SCwatch


MCA PRESIDENT VILLIFIES ONG TEE KEAT : THE ‘SOH CHAI’ IS INDEED FEELING THE HEAT!

Being the incumbent President of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), one would have thought that he would not be too worried about the rivals that he had defeated in the last Presidential elections.

Chua Soi Lek now even claims that having defeated two former Presidents the last time round, he would have no problem defeating them again.

But much has taken place since that event.

As President, Chua Soi Lek has not been able to galvanise the party to its former strength since gaining power in the party.

Droves have deserted the party…….leaving the hangers on and businessmen who ‘play on both sides’ (just to be on the safe side) left!

And why is Soi Lek alias ‘Soh Chai’ having to villify Ong Tee Keat? Click HERE

That’s because the Barisan Nasional election machinery thinks that Ong has a better chance to retain his seat at Pandan….as opposed to replacing him with a ‘Soh Chai’ nominee!!

The stakes are apparently too high to take the risk……so it seems!

Which brings me to the point that……since the last MCA Presidential elections, Ong Tee Keat’s credibility has remained intact (in the Rakyat’s eyes)….or even gone stronger, as opposed to the ‘Soh Chai’s’ dwindling fortunes!

Reason?

People are beginning to see the wisdom of Ong Tee Keat’s drive then as MCA President to get to the bottom of the Port Klang Free Zone financial fiasco……in order to redeem the severely damaged reputation of the MCA.

Unfortunately, he was blocked and ultimately removed from his Ministerial positions…..much to the chagrin of the Rakyat.

Maybe the stakes were too high for the powers within the Barisan Nasional establishment…….but the ensuing damaging to the UMNO led coalition is irreversible!

That damage was further compounded by the release of the story behind the PKFZ fiasco by Ong’s ally, Lee Hwa Beng, who was tasked to clean up and get to the bottom of the matter.

If you recall, Lee Hwa Beng, was also ostracised and subsequently removed as Chairman of Port Klang.

Isn’t it plain obvious that with UMNO now taking the ‘racialistic’ route (i.e. taking a Malay rhetorical stand whilst blaming the Chinese for the problems), the UMNO warlords have ‘given up’ on the Chinese support that was previously reliably delivered by the MCA?

And together with the other ‘predominantly Chinese’ Parti Gerakan Malaysia helmed by the equally weak Koh Tsu Koon, is it any wonder why Chinese do not see any leadership emanating from both parties?

In any case, race is secondary as far as this coming General Elections is concerned.

Bread and butter issues, corruption and abuse of powers are!

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WEDDING EXPENSES FOR NAJIB’S DAUGHTER : A ‘SIMPLE CONTRA’ PAYMENT BY SOMEBODY ELSE IS HOW IT’S USUALLY DONE?

That is exactly what Najib’s detractors are alleging.

That Najib’s family did NOT pay for the wedding bill from Shangrila Hotel of approximately RM410,000.

The fact that the hotel billed the Prime Minister’s Office is already a clear breach of protocol

It implies that there is no clear demarcation of his role as Prime Minister and that of his personal interests.

Crikey, it implies that there may have been other instances where  amounts, presumably paid for initially by the PM’s office and treated as an amount outstanding from the PM …….. somehow ‘disappears’ from the PMO’s books although payment has not been received ….. if not, paid by someone else!

It is for this reason that Najib has to respond clearly and unequivocally ….. with the supporting documents that everything was done above board.

It is essential that this be done …….. so soon after the charging of Shahrizat’s husband for improprieities for the Cowgate Scandal.

People might even now speculate that the RM13.6 billion gained from  government investment arm Khazanah’s asset divestment (Click HERE…… would somehow end up in the coffers of the UMNO warlord hierarchy!

It’s actually quite a simple clarification required from Najib. It would even put the PKR accusatory team on the back-foot.

Not doing so would confirm the wide-spread belief of improprieties at every level of government under UMNO.



MALAYSIAN SECURITIES COMMISSION’S NEW CHAIRMAN : RANJIT SINGH

Contrary to Singapore’s Straits Times reporter, Leslie Lopez, the current chairman of Malaysia’s Securities Commission, Zarinah Anwar, will not be replaced by the retiring Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance.

Instead, it’s going to be Ranjit Singh who will be elevated from his current post as Managing Director of the regulatory organization.

There will not be any split in the powerful Chairman post  ……. the Straits Times story that there will be a non-executive Chairman whilst Ranjit will assume the Chief Executive’s position.

All this means that Ranjit Singh will be all-powerful …… just like Zarinah.

But from the grape-vine ….. Ranjit is so much different from Zarinah.

All things considered, despite Ranjit having many detractors from within, so I hear, there is no doubt about the grudging respect these same people have for him.

Articulate, focused and with the ability to see the big picture, he appears cut out for the Chairman-ship of this regulatory organisation.

And his first task – to regain the credibility lost from the ‘Spousal Concerns’ of his predecessor! Click HERE and HERE for the ‘I told you so!’ bit.



SAIFUL’S STAINED CORROBORATIVE DNA EVIDENCE : END OF HIS SODOMOTICAL CHARADE!

I was having my morning read when I logged into the political blogs and Anil Netto’s (anilnetto.com) live blogcast said that it was acquittal for Anwar!

Couldn’t believe my eyes …….. but it became evidently clear that the UMNO led government could not afford another big blunder by putting Anwar Ibrahim behind bars.

The timing and the rousing of the Rakyat’s sentiments was immaculate to the point that Najib absented himself domestically by attending an event at the southern tip of the African continent!

The three explosions at the Jalan Duta Courts area showed how high stakes were ……… fortunately good sense prevailed as both sides of the political divide would lose immensely from a free for all that could generate into something much worse!

The fact of the matter is that UMNO members must start to see the ridiculous and small-minded manner in which they attempt to prevail as political masters in a country where its citizens have evolved and moved on to a more liberal state of mind.

What is more important is that the rampant corruption and financial mismanagement must end without delay ……. and that the Little Napoleons put into those positions of responsibility have to be removed or rehabilitated for the betterment of society!

It’s so funny that they have so much trouble understanding the need to evolve with times.

Maybe its the monetary greed that blinds them to the hallucination that they have been under since the Mahathir administration.

May Malaysia have the opportunity to experience a change in government under the PKR-PAS-DAP alliance …… that would somehow ensure that any political wannabes will have to have to work their butt off to get re-elected the next time round!



HARIS IBRAHIM DISASSOCIATES HIMSELF FROM RPK : CONFIRMS RPK IS A STINKING COWSHIT?

In an immediate response to the situation created by Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s jumping ship, Haris Ibrahim (former key ally to RPK), has resigned as President of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement in which RPK is Chairman.

Don’t think the movement itself will be decimated ……. instead it will operate from another entity ……. one that is clearly NOT associated with RPK.

I recall a saying that goes like this …..

  • Talent is God given, be humble,

  • Fame is people given, be thankful,

  • Conceit is self given, be careful

RPK seems to have lost it all.

But the struggle continues.

Click HERE for Haris Ibrahim’s clarification and explanation about RPK cowardly about-turn.



PENANG’S SURGING CAPTIVE AUDIENCE SEEMS TO NOW INCLUDE THE COMPETITIVE SINGAPOREANS

We have always known the Singaporeans to be a ‘kiasu’ lot …… literally meaning ‘scared to die’ or scared to lose out on virtually anything.

This may be one of the end result of the siege mentality that Lee Kuan Yew created during the time of partition between Malaysia and Singapore in 1965.

Lee Kuan Yew always talks about the intimidation and the Malaysian military on Singapore soil …… resulting in Singapore now having the fire-power to dent any aggression …… even from Indonesia!

Back to my story ……. in today’s age, the siege mentality is more confined to economics ……. like how Singapore can stay ahead of its competitors in the region or even globally.

I recall at one time, much coverage and analysis arose from the building of the Port of Tanjong Pelepas in Johore.

The Singaporean viewed this as a direct threat to its own shipping business that had one of the largest turnovers (in terms of TEU [ton equivalent units]) then …… about 14m per annum!

I recall the Singaporean business papers working overtime on the development of the Malaysian port led by Syed Mokhtar Albukary.

I even recall the PSA (Port of Singapore Authority) having to defer its IPO (Initial Public Offering) around that time although they attributed to market sentiments ……. which I felt that had to do with Syed Mokhtar’s PTP!

Fast forward to today ……. and again I am sensing the same Singaporean ‘concerns’ or shall I call it interests in the recent economic development of Penang.

The Pearl of the Orient had in the past been seen as a direct competitor to Singapore in the early 1970s especially when Penang was under the late Lim Chong Eu.

That ‘threat’ crumbled when the leadership changed to Koh Tsu Koon and his UMNO bretherens and Singapore surged ahead.

That ‘threat’ appears to be returning in the form of the Lim Guan Eng rejuvenated Penang.

Threat enough for the Singapore Business Times to publish the Bloomberg report that was originally entitled, ‘Malaysia Losses from Racial Law Exposed’.

Singapore has always responded to competition by being more proactive and value-added in it processes.

This is in stark contrast to how the current UMNO regime seems to be adopting.

In fact, UMNO’s current media spinners do no justice to the UMNO of the past.

I am of course referring to Ahirudin Attan a.k.a. Rocky.

His outsourced hatchet man, someone called ‘SatD’, runs an expletive laced blog which attempts (in expletive terms) to run down whatever achievements of the Pakatan Rakyat in Penang especially in a totally illogical ranting manner!

The best description of their attempts is pure written diarrhea ……. thank God we don’t have to listen to them, or else it’ll be verbal diarrhea!

Please understand why I am not linking you to their articles as they are bad, bad examples of communication skills!

On the other hand, let me re-produce the article from Bloomberg below that was also published in today’s Singapore Business Times under a more ‘face saving’ heading:-

PEARL OF THE ORIENT SHINES BRIGHTLY

(KUALA LUMPUR) Lim Guan Eng turned Malaysia’s second-smallest state into the nation’s biggest economic success after he bumped into two National Instruments Corp executives at the local airport in 2008.

Elected in March that year as Penang’s first chief minister from an opposition party in 36 years, Mr Lim was struggling with the prospect of federal funding cuts.

He convinced the managers to set up a research and production centre in the state, and within two years the former British trading post was Malaysia’s top destination for foreign manufacturing investment.

With a general election due by early 2013, Penang’s progress highlights the challenges facing the rest of Malaysia and the National Front government as China, Indonesia and Vietnam offer investors bigger workforces while Singapore lures talent with lower taxes and easier immigration.

Mr Lim, 50, the country’s only ethnic-Chinese state leader, embodies the contrast between Penang’s business transparency and the four-decade old policies of the ruling party that favour Malays, which the World Bank says undermine competitiveness.

‘Penang now has a chance to show that if you have good governance, and if you put fairness and justice as your main qualities, free of race considerations, that is actually the way to go for Malaysia,’ said Ooi Kee Beng, Penang-born author and a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

In the first seven months of 2011, Penang won RM3.6 billion (S$1.46 billion) of approved foreign manufacturing investment, ahead of the RM3.4 billion that went to Selangor, the state that surrounds the capital Kuala Lumpur, a government report showed last month. The state made up 8.1 per cent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product in 2009, based on constant prices.

Mr Lim has managed to keep Penang attractive for international companies even as Prime Minister Najib focuses federal support on regions such as Johor and Sarawak, where his ruling coalition has among its biggest parliamentary-seat majorities.

To prevent corruption, Penang requires open bidding on contracts of more than RM200,000 and has awarded about RM125 million of jobs through competitive tenders, according to Mr Lim. Transparency International said in a 2009 report that Penang was Malaysia’s first state to implement open tenders for government contracts.

While Mr Lim said his government awards contracts based on merit within the national guidelines, the federal government states that it has no obligation to accept the lowest offer or to give any reason for rejecting a bid.

Under Malaysian federal rules, agencies are only required to invite quotations from at least five bidders for works contracts.

The Malaysian government says it is also pushing for greater transparency, including introducing a whistleblower protection law to fight corruption and a planned competition law next year.

Malaysia’s efforts to woo investments in recent years may have been hampered by its policy of giving preferential treatment to ethnic Malays and some indigenous groups, collectively known as bumiputra, in government jobs, contracts, education and cheaper housing, said Mr Ooi.

When the economy was booming along with its neighbours before the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, the effects of the policy were less apparent, he said. When growth slowed, the race-based programme became a greater damper, according to Mr Ooi.

While the nation outperformed rivals in the early and mid-1990s, it has struggled to maintain that edge since the regional crisis.

Malaysia’s racial policies spurred a brain drain of largely Chinese and Indian minorities, and limited foreign investment, Philip Schellekens, a senior economist at the World Bank, said in April.

Mr Lim says ethnic Malays also benefit from the state’s economic growth. In the Malaysian state with the highest proportion of ethnic Chinese at 42 per cent, Malay contractors have won most of the jobs awarded by his government through the open tenders, Mr Lim said. The Malay community doesn’t need racial quotas to succeed, he said.

‘We have proven that this is the way forward,’ Mr Lim said in an interview in July. ‘Malaysia has a historical opportunity for change.’ – Bloomberg



FOR UIA’S AZIZ BARI OR ANYONE IN THE ESTABLISHMENT FOR THAT MATTER : IS IT SAFE COMMENTING ON ISSUES THAT MATTER?

Much has been said about the suspension and investigation into the comments by constitutional expert, Aziz Bari, about the involvement of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor in the JAIS raid on a Christian establishment.

It is as though lese majeste laws like the ones in Thailand has suddenly become the fashion of the day …… the perception being that it is being used by UMNO to stifle comments cum revelations within the establishment.

It was therefore not surprising when the release of the  Auditor General’s report was deferred from the original date of release.

There was much speculation that the ‘cover’ of the report needed to be ‘re-phrased’ ….. or even ‘revamped’ in order NOT to put the UMNO led government in bad light!

Click HERE to see how Bernama (Malaysia’s official news agency) puts it so positively!

Hey, these short-comings and wastages involving the government machinery have been highlighted for so many years ….. dating back to the days of former Auditor General, the late Ahmad Nordin.

And what has really been done?

Absolutely nowt!!

The country is at a cross-road between continued prosperity (relatively speaking) AND falling into the ABYSS of no return.

Hey, but why do the political leaders of today care whether we fall into the abyss or not.

They are already substantial (in material terms …… and physically too). In fact, their material wealth can last them several generations, so I was told!

Following from this, it is therefore incumbent that failings or shortcomings need to be highlighted by the people concerned and not be allowed to get lost in the mass of details within the documentation.

Officials appointed to high offices within the establishment are duty bound to act in the interest of the country.

Isn’t it always ….. DEMI BANGSA, UGAMA DAN NEGARA?

A prime example of such obligations to whistleblow was shown in the case of the company, Olympus.

The newly appointed CEO, Michael Woodford, felt obliged to raise certain improprieties publicly …… after he had been ‘removed’ from office shortly after exposing these ‘matters’.

His whistleblowing was duly supported by documentation that revealed questionable fee payments that were in excess of 35% of the transaction cost. These fees are usually in the region of 1% to 2%, a world practice in fact.

Click HERE for Woodford’s letter to the Olympus Board that was published by the New York Times.

Better still, watch below Woodford’s interview with Reuters …. a brave man indeed but also one who is refusing to succumb to accusations against his competency:

Latest news reveal that the Chairman, Kikukawa (the previous CEO) has resigned and the company is under investigation by the Japanese authorities and the FBI.

This corporate greed is a world wide endemic and is not confined only to Malaysia.

And it is for that reason that the Rakyat cannot meekly accept the lackadaisical explanations and efforts in resolving these serious shortcomings that have become a serious Malaysian rot.

The moment key leaders are less than incorruptible, less than stern in demanding high standards, from that moment the structure of administrative integrity will weaken and eventually crumble.