About Me

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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).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Mampukah Anwar Menjadi “Unifier” Pembangkang?

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous tidak akan dilayan. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran yang sesuai. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan.]

MANTAN Timbalan Perdana Menteri Anwar Ibrahim, dilaporkan berikrar menyatupadukan pembangkang bagi menentang Perdana Menteri, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, pada pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Menurut agensi berita Perancis AFP yang menemu ramah beliau baru-baru ini, matlamat beliau adalah “menyekat Abdullah daripada memperoleh kelebihan suara majoriti.”

Anwar memberitahu AFP bahawa harapan ini mungkin menjadi kenyataan jika parti-parti pembangkang bersetuju untuk tidak bertanding melawan satu sama lain.

Apa pun yang dikatakan dan apa pun yang terjadi, apatah lagi dalam konteks politik semasa yang kabur, Anwar terus berupa orang terbaik untuk menyatupadukan pembangkang.

Malah hakikat bahawa beliau mewakili parti terkecil dalam gagasan pembangkang, berkedudukan hanya sebagai penasihat parti dan goyang kabur di segi undang-undang boleh menjadi beliau orang terbaik memainkan peranan sebagai “unifier” atau penyatu padu.

Pada pemilihan PKR Sabtu lalu (26 Mei), Anwar menarik diri di saat-saat akhir daripada bertanding jawatan presiden melawan Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail yang berupa penyandang dan isteri beliau.

Parti-parti pembangkang memerlukan pakatan yang lebih kuat dan padu daripada yang pernah dijalin sebelum ini jika mereka mahu menafikan majoriti dua pertiga BN. Matlamat ini tidak mustahil walaupun sukar dicapai.

Dalam sejarah, hanya pada pilihan raya umum 1969 sahaja pembangkang berjaya menafikan kelebihan kerusi dua pertiga parti kerajaan.

Tetapi ia berlaku dalam suasana politik perkauman dan agama yang sangat dahsyat di mana Perikatan cuba mempertahankan Perlembagaan dan kontrak sosial manakala Pas mahukan keutamaan untuk Islam dan orang Melayu dan parti-parti majoriti Cina seperti DAP dan Gerakan mahukan kesamarataan dan, justeru itu, menolak beberapa peruntukan Perlembagaan.

Daripada 144 kerusi Parlimen waktu itu, Perikatan memenangi 95 atau 66 peratus dan pembangkang 49 atau 34 peratus. Undi popular pembangkang mengatasi Perikatan dengan memperoleh 50.7 peratus berbanding 49.3 peratus.

Tetapi akibat peristiwa berdarah 13 Mei yang berlaku tiga hari kemudian, keputusan itu menjadi sia-sia kerana Parlimen digantung.

Gerakan dan Pas akhirnya menyertai Perikatan untuk menubuhkan parti campuran yang baru yang dikenali sebagai Barisan Nasional. Pas dipecat daripada BN pada tahun 1977.

Ini mungkin masa terbaik bagi pembangkang mencuba mengubah untung nasib mereka setelah kalah teruk pada pilihan raya umum 2004. Pada pilihan raya itulah BN mencatatkan prestasi terbaik dan pembangkang terburuk dalam sejarah.

Pada pilihan raya itu, pembangkang memenangi hanya 21 daripada 198 kerusi Parlimen atau 9.59 peratus bilangan kerusi walaupun undi yang mereka peroleh adalah 36.1 peratus. Undi popular paling sedikit pernah mereka peroleh ialah pada tahun 1995 iaitu 34.8 peratus.

Prestasi berbaik pembangkang selepas 1969 adalah pada tahun 1990 apabila gagasan mereka diterajui oleh Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah yang ketika itu memimpin Parti Semangat 46. Mereka memenangi 53 atau 29.45 peratus daripada kerusi parlimen dan 46.6 peratus undi popular.

Daripada aspek psikologi dan perangkaan, keputusan pilihan raya umum 2004 adalah luar biasa. Pengundi menjadi begitu taasub terhadap BN kerana dua faktor. Pertama menyambut era baru Abdullah Badawi, orang baik dan berlatar-belakangkan Islam dan kedua hadiah persaraan kepada Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Tetapi sejak itu, keadaan sudah banyak berubah. Abdullah telah memagari dirinya dengan penasihat dan pentadbir yang umumnya di luar kerangka Umno.

Dia telah membatalkan banyak projek era Mahathir dan menggantikannya dengan projek raksasa beliau sendiri seperti Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (IDR), Jambatan Pulau Pinang Kedua, Projek Monoril Pulau Pinang dan Wilayah Pembangunan Utara.

Jentera politik dan propagandanya secara sistematik dan terbuka menjalankan kempen menyekat Mahathir daripada bersuara dan menghapuskan legasi beliau.

Islam di Malaysia di labelkan sebagai “Islam Hadhari”, Mahathir secara terbuka mahu Abdullah disingkirkan dan parti-parti komponen BN, selain Umno, semakin lantang memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum yang mereka wakili.

Harga barang dan perkhidmatan terus meningkat atas persetujuan kerajaan yang tidak mahu lagi menanggung kos subsidi. Kerajaan mendakwa inflasi rendah tetapi gaji kakitangan awam dinaikkan hingga 35 peratus dan kos sara hidup (cola) 100 peratus.

Pengaliran masuk modal terus dari luar (FDI) semakin tidak ketentuan. Di masa yang sama semakin banyak pelabur tempatan membawa keluar modal. Walaupun kenaikan harga saham di Bursa Malaysia mencatat rekod tetapi semakin banyak syarikat menarik diri dan ada di antaranya berhijrah ke Bursa Saham Singapura.

Ini tidak termasuk perkembangan sensasi seperti pembubuhan wanita jelita dari Mongolia yang membabitkan penasihat Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan dua orang anggota polis Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK), penglibatan anggota keluarga Perdana Menteri dalam politik dan perniagaan, dan kadar jenayah yang semakin meningkat yang diakui sendiri oleh Perdana Menteri di Parlimen baru-baru ini.

Pendek kata di segi isu, pembangkang tidak kekurangan bahan untuk menyerang kerajaan. Sebaliknya kerajaan mempunyai banyak soalan yang perlu dijawab, termasuk janji-janji pilihan raya umum 2004 yang belum ditunaikan.

Soalnya, kalau pembangkang gagal memperbaiki prestasi, puncanya bukanlah kerajaan atau parti BN, tetapi ketidakupayaan mereka sendiri untuk mewujudkan pakatan yang kukuh.

BN tentulah akan menggunakan segala kekuatan dan taktik yang ada kepadanya untuk menggagalkan pakatan pembangkang, apatah lagi jika ia dipimpin oleh Anwar. Kepulangan Anwar dalam bentuk apa sekalipun adalah sesuatu yang tidak boleh diterima oleh BN, khasnya Umno.

Anwar bukan sekadar musuh bagi BN. Dia adalah musuh yang berkarisma yang tahu banyak rahsia dan taktik Umno dan BN kerana selama 16 tahun dia menganggotai dan memimpinnya.

Sepanjang kehadirannya di dalam Umno dan kerajaan, dia adalah anak emas Dr Mahathir. Tetapi hari ini, satu-satunya kepentingan yang masih dikongsi bersama tetapi secara berasingan oleh Mahathir dan Abdullah adalah menyekat kepulangan Anwar.

Ringkasnya, walaupun Anwar tiada berjawatan tinggi dalam PKR dan mungkin tidak boleh menyertai pilihan raya sebagai calon, namun beliau terus berupa orang terbaik untuk mewujudkan pakatan di kalangan parti-parti pembangkang.

Malah pembabitan beliau yang tidak terlalu cergas dalam PKR dan kemungkinan beliau tidak boleh menjadi calon pilihan raya membuatkan peranan beliau sebagai “unifier” barisan pembangkang sesuatu yang cukup menarik.

Friday, May 25, 2007





Orang Utans, Politicians and Bloggers

A Kadir Jasin

[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!]

HAVING had enough of a week of maligning by the bloggers-hating pembesar, I took a brief hiatus from the city yesterday (May 24).

I joined a group of nature loving Sarwakians, Perakians and a collection of other Malaysians plus a solitary European for an afternoon of bonding with our (or rather my) distant cousins, the orang utans.

The occasion was the symbolic handing back of a handful of Perak-born orang utans to the Sawarak State Government for eventual release into the wild.


Back to Sarawak in near future

It’s a story worth telling. It started some time in 1999 when developer Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar decided to adopt (or rather borrow) three orang utans from the well-known Malacca Zoo and nine from the Sarawak Forestry Department.

Mustapha Kamal, I now found out, is a closet conservationist and nature lover. He is now embarking, with the approval of the Perak State Government, on the development of the Banding Island in the Temenggor Dam in northern Perak as the gateway to the recently gazetted Royal Belum State Park.

Thanks to Mustapha’s corporate and personal financial backing (and now the support of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council) and the dedication of the staff of the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, in particular the good Dr “Dolittle” Sabapathy, the orang utans have not only been living a blissful life on the 35-acre Pulau Panjang in the middle of the Tasik Merah lake, but have also been joyously procreating.

So there are today 12 new orang utans, ranging in ages from two months to four years, according to Annuar Yang Ghazali, the general manager of MK Land Hotels and Resorts.

A swingging time at Laketown

The plan is to put some of the orang utans through the various phases of rehabilitation with the view of eventually releasing them in their natural habitats in Sawarak – the home to some 2,000 wild orang utans.

Receiving the orang utans on behalf of Sawarak Government was its Minister for Planning and Resource Management and Minister for Public Amenities Dato’ Sri Awang Tengah Ali Hassan and handing them over on behalf of the Perak Government was the State Secretary, Dato’ Abdul Rahman Hashim.

Personally, I have always had great affinity with orang utans and other higher primates. I think we are very much like them -- not the mischievous kera and the belligerent beruk but the orang utans, gorillas and chimpanzees.

I like to tell people that being journalist, I have greater feeling of affinity towards the orang utans and other higher primates.

A well-known businessman, who once worked with me in the New Straits Times, told me (in jest of course) a long time ago that, while the genetic similarity between humans and orang utans is 98 per cent, with journalists it’s 100 per cent.

Seeing how a lot of human beings behave, in particular the insecure and intolerant pembesar and politikus, I am happier being associated with and in the company of my orang utan cousins.


My orang utan "cousin" and I in 2001

Hopefully, by telling the story of Mike, Camelia, Baboon and other Laketown orang utans, this blog will be deemed less political and, therefore, causes less ire among the pembesar who are against blogs and bloggers while at the same time doing my tiny bit to promote the conservation of nature.

Now you know why some journalists gave up journalism in favour of politics and other higher callings. Unlike me, they do want to be associated with the orang utans, gorillas and chimpanzees!

Incidentally, a USM researcher who was at the function told me that orang utans are not alien to the Peninsular Malaysia. They used to range all the way north to southern China.

Unfortunately, thanks to the destruction of their habitats by European planters and white hunters, they became extinct. The sightings of the last orang utans in the Peninsula were recorded in 1850.

And I think orang utans make better ambassadors on Visit Malaysia Year billboards and posters than the pembesar.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


When Diplomat Speaks Like Politician

A Kadir Jasin

[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!]

I lOVE this man. He’s a hardworking diplomat. He can read human’s heart. He speaks highly of the country where he is based. And he sounds like a politician.

Though most of his statements are made in the Malaysian territory – Johor Baharu to be exact -- he was always full of praises for Singapore, the country where he’s based.

In his latest – quoted by Bernama – he described as baseless allegations that the formation of a joint Malaysia-Singapore (Ministerial) Committee to oversee the cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) would affect Malaysia's sovereignty.

I am talking about Malaysia’s envoy to Singapore Datuk N. Parameswaran. I know he’s a nice man. He’s even honest about what he’s saying and earnest about wanting to make IDR a success. I thank him for all that.

But he’s a career diplomat. He’s not a politician-turned-diplomat. As such his statements sound too political to my liking.

Or is he sounding like one because our politicians, especially those representing Umno, are not saying enough to comfort us that we are not selling out to Singapore?

Parameswaran said Singapore was not interested in meddling with Malaysia's internal affairs, more so dictating on how to manage the IDR, adding that the committee would only cooperate on technical matters.

"Singapore hasn't expressed any intention to give ideas on the IDR. But we're ready to share our expertise, for example, in river clean-up with Malaysia," he said. [This a direct quote from Bernama.]

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the formation of the committee after holding an informal meeting with his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, in Langkawi on Tuesday.

"If there're those who have that kind of thinking, it means that they don't know the truth. There's no reason why the committee should get involved in Malaysia's affairs. And they (the committee) don't intend to do that," Parameswaran told reporters after accompanying members of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce on a visit to the IDR.

In all fairness and openness, I must admit that I am one of those Malaysians who “don’t know the truth” and I harbour some measure of suspicion that Singapore is indeed meddling in Malaysia’s affairs.

I am saying this not because I hate Singapore. As I have said many times before, I even enjoyed my occasional visits to the island. I am saying this now because I believe in what our government has been telling us.

Dear Mr High Commissioner, did our government, our Prime Minister and our Cabinet not tell us that we could not proceed with the construction of the crooked bridge in our territory because Singapore objected to it?

If that’s not meddling, than what is it? Don’t tell me that it’s about the water mains, about the telephone cables and the way leave agreement?

If we can open our hearts and our territories to Singapore to site its reservoirs, to buy our raw water dirt cheap and now we are offering them a piece of prime real estate, why can’t they be more magnanimous towards us?

That, Mr High Commissioner, is because we a suckers for kind words, for friendly back patting and for praises. Singapore, from the diplomatic standpoint, is good at all that.

I have met and chatted with Singapore leaders. I even interviewed some of them including the Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, exclusively for the NSTP Group when he was Prime Minister. Yes, Mr Lee can be extremely charming if he wants to.

When my successor, Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad aka Kok Lanas, and his team of editors interviewed LKY 10 years later, Lee’s first statement was to recall the interview he had with me. That’s his way of dancing into your heart or putting you down.

So Mr High Commissioner, it would be wise, when dealing with Singapore, to temper our enthusiasm and our sense of trust a tiny weenie bit.

How sure can you be that Singapore will not use this open invitation to open another front to “impose” its will on the friendly, unsuspected Malaysians?

Anybody who is remotely familiar with the modern history of Singapore -- one that is lorded over by LKY as its supreme leader -- knows that Singapore survives and thrives by opening and closing fronts.

Mr High Commissioner, I don’t blame you for speaking favourably of Singapore. You’re based there and, as a diplomat, you don’t say nasty things about your host country.

Anyway, if I, in any way, offend you or misread you, feel free to respond. I still practice the right of reply. My plea to you, don’t use your vast influence to add to the chorus calling for the punishment and banishment of troublesome bloggers like me.

We are living in Malaysia where, despite our many races, religions, economic classes and myriad of problems, are much freer than in Singapore.

Just a thought Mr High Commissioner, we have 30 ministers. If they can’t help the PM to develop IDR, do you sincerely believe that one Singapore minister can?

Unless, of course, the Singapore minister is so good and so sincere that he could single-handedly bring droves of Singapore investors to buy up this prime corner of the old empire of Johor.

Unfortunately Mr High Commissioner, you didn’t sound so convincing when asked about the jambatan bengkok. You said: “Let both prime ministers talk to each other. And when they're more confident, they can discuss the difficult issues."

There we go again. No big “yes” from Singapore, no crooked bridge on our side of the land. And you say Singapore is not meddling?

Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, speaking to the Press in Kuala Lumpur, said that there were no specific negotiations on outstanding bilateral issues at the Langkawi meeting.

I rest my case. Jakarta is waking up. And I have to make sense of blogging to a group of traditional media marketing people who are assembled here under the banner of the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) Malaysia.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Dr M continues To Show Improvement

UPDATE, 17 MAY.

THE following is Press Statement issued by the National Heart Institute (IJN) at noon today, 17 May.

"YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad spent another uneventful night at the Cardiac Care Unit.

Dr Mahathir underwent routine investigation and treatment and continue to make steady positive progress.

The difficulty of breathing was caused by lung congestion associated with myocardial infarction. In addition, Dr Mahathir has an exacerbation
of underlying basal bronchitis of the lungs.

With the positive response, his medication and treatment is being
gradually tapered down. He is xpected to continue with chest physiotherapy and light exercises.

He is expected to remain at the CCU for continued monitoring and
treatment.

Doctors have also advised Dr Mahathir against receiving any visitors
apart from close family members."

Original Posting (16 May)

"YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad has continued to show improvement to treatment at the IJN. Following admission yesterday, his condition continued to be stable throughout the night.

Dr Mahathir had on Sunday been admitted to the Langkawi Hospital after complaining oif breathing difficulties. He was then transferred to the IJN yesterday afternoon.

Currently, doctors treating Dr Mahathir are happy with the positive response to the treatment. Today he is scheduled to undergo routine investigation and chest physiotherapy.

This morning Dr Mahathir, who is warded at the Cardiac Care Unit, had breakfast with Tun Dr Siti Hasmah. He is expected to be at the CCU for continued monitoring and treatment.

Doctors have also advised Dr Mahathir against receiving any visitor apart from close family members."


IDR: Singapura Ada Peranan Peringkat Menteri

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous tidak akan dilayan. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran yang sesuai. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan.]

TAJUK utama akhbar The Star hari ini ialah persetujuan antara Perdana Menteri Malaysia dan rakan sejawatannya dari Singapura untuk menubuhkan jawatankuasa khas peringkat menteri bagi membantu menjadikan projek Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (IDR) “satu kejayaan raksasa.”

Akhbar itu, antara lain, berkata: The warming of relations between Malaysia and Singapore in the last two years was given a further boost when the island republic’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledged to support the Iskandar Development Region.

Dua akhbar utama berbahasa Melayu – Utusan Malaysia dan Berita Harian – tidak menjadikan berita itu tajuk utama, tetapi turut menyiarkannya di muka hadapan.

Berita Harian, antara lain, melaporkan: Malaysia dan Singapura bersetuju menubuhkan jawatankuasa khas peringkat menteri bagi memantau pelaksanaan dan memperhalusi (memperhalus) sebarang cadangan berhubung kerjasama pembangunan di Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI), selatan Johor.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, berkata jawatankuasa itu akan diterajui sebuah kementerian supaya tidak membabitkan terlalu banyak pihak hingga menjejaskan kelancarannya.

“Jawatankuasa ini akan mengadakan perbincangan dari semasa ke semasa bagi mencari penyelesaian terhadap sebarang isu berbangkit. Kita akan umumkan kementerian yang berkaitan nanti.

“Ada banyak lagi isu yang mungkin berbangkit selepas ini dan kita tak boleh selesaikan dalam satu pertemuan ini," katanya pada sidang akhbar bersama rakan sejawatannya dari Singapura, Lee Hsien Loong, selepas mesyuarat delegasi kedua-dua negara di sini, semalam.

Abdullah berkata, Lee turut mencadangkan supaya satu kemudahan disediakan bagi melancarkan urusan keluar masuk rakyat Singapura yang bekerja atau melabur di WPI.

Utusan Malaysia pula, antara lain, berkata: Malaysia dan Singapura bersetuju menubuhkan sebuah jawatankuasa khas peringkat menteri khusus untuk Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI) di Johor yang antara tugas awalnya adalah memperincikan penggunaan kad pintar bagi memudahkan pergerakan keluar masuk orang ramai dari republik itu ke wilayah berkenaan.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata, jawatankuasa tersebut akan dianggotai oleh menteri tertentu dari kedua-dua negara mengikut isu atau bidang kerjasama yang hendak dibincangkan dan dilaksanakan.

“Menteri terlibat akan memperincikan keputusan-keputusan yang dibuat semasa perbincangan dua hala. Misalnya, dalam isu kad pintar ia perlu meliputi pelbagai aspek termasuk siapa yang akan menggunakannya dan bagaimana memastikan ia tidak mudah diklon.

“Apa yang penting, kita mahu kad pintar itu mudah digunakan dan dapat mempercepatkan urusan keluar masuk bagi kedua-dua negara,” katanya pada sidang akhbar di sini selepas mengucapkan selamat jalan kepada rakan sejawatnya, Lee Hsien Loong yang berlepas pulang petang ini.

Tahniah kepada kedua-dua Perdana Menteri. Dengan pemulihan yang begitu ketara hubungan dua-hala itu, kita bolehlah mengharapkan penyelesaian kepada isu-isu tertangguh yang kebanyakannya memihak kepada Singapura.

Ini termasuklah pembekalan air mentah dengan harga yang sangat murah kepada Singapura, tanah milik Keretapi Tanah Melayu di Singapura dan simpanan rakyat Malaysia yang tersangkut di dalam Central Provident Fund (CPF) Singapura.

Dan siapa tahu mungkin isu penentangan Singapura terhadap pembinaan Jambatan Bengkok dalam wilayah kedaulatan Malaysia juga boleh diatasi segera.

Tapi Hsein Loong dari awal-awal lagi membuat helah dengan mengatakan bahawa isu tertangguh sukar diselesaikan.

Perkembangan ini, mengingatkan blogger tua seperti saya mengenai tahun-tahun awal Pembangunan Luar Bandar ketika mana negara kita begitu daif sehingga terpaksa meminta bantuan negara-negara luar.

Sebab itulah kita ada Rancangan Felda Kampung New Zealand kerana negara itu memberikan bantuan teknikal membuat kajian awal projek berkenaan.

Itu pun kerajaan kita pada waktu itu amat waras dan cukup berhati-hati meminta bantuan luar demi menjaga keselamatan dan maruah negara.

Oleh sebab itulah ia memberi keutamaan kepada kerjasama dengan agensi pembiayaan antarabangsa seperti Bank Dunia, Bank Pembangunan Asia dan Bank Pembangunan Islam dan bukan dari negara individu.

Berita lain yang penting ialah kenaikan 15 sekilo harga tepung gandum yang berupa barangan kawalan. Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna, Mohd Shafie Apdal berkata kenaikan itu tidak dapat dielakkan.

Siapa pengedar utama tepung gandum di negara kita?

Menteri Kewangan Kedua, Nor Mohamed Yakcop pula berkata fokus Belanjawan 2008 ialah menjaga golongan "makan Gaji" agar tidak dibenani kenaikan harga barang.

Apa hal orang yang tidak makan gaji, tidak ada gaji, yang bersara, kerja sendiri atau menganggur?

Berita Harian menyiarkan dua berita itu sebelah menyebelah di muka hadapannya.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Be Fair, So What’s the Bumi Share?

A. Kadir Jasin

[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!]


THE Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, according to The Star report today (May 12) said that Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) must be fair to all.


He was quoted as saying that the bank should always be “fair and just” to all.


The Prime Minister said the bank’s requirement that legal firms dealing with it must have a Bumiputera partner with at least a 50% stake was never a government directive.


Abdullah’s statement came after the bank was similarly admonished by two other Umno and Government VIPs, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak and his cousin Hishammuddin Hussein.


The former is the Deputy Prime Minister and the latter Education Minister and Umno Youth head, who is famous for unsheathing the kris and swearing by it. Najib too had his moment of glory when he led a Malay demonstration in 1987.


On Wednesday, the Cabinet directed Maybank to withdraw the directive following criticism from various groups including the MCA, Bar Council and the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Following that, the country’s biggest bank reversed this internal guideline and said it would elect its panel of lawyers based on efficiency, performance and merit, and not ethnic composition.


However, the Utusan Malaysia reported yesterday (May 11) that Malay intellectuals and businessmen were asking for Maybank to retain the 50% Bumiputera stake requirement.


I congratulate the Utusan for daring to publish the report on the front page. I hope its editor gets to keep his job.


Asked about the Maybank action, Abdullah, who is also Finance Minister, said there was “no need to ask Maybank to do this and that. They know what is needed.”


But the Cabinet had earlier ordered the bank what to do, i.e. to withdraw the ruling. So does it mean the Cabinet acted against the wishes of the Prime Minister?


On my part, I would like to ask Maybank if it has been “fair and just” to all Malaysians. By that I mean 60 per cent or more of its loans and advances are directed at the Bumiputeras, 30 per cent at the Chinese and seven per cent at the Indians.


It’s unfair and unjust if Bumiputeras receive less than that because they make up more than 60 per cent of the population.


No, the figure should not include loans and advances to the government, its agencies and GLCs as they belong not to the Bumiputeras but to all Malaysians.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Taxi Driver, Jane and I

A Kadir Jasin

[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!]

AS I sat down to enjoy nasi lemak Tangling and teh si kosong on the rainy Wednesday (May 9) morning, a Malay man who introduced himself as a retired civil servant poured his heart out.

He retired as a middle level kakitangan awam some years ago. He is diabetic and his wife suffers high blood pressure. They were on the way to the University of Malaya Medical Centre for treatment.

After his retirement, he started a small contracting business. But after spending as much as RM15,000 a year for several years buying tender documents from government departments and agencies but not getting a single contract, he gave up.

He now drives a taxi. But life gets harder for taxi drivers as the government-owned Rapid KL improves its services and charges affordable fares. Less people use taxis.

So between keeping Malaysia’s image spanking clean during the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and losing their taxis, some opt for the latter and that, sadly, lead to many of them preying on their rides.

Later that day, while running errant, my supir saw a European woman desperately trying to stop passers-by for help. He did and she started crying.

She gave her name as Jane. She claimed that she teaches English in Bangkok. She went to Penang for a holiday and took an express bus to Kuala Lumpur.

As she alighted at Pasar Rakyat bus terminal, a taxi driver literally caught her by the collar of her shirt and bundled her into his taxi, drove her to Time Square and charged her RM300 or he would drive away with her luggage and her passport. She paid.

My driver gave her a lift and sent her to her hostel, which was around the corner from Time Square.

I am tempted to say, welcome to Malaysia, the home of Islam Hahdari. But I will not. We do not fool around with religion.

If Malaysia is not safe for visitors, it is also not safe for Malaysians. The latest crime statistics speak volume.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Minister of Finance and Minister of Internal Security told Parliament on April 24 that 198,622 cases of crime were reported throughout the country last year, rising by 41,163 cases.

So Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum was proven right when he argued with the police about the prevalence of crime in Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Royal Belum Sudah Diwartakan

[Posting terdahulu mengenai Belum adalah dirujuk]


A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous tidak akan dilayan. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran yang sesuai. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan.]

HUTAN Di Raja Belum (Royal Belum) yang meliputi kawasan seluas 117,5000 hektar di utara Perak telah diwartakan sebagai hutan negeri (state forest).

Demikian dilaporkan oleh akhbar The Star melalui perkidmatan pesanan ringkasnya (SMS) sebentar tadi.

Ia memetik Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohd Tajul Rosli Ghazali, sebagai berkata bahawa kawasan itu, bagaimanapun, kekal sebagai zon keselamatan.

Belum yang bersempadan dengan Negeri Thai adalah antara hutan hujan tropika yang terakhir yang masih kekal di dunia.


Pulau Banding- gambar daripada satelit

Dengan pewartaan itu, Belum kekal sebagai hutan simpanan yang tidak boleh dibalak.

Terima kasih kepada Kerajaan Negeri Perak, khasnya Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli dan bekas Menteri Besar Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib yang mula-mula sekali menimbang cadangan mengekalkan Belum sebagai warisan.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tindak Tanduk Kuok dan Ananda Menjadi Tanda Tanya

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous tidak akan dilayan. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran yang sesuai. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan.]

APAKAH muslihat di sebalik cadangan Ananda T. Krishnan, orang kedua terkaya di Malaysia, menjadikan syarikat gergasi telekomunikasi, Maxis Communications Bhd, sebagai aset peribadinya?

Menurut laporan akhbar The Star hari ini, Ananda menawarkan harga RM15.60 bagi setiap saham Maxis yang belum dimilikinya berbanding RM13 di Bursa Malaysia. Saham Maxis yang belum dimilikinya kini berjumlah 40 peratus.

Kalau percubaan ini berjaya, Ananda akan membelanjakan RM16.4 bilion membeli saham-saham itu dan selepas itu membatalkan penyenaraian Maxis di Bursa Malaysia.

Walaupun ini tawaran yang sangat menarik dan mungkin diterima oleh pemegang saham minoriti Maxis, namun apakah ia urus niaga yang baik untuk negara?

Mengapakah semakin banyak usahawan Malaysia, khasnya bukan Melayu, mengambil langkah menjadikan milik peribadi syarikat-syarikat yang dulu dikongsi bersama dengan pelabur minoriti?

Adakah mereka tidak lagi yakin kepada ekonomi dan suasana perniagaan di negara ini, khasnya kemampuan menggunakan Bursa Malaysia sebagai tempat menjana modal?

Apakah pihak berkuasa seperti Kementerian Kewangan dan Suruhanjaya Sekuriti akan membenarkan Ananda menjadikan Maxis harta peribadinya (private asset) sedangkan lesen telekomunikasi Maxis dikeluarkan oleh kerajaan sebagai sebahagian daripada dasar penswastaan?

Bukankah salah satu syarat utama pemberian lesen yang sangat berharga itu ialah Maxis disenaraikan di Bursa Malaysia agar lebih banyak pelabur boleh menikmati faedahnya?

Mengapakah usahawan seperti Ananda dan Robert Kuok (orang terkaya di Malaysia) kini mirip kepada membatalkan penyenaraian syarikat milik mereka di Bursa Malaysia?

[Kuok baru sahaja memindahkan kawalan dan pemastautin (domicile) asetnya yang ditaksirkan bernilai RM15.5 bilion dari Malaysia ke Singapura dengan menjual kawalannya di dalam PPB Berhad kepada anak saudaranya di Singapura. Berikutan penjualan itu, PPB Berhad dibatalkan penyenaraiannya di Bursa Malaysia.]

Sama seperti Fomema dan Pantai Medivest yang mendapat faedah penswastaan, Maxis juga mendapat habuan daripada dasar yang sama apabila ia dilesenkan untuk membekalkan perkhidmatan telekomunikasi.

Mengapakah di saat-saat pemerintah bercakap lantang mengenai pembahagian kekayaan yang lebih adil dan perkembangan ekonomi yang menggalakkan, langkah membolot kekayaan melalui proses “taking private” berlaku dan direstui?

Apakah atas nama perdagangan bebas, keuntungan modal (capital gain) dan semangat keusahawanan kita menghalakan proses pembolotan harta dan pemusatan kawalan ini?

Apakah ekonomi negara di era pasca-Dasar Ekonomi Baru ini akan menjadi ekonomi monopoli dan oligopoli di mana pemilikan kekayaan tertumpu pada sekumpulan kecil pemodal?

Apakah matlamat, iaitu keuntungan, menghalakan segala bentuk cara dan kaedah?

Apakah usahawan Malaysia seperti Kuok dan Ananda melakukan tindak tanduk korporat ini kerana mereka mengetahui sesuatu yang kita tidak ketahui?

Apakah pakar-pakar penggabungan dan pengambilan alih (merger and takeover) seperti CIMB Berhad dan ECM Libra Avenue hanya melihat aspek-aspek jangka pendek seperti keuntungan modal dan pendapatan yuran sahaja?

Atau apakah pihak-pihak yang mendakwa melindungi kepentingan awam seperti Pemuda Umno tidak lagi mampu bersuara kerana mereka sudah menjadi sebahagian daripada elit ekonomi dan perniagaan?

Lebih buruk jika kita tidak peduli kerana kita tidak mengerti!