Friday, October 30, 2009

1. Proton is gradually returning to profitability. I notice that the new Proton Saga is often seen on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. I know that a new car would not be noticed on the road until a certain volume of sales is achieved.

2. Other Proton models are also more frequently seen – a sign of good sales. Before this the new cars most often seen were from the Perodua stables.

3. Since Proton acquired a new chairman in the person of Datuk Nadzmi Salleh, I find it easier to perform the work of Proton adviser. The Prime Minister has also indicated that Proton affairs should be referred to me. Accordingly I have been busy on a plan to resuscitate the company. I have been talking to potential technology partners for Proton.

4. Lately I had been disturbed by media reports that Proton is to be sold to certain parties. This talk has agitated the staff of Proton. They know of cases where after a new investor took over a company, senior staff had been laid off. Their worry over this matter affects their performance. This is bad at a time when they are trying to contribute to Proton’s recovery.

5. I have told the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer that Proton is not for sale, but I think I should assure the senior staff and the workers that there is no plan to sell Proton in the foreseeable future. The need is to restructure the company and reach agreement with the potential partner, After that work has to be done to ensure Proton fully recovers.

6. I agree with the headline in a certain tabloid for everyone to leave Proton alone. If Proton staff is assured of this I feel sure we would be able to put Proton firmly on its feet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1. Some months back I put on my blog a comment on the supply of buses for Rapid KL.

2. I had pointed out that Scomi, a company owned by the son-in-law of the former PM was involved. Pictures were also shown of numerous buses in a junkyard – apparently condemned.

3. Scomi denied that it was the only supplier of these buses for Rapid KL and Rapid Penang but admitted that almost 80% of the buses were supplied by it.

4. The Star Business on Wednesday 21st Oct reported the following: “The NAR (National Audit Report) also said there were weaknesses in the way Prasarana (Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd) bought buses. The report said that Prasarana bought additional buses from companies that were not approved by the Finance Ministry. Furthermore, the buses were said to be lacking in quality and hence put its users at “risk”.

5. The NAR report is very illuminating. But it is likely to end there. The case would be closed and the miscreants would enjoy their ill-gotten gains and go on doing the same thing.

6. Has the NAR investigated the sale of MV Agusta at one Euro (about RM4) when it was bought for more than RM300 million? The buyer who paid one Euro subsequently sold MV Agusta for a total of RM400 million to Harley Davidson and BMW.

Friday, October 23, 2009

1. The NST reported that the Lingam case is closed. He will not be persecuted (or prosecuted).

2. He must be feeling very relieved. But what about the Commission’s report on his influence over me in the selection of judges?

3. I was waiting for my day in court so I can defend myself. I have a lot of things to say about attempts to influence me on the appointments of judges.

4. Now that Lingam has no case to answer, how does it affect my being accused of being influenced by him, remembering that the tape was about his alleged phone conversation with other individuals. Did he say that I asked him to speak to those people? Was my name involved in his phone call?

5. These questions will remain in the minds of the people who read the conclusion of the Commission. So what now?

6. For some time during the past regime I was told that a thorough search was made to find instances where I abused power or accepted illegal gratification while in office. Apparently nothing was found.

7. Could it be that one way of getting at me was to accuse me of being influenced by Lingam in my choice of judges?

Friday, October 16, 2009

1. The Daily Mail of London (Saturday, October 10, 2009 – read here) carried the following headline;

“I am not shaking your hand Mr Blair. You have got blood on it”.

2. This was said by a bereaved father after the ex-Prime Minister was criticised by the Archbishop of Canterbury at an Iraq remembrance ceremony.

3. It is clear that many in England have a low regard for Tony Blair. Yet in Malaysia he was welcomed and given the honour to give a talk on social issues to Malaysians.

4. When he was Prime Minister, Blair got the British Parliament to support war against Iraq by telling lies about the so-called weapons of mass destruction. Very soon after it was revealed that he had cooked up the intelligence report so that he could support his co-liar, George Bush, President of the United States.

5. The war that they unleashed on Iraq has caused the death of more than 100,000 Iraqis, wounded many more and devastated that highly developed Arab country.

6. The leader of the Iraqis was described as a dictator who was alleged to have killed many of his people. But it is obvious that the number of Iraqis killed and maimed by the British and American soldiers is far far greater than what Saddam was alleged to have killed.

7. Saddam was arrested for his alleged crimes and hanged by the neck until he died. So were his colleagues. Yet if one compares his alleged oppression of his people with the oppression of Iraq and its people, the killings and the destruction resulting from the orders made by Blair and Bush, it must be obvious that what the two leaders had done to the Iraqi people and Iraq is far far worse and heinous. Yet Bush and Blair have escaped any kind of retribution and punishment.

8. Surely there is no justice in the difference between the treatment meted out to Saddam and company and the treatment of Bush and Blair.

9. If people like Bush and Blair are allowed to escape any form of punishment for the brutal crimes they have committed, then others who may lead powerful countries will continue to war and to kill and destroy even when there is no justification.

10. After World War II, a court was set up by the victors to try the vanquished leaders. Such a court cannot be just as it was made up of nominees of the victors. If there was going to be justice, then the court must be made up of neutral judges. In any case the people responsible for the mass killings in war, no matter which side they may be, must be tried and punished. But only the vanquished leaders were tried and we know they were the ones who killed 100,000 in Dresden, Germany and 200,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

11. In the absence of courts sanctioned by the international community the Perdana Global Peace Organisation, a Non-Governmental Organisation devoted to criminalising war had decided to set up a tribunal to try war criminals.

12. The court may not be able to get the attendance of the accused persons or to carry out the proper punishment, but this is not going to stop the tibunal from holding a hearing. It will not be the first time that a court hears a case in absentia. But the trial must be held so that the crimes committed by war criminals will be exposed so that the world may punish in whatever way possible.

13. From October 28-29, 2009, a conference on war in its modern version will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

14. Present at this conference will be people like Hans von Sponeck, Dennis Halliday, Michel Chossudovsky, Cynthia Mckinney, the victims of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the people who had been tortured and many others. They will tell of the laws which prohibit torture, the tortures carried out in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the detentions without rial and without laws by the very people who talk about human rights, about the rule of law and a lot more.

15. There will be an exhibition of the tortures and the sufferings of the victims.

16. Following the conference, the Commissioners and the Tribunals will sit to listen to the evidence of the brutality perpetrated in the Iraq War.

17. All Malaysians and others are welcome to the conference and to the hearings by the Commission and the Tribunal.

18. We Malaysians have not suffered as the Iraqis, Afghans, Bosnians and Palestinians have suffered from the wars launched against them.

19. We have not even suffered from the earthquakes, the volcanoes, the floods and the storms. Even when the tsunami hit us in 2004, we suffered less because Aceh took the brunt of it.

20. We have to be grateful that we have been saved from all these horrors.

21. But we must feel and sympathise with people who have been less fortunate than us. We must therefore try to appreciate the sufferings of others, be sympathetic towards them. That is the least we can do.

22. So Malaysians, please come to the Conference on War, on Criminalising War, and the upholding of justice.

23. No fees will be charged. Give us your moral support so that we can continue our effort to criminalise war so we may all be able to live in peace and security.

** For more information go to;

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1. When I wrote on the need to change trading currency from the US Dollar to some other currency I was accused of being anti-West.

2. Since then there have been many articles on the need to use other currencies for trading and even for other purposes e.g. reserve currency.

3. Today the headline in the Star’s foreign news reads, “US Dollar reaches breaking point – central banks flushed with record reserves are increasingly favouring the Euro and Yen” (read article here).

4. If I had been critical of the West, it was always for good reasons. They invented a lot of ways of making money for their rich investors without producing any goods or services or creating any jobs. Because of their subprime loans, hedge funds and derivatives, currency trading, etc. etc. they had undermined the real economy. Their bubble has now burst, spilling over the rest of the world. And Malaysia has been affected by their crisis for no good reason.

5. When in 1997 we asked the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to stop currency trading, they laughed at us. Now they know that people whose knowledge of finance can be written on the back of a postage stamp are not so ignorant after all.

6. And when so many people urge that other currencies than the US Dollar be used for trade and reserves, they cannot all be anti-West. In fact these views are coming from the West.

7. Labelling ideas as anti-this and anti-that will get us nowhere. Call a spade a spade. Only then can you find solutions to problems.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1. Di zaman pemerintahan Tun Abdullah Badawi seluruh negara disalut dengan sepanduk dan papan tanda besar yang menunjuk wajah Perdana Menteri bersama Menteri-Menteri tertentu, Menteri-Menteri Besar dan Ketua Menteri.

2. Seorang Menteri pelancongan mempamerkan sepanduk dan papan tanda yang mempunyai gambarnya bersama Perdana Menteri diseluruh negara seolah-olah pelancong akan tertarik melawat Malaysia untuk melihat sepanduk berkenaan.

3. Setelah Dato Seri Najib menjadi Perdana Menteri semua sepanduk dan iklan yang lama telah diturunkan.

4. Saya harap amalan seperti ini tidak diadakan lagi. Jauh daripada mereka yang menaikkan gambar mereka menjadi popular, rakyat sebenarnya jelak dan bosan melihat sepanduk-sepanduk ini mencemarkan kecantikan alam.

5. Saya akan ditegur bahawa di masa saya dulu ada juga sepanduk seperti ini yang dinaikkan oleh Menteri Besar tetapi tidak oleh Menteri Kabinet. Saya akui saya tidak ambil tindakan yang tegas menghentikan amalan ini. Tetapi tidak semua Menteri Besar yang mencuba tunjuk betapa dekatnya mereka dengan Perdana Menteri melalui cara ini.

6. Saya harap Barisan Nasional tidak memulakan semula amalan ini. Ia hanya akan menimbul kebencian kepada mereka.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1. Saya gembira kerana saya salah dalam masalah calon bagi pilihanraya kecil Dewan Undangan Negeri Bagan Pinang. Saya percaya Barisan Nasional akan menang walau siapa pun jadi calon, tetapi mungkin kemenangan yang tidak sebaik 2008. Tetapi kemenangan yang diperolehi oleh Isa (bukan ISA) amatlah mengkagumkan.

2. Tetapi saya berpendapat ada baiknya jika kajian yang mendalam dibuat berkenaan dengan sebab-sebab kemenangan yang luar biasa ini tercapai.

3. Jangan pula ada yang mendakwa walaupun mereka jelas terlibat dengan rasuah, tidak salah jika dicalonkan, bahkan jika mereka dilantik menjadi Menteri Kewangan.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1. I feel sorry for Malaysian manufacturers. They find it difficult and sometimes impossible to market their products in the country because somehow Malaysians, including the Government and its agencies cannot believe that Malaysian products are as good, if not better than imported goods.

2. When Malaysian products cannot be sold at home, it becomes almost impossible to convince foreign buyers to buy them. The question that foreigners often ask is whether Malaysians especially the Government have bought them.

3. Despite this failure to market Malaysian products locally, some have still managed to be marketed abroad. And some have been very successful.

4. These Malaysians are not asking for protection or even favours. All they want is to be properly evaluated against foreign competitors when they make bids. But somehow they seem to fail always.

5. There are excuses of course. The foreign suppliers have been supplying for years and years. They just cannot be dropped.

6. Even when the products have been well accepted abroad, the Government and its agencies cannot be convinced.

7. The Government wants to be transparent. Perhaps if awards of contracts are published just as offers of contracts are, then the public and the local businessmen would know who gets what, how many times and for how long. The contract process should also be made known. If contracts are to be for five years then we should know why contracts are given for longer periods.

8. Then Malaysians would know why they have been failing all these while. They would then be able to take necessary steps to become competitive. In fact other foreign suppliers too can take corrective action.

9. At the moment we can read the advertisements on new projects up for tender. But who wins the tender is not publicised.

10. An open Government keen to be transparent should do this. That it was never done before is no reason it cannot be done now. Previously no one promised to be transparent. But now we all hear about transparency.

11. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is not coming in as much as before. We cannot compete with China or Vietnam, not even with Thailand and Indonesia. While we should continue to promote FDI, we should also help the local investors. We should remember that their earnings stay in the country, much more than the earnings of foreign owned industries.

12. If we help them our industries can become world players. At the moment we do not have our Sony or Hitachi or Samsung or Hyundai. We have the technical capacities for truly Malaysian products and companies to be as well-known as those of Japan and Korea.

13. We merely need a little boost from Malaysians, particularly from the Government and its numerous agencies and companies.

14. I hesitate to write this article because I fear that those in charge would make life even more difficult for Malaysian companies, presuming that they had complained to me.

15. But what I say here is public knowledge. We should really be helping ourselves.

Friday, October 2, 2009

1. Apabila sesuatu dilakukan dengan nama Islam, ramai yang cepat berkata ia adalah hukum Allah yang perlu kita lakukan. Kita jarang bertanya samada sesuatu itu benar-benar hukum Allah.

2. Saya tertarik dengan rencana bekas mufti Perlis (baca disini) berkenaan dengan kononnya Islam melarang gosok gigi di bulan puasa. Kononnya mulut yang bau busuk kerana berpuasa sebenarnya harum seperti bau kasturi. Ini diulangi berkali-kali dalam televisyen.

3. Benarkah pendapat ini adalah hukum Allah?

4. Sebenarnya hukum ini tidak terdapat dalam Al-Quran. Mungkin ada hadith yang menyarankan bahawa ini adalah ajaran Islam (yang diwajibkan). Tetapi kita tahu banyak hadith yang diterima oleh sesetengah daripada orang Islam adalah lemah atau bukan hadith yang sebenarnya.

5. Sebab itu kita dapati banyak perbezaan daripada segi kepercayaan dan amalan oleh orang Islam di negara-negara Islam. Ada negara Islam di mana purdah atau hijab diwajibkan walaupun oleh perempuan yang sudah tua. Al-Quran tidak mewajibkan wanita tutup muka dan tangan. Bolehkah kita kata amalan pakaian purdah ini adalah hukum Allah?

6. Larangan bagi wanita bersekolah untuk menuntut ilmu juga tidak terdapat dalam Al-Quran atau hadith sahih.

7. Membunuh wanita kerana memalukan keluarga juga tidak ada. Tetapi di beberapa buah negara Islam dilapor berkenaan dengan wanita dibunuh oleh bapa atau abangnya kerana perbuatan tertentu. Islamkah ini? Hukum Allah kah ini?

8. Dalam melaksanakan hukum Islam, Al-Quran menyebut tentang hukuman yang setimpal. Demikian mata dibalas dengan mata, telinga dengan telinga dan seterusnya jiwa dengan jiwa. Dalam pada itu Al-Quran menyebut sesiapa yang melepaskan hak membalasnya, maka itu menjadi penebus dosanya.

9. Sesungguhnya Allah s.w.t. menyukai orang yang bertimbangrasa dalam mengena atau melaksana hukum. Yang diutamakan dalam Al-Quran ialah apabila menghukum, hukumlah dengan adil. Terdapat 43 ayat yang menyebut tentang pentingnya hukuman yang adil. Beberapa ayat lagi menegah perbuatan yang zalim.

10. Seperti yang kita semua maklum, alim ulama memahami dan membuat tafsiran berpandu kepada isi kandungan Al-Quran dan hadith dan kitab tulisan ulama silam. Oleh kerana alim ulama bukan rasul kefahaman dan tafsiran mereka tidaklah selalunya sama antara satu dengan yang lain. Demikianlah kelainan antara pendapat dan kefahaman mereka sehingga berlaku perpecahan dan permusuhan dikalangan orang Islam dan rusuhan serta bunuh-membunuh antara mereka.

11. Soalnya apakah mungkin semua alim ulama benar-benar berpegang kepada hukum Allah apabila memberi pendapat atau membuat fatwa? Jika ya, kenapakah ajaran mereka tidak sama dan begitu bertentangan antara sesama mereka?

12. Atau apakah ada diantara mereka yang secara sengaja atau tidak sengaja, telah membuat tafsiran yang salah berkenaan apa yang dikatakan hukum-hukum Allah. Kerap ternampak mereka seolah-olah tidak puas hati dengan kesederhanaan dan kelonggaran yang terdapat dalam Islam.

13. Oleh kerana ada kemungkinan salah tafsiran berlaku janganlah kita terlalu cepat berkata bahawa hukum yang ditentukan oleh alim ulama adalah hukum Allah dan dengan itu kita tidak boleh mempersoalkannya dan kita akan berdosa jika kita abaikannya.

14. Oleh itu sebelum menghukum atau menjalankan hukuman tidak bolehkah kita bertanya dahulu adilkah hukuman yang dikenakan? Dan benarkah hukuman yang dikenakan adalah hukum Allah?

15. Kita juga harus diberitahu dari mana puncanya hukuman yang dijatuhkan, sebelum kita terima hukuman berkenaan adalah hukum Allah.

16. Dan janganlah kita lupa bahawa Allah suka kepada mereka yang bertimbangrasa dan tidak keterlaluan dalam melaksanakan hukum.

17. Juga harus kita jaga kebaikan nama Islam dan tidak melakukan sesuatu yang akan mencemarkannya.

18. Kita disuruh berdakwah dan mengembangkan agama Islam. Kita sendiri berbahagia kerana menganut agama Islam disebabkan pedagang Islam dari negara Arab dan India telah menunjuk kebaikan dan keadilan dalam Islam. Jika kita melakukan sesuatu yang sebenarnya bukan dari ajaran Islam dan ini menyebabkan orang lain menjauhkan diri dari Islam, apakah kita mematuhi tugas berdakwah yang diwajibkan keatas kita semua?

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