Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Book Launching

Malaysiakini reports, here, that "Dr M fears corruption in general election".

Eh? Welcome to the club.

The 82 year old former premier also lashed the present government as "weak" and said he feared that vote-buying would be deployed to stem its losses in upcoming general elections. He said this in an interview with foreign news wires to mark the launch of his latest book yesterday.

I was invited to the Perdana Leadership Foundation building in Putrajaya this morning for the official launching of the former PM's book "Dr. Mahathir's Selected letters to World Leaders", published by Marshall Cavendish Editions. The book is a collection of 71 letters compiled and contain editorial comments by Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad a.k.a. Dollah Kok Lanas (DKL), a fellow MCKK old boy, former special envoy to the UN and ex-head of the New Straits Times Group.

DKL concedes that the book is not a 'fun' read but insists that it surely must be required reading for students of Malaysian politics and international relations. The book has been on sale at bookstores since two weeks ago.

Read fellow blogger Big Dog's take on the book launch and PC, here.

(Above photo taken at the launch with former minister and Kedah MB Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, another MCKK old boy I haven't met for more than 40 years).

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Buy, No Lies

The People’s Parliament committee for Hartal-MSM, of which I am a member, held a press conference (PC) at the Blog House in Damansara this morning to launch a civil society initiative to boycott the mainstream media (MSM). It was well attended by the MSM, other print media and well-wishers. (Read reports of the PC by Malaysiakini , here, and Malaysians Unplugged Uncensored, here).

This initiative was born out of a genuine concern in society over how news reported by the MSM did not always tally with facts. For a start, we are advocating a 'Newspaper Free Tuesday'. (For more details on the PC and the media statement, go to the People's Parliament website, here.)

Watch the video recording of the PC here:

Hartal-MSM has also started a ‘Boycott the Newspapers!’ online petition. The petition can be accessed and signed online at:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Strange Bedfellows

(Er ... looks like me ... looks like him ..)

Well, the occasion was last night's 23rd anniversary gala dinner of the Institut Kelautan Malaysia (IKMAL) at the Vintage Ballroom of the Subang Holiday Villa, where transport minister Chan Kong Choy was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute. The award was supposedly in recognition of his so-called "outstanding contributions" to the Malaysian maritime industry.

Suffice it to say that I wasn't exactly thrilled to bits about this either.

Buek habih boreh ajo ...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mindful Mariner

My friend and fellow retired old sea dog, Capt. Abdul Karim Stuart Russell, may just prove to be another Robert Burns in the making. Always at the fore with his very insightful and often humorous comments in my blog, he has just started his very own: Mindful Mariner. (Go visit, here).

We can all now look forward to many an interesting local mat salleh's perspective of the Malaysian socio-political scene.

(After a few wee drams he can also be useful as a "BBC reporter", eh Zorro?)

Ceud mile fĂ ilte to the blogosphere, or whatever they call it, Stu.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Apparently, the front fell off !

"A wave hit the ship!"

"Is that unusual?"

"Oh yeah! At sea? Chance in a million!"

My friend and fellow mariner Capt. Abdul Ghani Ishak, now in London, sent this hilarious 'TV interview' spoof of an Australian politician doing doublespeak on environmental issues, explaining a tanker loss and oil spill at sea.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"I don't remember"

(Source: the Star)

His 'mad' or 'drunk' lawyer had access to state secrets and when asked about events which took place only a few years ago, our former prime minister chose to do a Ronald Reagan: I don't remember.

How bloody convenient.

And when asked about his holiday jaunt in New Zealand with the same lawyer he has identified only as an 'acquaintance', a former Chief Justice also had the same stock answer: I don't remember.

One gets to wonder whether this "selective amnesia" business is set to become a national affliction. But hopefully, justice will yet prevail. Who would have thought that a seemingly innocent video taping by a client of a dinner meeting at his lawyer's home a few years ago would bring this whole stinking episode to light? Heck, he could have made a lot of money out of the tape. So this must be divine intervention. There's no two ways about it and you'd better believe it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lakes Rehab

In conjunction with the second phase of our lakes rehabilitation project through community participation, Friends of Kelana Jaya Park, one of the NGO's of which I am now very much involved with, is conducting a Lake Community Monitoring Programme to train the local community on its role in keeping the lakes clean. This program has the support of Global Environment Centre (GEC), Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) and Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI).

Interested Kelana Jaya residents are cordially invited to participate.

Date: Saturday, 26 January 2008.
: 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
: Sri Anjung Room, MBPJ Landscape Department, Kelana Jaya Park.

Admission is free and seats are limited. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Please confirm attendance before or on 19 January 2008, or direct inquiries to:

Mr. Jack Lim,
E-mail :
H/P : 019 257 2405
Tel/Fax : 03 7803 1118

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Treachery, unlimited

During my early morning brisk walk yesterday, I bumped into the MP from Kepong who is also the vice chairman of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC). I asked him when will PAC get the Attorney General to explain why the Klang Port Authority ignored his (the AG's) recommendations regarding the purchase of land for the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ). The YB told me that he now has a sneaking suspicion that chairman Shahrir Samad never really had any intention to summon the AG, despite his seeming bravado and posturing in the past, perhaps just to toe the party line.

Now that the general elections is around the corner and what with the intense lobbying and backstabbing amongst the hopefuls and the incumbents, I suppose a lot of these 'sensitive' matters will now be swept under the carpet. Yesterday's the Star weekly maritime supplement, for example, highlighted and glossed over the current developments in PKFZ (read about it, here). But the question that I have been frothing at the mouth asking all this while still remains unanswered: Whatever happened to all the money? I hear rentals and leases are now going as low as 15 sen per sq foot per month which I believe will not even be enough to pay salaries, let alone to pay back a RM4.6 billion 'soft' loan.

Our mainly God fearing rakyat must be told that it is a major sin to return corrupt politicians to power, somewhat akin to bersubahat or becoming accessories after the fact. But perhaps there is still hope yet, maybe a divine intervention, as cracks begin to appear in the solid Barisan Nasional wall. (Someone tells me even Sammy Vellu is now in India to mantram and pray for his own political survival.) Hopefully more young politicians will now have the balls to break ranks and speak up with their conscience without fear or favour. Surely they who thrive on treachery and conspiracy must reap what they sow.

Friday, January 04, 2008

When honesty may not have been the best policy

(Source: the Star)

Poor Dr. Chua Soi Lek. He gambled and lost. Instead of waiting for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to determine the authenticity of the DVDs of his sexual indiscretions, the former Minister of Health quickly owned up and vowed to carry on as usual. But he didnt reckon with the Malaysian public playing the high moral ground or having a 'holier-than-thou attitude' and was forced to resign barely 24 hours later. Sheeesh.

I laughed aloud when I saw the seemingly innocent faces of the Malaysian Chinese Association's (MCA) 'all the president's men' in above photo from yesterday's MCA owned Star newspaper, which had gone to town with the story. Although they had all condemned 'the DVD culprits', it is pretty easy enough for anyone to conclude that any one or more of them could have have plotted Chua's downfall. It couldn't have been the KGB or New York mafia.

Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang in his blog yesterday (read here) has again picked on transport minister Chan Kong Choy whom he said must emulate Chua and resign over the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, the largest financial scandal in the four-year Pak Lah administration and even bigger than the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal in the early eighties. Lim has also repeated his call for another Royal Commission of Inquiry, but I fear this may just fall on deaf ears. Both Chan and his immediate predecessor Ling Liong Sik must have been emboldened by the fact that a 'big brother' who was also very much involved in the fiasco and have been playing dumb all this while, is solidly behind them: UMNO.

The rakyat will be paying heavily for these 'indiscretions'. We are being screwed big time and we are not even all consenting adults either.