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Monday, December 17, 2012

Ramli: Is Musa jealous of my official send-off?


Former CCID director Ramli Yusuff believes former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan could be jealous that present IGP Ismail Omar had given him a proper retirement ceremony last month.

"I believe (that Musa) was envious as when he retired, Ismail did not give him anything (a proper send-off). But I got that honour."
Ramli reached compulsory retirement age on March 1, 2008. But he was embroiled in a court case where he was accused of non-disclosure of his assets.
After five years, the courts cleared him, clearing the way for his official sendoff.

NONE"I think that was why Musa (left) was bitter with Ismail. If Musa wants to be accorded the same ceremony, please ask the IGP nicely. Why must Musa attack Ismail in the open?" he quipped, adding that both Musa and Ismail had served under him in the CID for six years.

Ramli also said that during his time there was no intervention by the executive nor the home minister as police were able to do their job professionally.

"As policemen, we can advise the cabinet ministers but they cannot tell us what to do. We are professionals and we are trained policemen, we are not politicians. Politicians, as lawmakers, have to work together with the police.

"During my time there was no interference from the Home Ministry. There was no such thing that you have to do this and do that," he retorted.

Musa had previously revealed that Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had interfered with the police by giving directions to his subordinates.

Hishammuddin responded by asking why Musa had raised the issue only now, just as the general election was approaching and claimed what was brought up was a big lie.

Unreliable witness

Ramli said that former IGP Musa's Sabah case which was related to abuse of power, where the Sessions judge decided Musa was an unreliable witness when his testimony contradicted with other junior officers, showed what he was capable off.

"If this court's decision was made outside Malaysia, the person would have resigned like what had happened with the Singapore Parliament speaker who stepped down recently following allegations of a sex scandal."

Ramli claims that the former IGP is trying to re-invent his image with the recent public disclosure.

"
My men have documents to show that Musa has links to the underworld through the likes of the Goh Cheng Poh (Tengku Goh) and BK Tan, who are his good friends.
"Musa was saying CCID cannot open case files against gambling operators. He should read the law carefully because all police officers with the required rank, have the powers to investigate."

The Tengku Goh and BK Tan links has been reported previously as the Copgate affair.

Ill-feelings
On the question as to why Musa had ill-feelings against him, Ramli disclosed that he had once issued a show-cause letter to Musa in 2001, for agreeing to disband police prosecuting officers.

"Musa represented me in that meeting which was chaired by his good friend Abdul Gani Patail, who was then head of prosecution in the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).
"There, Musa agreed that young deputy public prosecutors from the AGC could conduct the prosecution in the magistrates and sessions court without consulting me or the then IGP, Norian Mai.

"Norian was upset with me following the decision as this involves policy matters and Musa should have consulted with the head of department or the IGP over this. As a result I had to issue the letter to Musa. The police protested heavily with the AGC.

"As a former officer in charge of the Kuala Lumpur courts with the rank of superintendent, I had handled 200 policemen including the police prosecutors and we are professional in our jobs and performed better than some of the young DPPs.
"Nevertheless, when Musa became IGP he pushed through the idea, resulting in the disbanding of police prosecutors," he said.

Ramli said as a result of him protesting the move to replace the police prosecutors, Musa and even Abdul Gani were unhappy with him.

Pakistan police battle militants after deadly airport raid

Four people were killed when militants attacked the airport in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Saturday and traded gunfire with soldiers(Reuters).
Four people were killed when militants attacked the airport in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Saturday and traded gunfire with soldiers(Reuters).

Peshawar: Police battled militants armed with automatic weapons, grenades and mortars in northwest Pakistan’s Peshawar on Sunday, a day after a deadly Taliban raid on the city's airport.

Fierce firing broke out after officers acting on an intelligence report tried to storm a house near the airport, where a suicide and rocket attack on Saturday evening killed five civilians and the five attackers and wounded 50 other people.

The assault late Saturday, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, sparked prolonged gunfire and forced authorities to close the airport, a commercial hub and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base in Peshawar on the edge of the tribal belt.

It was the second Islamist militant attack in four months on a military air base in nuclear-armed Pakistan. In August 11 people were killed when heavily-armed insurgents wearing suicide vests stormed a facility in the northwestern town of Kamra.

Two police officers were wounded in Sunday’s renewed fighting during which militants threw a hand grenade, senior police officer Imtiaz Altaf told AFP.

“A militant has been killed. The encounter is still continuing. Militants are fully equipped with automatic weapons, hand grenades and mortars,” Altaf said.

Imran Shahid, a second police official, confirmed the shootout but said it was not yet clear how many attackers were involved.

Live television footage showed troops and police entering a street amid gunfire, while an AFP reporter heard fierce firing in the area.

A PAF statement said five attackers were killed on Saturday and no damage was done to air force equipment or personnel.

Doctor Umar Ayub, chief of Khyber Teaching Hospital near the airport, said five civilians had also been killed and some 50 wounded.

“The Base is in total control and normal operations have resumed. The security alert was also raised on other PAF air bases as well,” the air force added.

Peshawar airport is a joint military-civilian facility. Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George said the passenger side remained closed but there had been no damage to the terminals.

The air force said Saturday’s attackers used two vehicles loaded with explosives, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. One vehicle was destroyed and the second badly damaged.

Security forces found three suicide jackets near one of the vehicles, it said.

“Security forces consisting of Pakistan Air Force and Army personnel who were on full alert, cordoned off the Base and effectively repulsed the attack,” the air force said.

Television pictures showed a vehicle with a smashed windscreen, another damaged car, bushes on fire and what appeared to be a large breach in a wall.

Five nearby houses were destroyed after rockets landed on them and several other houses developed cracks, while the bomb squad detonated five out of eight bombs found near the base after the attack.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location that the group would continue to target the airport.

“Our target was jet fighter plans and gunship helicopters and soon we will target them again,” he said.

The armed forces have been waging a bloody campaign against the Taliban in the country’s northwest in recent years and the militants frequently attack military targets.

Aside from the August attack on Kamra, in May 2011 it took 17 hours to quell an assault on an air base in Karachi claimed by the Taliban. The attack piled embarrassment on the armed forces just three weeks after US troops killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Pakistan says more than 35,000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Its forces have for years been battling homegrown militants in the northwest.

Brutal Caning Under Sharia Law In Indonesia

Man Caned Under Sharia Law In Indonesia

View with discretion | Indonesia is home to the world’s largest population of self-described faithful Muslims. More than 200 million citizens of the Asian nation embrace Islam. Indonesian Muslims have long been thought of as “moderate Muslims” and the nation is extremely proud of its inclusive, secular nature. Officially, Indonesia is not an Islamic State, but since the start of the 21st century, areas of the country are much less tolerant of other religions. Aceh Province has imposed Sharia Law on its citizens since 2001 and they utilize corporal punishment on a regular basis. This practice, which includes public caning of both sexes, finally came to the attention of the world when word spread about the brutal caning of 10 citizens in Meulaboh, West Aceh, on Wednesday for violating Shariah law with offenses including gambling and adultery.

Jhon Aswir, head of the West Aceh Public Order Agency and Shariah Police, spoke about the punishments:

“They are convicts in the cases of maisir (gambling) and khalwat (adultery), which had been processed since 2009. The caning was part of the West Aceh administration’s commitment to uphold Shariah law in Aceh.”

Muhammad Azim, one of the officials from the West Aceh Shariah Law Agency who was directly involved in the caning procession, emphasized the severity of the punishment with pride as he spoke about three of the victims who fainted from the beating.

“They collapsed and fainted, including the woman.”

The brutality of the punishment is evidenced by the photograph of one caning victim. It is truly hard and sickening to imagine the force needed to do that much damage to a person’s body with the eight or 9 strokes that each victim was given. The size of the wounds, the damage to the skin and the amount of bleeding indicate that an extreme amount of force was used. It is important to remember that this punishment is imposed on both men and women and it can lead to severe, permanent scarring.

Indonesia’s leading newspaper, The Jakarta Globe, described the public caning, which is called a “Caning Procession:”

“The caning procession was held at the yard of the Grand Baitul Makmur Mosque in Meulaboh and witnessed by thousands of residents as well as the Meulaboh district head, regional legislative council members and ulemas (Muslim legal scholars).”

The Globe also spoke about one innocent young woman who committed suicide after being arrested by the Sharia Police for attending a musical concert and was terrified of the punishment:

“A 16-year-old girl committed suicide in September after the Aceh Shariah police wrongly arrested her while she attended a music concert and accused her of committing prostitution.”

Human Rights organizations are outraged by the punishments applied only under Shariah Law, including caning, amputation of limbs, blinding, stoning for adultery and decapitation for such offenses as Witchcraft. They severly criticized the Government of Indonesia for failing once again to prosecute the parties responsible for these terrible violations of human decency and accepted worldwide standards of criminal law.

To know the economy, ask the housewives

Many are venturing farther and farther from home in search of lower prices. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 ― Who knows better than the female half of a couple the ups and downs of the economy?

It may be that most husbands are the ones who bear the financial burden but it is the wives and mothers who feel the pinch before their spouses. They deal with school fees, groceries, maid salaries, and know instantly when the price of electricity shoots up.

The Malaysian Insider conducted an informal straw poll among acquaintances and friends whose ages range from 30 to 40, who are educated, and either work from home or have taken a sabbatical from work.

Budgeting is an on-going battle even though some come from upper middle-class families. Some are professionals or freelancers and stay-at-home mothers.

The first thing that came to mind was the quality and cost of education in the country. They all agreed that affordable education meant enrolling their children in government schools, but after-school activities and tuition can burn a hole in the wallet. There is always something to pay, and at what price when many of them feel the education system has slipped tremendously from their schooldays?

The property question

Most agree that property and the rising cost of education, as well as health, are out of control and “illogical.” Property prices are spiralling upwards, but there is a glut of residences and offices spaces all over Klang Valley and Selangor.

Vacant properties are abundant but these are only targeted at those in the higher income bracket.

Sazlin Daud, a one-time practising lawyer who is now a stay-at-home mother of two, commented that “We’re not talking just one to two developers in one to two areas, it’s everywhere, spreading its tentacles all across the Klang Valley!”

“How illogical is it that the only new landed properties available now within the suburbs are superlinks, semi-detached homes and bungalows with prices that start at above RM1.5 million? What happened to plain old terrace homes?

“And what is even more ridiculous is that existing landed properties, even run-down terrace homes in Subang Jaya can sell for RM700,000-800,000, in Bandar Utama for RM800,000-RM1 million and in Mutiara Damansara for RM1.2 million?”

Many agree that even older houses in need of repair are selling at RM700,000-800,000; similar homes in Bandar Utama are almost RM1 million. The current climate is not conducive for young couples with growing families. The question is, where will they be able to move when the children have grown up?

For some, renting property is the way to go. It is more affordable and practical. Yet this route has caused them some stress; renting is still stigmatised by many Asians.

The budget review

One reason why petrol expenses have shot up is because the wives will drive just about anywhere to score a bargain. It no longer makes sense to shop at a certain place “to be seen” because the price fluctuation is too obvious.

A wife whose husband earns a five-figure income watches the family grocery bills like a hawk. What does she think of grocery expenses in the Klang Valley?

“I think it’s schizophrenic. My son’s formula and baby products are cheaper at Ben’s in Publika, and the same ones cost more in Tesco. I don’t know if the ticketer ‘silap tampal’ the price tag!

“People think we have the money but I will not spend unnecessarily. I can tell you ― sometimes the pasar in Keramat is as expensive as the one in TTDI, and I have found reasonably-priced dragon fruit at the Mont Kiara Thursday night market. Selayang is okay… but we don’t eat that much fish or chicken in a week! I don’t know who sets the prices! Our economy is crazy-lah.”

For KP (pseudonym), the interview actually drove her to write down all the expenses her family incurs and she is shocked. A frugal homemaker, it was eye-opening to see what was being spent. Her notes reveal that she and her husband spend over RM1,000 for their three children, and the expenses go to their education and activities.

Her children wear hand-me-downs. She is looking for a Bahasa Malaysia tutor but is intimidated by the fees. Their personal expenses go to medication, sports and range about RM1,000. Because they have a 90-year-old relative living with them, they have had to invest in a properly-trained maid whose salary is RM1,000 a month.

It is an on-going battle among the two spouses, trying to cope with the costs of a growing family, medical expenses and also some treats in between. Both of them rarely indulge in personal luxuries, and their children are not treated lavishly.

Still, she wonders if there will be a limit to all this. Medication for her husband’s ailment is increasing; actually, everything is becoming more expensive. How long can they be frugal and deny themselves some luxuries?

The one constant battle she and her husband has is where they shop for groceries. She would rather go all the way to Tesco Puchong because there is more variety and it is cheaper. However, her husband would rather shop at Village Grocer, Bangsar Village, because it’s more convenient.

Let’s trade

So how do the mothers cut corners and yet enjoy some? Angelia Ong barters.

“For example, in exchange for your garden produce, whatever I make from it, I send it over or sell the excess. That works in terms of skills and teaching options too. Teach my kids Bahasa twice a week, I exchange for bread, babysitting, whatever. I find that the idea of community (not necessarily living in the exact same location) is coming back.”

And, yes, bartering groups have cropped up on Facebook and is not just a more affordable way of living, but has become a social activity. The Barter Exchange Group Malaysia is one.

The banter among the members reminds one of a country farm with neighbours popping by for a chat. It may sound strange to a consumerist society, but it makes sense to the members. And the members in the group range from professionals, stay-at-home parents, educators, to name a few.

Women hankering for branded goods at affordable prices also turn to informal Facebook groups, which have lead members based in the US or Europe, who buy their goods during sales and then ship them back to Malaysia.

The difference is significant ― this cuts out the middleman and store overheads. These groups are also fashion savvy ― the customer will get the original and the latest trend if she so wants.

What do they think of the current economic climate?

They are very leery.

“The cost of living has skyrocketed but our incomes have not changed. Not good,” one working wife commented.

‘Don’t vote for the wrong Ah Jib Gor’

Najib hopes the youths would not make a mistake when electing a prime minister in the coming general election.

SANDAKAN: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak promised to continue to work hard for the people, especially the younger generation who are the country’s future.

He said it was important for the government to pass the reins of leadership when the country had prospered and developed.

“Thank you for believing in me and I hope you will continue to support the Barisan Nasional.

“The government is very serious to engage with youths because you will become the leaders of our country one day,” he told his ardent fans connected to him through his Facebook page called Ah Jib Gor or big brother Najib in Mandarin, here, today.

Najib hoped the youths would not make a mistake when electing a prime minister in the coming general election.

“Please support BN if you still want me in my present position or you will get the wrong Ah Jib Gor or big brother,” he said to cheers from his fans who chanted ‘Ah Jib Gor’.

Najib, who also presented the fan club’s membership certificates, hoped the 300-member fan club in Sandakan, which was launched in September, would continue in strength.

- Bernama

Wrong religion classification: Act fast on MyKad fiasco

A Christian movement wants the NRD to start correcting their errors in scores of MyKads of Christians in Sabah who have been wrongfully classified as Muslims.

KOTA KINABALU: The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) Commission on Sabah Affairs (COSA) has urged the National Registration Department to start correcting their errors in scores of MyKads of Christians in Sabah who have been wrongfully classified as Muslims.

Chairman of COSA, Jerry Dusing, said the federal cabinet’s decision to resolve the long-standing dilemma of Christians in Sabah wrongly classified as Muslims in their MyKad must be acted upon with urgency and should not be dragged on.

He stressed that this is important, so that the Syariah Court is not forced to make any judgment or order which may further complicate the problem.

“This is a step in the right direction to avoid further confusion over the status of Bumiputera Christians in Sabah,” said Dusing in a statement issued here.

COSA is also monitoring a protracted dispute in the Kudat Syariah High Court which is hearing the case of three Christians who have been forced by the NRD to prove in the Islamic courts that they are not Muslims.

The case was mounted by a 53-year-old widow of Banggi ethnicity, Intim Lambatan, and her two adult daughters, Norina Nuhudan, 28, and Listin Nuhudan, 22, after they were arbitrarily classified as Muslims in their MyKad when all three are baptised Christians belonging to the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) denomination.

The case is interesting given that the Sabah Islamic Affair Department or Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah (JHEAINS) has acknowledged that their names were not on the department’s register and yet the NRD had classified them as such.

In a further twist, when the error was pointed out, the NRD refused to rectify its mistake and asked Intim to go the Kudat Syariah High Court for a declaration that she is not a Muslim.

The case came up for hearing on Oct 29 but both JHEAINS and the NRD did not turn up, forcing a postponement.

The United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) has since jumped into the fray with its president Bernard Dompok leading the charge and offering his assistance, perhaps aware of the sensitivity of the case so close to general election and the threatening public relations disaster for the BN.

However, the Upko chief’s announcement last week that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had given the NRD the go-ahead to rectify the errors instead of having to go through the Syariah Court as had been insisted for decades was met with some contempt.

Technical glitches

Various government leaders and departments involved are all now backing away from the controversy that has been a festering sore in a state known for its religious tolerance and harmony.

After years of the department saying otherwise, it fell to the man in charge of the NRD in Sabah, Ismail Ahmad, to trot out the excuses and say the errors were caused by “technical glitches.”

He said that for now, all those spotting such ‘errors’ only need to go to his office and point it out for it to be rectified on the spot.

Meanwhile, a Barisan Nasional state representative has urged the department to formulate proper guidelines so that officers can be guided accordingly in what may be regarded as grey areas in amending erroneous MyKads, especially those that have ‘converted’ Christians to Muslims at NRD’s offices.

Tanjung Kapor assemblyman, Teo Chee Kang said “it is fundamentally wrong for officers in NRD to require an order issued by the Syariah Court for an application by a non-Muslim to amend his or her religion which is inadvertently or mistakenly registered as ‘Islam’.”

“In such cases, by making Syariah Court order a requisite for an application to rectify a non-Muslim MyKad holder’s religion status tantamount to requiring non-Muslims to surrender to the jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts.

“Constitutionally, Syariah Courts only have jurisdiction over citizens who subscribe to the Islamic faith,” he said at the annual Christmas Candlelight gathering organised by the Council of Churches of Kudat held at Dewan Tun Mustapha, Kudat.

In this respect, Teo who is also Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secretary general said the decision of the federal cabinet, as disclosed by Dompok that such rectification would not involve the Syariah Courts and that it could be done at the NRD was a welcoming news.

“Sabah is very unique in the sense that it is so common for our non-Muslim natives to have a ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ in their names. Names are by no means an indicator of one’s religion. I even know a Sabahan Muslim friend who possess a Christian name,” he said.

Prime Minister Najib is currently in Sandakan to attend a meeting with Christian leaders.

Manikavasagam all out to save temples

He blames three Pakatan state exco members for having failed to do their duty in protecting non-Muslim places of worship.

PETALING JAYA: Kapar MP S Manikavasagam has taken it upon himself to protect the non-Muslim places of worship in Selangor in his capacity as the PKR public complaints bureau director.

“Although Selangor executive councillors (excos) Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Teresa Kok and Ronnie Liu are in charge. I am only helping them to do their work,” he told FMT today.

The three exco members are in the Selangor non-Muslim Houses of Worship Committee.

“When Pakatan came into power in 2008, we promised that they would be no more temple demolitions. The Indian community had taken our word for granted.

“We don’t want another Kampung Padang Jawa,” said the outspoken first-term MP in reference to the demolition of a temple in Kampung Padang Jawa, Klang in 2008.

The demolition and a host of other factors led the Indians to vote the Pakatan Rakyat coalition into power in Selangor.

“When I push the matter to the excos, they don’t seem to act. The party should appreaciate what I am doing,” he said, giving examples of temples in Kajang and Jeram that received demolition notices from local authorities.

He expressed his anger at local councils that demolished temples without first informing the state excos. He also took the three excos to task.

“If there were clear guidelines from the excos, the local councils would not demolish temples. The state government should come up with a guideline on whether private homes can be allowed to have its own shrines or altars,” said Manikavasagam.

He added that his actions of assisting temples from being demolished benefitted PKR as it would retain the Indians votes for Pakatan Rakyat. Most of the Indians are Hindus.

When asked to comment on Jayakumar’s reaction over a video that showed Manikavasagam allegedly using the words ‘idiot’ and ‘bastard’ against the former, he said he was disappointed that Jayakumar did not clarify with him first before speaking to the media.

“I know him for more than 15 years. He could have just give me a call and clarified. How can Xavier trust (MIC Youth chief) T Mohan more than me?

“I am ready to face the party’s disciplinary committee. If they act against me, it means they trust Mohan more than they trust me,” he said in reaction to Jayakumar who accused him of being unprofessional for having uttered those words in a video clip that was taken by MIC Youth.

Jayakumar also told FMT that the matter have been referred to the party’s disciplinary committee.

Hidup peneroka Gatco atau hidup Hindraf?

Peneroka Gatco sebenarnya bukanlah ahli Hindraf, Barisan Nasional mahu pun Pakatan Rakyat.
COMMENT

Bahagian Akhir

(Komen ini merupakan sambungan dari komen yang kami siarkan semalam yang bertajuk “Kemelut Gatco masih tiada kesudahan”.)

Apa sebenarnya yang berlaku pada 5 Disember lepas? Selain daripada bantahan dan kegagalan menyerahkan memorandum kepada Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan, Mohamad Hasan pada 5 Disember, ada sesuatu perkara yang menarik berlaku yang tidak diketahui oleh umum.

Ketika lebih 150 peneroka sudah pun berkumpul di hadapan Wisma Negeri, beberapa ‘orang kuat’ Hindraf secara tiba-tiba mengedarkan t-shirt rasmi Hindraf berwarna oren kepada peneroka Gatco. Selepas hampir semua peneroka mengenakan t- shirt Hindraf, berlangsung sesi bergambar bersama sepanduk.

Agak mengejutkan sebelum Pengerusi Hindraf P Waytha Moorthy memulakan ucapan, beliau meminta Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Senawang, P Gunasekaran (DAP) supaya berdiri jauh daripada tempat beliau berucap.

Waytha berkata lebih kurang begini kepada Gunasekaran: “Sebenarnya saya menunggu untuk anda. Kalau anda dah pergi sana, saya boleh mulakan ucapan saya. Saya tidak mahu isu Kampung Gatco menjadi seperti isu Kampung Buah Pala”.

Waytha berkata demikian mungkin merujuk kepada isu Kampung Buah Pala yang DAP sebagai peneraju Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang yang gagal pertahankan sebuah perkampungan India yang berusia lebih 100 tahun.

Insiden itu membuatkan Gunasekaran; ADUN Paroi, Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani (PAS) dan beberapa ADUN DAP yang lain berada di situ tersentak.

Tidak lama selepas itu Gunasekaran bersama beberapa ADUN DAP kelihatan beredar dari situ mungkin kerana perasaan malu.

Walaubagaimanapun Waytha membenarkan Mohd Taufek dan Ketua Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) Negeri Sembilan, Mohd Nazree Mohd Yunus berucap.

Apa yang menghairankan ialah selepas Waytha dan peneroka gagal menyerahkan memorandum selepas menanti tiga jam, Waytha melaungkan “Hidup Hindraf! Hidup Hindraf!” berkali-kali dan peneroka Gatco turut sama melaungkan slogan tersebut.

Kenapa laung ‘Hidup Hindraf’

Kenapa tidak laung “Hidup Peneroka Gatco!”? Persoalannya apa kena mengena laungan “Hidup Hindraf” dengan isu peneroka Gatco?

Peneroka Gatco sebenarnya bukanlah ahli Hindraf, Barisan Nasional (BN) mahu pun Pakatan Rakyat. Sebilangan kecil daripada mereka ada yang ahli Umno dan MIC.

Tetapi hampir semua peneroka Gatco boleh dikatakan sebagai peneroka yang tidak berparti walaupun sejak
tiga pilihan raya umum yang lalu mereka menyokong penuh calon BN dengan harapan calon BN yang menang akan membantu mereka menyelesaikan kemelut hak milik tanah perladangan yang berlanjutan sejak sekian lama.

Tidak salah Hindraf turut sama perjuangkan hak peneroka Gatco tetapi mengapa Waytha dan orang kanan Hindraf tidak melaungkan “Hidup Peneroka Gatco! “Hidup Peneroka Gatco!”?

Apa tujuan Waytha dan pemimpin Hindraf yang hadir pada pagi itu mengedarkan t-shirt Hindraf berwarna oren? Perhimpunan di hadapan Pejabat Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan pada pagi 5 Disember lalu seolah-olah seperti perhimpunan Hindraf.

Senario pada pagi itu ternyata jauh berbeza berbanding himpunan pada 28 Mac tahun ini apabila peneroka tidak memakai baju mana-mana parti atau organisasi.

Survival Hindraf

Dari kaca mata media dan orang berkecuali, apa yang boleh dikatakan Hindraf telah menggunakan peneroka Gatco untuk publisiti dan survival Hindraf itu sendiri pada pagi tersebut. Seramai 150 peneroka Gatco yang hadir pada pagi itu tiba-tiba menjadi penyokong Hindraf tanpa mereka sedari.

Tetapi peneroka Gatco yang merupakan warga emas tidak boleh disalahkan sepenuhnya kerana mereka berada dalam keadaan yang terdesak dan mungkin akan ikut sesiapa sahaja yang menjanjikan bantuan dan pertolongan untuk mendapatkan kembali lapan ekar tanah perladangan.

Seorang wartawan media arus perdana berbahasa Melayu bertanya kepada FMT kenapa peneroka semua memakai t-shirt Hindraf. Malah beliau menyatakan keberatan beliau untuk memberi liputan maksima. Tidak diketahui apa yang bermain di dalam kepala wartawan muda tersebut.

Berbanding pada 28 Mac lalu, apabila Mohamad turun dan menerima memorandum peneroka Gatco, kali ini Mohamad tidak datang berjumpa dengan peneroka dengan alasan mesyuarat Exco belum selesai. Beliau hanya menghantar Pegawai Khas beliau Zulkefli Awang untuk menerima memorandum tersebut.

Ada kemungkinan Mohamad tidak mahu melayan peneroka Gatco kali ini kerana tidak menyenangi kehadiran Hindraf.

Waytha dan penyokong Hindraf harus tahu, bagaimana orang Cina dan India umumnya membenci Perkasa kerana menganggap pertubuhan tersebut terlalu ekstrim Melayu. Begitu juga orang Melayu secara umumnya turut membenci Hindraf kerana Hindraf juga dilabel sebagai terlalu ekstrim India.

Ada juga pengundi atas pagar yang menganggap Hindraf adalah Perkasa versi kaum India. Bagi mereka perjuangan Perkasa dan Hindraf adalah sama sahaja iaitu atas teras satu bangsa sahaja.

Mampukah Hindraf atasi masalah Gatco?

Ada sebuah sepanduk yang dibawa oleh pemimpin Hindraf yang dipegang oleh peneroka Gatco berbunyi “Kalau Menteri Besar tak boleh, biar Hindraf selesaikan masalah ini”.

Bagaimana Hindraf ingin menyelesaikan masalah hak milik tanah Gatco tidak pula diketahui.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peneroka Kampung Serampang Indah (Gatco) sekarang, K Krishnan dan Setiausaha Jawatankuasa, C John sepatutnya bertegas dengan Hindraf atau mana-mana parti politik bahawa peneroka tidak ada masalah jika sesiapa sahaja yang memperjuangkan isu Gatco. Tetapi mereka tidak seharusnya merelakan peneroka Gatco dipergunakan oleh Hindraf atau parti politik untuk publisiti murahan dan kepentingan politik (political mileage).

Krishnan dan John sepatutnya menghalang pemimpin Hindraf daripada mengedarkan t- shirt Hindraf dan juga menegah Waytha daripada menyuruh Gunasekaran menjauhkan diri daripada tempat Waytha berucap.

Ini ialah kerana semua pihak yang memperjuangkan isu Gatco termasuk Hindraf dan pemimpin parti politik berhak berada di situ melainkan Krishnan dan John sendiri yang menyuruh Gunasekaran beredar dari situ.

‘Menangguk di air keruh’

Kelakuan Hindraf umpama ‘menangguk di air keruh’ pada 5 Disember bukanlah kelakuan yang kali pertama berlaku.

Pada 29 September lalu, ibubapa dan bekas murid Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Kuala Pilah mengadakan satu bantahan di hadapan sekolah tersebut menuntut kerajaan bina segera sebuah bangunan sekolah baru, memandangkan bangunan sedia ada sempit dan tidak kondusif.

Bantahan itu turut disertai oleh kepimpinan Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Sembilan dan pemimpin Hindraf. Sejurus selepas ibubapa dan kepimpinan Pakatan Rakyat menamatkan sidang akhbar di hadapan sekolah tersebut, sekumpulan kecil pemimpin Hindraf melaungkan slogan “berjuang!” dan “berjuang sehingga saat akhir!”. Tiba-tiba mereka turut melaungkan “Hidup Hindraf!”.

Tidak difahami apa kena mengena “Hidup Hindraf!” dengan isu di SJKT Kuala Pilah.

Alangkah molek kalau pemimpin Hindraf tersebut melaungkan slogan seperti “Hidup SJKT Kuala Pilah!”.

MIC beri harapan baru

Dalam perkembangan terbaru MIC pula muncul memberi satu harapan baru kepada peneroka Gatco apabila Pengerusi MIC Negeri Sembilan, Dato’ T Rajagopalu mengumumkan beberapa keputusan MIC Negeri Sembilan dan kerajaan negeri yang memihak kepada peneroka Gatco.

Rajagopalu berkata seramai 283 peneroka asal Gatco telah ditawarkan empat ekar tanah perladangan manakala 115 peneroka peringkat kedua yang membeli tanah perladangan daripada peneroka asal telah ditawarkan dua ekar tanah perladangan.

Kos penanaman getah semula dan mengukur lot tanah perladangan akan ditanggung sepenuhnya oleh kerajaan sama ada melalui Risda atau Felcra.

Selain daripada itu Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan juga telah melanjutkan tempoh pajakan (leasehold) tanah perladangan Gatco yang sepatutnya berakhir pada tahun 2042; untuk tempoh 99 tahun lagi.

“Dalam mesyuarat MIC negeri yang diadakan pada 10 Disember, yang turut dihadiri oleh wakil peneroka Gatco; kami juga telah memutuskan agar surat tawaran hak milik tanah perladangan Gatco harus diberikan kepada peneroka dengan kadar segera.

“Saya telah memohon kepada Menteri Besar untuk menyegerakan pemberian surat tawaran hak milik tanah perladangan peneroka Gatco”, kata Rajagopalu kepada FMT.

Lapan ekar tanah

Rajagopalu juga berkata jika ada peneroka Gatco tetap mahukan lapan ekar tanah perladangan, maka beliau akan berunding dengan Syarikat Thamarai Holdings berhubung urusan jual beli tanah perladangan tersebut.

“MIC Negeri Sembilan akan melantik sebuah syarikat Jurunilai untuk menilai pasaran semasa setiap se ekar tanah perladangan tersebut dan akan menanggung kos perunding Jurunilai tersebut.

“Maka mana-mana peneroka yang ingin memiliki lebih daripada empat ekar tanah perladangan, maka mereka perlu membayar harga pasaran semasa tanah di situ untuk empat ekar tanah selebihnya.

“Peneroka yang mampu, boleh membeli enam, tujuh atau lapan ekar tanah perladangan setiap seorang mengikut kemampuan masing-masing”, jelas Rajagopalu.

FMT gagal hubungi Rajagopalu untuk mendapatkan maklum balas beliau untuk mengetahui status terkini berhubung rundingan beliau dengan Syarikat Thamarai Holdings berkaitan tawaran mengizinkan peneroka Gatco membeli lebih dari empat ekar tanah perladangan daripada Syarikat Thamarai Holdings.

Kata pendapat FMT

Sebenarnya kemelut ini tidak sepatutnya berlaku jika Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan mengambil tindakan sewajarnya sejak kawasan penempatan dan perladangan Gatco ini dibuka pada tahun 1977.

Peneroka membawa masalah ini kepada dua bekas Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan, Dato’ Sri Rais Yatim dan Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad ketika tempoh kedua-dua pemimpin Umno itu menjadi Menteri Besar dahulu.

Sekarang giliran Mohamad pula untuk mendengar keluhan peneroka Gatco.

Kemelut ini mungkin boleh diselesaikan jika Menteri Besar mempunyai ‘political will’ dengan mengguna pakai Seksyen 3 Akta Pemilikan Tanah yang memberi kuasa kepada Kerajaan Negeri memiliki sebarang tanah untuk kepentingan awam melalui sesiapa atau organisasi di mana Kerajaan Negeri berpendapat ia menguntungkan perkembangan ekonomi di Malaysia.

Lagi pun asalnya Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan memberikan tanah ini kepada Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Negeri Sembilan (PKNNS) melalui pajakan 99 tahun. PKNNS pula memberikan tanah ini kepada Gatco melalui pajakan 66 tahun.

Peneroka mendakwa di dalam perjanjian antara PKNNS dengan Gatco, jelas disebut bahawa tanah ini diberikan kepada Gatco dan tanah ini mesti dibangunkan untuk peneroka.

Atas sebab itu Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan dan PKNNS tidak boleh lari dari tanggungjawab mereka dalam memastikan nasib dan hak peneroka dibela dan dijamin.

Kini satu-satunya saluran yang tinggal untuk peneroka Gatco ialah melalui pintu rundingan. Setakat ini yang berjanji membuat rundingan dengan Syarikat Thamarai Holdings ialah Timbalan Ketua Menteri 2 Pulau Pinang, Prof P Ramasamy (DAP) dan Rajagopalu.

Mohamad juga boleh melakukan keajaiban dengan kuasa dan pengaruh beliau sebagai orang No.1 di Negeri Sembilan.

Walabagaimanapun semua itu bergantung pada Mohamad dan Syarikat Thamarai Holdings itu sendiri.

Mungkin satu-satunya jalan terakhir untuk peneroka Gatco mendapatkan hak mereka semula ialah dengan menukar Kerajaan Negeri pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU-13) nanti, dengan harapan Kerajaan Negeri baru (Pakatan Rakyat) menggunakan segala kuasa yang ada pada mereka menyerahkan kembali hak peneroka dan membayar pampasan sewajarnya kepada Syarikat Thamarai Holdings.

Diharap pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Sembilan yang sering melaung-laungkan bahawa mereka akan kembalikan hak peneroka Gatco jika berjaya mengambil alih Wisma Negeri mengotakan janji mereka sekiranya berjaya membentuk kerajaan baru pada PRU-13 nanti.

Untuk berlaku adil, Syarikat Thamarai Holdings tidak boleh disalahkan dalam kemelut
ini kerana mereka membeli tanah perladangan Gatco ini mengikut lunas undang-undang
yang betul.

The curse of Dr Mahathir?

It seems we are in the season for cursing and curses, wakakaka.



Recently PAS did the unusual in having a prayer session to curse UMNO. The cursing itself was not unusual as you can bet such curses would be a norm during the period running up to an election, be it for the state or party. It was only unusual because PAS announced the cursing session openly, wakakaka.

I wonder whether UMNO pollies bought some tangkals (azimat) from Pak Bomoh Awang Mohd Yahya to neutralize the PAS curses. wakakaka. Well after all, more than a few UMNO, PAS and PKR pollies (not Tian Chua or Sivarasa though, wakakaka) consult bomohs prior to any election on to their respective chances - see my posts Religious Devotion of Malaysian Politicians and Doctor is in - by appointment only!


wakakaka

Anyway, many were shocked by a prayer session being used, or as they believed, misused for cursing. But actually, cursing has been part of the Abrahamic religions for eons, with the most dramatic being good olde Moses laying down the evil word on the Pharaoh with the god-given curse of 10 plagues.

The 10 plagues (or god's curses manifested) started with the mild, just the River Nile turning red with blood, but escalated in harshness with each succeeding plague until the most drastic and evil of all occurred with the 10th, when the god of the Hebrews murdered every innocent first-born in Egypt, human and animals (Exodus 11:4-6 - KJV):


And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.


And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.


That was worse than the Chinese 'harm kar ch'an', a genocidal curse on the family line of one's enemies - very barbaric and only uttered by low class Chinese [low class in character, mentality and behaviour, wakakaka].





Of course if you leave it to the Judaists and Christians, they would tell you god punished those Egyptians because ... yadda yadda yadda ...


... but really I wonder, which creator god (supposedly loving, compassionate and forgiving) would do that to his own creations.


Answer: Of course only the god of the Hebrews. And it would be hardly surprising that such a Hebrew god would call his Hebrews (and thereafter, Israelites, Judeans, Jews) his 'chosen people', as we have come to learn from the OT bible, one incidentally written by, would you believe, the Judeans, wakakaka.


If you ask the Japanese, they would tell you they are god's children, where their emperor is descended directly from the Sun Goddess Amaterasu and their islands created by the Japanese gods Izanagi and Izanami.


Amaterasu

Not to be outdone, an ambitious UMNO man with the moniker of Reezal Merican, undoubtedly eyeing some high positions with all its trappings (wakakaka), decided to make a name for himself by copycat-ing the Judean (Jewish) claim and declaring that Malays are mukhtarin, god's 'chosen ones', and of course (the principal motive and objective) UMNO has been anointed by god as the equivalent of Moses, presumably to lead the Malays into some sort of UMNO-ish promised land.

Naturally he omitted mentioning that Moses led the Hebrews wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years, from 1972 to 2012 circa 1350 BCE.

Reezal Merican then openly pontificated “What is there of the Malays before Umno came along?”

What about them living in the glorious golden age of the Malacca Sultanate? What about them being citizens of the amazing Srivijaya Empire before they decided to be known specifically as Malays?



Never mind, obviously he wasn't asking for answers as he intended his rhetorical question to be the answer as well, to wit, to remind the Malays of UMNO's Mosaic role.
But Reezal Merican wasn't the first 'Malay' (wakakaka) to claim the 'chosen' status for Malays. Harussani what's-his-name, Perak's chief mufti, beat him to it by declaring in 2011 that Malays are more special than Arabs in Islam, though he, perhaps merajuk-ishly and grudgingly wakakaka, admitted Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was an Arab.

In the preposterous claim to primary Islamic pedigree, Dr Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas, the director general of the Institute of Islamic Understanding, even preceded Harussani what's-his-name by informing us in 2006, that:

“The Melayu is defined as first being a Muslim and because he’s a Muslim, he follows the customs and traditions of the Malays which are derived from Islam, followed by the language of the Malays which (also) derives from Islam.”

Huh? "...  the customs and traditions of the Malays which are derived from Islam, followed by the language of the Malays which (also) derives from Islam ..."?
But then in this, I suppose he's supported by PAS in Kelantan which has prohibited the wayang kulit from showing episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata because of their Hindu origins.



But hey, perhaps wayang kulit proponents could use Dr Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas' argument that the customs and traditions of the Malays including the wayang kulit and makyong have been derived from Islam and have nothing to do with any other religions.

And just to be on the safe side, the bersanding ceremony should be reviewed to cull off any inherited Hindu cultural elements, while the Malay lexicon must be purged of words such as raja, agama, negara & bangsa, all of which have been inherited from Sanskrit, wakakaka.

Thus, not withstanding Reezal Merican's oratorical antics, and the Hebrews and Japanese myths, it's a matter of who wrote the book (or uttered same at a political party's general assembly, wakakaka) for a race to become god's 'chosen' ones.

Old Testament


All the above UMNO and UMNO-affiliates' silliness have risen to prominence only in the last 30 years - more of their cause later.

Back to curses - the one in the Bible I particularly admire for its scary threat is in Deuteronomy 28:22 which warns:
The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
Gasp ... but Deuteronomy 28:30 is quite frightening too in stating: Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: ... etc etc ...
Wow, the curse of the Hebrew god actually promoted husbands being cuckold-ed and wives committing adultery? No wonder it set those Hebrew men on their murderous rampage in Canaan.


But okay, those biblical curses by god were about 4000 years ago. Today no church or priests/monks would do that ... aha ... except for those clerics in PAS, perhaps indicating their mentality still resemble the original mould (template) designed during those ancient times, wakakaka.
But let's forget about PAS and its perennial perpetual problematic obsession with sex and matters sexual such as Shimshon (Samson) and Delilah in a Kota Baru salon, and Dawid and Yehonathan (David and Jonathan, son of King Saul) allegedly cavorting at the KB airport a la 1 Samuel 18:1-4 (KJV):

And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. ... Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.


David & Jonathan
David to Jonathan

A couple of days ago I posted The Curse of Marina Lee Abdullah? Today I though I would write along the same line but with Dr Mahathir as my new 'Moses' and his curse, that is the curse of (or by) Dr Mahathir, not that bloke who was confused as to whether he was Egyptian or Hebrew.
I have to confess that, while I had previously penned a bit here and there about Dr M's 'curse' before, and planned to do an improved post, it has been RPK who inspired me to get on with this task by a few paragraphs in his post The journey in life is never a straight line (PART 16).

RPK's post talks about the Great UMNO Split in 1987 (about 8 months after the nation's 1986 general election), an irreparable schism brought about by the acrimonious tussle for power between Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh (Ku Li) which was brought to a finale in UMNO's 1987 party election. The lines which caught my eyes are:

Ku Li

... the mother of all battles looming over the horizon -- the contest between Team A and Team B.


And did it prove to be the mother of all battles! Never before had so much money been spent on a party election. Never before had threats as well as blackmail been used to the extreme to make people do the bidding of those who aspired for power. Never before had Umno been brought to the brink of destruction and which it never really recovered from ever since. 

The 1987 party contest changed Umno for good and introduced a new culture into Umno that transferred the party from the hands of the nationalists into the hands of the capitalists.

Basically, Umno was transformed from a party of intellectuals and educators into a party of business taukays. Umno became what MCA always was -- a money party. Umno sent shivers down MCA’s spine because Umno became more money-driven than even MCA itself.

The new Umno culture became: money talks, bullshit walks. And it has remained that way ever since.

Umno would never be brought back to what it was when it was first formed in 1946. Umno became ‘Umno baru’ in 1987 even before Umno Baru was legally and officially registered in 1988. And this is what many did not grasp at that time ...

Leave aside RPK's contention in his The journey in life is never a straight line (PART 17) that it had been Anwar Ibrahim who, through his bullying tactics in UMNO intra-party politics, denied us of Tengku Razaleigh as Malaysia's political head in 1987. Tengku has often been touted as the best PM we never had.
Instead, Anwar endowed the nation with Dr Mahathir's 22-year premiership, which RPK surmised as a fitting padan muka for poor Mr Manmanlai, wakakaka.



But in all fairness, Anwar had/has benefited from both Dr M's mentor-ship and ironically enmity, for:

... without Dr M, he wouldn't be UMNO's DPM (and more likely, PAS president, wakakaka - now, where's my scotch?);
... without the support of those who hated and were repulsed by Dr M and his legacy (UMNO becoming unbearably feral under AAB from 2004 to 2008), he wouldn't have been successful in his so-called refomasi after 2004;
... without a USA perceiving Dr M as a hostile national leader he wouldn't have been so pampered by the Americans and nurtured as a potential friendlier alternative PM (now, with a Najib who's very US-friendly, and assuming Najib continues to be PM, let's see if the Yanks will accord Anwar the same degree of 'warmth' he had previously enjoyed).

Extending from RPK's first hand account of UMNO being ... transformed from a party of intellectuals and educators into a party of business taukays, I humbly opine the underlying cause of such an UMNO transformation has quite a lot to do with Dr Mahathir's chip on his shoulder, which he provided a glimpse of in his The Malay Dilemma book.


Of course, I'm no Barry Wain with a 363-page book like Malaysian Maverick - Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times. This is only kaytee's personal take of Dr M in one single post, so okay, here goes:
The olde man was aggrieved, or if we want to call a spade a spade, mightily pissed off that the Malays, the officially determined indigenous people of Malaya-Malaysia, had been subjugated (enslaved) in their own land by the other races, presumably and principally the Chinese, with the collusion of the Poms, all because of their (Malays') tolerance and non-confrontational nature.
There has been some truths in his assessment but there have been gross errors (and nonsense) as well, but as they say, the best bull would be the one built on half-truths.

Dr M wanted an official program of affirmative action to address what he saw as the Malay disadvantaged position vis-à-vis Chinese control of business in Malaysia. His argument, as expressed in his The Malay Dilemma, must have influenced Tun Razak who after Brutus-ing Tunku Abdul Rahman following May 13, formulated the NEP as well as brought Dr M back into UMNO's inner fold.


And when Dr M became PM, he went about it (the affirmative actions) in a far bigger way. Yes, you can't ever say this man was the Sultan of Somnambulism, wakakaka.

His ventures were additionally blessed or cursed (depending on your philosophical outlook) by Malaysia's new found wealth of oil and gas, giving him almost unfettered latitude in implementing his policies and schemes.

The major downside conferred by the new wealth, I suspect, was a nonchalant and tolerant attitude towards his protégés' failures, bullshit* and the associated profligate waste.


* recall reading a news report that Dr M bemoaned someone lying to him about the dropping of a Proton Saga at the North Pole, one of Boleh-Land's gimmickries to instil pride and confidence in Malaysians (Malays). I reckon both the gimmick and the attempt to cover up the failure to achieve what was intended were bullshit.

In the general case, the affirmative actions, while itself a noble program, was so thoroughly misused and abused that it soon negated any motivation for actual acquisitions of know-how, skills and incremental competencies for entrepreneurship and/or professional trades and occupations, and their subsequent improvement, effectiveness and efficiency.

I would say his known tolerance instead encouraged 'go-for-broke' get-bloody-rich schemes or gimmickries, no matter how useless, irrelevant or wasteful the schemes or activities might have been.

Back to that chip on his shoulder - if translated into very simplified terms, I suspect this would mean that, just my simplified example, for every 10 Malaysian millionaires, 10 big business tycoons, 10 industrialists, 10 doctors, 10 engineers, 10 chemists, 10 what have you, etc, he would like to see approximately 6 Malays in each of those groups.



If we are prepared to ignore the fact that the magic formula was not extended to the police, military, civil service (and university intakes), then we would find nothing wrong in his vision-objective per se, and indeed even applaud him for it. It was a reasonably fair objective.

I'm full of idioms today, so as they say, the devil was in the details (or implementations). Thus the World's greatest social engineering project, alas, fell very very short of its intended (higher) objectives and worse, brought about undesired attitude, generally referred to sneeringly as 'the rental mentality'.

Reserving 30% of new housing estate with a 7% discount for Malays, as an item in the grand social engineering scheme, unfortunately brought about two inequities:
(a) it benefited only the elite who purchased same and sell the discounted houses off for a quick profit while ordinary Malays were either not interested (because they have land and houses, admittedly in the kampungs, but where they prefer to reside) or could not afford the houses, and
(b) the non-Malay purchasers of those new houses had to subsidize the 7% discount of the 30% reserved allocation - if anyone believes the developers would absorb the 7% discount, then he/she must be in la la land.



Let's move on to another issue. I heard he devised the payung concept, which in simple terms involved the government identifying, supporting, promoting, fostering, nurturing, etc, say, 10 Malays to become very high level participants in society, such as industrialists, big businessmen, and hopefully all becoming millionaires, etc. 

Each of these new heroes in turn would then do likewise (ie. identify, supporting, promoting, fostering, nurturing) another 10 Malays, with a hope-for snowballing effect until his dreams come true, of Malays assuming their rightful and proportionately-correct positions in Malaysian society.

It's a noble objective, but alas, Dr Mahathir, being the superman and super intellectual he has been, had not reckoned with the ordinary man's inherent selfish and weak nature, and made allowance for these. 
Some or perhaps many (though not all) of his 'chosen-ones' (his, not God's) were only humans with all their weaknesses, not helped at all by the lack of forging through the furnace of hard work, hardships, apprenticeships, and experience.


More than a few were failures, yet he kept forgiving them, each time helping them picked themselves up to try again, and again and again ... I suppose because their success was fundamental to removing the humongous chip off his shoulders. There have been horror stories of massive bailouts ... and bailouts ... and bailouts ... and ... well, you get the idea, and you know about the bailouts, etc.

The invisible safety net was always there, the humongous rewards were mouth-watering, and Don Corleone was renowned for his indefatigable tolerance and forgiveness (except to those who were treacherous to him, wakakaka).

His blind loyalty to his protégés, friends (or cronies) and supporters was legend, and had in many cases proved to be a liability as he sheltered them from falling off the face of the earth. But while I admire ‘loyalty’ I didn't let him off scot-free for his fallible virtue. I had once written of him: “He chose the lame and therefore he must accept responsibility for their inability to perform.”

He was way too far ahead of his protégés

There have been many examples of how his loyalty to his protégés, friends (or cronies) and supporters were misplaced – eg. Tajudin of MAS, his own Kedahan UMNO pollies (Osman Aroff, Johari Baharom, Saad Man, Samsudin Ahmad – see my post Et Tu Baharom and No Hang Tuah for Dr Mahathir), Najib who did a quick zig zag back to safety, thanks to an Anwar offer he dared not refuse (as revealed by RPK in The journey in life is never a straight line (PART 16)) and of course Mr Manmanlai himself, wakakaka!

And what happened to the payung concept? Perhaps his protégés focussed only on moving themselves from being millionaires to becoming billionaires. I have also suspected that the targeted Malay equity had already been achieved (but not admitted) and held in the hands of only a few.

I had a sneaky suspicion Dr Mahathir knew his affirmative programs were not gaining traction. Perhaps he was in denial that the shortcomings were due to a combination of the lamentable 'rental mentality', the ever present safety net - both serving as the crutch he accused the Malays of relying on for too long - and the selfishness of those who succeeded but ignored the rest of the less fortunate or less clever mob.

Perhaps he believed that they needed a prod, prompt and push, and a huge dose of self confidence. Was this the reason for the birth of the Boleh-ness indoctrination program and its wasteful gimmickries?


His Boleh-ness indoctrination succeeded beyond his wildest imaginations though not in the way he had envisaged or intended. His legacy allowed the 'chosen' to think really BIG, where 'commissions' or 'revenues' were no longer considered in mere sums of tens of millions but rather (up periscope please) hundreds of millions if not multi billions. The opposition protested until the cows didn't come home wakakaka.

Khir Toyo's Bali-style palatial mansion

Dr Mahathir also didn't expect his 'Kepimpinan melalui teladan' (Leadership by example) slogan to become so successfully adopted. Can you blame the mata-mata for his natural 'urges' when he drives by the Bali Palace in Selangor or the Satay Palace in Klang, and wonder WTF he was achieving by comparison when he was at the front-line risking his life on duties? And yes, he would also think BIG lah.

very Malaysian style

RPK informed us that The 1987 party contest changed Umno for good and introduced a new culture into Umno that transferred the party from the hands of the nationalists into the hands of the capitalists.

Yes, but those capitalists (and their cronies) were 'extraordinary' capitalists where they were guaranteed humongous incomes and protected from loss - Tolls, IPP, etc and as an example of unaccountable profligate waste, hundreds of millions if not billions were given to a local contractor to build naval boats, most of which didn't appear on the docks let alone the seas.

in lieu? wakakaka

The courts were also party to crimes of land robbery a la the Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Boonsom Boonyanit precedence, so much so it infuriated Judge Gopal Sri Ram that he as a judge did the unprecedented, by saying f* off (kaytee's words, wakakaka) to the doctrine of stare decisis.

Note: The lamentable Adorna precedent was eventually dismissed by the Malaysian courts in recent times, but its existence for several years was a huge blotch on our justice system and judicial credibility. How the f* could such a ruling happened in the original case if not for the terrible state of affairs that has been the Malaysian system. 

In such a climate where tolerance to poor performance was legend, safety net for the chosen guaranteed, sheer unrestrained avarice and arrogant display of unaccountable obscene wealth condoned, and screwed-up governance and questionable judicial rulings accepted, the lamentable mélange provided a toxic cocktail with a stench masked over only by the ringgit-perfume of oil and gas, creative non-accountability and the arrogance of a lop-sided majority of the ruling party in Parliament.

Thus, we have our Malaysia today where corruption, non-transparency, unaccountability, poor governance and sheer political-ethnic arrogance have become an intrinsic part of our socio-economic-political landscape.


Dr Mahathir's supporters will look at his illustrious and more benign achievements as his blessings. And we mustn't deny him his dues, for he achieved many things for Malaysia. He was a ruthless one-man juggernaut as he dragged a reluctant Malaysia screaming into the 21st Century. Anyone who stood in his way was 'chopped' down. He had no bloody patience for namby pamby heel-dragging stuff.

He was determined to propel Malaysia into the rankings of 1st World nations a.s.a.p, as an admired, respected, competitive, wealthy and proud member, and by a deadline too. The last word in his vocabulary was procrastination.
Undoubtedly he saw Singapore's progression into the ranks of 1st World nations with much chagrin as Malaysia is in reality resource-richer with more potential than the little island nation. Yet ....., and that probably might have been what had frenetically driven Mahathir when he was PM.

Singapore


But paradoxically, he entrenched a political system that demands ethnic supremacy and ethnic dominance in virtually every field, instead of reliance on meritocracy and the free market, and thus contributed enormously to a gradually failing state. We are now running on reserves, which we have accumulated in the earlier days of our independence as well as from the wealth from our nation's primary resources.

He alluded to his failures (to advance the Malays to his perceived Utopian state) more than once, blaming the Malays for over-depending on the crutches which ironically he provided and still demands for their continuing provision.

Have all the above been the curse of Dr Mahathir who started off on a noble cause but ended up with a near failing state (in terms of governance, propriety and accountability, etc) for us and future generations?

We could go and on but to summarise in a pithy form, I opine that his 22-years rule has turned the Malaysian popular and catchy colloquialism of 'Jaga standards' into something of a joke today.


Now, if you visit London and happen by St Paul's Cathedral, which was designed and built by Christopher Wren, you will see on the wall above his tomb in the crypt the engraved message in Latin, 'Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice' which means 'Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you'.


I believe the same tribute can be attributed to Dr Mahathir too, with a minor amendment, for it to read 'Reader, if you seek his monument, both good and bad, look around you', where in place of Wren's cathedral, we have Dr Mahathir's Malaysia including its many lamentable systems and policies, faults and failings.