Hornbill Unleashed

April 27, 2015

Sarawak expects to strike O&G deal before year is out

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Sarawak’s negotiation with national oil firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) for an increase in oil and gas royalty payment has made no headway.

The deadlock is all that some opposition elected representatives need to take pot shots at Chief Minister Adenan Satem, with some saying the state’s power to negotiate had been diluted when it accepted Petronas’ offer of a 10% share in the Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas Sdn Bhd (MLNG) and the RM2.1 billion contracts.

There may be some truth to that.

At the very least, by giving contracts to Sarawak-owned companies worth RM2.1 billion annually; the agreement to work on five areas of cooperation to enable larger Sarawak participation in the state’s oil and gas industry; and the opening of three licensing offices in Kuching, Miri and Bintulu to better facilitate Sarawak companies in the application of licences, answer queries and run regular licensing and tendering workshops, will buy Petronas precious time – that another year of 5% royalty is a saving of 15%, the additional increase that Sarawak is seeking. (more…)

It’s time for Sarawak to take a hard line on illegals

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

If there is one hot topic which both sides of the political divide in Sarawak, as well as all the NGOs and the full spectrum of the many very vocal societies, associations and activist organisations have all agreed upon, it’s on the one single issue of illegal immigrants.

Over the years, these aliens had either sneaked into the country or had started off being legally employed but after the expiry of their work permits, had illegally stayed back as ‘underground workers’.

It has been estimated that since the 1990s there are now some 300,000 illegals working in the state, mostly from Indonesia although the number of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis has risen in recent years as well. (more…)

‘If Dr M doesn’t get GST, what more the rakyat?’

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Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has taken a sarcastic dig at Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan for belittling the intelligence of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“If even Dr M doesn’t understand GST, what more the people of Malaysia whom nearly all are not as experienced in matters of the national economy than he, to understand about GST?”

“If one whom the majority of Malaysians consider as ‘less intelligent’ (to avoid using the word ‘stupid’ because of statements regarding GST, says Dr M who is renowned for his intelligence doesn’t understand GST, is he saying that he is more intelligent compared to Dr M?” asked Asri in a caustic statement on his Facebook last night. (more…)

Oral histories of S’wak native groups launched

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The Society for Rights of Indigenous People of Sarawak (Scrips)  made history by launching a series of oral histories on April 18 in Bintulu by the representatives of six communities.

The first six oral history books covers the following communities in Sarawak:

  • Lepo’ Kenyah, Long Bangan, Sg. Belaga
  • Tebalau, Long Sobeng, Tinjar Baram
  • Iban, Nanga Jangin, Ulu Lemanak
  • Malay, Kampung Tungkah Melayu, Sg. Sebangan
  • Bisaya, Batu Danau, Limbang
  • Bidayuh, Kampung Mugat, Serian


After tensions over church, flowers for Taman Medan residents

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Members of Malaysians for Malaysia distribute flower to Taman Medan residence. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 26, 2015.

The distribution of flowers in the Taman Medan neighbourhood today following a protest a week ago against a church drew mixed reactions from local residents.

Some appeared taken aback when a group from the Malaysians for Malaysia movement went around handing out flowers in the Muslim-majority area where the protest occurred outside the Community of Praise Petaling Jaya church last Sunday.

A man who was approached with some flowers at a mamak restaurant at the commercial area where the church’s shop lot building is located asked the group if the flower distribution activity was religious-related. (more…)

Can fools be in Cabinet, asks Perlis mufti after Ahmad Maslan’s remarks

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Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin reacts strongly to Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan's remarks that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not understand GST. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 26, 2015.Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin has taken Datuk Ahmad Maslan to task for reportedly saying that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad lacked understanding about the goods and services tax (GST).

Without naming the deputy finance minister, Asri said he now wondered whether a fool could be appointed to important posts in the government.

“If someone who the majority of Malaysians perceive as ‘less intelligent’ (to avoid using the word stupid) because of his statements on GST, says that Tun M, who is famous for his intellect, does not understand GST, then is the person who made that statement wiser than Tun M?” Asri wrote in a Facebook post. (more…)

PJ church forgives, awaits ‘God’s order’

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The Community of Praise Petaling Jaya church, which removed its cross from outside its building after a protest by a group of Muslim residents, has finally broken its silence over the incident that took place a week ago.

Paul Packianathan, the senior pastor of the church, said the church has chosen to “forgive” the protesters for what they did last week.

“If they are here, I would hug them now,” he said.

He explained that forgiveness was the lesson taught by Jesus Christ when he was crucified. (more…)

April 26, 2015

The bitter and painful truth about living with GST

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

While our DPM may be waxing lyrical about painful truths and beautiful lies, ordinary Malaysians are grappling with the reality of living with the Goods and Services Tax (GST). And the truth is, like Muhyiddin aptly put, painful.

While many officials have tried their best to paint a pretty picture about GST prior to its launch, life in Malaysia today isn’t a bed of roses. Just ask Sepanggar MP Jumat Idris.

In a Facebook post dated April 18, he said he finally understood the rakyat’s plight regarding GST. He then shared his own personal experience about the higher costs of hospitalisation due to GST. His son was recently admitted for nerve treatment that cost RM20,000, with an added RM1,200 for GST. (more…)

GST should just be abolished, says Dr M

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Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for the goods and services tax (GST) to be abolished.

“I think it should just be abolished,” he said, receiving a thunderous applause from the 500-strong crowd at a forum in Kuala Lumpur today.

Mahathir said this when asked if the GST should stay as it is, or have its 6 percent rate revised or scrapped.

“Before, there was the sales tax. If you want to hike the sales tax a little, that’s ok.

“But you are introducing a system that even the officers don’t understand,” he said. (more…)

Ex-PM questions Najib’s ‘wedding of the century’

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad today commented on the extravagance of the wedding of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s daughter, calling it the “wedding of the century”.

“This isn’t the wedding of the year but the wedding of the century.

“But when they went to Kazakhstan with 300 people, it wasn’t reported by mainstream media.

“Who are these 300 people?” asked the former PM at at the ‘Bicara Negarawan: You Are Not Alone’ talk in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

‘Another US$330mil channelled to Jho Low’

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In yet another expose on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), whistleblower website Sarawak Report claims it has new documents to show that USD$330 million meant for partner PetroSaudi International has actually been deposited to businessman Low Taek Jho.

In an article today, the website said its investigators have documents showing an application by 1MDB to Bank Negara for the amount to be transferred to PetroSaudi.

However, Sarawak Report said it has in possession records showing the amount was allegedly banked in to Good Star Limited instead, a company purportedly controlled by Low, popularly known as Jho Low.

This is in addition to the USD$700 million it said in its first expose ‘Heist of the century’ in investigations made jointly with London’s Sunday Times, had allegedly been siphoned off to Low, based on leaked emails that to date have not been denied. (more…)

Showbiz personality among newcomers to contest in coming Sarawak polls

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The Election Commission's proposed redelineation for Sarawak will see 11 new seats, and with that many new faces among the opposition parties contesting. –  April 26, 2015.

Sarawakian showbiz personality Vernon Kedit is among the many political greenhorns expected to cut their teeth at next year’s state election which Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem will have to call before mid-June 2016.

With 11 new seats added to Sarawak’s 71-seat state legislative assembly under the Election Commission’s proposed redelineation of the state’s electoral map, the political grapevine is already buzzing with talk on who will get the nod from their respective parties to contest the forthcoming state election.

Among the parties, PKR is thought to field the most number of new faces. The party had announced they would contest in 49 seats, the seats they were allocated in the 2011 election by the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

With the coalition now in tatters at state level, PKR could even field candidates in all the 11 new seats. (more…)

Goods and Services Tax a bitter pill to swallow

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

It is expensive to fall sick, and never more so than now. Granted, medical care is affordable at government hospitals and clinics but those are not ideal places to see the doctor.

While they may have the best equipment and services, they are usually crowded and it could take hours before one gets into the doctor’s office. The wait for a surgical procedure could lastweeks, if not months.

On the other hand, private hospitals are a welcome change. Walking into a private hospital today is like stepping into a five-star hotel.

But such luxury comes at a high cost, and the cost will get higher from April 1 when the goods and services tax (GST) is imposed. (more…)

Dr M: Cannot ignore if loved one commits murder

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said his indebtedness to former premier Abdul Razak Hussein will not blind him to any wrongdoing which may have been committed by the current premier.

While he may feel he owed his political career to Abdul Razak and has helped the son’s rise to the top political position, Mahathir said he will not turn a blind eye to any wrongdoing.

“The truth is, I am indebted (to Tun Razak). Tun Razak uplifted me to become prime minister, and I tried to make his son prime minister (too).

“I love (him). I love (him). But even though I love (him), we must be concerned. (more…)

Najib cannot be forgiven for 1MDB RM42 billion debt, says Dr M

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Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today says the huge debt incurred by 1MDB cannot be ignored. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, April 25, 2015.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak cannot be forgiven for losing RM42 billion through state investment vehicle, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today

The country’s longest serving prime minister said that debts accumulated by the controversial fund were not small amounts, adding that if Najib was not stopped, this would continue and more money would be lost.

‎”We cannot forgive anymore, we have to focus on this (1MDB).

“If we don’t stop this, it will continue to happen,” he said at a forum at the K-Klub in Taman Melawati today. (more…)

KJ says he’s not involved in plot to oust Najib

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Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin denied he was involved in an alleged plot by several of the wing’s members to topple his boss, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“Saya anak jantan, saya tak perlu machai-machai (I am a man, I do not need any lackeys) to topple anyone,” he told reporters, when met at the Permatang Pauh nomination centre in Bukit Mertajam today.

“I am a straightforward person. If ever I wanted to do it (oust Najib), I would do it myself,” added the youth and sports minister who was in Permatang Pauh to support BN candidate Suhaimi Sabudin in the May 7 by-election. (more…)

April 25, 2015

Learn from East M’sia, Ku Nan tells protesters

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Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor has urged protesters against a church in Petaling Jaya on Sunday to emulate Sabah and Sarawak in forging ties between different religious communities.

“You know, they should follow what is happening in Sabah and Sarawak. Church and a mosque can exist side-by-side.

“During Friday prayers, the church will open the parking lots for Muslims to park their cars in the church.

“On Sunday, the mosque will open their gates for people going to church to park their cars. (more…)

Will snap polls save Najib from Dr M’s jaws?

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Since Dr Mahathir Mohamad embarked on his tirade against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, a string of Umno leaders have come out to pledge support for their embattled president.

Even those who disagree with him on issues such as the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have remained silent or put their views across in a subtle manner.

So it came as a surprise when Umno lawmaker Nur Jazlan (photo) proposed that Najib seek a new mandate in snap nationwide polls.

He said this would allow the prime minister to “cleanse” himself, his family and administration of the very negative perception cast on them. (more…)

Umno sec-gen dismisses claims of ‘get Najib’ plot

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Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has dismissed claims that there was a plot among Umno Youth leaders to topple Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

He also urged bloggers making these allegations to be god-fearing and not spread malicious rumours.

“How can you believe blogs? You know, sometimes blogs lie. They have different agenda.

“I talked to (Umno deputy youth chief Khairul) Azwan, he told me no such thing, (what he said) was spinned in a different way,” Tengku Adnan told Malaysiakini when contacted. (more…)

Enough evidence to probe PM’s wealth

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There are enough evidence to support an investigation on the wealth of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s family, Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said today.

This follows an adviser of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) who yesterday said a probe cannot be conducted based on a mere suspicion.

The New York Times has stated in their article dated Feb 8 this year that they have obtained invoices and other documents showing millions of dollars in jewellery ordered for (prime minister’s wife) Rosmah Mansor in Hong Kong in 2008 and 2009. (more…)

The Dr M-Najib feud according to MJ’s hits

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Charlie Chaplin once said: “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up but a comedy in long-shot.”

This is similar to bloopers that depict hilarious incidents accompanied by rib-tickling narratives and musical scores.

For the audience and narrator – it is the long-shot. But to the individuals involved in these misadventures – it is the close-up.

It seems that Nazir Razak (below left) has been viewing his brother’s political conundrum from a distant vantage point and this apparently motivated him to post an image of Michael Jackson with the title of his hit number ‘You Are Not Alone’ on Instagram. (more…)

Dissolving Parliament will spell the end of Umno, BN, says Perkasa

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Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali has warned Umno and Barisan Nasional that Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed's suggestion to dissolve Parliament will not go well for the party. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 24, 2015.Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) will pay a heavy price if the party agrees with Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed’s view that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should dissolve the Parliament to pave the way for a snap election.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, in issuing the warning to Umno members today, said that a snap election would only bring defeat to BN and Umno due to the many ongoing and unresolved issues faced by the people.

“It is not wrong for Najib to dissolve the Dewan Rakyat. But in my opinion, if such a move is taken right now, Umno will be ‘bungkus’ (finished) and BN will ‘jalan’ (come to an end),” he told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

Najib: The old must give way to the young

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the old must make way for the young when the time comes for the latter to be independent.

Though he mentioned his daughter’s recent marriage and lamented how difficult it was for him to let her go, Najib also appeared to be referring to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, especially since he raised the former premier’s Vision 2020.

“It is normal for the old to want to protect the young. But when it is time to let go the young to make them independent, then let them go,” he said in his blog today. (more…)

Church waits for written approval from Azmin to restore cross

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The corner shoplot in Taman Medan which houses the church that became the focus of a protest when it affixed a cross on the front portion of its building. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 24, 2015.

The Taman Medan church that was forced to remove a cross from its building during a protest will only put it up again after it gets a written approval from Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Lawyer Derek Fernandez said the church took this stand as it feared for the safety of its representatives and parishioners.

“The church will seek the assistance from MBPJ as well as the police when they put up the cross again to avoid any untoward incident,” said Fernandez when met at the Petaling Jaya police headquarters today.

He was there to accompany the church representative who was called by the police to assist in their investigation into the protest. (more…)

April 24, 2015

1MDB’s proposal for RM12.6 billion smelter in Sarawak falls through

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1Malaysia Development Bhd’s move to set up a multi-billion ringgit aluminium smelter in Sarawak has fallen through. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 23, 2015.

The proposal for troubled investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to set up an RM12.6 billion aluminium smelter in Sarawak’s Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) in Bintulu has fallen through.

The Sarawak state assembly was told today that the proposal, made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on June 17, 2011, to set up the plant in a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi-based Mubahala Development Company, would not materialise.

It was reported that the prime minister had made the proposal under a strategic cooperation during the visit of United Arab Emirates’ crown prince Sheikh Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan. (more…)

Nazir: Earlier 1MDB issue cleared up, the better

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CIMB Group Chairperson Nazir Razak today said that the earlier the 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) issue is cleared up, the better it would be for the rakyat.
“It’s also important for us to put the elephant in the room behind us. This whole 1MDB issue, the earlier it is cleared up, the better for everyone.

“When issues are not cleared up, people tend to expect the worse,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Invest Malaysia 2015 forum in Kuala Lumpur, Nazir (pix, below) also expressed disappointment with 1MDB’s absence at event.

He confirmed that the debt-ridden state investor had been officially invited invited for the annual event. (more…)

I am not alone, Najib sings back

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak simply couldn’t resist taking a dig at his current number one critic Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his keynote address at Invest Malaysia 2015 today.
Najib in his speech mentioned how “certain quarters” had said that it could be lonely in telling the truth.

“There has been some talk lately in Malaysia about how it can be lonely in telling the truth,” said Najib at the event in Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

“Well, I can tell you that I don’t feel lonely standing here today.” (more…)

Dr M does 1MDB maths, says RM27bil missing

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad took on the arduous task of calculating the purchases made by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) through its RM42 billion loan and claimed that 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. (more…)

Baru: New Forest Bill nonsensical and impractical

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baru bian sarawak

The Bill states that the Sarawak Government would gazette any notification to extinguish NCR rights.

Opposition Leader Baru Bian has described the Forest Bill 2015, passed by the Sarawak Assembly on Wednesday, as oppression of the Orang Asal.

It does not take into consideration, he added, that the Orang Asal often live in the deep interior where the government gazette doesn’t reach them and where there are no newspapers. “This Bill is nonsensical and impractical,” he fumed. “Many Orang Asal are even illiterate.”

“Even if the Orang Asal come down to the District Office, perhaps once a year, how do you expect them to read if they are illiterate? Even many of their relatives are illiterate.” (more…)

Najib’s men can no longer help him, says Rais

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been under attack from many quarters over issues such as 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, April 23, 2015.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak must take drastic measures to revamp his administration style, Umno veteran Tan Sri Rais Yatim said today, adding that the prime minister could no longer rely on the people surrounding him.

The former minister (pic, right) told Astro Awani that Malaysians remained dissatisfied with the answers given to them on the controversies surrounding Najib.

“The people surrounding Najib can no longer help him. In fact, one vice-president is already calling for change,” the special advisor to the government on Social and Cultural Affairs was quoted as saying. (more…)

Seasoned politician strengthens group’s lobby for Bukit Semuja

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Seasoned opposition figure Sylvester Belayong Jayang is throwing his weight behind a Barisan Nasional lobby group in the proposed new state seat of Bukit Semuja, one of 11 created in the latest delineation exercise for Sarawak.

Sylvester, a failed candidate in two elections, the 2008 parliamentary election and the 2011 state election, said he has decided to shed his opposition streak to ensure a “clean start” for Bukit Semuja as a new seat.

He said he has opted to join a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) lobby group led by former five-term Tarat and Kedup assemblyman Frederick Bayoi Manggie, who has come out of retirement to help stamp PBB’s claims over Bukit Semuja. (more…)

A GST jolt at the ‘chap fan’ stall

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Well here I was at the ‘chap fan’ (Chinese mixed rise, err, rice) stall one blistering Saturday after the introduction of the much dreaded goods and services tax or GST which was going to send prices of goods higher – how much higher was the question.

I smiled as I looked over the more than 50 dishes laid out for us, anything from an array of vegetables to soup, fish to meat, soybean concoctions, roasted, braised, fried – you name it, it was there. A half-hundred of mouth-watering, delectable dishes. And they are cheap.

There are few places that you can have things so cheap: two fish/meat dishes plus a vegetable for RM6. Now, that’s a bargain right, even if it is a suburb of KL/Klang; Setia Alam to be precise. Heck, prices here are the same as in KL anyway. (more…)

Is it ‘open season’ in Umno now?

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With Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak taking a jabback at his mentor Dr Mahathir Mohamad today in saying “I am not alone”, will it result in open season for the tussle of power in Umno?

Certainly Najib is facing the toughest test in his sixth year of leading Malaysia, following criticisms of his policies and actions. This is coupled with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax earlier this month, which is facing teething problems, amidst simmering unhappiness from those feeling the pinch.

Ironically, the PM’s biggest threat does not come from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat but like his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his staunchest critic is from within Umno, namely Mahathir. (more…)

Najib called the shots in 1MDB, says Dr M

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Najib Abdul Razak may have repeatedly stressed that he is only an adviser to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) but Dr Mahathir Mohamad has insisted the prime minister is responsible for calling the shots in the debt-ridden firm.

The former premier said it was unlikely that the management of 1MDB dared to defy the company’s adviser, who is also the finance minister.

He added that whatever Najib “advised” was ultimately a directive.

“It is inexcusable that the management which is appointed by the prime minister would reject his advice. (more…)

Umno portal: Youth leaders plotting PM’s ouster?

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A pro-Umno website has claimed that Umno Youth leaders could be attempting to plot the ouster of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

However, the wing’s exco member Arman Azha Abu Hanifah, who was named as one of the conspirators, dismissed this.

According to MYKMU.net, a meeting was held last night where Umno Youth deputy chief Khairul Azwan Harun “attempted to influence” Johor Umno Youth division leaders to go against Najib.

The meeting was attended by Arman as well as other Umno Youth exco members Syamsul Baharin Putra Ahmad Shibi, Sheikh Ahmad Nafiq Sheik A Rahman and Mohamed Shafri Abd Aziz. (more…)

Sarawak DCM’s son, Gerald Jabu, co-owns crashed chopper firm

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Gerald Rentap Jabu as director and shareholder of Solaire Sdn Berhad (Solaire), the operator of the ill-fated helicopter that crashed on April 4 and killed guests home-bound from the wedding of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s daughter, is news.

It is news because Gerald is the surviving half of Solaire; the other half was the pilot of the helicopter, American Clifford Fournier.

With Fournier dead, director and 50 per cent shareholder Gerald could very well turn out to be Solaire’s main actor in the ongoing investigations into the tragedy that killed six people – former minister and Najib’s confidante Jamaluddin Jarjis, Kedah businessman Robert Tan, a private secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Azlin Alias, Aidana Baizeva, bodyguard Raskan and Fournier. (more…)

Mahathir on porn and ‘good luck’ Najib

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad is on the warpath against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak but chose to be diplomatic in his trademark cynical manner when quizzed on the latter’s jab at him earlier this morning.

“Good luck to him. I wish him well,” the former premier told reporters at the sidelines of a forum in Kuala Lumpur.

He was responding to Najib’s speech at InvestMalaysia 2015 today, where the prime minister took a swipe at Mahathir’s claim of being alone in seeking the truth.

During his speech at the social media forum earlier, the doctor-turned-politician spoke on various issues ranging from calling for a change in leadership, pornography and teenagers growing new “appendages” (more…)

The third force

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There is an increasing disconnect between the citizen and the politicians in power. Their lack in terms of the popular vote at the last general election underlines this reality.

Despite their poor performance, there has been no soul searching nor any attempts to make a difference. On the other hand there is perhaps a glee and confidence that with continued gerrymandering they would be able to hang on to power.

To expect a change through the electoral process when all things are stacked against the voter shows how skewed the present system is. Our only hope remains in the possibility of a “third force”, a group of people who will give leadership to a new and inclusive future. (more…)

More than RM1.8 bil moved, says Sarawak Report in latest Jho Low exposé

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Sarawak Report's latest exposé reports that Low Taek Jho transferred over RM1.8 billion from one bank account to another in Singapore. He allegedly siphoned off US$700 million from 1MDB in 2009. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, April 23, 2015.

Good Star Limited, the firm of Low Taek Jho that allegedly siphoned off millions from 1Malaysia Development Berhad in 2009, was found to have transferred over US$500 million (RM1.8 billion) to one of the businessman’s bank accounts at BSI Bank Limited in Singapore from 2011 to 2012, said whistleblower site Sarawak Report.

Citing documents from the republic’s monetary authorities, it said the account was under the name of Abu Dhabi-Kuwait-Malaysia Investment Corporation (ADKMIC), of which Low, also known as Jho Low, was listed as the beneficial owner.

ADKMIC was the name of the company Low fronted in July 2008, which had previously engaged in the buy-up of a 53% shareholding in the Utama Banking Group (UBG), a company controlled by Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family, the report added. (more…)

Let’s just have a good laugh and move on peacefully

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

In the midst of all the outrage against the Taman Medan cross protest, one man has decided to try a different approach – to laugh at the silliness of the entire affair.

Ridiculing the protesters, which ironically was sparked by outrage as well, MIC leader Vell Paari cited a few absurd examples, including converting all cross junctions to roundabouts, banning mathematics due to the “ ” symbol and not using the lower case “t”. All items listed bear a resemblance to the offending cross, and as such, should be equally offensive to the protesters.

Vell Paari’s remarks might be viewed as mocking, but he was quick to emphasise that it was not directed at Muslims, but the few who were narrow-minded. (more…)

April 23, 2015


Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The support shown towards the #Kita Lawan anti-GST rallies has revealed the rakyat’s unhappiness with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s administration for being obstinate and proceeding to implement the GST which replaces the sales and services tax.

While the rakyat is forced to shoulder the burden of having to pay extra for goods and services consumed, Putrajaya has adopted the “denial syndrome” and is pretending that all is well vis-à-vis GST and that the people are not reacting negatively to it.

At least that is the position taken by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry, with its Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek claiming that the people have understood and accepted the GST. (more…)

Whither rule of law in Selangor?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Reverting to my 1Bangsa Malaysia series, I have recently been challenged by my book editor that I should try writing a consistent and integrated thesis but which is not necessarily a grand theory.  But for those interested in my grand theory notion, please read the preface to my book.

The 1Bangsa of Malaysians is only possible when there is national integration with constitutional integrity. My argument is quite simple. There can be no 1Bangsa of Malaysians if we do not have a similar shared vision about life and our common space issues; and consequently agree on principles requisite for good behaviour and right conduct in our public spaces. I am assuming we want and are ready to address that original shared vision and related challenges by 2020. (more…)

Another Umno lawmaker says Najib must answer Dr Mahathir

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan states the case for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to answer the allegations brought up by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 22, 2015.Datuk Seri Najib Razak must immediately answer allegations raised by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, another Umno lawmaker said today, noting that the failure of the prime minister to do so would be detrimental to the party.

Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who is also Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, said today that Najib should not put off answering Dr Mahathir’s questions or simply try to ignore it till the next general election.

“Najib has to answer the questions soon otherwise the future of the party will be affected,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today. (more…)

Stop insulting me and my faith

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

christian-muslim_600In all the years I have spent talking and writing about those who are continuously oppressed all over the world, not once had I realised the severity of the oppression that my own people face.

It is not the same sort of horridness and we are not close to killing each other.

But an injustice is an injustice, is an injustice.

Having perks for being Malay is one thing (let’s save that bit for a different day), but blatantly protesting the rights of our fellow brothers of not only the Abrahamic Faith but our nation, is truly beyond the bounds of comprehension. (more…)

PKR think tank finds Sedition Act revisions ‘tailor-made’ to target opposition

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

A PKR think tank finds the Sedition Act amendments passed by Dewan Rakyat recently tailored to restrict dissenting voices and opposition politicians. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 21, 2015.

Putrajaya’s amendments to the Sedition Act is tailored to bring down opposition leaders and dissenting voices of civil society, Institut Rakyat today said, adding that such measures were to help the federal government to consolidate its authority and single-party rule.

Yin Shao Loong, director of the PKR think-tank, said that the government has had a “well-established” track record of abusing sedition and anti-terrorism legislation to suppress activists, politicians, students, academics, preachers and even comedians.

“The 2015 amendments to the Sedition Act are clearly tailored to those dissenting voices investigated or charged since 2013. Institut Rakyat finds at least seven instances of such tailoring to stiffen penalties, restrictions, and liability for recent cases of sedition,” he said. (more…)

Ambiga: Redelineation will lead to dirty GE14

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The 14th general election could be as “dirty” as 13th polls due to the ongoing redelineation process, former electoral watchdog Bersih chief Ambiga Sreenevasan said.

This is because the Election Commission is carrying on with the process without first addressing the Electoral Integrity Project’s (EIP) findings that Malaysia’s polls boundaries are the worst in the world, she said.

Speaking at the Asean People’s Forum 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, she said the 13th general election in 2013 was the “dirtiest” in the country’s history. (more…)

Helicopter investigations are spinning out of control

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The helicopter crash on April 4, which killed all six on board, has raised more questions than have been answered. The weather was fine, the aircraft in good condition and there appeared to be nothing untoward.

Preliminary investigations threw up several contradictions: A witness saw an explosion, but the authorities claim the black box indicates none. An investigator suspects an explosion, but the bodies show no signs of an explosion. A witness saw the plane nose-dive, but the data was inconclusive.

Is everything in Malaysia contradictory or are the investigations shoddy? Is it any wonder that we mistrust all official reports. (more…)

Protest over crosses would never occur in East M’sia

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM


Think Tank urges Putrajaya to look to Sabah and Sarawak for solutions to challenges posed by race and religious issues.

After visiting Sabah and Sarawak, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan said he could not imagine protests like the one that took place against a church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, on Sunday happening on the other side of the South China Sea.

“Such protests like the Taman Medan incident stem from a feeling of insecurity that is unjustifiable,” said Wan. “I just hope the diseases in the peninsula will not be exported to the two states in Borneo and that the positive values from Sabah and Sarawak can be brought to the peninsular part of the country.” (more…)

Keeping a credible testimony

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

It is advisable to evaluate the company you keep and who represents you

RENAISSANCE philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli once wrote that the effectiveness of a ruler can be ascertained by the intelligence of people who surround him.

A simpler way to put it may be found in the Bible’s Book of Proverbs, “A man is known by the company he keeps”.

What it basically means is this: We need to be careful with who we hang out with, who we allow to represent us and who we’ve appointed to speak for us. (more…)

Is being “moderate” the right way to move forward?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Recently, my friends invited me along for a young adult forum organised in a church that would focus on creating a “moderate Ma­laysia”, and its guest speakers were social activists Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Azrul Mohd Khalib.

The topic sounded questionable to me, not because I was against the idea of moderation, or maybe I am. I thought, assuming these urban middle and upper middle class folks were extending the invite to their friends and peers, wouldn’t this forum be as useful as preaching to the choir? I was glad to be proven wrong two hours later.

There was a huge turn-out, although there seemed to be more “old adults” than “young adults”, which made me wonder if my generation simply cares less, or if it was a particularly happening Friday night that I’m missing out on. (more…)

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