Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sedition Act relief

Dato Najib presented a White Paper on the threat of militancy and terrorism posed by the Islamic State (IS) group yesterday in Parliament.

He revealed Malaysians have been identified present in Syria and more would have joined if not arrested by authorities. The bigger threat to national security would be from those Malaysians returning from Iraq and Syria.

The White Paper contained a proposal to strengthen existing security laws, such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and Penal Code, to counter threats by terrorists [read more in NST here].

This is timely relief in the wake of rising Bumiputera dissatisfaction towards Prime Minister Dato Najib.

Apart from getting blamed for the economic woes of Bumiputera that arise from his transformation plan, security issues arising from the amendment to the law saw a wide divergence in position between UMNO grassroot leaders and Najib's liberal advisers.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The much talked about speech today

From morning till late evening, from one water hole to another, from one meal to another, the conversation of the day had been none other than the speech by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

He delivered a speech at the joint opening of the UMNO Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri wings that brought about many versions of interpretations.

Over breakfast, a young activist expressed the same reaction bloggers and social media activists expressed immediately after the speech in our Whats App groups. Bujai and House PK was most generous with their praises. [Read here and here]

Upon arriving home late evening, the first remark from our next door neighbour was the same heard all day. "Speech Muhyiddin malam tadi best lah!"

To this blogger, it was something that had been written many many many .... times since the disastrous 2008 general election.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More than meet the eyes II

The first EGM for Prostasco is tomorrow, November 26th.

The majority will determine the outcome. However, the equity held by Managing Director, Dato Chong Ket Peng versus Tey Por Yee and Ooi Kock Aun will not determine which party will oust which party.

It depend much on which way the institutional shareholders sway. Most institutions would rather stay out of the fight but the likelihood is they will stay with management.

Shareholders are only interested in continuity despite the good run on the share prices from the oil and gas play. The truth will be the least of their concern. Which side is right in their claim does not matter.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

More than meet the eyes

For us mere mortals, we can only decide on what is available and visible. Nothing is what as it seemed. There is always the chance that there is more than meet the eyes.

What a person say maybe not what is intended to express. It could be a caution but accidently hinted clue of something bigger. There is something more than what was found and the real picture unknown to many is a bigger problem than what is perceived.

At times, what is being said is to hides the real reason. Action and expression on display may not be as it was meant to be but cryptic signals to mean something else.

The Cameron Highland incident and the Protasco boardroom tussle could be example of events that is more than meet the eyes.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why spend RM97 million to cheat a company for RM50 million?

Still curious on Protasco Berhad.

The titled question still puzzles us. If Tey Poe Yee and Ooi Kock Aun cheated Prostasco for RM50 million, they run the risk of getting into trouble with the law and have their RM97 million investment in shares forfeited.

Supposed they manage to escape the law,  the company's value will reduce by RM50 million and could translate to a lower share price, thus netting off with much return or even losses. Why take such risk?

Since repeating that line several times in this blog, one blog emerged to try reply us by cooking up a story that the modus operandi of Tey and Ooi resembled what happened to the shareholder of a troubled property company.

Unfortunately it is a poor example to be credible.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Divine reminder for liberal Azran

A friend sent us a news report by Reuters today with regard to Air Asia X.

While reading the news on our smartphone at the Airport and waiting for our plane to go for a talk out of town, we were reminded of the above statement by the CEO sometime ago.

It had the malicious intention to shame Utusan Malaysia and was giving support to the critics of Utusan from among the oppositions and left wing liberals.

Supposedly liberals would respect the right and freedom of Utusan to express their views, even if they disagree with Utusan.

After all, they are not denied their space in the media.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Boardroom tussle to blogsite hustle

In our first posting on the Protasco boardroom tussle [read here] that will end into two EGMs within the space of two days on November 26th and 28th, we had put a link to a newly established blog by the name of Right To Be Heard.

It seems someone out there refused them the right to be heard. We were reading the blog yesterday while doing up yesterday's posting. Come this morning, someone told us that the new blog was removed [check for yourself here]. 

Was it hacked or the owner had closed the blog? Good thing we saved the above cool picture from their first posting and also the documents revealed in the blog.

If the blog's right to be heard had been denied, it would be similar to the case of  Tey Por Yee and his associate Ooi Kock Aun being denied the right to be heard by the Board of Directors of Protasco. [This was raised in yesterday's posting here.] 

Will this blog be the next one hacked?

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Conduct that raise suspicion

Prostasco Board of Directors in good times

If anyone were to ask us as to what is the truth on the Protasco fiasco, frankly it will not be easy to ascertain with lawyers involved and reports made to authorities.

The deals are complex and many possible manouvers that it is difficult to explain in simple ways. Anyone can say anything. So who in the world will know the whole picture?

Nevertheless, it was the conduct of the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors that made us suspicious. So don't blame us if we seemed to be siding with Tey and Ooi. Their actions and decisions to favour Chong seemed questionable.

The fact that the Chairman is a Chairman on the advisory committee of MACC only makes it an attractive story.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pursue the right culprit on the Protasco fiasco

A posting from a blog in our bloglist, Corporate Governance in Malaysia recently [read here] caught this blog's attention to the Protasco boardroom tussle.

The blog raised the issue on the transparency of the dispute. The Edge, KiniBiz and The Star are actively writing on the mud-slinging between the parties linked to CEO Dato Chong Ket Pen and parties of Tey Por Yee and Ooi Kock Aun.

Details are being revealed and some information have yet to confirmed. By the look of things, the Tey and Ooi side of the story is not heard much.

Anyway why the revelation by Dato Chong now and not then? The blog had raised the issue way back in 2013 to question on the company's ability to pursue the oil rights to develop and produce the  field in Indonesia [read here].

Dato Chong alleged that the parties of Tey and Ooi have cheated and swindled some money. In turn, Tey and Ooi claimed to have done money trail that lead to Dato Chong taking money too. However, this usual dispute in Malaysian corporate scene has taken a new precedent never happened before.

There will be two EGMs within the span of two days on November 26 and 28th to sack each other off as Directors. It is fodder for speculative play on the company's shares for those privy to the outcome.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Something interesting happened in Beijing

Dato Najib was in Beijing recently to attend the APEC economic summit. There he disclosed a landmark initiative between Malaysia and China in setting-up a clearing bank to facilitate business deals between Renminbi (RMB)-Ringgit (RM).

It reduce cost and ease of doing business between the two countries for payments could be done without the need to convert to the US dollar first. With China ready to pump investment in the region, that will help ease the flow of RMB investment into Malaysia.

However, the TPPA's sword of democles remained hanging throughout the APEC Meeting. Malaysia requested that Bumiputera agenda and government owned enterprise or state owned enterprise (SOE) are given exemption when the final round of TPP negotiation begin in early next year.

Then something interesting and worthy of a landmark event happened. With so much issues surrounding TPPA, there is a new alternative to consider.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arrogance and insecurity still prevail

A recent incident confirmed us that should Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim go inside, it will not make UMNO job any easier but harder.

One reason people rejected Pakatan Rakyat was because of Anwar. Without Anwar and should another strong and credible personality arise as potential Prime Minister, UMNO and BN does not have anything to offer as campaign line.

I Love Najib and 1Malaysia will not work this time. As one former Deputy Minister told us last month, "It didn’t generate the excitement for BN to win convincngly for GE13. The “popular vote” or total votes favoured PR."

Voters would rather fell for the 40,000 Banglas lie by Anwar Ibrahim than believe in the tangible, but not understandable, acronyms of programs from Najib.

Over lunch yesterday, we told the host’s son that if voters are not voting BN this time around, it is because of UMNO. They have not shed the attitude of arrogance and the insecurity behind their arrogance.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Open tender for petrol system but not diesel?

The controversy surrounding the fuel subsidy rationalisation system should end. There was an open tender done. A request for proposal was send out.

Some 95 companies expressed interest to be invited to submit proposal. When KPDNKK held a briefing session, some 50 companies were present. The submission dateline was 12:00 noon on November 10th.

By right, one can comfortably say the earlier controversy surrounding the fuel rationalisation system tender has ended. Unfortunately, not quite.

The tender date is closed but for what tender?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Orang Semenanjung sudah gila"

University Malaya's PMUM President that is facing disciplinary action from University authority, Fahmi Zainol went to Sabah to instigate UMS students to join their fight for more freedom faced a rude reality.

Instead of understanding why it happened and did he made any mistake for taking Sabah for granted, he blasted the Sabah students for tarring him out of town. The incident was described to this blogger by a Sabah friend. He was right. "Orang Semenanjung sudah gila."

The politics of hate and constant incitement does not auger well in peaceful Sabah, Fahmi Zainol does not seemed to understand that. For that matter, opposition media too do not understand the Sabah psyche.

The perception here in Semenanjung is that Sabah politics is about money. But in many aspect, Sabah has a more mature politics than Semenanjung.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Bet some political low life will say Shahrizat getting even for NFC

Wanita UMNO has taken a position on the Sedition Act and will be launching a 1,000,000 signature petition drive to get support through their 19,000 branches.

Wanita Chief, Dato Shahrizat Jalil express Wanita's position after a closed-door forum titled “Understanding the Sedition Act” with 500 Wanita Umno members and panelists comprised of former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan, as well as lawyers Dato Salehuddin Saidin and Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz.

This is a giant step for the pro-Sedition Act movement. It also marks a big step for Wanita Umno to take up other public interest issues over their usual bread-and-butter issues on woman, family and welfare. It is a positive development to see Wanita UMNO embrace Najib's transformation in the area of advocacy.

Like it or not, Malaysia is moving towards a more participative democracy and the phrase of "government knows best' is no more relevant in this Internet age openness.

Unless one's voice is heard and articulated well enough to attract sufficent public support, no point complaining and sulking that government did not give them their due consideration. "Kalau Melayu mampus, terimalah akibat dari sikap berdiam dan terima buta saja pandangan atas."

However, one can expect that some political low life will re-interpret this development with a political twist not even worthy to be called a conspiracy theory. It is the usual plain shallow grassroot level power game political analysis one hears ever so often in the coffee houses and warongs frequented by UMNO members. 

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Could judges misinterpret the law for political agenda? [updated]

Bujai's title for his posting yesterday on the latest Court of Appeal judgement was truly appropriate. [Read "Human Rights defeat Islamic Law" here. ]

A three-judges bench led by Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus overturned a judgement by High Court and proclaimed Section 66 of the Shariah Criminal Enactment of Negeri Sembilan violated Articles 5, 8, 9, and 10 of the Federal Constitution.

They over-step the jurisdiction to make judgement on syariah matter. Naturally, it got the various western biased human rights groups championing LGBT pleased. [Read MI here.]

This judgement is sending a wrong signal legally and may raise suspicion on the conduct of judges in the higher courts. Are judges misinterpreting the law and Constitution for political agenda?

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Friday, November 07, 2014

"Hindu water", Val Paari and National Unity

Muslim Consumer Association (PPIM) raised an issue of the picture of Lord Murugam statue at Batu Caves on Cactus brand mineral water.

It is something normal to promote interesting places for tourist. Maybe it is not common to them that house of worships for tourism promotion in consumer products but TDC do.

Before anyone start ridiculing PPIM or practise to seek halal certification on water and ice cubes, appreciate that it be stop. 

To each religion his own.

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Dr Chandra, you presume?

NST published an indirect defense of SIS is Sesat today with an article by Dr Chandra Muazaffar. Can read here or at the end of this posting.

One can naturally expect an intellectual like him to plead for SIS but his only request is to hear out and open up to new ideas such as Liberal or Plural Islam. He would ask that we should make the effort to understand liberalism and pluralism in many different context and not just the context MAIS has decided upon.

Typical of intellectuals, he will get definitive and insist on the accuracy in the terms. Naturally, he will give a wholesome societal outlook in sync with his discipline as sociologist.

Our point remain and on that basis, we will disagree.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

SIS is sesat

The Fatwa Committee of Selangor announced their July 14th, 2014 fatwa that SIS Forum (Malaysia) Berhad or usually referred to as Sister in Islam (SIS) is deviant and has astrayed from Islam.

In other words, they are sesat.

By right, Sister in Islam should be abbreviated as SII. Now it is clear why they referred themselves by the acronym, SIS. It is only appropriate.

Islam does not have a hierarchy like Christianity does, but like any religion, the authority lies with the learned elders.

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Monday, November 03, 2014

"Suka sama suka", or sexual harassment?

Sorry to get your spectacles smogged by the heavy breathing scene between Demi Moore and Michael Douglas in this 1994 movie, Disclosure.

Set aside all the highly technical stuff on DNA, collecting sample, tampering of samples, arresting procedures, etc., one aspect of Federal Court appeal in the sodomy case of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim reminded us of this scene.

Was it a case of  'suka sama suka" or sexual harassment? It is easier for the public to chew and discuss.

Dato Gopal Sri Ram's submission claimed Saiful was a willing sexual partner. He repeated the same "suka sama suka" claim by the late Karpal Singh and Bar Council President, Christopher Leong. The reason being Saiful voluntarily brought over the KY Jelly, stayed after to eat karipap with Anwar, and returned to office the next day before making the police report the following day. [Read M'kini here]

Many applied simplistic logic to argue against the possibility of "rape". Anwar can't possibly force himself on the sturdy and stronger young man. Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah gave a reply on Friday,

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

Kalimah Allah set-up at KLIA 2

DAP is in the midst of an onslaught on AG, Tan Sri Gani Patail and Minister in the PM Dept., Dato Nancy Shukri to pressure for the prosecution of Dato Ibrahim Ali. The motive is not to have Ibrahim prosecuted, but to seditously burn the religous sentiment of Christian Sarawak voters.

The case is weak but the weaker the case, the easier to up the dissatisfaction of the Christian majority in Sabah and Sarwak against the government led by Malay Muslim in Semenanjung. An incident at KLIA 2 recently gave them the oppurtunity to play up the Christian sensitivity in religiously tolerant Sabah and Sarawak.

However, the link and questions surrounding the incident points to a set-up. Despite government getting blamed for conspiracy against Anwar, this attempt is a cnspiracy against government. It is a set-up seemed most likely linked to PKR and STAR.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Unsworn statement from the dock is no evidence

During his sodomy trial at the High Court, Anwar had read a 32-page statement, in which he said the sodomy charge against him was a political conspiracy. The High Court and the Court of Appeal, however, had dismissed it, regarding it as a "bare denial" of the offence.

Anwar's lawyer N. Surendran this morning cited six case laws in support of evidence from the dock. Surendran had been asked yesterday by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria to produce authorities so that the court could decide on the matter.

The lawyer told the judges that it was for the court to determine the weight to be attached when an accused person gave a statement from the dock.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Malay Reserve land: Peninsular's version of NCR land issue

There is a forum today to be held today 2:00 PM at Dewan Ulama ISTAC at persiaran Duta off Jalan Duta Kuala Lumpur on the issue of Malay Reserve land. It is jointly organised by Perkasa and ISTAC.

The keynote speech will be delivered by Former Chief Judge, Tun Ahmad Fairuz bin Sheikh Abdul Halim and it will be followed by two papers by Prof Dato Dr Nik Zain bin Nik Yusuf, former KSU for Ministry for Land and Cooperatives and Director general for Department of Land and Mineral, and Dr Hasrol, Senior Lecturer, Department of Estate Management, Faculty of Architecture, Planning, and Survey, Universiti Teknologi MARA. 

Although Malay Reserve Land issue have been openly discussed in many other seminar and forum before and over the years, it is usually positioned in side session. It is far in between and resolution to the issue  have been muted. Not much progress made since acquired Malay Reserve could not be replaced by land of similar character.

At least, disputes on Native Customary land (seldom called NCR land) in Sabah and Sarawak, usually involving ownership claim, could revert to the Native Court for settlement. NCR land is  being championed by the opposition and there positive response from state government give attention.

Unfortunately, Malay Reserve issues have no serious champion and disputes left unresolved.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Do Malaysia "really" benefit from trade through TPPA?

The view of Malaysian businessmen and corporate people on TPPA is that of optimism.

As a trading nation dependent on import and export with other countries, they see the beneficial flow of revenue and hopefully the profit derived to their business from TPPA as good for the country. Anything good for business is supposedly good for the country.

The view is that Malaysian goods and services have a fair chance to enter foreign market without any more barriers. So matters with regards to consumer interest, "sovereignty", and Bumiputera rights (which is effectively pittance actually) pales in comparison to the benefit. 

Unfortunately, the benefit from TPPA is not as simple as commutative arithmetic law of 1 + 1 = 2. If badly put together, the country could not achieve that 2 and perhaps even end up with less than 1. The TPPA serves the MNC interest to penetrate market. It has been extensively written in this blog, so no point rewriting it. Just key-in TPPA in this blog's saerch engine.

However, it is not sufficiently convincing to opportunity driven businessmen and corporate man. Only when it affects their interest will they appreciate the problems with TPPA. It has to hit their wallet to wake them up from their over-optimism.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Food security is national security

Sundaily Oct 23rd 2013

THIS is a land of abundant food. The melting pot of cultures has meant that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to mealtime and as a result many Malaysians have an expanded and rather critical palate.

But little thought is given to where our food comes from with regards to quality, safety and how it is produced.

Why should we be concerned anyway? Our supermarkets are well stocked, we have daily wet markets, weekly night markets in almost every neighbourhood and in some areas, a farmers market.

But how much of our food is locally produced?

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When is the big day, Zahida?

A big break for Zahida but one question still remain

Actress and model Zahida Rafik is back in the news again. The driver which sued her for defamation will be charged for CBT. he had allegedly squandered away with the RM200,000 money entrusted by Zahida to bank-in.

It is a face saving development for Zahida, which had been rumoured to have an affair with Dato Shafie Apdal. When this blog wrote of it in September 2010 [read here], there was a follow-up denial from Shafie's aide [read here].

However, the rumour unabated as more stories surface claiming Zahida had married Shafie in London and lives in a RM4 million home in Ampang bought by Shafie. It was aggravated further in April 2012 when the matter involving Zahida's driver surfaced. [Read here and here]

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Touching a dog doused Anwar's campaign

Until an intimate video of popular pro-opposition Ustaz Azhar Idrus with his third wife surfaced last night, the most viral subject on the social media was the weekend Dog Touching event.

It dominated the social media to the point that it even overshadowed another intimate revelation on the FB of DAP candidate for Telok Intan by-election, Dyana Sofea and married Member of Parliament for Bukit Bendera Penang, Zairil Khir Johari.

It was a unique happening and the ensuing debate attracted the public attention that Anwar's campaign to gain sympathy and pressure the court to save him from an impending prison sentence by the Federal Court was lost.

Syed Azmi may have innocently helped to douse Anwar's usual rabble rousing.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The hypocrasy and ulterior motive to get Ibrahim Ali charged

Upon seizing power at the Federal level, DAP will be more draconian than the BN the accused as draconian. All one need to see is the reaction of Penang DAP Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng to any criticism or questions on his administration of Penang or DAP party.

Guan Eng would threaten them with lawsuit as former PAS Youth Chief is facing, use goons to physically harass them as in the case of defiant Johor DAP members, expelled and suspended BN state assemblyman, and many more.

He refused to meet and deal with the Kampong Buah Pala Indian. And in the case of falling FDI to Penang, he resorted to lying and blaming the Federal government. However, he claim credit when FDI was rising in his first year in office.

In the latest episode and in the midst of campaign by Bar Council, Pakatan and their linked NGOs for abolishment of the Sedition Act, DAP and few Bar Council activists are applying pressure on Dato Nancy Shukri to charge Dato Ibrahim Ali for sedition.

It shows they are inconsistent in their principle and hypocritical in their attitude. When Pakatan do  take control of government with DAP in the driver seat, the likelihood is they will reinstate ISA, Sedition Act, and other law they say now as draconian?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Malay "pendatang" remark could spoil Gerakan comeback

Whether it was because of the Chinese vernacular school issue raised at the UMNO Petaling Jaya Utara annual general meeting or the ensuing discussion on the root of Chinese vernacular school as education for the children of then Chinese immigration worker, the Malay "pendatang" remark uttered at the Gerakan AGM was unnecessary.

Surely it is untrue and illogical, be it from the archeological or historical or geo-cultural or even DNA finding done. Not only former MP Dato Zulkifli Nordin immediately rebutted, one article by a Chinese writer by the name Tai Zee Kin disagreeing to any intention to claim Malays as "pendatang' from Indonesia has gone viral. Prior to modern nation-state introduced by colonial masters, Malay archipelago is one big "nation".

Politically, it is not a smart move, even for merely a drama to attract the attention of Chinese voters and hopefully secure back their votes.

If that is what the Gerakan delegate from Johor, Tan Lai Soon intended, that is not the way since such remarks makes politics a zero sum game. By attracting one group, one anger another group.

How did Gerakan do their number crunching?

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tun M's KTM suggestion expose neo-liberals problem-solving weakness

In his blog yesterday [read here], Tun Dr Mahathir suggested few business ideas for Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) in order to reduce their losses. He suggested to lease their tracks and use trains to transport goods to Bangkok.

The additional profit generated could be substantial and return KTM back to profitability. As it is, Tun Mahathir said KTM is losing about RM185 million annually.

In his first line, it may seeemed as though Tun may have took a swipe at another of Dato Ahmad Maslan's typical comment that made him a common conversation piece. He claimed KTEM would turn around after an "intensive transformation" plan with a RM30 million profit by next year.

Without Tun M having to say anything, the bigger jokers that got swiped in his posting was the predictable textbook thinking neo-liberal advisers, specifically Pemandu in government, and young leaders and politicians in UMNO.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Popularly elected Jokowi to raise fuel price by 50%

The public outcry from the 20 sen increase in fuel price, or as they try to avert as only reduction in subsidy, can be heard everywhere.

Understandably, the distribution system dominated by cartels result in an amplified increase in consumer goods. Though the public understood the subsidy burden on the government, some reaction gave the impression they were ready to throw out Dato Najib out of office.

Now, Joko Widido just came out as the new popularly elected Indonesian President. He plan to increase fuel price by 50%. Not 20 sen, but by more than the 80 sen increase that led to the downfall of former PM Tun Abdullah. As it is, fuel cost more in Indonesia. There is no BR1M, nothing in the pipeline to buffer the impact .

Will the Indonesian emulate some local sentiment to throw Jokowi out after just electing him in July? Two countries but different reaction and approach to the same problem.

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