Friday, 31 October 2008

Our Own Men In Black- Murder Most Foul!

This piece of news is what makes people boil inside. Abdul Razak Baginda the man accused of involvement in the grisly murder of Altantuya, has been acquitted.

To a non lawyer like sakmongkol, after 151 days of taxpayers’ money subsidising the trials, the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case?

Well this tells sakmongkol a lot about those coming out SM Air Puteh in Kuantan. During sakmongkol’s time SM AIR PUTEH was for the below average. Since sakmongkol cannot contain his frustration, allow him to say- it’s a school for TONGONGS.

The prosecution team leader is from this school. So go figure.

The failure of the prosecution in establishing a prima facie case on Razak Baginda, has diluted sakmongkol’s confidence in the quality of government lawyers.

Sakmongkol will have to invoke the dialogue once again, between Chief Zed of MIB with the interviewees who failed to make it into MIB.

Chief Zed said- GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. AFTER YEARS OF GOVERNMENT TRAINING, YOU ARE OF THE QUALITY WHAT WE EXPECTED OF SUCH TRAINING. All failed and Agent K/Slick played by Will Smith made it into MIB.

It is worth remembering that MIB agents wear sunglasses and dark suits. Instead of intimidating or threatening witnesses, the MIB use devices known as "Neuralizers" to wipe witnesses' memories of what they have seen, and replace the memories with more mundane explanations, such as swamp gas or weather balloons. Neuralizers are also used on agents who leave the organization for any reason. The MIB's sunglasses protect them from the effects of the Neuralizer.

Sakmongkol is wondering, in this case, in the course of their work, members of the prosecution team, forgot to wear their blinds. As a result, the neutralizers turned on their minds and erased whatever credible arguments contained therein. Instead, in their place, all the mundane explanations such as swamp gas….etc etc took root.

Man, sakmongkol thinks he will take up law himself and make these airhead lawyers a run for their money!.

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Galileo and Leuwenhoek on Article 153.

Sakmongkol wants to share with readers a contribution made by a frequent if not a daily visitor to his blog. This person’s name is Walla- a nom de plume of course. He is an astute and very perceptive observer of a whole range of issues confronting us nowadays. He is a chemistry graduate from University of Malaya, probably with a first class honours or a strong second upper. He has worked at Accenture and now is a consultant and businessman at large. The world is his oyster.

Sakmongkol has touched a little bit on article 153 discussing not at the article proper but our attitude( Malay) to the article. As to the article itself, we shall let the legal minds work on it.

The question which interests Sakmongkol is how do we confront the article? Do Malays want to define themselves in terms of article 153 and the non Malays in turn define themselves in terms of a conscientious objector to 153? Then we are both trapped by these legal devices and paralysed by it at the same time. This prevents all of us, Malays and non Malays from looking beyond article 153. we have conditioned our mind into thinking that this world is flat and that if we venture beyond the peripheries, we will fall into a bottomless abyss.

But let us indulge in Walla’s thesis.

Maybe the big divide is caused by using different tools to look at Art.153.

One half looks at it using a historical telescope. The other half looks at it using a modern-day microscope. The telescope says there was a 'pact' made as an exchange. The microscope says there is no difference between all so why the differentiation, especially when the rationale given to apply the policy also applies to quite a big number of those who apparently don't come under its purview. The Galileo then says what was, is. The Leeuwenhoek retorts ..but what is, is, isn't it?

Yet there is another way to look at it. We ALL go through it one time or other. It's like this. After finishing our education, we apply for our first jobs. But the employer says you must have experience before we can give you the job. That is indeed an odd requirement because if you don't give me a job, how can i get the experience to apply for it or the next one? Macam tu, i will be forever jobless, betul tak?

If one may say, where the NEP has been found wanting is what happens to our jobless friend above after coming out of the interview hall. What does he do then? To get out of the rut, he applies for a lower job - one which doesn't call for his qualification. The second employer would be silly not to give someone the job who is slightly more qualified for it - because that candidate may be able to use his education to improve the method for the next candidate before he leaves. That's how HR progress is made.

And leave he will, after collecting some experience. Now that bundle of experience may not be exactly suited for the job he really has in mind but any open-minded employer will see that this candidate before him wants to succeed in life - and has made a personal sacrifice by not demanding he be given upfront things just because he thinks he's born to it as a right. That's a good attitude because to build that attitude, the candidate has to climb out of himself first. And that's altitude. In the harsh real kucing-makan-kucing world out there, just and not just is just a chimera. What matter are attitude and altitude, attitude by willfully changing one's own mindset, altitude by riding in the cockpit of a eurocopter (kekeke).

Now, those who use the microscopes will be seeing all this quite closely. Closely because they use microscopes lah. They see everything and ask how come? We also go through the no-first experience grindmills of life. If we can do it, you also can. And the fact that many of you have actually done so on your own only add more doubt that the whole shebang has not been applied correctly. Something's wrong.

The other side however worries about such thoughts. Macam ni we will be swarmed before we can be ready to co-exist, furthermore on our own turf. It's a catch-22 situation. If we don't do it, then we will forever not be able to participate in everything. But if we do it, we will end up feeling there's an invisible divide between us all, and that's the final objective which was the original intent to be achieved by the policy in the first place.

The leeuwenhoeks retort. Hey, Galileos, the earth circumnavigates around the Sun, and not the other way around. You proved that. And you also proved the Sun perambulates around the universe. So all this talk about turfs and divide is quite meaningless because out there the real world is much bigger than the frog pond you seem to be looking at only. If we both continue like this, habislah semua.

It's like the postman at the KL Post Office. He's standing there sorting the letters. He sighs and says 'mana ada harapan?' You understand that immediately. But you're in a hurry because the world demands you to be in a hurry and so he will miss the chance to hear you say, hey bro jangan putus harapan tu nanti kena laparan; you sort letters, saya juga; after ni saujana saya kerja sorting letters for a wage much less than yours; during lunch time, to save money, tidak makan tapi baca buku. Step-by-step lah. Baca dulu buku macam Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan to improve your english so that you can acquire more knowledge so that you can apply for better job, dan lain lain.


Everybody sighs and shakes punya kepala (or kelapa, if thirsty) - it's an impasse. So how to get out of the lockjam? When the lock is jammed, cut another key.

Make two parallel tracks. Look for best fit. Whoever, independent of race or background, fits most efficiently into one track, gets into it. Whoever, independent of race or background, fits most efficiently into the other track, gets into that too.

The Galileos will decry. This is elitism. It will divide.

The Leeuwenhoeks answer. But won't you rather the division be made upfront than it happening on its natural course because of human nature later where it really matters - in the places of production, investment, coexistence, nation-building, helping one another independent of artificial constructs?

After pondering this silently for a while, the Galileos say ah you make sense. We are family. It's like one bapa and his children at the dinner table. The Good One has supplied plentiful. Because this bapa has been somewhat productive, his children have different skin colours (cough). So they all partake the food. Ta'kan he gives one more than the other? All the same but some more than the others because they need the energy to toil the land more so that there be more food for the next dinner ..for everyone. But lately some of the children have seen how this bapa has started to, well, rove. He has been, how you say it, 'tarpauing(?)' some of the tastier morsels, and quietly at night when everyone is asleep, slipping out of the house to go and give to his, erh, other family. Like this, atap pun runtuh, betultak?

Anyway, one day because of this global thing lah, there is financial disaster in the country. The Leeuwenhoeks are just able to scrape through because they have saved for many years, and sacrificed a few generations for the future of later ones. The Galileos however because they had little when they started naturally enough didn't save that much, especially when the policy seemed to promise continued inflows. When the financial disaster strikes, the Galileos find that their assets vaporising by the minute. They are in a dilemma. What to do? They decide to firesell everything to the Leeuwenhoeks. We rather trust you than any others because we both played guli by the same frog pond. We know no one else. Take it, buy it from us even at impaired price.

So the Leeuwenhoeks buy the assets at impaired price. The Galileos say hey need to sign S&P agreement tak? The Leeuwenhoeks reply no need lah. After all brothers beat with one heart and if the heart is wrong how can the contract be right? So to cut the story short, after a few years of dire poverty by the Galileos, the Leeuwenhoeks one day appear. They smile and say brother we are back. Here're your assets plus hefty gains, interests, bonuses, dividends, what have you. We sell back to you. Now according to this invisible S&P agreement, you had sold to us at an impaired price. We now sell back to you at the same impaired price. In your kindness, you may want to add a small administrative fee. If not, also alright. But everything goes back to you.

The Galileos are shocked. But you suffer because of the policy and yet you can do this?

The Leeuwenhoeks reply. It's because you didn't constantly remind us that they weren't ours to have in the first place.

The most important things in life, after all, are honour and conscience, not some invisible agreement or, contract.

And the Good One looks down and Says 'Betul!'

31 October 2008 11:00

Sakmongkol hopes Walla’s exposition will stimulate further discussions of this subject.

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No Free Lunch in NEP

Sakmongkol has always held to this line of thinking. Notwithstanding article 153 of The Constitution of Malaysia, one cannot legislate the ‘want’ to work. The ‘want’ to work must come from within out of one’s consciousness. Having said that, the article 153 is a comforting thought.

But comfort alone will not get anyone far. Progress is the product of the old brick and mortar outcome- work and intelligence. Working the limbs and making use of the grey matter. Without these, all the comforting legislation can never nudge anyone to get off his butts if he does not want to.

You see, article 153 should not be taken to mean, Malays can get something as of right. Or it confers a short cut way to get riches. Nowadays as Malays in general become more conscious and more aware of the hitherto manipulations being done in the name of Bumiputeraism, the days of the layabouts and free loaders are thinning.

In any endeavour now, the Malays must realise they need to qualify themselves to secure those guarantees in article 153 and other legal provisions of such nature.

Take the case of land application, as a very basic illustration. There’s a provision in the land offices in Pahang that says, one can apply land up to 10 acres. This does not translate to mean, that when you apply, you will automatically get it. It says you can apply but subject to approval and due process. Its not something you get as of right.

Two- more often, applicants are given land on a TOL basis. In principal this is a good method to confer land on those qualified to apply. The TOL principle is a very simple illustration that in order to secure a right, you must qualify yourself for it. This is a practical interpretation of the saying, there is no free lunch or in Latin, Nullum gratuitum prandium. ( see A Tabib’s blog title).

Each year, examine applications in the land offices of Pahang, you will discover there are ten of thousands of applications to convert TOL to TITLED lands. Sakmongkol’s guiding principle when he was serving as an ADUN briefly, was this. In order to secure a right in the form of titled land, the applicant must qualify himself. Sakmongkol wasn’t looking for a sterling O or A levels passes, a university degree or even a purchased PhD degree!. The applicant must qualify himself by showing that he has worked the TOL land!.

And very often Sakmongkol will go to the ground and inspect the area concerned with camera in hand and took photos as evidence of work on the land. So when the applications were tabled in the usual Land Committee Meetings, Sakmomgkol was able, without having to talk, present the photographs to prove whether the applicant has the qualifications or not!. You see, applying for land must never be a as of right matter- you need to qualify yourself.

Providing visual proofs was also a means by Sakmongkol to expose laziness of errant settlement officers who would usually give attestations to applicants without ever visiting the site!. Sad and unprofessional, it is a common practice by settlement officers to write down, “the land in questioned is being worked” or “ tanah di usahakan dan cadang di lulus” , whereas in fact, the land is still jungle and has never been worked on.

The lesson to be generalised is this. Even if you have article 153 or any other mother of all legislation, in order to secure a right, one needs to qualify for it and work for it. Once again, there is no such thing as free lunch.

Nullum Gratuitum Prandium!

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Thursday, 30 October 2008

A KJ Overkill?


Sakmongkol is thankful he is not contesting for any posts in the Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO. The animosity pervading, the acrimonious brickbats, the usage of scandalous and distasteful material, has made this quest for Pemuda UMNO leadership a very divisive contest.

Sakmongkol feels lucky too that he has no interest in the ongoing contest except as an indirect stakeholder who wants to see good leadership in Pemuda UMNO.

Sakmongkol wants to make this reminder- hey you guys, this should be a contest among ourselves. Looking at the written material making their rounds, one would be forgiven to think that this is an agent orange devastated battleground.

At the receiving end is Khairy Jamaluddin. Sakmongkol is glad everyone loves---to bash him.

Sakmongkol himself has written a few pieces which appeared critical of KJ. In reality he has tried to give a balanced view by way of reasoned arguments. So far Sakmongkol has noted that the ever perceptive blogger Jebat Must Die has sensed the argument and has accordingly come out with an exhaustive analysis. To sakmongkol, the piece by JMD is meant to settle the issue.

Olympians battling each other have the motive of winning but never to humiliate their opponents. They want to defeat opponents but honour the defeated one by refusing to humiliate their rivals.

The battle for the Pemuda UMNO head has not even finished, we have immersed ourselves in an orgy of humiliation and debauchery, the intensity of which has never been witnessed before.

We are being fed with images of KJ storming the US embassy, image of KJ grimacing in anger, in action doing all sort of things which are all not so complimentary to suggest what? It is meant to evoke a feeling of revulsion.

But pray tell, how does one execute to express one’s anger at the subject matter to which KJ and the other youth members brought to bear? By having a teh tarik at a nearby stall, or have a tête-à-tête at a Starbucks joint somewhere?

The idea of being too severe on our own somehow is distasteful and unconscionable. Isn’t KJ one of us still?. Better direct the same anger and animosity towards non UMNO barbarians at the gate.

As to those romantics who imagine that getting our ideas across to recalcitrant recipients can be done in a gentlemanly and refined manner, sakmongkol ends this essay by quoting the Great Helmsman:-

a revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous.

Hello boys, when KJ was leading the UMNO boys castigating the US Embassy or leading UMNO people at by elections, weren’t we also willing participants when we saw no problem in endorsing his brave actions?

You want to fight, by all means please do. But don’t create a massacre. Sakmongkol will be giving his views on the pictures of KJ patronising a night club. This KJ must be really scaring the wits out of many people. Jeepers!


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Money Politics in UMNO

When sakmongkol wrote about money politics in UMNO( see The Power of The Loo), it invited a rather acrimonious comment from an anonymous fellow. Sakmongkol doesn’t understand what the writer wanted. That comment seems to suggest his objection to exposing this kind of thing.

The problem is, continued denials will make the gangrenous practice of money politics, palatable. Sakmongkol remembered how Lee Kuan Yew described political detention. It is, says LKY, like making love to the virgin, painful at first but pleasurable later on. Hmm, the thuggish LKY capable of saying that?

It is also like the Goebbelsian lie- the big lies, repeated continuously, becomes an accepted truth.

Why are we so worked up when owning up that money politics are endemic in UMNO? Yes, everyone pays and gets paid. Openly and in toilets. Sakmongkol got the idea of writing the piece on The Power of the Loo from his friend’s SmallTalk’s comments. The toilets in PWTC will be the waterLOO of many UMNO delegates, the operatives and the paymasters. Perhaps the person who posted the comment found it repulsive when Sakmomgkol says, the future leaders of UMNO and the country are determined in the loos of PWTC.

In the last two days, more prominent UMNO stalwarts have come out condemning money politics. The outspoken Rais Yatim has even sarcastically asked UMNO to operate an open tender system. The boss of the UMNO disciplinary committee- yes that administrative contraption that has power to dismiss and accommodate corruption politics appears to have capitulated. Tengku Ahmad Ritahudeen seemed to have given up all hopes for an UMNO redemption.

Almost everyone has made the Faustusian transaction selling his vote and the dignity of UMNO to the devil of money. But even the devil in Malaysia is different from the devil in Germany. In the original German legend, Faustus made a pact with the devil, in exchange for temporal knowledge. In the case of UMNO, delegates made a pact with the devil in exchange not for knowledge but money. It is diabolical the same because the transaction is done in the stinking toilets.

Elsewhere, It is also interesting to note of one noise coming from the periphery- that from Tajol Rosli . He said that UMNO elections must be held regularly and that can also reduce money politics. By having frequent elections, it is assumed that paymasters will gravely spread themselves thin dishing out money. There’s a simpler solution to encourage frequent contests and encouraged more people to contest- remove the quota system.

Sakmongkol would like to end this short essay, by reproducing some observation made by a frequent visitor to his blog- the professorish looking Walla. Oh yes---sakmongkol and mamasita have met up with this Walla with the 1st class mind in Chemistry!

The equilibrium of Umno politics is therefore tilted towards money politics. In fact, it has become entrenched. And if the economic situation becomes harsh because the country only has weak and indifferent leadership, then the craving for money politics increases. Since weak will become weaker, the situation will spiral downwards perpetually. Especially if the oil spigots run dry and the government which employs these leaders become poorer. Soon, if not even now.

And the expectation is because money politics leads to poor leadership which leads to corruption which leads to national inefficiencies and monetary losses which then fosters inbreeding by the expedient of a process called organizational suasion - "we are in this together". In this type of working environment, even one with steely character will be coerced to become just a silent witness, thereby increasing the pool of weak leadership and continuing the cycle - ad nauseum.

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An Unknown Stakeholder's perception of UMNO Youth

Here are some of sakmongkol’s views on UMNO youth. In recent days, our focus have been more on the personalities vying for the post of leadership. Absent from the heat of the moment, is a clear articulation of the role and mission of UMNO youth. So, to provide a semblance of balance, sakmongkol offers his own two cents of a highly abridged and not meant to be definitive perception of UMNO youth.

Pergerakan pemuda UMNO is the youth wing of UMNO. Its members are below 40 years of age. A person ceases to be a member of the UMNO youth once he reaches the age of 40. This age limitation does not apply to the ketua pemuda. The youth head can be more than 40 years old.

In the past , we have had ketua pemudas very much beyond 40 years old. The late Syed Jaafar Albar who took over from Dato Harun Idris was in the 60s when he became the youth head. Dato Harun was youth head past 40 years.

The basic function of UMNO youth wing is to attract the younger generation into UMNO. They would be indoctrinated and imbibed with the UMNO spirit.

  1. First, to believe that UMNO is the only credible voice giving effect to Malay interest.
  2. Second to protect Malay interests.
  3. 3rd, to expand and further Malay interests.

How?

1. By being politically conscious of UMNO’s role and function as the leading pillar of the government.

2. By cultivating themselves with the UMNO spirit. Its mission, struggles, ideals and its role as guardian for legitimate Malay interests.

3. By projecting an image of what the Malay can be. Educated, well informed, polished, refined and successful. .

4. Ridding itself from the stigma of being seen as a roving band of hysterical mob.

Yes, please don’t be cynical about that.

As an UMNO member and a Malay, how does sakmongkol perceived the UMNO youth?

  1. Its an organisation of emotionally charged and hysterical mob
  2. It’s a club for the dandut brigade, the contract junkies, the BMW brigands.
  3. Its articulation of Malay interests sound hollow. More shadow to the substance.

These make the present UMNO youth a far cry from the idealistic youth leadership of the past. The zeitgeist of the past provided the yeast for the emergence of more idealistic leaders, willing to endure personal sacrifices to emerge as leaders. Those climes are no longer present and if we were to leave to providence and happy accident to throw up natural leaders, we are in for a disappointing time.

This means the search for youth leadership as in the search for Malay leadership in general becomes a purposeful endeavour. It discounts off chance and providence and instead must create a culture that calls up good leadership.

The core responsibility of the youth leadership then is to create the culture that moulds good leadership for UMNO youth. It looks for the leader with education, wisdom and a sense of realistic balance. It demands leadership of character, that elusive quality that defines the good leader. The one with the presence of mind not to crack up under pressure.

We must have this kind of leadership. The stark truth is, the youth leadership is a responsibility and not a privilege. Sadly, position as UMNO youth leaders seemed to be treated as a privilege for personal aggrandisement. Whereas, UMNO youth functions as the voice of conscience for UMNO. It remains in the shadows buy never the shadow itself. These should be the ideal fit of UMNO youth.

.

Being among peer group, sharing perhaps the same ideas can provide an incubatory phase for Malay youths. They learn the mechanics of organisation. They represent the views of the younger generation. A stint inside the youth factory is seen as necessary to imbue future leaders with the UMNO outlook.

The youth wing is supposed to be the preparatory hatchery for future UMNO leaders. It was also regarded as transit point for hot-headed and young but impatient UMNO leaders to let off steam. Securing the position of youth leader can prevent a direct challenge to the leadership of parent UMNO. In recent years, having the top post in the youth wing can also mean cabinet positions thereby giving youth leaders substantive participatory opportunities.

But UMNO youth has become less identified as the preparatory ground to inculcate values and infusion of UMNO ideals. It has become more visible as an almost separate organisation given to bellicose and many times, destabilising political signals. At every UMNO General Assembly, youth leaders never failed to accentuate Malay extremism by calling more pronounced Malay-nisation over many things.

KJ, the current contender for youth head was often as the forefront of many of UMNO youths’ more extreme manifestations of street politics. The brown shirted groups policing by elections, storming of embassies etc.

These theatrics designed more to strike an emotional chord among delegates have the unintended effect of creating intimidation among the wider and multi-racial population. To the politically untrained, the noisy demands and overt claims can heightened anxieties. The more astute political observer will dismiss all these as playing to the gallery. It happens in all political parties in the BN and should not be a cause for unnecessary worry. But then, image create negative impressions. More so of UMNO youth leadership because UMNO represents the power in Malaysia.

The youth leadership undertakes the responsibility of balancing unbridled demands and lending voice to legitimate concerns. It must earn legitimacy among UMNO faithfuls and general population and yet must yield concrete results for the Malay struggles.

It must reprise its role as a pressure group, acting as the voice of conscience of the Malay race. But it must remain mindful of its supporting role to the larger parent body. It must have balance between the more aggressive urges and the need to act responsibly. It provides the combustion to the UMNO organisation as a whole. Where the Malay ideals and agenda are often watered down by a mellowed and presumed to be a more mature parent organisation, the youth wing provides a check on unmitigated dilution. Seen from this angle, UMNO youth is regarded as the vanguard for the preservation of the core ideals of UMNO’s mission. To protect and further the interests of Malay race.

Often its more aggressive stance places it at variance with the parent organisation. During Jaafar Albar’s time, the youth wing crossed swords with Hussein Onn. And of course UMNO youth achieved its high point during the tenure of Harun Idris- the man most identified with militant tendencies in UMNO.

And so in the current battle of supremacy in UMNO youth, UMNO supporters and the Malay people are looking out for an UMNO youth leadership with an Agenda for UMNO as well as the nation.

So what are we looking for?

A clear articulation for a plan to re-invent UMNO youth so that it plays the role of keeping the UMNO mission alive and giving expression to legitimate interests. What happens to UMNO youth then is not a matter only for the youth delegates to mind. We, the outsiders are pinning our hopes of the future UMNO leadership. We therefore as equal stakeholders in determining our future leadership.

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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

KJ Again

What can we tell about KJ? Lets give him a fair hearing. Just like the good professor, we must find all the possible reasons to not fail his students. Lets treat KJ as our student. Let us hope in turn, he has the humility to accept criticisms.

He suffers from an image problem. This is the principal problem. Augmented negatively by association with jerks like Mat Rempit Azeez and Rizal Merican, the two choir boys.

Which means his PR boys are doing a lousy job. His PR boys are the same ones inhabiting the lofty spaces on the 4th floor. They are brash, impetuous and impatient and view themselves as the chosen sages to lead this land -- often armed with nothing more than financial textbooks and back issues of The Economist.

KJ is seen as one who has gotten rich at warp speed through dubious means. We stress the term is seen here, because we are not practising a scorched earth tactic here; no one party is going beyond normalcy to dig up all the dirt.

The restraint thus far, allows KJ to defend himself by asking people to prove that he is very rich and can offer lorry loads of money. He may indeed be what he claimed but such claim is diluted yet again by another image problem. All those unbridled abuse of position and power, coupled with being too flamboyant in flaunting his wealth had made him an anathema in Pak Lah's own administration. Wasn’t he the one who said he has been able to achieve many things and got away with them because he has protection?

Plus the fact that KJ has around him all the sycophantic and myrmidons who will not risk offending the anointed one. The result of this subservient mentality, robs Khairy of voices that may offer truer and realistic picture of what’s happening on the ground. KJ must realise that apart from being clever, one needs wisdom. As a result he projects the image of a cocky upstart, brimming with overconfidence..

KJ may actually be surrounding himself with overrated Oxbridge mafia who have not proven themselves. Planning for development is not like regurgitating pet theories from textbooks or purveying ideas culled from back issues of the Economist.

We have yet to see the fruition of the many development ideas for Malaysia (purportedly thought of by the 4th floor boys) such as the so called economic corridors. Until we achieve success, the Oxbridge mafia are nothing more than paper tigers.

Which requires KJ to have the fortitude to rein in the youthful exuberance of the Oxbridge mafia. The experience recounted by one commentator on sakmongkol’s blog must be appreciated. The commentator, kijangmas, said:

I've crossed paths with several of the 4th Floor boys in my own professional endeavours. They are brash, impetuous and impatient and view themselves as the chosen sages to lead this land -- often armed with nothing more than financial textbooks and back issues of The Economist. One such kid, a hybrid, actually asked two Tan Sris and three Datuks to shut the f up during a high profile business mtg in the U.S. West Coast several yrs ago.

The most important redeeming quality which could prove likeable by the average UMNO Joes, is the perception that KJ can prevent dynasty politics from growing in UMNO. Najib is already filling in his father shoes with his cousin Hishamuddin following suit (Muhyidin is just warming the seat) and if not checked, Mukhriz will be the next PM after Hishamuddin.

Indeed, Sakmongkol can already envisage a cycle taking place, the issues of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th PM taking over from their fathers. Isn’t this a vicious cycle which serves to strengthen the inbreeding of the UMNO leadership?. Has UMNO no diversity? Perhaps, KJ wants to leverage on this angle?

.


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UMNO's Quantity Theory of Money

Bulan 11 berani berubah

Bulan 12 mula berubah

Bulan 1 tengah berubah

Bulan 2 hampir berubah

Bulan 3 sudah berubah

MM, KJ dan KT, siapa rebah?

Akhirnya UMNO Parah.

The above verses were given to Sakmongkol by a friend. Sakmongkol has added the last two lines.

Berani berubah is of course the battle cry of Mukhriz Mahathir. It suggests the audacity one needs to re-invent UMNO. Its not a question of re-branding. Re branding suggests, the inner parts remain while the exterior is changed. That will not do for UMNO.

KJ’s battle cry is Esprit de corps. It suggests, the retention of status quo. It can also suggest, everyone keeps their part of the bargain. If you have received sedekah from us, you’d better keep your promise.

The odd man out is Khir Toyo. He has no battle cry. His is just to serve UMNO so that UMNO can win back loss of confidence.

The current jostling for youth supremacy is characterised but the intense exchange of money for votes. This has become the norm in UMNO. One cannot advance without spending money. Its very hard to imagine, MM can advance without money. With KJ and KT is an open secret. They are Mr. Money Bags.

The speed by which money changes hands nowadays, would fortify the modern quantity theory of money expanded by the mathematical economist, Irving Fisher;

Fisher laid out a more modern quantity theory of money (i.e., monetarism) than had been done before. He formulated his theory in terms of the equation of exchange, which says that MV = PT, where M equals the stock of money; V equals velocity, or how quickly money circulates in an economy; P equals the price level; and T equals the total volume of transactions.

The amount of money flushed out in the UMNO market at any one time can be determined by M = PT/V.

Mathematicians playing around with this equation will quickly note that as velocity increases, the value in the numerator decreases. The analogy is politics surely cannot be missed- the speedier the money travels, the cheaper one becomes. But the UMNO people don’t care, do they?

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Off with his Deal!

The Eurocopter deal.


Richard:-

“Off with his head!”

King Richard 111

Richard shouts these words in the tower of London, where he has accused Lord Hastings of plotting to destroy him. Also, at the court convened by Oliver Cromwell, at the trials of King Charles 1, the crowd in the galleries shoured, “ off with his head”.


The government has decided to postpone buying the cougar helicopters.

It had been revealed that Brazil were purchasing 50 Cougars at RM84 million each whereas Malaysia would be buying its units for RM139 million each.

But before anyone gloats that its because of their expose that the government has backed out, examine the facts first.

  1. Its not postponed because one retired captain published his two letters which were full of inconsistencies.
  2. Its not postponed because the price at which Brazil bought differs from that of Malaysia. Brazil may have bought basic units while Malaysia is buying the high end version.
  3. Its not postponed because the deal is beset with irregularities.

Maybe Pak Lah can do a financial reverse engineering here. Cancel this deal and sign a deal in the future to buy the same products. Insist on the same quality and terms of the deal and discover whether there are indeed hidden cost. For all you know, you will be caught in mamak counting the second time syndrome. Very often when sakmongkol is dissatisfied with the mamak ‘counting’ the cost of his nasi kandar and asked on a recount. The second time, its even more expensive than the first.

The reasons for deferment are closer to reality. The government has not enough money. The Petronas revenue since 2003 of RM200 billion has dissipated. The country has limited money in the kitty. It must re-prioritise. Hence, according to the reports in the papers:-

The Eurocopter deal has been deferred until the economy improves, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi said today, confirming a Malaysian Insider report.At a press conference at the Ministry of Defence, he said that this was to reallocate funds to projects which could benefit the people directly in the current financial crisis.“At the moment we have decided not to purchase the helicopters so as to allocate funds for other projects. The savings are important due to the economy and financial crisis.“Due to the financial crisis, we need money. We cannot just be borrowing every time we need money. The best thing to do now is reallocate our budget,” Abdullah said.

If one has no money, even RM1 counts. But Sakmongkol wants to know, since the whole world knows that Malaysia had wanted to buy the Cougars and her intentions were undoubtedly relayed to the vendors, can the vendors rely on this legal concept known as Promissory Estoppel? .

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