Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mohd Najib: Pantang Anak Bugis Menyerah Kalah

A Kadir Jasin

UPDATE, 30 April – Ketika membuat carian lanjut atas talian mengenai orang Bugis, saya mendapati bahawa artis terkenal Malaysia – Ella, Ziana Zain, Anuar Zain, Noraniza Idris dan Lisa Surihani – juga berdarah Bugis. (Wikipedia bahasa Indonesia).

Lisa Surihani juga Bugis- Gambar Wikipedia  
Pun Ziana Zain - Gambar Wikipedia

DALAM majlis serius Invest Malaysia pada 23 April, Perdana Menteri (Datuk Seri) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, menyindir (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad dengan berkata beliau tidak berasa kesunyian.

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Soalnya Dr Mahathir tidak pernah berkata dirinya kesunyian. Yang beliau kata ialah beliau berasa keseorangan dalam usaha mencari jawapan kepada kontroversi 1Malaysia Development Berhad dan kes pembunuhan Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Keseorangan dan kesunyian berbeza. Itu kalau kita faham bahasa Melayu.

Semalam, dalam satu lagi majlis serius iaitu pembentangan laporan Pelan Transformasi Kerajaan (GTP) dan Pelan Transformasi Ekonomi (ETP) 2014, Mohd Najib membuat jenaka mengenai orang Bugis dan kapal mereka.

Merujuk kepada diri beliau sebagai berketurunan Bugis, Mohd Najib berkata, pantang orang Bugis meninggalkan kapalnya walaupun karam dilanda badai.

Panglima Bugis bersedia karam dengan pinisinya
Katanya: “Hatta dilanda badai, patah kemudi dan terkoyak layar dan biar seribu kapal ditelan lautan adalah lebih mulia bertahan dan meneruskan perjuangan daripada berpatah balik ke pelabuhan.”

Natijahnya Mohd Najib akan terus berjuang walaupun seribu kapal karam dilanda badai. Dalam lain perkataan, Presiden Umno dan Pengerusi Barisan Nasional itu sudah bersiap sedia melakukan harakiri “kalah jadi abu menang jadi arang.”

Itu tidak mengapa kalau bahtera Malaysia kita sekadar sebuah kapal pinisi Bugis. Tetapi bahtera merdeka kita lebih besar dan lebih agung daripada pinisi Bugis berbadan kayu dan berlayar dua.

Pinisi Bugis Tersadai
Atau apakah cita-cita dan aspirasi transformasi yang Perdana Menteri laung dan uar-uarkan itu seumpama pinisi Bugis saja?
Mohd Najib mengisytiharkan: "Sebagai kerajaan yang telus, saya sebagai Perdana Menteri dan ketua kepemimpinan dengan Yang Berhormat Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan disokong oleh para menteri serta anggota pentadbiran, tidak akan sesaat pun berundur atau menyerah kalah.

"Sebaliknya, kita akan berdiri teguh dan meneruskan perjuangan meneroka sejuta laluan baru demi rakyat jelata dan negara.”

Adakah kita boleh membuat kesimpulan bahawa Mohd Najib telah mendapat ikrar setia dan mati bersama daripada (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin dan para anggota kabinet apabila beliau berkata mereka “tidak akan sesaat pun berundur atau menyerah kalah”?

Atau ia satu lagi bukti kegemaran Mohd Najib melaungkan cogan kata dan menabur kata-kata yang beliau sendiri tidak sedar implikasinya.


Monday, April 27, 2015

PM Does Not Feel Lonely, On the Contrary...

A Kadir Jasin

LATEST, April 24 – Mohd Najib the transforming Bugis. “The Bugis way is that, a vessel taken to sea cannot abandon its journey.

This is pinisi - the Bugis "ship" that Mohd Najib would not abandon
"Even if a tidal wave hits, breaking the rudder and tearing the sail, and even if a thousand vessels are swallowed by the ocean, it is more honourable to stay and fight than to turn back home.

"As a transparent government, I as the prime minister and the head of the leadership, with the honourable deputy prime minister and supported by the minister as wells as members of the administration, would never for a moment budge or surrender.

"Instead, we would remain steadfast and continue our struggle, charting a million new paths for the people and nation."

IT is confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt that Prime Minister (Datuk Seri) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak is not lonely.

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In the first instance, nobody had said that he was lonely or alone. In the second, the man himself told the high-level Invest Malaysia Conference in Kuala Lumpur on April 23 that he did not feel lonely.

This is how The Star newspaper in its April 24 quoted him:-

“Well, I can tell you that I don't feel lonely standing here in front of you today."
He added: "And when so many respected international bodies, individuals, and institutions have confirmed their belief in Malaysia's success and have honoured us by rating us so highly - I don't feel lonely at all - in fact I feel in a very good company."

The not-lonely PM at Invest Malaysia Conference
I think he had intended to take a swipe at (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but as always, he got it wrong.

I have no clue where the Prime Minister got this idea that people think he was lonely. Instead most Malaysians know just how merry and jolly their PM is.

I think he misunderstood what Dr Mahathir had written in his blog on April 13. In that post, Dr Mahathir said “saya sedar saya keseorangan” (I realise that I am alone). Dr Mahathir was referring to his quest to seek the truth about 1MDB and the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Unless Mohd Najib is speaking Kazak (the predominant language of Kazakhstan), he would have realised that Dr Mahathir did not say he was lonely. He said he was alone. So when Mohd Najib said he did not feel lonely, he once again misunderstood what Dr Mahathir said.

Still we thank Mohd Najib for making doubly clear that he wasn’t feeling lonely.

How Can He Be Lonely?

He had just returned from leading a glittering wedding party of his daughter (with (Datin Paduka Seri) Rosmah Mansor) to Kazakhstan, which, according to Dr Mahathir, comprised some 300 merrymakers.

Also some 160 Umno divisional chiefs had pledged their unequivocal support for him. The Umno Youth had held him up so high up that he could see eternity. The Wanita Umno had wildly waved the “I love PM” banners and sang “1M4U”. I can’t recall what the Puteri Umno did. But I am sure those pretty faces too did something soothing for him.

The Macho Men and the Princesses
We have also not heard of his armies of advisers, consultants, special officers and hangers-on abandoning him. I would not dare suspect that any of them are playing “kayu tiga” with him.
The mainstream media and the Mohd Najib-linked bloggers (ULB) - paid or voluntary, “bangang” or brilliant – continue to singing praises for him and maligning his critics. But some of them are saying that plots are being hatched in Umno to oust Mohd Najib although this was denied.

So how could he be lonely?

Sharing Prosperity

At the same conference he said prosperity must be shared. (Read here). We have no problem with that except that in the last two decades Malaysia has become less equal.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting nowhere but backward. Even some in the lower middle class are falling off the ledge.

That’s probably why Malaysians are only mildly happy. We are ranked 53 out of 158 countries featured in the most recent World Happiness Report published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The Switzerland is the happiest country and Togo is the saddest.

Apart from 1Malaysia People’s Assistance (BR1M), Mohd Najib recently shared the wealth of the country with fellow members of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara by agreeing to a hefty pay rise.

Lower House members had their monthly salary from RM11,500 to RM16,000 and those of the Upper House from RM7,000 to RM11,000. It happened almost at the same time as the rakyat – the wealthy and the pauper – are making sense of the GST.

According to an economist/researcher, that raise catapulted our Yang Berhormats to the top one-per cent of the income band – to be exact the top 0.6%.

Income inequality is growing despite the economy expanding at a respectable high rate, signalling the failure of the wealth distribution in the post-NEP period. The lowest paid civil servants earned under RM1,300 a month after adding cost of living and housing allowances. The situation is worse in the private sector and among the self-employed.

Yet we were recently told by Rosmah Mansor that her hairstylist charged her RM1,200 for hair colouring at home and she blamed it on the GST. A society lady told me that its costs double that to do facial at a beauty outlet like Aster Spring. Today even men visit beauty parlours. Of course these are not the ordinary men in the street.

Even Men visited beauty parlour like this one
The 2014 report of the Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) showed that 72% of unit holders had an investment of only RM536. This represented a decline of 12.3% from 2012. The dividend they received was only RM45 a year or RM3.75 a month. 

And look at Tabung Haji, the pride and joy of Malaysian Muslims. The bottom 87% of savers have average investment of only RM567 in 2013 according to the UNDP Human Development Report 2013 authored by economist (Tan Sri) Kamal Salih, Dr Mohamed Abdul Khalid and Dr Lee Hwok Aun. Less than 40% of Muslims have accounts at Tabung Haji.

Then what has happened to Mohd Najib’s call on April 10, 2014 for better representation of gender, ethnicity and age in the Malaysian corporate sector? He said he would like to see a greater number of Malaysian-listed companies producing sustainability reports that include these features. Where is the update or is this another empty transformational promise? (Read here).

1MDB Stayed Away

The conference was organised by Bursa Malaysia with Khazanah Nasional Berhad and CIMB banking group being key participants. 1MDB was invited “to give its side of the story” but declined.

As a bona fide government strategic investment company it should not have shied away from the gathering whose keynote speaker was the Prime Minister himself. If 1MDB’s board of advisers, directors and management are so darn sure of their modus operandi and transparency, they should have attended the conference.

In another development, the company had declined to entertain inquiries from the media saying that “1MDB does not comment on speculation and market rumours.”

According to the report, The Malaysian Insider news portal had asked 1MDB to comment on claims that it had provided falsified bank statements concerning a subsidiary.

Maybe its President and Group Executive Director, Arul Kanda Kandasamy had learnt a bitter lesson when he told the Mingguan Malaysia on Feb. 15 (read here) that the talks of T.Ananda Krishman lending RM2 billion to 1MDB were “mere speculation”.

Then about six weeks later, on March 25, according to Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Ananda through his power company, Tanjong Energy Holdings, “had arranged the funding with the help of private investors.”

So what Arul Kanda said in the interview with the Malay newspaper amounted to lying. So rather than perpetuating the lies, it would be better for 1MDB to keep its mouth shut and open its books to the investigators.

I was taken aback when, a couple of days ago, several senior Umno leaders, including ministers, who were previously staunch supporters of the Prime Minister, told me a different story.

One told me that some of them had seen and examined 1MDB documents, and are sharing the information with party members to ensure no further damage is done to government finances and the culpable parties be held responsible.

So, while the Prime Minister does not feel lonely, Dr Mahathir too is not alone in his fight to get the Prime Minister to leave Putrajaya.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dr Mahathir Answers His Questions to Mohd Najib

A Kadir Jasin

TUN Dr Mahathir asked (about 1MDB, Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder and who ordered her killers to commit the crime.

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According to the mainstream media, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak answered all the questions (the RTM and TV3 way).

Dr Mahathir and his supporters said that were not the answers they wanted.
They did not accuse Mohd Najib of complicity in Altantuya’s murder but he swore by the Quran repeatedly that he did not even know the Mongolian victim.

So today, in his latest blog post, Dr Mahathir “answered” the questions he asked Mohd Najib about 1MDB.

Among other things Dr Mahathir noted that 1MDB has a paid-up capital of RM1 million with neither assets nor collaterals ended up borrowing 42,000 times more than its capital. It was able to do so only because of Government guarantees.

In other words, he said, it is Government which is borrowing the money. If 1MDB loses money, the Government will bear the loss. Yet the operation of 1MDB is not overseen by Government officers responsible for the management of Government funds.

Dr Mahathir also noted that out of RM42 billion debt that 1MDB had amassed as a result of asset purchases, some RM27 billion is still unaccounted for.

"These are all the purchases known. They add up to RM14.7 billion. So there is approximately RM27 billion left.
"More than US$1 billion was said to be paid to Petro Saudi without verification as to the value of this company or its assets.

"Where is the rest of the money?" he asked.

Mahathir had listed several purchases "as far as can be ascertained" which were made by 1MDB including:

1) Tanjong Energy (now known as Powertek Energy Sdn Bhd) for RM8.5 billion;
2) Genting Sanyan Power (now known as Kuala Langat Power Plant)  for RM2.3 billion;
3)  Jimah Energy for RM1.2 billion;
4) Seventy acres of land in Jalan Tun Razak (For Tun Razak Exchange) for RM320 million;
5) Four hundred and ninety five ( 495) acres of the Sungai Besi TUDM base (renamed Bandar Malaysia) for RM363.5 million; and
6) The purchase of  234 acres of land in Air Itam, Penang for RM1.38 billion.

He added that no one knows exactly where is 1MDB's RM2 billion which was supposedly brought back from the Cayman Islands and parked in Singapore.

Dr  Mahathir said the government also lost some RM25 billion in income opportunity by selling the lands cheaply to 1MDB.

"It should be noted that TRX land is close to land recently sold at RM7,000 psf.

"Assuming the market price is RM3,000 psf, the true value of this land is RM6 billion.
"The government has therefore lost RM5 billion plus because 1MDB paid only RM320 million," said Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir estimated that the government lost around RM20 billion in opportunity cost for the Sungai Besi land which he estimated to be at RM1,000 psf but was only charged RM91 psf for a total of RM363.5 million.

"It is this disappearance of a huge amount of borrowed money by 1MDB and the inability to answer questions regarding what happened to the funds that disqualifies Najib from being prime minister of Malaysia," Mahathir said.

Dr Mahathir asked why the 1MBD bond managed by Goldman Sachs cost more than was usual for Government borrowings. The interest rate at 5.9% was too high. Government loans usually attract about 3% or below.

In addition, he said, the 10-per cent commission went to Goldman Sachs which meant that 1MDB received only 90% of the money borrowed yet has to pay interest on 100%, raising the interest rate to 6.6%. Averaging at 6%, yearly interest on the RM42-billion debt is about RM2.5 billion. Since 2009 there has been no income from all the assets. And 1MDB had to borrow RM2 billion to pay the interest.

Meanwhile Umno sources said many key leaders of the party had seen and examined the 1MDB figures and are sharing what they know with party members to ensure no further damage is done to the company and the culpable parties are held responsible.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Jho Low Vs Khairy Vs PM

A Kadir Jasin

UPDATE, 20 April – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was willing to overlook the lavish lifestyle of Mohd Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, but had to speak up on 1MDB.

In his latest blog post, Dr Mahathir, among other things, said: "There are many things about his personal behaviour that I thought were not right. But I was prepared to overlook them, including he and his wife’s lavish lifestyle.

"But when he cannot explain where billions of ringgit have gone to and his involvement with questionable people in the management of 1MDB, I feel that he is not fit to be the prime minister of this country.

"I will explain about how he lost billions of ringgit in my next blog."


THE Penang-born international man of mystery, Jho Taek Low, dares to take a swipe at Umno for several reasons.

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In an interview with the monthly business magazine, Euromoney he labelled his critics in Umno as spinmasters. His exact words are - those Umno guys are spinmasters.

The magazine’s story was headlined “Jho says it ain’t so: Malaysian tycoon denies role in 1MDB “heist of the century”.

This is what Jho Low had said about the so-called Umno spinmasters. “I’ve never faced this kind of attack from all directions. It's just crazy, and these UMNO guys are spinmasters, they know all this sort of nonsense."

Firstly he may not have much respect for Umno having had the experience of dealing with some of its key leaders over the years.

Secondly the physical distance between him and the Malaysia jurisdiction makes him feel safe.

We don’t know exactly where this son of Penang businessman, (Tan Sri Datuk Seri) Larry Low Hock Peng, is.

Maybe Mohd Najib’s stepson, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, knows but he too is an international jetsetter and may not be easy to locate.Even if we can locate him, he may not want to give us Jlo Low’s address.

The Wolves of Wall Street's Riza, Joey McFarland and Jho Low

We can ask Paris Hilton but she may report us to the US Justice Department for international harassment and that would not be good for us.

We could try his Arab friends but they may say “insya-Allah” (God willing) and never get back to us. I once nearly missed a flight out of an Arab country because my government-assigned driver and guide said “insya-Allah” profusely but did not turned up the next morning. They overslept.

Even if Jho Low said he would come back, there is no guarantee that the authorities would be able to pin him down. Remember he was a smooth operator until his cover was blown during the 2013 general election campaign. Also the investigators may deliberately not ask him certain sensitive questions so that he could be let off the hook.

A young Indian Malaysian entrepreneur told me that Jho Low is located in Hong Kong. Phew…what a relief if that’s true. If he is in Hong Kong, we could use the services of the triads to track him down. His Hong Kong company is called Jynwel Capital Limited.

If Home Minister, (Datuk Seri) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, seems to know the internationally wanted alleged gambling kingpin, Phua Wei Seng aka Paul Phua, well enough to vouch for him in a letter to the FBI, I am sure it will not be a hassle for us to find a totally respectable and dependable triad chief in Hong Kong to track down Jho Low. Or as a quid pro quo, we can ask the FBI to help.

Paul Phua: Ahmad Zaid Vouched for him

Thirdly (or rather firstly) Jho Low dares to lampoon Umno because Mohd Najib himself regularly lampoons his party people. For instance, he called paid Umno bloggers “bangang” (stupid). He admitted that there are apple polishers and “jemuan” (undesirable people) in the party. He even labelled people whom he considered as ungrateful to the government “haram jadah” (bastards). So what’s so terribly offensive if Jho Low followed suit by labelling his critics as in Umno as spin masters?

Jho Low calling Umno people who accused him of manipulating 1MDB as spinmasters is actually very mild. It is a lot more respectable than being called “bangang”.

Fourthly, since Mohd Najib had openly cleared him of wrongdoing (or rather involvement with 1MDB) he has a strong reason accuse Umno of gunning after him.

In a written reply to a query by Wangsa Maju PKR member of Parliament, Dr Tan Kee Kwong, last month Mohd Najib told Dewan Rakyat that “Mr Low Taek Jho has never worked with 1MDB and all decisions and dealings of 1MDB were was done by the management and board of directors.”

How dare those Umno gals and guys, including Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin, not believe what their boss had said in Parliament about Mr Low?
Are they saying they don’t believe the Prime Minister? Worse still are they siding with (Tun) Dr Mahathir who wants Jho Low’s role in 1MDB probed?

Or are Umno leaders in such a state of confusion that they don’t know what to do anymore? They had gathered to support their boss. They had sung and danced in praise of him. They pledged their undying love and affection. They carried him so high that he he appeared "gayat" because from that lofty height he could see eternity.

Being "julang" so high that the PM could see eternity
 But why still ask for Jho Low to be investigated when Mohd Najib had cleared him, not in the lowly roadside stall, but in the august house of Parliament?

By blaming the Umno spinmasters Jho Low had portrayed some elements in Umno as not respecting Mohd Najib. This amounts to pitting the Umno President against members of his own party.

Then again, Jho Low could be chest deep in the 1MDB muck. He may not have worked with 1MDB and that all 1MDB decisions and dealings were done by the management and board of directors, but there was nothing to stop him from acting as a fee-earning agent or facilitator. 

Abdul Razak Baginda brokered for Defence Ministry
Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda too did not work for the Defence Ministry and, I am sure that all decisions and dealings at the ministry were done by Defence Minister and his generals, but that did not stop Abdul Razak from acting as a fee-earning agent for the purchase of the Scorpéne-class submarines. He reputedly earned some US$200 million in commission for brokering the US$2-billion deal.

So we still have to be aware and seek the truth about what Jho Low had said about himself in the Euromoney interview and his role in 1MDB.

He accused the Umno’s spinmasters of playing the Bumiputera card by portraying him as "Chinaman (who) stole the money and blew it on alcohol."


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Engkau Tidak Keseorangan

A Kadir Jasin

(Puisi buat orang tua kita, Tun Dr Mahathir)

ENGKAU tidak keseorangan
Suaramu tidak hilang dalam kebisingan
Amanatmu tidak boleh disekat dihalang
Atau dilenyapkan oleh genderang perang.

Biarkan mereka meniupkan nafiri
Mendabik dada menunjuk berani
Biarkan mereka julang sang dewata
Biarkan mereka bersumpah setia
Menyanyikan lagu-lagu cinta
Sambil berkata:
“Kami cintakanmu sang dewata.”

Biarkan dia dijulang sejuta manusia
Biarkan dia disanjung demi kuasa
Biarkan dia dipuja kerana wang berjuta
Kerana engkau lebih besar daripada itu
Engkau tidak perlu puji dan puja palsu.

Engkau tidak keseorangan
Suaramu tidak hilang dalam keriuhan
Amanatmu tidak pudar kerana cemuhan
Atau dilenyapkan oleh sejuta tuduhan.

Biarkan mereka mengutuk mencacimu
Biarkan mereka menyumpah seranah namamu
Memanggilmu orang tua gila
Kerana azammu membela bangsa dan negara
Kerana pedulimu kepada rakyat jelata.

Biarkan mereka mendabik dada
Biarkan mereka tunjuk perkasa
Kerana kekuatanmu bukan pada senjata
Bukan pada penyokong palsu berjuta
Bukan pada kedudukan dan kuasa
Tetapi pada azam sekeras waja
Pada minda yang tiada taranya.

Engkau keseorangan ..bersendirian?

Jauh sekali, umpama air dengan api
Engkau punya ramai kawan dan teman
Engkau punya anak-anak yang cintanya sejati
Generasi yang engkau didik dan besarkan
Dengan idealisme dan perjuangan
Merekalah bala tenteramu
Merekalah pengarak panji-panjimu
Merekalah peniup nafirimu
Merekalah pemalu genderang perangmu.

Perjuangan-mu belum selesai
Bahtera kita dilanda ombak badai
Bahtera merdeka pusaka ibunda
Yang kita bina dengan keringat dan air mata
Berdosalah kita seandainya ia terkandas
Dirampas dirampok tangan-tangan ganas.

Anak-anakmu masih ingat luahan hatimu
“....Tidak ada yang lebih menyedihkan
dari membiarkan bangsaku dihina
Air mata tiada ertinya
Sejarah silam tiada maknanya
Sekiranya bangsa tercinta terpinggir
Dipersenda dan dilupakan.”

Perjuanganmu belum selesai
Jangan biarkan hati anak-anakmu terlerai
Jangan biarkan negara kita hancur berkecai
Insya-Allah hasrat murni kita akan tercapai.

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).