Monday, March 31, 2008

The Arabs SKIP Malaysia for Singapore and China

There were some big news about Arab investments in Malaysia few months ago. First was in IDR and then several more property developments in Penang and other investments in Selangor.
Anyway, these minor investments are nothing to shout about comparing with other mega and not-so-mega investments in Singapore and China.
Today, the UAE's Vice-President and Prime Minister, HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum flew for a historic trip to China with 150 delegates, marking the importance of the economic and commercial aspects of the visit.

UAE has made more than 400 investments in China with trillions in value. China is of course a world power where everybody is going to be for future strategic stakes. To date, bilateral trade between China dan UAE has grown by an impressive annual average of 40 per cent from $4 billion in 2003 to $20 billion in 2007.

China has been growing at an annual average rate of more than 10 per cent for more than 30 years, making the country the fastest growing in East Asia, and the UAE's economic growth in the past five years far exceeds that of all its neighbours.
China exported $17 billion worth of goods to the UAE in 2007, ranking the country as China's most important trading partner in the region, whereas 70 per cent of these exports were re-exported to countries in the GCC, Africa, and even Europe, which reveals the growing importance of the UAE as the region's trading hub.

There are about 200,000 Chinese citizens living and working in the UAE, of whom only about 30,000 are labourers. The majority are businessmen and executives, according to the embassy.
Irrespective of perceptions, the Arabs are smart investors and businessmen since long time ago. Islam was expanded into this region through trades. It is obvious why nowadays the Arabs skip Malaysia, the 'most-developed' muslim brother state in favour of the Chinese.
We need to throw the current weak pathetic PM out into history bin and reform the whole system for a BETTER MALAYSIA. Otherwise, we are going nowhere with recycled rhetorics.
It is not only China that has gained from Arab wealth and funds. Our neighbouring state, Singapore has been a strong partner to the Arabs. Even Arab tourists are known to throng Thailand and Singapore since years ago and only found Malaysia as another holiday and shopping destination recently.
Pak Lah, Khairy or Kali Riong may be right, as alleged by Dr. M of selling IDR to Singapore masters.....make no mistake that Singapore expertise is sought after!
Read some recent news:-

Saudi seeks Singapore partners to boost competitiveness

BY HABIB SHAIKH 13 February 2008
JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia wants to become one of the top ten competitive destinations in the world by 2010 and the kingdom is keen for Singapore partners to help make it happen, according to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who visited Saudi Arabia accompanied by senior government leaders, to witness the progress being made in the kingdom's new cities.
The King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is hailed as the second Singapore, largely due to the advice Lee gave during his previous visit to the kingdom in 2006.


Maktoum receives Lee Kwan Yu
WAMPublished: March 03, 2008, 00:47

Honouring the guest: Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, received the former prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kwan
Yu, at the Emirates Towers Hotel yesterday.
They discussed a number of issues, including information technology revolution and investment in the current globalisation world. Shaikh Maktoum held a luncheon in honour of his guest, who was honoured on Saturday by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) for being the secret behind Singapore's development.


Abu-Dhabi - Singapore Partnerships
Abu Dhabi: A number of major partnerships were announced yesterday as part of the inaugural Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum held at the Emirates Palace.
The forum was co-chaired by Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, and Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore's Minister of State for Trade and Industry.
They oversaw the signing of major deals between Abu Dhabi Department of Civil Service and the Sing-apore Civil Service College to establish a public service training institution; the Maritime Authority of Singapore and Abu Dhabi Transport Department to facilitate cooperation in maritime policy and planning, port regulation, vessel safety and maritime environment protection and between Gisco Bin Ham-oodah of Abu Dhabi and CBM of Singapore to establish a facilities management joint venture in Abu Dhabi.



Dubai International Capital acquires stake in True Group
Staff ReportPublished: March 30, 2008, 20:24
Dubai: Dubai International Capital LLC (DIC), the international investment arm of Dubai Holding, on Sunday said, it has acquired of a significant stake in the True Group, a leading provider of wellness services in South East Asia.
The investment will support the group's international expansion drive into new markets.
The True Group was established in 2004 as Singapore's largest wellness centre at Pacific Plaza in the heart of Singapore's downtown shopping area.

Abuya Is Back - The PM in Waiting

Like our former PM, the one and only Dr. M, yes, politicians never die, they just become annoying and irrelevant, now maybe they just become glamorous bloggers.

They make noises to be heard. Dr. M for example wanna be a modern day maverick superhero. He claims thousand times that he is innocent and clean from any wrongdoings while 22 years in power. Except of putting that Imam Hadhari as his successor and not putting Anwar in jail for the rest of his natural life.

Most old, retired or dropped politicians have to be seen vocal and macho regardless of irrelevancy. Otherwise, people or rather mainstream media just ignore and forget about them. The rest who once walked arrogantly in corridors of power are faded into oblivion or lavishly enjoying the loots with millions to spend before going to hell.

Sometimes, with a lot of hard bargains, persuasions, ampuism and begging, some of these never-say-die buggers may make a sudden comeback and return to the limelight. You'd never know that people like notorious ZAM might return to haunt our lives with vengeance, either as a blogger or attention beggar in the media-that-he-used-to-charge-like-his-father's.

After the political tsunami that consequently wrecked havoc in ruling party, who'd guess that the former MB with 2 Muhammads in his name (who was famously detained in OZland for carrying millions in sack and did not understand any English) has returned to political mainstream with a bang.

Another supposedly rebel, Shahril Samad who had been there, ups and downs, out and in, had also returned to the cabinet after lapse of 2o years or so.

Here we go again, there is another former mainstream and high-flying leader who was detained and had confessed live on TV for his deviant activities is now returned to shape the future of our nation with strong political statements.

He may be in bad shape but he will thrust again into prominence as prophecy says he is gonna be the one.

Move Anwar, Tengku Razaleigh or Najib Al Tantuya aside, we have another candidate as a PM in Waiting.



Abuya now speaks perfect ENGLISH (Mat Tyson and ZAM may have to learn from him)!

Click Here, if interested to read!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dr. M, Vincent and That Tengku had a same Tok Guru


I could not help but to feel a bit amused to read about so-called one prominent corporate leader meeting Anwar Ibrahim recently. The same Vincent who was deemed to be a part of the conspiracy team to topple and sham Anwar late 90s as claimed by Anwar thousands times.

The article reminded me of someone that I used to know in Dubai few years back. A friend introduced to me a spiritual Tok Guru or ahli Sufi . We call him BN who was one of few that Dr. M had sought for advice before pegging RM to USD during financial crisis a decade ago.

The late BN hailed from Pakistan and highly regarded among those who knew him as a great spiritual leader. His world wide network was extensive including Dr. M, Benazir and surprise, surprise, Vincent and his corporate buddy as well partner-in-crime as mentioned during Lingamgate Royal Inquiry, that Tengku (who was not born as Tengku but later named himself a Tengku even before his father became a Tengku).

I am not sure whether that 'It looks like and Sounds like' Lingam was also one of BN's anak murids. I would not be shocked now to know if he was indeed a member of the spiritual circle.
Personally, I was also impressed with BN with his capability to tell about my life and family tree even it was our first meeting. According to my friend, BN was known to give accurate predictions to a lot of things and events that occured. Hence his closeness with certain world figures.
Everytime he was in Dubai, I would join my friend to chat with BN who did not read newspapers or watch TV but still was very up-to-date with the latest happenings in the world. He spoke in urdu so I had my friend to translate our conversations. I was curious to know a lot of things from the other side of the supernatural world and a lot of questions raised but not necessarily answered.
The story is more interesting as once I was in KL with BN and my friends from Dubai. It was 2003.

In KL, Vincent and that Tengku came over to the hotel to meet their tok guru and even they kissed BN hands humbly. I was informed earlier that those two buddies were also anak murids or followers of this BN but did not really believe it. I would never believe Vincent had a muslim tok guru...would you?
Interestingly, I got to know that both 'It looks like and Sounds like' Lingam friends were not really liked by BN due to their tainted images and activities. However, both had had high regards to BN and I assumed both had also received a lot of spiritual guidance from BN.

It is amusing that these two tokeh judi had a same Tok Guru with our former PM and wonder why this conection was not mentioned during Lingamgate hearing. I am also waiting for Dr. M's biography if he ever writes about BN's influence in his life and how close these three well-known guys are over the years, even to share a same tok guru.

It could be EXPLOSIVE indeed!

The World's Most Influential Arabs

(My BIG boss is at number 3)


NAME
1 HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud
2 Younes Mahmoud
3 Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem
4 Abdalla Salem El Badri
5 Nadine Labaki
6 Mohammed Alabbar
7 Dr Michel Obeid
8 Wadah Khanfar
9 Elie Saab Lebanon
10 HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

The rest of the list and report, go HERE

Welcome to the Power 100 2008 - The World's 100 Most Powerful Arabs. The list, claimed to be the most comprehensive compilation to date, includes influential Arabs who have had the greatest impact in the past year as sportsmen, doctors, scientists, academics, poets and artists - and many more.

But first, how was the list chosen, you may ask?

Anil Bhoyrul, Group Editor of Arabian Business magazine, explains further:"For the purpose of this year's list (as with every year), we have defined it simply as influence - the ability to influence the thoughts and actions of others," Bhoyrul said. "Or put crudely, if one man dyed his hair green, how many others would follow? The more that did, the more powerful that man is."

Continue here

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dubai's World Cup costs less to stage than Trengganu Monsoon Cup!

Unlike previous years, I did not receive a pair of VIP tickets to Dubai World Cup this year. It could be the person that used to invite me had returned to UK and his successor does not know me. Well, I may have missed those glamorous hats as I am not into horse racing.
Gulf News reports that the entire racing world will be watching today as the best horses on the planet face off in a battle to claim the honour of winning the sport's richest race.
Reputations are made and broken on the turf of Nad Al Sheba, venue for the world's richest race meeting. The moral fibre of the world's best thoroughbreds is put to the test in March every year. This is the site for them to meet and push each other's engines to the limit. The perfectionists refer to it as horsepower.
This is the setting in which unsung novices try to achieve instant notoriety. This is the turf where legends bid to endorse their reputations further. This is the racecourse where owners and trainers gather aiming to get their hands on a share of the huge purse, which at $6 million (Dh22.5 million) is the highest on offer.
Saturday 29 March, as every March, is the day which has been equated by some to an equine world summit. And all roads lead to the vibrant, pulsating, progressive city of Dubai that will host the rest of the world with a seven-card race menu. Each contest promises the best and is closely intertwined with the spirit of Dubai, which believes in taking ownership of nothing but that, which is unparalleled.
It is no small wonder, and in keeping with the quality race field, that the bookies are forecasting a new track record in the feature race today.
Blink and you will miss it.

Equally, the World Cup is not just a race meet. It is an extension of the dreams and aspirations of the emirate and its inhabitants. The realisation of one such vision will be the birth of the world's first racing city, Meydan, in 2009. Dubai showcases the best that is on offer. The speed of its growth is equivalent to that of the 13 magnificent animals who will try to be on top of the world today.
What Monsoon Cup?

Well, did I mention about comparing Dubai World Cup to Pak Lah's Terengganu Monsoon Cup? Idris Jusoh or Patrick Badawi or Khairy, or whoever related to Pak Lah had claimed arrogantly the annual yatch race was watched by billions of people around the world. It costs wang ehsan about RM300 million to run.

How come there was not even a single news on Monsoon Cup here?

I can guesstimate that even billed as world's richest race, Dubai's World Cup costs less to stage than Trengganu Monsoon Cup!

Malaysia Book of Crooks


Most of us are aware about the Malaysia Book of Records.

The web site says:

Intriguing, impressive records keep pouring in, the new beginning embarked upon is an unending journey. Hopes, aspirations, inspirations are ignited bu act with uncommon haste.
Our country still gains much admiration for its beauty; awestruck at the grandeur of the immortal records and unconventional accomplishments set by our country folks

There are currently 9 categories available. But most links on the site are dead. It shows the cheap site is hardly impressive to be a hit.
Most so-called records are just nothing much to shout about, like in 'Inspiring The Nation' section, the first entry is 'Longest Jalur Gemilang on the Great Wall of China'. What is that to inspire our nation? Why not the longer Jalur Gemilang on the moon?
Pak Lah who is running the country on sleep mode and after the election fiasco, on borrowed time, appears smiling with this sentence - One never underestimate the human mind, it can transform thoughts into spectacular results.

He may tell that to himself, never underestimate the rakyat, they can change the political map in a spectacular act of no-confidence to you!

We have a lot more interesting records to be compiled into a book which can be a best-seller as well as reference to past 'achievements' of BN leaders-cum-crooks in their glory days.

There are a lot of crooks out there who are well known, some with well documented cases, some with living proof (remember the infamous Istana in Klang) and with recent change of governments are easy to be discovered even though a lot of confidential files are either missing of shredded from the cabinets.

Lim Kit Siang wrote in his blog, Malaysian crooks are the smartest in the world. And Malaysian policing authorities are the dumbest.

Trillions ringgit gone into thin air, literally into bank accounts. We have to bring the crooks to book. It is not witch hunting exercise as in recent Sun interview with Anwar Ibrahim:

Terence: But you are not going on a witchhunt, are you?
Anwar: I think it will be a problem for us, because it is endless. Then we will spend the next two years just doing this instead of running the states that we won.


STAR today reports:


Land fraud cases took place in 2003, says CM

Saturday, 29 March 2008
(The Star) - PENANG: The “land improprieties” involving “tens and tens of millions of ringgit” here which is under probe by a special state exco committee occurred back in 2003, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said although the previous state administration and the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had completed investigation into the matter, the present administration was not happy with the outcome of the probe.
“There are many parties involved,” he told a press conference yesterday.

R. Nadeswaran in his Citizen Nades column mentions:-


In Selangor, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim says he is going to review a water supply agreement entered into by the previous state government with two
companies on the eve of polling day, all because the agreement – to operate, manage and maintain the raw water intake and the treatment plant at Sungai Sireh, Tanjung Karang – is lopsided in favour of certain quarters with an interest in the concession agreement.
"I have noticed there is some imbalance between the revenues (that would have been accorded) to the state and the people. It may have enriched the people who got the concession," Khalid was quoted as saying. "Because of this, I will review this agreement," he added.
Latest from kudaranggi on Mat Taib dan hartanya

There are thousands more similar misdemeanours among the BN leaders, families, cronies and little napoleons.

Yes, we really need bring the crooks to book, 'Malaysia Book of Crooks'!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Who Needs an Islamic State?


Islamic State has been a hot issue over the years in the Malaysia political arena. Mahathir proclaimed that Malaysia was an Islamic State some time ago during his PMship tenure. Abdullah Badawi had moved one step further by introducing Islam Hadhari, though unsucessfully.
PAS does not agree on BN's Islamic state and has its own version which was in the 2004 manifesto with disastrous result and this issue was silent this during last election. Both Malay-based political parties are seen trying hard to outdo each other for the battle of Malay votes.

Anwar who once introduced masyarakat madani does not want an Islamic state for now. DAP opposes anything Islam even to wear songkok is deemed islamic. While other BN parties are toeing whatever the master UMNO says.

I live in an 'Arab Islamic state' since 2000, in the same land Islam was born. There are confusions, differences as well as similarities between UAE and Malaysia. Unlike Malays in Malaysia though, there is no law mentions that an Arab is a Muslim. Yes, there are stark contrasts between being arabs and muslims. But is a different story altogether.

Education is important in any aspects. Over the years my kids were enrolled in an Islamic international school here. Last year, I switched the growing kids to a 'secular' school with cosmopolitant outlooks. However, Islamic and arabic subjects are compulsary for Muslim students.

My wife was from Kolej Islam Klang while my late father was a tok guru. We have good understanding on Islam and of course would like our children to be good Muslims.

We agreed that in facing the real world, the children may have to adjust and adapt to the environment from young. Being parents, we have bigger roles to play as role models to guide them on the best of both worlds. The fundamentals remain the same, we are Muslims and we love being Muslims. At the end of the day, we want to be buried as Muslims.

During last parents-teachers meeting, an ustaz of the school made a friendly remark on our decision to enrol the children in this particular school, which is not an Islamic school. He felt it was a wrong choice. Unlike the previous school with mostly British Muslim teachers, this school has a few Muslim teachers.
However, our kids are excelled in quran, islamic and arabic subjects as best students, even when they were in the Islamic school. So far so good and we may not switch the school again. The eldest two have few years more to go before going to the university.
I had the opportunity to work with great world renowned Muslims like Yusuf Islam and discussed a lot of issues or topics with him along his inner circle of friends such as Dr. Bilal Philips and others from Britain, South Africa and USA. These meetings of minds did give me some alternative perspectives as food for thoughts.

Once I had a chance to meet up with the renowned scholar, Yusuf Al QARADAWI.

Recently, Raja Petra in his 'No Holds Barred' column wrote on "I Oppose An Islamic State".
An interesting view from a prominent netizen and blogger.
Quote:

I am not trying to say that PAS' Islamic State proposal is pure rhetorical bullshit. I am not even trying to say that an Islamic State is 'safe' and poses no danger to anyone who would rather live the life of a devil's disciple. What I am emphasising here is that Islam has to rise above mere rhetoric. Shouting about Islam will not bring about changes. Legislation and the creation of an Islamic State would also not bring about changes. Changes can only be brought about through education and by the will of the people to live the life of a true Muslim. That, and only that, will bring about changes. And we do not need an Islamic State for that. If the people refuse to change, no Islamic State can change them. Furthermore, screaming about an Islamic State would just alienate and antagonise non-Muslims, who as it is already fear Islam and would run scared from anyone who rants and raves about Islam

And one of my favourite ustazs, Ustaz Hasrizal in his blog wrote recently about Who Needs an Islamic State?

It is about a book of same title published by Malaysia Think Tank London. Click here for the book web site.

One review here for reading. I have not read the book yet. Have your own opinion.

Source: Comment is Free

A new edition of Who needs an Islamic State, by the Sudanese-born thinker
Abdelwahab el-Affendi, has just been published.
The new edition provides a fascinating stock-take on the last two decades of political Islam. The goal of every Islamist group - known as “Islamic movements” in Muslim circles - is to create an “Islamic state”.

Affendi’s book, first published in 1991, explored Islamic movements and their authoritarian ideas of how an Islamic state should funnction; essentially being built around “scholars of knowledge” who would be above the law and hence little more than dictators in reality.
While the ideas in the book were considered by some heretical when first published, the Islamic movements since then appears to have confirmed the book’s basic thesis. Affendi looks at states where Islamic movements had come to power, such as Iran and Sudan, and how far removed from the Islamic ideals of justice and mercy they were. His disillusionment for Islamist rule crystallised after he witnessed firsthand the disastrous and bloody consequences of Islamists coming to power in Sudan, having been close to Hassan al-Turabi, who became Sudan’s leader after the 1989 coup.
More here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Laman Warkah Untuk PM Sekadar Bersawang?


Sudahkah anda melawat Warkah Untuk PM?
Laman web ini dilancarkan oleh Najib pada 1 Mac lalu.
Tertulis di muka pertama laman web.
Please provide valid e-mail address and phone number
so as not to miss your opportunity to get response from PM
Dengan kekalahan besar BN dalam pilihanraya kali ini, mungkin PM tidak perlu lagi membaca mesej-mesej yang dihantar. Mesej dari pengundi sudah cukup kuat untuk PM mengundur diri dan pencen.
Laman web yang dibangunkan untuk kempen pilihanraya ini mungkin sekadar bersawang.
Kali terakhir berita mengenai laman web ini, setelah tiga hari sebanyak 2,229 mesej diterima. Sesudah sebulan, tiada statistik terbaru dan tiada disiarkan mesej-mesej di laman web tersebut untuk tatapan. Mungkin terlalu banyak mesej mengutuk dari yang lain.
Saya turut menghantar mesej, "Bila mahu berundur?"
Masih belum mendapat jawaban
Warkah Untuk PM Terima Sambutan Menggalakkan Orang Ramai

PUTRAJAYA,
5 Mac (Bernama) -- Laman web khas -www.warkahuntukpm.com.my- untuk Perdana Menteri meneliti sendiri pendapat umum telah menerima sambutan menggalakkan dengan sejumlah 2,229 mesej diterima dalam tempoh tiga hari sejak ia dilancarkan.
Ketua Setiausaha Negara Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan berkata sejak dilancarkan oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Sabtu lepas, maklum balas itu memberi petunjuk orang ramai yang begitu berminat dan bersemangat, yang antara lain ingin turut sama memperbaiki pengurusan sistem penyampaian awam, jika tidak pun perkhidmatan awam itu sendiri.
"Sebahagian daripada mesej-mesej ini tidak dinafikan mengingatkan kepada aduan-aduan orang ramai sebelum ini, yang intipatinya mahu supaya ia ditangani dan memerlukan perhatian kami untuk mengusahakan pembaikan dan melakukan lebih banyak pembaikan."
"Bagaimanapun, terdapat juga yang mengemukakan pandangan berwawasan dan cadangan-cadangan, yang kami sambut baik kerana ia boleh diusahakan dan baik untuk dilaksanakan," katanya dalam sidang akhbar untuk memberikan nasihat mengenai langkah-langkah yang perlu diambil perkhidmatan awam di sini hari ini.
Beliau berkata 76.93 peratus daripada mesej-mesej yang diterima adalah positif, 12.43 peratus negatif dan 227 mesej adalah berkecuali dengan mesej-mesej diterima daripada warga emas, kakitangan kerajaan, rakyat Malaysia yang berada di luar negara dan syarikat-syarikat.
Mohd Sidek berkata isu pendidikan mencatatkan senarai paling tinggi dengan 242 mesej dan isu-isu berkaitan jenayah, kenaikan harga, Imeigresen dan pendidikan akan ditangani segera.
"Tindakan susulan dan pelaksanaan adalah sangat penting, ini merupakan niat kerajaan untuk memastikan semua mesej yang kami terima akan diambil tindakan susulan. Perkara ini (mesej-mesej) akan diberikan kepada Perdana Menteri, sekurang-kurangnya bahagian ringkasan, dan beliau akan menentukan isu-isu yang akan ditanganinya sendiri terutamanya isu-isu besar yang menjadi isu dasar," katanya.

Strategi BN Untuk Menakluki Kembali Selangor

Terbaca satu posting di sebuah blog sahabat yang juga wartawan dari stesen penyiaran perdana, serta ahli UMNO yang aktif di peringkat cawangan di Selangor dan adik kepada Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, mengenai perkara di atas.

Selain itu seorang lagi exco DAP, Ronnie Liu yang memegang portfolio Kerajaan Tempatan mahu PBT di bandar-bandar seperti Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya,
(MPSJ) dan Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ) diterajui kalangan masyarakat Cina.

Pentadbiran PBT itu juga dikatakan secara perlahan-lahan akan menghapuskan fungsi Jawatan Kuasa Penduduk (JKP) dan Jawatakan Kuasa Kerja Kampung (JKKK) yang dianggotai pemimpin politik akar umbi BN. Jawatankuasa baru kemungkinan akan dilantik dikalangan pemimpin PKR, DAP dan PAS.

Namun bagi jentera BN, semua jawatankuasa lama itu masih dikekalkan secara tersembunyi dan akan diserap di bawah kementerian yang diterajui menteri kabinet dari Selangor.

Anggota JKP akan diserap di bawah agensi Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan manakala JKKK akan diletakkan di bawah Kementerian Pembangunan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah.

Dan bagi melaksanakan misi menawan semula Selangor, satu-satunya calon BN yang memenangi kerusi DUN di kawasan bandar yang kini dilantik sebagai Timbalan Ketua Pembangkang, dikatakan akan dilantik sebagai Pengerusi Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (LLM) di bawah Kementerian Kerja Raya.


Seperti yang di maklumi, bekas MB Selangor yang pernah di tahan dan dihukum kerana membawa duit tunai dalam guni berjuta ringgit di Australia selain kahwin lari di Siam dengan anak Sultan Selangor kemudian berbohong mengenainya, kini kembali menjadi pengerusi BN Selangor dan dilantik menjadi Menteri Kemajuan Luar bandar dan Wilayah.
Saya berjiran dengan Mat Tyson ini di Kelana Jaya, sewaktu dia jatuh tergolek dari kerusi MB, selalu juga saya berjoging dengan dia pagi-pagi (kebetulan satu jalan) lepas subuh di Taman Tasik Kelana Jaya. Ada juga berbual-bual sambil berjoging. (Masa itu juga dia baru berkahwin seorang lagi...)
Selalu juga dia kelihatan datang baca yasin di masjid dekat rumah, tetapi ramai tidak peduli pun. Masa itu kadang sekali berjemaah denggan aruah Mokhtar peguam negara, aruah suami Ziela Jalil, selain KJ (Dato' Kamarudin Jaafar, bukan menantu kesayangan PM) dan beberapa menteri yang tinggal di kawasan sama, antaranya yang bernama Shafie Apdal.
Sebelum itu saya dipaksa menjadi ahli UMNO cawangan di situ kerana untuk mendapatkan dana masjid tersebut (masa itu surau) dari kerajaan negeri, syarat ialah sekurang-kurangnya ada 300 ahli baru. Lantas tanpa berfikir panjang, tandatangan sahaja borang yang disediakan. Tidak pasti masih ada nama dalam senarai ahli UMNO.

Dengan strategi BN untuk menakluki Selangor sudah terbuka di bawah Mat Tyson, nampaknya lebih mudah untuk BR mengekalkan kuasa.

Bagaimana pula dengan pengurusan masjid-masjid? Sultan Selangor ada memberi amaran mengenai hanya mereka yang baginda tauliahkan sahaja dibenarkan berceramah. Apakah mereka yang pernah diharamkan berceramah oleh anak Toyo boleh kembali mencerahkan minda para ahli kariah masjid?

Melihat keadaan semasa terutama kemelut politik tanahair, bukan sahaja zaman Mat Tyson yang sudah beruban sepenuhnya sudah berlalu dan ketinggalan, UMNO dan BN juga sedang melalui zaman kejatuhan.

Tiadakah pemimpin baru yang lebih BERSIH dan profesional dikalangan ahli UMNO yang masih mahu jadi pemimpin? Nampak kehebatan MB baru Perak, berbanding Mat Tyson atau anak Toyo.

Begitupun, ini adalah masa untuk bekerja bagi kerajaan baru Selangor.

Star membuat interviu dengan MB baru di sini.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Can Malaysia Be A Tax-Free Country?


Taxes, in any forms and names are major sources of incomes to most countries in the world. Some countries such as UAE may not be totally TAX FREE with certain hidden charges or costs with different terms.

However, every citizen or resident and company does not have to pay direct taxes. There are no income tax and corporate taxes. There are some municipality taxes (for maintenance) and certain custom taxes for importing goods.

During the last election campaign, PKR had a good manifesto (here) however nothing on revamping the tax system. Could we think of something similar to TAX FREE system for the benefits of the rakyat?

Yes, there are different situations in UAE with only a handful of citizens and bountiful of wealth and resources (oil). The expatriates who are the majority and running the country are also lured with the TAX FREE benefits, even though there are hidden 'TAXES' (levies, fees, charges etc) but normally under the responsibilities of the employers. No direct impacts on employees.

We may learn one or two lessons from the Arabs in UAE. Nobody is perfect but learning through their challenges can also be beneficial. After all, UAE has been rated as the best tax-free system in the world as below and we are wooing their investments and funds as well as tourism money.

We may have an ARAB CORRIDOR, yes, Pak Lah?

The UAE has been rated as the best tax-free system in the world and the least corrupt society in the whole Arab region.

The supreme council of UAE

In its Economic Freedom Index for 2008, the United States Heritage Foundation gave the UAE 99.9 points in its Fiscal Freedom category within its overall index.
It also rated the Emirates as the least corrupt society in the Arab world, granting it 62 points in its Freedom from Corruption category.

Although the UAE got a medium rating in the overall index, ranked 63rd among the 162 countries covered by the index, it was on top of the list in some of the 10 sub categories included in the Index, which was created by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal in 1995.

Only Kuwait was on a par with the UAE in fiscal freedom as it got an equivalent rating, while Qatar received 99.8 points. The index gave 99.7 points each to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and 98.5 points to Oman.

Other Arab countries received lower points as many of them impose heavy taxes given their relatively low oil resources.They included 65.4 points for Morocco, 83.2 points for Yemen, 74.8 points for Jordan and 77.0 points for Algeria and 86.2 points for Syria. Egypt and Lebanon received relatively high points as they have cut taxes within financial liberalisation and economic reforms aimed at attracting investment.

Lebanon received 91.4 points and Egypt 90.8 points, while Libya got 81.7 points although it is an oil producer.
In its definition of the Fiscal Freedom category, Heritage said it is a “measure of the burden of government from the revenue side”.
“It includes both the tax burden in terms of the top tax rate on income [individual and corporate separately] and the overall amount of tax revenue as a portion of gross domestic product (GDP),” it said.

The UAE does not have income or corporate taxes but imposes indirect token taxes, including fees on government services, on firms and individuals. Economists see no change in such a policy on the ground that the UAE is enjoying massive fiscal surpluses because of high oil prices. “Even during the height of the oil price crisis in late 1980s and 1990s, the UAE ruled out the imposition of income taxes although it was suffering from persistent budget deficits,” an economist at an Abu Dhabi-based bank said.

“I do not think the UAE now needs to impose taxes when oil prices are nearly $100 and the country controls one of the largest foreign assets in the world.”
Qatar, which has the highest per capita income in the region, received 60 points by Heritage in the least corrupt society in the Arab world category, while 57 points were given to Bahrain and 54 points to Oman.
Kuwait got only 48 points, while Saudi Arabia was rated as having a relatively corrupt system, with only 33 points.The UAE also got a good rating in the Trade Freedom category, obtaining 80.4 points, third only to Kuwait and Bahrain in the Arab region.

It also had one of the best monetary and labour systems but lagged behind in such categories as investment and property freedom.





A Country For UMNO/BN Rogues


I’m really important back home

A man claiming to be the ambassador representing a self-proclaimed independent sovereign state in Australia has appeared before judges in Dubai charged with fraud. The 48-year-old is charged with issuing false passports and attempting to sell land to UAE residents under false pretences.

The Iranian insisted at the Court of First Instance yesterday that he is the ambassador to the Hutt River Principality, 517km from Perth, and should be treated as a diplomat.

The ‘principality’ was founded in 1970 under its leader Leonard George Casley, who declared the area’s independence from the Commonwealth of Australia. Casley was elected administrator of the new ‘sovereign state’ by his family and later gave himself the title of His Royal Highness Prince Leonard of Hutt.

The rogue ‘state’ covers 75 square kilometres in area, has around 20 permanent residents and 13,000 passport holders. It minted its first coins in 1976 and uses the Hutt River Dollar as currency. Neither Australia nor any other international entity formally acknowledges that the ‘state’ exists. Denying charges of fraud and attempted fraud, the defendant told judges: “I am an ambassador and I have been in jail for 70 days although I am a diplomat.

”Asked why he didn’t appear on a list of foreign diplomats, he told the court: “We are not listed yet as we have only recently started our registration here in Dubai. We are trying to open up an embassy here in Dubai and I would like you to release me on bail so I can get the documents to prove this.

”He is charged along with two others, a 28-year-old Pakistani and a 36-year-old woman from France. All deny the charges against them. The three have been released on bail and the trial has been adjourned until a later date.

The official web site for the principality states that it came into being following a long-running dispute with the government of Western Australia over wheat quotas. The site states: “If anyone asks has our secession succeeded? Then we simply say - we are still here”.

Above article from 7DAYS General and Local News


From Gulf News below:-


Australian embassy: Province not recognised

According to the official website of the Principality of Hutt River, www.hutt-river-province.com, it is situated 595km north of Perth, Western Australia and consists of some 18,500 acres of land.


It states that Hutt River is an Independent Sovereign State having seceded from Australia on April 21, 1970. It adds its Prince Leonard named parts of the Principality with such identities as Lake Beginning, Mount Secession, Lake Serenity and Wild Boar Gorge.


Last October, the Australian Embassy in the UAE posted on its website a statement in which the Ambassador Jeremy Bruer said the Embassy had learned an office purporting to represent the "Hut River Province" was operating in Dubai and allegedly selling travel documents. He said the Australian Government did not recognise the province legally or in any other way.


The statement said the Hutt River Province is a privately owned wheat-growing property."It has no separate sovereignty and remains subject to the Australian Constitution and the laws of Australia."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

101 Sebab Mengapa Pak Lah Mesti Terus Jadi PM


  1. Pak Lah masih belum cukup puas tidur dalam majlis atau mesyuarat
  2. Pak Lah masih belum habis melawat tempat-tempat menarik seluruh dunia dengan kaplaterbang peribadi milik rakyat yang baru setahun dibeli
  3. Pak Lah masih belum cukup jam bekerja kerana selalu tiada di pejabat
  4. Bloggers masih perlukan bahan kutukan perdana
  5. Pak Lah baru mahu belajar pasal Internet dan blog untuk pilihanraya akan datang
  6. Belum lagi setahun menjadi pengantin baru dan menyambut ulang tahun di Sri Perdana
  7. SCAM-me masih belum habis mendapat kontrak Petronas
  8. Menantu lelaki masih belum jadi menjadi menteri penuh
  9. Menantu lelaki masih belum puas tinggal di Sri Perdana
  10. Wang Ehsan Trengganu masih banyak lagi belum masuk poket dan kini MB bukan lagi Deris
  11. Patrick Badawi masih belum mulakan PGCC yang tidak pernah diluluskan
  12. Kali Riong masih belum menjadi Tan Sri
  13. Kali Riong masih belum mampu jadi orang biasa
  14. Anuar Pengampu masih belum dapat jual tapak UM
  15. Anuar Pengampu masih belum dapat musnahkan BERNAMA secukupnya
  16. Mantan MB dengan 2 Muhamad masih belum bawa berguni wang ke kampung
  17. Lingam masih belum jadi hakim
  18. Vincent Tan masih belum jadi penasihat ekonomi bertaraf menteri
  19. Banyak koridor baru masih belum di umumkan
  20. Hadhari masih belum setaraf mazhab
  21. Indeks rasuah masih ditahap belum masuk 10 ke bawah dunia
  22. Mahathir masih hidup dan tidak nyanyuk untuk mengutuk pengantinya
  23. Mukhriz masih belum dibuang UMNO
  24. Hanya 5 negeri dibawah pembangkang
  25. Pembangkang masih perlukan punching bag yang sudah mahu pecah





DUBAI : Insects in your food can get you discounts


By Alice Johnson, Staff Reporter
Published: March 25, 2008, 00:34

Dubai: Finding creepy crawlies in your food now gets you a special 'bug in food' discount.
Seven diners at a Dubai restaurant were given this insect discount for four bugs they found crawling around in their meals.

S.H. said: "We were surprised when the receipt said 'bug on food' as a reason for the discount. I think they were trying to be funny. I said one or two bugs might be funny, but four is not funny anymore."

The diners accepted a 25 per cent discount, but didn't find staff 'bug' jokes funny.

The Operations Manager said: "I agree that the 'bug on food' detail on the receipt was an inappropriate detail. It was a misunderstanding from our side - the guys thought being friendly and having a joke about the environment would relax the diners because it was a birthday, but unfortunately it didn't.

"It was a misunderstanding in the way it has been managed, it's not mismanagement."

It's not clear whether more bugs equals more discount, but perhaps 16 live bugs means the meal is free.

Readers' comments
There is no compromise for finding out there was insect in your food. Sanitation must be ensured in all restaurants. What about the children eating in these restaurants?
Ann, Dubai,UAE
I don't eat out anymore as I find it very difficult to find a restaurant that is clean enough (according to my standards).
Maryam, Sharjah,UAE
I have just one word for it ... disgusting!
Mercy, Dubai,UAE
I'm shocked to find out they had to pay for the meal! I'm sorry but 25 per cent won't do it for me. There is no way I would pay one fil if I found anything alive/with four legs in my plate.
Mohammed, Dubai, UAE
I eat only in 5-star hotels, as I think at least the minimum standards are observed and carried out.
Sanya, Abu Dhabi,UAE
Come on guys! Eating bugs intentionally or unintentionally has become so common these days one should not be bother about a crawling insect on his food.
Ali, Dubai,UAE
The material imported from various countries to fight rodents is of inferior quality. I had anti-rodent gel applied in my home and when my wife accidentally tasted it, she found that it was like peanut butter. So how do you expect the rodents to disappear? The municipality needs to come down heavy-handed on pest control companies.
Ebrahim, Abu Dhabi,UAE
The root cause of this scenario is due to the unhygienic conditions of the hotels. The bugs are not only found in the hotels, but also seen in most of the residences. Pest control measures should be strictly taken by the authorities, even by charging building owners/ tenants, to reduce the pests.
Ramesh, Abu Dhabi, UAE
It is ridiculous that they have given a 25 per cent discount, it is like a slap in the face. If a restaurant is careless enough to let an insect in the food then they should provide the eaters with new dishes on the house, and not just a 25 per cent discount. How ridiculous is that! Go to the States and see the faces of the waiters and managers if an insect is found in the food. They get terrified and provide food on the house and give free deserts.
Jeff, Dubai, UAE
Honestly, did they think joking about BUGS would let them get away with it? It's funny how they actually wrote that on the bill. Do they call it the "creepy crawly discount"?
Salman, Sharjah,UAE
The Operations Manager said it was a misunderstanding and not mismanagement. But I say that it is a case of mismanagement. He should have taken the appropriate measure to handle the situation instead of inserting some ridiculous joke into this.
Ruben, Dubai,UAE
I too have seen many cockroaches in food and in hotel kitchens. Dubai Municipality needs to check the hotel kitchens on regular intervals but they should be surprise checks, so that they are not aware of the inspection time and date, this is how the kitchen staff and the owners will show improvement. Not only that, but many of the chefs, cooks and the waiters I have seen putting fingers in their nose and serving the food, or cleaning perspiration from their faces and using the same hands for cooking and serving. Hair in the food is a common sight.
Usha, Dubai,UAE
To find crawling insects in your food is ridiculous, it's unsanitary. Do you think you can still eat the food even if you found that there were insects crawling or even dead ones? This incident should be look upon by the Ministry of Health and the restaurant should be penalised. Let them do their homework and learn the proper hygiene. The UAE is not only dealing with ordinary people and expats, they are dealing with the tourists, who are the backbone of the industry.
Roberto, Dubai,UAE
I have found bugs lot of times.
Bipin Dubai,UAE

Negeri-Negeri Malaysia Tidak Bersekutu


Dari sejarah Malaysia:-

Negeri-negeri Melayu Tidak Bersekutu ialah sekumpulan lima buah Negeri-Negeri
Melayu
. Negeri-negeri itu ialah:
Johor
Terengganu
Kelantan
Kedah
Perlis
Kumpulan ini tidak menggambarkan negeri-negeri berikut sebagai satu entiti tetapi hanyalah sebagai satu terma untuk menerangkan tentang negeri-negeri
Melayu berkenaan.

Johor menandatangani Perjanjian perlindungan pada tahun 1885 dan akhirnya
tunduk kepada tekanan untuk menerima Penasihat British pada tahun
1904.
Dibawah
Perjanjian Bangkok 1909, Siam (kini Thailand) memindahkan hak-hak mereka terhadap Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, dan Perlis kepada pihak British. Pihak British kemudiannya memaksa negeri-negeri Melayu berkenaan menandatangani perjanjian seperti perjanjian dengan Negeri-negeri Melayu Bersekutu.

Selepas hampir 100 tahun kemudian, pada hari ini selepas pilihanraya umum ke 12, kita mempunyai negeri-negeri Malaysia yang tidak bersekutu, bukan dengan British tetapi BN!
Lima negeri kita bertukar tangan.
Kelantan
Kedah
Pulau Pinang
Perak
Selangor



Lalu berita ini amat menarik:-

Pakatan 5 negeri bentuk dimensi baru politik Malaysia
Lanjusoh Tue Mar 25,
08 11:36:07 am MYT
KOTA BHARU, 25 Mac (Hrkh) - Dimensi baru politik
Malaysia mulai terserlah sekarang selepas rakyat di lima negeri menolak keangkuhan kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya umum 8 Mac lalu.

Mulai kelihatan pakatan di antara kerajaan negeri Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Pulau Pinang dan Selangor selepas halangan besar di bawah kuasa BN berjaya ditumbangkan.
Selanjutnya di SINI

Laporan Polis dalam Sejarah Negara


Menurut berita, PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) membuat laporan polis terhadap pemimpin tertinggi Umno dan 23 Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Terengganu yang mereka sifatkan sebagai tidak menghormati keputusan Istana Terengganu berhubung isu pelantikan Menteri Besar.

Faris kemudian memberitahu pemberita, laporan itu dibuat terhadap Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Timbalannya Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, dan 23 ADUN yang telah membantah keputusan pelantikan ADUN Kijal, Datuk Ahmad Said oleh Sultan Terengganu, sebagai Menteri Besar negeri itu.

Sehingga hari ini, sudah berbilion dan mungkin trilion (macam nilai projek-projek koridor kerajaan Imam Hadhari) agaknya jumlah laporan polis sejak lebih 50 tahun lalu. Tiada siapa yang mahu ambil tahu jumlah laporan polis yang pernah dibuat disamping membuat statistik mengenai susulan dari laporan polis.

Selalunya, seperti yang dipaparkan media, laporan polis yang dibuat oleh UMNO/BN dan polis sendiri terhadap pembangkang atau yang dianggap pembangkang begitu cepat diambil tindakan.

Adakalanya, kalau tiada sesiapa membuat laporan, pihak polis sendiri membuat laporan polis bagi menghalalkan tindakan.

Manakala, laporan polis yang dibuat oleh pihak pembangkang atau yang dianggap kaki pembangkang selalunya tiada susulan apa-apa, melainkan menjadi arkib untuk bahan sejarah. Lebih dari itu, pihak polis kadang-kadang dikatakan enggan mengambil laporan polis sekiranya dianggap sensitif untuk UMNO/BN.

Malah seperti yang diketahu umum, telah begitu banyak laporan polis mengenai rasuah, penyelewengan, pecah amanah, penyalahgunaan kuasa dan khianat di pihak kerajaan dan parti UMNO/BN yang telah dibuat.

Walhasilnya, sekadar catatan laporan polis semata-mata.



Membuat laporan polis adalah sebahagian dari undang-undang yang melitupi pelbagai urusan. Termasuk untuk urusan bisnes, insuran kalau ada kemalangan/kecurian sehingga isu-isu politik.

Ada juga yang menjadi glamour apabila membuat laporan polis. Pihak media mengambil gambar dan menjadi berita besar, terutama bila ada kumpulan NGO atau individu Melayu yang membuat laporan polis mengenai ketuanan Melayu, DEB dan menghina PM yang banyak gambarnya mengantuk dan tidur semasa majlis rasmi.

Tiba-tiba banyak pula NGO Melayu yang ada di Malaysia dan hanya aktif untuk membuat laporan polis!



Ada baiknya sesiapa yang berminat untuk mendapat PhD, boleh mengkaji keberkesanan laporan polis terhadap kerajaan dan parti UMNO/BN. Seperti mana seorang menteri baru yang bernama 'Dr'. Zahid Hamidi membuat kajian dan tesis "Barisan Nasional Manifesto As Agenda for Malay Language Newspaper During the General Election Campaign”.

Tidak perlu bersusah payah dengan laporan polis sejak 50 tahun lalu, cukup sebaik Pak Lah menjadi PM sehingga Pak Lah menjadi ketua pembangkang tidak lama lagi, kalau begitu ditakdirkan Allah!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pak Lah Bakal Ketua Pembangkang Yang Tidak Tidur?

Anwar Ibrahim Bersama Sekumpulan kecil
Penyokong Barisan Rakyat UAE, November 2007


Senario semasa politik tanahair dari rentetan babak-babak drama pasca pilihanraya ke 12 memang banyak diluar jangkaan. Satu demi satu krisis menonjolkan realiti yang selama ini sekadar mitos. Apalagi dengan media perdana yang bejat dan tertutup, terutama dalam menutup dosa-dosa, kemelut, kecelaruan dan kacau bilau UMNO/BN yang sudah 50 tahun menjadi 'penjajah' di Malaysia.

Kali terakhir kami, penyokong 'totok' pembangkang atau Barisan Rakyat (BR) di Dubai bertemu dengan Anwar Ibrahim, beberapa hari sebelum pilihanraya diumumkan, masih saja ada terselit keraguan. Ragu dengan keyakinan Anwar dalam keadaan yang seakan tidak memihak untuk pembangkang walau banyak isu panas, terutama kepimpinan Pak Lah, keangkuhan menantunya, kesombongan budak-budak Tingkat 4, inflasi, rasuah, Patrick Badawi, Lingamgate dsbnya.
Mungkin kami agak jauh dari tanahair untuk merasakan gelombang tsunami yang sedang berpusaran di bawah permukaan. Biarpun maklumat yang terdapat dari laman web dan blog menunjukkan telah ada unsur-unsur yang boleh mengubah peta politik Malaysia, tetapi trauma dari pelbagai strategi jahat BN masih memberikan keraguan.

Pada hari ini, setelah dua minggu pilihanraya berlalu, ternyata sekadar mitos yang BN tidak boleh ditumbangkan. Rakyat telah menghapuskan ketakutan mengenai ancaman 'huru-hara' sekiranya pembangkang menguasai negara. Walau pilihanraya tidak BERSIH sepenuhnya, gelombang tsunami melenyapkan segala mitos 'perang saraf' yang dicipta oleh BN.
Krisis dari ketidakpuasan beberapa pihak dengan kabinet baru serta penolakan calun-calun MB di negeri-negeri yang masih dibawah naungan BN seperti Perlis dan Trengganu seakan mencepatkan lagi fasa perubahan terbesar sejak kemerdekaan.
Fasa kemuncak yang sedang dinantikan ialah untuk melihat BN bertukar tempat di parlimen sebagai pembangkang. Tidak mustahil lagi untuk melihat presiden UMNO menjadi ketua pembangkang.

Pada November 2005, Anwar pernah ke rumah saya untuk bersama penyokong pembangkang dan itu menjadi salah satu kenangan sekiranya bekas banduan penjara Sungai Buloh tersebut menjadi penghuni Sri Perdana.
Tidak mustahil kalau benar-benar terjadi lompatan ahli parlimen BN ke BR dalam waktu terdekat. Begitu juga, tidak mustahil, melainkan presiden UMNO yang diminta berundur mahu menarik diri atau ditumbangkan secara hina oleh parti UMNO, Pak Lah boleh mencipta sejarah baru sebagai Ketua Pembangkang Yang Tidak Tidur-Tidur sepanjang perbahasan!
Manakala menantu kesayangannya mungkin tidak juga tidur-tidur untuk menghadapi pelbagai kes mahkamah dengan pelbagai saman malu, selain kes penggabungan Avenue- ECM dan wang ehsan Trengganu yang mungkin membongkarkan penyelewengan sensasi abad ini!
Walauapapun, tidak sabar lagi mengucapkan selamat malam kepada Pak Lah, menantu kesayangan, serta juak-juak UMNOputera yang terlalu lama menguasai politik negara!

The Malaysian Who IS UAE's First Female Judge


Role model : Judgement day


Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Siti Norma Yaakob has created history by becoming the first female judge to be appointed in the UAE.
As one of the six judges of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court, Judge Yaakob has been entrusted with the task of upholding justice, respecting the laws of the land and discharging her duties without fear or favour.

Respected name
Norma Yaakob is a respected member of the international legal community, having completed a long stint in judicial and legal service. Starting off as Malaysia’s first woman High Court judge, she moved up to be appointed as Court of Appeal Judge, Federal Court Judge and finally the Chief Judge of Malaya.
She retired in January 2007 after putting in more than 43 years of service.
When asked how it feels to be the first female judge at the DIFC Courts – and in the UAE – she said, "Personally I feel singularly honoured and proud by the appointment, and grateful for the confidence accorded to me."
Was she apprehensive?


"Initially I was a bit worried as to how the UAE would take to a woman sitting in judgement, particularly when she is a Muslim. I have now been proven wrong.
"Additionally, my country is also honoured by the recognition given to me and it will certainly contribute to closer ties between Malaysia and the UAE," she says.

A challenge
And what about discrimination? "I used to get very upset when I heard gender-biased statements," she says. "But over the years, I have learnt to accept them and treat them as a challenge."
Norma Yaakob has a message of hope for female lawyers and judges in the UAE.
"Just continue with your hard work and the contribution you are making to the profession. It took Malaysia 26 years after independence to put a woman on the high court bench. Your track record will not continue to be overlooked. It will come to a head and when that happens, you will find an Arab woman elevated to the bench in the UAE," she says.


Factfile
Norma Yaakob studied law in London. She has held many positions in Malaysia, including Senior Federal Counsel at Attorney General’s Chambers, President of the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur, Chief Registrar at the Federal Court, High Court Judge of Malaya and Judge of the Court Of Appeal of Malaysia.

From Xpressme

Kerismudin Buat duit dengan Projek F1 di Sekolah?


UPDATE

Benarkah Gosip Ini:

Emel dari Pengirim Tanpa Nama yang Sifu Terima
Puan Ainon,
Sorry I am writing in English. Hope it's ok with you. Thank you for point to the corruption in KPM. You are the first online to to really raise the issue, as far as I can see. The issue is actually very serious. It's worse now than under previous ministers. Dato' Hishammuddin has an undeserved reputation for being clean. In reality every Ministry he takes over shows the same pattern: It becomes a nest of corruption and chaos. The same when he was ini KBS. There too it was BKT who supplied a lot of equipment.
I can confirm that the companies mentioned in the Harakah article below area a cover for BKT, who is a crony of Hishammuddin. BKT has been covered in Malaysia-Today regarding a scandal with AZZ and another with the son of an IGP.
BKT gets to Hisham through Hisham's big spending wife. He gives her lots of expensive gifts. Hisham and wife go on holiday with BKT.
BKT got the F1 deal direct nego'd through Kementerian Pelajaran with the help of a Special Officer of Hisham, TF, who is also member of UMNO Youth's Education Bureau. TF became famous with IT vendors to KPM for demading 15% up front on "projects", claiming it was for his boss or for UMNO. Turned out it all went to his pockets. He was investigated by the ACA last year but Hishammuddin managed to get him off the hook. Otherwise the stories he would be forced to tell would embarrass everyone.
KPM has become extremely corrupt under Hishammuddin. He puts out a clean image but the boys around him are collecting all the time. Thank you for covering this story!

TERDAHULU:

SifuPTS, Puan Ainon Mohd yang juga presiden Universiti Terbuka PTS mendedahkan maklumat yang membuka mata mengenai rasuah dan penyelewengan di Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia. Menurut Puan Ainon, rasuah dan penyelewengan/penyalahgunaan kuasa menjadi kronik di bawah Hishamudin Hussien atau dikenali juga sebagai Kerismudin.


Imej Kerismudin mengangkat keris untuk mempertahankan ketuanan Melayu setiap kali Perhimpunan Agung UMNO adalah lakunan yang sudah tidak relevan. Biarpun beliau berkali-kali menghunus dan mencium keris sebagai simbol ketuanan, beliau sama membunuh Bahasa Melayu dalam pembelajaran Matematik dan Sains.


Sebagai Ketua Pemuda UMNO, Kerismudin dikatakan sekadar boneka kepada menantu kesayangan Presiden UMNO. Rekod Kerismudin sebagai Menteri Pelajaran adalah sekadar keputusan peperiksaan yang ditonjolkan semakin baik peratusan saban tahun!

Dalam keadaan BN yang semakin lemah dan bila-bila masa sahaja boleh menjadi pembangkang, mungkin Kerismudin sedang berusaha untuk menambah dana melalui projek F1 dan Lego di sekolah!

Kabinet Baru: PTS Kecewa Dato’ Hishamuddin Kekal
KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN Menteri: Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein Timbalan: Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong Timbalan: Datuk Razali Ismail
PTS kecewa apabila Pak Lah mengekalkan Dato' Hishamuddin Hussein sebagai menteri pelajaran kerana di bawah pentadbirannya kes rasuah semakin menjadi-jadi di kementerian itu.
Gosip tentang rasuah di Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (KPM) bukan hanya melibatkan projek-projek buku oleh Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan (BTP), di Bahagian Buku Teks (BBT), dan Pusat Perkembangan Kurikulum (PPK).
Gosip-gosip juga mengatakan rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa berlaku dengan parah sekali di EPRD (Bahagian Penyelidikan dan Perancangan Pelajaran) kerana bahagian itu yang menguruskan projek-projek pembinaan sekolah-sekolah baru. Dikatakan pegawai-pegawai di bahagian itu dipaksa melantik kontraktor-kontraktor yang ditunjuk oleh orang politik.





F1, LEGO, DEPCO…
Mata pelajaran rekacipta adalah mata pelajaran anak emas Dato' Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, begitulah yang dicakap-cakapkan oleh komuniti orang bisnes tentang banyaknya duit yang dibelanjakan oleh menteri itu khusus bagi mata pelajaran tersebut.
Gosip-gosip yang sedang rancak meniti dari mulut ke mulut mengatakan, menteri itu menentukan syarikat mana mendapat kontrak perbekalan apa untuk mata pelajaran itu. Semua pemilihan produk dan kontrak adalah beliau sendiri yang memilih dengan tidak meminta nasihat daripada pegawai-pegawai di Pusat Perkembangan Kurikulum.
Buat membeli gajet F1, menteri itu meluluskan kontrak RM189 juta secara direct negotiation.
Buat membeli gajet LEGO, menteri itu meluluskan RM151 juta secara direct negotiation.
Tetapi yang paling besar adalah bajet untuk menaik-tarafkan makmal-makmal sekolah dengan membekalkan peralatan produk DEPCO. Jumlah sekolah menengah adalah 2,000 buah. Bajet untuk menaik-tarafkan setiap makmal adalah antara RM1.2 juta - RM1.5 juta. Hanya sebuah syarikat sahaja diberikan kontrak secara direct negotiation.
Kata seorang pegawai, syarikat kontraktor yang mendapat projek membekalkan produk DEPCO itu bukan agen DEPCO sewaktu diberikan kontrak itu oleh kementerian pelajaran.
Diceritakan bagaimana untuk projek naik-taraf makmal itu, sebuah mesin pemotong yang berharga sekitar RM30 ribu tetapi dibekalkan kepada kementerian pada harga RM130 ribu.
Begitulah gosipnya. Kita pun tidak mempunyai bukti-bukti sohih, tetapi bak kata pepatah Melayu, kalau tidak ada angin, masakan banyak pokok bergoyang-goyang.
Sekali lagi, kita menggesa menteri itu supaya mempertahankan nama baiknya dengan meminta BPR datang dan melakukan siasatan bagi membuktikan bahawa semua pemberian kontrak di semua bahagian (BBT, BTP, PPK, EPRD) adalah dilaksanakan dengan mematuhi prosedur yang betul.
Biar ketua pengarah BPR yang membuat kenyataan itu dan meredakan gosip-gosip yang sudah sekian lama kita dengar.

Lagi Gosip Penyalahgunaan Kuasa di KPM: RM151 juta Buat Membeli Gajet LEGO
Gosip. Gosip. Gosip lagi...
Bukan baru hari ini sahaja mulut-mulut komuniti bisnes dan komuniti pendidikan berbuih-buih bercakap tentang pelbagai projek pembelian buku dan bukan-buku yang berlaku di Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (KPM), yang dikatakan dibuat oleh orang politik dengan tidak dibincangkan terlebih dahulu dengan pakar-pakar pendidikan.
Satu lagi pembelian yang digosipkan itu adalah pembelian produk LEGO. Ya, syarikat pembuat permainan LEGO dari Denmark, negara yang dikaitkan dengan lukisan kartun menghina Nabi Muhammad (bacalah salam untuk beliau, anggota keluarga beliau dan sahabat-sahabat beliau).
Produk LEGO itu adalah untuk digunakan oleh guru-guru bagi mengajarkan mata pelajaran rekacipta di semua sekolah menengah. Menurut yang empunya gosip, RM10 juta sudah dibayarkan kepada kontraktor pembekal pada 2007, manakala RM141 juta lagi akan dikeluarkan tahun 2008 ini.
Menurut gosip yang sedang merebak macam api belukar musim panas itu, baik peruntukan RM189 juta untuk membeli gajet F1 mahupun RM151 juta untuk membeli LEGO, kedua-dua kontrak itu dirundingkan terus (direct negotiation) antara kontraktor dengan menteri, tidak menggunakan sistem tender biasa.
Demikian juga dengan pemilihan produk yang dibeli, menterinya hanya mendengar nasihat daripada agen-agen dan salesman F1 dan LEGO, dengan tidak meminta nasihat pakar-pakar yang ada di kementerian.
Gosip yang kita dengar mengatakan Pusat Perkembangan Kurikulum (PPK) tidak pernah memasukkan kedua-dua produk itu dalam kurikulum rekacipta yang digubalnya, oleh itu PPK tidak mempunyai bajet untuk membeli gajet F1 dan LEGO, yang kedua-duanya bernilai RM340 juta. Malah pegawai-pegawai PPK tidak tahu menahu akan pembelian itu sehinggalah diberitahu oleh sumber dari pejabat menteri sendiri.
Nota: Sistem direct negotiation dibenarkan oleh kementerian kewangan bagi membolehkan kontrak diberikan terus kepada syarikat yang 100% dimiliki oleh Bumiputera (baca, UMNOputera). Sistem direct negotiation inilah yang membolehkan korupsi, nepotisme dan kronisme diamalkan dengan efektif.


Kecoh-kecoh Keterlibatan Menteri dalam Projek F1
Mengikut yang empunya cerita, pagi tadi pegawai-pegawai di Pusat Perkembangan Kurikulum (PPK) terkejut membaca berita dalam akhbar The Star tentang ucapan Dato' Hishamuddin Tun Hussein di mana beliau memberitahu bahawa kementeriannya akan menggunakan gajet-gajet F1 untuk mengajarkan mata pelajaran rekacipta di semua sekolah menengah negara ini.
Pegawai-pegawai PPK itu terkejut dan mempersoalkan projek F1 yang diisytiharkan oleh Dato' Hishamuddin itu kerana projek tersebut tidak pernah dibincangkan dalam mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Kurikulum.
Semakan kurikulum rekacipta telah dibuat dan diluluskan pada tahun 2003. Projek F1 tidak disebut dalam semakan itu.


Kontrak F1 di Kementerian Pelajaran
Baca di sini bagi mengetahui apa itu projek "F1 In School".
Sangat jelas dalam berita yang dilaporkan itu bahawa Hishamuddin Tun Hussein bercakap dengan gaya dia adalah salesman bagi gajet-gajet syarikat F1 itu.
Pada masa ini berbuih-buih mulut komuniti bisnes dan komuniti pendidikan bercakap tentang gosip kononnya sebuah syarikat yang bernama "F1 In School Sdn. Bhd." yang dikaitkan dengan nama seorang bisnesman Cina "Roy Chu", yang akan diberi kontrak RM189 juta oleh menteri pelajaran bagi membekalkan peralatan projek robot F1 itu.
Bagi komuniti pendidikan pula, mereka mempersoalkan mengapa harus mata pelajaran rekacipta diajarkan kepada murid dengan cara mewajibkan mereka merekacipta kereta robot F1 menggunakan gajet-gajet dan sofwer yang akan dibekalkan oleh syarikat "F1 In School Sdn. Bhd." Sedangkan mata pelajaran rekacipta dapat diajarkan menggunakan banyak peralatan lain yang lebih murah dan efektif.

Kementerian Pelajaran dan Gosip Tentang Projek Perbekalan Robot Kereta Lumba F1
Desas-desus tentang deal-deal di kementerian pelajaran bukan dikaitkan dengan projek-projek perbekalan buku sahaja.
Gosip-gosip sedang merebak kencang dari mulut-ke-mulut yang dikaitkan dengan deal-deal bagi projek-projek yang melibatkan ratusan juta ringgit untuk perbekalan mesin, gajet, penaikan taraf makmal dan peralatan makmal bagi mata-mata pelajaran teknikal dan vokasional, di mana setiap kos projek dinaikkan berlipat-lipat ganda harganya.
Antara nama-nama syarikat kontraktor yang disebut-sebut adalah "Khazanraya" Sdn. Bhd., "Formula Satu" Sdn. Bhd., "Jalinraya" Sdn. Bhd., dan "Vitalis Seri" Sdn. Bhd. Digosipkan bahawa 4 buah syarikat itu adalah berkaitan antara satu sama lain dan nama-nama lembaga pengarah Melayunya hanya menjadi muka depan sahaja kepada seorang tokoh bisnesman Cina yang infamous.
Entah betul, entah tidak, kononnya "Formula Satu" Sdn. Bhd. bagi tahun 2006-2007 sudah menerima kontrak bernilai hampir RM80 juta yang melibatkan 300 buah sekolah. Bagi tahun 2008 pula, kontraktor itu akan menerima kontrak bernilai RM189 juta lagi bagi membekalkan robot kereta lumba F1 untuk mata pelajaran rekacipta ke 1,700 buah sekolah menengah lagi.
Macam-macam lagi gosip yang sampai ke telinga kita, semua gosip-gosip itu tidak menyedapkan hati. Yang paling tidak sedap didengar adalah desas-desus kononnya "Formula Satu" Sdn. Bhd. mempunyai hubungan kerjasama yang baik dengan isteri menteri.






Saturday, March 22, 2008

Drama Pasca PRU12

Sebahagian kecil dari anak-anak Malaysia di UAE
di Hari Keluarga Malaysian-UAE 2008 pada Sabtu 21 Mac 2008 di Taman Mushrif Dubai


Alhamdulillah dengan kejayaan Barisan Rakyat dalam PRU12 tempoh hari. Kejayaan ini adalah untuk rakyat Malaysia yang telah berani untuk membuat perubahan. Kejayaan juga datang bersama amanah dan tanggungjawab besar buat mereka yang terpilih.


Menguruskan kejayaan tidak mudah dan dengan ekspektasi yang tinggi dari rakyat, bebanan lebih besar untuk memastikan kejayaan ini bukan sekadar sementara. Kuasa yang berada di tangan bukan untuk kepentingan diri. Tentunya wakil-wakil rakyat dari BR tahu signifikan dari kemenangan bersejarah selepas 50 tahun kemerdekaan negara.

Lupakan sebentar kemenangan untuk peribadi kerana tanpa sokongan rakyat, tsunami politik 2008 tidak mungkin terjadi. Perebutan jawatan akan hanya menjadikan rakyat menyampah kerana sama sahaja antara wakil rakyat dari BN dan BR, semuanya mahu jawatan untuk kepentingan diri.


Buat kami penyokong BR di UAE, saat keputusan dari pengiraan undian merupakan antara kenangan tidak mudah dilupakan. Sebelum PRU12, kami sempat mengutip dana untuk membantu kempen sebagai sokongan untuk perubahan dalam politik tanahair.

Kami berkumpul di sebuah rumah sahabat dari petang dan mengikuti setiap laman web berita dan blog untuk mendapatkan keputusan terkini.


UAE adalah empat jam kemudian dari Malaysia dan seawal 4 petang kami sudah bersorak untuk mengetahui Pulau Pinang bukan lagi dibawah kerajaan BN! Sebelum berita yang Kelantan masih berada dalam naungan bulan mengambang.


Tidak heran kesemua laman web berita on-line tersangkut dengan jumlah hits yang tinggi. Satu demi satu berita gembira disamping kiriman SMS tidak berhenti menjadi sebahagian dari suasana yang cukup meriah. Seperti diduga, TV Malaysia lambat menyiarkan kekalahan BN di banyak negeri dan semua berada alam siber untuk keputusan terkini.


Memang tidak menjangka untuk lima buah negeri terlepas ke BR dan hanya satu kerusi wilayah bertahan di bawah BN. Bak kata BERSIH, sekiranya pilihanraya benar-benar bersih, telus, adil dan terbuka, BN tidak lagi kerajaan dan menjadi pembangkang. Boleh dibayangkan BN akan jadi porak-peranda dan banyak fail sulit akan hilang di pejabat-pejabat menteri dan MB!


Sekumpulan kanak-kanak Malaysia di UAE yang menyertai Treasure Hunt

Kami tidak lagi menyokong parti berdasarkan jenama PKR, PAS, DAP tetapi gagasan Barisan Rakyat dan setiap kemenangan PKR, PAS dan DAP adalah kemenangan rakyat, biar di mana mereka berada.

Sorakan dan jeritan dengan keputusan terkini disambut takbir dan tepukan di 'bilik gerakan' BR Dubai memberikan semangat. Tentunya kami lebih suka berada di tanahair untuk meraikan kejayaan bersama rakyat yang tidak lagi terpedaya dengan propaganda BN dulu, kini dan selamanya.

Ini bukan ceramah politik, tetapi majlis penutup Hari Keluarga Malaysian-UAE 2008

Begitupun, drama pasca PRU12 masih belum berakhir. Dengan kemelut di Perlis dan terkini di Trengganu memberi gambaran tentang perubahan lebih besar dengan Sultan menggunakan kuasa perlembagaan. Ini juga seolah-olah balasan terhadap bisingnya UMNO dalam isu 'kebiadapan Lim Kit Siang' apabila DAP dikatakan mahu memboikot majlis mengangkat sumpah MB Perak.

Kini UMNO pula yang mahu memboikot majlis yang sama di Trengganu! Apakah ini bukan kebiadapan dan keingkaran terhadap Sultan? Apakah Idris Jusoh ini terlalu hebat untuk diganti dengan seorang lain yang sama-sama satu parti UMNO?

Allah SWT Maha Berkuasa, BN yang melanjutkan tempoh khidmat pengerusi SPR dengan harapan untuk menawan Kelantan melalui strategi penipuan dsbnya, kini terumbang-ambing setelah gagal berkuasa dengan 2/3 majoriti seperti dijanjikan yang dengan bongkak.

Drama yang paling dinantikan dan klimaks siri peristiwa pasca PRU12 ialah sekiranya benar-benar ramai Ahli Parlimen BN akan melompat ke BR. Kami menanti BN menjadi pembangkang dan seorang Perdana Menteri yang lebih hebat untuk menerajui kerajaan Malaysia!

Semuga tahun 2008 memberikan kecemerlangan dalam pelbagai bidang, terutama pendidikan, ekonomi dan sukan dibawah kegigihan dan keikhlasan para wakil rakyat BR yang terpilih untuk memegang amanah. Mungkin tidak terlalu awal untuk mengucapkan selamat tinggal kepada BN dalam nota kaki sejarah baru Malaysia dan untuk UMNO, Melayu boleh lebih berjaya tanpa kepimpinan 'ketuanan perut dan nafsu' yang sudah usang dan tidak relevan!

Lagi gambar hari keluarga myUAE di sini , sini, sini dan sini

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

World's New Superhero


Malaysian Made a Headline in UAE

This photo is nothing to do with the news.


(While still hot on post election dramas, a Malaysian has made it into newspaper's headline in UAE!)





Three conmen held with 1,778 forged ATM cards



By Alia Al Theeb, Staff ReporterPublished: March 18, 2008, 15:18



Dubai: Police have arrested three men who used forged ATM cards to withdraw money from ATM machines.



Dubai Police's Criminal Investigation teams arrested two Indians and one Malaysian who possessed 1,778 forged ATM cards.



The suspects had fed the magnetic strips of the cards with account numbers registered for customers in banks of a European country. The suspects then used the cards to withdraw money from cash machines here. Police said the local banks were the biggest losers in this process because the owners of the account numbers did not exist in the UAE.



Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Director of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said the number of cards is the biggest caught by the CID team.





The scam emerged when a bank employee realised that accounts from outside the country were being used and the money was withdrawn from local ATM machines. The withdrawn amount from that machine amounted to Dh26,000.
The CID department followed up and monitored a number of bank branches and coordinated with some banks' employees to follow up the status of those account numbers during the daily withdrawal operations.
Raid
On February 26, 2008, a man was monitored withdrawing money from one of the ATMs. Police arrested him immediately and found 15 plastic cards on him. Checking the cards, it turned out that they had forged numbers fed into them.



On the same day, the investigation team raided the residence of the rest of the gang based on the confessions of a second suspect. The team arrested the Malaysian suspect who was the mastermind behind the operation. The team also arrested the third suspect who was with the Malaysian suspect and possessed 1,778 forged cards with magnetic strips that had account numbers from banks outside the UAE.



The team also seized a number of laptops which carried secret account numbers in addition to a number of electronic devices and mobile phones which were bought with the withdrawn amounts. Police also seized devices that were being used to print information and numbers on magnetic strips and mini cameras used to steal secret numbers.



Major General Al Mazeina said the department had previously caught many cases of forged cards being used by Malaysian and European suspects, who stole account numbers from their countries to use here to withdraw money. However, this number of cards is the biggest number caught by the CID team.



He thanked the banks' employees and personnel responsible for feeding the cash machines for their attentiveness and cooperation with CID teams to combat such crimes.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

TUN DAIM ZAINUDDIN (synopsis of a forth-coming book)


(Someone emailed this piece to me)


Books have been written about Tun Daim Zainuddin, but not many people know who the real Daim is. He is famous for being taciturn. Everyone knows that Daim is the silent type; so silent, in fact, that the victims of his scheming and conniving have fallen like ten pins without ever knowing what hit them.
He has, on the quiet, made a career of shooting poison darts, laying booby traps. and knifing friend or foe in the back. His hand is never seen, but his mark is everywhere. Truth to tell, he has been at the root of many national crises, but his name has never been smudged, thanks to the wealth he wields and his bond of friendship with Dr. Mahathir.


Most members of Umno's new generation are aware that Daim is an acquisitive millionaire and a macho man with a taste of young women, but they concede him these weaknesses because they see in him a clean and competent Economic Adviser to the Government.


But the generation of Harun Idris, Musa Hitam and Manan Othman to name just a few of the old hands - they are the ones to ask in order to discover who the real Daim is. It was Datuk Harun who plucked Daim up from the depths of failure in the salt business. Daim's wife, Mahani and Harun's wife, Salmah were good friends and an influential pair in the early 1970s.


It was wife power that moved Harun to give Daim 160 acres of prime Kampung Pandan land. And thus Syarikat Maluri was born.There is no use speculating over how much Daim paid Harun. After all, the two were fast friends. For the gory details, just ask Low Kiok Bow or Thamby Chik. They can relate how Daim cheated a land broker and greased Selangor state executive councillor and Mahathir's brother-in-law, Ahmad Razali for that piece of land.


Of course, Daim still had to pay for the land. In those days, it was not easy to borrow from a bank. Hence, he was forced to corrupt Bank Bumiputra. Lorraine Osman and Rais Saniman know how much he spent. Manan Othman can no doubt confirm the figure, he was so close to Daim that they tried to share a girl friend, with Manan often borrowing the bedroom at Daim's office in Taman Maluri.


Daim's elevation as Senator and, subsequently, Minister of Finance, was part of Mahathir's strategic plan. Mahathir's choice should surprise no one, after all the two were intimate friends from the same kampung in Seberang Perak, Alor Setar. Upon becoming Prime Minister on 16 July, 1981, the first thing on Mahathir's mind was how to sideline his archenemy, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Daim told everyone he had no interest in politics, but all the while he was confident of getting the Finance Minister's job after a stint with the Senate. A few months after joining the Senate, Daim became Chairman of Fleet, which owned the New Straits Times. In 1984, he finally got his dream job and became the third most important man in the Federal Cabinet, after the Prime Minister and his deputy.


Musa Hitam, the Deputy Prime Minister, was at first oblivious of the closet ties between Mahathir and Daim. Innocently, he expressed to Mahathir his disquiet over Daim's wheeling and dealing, particularly his award of projects and contracts to his own associates and cronies. It must have baffled him when his complaints fell on deaf ears although he was Deputy Prime Minister, he has no say when it came to economic matters, particularly privatisation and the assignment (to supporters) of economic projects.


How disappointed Musa must have been to find that Daim could not care less about his effort to help his supporters secure some projects or contracts. Daim succeeded in making millionaires of such cronies of Wan Azmi, Halim Saad, Tajuddin Ramli, Samsuddin Hassan, Razali Rahman and Tan Sri Basir, but Musa in the end was cast off as a poor ex-DPM. Musa once complained to Mahathir that Daim had stolen a number of supporters' project proposals, but again Mahathir ignored him.


These were the first acts in the eventual breakup of the Mahathir-Musa partnership. As the interests of Mahathir and Razaleigh bloated, Musa got squeezed out.Many Umno members assume that Razaleigh is Musa's number one enemy. In fact, the reason for the 1986 split in Umno must fall on Daim. It was he who drove Musa to the edge until he had no choice but to resign.


Again, Daim's man of few words demeanour to his advantage. Few knew of his behind-the-scenes role in that Umno rupture not many more know it today. On really should not wonder why Musa called a truce Razaleigh and the two decided to collaborate in the 1987 fight, the one that eventually caused Umno to be outlawed.


At that time, Daim was almost invincible, what support coming from such strongmen as Sanusi Junid and Anwar Ibrahim. The comradeship of the three was rock solid, and the Musa-Razaleigh camp could do nothing except to make a joke of it by giving them the nicknames AIDS.


The formation of the new Umno, Daim and Mahathir had first to get rid of the Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas. Again, Daim was the chief plotter in the sacking of the pious and respected Tun Salleh, and his replacement with Tun Hamid Omar, a playboy and chronic gambler, but Mahathir's and Daim's schoolmate. The appointment of Tun Hamid Omar triggered the collapse of the integrity and the independence of the judiciary.


Finance Minister, Daim persuaded Mahathir to give the Economic Planning Unit and Treasury full power in implementing the privatisation policy. Hence, it was no longer necessary to call for tenders for government projects. Instead, the projects were awarded directly to favoured companies. And so began the era of wealth accumulation by and his cohorts. The United Engineering Company, bought for RM2, changed into a multi-million- ringgit corporation.


As Finance Minister, Daim practically ordered banks to lend to companies that he himself owned. And no Daim crony every complained of difficulty in securing bank credit. Indeed, bankers lived in fear of Daim. Having appointed Wan Azmi and Basir to head Malayan Banking and Bank Bumiputra, he would give any project to any of his cronies because funding was not an issue.


If those physical projects were not enough, Daim also took every opportunity to take wealth from the share market as well. Every time the Treasury approved a company for listing on the stock exchange, Daim cronies received their lien's shares. That was how in Southern Bank, Resort World, Sports Toto, Berjaya, Tanjong and scores of other blue chip firms landed with Daim and Company.


Once, when share values were high, Daim boasted among friends that his visible wealth alone totalled RM65 billion. To shut the mouth of Barisan Nasional leaders, Daim gave lucrative projects to Samy Vellu and Ling Liong Sik so that their children could be big-shot in batches.


Daim managed to fool Umno members into believing that Mahathir would not let him go although he had asked to be relieved of his Cabinet post on a number of occasions. With Musa and Razaleigh out of the picture, Daim could grab as much wealth as he wanted without even Mahathir stopping him.


Besides, he was Umno's treasurer and he could make it look as if the companies he controlled were those in which the party had a stake.Daim's avarice damaged not only his own image as finance minister, but also Mahathir's and Malaysia's reputation with the international community. It is said that he used to demand exorbitant fees for himself in negotiating contracts involving foreign suppliers.


The chairmen of Japan's two biggest banks - the Bank of Tokyo and Sanwa Bank - once complained to Mahathir that his Finance Minister demanded commissions that were too high when negotiating yen loans. Margaret Thatcher, too, has complained about Daim's role as a commissioned agent. He had - or still has - accounts in Zurich, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Caymen Island, Channel Island and Virgin Island. Indeed, instead of keeping his billions in Malaysia, he has stashed them overseas.


With his immense wealth and far-reaching influence, Daim eventually became a burden that Mahathir could no longer bear. In every deal he made, there was something in it for himself. It was not beneath him even to conspire with Lee Kuan Yew to snatch KTM land in Singapore. The Malaysian Cabinet had no knowledge of this. But this issue of Malaysia being cheated by Lee Kuan Yew and Daim is far from over.


Mahathir eventually realised that he had to end Daim's lordship over the Finance Ministry. And so he told him to quit. Mahathir worried that if Daim continued as Finance Minister, complaints would come not only from Vincent Tan, Ananda Krishnan, Arumugam and other members of the Malaysian business elite, but also from foreign leaders. Signs of a Daim-related scandal were ominous and it could break anytime in Japan or Britain, therefore, Daim had to go.


Daim's resignation was planned such that it would not appear as if he had been sacked. Indeed, it does not make sense why a powerful Finance Minister, rich and in control of so many public companies, would suddenly quit simply because he had lost interest in the job. The truth is that he was ordered to resign.


Observers will recall that Mahathir's first comment on the so-called reaction was, "He has asked several times for permission to resign, and I have finally allowed it. I hope Daim would not leave the country after resigning". That statement was pregnant with meaning. Mahathir knew Daim was sulking. So did Anwar and Sanusi. Mahathir retained Daim as Umno Treasurer for a good reason, he wanted to ensure the safety of Umno money, a lot of which was under Daim's control.


But Daim who holds so many of Mahathir's secrets, is only a sly one. After resigning, he ran off to live in his San Francisco residence. He told the Malaysian public he wanted to study at Harvard, but in fact he wanted to leave Malaysia.


Mahathir, who was familiar with Daim's antics, pleaded with him to come back, saying he need him to advise on economic matters. Daim returned and announced that Mahathir had named him Economic Adviser to the Government. Rafidah asked Mahathir to confirm this, but all she got was silence.
Daim was never formally appointed as Economic Adviser, a post which Tun Raja Mohar once held. The appointment is the prerogative of the Public Services Department. Daim gave himself the job. To keep Daim happy, Mahathir allowed him to open an office at the Economic Planning Unit, and this strengthened the public perception that he was still in control as far as economic affairs were concerned.


When he was to told to resign as Finance Minister, Daim asked Mahathir to appoint Anwar Ibrahim to the job. Obviously, he thought this would help to ensure that his skeletons would remain closeted. He warned Mahathir of the peril that Rafidah would be to both of them: the secrets they shared would be uncovered. Daim also persuaded Mahathir to appoint Mustapha Mohammad as Anwar's deputy because these two could be depended on to fill up the holes he had left gaping. Anwar is nobody's fool, but he sacrificed his idealism to protect his towkay.


As far as we know, no Finance Minster in this world has retired a billionaire, except Daim. In the book Daim yang Diam: Sebuah Biographi (Daim the Silent: A Biography), Daim explains his retirement: "I am happy in retirement. It was too heavy a responsibility. In truth, I love the business world. Business is in my blood. I love to make money. I know how to do it. I can do it just by sitting in this chair. On a lucky day, I can make millions."


Friend of Soros

According to an internal bank analysis, collaborated by the corporate community, and from Daim crony Amin Shah, Daim's wealth, in ringgit and foreign currencies kept overseas currently amounts to RM20 billion.

With so much money at his disposal, Daim can manipulate the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. He showed his hand in 1991, just to prove how much influence he wielded. After selling off his stocks, he made a statement to the effect that the market would crash. And crash it did. As we can all recall, even Mahathir could not help but make a wry remark when Daim boasted that he invested in KLSE only for pocket money.


But to his good friend, Daim said he could turn in profit on RM90 million a day when the market was up. When the market plummeted in October 1991 Daim bought back his share on the cheap. When the market turned bullish again 1995 and 1996, Daim made billions of ringgit it. This, then, is what the work of an economic adviser amounts to.


So it turns out that Soros is not the only big time market manipulator and currency dealer. Daim met Soros twice in London when the ringgit was being hotly traded. Anyway, when the ringgit fell below RM4 to the US dollar, Mahathir asked Daim for help and, according to a source in Singapore, he lost RM1 billion trying to prop up the Malaysian currency. To lose that much in currency trading, imagine how much money he had at his disposal.


The falls in currency and share values put Mahathir in a feverish panic. He knew his policies and his own belligerent attitude were partly to blame. Seeing Mahathir in such a frenzied state, Daim recommended that he declare a state of emergency to enable him to restore the economy and at the same time, bury the corpses that were beginning to stink.


We hail the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Solicitor-General for opposing the move. If Daim's plan had been followed, Mahathir would turn dictator and the Malaysian economy would be utterly ruined. Having failed to declare an emergency, Mahathir set up the National Economic Action Council, headed by Daim, with the Economic Planning Unit as its Secretariat.


The original plan was to give the NEAC complete autonomy, but the Cabinet ministers opposed this for fear that they would lose any vestige of power they had left. Eventually, the council became merely an advisory body, with the Cabinet having final say on its recommendations.


The establishment of the council was a wedge between Anwar and Daim. Thus, two old friends who had together stood behind Mahathir against Musa were now turned against each other. All of the council's recommendations were rejected by the Cabinet and Bank Negara. Daim openly assailed Bank Negara for dismissing his proposals, such as those relating to interest rates and credit control. We salute the Bank Negara Governor for maintaining a prudent monetary policy in the face of Daim's bullying and insults. Unlike Daim and his cohorts, Bank Negara's officials are not self-serving. Daim's appointment to the NEAC was a major national mistake.


Going by press reports of its deliberations so far, the NEAC's sole preoccupation is with saving mega corporations from bankruptcy. No doubt, these are Daim-related companies. Daim has yet to show any concern over the rise in the price of chillies, or the leaps in fish prices or how the price of rice has boiled over. Neither has he talked about small businesses in their depth throes. Class F contractors going bankrupt or kampung road projects being abandoned.
In his dictionary, there are no entries for the small man's worries, nothing about low-cost houses, water cuts or study funds for the children of poor Malays. In fact, it contains only billion size figures. While the Malaysian economy is close to ruin, Daim remains a billionaire, living a life of glamour, jet setting with his new wife Naimah and the attractive Josephine, an Indian lass who helps him run one of his firms, the International Malaysian Bank.


We have merely given a sketch of who the real Daim is. A thorough account will soon be available in book form. We recommend the book to Umno members, especially those with big ambitions, because they will learn much from its fantastic but true tales of economic and political intrigues.


We denounce the likes of Vincent Tan and Tan Phek Khiing for land-grabbing, but perhaps we should ask the Menteri Besar of Johor and the Menteri Besar of Kedah how much land Daim has taken. Ask Sanusi how much Daim paid to the Kedah government for 12,000 acres in Sungai Petani and how much profit he made from them. For 12,000 acres, Osman Arof had to be sacrificed. The true story of the Daim-Sanusi conspiracy in Kedah will be exposed in the book.


Umno is at a crossroads and has to decide wisely where it is going. One road heads to glory, where stability and democratic practice will abide. The other leads to division, autocracy and ultimately, utter destruction. The call for reform, which used to be made only in whispers at small, secretive gatherings, is becoming louder.


Umno members, showing that they can no longer contain their restiveness and frustration, have begun to openly debate the need for change, even at party conventions. Can there be a clearer indication that they have reached their tether's end, that they can no longer stomach the leadership's undemocratic attitude and the prevalence - whether in the party or the government - of favouritism, cronyism, nepotism, graft and other misdeeds? Malay nationalism is dead and materialism and egoism are running amok.


We cannot depend on the Umno Supreme Council to initiate reform because few of the members have the guts to speak up. In fact, the council has lately been transformed into a monologue theatre. But of course even a monologue can flop without good supporting players - fools, clowns, jesters, attendants and the oh-so- important flatterers.
As far as these bit players are concerned, Umno's ideals and principles are not as important as their jobs. This keep-your-mouth- shut syndrome serves only to embolden the party leadership in its conceit, arrogance and haughtiness. A president has become a dictator. Woe are the Malays and Umno. What is to become of them? That is a question only Umno members can answer.