Saturday, 22 November 2014

Fuel subsidies blow for BN foot soldiers

This is the news of the hour

Malaysia to stop petrol subsidies from December 1

and this is among the justifications

Bye-Bye Fuel Subsidies 

but I am afraid reaction on the ground was actually quite harsh.

I was on the phone with a lady in Kuantan just now and she was telling me how everyone in her former college Wassap group were very unhappy about it.

She said even the pro-BN among them were apprehensive as it was expected that with an increase price of fuel, prices of other goods will also go up.

It will be a strain for the average wage earners, already struggling with ever increasing costs of living.

"Kita orang pun tak boleh nak kata apa bila geng opposition hentam government pasal harga minyak ni," the lady said.

"Actually kita orang pun rasa tertipu sebab hari tu ingatkan ada lah something yang boleh ringankan beban rakyat. Kalau cakap pasal BR1M meringankan beban rakyat kat geng opposition, dia orang ketawakan kita je. Sekarang harga minyak dah nak naik lagi. Tak tau lah nak kata apa," she added.

I don't know how to console the lady.

I can put forth an argument about how the move to stop fuel subsidies will be good for the country in the long run, but I don't think the lady could buy it.

She was more concerned about the here and now, and countering the taunting of her pro-Pakatan friends in the Wassap group.

It's easy for a well paid armchair commentator to come up with a theory of how good our life will be without the fuel subsidies, but it is a totally different game for those in the political trenches facing the enemies in real time.

Well, I am not happy myself.

I don't see any positive change from how things were after the general election last year.

In fact, things appear to be getting only worse.

Johor is sliding down the drain, purges were happening in the Umno rank and file, good people are giving up the fight, the crooks are in control of almost everything....etc.

Pakatan, despite their problems such as the recent Selangor leadership crisis seem to be gaining ground almost everywhere.

Umno and the other BN gang never seem to learn from their dismal performance in the general elections of 2008 and last year.

Friday, 21 November 2014

An old Johor story and Umno's weakness

This post

Shahredzan will say sorry "only if the AG wants to hear it"

by Rocky somehow reminds me of a rather interesting story told to me by an old friend from Johor.

It's about Shahredzan's father, current Media Prima head honcho TS Johan Jaafar.

It was either in 1996 or 1997.

Johan, who is a Johorean was said to be groomed to be the Johor menteri besar.

At that time Johan was the big boss of Utusan Malaysia.

His Umno godfather who wanted him to take over the Johor MB post was then Umno deputy president DS Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar at that time ruled the mainstream media with an iron fist.

If you don't believe this story, ask Utusan Malaysia editor Zulkifli Bakar for confirmation as he was at that time a journalist based in JB.

Better known as Zul Bakar, he is the one who asked that now popular cheeky question "Apa lagi Cina Mau?"

Ask him what kind of stories he was told to write about then Johor MB Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

Whenever I think about the plot, I do wonder what would had happened in Johor if it had succeeded.

As everyone knew, Anwar was sacked and jailed in 1998 for abuse of power before the plot could take off.

Johan spend a few years in the wilderness after Anwar's fall before making a comeback and now head the editorial of pro-establishment Media Prima, the biggest media organization in the country.

Strangely though, his son becomes a rabid Pakatan supporter.

Kumpulan pro-Akta Hasutan didesak henti mengganggu peguam Syahredzan Johan susulan peguam itu menganjurkan kempen mansuh akta berkenaan. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 29 September, 2014.

Anyway, whenever I think of the story, it reminds me of one of Umno's main weaknesses.

Its leadership doesn't know how to differentiate between those who genuinely fight for its struggles and those who pretend to do so for their own vested interest.

Since the Umno general assembly is coming soon, let me elaborate more on this Umno's problem.

The party actually spend a huge chunk of its energy on internal fights for positions within the party itself.

The victorious factions will usually chopped off their rivals from the party.

It doesn't matter even if their rivals had contributed to the party in the fight against the opposition.

Not only they will chop off their rivals but also those they deemed to be aligned with their rivals, no matter how small the alignment.

Here is an example of it: The eradication of Datuk Ghani has begun

Well, if you keep cutting off your limbs because you don't like the way they were, then you will end up with no limbs at all.

That, I believe was what is happening in Umno now.

If those in power don't like you - off to the chopping block with you.

Soon all the good people will be gone.

All that's left will be the cronies and those who are milking Umno for their vested interest.

Kesetiaan dan perjuangan sebenar sudah mula tiada nilai.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Being Malays

The blog BigCat has this posting

Shunning Politics

which I think is a good read for those who want to understand how Malays and Bumiputera experience racial discrimination in this country.

Yes, it's not just the Chinese who can claim of being discriminated because of their skin color.

Sometimes, I find it weird that the liberal urbanite Malays can't see such things.

Just consider this, of all those smart and savvy Malay journalists in MCA-owned but pro-DAP, The Star newspaper, none of them had ever managed to be an editor with real decision making authority.

And there you have all those liberal urbanite Malays given the space to write in The Star about how we are all Malaysians and being a Malay is not that important anymore or even a racist thing to do.

Yes, this is the same newspaper that gave prominence to MCA's CC member Datuk Ti Liang Ker's "gentle reminder" on Monday for Umno to mind their language in the party's coming general assembly.

Okay, go and ask the so-called Malays such as Anas Zubedy who is a great fan of The Star what does he know about "jati diri Melayu".

Ask him whether being a Malaysian first means he supports single stream schools for Malaysian students instead of the current multiple school systems. Tell him to write and put it on record at The Star.

Yes, let's see whether it get published by all those powerful Chinese and Indian editors in The Star.

It will be interesting to know what people like Marina Mahathir, Azmi Sharom and Anas Zubedy think of the Chinese vernacular schools.

Anyway, the Umno general assembly is drawing near.

I believe it's a make or break for the party.

If it fails at the assembly to convince the Malays that it is helping them instead of just helping themselves, then I believe the party is doomed.

If Umno choose to be as liberal as Anas Zubedy, then I believe the party is doomed.

If the more educated Umno people still choose to read The Star over anything else, then I believe the party is doomed.

Sometimes I wish Malays still look, talk and behave like this,

Monday, 17 November 2014

A little request

I'm a bit disappointed.

For my past few postings, the comments I received were mostly out of topics.

Maybe you all are not too interested in issues which were close to my heart, such as the well being of Johor Umno.

A lot of the comments were instead about bashing PM DS Najib Razak.

Well, I think that's a waste of time and energy.

Najib is here to stay and he will be our PM at least until the next general election.

There is no two way about it, okay.

Live with it and if you want Barisan Nasional to stay in power, you should support him.

You may voice your disagreement with his policies as constructive criticisms are what we needed, but please stop talking about replacing him. It's tiresome, okay.

Umno had endorsed him as party president. He retained his post unopposed not even more than a year ago. So, don't go on with the nonsense of wanting to replace him and such.

Even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite his criticisms of things such as BR1M and 1MDB, never said he wanted Najib to be toppled.

Okay, having said that, I hope for my future postings, those who wish to comment should try to do so within the topic of respective posting.

I will appreciate very much if you all could do that.

For this after midnight posting, I am not going to write anything further then that.

Sort of a break for me to think how to do a posting without attracting comments which are out of topic.

I hope you all don't mind me too much for requesting this.

Okay, instead of me writing about things which may not really interest you all, here is a song instead,

I am going to sleep now.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Johor Umno it is

Earlier today I called a journalist friend who was covering the Johor Umno convention in JB to find out how things were over there.

He sent me this picture:

"Tu masa Khaled tengah berucap masa nak tutup convention. Engko tengok je la berapa perwakilan yang tinggal. Dari situ engko agak la sendiri macam mana konvensyen tu," he said.

"Tak kan segitu je yang hadir. Kan semalam ramai orang masa Najib bukak konvensyen tu? Paper pun kata ada 800 perwakilan. Lepas tu ada pemerhati lagi," I retorted.

"Eleh, semalam ya la ada PM. Semua nak tunjuk muka le tu," he replied.

"Habis tu usul ke apa ke macam mana?" I asked again.

"Dia orang buat workshop je la. Semua tertutup. Aku pun tak tau nak tulis apa. Cuma buat story press conference je la," he replied.

"Engko tak interview perwakilan ke?" I probed again.

"Interview juga, tapi lebih banyak negetif dari positif. Lepas tu banyak cakap retorik yang sama je. Malas lah aku nak tulis," he said.

"La, tulis je la. Orang nak tau. Ini konvensyen Umno Johor le. Bukan main-main. Johor ni tiang seri Umno," I provoked him further.

"Tiang seri apa kebendanye ? Ni dah setahun lebih lepas PRU, apa yang dia orang dah buat? Najib pun semalam dah sound, kalau dia orang tak faham juga aku pun tak tau nak kata apa," he said referring to this report:

Johor Umno Told To Conduct Reality Checks

Well, what else can I say.....they didn't even answer this question,

Bolehkah Umno Johor lepas tangan?

Friday, 14 November 2014

Bolehkah Umno Johor lepas tangan?

This is a message in conjunction with the Johor Umno convention which starts today from a party member who was on the frontline throughout the past general elections:

Hari ini Umno Johor mula bersidang dua hari di Stulang Laut, Johor Bahru.

Ini adalah Konvensyen Umno Johor yang pertama selepas 18 bulan PRU tahun lalu.

 Bermakna, DS Khaled Nordin akan pertama kali berdepan dengan perwakilan dan pemimpin akar umbi 26 Umno Bahagian Johor atas nama Pegerusi Perhubungan Johor dan MB Johor. 

Ramai menunggu apa mesej Khaled. 

Tentunya mesej Khaled akan menjadi asas wakil Umno Johor yang berucap di Perhimpunan Agung Umno (PAU) tahun ini yang akan bermula 25 Dis nanti.

Apa pula pemimpin akar umbi 26 bahagian Umno Johor nak bincang dalam konvensyen itu?

Biasanya apa yang disuarakan dalam konvensyen akan dibawa ke PAU.

Itu sebab, sebelum ini, ramai ter tunggu-tunggu konvensyen Johor dan ramai nak tengok apa isi ucapan wakil Johor di PAU. 

Berkait dengan mesej Khaled dan apa yang akan disuarakan dalam konvensyen, adalah menjadi persoalan, apa yang sudah dihidangkan oleh Umno Johor serta kerajaan negeri Johor sejak Khaled menjadi orang nombor satu 18 bulan lalu.

Dari mata kasar, yang banyak berlaku ialah kerancakan pembangunan pesisir pantai dari Stulang Laut hinggalah ke Pelabuhan Tanjung Pelepas (PTP). Memang pesat, macam-macam nama pemaju ada,termasuklah yang kaya dan terkenal. 
Malas nak cerita terperinci projek-projek ini, kerana ramai dah tahu mengenainya.

Semuanya pembangunan hartanah, semua mahal belaka, semuanya free hold, semuanya buat kami rakyat Johor gigit jari.

Hartanah free hold yang akan jadi milik kekal pembeli asing atau orang kaya (kerana Melayu tempatan tak mampu beli) sepanjang pesisir itulah akan jadi sempadan negeri Johor dengan Singapura, bukan tanah kerajaan negeri Johor.
Ia meresahkan rakyat Johor. 

Pergilah ke mana pun di Johor, orang bercakap pasal projek-projek tu. Malah, orang luar Johor pun bercakap. 

Kami rakyat Johor pun kadang-kadang rasa malu apabila orang luar tanya pasal projek-projek tu. Nak kata apa, untouchable!

Hari ini dalam konvensyen, nak tengok sama ada berbangkit tak soal pembangunan sepanjang Lido hingga ke PTP tu.

Soalnya, adakah Umno Johor nak kata: Inilah projek kita untuk rakyat Johor.  Inilah yang kita buat untuk ahli Umno. Inilah kemajuan yang kita perjuangkan untuk rakyat.

Pembangunan macam itu ke pemimpin akar umbi Umno Johor nak banggakan di PAU nanti? Projek macam itu ke mereka nak bagi tau kepada rakyat Johor di kawasan masing-masing?

Yang kita dengar pemimpin akar umbi ini pun sama resah macam rakyat yang bukan ahli Umno. Mereka yang dalam kelas menengah Melayu, dan bukan ahli Umno, dah lama resah dan tak puas hati.

So macam mana? Umno Johor nak cakap apa?

Kalau Umno Johor tak dapat terima pembangunan macam itu, boleh ke Umno Johor kata: “Kami tak terlibat dengan hal ini. Bukan yang macam ini yang kami nak.” 

Boleh ke?

Boleh ke Umno Johor menyisihkan parti itu (yang keramat, yang lahir di Johor, yang merasa denyut nadi rakyat, yang jadi tiang seri Umno Malaysia)  atau mengasingkan diri dari projek-projek mewah tersebut?

Boleh ke?

Apa pendirian Umno Johor? 

Atau pun Umno Johor pilih jalan selamat (play safe kata orang). Tak sentuh langsung projek-projek mewah. Buat tak tau seolah-olah tak ada apa-apa berlaku. Boleh ke Umno Johor lepas tangan dan lepas tanggungjawab? 

Boleh ke?

Lebih menarik, Perdana Menteri Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, selaku Presiden Umno akan merasmikan konvesyen itu. 

Boleh ke Najib berkata: Umno Johor adalah nadi Umno Malaysia, parti keramat ini yang lahir di Istana Besar Johor Bahru, telah berjasa besar dan akan terus berjasa besar, lihatlah pembangunan yang rancak sekarang, inilah perjuangan kita Umno untuk rakyat Johor! 

Boleh ke?

Kenapa Umno Johor sepatutnya bincang hal ini?

Umno kena ingat bahawa Umno sejak lahir pada 1946 sentiasa mengambil tanggungjawab dengan pembangunan negara dan orang Melayu. Dan Kerajaan Johor masih diterajui oleh Barisan Nasional (BN) yang bertunjangkan Umno.

Tun Razak, sebaik terima tauliah jadi Perdana Menteri dari Yang di-Pertuan Agong pada 22 Sept 1970 terus menemui ahli-ahli Umno dan dia berkata: “Kerajaan ini adalah yang didukung oleh Umno dan kepada Umnolah saya serahkan tanggungjawab kerajaan ini supaya Umno dapat menentukan apakah corak kerajaan hendak ditubuhkan. Kerajaan yang mesti mengikut kehendak dan hasrat Umno sendiri yang mesti dari masa ke masa menjalankan dasar yang ditentukan oleh Umno.”

Nah, itulah semangatnya, Umno mengambil tanggungjawab kerana orang Melayu yang jadi ahli Umno dan orang Melayu seluruhnya menyerahkan amanah masa depan mereka kepada Umno.

Tapi, apakah orang Melayu akan terus menyerahkan amanah masa depan mereka kepada Umno kalau Umno sendiri sudah mulai menyisihkan diri dan tidak mahu bertanggungjawab?

Konvensyen Umno Johor 2014 kena jawab persoalan ini. Kami orang Melayu Johor perlukan jawapan.  

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Najib in full control of Umno's apparatus

Nothing is really cooking on the political front for now except the Umno general assembly which starts on Nov 25.

That's how dry things are at the moment.

Almost everything were constant.

All those stuff they said about a rebellion brewing against Najib from within his own party, well...the truth is that it was not true.

Whether you like it or not, Najib actually has full control over the party's supreme council, the vice-presidents, party wings and even his own deputy.

That's good enough for him to stay in power for quite a while more.

The majority of those who are supportive of the establishment but now said they want Najib to be ousted are actually mostly non-Umno members or party members but those who have not much influence in deciding the direction of the Malay party.

What will actually happen at the Umno general assembly?

Well, the resolutions (usul-usul) by the party divisions will indeed be heard at the PWTC.

But that will be as far as they will ever get.

The party leadership had actually already made up their mind on those issues.

No joke, okay.

They will let the delegates vent their anger and frustrations but in the end persuade everyone that what they are doing are good for agama, bangsa and tanahair.

Yup, that is what going to happen at PWTC.

The delegates can talk all they want about issues such as absorbing the Chinese education system into the national school system, but that will be all there is to it...just talks.

The truth is, Chinese schools are here to stay "selagi ada bulan dan bintang" and their safe existence "has been put under lock and key" by the government.

The first part about moon and stars was promised by DPM and Education minister TS Muhyiddin Yassin during the Sungai Limau by-election last year while the part about the right for the schools' existence being put under lock and key was uttered by PM DS Najib Razak during the recent MCA's AGM.

You all remember those, right?

As for all those protests over Sedition Act, well, the speakers at the Umno general assembly can whack the issue till its skin and bones but I believe the Act will in the end still be phased out.

It's all already decided, okay.

The same goes with other issues.

Nonetheless, the pressure on Najib will continue.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and others will continue to criticize the Najib's administration, but it was not because they want to topple the PM but rather want him to be a better PM.

I myself will be criticizing Najib and his people if I detect them doing something wrong.

It's actually good that there are pressure as it will keep Najib and his people on their toes and not think that they can do whatever they want because they are in power.

But still, honestly, I don't really fancy Najib's job.

It's too stressful.

It is actually better to be his critique rather than to be the man himself.