Monday, 30 November 2015

Damaged and facing a storm

Last day of the month.

This blog's pageviews count has reverted back to its normal of around 80k this month.

At the height of the Umno civil war which started in April, the number was around double of that.

On the surface, things are beginning to look normal again.

DS Najib Razak is still in charge and the rebels have very much scaled down their attacks.

Nonetheless, I think Umno is still far from being safe.

It's like the aftermath of a mutiny on a ship.

The fighting may had ceased, but the damage is extensive and not yet repaired.

The mutineers may not be attacking so much anymore but they are not surrendering either, let alone helping the captain and his loyalists to repair the ship which was heavily damaged during the fighting.

Some were even ready to go down to the bottom of the ocean with the ship rather than surrendering.

The captain's people are not helping with things either.

They keep telling the captain that they don't need the mutineers to repair the ship.

Instead of coaxing the mutineers to rejoin the crew, they want the captain to force them to walk the plank.

Their attitude is that the less number of crew onboard among them, the bigger their portion of treasure on the ship for each of them.

Meanwhile, a storm is gathering on the horizon.

The captain's loyalists continue to tell him that it's okay.

They said there's still plenty of time to repair the ship without the help of the mutineers before the storm hit them.

It's now for the captain to decide.

If I'm the captain, I would rather make peace with the mutineers.

Talk with them and get as many of them as possible to help save the ship.

After all, without the ship, everything will be lost.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The need to win back hearts and minds

Had a pleasant surprise.

The family of a friend visited me where I am now yesterday.

My friend passed away last year but I'm still close with his family.

I first met my friend a long time ago when I was still an opposition sympathiser.

Despite not being an Umno member, he was a staunch supporter of Barisan Nasional and so did his wife and children.

My friend, who was from Perlis and much older than me, used to give me lectures about my foolish political views at that time.

I listened to him without arguing because he was so adamant that he was right.

I don't like to debate because I don't believe that it solves anything.

Once someone has made up his mind, I believe words alone will not change his belief.

Nonetheless, despite our differing opinion at that time, we were still good friends.

My friend and his family members actually disliked the then Perlis Menteri Besar DS Shahidan Kassim but ignored their personal sentiments as they believe in the ideals of Umno and Barisan Nasional.

I continued to visit him and his family from time to time until he died of a heart attack last year.

So, it was a great pleasure for me to meet his family yesterday.

My friend's widow, Kak Yah was visiting her youngest daughter who is living near where I'm spending my weekend.

Her son-in-law and grand-daughter were also there.

We chit chatted about the good old days and also about my late friend and his infamous pro-BN lectures.

Then to my surprise,  Kak Yah suddenly asked me,

"Is it true what they said about the RM2.6 billion?"

She was referring to the sum in the personal account of PM DS Najib Razak which were used by the Umno rebels as among the controversies in their attempt to topple him.

"I honestly don't know...," I said to Kak Yah.

Later, her daughter told me that they were quite unhappy with what is happening in the country.

"I wish ayah (her late father) is still around as he would know what is going on," she said.

Her husband,  a nice young man from Terengganu who is also a BN supporter chipped in at that point,

"If things continue like this, we are not going to vote in the next election.

"We supported BN not for people to do bad things to this country.

"They better convince us that the allegations are not true."

I hope, for the sake of the country, the Umno and BN leaders will do the necessary to win back support from people like my late friend's family.

Come clean and stop continuing to believe that people, including Umno and BN hard core supporters will swallow the less than convincing explanations they were being told so far about the controversies.

They also need to stop being arrogant and assume that the rural folks will automatically support them just because they are Malays.

The barely over two years left before the next general election is not a long time.

They better realise that.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Another weekend away from KL

No mood to write since yesterday.

Too much nonsense going on that I lost the motivation to update this blog with anything serious.

I'm actually rambling a bit here because I'm bored and sleepy.

Slept very late again last night.

Need to keep awake now.

Will be driving long distance in a short while after wrapping up work.

Going to spend the weekend away from KL.

Lately I find weekends alone in KL to be depressing.

It makes me miss my ex.

I hate that.

Anyway, I decided to drive instead of riding this time due to the rainy weather, especially in the evening.

Maybe I can hang around the beach at the place I'm going to, tomorrow morning.

That would be peaceful and lovely.

Sorry, can only offer you all a bit of music for today.

I will try to write a proper posting when I'm in the mood again.

Have a good weekend guys.


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Errr...WTF is happening?

I got a call from a friend who is a Johor Umno member after this story came out this afternoon,

Media to be blacked out of Umno general assembly

"Hey, what's happening?" he asked.

How the hell would I know.

I'm not even an Umno member, okay.

I think Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who made the announcement is the only one who can answer that.

True enough, not long after that today, this story came out,

And Zahid says Umno media ban hasn’t been discussed

I can't help but admit that it was my turn to say, "Hey, what the f@#k is happening?"

Obviously DS Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the currently second most powerful Umno leader was not sure what Ku Nan was talking about.

Must be some sorts of communication breakdown.

I suspect the decision to ban media coverage for the Umno general assembly was made by people at the Umno headquarters.

As I previously wrote, I don't really like those people. They are not near clever enough in many of their decisions.

Actually, earlier today, I was told that the big shot mainstream media bosses had been briefed on the ban this morning before the announcement by Ku Nan was made.

I wonder whether they protested against the decision or that they cowered in fear when told of the ban.

Well, I think they should protest.

It's not good for Umno's image, after all.

Evan DAP allowed the media (including the pro-establishment mainstream media) to cover their party assemblies.

Now people may likely say that Umno does not believe in Press freedom.

Even Umno members like my friend are starting to believe that.

I'm of the opinion that there are ways to counter the alleged spin by all those pro-opposition news portals instead of imposing a media ban.

The pro-establishment mainstream media can do that job.

After all, there are many smart and crafty ways it can be done.

For example, New Straits Times (NST) which has millions of readers, I was told,  can counter The Malaysian Insider's (TMI) alleged spins by churning out credible articles of highest quality which make the public realise that TMI is actually just trying to bullshit them.

I heard the NST people are very good in politics. Surely, their talents in politics can be fully utilised to neutralise TMI.

Well, I don't know lah, but that's how I see it.

Whatever it is, I hope Umno president DS Najib Razak, or at least Zahid can stop these sorts of nonsense which were not helping in projecting a good image of Umno.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Edra sold and they say it's okay

The verdict:

Edra Energy sells all assets to Chinese firm

So, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) lost the bid.

I'm actually not surprised.

I first felt that TNB was going to lose when my friend Wan Dal Cha who is quite knowledgable about the energy sector sent me a short but enlightening note which I highlighted in this post :

TNB staring at unequal competition

Of course TNB can't compete with the Chinese energy giant in the bidding.

It was a David versus Goliath fight.

In case of the real David, he was trying to beat the giant Goliath with a sling shot and he was successful when the stone hit the intended target.

No such luck though for TNB.

I think it was no match from the start.

The outcome must had been decided even before the bidding begins.

The Chinese giant simply have more money than TNB to make the winning bet.

I have to admit that I was cheering in vain for TNB.

When a friend asked me to highlight a Bernama story which supports the sale of Edra's equities to a foreign company,  I knew that TNB was to lose the bid for certain.

Still, I republished the Bernama story in this post:

About being fair on the Edra Energy issue

It basically tries to assure the public that it's alright to open our energy sector to foreign companies.

The foreign companies cannot switch our light off as they please, it seems to suggest.

Here are excerpts of the Bernama report with the assurances in bold:

A researcher told Bernama, "The energy business is never as free as the operators may want it to be due to strong control mechanism, licensing and multiple regulatory bodies, including the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water and Energy Commission."

For instance, he said, tariffs for the existing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are fixed under the long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the life of the PPA, and any revision to these tariffs will require the consent of EC and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

He pointed out that there is also the primary fuel supply for the power plants which must be sourced from government-linked or controlled entities.

Currently, TNB controls coal supply and Petronas supplies gas.

"Gone are the years when a particular IPP could dictate 'take or pay' on TNB. Today TNB, which has total control of the National Grid, calls the shots. TNB will buy what it needs and not whatever IPPs produce," he said.

He stressed that TNB has full control over IPPs, foreign or local, because under the PPA, TNB could step in to take over the operations of a plant in the event of contract breaches.

Asked if foreign companies could use lower cost structure (from economies of scale) to undermine local operators, he said they must first have a huge market share in terms of capacity and fuel usage.

In the case of Edra Global Energy Bhd, which is now up for sale, its effective share of installed generating capacity in Peninsular Malaysia is only 14.6 per cent, significantly behind market giants TNB (50 per cent) and Malakoff Corporation Bhd (25 per cent).

For fuel share in Peninsular Malaysia, Edra utilises around 17 per cent for total gas-fired capacity and approximately 15 per cent effective share of total coal-fired capacity. And it has no hydro plants.

"With such a marginal share, Edra poses little threat on all fronts, especially in view of TNB's dominant and unique market position across all three segments of fuel supply, generation and transmission, its robust financial strength (total assets of more than RM110 billion) and familiarity with the local IPP industry," he said.

He also allayed fears that Malaysians would lose their jobs, saying there is no evidence to suggest that foreign companies would bring in foreign workers to replace Malaysians.

The Malaysia Investment Report by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) states Malaysia had approved investments of up to RM235.9 billion in 2014 which could potentially create about 178,360 job opportunities.

Foreign investments formed 27.4 per cent of the total investments (RM64.6 billion).

It is notable that many countries, including Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and the United Kingdom (UK), permit 100 per cent foreign ownership of power generation plants.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research's energy analyst Daniel Wong was reported to conclude that even if the assets were sold to foreign companies, TNB would still remain a defensive stock and its role in the transmission of the nation's electricity would not be jeopardised.

Honestly, I suspect that the anonymous analyst quoted extensively in the Bernama report was actually from 1MDB.

It's to justify the impending sale.

But I think the excuses given seem to be quite good.

But all that doesn't matter now as the sale of Edra's equities had for all intents and purposes been concluded.

Let's just wait and see where TNB is going to be just two years from now.

If it suffers because of all these, then just wait for the next general election to do the right thing.

If by that time TNB collapsed, I suggest you all go and vote for Lim Kit Siang and gang.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

True love does exist

Okay, I admit that I was wrong.

Not all men are bastards.

A few are good.

Just a few.

A friend forwarded me this story to tell me I was wrong.

I'm publishing this in full to make it easy for you all to read it.

Everlasting love: Touching story of how a devoted husband, 84, has taken care of his paralysed wife for 56 YEARS

Sometimes, the most ordinary people are capable of achieving the greatest love. 
A humble husband from a small Chinese village has demonstrated the true meaning of dedication after taking care of his bed-ridden wife for 56 years.
Du Yuanfa, a farmer living in the village of Sunjiayu in east China's Shandong Province, quit his job as a coal miner to look after his wife Zhou Yu'ai day and night after she became paralysed in 1959, reported the People's Daily Online.
Du, 84, and Zhou, 76, had been married for just five months when Zhou was struck by a mysterious disease at the age of 20 and lost the ability to move her body.
At the time, Du was working in a coal mine in the nearby Tai'an city. 
He was informed of the tragic news in a letter sent by his family, which contained a brief message: 'Your wife is sick and bed-bound.'
Du immediately took a long leave from work and returned home. There, he saw his new wife lying in bed, incapable of doing the most basic things for herself. 
He said Zhou's whole body was stiff and she could not turn. She wasn't able to hold objects in her hands and had to be spoon-fed meals.
Determined to have his wife cured, Du put her in a wheelchair and took her to numerous hospitals for consultations. 
The diagnoses was unanimous: Zhou lost the ability to reproduce and would be bed-ridden for the rest of her life.
Du said many of his friends told him to annul his marriage and start a new life, but the devoted man refused.
He told his wife: 'Don't worry. I will care for you forever.'
Afterwards, Du quit his job in order to look after his sick wife full-time. 
The couple live in a stone-built home with simple furnishing. Du does everything personally, from boiling the traditional Chinese medicine to changing his wife's bed pan.
Du is always on the hunt for possible cures for his wife too. Whenever he hears of a herbal recipe, he will go into the mountains to find the ingredients; making sure he tastes the medicine before giving it to his wife - in case it is poisonous.
His dedication has moved his neighbours in the same village, who often come with life necessities, groceries and medicines for his wife.
The local authorities have also listed the couple as the recipients of charity offers.  
Day and night, Du has cleaned, fed and massaged his wife, and the incredible love lasted for nearly six decades.

Allah loves you, sweet Mikhail

I received news of the tragic passing of sweet Mikhail this morning.

I cried when I saw the picture of him with his loving parents which was forwarded to me.

But Allah loves him and his soul is in a better place now, I told myself.

My condolences and prayers for Mikhail's parents and all those who love him. May they be strong and patient.