Saturday, July 01, 2006

Is Jasin's MP Datuk Mohd Said CLOWNING? Under INVESTIGATION, making EXPOSE to cover his BUTT or just ASKING for MORE trouble.

MP for Jasin, Datuk Mohd Said Yusuf, "the Customs Department had removed luxury cars, which should have been on the auction block, and privately sold them under special deals to friends, contacts at palaces and government departments. It was to please the buyers for specific reasons or curry favour to obtain honorifics like Datukships"

"This is of public interest," he said "Public revenue has been lost. Unlike in my sawn timber case, there was no loss of revenue as the timber did not involve any tax. Government had nothing to lose in that case."

If you believe him!

Commenting on the issue, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said "MPs should not be denied the right to speak up in Parliament on any matter, as they are covered by parliamentary privilege"

Datuk Mohd Said is under investigation for his “one eye closed” encounter with the Customs people recently. The panel of four ministers conducting an inquiry into the actions of Datuk Mohd Said Yusuf, who is alleged to have interfered in the duties of the Royal Malaysia Customs over imported timber from Indonesia, has deferred making a decision on the case.

The panel, which was headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional chief Whip in Parliament, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, took the step as it did not want to prejudice investigations by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the police regarding the case.

"We have recorded all testimonies needed and decided that, because certain agencies are investigating the honourable MP from Jasin, it is not appropriate for us to make a decision and announce it now," Najib said.

He said: "Doing so (announcing a finding) could affect the investigations being conducted by the ACA and police. So, it's better for us to wait until their probes are completed and until then we are deferring making any decision on the matter relating to the Jasin MP."

Besides hearing what Mohd Said had to say, the panel also recorded statements from Melaka Customs director Md Hashim Pardi and an enforcement officer from the department in separate sessions. The overall inquiry lasted about 90 minutes.

The other members in the panel were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, Works Minister Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz. They are the BN's deputy Whips.

Mohd Said is said to have asked an officer from the agency "to close one eye" on an illegal consignment of logs that had been brought in from Indonesia by a timber importer friend.

The Customs officer involved was reported to have refused to do so.

Now he is hitting back to distract the publ;ic. Perhaps with his disclosure that claimed the Customs Department had removed luxury cars, which should have been on the auction block, and privately sold them under special deals to friends, contacts at palaces and government departments. It was to please the buyers for specific reasons or curry favor to obtain honorifics like Datukships.

But he is asking for more trouble even though the Deputy Premier said he has the right to make the accusation as an MP.

Now read on what the Sun says; Talk is cheap, YB; Updated: 02:40PM Fri, 30 Jun 2006

Talk is cheap. And it's made even cheaper when members of parliament (MP) such as Jasin's Datuk Mohd Said Yusof can publicly accuse the Customs Department of corruption, assert that he has proof, and yet declare that he will not lodge a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Mohd Said accused senior Customs officers of selling seized luxury cars to highly-placed contacts at below market value.

Everyone knows of this abuse and many have complained to him but when pressed by the media outside the Dewan Rakyat, Mohd Said told reporters to look for the evidence instead.

If he already has proof to back his allegations, why wouldn't he lodge a report and provide the ACA with the evidence in hand? Why ask the media to re-invent the proverbial wheel if he already has information that could lead to corrupt officers being held accountable?

Any MP who acts in this way is clearly derelicting his or her responsibilities as a citizen and duties as an elected representative of the people.

What's more, Mohd Said's accusations and refusal to use the proper mechanism really smacks of an attempted retaliation against the Customs Department, especially since he is being investigated for having told the department to "close one eye" over the import of restricted sawn timber that his company was handling.

The Customs Department should be investigated, just as any other government agency or individual should, if there is evidence of corruption.

But it is incumbent on those who have proof to hand it over in the interest of promoting a corruption-free culture.

What a shame it is when personalities like MPs, who should be setting an example, are incapable of acting responsibly and ethically.

and from the Star, Lodge report, MP advised; By IZATUN SHARI Friday June 30, 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof, who has accused certain top Customs officials of selling seized luxury cars to their friends in the palace and government offices, should make an official report on his allegations, according to Finance Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Hilmi Yahya.

"I have never heard of such practice. I am confident that Customs officials are following procedures," Hilmi told reporters at Parliament. "But if the Jasin MP has accurate information on the alleged practice, he should lodge a report.

"The ACA will investigate. We (in the Government) are transparent."

Hilmi was commenting further on claims by Mohd Said that the officials had abused their power by selling cars meant for open auction to royal friends in return for Datukships.

Customs director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid has since denied the allegations, which Mohd Said made during a parliamentary session on Wednesday.

His men handled seized cars according to stipulated procedures, Abdul Rahman said.

At Parliament, Hilmi had replied that some of the cars put up for public auction were in poor condition.

Yesterday, he said confiscated cars were disposed of through a tender process and action could be taken against officials who did not follow procedures.

He added that confiscated cars could not be sold below the reserved price fixed after the Public Works Department had assessed them. Hilmi said anyone could buy the cars, including government officials, but they had to go through the tender process.

Mohd Said said he had not received any call from the ACA following news reports of his allegations.

"I am willing to extend my cooperation if they call me."

Commenting on the issue, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said MPs should not be denied the right to speak up in Parliament on any matter, as they are covered by parliamentary privilege.

He added, however, that the Barisan Nasional would have to make a decision against any of its MPs who makes baseless allegations.

Najib, who is Barisan chief whip, said that unless Mohd Said is disqualified as an MP, for whatever reason, he has the right to speak in Parliament.

"If an MP makes an allegation and the allegation is not confirmed and baseless, it is not wrong for him legally. It's a matter for the party to decide," he said after chairing a Cabinet committee meeting on AIDS at his office here yesterday.

When pointed out that such accusations could affect the credibility of the department, Najib said a number of MPs had made allegations that were not supported by facts.


and lastly from NST: Jasin MP yet to lodge graft report against Customs; 30 Jun 2006 By V.Vasudevan

NST Front Page with Datuk Said (insert after being questioned in hearing)

KUALA LUMPUR: Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof has not lodged an anti-corruption report against the Customs Department over an alleged improper sale of confiscated cars.

And, judging from his statement yesterday, he is not likely to.

"In my case, somebody lodged a report against me at the ACA. I am sure someone could do the same in this case," said Mohd Said, who is under investigation for asking the Customs Department to close an eye over the import of sawn timber.

He had on Wednesday claimed the Customs Department had removed luxury cars, which should have been on the auction block, and privately sold them under special deals to friends, contacts at palaces and government departments. It was to please the buyers for specific reasons or curry favour to obtain honorifics like Datukships.

"This is of public interest," he said to reporters outside Parliament yesterday.

"Public revenue has been lost. Unlike in my sawn timber case, there was no loss of revenue as the timber did not involve any tax. Government had nothing to lose in that case."

In the case of the luxury cars, he said the Government was looking at a substansial loss as a car pegged at RM200,000 was being sold at RM40,000.

Finance Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Hilmi Yahya, who was also approached by reporters outside Parliament, said Mohd Said should lodge a report if he had sufficient information or proof.

"The ACA will investigate. We (the Government) are transparent," he told reporters at Parliament lobby.

Hilmi reiterated that confiscated cars were disposed of through the tender process and action could be taken against officials who did not follow the procedures.

He said that confiscated cars could only be sold by open auction and they could not be sold below the reserved price fixed after the cars were assessed by the Public Works Department.

Hilmi said anyone could buy the cars, including government officials

"But they had to go through the tender process. The cars are offered to top government officials but they too have to go through the procedure.."
Since January, he said, 58 confiscated luxury cars worth over RM8mil had been disposed off by the Customs through the auction process.
Read today's NST story:
Jasin MP's Allegation Baseless, says Customs

PETRONAS Chalks up RECORD Net Profit: RM43.6 B up 22.6% BUT Net CASH SURPLUS down: RM3.6B (2005) to RM1.8B. Where have ALL the MONEY Gone?

President and Chief Executive Officier of Petronas
Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican

Petronas a most profitable company posted a net profit of RM43..6B for the year ended March 31st. It net profit rose 22.6%.. Petronas said it expected the oil prices to remain firm to given the volatile and uncertain global oil and gas industry in rising exploration and development costs. said Petronas would spend RM27.7B to March 2007 after which RM19.2B would be for domestic investment for the focus of oil exploration and logistic.

"This year's strong financial and operational achievements bear testimony to the group's determination and focus on its overall strategy to integrate, add value and globalize its operations," he said at a media conference in Kuala Lumpur.

One quater of the revenue is derived from the domestic market

As a major oil exporter worth RM180 B, less than ¼ of Petronas revenue is derived from the domestic Malaysian market. Operating cash flow rose to RM16.2B in 2006 from RM12.4B a year earlier while net cash surplus was RM1.8B down from RM3.6B in 2005. It aims to be a global player and allocate RM27.7B in capital expenditure in the coming year from up 18.5% a year earlier. Petronas is the only national company to be listed in the Fortunes Global 500 companies as the world’s biggest firm.

Yes indeed "Where the entire nation's oil money has gone.”? Read the
Aliran's analysis at the end. If ONLY we could use the PETRONAS DOLLARS and follow Venezuela's example we could uplift the people here in Malaysia instead of abusing and squandered them away by the few.

The NST’s report Dipping into the Petronas till an ill-conceived idea; 30 Jun 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: National oil corporation Petronas will face negative investor perception if the Government dips into its till for funding, president and chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican said.

"It has never been done before, not even during the 1997-1998 financial
crisis," he told New Straits Times and Berita Harian reporters yesterday. He also said it was highly unlikely that the Government would do so now.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a Petronas adviser, has said the Government could use money from the oil company to fund development projects.
He said this to rebut the Government's assertion that Malaysia needed to conserve spending and re-look projects planned earlier.

In fact, concerns about the Government tapping Petronas' coffers were raised by foreign investors as early as 1993 when Petronas first went to the global debt market to raise funds. Hassan said the company assured potential investors that the Malaysian Government was a responsible Government and that it would not think of taking from Petronas' coffers.

"Over the years we have gone to the market (to raise funds) several times. The market has seen accountability on the part of the Malaysian government," he said.

As an endorsement of that track record, Petronas' debt papers have never
dipped below investment grade before. Hassan said the Government could source funds from Petronas if it wanted to as the oil corporation was 100 per cent state-owned, but the implications would be negative.

Petronas was a company, incorporated under the Companies Act, and the
Government had to take into account that it was a global company subjected to ratings by international credit rating firms, he said. Clearly, international credit rating agencies would not like state interference in the oil company's finances.
The ratings Petronas received had a direct relation to the quality of its bonds and, thus, its capability to raise funds at reasonable interest rates
in the international market, Hassan added.Lower ratings meant it would be more expensive for the company to raise bonds .

As a group, Petronas made a profit before tax of RM70.2 billion in its
financial year ended March. Since its incorporation, it has returned to the Government RM287 billion.

"We have to strike a balance between the need for Petronas to re-invest and to fulfil its obligation to its shareholder," Hassan said.

Funding for the development of Putrajaya had never come directly from Petronas, he added, and explained that the concession holder for its development, Putrajaya Holdings Bhd (PJH), had borrowed a lot of money. It now had some RM7 billion worth of outstanding bonds, mostly Islamic bonds.

Hassan said Petronas' money made up 40 per cent of the RM2.2 billion initial paid-up capital in PJH. Petronas raised its stake in PJH to 64.4 per cent when it exchanged its equity interest in Proton Holdings with Khazanah Nasional Bhd's interest in PJH. Khazanah's stake in PJH is now 15.6 per cent. The remaining 20 per cent is held by Tabung Amanah Negara.

Here is Aliran’s biting report Petronas' oil profits slip away; Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Let us not allow future generations to blame us for frittering away the
nation's rich oil resources, says Anil Netto. In the wake of the recent oil price hikes, Petronas has come under increasing public scrutiny. Many uncomfortable questions have been asked as to where all the nation's oil money has gone.
Petronas, wholly owned by the government, is supposed to manage Malaysia's oil wealth in trust for all Malaysians. Some analysts believe Petronas, the only Malaysian firm in Fortune magazine's ranking of the world's 500 largest companies, is among the best-managed corporations in Malaysia. This may be true when one considers profits and financial figures.

Soaring profits for Petronas

Globally, oil firms are raking in profits as oil prices soar. Petronas is no
different. For the financial year ended 31 March 2005, its net profit soared by 50.3 per cent to reach RM35.6 billion. Shareholders' funds (share capital plus accumulated profits) stood at RM129 billion. Petronas is tipped to make even higher profits for the current financial year ended 31 March 2006, the results of which will probably be announced at the end of June 2006. Last November, it was reported that Petronas posted a net profit of RM20.7 billion for the first half (ended 30 September 2005) of the current financial year, up 22.5 per cent from the RM16.9 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.
The profits were boosted by higher oil prices (though production showed a
slight decline). Indeed, prices peaked at US$71 per barrel on 29 August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Central Gulf Coast of the United States. Although current oil prices (US$60-63 per barrel at the time of writing in March 2006) are double what they were two years ago, they are now lower than the peak in August 2005. So, why the domestic price hike in February 2006?

Lack of transparency

Petronas may be making huge profits but its lack of transparency is
worrying. How do we explain the fact that Petronas finished bottom of a list of 15 oil corporations rated for their sustainability and ethical practices, according to a study by the Madrid ethics rating firm Management & Excellence (M&E). When a company is making record profits, it tends to mask wastage, lack of management oversight and slow technology transfer.

It is also disturbing that Petronas does business with a host of countries with deplorable human rights records such as Sudan, Chad and Burma.
What irks many Malaysians is that the accounts for Petronas are not transparent. Few Malaysians have access to its detailed accounts. Thus, Members of Parliament are unable to scrutinise them. Neither is there any meaningful debate on Petronas' performance and how our oil wealth is being spent. This lack of transparency and ethics is breathtaking when one considers that Petronas actually funds the operating expenses of Transparency International Malaysia, an organisation set up to promote transparency in this country.

Public fumes at wastage

The 30-sen hike in local fuel prices has focused public attention on the
wastage of Petronas funds in the past. So much money has been wasted on trophy projects with questionable economic benefit for he people.

Under former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Petronas profits were often used to fund mega projects. These include the extravagant new administrative capital at Putrajaya, sponsorship of a Formula One motor-racing team for eleven years, and the building of the Twin Towers, which for a few years were the tallest buildings in the world. To what end?
Under Mahathir, Petronas was also used to bail out politically connected or government-owned firms.

Bank Bumiputra was repeatedly bailed out in the 1980s following financial scandals and bad loans. Controversy erupted in 1998 when Petronas, through its shipping carrier Malaysian International Shipping Corp Berhad (MISC), acquired a debt-laden shipping concern, Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (KPB). Some analysts felt the deal amounted to a bailout of Mahathir's son, Mirzan, whose KPB was then floundering under debts estimated at about RM1.7 billion.

Cheap gas for the boys

While the subsidy on petrol has been removed, there has been little news
about the subsidised processed gas that Petronas supplies to the country's independent power producers (IPPs). It was during Mahathir's time that Petronas was required to provide generous subsidies for new independent power producers (IPPs) to ensure that their venture into building gas-fuelled electricity generating plants in the 1990s was successful. Petronas has supplied heavily subsidised processed gas to these IPPs and to the national electricity corporation, Tenaga Nasional Bhd. Since 1997, these subsidies have added up to RM25 billion (of which the IPPs accounted for RM14 billion) and for the year ended 31 March 2005 alone, the subsidy amounted to RM6.2 billion.

This generous arrangements enriched a small coterie of well connected
tycoons and their firms. Last year, business media group The Edge identified the IPP beneficiaries as Genting Sanyen Power, YTL Power, Malakoff Bhd and Tanjong Plc/Powertek Bhd.

"These companies are controlled by the families of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary and Ananda Krishnan, four of the richest families and individuals in the country," The Edge pointed out.

It is still unclear whether the subsidies on processed gas supplied by
Petronas to the IPPs will be affected by recent price hikes. The IPPs are private firms selling electricity at favourable rates to Tenaga, which is forced to buy from them. So there is no reason for Petronas to sell processed gas to the IPPs at subsidised prices at the Malaysian consumers' expense.

And it is at the consumers' expense as all indications are that Malaysian consumers will have to pay more for petrol, gas, health care, and water - not to mention the inflationary effect these tariff hikes would have on other basic essentials.

Learn from Venezuela

How Petronas profits are managed from now on will be crucial - for after
all, Petronas contributes 30 per cent of the federal government's revenues via taxes, dividends and royalties. Now the oil is running out. Total domestic crude and oil-condensate reserves are officially estimated at about 4.8 billion barrels - a reserve life of 19 years. For natural gas, which makes up some 75 per cent of Malaysia's total reserves, the reserve life is about 33 years. At current rates of production, though, Malaysia will swing from being a net exporter to a net importer of oil by the end of the decade.

The nation's oil wealth has not been evenly distributed either. Strangely
enough, the states with the most offshore oil reserves in Malaysia such as Terengganu are among the poorest in Malaysia. We could learn a lot by taking a look at how the Venezuela government is spending its oil profits on the people. There, the Chavez administration is using petrodollars to finance far-reaching social programmes known as Misiones (or Missions). These comprehensive programmes cover health care, education, food, housing, land reform, job training, and micro-credit.

An amazing social transformation has been taking place in that country -
and, what's more, it has boosted electoral support for Chavez. BN strategists, take note.

A time of reckoning
We can do the same in Malaysia too. After all, Prime Minister Abdullah
Badawi says we have to invest more in our human capital. Can we not use our oil money to boost government spending on our public health care system, on water utilities and catchment areas, on low-cost housing and schools? So much has already been wasted.

Let us use our remaining oil wealth and channel it into socially beneficial projects that are economically and
environmentally sustainable. It is great that the government is setting aside the savings in subsidies to a special fund to improve public transport. More can be done to use Petronas' profits for the people's benefit.

In its People's Proposal, the Coalition Against Health Care
Privatisation recommended that the government set aside RM5 billion annually from Petronas' profits to improve our hospitals and clinics and to pay our overworked specialists, doctors and nurses more - instead of asking Malaysians to pay more for health care.

Petronas money can also be used to provide low-income financing to improve the infrastructure of state-runwater utilities - instead of privatising them.
Such massive spending on projects that would benefit the public would have the added advantage of spurring the economy at a time when foreign direct investment has declined. Let us not allow future generations of Malaysians to blame us for frittering away the rich oil resources that we were once blessed with.

For a more detailed Q and A with the CEO Hassan, check out Todays's STAR Business on
Hassan on gas subsidies
See the latest post:
Is Jasin's MP Datuk Mohd Said CLOWNING? Under INVESTIGATION, making EXPOSE to cover his BUTT

Friday, June 30, 2006

Ministers ATTACK: Datuk Syed Hamid : Dr Mahathir’s BELIEFS on SAND AIRSPACE are UNTRUTHS; Datuk Seri Hisham: Dr Mahathir’s friendsTAKING ADVANTAGE

Malaysiakini headline on the Sand & Airspace issue

The Foreign Minister, Datuk Syed Hamid Albar in a written reply in Parliament on thursday said that the air space issue is not new and had been discussed long ago. Tun Dr Mahathir himself had included the issue as atrade-off during discussion with Singapore government.

Use of Malaysian Airspace: Singapore Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong had requested that Malaysia allow the SAF (Singapore Air Force) to use Malaysia’s airspace during a meeting in Putra Jaya on March 1, 2005.

Sand Issue: The Sand purchase was raised by Goh at the same meeting. The government considered Singapore’s request after taking into account that Malaysia had actually sold sand to the republic. Silica sand is in fact still being sold to Singapore but with more stringent conditions.

"Both these issues were raised as political quid pro quo based on the principles of equitable interests to enable Singapore to agree with the proposal to build a bridge to replace the Johor Causeway," said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar. So Dr Mahathir’s memory is a bit hazy over the issues.

Since the government had decided not to proceed with the bridge construction, Malaysia no longer needs to consider the granting of air space to Singapore and both issues was not raised again.

Read on from The Sun's detailed account; 30 June 2006

Sand and airspace talks started under Dr M
Statements by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia was the one who first offered to sell sand and to allow Singapore to use our airspace are baseless and not true at all" ­ Syed Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR: Negotiations on airspace and sand with Singapore took place even during the administration of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and were done at the request of Singapore, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar told Parliament yesterday.

He said this in a written reply to questions from several MPs who had asked why
Malaysia took the initiative to offer sand and airspace.

Mahathir also had attacked the government for offering sand and airspace.

"Statements by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that
Malaysia was the one who first offered to sell sand and to allow Singapore to use our airspace are baseless and not true at all," Syed Hamid said.

He added: "Tun (Mahathir) himself had put (memasukkan) this matter (sand and airspace) as one of the trade-off issues during their meetings on the packaged deals involving both countries.

"It was
Singapore and not Malaysia which broached the subject of allowing the sale of sand again and the use of Malaysia's airspace.

"Both issues were raised as a means of political quid pro quo based on the principle of mutual interests in getting
Singapore to agree to the construction of a new (straight) bridge to replace the Johor causeway."

Syed Hamid said the airspace issue was nothing new but had in fact been discussed by both countries in their bilateral meetings in the form of a package deal between 1998 and 2002.

And on
March 1, 2005, during a meeting between Singapore's Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Putrajaya to discuss outstanding issues, Goh repeated the republic's request that Malaysia allow the use of Malaysia's airspace by the republic's air force.

Syed Hamid said that during the subsequent senior officials meeting of both countries between September 2005 and March this year, only two of the five special requests sought by Singapore were considered by Malaysia after obtaining the green light from the Malaysian Defence

The two privileges were the request for searchand-rescue and the Northern Transit Corridor, he said.

"Even then, the right of searchand-rescue was offered based on the principle of reciprocity and is in line with international practises," he said.

"The Northern Transit Corridor was mainly to be used as a transit point to the
South China Sea and that the Singapore Air Force would not hover in Malaysian airspace."

He said conditions were also imposed by the Malaysian Defence Ministry on the use of the Northern Transit Corridor to ensure
Malaysia's interests were preserved.

On the sand issue, Syed Hamid said the government had given due consideration to the requests of Singapore, after taking into the fact that Malaysia had for a long time in the past sold sand to Singapore under the administration of Mahathir.

"Sand is still being sold to
Singapore at the moment, but only restricted to the sale of silica sand," he said.

Syed Hamid said compared to the sale of sand done under the administration of
Mahathir, Malaysia had imposed stricter sale conditions during their bilateral meetings.

"These conditions were in regards to the aspects of sand quality, location, royalty payment, license issuance, Federal and state government procedures, regulations on sand mining, related terms and conditions, as well as effective enforcement to preserve the country's interests," Syed Hamid said.

He said that despite this, the government in the end took into account the sentiments of the people not to proceed with the bridge project.

"This meant
Malaysia did not have to consider giving airspace and selling sand as was requested by Singapore," he said.

And from NST; 30 Jun 2006; Parties ‘cashing in’ on Dr M’s sentiments; By Farrah Naz Karim

PUTRAJAYA: Parties with vested interests are said to be cashing in on former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s sentiments to pursue their own causes.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said not only Dr Mahathir’s business friends but others, as well, were taking advantage of the situation.

"By fanning sentiments and sensationalising issues, they hope to gain. They will not succeed even if they take advantage of other people, be it for their business or personal interests.

"They have preconditions and their personal interests are at stake. But at the end of the day, they will not succeed in attaining their causes as it is always the party and the Government that prevail."

Hishammuddin said the Government, by way of thoroughly explaining to the people issues raised by Dr Mahathir, would quash such opportunism.

He said the Government realised that ultimately, it was the people who decided on the position of an elected Government. That, he said, was why the Cabinet decided to enlighten the people on the Government’s directions and their rationales.

The true test of the Government’s credibility, he said, would be the success of the Ninth Malaysia Plan currently under way.

"We will make sure that a thorough explanation be made to those willing to listen.

"However, we can only do so much. We can’t expect those not interested to accept our explanations ... that is beyond our control," said Hishammuddin, who is Education Minister, after his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting here yesterday.

He also noted that Umno Youth deputy Khairy Jamaluddin had also been the target of "wild attacks".

He slammed Dr Mahathir’s former political secretary Matthias Chang, who lobbed potshots at him and several other ministers for speaking out against Dr Mahathir, whom Chang described as a "Malay hero".

Chang had declared: "I spit in the faces of those Malays who show disrespect for this Malay hero".

Hishammuddin said he had told Khairy to refrain from responding although it was not easy to ignore the allegations.

"It is always the interests of the nation and party that come first." Hishammuddin said he did not expect Dr Mahathir to desist from questioning the Government and Umno.

"The Government will answer his queries, but that will not satisfy him. He will just raise many more issues.

"I am personally disappointed that even after slogging at the Education Ministry for over two years, I’m still, like he said, part of a ‘half-past-six’ Government."

Hishammuddin said he could not accept Dr Mahathir’s alliance with the Opposition, and that the former prime minister’s attacks on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were unfair.

and what did ANNUAR IBRAHIM said

Anwar defends Dr M’s right to attack Government

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has defended Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s right to attack the Government, and appealed to the media not to censor his views.

The former deputy prime minister, who was detained under the Internal Security Act in 1998 and later jailed for abuse of power, said a media blackout on his former boss would be unwise.

"It makes a mockery of the system. If Dr Mahathir did something wrong during his rule, for us to repeat it would not be right," Anwar told a Press conference at his house here yesterday, wryly noting that it took some effort on his part to defend Dr Mahathir’s right to free speech.

Anwar said the media space initially given to Dr Mahathir was an exception to the rule, because when the former premier was seen transgressing the barrier set by the mainstream media, they began to bar him.

"When a minister chose to criticise Tun Mahathir, he was given full coverage. But when Tun Mahathir rebutted his criticism, there was no adequate coverage," he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz launched a blistering attack on Dr Mahathir for sharing the same platform with opposition politicians who had called him a "pharaoh" when he was prime minister.

At a gathering attended by opposition politicians and non-governmental organisations on Saturday, Dr Mahathir repeated criticisms that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had betrayed him by reversing some of his policies.

On senior Pas leaders who attended the gathering, Anwar, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser, defended the Islamist party.

Although he said he was not supportive of such a move, he was informed by Pas leaders that some of them attended the talk with Dr Mahathi merely to listen to the former prime minister lambast Umno.

Among the invited guests were Pas deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, vice-president Husam Musa and central committee member Mahfuz Omar.

Asked if he would consider working with Dr Mahathir to oppose the Government, Anwar said "Of course course not."


The accident happened early Thursday morning at Tumpat, Kelantan. All 4 friends were killed in the Kancil they were in. After the crash, the car caught fire and the 4 were burned to death. No further details are available.

Above: the burnt out remains of the Kancil

Below: The disassembled Kancil shell - burnt out parts in pieces

Closed up of the burned Kancil

Two of the victims were identified from the IC; the other two IC burned

Thursday, June 29, 2006

MORE Pics _ AWESOME 3 am CRASH at KELANA JAYA; JDR 4485 HONDA CIVIC car involved. Any WITNESSES to contact PJ Police

The number plate was intact for punters to try their luck

The crash occurred at about 3am Wednesday (29th June 2006) along the highway in Kelana Jaya. Passerbys claimed the young driver 24 from Johor Baru and staying in Bandar Sunway was speeding his Honda Civic before the crash.
The victim's head was crushed and it took rescue personnel an hour before the body was extricated from the wreck and send to Universiti Hospital for a post mortem. The PJ police appealed for witnesses to come forward

Notes on Dying & Death
No one "dies" before his or her time. The choice and time of death is always YOURS. When the soul is ready to release the body, when it has accomplished what it came here to do, it moves on.
The young in its daily dare devil stunts in reckless riding and driving may reveal that they hold the strong belief that old age represents a degradation of the spirit and an insult to the body. Slow death in a hospital or an experience with an illness would be unthinkable to this group of young people.
What is their choice? They would prefer to choose the experience – the drama, even the terror when that occurs - to die young like a hero and leave physical life in a blaze of perception; battling for your life at a point of challenge, “fighting” and not acquiescent.
Life implies death, and death implies life--that is, in the terms of your world. You could not die unless you were the kind of creature who was born, nor could you have a present moment as you consider it.
Death is therefore as creative as birth, as necessary for action and consciousness, in your terms.
You cannot have a universe in between. You have a universe formed with a reason, or a universe formed without a reason. And in a universe of reason, there are NO victims and NO accidents. Everything has a reason, or nothing has a reason.

No man or woman consciously knows for sure which day will be the last for him or her in this particular life. It seems, perhaps, easier to have no conscious idea of the year or time that death might occur. Unconsciously of course each man and woman knows, and yet hides the knowledge.

But have consolation; a “death” is just a night to “soul”. In the dawn of physical existence, men knew that death was merely a change of form. You have lived before, and will again, and your new life, in your terms, springs out of the old, and is growing in the old and contained within it as the seed is already contained within the flower.

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See the latest 3-cars Crash at SRI DAMANSARA (July 05 06)


Datuk Seri Abdullah at the Subang RMAF base, Datuk Najib was at hand with
other well wuishes to bid him a deserved 2-week break in Australia

The war of words has become calm after the excitement or anger over the last few days. PM Datuk Seri Abdullah has taken a 2-week break to Perth, Australia with his two children and family to avoid the hustle and bustle of the day-day affairs of government. He flew off from the RMAF base in Subang and Datuk Najib was at hand to send him off together with Malacca Chief Minister and many other well wishers.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz speaking to newsmen after the Cabinet Meeting to clarify issues raised

Meanwhile Datuk Nazri is left to pick up the pieces of the continuing criticism. After the cabinet meeting, he told media of the issues discussed in the cabinet that have emerged following Dr Mahathir’s criticism. He acknowledged Tun Dr Mahathir has the right to criticize and so has the Government the right to defend its action and also ministers are responsible to defend Government; not his sole responsibility.

In the case of the cancelled bridge project, he clarified that Tun was right in saying that Datuk Serri Abdullah and Datuk Seri Najib agreed to proceed (with the Bridge project) in the beginning. There was no sentiment that they deliberately did not want to proceed. However, they have to refer the matter to the cabinet and when the cabinet disagreed it did not mean that Datuk Abdullah and Datuk Najib were telling lies. It was the cabinet decision.

Now read on….as reported by the SUN papers

All Ministers to defend government; Pauline Puah Updated: 07:58PM Wed, 28 Jun 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet at its weekly meeting today reaffirmed its stance that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will not personally respond to attacks by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking in a press conference in Parliament lobby today (June 28, 2006), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said the cabinet decided that other ministers should come out to defend the government.

"Every minister has to defend the decision. It is not my sole responsibility. But we won't allow the prime minister to reply," he said, adding that the Cabinet had discussed the matter at length.

Nazri had on Monday (June 26, 2006) lashed out at Mahathir for his persistent attacks on the current administration. While other ministers have been quite restrained in their response, Nazri did not mince his words. Mahathir on Tuesday(June 27, 2006) labelled him a "hatchet man".

"The Cabinet was of the view that we have the right to defend the government," Nazri said. "It's just like Tun (Mahathir) has the right to continue (criticising) us, we should not be just sitting there quietly."

Asked if the Cabinet had agreed with his criticisms of Mahathir, Nazri said: "No one (in cabinet) criticised me."

When told some people said he went overboard, he said those who criticised him should also adviced Mahathir to stop.

Asked if the spat will affect the country, he said: "Of course we are concerned. But the same question should be asked to Tun. You cannot clap with one hand. While the Cabinet is concerned, the other side should also think the same way."

On the general mood of the Cabinet members, he said: "Most of us don't understand him (Mahathir) anymore. We are concerned for the country and Umno."

Asked about a report in Utusan Malaysia today (which quoted Mahathir as saying that Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had three days before the Cabinet announced it was not going ahead with the bridge project, assured him that the scenic bridge would be built, Nazri said it was the collective decision of the Cabinet not to proceed.

He said the matter was not something that the PM and his deputy can decide by themselves, no matter how much they wanted to build the bridge.

"Najib and Pak Lah had no intention to call off the project as this was Tun (Mahathir)'s project. But this was their view at that point of time. But when the Cabinet met to discuss, the majority of the Cabinet members held the view that we should not carry on with the project," Nazri said.

"Pak Lah listened to the Cabinet. He may have wanted to go ahead with the bridge. But when we discussed in the Cabinet and the facts were given, the majority of the Cabinet ministers felt that we should not go ahead," he said.

"It's not that Pak Lah had broken his promise ... the Cabinet made the decision. It's not Pak Lah or Najib," he added.

And from the STAR, June 29 06; Ministers told to defend government
KUALA LUMPUR: Ministers have been directed to stand up and defend the Government’s position when it is criticised by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the Cabinet felt they had a right to defend the Government, but the ministers would not allow Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to reply to his predecessor.
“Every minister must defend his or her position, especially when Cabinet decisions are being questioned. It is not my sole responsibility. But we will not allow the Prime Minister to reply.
“Tun (Dr Mahathir) said he is not going to stop. Just as he has the right to continue to voice his opinion, we are not going to keep quiet,” Nazri told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Asked if other ministers criticised his (Nazri’s) recent outburst in the media during the Cabinet meeting, Nazri said: “No one criticised it.”
Nazri added that Abdullah defended him and said he (Nazri) had the right to be angry and to voice his views.
He said the matter was discussed at the Cabinet meeting yesterday.
“Some said I should stop criticising Tun. But if the Cabinet is openly attacked, how can I keep quiet? It is my right to defend my colleagues, the Prime Minister and the Government,” he said, adding that the current saga would not distract the Government from the 9th Malaysia Plan.
Nazri said he was aware that some people were unhappy with his remarks, adding that he could accept the advice to ‘slow down’.
“But the same advice should be given to Dr Mahathir. Don’t just ask what we can do but ask what he can do, too.
“What good is it to be an Umno member even before I was born if you are out to destroy the party? I rather have a one-day-old loyal party member,” he said.
Nazri also touched on the bridge issue and said the Cabinet collectively decided to stop its construction, not Abdullah or his Deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“The Cabinet collectively decided to stop the construction of the bridge. They (Pak Lah and Najib) cannot make a decision unless Cabinet agrees,” he said, adding that it was not stopped because of any resentment towards Tun.

And from: Ku Li: Dr M will air views regardless STAR, June 29; By IAN MCINTYRE

GUA MUSANG: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah believes Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will continue to air his views on the Government despite being criticised for it.
It is his nature. Whether in Umno or outside the party, Dr Mahathir will still give his views, even if it hurts people. Whatever people say, it makes no difference as Dr Mahathir will speak his mind; and he does not apologise,” said the former finance minister.
Tengku Razaleigh, however, stressed that he did not want to get involved.
“Firstly, I do not really know why he is unhappy with the Prime Minister. Also, I am no longer in the Government and I feel that I am in no position to advise,” said Tengku Razaleigh, who became a political foe of Dr Mahathir after he challenged the former premier for the Umno president’s post in the late 1980s.
He, however, felt that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Dr Mahathir should meet to seek a way to end the discord.
“If I am put in a position where my predecessor criticises me, I will want to meet him. I will want to seek an explanation and also explain why I am doing certain things,” Razaleigh said.
“After that, I will draw my own conclusion and look at the best approach for the country. We, at times, must be big hearted to accept criticism.”
He said it was normal for a past leader to be critical, citing the late Tunku Abdul Rahman who espoused his views in the As I See It and Looking Back columns.
Asked about the opposition capitalising on the purported rift between the former and present premiers, Tengku Razaleigh, describing PAS as being bankrupt of ideas, said it was trying to gain political mileage.
Meanwhile, the Johor Umno Youth issued a statement saying that Dr Mahathir's recent criticisms did not show his sincerity in wanting to achieve Vision 2020.
“There are better channels for Dr Mahathir to air his views than having roadshows,” said its chief Razali Ibrahim.

Malaysiakini LETTERS: 'I must obey' Pak Lah - he didn't ;M Sahaja Jun 28, 06 5:19pm

I remember Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said something interesting (especially when it is seen in the present context) when he gave a speech during the dinner held after the first Perdana Global Peace Conference that was held at PWTC over a few days in November last year.

Abdullah remarked that when his secretary told him that he had been invited to the dinner by former prime minister Mahathir Mohammed and had been asked to give a speech, Abdullah said, in his own words, 'This is an order, I must obey'.

This drew loud laughter from all those who were at the dinner, which I also attended, and we thought he was joking. It was a good one, everybody felt. Abdullah went on further to say that after all Mahathir had been his boss for 22 years, so he had to obey. What did not strike everybody at the dinner at that time was the timing of the joke.

It was at a time when some of the issues that are controversial were still not determined yet. The Abdullah administration, for example, had not yet officially concluded that they wanted a halt to the plan to build the bridge whether it was to be a full one or a half one. This, and other, issues were
still under negotiations then.

I am sure Mahathir, when he heard that remark at the dinner, must have been assured that the plan to build the bridge, especially, would go on. He must have enjoyed that dinner a lot more than I did, or for that matter, anybody else in the hall. Then not too many months later, we heard that the bridge plan was unilaterally scrapped by the Abdullah administration for reasons best known to them, and this even startled the Singaporean leaders.

This must have badly shocked Mahathir who thought the 'joke' Abdullah gave during the dinner was a good sign that everything was okay with the Abdullah administration and it represented just an extension of his own which he had passed on to Abdullah. As it later turned out, this is not the case.

Abdullah might have been in wee bit too hasty in conducting himself as prime minister and in less than three years deciding to stamp his mark. This he does at the expense of his predecessor who had taken 22 years to stamp his mark on the history of the country. Abdullah must have also realised that his time as prime minister may not be as long as Mahathir's, so he needed to
so something hasty.

Unfortunately, he is doing it at the expense of someone else. And the someone else is none other than Mahathir. Therefore what Mahathir said about people who are not showing gratitude is true. Anyone who does not show gratitude won't last in the cabinet. And the present cabinet members are willing to hit the gong for Abdullah just so that they can continue to dance to it. In the past they used to do that with Mahathir; now they are doing it with Abdullah.

It's okay for the present Umno members of the Abdullah cabinet to show their gratitude to him. But who does Abdullah show his gratitude to other than to God if not to Mahathir? I may not be a big fan of Mahathir in his later years as prime minister although I still treasure a one-on-one meeting I had with him in his office in Putrajaya once.

But I still believe he has been had by someone whom he had trusted to carry the baton. Unfortunately, even before running around the stadium, so to speak, Abdullah had decided to throw the baton.

I personally would not be happy if something I had given to someone is not looked after and is abandoned. Worse if it is a cabinet that I took 22 years to make myself that is allowed by the new owner to fall on me.


Malaysiakin LETTERS: Mahathir's red dot conspiracy ;Lobsang Rampa Jun 28, 06 5:17pm

No amount of explanation by anyone can ever alter my resentment with the former prime minister over what he did to this nation during his 22 years in power. He wasted our wealth on projects that ended up costing twice as much.
He promoted and encouraged corrupt practices by deciding what the media could report on; who could be prosecuted and who needed protection. Yet, I still turned up to listen to his lecture last Saturday in Taman Melawati.

He suggested that the 'scenic bridge' was cancelled because someone could not sell one billion cubic meters of sand to Singapore. I wondered why he should criticise a business decision that favoured politicians when his successor was only following in his footsteps.

He questioned the rationale for selling MV Augusta for a miserable one euro; I wondered why he did not provide his quantified rationale for buying MV Augusta for 70 million euros in the first place.

He demanded an explanation on why thousands of APs were issued to a select group of people; I wondered why he did not curtail the practice when he was the boss of the lady from whom he now demanded the explanation.
As he spoke, I wondered why he was not in Kamunting or why he had accused his sacked deputy prime minister of selling state secrets to foreign agents one day, and of engaging in sodomy the next day.

Then, it crystallised before my third eye the genuine fear of Mahathir - that someone could well be on the way to eventually becoming the prime minister of this country with the assistance of a foreign country that wants a PM who is friendly to them. After all, for 22 years, they were looked upon by this Mahathir as a mere red dot on the map.

Maybe that particular someone already has in mind his line-up of cabinet ministers and deputy prime minister. And maybe that is why a 51-year-old minister who once called his colleague a 'bloody racist' 28 times in Parliament in June 2005 took offence over Mahathir's insinuations last
Saturday and is now calling upon 81-year-old Dr Mahathir to 'be a jantan' and resign from Umno.
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