Sunday, 29 June 2014

Red hair: soul not for sale

Got a call from a Johorean friend last night.

Part of the conversation went something like this:

Friend: Don't be stupid Annie. You cannot win this fight. They are too powerful. Nobody in Johor dare to say anything anymore. Now they are going after you all who make noises.

Me: If everyone gives up, then we all may just as well roll over and die la. I'm not yet ready to do that. Anyway, I got nothing really to lose if I keep on fighting.

Friend: Then you will soon be alone. Most of your gang had been bought over. Do you know that?

Me: I don't think so.

Friend: Really, they had been silenced. Just like how they turned around Utusan. Anyway, when was the last time they post anything about the Johor thing?

Me: Errr....they will write more if they have new materials. They are just resting a bit...probably.

Friend: Don't be so naive Annie. The only reason you have not been approached yet is because they do not really know who you are. Otherwise, you would be silenced too.

Me: Cannot be. I know my friends. They will not betray this fight. They will not be silenced even if those crooks offer them a million ringgit.

Friend: Hahaha...poor Annie. You are so gullible.

Yup, that was a real conversation between me and a friend last night. No kidding.

Well, never mind. I don't believe what my friend told me but if I have to, I will fight alone. It doesn't matter whether I will win or lose. The important thing is that I have tried my best.

But for today I am going to take a bit of a break.

Need to clean my room a bit and later go out to do my hair.

My hair is a real mess now.

I think I will cut it short and dye it red. Like this,


It's been quite a while since I last have a red hair.

It's good to have red hair while in the fighting mood.

More garang, I guess.

Okay, a sad but nice song about being alone to go with the day,


By the way....
Selamat berpuasa kepada semua muslimin dan muslimat.

Take care guys.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Attempt to neutralise Dr Mahathir

I have been reliably informed that the Khaled Nordin's administration had sent their people to set up a meeting between former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor.

It was meant to persuade Dr Mahathir to stop his criticisms of the Johor Ruler and the State government.

Dr Mahathir has been at the forefront in the fight to end the excesses in Johor, which reached its climax with the enactment of the controversial Johor Housing and Property Board Bill which would have given the Sultan of Johor direct executive power, which is repugnance to the Federal Constitution.

Dr Mahathir's open criticisms, particularly over the large-scale selling of State land by the palace to foreigners had led others, including pro-establishment blogs and mainstream newspapers to do the same.

I was informed that the Khaled's administration had scrambled a crisis management action plan to deal with the crisis.

The action plan had identified that the key in diffusing the attacks was to neutralise Dr Mahathir's criticisms which was believed will be able to eventually shut down the other critics.

It was with that in mind that Khaled's people had approached the Dr Mahathir's camp to set up the meeting between the Sultan himself and the elderly statesman.

They believed that Dr Mahathir, despite his criticisms, has a soft spot for the Sultan of Johor and will eventually relent and ease off his criticisms if they meet in person.

So far, the Khaled's people had been told that Dr Mahathir is engaged with other matters and have no time yet for such a meeting.

What ever it is, I am confident that Dr Mahathir will not abandon Johoreans in this matter. His strength and commitment to save Johor, as far as I am concerned, is unquestionable.

Meanwhile, the harsh criticisms leveled at the Sultan of Johor and the State government over the various issues made known to the public of late had taken a heavy toll.

It was obvious that the State government's attempts to explain itself to Johoreans over the various related issues had failed.

The rumbling on the ground was real and getting louder.

The Khaled Nordin's crisis management action plan had also been devised to handle this.

The first step, I was told, was to neutralize Utusan, the Malay language newspaper which open criticism is causing the most damage among the rural Malays.

This move took top priority as the Sultan of Johor was recently about to embark on the annual Kembara Mahkota Johor trip which was to take him to several places in the rural Johorean Malays heartland.

It was understood that top editors of Utusan were summoned for an audience with the Sultan on the side of the recent Rulers' conference in Kuala Lumpur.

I was not informed what were offered to the Utusan editors but the most obvious result of that meeting was that the newspaper had given an extensive coverage of the Kembara Mahkota Johor.

Despite that, the crisis had adversely affected the mood of the just concluded event. Those who were present during the three-day trip of the Sultan had told me that the atmosphere was not as festive as it used to be in previous years.

Still it was a good move to neutralise Utusan as if it had continued with its criticisms, it could be fatal for the Johor establishment.

The next step is to engage another major media group - the NSTP, in particular the NST newspaper which editorial had been harsh on the State government as you can read here,

A dying newspaper's take on Johor crisis

and a brave article here,


The people must come first



which was written by the NSTP Group Managing Editor Datuk Jalil Hamid himself, seen here with PM DS Najib Razak,


As for the social media, particularly the pro-establishment blogs, which have been critical over the Johor crisis, I was told that a substantial amount of financial allocation had been set aside to neutralise them.

It was understood that the Khaled Nordin's camp was not particularly worried about criticisms from the opposition side as they were hoping that they will only go on the attack mode only when it nears an election.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Football fever....and stupidity

Overslept.

Was too tired last night that I slept so deeply and was totally oblivious of the alarm I set to wake me up at 5am.

Have to postpone my morning appointment to later in the afternoon. I am meeting an old friend from Johor.

Yes, Johor...

The weird thing is, I will always miss Johor but never feel like going back there....not as it is now.

I mean, what kind of mentality was that - that the whole state took a public holiday just because the JDT team won a football tournament.

And it's not even the Piala Malaysia. And all that while the rest of the world is having a football fever due to the World Cup in Brazil.

Kalau menang World Cup dapat cuti tu aku faham la, tapi ni menang Piala Super je. Nak sangat orang kampung suka ke? Tak malu ke?

Whose stupid idea was that? Khaled Nordin, is that your idea? Or did you just advise someone on it? How much productivity was lost because of it?

The last time that I remember Johor won the Malaysia Cup many years ago, the then Menteri Besar said,

"Besok tak ada cuti umum. Kita orang Johor rajin...." or something like that.

Anyway, despite all that, I will always fly the Johor flag in my heart and hope it will go back to what it used to be...my home state which I could be proud of...


For something to ponder, here is an excerpt from blogger SeaDeamon's latest posting,
Clear And Present Danger 

"....the strength and weakness of the Ruler depends on the strengths, weaknesses, sincerity, truthfulness, and knowledge of their adviser, namely the Prime Minister and the Menteris Besar.  The recent fiasco in Johor shows how a weak adviser can put the Ruler in harm’s way."

Anyway, I really need to get up now, brush my teeth, took a shower, pack up and get moving for the day.

Have a good day everyone....except if you are one of those crooks who are destroying my Johor of course.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Johoreans' prayers for Najib

PM DS Najib Razak is going down to Johor Baru today.

He has a night function followed by several others the next day in Pengerang, Batu Pahat and Mersing.

This is the first time he will be in Johor ever since the crisis involving the palace erupted there recently.

I think Najib will likely meet the Sultan of Johor in between his official schedule.

Hopefully, the PM could explain to His Royal Highness and his menteri besar DS Mohd Khaled Nordin that things in Johor need to be fixed following the excesses  which happened there the past one year since the new state administration took over.

I am praying hard that Najib will have the strength and courage to tell them that. I believe many other Johoreans will pray the same.


Otherwise, I don't believe that Johor will remains as the Tiang Seri Umno.

And when the institution of Johor Umno crumbles, consequently Johor will fall to the opposition.

It will then spells the end of Barisan Nasional rule in this country.

Najib needs to tell the Tuanku Sultan and Khaled that rakyat Johor do see what is happening in their state and they don't like what are happening there.

And in this age of information technology and social media, there is no way to stop the rakyat from talking about what they see.

The axe, wielded by the rakyat will fall on the neck of those whom they dislike on polling day.

BN suffered in the past two general election for the arrogance of some of their leaders who think that their action, no matter how despicable could be swept under the carpet.

This is exactly what is happening in Johor at the moment.

That's the reality which hopefully Najib could stress during his visit to Johor.

I have been calling for Khaled to be removed for being a hopeless MB in my eyes, especially following the recent Johor crisis.

This, I don't think Najib will do for now. The man has his own way of doing things.

Nonetheless, I still hope for the PM to remind Khaled that holding the post of Johor MB and State Umno chief is not a job for a slacker whose cronies could hang around him to accumulate riches.

The PM need to tell Khaled that if Johor Umno is to survive the next general election, his people and those claiming to be the people of the Sultan need to be stopped from doing as they please, which is the case at the moment.

A bunch of Malays gathering for a tunjuk perasaan and shouted "Hidup Melayu!" and "Luaskan Kuasa Mu!" will not save them the day.

Always bear in mind that Malays only made up about 53 per cent of Johoreans. About 83 per cent of them voted for BN in the last general election.

Also needs to be remembered is that almost 40 per cent of Johoreans are Chinese who in the last general election were almost totally united in rejecting BN.

A slight reduction more of the Johorean Malays support for BN in the next general election will destroy the coalition.

This could happened if the current powers-that-be in Johor think the rakyat, particularly the Malays were blind to the excesses being brazenly committed in broad daylight by those using their assumed position as the boys of the Sultan and MB.

Jangan lah sampai orang Melayu Johor pun meluat sampai tak lalu nak sokong Umno lagi.

This, I pray will be what Najib will insist during his visit there.

Otherwise, I am afraid Johor will indeed be a gone case in the next general election.

With Johor gone, the rest will follow.

Monday, 23 June 2014

No lazy Chinese women

Woke up, and feel better. Hopefully, it stays that way tonight. I really need to get back to work tomorrow.

Nothing to do, so, I surfed around checking other people's blogs.

Helen Ang, as always has something to say about the hypocrisy of the DAP evangelists.


This time it's about Hannah Yeoh on the Federal Court Allah verdict

Of course they are now saying that the court was bias and manipulated by Umno. It doesn't matter that opposition leader DS Anwar Ibrahim had just the other day won in court RM850k against blogger Papagomo.

Anyway, I wonder what do the Pas religious people think of this twitter posting highlighted by Helen,


Unlike myself, Helen is a meticulous blogger. She always does her research properly. It's something I simply do not have the time to do.

I have the pleasure of meeting Helen a few times recently. My impression was that she is an easy going lady, yet very focused on what she is doing.

I feel that she is the typical Chinese women.

Hardworking, assertive, dedicated, practical and tenacious.

These are qualities I found in most Chinese women including my mother.

I believe it has something to do with the Chinese culture which asserts those values into oneself.

Honestly, I have yet to meet a Chinese woman who is lazy.

Some of them may not be smart and are bitches and are boring as a person, but they are always very hardworking.

Yup, I know of some lazy Chinese guys, but yet to meet a lazy Chinese woman.

Really, I am not kidding you, all the Chinese women I know are hardworking, one way or another.

I wish I'm more like them.

Fever (updated)

UPDATES

Went to clinic just now and the doctor gave me,
1. Augmentin - antibiotic
2. Paracetamol - for fever
3. Actifed - for flu
4. Travisil - for sore throat
5. Flemin - for cough
6. MC for today.
Total costs : RM54

Okay, took the medication and now trying to sleep.

ORIGINAL POSTING

Woken up by a nightmare.

It was about 3.30am.

My fever has not yet subsided.

Throat and eyes felt burning. Then there were the chest pains.

Took some pain killers and drank quite a lot of water. Feeling a bit better now, but can't seem to get back to sleep.

Decided to write this instead.

Just a bit.

It's better to write my thoughts than lying in the darkness and thinking all sorts of nonsense.

Whatever it is, I need to see a doctor later in the morning.

It's been like this throughout the weekend and I had spend it cooped up alone in my room.

I thought the fever will go away, but apparently not so.

Looks like I have to skip work for today. No point in going to work when I am not well. If I do, I will just end up making mistakes and in my line of work, I can't afford even a little bit of that.

Anyway, I hope the fever was not dengue or something more sinister like that.

Well, I am more worried about the chest pains. It has become a permanent feature especially every time I woke up in the morning.

The doctor who had check on it told me it's nothing to worry about, but I think I should have it checked again. Getting a second opinion is always good.

Doesn't matter that my medical bill this month is going to kill me, anyway.

Also need to pay for the special glasses recommended by the ophthalmologist the other day.

Errr...why la I am telling you all these....sorry for wasting your time, reading it.

I just miss my mother, okay. Wish she could come over and take care of me whenever I am sick like this.

Well, she will not....she is a very busy lady.

Anyway, I am too sick to go around disturbing people like DS Mohd Khaled Nordin today.

If you want the latest on the mess in Johor, I recommend you to read what former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said to the Mole,

Dr M: "Malay Rulers should not be involved in business deals."

Okay, the link to the Mole has been a bit wonky of late, but do keep trying. It's a good interview. I managed to read it last night.


If you can't open it like I did just now, do wait and try it later. Hopefully the Mole people could fix it by then.

Need to rest my eyes now. Tired and hurting.

See you all again when I get better....

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Khaled's claims of innocence and my reply

I took the following from the Facebook page of Johor Menteri Besar DS Mohd Khaled Nordin. I believe that his media handlers had requested for the newspapers to publish it today. Honestly, I doubt that Khaled had written it himself. 
If I were to bet, I would place my wager on the piece actually being written by his political secretary who is also the Umno division chief of Lim Kit Siang's jajahan takluk.

Well, never mind.
My comments are in blue.




Biar sejarah tentukan Menteri Besar Johor ini mampu beri manfaat untuk rakyat atau tidak- Mohamed Khaled Nordin
You want to wait until Johor is history for you to be judged? Like the history of Malacca Sultanate, is it?

Sebagai seorang Menteri Besar, saya sangat menghormati Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar. Tuanku adalah seorang yang sangat mengambil berat akan hal ehwal Kerajaan Negeri dan juga negeri Johor tetapi baginda tidak pernah mencampuri urusan pentadbiran negeri sejak saya menjadi Menteri Besar. Tuduhan yang mengatakan Tuanku Sultan mencampuri urusan pentadbiran Kerajaan Negeri adalah tidak benar sama sekali.Tidak ada apa yang perlu dikhuatirkan kerana Sultan tahu dan memahami peranannya selaku pemerintah negeri, tidak timbul soal campur tangan baginda dalam hal ehwal pentadbiran negeri.
Do you think those JCS people are keeping their mouth shut, Khaled? Do you think those low ranking officers at the government agencies are blind and do not see what is going on? Everyone in Johor knows what is going on. They just don't say anything because they were either scared or just don't give a crap, ok. I suggest you go and ask the Orang Asli Seletar at Kampung Bakar Batu on the opposite side of Danga Bay, whether they know what are going on. Those people are more honest than the average Johoreans. I believe they also have heard something about this matter.

Sebagai Menteri Besar, saya berperanan untuk memberi nasihat kepada baginda dan baginda menghormati saya sebagai pentadbir Kerajaan Negeri. Malah, saya juga sentiasa taat dan setia kepada Tuanku sebagai Sultan bagi negeri Johor dan jajahan takluknya.
Please list down three instances when you had directly advised Tuanku Sultan ever since you become the MB over a year ago. Got or not?

Saya juga tahu ada pihak yang melemparkan tuduhan kononnya saya tidak berupaya untuk 'menasihati' dan 'mengawal' Tuanku Sultan terutamanya dalam soal pentadbiran tanah. Ini tidak benar.Tugas saya bukanlah untuk mengawal selia aktiviti Sultan tetapi untuk memberi nasihat kepada baginda.
So, on the matter of land, you do advise Tuanku is it?  Okay, please then tell Johoreans what was your advise when Tuanku wanted to sell that parcels of land in Nusajaya to the Chinese company for over RM4 billion. Is that State land or Tuanku's own land? Do you know how damaging that land deal was to Tuanku's reputation? There are other examples, but let me stop at that.

Ingin saya tegaskan di sini bahawa, biarlah sejarah yang menentukan sama ada menteri besar yang dikatakan tidak dapat menasihati Tuanku ini boleh membawa manfaat kepada rakyat di negeri Johor atau tidak.
Let's not talk about history, ok. Let's talk about what you had done for Johoreans over the past one year since you become MB. Anything significant? Ada tak?

Sebagai pemimpin yang dipilih oleh rakyat tidak ada apa yang harus saya bimbangkan selagi saya tidak melakukan sesuatu yang membawa kemudaratan kepada rakyat negeri Johor. 
Ya, the problem is that you had done exactly nothing. That's harmful to Johoreans. 


Kalau hubungan tidak baik, MB hendak bertemu dengan Sultan pun akan menjadi masalah.Hubungan dengan Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar menjadi asas kepada saya untuk memberi nasihat tanpa rasa gentar atau pilih kasih.
Okay Khaled, how many times have you said NO to Tuanku since you became MB? Once, twice, thrice?

Mengenai Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Johor (LPHJ), saya tidak menafikan bahawa Tuanku Sultan kecewa dengan persepsi negatif yang dilemparkan kepada baginda berhubung isu yang melibatkan enakmen tersebut.
What do you expect Khaled? Everyone to keep quiet about it? It's your duty to protect Tuanku from being ridiculed and you had failed.

Segala persepsi serta tuduhan yang mendakwa bahawa enakmen itu bercanggah dengan prinsip Raja Berpelembagaan adalah tidak tepat kerana setiap apa yang terkandung di dalam deraf asal pindaan ke atas enakmen tersebut adalah selari dengan Undang-Undang Tubuh Negeri Johor 1895. Harus diingat, Johor adalah negeri pelopor yang mengamalkan sistem Raja Berpelembagaan di negara ini.Kesultanan Johor telah sedia wujud sejak tahun 1885 lagi. Raja memainkan peranan check and balance di dalam sebuah negara
If the initial draft of the enactment was in accordance with the Constitution, then why do you need to go and amend it before tabling it at the State assembly? And come on la Khaled, don't go running around and hide behind old history as basis that what you did with the enactment was right. Most people don't give a shit about it, ok.

Enakmen LPHJ adalah sama sepertimana semasa kita hendak menubuhkan Johor Corporation (JCorp) dahulu. Sedikit pun tidak berubah. Sama juga sepertimana ketika saya mengetuai Kementerian Pembangunan Usahawan dan Koperasi dahulu, kita hendak menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Koperasi Malaysia, pelantikan anggota lembaga, pengerusi, ketua eksekutif semuanya mestilah dilakukan atas perkenan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Di negeri, Sultan yang memainkan peranan tersebut.
What's wrong with you Khaled. JCorp is a private entity while the board would be part of the Johor's executive branch. It's a totally different thing. In JCorp case, it doesn't involve the direct executive power of the State, but that's not the case with the board. You understand that or not? Or are you trying to fool the orang kampung?

Tapi oleh kerana enakmen LPHJ ini baru dan jarang-jarang dilakukan di peringkat negeri, orang sangka, kita hendak masukkan elemen baru yang memberi kuasa tertentu kepada Sultan sedangkan ia adalah sama sepertimana sebelum ini dan sama juga di peringkat persekutuan yang memberi kuasa-kuasa tertentu kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Sudah semestinya apa sahaja kuasa yang diberikan kepada YDPA ia selari dengan peruntukkan di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Sama jugalah di peringkat negeri, kuasa Tuanku Sultan adalah tertakluk kepada Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaan Negeri.
Again, if nothing was wrong with it, why you need to make changes to the initial draft in the final hours before its tabling? Why not just tabled it as it is? Just ignore la all those complaints. Yes, that includes the complaints on this matter by former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Khaled, do you think Dr Mahathir is a fool for opposing the enactment?

Kepada anak Johor, saya seru supaya kita mengukuhkan ikatan muafakat menghadapi cabaran di negeri Johor dan tidak terpengaruh dengan hasutan dan cubaan untuk mencemar Institusi Diraja Johor.
Siapa yang nak cemar institusi Diraja Johor, Khaled? Orang macam aku ni ke atau orang yang berselindung dibelakang institusi Diraja nak mengaut untung dan laba? Go and ask your boys how rich they are now after just a year being the special officers of the Johor MB. Go to the Kota Iskandar parking lot and check out what cars they were driving. You want me to name your special officer who wears a Rolex watch?

Muafakat membawa Berkat
Memang muafakat membawa berkat, tapi jangan sampai muafakat rompak harta negeri sudah lah.


Allah Berkati Johor
Amen

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Learning about loyalty from a palm oil expert

I think I need to have an appointment with an ophthalmologist tomorrow.

My eyesight is getting worse and the glasses I am wearing were of not much help even after I had upgraded it.


I think I am suffering from some sorts of weird eyes ailment.

Everything went blurry after a while when I focused my eyes on something such as when I am reading or even driving. This happened despite me wearing my glasses.

If I forced my eyes to remain focused after it got blurry, they would start to hurt.

I am actually writing this posting two or three paragraphs at a time. 

Okay, what I really wanted to write tonight was about the concept of loyalty.

However, due to my eyesight condition, I think I have to shelve it to another day, as I can't write for too long.

Nonetheless, I would like to recommend you all to read a bit about the concept of loyalty in this posting by palm oil expert writer  Ooi Tee Ching

"I'm a soh chai ..."

It's such a short and sweet article on the matter.

I really hope those who are not sure about the concept of loyalty, especially Johoreans, to learn something from it.

Errr....okay, my eyes really tired and a bit hurting now. 

Need to knock off.

I leave you all with this nice song. 



Hopefully tomorrow I can get some medication for my eyes. Good night.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Edge and YTL alliance, how about credibility?

A friend who knows about my bad habit of not regularly checking my email today told me to have a look at it as he had forwarded me something.

i feel that the article that he send to me to be rather interesting, particularly in the light of the latest development where YTL had withdrawn from the IPP project in Pasir Gudang, possibly due to public pressure.

It's about the supposedly respectable business publication The Edge.

And the writer wrote it as if he/her is myself, which I find rather flattering.

My friend who forwarded me the article had suggested for me to publish it of which I agreed. I wish I know who wrote it but my friend said the person had wished for anonymity.

"This person is a big fan of yours," my friend said.

Okay, that made me rather embarrassed.

Well, it doesn't matter lah as the content was good.

Thanks to whoever you are.....

So, here it is,


Why like that one?

I promised way back in February that I would say more about those who bet on both sides. So, this piece is a bit longer than usual.

Now seems like the right time with the news filled with Francis Yeoh’s fiasco daring to lecture others on crony capitalism.

Without crony capitalism YTL could still be Syarikat Pembinaan Yeoh Teong Lay Sdn Bhd

And of course as I pointed out before, The Edge, a newspaper I once upon a time thought was truly trying to deliver unbiased news, has again obviously taken sides.  

I detailed before how the paper had clearly pushed for a YTL victory in the open tender for the 3B power plant.


And they didn’t stop there. YTL lost the tender to 1MDB-Mitsui and the EC explained that YTL’s bid did not comply and was on the whole more expensive.

Then the lone voice of the Edge refused to take this lying down. They openly challenged the EC, defending YTL to the point of torturously arguing that all the other bidders also do not meet the EC’s technical requirements.

Why is it so important to dedicate endless pages to get across YTL’s case? I think we all know the answer.

But ok, let’s suspend disbelief and go with The Edge’s declared agenda to defend fairness, transparency and competitiveness. After all, they are always calling for competitive tenders, criticising direct negos of power companies and the advantage of government companies vs the private sector through articles like “why no open tender?

So how did the Edge react when YTL and SIPP got the contract for the 1000-1400MW 4a power plant via direct negotiations?

Of course they went on a stinging attack, right? “Blatant favouritism” perhaps? “Damaging return to the days of lopsided crony PPAs”, perhaps? “Secret negotiations shock energy sector”, perhaps?

I mean other papers and the TNB union were vocal in their criticism.


So The Edge as an “independent” paper must have surely gone crazy?

Well, not so much. If anything, they defended YTL with “Project 4A no sweetheart deal”.

There were virtually no criticism of the direct negotiation. In fact, this time, The Edge swallows wholesale the EC’s rationale. Not like before when vociferously challenging the EC was their regular feature .

Instead, the Edge takes the pain to explain to its reader that this is no sweetheart deal. That though this is a directly negotiated contract which in the past Egde would crusade against, this time, Edge has suddenly mellowed. Because, you know, margin will be razor thin margin, and the funding more expensive, the IRR in single digit, and really after all, this is all doneto expedite the plant up programme. The litany of excuses!

Really Edge? Where is the outrage???

In the wake of the Francis Yeoh’s ‘crony capitalism’ controversy, the paper published a glowing profile of YTL in “YTL beats 85% of Fortune 500 companies”.

The “family business” that has “flourished since Francis Yeoh took over the helm” with clear values of “stewardship” and being taught to  “…hate evil, corruption and other activities that do not benefit people’s lives. These values enable YTL to have a purpose; be a force for good, not personal greed.”

That one made me laugh!

But my favourite one is the article that not only defends the 4A award but then expresses surprise that the market did not react favourably to the announcement.


“According to sources, the Project 4A deal, which involves a 1,000MW to 1,400MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant, is slightly different from the early power purchase agreements (PPAs) that are highly profitable, despite being awarded through direct negotiations as well.

...Nonetheless, it is surprising that the market wasn’t more receptive to the award, especially to YTL power as its PPA with TNB for YTL Power’s two power plants in Malaysia will expire iN September next year.”   

Did Edge really expect to do this and people won’t notice? Edge has always pride itself of having intelligent readership. All we can say about this whole episode is bull****.

We see your game. And we call you out. And next time you rail against unfairness and shout for integrity, we question your credibility.

A poignant story of a filial son

I read with great sadness in my heart this poignant article in the New Straits Times yesterday which I am reproducing in full here,

Thank you, Bapak


BY SATIMAN JAMIN - 17 JUNE 2014

THE sound of rain beating down on the corrugated iron roof of my father’s house was loud but the din was not what had awakened me from my sleep.
In the semi-darkness of the hall, I could see that my 81-year-old father, whom we call Bapak, was sitting up in his armchair. He was weeping and it was the sound of his sobs that woke me up.
“It is raining,” he said when I asked him what was bothering him.
“How do I tap rubber tomorrow? I cannot earn any money tomorrow. How do I feed my family if the rain continues,” he said in between sobs.
Bapak was re-living his past experience, or rather his worst experience. His failing memory often returns to the time in the 1970s when he worked as a rubber tapper in Masai, Johor. The rainy season was his worst nightmare, as it would mean the loss of his main income to feed, clothe and send his nine kids to school.
I remember him having bad moods during the rainy season but I did not know he shed tears for us until that night, about three months ago, when Bapak thought he was back in the 1970s.
He then decided to work in an oil palm plantation, harvesting fresh fruit bunches. His new job was much harder and did not pay much, just four sen for every oil palm fruit bunch he harvested. However, it had two big advantages over tapping of rubber trees — his working days were no longer dictated by the weather and the whole family could help him earn more money.
And help him we did, working as a unit to harvest around 1,000 fruit bunches a day, earning around RM40, which was a big jump compared with the RM5 he earned at the rubber estate.
When he started working, Bapak had no money to buy a wheelbarrow (it cost RM50 at the time) so he had to use rattan baskets and a wooden shoulder pole provided by the estate management to transport the oil palm fruit to the roadside.
His resolve to earn as much money as possible for his family was much stronger than the thick mahogany pole he carried.
This was proven one day when Bapak kept telling me to load more oil palm fruit into the basket as he wanted to carry as much as possible to the roadside collection area. I was reluctant to add more into the twin baskets as they were already full.
I was afraid the extra load would hurt Bapak’s back and shoulder and was horrified when I heard a loud crack when he put his left shoulder under the pole. I thought that he had broken something.
And he had. But it wasn’t any of his bones. Bapak had a tough time explaining to the estate management how he had broken the shoulder pole before he could get a replacement. That was almost 40 years ago, but the event was vivid in my mind as I gave my father a massage last Sunday.
Bapak spent all his energy raising me and my siblings that he is physically weak now. He cringed in pain as I massaged his left shoulder, the very same one that broke the thick wooden pole many years ago.
“It is up to you. I will follow your decision. Whatever you think is good, is also fine by me.”
Those were my father’s words when I told him of my intention of bringing him to live with me in Terengganu.
How I wished I had also said the same words to him when I was a kid, but at least I can now care for him much like he did for me.
I have decided to dedicate my time to care for my elderly parents and the only way for me to do that is by quitting my job as a journalist.
Friends and colleagues have told me not to quit, that I can care for my parents and be a journalist at the same time but the hectic work schedule means that I will have to be away from them even if I bring them to live with me in Terengganu. I cannot put my career ahead of my father, who, despite being unable to read or write, had taught me my first few English words.
Piston, crankshaft, connecting rod, timing chain and other parts of a motorcycle engine were the first English words that got stuck in my head, and it was Bapak, who could barely speak Malay (we spoke Javanese at home), who taught me those words when, as a toddler, I sat beside him as he repaired motorcycles to earn some extra income.
I will be repairing motorcycles in my little workshop in Tok Jembal and this time Bapak will be by my side. My friends said that I made a bold decision to be an entrepreneur, but actually I just reverted to my former role, to be my father’s son.
Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there and, on behalf of all sons everywhere, thank you.


Satiman Jamin is the outgoing NST bureau chief of Terengganu.

He had just resigned from his post a few days ago for the reason he stated in that article.

He is indeed a truly filial son.


My heart goes out to him as his full story is actually really heart breaking. It was however not for me to tell it here.

I had actually first read Satiman's articles when he was a JB-based NST journalist.

They were very good, particularly the features and human interest stories.

You can just google his name to read his past articles.

I am wishing Satiman all the best and hopefully he will continue to write, one way or another.

May Allah bless him and his family.

On another note, it's unfortunate that the one and only pro-establishment English newspaper in the country lost another good writer as its circulation slides further down to below 100,000 copies per day.

Hopefully, the bosses of NST will soon find a way to revive its fortune.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Let it be German

Spend the whole day doing nothing.

Somehow, I feel really tired today.

Slept most of the day off.

Nope, it's not because I have been watching the World Cup matches.

Most of the matches are so early in the morning and I am not much of a football fan to sacrifice my sleep to watch them.

I have not watch a single match.

But four years ago I did watch some of the World Cup matches.

The time zone was not so bad at that time.

I remember supporting Germany.


I think they played a very attractive football in that tournament.

In fact I think they played better than the eventual champion Spain.

As it is, Spain was thrashed the other day by Holland 5-1. I saw the results in the newspapers.

From what I was told, Holland is the best runners up of the World Cup. Always a good team, but not good enough to win the trophy. It would be nice for them if they could actually win the tournament this time around.

Whatever it is, I will continue to support Germany. I would consider it as my adopted football country.

No particular reason for it except that I like their team the last time I watched them played.

Well, what to do....Malaysia will never get to the World Cup. At least not in my life time, I think.

Anyway, I don't think I will stay up to watch even the matches played by Germany...except maybe if they are in the final match.

I just pick them as my team so that I would not be left out when they talk football in the office over the next weeks.

Of a book launch and review of a Saturday (edited)

Lazing around at home the whole morning.

Resting.

Tired as I had been busy yesterday.

Before going to the book launch of Prof Jamilah, I went to office to do some work.

My journalist friend later picked me up for lunch. 

We went to 1 Mount Kiara and had Japanese steamboat at Suki-Ya. The food was quite nice and not too expensive.

After that we went to Sime Darby Convention Centre for the book launch but was told it was actually held at nearby KLGCC. 

Others made the same mistake too. 

We were greeted by Prof Jamilah and others at the entrance of the KLGCC's ballroom where the book launch was held. 

She didn't recognize me but was pleasant as we shook hand.

My journalist friend wanted to sit at a table reserved for journalists but all the chairs were taken up. 

We ended up standing at the back of the room as the VIPs arrived. Prof Jamilah's husband Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, the chairman of Sime Darby  was with them.

We stayed only until after Prof Jamilah ended her speech as we needed to attend to another function later on .

The most important message by Prof Jamilah was for the authorities, in particular those in charge of Iskandar Malaysia to ensure that the small remnant of Orang Asli Seletar living amidst the rapid development there could continue their unique way of life.



My journalist friend managed to persuade the ladies at the reception counter to give us a copy of Prof Jamilah's book which was titled ‘My Personal Journey in Observing the Dynamic Iskandar Malaysia and its Forgotten Sea Gypsies: Economic Development Contradictions and Cultural Change’. 

They had intended to only give the book to the journalists for review after the end of the launch.

Bernama has the report of the book launch here,

Book On Johor's Orang Seletar Out In Bookstores


It should be noted that DAP had set-up a task force to defend the rights of the Orang Seletar following recent encroachment of their land by developers of Iskandar Malaysia. I wonder what the Johor government is doing about it.

Well, with the current Johor crisis not yet anywhere near a closure I don't think the current administration knows what its priority anymore, let alone care about a small group of Orang Asli. More votes for DAP in Johor, I guess.

Me and my journalist friend ended our hanging out together yesterday with a bit of shopping and movie at One Utama.


He wanted to watch Tom Cruise's latest flick Edge of Tomorrow while I wanted to watch Angelina Jolie's Maleficient.


Of course I won. 



It turned out to be yet another reboot of a fairytale. Quite an okay movie though.



Err...need to get up now. Been writing this lying in bed on my chest. It's beginning to hurt a bit.

Okay, have a good lazy Sunday everyone.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

A lady of substance

Woke up a bit early today despite taking the day off.

A journalist friend had asked me to accompany him to a book launch at the KLGCC in Mount Kiara.

It's a book by Professor Datin Paduka Dr Jamilah Ariffin, the wife of former Johor MB Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.



I am not sure of its title but what I know was that it's a book about the Johor's Orang Asli Seletar 

I believe it's an interesting book and am planning to write a review of it in this blog.

Honestly, I don't really know Prof Jamilah very well.

I met her several times, mostly at the Johor MB's official residence Saujana a few years ago, but those were occasions when I was in a group with other people.

What I know of her was that she is a very smart and opinionated lady.

And typically, ladies of such were always targets of vicious criticisms and slanders, especially when their husband holds a position of power.

Prof Jamilah had her share of that nonsense when Datuk Ghani was the Johor MB. 

What many did not realize was that Prof Jamilah had given up her successful academic career to stood by her husband in the tough world of politics.

Otherwise, I believe she would have been a vice-chancellor of a prestigious university or something like that.

Some said she is smarter than Datuk Ghani, which I am not very sure myself. 

What I am quite sure is that, she is smarter than the current Johor MB...and tougher.

She always seems spunky to me.

It will indeed be nice to see her again later today.

Anyway, the book launch today is not Prof Jamilah's first.

If you want to know more about Prof Jamilah, I suggest you read about her at this 
posting by Peggy Loh, a JB-based NST columnist,

The Prof and I


Note: I am adding Peggy's to my blog list. Her blog is a good read for especially Johoreans.