Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Singapore Straits Times Publishes My Response

A Kadir Jasin

[The following is the reproduction of my response to the Straits Times which was published by the newspaper today, June 12. I e-mailed my letter to them on June 5. The letter was published almost in totality.]

[Anonymous comments will not be posted. Please use your real name or a suitable pseudonym. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libellous statements. And, if possible, don’t call anybody bodoh (stupid) ok!]

PM Lee is taken very seriously

By A. Kadir Jasin, For The Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR - The following is a response to a June 1 column, The Paranoia Of Suspicious Minds, by Senior Writer Janadas Devan.

IN HIS column, Mr Janadas Devan posed the following question: 'So how is it possible for someone like Mr A. Kadir Jasin, a former group editor-in-chief of Malaysia's New Straits Times Press, to suggest that the Malaysia-Singapore (Joint Ministerial Committee on the Iskandar Development Region) may affect Malaysia's sovereignty?'

I am talking about sovereignty in the broad general term. I cannot recall any previous instance when a national project situated in Malaysia's sovereign territory had the ministerial-level participation of a foreign government.

Unlike the Malaysia-Thai Joint Development Area in Kelantan for the exploitation of oil and gas resources, the Iskandar Development Region, to my understanding, is not a joint-development area. It is in Malaysian territory and is meant to attract not only Singaporeans but also investors everywhere.

By my definition, sovereignty encompasses the element of pride and dignity (maruah). It cannot be very dignified for a sovereign nation to have a minister from another country involved in a state-sponsored national project.

Your writer further stated: 'It cannot possibly be because he thinks (Mr Lee Hsien Loong's) use of the word 'consultative' means that the JMC will be a bilateral 'operations council'. Mr Kadir, a crisp writer in English, is too smart to believe such nonsense.

'But he, like many others in Malaysia, has raised this canard because, one, it carries a political percentage on the ground, and two, because they genuinely fear globalisation. The ridiculous fuss over the JMC's purpose is a stand-in for a generalised fear that the policies that must be put in place to ensure the IDR's success will threaten entrenched privileged domestic groups.'

Yes, I take Mr Lee very seriously because I believe that the Singapore Prime Minister, being a crisp speaker of English and an articulate person, would not make a mistake of using such an important term as 'consultative'. To my simple mind, Mr Lee had understood the Joint Ministerial Committee to be a consultative mechanism.

In short, the Malaysian Government, through the JMC, is consulting the Singapore Government on the development of the IDR. Unlike your writer, I do not take Mr Lee's words to be nonsense.

And even if, as your writer put it, I raised this canard because, one, it carries a political percentage on the ground, and two, because they (I) genuinely fear globalisation, what is so terribly wrong about that?

This is politics. The IDR is Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's major political decision - a gamble almost. He openly declared that the project was his brainchild. That it was his original idea. As such, to get the Singapore Government involved in whatever form is a political decision.

I do not intend to engage in hair-splitting with your writer on his very strong accusation that 'they (I) fear globalisation'.

I do not fear globalisation. But it is good to have fear. Fear is in itself a motivation. There is a difference between fearing globalisation and being careful about it.

Malaysia, like Singapore, is what it is today - multiracial, multireligious, multicultural and multilingual, and fairly successful - because it embraced globalisation long before the term became a mantra.

Surely your writer is not about to deny that Malaysia is ethnically diverse because it has never closed its doors to outsider influences and to immigration.

But your writer has chosen to ignore the fact that not only peoples but also governments are becoming more circumspect about the degree to which they should open their borders to globalisation.

Your writer further asserted: 'The ridiculous fuss over the JMC's purpose is a stand-in for a generalised fear that the policies that must be put in place to ensure the IDR's success will threaten entrenched privileged domestic groups.'

I am least concerned about the 'entrenched privileged domestic groups', whoever they may be. These groups are well-to-do and mobile. Even as we speak, some of them are investing billions of US dollars in Singapore's mega gaming projects or are transferring the control of their assets to Singapore.

My concern is for the majority, who are still poor and are unable to compete in a laissez-faire economic environment. Incidentally, these very same people form the core support for the present government.

The writer is a former group editor-in-chief of Malaysia's New Straits Times Press.

Footnote: While debating this subject, readers may want to give some thought to the “shocking” expose by the New Straits Times that Guocoland (Malaysia) Bhd, a company controlled by billionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, has made a bid to relocate University Malaya from Petaling Jaya to Sepang.

Quoting sources, the daily on June 12 said as part of the plan, GuocoLand will take the iconic site of the country’s oldest university and develop it into a commercial and residential township.

The proposal is based on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s private finance initiative (PFI) announced during the launching of the 9th Malaysia Plan last year.

(For full report, please visit the comment window of this blog).

UPDATE, June 15

According to The Business Times, the business section of the New Straits Times, GuocoLand had denied making a bid to have UM relocated
to Sepang.

The company, however, said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia that it was exploring opportunities to enhance shareholder value.

(Full report in the comment window).


bendera merah said...

Salam datuk AKJ,

Syabas datuk depa publish e-mail kat singapore...depa baru tau kut AKJ punyer aura...setengah tahun 07 baru bermula..jom kiter pakat perhati pasai 6 bulan pertama 07 mcm-mcm events sudah jadi...pakat tengok depa nak tuai apa lagi...tq

Daily Nibbler said...

Sdr Kadir Jasin,

I can't read half your reply cuz the wordings flowed into the dark background.

salimna said...

Barangkali boleh dokongsi bersama dengan Pak Lah dan Tun M... Salam

Daily Nibbler said...

Ahh...better now. Can read.

Well said, Sdr Kadir Jasin. We must be circumspect and careful about globalization. We choose what is the best for the country, the masses and not blindly embrace. We must be selective, wise even.

cakapsiang said...

I would suggest that Malaysian Ministers also sit in a Joint Ministerial Committee on Singapore's land reclaimation projects. Would that affect Singapore's sovereignty?

marn said...

two thumbs up for you sir kadir!
fight for the people (rakyat marhein macam saya).

Saya tak pandai nak menulis dalam bahasa inggeris yang crisp. Lemau ada la.

thank you so much for letting us to share our thots in your blog.

sakri said...

Well done.


Thank you to all for putting up with the temporary problem.

My sincere apologies.

Inilah masalah "orang lama" macam saya cuba menguasai dan memanfaatkan teknologi baru.

Terima kasih.

idris said...

Well done Datuk - your reply took a long time coming (which got some of us worried) but it's worth the wait.

Your points also address the flip-flop statements made regarding what the consultative committee is and what it is not.


Sdr/Sdri Salimna,

Ya, saya lawati laman yang dirujukkan. Itu laman anda?

Laman orang muda. Saya kurang arif dengan bahasa yang digunakan. Boleh membuatkan saya giler! Bahasa orang muda.

Apa pun, saya harap bahasa ibunda dalam bentuk bakunya tidak diketepikan.

Tentang sama ada apa yang saya hujahkan boleh dikongsi dengan PM dan Mantan PM, itu bukan pilihan saya.

Sesiapa sahaja bebas membaca atau tidak membaca blog ini.

Terima kasih.

cre8tif said...

salam datuk,

tadi terserempak dengan dato kat restoran raju, bukit gasing.

if only our para pembesar knows how to make sense of the PR/media exercise like how dato has succinctly put it across in a clear and crisp manner, newspapers wouldn't need to cut down so many trees thereby contributing to global warming just to address the government PR exercise to explain to grassroots of the IDR initiaves.

Lastly, I suppose it will be a futile effort for ST to edit out your concise reply; any omission would always be possible for commentators and readers alike to read from dato' blog.


The following is the full NST report referred to in the footnote of my latest posting.

GuocoLand in bid to develop UM land?

By Francis Fernandez; Sharen Kaur

GUOCOLAND (Malaysia) Bhd, a property developer controlled by Tan Sri Quek
Leng Chan, has made a bid to relocate University Malaya from Petaling
Jaya to Sepang, sources said yesterday.

As part of the plan, GuocoLand will then own the land in Petaling Jaya
and develop it into a commercial and residential township. The proposal
is based on a private finance initiative.

A company source said such a development is estimated to have a gross
development value of RM10 billion.

GuocoLand officials declined to comment on the plan.

If the bid is approved, the development in Petaling Jaya will
complement GuocoLand's planned RM1.2 billion Damansara City development

The Damansara project is due to be launched this year.

Guocoland's share price rose by 30 sen or 10 per cent to close at a
10-year high of RM3.26 yesterday.

The stock has gained 87.3 per cent over
the last six trading days.

There is speculation in the market that Quek may take the company
private. On being queried, however, the company told Bursa Malaysia last
Friday that it was not aware of such a thing.

GuocoLand has a 4,860-hectare landbank in Sepang.

Part of the land is being used by GuocoLand to develop the Pantai
Sepang Putra project, where it plans to build seafront villas and
waterfront bungalows.

A Hong Leong Group spokesperson also declined comment.

University Malaya, the country's oldest university, has its main campus
that sprawls from the heart of Petaling Jaya right up to the footsteps of

The Hong Leong Group had in 2000, donated 40.5 hectares of land at
Sepang to the New Era College to build a branch campus, while other firms
have proposed the setting up of a medical university in Sepang, in line
with the Government's plan to turn Sepang into an university city.

langit biru said...

GuocoLand in bid to develop UM land?
Sangat-sangat tak setuju.

cre8tif said...

salam dato,

alas, with the University of malaya's ranking dropping further it really won't matter a lot isn't it to relocate it to a much more reclusive location in Sepang ?

but on the other hand, should the entire plot of the current UM land being developed into a new township, I cannot help but imagine the chaos that will ensued - traffic / people / cars.

is prime property development so important until a historical pre-independence university like UM can easily be displaced and relocated to the remote part of Selangor ?

I will probably miss tea and roti canai at restoran raju should the heavily congested jalan universiti / gasing gets even more worst not to mention the worsening condition right at the exit to Federal Highway during peak hours/traffic =(

Malayu Hadhari said...

"GuocoLand has a 4,860-hectare landbank in Sepang...Part of the land is being used by GuocoLand to develop the Pantai Sepang Putra project, where it plans to build seafront villas and waterfront bungalows."

Some how I like the idea, Datuk Abdul Kadir.

What is so bad about moving UM to Sepang?

Apart from the present campus can be considered a historical 'site' there is more to be gain.

However my Questions:
What is the total land area of UM?
What is the present market value for it?
How do they plan to go about doing it?
If it does take off when will it begin and how long will it take to have a new operational UM Campus Sepang?

I won't ask the quality of workmanship, though.

khaldun Malek said...

The recent news about the possibility of University Malaya’s possible relocation to a site in or around Sepang is tragic. In light of the tremendous efforts made by the Government to help establish UNITAR – such as the offer of hundreds of acres of land in Perak for its campus -- one cannot but be flummoxed by news.

This is especially so when one considers the history of higher education in the country and the significance not just of University Malaya as the oldest and most established university, but of the campus itself – which has attained iconic status in our nations’ capital. UM is a national institution – it belongs to everyone and one can honestly claim that no educational institution – both local and foreign – has had greater impact on the country. In a city not known as a centre for culture and learning, the UM campus is the closest thing we have to a national landmark; a beacon of hope. One can argue that if UM did not exist then many of our other esteemed tertiary institutions would not have existed. Similarly, even today in this age of shoddy rankings and maddening KPIs, the University of Malaya is still the most prestigious name in Malaysian education, one whose cache is still recognized around the world.

And yet what is most tragic about this whole affair is not whether the campus is up for grabs or whether relocation is possible – it is rooted in the fact that the possibility of the UM’s campus being an object for financial opportunism could have even be considered at all. If any commercial or government entity thinks that this may be a possible cause of action then they have absolute disregard for the interests of all Malaysians and the nation.

If we think that this deal can be considered on economic grounds, then perhaps we should also consider selling off Stadium Merdeka, Istana Negara, Masjid Negara and every other symbol of nationhood we can think of in Kuala Lumpur under the pretext of making a financial killing. Where do we draw the boundaries? Or have we completely lost any sense of value and pride in our public institutions that everything now, in these times of “global capitalism”, has a price? Well if that is the case than perhaps those who feel that way may put forward the price of their daughters, mothers, wives etc! After all since everything falls under the rubric of being a ‘commodity’ surely there’s no reason why the most sacred human relations should be considered otherwise. As a reminder perhaps we should reflect on the fact that when even Hitler commenced the bombing of Britain, he made a point of instructing that both Oxford and Cambridge be spared.

D!Qgital Studio said...


1)Kita tak boleh bina jambatan dikawasan kita sendiri tanpa SG approval.

2) Nak majukan tanah sendiripun kena ada "Joint Ministerial Committee".

Heck Dato' even the whole cabinet power can't bring MU to Malaysia.

jaguh kampung !!

To see brave Malaysian visit:

Thank Dato' kerana siarkan my comment (dan iklan blog saya!!)

zam said...

I am totally against moving UM anywhere else.

Would you think that Oxford will move outside of Oxford itself just because it is a prime area?


If that the case, maybe we should move the Great Piza pyramid elsewhere..

We have a very short of history, unlike those Middle East & Western Civilisation, but if do not value our 'short' history & historical buildings, we end up with nothing that reminds of our old days.

Simon Wee said...


With your reply, I think you have frustrated the ex-president's attempt to endear himself to the power that be after his father's debacles. Keep up the good work.

civ96110 said...

As a former um student, I am aghast that this idea is even being considered!!!

If true, then this Quek has absolutely no respect for history and heritage. Only MONEY...

Lubok Melayu said...

tak keterlaluan kalau saya katakan yang datuk sedikit sebanyak telah mengubat hati rakyat malaysia, terutama di johor, yang terluka akibat tindak-tanduk kerajaan Pak Lah yang membabitkan IDR dan Singapura.

moga datuk dipelihara yang Esa dalam keadaan sihat walfiat dan berduit. kesihatan itu penting tapi dalam dunia malaysia kini, no money no talk.

terima kasih.


Sdr Lubok Melayu,

Terima kasih atas ingatan dan doa saudara.

Kita boleh maju. Kita boleh banyak duit. Kita boleh sihat dan afiat.

Tetapi kita perlu juga ada harga diri, maruah, akhlak dan keberanian.

Banyak lagi rakyat jelata yang miskin, daif dan perlukan pembelaan.

Terima kasih.

kedidi said...

Dato dan Perayap,
Betul ke sdr. Lubok Melayu orang Johor terluka dek projek emas Pak Lah itu? Masih ada hati dan perasaan ke orang-orang Johor?

Senyap sunyi aje. Kalau bising pun masing banjir hari tu ada lah sekejap. Tapi kan senyap balik bila kertas-kertas warna biru dan unggu beralih tangan dan poket.

Itulah kita kan...

Terima kasih.

langit biru said...

Pasal UM, saya tulis sangat-sangat tak setuju, sebab tak tahu apalagi nak tulis! Bagaimana idea minda kelas pertama dapat ilham sedemikian? Ilham sebegini takkan masuk surat khabar kalau tak ada orang politik di belakangnya. Saya kerap berkata kepada rakan taulan, atas nama pembangunan, pemodenan, dan globalisasi, kita khususnya orang Melayu mengikis sedikit demi sedikit nilai identiti Melayu dan sejarahnya. Kita semakin hilang rasa hormat, juga semakin hilang rasa malu. Dulu nak sebut Tongkat Ali, Kacip Fatimah pun malu, sekarang hari-hari keluar iklan TV, siap boleh pi Australia kalau menang cabutan.

Hari ini Kabinet meluluskan usul menggantikan nama Bahasa Melayu kepada Bahasa Malaysia. Hakikatnya, "Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa" bukan bahasa jiwa negara, kerana bahasa itu dikaitkan dengan bangsa bukan negara. Saya kira sudah memadai diiktiraf Bahasa Melayu sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan atau Bahasa Rasmi negara, sebagaimana agama Islam sebagai agama rasmi negara.

Kembali kepada UM, ianya warisan sejarah bagi semua rakyat Malaysia. Kalau tanah UM sekarang dimajukan untuk tujuan komersial dan perumahan, PERCAYALAH, HANYA segelintir sahaja yang dapat faedahnya terutamanya jutajutawan dan pembesar yang lupa diri,lupa sejarah! Orang macam saya hanya mampu bawa proton tawaf dan terkebil-kebil melihat bangunan serba cangkih dan moden tanpa mendapat faedah darinya.

Nak buat UM di Sepang, konon-kononnya nak jadikan Sepang sebagai pusat pengajian/universiti buatlah, tak ada masalah- sebagai kampus cawangan. Macam USM buat Kampus Kesihatan di Kubang Kerian! Dan tiada masalahnya kalau Kampus Cawangan lebih besar dan moden dari Kampus Induk.

Bekas siswazah UM ramai yang menjadi tonggak negara dalam pelbagai bidang pada hari ini, termasuklah puluhan PEMBESAR pemerintah sekarang. Apa pandangan mereka agaknya?

Melayu Lama said...

University Malaya is our Premier tertiary Education Institution. I won't go as far as calling it the Harvard of Malaysia, but it does carry some form of prestige.

It is an institution that has produced Prime Ministers (DR. M and Pak Lah), Politicians (good and lousy ones too), Bureaucrats of the highest esteem (not necessarily the best or most honest), Corporate figures and not forgetting the people who count but are often not thanked (teachers, doctors etc.). It is a shame to let business come in the way of heritage.

In the past there had been efforts to "develop" sites that have some form of heritage value to it like Stadium Merdeka for example. Such efforts were stopped by Malaysians who valued the heritage that was associated with such landmarks. University Malaya being not only the oldest but also the most respected institution of higher learning should retain some form of it's heritage. Moving it to Sepang or anywhere else for that matter should be viewed as an insult to the nation.

Perhaps the University's alumni association (which comprises of all kinds of big time Government/Corporate figures) should file a formal protest to such a proposal. Perhaps it is time Rais declared it a heritage site to stop those like Quek Leng Chan from going anywhere near UM.

Radical Scope said...

um to be moved to sepang, and the plot of land where it used to stand will turn into a housing area...

bad idea.

perhaps the land has a strategic value or something (not an expert in real estate, mind you), but spending a year in the petaling jaya area taught me one thing: anymore development there will make things worse.

and as one of the commenter pointed out, the land allocated as a new site for UM must be equivalent to the value of the land it currently stand on, plus whatever intangible value the university holds (name, historical value, etc).

malu jadi melayu said...

Tak payah banyak cakap. Tak guna. Pembesar melayu bukan dia faham. banyak-banyak cakap dia lena.

Tukar Universiti malaya jadi Universiti MCA siapa pun tak berani sentuh. Sentuh sikit kenanya punya.
Bagi tanah dan duit lagi ada.

Quek dan tauke-tauke Cina pun bagi duit juta-juta supaya semua orang boleh tengok UMCA. Naik tukar kampus ke KLCC pun mereka belanja.

Ini UM IPTA. Quek nampak duit sajalah. kalau tak Quek, YTL. Kalau tak YTL, Berjaya, kalau tak Berjaya IJM atau Tan and Tan.

Melayu? nak cakap dengan Pak lah pun terhegeh-hegeh takut. Padanlah kalau Melayu kena jual. Orang penakut tak layak jadi bangsa besar.

Ini UM. Masjid Negara pun boleh dipindah tempat kalau kena gaya. Melayu sekarang tak mahal harganya. Boleh disogok dan dibeli dengan fulus.


(From Bernama)-- THE Malaysian Cabinet yesterday set the terms for the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Level Committee for the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).

The committee will act as a facilitator to smoothen cooperation between the two countries to ensure the implementation of specific projects that have been identified.

It would meet once every three months, a statement from the Prime Minister's Department said yesterday.

However, officers from both countries would have meetings on a regular basis to monitor the progress of the initiatives identified by the joint committee.

The IDR in Johor, expected to be fully developed by 2025, will cost more than RM47 billion (S$21 billion) and generate economic growth of 8 per cent in the first five years.

Initially, the joint committee will hold discussions on the building of a railway link between Johor Baru and Singapore, and allocations for ferry services and water taxis.

It would also be looking into the introduction of smart cards to enable easier travel for people in the region and Singapore.

The committee, which will not have the authority to set any policy for the IDR, will be chaired jointly by Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, and Mr Mah Bow Tan, Singapore's National Development Minister.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had agreed to the formation of the committee in Langkawi last month. - BERNAMA

Orang Muo said...

Saya rasa apa yang dibangkitkan oleh AKJ ini ada kebenarannya, baru-baru ini Datuk effendi Norwawi ada mengumumkan pelaburan hartanah berbilion ringgit yang akan masuk ke dalam negara kita. Pertukaran tanah UM dengan tanah di Sepang mungkin salah satu daripadanya. Apa nak jadi, institutsi pendidikan bernilai sejarah untuk mendidik anak bangsa pun sanggup dijualnya.

cre8tif said...

salam dato,

just an update, I have read that the plans have been denied by Guocoland (M'sia) Bhd that it [the UM relocation] was misreported.


The Business Times section of the New Straits Times, June 14 published the following report:

GuocoLand: No bid to have varsity relocated

June 14 2007

GUOCOLAND (Malaysia) Bhd said it has not made a bid to have University Malaya (UM) relocated from Kuala Lumpur to Sepang.

However, it is exploring opportunities to enhance shareholder value, the company said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

Separately, UM said it has no plans to relocate its current campus and that it is not talking with any parties on the matter.

"UM would like to state categorically that the university is not relocating from its current location nor is it in any negotiations with any parties to that effect," Associate Professor and a director of UM's international and corporate relations office, Dr Khoo Boo Teong, said in a letter to Business Times yesterday.

The country's oldest university was responding to a Business Times article on Tuesday, which said that GuocoLand, a property developer controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, may have made a bid to have the campus relocated to Sepang.

Khoo added that UM is of great historical, cultural and educational value to the nation, and one of its strengths is its current location.

Ibu said...

Askum Datuk,

Seakan "reverse-takeover" in slo mo. Reminds me about the frog that died in slow, simmering, incremental heat.

Masih mudah lupa gayanya.

A valid fear indeed.


Ibu and others,

A frog dying a slow, simmering death -- that’s because the frog is too comfortable with the warmth. That’s because the frog is unfamiliar with the artificial heat. Some Malaysians are a little bit that proverbial katak.

Their little hearts and equally small brains are easily warmed by puji-pujian, sanjungan, hadiah dan buat tangan. They are easily overwhelmed by such mantras as globalisation, openness, level playing field, swap, private financing initiative, IDR and so on.

But those who understand, they’ll take advantage and they’ll keep trying hoping that the trusting frogs and toads fall into a deep, deep slumber lulled by their sweet lullabies.

I can’t believe that there’s nothing to the GuocoLand-UM story. There must be something. Somebody must have been flying the kite to see which way the wind blows. It could even be the work of a whistle-blower or an interested party trying to stake a long term claim to the right to bid for UM campus at a later date.

And I can’t believe that a company like GuocoLand and tycoon like Quek Leng Chan would make such a blatant move unless there’s a sort of “ok” or a “wink” from the top. I think I know Tan Sri Quek well enough not to take this whole episode, the denial and all, at face value.

This could be a subtle scenario building and mind conditioning. Remember, it took some effort to change public opinion when the Mahathir government decided to privatize and swap the Jalan Ampang Race Course. The difference is, the Selangor Turf Club land became the KLCC with its twin towers, shopping arcade, garden, children’s playground, hotel and a mosque.

UM campus is not a race course. But that will not stop greedy land grabbers from trying to roast the trusting frogs and toads with kind words and million ringgit promises so that they can have the ponds to themselves.

Can you image the boost to the PFI if a new UM campus is built in Sepang and its iconic site is turned into billion-ringgit mega city?


sekolah-x-tinggi said...

Salam Datuk,

Magapa nama "Tanah Melayu" telar ditukar kepada MALAYSIA? Rupanya kerana MALAY-Sold-It-All.


thegreatteadrinkerdownsouth said...

Salaam, Dato'

Do you think that the rest of the world will wait patiently whilst Malaysia's frogs and toads get up to speed?

Maybe that is why Malaysia only got 0.39% of total global foreign direct investment inflows (FDI) for the period 1999-2005 (Singapore got 1.61%).

And, maybe, that is why, 50 years after Merdeka, we are still asking ourselves what happened to the country's poor and why they still need to be protected.

The 2nd Finance Minister was in New York recently. He asked the major credit rating agencies to upgrade Malaysia's sovereign credit ratings, saying that the country deserved an upgrade. He got a polite brush-off. Obviously, the hard-boiled analysts at Moody's and Standard & Poor's are not too impressed with the state of the government's finances.

Moody's rates Malaysia's foreign currency long-term debt as A3, the 4th-lowest investment grade. S&P has an equivalent A- rating.

At the risk of being banal, I would point out that Singapore has the top ratings from both Moody's and S&P.

But, of course, all these are immaterial to the frogs and toads, are they not?

Are you telling us that 50 years after Merdeka, Malaysia is still not confident enough to take on the world and to surf on the cutting edge of globalisation? Why is that, I wonder?


On the lighter side Sdr Teadrinker,

I love King Harold -- the frog king of the Far Far Away Kingdom.

He managed to pull few surprises and not to mention laughters in his dying moment.

And I prefer Orge's swamp anytime to the sterile world-class Singapore.

Maybe I am a frog or rather a toad after all.

Thank you.

Melayu nusantara said...

Assalamualaikum Dato'
Inclined to believe the UM proposal is to test the water. To Quek it is a coup exchanging an immediate goldmine with a far-away land in Sepang he is already stuck with. I am extremely worried of this present government, the IDR farce, sports stadium in UK,not so SMART tunnel and now the UM. Please do nothing PM, please..

Indigo said...

Datuk AKadirJasin

Retterbadun -
Well, I Think That UM Should Have A New Campus Serdang.

(a hurried tingtingtingtingthingeey)
infinity tingtering ting ting thing - quick time!
....................-------------------?????????!?!?!?!? !
It is personal!
Business and pleasure

not many
not much
remains and will remain

Hey, KL will be
Kaa-yell la, you know
as the uni-sex lawyers
law-givers, law-takers, law-undead-ungrad
chit achatting with the dudes from
the faculties or was it
those jokers from arts
en the artsen studenten
bersembang semua

not many
not much
remains and will remain

From the dinning hall for breakfast
with uninvitated visitorscanvengers from
- fifth!! Good Griffey
well, as hungry do, hungrier ghosts do
It's the view, Datuk, that matters
Down those steps
Cross the one-way
Follow the path trodden by many - proud and unproud, unmissed and unmister
Bachelors without degrees like hisamuddin rais but
educated and wise - oh, wisemen from wiser-women
The old tasik and the rugby field
to my right and on my left the hockey pitch
across the little river
Up the steps to the red pejabat pos malaysia
I am late - again!
The that is which is foundation is gone now
Language and translators, now

not many
not much
remains and will remain

Young doctors listening to their music
old schoolmates and orang kem-poongs
beautyful bilal with hamilton's striker
as Supri Suparman listens to Wild West
- in an in dire straits, can i borrow your calculator
(it's a motorola, you now (the melted battery, i will forget))
wanting to move in into the fourth year dorms - alone with
your atlases, books and thoughts
ik heb mijn eigen kamer - A Links
as the perlis one khazimr(boots and hormones), cucu tok kenali(jackson browne), the loose hair raja trengganu(bowling) - naar lueven terug alstubleift mijnheer
hoe veel? nog eengs - ahh
hondred tweeentaghtic
merci beau-coup -
ahh, the roslan from pasir puteh
I learn to speak a lingo, nay, nay, een dialek
il wil het niet meer

not many
not much
remains and will remain

where is the...
or rather, what will remain
in Kuala Lumpur the heart of hearts
that is Kampus Kuala Lumpur
to built and be better in Campus Serdang
and is it by the sea?
oh, why should we worry about the climate
and ecology?
Capital Idea would be the rule of the day
While the salehbenjoneds wannabees
and sudirmans and copy-right cats
dotormahathirdoktorhasmah exchange kisses and hugs
say goodnite! you inhabitants and dwellers of townhouses and
high ended studios and suites, penthouses
enjoy the view and air of a city gone lonely
under fuzzy stars, in suhu terkawal rooms
will dream their triplex perplex dreams
Mimpi Malaysia!

not many
not much
remains and will remain

Shall we let the...
which or the which one, hey, Datuk!
them orang luar masuk kampung
while we live in a paradise
till some toxic wastes and weapons
hard and soft floating
and falling, floating and
falling - submersing, again - due to the forces acting on it
almost the density of water - H2O?
huh, she-it hahahaa, that beared tutor is a joker from where?
you ass grad? yerker?
competing in a
persaingan yang kurang perlu, kurang penting
untuk satu ratus tahun lagi
atau 2057?
we let them in and take their money
while they take the bigger profits?
when we should take the bigger
and they the happier guests?

not many
not much
remains and will remain

while my heart

not many
not much
remains and will remain

Dream Malaysia takes me far
far away as the sand as the wind blows
standing bending submitting sitting
with complements and praises and confessions and prayers
ameen all, please, please, please
i am a slave building my garden prison
just to be with you
drank and drunk by the fountain
urrghppp! i am not drunk! uuup!

not many
not much
remains and will remain

only the selawats and the salaam

not many
not much
remains and will remain


Red84 said...

did you read the preacher in and on m. bakri musa? I was peez.

If money is a defense then who will win the Wimbledon 2007?
I have a suspicious feeling this time, Datuk, that it will be Federer.

langit biru said...

Saya pernah menulis :
Ilham sebegini takkan masuk surat khabar kalau tak ada orang politik di belakangnya.

Dato menulis :
I can’t believe that there’s nothing to the GuocoLand-UM story. There must be something. Somebody must have been flying the kite to see which way the wind blows. It could even be the work of a whistle-blower or an interested party trying to stake a long term claim to the right to bid for UM campus at a later date.

Dato menulis lagi :
And I can’t believe that a company like GuocoLand and tycoon like Quek Leng Chan would make such a blatant move unless there’s a sort of “ok” or a “wink” from the top. I think I know Tan Sri Quek well enough not to take this whole episode, the denial and all, at face value.

Bila ramai oramg mula bercakap, lalu depa nafikan! Ini cara orang politik bercakap, bukan ahli perniagaan! Quek juga anak emas politician Malaysia, lambat laun, Quek ikut langkah rakan-rakan niaganya yang lain-"lari" dari Malaysia!

Dato' E orang hebat, dia naik dari atas bukan dari bawah! Kalau Dato K dapat City 1st hand, Dato E boleh dapat Tiara 2nd.hand. Itu hadiah mutaahnya kpd Mutiara 1st hand sampai RM57juta!

Harap Dato dapat mendedah dalang disebalik batu ini!

Diploma holder only said...

Dear all, Najib has responded to the UM issue (see story below). Still playing safe, our DPM. He said he will ask Tok Pa for a report. I was hoping he'd shot first and ask questions later. Like Ku Aziz. If someone makes a proposal to demolish Razak's residence at Lake Garden, would Najib ask first before commenting? Ish.

The article, which I also left at several other blogs :-

June 16, 2007 13:19 PM

Najib Seeks Explanation From Mustapa On UM Relocation

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will seek an explanation from Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and Universiti Malaya administration on the plan by a property developer to acquire the site of the country's premier university for commercial development.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he would ask for a report from Mustapa and the university's administration on the proposed relocation plan.

"I cannot make any decision without talking to the minister concerned," he told reporters after witnessing the departure of trainees for the third and fourth series of the National Service (NS) programme at the Bukit Jalil Stadium ground here today.

The government would get the feedback from the UM administration first before making a decision, Najib said when asked to comment on plans by Guocoland (M) Berhad, a company controlled by millionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, to relocate UM to Sepang in order to develop the site into a commercial and residential hub worth RM10 billion.

He said the matter is still being discussed at the UM administration level and had not been referred to the cabinet.

The company's proposal to relocate UM had met with objections and arouse the anger of various parties including former vice-chancellor Royal Prof Ungku Aziz.

An enraged Ungku Aziz described as "crazy" and "ill-bred" the plan to acquire and develop the UM site.

He said the developer had no sense of patriotism as he was prepared to offer a price for the priceless national heritage.

The UM Board of Governors had also asked the university's administration to write to the Securities Commission to object to any move to shift the university.

Its acting chairman Datuk Dr Zulkefli A. Hasan said the board was in the dark over the plan to relocate the university to Sepang.

The relocation plan was also opposed by the university's academic staff union, UM Alumni Association, lecturers, administrators and students.

2057dreamer said...

Relocating UM is a good idea, with new and bigger land we can create a new Cambridge in Malaysia so that we can help Pak Lah fulfil his 2057 dream.

“Our students and professors will dominate Ivy League universities and our own universities will be citadels of excellence for international scholars." Pak Lah


Sdr Diploma Holder Only,

Syukurlah Tuan ada diploma. Banyak lagi anak bangsa kita yang sekolah menengah pun tak lepas. Dari sekolah rendah pun dah ada yang tercicir.

Inilah akibatnya bila terlalu mengutamakan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang tinggi (high economic growth) tetapi membelakangkan pembahagian (distribution). Inilah yang menjadi pegangan "penganut" globalisasi dan penentang dasar growth with equity (NEP).

As for our DPM, I don't think I know him anymore. That's not necessarily because he has changed. It may be bacause I am too dumb to understand this new feel good era.

But was it not he who "swore" that the crooked bridge would be built no matter what just weeks before it was cancelled out of mortal fear of Singapore?

If the UM campus story is not true, GuocoLand should sue the NST or at least get the paper to publish an apology.

Was there such a demand?

Thank you.

Azmi Shahrin said...

After much huffing and puffing from all quarters, Pak Lah has come out in defense of University Malaya remaining in its present location. I am thankful for this decision. Its currently very accessible location in Jalan Pantai is a contributing reason for UM's continuing ability to attract the best and brightest scholars and academicians. If UM moves out to Sepang, our nation's capital KL will lose its only IPTA with a main campus. What a hollow city will KL become then!

Azmi Shahrin
Presiden of Faculty of Economics & Administration Post Graduate Club

malumalu said...

"I am thankful for this decision. Its currently very accessible location in Jalan Pantai is a contributing reason for UM's continuing ability to attract the best and brightest scholars and academicians." Azmi Shahrin
Presiden of Faculty of Economics & Administration Post Graduate Club

Best & Brightest? How can we put the best & brightest in a university than is ranked 169 in the world ranking, this is stupid. This will never make our brightest to be in the Ivy league as what PakLah dreamed for 2057 but anyway UM had stopped accepting the best & brightest when the NEP started, they only take in the "pretender" and that is how the university had dropped to 169 ranking. Great job to the NEP, Malaysia Boleh & Bodohland in the making.

bendera merah said...

"I am thankful for this decision."...apa raaa....ini semua wayang tinggi punyer production..setakat org yang malas pikir boleh la main wayang...in the first place bukak mulut mau ambik tanah UM gua confirm akan org tentang ...tak de kompromi nyer...so paper pun kecoh tanya sana tanya sini cerdik pandai um alumni,tokoh negara laa..pastu PAk Lah cakap no..hihiii propaganda sebijik mcm republikan maa...mau bikin wayang pi ngaji lagi la dengan Tarantino kaa..mau belit lagi speilberg boleh maa...lah oii

p/s: kalu pi tadika kemas kiter habaq sejarah UM kat budak tadika..pass tu kiter tanya boleh tak jual UM...depa mesti jawab tak boleh...

Melayu nusantara said...

Assalamualaikum Dato'

Since Guocoland denied the UM land swap proposal so it must be the NST creating the false reporting. Is there a way to make NST apologise?

worried said...

the idm is not going to make it without singaporean investors; pls dont piss them off

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).