Thursday, September 18, 2014

VIPs Booted Out of Aeroplane


A Kadir Jasin

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DOES this not sound familiar – VIPs arriving late to board a plane causing anger among the passengers?

I had experienced that many times during the days of flying with MAS domestically. In some instances, the planes were parked away from the terminal so that they would be closer to the VIP lounge.

But Malaysians seem to be a patience lot. They make noise and that’s all.

It seems that such a practice happened in Pakistan too but the passengers there have had enough of the VIPs antics that they confronted and chased two of them off the plane at Karachi Airport. (Read here).

I pray to Allah the All Mighty that all the stories of our VIPs arriving late for functions - including those hosted by the King, and on trips abroad, forcing leaders of host nations wait for them because their spouses and errant members of their delegation took longer than usual to get dressed - are not true.

I was told of such a story by a businessman who was a member of delegation accompanying one of our VIPs to a very friendly country in Central Asia.

The story has it that their protocol officers assigned to our official delegation were severely reprimanded by their President because our VIPs arrived late for an official function.

This particular President, it seems, is a stickler for time – like our former PM, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

It wasn’t the officers’ fault. It was just that the spouse of one of our VIPs is a stickler for sartorial and cosmetic perfection.

I think we have to make it clear to our VIPs of our displeasure if they arrive late for a function. With some VIPs it has become a habit. A bad one as it wastes other people’s time, energy and efforts.

Perhaps we too should shoo them away like the Pakistanis did with their thoughtless VIPs. Wallahuaklam.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Maladi Melayu Bawa Malu


A Kadir Jasin

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PANTUN lama kegemaran saya:

Pergi memburu di padang datar
Dapat rusa belang kaki
Kalau berguru kepalang ajar
Ibarat bunga kembang tak jadi.

Versi moden yang mampu saya ilhamkan.

Pergi memburu di padang datar
Dapat rusa belang kaki
Kalau guru kurang ajar
Tentulah murid lebih lagi.

Apabila guru sanggup bocorkan kertas peperiksaan dan buat bermacam-macam dosa dan angkara, bagaimanakah kita hendak mengajar anak-anak kita agar tekun dan berwibawa?

Guru kencing berdiri
Murid kencing berlari.

Dan mengapakah kita harus marah dan kecil hati apabila (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata, “the Malays are lazy”?

Tidak semua Melayu malas. Itu pasti.

Ramai Melayu yang rajin, tekun dan cemerlang. Diberi tongkat mereka ubah jadi dayung dan tiang.

Ramai Melayu, umpama kata Hang Tuah, tidak hilang di dunia. Mereka mencipta nama dan hidup senang di merata dunia.

Tetapi ada juga Melayu yang merempat di negara sendiri. Diberi benih, benih mereka makan. Diberi baja subsidi, baja mereka jual untuk berjudi dan berjoli.

Hutang keliling pinggang beli Honda, Yamaha dan Suzuki kemudian jadi Mat Rempit berlumba haram sampai mati.

Jadi saya sekali lagi bertanya, Melayu yang macam mana hendak kita perkasa ekonominya?

Yang memerintah Melayu. Yang berdakwah, berceramah dan bermuhasabah Melayu. Yang ramai jadi polis, kastam, guru dan imigresen pun macam Melayu.

Yang ramai kena tangkap rasuah dan menipu pun Melayu. Melayu terima rasuah masuk penjara. Cina dan India yang bagi rasuah tidak jadi apa-apa. Kalau adapun sekerat dua.

Serangkap daripada sajak “Melayu” oleh Allahyarham Sasterawan Negara Usman Awang:

Melayu itu pengembara lautan
Melorongkan jalur sejarah zaman
Begitu luas daerah sempadan
Sayangnya kini segala kehilangan.

Wallahuaklam.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting at Mohd Najib Through 1MDB


A Kadir Jasin

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HAVING withdrawn his support for the Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, the former Prime Minister, (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on Sept 10 added insult to injury.

He questioned the integrity of the Prime Minister’s pet corporation – 1Malaysia Development Berhad. It is like what the Malay proverb says “pukul anak sindir menantu.” You can’t beat Mohd Najib you beat his favourite undertaking.

Expressing his concern over the debt being amassed by the sovereign wealth fund, Dr Mahathir said it could overwhelm the government’s already strained finances.

He asked why Malaysia needs a state investment fund like 1MDB, when it is heavily in debt, pointing out that such a company is usually formed by countries with large government surpluses.

“The money for 1MDB is not from the country’s surpluses. It is borrowed. The billions of ringgit borrowed add massively to the nation’s debts. Debts taken by the country must be repaid. If not we will become insolvent like Argentina. A country that suffers deficits annually will not be able to repay debts of this size,” he wrote in his blog on Sept 10. (Read more here).

Very few people outside the PM’s inner circle know for sure how much debts 1MDB has accumulated and its true financial standing. The public is generally suspicious of the stories the company tells.

In June, it issued a statement assuring the public that its debt “does not pose any significant risk to the sovereign rating and stability of Malaysia.”

It said that its debt totalled RM37 billion for the financial year ended March 31, 2013.

In a textbook response to public concern it said: “As a limited liability company, 1MDB poses limited liability risks to the government as its shareholder.

“The government guarantees RM5.8 billion of the group’s total loan on which 1MDB has significant interest cover. 1MDB has never missed any payment schedule.”

It has repeatedly delayed the launch of its electricity IPO. Media reports suggest that it is now delayed to 2017.

The public in general may not be aware that 1MDB has been borrowing from them. If they know, they would understand Dr Mahathir’s worry.

For instance, in March this year, 1MDB issued RM1.5-billion worth of Sukuk (Syariah compliant bonds) and the buyers were the Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB). Ironically the LTH GMD/CEO, Ismee Ismail, is on the board of 1MDB. (Full board here).

What Now Dr M?

TO someone who loves to banter, Dr M must have found Mohd Najib’s not-so-elegant silence frustrating. Silence of that nature can be deafening.

In short it says, Mohd Najib is saying, Dr Mahathir can say whatever he likes, but I am the PM and I do whatever I like.

Dr Mahathir’s latest jab came at the wrong time for Mohd Najib. After five years of positioning himself as the great transformer, who gets the recognition? His high-profile Pemandu CEO, Idris Jala.

The Sarawakian was named one the 50 most influential policymakers in the world by Bloomberg Markets. The US-based magazine credited the 56-year-old Sarawak senator with “making it easier to invest and do business in Malaysia as he shapes economic policy meant to help the country catch up to its more-developed neighbours.”

Still Dr Mahathir stops short of doing the ultimate – calling for Mohd Najib’s resignation. That was what he did with (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the aftermath of the 2008 General Elections.

Within months Abdullah was put out to the pasture and in came Dr Mahathir's ultimate choice – Mohd Najib Abdul Razak. Ahhhh… the wheel of time keeps on turning.

Wallahuaklam.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Sudah 185 Hari MH370 Hilang Tanpa Kesan


A Kadir Jasin

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BACAAN Tambahan di sini: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/07/mh370-debris-is-lost-forever-can-the-plane-be-found-without-it.html

MENGIKUT kiraan bulan, hari ini, 8 September 2014, genaplah enam bulan kehilangan tanpa kesan penerbangan MH370 yang membawa 239 penumpang dan anak kapal. Dalam kiraan hari, sudah 185 hari.

Pesawat itu sepatutnya terbang dari KLIA ke Beijing tetapi berpatah balik dan teori umum mengatakan ia “hilang” di kawasan selatan Lautan Hindi. Namun sampai hari ini tidak ada siapa tahu di mana sebenarnya ia “menghilang” walaupun kelengkapan mencari paling canggih di dunia telah digunakan bagi mengesannya.

Kapal Belanda, Fugro Survey diupah mencari bangkai MH370
Seratus lima belas hari selepas tragedi MH370, penerbangan MH17 pula ditembak jatuh di timur Ukraine ketika dalam perjalanan dari Amsterdam, Belanda ke Kuala Lumpur dengan mengorbankan kesemua 283 penumpang dan anak kapal.

Dalam masa tidak sampai empat bulan, MAS dilanda dua tragedi luar biasa yang meragut 522 nyawa.

Nasib malang MAS tidak berakhir di situ sahaja. Secara teorinya ia sudah muflis (bankrupt). Ia terus beroperasi hanyalah kerana diselamatkan oleh kerajaan melalui Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

Dengan itu jadilah tragedi MAS tragedi kita semua. Kita bukan sahaja menanggung beban emosi dan beban malu, kita juga menanggung beban kewangan mega.

Untuk menyelamatkan MAS, Khazanah terpaksa membelanjakan RM6 bilion. Sebelum ini ia sudah pun menenggelamkan RM7 bilion dalam pelbagai operasi penyusunan semula yang tidak berhasil. Kemampuan Khazanah mengurus perniagaan kini menjadi tanda tanya.

Sejak mengambil balik 100% saham MAS sebulan lalu dan mengumumkan operasi penyelamatan, Khazanah telah masuk ke pasaran hutang untuk meminjam RM3.1 bilion. Tidak menghairankan kalau banyak lagi perlu dipinjam atau aset dijual.

Mohon maaf, bagi saya MAS sudah menjadi perigi buta tanpa dasar yang elok ditimbus sahaja dan Khazanah perlu disusun semula..

Al Fatihah dan takziah.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Manifestation Of Our Collective Desperation


A Kadir Jasin

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FIFTY seven years after independence, we are in a state of collective desperation although many may not realise or feel it.

Those in power are desperate to portray that everything is fine. Those who are powerless are desperate because things are not like what they are being told.

They are desperate that despite repeated promises and better-than-expected key performance index (KPI), crime rates are still high and other aspects of daily existence seem to be getting harder.

So they do what they can. The rich barricaded themselves behind high walls, wired their palatial homes with motion censor alarm systems and CCTV cameras. They hire Nepalese guards and guard dogs.

Nepalese guards are our new protectors
The not-so-rich dig into their pockets to erect barred wire fences and check points and hire guards to protect their un-gated properties.

If we are not residents, we are viewed with suspicion when we enter these makeshift gated areas. We are issued with passes, our identity cards or driving licenses are inspected and our cars are videotaped.

Of course you will not experience such indignities if you are the Prime Minister, the DPM and other privileged VIPs with outriders and fierce-looking bodyguards.

Those who can’t afford guards, barricade their houses with metal grills and reinforced doors and windows. Even my mother’s kampung house feels like fortress. Metal grills all around, locked doors and windows. Gone were the days when doors were hardly ever locked and windows were always open to let in the air.

Can’t blame them when common items like fertilisers, padi seeds and old bicycles are regularly stolen. Drug addicts, small time village hoods and besi buruk traders are the new scourge.

It’s ironic. Mosques and suraus are filled to the brim for Friday prayers. Literally everybody wears the lebai skullcap. Adherents of every religion and faith appear to display a greater degree of piety than ever before.

So it does not come as a great surprise to me when the Penang state government set up the Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit and, understandably too, it incurred the wrath of the federal instruments, including the police.

There is no need for me to discuss the pros and cons of the voluntary unit or the war of attrition that is being played out now. Suffice to say that it is yet another manifestation of our collective desperation and the failure of the establishment to live up to its promises.

What I like to say is the Penang’s voluntary patrol unit is neither new nor unique. It had been preceded by a similar vigilante force, albeit more restricted in nature, established by the Selangor government under Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

Much to the chagrin of the federal government and the police he set up something akin to an Islamic moral police force called Badar, purportedly to combat “maksiat” (sins).

Its disbanding soon after was made easy when several of its members were caught red-handed extorting money from foreign workers.

The vigilantes, the barricades, the Nepalese guards, the brisk sales of security equipments are the manifestation of the rakyat’s despondence with the existing law and order mechanism and the ineffectiveness of such community based initiatives as the Rukun Tetangga and friends of the police aka Rakan Cop.

Nepalese Gurkhas during Malayan Emergency
The situation today reminds me of the Emergency days (1948-60) when villages were barricaded and the Nepalese Gurkhas (soldiers) were a common sight.

Alas, because we never learn, history repeats itself. Today we have to employ children and grandchildren of the Gurkhas to protect us once again. 

Wallahuaklam.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jangan Bebankan MAS Ke Atas Rakyat Jelata Lagi


A Kadir Jasin

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LAPORAN media massa hari ini mengatakan Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia (MAS) akan mengurangkan kakitangan seramai 6,000 orang sebagai sebahagian daripada langkah penyelamatannya.

Kos pampasan memberhentikan mereka adalah sebanyak RM1.9 bilion. Keseluruhan operasi menyemat MAS daripada menjadi muflis akan menelan belanja RM6 bilion.

Pengurangan bilangan kakitangan bukanlah perkara baru atau cetusan minda kelas dunia.

Sejak zaman MAS di bawah pemilikan swasta lagi (1994-2002) ia mencadangkan untuk mengurangkan kakitangan seramai antara 5,000 hingga 8,000 orang tetapi tidak dipersetujui oleh kerajaan.

Sekarang apabila MAS sudah menjadi milik 100% kerajaan (melalui Khazanah Nasional Berhad) dan secara teorinya sudah “muflis” ia terpaksa melakukan yang lebih radikal kalau masih mahu diselamatkan.

Saya sudah banyak kali menyatakan pendirian mengenai MAS, iaitu:- 1. Bubarkan. 2. Jual kepada swasta. 3. Selamatkan, tetapi tanpa terus membebankan kewangan negara. 4. Lantik pengurusan antarabangsa yang telah terbukti dan 5. Hapuskan campur tangan kerajaan yang merugikan.

Untuk berhentikan pekerja saja sudah memerlukan RM1.9 bilion. Apa halnya dengan kos-kos lain. Wang sebanyak RM1.9 bilion itu hampir cukup untuk menaikkan taraf sistem pengairan MUDA di Kedah dan Perlis yang menampung lebih 100,000 isi rumah atau kegunaan awam lain yang memberikan faedah kepada lebih ramai orang.

Menyelamatkan MAS berulang kali ibarat menimbus perigi tanpa dasar. Bottomless pit, dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Pelawat dan pembahas yang berminat boleh mendapat maklumat lanjut mengenai pandangan saya dengan menekan ikon Kunta Kinte “Ada Had Bantu MAS” di sebelah.


Wallahuaklam.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mohd Najib Gesa Tambah Keimanan, Ketakwaan


A Kadir Jasin

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PERDANA Menteri, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, dipetik secara meluas sebagai berkata pada 23 Ogos bahawa semua pihak perlu mengambil iktibar dan pengajaran daripada tragedi kembar MH370 dan MH17.

Beliau berkata, di sebalik kesedihan dan hiba yang dikongsi bersama oleh semua rakyat, (kita) perlu juga melihat apa hikmat yang Tuhan telah tentukan di sebalik tragedi itu.

Utusan Online, antara lain, memetik beliau berkata: “Kita kena tambah keimanan, ketakwaan dan memohon doa kepada Allah. Tetapi sebelum itu kita juga mesti berikhtiar serta berusaha kerana perkara itu dituntut oleh Allah.

“Bukanlah buat kenyataan yang lantang tetapi tiada hasil. Apa guna buat kenyataan yang lantang tetapi tiada hasil. Biar kita tidak keluarkan kenyataan tetapi hasilnya besar.''

Beliau berkata begitu ketika berucap di majlis rumah terbuka Aidilfitri peringkat Parlimen Pekan.

1. Alhamdulillah. Marilah sama-sama kita hayati seruan Perdana Menteri kita itu. (Tambah keimanan, ketakwaan dan memohon doa kepada Allah.)

2. Kita mintalah kepada “Menteri Agama” kita, Jamil Khir Baharom, supaya awasi dan perbetulkan apa yang tidak betul mengenai akidah dan amalan umat Islam Malaysia, bermula dengan anggota kabinet yang beragama Islam.

3. Jangan jadi “Menteri Agama” untuk panaskan kerusi dan mengiakan saja apa yang bos kata. Ulama tulen wajib bersuara dan bertindak “menambah keimanan dan ketakwaan” kepada Allah seperti yang PM sarankan.

Jamil Khir - Ulama Tulen Wajib Berani
4. Sebagai ulama Umno, beliau wajib bersuara dan bertindak dengan berani mencegah dan menghapuskan kemungkaran serta perbuatan bidaah. Apatah lagi SEANDAINYA hal seperti itu dilakukan oleh rakan-rakan beliau dalam kabinet dan dalam Umno.

5. Saya berkata begitu sebab saya kurang jelas tentang apa sebenarnya tugas “Menteri Agama” selain hal-hal pentadbiran, birokrasi dan protokol.

6. Saya tidak mahu burukkan lagi syak wasangka berkenaan akidah dan amalan para pemimpin dan pembesar Islam di negara kita. Saya harap apa yang mereka cakapkan kepada rakyat jelata (misalnya mengenai menambah keimanan, ketakwaan dan memohon doa kepada Allah) itulah yang mereka lakukan.

7. Jangan pula seru rakyat jelata tambah keimanan, ketakwaan dan memohon doa kepada Allah tetapi mereka sendiri percaya bomoh Siam, bomoh India, Kiai Indonesia, bomoh Burma, pawang dan nujum Pak Belalang, feng shui dan pembaca daun teh.

8. Saya terpaksa kata begitu sebab telah berlaku di mana pemimpin Umno dibunuh dan dipotong 18 kerat kerana percaya kepada bomoh untuk jadi kaya dan berkuasa.

9. Jadi saya harap peranan “Menteri Agama”, isu agama, akidah umat Islam, cabaran serta tuntutan agama-agama lain yang menyentuh Islam wajib menjadi antara tajuk utama perbahasan di semua peringkat persidangan Umno tahun ini.

10. Bercakap dan berbahaslah dari hati ke hati sebagai ahli parti yang berjiwa perjuangan dan bukan sebagai pemidato kerahan yang membaca skrip Ibu Pejabat atau sekadar memuji dan memuja, gelak dan ketawa, melainkanlah Umno sudah jadi parti bangsawan dan sandiwara.

Wallahuaklam.

About Me

My Photo
I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).