Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kongres PKR: Harapan Barua yang berlambangkan Sanggul Dewa Hindu

Hujung minggu ini, ahli-ahli PKR akan sekali lagi dipermain-mainkan oleh Brader Anwar Bin Ibrahim yang masih berangan-angan untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri.

Beliau dan konco-konconya akan menyalahkan anasir-anasir kerajaan yang kononnya telah menggagalkan cubaan PKR untuk memujuk penyokong-penyokong kerajaan dari Sabah untuk melompat parti. Inilah kononnya sebab mengapa Projek 916 gagal.

Sebenarnya tarikh 16 September 2008 bukan dibuat oleh PAS atau DAP. Ianya keluar sendiri dari mulut Brader Anwar Bin Ibrahim. Projek 916 adalah tarikh yang diidamkan sendiri oleh Anwar. Ia merupakan "self-imposed deadline".

Sebenarnya mengikut sumber, Anwar telah cuba memujuk penyokong-penyokong kerajaan untuk berpaling tadah dengan menjanjikan habuan wang yang besar. Wang tersebut sepatutnya dibiayai oleh pelabur-pelabur asing yang telah dipujuk oleh Anwar untuk mengeluarkan wang mereka dari Malaysia sejak tahun lepas. Sebab itulah negara kita mengalami pengeluaran FDI yang besar sejak tahun lepas. Pelabur-pelabur asing tersebut akan memasukkan semula wang mereka sekiranya Anwar berjaya. Pelabur-pelabur asing tersebut akan disediakan projek oleh PKR yang akan memastikan pulangan yang besar. Sebagai balasan, Anwar akan menggunakan sebahagian wang tersebut untuk membiayai Projek 916.

Malangnya, ekonomi global merudum di luar jangkaan Anwar serta juga pelabur-pelabur asing yang terbabit. Pelabur-pelabur tersebut kehilangan wang yang besar kesan daripada krisis sub-prima. Ini semua berlaku sebelum bulan September 2008 yang lalu.

Itulah sebab utama kenapa Projek 916 gagal. Projek 916 gagal kerana Brader Anwar Bin Ibrahim gagal mendapatkan sumber kewangan yang diharapkan untuk membiayai penyokong-penyokong kerajaan yang sepatutnya melompat parti. Sumber pembiayaan tersebut (iaitu pelabur-pelabur asing) telah kehilangan wang mereka akibat krisis kewangan dunia.

Salah satu lagi strategi Anwar untuk menggula-gulakan ahli-ahli politik Sabah ialah menjanjikan portfolio baru Menteri Petroleum akan diberi kepada ahli Parlimen dari Sabah. Dengan yang demikian, pandai-pandailah Menteri Petroleum tersebut menggunakan dana yang diagihkan oleh Kementerian Petroleum. Nak dijadikan cerita, harga petroleum juga telah jatuh. Kurang menariklah hasil Menteri Petroleum nanti.

Kita akan terus mendengar rhetorik Brader Anwar Bin Ibrahim pada Kongres PKR kali ini. Penyokong-penyokong PKR akan sekali lagi diperbodohkan oleh Anwar.

Tema Kongres PKR kali ini memang tepat sekali: Harapan Barua (a.ka. Harapan Baru Anwar, bermaksud harapan bagi talibarut kuasa asing).

Lambang Kongres PKR kali ini telah ditaja oleh Hindraf. Ianya berlambangkan sanggul dewa Hindu.

Logo PKR sendiri berlambangkan satu mata, seperti juga lambang Dajjal yang bermata satu.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Let’s face the fact: Malays are the least racist of them all

Malaysia is a multi-racial society. Of the 27.5 million population, 53.3% are Malays, 26.0% Chinese, 7.7% Indians, 11.8% Other Bumiputeras and 1.2% others. We are also a multi-religious society, with 60.4% Muslims, 19.2% Buddhists, 9.1% Christians, 6.3% Hindus and 5.0% others. (Source: Web)

The above statistics itself is very telling. Although all Malays are by definition Muslims, there are people of other ethnicity who are also Muslims. On the other hand, not all Indians are Hindus. In fact, almost 20% of Malaysian Indians are either Muslims or Christians.

Lately there have been plenty of debates in which the non-Malays tend to indicate that the Malays are the racist lot. I beg to differ.

Historically, the Malay Peninsula population comprise of mainly Malays. During the British occupation, by design and using their divide and conquer doctrine, the British allowed influx of immigrants from China and India to settle in the Peninsula. Unfortunately, nobody keeps track of the actual number these immigrants whose descendants now ended up as Malaysian citizens. Maybe, if we were to conduct an actual and detailed census, almost all of Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indians would have less than 200 years of ancestry history in what is now known as Malaysia. During the occupation, the British occupiers had managed to shrink the Malay population to less than 60%. (In fact Singapore, which was previously part of the Johor Sultanate, the Malay population has shrunk to 13.6%, with the Chinese dominating at 75.2%. They have also changed the history to now state that it was Stamford Raffles who founded Singapore, and not Sang Nila Utama).

Fortunately the Malays have the political control of the country. It is a known fact that the economy is mostly controlled by the Chinese. It was even worse before the New Economic Policy. The NEP had a beneficial impact in that the Malays (53.3% of the population) now have 18% of the Malaysian economic cake.

If we look at the Federal and State Government agencies, I would say that the Malays, Chinese and Indians are fairly represented. However, it is noted that the Chinese are largely reluctant to work with the Government or with the Government agencies as they would prefer to work with the private sector.

In the private sector, almost all of the Malay-controlled organisations would have Chinese and/or Indians in the top management level. Just look at DRB-HICOM, MMC, AmInvestment, Syabas, Ranhill, Scomi and many others. The same goes to Government-linked companies such as Tenaga, Telekom, Khazanah, Sime Darby, Proton, MAS, UEM, UMW, Maybank, MISC, CIMB, RHB, Petronas and others. Chinese and Indians would have their people occupying top level posts in those Malay-controlled organisations.

Even in Malaysia’s top regulatory agencies such as Bank Negara and Securities Commission, the Chinese and Indians are well represented in the top management as well as the middle management. Other agencies, Bursa Malaysia, MIDA, for example would also have good level of non-Malay representations.

On the other hand, we hardly see Malays being given meaningful top level posts in Chinese or Indian-controlled companies and organisations. Not Public Bank, not IOI, not YTL, not Berjaya, not Resorts World, not Star, not Selangor Pewter, not Oriental, not Hong Leong, not Multi-Purpose, not TA. And the list goes on. In fact, MCA is reluctant to make public the figures on racial composition in top level management position of Chinese-controlled companies. The statistics would surely put them in a bad light.

Indian-controlled companies are not spared. Look at Petra, for example. Another example would be Westport, controlled by Gnanalingam. You would see a significant number of the employees in Westport to be Indians. In fact, the Indians tend to be more racist, in the sense that they would have their kind to control almost everything in any Indian controlled organisation.

If we look further and examine the vendors who are servicing the Chinese and Indian controlled companies, you will hardly see any Malays. The Chinese controlled companies will give business to Chinese vendors with almost zero Malay top management level employees. The Indian controlled companies will support their Indian vendors with almost 100% Indian employees.

In most of the Chinese and Indian-controlled companies, the Malays are there as mere “Government-liaison officers”. The Malays are to ensure that the company operations which would require approval and/or communications with the Government agencies run smoothly. These liaison personnel are generally well paid, and given high post, and introduced as top level management personnel.

In Multi-National Companies, the Chinese would thrive. The Chinese would tend to clique with themselves and bad mouth about the Malays. The Malays would generally end up as being marginalised in MNCs, not because of their poor performance, but because the mostly non-Malay top level personnel would overlook their potential.

The Chinese would only look up to the Malay if the he is in approval-authority position. Otherwise, they would not give a damn. (Unless, may be, if you are rich enough to get their attention. Then again, they may want some business from you).

So, when Khalid Ibrahim appointed a Chinese to helm PKNS, I really wondered whether he was cognisant of the facts on the ground. As a former CEO of PNB and Guthrie, Khalid Ibrahim should know the game well. Once you appoint Chinese in the top helm, they will ensure that a lot of Chinese vendors would be cannibalising procurements from the Malay Bumiputera entrepreneurs. This happened even in GLCs where the procurement officers are Chinese.

The Chinese and the Indians are crying for a Bangsa Malaysia. In order for us to achieve that, we should firstly abandon the Chinese and Indian schools, and settle with National school in which all the major languages are taught.

Most Chinese who are educated at Chinese schools tend to be racist. They will clique with themselves in the office, and speak Chinese in front of other races. We also need some hard statistics on the percentage of Chinese students enrolled in Chinese schools. The numbers would be alarming. The way Penang DAP is controlling the information (by giving them out only to Chinese newspapers), the Chinese would become more racist and anti-Malay.

The Indians, on the other hand, are racist by culture and upbringing. The Hindus have their own castes. Indians who are Christians tend to behave as if they are better being than the other Indians. The Ceylonese tends to behave like they are better being than the continental Indians. The Sikhs from Punjabi would not want to be associated with those originating from Bengal. And the list goes on.

The Hindraf is violently racist. They are only 6.3% of the Malaysian population, but they acted as if they are the Bumiputera in this country. As the name suggests, Hindraf objective is to fight for the rights for the Indians, they are prepared to take the necessary action (including force) to secure the rights. I will never forget their vile memorandum to the Queen. And they dare say that the Malays as the ones who are racists. They, inter alia, made an absurd claim that the Malays committed genocide against the Malaysian Indians.

The Hindraf modus operandi was to use their strength in numbers. They would only organise something with a large number of their supporters. They will not organise something with less than five persons. And they will ensure that their fellow Indian reporters would be there to cover the stories.

You may have noticed that the Hindraf stories and other issues against the Malays were very well covered by the newspapers and popular online news websites. You may also notice that most of the stories were written by Indian journalists who are inclined to support this movement. And look at the senior journalists in mainstream newspapers: We have Gunasegaram at The Star, we previously had Brendan at NST (Brendan used NST to bash Mahathir, and Mahathir’s policies in strengthening the Malays economic position), Shanmugam at The Edge and Financial Daily (he wrote about dismantling 30% Bumiputera requirement recently), Baradan Kuppusamy at Malaysian Insider, Jayasankaran at Business Times Singapore, senior writers at The Star, The Edge, Sun, Financial Daily, Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider and others. When they write, they think of themselves as Indian first, and Malaysian second.

They also have prominent supporters such as Ambiga, President of the Bar Council, Ramon Navarantam and others, who will echo and make louder calls for “racial indiscrimination”. Some Indian judges have now started to make judgements that were leaning towards “the other party”.

Unfortunately too, the Chinese and Indians who reside overseas to work would more often than not be fierce critiques of Malaysia. Those residing in Singapore would condemn Malaysia to the maximum. Journalists working for Singapore Straits Times, Singapore Business Times, AP, Reuters etc would use their journalistic skills to belittle Malaysia (or Malays) at the slightest opportunity. Just see how far they will try to mock and ridicule the latest Fatwa on yoga. Just see how much they were “hurt” by the latest ruling which is only applicable to Muslims.

In the meantime, the Malays are in defensive mode. No thanks to Pak Lah, who cannot even handle internal bickering in his own party. No thanks to Anwar, whose main aim is to be the Prime Minister, no matter what damage he has done to the Malays (with his rhetoric of Ketuanan Rakyat vs Ketuanan Melayu). No thanks to Hadi Awang, who would prefer to work with vocally anti-Islam DAP and the Hindraf sympathisers rather than UMNO.

The Malays should reclaim prominent positions as senior journalists in mainstream media. The Malays should reclaim prominent positions in the Bar Council. The Malays should also articulate their position clearly in alternative media such as the internet.

This is not because of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy). But this more of upholding the Malay dignity (maruah) and spirit enshrined the Constitution.

So, let us face the fact: The Malays are the least racist of them all. Because on average, the Chinese are actually racist. Because by and large, most Indians are more racist then the Chinese. And because most Malays are, by culture and religion, very tolerant against the other races. The Malaysian racial harmony exists because the majority Malay population embrace a culture of give and take. I hope that this culture of tolerance will continue. But the Chinese and Indians should not continue to take advantage of the tolerance any longer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kenapa tidak menyiarkan komen Jurublog?

Kadangkala Jurublog melayari laman sesawang (website) Tujuan Jurublog adalah untuk mengetahui rhetorik-rhetorik baru beliau mengenai isu semasa.

Sebagai seorang yang selalu tidak bersependapat dengan tindakan dan rhetorik Anwar, kadangkala Jurublog cuba untuk membuat komen melalui website tersebut.

Komen Jurublog selalunya menjurus kepada apa yang Jurublog fikir kerosakan yang telah Anwar lakukan terhadap masa depan orang Melayu dan Malaysia pada amnya.

Mungkin Anwar tidak pernah membaca komen-komen Jurublog. Dia hanya membiarkan balaci-balaci yang mengendalikan website tersebut untuk membuat penapisan.

Beliau tidak seperti Mahathir yang ”hands-on” dan membaca/ meluluskan komen-komen yang dihantar oleh pembaca, walau pun kadangkala pendapat-pendapat tersebut bercanggah dengan pendapat Mahathir sendiri.

Anwar hanya pandai bercakap tetapi tidak pandai mengendali.

Balaci-balaci Anwar hanya menyiarkan komen-komen yang memuji Anwar. Komen-komen yang tidak bersependapat dengan Anwar samada tidak disiarkan, atau mendapat kutukan-kutukan bodoh daripada balaci-balaci Anwar yang sering mengunjungi website tersebut.

Begitulah kebebasan bersuara yang diterajui oleh Anwar. Akhirnya Anwar akan jadi seperti Pak Lah yang sentiasa ingin mendengar pendapat yang menyanjung beliau, dan tidak menghiraukan pandangan dari pihak yang lain. Seperti mana Pak Lah mengendalikan hal ehwal negara dengan tidak berkesan, begitulah Anwar mengendalikan pembangkang. Hancurlah negara jika pembangkang mengambilalih tampuk pemerintahan negara.

Perkara yang sama telah berlaku kepada Jurublog apabila Jurublog cuba menjadi ahli Malaysia Todayyang sepatutnya akan membolehkan Jurublog membuat komen di dalam website tersebut. Sepertimana kebebasan bersuara Jurublog disekat oleh, begitulah juga amalan yang diguna pakai oleh Malaysia Today. Mereka menolak permohonan Jurublog untuk mengulas di website Malaysia Today. Sebab itulah hanya komen-komen yang mengutuk kerajaan sahaja yang tersiar di laman-laman pembangkang. Pembangkang di Malaysia tidak dapat bertolak ansur dengan ”voice of dissent” yang tidak memihak kepada mereka. Sebab itulah mereka cuba menuntut sekatan penyiaran berita di akhbar yang tidak memihak kepada mereka, dengan tindakan mahkamah dan saman. Mengata orang, pembangkang lagi lebih kacau bilau mereka!

(Sebagai makluman, Anwar dalam blognya telah memberitahu tentang rancangan beliau untuk mendebatkan di Parlimen mengenai pengeluaran besar FDI ke luar negara. Saya telah membuat komen bahawa salah satu punca besar pengeluaran FDI tersebut adalah kerana dakyah Anwar sendiri kepada pelabur-pelabur asing di dalam beberapa sidang yang disertai Anwar di luar negara. Anwar sering mengomongkan akan menjatuhkan kerajaan Malaysia yang telah sedia terpilih dengan proses pilihanraya, dengan cara mengusahakan penyokong kerajaan supaya melompat parti. Ini menyebabkan iklim ketidak stabilan politik, yang merisaukan pelabur asing, yang akhirnya menyebabkan pelabur asing tersebut mengeluarkan pelaburan mereka dari Malaysia. Sebelum bulan September 2008, Anwar dengan bangganya telah memberitahu akan mendapat kemasukan pelaburan asing yang banyak jika Pakatan dapat memerintah Malaysia. Akhirnya, dengan kegawatan ekonomi global, rancangan Anwar untuk mengambil alih kerajaan tidak berjaya, kerana pelabur yang dijanjikan itu juga mengalami kegawatan yang ketara, dan tidak akan dapat mengotakan janji mereka untuk melabur di Malaysia).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seperti Singapura, Pulau Pinang tidak bersedia menerima Ketua Menteri bukan Cina?

Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berasal dari Pulau Pinang. Beliau merupakan Ahli Parlimen Kepala Batas, yang berada di bawah permerintahan Pulau Pinang.

Ini merupakan kali pertama negeri di mana letaknya kawasan Parlimen seorang Perdana Menteri diperintah oleh pembangkang.

Ketua Pembangkang, Brader Anwar Bin Ibrahim juga berasal dari Pulau Pinang. Anwar merupakan Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh, Pulau Pinang.

Ini pula merupakan kali pertama kedua-dua Perdana Menteri dan Ketua Pembangkang berasal dari negeri yang sama.

Setelah sekian lama, Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang terdiri daripada kaum Cina. Hari ini, pengundi-pengundi Kepala Batas dan Permatang Pauh bertuankan Ketua Menteri yang sebenarnya bukan berasal dari Pulau Pinang.

Kaum Cina merupakan ”deal maker” di Pulau Pinang. Sebelum pilihanraya bulan Mac 2008, mereka memastikan bahawa Gerakan dan MCA yang bergabung dengan UMNO mendapat undi yang cukup untuk memerintah kerajaan negeri. Pada kali ini, dengan sentimen anti-Barisan Nasional yang menebal, Pulau Pinang jatuh ke tangan Pakatan Rakyat. Sudah tentu, kaum Cina masih lagi kekal menerajui tampuk pemerintahan kerajaan negeri.

Orang Cina yang menguasai ekonomi dan politik Pulau Pinang akan terus memastikan mereka juga memegang jawatan Ketua Menteri. Mereka berlagak seperti Singapura di dalam negera Malaysia. Mereka seolah-olah tidak akan melepaskan jawatan tersebut kepada kaum lain.

Semasa era pemerintahan Barisan Nasional, UMNO merupakan ”pressure group” di dalam kerajaan negeri yang memastikan kepentingan orang Melayu tidak terabai di negeri tersebut. Pegawai-pegawai kerajaan negeri kebanyakannya terdiri daripada orang Melayu. Tambahan pula, tampuk pemerintahan negara diketuai oleh Barisan Nasional yang diterajui oleh UMNO dapat memastikan agenda Melayu dapat dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang.

Walau pun demikian, semasa pemerintahan Barisan Nasional di Pulau Pinang, kaum lain masih mendapatkan perhatian. Tetapi kita tetap terdengar bahawa orang Melayu di Pulau Pinang sebenarnya agak terpinggir dari segi ekonomi dan pemilikan hartanah. Mungkin Pak Lah dan Anwar tidak tahu hal ini kerana mereka kaya dan mempunyai hartanah sendiri di sana.

Saya sekarang ini terdengar dari rakan-rakan pemberita bahawa keadaan di Pulau Pinang semakin parah sejak DAP memegang tampuk pemerintahan negeri. Agenda politik Cina amat membara dan menyerlah. Kebanyakan kontrak yang berdasarkan meritokrasi akhirnya bergolek ke tangan kaum Cina.

Hampir kesemua berita mengenai kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang hanya didedahkan kepada suratkhabar berbahasa Cina. Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian dan New Straits Times sudah tentu di tolak tepi kerana memang memihak kepada kerajaan pusat Barisan Nasional. Suratkhabar The Star juga dikatakan tidak diberi keutamaan untuk mendapat berita dari kerajaan negeri.

Inilah ”preview” era pemerintahan Pakatan Rakyat. Tiada lagi kebebasan akhbar. Kebebasan akhbar bagi mereka hanya bererti mengeluarkan berita yang memihak kepada Pakatan Rakyat. Bagi menutup suara akhbar yang menceritakan keburukan mereka, ancaman tindakan mahkamah dan saman dikeluarkan. Pada mereka, pihak polis adalah tidak boleh dipercayai. Mana tidaknya, ramai sangat tangkapan dari kalangan pembangkang gamaknya. Pada mereka, badan kehakiman tidak bebas. Hakim hanyalah bebas dan berani bersuara sekiranya hakim tersebut mengeluarkan penghakiman yang memihak kepada pembangkang.

PKR dan PAS hanya termanggu dengan permainan DAP. Anwar hanya berangan ingin menjadi Perdana Menteri. Tidak kisahlah jika Permatang Pauh dan orang Melayu Pulau Pinang terus ketinggalan dan diperkotak katikkan oleh DAP. PAS pula sudah menghalalkan gabungan dengan parti yang tebal kebencian mereka terhadap proses Islam.

Saya berpendapat bahawa orang Melayu perlu bangkit semula dan bersatu supaya tidak di persendakan. Agenda politik Anwar amat sempit dan membahayakan masa depan orang Melayu. Anwar perlu ditolak. PAS memerlukan suara-suara seperti Nik Aziz, dan bukan Hadi Awang yang seronok mengkafirkan orang UMNO dahulu. UMNO pula perlu pembersihan menyeluruh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Government flip flop on fuel subsidy

I do not know whether it is a case of a minister being transparent or just another stupid statement that will surely make the present Government look very bad in the eyes of the public.

It was reported today that Shahrir admitted that the Government has decided to break its earlier promise to maintain a RM0.30 per litre petrol subsidy. In June 2008, when the Government made the initial flip flop by abruptly announcing a hefty 40% jump in petrol prices to RM2.70, they have promised to maintain the subsidy even if there were continued fluctuation in the global crude oil price (upwards or downwards).

Now, Shahrir has said that at a price of US$65 per barrel, the Government has stopped paying subsidies and instead would decide on a floor price for petrol prices.

At the current retail price of RM2.00 per litre, the Government is not providing anymore subsidies to the consumers. Shahrir was even quoted as saying that the petrol retail price can actually return to the pre-hike price of RM1.92 per litre.

So, why the heck did that the Government stopped at RM2.00 and not straight to RM1.92?

At the same interview, Shahrir was also quoted as implying that the Government is currently deriving petrol tax of RM0.39 per litre from the consumers. So, instead of getting RM0.30 from the Government, are we now paying RM0.39 to the Government for every litre of petrol?

In fact, based on Shahrir’s statement, the petrol price can go as low as RM1.62 per litre if the Government maintain the fuel subsidy.

The opposition will certainly have a field time attacking the Government in the next few days. Anwar will re-iterate his idea of a lower petrol pump prices. Another UMNO-bashing session will be on its way.

[Post-script: Shahrir asked that the consumers be reminded that the Government has actually not stopped giving out fuel subsidy. He was referring to the RM625 per car fuel rebate. But hello, that RM625 rebate was on top of the RM0.30 per litre subsidy promised by the Government earlier!]

The news report is reproduced below:-

Govt has stopped paying petrol subsidies: Shahrir

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has stopped paying subsidies for petrol since the beginning of this month due to lower global oil prices, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said.

“The savings on petrol subsidies next year is expected to be more than RM10bil if oil prices remain stable,” he told reporters Tuesday at the Parliament lobby here.

Elaborating, Shahrir said that at a price of US$65 per barrel, the Government would not be paying subsidies and that the focus now would be on deciding whether to set a floor price or figuring out a way for the Government to get some income from the sale of petrol.

“Even with petrol retailing at RM2 per litre, we are not paying any subsidies. We have actually arrived at a time when the price can return to RM1.92.

“In that context, we hope to be able to set a policy to address this when the National Economic Council next meets. A decision must be made on the floor price.”

Shahrir said that for six months from September 2001 to February 2002, the Government had collected taxes from the retail sale of petrol and had stopped that practice since February 2002.

“Earlier announcements of how much the subsidies cost us, even as recent as 2005 or 2006 always included how much we had to forego in terms of taxes. We have stopped doing this however and just focused on how much subsidy we are paying.”

Shahrir said the Government was now enjoying some revenue due to the difference in the ex-refinery price and the price oil companies sell petrol to station operators.

He added that the revenue being taken now was a form of tax that could max out at 60sen per litre.

“After the station operators take their margin of 12.1sen and the oil companies take their margin of 19.1sen, we are left with RM1.69 from RM2.

“If the refinery price is RM1.30 per litre for example, the Government will be taking 39sen per litre as revenue.”

Shahrir also released information on the amount of fuel subsidies paid so far which have amounted to RM15.57bil as at the end of October.

Fuel subsidies last year cost the Government RM16.18bil.

The fuel subsidies in October amounted to RM610mil as compared toRM2.99bil in May when oil prices peaked at over US$120 per barrel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My 100th day as a blogger (Hari ke 100 saya sebagai jurublog)

Today marks my hundredth day as a blogger. It is just a small feat. I was a late comer. So many other people have been blogging for a long time.

I use English to write my blog because I wanted to improve my English writing skill. It has nothing to do with me discarding Bahasa Malaysia as the main medium of communication.

However, to mark my 100th day as a blogger, I would now start to write some of my postings in Bahasa Malaysia. Happy reading …

Hari ini merupakan hari ke seratus saya sebagai seorang jurublog. Ia merupakan satu peristiwa kecil. Saya agak lewat. Terdapat ramai orang yang telah menulis blog dalam tempoh yang lebih lama.

Saya menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris untuk menulis blog saya kerana saya ingin memperbaiki penulisan saya di dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Ianya tidak kena mengena dengan anggapan bahawa saya mengenepikan Bahasa Malaysia sebagai bahasa pengantaraan utama.

Walau bagaimanapun, sempena menyambut hari ke 100 sebagai jurublog, saya akan mula menulis sebahagian daripada penulisan saya di dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Selamat membaca ...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy 1000th month's birthday Dr M!

Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was born on 10 July 1925. Today, 10 November 2008, actual marks his 1000th month’s birthday.

Achieving a one thousand moons’ life on earth is itself a blessing. And Malaysia is blessed with this towering figure who has achieved so much for the country.

There are some many things to mention about Dr M, thousands of them, at least one for each of the month he lived on earth.

May be we should start to compile the best 1000 list to describe Dr M.

Dr M started as an entrepreneur at a young age, selling banana fritters (pisang goreng).

When he was a practising doctor in Langkawi, he used to attend to some rural folks on a pro bono basis, especially to those who were unable to pay the medical charges.

In 1969, he dared to confront the then Prime Minister, Tunku, heads on; which resulted in Dr M being sacked from UMNO.

When he was appointed the Minister of Education, he stopped the practice of naming schools after politicians.

When he was the Minister of Trade and Industry (cum Deputy Prime Minister), he mooted the idea of a national automotive industry. He promptly launched The Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia (HICOM) when he became Prime Minister in 1981, and gave birth to Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (PROTON) a few years later. He started transforming Malaysia from an agricultural-based economy into industrial and manufacturing era.

On infrastructure, I think, his biggest contribution was the construction of the North-South Expressway, without which our balik kampung ritual would be near impossible. (My family used to stop overnight in Segamat every time we travelled from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur due to the long journey). Now KL-JB is only a three-hour ride at 110kph.

Without the Penang Bridge, Penang would not be a successful semiconductor hub, let alone be a prosperous industrial state. (Back then, DAP used to loudly criticised the construction of the Penang Bridge as a waste of people’s money. Now they are the ones urging for speedier construction of the new Penang bridge. That’s how time has changed people’s mindset…)

As the Prime Minister, Dr M really walked the talk. As a mentioned in my previous postings, I used to bump into him on Sundays (with only one or two of his bodyguards), inspecting, inter alia, the cleanliness of KL city centre such as the Central Market (that was before KLCC came into being). He was always equipped with his pocket notebook and his pen. (I was told that the cabinet ministers used to tremble every time Dr M opened his pocket notebook, as it may be that their ministry will be the next subject of pointed discussion).

Dr M is still influential till this very day. His blog,, had already reached 9.4 million hits since it started on 1 May 2008. (His first posting was at a wee hour of 1.27 am). Although some of the readers were sceptical, I know and I believe that all the articles were written by Dr M himself, and that he read most the comments posted on his blog.

Indeed, the list goes on and on, if we were to list how Dr M has changed our lives. (Remember that Peninsula used to be half an hour behind Sabah and Sarawak. Dr M introduced the so called “metric time” whereby Malaysian time was synchronised to GMT + 8 hours. Singapore had to follow suit. I thought that was a stroke of genius, as GMT+8 hours means that we are in the same time zone as Hong Kong, a well known financial centre at that time).

Truthfully, I was not privileged enough to be close to Dr M or to people who are close to him. I was not close enough to be picked as a corporate leader nor a chosen entrepreneur. I lived my whole professional life based purely on my own merits, which I have no regrets. I felt lucky and I am glad to have lived during Dr M’s tenure as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. He really made me as a better person, and a proud Malaysian.

Tun Dr Mahathir will always be a person that I look up too. He is a proud nationalist, a true leader, a gifted visionary, a strategic thinker, an eloquent orator, an elegant writer and an influential statesman.

And Tun’s journey continues on. I hope it will be not for months, but for many more years to come. I hope Tun will live at least until the ripe age of 100 years, so that he will be able to witness Malaysia that he partly developed beyond the year 2020.

Hail The Great Man.


Sincerest prayers from Jurublog

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Has Siti Nurhaliza lost her sweet, dynamic voice?

The first song that I heard Siti Nurhaliza sang was her duet with 2 by 2, “Mawarku”. I heard it on the radio, back in mid-1990s. My first reaction was that this girl sounded like Julie Remie (a singer during the 1970s, famous for her single, "Korban Percintaan").

I have not heard anyone whose voice was so sweet. I instantly looked forward to Siti’s first album (“Siti Nurhaliza 1996”) and her famous first single, “Jerat Percintaan”.

Siti Nurhaliza was an instant hit. She became Malaysia’s icon for the entertainment industry for quite a while.

However, I was so disappointed with her performance at TV3’s Anugerah Skrin 2008 last night. Her closing act did not get the usual rousing applause from the audience with her new single, “Wanita”.

I think Siti has lost her sweet, dynamic voice.

I hope Siti have not succumbed to the life of the Rich and Famous with her millionaire husband, Datuk Khalid Jiwa. Another singer, Fauziah Latiff, fell into the trap: wining and dining with her (then) husband, Johan Indot. In the international scene, the same happened to Whitney Houston.

Have I seen (almost) the last of Siti in the mainstream music scene? I hope not. I hope that she will still maintain her sweet voice, even when she is in her 50s, and remain as Malaysia’s living singing legend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama and the USA racial voting pattern

When Obama announced that he will be running for President of the USA, I told my friends that he may not be able to obtain the nomination from the Democrats. And even if he managed to obtain the nomination, it will be difficult for him to get enough votes to win the Presidency. My main reason: Obama lacked the vital support from the Jew lobbyists, who will be the main source of campaign funds. He may need enough money to stay in the running. In USA, the candidate who can spend enough money during the campaigning period will usually be the victor.

I was wrong.

Obama managed to collect substantial amount of campaign funds, through various unprecedented sources like the internet and others. His donors included students and ordinary folks who were so fed-up with the current Bush administration.

Obama won because of the financial turmoil, and people wanted change because they were angry with the current Republican President’s failure to tackle the economic woes.

If not for the financial turmoil, McCain would have been the winner.

I said that because I still believe that the White Americans will be hesitant to vote for a Black President. Unless they have a very good reason to do that.

However, based on the exit poll, on Nation-wide basis, only 43% White Americans voted for Barack Obama, whilst 55% voted for McCain. Barack Obama largely won because the Black American came out in droves to vote, and hence the very high voters' turnout. 95% of Black voters voted for Obama, with only 5% of them voted for MCain. The tilt towards Obama actually came from Latinos, Asians and other voters when 2/3 of this voter segment chose Obama.

Racial voting is still apparent in USA, with the Black American trying to make sure that their kind will be the next President. Nation-wide, White Americans were more liberal, resulting in the tilt towards Obama.

Obama didn't manage to penetrate the Southern states, where white supremacists still exist. In Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, Obama managed less than 15% of White votes, otherwise only 30% of Whites voted for him.

Obama will have a heavy task to win the hearts of the White Americans, as they hold the keys to the economic recovery process.

Good luck and all the best to him. We hope for the best. And we hope that he will last his tenure without any untoward incident.

One thing that I noticed: Typing "Obama" on the new version of Microsoft Word will no longer result in typo error "red squiggle". Perhaps Bill Gates and the gang have earlier embraced that Obama is no longer an alien name in America.

My analysis of the White Americans voting pattern for Presidential Election 2008, as follows:-

Note: % vote for Obama - % vote for McCain

Where Obama lost (Overwhelming rejection by Whites - 23 states)
Alabama 10-88
Mississippi 11-88
Louisiana 14-84
Georgia 23-76
Texas 26-73
South Carolina 26-73
Oklahoma 29-71
Arkansas 30-68
Utah 31-66
Wyoming 32-66
Alaska 32-65
Idaho 33-65
Tennessee 34-63
North Carolina 35-64
Kentucky 36-63
Kansas 40-59
Arizona 40-59
Nebraska 41-57
West Virginia 41-57
South Dakota 41-56
North Dakota 42-55
Missouri 42-57
Montana 45-52

Obama won without White majority votes (9 states)
Virginia 39-60
Florida 42-56
New Mexico 42-56
Nevada 45-53
Indiana 45-54
Ohio 46-52
Maryland 47-49
Pennsylvania 48-51
New Jersey 49-50

All round support for Obama (18 states, and DC)
District of Columbia 86-12
Hawaii 70-27
Vermont 68-31
Oregon 59-41
Rhode Island 58-39
Maine 58-40
Washington 57-41
Massachusetts 57-42
New Hampshire 54-44
Wisconsin 54-45
Minnesota 53-46
Delaware 53-45
California 52-46
New York 52-46
Iowa 51-47
Michigan 51-47
Illinois 51-48
Connecticut 51-46
Colorado 50-48