Monday, March 30, 2009


Last month I blogged, here, about a worsening ownership battle for a planned Malaysian ship bunkering facility, the Asia Petroleum Hub, on a reclaimed island in Johor to rival Singapore’s which is threatening to derail the project and could hurt CIMB, one of the country’s largest commercial banks.

The project leader, KIC Oil and Gas, has drawn nearly half of its RM1.4 billion financing facility from CIMB to fund construction work. But it has failed to resolve problems with another key shareholder Seaport Terminal and this has prompted CIMB to consider suspending further funding for the construction.

Among the questions which arose then was why was the funding released by CIMB before the ownership problems are resolved. Adding to the mystery is an affidavit filed a few years ago in Singapore, here, in a suit between KIC and an ex-employee that the salary offered by KIC was only for "budgetary" purposes in a "dummy" contract which was used for the purpose of obtaining loans.

Meanwhile, The Malaysian Insider has today reported, here, that CIMB has asked its 36,000 employees to consider taking up to 6 months of no-pay leave as it aims to cut costs in the economic slowdown, the first major Malaysian company to do so. However, Group CEO Nazir Razak (photo) has said there was no set target on the number of employees accepting the offer and denied the company was cutting staff.

If we are looking at yet another bailout again, Nazir certainly has nothing to worry about. After all, big brother is going to be the country's numero uno.

These people never learn. Thank God two of my children who were with CIMB have already left the bank.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


On this lazy Sunday morning, I would like to share with you a joke about crocs (not those rubber sandals lah) which my old buddy Capt. Gian Singh Sehmi sent me. Enjoy.

Two crocodiles were sitting at the side of a swamp near a lake in Putrajaya.

The smaller one turned to the bigger one and said, "I can't understand how you can be so much bigger than me. We were the same size as kids. I just don't get it."

"Well," said Big Croc, "what have you been eating?"

"Politicians, same as you," replied Small Croc.

"Hmmm. Same here. How do you catch them?"

"Well, I crawl up under one of their Mercs and wait for one to unlock the car door. Then I jump out, grab them by the leg, shake the $hit out of them and eat 'em!"

"Aha!," says the Big Croc,"I think I see your problem. You're not getting any real nourishment. See, by the time you finish shaking the $hit out of a politician, there's really nothing left but an a$shole and a briefcase!"

P.S. Many thanks, Gian sahib. I now owe you a double patiala ...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Winners and Losers

An anonymous reader wrote a one-liner in my blog recently: "Kamulah Melayu yang akan meranapkan bangsa sendiri". He didnt elaborate on how he came to this earth shattering conclusion so I consigned his remark to the trash bin.

It didnt strike this twit that UMNO, a party corrupt to the core, has lost its moral authority to govern the country and are destroying the Malays.

Najib, Muhyiddin, Hishamuddin, Zahid and that Sabah fellow whatshisname. A "dream team", my ass.

A big bunch of delusional and misguided 'youths' with Class F contractors and mat rempit mindsets elected Khairy Jamaludin, found guilty of "money politics" - a glorified term for bribery and corruption if you ask me, as the new UMNO Youth head. This makes him a prime candidate for a post in Najib's new cabinet.

The others voted in UMNO's Majlis Tertinggi are nobodies who do not really inspire much confidence, either.

Winners all perhaps but the losers are definitely the rakyat.

And former prime minister Tun Dr M did indeed vow that he will work to oust incoming premier Najib should he appoint "corrupt leaders" in his cabinet.

Over to you, Tun.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

This Saturday 28th March 2009, 2,398 cities, towns and municipalities in 83 countries will be observing the WWF Earth Hour 2009, in a move to let world leaders know of the worldwide concern about global warming and demand action on climate change. In Malaysia, this simple act of switching off all lights for an hour will be at 2030 hrs. All are encouraged to do the same. (Go to the Earth Hour website, here).

Googling for more information on the subject, I stumbled on the fact that actually cattle farming accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than, say, the entire transportation sector i.e., all road vehicles, trains, aeroplanes and ships combined. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), bovine burps and flatulence in livestock production contribute 18 per cent of the greenhouse methane gas emissions believed to cause global warming.

In other words, cattle farts (kentut lembu) are warming up the planet!

But rising sea levels and the recent droughts and fires Down Under, for example, are no laughing matter.

Perhaps it is time now for all of us to seriously consider saying goodbye to McD, T-bone steaks and sup ekor ... and go vegetarian.


In the meantime, we can all also do our part in our own small ways. So lights off Saturday night for an hour at 2030 hrs. Afraid of the dark? Go light a candle.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

UMNO: Beyond Redemption

Quite frankly, if the ground would open up during an earthquake and swallow the entire PWTC building this week while the UMNO general assembly is in progress, I would be the last person to shed any tears.

In the first place, the UMNO that we have now isnt really the original UMNO of Onn Jaafar, which started the fight for the country's independence. After its deregistration during the 1988 constitutional crisis, former prime ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn didn't even bother to 'rejoin' the new 'UMNO Baru' of Mahathir Mohamed, clearly expressing their disgust at what took place. About a year ago, Mahathir himself quit the party, also in disgust, expecting many others to follow suit but nobody of any consequence did.

In her latest blog posting, Nini Talk has it right on the button when she writes, here, that "In the present era of openness and transparency, it becomes all the more crucial to have leaders with very few skeletons in their cupboards. As the nation's role models, they must be looked up to with the highest regard. When they talk of integrity, they themselves must be examples of it".

The so called 'UMNO' that incoming premier Najib will inherit will be helmed by misfits, devoid of any morals, integrity and with plenty of skeletons in their cupboards. Since Najib as the next UMNO president himself has many Swords of Damocles hanging over his head, this UMNO is clearly beyond redemption.

As I have said before and I will say it again, that the country's future will be decided in the next few days by 2000-odd Class F contractors and their ilk really gives me the shivers. May God help us all.

Friday, March 20, 2009


What have the people at the government news agency Bernama been smoking when they went to town with the story a few days ago, that the Brunei government has dropped its claim over the disputed territory of Limbang in Sarawak? I had thought then it was damned sporting of the Bruneians. I also believe the Borneo Post even went a bit further claiming that Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud also played a prominent role in the negotiations.

A senior Brunei minister has since refuted this, saying that the claims on Limbang were never discussed during the recent meeting between Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and the Malaysian prime minister.

Today's the Sun frontpaged its headline "Red-faced over Limbang", here, and the news that foreign minister Rais Yatim is now doing damage control and making soothing noises over the fact that what we 'perceive' may not necessarily be the same as what they, the Bruneians believe. A simple matter of perception then, really, but irresponsible reporting can do a lot of harm to good relations between two very close neighbours.

After charges that many of us bloggers are indeed frauds and charlatans who shoot off our rabble-rousing mouths etc., etc., made by a pompous NST editorial some time ago (read my earlier blog "The Loony Fringe", here), what do we call this brand of journalism by government newspapers and agencies?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Klang's "Little India"

(Source: The Star)

There has been a lot of hype in the Barisan Nasional owned mainstream media about the proposed change of the name of Klang’s famous "Little India" to "Medan Kelana" by the Majlis Perbandaran Klang. (Read today's the Star online's report, here). A lot of hogwash to politicize the issue and mislead the public, I think.

As a former long time denizen of Port Klang, I cannot recall ever seeing any signboard along Jalan Tengku Kelana (photo), which says that the place is indeed officially named "Little India". What everybody seems to forget is that it is only a convenient nickname for the neighbourhood, the same way that KL's Brickfields and even Singapore's Serangoon Road areas are also well known as "Little Indias".

Also the same way, I suppose, that Kuala Lumpur's Petaling Street or even Singapore's Selegie Road areas are also still today known as "China Towns" when the whole bloody city is one big China town.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Illegal Grab

Rather late in the day and more than a month after the ouster of the Pakatan Rakyat government from Perak, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir (TDM) yesterday finally declared that the Barisan Nasional (BN) takeover of the state was not done according to the law. (Read the Malaysian Insider report, here).

"You cannot topple a menteri besar or a prime minister without a no-confidence vote in the assembly. There is no other provision," he said.

TDM said that BN should have done it properly and not "be in conflict with the law" as the courts may now rule that the Sultan of Perak has no right to sack a menteri besar. He added that a Sultan could only reject a candidate for one of his choice after an election but even this candidate could be defeated in the assembly by a vote.

Well, he should know. He was the man behind the past many constitutional amendments affecting the Rulers' functions and responsibilities.

An anonymous reader once commented in my blog that perhaps the Sultan only wanted to 'test' the legal system and laments the possible resultant 'collateral damage' inflicted on the rakyat. Anyway, lets see now if any UMNO hotshot would also like to charge the former PM for derhaka or treason or whatever too.

TDM has also vowed to work to boot out incoming premier Najib should he appoint "corrupt leaders" in his new cabinet. (Read the Malaysiakini report, here)

Hmmmm ...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Language Controversy

(Source: Malaysiakini)

My late father Haji Ahmad Abdul Jalal was a nationalist. A school teacher who was active in the national Malay Teachers Union*, he had fought hard together with his contemporaries for the establishment of a Chair for Malay Studies at the University of Malaya many years ago. He had shed tears when he was invited to Pantai Valley to witness the launching ceremony and would have cried in anguish if he was still alive today to see his fellow teachers being bombarded with water cannons and teargassed by the police at Saturday's protest march (photo), for fighting for what he and his peers had fought valiantly for, half a century ago. (Read the Malaysiakini report, here)

But my father was also a pragmatist. My siblings and I grew up learning English by reading the Straits Times and the occasional copies of Readers Digest and the Dandy and Beano comics which he could barely afford with his meager salary. We didnt do too badly, I think. How many Malay parents would do the same today, I wonder.

Some years ago, I believe I did my bit for the national language when I served on a Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka committee to translate English nautical and shipping terms into bahasa. It was indeed a learning and eye-opening experience for me when I discovered that it was almost next to impossible to deal with many of the English words and terms without simply bastardising the same. Perhaps for this reason only that the courses at the Akademi Laut Malaysia (ALAM) in Melaka, for example, are still being taught exclusively in English.

What I am really against is the 'flip-flopping' on the issue of the language to be used in the teaching of science and mathematics in schools, despite denials from the prime minister. This will be very hard on our children. (Read my earlier posting: "Don't belok-belok", here). On the other hand, high handed government action on peaceful dissent on the matter are not going to make things any better, either.

Perhaps Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or Ku Li is the only UMNO leader worth listening to nowadays, but sadly nobody in the party appears to be listening to him. I agree with Ku Li when he says, here, that "UMNO is utterly alienated from its meaning, purpose and spirit. No longer the party of the Malay schoolteacher but of the power that directs water cannons and teargas at them. No longer the grassroots party of the Malays, but of opportunists who hide behind the Rulers while they fan hatred between the people."

* Persatuan Kesatuan Guru-Guru Melayu Semenanjung.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

High Noon in Perak

Perak is in deep shit. Will Dr Zambri's de facto Barisan Nasional (BN) government which has called any attempt to hold an emergency sitting of the state assembly this morning a “threat to national security”, declare emergency rule today? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

Its crystal clear to all and sundry that BN wants to cling on to power by any and all means by trying to stretch to the limits its advantage of incumbency to prevent a vote in the assembly today, which it may lose. I am also shocked at the way the police and state civil servants are also getting into the act which I believe is completely unwarranted.

Amidst the flurry of activity with the Executive now getting involved in the affairs of the Legislature, the one man who can put a stop to all this madness is keeping mum. Whither the Sultan?