Monday, March 31, 2008

When Mahathir lashes out at Anwar, will it catch fire?

When Mahathir lashes out at Anwar, will it catch fire? Bernama pic:Tun Dr Mahathir at the Perkim annual general meeting on Saturday
KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 – The fight to drag Anwar Ibrahim into a political mud-fight began yesterday when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad went back to his playbook of 1998 and accused the de facto opposition leader of being a stooge for foreign powers.
Unlike 10 years ago, Anwar is not likely to be perturbed by this attack. He will not take the bait and will dismiss his one-time mentor as someone whose relevance to Malaysia has passed.
Anwar knows that he does not need to get into a street fight, as he is viewed by many Malaysians as the man who is ushering in a new dawn for the country while Dr Mahathir is seen as part of the old landscape.
Also, Anwar does not need to score points with Umno or convince them of his fitness to lead. If anything, it is Dr Mahathir who has to audition for their support as he sets about to force a change of leadership in Umno.
It was vintage Mahathir yesterday. He described Anwar as "a man of many parts", someone with a forked tongue.
"When he talks about Islam, Muslims will think he's a champion of Islam. When he is with the Jews, the Jews love him. When he is with the Muslims, the Muslims love him. When he is with the temple groups, they love him too.
“Everybody loves him. He is a convincing orator… If the Malays are willing to kowtow to the foreigners, then they can choose this person,” he said during a question-and-answer session after he opened the annual general meeting of Persatuan Melayu Tanjong (Penang Malays Association) here yesterday.
When someone in the audience wondered whether Anwar stood a chance to be the next prime minister, Dr Mahathir suggested that he would make a “good prime minister of Israel”. This was not a shot in the dark as the former PM knows that Muslims here have great animosity with Israel over that country’s handling of the Palestinian issue.
When the former prime minister sacked Anwar Ibrahim from the party and government 10 years ago, he repeatedly accused his one-time protégé of being a lackey of the West, especially the United States. But the difference between then and now is as stark as night and day.
This was evident at a recent seminar on the elections at Universiti Utara Malaysia. Among the panelists were Penang deputy chief minister Dr P. Ramasamy, PAS politician Mujahid Rawa and deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
Saifuddin had a tough time getting his points across as he was booed consistently by the young audience.
Dr Mansor Mohd Noor, a political analyst who was in the hall, said: “There has been a change in the political environment in West Malaysia. Malaysians want to know about the vision of this country. Any attempt at character assassination or personal attacks will not go down well with the public. The focus is on integrity, good governance, just policies. If you cannot articulate all this, then your relevance is limited.’’
He noted that voters, including Malays, were upset that the Barisan Nasional attacked Anwar a few days before the polls as an untrustworthy politician.
“Many people believe that he was the wronged party in 1998 and had 6 years taken away from him. Calling him a foreign agent will be like selling an old newspaper. And not a credible one,” Dr Mansor.
Still, he believes that Tun Mahathir is attempting to show the Umno rank and file that only he has the fire in the belly to take on Anwar. His pitch – though old and out-of-date with many Malays – could find support within a party searching for a leader to stop the seemingly unstoppable march of the Anwar-led opposition.
– The Malaysian Insider

Malays Will Be Made Tools By West If Anwar Becomes PM, Says Mahathir
PENANG, March 30 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Malays will be made use of by foreign powers if they choose Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.
Describing Anwar as a "a man of many parts", he said Anwar had a glib tongue and hence could draw the attention of people from different groups and backgrounds.
"When he talks about Islam, Muslims will think he's a champion of Islam. He's also good at talking to the kampung (village) folk and also to those at temples.
"We know the west believes that Anwar will become prime minister in the near future. They can then lead him by the nose," said Dr Mahathir during a question-and-answer session after he opened the annual general meeting of Persatuan Melayu Tanjong (Penang Malays Association) here Sunday.
Someone in the audience had asked him about western media reports that Anwar would soon become Malaysia's prime minister.
"If the Malays are willing to kowtow to the foreigners, then they can choose this person (Anwar). I am sorry... he had maligned me all over the world, accusing me of arresting him and throwing him in jail," Dr Mahathir said.
-- MORE

Dr Mahathir: Impossible for BN to win back the 5 states

Dr Mahathir: Impossible for BN to win back the 5 states

Regina William
PENANG (March 30, 2008): It will be impossible for Barisan Nasional (BN) to wrest back the five states which it lost to the opposition in the general election, says former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir said those who voted for the opposition were no longer interested in the BN and would not return to the party.
"If the opposition governments succeed in governing these states well, even the Malays will be attracted and turn their backs on the BN.
"Even Umno members during this elections secretly voted for the opposition, not because they loved the opposition but for the love of the party (Umno).
"They wanted to send a warning to the party leadership but unfortunately the leadership is still in a slumber and in denial about the losses.
"Not only has Umno been destroyed, but also MCA, MIC, Gerakan and even BN," Mahathir said in his speech when officiating at the Persatuan Melayu Tanjung (Permata) annual general meeting in a hotel here today.
The former prime minister was in his element, raising laughter among those present though his speech was laced with hard hitting comments on the present government leadership.
Mahathir said when the opposition won in the many states, police warned that there should not be any celebrations or rallies but practised double standards when it came to Umno members.
"When Lim Guan Eng spoke about the NEP, all he said was he wanted to abolish the corruption as a result of NEP and there were people who demonstrated."Police did not do anything about the demonstrators and they too practiced double standards," Mahathir added.
He reiterated his call to Umno members to speak out if they loved the party and wanted the party to remain relevant in years to come. For 450 years we were ruled by outsiders and we still refused to speak out or retaliate.
"Now the Malays are so scared to voice out their opinion and have been reduced to saying 'yes sir' to the party leadership. If we continue to be like this, we will forever be under the rule of someone or other and never be freed from our shackles of colonialism until the end of time.

"The future of Umno is in your hands, if you remain scared to speak out, there is no future for Umno if those who are elected are those singled out by the party leadership," he added.
When asked if he thought former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could one day become Malaysia's premier, Mahathir said it would spell doom for the country.
"He seems to be a man of many parts, changing his tune to different audiences. He is only fit to be the Prime Minister of the Israel and he will destroy the country if he is made Prime Minister as he will allow interference by other countries into our affairs," Mahathir said.
Mahathir was also asked to comment on Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement that the 30% quota system for nomination for party elections was introduced by Mahathir to protect his own presidency.
Mahathir has asked for the 30% party support rule to be abolished.
"When we introduced it, it was done to allow only those who had substantial support from party members to contest and not for anyone to do so at their whim and fancy.

"It was not difficult for me to garner that support then and I welcomed those who wanted to challenge me even Razaleigh (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) and even someone who is now Prime Minister (Abdullah).
"I never gave out instructions that none should stand against me but you see what happened to Razaleigh when he wanted to challenge Abdullah in 2004?
"He only obtained one vote from his division because the others were threatened not to support him. Even in 2004, Khairy Jamaluddin won uncontested. I know for a fact that people who wanted to stand against him were threatened and hauled up by Youth Chief (Datuk Seri) Hishamuddin (Hussein) to stay away.
"What is this? If he was a shining and outstanding example we can accept but undue pressure was put on Umno members not to contest against him," he added.He said though there were those within Umno who would make a better president and said they must have advisers chosen via the council and not their own family members. – The Sun

Malaysia says confident of six percent growth

Malaysia says confident of six percent growth
Malaysia on Monday said it was confident economic growth for 2008 will hit six percent despite troubles in key trading partner the United States.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said domestic demand, public spending and the services and mining sectors, including the booming petroleum industry, would fuel growth.
"Gross domestic product is on the uptrend. And we strongly feel that the 2008 economic growth forecast of six percent is within our reach," he said.
Najib said that while the central bank had predicted the slower growth forecast in 2008, down from 6.3 percent in 2007 due to a US-led global slowdown, "there is enough capacity ... to grow more than that."
Last week, the central bank said Malaysia's growth is expected to slow to 5.0-6.0 percent in 2008, down from 6.3 percent last year.
Bank Negara said that rising prices of fuel, commodities and food will see headline inflation for the year rise to 2.5-3 percent from 2.0 percent in 2007.
"In 2008, the external environment is expected to deteriorate with the continued unfolding of the financial crisis that has erupted in the United States," central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said.
But mining is tipped to expand by 6.0 percent in 2008, ending two consecutive years of contraction and rebounding to 3.2 percent last year, on increased output of crude oil and natural gas, which are currently priced high.
Meanwhile Najib said Malaysia will ensure there was sufficient stockpile of rice, a staple food diet in the country, and vowed not to raise prices amid a spike in rice prices on the world market.
"At the moment there are no plans to increase the price of rice but we have to look in terms of supply to make sure there is enough stockpile of rice in the country," he said.
Spot prices of rice have recently hit more than 700 dollars a tonne, more than three times the price of just five years ago due to various factors including higher fuel and fertilizer cost.
Najib said Malaysia would source rice from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries and would in the long term increase domestic production.
"We will have to source around the region. We know the market is tighter now so we will have to step up our efforts to increase the supply of rice as part of our stockpile," he said.
Malaysia imports its rice from Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. But Vietnam, the world's second largest rice exporter, last week said it will cut rice exports this year in an effort to secure domestic supplies.
Source: AFP via MSN News - http://news.my.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1318047

Sunday, March 30, 2008

DAULAT TUANKU!

Monarchy Has Important Role In Country's Stability

KUALA TERENGGANU, March 30 (Bernama) -- The monarchy institution has an important role in maintaining stability in the country, said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

He said this included resolving crises within the ruling party like the role played by the monarchy in Thailand.

"The constitutional monarchy system is important in national politics, particularly when there is a crisis within the government," he said after the swearing-in of the Terengganu Menteri Besar at Istana Maziah here Sunday.

Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said, 51, was sworn in as Menteri Besar before Terengganu Regent Tengku Muhammad Ismail Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

It was witnessed by the Regency Advisory Council head Tengku Sri Panglima Raja Tengku Baderulzaman and members Tengku Sri Laksamana Raja Tengku Sulaiman Sultan Ismail and former Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman.

All 23 Terengganu Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblymen, including former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and opposition assemblymen, attended the ceremony.

Abdul Hadi, who is Rhu Rendang assemblyman, said he appreciated the palace's role in resolving the crisis (over the appointment of a new Menteri Besar) in Terengganu. -- BERNAMA

30,000 greet the king

KUALA TERENGGANU: The rakyat and members of political parties, including from the opposition, were out in full force yesterday to welcome the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at the Sultan Mahmud Airport.

The estimated 30,000-strong crowd created a massive traffic jam lasting nearly three hours from the Sultan Mahmud bridge to the airport, a distance of about 5km.

This was Tuanku Mizan's first visit to the state since the March 8 general election. He arrived with his son, Tengku Muhammad Ismail, who is the regent.

They were greeted by Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, state assemblymen and heads of department.

Ahmad, who was at the centre of a controversy over his appointment as the menteri besar, will be sworn-in before the Regency Advisory Council at Istana Maziah today.

State Umno liaison secretary Datuk Rosol Wahid said all state assemblymen, except for former menteri besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, were expected to be present at the swearing-in ceremony.

"It is good to see people from all walks of life and members of all political parties coming out in full force to greet the king," said Rosol.

Pas state assemblyman for Kuala Terengganu, Syed Azman Syed Nawawi, said the people were united under the king's rule and he was glad that the controversy over the appointment of the menteri besar was over.

"The people have been waiting for a long time. Terengganu will be the last state to hold the swearing-in ceremony for the menteri besar," he said. -- nstonline

Perlis Raja Muda calls for Muslim unity

KANGAR, March 30 -- The Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra ibni Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail wants Muslims to set aside their differences in opinions and political beliefs to strengthen relations, which were threatened following the recent general election.

"The elections were over but there are still rumblings. The people should rebuild friendship to develop Perlis," he said at the presentation of appointment letters to about 500 mosque officials in Perlis at the Warisan Complex here today.

Tuanku Syed Faizuddin, who is also the head of the State Islamic Religious Council, said the differences if allowed to continue would not benefit Muslims and hamper efforts to develop the state.

He also reprimanded Muslims who were always harping on various issues affecting society but not taking any action to solve them.

"The effect is that the problems remain unsolved," the Raja Muda said.

Tuanku Syed Faizuddin also expressed concern over the lackadaisical attitude of Muslims towards safety, including riding motorcycles without wearing crash helmets or driving their cars without wearing seat belts to go to the mosques.

He said such an attitude could endanger their own lives.

The Raja Muda hoped that the mosque committees would be more creative in imparting religious knowledge to Muslims and in building awareness on current issues, including those related to security, the economy and self development.

Earlier, Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Md Isa Sabu, in his speech, reminded the mosque officials not to act individually in drawing up programmes for the mosques.

"For instance, inviting speakers to give talks at the mosques without the collective approval of the mosque committees could have negative effects like causing uneasiness among members of the community.

"Only qualified speakers are allowed to give such talks and they must first get the approval of the state Islamic religious authorities," he said. -- Bernama

When an old river produces a new wave, it is in fact the river, though they call it a wave.

I saw the one in the form of an ocean bursting into waves, keeping some of them and destroying others. There were circles of creatures, large and small; Some of them were happy: they displayed the mercy of the one in varying degrees according to the expanse of their circles and their righteousness. Others were unhappy: they showed the wrath of the one in varying degrees according to the narrowness of their circles and their wickedness.

The ocean as sustainer was sustaining some, and as destroyer was destroying others, and as producer of waves was creating new waves.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Malaysian lawmaker gets Mahathir's support to challenge PM

Malaysian lawmaker gets Mahathir's support to challenge PM
Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday backed an ex-finance minister's bid to challenge the prime minister after the ruling coalition's recent surprise poll losses.
Senior lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had said he would challenge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) leadership if he received enough support.
UMNO leads the Barisan Nasional coalition that was humbled in the March 8 polls, and the party's leader traditionally takes the job of prime minister.
"Tengku Razaleigh may be one of them (to contest against Abdullah). A challenge (for the top post) is healthy," Mahathir said, adding: "I don't think UMNO is so poor in talent."
UMNO is scheduled to hold a party leadership election in December. Members of the party and former leaders including Mahathir have called on Abdullah to resign.
But Mahathir said it would be difficult for anyone to challenge Abdullah because of a requirement to secure 58 nominations from the 191 UMNO divisions.
"I think it should be abolished because of the tendency of the people in power to stifle any move to challenge them," he said.
Mahathir said Tengku Razaleigh failed to win sufficient nominations in 2004 for the top post because UMNO divisions were warned against nominating him.
"He (Tengku Razaleigh) only got one nomination because other divisions were told not to nominate him," he said.
Abdullah has claimed a mandate to rule despite the unprecedented election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time as calls for his resignation persist.
Source: AFP via MSN News - http://news.my.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1315651

keris tdm

Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad Malaysia's former Prime Minister has returned to the headlines and front-pages with harsh criticism for his hand-picked successor, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Commenting on recent election results Dr. M stated, "It's shocking. The Japanese would have committed hara-kiri." He is usually known for his biting wit.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Patrick Lim - jetsetter with a bulls-eye on his back

Patrick Lim - jetsetter with a bulls-eye on his back

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 – His jet set days seem a lifetime ago. The days of hopping onto a helicopter for a trip to Penang or a quick turnaround to Paris on his private jet. Or a power breakfast with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikonnen. Or cocktails with Oracle’s Larry Ellison at the America’s Cup in Valencia.
Those days must seem a long time ago for Datuk Patrick Lim Soo Kit.
Today, he must feel like a man with a bulls-eye on his back. The suave and well-turned out businessman has retreated to the background, hoping that the changing political structure will not leave him on the sidelines as it has many prominent Malaysian corporate figures over the year.
Think of Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng, Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, Datuk Nazri Abdullah and others who paid for their close association with either Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or Anwar Ibrahim.
What was once a powerful calling card is now a liability for the man christened Patrick Badawi by his enemies. And make no mistake now that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s hold on power is tenuous, Patrick Lim’s enemies are coming out in droves.
Leading the charge is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. In his column in The Sun today, the former prime minister implies that the former Terengganu mentri besar Idris Jusoh and the first family may have benefited from various mega-projects. He does not name the conduit. He does not have to.
It was Dr Mahathir who publicly accused Lim and Khairy Jamaludin of running Terengganu at the height of his public spat with Abdullah. By referring to him today, Mahathir is merely drawing on a reservoir of disdain, envy and anger against Patrick among Umno members.
His critics say that Patrick dropped Abdullah’s name at every turn, and that helped propel him into the big league and pages of society magazines. He hit the Malaysian corporate scene in the 1990s when - with the help of some financial backing from his wealthy father-in-law - his company started Equine Park, a housing development in Selangor.
As with many businessmen in Malaysia, he hitched his fortunes to the political master of the day. In the waning days of the Mahathir administration, he hung out with Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, and they became thick friends. After Abdullah became the PM in October 2003, Lim started getting closer to Kamaludin, Abdullah’s only son. Within a short time, he made himself part of the inner circle, showing up when Abdullah and family members went on holidays.
By now, there was speculation that he was a nominee for Kamaludin. Within some government departments and states, there was little doubt that he had the ear of the PM, or at least he gave the impression he had.
He began to attract disdain and envy after he was selected by Abdullah to develop Pulau Duyong near Kuala Terengganu and organise the Monsoon Cup. In a short time, the Monsoon Cup has become a popular warm-up for teams planning an assault on the America's Cup.
In the same time, rumblings started on the ground that Lim and Abdullah’s family were the main beneficiaries of the major infrastructure projects in the state. This was one of the sticky points between Idris Jusoh and the royal household in the recent battle over the Mentri Besar’s position. Lim was aware of the growing noise and attempted to hush it by pointing out of the many economic benefits which the Monsoon Cup brought to the state.
What he failed to realise was that the criticism had little to do with the race itself but was aimed at its promoter and benefactor in Putrajaya. Within Umno circles, they were peeved that a businessman, not one of their own, could wield so much influence and do it so openly.
If there was any doubt about Lim’s close ties with Abdullah it was swept away when the Prime Minister launched the Penang Global City Centre last year. The project – an ambitious plan to turn a tiny neighborhood into a sprawling metropolis – was fast tracked as a high-impact project under the National Implementation Task Force and put under the Northern Corridor.
Critics said that the project, to be developed on a 104-ha site now occupied by the Penang Turf Club, will create traffic jams, damage lush green areas and will be unsustainable. The new state government under Lim Guan Eng is not likely to approve the project unless it is scaled down.
Lim knows that his days of being in the frontline are over.
He will be collateral damage even if Abdullah survives this choppy period. It is the price that businessmen in Malaysia pay for being associated with certain political leaders. Tan Sri Halim Saad of the Renong Group and Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli were the poster boys of the Mahathir era and paid for the excesses associated with that time.
Only a handful of corporate figures have been able to be close to different political masters. Among them is Berjaya’s Vincent Tan. He has remained loyal to Dr Mahathir but managed to win the trust of Abdullah. But the publication of Dr Mahathir’s long and piercing attack on Abdullah on the front page of a newspaper closely associated with Tan suggests that he is hedging his bets. --the malaysian insider

something monstrous rises from the deep!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Umno supreme council endorses Ahmad as MB, sets December polls date

Umno supreme council endorses Ahmad as MB, sets December polls date - nstonline
By : NEWSDESK (Updated 7.46pm)

KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs:
The Umno supreme council has agreed to endorse Datuk Ahmad Said's palace appointment as Terengganu Mentri Besar, ending the crisis which had set up a confrontation with the state palace. The meeting, which ended at 7.30pm, also shot down a proposal to defer party elections to next year by agreeing to a Dec 16-20 date, which is also when party's the annual general assembly takes place. Party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who chaired the meeting, made the announcement at a Press conference.

Idris, who also took part in the meeting, had been directed to accept the endorsement, he said.The priority now was for Ahmad to put together a State Exco line-up as soon as possible, Abdullah said, denying that decision to endorse Ahmad "humiliated" him and the party.

On Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's proposal to hold a party extraordinary general meeting on May 11, Abdullah said the issue did not come up for discussion.However, Razaleigh's challenge for the Umno presidency was discussed. "I'm willing to accept any challenges to the presidency," Abdullah said.

Party elections will begin with branch and divisional polls beginning July 17.

The meeting lasted four and a half hours after starting at 3pm. This is the first supreme council meeting after the March 8 polls debacle where the party lost control of Kedah, Perak and Selangor and saw the defeat of several stalwarts. Tension is uneasy outside the meeting room where as many as 100 members are milling about. Before the meeting, NST reporters covering the meeting witnessed supreme council members walking in silently after 2pm. No one offered a remark to the Press. Just before 3pm, Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak appeared on the 38th floor where the supreme council is meeting, smiling and acknowledging the presence of the media representatives. The two also walked into the meeting room without saying anything.

Meanwhile, while the supreme council commenced, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah held a meeting of his own with representatives from 51 Umno divisions at his palatial home here off Jalan Tun Razak. Among those who attended were former Information Minister Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad and Datuk Malek Hanafiah. According to an aide, Tengku Razaleigh indicated that he will give a Press conference once he is briefed on what transpired in the supreme council meeting. The aide also said during the meeting with the 51 representatives, Tengku Razaleigh expressed his concern with the state of affairs in the party and the country, and that was why he proposed the May 11 Umno EGM.In return, the representatives expressed their support for Tengku Razaleigh's push for the EGM, the aide said. – MORE

Malaysian leader says he's willing to face leadership challenge as party postpones polls -AP via Yahoo! News
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia's prime minister backed down in a high-profile dispute with the king and postponed party elections Thursday, but insisted he was not running away from rivals challenging his leadership.
The two announcements by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi revealed his increasingly shaky hold over power after leading the ruling party to humiliating losses in the March 8 general elections.
"If they (rivals within his party) have the support and are ready to challenge me, why not? Go ahead. I'm not going to run away," Abdullah said after chairing a meeting of the United Malays National Organization party's policy-making council. --- MORE

Malaysia's PM faces leadership election after poll losses - AFP via MSN News
Malaysia's ruling party Thursday decided to hold a leadership election in December, with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi vowing to fight to stay on as party chief.
Abdullah has been battling for his political life since disastrous results in March 8 general elections by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the Barisan Nasional coalition.
"We will have elections to select the party leadership," Abdullah, who is UMNO president, said after chairing a meeting of the party's top decision-making body.
"The date that has been set is from the 16th to 20th December," he said, adding that "if they (possible candidates vying for his post) have the support and are ready to challenge me... why not? Go ahead, I am not going to run away."
The elections will also cover other posts within the party. --- MORE

musim luruh: daun pun gugur

Malaysia's prime minister, king closer to ending spat over state appointment – yahoo! news; Re: BN Forcing Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin to Back Down? - pg View profile, Ir. Hj. Othman bin Ahmad View profile; Pak Lah concedes another defeat – rockybru.blogspot; Ahmad Said stays Mentri Besar - malaysianinsider; ha ha ha... RM1 billion "wang ehsan": Monsoon (Cup) winds of change

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wan Azizah outlines Opposition focus

Wan Azizah outlines Opposition focus

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Newly-appointed Opposition leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (picture) has thanked her colleagues from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, DAP and PAS for her appointment and outlined five issues that would be her main focus in the 12th Parliament.
She said the first focus would be on the economy, where the Opposition would continue to speak up against corruption and wastage to help guide Malaysia to have a more robust, poverty-free economy.
"Malaysia's economy must be safeguarded to ensure maximum growth, investor-friendliness and equitable distribution of the economic pie to all Malaysians," she said in a statement yesterday.
The second would be on harmony, she said, whereby Malaysians must continue to build genuine harmony from the country's rich diversity.
"While we will ensure that the position of the Malays will not be threatened, the rights and access to equal opportunities of the Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans and all Malaysians will be fully protected with equal vigour," she said.
Dr Wan Azizah said rebuilding the tarnished integrity of the country's judiciary would be the Opposition's third focus.
She said judicial institutions that could be relied upon to deliver judgments without fear or favour were essential for a democracy to function properly.
As for the fourth, she said this would be the media and that the Opposition would push for the Malaysian media to be given the freedom to report freely and fairly.
She said any government of the day, whether at state or federal level, must be subjected to unbiased scrutiny to ensure no abuses of power.
Dr Wan Azizah said the fifth was on human rights and in continuing to uphold human dignity and rights, laws that deprived Malaysians of their fundamental liberties should be abolished.
"Malaysians still detained without trial must be charged or released immediately, including newly-elected Kota Alam Shah state assemblyman M. Manoharan and the other four prisoners of conscience currently held in Kamunting," she said.
She said she would do her utmost to use the opportunity to move Malaysia forward while continuing to safeguard the rights of all Malaysians under the Constitution. — Bernama
Source: Bernama via The Malaysian Insider - http://themalaysianinsider.com/mni/wan-azizah-outlines-opposition-focus-in-parliament.html

PM: We will (God willing –ed) step up pace of reforms

PM: We will (God willing –ed) step up pace of reforms
By Shahriman Johari

KUALA LUMPUR: The pace of reforms will be quickened, the prime minister has promised. Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday acknowledged the unhappiness expressed by Malaysians at the general election and said economic plans would be reviewed.

One of the earliest decisions the government will make is to help the poor deal with rising costs.

"The result of the elections was a strong message that I have not moved fast enough in pushing through with the reforms that I had promised to undertake.

"I thank the Malaysian people for this message. Point made and point taken," he said when opening Invest Malaysia 2008, an investment conference.

Barisan Nasional lost control of four states and failed to regain power in Kelantan. It also did not win a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Abdullah said he was also aware that Malaysians complained they did not benefit from an economy that grew 6.3 per cent last year.

"Unless that is addressed, any reference to the economy's good performance certainly would not go down well."

One of the measures to help low-income earners is softening the impact of rising prices while limiting waste caused by subsidies.

Second, economic gains would be spread to the neediest.

Third, the government would continue to reduce income gaps between and within ethnic groups.

Other priorities include fighting crime, stepping up the battle against corruption, supporting judicial reforms and ensuring a fair number of places of worship.

The government may also fine-tune some projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, which runs from 2006 to 2010, so that benefits are spread more evenly.

Abdullah said the federal government would discuss projects in states controlled by DAP, Pas and Parti Keadilan Rakyat with the state governments.

"We will deal with them. There are certain projects slated to be implemented in the states. The government has no problems discussing with them."
________________________________________
© Copyright 2008 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/2196236/Article/index_html


"I think the government should work extra hard this time so that the public will be able to see results from all these reforms that they are promising to make." - Faridah Khalid deputy president, National Council of Women's Organisation Malaysia

"We welcome the prime minister’s intention to improve the situation concerning places of worship. We will do everything possible to facilitate this and co-operate with the federal and state governments to ensure that every race and religion will have their interests looked after. We hope to hear more from the prime minister, preferably in more detail, on his action plan for improving Malaysia’s multi-ethnic and religious situation." - Datuk A. Vaithilingam president, Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism

"I think he has to make sure he can deliver on those promises. The expectations of the people are very high. I think a lot of effort has to be put into crime prevention. The police have to be visible in crime-prone areas. He has to deliver on all those things he promised, including those from the findings of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Police. The proposed Independent Police Commission on Misconduct and Complaints (IPCMC) has to be implemented." - Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, vice-chairman of Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation

"We believe this was the reason for the appointment of (de facto law minister) Datuk Zaid Ibrahim. His views on the 1988 crisis are well known, as are his views that we must have a judicial appointment commission. The fact that he was appointed shows that the PM is intent on bringing changes. I agree with him that the changes must take place quickly." - Ambiga Sreenevasan president, Malaysian Bar Council

"The PM should be wary of large-scale projects such as the economic corridors which can marginalise the Orang Asli. For example, Orang Asli smallholders planting rubber should be earning an average of RM2,000 to RM3,000 monthly but are only earning RM1,000 a year because their land is managed by big corporations." - Colin Nicholas co-ordinator, Center for Orang Asli Concerns

"I think it is an accurate assessment of the BN’s debacle in the last election, especially in issues such as corruption and crime. One hopes that concrete measures will be taken. One can admit one’s mistakes but deeds speak louder than words. When it comes to places of worship, it is important that the rules be implemented faithfully, with care and compassion. There should also be a willingness to address sensitive religious issues such as conversions and custody of children." - Dr Chandra Muzaffar political scientist and Professor of Global Studies Universiti Sains Malaysia

"We hope that priority will be given to revise the policies, plans and projects under the Ninth Malaysian Plan. We hope that government-linked companies will also begin to recruit and employ talent in a way that complements the racial diversity in the country. To further combat corruption, Transparency International hopes that the Anti-Corruption Agency will be made an independent body reporting directly to parliament." - Tan Sri Ramon V. Navaratnam president, Transparency International
________________________________________
© Copyright 2008 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved. http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/20080326094252Article/index_html


Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Tuesday pledged to push ahead with economic reforms after disastrous election results, and backed down on looming fuel price hikes.

"The result of the election was a strong message that I have not moved fast enough in pushing through with the reforms that I promised to undertake," he said in a speech to an investment conference.

"I thank the Malaysian people for this message: point well made and point taken."

Abdullah said that despite plans to dismantle energy subsidies that are draining state coffers, he will maintain fuel prices at current levels to protect the interests of the poor.

"Whatever is the present price, we will have to live with it," he said, adding that a policy on subsidies would be announced later.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition was delivered a stunning blow in March 8 elections, ceding five states and a third of parliamentary seats to the opposition which campaigned heavily on high inflation.

Malaysia subsidises petrol, diesel and gas as well as 21 food items including milk, salt, wheat flour and rice, but the controls have triggered severe shortages and smuggling across its porous borders and long coastline.

Abdullah said there were limits to what the government could do to keep prices low but promised to assist lower-income groups with special measures and limit wastage caused by subsidies.

The premier also promised to oversee the implementation of the many multi-billion-dollar development projects launched in the run-up to the polls, despite speculation they could be axed.

He said there will not be any cancellation of projects in opposition-held states but said that funding for some projects will be reassessed.

"We need to fine-tune some projects. We have to see what we can do. This involves the need to reassess and estimate the money allocated," he said.

Abdullah unveiled plans to streamline Malaysia's stock exchange, cutting the number of boards from three to two, and the creation of a third credit agency.

"By reducing the number of boards and the amount of listing requirements, we will help to catalyse more high-quality listings to add to the vibrant and dynamic nature of our equities market," he said.

Malaysia PM says 'big mistake' to ignore cyber-campaign

Malaysia's premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday his "biggest mistake" in disastrous elections was to ignore cyber-campaigning on the Internet which was seized by the opposition.

The powerful Barisan Nasional coalition suffered its worst-ever results in March 8 polls that left five states and a third of parliamentary seats in opposition hands.

The opposition, which was largely ignored by government-linked mainstream media, instead waged an enormously successful online campaign using blogs, news websites and SMS text messages.

"We certainly lost the Internet war, the cyber-war," Abdullah said in in a speech to an investment conference.

"It was a serious misjudgement. We made the biggest mistake in thinking that it was not important," he said.

"We thought that the newspapers, the print media, the television was supposed to be important, but the young people were looking at SMS and blogs."

The comments are a major about-face for the government, which had vilified bloggers, calling them liars and threatening them with detention without trial under draconian internal security laws.

In line with promises to reform after the humiliating election results, Abdullah said the government would "respond effectively" and move to empower young Malaysians.

"It was painful ... but it came at the right time, not too late," he said.

Malaysia's mainstream media are mostly part-owned by parties in the ruling coalition, and what was seen as biased coverage in the run-up to last month's vote alienated voters and boosted demand for alternative news sources.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks Malaysia 124 out of 169 on its worldwide press freedom index. It says mainstream media are "often compelled to ignore or to play down" opposition events.

Source: AFP via MSN News - http://news.my.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1306417

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

dragon fruit


Ahmad Said: I'm in charge; I MAY NOT LAST LONG



Ahmad Said: I'm in charge

Ahmad Said assumes MB's role (3rd update)
KUALA TERENGGANU: Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said began his first day of work as Terengganu Mentri Besar at the MB's office in Wisma Darul Iman here at 8am on Tuesday. His supporters had gathered outside and there was a heavy police presence, but no untoward incidents were reported. In one of his first statements as MB, he said he intended to continue the good work of his predecessor Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. "It would have been difficult not to accept the position of Terengganu Mentri Besar as I had been selected by the palace," he said after assuming the office Tuesday. He was also hopeful that the 22 assemblymen who had protested his appointment would "cool down soon" to pave the way for him to appoint his executive councillors.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he would seek an audience with the Yang DiPertuan Agong, who is also the Sultan of Terengganu. "The matter needs to be resolved as soon as possible," he said. As for any disciplinary action to be taken against Ahmad for going against the party leadership in accepting the post, Abdullah said he would leave it to the Umno Supreme Council. The Supreme Council is expected to meet on Thursday. -- MORE

Related Stories:








Ahmad Said: I MAY NOT LAST LONG

KEMAMAN: Admitting that he may not last long, newly appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said is set to take office today with the promise to carry out his duties responsibly. He also denied suggestions that he went against the Umno leadership in accepting his appointment by the Regency Advisory Council.He said claims that he could be sacked from the party were debatable. "It is not so easy to sack someone from the party," Ahmad said at his family home in Telok Kalong, Kijal, yesterday.

The Umno supreme council is expected to meet on Thursday to discuss his status. He was warned in a letter by 22 state assemblymen on Sunday that he could face stern action if he were to accept his appointment.

Ahmad received his letter of appointment from the council on Sunday, a decision which went against the majority of state assemblymen and the Barisan Nasional leadership which wanted state liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to be reappointed to the post. "I have never rebelled against Umno. I have been serving the party since my father's time. "There should not be any question about me being a traitor. I also know the regulations of the party and have never back-stabbed anyone to be appointed to this post."

Ahmad said the Umno leadership should rethink its stand regarding his appointment as menteri besar. "I hope the prime minister and his deputy will re-examine the issue. We don't want these upheavals."

Attributing his appointment to fate, Ahmad insisted that his decision to take up the post was backed by the majority of Umno members in Terengganu. "As far as I am concerned, the majority support my appointment." He said he would proceed with his duties and deal with any issues regarding his appointment "one at a time". "It is my responsibility now to manage the affairs of the state and I will be in my office tomorrow to report for duty as the new Menteri Besar of Terengganu." Full Story

TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: Ahmad declares no need for swearing-in as MB after 'starting work' today Datuk Ahmad Said made good his word that he would take up his letter of appointment as the new Terengganu Menteri Besar and report for duty this morning at the MB’s office in Wisma Darul Iman, witnessed by hundreds of state government employees and a media horde. But his scheduled swearing-in tomorrow appears to be non-existent after he declared that the Mentri Besar need not be sworn-in. Full Story

TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: Rais: Sworn in or not, it’s a dead end It’s a dead end for Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said either way, whether he is sworn in as Terengganu Menteri Besar or not. So reasoned Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, as Ahmad would not get the support of the state executive council if he tried to convene one. Full Story

Politician under investigation: PUTRAJAYA: A senior Terengganu politician is being investigated for abuse of power. He had previously been linked to another case of abusing his position as a state executive councillor over the construction of a building project in Chukai, Terengganu. However, it was learnt that there was not enough evidence to link the politician to the case until recently. Sources said this explained why the state assemblyman was allowed to contest the elections although Barisan Nasional had made it clear that those with cases pending with the Anti-Corruption Agency would be barred from contesting. It is understood the new case came to light after a report was lodged shortly after the March 8 general election.

TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: PM to meet King to resolve impasse Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will meet Sultan of Terengganu Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin concerning the appointment of the Terengganu menteri besar. Abdullah said he would meet Tuanku Mizan as soon as possible. Full Story

TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: Idris willing to forego MB's post, prepared to seek Sultan's forgiveness Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh is willing to accept any decision of the Umno leadership deemed best for the people, including forgoing the Mentri Besar’s post. He made the declaration at a highly-charged Press conference this afternoon at the Saujana Golf and Country Club here. Idris said he was also be prepared to apologise to Sultan of Terengganu Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin if “I had done anything wrong.”More on Idris’ Press conference in a moment… Full Story

Malaysia's opposition says 16 lawmakers planning to defect

Malaysia's opposition said Monday that up to 16 ruling party lawmakers are prepared to join its ranks, as it works to seize power with the help of defectors.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has said he is moving towards forming a new government after elections that saw the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition -- led by the United Malays National Organisation -- suffer unprecedented losses.

"We have up to 15 to 16 lawmakers from BN, including UMNO MPs, who want to join Keadilan," Shamsul Iskandar Mohamad Akin, the youth leader of Anwar's Keadilan party, told reporters.

The government, which would lose power if 30 of its lawmakers switch sides, has reacted swiftly to the threat, accusing the opposition of "buying" over its members and threatening a new law to prevent defections.

Shamsul said Keadilan was not buying up lawmakers, or even encouraging them to defect, and that they had voluntarily held talks with Keadilan to discuss crossing over.

"They have come and met Anwar Ibrahim because they have lost faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. They are not crossing over for monetary gains," he said.

"If they want to come over -- both lawmakers and members -- we will accept them but we are against buying them over."

Abdullah is under pressure to resign after the coalition was humiliated in March 8 polls, losing its two-thirds majority in parliament and conceding five states to the opposition.

Shamsul said most of the lawmakers planning to defect are from the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo island.

However, so far no politician has declared a shift to the opposition, and a Sarawak lawmaker who was reported to have defected insisted last week that he remained with the ruling coalition.

Barisan Nasional will have 140 lawmakers in the new 222-seat parliament, against 199 in the outgoing 219-seat parliament. The opposition alliance won 80 seats from just 19 previously.

Anwar's Keadilan party, which is formally headed by his wife, will be the biggest opposition party in parliament, but Anwar is barred from standing for public office until April because of a corruption conviction.

Source: AFP via MSN News - http://news.my.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1304897

PKR Youth chief claims Umno MPs ready to join PKR

KUALA LUMPUR (March 24, 2008): Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) expects to welcome “15 or 16” newly-elected MPs with open arms in the near future, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin revealed today.
He told a media conference that the MPs were from all over the country, including “many Umno division leaders, especially those in troubled states like Selangor, Perlis and Terengganu” who are planning to jump ship.
He said he had received numerous calls from grassroots leaders and the main factors influencing their decision were because they were disappointed with the Umno leadership and the performance of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Asked when the MPs would be making their stand on joining PKR, Shamsul Iskandar said that it would be “soon” and that “maybe they’re waiting for Anwar to be in Parliament”.
“We believe the people’s mandate was one asking for change, so the betrayal of voters does not arise,” said Shamsul Iskandar.
He added that PKR will accept defectors if they “can accept our agenda” as stated in the party’s manifesto.
The PKR Youth also rebutted Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s allegations that PKR was trying to buy over Umno members and questioned Tengku Adnan’s integrity following his implication in the brokering of judges as portrayed in the Lingam video-clip last September.
“We will give Tengku Adnan 14 days to provide evidence of his claims. If he fails, we demand an open apology or we will institute legal action against him,” he said.
source: thesun: http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=21151

Anwar’s game plan strikes fear in UMNO:
Can Anwar become Prime Minister in next few weeks?
30something - that's all the MPs Anwar Ibrahim needs to add to his camp to be the probable Prime Minister

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 – If there is one name that has pushed Barisan Nasional leaders out of their comfort zone and caused confusion and anxiety, it is Anwar Ibrahim.
When he said on Tuesday (March 11, 2008 -ed.) that the Opposition should be referred to as the government-in-waiting, he was not referring to five years down the road. He was referring to the next few weeks or months.
He knows that if he manages to convince 30 Members of Parliament to cross over, the government of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will fall.
Since the PKR-DAP-PAS alliance that he cobbled together won big on March 8, taking 52% of the popular vote in Peninsular Malaysia and snaring 82 of the 222 seats in parliament, Anwar has become the most mentioned name in Umno circles.
Along the corridors of powers and in Umno circles, there is a belief that the former deputy prime minister will not rest and settle for second-best, not with the momentum of being a reformer on his side.
He knows that the troops of the BN war machine are demoralised and its leaders still reeling from the psychological scars of Election 2008. He will go for the kill, rattling the coalition’s cage, creating the impression of an inevitable wave that some fickle-minded BN MPs will be tempted to abandon the BN ship and join the Opposition.
An Umno division chief from Pahang, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said: “The talk on the ground is which MPs Anwar is going to approach to join PKR. Everyone says that Sabah and Sarawak MPs are being targeted. But I think everyone except the PM and DPM are targets.’’
Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, in a letter asking Abdullah to resign, noted that a move has been made to woo BN representatives to join the Opposition. The fear of crossovers is palpable. – MORE

Monday, March 24, 2008

Editorial: Who's in charge?


WITH the outcome of election night itself portending such a raft of difficult changes and transitions for the nation, would anyone have imagined the royal houses stepping out as a major influence on the post-polls course of events? Surely not.

After a half-century as a constitutional monarchy, we might have believed the system was operating like a well-oiled machine: the palaces would simply endorse the people's choice at the polls and thereafter serve at best as a go-to element in the system's checks and balances. While the palaces' approval is important to the smooth and amicable operation of a state or federal assembly, this need not be true of their disapproval.

In the unexpectedly tortuous process of re-establishing state administrations this past fortnight, however, the palaces of Perlis, Perak, Selangor and Terengganu, in differing circumstances, sent similar messages.

As expressed by the Regent of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah: "The harmony in the relationship between the royalty and the government is one of the prerequisites to ensuring the stability of a government and the prosperity of a state." This was a reminder of a menteri besar's role as prime intermediary between a state's people and their palace. No doubt, it makes for better governance all round for the palace and menteri besar to get along. Conversely, an unhappy relationship between these two institutions augurs trouble and acrimony, with consequences such as are being witnessed right now in Terengganu.

In Perlis, too, the palace recognised as menteri besar someone other than the ruling party's choice - but the Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail was able to rest on his constitutional role in acknowledging the alternative candidate as one who "commanded the confidence of a majority of the state assembly".

"For those who knew and understood the law," Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin said later, "it was a simple matter."

In Terengganu, it's not so simple. The ruling party's choice for menteri besar was rejected by the palace, which instead recognises an assemblyman who lacks the support of his party and assembly colleagues.

This person is now facing disciplinary measures from his party, whose assemblymen in Terengganu are adamantly behind Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh for menteri besar.

For Kijal representative Datuk Ahmad Said to have found himself trapped between a rock and a hard place in having to decide to whom he owed his loyalty - party or palace - was just another of the grinding realities of the present time.
________________________________________
© Copyright 2008 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved. http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Monday/Columns/2194062/Article/index_html

Malaysia royalty flexes political muscle after polls

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was locked in a showdown on Monday with the country's largely ceremonial king over who will lead the oil-rich northeastern state of Terengganu.

Malaysia's royalty is posing its biggest challenge to the government since the powers of the hereditary rulers were clipped 25 years ago, and comes when Abdullah's authority has been wounded following elections that handed unprecedented gains to the opposition

The confrontation goes beyond the division of powers between figurehead rulers and the elected government and is also about the cosy relationships between business and politics in Malaysia, analysts say.

"This is not just politics," said political analyst Rustam Sani. "I think financial interests have to do with it. They are not happy since the politicians are having a free hand in business."

Some of the nine royal families are involved in business.

Malaysia has nine sultans who take turns ruling for five years as king. Their mostly ceremonial duties include appointing the chief ministers of their states. The current king is the 46-year-old Terengganu ruler, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Other rulers have also begun to speak out on issues of governance. The Sultan of Selangor state last year reprimanded a town councillor for building a house without required permits. The rulers, whose powers were sharply curtailed in 1983 by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, are seeking to reclaim a stake in politics -- along with a resurgent opposition in a more robust parliament.

In the watershed election, Abdullah's National Front coalition was ousted in five of Malaysia's 13 states and lost the two-thirds majority in parliament it had held for nearly four decades at the elections.

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS?

The coalition retained power in Terengganu but the sultan there refused to swear in incumbent chief minister Idris Jusoh, whom Abdullah said had the support of the majority of the state's assemblymen.

On Sunday, the palace appointed its own candidate, only to be snubbed by the prime minister who said that appointing anyone but Idris was unconstitutional.

Malaysia's law minister was quoted as saying on Monday that everyone, including the monarch, should respect the law.

"The discretion of the monarch in appointing the chief minister is not an absolute personal discretion," Zaid Ibrahim told the New Straits Times.

Analysts said there were other reasons why Idris fell out of favour with the Sultan, including allegations he had been disrespectful to the ruler and his family.

The sultans have reasserted themselves in other states, too. In the state of Perlis, the Sultan overruled Prime Minister Abdullah's nominee for chief minister and appointed his own candidate.

The Sultans are meant to represent Malay Muslim sovereignty and at one time were a powerful counterweight to the elected government. But in amendments to the constitution in 1983, the king's veto power was abolished and the monarch could no longer block bills in parliament.
Another amendment in 1993 took away the immunity from prosecution the nine sultans once enjoyed.

"After a decline of power and influence between 1983 and 1994, the spirals of history are in motion again," said constitution expert Shad Saleem Faruqi.

"The last few years have seen a discernible upsurge in popular perception that the Rulers constitute a vital check and balance mechanism of the Constitution," he wrote in the local Star newspaper.

source: Reuters via Yahoo! News - http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080324/tap-uk-malaysia-politics-185f4fe.html

yellow dragon

MB CRISIS DRAGS ON



MB CRISIS DRAGS ON: Abdullah says Idris should be menteri besar PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday stood by the choice of Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as Terengganu menteri besar. Full Story

A-G to seek audience with king KUALA LUMPUR: Under the Terengganu constitution, the Regent and Regency Advisory Council must appoint a menteri besar who has the support of a majority in the state assembly, the attorney-general said. Full Story

Umno may act against Ahmad KUALA TERENGGANU: In an almost simultaneous exchange of documents, Datuk Ahmad Said received his letter of appointment as menteri besar yesterday, while 22 state assemblymen petitioned the palace to reject him. Full Story

22 reps, 5 MPs and 4 divisions back Idris KUALA LUMPUR: Twenty-two out of the 24 Barisan Nasional state assemblymen, five MPs and four out of the eight Umno divisions in Terengganu have thrown their support behind state Umno liaison chief Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as the menteri besar. Full Story

He says he has support KUALA TERENGGANU: Newly-appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said is confident of a smooth transition of power. Full Story

TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: Dead end for Ahmad Said, so says Rais It’s a dead end for Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said either way, whether he is sworn in as Terengganu Menteri Besar or not. So reasoned Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, as Ahmad would not get the support of the state executive council if he tried to convene one. Full Story

latest: TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: Ahmad Said's secret audience with Sultan to solve crisis In a meeting cloaked in secrecy, embattled Terengganu Mentri Besar-designate Datuk Ahmad Said had an audience with the Sultan of Terengganu, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, this morning at Istana Terengganu in Jalan Kia Peng here. Ahmad’s arrival and departure from the Istana Terengganu here where the meeting was held went unseen by the Press. Full Story

latest: TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: Ahmad Said remains defiant, will start work as MB tomorrow Terengganu Mentri Besar-designate Datuk Ahmad Said remains defiant against calls that he went against the Umno leadership by accepting his appointment to the post. Claims that he had been sacked from the party and he was not in a position to accept the appointment, was “debateable”, he said.


Crisis deepens - The Terengganu Mentri Besar saga took a turn for the worse after Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said went ahead and accepted his letter of appointment from the Palace. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who called the appointment unconstitutional, held a series of meetings with the state's politicians.

PM: Appointing anyone else is against Constitution SEPANG: The appointment of anyone but Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as Terengganu Mentri Besar is unconstitutional, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. “Most of the state assemblymen support Datuk Seri Idris. This fact remains unchanged. They are in agreement,” he told reporters after attending the 10th Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday. “Therefore, appointing anyone else is not right constitutionally,” he said.
Abdullah was commenting on the Mentri Besar saga in which Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said received his letter of appointment as the new Mentri Besar from Regency Advisory Council (MPPR) chief Tengku Sri Panglima Raja Tengku Baderulzaman at a closed-door ceremony at Istana Tetamu in Kuala Terengganu at 8.20am yesterday.

latest: Terengganu MB (or not), he's going to work - KEMAMAN: Datuk Ahmad Said said he is the legitimate Mentri Besar of Terengganu and will go to his office at Wisma Darul Iman at 8am Tuesday to officially assume his role. He said his appointment was in accordance with the state’s laws and that he did not need to be sworn in for the post. The Kijal state assemblyman said that the appointment letter bestowed to him on Sunday by the Regency Advisory Council was testament to this.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Malaysia's ruling party in tussle with palace over state chief

A political crisis was developing in Malaysia on Sunday after royalty in one of the country's states appointed a new chief minister in defiance of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's wishes.

Terengganu is the only state that has yet to install a government head 14 days after elections in which Abdullah's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO)-led ruling coalition suffered its worst ever results.

Abdullah's weakened Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition retained control of the northern state's assembly but his nominee for chief minister, incumbent Idris Jusoh, was unacceptable to the palace, who appointed UMNO assemblyman Ahmad Said instead.

"Ahmad Said has been appointed as the new chief minister and we are in the midst of stripping him of UMNO membership because he has defied the wishes of the party and president," UMNO state liaison secretary Rosol Wahid told AFP.

"We have already submitted a memorandum to the palace indicating that 22 out of the 24 BN state assemblymen support Idris Jusoh as chief minister," he said.

Rosol said members of the assembly were also planning a no-confidence motion against Ahmad.

The Sultan of Terengganu is at present the Malaysian King and has by law delegated his powers to his son who is only eight years old and so co-reigns with a three-member Regency Advisory Council.

Ahmad received his appointment letter from the Council early Sunday morning and is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday, according to palace officials.

Analysts say the clash between the Terengganu palace and Abdullah's government is symptomatic of the prime minister's weakened position after the large poll losses.

"Abdullah was already weak to begin with and the crisis in Terengganu it just shows how much more worse off his position is," Tricia Yeo, who heads the centre for public policy studies, told AFP.

"It shows the rampant infighting within the party that is now preventing the government from getting down to rule the country," she added.

"It is definitely a low point for UMNO."

source: AFP via MSN News - http://news.my.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1303810

STORM BREWING IN THE EAST


STORM BREWING IN THE EAST: KUALA TERENGGANU: The palace announced the surprise appointment of Datuk Ahmad Said as menteri besar yesterday as all but two of the Barisan Nasional assemblymen in the state declared their support for incumbent Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. In a statement to Bernama, the office of the Sultan of Terengganu said the swearing-in was to take place at the Istana Tamu at 8am today, which the 22 newly-elected assemblymen told a press conference they would not attend. Full Story

Ahmad may face disciplinary action: PUTRAJAYA: Kijal Assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said may be slapped with disciplinary action if he accepts the post of Terengganu Menteri Besar. He could receive a warning, a suspension or even be sacked. Full Story

TERENGGANU MB CRISIS: Ahmad's swearing-in pushed to Wednesday, Umno submits protest letter to palace - There was no swearing-in after all today for embattled Terengganu Mentri Besar-designate Datuk Ahmad Said. The assemblyman, who was picked by the Sultan of Terengganu to be the new Mentri Besar, merely received a letter of appointment from the State Royal Regency Advisory Council and was told that his swearing-in has been scheduled in three days, which would be this Wednesday. Full Story

MB crisis deepens in Terengganu: breaking news updated 4.55pm – malaysiakini.com Kijal assemblyperson Ahmad Said receives his appointment letter from the palace but the appointment is put under quandary following his sacking from Umno. more

Saturday, March 22, 2008

DEEP BLUE SEA

DEEP BLUE SEA: Deep in the ocean is the ultimate hunting ground. The preys are huge sharks that have been biologically engineered and corralled into areas of the underwater habitat. They are made to be hunted by high-paying customers and are supposed to remain under control and provide entertainment. Of course, no one told the sharks that. When they break free of their confines all hell breaks loose as the inhabitants struggle to reach the surface.

WHAT DEFECTIONS?



WHAT DEFECTIONS?

Claims on MP buyout 'baseless' KOTA KINABALU: Contrary to claims that the opposition is on the hunt for rogue members of parliament in Sabah, Barisan Nasional leaders here say they know of no potential turncoats. Full Story

SUPP and PRS pledge support for Abdullah KUCHING: Serian Member of Parliament Datuk Richard Riot Jaem has denied claims that he has left the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP). He made the denial when SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan spoke to him yesterday. Full Story

I had calls from BN MPs, insists Anwar IPOH: Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday maintained he had been in touch with Barisan Nasional MPs who wanted to cross over. Full Story

Hadi: No one enticed ALOR STAR: Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yesterday denied that the tripartite grouping was trying to lure Barisan Nasional MPs into leaving the coalition. Full Story

Opposition tried to lure BN MP with ministerial post, claims PBBbernama.com KUCHING, Sat: Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) component Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) claimed today that the opposition had made an attempt to win over a BN member of parliament by offering a post of minister or deputy minister if he crossed over.
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news.php?id=321990

Jawatan menteri dan timbalan menteri menanti jika BN Sarawak setuju sertai pembangkangmstar online KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) mengesahkan ada cubaan untuk menawarkan anggota Parlimen dari parti itu menyertai pembangkang bagi tujuan membentuk kerajaan baru persekutuan dengan menjanjikan jawatan Menteri dan Timbalan Menteri jika bersetuju menerima tawaran itu. Full Story
http://www.mstar.com.my/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_d4caee42-c0a85062-1189cbb0-216714cc

Anwar admits meeting BN reps on crossovers, not buyovers - nstonline IPOH, Fri: On top of the Sabah and Sarawak BN elected representatives he met, Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also held meetings with Peninsular BN representatives on the possibility of defecting to the opposition. But as things stand, PKR is not rushing into the situation.
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/Frontpage/20080321150830/Article

Anwar tegaskan 'beli orang' bukan tradisi KeADILan, PAS dan DAP - harakahdaily.net KUALA LUMPUR, 22 Mac (Hrkh) - Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan), Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim berkata emang benar ada rakyat Sabah, Sarawak dan Semenanjung menemuinya yang ingin bersama-sama bersandarkan agenda perjuangan dan agenda perubahan negara, tetapi beliau menegaskan 'beli orang' seperti yang didakwa Umno/BN bukan tradisi parti pembangkang.
http://www.harakahdaily.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13441&Itemid=28

Anwar Has Spoken To Idiot and S-I-Lmalaysia-today.com Anwar is saying that the BN MP's met him. I dont see what is there to hide anymore. The facts are the other way around. Anwar is actively (day and night, siang dan malam, 24-7) courting the BN MPs. And yes Anwar is not just talking to the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak. I have heard from the vine that Anwar has spoken to Idiot and the S-I-L in Kuala Lumpur. What do you say to that? He has also met a very senior Pemuda UMNO EXCO member. Anwar told The Star that 'the principle of the BN MPs crossing over was based on an agenda of struggle and changes for the nation.' 'The question of buying people does not arise. It is not our tradition' he said. Well my dear friends on Thursday, 15 MPs from Sabah (and possibly Sarawak) were in Melbourne, Australia being entertained by Saifuddin Nasution and Musa Aman's brother, Hanipah (?) - the guy who did not want to be Deputy Minister. They are being courted by Anwar to cross over. This is an all expenses paid trip. Where is the money coming from and who is paying for it?They are being served not just food ok. There may be a couple of Australian sheepksins thrown into the deal. They may be engaged in some vigorous pushing and struggling over the weekend in Melbourne but let me assure you that 'struggle and changes for the nation' are the furthest things from their minds.
These are Sabah MPs. Have you heard of a jumping animal called the katak?
http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/4810/84/

Menanti ‘tongkang pecah’ - agendadaily.com Dalam keadaan sekarang hakikat yang perlu diakui Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tak rugi apa-apa.Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat itu ibarat memasang bubu di muara sungai menanti ikan masuk. Apa saja perkembangan negetif dalam UMNO akan menjadi berita baik baginya. Mahu tak mahu UMNO sendiri perlu memastikan kubunya tidak jadi ‘tongkang pecah’.” Ini boleh buat ramai nanti yang akan berenang cari pelampong yang nampak selamat.
http://agendadaily.com/cmspreview/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_be3f1540-cabec5bb-1d85ab90-2bb0cf2c

Barisan reps come under watchthestar online KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional component party chiefs have pledged to closely monitor Members of Parliament from their respective parties and prevent them from switching to other parties, particularly to the Opposition.
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/3/22/nation/20726718&sec=nation

Zaid: High time for 'anti-hopping' lawnstonline KOTA BARU, Sat: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim said today he would propose to the Cabinet the formulation of an anti-hopping law to put a stop to party-hopping by politicians. He said the act of switching political parties by politicians after winning the general election on their former parties’ tickets was immoral.
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Saturday/NewsBreak/20080322170200/Article/index_html