Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Malaysia boleh

We all know that Malaysia is corrupt to the core, in spite of recent effort by its government to rein in the shenanigans. But this must surely take the cake. A Royal Malaysia Air Force personnel (they didn't mention rank here, but it cannot be a lance corporal, surely?) has ganged up with foreigners (South American) to take a RM50 million engine out of the country from one of its military airbase. This has nothing to do with a friendly exchange of technology. It is reportedly a simple case of theft. But at this level and within its military? You have to be concerned, very concerned.

The Malaysian authorities are onto the case. They don't approve of it, of course. And now that the cat is out of the bag, they have a lot of damage control to manage, not least of which is to assure the rest of the world that the integrity of its military is still intact, that a rogue Captain/Major/Colonel (or maybe even ranked higher?) has been captured and will face a court-martial.

The questions that calls for answers are:

1. How much control and discipline is there in the Malaysia armed forces today? Is the military just as corrupt as the politicians, the police and everyone in between? 
2. If someONE can ship out a $14.5 million fighter jet engine without authorisation, what else can't be leaked out of its military bases?
3. How high up the echelon is the perpetrator of this theft. Surely not just a Colonel?
4. Is there only one perpetrator on the Malaysian side? Just one? Really?

This gives a different spin on 'Malaysia boleh'!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cook the crook

Is UMNO out of its mind? Fielding a dishonest person for an otherwise honourable position as Member of Parliament? If this is the best that UMNO can offer to the Rakyat, then it shouldn't be in the business of government. An MP is an honoured position tasked to make laws, deliberate on the State and country's budgets and finances, and act as the leader of the community.

Clearly this position requires a person of great personal integrity and honesty. Anything less, and it appears that UMNO is willing to settle for less, and the people will feel betrayed. Why, because it is the people's money - the taxes that they pay - that goes to providing the salary and whatever other perks that an MP enjoys. If I were a taxpayer, I will be very unhappy that my hard earned money is used to support and sustain a crook, who, it would appear, has not seen the error of his ways and shown any remorse. Like what many are saying, he would even try to deceive UMNO about the truth of his conduct - behaviour that the Law Society deems fit to debar him from practicing as a lawyer.

For a moment there, it appeared that Najib was doing the right things, striking the right cords, but this incident, coupled with the MACC incident threatens to derail any attempt by him to gain respectibility among the electorates. The long hard winter is set to continue in UMNO-land.

p.s. then again, I can hear someone questioning the integrity of half the MPs in the present Parliament. So what is one more?

Friday, June 19, 2009

PAS meltdown

If it succeeds, it will be recognised as a master stroke by Najib's UMNO. Using that age-old strategy of 'Divide-and-Conquer', it appears that UMNO is close to succeeding in driving a wedge at the top levels of the PAS leadership, breaking that singleness of purpose that PAS has so far been known for, and for which it has succeeded, albeit around a political niche. Today, it is a major partner with Anwar Ibrahim in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR). To break up PAS is to also break up the PR, and thereby come closer to reclaiming the constituencies which is has lost and which it continues to lose.

What really is driving some people in PAS towards a Unity Government with UMNO? To whom does it benefit? The Malay/Muslims? Or the very people in PAS clamouring for this Unity Goverment? Have some people's hands been greased, or enticed by promises beyond mere political inclusiveness and power?

One waits with bated breadthe the outcome of this internal political battle. The only people smiling are Najib and his UMNO. At last, he is showing that he is more than what people have disparaged him for.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sniping Mahathir

In typical fashion, Dr M has now come out to criticize MM Lee's recent visit to Malaysia. In this visit, Singapore's MM Lee Kuan Yew, met with PM Najib and his wife, former PM Abdullah Badawi, the Chief Minister of Penang, Datuk Lim Guan Eng, the Sultans of Perak and Pahang States, and, for the first time, the Opposition PAS' leader, Nik Aziz Nik Mat. Conspicuous in the list of people that MM did not meet were Dr M and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. I don't know why. Maybe MM asked, but they didn't want to see him, or they asked and MM said it was out of the way and couldn't fit them in in his scheduled 10-day visit to Malaysia. Maybe both parties didn't even think about it. In any case, Anwar Ibrahim comes over to Singapore pretty often to attend conferences and such. Whatever the reason, Dr M seems to be pretty unhappy and he has worked up a tirade, yet again, againsts the MM and Singapore.

That's exactly what MM meant when he warned that it was difficult for Singaporean and foreign investors to put their money into Malaysia in the past - that past when Dr M ruled the roost. Because then, as the byline of this blog states, there was always this case of 1-step forward 2-step back relationship between Singapore and Malaysia. It didn't have to be the case, and it shouldn't ever have to be this case, said MM. I agree.

Differences there will always be, and each one of us, every country, is obliged to and thus must try to find a way in this world to earn a living, to improve life and living, and not chronically go begging for alms. This has always been Singapore's stance and it has had to cultivate friendships with one and all, even with the rogue nations of Myanmar and Iran. So is it any surprise that MM continues to value Malaysia as a friend and partner? Yet Dr M sees MM as a prima donna out to trick the Malays all over again in his latest foray up north, implying that the illustrious people listed above are easily hoodwinked. Come on, grow up, Dr M and put away such insecurities that belies the immaturity of a man. Give more credit to your successors and fellow Malaysians.

Singapore knows it place and has just had to get on with it in the past. It has had to learn to recycle its longkang water because it fears that in time to come, Malaysia will just charge it monopolistic prices for water which it gets free-of-charge from its rivers, courtesy of divine sources. It has had to station its F-15s and F-16s in Australian and US deserts for its pilots to get some flight time because Malaysia cannot tolerate them flying over any of its airspace. It has had to ship in sand from Myanmar and elsewhere because it wouldn't sell its sand to Singapore. This is one of the most ludicrous and childish policies. Just look at the map. How much land area will Malaysia deplete to cover the entire island of Singapore with sand? It doesn't need a trained geographer to tell you its negligible. Singapore is, after all, just a little red dot. And even in getting back Pedra Branca, it went to the World Court - the International Court of Justice - for a judgement according to International Law. Not a single bullet was fired, nor a kris unsheathed (excepting Hishammuddin's antics), to claim ownership of the island, as would have happened in older times.

So it is ludicrous when Dr M insinuates that the Chinese bullies the minority Malays in Singapore and even the majority up north. Ask any Malay in Singapore if they would rather give up their Singapore citizenship and go live in Malaysia. I suspect that the numbers will be in the low hundreds, including undesirables like Mat Selamat. So Dr M should stop that childish bashing and stop being the perennial cry-baby. It will only lower people's perception of him and his place in history.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Corruptor Free

Dr M is playing catchup. After Lim Guan Eng suggested offering money to whistle blowers for exposing corrupt practices, Dr M suggested in his blog that the Malaysia law should be amended such that it punishes the corruptee (those that gain from the corrupt act, i.e. receives the benefit in cash or kind) but look the other way on the corrupter - he who offers the benefit in cash or kind).

That doesn't sound fair. You forgive the person who initiates the corrupt act - the tempter, but screw the temptee? This won't stop corruption. It will do the opposite - increase it. Because the corrupter knows that whatever he does, the law will protect him, or at least look the other way. The temptee, will, of course, get his just desert by being locked up and/or de-cashed. Whether the Malaysia Polis throws away the key I leave it up to them ($$$ *wink* *wink*).

But on further thought, Dr M is probably doing Singaporeans a favour, seeing as how Singapore motorists, for example, routinely offer $50 Sing dollars to Malaysia traffic policemen for overlooking whatever motoring misdemeanor they may or may not have committed on Malaysia roads. We all know this is common. My friend did this once and I was in that same car. Now I don't have that sense of guilt anymore.

Hmmm...I think I am wrong about Dr M all this while. As a Singaporean, I support his proposal, I salute him. Majullah Singapura!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crooked once more

Malaysian politics is complex, yet simple. There is probably a lot more wayang behind the scenes even as Najib Tun Razak is trying to get a grip on loyalty within UMNO, fire-fighting local quarrels (e.g. Terengganu), paring the Opposition PKR and considering some Johor political bigwigs' suggestion of resurrecting the crooked bridge idea across the Johore Straits hatched during Mahathir's reign as supremo.

The simple part? Najib appears to be beholden to Mahathir. He appointed Mahathir's son, the worst loser of the UMNO Youth contest, to a deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry. Mahathir appears to be cashing in his other chips early. He probably wants the crooked bridge project back on the table after unceremoniously being dumped by former PM Abdullah Badawi, much to the delight of the Singaporeans, who prefer things to be straight and clear.

But unfortunately, the crooked bridge proposal just wouldn't go away and alleged crooks like Najib Razak may, naturally, build it. If it is realised, it will stand as an infamous symbol of stupidity and waste by the Malaysian government. That will be Dr M's ultimate legacy to the country. Well, frankly, if he doesn't mind the infamy, the waste of the people's (from both sides of the Causeway) time and money, and the derisive laughter of the international community for generations to come, he and his cronies can go ahead and build their half of the bridge, however crooked.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Win

Friend, Malaysians, Countrymen, today we come together to pronounce the end of the Mahathir Dynasty with his son, Mukhriz Mahathir's loss to Mr Khairy Jamaluddin for the post of UMNO Youth Chief. It was a surprise win, given that sentiment has been against Khairy's father-in-law, Mr Abdullah Badawi (AB) since UMNO's crushing loss in the elections last March. The in-coming PM, Mr Najib Razak has been replacing AB's people in government over the last couple of months, perhaps in an effort to erase anything connected to AB in the new Administration. So one would reasonably expect Mukhriz to win, or at least come in second. He came in last. Poor chap.

So things are not to be. With Khairy the Youth Chief, it is now more difficult to shake aways AB, much to the chagrin, no doubt, of Dr M and his son.

The politics, if it is not already tumultous over the last couple of years, is set to retain its suspense into the Najib administration.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Crime and High Office

One of the saddest things leading up to the takeover of the PM'ship of Malaysia by Najib Razak is the cloud of suspicion that the next PM of Malaysia is a crook and, possibly, a murderer.

Talk has been swirling for so long about this that it seems like fact in the minds of many. So far, talk has been hush hush. Spoken behind closed doors, in coffee-shops, at dinners, people are saying that Najib Razak is complicit in the murder of Ms Altantuya Shaaribuu, the stunningly beautiful Mongolian Model. Nevermind that his friend, Abdul Razak Baginda, has been 'cleared' of any wrong doing in the same case by the Malaysia Courts.

Hidden things can never remain hidden forever. Malaysia's former defacto Law Minister, Mr Zaid Ibrahim said a PM must be "beyond reproach in his dealings, both official and private..." and has asked the Malaysia King to reject Najib Razak as PM. Zaid Ibrahim has no proof. Nobody, it appears, has. Otherwise Najib would long have been dealt by the Courts, or would it? Even if there were proof, would it make any difference to prosecute him, given that the Court prefers to look the other way, as in the case of Abdul Razak Baginda?

The problem is Najib Razak is letting this thing fester. Sure he asks, "Where is the evidence?", and unless someone has concrete proof of his wrong doing, he is innocent. As they say, one is innocent until proven guilty. But for someone aspiring to high office, absence of proof is just not enough, as Zaid Ibrahim suggests. A person who aspires to the top post of the land must be beyond reproach. There should never be a shadow of a doubt. Yet the situation now is - many have doubts. So to begin with, Najib Razak does not have the moral authority. Sure he has lineage and politics behind him, but these count for little ultimately in forging a good leader, someone who commands the trust of the electorate. If Najib Razak is clean, he should make a concerted, deliberate effort to show, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he has nothing to do with the model's murder. It is not up to him. As the incoming PM, he owes it to the people, the rakyat, to show that the next PM of Malaysia is not a crook.

Unless, of course, he is ...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pax Malaysiana

Well now, some Malaysian love their language, Malay, so much that they are calling for the return of the teaching of Maths and Science in Malay. It was only 6 years ago, in 2003, that Malaysia recognised that its graduates were facing a lot of difficulties when they try to go up the educational ladder - because all they knew was Malay Science and Malay Maths, that the government switched the language of instruction back to English.

Now, the same issue is being raised amidst the political and economic turmoil gripping the nation. I wonder why? A distraction a la "wag the dog"? I think these Malay demonstrators are ultimately doing themselves a dis-service. They are displaying how insecure they really are. They want their children, ultimately, to be crippled when and if they advanced through the educational ladder. For countries like Singapore, which boasts a strong educational system, these subjects are done only in English. How are they ever going to fit in, even if their grades say they can? Their grasps of the English language will be so poor that these educational institutions will not even take them in.

Which leads to the next question. Is it because the government wants to stifle the non-Malays from ever moving up in the world, if not out of the country? Well, to be fair, the government is resisting this, so it isn't a government conspiracy, if there were any at all. Let's hope that, for the progress of Malaysia, people proposing the Malayanisation of all things Malayan do not succeed.

This is one area that I agree with Dr M. But would people listen to him today?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Corrupt to the core

The Malaysians are at it again. Photos of a semi-naked Ms Elizabeth Wong, the Honourable opposition MP from Anwar Ibrahim's PKR party, has been circulated, leading to her resigning her Selangor state Cabinet post and assembly seat. The last time a similar thing happened was when Mr Chua Soi Lek resigned his posts because he was caught on video in a hotel room engaged in activities with a person not his wife.

Since when has the naked form of a person, man or woman, proved incompetence on the part of the person? Don't we ALL have "private parts", which, if you are not aware, play important roles in keeping use alive and propagating the human race? What is there to be ashamed of if these parts are publicly displayed, especially when it is done so without the person's consent? I would like to let Ms Wong know that there is no wrong, no shame and certainly no dishonour in it, except among those who are prudes and among people - enemies - who would want to bring a person down, politically or otherwise.

Unfortunately, in Malaysia, that's how its appears the dominant UMNO wants to play politics. Anwar is already on video accusing the UMNO party of playing dirty politics. And he would be the one who has a certain 'authority' on this because somebody did him in in dirty fashion more than 10 years ago.

If politics is going to be conducted in this fashion in Malaysia from here on in (remember, just a few weeks ago, certain MPs defected to BN in Perak state, leading to a change in government of sorts). It is difficult to imagine that some political force is not behind all of these. And these forces appear to be quite powerful, and rich too, for who would want to defect, or show 'embarassing' photos' if there is not some financial incentives to do so. And who would want to part with their money if that somebody is not enriched by somebody else in some significant way?

Is Malaysia now so corrupt to the core?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Standing the law on its head

Malaysia has been mired in controversy over the last couple of months. And it didn't begin with the dominant UMNO losing 5 Malaysia States in the last election. Of particular note is the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu, who was blown up by explosives. One of the accused, Abdul Razak Baginda, has been acquited. Abdul Razak has 'high powered' connections and some are saying that that is why he got acquitted.

On the other hand, the 2 police officers who remain in the dock have just about been convicted of the murder because, according to the prosecution, the 2 policemen have not been able to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that they did not commit the murders.

Well, I am flabbergasted. The established rule is that the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the 2 policemen (the defendants) did committed the murder, and not for the defendants to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did not. The judge will hand out his verdict on 9 April 2009, but if it agrees with the convoluted and unprecedented arguments put forth by the prosecution, then I'd be floored totally.

One wonders where Malaysia prosecution lawyers were trained. I only hope the learned Judges do the right thing and throw out the case because the prosecution does not seem to have proved beyond reasonable doubt their case.

See also: Mongolian model shot and blown to bits

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Boycott Man

Malaysia's Dr Mahathir Mohammad is bankrupt.

Before anyone sues me for lies and defamation, let me clarify. He is bankrupt of ideas, of constructive suggestions that will solve problems and not exercerbate them. In response to the conflict between Israel and the Hamas in the Gaza strip just this past week, Dr M suggests that the world boycott all American made products, including Coca-cola, as well as the US currency. Didn't we last hear him suggest to the world to boycott Netherlands products for screening a film that criticized the Holy Quraan, the holy book of Islam? It would appear that boycotting is the Mahathir way.

In the war between Israel and the Lebanese back in 2006, Dr M also called for the boycott of the US currency.

Back in 1997, Dr M suggested that ASEAN should boycott ASEM because ASEM insisted on banning Myanmar from its dialogue. In 1998, Dr M boycotted the APEC. His alternative to the APEC, the East Asia Economic Caucus, had received lukewarm response.

Here is the boycott man spieling his brand of geopolitical strategy: