public to welcome Malaysia’s Prime Minister to the National CNY Open House at Klang Valley. There were claims that smooth traffic implementation (several road closures) were objected and ordered to be canceled.

There wasn’t any calls for Royal Inquiry either when Wee Choo Keong exposed that there is a Selangor Exco who used his office for meetings with underworld leaders – the source of Malaysia’s high crime rate. It was rumoured that Ronnie Liu is the one.

Speaking of Royal Inquiries, a DAP assemblyman was also reported to have knocked down a Malay kid who has been admitted to the hospital’s ICU. [Read : Student fighting for his life]

Ng Suee Lim was said to be drunk at that time. It seems to me that every Pakatan Rakyat leader is so quiet and they contain the news from their supporters. (Can anyone update me on this ?)

If it was done by a BN leader, the story would have been played like a symphonic orchestra piece in hundreds of blogs by Pakatan Rakyat cyber troopers and politicians.

Back to the main point, my stand all these while has been consistent.

When Hindraf, RPK supporters and Anti ISA activists brought their political fight to a Hari Raya open house hosted by Tun Abdullah Badawi in 2008, I was irritated.

Do not politicize festivals or cultural celebrations. Do not be so obsessed with politics, Ronnie.

I remember the good old days when Kit Siang and his entourage will visit Tun Dr Mahathir at Seri Perdana to wish the Statesman “Selamat Hari Raya” at almost every open house.

Even Anwar can enjoy a quiet tea session with Najib during a Parliamentary session break at Parliament House.

What more to say a National Level Chinese New Year open house where EVERY rakyat regardless of race, religion and status is invited to attend ?

This year, approximately 40,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the National level CNY open house.

Festivals are meant for us all to come together, shake hands and share a meal. We share laughters, joy and memorable moments together during celebrations and open houses.

Why play politics on a day when every rakyat wants to enjoy their holiday, food and joy with friends and family ? Be a professional and mature politician. We cannot expect or even consider people like Ronnie Liu to be a Federal Minister one day.

For more in depth information, please read - The Sheer Arrogance of Pakatan - which I find it interesting and well written.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

On 11 February 2010, my mom and I visited a handicap children welfare home. My family has been visiting this home for several years already with food and drinks.

The place is called Persatuan Kebajikan Rumah Orang Kurang Upaya (Handicap Children's Welfare Home) and it is located at Jalan Haji Eusoff (Housing Trust) - about 100 metres behind The Store at Jalan Kampar of Ipoh.

Never once
I stopped to talk to the caretaker except a simple "Hello, this is for the children. Can we come in and share the food and drinks with them for a while ? Here, let's open some food and drinks now and you keep the rest for later."

The caretakers will say, "Yes of course".

This year, since I am back for good and carefree now, I decided to stop and talk to the welfare home management (two senior people) for once.

I asked, "Sir, how do you all maintain this place ? Did the Government give any aid ?"

The man replied,
"Not at all. We have applied many times but we always get rejected. They say our area is an elite area, we operate without license, and .... " (I can't remember)

I was surprised. How can this home which is Ipoh's Housing Trust be an elite area ?

Okay let us assume that is not a reason.

I don't understand. Why reject Government aid to a welfare home which genuinely supports these handicap children ? Not even a small sum ?

This kid here (pic below) is blind and suffered from either fits/epilepsy (hazy memory..but I know he is blind). His parents left him at the General Hospital and the caretaker was informed about it.

The kind lady, Mary who is the Head of the Welfare Home, took this boy back and cared for him ever since.

There was another boy whose parents died in an accident. He is with the welfare home now but he moves around like a frog (as described by the caretakers, not me).

My mom went over and fed him some biscuits since he couldn't eat on his own. And he has eating/chewing/swallowing difficulties too.

This home houses 24 handicap children and require approximately RM 4000 monthly for maintenance - food, utilities, rent, etc (I was told).

My dear Barisan Nasional Perak Government, have a heart please and go to this home. Listen to them and reevaluate their application for Government aid.

My fellow Perakians, let us stop for a minute and not pray for our own prosperity only. Think about these kids. Spend some time and money to help them or any welfare homes you know.

Every effort, support and thought counts. No matter how small they are.

I am sure there are many more welfare homes with similar problems. But at least, in this case, I am doing my part and highlighting one welfare home's plight.

I hope this article is passed on to
  1. Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir (UMNO Perak),
  2. Datuk A Ganesan (MIC Perak),
  3. Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon (MCA Perak)
  4. Datuk Chang Ko Youn (Gerakan Perak)

To all Malaysians, please travel safely on the road. Biar lambat asalkan selamat !

Happy Holidays to all of you and Happy Chinese New Year to those who are celebrating the new Tiger Lunar Year. Best wishes to all of you.

All pictures here were taken using my mobile phone with permission from Mary (the Pengerusi of the caretaker).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Confusing Dr Wee Ka Siong

I am sad to see news after news of our MCA Youth Chief which placed him in the limelight for the wrong reasons.

While MCA Youth suffers from dismal new signup figures, Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong has been unsuccessful in shedding off the suspicions of his links to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal thus far.

This scandal is very dear to me actually. Since the early days when YB Lim Kit Siang brought up the matter, MCA was quick to be blamed as the beneficiary of the scandalous money flow in the PKFZ project.

Only one man stood up to clear the mess - Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat. On 26 July 2009, he unshackled MCA from the PKFZ scandal. In Datuk Seri Ong's own words,

"If any individual from MCA, irrespective of his position, was involved in his individual or personal capacity in such a debacle, he should subject himself to public scrutiny and investigations conducted by the authorities concerned. I did it in the interest of the people and I believe the truth must prevail."

These days, Dr Wee Ka Siong is continuously linked to the PKFZ fiasco by NGO leaders, MCA politicians and even the Opposition !

In my humble opinion, why stop Tan Sri Robert Phang from talking about the Port Klang Free Zone during a Bernama LIVE talk via a Court injunction ?

It was said that Tan Sri Robert Phang was about to announce some damning evidences on Dr Wee's links to Port Klang Free Zone and the perhaps drop the strongest hints on the flow of the scandalous project.

I do not see the point in seeking a Court injunction to gag Tan Sri Robert Phang or silence any of the MCA Youth Central Committee members.

Such an act will only create a climate of fear among MCA leaders or to a greater extent - those who speak out without fear or favor !

If the words are deemed defamatory or classified as half truths and lies, surely, seasoned politicians with professional legal advisors will know that they can put the commentator in the dock with a defamation lawsuit.

That way, Dr Wee can prove to the world that "Hey, see, he was lying !" and pocket some money as compensation for the defamatory remarks which could potentially harm his career in politics and his name.

The market value for defamation lawsuits on national leaders are approximately RM 100 million as Anwar Ibrahim had shown to us which also seem to show his trust in the Malaysian judiciary ironically.

A report in The Star on 25 December 2009 quoted Dr Wee that he did not receive any payment for the "Conceptual design and feasibility study on the need for port development in the Port Klang".

Then, on 10 January 2009, the Managing Director of Hijau Sekitar Sdn Bhd announced that Dr Wee sold off his controlling stake in the company in 2008.

The MD further added that "The conceptual report has got nothing to do with the physical PKFZ. Neither was PKFZ included in the study nor in any future expansion of it."

Just to note, the study was mooted in 2005. Yes, the year 2005. Okay, noted ? Let's move on.

Well, such an announcement surprised me actually. Just a few days before this announcement, Chia Seia Yang said that a company search showed Dr Wee's name owning 490,000 plus shares in Hijau Sekitar Sdn Bhd with the records said to be updated as at 1 January 2009.

Then, Seremban MP John Fernandez said a search with Companies Commission of Malaysia on 25 Jan (2010) showed that Dr Wee owns 49,998 shares in Hijau Sekitar.

Today, 11 February 2010, I came across an exclusive interview by The Sun with Dr Wee Ka Siong. "Now, they may say that I have over 40% but I am not a major shareholder. So, whatever the company does has nothing to do with me."

I don't know Dr Wee, but 40% to me is a big deal (based on your own words) and everything the company does has everything to do with you.

If I own 40% of shares in a company and if the company makes RM 100 million profits, with or without dividends, the 40% shareholder has a claim to the pie based on personal shareholdings.

And I think the analogy between Hijau Sekitar-WBSB and PwC-PKFZ was a bad one, Dr Wee ! PwC is an independent audit firm with no interests in the projects. It is a completely different story when it comes to Hijau Sekitar - WBSB.

I can only continue to thread on suspiciously and ask the MCA Youth Chief who is also a national leader in his capacity as Deputy Education Minister to come clean for good.

I am equally confused as everyone else by now. Why not sue the CCM if Dr Wee had really sold off or transfered all or just his controlling stake but records still show that he still own shares of different amounts on two different dates ?

As Deputy Minister, he must not hold controlling stakes (either that or any shares) when he is sworn into office. But Chia Seia Yang said he has 490,000 plus shares based on a compay search on 1 January 2009. Now, John Fernadez argued that Dr Wee still has 49,998 shares. And from the interview with The Sun, the percentage is said to be 40% ?

So, 40% means how many shares (from the interview published) ? Only 3 explanations. Either Dr Wee hasn't been transparent, CCM's records are wrong or Dr Wee himself is confused.

Can Dr Wee or the Cabinet declassify Dr Wee Ka Siong's asset declaration to the Prime Minister of Malaysia which I assume that it must hold as a truth and the onus of honesty or responsibility is on the side of MCA Youth Chief ?

Dr Wee should also stop accusing The Star for his current political dilemma also.

Some bloggers are already saying that Dr Wee has become a "Kaki sue" when he decided to take action against The Star. Rockybru has a better take on this - Another politician kaki sue (MUST READ)

MCA cannot walk the talk or go the ground to tell the people "Sir, please vote me" if their leaders are heavily linked to all sorts of scandals, projects or hanky panky matters.

MCA must stand up strong, tall and mighty. MCA is a political entity that owes the people the basic elements of good governance whereby the leaders must be competent, accountable and transparent.

Dr Wee, why not settle this in the "public court of opinion" and tell all ? Evidences as well as black and white documents can clear your name if you are not involved in any way.

MCA will not be able to move on or stand tall and proud if this goes on. Let's clear it once and for all.

I stand corrected.

(Credits to The Malaysian Insider and The Star for the photos)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Tun" for Hassan Marican

I hope to see due recognition given to Tan Sri Hassan Marican for his contributions to Petronas and Malaysia as a whole.

Malaysians owe him a great deal. Without his business acumen, his vision and his dedication, Petronas might have fumbled.

Many have misunderstood and threw misleading arguments that anyone could have done the same. I beg to differ. Petronas' operations were mainly focused on Malaysian shores resources - East and West Malaysia - in the initial stages.

Tan Sri Hassan Marican transformed Petronas rapidly into a global company with oil explorations and business joint ventures with overseas partners.

Approximately 49% of Petronas revenue today come from overseas operations under Tan Sri Hassan Marican's leadership. This should be seen as a standard to be matched by the incoming Petronas Chairman and CEO Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas.

Not everyone could do the same and one reader highlighted a valid point. Compare Petronas to Pertamina and you will see the differences.

All these while, Malaysians depended on subsidies, grants, soft loans, and all sorts of Government intervention in the economy for the people's welfare. The funds mainly were from Petroliam Nasional Berhad.

Any slight removal or reduction of these Federal assistance, the lives of many Malaysians would be totally different today.

Just throughout the last 6 years, Petronas contributed a total of RM 276.8 billion to the Malaysian Government which was subsequently used for the Federal Government's budget and policies.

I believe Tan Sri Hassan Marican deserves the title "Tun".

(Credits to Bernama for the pictures)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Compulsory service for doctors

At first, there was a eye catching headline made by Datuk T Murugiah.

I quote from The Malaysian Insider's article - Move to extend compulsory government service for doctors, T Murugiah said :

" The government proposes to extend the compulsory public service for doctors to five or 10 years from the current three to overcome the annual shortage of doctors in its hospitals. The doctors should not only think about profit. They also have to think about the country’s interests — your contribution to the country. "

That surprised me and I don't know whether it was his idea or it was a result of his advisors' brainstorming session.

Whatever it is, ask all Malaysian medical students if it is a good idea. If there are punters taking bets on this, I place my money on "Bad idea".

Now, the latest news from Liow Tiong Lai (Health Minister) said that the Government will reduce the compulsory service period. Read it here : Shorter service for new doctor

"The suggestion is not practical at all. We must make it attractive for doctors to join the service. We cannot force them to work."

And it was backed by the Health Ministry Director General too :

"We are providing more incentives to retain the doctors who are in service, attracting Malaysian doctors from overseas, allowing locums, providing extra allowances for overtime and making arrangements to hire foreign doctors to work with us on fellowship programmes."

My advice ? Simple. Every year JPA sponsors tonnes of medical students overseas to Middle East, Czech Republic, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Scotland, United States, Australia, New Zealand.

Did I leave out any ? Yes, there are those sponsored to local medical institutions like IMU and Monash University Malaysia.

Ask them to provide you with feedbacks. They tell me all sorts of stories and frequently I hear about the system in the country they were sent to study in compared to ours in Malaysia.

Some friends can point out what is the "turn off" for not returning to Malaysia as a qualified medical doctor.

Do I need to lay out the methodology to gather feedback from them or how to reach them ? I can easily lead you to a handful of JPA sponsored medical students who will tell you what is in their minds.

And please. Share with them your plans to see if they think it is good or not. Brainstorm with the FUTURE doctors as well.

I have many medical friends who have plenty to say about the current system and I believe addressing such issues will settle the "crisis" in our public medical sector ONCE AND FOR ALL.

It is getting very dull and boring each time you tell us "yes we know the problems" and "yes we are planning to attract them back".

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Tan Sri Hassan Marican

The political muscle flexed by Najib Tun Razak's administration on the business of Petronas is very unprofessional.

Throughout the years, Dr Mahathir allowed Tan Sri Azizan Zainul Abidin and Tan Sri Hassan Marican to have sufficient freedom in making their business decisions while ensuring that Petroliam Nasional continuously backed the Government's Budget and economic plans.

It was more like a win-win and "you happy, I happy" concept between the Government and Petronas.

The political interference began with the Omar Mustapha saga. The BOD, whose confidence lies with TS Hassan, initially rejected the "appointment" of Omar Mustapha to the Board.

The Prime Minister's office was not willing to budge and in the end, Omar Mustapha was "reluctantly" accepted as Director of Petronas.

Of course, this drew unhappiness among several mainstream bloggers (source: Rockybru ; related : BDDC). TS Hassan Marican lost Round 1 there.

But TS Hassan Marican won Round 2 when he made a "purely business" decision to sponsor Mercedes F1 team instead of Lotus F1, a project led by Tony Fernandes and Co.

Finally, TS Hassan Marican lost Round 3 when his contract was not renewed and his "in house" succession plan was snubbed.

After saying all these, the Petroleum Development Act 1974 should be amended I feel. At the moment, Petronas is answerable solely to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

I would prefer to see a collective decision making system which involves
  • the Advisor of Petronas,
  • the Management and Board of Directors as well as
  • the Prime Minister himself.

This triangular form of organization - Advisory panel, Management as well as the Prime Minister's Office - will be a better "Government - Business" model.

Whatever it is, I am irritated to see how Najib's Administration sidelined Tan Sri Hassan Marican and his management team lately.

There was actually a succession plan laid by Tan Sri Hassan Marican but by now, we all know it has been "shredded".

In fact, a new succession plan is rumoured to be formulated and prepared by Najib and Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas.

The last time Dr Mahathir lost his cool, our Statesman blasted Abdullah Badawi for not renewing Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Ariff's contract with Proton which had strong financial standing under him. The end result saw tePak Lah'snure as PM "shortened" than intended.

I am interested to hear Tun M's comments on the latest revelations in Petronas. Before this, there were reports that Tun M backed the renewal of TS Hassan Marican's contract

Datuk Shamsul will be under pressure to maintain the trust placed in him by Najib. But I doubt that the stakes are high though.

Any failure on his side will only further substantiate a greater plan.

The "soon-to-be-groomed" successor in the new succession plan should be "ready" to be appointed by Najib as Chairman and CEO of Petronas then, right ?

The way TS Hassan Marican's exit was handled showed great disrespect to his contributions and commitment to Petronas all these years.

Surely, his "retirement" looked like a forced one. It is unfair to the man who continued the legacy of Tan Sri Azizan and dynamically reinvented Petronas into a global Fortune 500 company which some of us agreed to describe as a Malay corporate success.

I believe the staff in Petronas share similar opinions with me too.

Whatever it is, thank you Tan Sri Hassan Marican for transforming Petronas into a strong and profitable company that benefited Malaysians in all forms of subsidies, fiscal policies and economic plans YEAR AFTER YEAR !

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Controversial Nasir Safar

Below are excerpts of Press Statements and blog articles by Politicians as well as pro BN bloggers with regards to comments allegedly uttered by Nasir Safar, Special Officer to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

--- start ---

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad

“This is a very bad statement to make. Even if it’s true, we don’t say things like that. These people have been here all these years. They are in fact the descendants of the people who came here. They have not just arrived,” Dr Mahathir said.

PM's Department

Datuk Nasir never intended to make any derogatory remarks. He spoke at length on the contributions made by all races in developing the country. Nevertheless, Datuk Nasir apologises for any offence caused. In light of this, Datuk Nasir will tender his resignation.

Ong Tee Keat
I welcome the Prime Minister Office’s immediate clarifications yesterday that Nasir’s statement does not reflect the views of the Najib administration. But the damage has already been done and further action needs to be taken, including possible disciplinary proceedings or invoking sedition laws. Racism and bigotry are distractions that will hamper our genuine efforts to develop the economic and social well-being of the country.

Ti Lian Ker
It is even more disheartening that his racist remarks associating the flesh trade with the Chinese community whilst referring to the Chinese and Indians as “pendatang” were delivered at a seminar ironically entitled “Rapat 1Malaysia” in Malacca. Rather than contributing towards enhancing harmony, Nasir’s delving on stereotype derogatory identities have polarized society even further. He had also gone against the very spirit and fabric of 1Malaysia concept propagated by the Prime Minister.

P Kamala Nathan

The authorities should take the strongest possible steps by charging him with sedition. This is to act as a deterrent to others while reinforcing that a resignation doesn’t resolve one of such serious mistakes.

I must say that I was not there at the forum to hear it but I happened to be at the press conference given by Ali Rustam, the Chief Minister of Melaka, who said Nasir Safar's remarks went against the spirit of the form and the spirit of 1Malaysia. "This is Melaka, we don't say things that hurt other races," the Chief Minister said.

I was made to understand he spoke in front of a multi-racial audience including civil servants and politicians. It was bad manners for a man to have the gall to say things that could bring disrepute to the country and unnecessary anguish to Malaysians! Nasir, before he resigns, must also make a public apology for his totally uncalled for remarks!

Barisan National Youth ( I wonder if the Party leaders gave the green light to them )
“His resignation is not enough as this issue is too sensitive. We want the Home Ministry to arrest him under the ISA.”

--- end ---

Now, my turn to comment. Like it or not, I do not agree with Barisan Nasional Youth's stand to push for ISA to be enforced on Datuk Nasir Safar's words.

He has duly resigned as the Special Officer of our PM and claim individual responsibility over his words. In no way is his stand reflective of our Prime Minister, UMNO or Barisan Nasional.

Why must Datuk Nasir Safar be arrested under ISA ? BN Youth must be clear that the Youth movement and the senior movement were among those who called for an ISA review.

If his words are deemed insensitive towards Malaysian unity and could contribute to instability, then allow the Police and Attorney General to prosecute him based on other Malaysian laws (if any).

Leave ISA out of this matter. He is just a Special Officer, not a Leader. His words carry no weight and BN politicians have unanimously condemned his remarks made in Malacca.

Having said this, the message by the Prime Minister's Department is clear.

None of us agree, acknowledge or condone to such insensitivity and utter disrespect to all communities who contributed to the nation's success - be it Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Iban, Kadazan, the Aborigines (Orang Asli), as well as other tribes and races.

The "get out now" message or "I am sorry, I claim responsibility and I quit" message is sufficient and let us move on.

We have kids to educate, hungry families to feed, a sleeping economy to develop, and a successful nation to build.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

MCA : Crisis continues

  1. Here we go again. I thought MCA's crisis is gone for good and we can move on to policies, party reforms and service to the people.

  2. But realistically, someone had other plans and prefer to put us back to square one again. Liow faction announces boycott.

  3. I wonder which strong political or non political force is backing Liow silently or anonymously at the back. Chinese NGOs ? BN component parties ? Former leaders of MCA ?

  4. The Chinese Associations and Guilds must now decide whether or not Liow's actions are appropriate. MCA's Central Committee members have decided to move on and considered the internal party crisis solved.

  5. Any fresh election can be held within a month if 21 CC members resigned based on the Constitution, otherwise the leadership will serve on until their term expires in 2011.

  6. I believe Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah and Tan Sri William Cheng know what is best for MCA at this moment. You don't teach people to write "unity" without practising it yourself.

  7. I also believe Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah and Tan Sri William Cheng know that MCA should only be the sole political representative of the Chinese community.

  8. Any moves to transform the Chinese NGOs into political entities will be detrimental and disastrous for us all. Read more : Chinese NGOs must remain apolitical

  9. I don't think Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah or Tan Sri William Cheng will be interested to be politicians since they have to declare their assets, be free from business ownership and interests and leave their life in the limelight for public scrutiny.

  10. Scores of historical accounts surrounding the teams in Hua Zhong, ACCCIM, the Guilds and Associations will be poured out in detail if they intend to be political entities.

  11. I understand that ACCCIM, Hua Zhong and other NGO representatives had a fruitful meeting with MCA's President as well as Liow since he is the Chinese Guilds and Associations Consultative Bureau Head of MCA. Read : MCA draws up PKRAs, community issues to be given priority

  12. MCA's leadership is committed to once again be strong, dynamic and present itself as a united entity. Don't forget we won only 15 Parliamentary seats in 2008.

  13. The Chinese Associations and Guilds should summon MCA Integrity Task Force, Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek for a closed door meeting.

  14. A wise move would be to warn leaders not to cause disunity that will lead to the downfall of MCA.

  15. The Chinese Associations and Guilds should also lend weight and serve a note of confidence to the leadership of MCA to decide what's best for the Party and adhere to the outcome.

  16. While the National leaders work hard to win the hearts and confidence of Malaysians, we cannot afford to have the MCA Integrity Task Force smearing the names or efforts of the Party leaders.

  17. This will only negate all positive efforts of the Party, the Leadership as well as the Coalition. So who is undermining MCA and Barisan Nasional's efforts ?

  18. I want the axe to fall when all options to hand MCA's 3rd force an olive branch have been exhausted.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy 2

Reporter : Datin Seri, would you happen to know what your husband was doing on that very day ?

Wan Azizah : He has a meeting ... er ...

Reporter : Meeting where ?

Nurul Izzah : He was with us ... (unclear)

According to Saiful Bukhari, by his calculations, Anwar's team has successfully postponed or delayed the case by approximately 20 times.

A young man's wish. "Selama ini, Hanya SATU sahaja permintaan saya, iaitu untuk memberi keterangan di Mahkamah."

Saiful once urged his readers to have patience and wait for his day in Court to reveal more. But he did mention that he accompanied Anwar to
  • Hong Kong in early May,
  • Bangkok in late May and
  • Singapore from June 16 to 18

(Source : The Star)

After 20 merry go rounds, finally the Court case is on ! Collection of news from the international press :
  1. ... Anwar Ibrahim's defence team will produce at least five witnesses claiming they were with the PKR de facto leader at the material time of the unnatural sex charge. (Asiaone)

  2. Defense lawyer Sankara Nair said "there is no case," adding that Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, has an alibi. (MSNBC)

  3. Malaysia's opposition leader has told the BBC that he has an alibi for "every minute" of the day when he is accused of sodomy with a former male aide. (BBC)

Asiaone also quoted Anwar :
  • ....his lawyers had written three letters to the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney-General indicating his willingness to co-operate in the investigation.
  • 'They did not reply until today. Take my DNA, take my hair ... my hair is everywhere, except this part,' said Anwar as he smiled and patted the middle part of his scalp.

But, when the Police wanted to take the DNA, a different song was sung (written in Asiaone) :
  • He has refused to give a DNA sample, even though the police said they were willing to let him choose his own forensic expert to take his sample.

Just to walk us down memory lane, Sodomy 1's very last piece of judgement by the Court of Appeal was in favor of Anwar Ibrahim.

  • "To summarise our judgment, even though reading the appeal record, we find evidence to confirm that the appellants were involved in homosexual activities and we are more inclined to believe that the alleged incident at Tivoli Villa did happen, sometime, this court, as a court of law, may only convict the appellants if the prosecution has successfully proved the alleged offences as stated in the charges, beyond reasonable doubt, on admissible evidence and in accordance with established principles of law. We may be convinced in our minds of the guilt or innocence of the appellants but our decision must only be based on the evidence adduced and nothing else."

Source : Kehakiman

If there is an "air tight - guaranteed no case" alibi (5 witnesses as Sankara said, alibi every minute as Anwar said), then there is nothing to worry.

***UPDATED (10.30am)***
Trial has been postponed for 21st time.

***UPDATED (4.30pm)***
Court case will go on and no more delays, Judge ruled.