Saturday, June 17, 2006


Datuk Shahrir today disputed the media figure that the cost of canceling the bridge project is higher than the original cost on the fact that the land swoop deal, worth RM380 had never been cancelled and should not have been added to the total cancelled cost.
During the hour-long meeting on 12th June 06, the PAC was told that cancellation of the project will cost the government an estimated RM740 million. This includes RM170 million for preliminary works done, RM100 million in compensation to the contractor and RM470 million for the flyover and connecting roads.
And he also warned that the ORIGINAL COST of RM2.39billion would balloon and escalate as there are many other costs (which are difficult to quantified) like-
1. REPLACING the old RAILWAY & water PIPE lines
3. REMOVING causeway.
So the present Government under PM A A Badawi is fully justified in aborting this so called “scenic bridge” project in the light of the mounting costs the rakyat might have to face if to build it is given the “yes”, just the runaway cost in ‘double railway project
To echo the words of Tun Musa hitam in his Interview with Bernama,, read here
“When he first became the Prime Minister, he probably did not know then. Now he knows in depth. He says this is wrong, this is not suitable. In the national interest, this is not good. What's wrong in making changes?. We must remember that ultimately it is the rakyat who will decide whether a government led by a particular leader, by a particular party is fit to govern or continue to govern. That is the essence of democracy. We cannot say one is not working for the national interest”
Petronas money is not government money. Petronas money is the people's money and the government should know it must be used. The people's money should not be abused. “
The nagging question is WHY Samy Vellu is so reluctant to negotiate the cost of compensation.? Where is the transparency? Is he acting in the interest of the rakyat or the contractor? See the Names and people of
Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd.
Now read on the full account in the latest Bernama dispatch on June 17, 2006 19:47 PM
Cost Involved In Scrapping "Scenic" Bridge Lower Than Reported, Says PAC
JOHOR BAHARU, June 17 (Bernama) -- The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said Saturday the actual cost incurred following the scrapping of the half-bridge or scenic bridge that was to have replaced the Malaysian side of the Johor Causeway linking Singapore was lower than reported.

PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said the cost was only RM740 million and it took into account the RM170-million claim by the contractor, Gerbang Perdana, for work done, RM100 million in compensation by the government to Gerbang Perdana, RM280 million for building a new flyover highway and RM190 million for old works to be continued.

The media had reported that the government might have to fork out RM1.12 billion in compensation, for building a new highway and land premium, while the construction would cost RM1.113 billion.

Shahrir said the land swop deal, worth RM380 million in land premium, between the Johor and federal governments for Bukit Chagar in exchange for Tanjung Puteri had never been cancelled.

"As far as I can remember, no decision has been made to cancel the land swop deal," he told reporters after officiating the Parent-Teacher Association meeting of Sekolah Menengah Datuk Jaafar, here.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had said recently that the land premium of RM380 million was for the usage of land at the old Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Tanjung Puteri and the new CIQ Complex in Bukit Chagar.

He said the building of a new flyover highway that connects the Causeway to the new CIQ had rendered the land in Tanjung Puteri almost useless. Shahrir, who is the Member of Parliament for Johor Baharu, disagreed saying that with the new flyover highway, there was still enough land in Tanjung Puteri for the state government to carry out its development plan.

"The flyover highway would curve from the west of Tanjung Puteri to connect with the new CIQ in Bukit Chagar, leaving large areas of Tanjung Puteri, including the huge Lorry Inspection Centre, untouched," he said. Both pieces of land measured about 16 hectares each, with the Bukit Chagar land being costlier than the coastal land of Tanjung Puteri, he added.

On Abdul Ghani's statement that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had agreed for the federal government to pay the state government RM70 million for the land swop, Shahrir said the PAC also wanted to know what the fair value was for the land swop.

Commenting on media reports on the cancellation of the scenic bridge, Shahrir said there were other factors that had never been taken into account and many of these were hard to quantify at the moment.

"Beside the legal issue with Singapore, there are other costs like replacing the old railway line and water pipeline to Singapore, the cost of dredging the Johor Straits and also the cost of removing the Causeway," he said.

On Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's decision to only give a written reply to the PAC, Shahrir said the 14-member committee would look into Samy Vellu's reply on June 22.

He said what the PAC had wanted was for the Public Works Department (JKR) to negotiate for a lower compensation to be given to Gerbang Perdana.

He said this should and could be done as the Works Ministry had kept on giving new projects to Gerbang Perdana, like the construction of the new flyover and other projects involving the new CIQ, without Gerbang Perdana having to go through the proper tender process.

"If the Works Ministry does not do this, then we will have to question it again in the future," Shahrir said.

continue Reading the latest posting on
18 More BOOKS (6 in Malay) BANNED in MALAYSIA; can “disrupt PEACE & SECURITY”; NO Rep
roduction or Distribution” or 3 years JAIL and/or RM20K Fine.

MORE Pics - New PROTON SATRIA NEO; RM43,500 – 54,500: FIVE COLOURS: Brilliant RED, Metal GREY, Twilight BLUE- Liquid ORANGE, Iridescent WHIITE

The above colour is NOT in the list; Below the Liquid Orange
the Twilight Blue available is almost DARK Blue

Proton has launched the Satria Replacement Model - the Proton Satria Neo - iconic two-door hatchback, the first model in 1994. The Satria is one of Proton’s more successful models with exports overseas especially in UK. The Prime Minister A A Badawi in launching the new model expressed the hope that Proton can overcome the challenges of the global market. The CEO of Proton said with the launch it hoped to increase its market share, currently at 30.35%. Other measures are also taken..

The distributor of Proton Satria Neo hopes to sell 15,000 units by year end.. The car powered by the Campro engine (same as the Gen2 and Waja) with manual or automatic transmission, is priced between RM43,500 – RM54,800

Kuala Lumpur Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 03:45 PM - To ensure the sale of the newly-launched Satria Neo reaches its target of 14,000 units in 6 months, Proton Holding Berhad expects to roll out 2,500 of the model each month. For that, Proton needs to fully utilised its production centre in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

Proton's Executive Director of Engineering and Manufacturing, Datuk Kisai Rahmat said the Satria Neo is expected to be a hit with buyers especially the younger generation.

This was because; the new model 15 equipped with state-of-the-art security features apart from marked improvements in quality and accessories.

The Satria Neo was launching by Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Proton Centre of Excellence, in USJ, Subang Jaya yesterday.

Speaking in RTM's Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme, Datuk Kisai said, Proton will continue to come up with new models every year.

The interior layout of the dashboard, the bucket seats,
sporty wheels, knob gear shift

The spped performance numbers
Top Speed 0-100km/h
Proton Satria Neo 1.6 (A) 185 13.7 s
Proton Satria Neo 1.6 (M) 190 11.5 s
Proton Satria Neo 1.3 (A) 180 16.0 s
Proton Satria Neo 1.3 (M) 175 12.1 s

A - Automatic M - Manual

Read the STAR's account Success is your only choice, Abdullah tells Proton

Update: AUG 01 2006

For the first time ever Malaysia second car manufacturer outsold Proton with the sales of national passengers car. Total Perodua sales for the first six months this year rose to 78,396 units while sales of Proton cars dropped to 60,246 units. According to the Malaysia Automotive Associate, this can be attributed to higher demand for small sized cars which Perodua is popular for.

“I think Proton has been No. 1 for several years. Since 1985 (sales 7000 units) and after that they were No 1. This is the first time that Perodua has overtaken Proton”

Total vehicle sales in 2006 is expected to drop by 6% to 520,000 units compared to 2005. Higher interest rates and rising fuel prices are among factors that are expected to cause sales to wilt this year.

Will this imported Mitsubishi 380 somewhat brake Proton's woes? With proper pricing it can capture back some of the "big car" market apart from its monopoly in the government sector

For a more fuller read on

PROTON & EON Fortunes TUMBLE as PERODUA overtakes PROTON in Car Sales; Will New PROACTIVE Governance; Best PRACTICES; MITSUBISHI 380 Save PROTON?

Friday, June 16, 2006


James Wong Wing On
Member of the 8th Parliament, former senior and award-winning
journalist, writer, author & strategic analyst

Please support Malaysiakini by subscribing for as low as RM10 for 20 days / RM15 per month to RM150 per year.
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MALASIAKINI in its Jun 14 report said PAS vice-president Husam Musa claimed to have received “information” hat Umno is planning to sack its former president Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking at a press conference in Kota Bahru, Kelantan, he claimed that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in his capacity as Umno president, will propose a motion to expel Mahathir at the supreme council meeting on Monday.

Contacted later, Husam said if the information is accurate, it will prove that the Umno leadership and the government are not tolerant of criticisms and reprimands.

"I am exposing this information because I do not want Mahathir to be sacked. Imagine if a person like Mahathir can face such action, what more ordinary citizens?" he added.

Husam said he is concerned about the developments in Umno because he does not want to see the 'I'm brave because I'm right' culture displayed by Mahathir 'killed' by the government.

Mahathir was once sacked by the party after he severely criticised then prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in the wake of the 1969 racial riots.

Ties have soured between Mahathir and his handpicked successor over the recent weeks after the former unleashed a wave of criticism against the current administration.

While maintaining that it is nothing personal, the former premier had suggested that he could have made the wrong choice in choosing Abdullah to replace him.

Mahathir's discontent with the current administration hit the peak after it decided to scrap the half-bridge project initiated by him.

Meanwhile, Umno information chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib confirmed that the party supreme council meeting will be held on Monday.However, he claimed to be in the dark of the agenda for the meeting. His reply to Hussams claim was:

"I don't know anything about it. It seems that PAS people are wiser than God,"

The following is
James Wong Wing On's Analysis of this speculation Jun 15, 06 4:53pm

According to PAS vice-president Husam Musa, he has received information that Prime Minister and Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is planning to sack his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad next week from the party for his public criticisms against him.

Although there is no solid proof that the information Husam Musa claimed to have received is genuine or independently verified, the popular memory of Mahathir being sacked from Umno in the wake of the May 13 racial riot in 1969 for publicly attacking the then Umno president Tunku Abdul Rahman remains powerful, rendering Husam's claim to be not implausible.

Moreover, the statements made by Deputy Premier and Umno deputy president Najib Tun Razak yesterday (as reported by New Straits Times) today seem to indicate that there are indeed grave concerns about the negative impacts of Mahathir's recent criticisms on party discipline and coherence of the larger Barisan Nasional coalition.

Headlined 'Najib: Dissenters subject to party discipline', the Page 2 report clearly shows that there are heated debate within the party between those who argue for the Mahathir's right to "free speech", "transparency" and "openness" on one hand and those who are worried that Mahathir's recent spate of criticisms against Abdullah and some controversial decisions made by the government of the day could lead to widespread "indiscipline" within Umno, other component parties of the ruling BN and even the society at large.

From the report, it also seems that Najib, widely seen to be the ultimate beneficiary of the Mahathir-Abdullah rift, is now leaning towards Mahathir's supporters who champion "free speech", although he has earlier given public support to Abdullah.

Najib had reportedly said that as a citizen and former leader, Mahathir has valid grounds to express his views and that nobody should try to prevent him from saying what he feels. However, he was also quoted as saying that party members "must remember that they are governed by party discipline as well".

If others also criticise...

So, is Mahathir guilty of breaching "party discipline" by speaking out to local and foreign media against the serving party president and some of his decisions made by the Abdullah administration?

What if other lesser figures in Umno, such as branch leaders, mount public attacks on Najib and demand explanation also in the name of "free speech" or "transparency" or "national interest" like Mahathir?

Why was Mahathir sacked in 1969 for attacking the then prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman but is now made immune to disciplinary action for doing essentially the same thing to another prime minister, namely Abdullah Ahmad Badawi?

What if an "undisciplined" Mahathir, whatever his motives, feels emboldened by his immunity to further pose more and tougher questions to Abdullah or the government in the name of public interest?

The point here is how to differentiate between Mahathir and the lesser personalities (like the same Mahathir who had yet to become prime minister in 1969) who do likewise, or what exactly constitutes "party discipline"?

Like it or not, these two inter-related questions are going to be raised again and again, especially by the hardcore supporters of Abdullah who argue for disciplinary action to be taken by the party against Mahathir to stem any 'demonstration' or 'copycat' effect.

The concern for "party discipline", moreover, is not confined to the powers-that-be in Umno. More likely than not, top and established leaders of other component parties in BN, such as MCA or MIC, also secretly fear the 'demonstration' or 'copycat' effect spilling over to their organisations.

What if former MCA presidents and ministers like Lee San Choon or Dr Neo Yee Pan or Tan Koon Swan decide to emulate Mahathir and start to mount public criticisms against Ong Ka Teng or Chan Kong Choy? Should MCA then follow the example or precedent set by Umno of providing immunity to former top party leaders and ministers on matters pertaining to "party discipline"?

Mahathir's strength

More importantly, even if there is a complete consensus on the part of Abdullah and Najib to take disciplinary action against Mahathir, can they afford to do so politically without, first and foremost, contradicting the earlier assurance given by Abdullah that Mahathir enjoys the freedom of speech, which could then be popularly seen as cakap tak serupa bikin.

Then, there is also the consideration of how strong Mahathir's support actually is inside the party and out there in the society at large?

Although it is still to be the interests of both Mahathir and his opponents to portray the man or himself (Mahathir) as a "lonely old man", circumstantial evidences seem to suggest that it may not be the true picture at all.

If Mahathir is a "lonely old man" fighting "desperately" only to preserve his own legacies, then why is there a need for ministers and top powerholders, past and present, to be drafted to defend Abdullah and to counter-attack Mahathir?

If there is no crowd behind Mahathir, why did Abdullah abandon the strategy of "elegant silence" and concede to the ex-PM's public demand for his questions to be answered? Why not leave the "lonely old man" alone?

Why did Abdullah or his supporters feel the need to hold meetings for loyalty pledging and report the meetings publicly?

In view of these circumstantial evidences, the sacking of Mahathir would, more likely than not, cause another major split in Umno.

Above all, Mahathir's own personal history of political involvement also suggests that he has always been an institution himself for he could still make political impacts, for good or ill, without being a party member or even a member of Parliament.

Before his first election as an Umno MP in 1964, he had already been quite well-known politically for his nationalist-cum-leftist opposition to the Tunku's pro-West and right-wing foreign and defence policies.

After he lost the elections in 1969 and got sacked from the party for attacking the Tunku on socio-economic policies, he continued to make impact as an anti-Tunku critics on a variety of platforms, including PAS' rallies and the book The Malay Dilemma published in Singapore (but banned in Malaysia before it was lifted after he came into power in 1981).

Of course, there is still one critical difference between then and now: in 1969, he was only 44 years of age but now he is already 81. To sack or not to sack Mahathir is, therefore, not a simple question.



L A T E S T UPDATE: from MSIAkini:
Dr M's sacking: Pak Lah keeps us guessing, Beh Lih Yi Jun 16, 06 4:34pm

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today fueled speculations that Umno would sack its past president Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he refrained from denying it outright.

When asked by malaysiakini if action would be taken against his former boss, the prime minister - who was attending a Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meet in Kuala Lumpur - attempted to dodge the question. Abdullah, who is also Umno president, argued that it was not the right place to comment on party matters.

"This is not an Umno meeting so I have nothing to say about Umno," he said.
And when prodded, he replied: "I don't make any statements before Umno meets."
While Abdullah declined to elaborate on his remarks, observers wondered if his reluctance to deny the issue indicated that something was indeed brewing in Umno.
However, certain quarters believed that the speculation of an expulsion was far-fetched.

MORE Pics - CONJOINED TWINS born as ONE became TWO; Complicated 24-hour surgery, parents, 23 and 36 delighted.

The parents, Sonia Fierros, 23, and Federico Salinas, 36
at the ICU after the operation

Regina and Renata Salinas Fierros, born as one, became two for the first time when doctors made the final incision in a long and complicated 24-hour surgery to separate the 10-month-old conjoined twins at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles
The two babies are now in the intensive care unit . "The first 48 hours are the most important," said Steve Rutledge, a spokesman for the hospital. "It's too early to assign a condition to them, but doctors were very optimistic about how the surgery went and the fact that it was finished quicker than they had anticipated."
The marathon procedure began at 6 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Wednesday, and doctors had expected that it would take 24 hours to separate the girls and to reconstruct their tiny bodies after they divided some of the organs the two shared.
The long complicated procedure ended at 2:47 a.m. when Regina was wheeled into the ICU with her sister Renata following at 3:58 a.m. The babies were placed next to each other, in separate beds.
The parents, Sonia Fierros, 23, and Federico Salinas, 36, were delighted to hear that the surgery had been a success so far. The parents are from Juarez, Mexico. Last spring, when Ms. Fierros was pregnant, she was hospitalized with a urinary tract infection while in Los Angeles to visit relatives and learned then that she was carrying conjoined twins.
The couple decided to stay in Los Angeles on an extended tourist visa because they thought their babies would receive better medical care there.The twins were born Aug. 2, 2005, facing each other, joined from the lower chest to the pelvis. They were fused in several places, including the liver and genitals, and shared a large intestine. Regina was born with one kidney.
After 12 hours into the surgery, the last pelvic bone connecting the babies was cut, and there was jubilation in the team as doctors moved one of the twins to another room,
The work to make each of them whole continued on into the night as doctors worked to reconstruct their chest walls and pelvis regions and sew up surgical wounds.
They had been fused at the front, but had separate heads, necks, shoulders, hearts, lungs, arms and legs. One of the girls' legs faced backward, and during the surgery, doctors readjusted the bone structure to make them face forward and enable her to walk correctly.
Worldwide, only a few hundred pairs of conjoined twins are born each year and in the US, they occur 1 in every 200,000 live births.
Several of those on the 80-member team working on the Salinas twins took part in which was considered a success, but this surgery was more complex because more organ systems were involved than another conjoined twin separation at the hospital in 2003.

Pics of the twins BEFORE Separation

HP COMPAQ nx6115 NOTEBOOK – AMAZING Features, AMAZING Price; But NO more Product INFO from

It is really amazing how the HP Compaq Malaysia is coordinating their print and electronic divisions in advertising their products. They can spent a half-page advert for their Notebook nx6115 in the STAR Print Media (pg N8, 14 June 06) announcing the Amazing features, Amazing Price RM3, 399 using Amazing fonts and a link on See more about this product at
You would be directed to obviously a foreign site. And what do you see?

And a click on View all promotions, you would see

the details are the prices of upgrades

These are just about all the More about this PRODUCT you can get from the link. What use are these to a potential buyer looking for that extra info on this notebook??
And If you want a LIVE CHAT given there this is what you get

Prompting you to leave a message for email contact.

A more useful link would be from
from the PC world wide Quick Specs.(see sample below) It gives pages and pages of specs and features of this Notebook. This is what we want to add on to the brief spec in the stated print advert.

Truly amazing how the local media house involved has deviated from the basic function in advertising a product. They do not seem to have an iota of understanding and empathy what buyers are looking for. Can't the HP people be more helpful? Look at the Cannon EOS 30D Digital Advert. no less than 3 websites are given! Truly amazing difference.

This is what we want HP, details and specs of the Notebook!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

MUSLIM CLERIC Abu Bakar Ba'asyir RELEASED; PM Howard - Australians "distressed"; Terrorists may STRIKE Indonesia PIPELINES and REFINERIES

The cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, found guilty in March 2005 of conspiracy over the bomb plot, was released in Jakarta after serving 26 months in prison. Security experts say the cleric is a founding member of regional Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah.
His release caused distress to families of those killed in the Bali blast and was severely criticized by the Australian premier Howard who told parliament he had a message for the Indonesians.

“I want them to understand from me on behalf of the government how extremely disappointed, even distressed, millions of Australians will be at the release of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir.

Meanwhile the Business Times reported that Pipelines and refineries in Indonesia - South-east Asia's biggest oil producer - may be targeted by terrorists because of the presence of US interests, says a Singapore-based academic.

Asia's terrorism is largely centered around Indonesia, said Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological University's Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies.

The Jemaah Islamiah, a South-east Asian terrorist group linked to Al-Qaeda, last year planned to bomb an Indonesian power plant run by PT Paiton Energy, the Daily Yomiuri reported in April. US companies active in Indonesia include Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, which is developing the Cepu field with the state oil producer.

'In Indonesia, there has been a number of groups that are deeply opposed to the operation of US oil companies and Western interests in Indonesia,' Dr Gunaratna said at the Commodity Investment World conference here yesterday. 'Threats to oil and energy infrastructure are still very significant and will continue for a very long time.'

Indonesia, an Opec member, plans to produce 1.11 million barrels a day this year. The country produced 1.06 million barrels of oil and condensate a day last year.

Read BBC full account

Update; By IRWAN FIRDAUS Associated Press Writer, Jun 15, 8:35 AM EDT

Indonesian cleric tells U.S., Australian leaders to 'convert to Islam'

SOLO, Indonesia (AP) -- A reputed leader of the al-Qaida-linked terror group blamed for deadly bombings across Indonesia on Thursday accused U.S. President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard of waging wars against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir also called on Bush and Howard to convert to Islam, saying it was "the only way to save their souls," adding that families still grieving after the 2002 Bali blasts that killed many foreigners should also become Muslim to find "salvation and peace."

Bashir, 68, was released from prison Wednesday after completing a 26-month sentence for conspiracy in the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, was at a hardline Islamic boarding school that has spawned some of Southeast Asia's deadliest terrorists.

The firebrand cleric also declined to directly condemn young men who carry out bombings in Indonesia in the name of Islam, saying they he still considered them "holy warriors," because they believed they were defending the oppressed.

But he also said they misguided and wrong to use bombs in a country at peace.

"Why use bombs in a non-conflict zone, preaching is enough," he said.

Jemaah Islamiyah is accused of carrying out church bombings across the world's most populous Muslim nation in 2000, the 2002 bombings on the resort island of Bali, attacks in the capital Jakarta in 2003 and 2004, and a triple suicide bombing on Bali last October.

The attacks together killed more than 260 people, many of them foreigners, and have thrust Indonesia onto the front line of the global war on terror.

Though the United States and Australia said they were disappointed at Bashir's release, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono noted Thursday that it did not mean his government was soft on Islamic militants.

"Abu Bakar Bashir was put on trial. He was punished," Yudhoyono said in Jakarta, adding that Indonesia has arrested hundreds of suspected terrorists and sentenced three linked to the 2002 Bali bombings to death.

Bashir, who has never been linked to the execution, preparation or commission of terrorist attacks, was asked Thursday about families still suffering from the Bali blasts.

He said the attacks "were God's will" and that survivors should "convert to Islam" if they wanted to soothe their suffering.

He had the same message for Bush and Howard, whom he criticized for waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying converting was "the only way for them to save their souls."

Both ideas were crudely expressed, but are in line with basic Islamic - and Christian - teachings on personal redemption and God's omnipotence.

Bashir also told Australia, which urged Indonesian authorities to keep a close eye on his activities, not to "intervene" in his nation's affairs.

"I don't interfere in Australian affairs, and you should not intervene in ours," he said.

Bashir called Bush an "infidel," but said he was happy the American people were starting to realize that their president had made a mistake when he decided to wage war on Muslims. He did not elaborate, but was apparently referring to sliding opinion polls.

"I feel sorry for the American people, but it seems now they realize he was wrong," Bashir told reporters who were invited to speak to him on the porch of his modest home inside the al-Mukmin boarding school complex, which he founded in 1972.

Bashir's freedom has raised concerns that he will energize Indonesia's small, Islamic radical fringe by making impassioned speeches at rallies and mosques, but few believe the cleric will play any direct role in terrorism.

Before the Bali blasts, Bashir was chiefly known for his campaign to make his secular nation an Islamic state - something he said Thursday he would continue to do - and his vitriolic criticism of the West.

Sidney Jones, a leading international expert on Jemaah Islamiyah, said she did not think Bashir's freedom increased the threat of bombings in Indonesia.

But, she said, "there is no question that his stature has grown in prison and that he's now seen as a symbol of defying the West and the United States in particular.

"For that reason, he will be a very popular speaker among many young Muslim crowds in many parts to Indonesia, including many people who have no interest in violence whatsoever."
Continue reading: U.N. ends working ties with militant group distributing aid to earthquake survivors

MORE Pics - 2006 WORLD CUP OPENER in THAILAND; ITALY 2 – GHANA -0; 2 Football Fans KILLED in HEATED ARGUMENT over too LOUD Cheering.

The two coverd dead bodies lying in front of the restaurant in Pattaya

PATTAYA, THAILAND: Two Thai men watching the opener in which ITALTY‘s 2-0 win over GHANA burst out in LOUD CHEERS when Italy scored the first goal. They were watching the World Cup match in a Thai Restaurant with their girlfriends. Another man also dining at the restaurant was annoyed by the loud noises and told them to “shut up” and quiet down.

A heated argument ensured and the annoyed man pulled out a gun and killed the two fans and ran away. The Pattaya police know the identity of the gunman and are actively looking for him.

The wailing Girlfriend of one of two who got killed being too excited by "G O A L"

The Identity of one killed.


PAC, Tan S G: You have CONTRAVENE ARTICLE 77 – S O; Held Parliament in CONTEMPT; SAMY Reply: GO AHEAD, I am PREPARE to face MUSIC

Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to read carefully Article 77 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders because his utterances are in contravention of the Orders.

Yesterday, Samy urged PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad to stop meddling in the affairs of the Works Ministry.

He told Samy, “you have contravened Article 77 of the Standing Orders. You have held Parliament in contempt

At the beginning of every Parliament, the House appointed the Public Accounts committee (PAC) for the examination of four main areas like the accounts of the Federation and such other matters as the Committee may think fit, or which may be referred to the Committee by the House. The Committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, and to report from time to time.

Samy Vellu was in his usual combative stance and when questioned, challenged the PAC to go ahead and take action against him. I feel his Ministry officials are TOO BUSY preparing the answers for Tun Dr Mahathir in his coming meeting. And yes, he is working hard for the people not against them. So a very good excuse not to attend the meetings. Samy, You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time. Surely someone can be delegated to attend but if they are not prepared, then the best option is NOT to attend.

The following is the full raccount from Bernama:-

SHAH ALAM, June 14 (Bernama) -- Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has challenged the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to take action against him for declining to attend the committee's meeting on June 22.

He said PAC has the right to call anyone to its meeting and take action against those who did not show up.

"Let them take action," he said when asked whether he will attend the PAC's meeting.

Samy Vellu said he was prepared for action to be taken against him for missing the meeting.

"They can (take action against me). I am all prepared for it," he said at a news conference after he opened the Setia Alam interchange here Wednesday.

Samy Vellu, however, said any action against him must be in accordance with the law.

"We still have laws. This is a democratic nation. Don't take things for granted, don't abuse power," he warned PAC.

He said the Works Ministry's director-general would not be attending all the PAC meetings as "he has so much work to do".

"They make it a habit to ask my DG to attend their meetings all the time. We have work to do for the people. We promised the people and the Prime Minister to work hard.

"If (PAC) meetings take up too much of our precious time, then the people and the government will lose out," he said.

PAC deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said in a statement today that Samy Vellu could be cited for contempt of Parliament for barring his ministry's officers from attending PAC meetings.

Samy Vellu yesterday told PAC chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad to stop meddling in the affairs of the ministry by constantly calling ministry officers to attend its meetings.

He said he would ask the ministry's director-general to give written answers to questions from PAC in future.

His remark was prompted by Shahrir's call to the ministry to negotiate with Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd to reduce its claim for RM100 million compensation for the cancellation of the "scenic bridge" to replace the Johor Causeway.

The minister said the ministry knew how to evaluate the compensation request as it was "not as stupid as they (PAC) think".

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dr MAHATHIR GRAND VISION getting BLURR - his forte – MEGA projects; cost MEGA BILLIONS; NOT enough money in the state coffers to fund Mahathirism?

The following (full account) is a very different perspective coming from The Sydney Morning Herald. Article by Eric Ellis S-E Asia Correspondent of Fortune Magazine
Highlights added on for easier reading. This is how a "kwai low" foreigner looks at us and the truth always hurts. Read on........

Malaysia's grandiose economic policies of the past have created a headache for Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

FOR 22 years, Malaysia's Dr Mahathir Mohammad strode the world stage, the economists' pin-up boy for the developing world he championed.

When he wasn't railing at real or imagined demons in the West, he was hectoring his ountrymen to rise from the rice paddy and get jobs in the shiny new industries he would create.

His forte was the mega-project and he threw billions at a succession of them; the Bakun Dam, the Petronas Towers, the world's tallest buildings, a Multi-Media Super Corridor that would eclipse Silicon Valley, a 50km-long Linear City that would roof Kuala Lumpur.

There'd be a new Hollywood carved from Malaysia's jungles and the world's most sophisticated port and highway network built around its coasts, on which a new automotive industry, the National Car Project, would run. Formula One? Easy, build a $1 billion track for one weekend of racing a year.

It was Vision with a capital V and Mahathir had oodles of it. All you had to do was ask him and the sycophants that gathered around him, anxious to snare glancing bits of his largesse.

There always seemed enough money in the state coffers to fund Mahathirism, built in large part on his "New Economic Policy", an affirmative action program designed to advantage Malaysia's economically backward Malay majority.

But almost three years after he stepped down as prime minister, Mahathirism's hangover is beginning to bite.

His successor, Abdullah Badawi, is finding that the state-sponsored grandeur of Dr M's plans can't be sustained. Mahathir's cronified network of bumiputra (Malay) tycoons spoon-fed government deals and wealth seem to have largely disappeared from sight.

One of the two great symbols of his rule - the Petronas Towers where Mahathir keeps his retirement office - was topped by Taipei's 101 Tower last year and has never enjoyed full occupancy anyway. Neither has the new airport. That other Mahathir symbol, the National Car Project that spawned the Proton, genuinely runs the risk of collapse. One of the more telling Mahathir failures of both vision and execution was the Multimedia Super Corridor.

In 1996, he came to San Francisco to tell American tech titans that what MMSC would build "will best Silicon Valley". It was just a month after the Nasdaq listing of search engine Yahoo!

The persuasive PM signed up people like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Alvin Toffler to its board. Gates called the MMSC "awesome".

Ten years on, what's awesome is Yahoo's market capitalisation of $US42.8 billion ($57 billion), about a third as big as the Malaysian economy.

Now add to that the later-arriving Google. Its $US117 billion value is about the same size as Malaysia. And then there's the rest. So what happened to the MMSC? Known cheesily as Cyberjaya, it's still largely a vast expanse of palm swamps on the outskirts of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, where it's hard to see much of the $3 billion its promoters claim to have generated over the past decade.

Malaysia is the country that threw a high-tech party and nobody came. If there's a suite of killer apps being developed in the mud, it has escaped this correspondent.

There's a modest "university", the "Cyberview Lodge" hotel and a few of those ubiquitous glass offices.

Mahathir's knowledge economy has about as much oomph as a 28K dial-up net connection, which apparently is how fast net speeds often are out here. As far as tech vision is concerned, Mahathir's seemed more an hallucination.

With its English-language competence, Malaysia could've cornered the outsourcing and call centre trend of the past decade. But that business went to India, in spite of its bumbling bureaucracies, and helps it post quarterly growth numbers of 9 per cent, as it did a fortnight ago.

While America and India were minting the New Economy - and even after destroying much of it in the tech wreck of 2000-01 - Dr M was obsessed by what his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim was, or was not, doing in his private time, stopping any inroads the Australia he hates was making into Asia while demonising the Jewish community in whatever forum would give him a soapbox.

But it's the eclipse of Proton that has Mahathirism in its deepest funk.

While he was PM, he made it a Malaysian duty to buy a Proton, protecting the underpowered Mitsubishi Lancer clone by applying huge tariffs to car imports.

Proton was to be the vehicle in which Malaysian agricultural workers would travel, literally and figuratively, to a shiny new industrial future.

The Japanese helped build a state-of-the-art plant outside KL at Shah Alam. The cars models bore patriotic names; Saga (symbolically named after a seed by a soldier), Wira (Malay for hero), Iswara (a Sarawak butterfly) and Putra (suggesting born of the soil).

The Malaysian coat of arms was part of the Proton logo and an image of the assembly line adorns the 100 ringgit note, Malaysia's biggest. Dr Mahathir has a stretch version made as the official Prime Ministerial car.

Though never known for their quality, they were exported too, joining the joke Western market segments once occupied by the Yugos and Ladas. In Australia, Proton sponsors Sydney West Tigers NRL team. At the peak of Proton's power - and Mahathir's - almost four of every five cars on Malaysian roads were Protons.

Mahathir retired in October 2003, handing Malaysia to his hand-groomed successor, Abdullah Badawi.

Mahathir became a consultant to Proton. But, as Badawi signs up to various free trade agreements, the subsidies and protection Mahathir provided to Proton are rogressively being removed. Market share is now 40 per cent and falling fast. Proton's assembly lines have about 40 per cent spare capacity. The company is in desperate search for a foreign partner but it's a tough sell. Malaysia's market is not big enough.

The 82-year-old Mahathir is livid, falling out with Proton's Badawi-esque board and openly feuding with it over just about every decision it has taken, while refusing to take any blame himself for Proton's woes.

He recently declared Proton to be doomed and is now at war with Badawi, despite pledging that he would not interfere in his Government. Proton's chief executive officer Syed Zainal Abidin Tahir is careful when discussing Mahathir, "the father of Proton" as he calls him. "We listen to his views, he has an emotional attachment, he is ultra-sensitive," he says.

The 44-year-old Zainal, who has been in the chair just four months, admits Proton has problems.

"We cannot be in a state of denial that we are producing quality cars because the fact is we are not," he says. "We need to be brave enough to accept that. It's not a lost cause."

Zainal, who says he is a Malaysian first, a businessman second, supports the reduction of protection, a stance which pits him against Mahathir.

"The Government is saying 'we are not going to subsidise you for the next 20 years, please transform your company'. We still have that nationalism but we must no longer behave like the National Car, we cannot behave like we will be protected forever."

Prime Minister Badawi agrees. He just launched the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP)which is conspicuously absent of mega-projects.

"I will not say there will never be a mega-project but the emphasis is on human capital," he told the Herald.

"We are moving up the value chain, eliminating social disparities the gap between rich and poor."

Update Latest: NOTHING MORE TO EXPLAIN as far as APs and Proton/Tengku Mahaleel issues are concerned. See end of earlier Posting

This is the clear implication of the statement by the Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, Ng Lip Yong who told Sin Chew Daily (in Chinese)

See how STAR looks at

Mega projects are not key indicators

..continue to read the MIC Dirty ELECTION TACTICS - Allegation by Datuk Subra and the Warnings by Samy

Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu RAPS PAC: Stop INTERFERING; My DG “LOTS of RESPONSIBILITIES …and SAMY to see Dr MAHATHIR for aborted BRIDGE

Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad versus Datuk Samy Vellu

Such is the arrogance you can find only in the Datuk. On being questioned by reporters to ask the Gerbang Perdana , the contractor of the cancelled scenic bridge to reduce the compensation amounts, he started a tirade against the PAC. He pleaded “Please allow JKR to do its work”. It was ONLY a suggestion from Datuk Shahrir and this is the way he reply.

There are limits to the PAC and you can hear very similar words “there is a limit” against his Deputy Datuk S Subramanian over the allegation of dirty tactics used in the run up to the MIC election on June 24. Read his words at


The following is a detailed account from Bernama filed under

Samy Raps PAC For 'Meddling' In Ministry's Affairs datelined June 13, 2006 20:44 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 (Bernama) -- Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Tuesday cautioned the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) not to interfere in the ministry's affairs, saying it was well equipped to handle any issue.

Samy Vellu said the ministry has its own officers to study any issue before making a decision and there was no need for others to interfere. "Please allow the ministry to do its work. There must be limits to the
PAC. You are not the operator of this ministry. This ministry has a minister and
its officers.

"My director-general has lot of responsibilities. We can't be going there for every meeting to answer their questions. I direct them (PAC), if they have a question, put it in writing and we will reply," he told reporters after holding a briefing session with his officers on the Ninth
Plan (9MP) at his ministry here.

The minister was responding to a reporter's question whether the Public Works Department (JKR) should discuss to lower the RM100 million claim by Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd, the contractor in charge of building the eight-lane overhead highway in Johor Baru linking the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex.

PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad yesterday told reporters that the committee would suggest to the JKR to negotiate with Gerbang Perdana to reduce the RM100-million compensation following the cancellation of the scenic bridge that was to have replaced the causeway connecting
Johor Baharu and Singapore.

The decision was reached after the committee was briefed by the JKR at Parliament House on the scrapped half-bridge project. Samy Vellu, in response to the statement by Shahrir, said the ministry was not "blind" to give away the RM100 million demanded by the contractor.

"We are not stupid and the PAC must be aware of this. Any contractor can ask for RM100 million but we are not going to give it to them. We have to consider the request, discuss with our engineers, visit the site (construction site) and get more details before making any decision."

"If not ask the PAC chairman to come and sit here and run the ministry. When he approves any project, we will implement it," he added.

Samy Vellu said that though the Works Ministry was involved in implementing projects, ultimately it was the Finance Ministry which makes the final approval. "We are the implementing agent for the Finance Ministry for all projects and tenders. I don't want any other party to interfere and disturb our work," he said.

He also said that it was ridiculous for Shahrir to suggest that the ministry buy houses in the Sungai Besi area which were affected by the
Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya Highway project.

"When we take over any land for projects, we pay proper compensation but not to houses near the project. Doesn't the PAC chairman know that... "One day, when we have a project passing through
Kuala Lumpur, do we have to buy the whole of Kuala Lumpur to build roads? Who is going to pay? He should be more responsible," said Samy Vellu.

Appointment to meet Dr Mahathir for Explanation of the cancellationof
Scenic Bridge

Samy Vellu also said that he would meet former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to explain the government's decision to cancel the scenic bridge project.

"What is done by my ministry, I will seek an appointment with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and will give him an explanation. I will present him a paper for his information.

"I have already instructed my DG (director-general) to prepare the papers. Next week, when the papers are ready, I will seek an appointment with him," he said.

Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the relevant ministries would reply to the allegations made by Dr Mahathir on decisions adopted by the government on several issues, including the bridge project, sale of MV Agusta and issuing of Approved Permits (APs) to import cars.

It is interesting to note that Rafidah already has given a reply to Dr M regarding the AP issue and apparently Dr M was not satisfied. What more information or reasons can she give to satisfy him?

Update from Lim Kit Siang Blog -Ministers’ conflicting responses - 2 PMs in Malaysia or no PM?

"Firstly, there is the hostile attitude of the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, who seemed to be breaking ranks with the Prime Minister’s decision by indicating that there is nothing more to explain as far as the APs and Proton/Tengku Mahaleel issues are concerned.

This is the clear implication of the statement by the Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, Ng Lip Yong who told Sin Chew Daily that there was nothing more to explain with regard to these two issues, as everything had been explained, and that the question is whether Mahathir wants to accept them or not.

Nobody would believe that Ng would dare to make such a statement, implicitly defying the Prime Minister, without the authorization or specific directive of his Minister.

If Rafidah and Ng are right, that there is no more explanation to offer on these two issues specifically raised by Mahathir, why then did Abdullah promise a “detailed” explanation?"

For the SUN's version

Update: Check out SYDNEY MORNING HERALD full account of Dr Mahathir's Vison getting sour

and also read on
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