yesterme yesteryou yesterday

yesterme yesteryou yesterday

Monday, 5 December 2016

Iskandar Malaysia's 10th anniversary - a salute to Datuk Ghani (updated)


A friend from Irda shared this photo of Johor MB DS Mohamed Khaled Nordin and his predecessor TS Abdul Ghani Othman at a function in JB today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Iskandar Malaysia.

I have to admit that I was touched seeing the two guys together again. It's probably their first public picture together after the 2013 general election.

Seeing it, I can't help but to remember this picture of them taken at the MB official residence of Saujana on the day Johor BN candidates for the 2004 general election was announced,

It seems such a long time ago....but those were the best days of Johor as I remember it.


A friend called just now telling me he was at a dinner function in JB to celebrate the 10th anniversary of

Iskandar Malaysia 

He called because the event reminds him of the good time we shared helping in our little ways efforts by former Johor menteri besar TS Abdul Ghani Othman in making the project a success.

Well, actually I still call him Datuk instead of Tan Sri. I'm too used to it.

I'm quite sure the event will be given a full coverage by the press as PM DS Najib Razak was among those present.

The PM was earlier today at the massive Petronas' integrated petroleum complex in Pengerang, another major project initiated during Ghani's administration.

The project was mooted by Ghani himself.

In fact, almost all the existing crucial development projects in Johor now was started during Ghani's time.

That includes even the many affordable housing projects for the rakyat in the state.

The ones I'm certain not started during Ghani's time was the larger portion of development along the Tebrau Straits such as Forest City and others targeting foreign buyers.

Well, that's how things are in Johor now.

I do get a bit nostalgic as I'm writing this post :)

Back then was indeed a good time.

We worked hard to help Ghani for Johor without expecting anything other than a clear conscience of doing good in what ever little ways that we could.

My friend said Ghani was at the function tonight.

It's the first time I heard he's back in JB after leaving the state in 2013.

Ghani will always be my favourite leader.

He did all he can for Johor and his beloved Umno.

No one should forget his last sacrifice, contesting an impossible fight against DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang in the Chinese majority Gelang Patah in a futile effort to stop the Chinese tsunami of GE13.

The guy is good and incorruptible, and the people who loyally works with him followed his examples.

That's why I admire him so much.

Well, I wish him all the best.

In honour of Ghani, I'm reproducing in full this post from the BIGCAT blog as a remembrance of how it all started.

Saturday, 19 November 2011


When Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman took up the mantle of leadership in Johor, he clearly displayed his balanced outlook, by introducing the holistic development approach in his first budget speech in 1996.
In essence, his holistic development approach ensures that economic development of the state must be balanced with the development of its people's well-being. 
With that, Johor embarked on upgrading its clean water processing and distribution to provide clean water to as many people as possible.
They also embarked on the rural road programme "Jalan Kampung" through state GLC KPRJ, that finally saw thousands of kilometers of rural roads getting the tarred treatment, creating better accessibility to rural produce and services.
The arts in the form of music and dance were also added to schools' extra curricular activities to ensure students with such inclination has an outlet within a controlled environment and minimise the truancy problem.  It brought "Zapin", a folk dance particular to Johor, into international attention such that Johor kids are now performing the dance internationally.  It is also in a way part of Ghani's effort to maintain the "jati diri" (identity) of the Johor Malays.
In balance, mosques throughout the state were also encouraged to hold frequent and regular community activities to ensure that they stayed relevant as part of the spiritual fulfillment for muslims and the communities they served.  State-sponsored religious education continued being strengthened with linkages to enable a promising advanced education and career options for students while more schools were built.
State-sponsored community colleges were also introduced throughout the state to equip less academically-inclined youngsters with employable skills that will improve their future potential.
A number of forest reserves and natural heritage sites were also identified and gazetted to ensure that the state's dwindling natural forests are preserved and allowed to grow back up to the 30% mark set by the state planners while natural sciences research centres were encouraged to set up operation in the state's national parks.
Despite the 1997/98 financial crisis which was highly detrimental to Johor institutions, and with a number of its public commercial initiatives facing ruin, Ghani managed to steer not only these Johor institutions out of bad weather, but ensure they continue to grow stronger in the aftermath.  
He was even more convinced that Johor's holistic approach towards development, will be the key sustaining factor that will be its defence against a recurrence of similar crisis as evidence in his 1999 budget speech.
Economics, afterall, consists of peaks and trenches, and no doubt that dips will happen again.
Johor and its people must be made fundamentally strong to ensure that it will be able to weather such crises with minimal damage and with that came the requirement to re-position Johor as a top investment destination that will rival the best in the region.
Core to the plan will be making the most of Johor's ideal location, existing logistics facilities, abundant resources and industrious locals to attract would be investors that will spur development of new industries, and ensure industrial resilience by re-structuring its economic growth drivers.
Firstly, Johor is blessed with a coastline that continues from the east to the west of the peninsular.  It has three international seaports and an international airport, many industrial parks, in addition to being located on one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.  What is required is a good road network or highway systems connecting them all, that will also facilitate better east-west access to raw materials and open up new areas for development.
Secondly, Johor Bahru was also getting heavily congested and subjected to frequent flash floods while state buildings and housing occupy some of the most high-value real estate in the city.  A new seat of government similar to Putrajaya is required, away from the commercial hustle and bustle of the city, but within easy distance that will not be inconvenient to the public, which will also free high-value real estate for commercialisation and the transformation of Johor Bahru City Centre.
Thirdly, its proximity to Singapore should be capitalised to benefit Johor; instead of simply being Singapore's backyard or hinterland, Johor should aspire to build a city of equal stature socially, if not commercially, to the city nation.
Historically, Johor had not been very high on the list of Federal infrastructure development funding as states such as Selangor, Kedah, Kelantan or Penang, but this time around the state required Federal assistance to make this a reality.
It had always been a middling state, not poor enough to require attention, but not near enough to the seat of power like Selangor to require Federal infrastructure focus, or as historically significant colonial outposts as Melaka or Penang to attract tourism projects.
The state itself did not have the financial means to make all this happen within a time-frame that would make it meaningful, nor would it likely be able to raise the funds itself considering the many development programmes continuously being put in place to raise the quality of living for the rakyat.
But Johor must position itself for the new millenium, therefore Federal assistance was required to make the transformation in a timely manner and a proposal was worked out by the planners at Bukit Timbalan.
Ghani and his people had then drafted a comprehensive plan for it in early 2000s and when it was submitted to the Federal Government, was given the green light by then PM Dr Mahathir. 
However, by the time it was possible to implement the plan, it was Pak Lah at the helm.  Not only did the original plan became a "corridor", the crooked bridge was also cancelled, MRCB via its 4th Floor networkings made inroads through the EDL, and that legacy is now entrenched in Irda and JCorp.
Nonetheless, Iskandar Malaysia, is for now the only one of all the development corridors which still has the potential to meet its objectives.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Save Rohingya

I was not at the rally in solidarity with the Rohingyas today.

I'm not much into rallying and such stuff.

But I do support the need to stop the killing and oppression of those unfortunate people.

I did this first posting of mine on the Rohingyas in May last year,

Maybe Anifah is more humane than Aung San Suu Kyi

and this one when the new wave of violence against the community erupted again in Myanmar recently,

A lesson from the Rohingya tragedy 

All that before the Rohingya issue became big again in Malaysia over the past few days.

So, please don't accuse me of being sympathetic towards the Rohingyas because of Umno or Pas.

As far as I'm concerned, this has nothing to do with politics.

I think we all Malaysians should support the effort to help the Rohingyas, the same way we supported the Palestinians, Bosnians and other oppressed people around the world all these while.

Especially so because these people are quite near to us.

It doesn't matter we are from which political side, race or religion.

We should do what we can to help those people because they are human beings like us too.

To get the latest updates on the Rohingyas, I suggest this website which I found earlier today,

Rohingya Blogger

A Rohingya girl studying in a refugee hut in Bangladesh

Anyway, I think this is not such a bad suggestion by a commentator at my last post,

It is said there are one million Rohingyas in Malaysia. Alangkah mulia jika setiap orang Islam dapat mengambil setiap orang satu "saudara/anak angkat" Rohingya dan kalau boleh setiap lelaki Melayu kahwin satu perempuan/janda/balu Rohingya dan juga sedekahkan 10% gaji menolong orang Rohingya atas Dasar Rohingya juga saudara Islam.


I mean, those who have the means and in the position to help the Rohingyas  as suggested by the commentator should consider it.

I don't see why not.

If today we opened our heart and say "Save Rohingya", maybe one day, if we are in similar trouble, others may open their heart and say "Save Malaysians".

We will never know, okay. Anything can happen.

A more united Umno as I listen to Jay Jay

The Umno general assembly has ended.

I was actually there at PWTC yesterday.

I think it was not so bad an assembly if compared to those of previous years.

It's just that I think there were less people this time, and everything wrapped up early everyday. Yesterday, they closed shop about 6.30pm.

But that does not necessarily mean it's bad. Maybe they were doing things more efficiently this time.

My assessment - Umno appeared united this time compared to last year.

Everyone has pledged their loyalty to the party and its president DS Najib Razak.

All the rebels are more or less kicked out of the party or left on their own.

This time Umno was speaking with one voice under Najib as their leader.

I also highly suspect that the general election will be held early.

Najib himself said in his closing speech that the party was ready for it.

My sources had previously told me that it could be as early as March, but others said there would not be enough time for ground works to be completed if it's held that early.

Nonetheless, looking at the mood at PWTC over the past few days, and especially yesterday, I think they will push for the early general election.


I think it's because they don't want the opposition to have time to mend their rift.

Also, there's the economic factors to consider. There's a high likelihood that things are not going to improve much next year.

So, better to have the election early.

Those are quite reasonable considerations, I think.

Anyway, I was bored yesterday.

Unlike the previous days, none of my friends called me up for drinks.

So, I was at my usual spot near one of the building entrances doing my own little stuff there.

I nonetheless got a bit excited after Najib's closing speech because the evergreen singer Jay Jay was performing not far from where I parked myself to do my work.

I took this picture,

At 59, Jay Jay still sounds great as usual.

I really enjoyed listening to his singing.

Didn't record it though as my phone was running out of battery.

This is one of his songs which is my favourite,

 Okay, have a good Sunday everyone.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The need for parents of special needs children to be cool

I received this screenshot of an Education Ministry's official letter from a friend earlier this morning,

It basically says the government's allowance for special needs children at schools has been reduced.

And these are screenshots also sent by my friend of a Wassap conversation between parents of a special needs child affected by the matter (the wife is in white, the husband in green),

I think the husband was being sensible.

If the government have money, it would probably give more to the special needs children as it always does.

But now it does not have enough money, probably due to the economic woes, it can't be expected to give out as much anymore.

Anyway, the wife was just a bit upset that her husband was being so cool about it.

The couple, who are my friends are the ones I highlighted in this post in April last year,

Friday, 2 December 2016

Chinese, Malays don't hate you, even the Umno ones

I like this story coming out of the ongoing Umno general assembly,

Seniors disagree with suggestions to oust BN parties

excerpt 1 :

“BN is strong because of the unity among all component parties. You throw away MCA or Gerakan, then how are we going to win the hearts of the Chinese?” asked 58-year-old Saad Abdullah from Kundang.

excerpt 2 :

“These budak-budak muda (young people) think that what the MCA is doing will only cause Malays to hate the Chinese… but if you kick them out of BN wouldn’t that also cause the Chinese to hate us?” argued retired history teacher Maznah Arshad, 60, from Telok Mas, Malacca.
“Who says the Chinese are no good? Remember how they helped BN win the 1999 general election when Umno lost much Malay support?” she recalled.
excerpt 3 :

“I know that most of them (the Chinese) now support the opposition but then again, to go on and on about how MCA is a deadweight to BN is not going to win back their votes,” reasoned 60-year-old fisherman, Hakimi Manzin, of Setiu, Terrengganu.

Yes, not all Umno members or the Malays want to throw the Chinese into the sea.

The ones who want to do that are either Malays who came across some rude Chinese in their life or maybe Chinese themselves who got jilted by their Chinese boyfriend/girlfriend.

It's more a personal thing, than anything else.

Just like when I was accused of these and that including being a paid DAP blogger - that one was a personal thing.

Some people, when they got angry, they got personal and went overboard.

Cannot control their emotion one.

Quarreled with some rude DVD sellers at pasar malam and went, "Pukimak punya Cina."

Actually, those DVD sellers are rude to Chinese and Kadazan Dusun too.

As for the Chinese who got dumped by Chinese and because of that wanted to throw the whole race into the sea (or maybe just the longkang)....well, that one I leave it to those handsome MCA young men to do the trick.

Sure can be okay after that one.

DAP guys can also try again if they want :) It's your fault in the first place.

Anyway, as I said, most Malays, including many who are Umno members, are actually sensible people.

They don't hate the Chinese.

So, if you are a Chinese, don't hate them back.

It's not good to hate anyone or any race....even if you got dumped by one of them.

Just relax....and find a new love....a Malay one also can :)


Thursday, 1 December 2016

About charming Zahid and magnanimous Najib (updated)


It's not yet 6.30 pm but things are wrapping up here.

Most of the Umno people are leaving PWTC now.

I want to leave too but it's horrible traffic jam at these hours .

So, here I am writing this update sitting alone at one of the building enterence.

I think they wrapped up the whole things quite early compared to previous years.

Good also. Less talking more works, I guess.

Bumped into one of Najib's younger aide just now.
The guy cheerfully greeted me and was nice as usual.

That's good. At least he didn't turn arrogant after working for the PM.

He reminds me of a friend who is now a Najib's senior aide when he was in the young guy's position.

Nice and humble.

It's easier for people to like a leader if his/her people have good personality.

Most of the time, people get angry with a leader not because of the leader but because of the people around him/her.

That's why a leader needs to get good people to work for him/her.

I'm now waiting for some friends to take me to dinner.

It's customary to hang out with friends after the whole day at an Umno general assembly.

The only difference for my dinner tonight is that my friends are former Umno operatives who now consider themselves to be "diluar gelanggang" (outsiders).

Too bad for Umno because these guys are very good operatives.

It's just that their bosses are already no longer in power.

It's one of those Umno things. When your boss is out, you are out too.

Does not matter if you are good or not.

My friends I'm having dinner with  tonight are basically Ronins  - samurai without a lord :)


I'm writing this sitting in front of the Teratai Suite at PWTC.

Found myself a power point on the wall here and set up my stuff on the floor.

I was doing some work on my laptop just now when Umno VP DS Ahmad Zahid Hamidi walked by with his people to enter the room.

He noticed me, smiled and said "Buat kerja, buat kerja."

I smiled back and waved my hand.

The guy was charming.

I can't say the same about many other Umno leaders these days.

Well, Javanese guys tend to be my father :)

I'm actually here to do some work and also to meet friends again.

Caught parts of the presidential speech by Umno president DS Najib Razak.

Among others, he talked about being magnanimous again, just like he did last year.

Too bad that things turned worse after the last one.

Muhyiddin, Mukhriz, Shafie are all gone now.

Hopefully, it's not going to be like that again this time.

I'm quite concerned listening to the speeches of the party wing leaders and delegates yesterday.

Many were calling for more "rebels cleansing" of the party.

I think it's better for them now to win back support than kicking out more people.

Well, that's just my thoughts, and I'm not a party member.

If they still want to kick out more people, it's actually none of my business.

At the end of the day, Umno members are the ones who will decide what their party should do.

Definitely not people like me.

Anyway, unlike the past two days, PWTC is packed with people today.

I took some pictures,

Guess, things are not so bad for the party after all.

Okay, I'm going to listen to the speeches now.

Maybe there will be one or two worth commenting.


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Old Umno friends and an old makcik

I was at the PWTC the whole day yesterday.

Took this picture when I arrived,

The place looked nice. They probably hired an interior designer to make the place like that.

I remember back then when they just put a carpet at that very place so that the makcik-makcik Umno can sit there and watch the debates and speeches on a big screen.

Nothing much happened yesterday except in the evening when Umno's number two DS Ahmad Zahid Hamidi opened the party wings' assemblies.

I think his speech is all over the place by now.

I spent most of the time there yesterday meeting old Umno friends.

Among others were that aide of Johor MB DS Mohamed Khaled Nordin and a guy from Zahid's office.

Very nice guys.

It was fun meeting them again.

As usual I have a hearty debate with the Khaled's aide about the current situation in Johor but it was all in good spirit.

He's a good aide as he defended Khaled against my complaints very well.

The Zahid's guy was equally nice.

It's good to note that he sounds very confident of his boss' abilities.

Late in the afternoon, I bumped into a really good friend whom I have not met for quite a long time.

He is a successful businessman whom I first met when I just moved to Johor many years ago.

He was at PWTC to also meet old Umno friends.

The relatively young man is a staunch Umno supporter and one of his habits is to spend money helping the party.

During elections, he will buy a huge number of BN flags and posters for campaign purposes.

Sometimes he even put them up himself along with his workers.

He is a genuine case of an Umno man who truly loves the party for what it stands for.

When Khaled and gang took over Kota Iskandar after the last general election, the guy took into his company several of TS Abdul Ghani Othman's people who lost their job due to the departure of their boss.

He did so because he knew that Ghani's people are good and were sincere in their work for Johor and Umno all those years when their boss was the MB.

Too bad that Khaled don't see it that way and unceremoniously got rid of them.

It's one of Umno people's ways that I most dislike. Genuine talents, sincerity and honesty are under appreciated.

Well, never mind.

My friend and me mostly talked about the good old days when Ghani was still our MB.

Those were satisfying days of clear conscience despite the hard and challenging works.

We were later joined at the outdoor cafe where we were sitting for a cup of tea by another old friend from Johor.

The other guy, who works for a government agency was more relaxed.

He was quite confident that Umno will prevails.

He gave three reasons,

1. The opposition parties are in disarray.

2. The Malays are still mostly scared of the DAP Chinese taking over the country.

3. Umno has the resources to win the elections.

Quite reasonable argument.

Just before we were about to call it a day about 9.30pm, an old makcik approached us and asked whether we would like to buy a meal set from her.

I had noticed the old lady  going around the PWTC area the whole day selling the meal sets.

"Makcik dari Subang," she said when I asked where she came from.

"Macam mana jualan hari ni  makcik?" I asked as I noticed a worried look on her face.

"Tak berapa baik la Dik (adik). Masih banyak lagi yang tak terjual," she said.

"Baru hari pertama agaknya. Sebab tu tak ramai orang lagi. Besok mungkin baru ramai orang," I said, trying to comfort her.

"Tak la Dik. Makcik tiap-tiap tahun jual nasi kat sini masa ni. Tahun lepas hari pertama baru pukul lima makcik dah habis jual semua 300 bungkus. Masa tu hari pertama pun dah ramai orang bersidai (hung around) kat sini. Dia orang la yang beli dari makcik. Kali ni kurang sangat," she said.

I ended up buying two packs of the meal sets from the makcik.

She was selling each pack for RM6. I paid her RM20 and told her to keep the change. I think you all will do the same if you saw the worried look on her face.

I hope more of the Umno people who will be at the PWTC in the coming days will buy the meal sets from the makcik.

I may drop by there again today as there are still friends who want to meet me again.

Well, hope you all have a good day.