Monday, 31 March 2008

Ex-Minister Not Guilty

Conrad (left) shaking hand with his lawyer Zahir after being cleared of two criminal charges. At right is David

Sabah ex-Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Conrad Mojuntin, 60, who was cleared of prosecution for firing a shot from his shotgun that caused the death of a fishmonger in 2005, was Monday freed by the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate's Court of voluntarily causing hurt to a businessman three years ago.

Magistrate Zaini Fishir in discharging and acquitting Conrad ruled that the defence had succeeded in raising reasonable doubt against the prosecution case.

Also cleared of the charge was Conrad's nephew David George Mojuntin, 44. Conrad and David were jointly charged with voluntarily causing hurt to businessman Chee He Fatt, 45, at 4am on Oct 23, 2005 outside SJD Cafe and Sports in Donggongon Town, Penampang.

Conrad was also found not guilty of criminally intimidating businessman Doughty Disimond, 30, outside SJD Cafe and Sports at 3.30am on Oct 23, 2005 in Donggongon Town, Penampang.

The Mojuntions, who were ordered to enter their defence on June 4, 2007, were defended by Counsel Zahir Hussien Ahmad Shah. The prosecution was conducted by Senior Federal Counsel Suhaimi Ibrahim.

The prosecution will be appealing in the High Court against the Magistrate's Court judgement.

Malaysian maths genius now a hooker???

My Say:

Reproduced here is an article from UK's News Of The World about a Malaysian maths genius at 13 who is now said to be a hooker.

Sunday, March 30, 2008
Malaysian child prodigy is a hooker

Maths prodigy who won an Oxford place at 13 is now a £130-an-hour HOOKER
By Keith Gladdis

SHE was a child maths genius who won a place at Oxford University aged just 13—but now the only sums Sufiah Yusof is interested in are the ones she earns as a HOOKER.
For sad Sufiah the daily equation she has to solve is simply sex equals £130 as she sells her body to punters over the internet.

The gifted girl with the winning smile had the world at her feet ten years ago and should be a rich woman by now—but last week she was busy subtracting her underwear for our undercover reporter in her dingy back street flat.

"Would you like to start your half hour now?" said Sufiah, 23, as she danced on the bed, displaying her body for examination.

Then she listed all the sleazy plus points she would throw in for our man if he took up her offer.

Calling herself Shilpa Lee, the former child prodigy still juggles with figures on a hookers' website, describing herself as a "very pretty size 8, 32D bust and 5'5" tall—available for booking every day from 11am to 8pm."

She says she is a "sexy, smart student" who prefers "older gentlemen"— but a former pal who has witnessed her downfall told us: "It is all desperately heartbreaking.

"With her amazing brain she should be able to make money any way she wants. But instead her life has spiralled completely out of control."

Read more of the story here and here. Please be warned that the stories is accompanied with photographs that may offend you.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

If Dr Jeffrey has his way....

Based on the victory of Sabah and Sarawak respectively delivering 24 and 30 Barisan Nasional MPs to the Federal Government, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the two States should be represented by a Deputy Prime Minister.

He said there should also be six full Ministers from each State. He said since Sabah and Sarawak contributed so much to the BN victory, it should be reflected with a bigger percentage ratio on the appointment of Ministers and Deputy Ministers from among the MPs in the two States.

Jeffrey said it was normal for a win and lost situation that the winners get their appropriate shares.

He cited that previously MCA had more than 30 MPs and were given four Ministers and 18Deputy Ministers but after the March 8, general elections MCA had its seat cut by half but still have four Ministers, although the number of Deputy Ministers reduced to 15.

Similarly, MIC and Umno in Peninsula also got more or less the same deal as it was before even though they performed badly in the general elections compared to their counterparts in Sabah and Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Sabah Umno deputy secretary Datuk Haji Masidi Manjun is among the Sabah BN leaders who had openly said that what Sabah get in the Federal Cabinet did not reflect on the contribution of the State in winning big in the March 8, general elections.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be coming to Sabah soon to have a special meeting with State BN leaders. Among the agenda will be about Sabah's representation in the Federal Government.

My Say:

Jeffrey had all this while been advocating for an MP from Sabah or Sarawak be made Deputy Prime Minister. PKR had also, in its campaign in the March 8, general elections promised the people of Sabah and Sarawak of a Deputy Prime Minister.

But, alas, Jeffrey lost in his bid to wrest the Keningau MP seat from elder brother Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan. He also failed to unseat Justin Guka in Bingkor.

Jeffrey had also told the people of Sabah that the recent election could be his last.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Ghapur explains...

Reproduced below is NST reports on Datuk Ghapur Salleh.

Ghapur won't desert Umno after quitting deputy minister's post
By Roy Goh

KOTA KINABALU, Thurs: Datuk Ghapur Salleh quashed speculations that he will jump ship after quitting as Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister yesterday.

"I have not been approached by the opposition and I will remain as the Kalabakan Divisional Umno Chief. I am not quitting Umno," he said on his return here from Kuala Lumpur today. "I have friends from both sides, including the opposition.

People can speculate whatever they like but my track record shows I have never 'jumped' (switch parties) like the others during the PBS (Parti Bersatu Sabah) time."

Ghapur, 64, was referring to the time when the Barisan Nasional wrested power to rule Sabah after several leaders defected from the then ruling PBS government in 1994.

Ghapur is the second Sabah MP and third in the Abdullah administration to turn down the deputy minister’s post. Soon after Abdullah named his Cabinet on March 18, MP for Kimanis Datuk Anifah Aman declined to take up the post of Deputy Transport Minister. At the same time, Datuk Seri Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar, the MP for Jerantut, tendered his resignation.

It was also not the first time he resigned from a high profile post. In 1997 Ghapur resigned as the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister as well as the Deputy Umno Liaison Chief, citing then his failure to perform his duties and personal problems as reasons for his resignation.

In his latest surprise two days ago, Ghapur submitted his letter of resignation to the Prime Minister's office despite having taken his oath to serve as the Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur on March 19. Ghapur who is MP for Kalabakan won uncontested the second time around in the March 8 polls.

On why he took his oath then Ghapur said he had little time to think about it. "It could have been different if the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) had informed me about it earlier. It was only after the swearing-in-ceremony I consulted family members and friends about it," said Ghapur who did go to the ministry to check his office for one day and that was where he drafted his resignation letter.

"I don't want to be tied up. I prefer to move around as the Kalabakan MP and serve my constituents. If I stay on I would not be able to function as an elected representative or even as the Umno divisional chief."

Ghapur also said he will not be explaining his decision to his constituents. "Its not necessary and after all I have made my decision."

Ghapur resigns as Deputy Minister

Barisan Nasional (BN) member of Parliament for Kalabakan Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh has resigned from his federal post of Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Minister.

The former Sabah Deputy Chief Minister/Finance Minister will be the second BN's MP from Sabah to ditch Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government.

The other is Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman, a younger brother of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman. The only difference is that Anifah declined before being sworn-in while Ghapur had taken his oath of office before the Yang DiPertuan Agong (King) together with the other Ministers and Deputy Ministers on March 19, 2008.

Ghapur's wife, Datin Hajah Norsuadah Haji Basah, an Assistant Minister during the Parti Berjaya Government (1976-1985) said she knew nothing about the matter.

My Say:

Something must be brewing.

Ban from travelling - Politically Motivated says Harris

Former Sabah Chief Minister (1976-1985) Datuk Harris Mohd Salleh has been barred by the Inland Revenue Board (IRD) to leave the country due to non-payment of RM419,715,62 being real property gains tax.

However, Harris, who confirmed to Daily Express last night receiving the letters from IRD dated Feb 22, 2008, said the letters was a `very bad mistake' on the part of the authorities which `bordered on malice or was politically-motivated.'

In the letters signed by Kota Kinabalu IRD's Senior Assistant Director, informed Harris that copies of the letters had been forwarded to the Inspector General of Police and the Immigration Director General requesting them to rake action to prevent Harris from leaving Malaysia unless he had settled the outstanding tax.

Harris said he had referred the matter to his lawyers who would soon be demanding a public apology from IRD plus an appropriate compensation.

"I am not liable to pay the real property gains tax. The IRD had issued a letter in 2005 stating that the land involved in the transaction was not subject to tax."

"Whoever is responsible (for issuing the letters) can expect to face a lawsuit," Harris said.

My Say:

Interesting to see development on this matter.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

MPs goes Down Under....

I was alerted by some friends of mine that several Sabah's Barisan Nasional (BN) members of Parliament (MP)are neither in the State or in Kuala Lumpur. They are said to have gone `on holiday' together with their family in Australia, majority of them in Sydney. I knew for a fact that an Umno MP is actually Down Under with his family.

And a journalist of a national newspaper based in Kuching had also called to inform me that several MPs from Sarawak are also on holiday in Australia. He went on further to say that these MPs were given an all-paid holiday as to avert attempt by the opposition to `buy' them to topple Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government.

Coincidentally, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had openly announced that 16 BN MPs, mostly from Sabah and Sarawak, had contacted or met him to inform their intention to defect to the Opposition.

What are the MPs actually doing in Australia?
Can we believe Anwar in this matter?
My Say:

I like to share here an article from here especially to visitors who are yet to surf on that wonderful website.

By Hantu Laut
24 March 2008
Beset by opposing forces, the Malaysian prime minister is in a pickle

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is besieged by a brewing leadership crisis in his own political party in the wake of disaster at the polls in March. Not only is there a challenge from veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, but at least two of the country’s normally apolitical sultans are in the mix. Meanwhile, the rank-and-file are demoralized by the magnitude of the loss, the biggest in the ruling coalition’s history.

With a razor-thin majority in the popular vote but with a majority in the national parliament of 140 out of 222 seats, Badawi’s biggest worry is strife within the United Malays National Organisation. But he also has to worry about the possibility of defections by MPs to the opposition coalition of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or People’s Justice Party, the Democratic Action Party and the fundamentalist Parti Islam se-Malaysia.

According to local media, Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of Keadilan, has said lawmakers from the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak have already been in contact about switching sides.

Certainly UMNO has lost both confidence and credibility after five years under Badawi. The party is effectively split into two factions ‑ Badawi on one side and his erstwhile mentor, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, on the other. Mahathir’s incessant criticism of his successor’s lackluster performance was partly responsible for Badawi's deteriorating popularity.

Malaysia’s hereditary sultans usually steer away from politics. They have now got involved. At least two are at loggerheads with the prime minister on the choice of menteri besar, or state chief ministers. The Sultan of Perlis has ignored Badawi’s choice and appointed his own. As the sultan has already sworn in his choice, that leaves Badawi appearing politically impotent. The Sultan of Terengganu, through his advisory council, also has rejected Badawi's choice of chief minister in favor of another candidate. The sultan is now the Agong, or king, the titular supreme ruler under the constitutional rotating monarchy, which changes hands every five years.

In the latest development, Ahmad Said, who was appointed chief minister by the Sultan of Terengganu, has been sacked from UMNO for accepting the job. Badawi has issued instructions to all UMNO assemblymen not to attend the swearing in, warning them of disciplinary action if they do, setting up a showdown with the Terengannu royal house and the constitutional monarchy. The 21 Terengganu assemblymen, headed by Datuk Rosol Wahid, have agreed not to boycott the swearing in ceremony, meaning more trouble for the besieged prime minister.

In addition, Mahathir is relentlessly pursuing his "remove Badawi" campaign, as he has since the day Badawi cancelled the so-called crooked bridge, a Mahathir project then near implementation that was to replace the causeway from Johor to Singapore in the hope that ships would bypass Singapore's ports and use the Malaysian port in the Johore Strait. For obvious reasons, the Singapore government was not keen on the project. Mahathir, who had a long-term ambivalent relationship with the island state, saw Badawi's action as kowtowing to Singapore.

Badawi has sought to answer Mahathir’s challenge by sacking old guard leaders associated with the former prime minister. Other Mahathir stalwarts lost their seats in the electoral rout.

After chopping the overstuffed cabinet from 90 ministers to 65, the prime minister has brought in some new faces, including in particular Zaid Ibrahim as minister in the prime minister’s department and de facto law minister. He is expected to attempt a clean-up of the scandal-ridden judiciary in the wake of a huge flap over a videotape made public last year purporting to show a well-connected lawyer brokering judicial appointments. But Badawi has also added Muhammed Muhammed Taib, a veteran politician who was forced to resign as Selangor State chief minister after being caught attempting to take US$750,000 in undeclared cash out of Australia and into New Zealand in 1996.

Razaleigh, the prospective challenger to Badawi, has indicated he will push for an emergency general meeting to discuss the party’s poor performance at the polls – if that fails, he may take on Badawi at the forthcoming UMNO assembly in August.

Then there is the most likely challenger, Najib Tun Razak, the deputy prime minister.

So far Najib has not made a public move against Badawi, and Mahathir sprang a surprise when he announced his full support for an emergency general meeting in which Razaleigh, his former opponent, is expected to challenge Abdullah -- although Mahathir said he believes Razaleigh has little chance. As long as Badawi continues to hand out rewards to party leaders, Razaleigh is unlikely to succeed in his attempt to push through an emergency general meeting.

Some of the most vocal criticism against Razaleigh's intentions came from fiery Education Minister Hishamuddin Onn, whose racialist rhetoric has been one of the major elements driving Chinese and Indians voters away from the ruling coalition, saying he believes now is not the right time to go after the prime minister. At UMNO general assemblies in 2005 and 2006, Hishamuddin brandished the keris, a curved sword that remains a potent Malay symbol. Hishamuddin’s wielding of the keris at the UMNO podium actually helped the opposition to gather more votes.

Others who have come out against Razaleigh include former Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz, UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tenku Mansor, and UMNO Vice President Mohd Ali Rustam, which doesn't necessarily reflect the majority opinion of UMNO members. It is difficult to gauge the wishes of the rank and file but the likelihood that they will turn against Badawi at the August general assembly is pretty high.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Opposition MPs to defect to BN???

While Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that lawmakers from the ruling Barisan Nasional would defect to PKR, National Umno Youth Datuk Rahman Dahlan said it would be the other way round.

"Opposition members of Parliament and Assemblymen will ditched their parties and join BN instead," he told the Press in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday.

He said not only MPs but Assemblymen from the five States now ruled by the Opposition would leave their parties which will rendered the Opposition State Governments to crumble.

Rahman also said that contrary to what Anwar had claimed, none of the Sabah's MPs would ditched BN to join the opposition coalition of PKR, DAP and PAS. Sabah BN has 24 MPs and DAP one.

My Say:

Only time will tell. As a Sabah politicians had said, `political frogs' were born in this Land Below The Wind right after the 1967 State election.

Still on Inanam

Defeated Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for Inanam (N13) in the March 8, general elections Daniel John Jambun was confident of having wrested the seat if DAP had not fielded its candidate Jeffrey Kumin.

He claimed that the then incumbent Assemblyman Johnny Goh of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) had conspired with DAP to field a candidate as he(Johnny) had foreseen the outcome should he (Johnny) was involved in a straight contest with him.

Daniel polled 4,293 votes against Johnny's 5,979 while Jeffrey obtained 2,864 votes while Independent Clarence Chin polled only 196 votes. Johnny retained Inanam for his third consecutive term in office.

"I have all the proof," Daniel said.

My Say:

Daniel had in past election contested in Inanam for Opposition Pasok but lost his deposit after polling less that 100 votes.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Back stabbing???

Inanam Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) divisional chairman Johnny Goh retained Inanam in the March 8 general election with a reduced majority compared to the 2004 election. In the other hand, Sabah Progressive Party's (SAPP) Datuk Eric Majimbun defended his Sepanggar MP seat with increased majority.

I was with a group of friends earlier today and we were still talking out the outcome of the elections, in particular the result of the Inanam state seat and the Sepanggar parliamentary constituency. Sepanggar other State's seat is Karambunai which was won by Jainab Ahmad of Umno. PBS, SAPP and Umno are all Barisan Nasional component members.

One of my friend claimed that Johnny's reduced majority votes was due to SAPP's campaigners telling voters to vote BN for the MP seat but DAP or other opposition candidates for the Inanam seat. He said although Majimbun had denied knowledge of this, it had indeed happened.

"That is why Johnny's vote majority was only 1,686 votes compared to 3,731 in 2004 while Majimbun majority went up from 11,128 votes in 2004 to 11,461 in the just concluded general elections," another of my friend said.

My Say:

Reading the result of the Inanam's seat, my conclusion it that Johnny would had lost the seat if he was involved in a straight contest either with DAP or Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). In the election DAP and PKR fielded their respective candidates plus an Independent.

Johnny garnered 5,979 votes, PKR's Daniel John Jambun polled 4,293 votes, Jeffrey Jumin of DAP obtained 2,864 votes while loner Clarence Chin only managed 196 votes.

The votes garnered by DAP and PKR are more than the votes polled by Johnny.

Rahim Ismail did not expect it

Pantai Manis Assemblyman Datuk Haji Abdul Rahim Ismail was dropped from the Sabah new Cabinet line-up to make way for newly elected Klias Assemblywoman Datuk Hajah Azizah Datuk Mohd Dun.

Rahim said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman called him before the swearing-in of Ministers and Assistant Ministers on March 14, informing him that he would not be re-appointed Agriculture and Food Industry Minister.

"After holding the portfolio for six years, I did not expect to be sideline just like that. I was disappointed so do my supporters," he told Daily Express's reporter Hayati Dzulkifli in an exclusive interview.

Azizah, who opted to contest a State seat in the March 8, general elections, was appointed Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister. The former Beaufort Member of Parliament was Federal Local Government and Housing Deputy Minister before the general elections.

Rahim also disclosed that the Chief Minister had told him of making him the new chairman of the Sabah Land Development Board, replacing Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (YB Bell Bottom) who had been appointed a Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister.

My Say:

So far no official announcement on Rahim's appointment as Sabah Land Development Board's chairman.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Anifah declines re-appointment

Kimanis Member of Parliament Datuk Anifah Haji Aman had rejected his appointment as Transport Deputy Minister in the new Federal Government line-up by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Though Anifah cited reason as giving way to others to be made Deputy Minister, it is known that he had expected to be made a full minister which did not happened. Anifah, a younger brother of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, had been Deputy Minister for two terms.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Malasyia's Ministers/Deputy Ministers

The full list of the new Federal Ministers and Deputy Ministers

Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Umno)

Deputy Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (Umno)

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (UPKO-Sabah)
Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (Umno)
Datuk Zahid Hamidi (Umno)
Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (Umno)

Deputy Ministers
Datuk Johari Baharum (Umno)
Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim (Umno)
S K Devamany (MIC)
Datuk Hassan Malek (Umno)

Finance Minister
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Umno)

Second Finance Minister
Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop (Umno)

Deputy Ministers:
Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (Umno)
Datuk Kong Cho Ha (MCA)

Defence Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop (Umno)

Housing and Local Government Minister
Datuk Ong Ka Chuan (MCA)

Deputy Ministers
Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew (SUPP-Sarawak)
Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin (Umno)

Works Minister
Datuk Ir Mohd Zin Mohamed (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Yong Khoon Seng (SUPP-Sawarak)

Energy, Water and Communications Minister
Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum (PRS-Sarawak)

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister
Datuk Mustapa Mohamad (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim (PBB-Sarawak)

International Trade and Industry Minister
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (Umno)

Deputy Ministers
Datuk Liew Vui Keong (LDP-Sabah)
Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan (SPDP-Sarawak)

Foreign Minister
Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Seri Tengku Azlan Abu Bakar (Umno)

Education Minister
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (Umno)

Deputy Ministers
Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong (MCA)
Datuk Razali Ismail (Umno)

Transport Minister
Datuk Ong Tee Keat (MCA)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Anifah Aman (Umno-Sabah)

Health Minister
Datuk Liow Tiong Lai (MCA)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad (Umno)

Human Resources Minister
Datuk S Subramaniam (MIC)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Noraini Ahmad (Umno)

Home Minister
Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (Umno)

Deputy Ministers
Datuk Chor Chee Heung (MCA)
Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid (Umno)

Women, Family and Community Development Minister
Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen (MCA)

Deputy Minister
Norliah Kasmon (Umno)

Culture, Arts, Heritage and National Unity Minister
Datuk Shafie Apdal (Umno-Sabah)

Deputy Minister
Teng Boon Soon (MCA)

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister
Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili (PBS-Sabah)

Deputy Minister
Fadillah Yusof (PBB-Sarawak)

Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development Minister
Datuk Noh Omar (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Saifudin Abdullah (Umno)

Higher Education Minister
Datuk Khaled Nordin (Umno)

Deputy Ministers
Datuk Idris Haron (Umno)
Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung (MCA)

Information Minister
Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Tan Lian Hoe (Gerakan)

Natural Resources and Environment Minister
Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas (PPB-Sarawak)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh (Umno-Sabah)

Rural and Regional Development Minister
Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (PBRS-Sabah)
Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun (PRS-Sarawak)

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister
Datuk Abdul Shahrir Samad (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Jelaing anak Mersat ((SPDP-Sarawk)

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister
Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui (SUPP-Sarawak)

Deputy Minister
Senator Kohilan Pillay (Gerakan)

Youth and Sports Minister
Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Wee Jack Seng (MCA)

Tourism Minister
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Taib (PBB-Sarawak)

Federal Territories Minister
Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique (Umno)

Deputy Minister
Datuk M Saravanan (MIC)

New Federal Cabinet

To be up-dated

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will announce the Federal Cabinet line-up in Putera Jaya at noon today.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Rungus are crying/praying

When Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan revoked the candidacy of Jornah Mozihim for the Motunggung seat two days before nomination day for the March 8 general elections, the Rungus in northern part of Sabah were angry. Jornah did cry so did her supporters but Pairin went ahead to field Sarapin Magana to defend Motunggung for Barisan Nasional-PBS.

Like Jornah, Sarapin is also a Rungus. Sarapin won the seat with an increased majority and the Rungus are happy but come naming/swearing of the Sabah Cabinet and Assistant Ministers, the community were not represented. They are expecting that Sarapin would be made an Assistant Minister, a post that Jornah was holding since 2004.

But it was not to be and now the Rungus are praying that the State's leadership, at least, made Sarapin heads one of the many government's bodies like the Sabah Rubber Industry Board.

Sarapin's chief campaigner for the polling district of Kandawayon Leberi Francis Maraim (pix above) said if the Muruts in the interior of Sabah was given three Assistant Ministers, `why is our people (the Rungus) left out just like that as if we are non-existence.'

My Say:

I agree with Leberi.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Mukhriz Dr Mahathir letter to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Reproduced here from Rockybru's blog is newly elected Member of Parliament for Jerlun, Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir's letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.


Singapore's mypaper published today my (Rockybru) piece on Mukhriz Mahathir asking Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to sack himself.
Here's the entire letter [translated from Bahasa Malaysia] that could mend Umno or break Mukhriz's political career.

12th March 2008

Dato' Seri,

Let me take this opportunity to thank you and the party's leadership for the faith in me and the chance to contest in Jerlun as a Barisan Nasional candidate. With the blessing and hard work of the party's leadership and machinery as well as the people of Jerlun, I have won the elections and am now a new Member of Parliament.

However, sadly enough, my victory is rendered meaningless in view of the defeat that Umno and the Kedah BN suffered in the hands of the opposition. Apart form Kedah, four other states as well as the Federal Territories also received similar humiliation in defeat.

In fact your own state of Penang was wrested by the DAP from the BN. Kelantan is again under Pas rules. In other states, the BN also suffered a similar humiliation when the level of BN support by the people has tremendously reduced. This, Datuk Seri, has never happened in the history of BN rule.

The sole intention of my letter to you is meant to save UMNO and BN from being rejected further by the people and from being no longer relevant to our religion, race and nation.

Dato' Seri, the people are unhappy and the message from them is very clear, and that is they have rejected you as the nation's chief executive.

Contrary to your claim that you still have the support of Umno and other component parties, the reality is that even our own party members had reneged in their voting pattern by supporting the Opposition and inflicting the BN its defeat.

Dato' Seri, when the people held street demonstrations you openly dared them to resort to the ballot boxes to demonstrate.

They took your challenge by coming out, especially tho people in the Peninsular, and they demonstrated their feelings by voting us out at the BN at State and Parliament levels.

It is therefore clear that your leadership and your handling of the issues faced by the people and the nation are no longer accepted. Let's not deny the truth just for the sake of keeping your seat as Prime Minister.

For the love of this country and the people, I beg that you take responsibility for the defeat. We can save UMNO, the BN and the nation only if you relinquish your positions as Prime Minister and the President of UMNO.

Dato' Seri, I hope you will understand that I make this plea with the intention of salvaging a very dire situation. A move has been made to woo the BN representatives to join the Opposition. The enemy needs just 35 seats more to topple the government of your leadership.

If you do not resign in the near future, I fear that the situation will become untenable and that the Malay support for Umno and BN will be a thing of the past.

This plea I make without malice, and I am aware that your reaction and that of other UMNO members could very well be hostile.

But come what may, I am prepared, for the sake of the Malays and UMNO, to face the consequences of my action. With all humility, I leave my fate to Allah SWT.

Dato' Seri, I am sure that you will do the right thing for the sake of the people and the nation. May Allah SWT bless you for the sacrifice you make by stepping down.


Yours Sincerely

Mukhriz Mahathir
Jerlun Member Parlament


The Prime Minister yesterday said its up to UMNO Youth head Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein to take action againts Mukhriz, who is Umno Youth Exco member, for writing the letter to him.

Kurup wants to be Federal Minister

Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), a component member of the ruling coalition (Barisan Nasional) want its sole Member of Parliament Tan Sri Joseph Kurup to be a Federal Minister.

Kurup, known for his Bell Bottom trousers, met the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to submit PBRS' nominee for a Federal ministrial portfolio.

Obviously, Kurup, who won the Pensiangan MP seat uncontested, submitted his own name for the Federal posting as he is the party's only MP. PBRS other elected representative is Datuk Ellron Angin (Sook state seat) was yesterday appointed Sabah's Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

Kurup, who is PBRS' president, a lawyer by training had once served as a Deputy Chief Minister in the State Government.

My Say:

A Deputy Minister post for Kurup will also be most welcomed by the people of Sabah, particularly the natives.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Sabah Ministers and Assistant Ministers

The newly sworn-in Sabah Ministers

The Sabah Cabinet Ministers were sworn-in before Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah at the Istana Negeri in Kota Kinabalu today. Also sworn-in were 18 Assistant Ministers, four more than the 14 previously.

The Sabah State Government is a coalition of UMNO, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), UPKO, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and MCA.

The line-up comprises of Umno - six ministers and eight Assistant Ministers (6/8), PBS (2/5), UPKO (1/2), SAPP (1/1),LDP (1/0),PBRS (0/1) and MCA (0/1).

The State Government will have to amend the State Constitution to increase the numbers of Assistant Ministers from 14 to 18.

Not re-appointed were Datuk Haji Abdul Rahim Ismail who was former Agriculture and Food Industry Minister and Datuk Haji Karim Bujang (Assisatnt Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment) and the new ministers are Datuk Hajah Azizah Mohd Dun and Peter Pang En Yin.

The Full List.

Chief Minister
Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman (UMNO)

Assistant Ministers
1. Datuk Radin Maleh (PBS)
2. Datuk Edward Khoo Keok Hui (MCA)
3. Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur (UMNO)

Deputy Chief Minister/Rural Development Minister
Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS)

Assistant Minister
1. Datuk Haji Saidin Karno (UMNO)

Deputy Chief Minister/Agriculture and Food Industry Minister
Datuk Haji Yahya Hussin (UMNO)

Assistant Ministers
1. Datuk Bobbey Suan (UPKO)
2. Datuk Musbah Haji Jamli (UMNO)

Deputy Chief Minister/Infrastructure Development Minister
Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (SAPP)

Assistant Ministers
1. Datuk Michael Asang (PBS)
2. Datuk Japlin Akim (UMNO)

Finance Minister
Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman (UMNO)

Assistant Ministers
1. Datuk Haji Taufiq Datuk Abu Bakar Titingan (UMNO)
2. Melanie Chia Chui Ket (SAPP)

Minister in the Chief Minister's Department
Datuk Haji Nasir Tun Sakaran (UMNO)

Minister of Local Government and Housing
Datuk Haji Hajiji Haji Mohd Noor (UMNO)

Assistant Ministers
1. Edward Yong Oui Fah(PBS)
2. Datuk Ghulam Bahadar Khan (UMNO)

Minister of Industrial Development
Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin (UPKO)

Assistant Minister
1. Jainab Datuk Ahmad (UMNO)

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment
Datuk Haji Masidi Manjun (UMNO)

Assistant Ministers
1. Bolkiah Haji Ismail (UMNO)
2. Datuk Ellron Angin (PBRS)

Minster of Resources Development and Information Technology
Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai (PBS)

Assistant Minister
1. Donald Datuk Peter Mojuntin (UPKO)

Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs
Datuk Hajah Azizah Mohd Dun (UMNO)

Assistant Minister
1. Hherbert Timbun Lagadan (PBS)

Minister of Youth and Sports
Peter Pang En Yin (LDP)

Assistant Minister
1. Jahid Jahim (PBS)

After the general elections

My Say:

I can not but again have to reproduce here another good article from which no doubt is an excellent analysis of the outcome of the March 8 general elections.

Malaysia’s Nervous View of the Future
By Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob
13 March 2008

After an election debacle, Malaysia's government has to cope with democracy for the first time.

Five days into Malaysia’s new political era, the country is waking up to the fact that the future for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is probably worse than the already dismal final election outcome makes it seem. The outlook for investors will probably also generate a certain amount of strain and nervousness in coming months.

Although some are concerned that racial tension could boil over because of the wholesale departure of Chinese and Indian support from the Barisan, that is probably not as acute as many think although it could increase in coming months. Ethnic Malays voted against the government as well, although the swing, from 63 percent to 58 percent, was much smaller.

Although the Barisan retained 140 of the 222 seats in the parliament, it won only 51.1 percent of the popular vote, and actually ran behind the three opposition parties on the mainland. It lost the three most urbanized and industrialized states – Perak, Penang and Selangor. It was saved partly by gerrymandered constituencies long-rigged in its favor, and partly by Sabah and Sarawak, which voted solidly for the status quo, and partly by its ability to use the resources of power – a universally docile mainstream press, the money to transport voters to the polls, and, critics charge, outright cheating.

What it means is a long period of jockeying for power inside the United Malays National Organisation, the leading ethnic party in the coalition, with an improbably rejuvenated figure – former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who worked against Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi, his hand-picked successor – possibly playing a kingmaker role as the party’s elder statesman.

In addition, the opposition parties – Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or the People’s Justice Party and particularly the largely Chinese Democratic Action Party and the fundamentalist Malay Parti Islam se-Malaysia – have started out taking no prisoners. In Penang, where the DAP wrested control from Gerakan, the fourth party in the ruling coalition, newly installed Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng initially said the government planned to scrap the local components of the New Economic Policy, the affirmative action program that has given ethnic Malays a wide variety of special treatment ranging from educational opportunities to government jobs, government contracts and government housing.

That prompted a warning from Abdullah Badawi that the DAP could be provoking racial tension. “Do not marginalize the Malays,” he told the national news agency Bernama. “I want to ask Lim Guan Eng, ‘What are his plans for the Malays in Penang? What are his plans for the Indians in Penang?’”

Growing pains are also showing across an opposition coalition with dissimilar aims and philosophies – a quasi-socialist Chinese party, the DAP; a fundamentalist Malay Islamic one, PAS; and a cross-cultural one dominated by urban Malays, Keadilan. In the state of Perak, which was won by the opposition 31 seats to 28, the DAP briefly walked out on the swearing-in ceremony for Perak’s PAS secretary Mohamad Nizar Jamaludin, to protest the fact that while the DAP won 18 seats and PAS won only six, Mohamad was named the chief minister.

Malaysian law states that a Malay must be made chief minister in any state although that can be waived by the sultan, who makes the appointment. Later, despite concerns over PAS, which advocates Sharia law for Muslims, the DAP returned and Lim Kit Siang, the leader of the party, issued an apology. Keadilan then threatened to pull out of the Perak coalition government because eight of the 10 executive council posts will go to the DAP.

Within UMNO itself, the party seems to be governed by uncertainty. “Mahathir’s phone is ringing nonstop,” said one party insider, as UMNO members line up to pay allegiance to a strongman whose time, many thought, was over. “UMNO members don’t know what to do. Many of the senior government servants are loyal to Mahathir and they see this as the destruction of Malaysia. UMNO cells or Malay cells may sprout that will call for Malay rights to be protected against the usurping Chinese.”

In the state of Perlis, infighting has reportedly already started, with UMNO factions tussling to take the post of chief minister.

Although immediately after the election many observers expected Abdullah Badawi to lose his position as prime minister, it now appears he may hang on in a weakened state until UMNO party elections in August, although they could be brought forward. Najib Tun Razak, the deputy prime minister, who himself is under considerable criticism for allegations of wrongdoing, is considered the most likely challenger, although another name has surfaced – that of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah*, the royalist onetime finance minister who once led a splinter group in a vain attempt to challenge Mahathir for power and who retains little grassroots support.

Economically the country should continue to do well. Some of the Barisan’s cherished development projects, especially in the five states now ruled by opposition parties, are likely to come to be subjected to harsh scrutiny for favoritism or corruption. Gun shy private investors in planned development and infrastructure projects, particularly those with ties to the government, are likely to turn risk-averse. Nonetheless, GDP should continue to roll along, given that the country is in the middle of a commodity upswing, particularly for palm oil, although some analysts expect prices to begin to turn down in the second half of 2008. Malaysia remains a net crude oil exporter, although that is expected to end around 2011.

The government, in an effort to regain public support, may step up spending on public health, education and housing for ethnic minorities. Because of these concerns, as well as a continuing spectacular scandal in the country’s judiciary, Chinese support for the Barisan fell to 35 percent from 65 percent. Indian support dropped to 47% from 82 percent.

One major issue will be fuel prices. Anwar Ibrahim, the Keadilan leader and de facto leader of the opposition, promised a cut. But with crude skyrocketing to over US$110 a barrel, it is difficult to see how fuel subsidies can be sustained, let alone increased, without blowing a major hole in the budget. If anything, the government should raise fuel prices during Abdullah Badawi’s lame-duck reign to get consumer outrage out of the way before his successor takes over. But that isn’t likely.

The government may also have lost another asset – a complacent press – to the Internet. Although all major newspapers are owned by the pro-government political parties, independent Websites, particularly Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, which were critical of the government, were read across the country and drew massive numbers of hits prior to and during the election, as they did during opposition marches in November and December.

Given the new dynamics, the government’s options appear limited, and the opposition will be feeling its way. Analysts say that leaders of the three opposition parties are determined to cooperate to prove they are ready to run replace the Barisan. Certainly, the era of absolute Barisan rule appears to be over, and one more Asian government that was a democracy in name only may now have to start acting like one.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Swearing in

The swaring in of sabah ministers will be held before the head of state friday at the istana at 3pm.

I will update this posting tonight with the full list of Ministers and Assistant Ministers after the swearing-in this afternoon. ____________________________________________________________________________________
Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Muruts demands ministrial posts

Datuk Kadoh Agundong, a Murut well-known leader, said Members of Parliament of the native community in the Interior of Sabah (Tenom, Keningau, Sook, Nabawan, Pensiangan, Melalap, Kemabong) should be given ministerial posts in the Federal Government.

The Deputy President of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) said the Muruts had been loyal to Barisan Nasional and that should be enough consideration by top leaders for the community to be represented in the Federal Cabinet.

Kadoh, once nick-named Giant Killer when he defeated powerful Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh in the 1976 (correction 1985) general elections, said the highest position that Murut leaders attained in politics was Sabah Deputy Chief Minister - Datuk G S Sundang and Tan Sri Suffian Koroh.

PBRS president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (YB Bell Bottom) won the Pensiangan MP unopposed seat in the March 8, general election. Kurup, a Kadazandusun but live among the Muruts had served as Deputy Chief Minister. Pensiangan is a Murut dominated constituency.

My Say:

Not only the Muruts but also the Kadazandusuns should also have more Ministers, Deputy Ministers both at Federal and State Cabinets.

Kanul is angry....

Mr Kanul Gindol, the ex-Political Secretary to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, is an angry man. He had left PKR before polling day which Jeffrey said was due to not being fielded as a candidate.

This afternoon I received a Press statement from Kanul, which I reproduced below.


KOTA KINABALU, Mon. - The voters in Sabah had spoken loud and clear. They voted for the Government that they thought could be believed and trusted, and not a party that is led by hungry political animals.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) total lost in Sabah was due to people distrusting the words by its national and State leaders. It is about issues of sincerity and credibility against PKR's top leadership.

The growing dissenting votes, however, signaled to the ruling State Barisan Nasional leaders to either shape up or ship out in the next election. It is an advance warning.

With the changing in the national political landscape, there come new threats, and new opportunities, to the shore of Sabah. With its near clean-sweep position, State BN should be getting more representations at the Federal Government. And not only that but getting important ministries such as the Public Works Ministry.

My Say:

For one, I agreed with Kanul on Sabah's being given better ministerial positions in the Federal Cabinet. Sabah gave 24 MPs to BN in the just concluded general elections so this Land Below The Wind deserves to be given more Federal positions.

Life must goes on

After casting my vote on Saturday morning (I was voter number 6 as I arrived early), I headed to a newspaper's office to keep tab of the elections' development in the country. I stayed on until 2.30am Sunday. I arrived home half an hour later to continue monitor the results of the elections on RTM 1. I went to bed at 7.30am and woke up 2.30pm and it was time to go to the newspaper's office again.

Yes, the people had made their voices known. The opposition was given the votes to deny the Barisan Nasional Government two-third majority in the 222 seats in Parlilment. BN secured 140 seats while the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (31), DAP (28) and PAS (23). The opposition also toppled the BN State Government in Penang, Perak, Kedah, Selangor and kept Kelantan.

But it was a different scenario in Sabah, BN won 24 of the 25 MP seats and 59 of the 60 State seats. Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman was sworn as Chief Minister before Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah yesterday at Istana Kota Kinabalu.

The next thing that the people of Sabah will be waiting is the composition of the Sabah's Cabinet. Musa will be meeting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawai, who was sworn in this morning, to discuss about the appointment of Ministers in the Sabah's Cabinet.

My Say:

Will the line-up will be still the 2004's faces?

Friday, 7 March 2008

I cast vote tomorrow

I am a registered voter in the Sepanggar constituency and Inanam State seat. My district voting zone is Inanam Darat and polling centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kionsom, Inanam, a stone throw from my house.

I have long made up my mind who/which candidate/party to vote. My family alone have more than 10 registered voters.

I can not tell my choice as vote is a secret.

Selamat Mengundi dan Jangan Salah Undi.

New Sabah State Government????

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said Barisan Nasional (BN) will win all the 58 state seats and 23 MP seats in tomorrow (Saturday - March 8) general elections. BN had won two MPs and a State seat unopposed on nomination day. Opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) canidate for Gum Gum had pulled out making it two MPs and two State seats for BN.

But PKR's vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan had declared that his party would formed the next State Government for they are confident of winning 33 seats and 50-50 chances in several other constituencies.

Will we see this happening? If indeed this (PKR - 33 seats) become a reality, I believe BN with fight to form the State Government by making use of a provision in the State Constitution. They will appoint six Nominated members of the State Legislative Assembly like what Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun and Datuk Harris Salleh did in 1984(?) when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) toppled Parti Berjaya Government.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Ansari vs Kanul

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman for Sabah Haji Ansari Abdullah deny any rift with PKR Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan. He said the so-called `differences or problems' between them was a creation of Kanul Gindol, Dr Jeffrey's former political secretary.

"Do not listen to him (Kanul), he can't even fine a wife, not even a girlfriend," Ansari told a reporter last night.

Winning hand down...

Browsing I came across this article which I wanted to share with my visitors.

Barisan Nasional Wins 12th General Election
March 5, 2008 by mindspring

Anyone disagree? Even if Barisan did not do any campaigning, throwing of money for last minute promises etc. they would win, literally hands down. Can you imagine Barisan loosing?

I have done several post before this to explain why Barisan will win…. first the opposition has a branding issue , then there is Anwar Ibrahim and of course there is KJ who will be PM by age 40…

So for you and me who are just Joe publics…. there isn’t a lot we can do… to stop barisan from winning despite the fact that 91% of Malaysia Today readers want a change government . And lets be real, we do know that the alternatives - PAS, DAP. PKR would be clueless on how to run the country if they won.

So here is my suggestion, since Barisan will win anyway…. the vote you and I cast for them really wont make a difference. So lets take out VOTE and give it to the opposition. The least we can do is put a few opposition people in power to provide some check and balances in parliment and the state assemblies. This way, at least our vote would be meaningful….

Independent backing BN

Datuk John Ghani, who won the Kuala Penyu seat on an Independent ticket in the March 21, 2004 general elections, today openly declared support Datuk Lajim Ukin, the Barisan Nasional's (BN) candidate for the Beaufort parliamentary seat.

John said Lajim, as a Government's representative, had assisted him in Kuala Penyu in term of fund for development.

This time around, John is defending his seat, also as an Independent candidate as his application to join BN through Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) had been rejected as it was opposed by another BN's component party.

John, in his campaign, called on the voters in Kuala Penyu to vote for him and Lajim in the MP seat. He is involved in a-three-cornered contest, the other candidates being John Teo of BN-UPKO and Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR)Guan Dee Koh Hoi. He is confident that he will be able to retain the seat.

Meanwhile, John also disclosed that Datuk Wences Angang, the BN-UPKO candidate he defeated in the 2004's election had met him, inviting him to join UPKO but declined the offer.

John also said that Wences had also brought him to a meeting with UPKO's president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok for the same reason. On the eve of the nomination day, John said Teo met him to persuade him not to contest.

"I am contesting again with the support of the Kuala Penyu's constituents. I had never been anti-BN. I was in UMNO until the eve of the 2004's general elections nomination day," John said.

My Say:

It is an open secret that Lajim had all along been supporting John. Even their election posters are displayed on the same billboard. John had also been attending PBS functions whenever party president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan is also the guest of honour.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

PKR confident of forming Sabah Government

As Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today campaign in support of for Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and other Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates in the Interior of Sabah, Opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is out in the rural areas telling the people that his party is confident to win 33 of the 60 State seats to form the next State Government of Sabah.

The younger brother of Pairin said that the fact that the Prime Minister is coming to Keningau showed that BN is in dire need of supports to win the elections on polling day March 8.

Dr Jeffrey is challenging incumbent Pairin in the Keningau MP seat and against Justin Guka (BN-UPKO) in the State seat of Bingkor.

My Say:

Can PKR make it? Together we wait for the result on Saturday night.

The road repaired

As promised to me, the contactor inspected the road on Sunday and repair work started the following day. Work completed yesterday but according to the contractor it was just the beginning as they will come again to upgrade the road. What they did for the two days was just fill-up the potholes with crushed stones. Another promise to wait.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Students asked to tell parents to vote for.....

The Daily Express today reported that State Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director Latifah Md Yassin had confirmed receiving a report on corruption relating to the ongoing election campaign.

She said it involved the offering of cash to students during a school ceremony in a school in the West Coast of Sabah. The students were said to have been told to tell their parents to vote for a particular candidate of a political party on polling day - March 8.

Latifah said ACA is investigating the report.

She also said that the ACA headquarters in Kota Kinabalu has an operation centre that is open 24-hours to receive reports of alleged corrupt practices during this elections.

My Say:

ACA will receive a lot more reports during and after the elections.

Election overview by Asia Sentinel

My Say:

A good article from that I reproduced here for a good read before Malaysians cast votes on March 8.

By Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob
28 February 2008

The country’s voters, disgruntled over a wide range of issues, go to the polls on March 8

Malaysia’s bedraggled political opposition, riding an apparent wave of citizen discontent, may be gaining some unaccustomed momentum ahead of voting at Malaysia’s general election, scheduled for March 8.

The opposition, beset by a lack of access not only to the levers of power but access as well to almost any of the elements that would contribute to a level playing field, including to the press or properly apportioned districts, has a nearly unbroken record of losses except for a handful of seats in the Dewan Rakyat, or national parliament, and in local legislatures.

Nonetheless, political analysts say the prospects for the loose-knit opposition coalition, made up of the multi-race Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or Justice Party, the Islamic Parti Islam se-Malaysia, and the Democratic Action Party, which is dominated by Malaysian Chinese, have perhaps the best chance in decades of denying the government its two-thirds monopoly on power.

Almost nobody gives the opposition coalition much more chance than just breaking the national coalition’s two-thirds majority. But a convergence of issues has improved the opposition’s chances. Although the economy is rolling along at a healthy 7.3 percent clip, led by domestic demand and bolstered by rising commodity prices and investment spending, inflation is a nagging issue, as is street crime, particularly in Kuala Lumpur, a city that has always seemed preternaturally safe. The National Crime Index has spiked up by 45 percent over a single year.

In addition, there is rising apprehension among both the Indian and Chinese populations over increasingly strident assertions of racial superiority by ethnic Malays. Whatever the debate, the fact remains that the worst race riots in Malaysian history – in May 1969, 39 years ago, have haunted and shaped Malaysian politics ever since. The race card has been used by all factions in Malaysia’s political scene, be it by the ruling coalition or by the opposition, largely causing the effect of maintaining the status quo.

A long string of corruption charges, many of them backed with considerable proof, have been laid at the door of top UMNO officials. Those charges of corruption have been exacerbated by the fact that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi followed former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad into office with both a mandate to clean out the stables and a promise to do it, then backed away.

Thus heartened, the main opposition parties have agreed to cooperate with each other, fielding single candidacies in most constituencies to avoid splitting their votes and giving the Barisan a clear path to return to power. The Barisan in 2004 won 91 percent of the seats in the parliament and expects to lose at least some. Badawi himself has sought to dampen expectations, telling supporters and reporters to expect losses. Some analysts have suggested the opposition could take as many as 50 seats in the 219-member body. But as many as 30 would be optimistic.

Part of the opposition’s problem is that the electoral districts are blatantly gerrymandered. In the 2004 elections, although the Barisan won only about 64 percent of the popular vote, it ended up with 198 of the 219 seats. The MCA won 15.5 percent of the popular vote and 31 seats while the opposition DAP won about 10 percent of the vote but only 12 seats.

There are some wild cards. In a country where internet use is increasingly popular, independent websites like Malaysia Today and Malaysiakini are publicizing institutional corruption and other issues, particularly in the judiciary, which is facing its biggest scandal since the country came into existence.

“This election has the power of the Internet that is greatly influencing voters' opinion. Blogs and popular websites are quick and effective disseminators of information, where readers form opinions based on the information received,” Tricia Yeoh, a senior analyst for Malaysia’s Center for Public Policy Studies, told Asia Sentinel. “Secondly, the BN has had numerous issues to contend within the recent year, casting a shadow of gloom over its leadership, as opposed to the ‘positive feel’ it achieved in the 2004 elections.

“Such issues are - dissatisfaction over the demolition of temples and overall marginalisation of the Indians, judicial corruption brought to light, the inability to handle controversial cases on religion, the economy and rising prices, amongst others. Third, the groundswell of civil society in numerous forms: monitoring, advocacy, candidacy, voter education, again making use of the Web - is a significant factor compared to the previous elections,” Yeoh said.

But, Yeoh added, she expects the opposition to win no more than 15 new seats, giving it a total of 34 or so. It now holds 19.

With the opposition throughout its history having failed in any real terms to present any form of shadow government or balance of power to the ruling coalition, as usual the electoral battle is within the Barisan itself. Although Abdullah Badawi sought to consolidate his UMNO power base by attempting to put his own acolytes in place, dropping some old bulls from the battle, other attempts to drop state warlords have backfired.

In the northern state of Perlis, supporters of the incumbent chief minister resigned en masse, locking up operations rooms and refusing to campaign for the party. Meanwhile, observers say that the MCA president Ong Ka Ting dropped his key rivals, including former health minister Chua Jui Meng, who challenged Ong for the presidency in 2005.

The Barisan itself is riven with a variety of different struggles. Although UMNO previously dominated the cabinet and policy decisions, the MCA, MIC and Gerakan, another Chinese-dominated party, have been unable to have much impact in the wake of adverse court decisions concerning the rights of non-Malays.

Another wild card this time around is Mahathir Mohamad, 82, who for the first time is conspicuously not campaigning for the ruling coalition. Many younger generations have never known another prime minister and the older generation still have a good deal of respect for him. Ever since his venomous attacks started in 2006, in which he lashed out that Abdullah Badawi was not his first choice as successor and that the ill-starred Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, himself under fire for corruption, was better qualified, the prime minister has lost headway.

Mahathir has charged that his successor was mismanaging the economy and railed against the influence of Abdullah’s family members, in particular his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin. The former premier’s attacks appear to be cutting into the prime minister’s support.

Grumblings also stem from the perception especially among the Chinese business community that the Malaysian economy is stagnant despite the strong official figures.

On the ground, although campaigning is in full swing, it appears that some urban voters may have already made up their minds to teach the Barisan a lesson. The general feeling extends across middle-class professionals be they Malay, Chinese or Indian, that Abdullah Badawi has failed in keeping his 2004 electoral manifesto and ideals.

More so, Mahathir again dealt a heavy blow when he said it was impossible for UMNO and the Barisan Nasional to reform itself and that it was up to the electorate to do the job.

Abdullah Badawi may be counting on traditional party loyalists and support from rural folk who are enjoying better wages thanks to the boom in commodities, especially palm oil. Malaysia is a major exporter with production standing at 15.8 million tonnes for 2007.

Signs in the kampungs, or rural villages, appear mixed although Barisan politicians say they are confident of success. While many villagers contend that there aren’t many localized grievances, many are concerned over the apparent lack of control that Abdullah Badawi has over the levers of power. Taking their cue from Mahathir, villagers seem unconcerned with national issues such as demonstration by ethnic Indian Malaysians, large pockets of whom seem to have rallied behind the Hindu Rights Action Force. HINDRAF alleges economic discrimination against Malaysian Indians by majority Muslim-Malays. This scenario may be supported by the fact that more than ever before, voters are scrutinizing the resumes of candidates and their suitability.

The time where a candidate could win just by the strength of the party symbol still holds in many safe constituencies. But many others formerly thought to be safe are now demanding to see candidates’ credentials. Furthermore, unlike in the 1999 elections, when Chinese and Indian voters stepped in to shore up the Barisan, non-Malay support does not seem forthcoming.

S. Samy Vellu, the president of the MIC, has come under intense fire with calls for his resignation for his alleged failure to advance the Indian community. The Chinese community may also take the opportunity to vent their anger with MCA over what is the party’s failure to stand up to what were deemed as racist acts when UMNO youth leaders in the widely-televised 2005 UMNO General Assembly, particularly Hishammuddin Hussein Onn, son of Malaysia’s third prime minister and UMNO youth chief, waved a Malay dagger or Keris during his speech and threatened to bathe it in Chinese blood. Malaysian Chinese took offence to that act. The MCA is also weakened as it wallows in internal strife with various factions fighting for influence and positions.

The combination of these factors and more have heartened the opposition. Although the Barisan Nasional will in the end continue its reign, if ever there was a threat to its power, by Malaysian standards anyway now is that time.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Approved on the spot

Last night I attended a political gathering of a political party. The main speaker was the candidate. At the end of his talk, I approached him to complain about the road to my village and without second thought he approved repair on the spot. He promised that today the contractor will inspect the road and Monday repair work begin.

I hope this is not just a promise to woo our votes. And if indeed repair work is done, I wish that every day is election so that whatever the villagers asked will be granted on the spot.