Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Herr Maslan- What went wrong?

Anggota Umno diminta tidak mendabik dada dengan kejayaan parti mendaftarkan 3.4 juta anggota setakat ini, kata Ketua Penerangan Umno Datuk Ahmad Maslan. Beliau berkata, jumlah sebesar itu belum menjamin kemenangan Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya umum akan datang. “(Ini kerana) ahli Umno hanya satu per empat daripada 12 juta pengundi,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Seminar Agenda Melayu ke-7 anjuran Alumni Kelab-kelab Umno Luar Negara, di sini hari ini. Beliau berkata setakat ini kira-kira tiga juta anggota Umno adalah pengundi berdaftar. Justeru katanya, semua anggota Umno perlu berusaha keras meraih sokongan pemilih lain, terutama yang ‘di atas pagar’. “…..kita kena dekati dan tarik pengundi selebihnya untuk menyokong Umno dan BN,” katanya.

Before we go on. If I were KJ, Shahrizat, Rosmah and whoever was mentioned by Pak Din the DPM- not Pak Din the murtabak seller in Kg Mengkasar Pekan, I would be circumspect and careful. In another era, a previous DPM also from Johor, mentioned a number of people as warriors when UMNO went on the warpath with the Royal Houses. Note ya- not PAS or DAP which brayed for royal blood but UMNO. 

If memory doesn’t fail me, that speech was made in Mat Indera’s hometown Batu Pahat and a total of 7 people were singled out. The previous DPM and all those he mentioned in glowing terms not unlike what presently Pak Din does, vanished from the political scene. One of those mentioned then, is now facing legal upheavals- the outcome of the devious and sick minds of UMNO people. Another is of course the present PM. We can see the writings on the wall for Pak Din, KJ, Shahrizat and horrors of horrors- Rosmah Mansor.  But then the laws of karma have their own way to arrive at retribution.

Now for the task at hand- we will take on Ahmad Maslan on his two speeches. The first about nothing being done on addressing UMNO’s declining quality in its membership and more important, leadership. Second, about Malays losing everything if UMNO loses. I would salute Ahmad Maslan, if to the second speech, he owns up to the fact that it’s UMNO’s own duplicity and hypocrisy that has caused Malays losing everything! Who has been in power for the last 54 years? The responsibility rests with that in power and if Malay society hasn’t become better during its tenure, the responsibility and blame rests squarely on its shoulders.

Was it the Chinese or UMNO’s favorite whipping boy DAP, who went out to lynch the royalty and the royal institution? Wake up wak Maslan- the particular Chinese would want to fete the royalty because they know through the royalty; they can squeeze the balls out of the subservient and pliant Malays. Weren’t it UMNO members screaming for the blood of the royal houses a few years ago, in a frenzied orgy of political bloodletting, the initial incision of which was done skillfully I might add by the Doctor who can walk on water?  All UMNO leaders do business and have fun together with Chinese hongs.

It’s always like this. Bernard Lewis (What Went Wrong?) mentioned something like this. When something ails society, the first instinctive reaction is to apportion blame to someone else. He is speaking of course of the Arabs in general. But his observation seems to have a universal application. UMNO Malays suffer from the same affliction.

As we shall see later, the ills in UMNO and the Malays are attributed to other people. In Malaysia for example, blame is attached not to the Chinese in general (UMNO is careful here) but to the DAP and to a lesser extent to PAS for causing the split among Malays. What is the instinctive reaction to the initial instinctive stand? People are ignoring UMNO’s serious temporary insanity. UMNO gets a reprieve from a death sentence maybe, but gets convicted and sentenced to life sentence behind bars.

But let us deal with the moronic statement from UMNO’s Information Chief. This is the stupidest statement of the year. I thought Azmin’s break the prison walls speech in Johor was stupid, but I forget, that given the chance, UMNO people are always waiting to up the ante. It shows the Information Chief is lazy and is himself ill informed. The primary purpose of the Information Chief is to seek ways to bolster allegiance and loyalty of the people to the leader and the party. He hasn’t done these but merely diverting attention to facts that are already known. Worse, he is vilifying the unknown digits who are UMNO low rank members instead of acknowledging the shortcomings of UMNO leaders themselves.

We are caught out with our cowgate scandal; we screamed this is a conspiracy by opposition politicians! It’s never us- always others. And Shahrizat is described as a sri kandi- a Joan of arc of sorts. But didn’t she get burnt in the end?

His statement exposes the inherent weakness of UMNO- that its members are disloyal and untrustworthy. You have 3 million over members, but 1/3 of them will not vote or will reject UMNO candidates. The Information Chief hasn’t highlighted what UMNO members want to know- how to upgrade the quality of UMNO members and how to select quality candidates.

If he has really thought hard about these, he would not have allowed his mouth to go on higher gear while the brain is still engaged in low. 

But let us be merry and refresh people’s memory. Consider the GE of 2008. The total number of Malay voters was 5.7 million. UMNO candidates got 2.38 million votes. Deduct 380 thousand from that, you have roughly about 2 million votes that actually went to UMNO candidates. What does that tell you?  Many things which I now dont want to repeat. 

Now UMNO membership alone is bigger than Singapore’s population- but can UMNO produce class leadership?  You have riff raffs who you think can seriously contemplate on the qualities of leadership and the kind of leaders you need? You have Ahmad Maslan who some people are saying is now a genius. Mercy me!

Ahmad Maslan doesn’t have to reprise old wounds. He has the bigger responsibility to inquire and answer why UMNO has now become a despised brand name. The simple answer is UMNO is now associated with the negligence over Malays, UMNO stands for arrogance and UMNO stands for the mother of corruption. Its rotten to the core says Dr Mahathir and in one of the meetings with ex ministers, Dr Mahathir, the political sifu stated- UMNO is corrupt from the top the bottom. It’s not I who are saying these ok- its Dr Mahathir. and Mahathir , the Malaysia Caesar is an honorable man.

The UMNO president in the pre-assembly briefing says it succinctly. You can now spot the UMNO type a mile away- linen shirts, dark sunglasses preferably Ray Ban, tinted cars, sashaying into coffee houses eyes glancing around affixing on no particular person, but asking for attention. My favorite reaction is to put up my middle finger- in salute of 1 Malaysia of course. Because people know, the UMNO type, like Ahmad Maslan is an empty can.

Look at Ahmad Maslan himself? This  person is a braggart. In the early days when he became the information chief he would begin his speeches telling about himself. About how he, a nobody, was suddenly fingered out by DS Najib to be a special officer in charge of Felda and in the 2008 elections chosen as candidate and going on to become a deputy minister. Well, my answer is maybe you have sputtered some magical incantations extracted from the seven layers of the heavens and seven layers of the earth- to persuade Herr Najib to select you. And everyone who were listening to you, would each time be cursing what has your good fortunes got to do with the tasks in hand? Are you praying that everyone in the hall be as lucky as you are?

I haven’t had the time to fully absorb the inanity of Maslan’s speech, I am presented with his double whammy- a speech about Malays losing everything ( economics, politics, religion and everything- wives, children and all) if there is a hung parliament and if DAP comes to power. That was a speech given at a form discussing the Malay Agenda after the 13th GE.

In case Maslan forgets, Malay loses everything if he hasn’t got education, if he cannot compete, if he is not equipped to compete and most damaging of all, if Malays are cocooned paternalistically. Malays don’t lose if they cut the umbilical cords with UMNO. Do we see Muslims decimated when the Holy Prophet died? The hard and bitter truths for Ahmad Maslan and other UMNO leaders need to realize, that Malay interests can be articulated and fought on any political platform. The Malays in PAS can do it. Those in PKR can do it. I suspect the Malays in DAP can even do it better since Chinese interests are fiercely articulated there such that, if a Malay were in DAP, he will not be restrained if he were to champion real Malay interests and fears.

We would like to ask Ahmad Maslan- when Shahrizat facilitated the giving of the government grant of only RM 250 million to Dr Salleh, did she and her husband think of all those downtrodden Malays? They didn’t right? Even after that they didn’t think it was necessary to create other cattle breeders. After almost a month the issue blows up in her face, she has suddenly recovered from the mad cow disease to disavow any connections to the NFC scandal. Similarly when we paid an excess of RM 6 billion for the purchase of the APCs, was the RM 6 billion meant for the ordinary Malays? Where are the UMNO screamers and banshees when MAS was slowly dismembered to enrich a few people? 

Ahmad Maslan is grossly and perilously misreading the ground swell. Today, Malays attach blame to UMNO for allowing the pillage and plunder of the country. Malays attach blame to UMNO for the lot the Malays are now in. and if Maslan listens closer, he will hear people saying- Ahmad Maslan can shove his remarks up that part of his anatomy where the sun does not shine!.

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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Ahmad Maslan dan kedangkalan nya.


Anggota UMNO diminta tidak mendabik dada dengan kejayaan parti mendaftarkan 3.4 juta anggota setakat ini, kata Ketua Penerangan Umno Datuk Ahmad Maslan. Beliau berkata, jumlah sebesar itu belum menjamin kemenangan Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya umum akan datang. “(Ini kerana) ahli Umno hanya satu per empat daripada 12 juta pengundi,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Seminar Agenda Melayu ke-7 anjuran Alumni Kelab-kelab Umno Luar Negara, di sini hari ini. Beliau berkata setakat ini kira-kira tiga juta anggota Umno adalah pengundi berdaftar. Justeru katanya, semua anggota Umno perlu berusaha keras meraih sokongan pemilih lain, terutama yang ‘di atas pagar’. “…..kita kena dekati dan tarik pengundi selebihnya untuk menyokong Umno dan BN,” katanya.

Inilah kenyataan yang paling dangkal yang saya dengar dari Ahmad Maslan, ketua penerangan UMNO. Nampak sangat dia malas membaca- kerana kalau dia membaca dan faham apa yang dibaca, dia tidak mengeluarkan kenyataan yang bingung macam ini. Helo brader- semua orang dah tahu hal ini.

Lihat sahaja keputusan pemilu 2008. Jumlah pengundi Melayu semua nya 5.7 juta. Calun UMNO mendapat 2.38 juta undi. Katakan lah 380 juta pengundi tersebut adalah pengundi bukan Melayu. Itu bermakna, dari 5.7 juta pengundi Melayu, calun UMNO hanya mendapat 2 juta undi. Jika ahli UMNO sahaja sudah ada 3 juta lebih, maka itu bermakna, 1 juta lebih ahli UMNO tidak mengundi calun UMNO sama ada kerana mereka tidak mendaftar diri atau enggan mengundi calun UMNO.

UMNO tidak lagi boleh mendakwa mereka mewakili suara dan aspirasi bangsa Melayu. UMNO dah hilang monopoli.Bolehkah orang Melayu yang merupakan 65% penduduk Malaysia, hilang dominance mereka? Matematik mana Ahmad Maslan pelajari?

Ertinya, Ahmad Maslan tidak perlu mengulangi kelemahan UMNO. Dia lebih perlu menjawab mengapa rakyat meluat melihat UMNO. Sekurang kurang nya, presiden UMNO lebih teliti dalam observasi nya. Orang dah kenal sangat sifat sifat orang UMNO yang ek- baju linen, kereta besar, cermin mata hitam dan lain lain lagi- petanda2 luaran. Dan orang tahu , kebanyakan pemimpin UMNO seperti Ahmad Maslan adalah- tin kosong.

Ahmad Maslan ini sendiri semasa jadi ketua penerangan UMNO akan sentiasa memulakan ucapan nya dahulu dengan mencerita hal diri nya sendiri. Bagaimana dia yang tak tahu apa2 pun, tiba2 di angkat oleh Dato Najib jadi pegawai yang in charge felda, kemudian di lantik timbalan menteri dan terus ketua penerangan.

Boleh jadi kerana kamu, Ahmad Maslan sudah jampi Dato Najib dengan serapah 7 petala langit dan 7 petala bumi dan apa apa lagi. Semua orang yang mendengar ucapan Ahmad Maslan pada masa itu tertanya tanya, apa jadah nya kaitan cerita nasib baik kamu dengan tugasan yang mendepani organisasi UMNO? Syukur lah kamu bernasib baik tapi jangan melembukan ahli UMNO yang lain dengan cerita karut marut dan buah fikiran yang dangkal.

Belum sempat saya habis baca ulasan nya mengenai UMNO ada 3.4 juta ahli( yang semua mahu menunggang UMNO) saya terbaca komen nya dalam ucapan nya di sebuah forum Melayu pasca PRU13. Ini satu lagi buah fikiran yang dangkal lagi.

Macam mana Melayu hilang kuasa dan kedudukan? Melayu akan hilang kuasa kalau mereka tidak ada pelajaran, kalau mereka tidak kompetitif dan sebagai nya. Melayu tak hilang kuasa jika tidak bertali urikan UMNO. UMNO yang banyak menjahanamkan kepentingan melayu. Tajuk forum yang terlebih baik ialah Melayu UMNO pasca PRU13. Hari ini, kepentingan Melayu boleh di perjuangkan diatas wadah apa sekali pun- ianya bergantung kepada dedikasi dan kepandaian yang empunya diri.

Kita tanya Ahmad Maslan- bila Shahrizat bertindak sebabagi pemudah-cara pemberian grant kepada Dr Salleh, ada dia fikir mengenai kepentingan bangsa Melayu? Apakah Dr Salleh akan senang dapat grant tersebut ketika rekod nya mengurus Technology Park Malaysia sangat buruk kecuali merit yang dia ada ialah dia suami Shahrizat Jalil? Tidak bukan. Sebab dia mahu melembukan semua orang Melayu. Setelah sebulan isiu feedlot ini di bangkitkan baru sehari dua, Shahrizat kata, dia takde kena mengenai dengan isiu feedlot? 
Dan bila kita membayar pembelian kereta APC oleh Deftech dengan membayar RM6 billion lebih tinggi dari harga RM 1.2 billion, duit RM 6 billion itu untuk orang Melayu? Dan di mana UMNO menghilangkan diri bila MAS yang sepatutnya menjadi kebanggan negara Malaysia, sedang di canibalise supaya beberapa orang membuat wang yang banyak.

Si Ahmad Maslan ini betul2 tidak membaca apa guruh yang sedang membuak di kalangan orang Melayu. Orang Melayu melihat UMNO hari ini, organisasi yang membenarkan perlanunan dan samun dan rompakan keatas orang Melayu sendiri. Dan kalau Ahmad Maslan membaca dengan teliti lagi, dia akan dengar orang ramai berkata- Ahmad Maslan can shove his remarks up that part of his anatomy where the sun does not shine!

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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Muhyiddin's uphill battle. the UMNO vice presidents say no.

 The other day, I watched the late night news on TV3. It ran an interview it had with DPM, Muhyidin Yassin. The DPM says it’s an uphill battle for UMNO and BN. I say man- UMNO leaders are contradicting each other. Two vice presidents say UMNO is ok. The deputy president says, not so ok.  One of them must be lying. Or- if they are saying something that’s opposite to what Muhyidin says, they mean UMNO is going downhill.

I have written an earlier article giving out what I thought some warnings to UMNO and BN.  This time I didn’t write on how I think UMNO and BN can lose- I wrote instead the other way round- how Pakatan can win.

As expected, it didn’t go down well with UMNO people. That’s of no importance to me. UMNO thinks it can corner the rural votes. Maybe they can and do, but every time Anwar Ibrahim who is bombarded with sexual allegations at every waking hour wants to hold a ceramah umum in rural areas, UMNO goes on super panic mode. It uses all the repressive instruments of the state- the police, army, Rela people to prevent Anwar speaking.

Apa pasal? I say, let the damaged good do his thing. People are intelligent enough- they read newspapers and other media instruments to be able to make proper judgment. And you have all the UMNO cybertroopers around to make sure Anwar is crucified with new information about his sexual trysts and China doll and what not. And you have Quiet Despair to anchor a more cerebral and spirited rendition of Anwar’s persecution. Don’t worry; we will give him as much space as possible here.

I think Muhyidin this time around speaks with a touch of realism. Maybe he refuses to be bamboozled with over optimistic JASA reports – I saw some of them especially on Pahang and I was laughing. Were they written while drinking kopi tiam or eating keropok lekor? Or were they written while sitting on the bed at home? Those suckers at HQ won’t be able to tell the difference.

Muhyidin must be thinking about his home state too. Ong Kah Ting is not going to contest. His seat may go. Hishamudin is retreating to Kota Tinggi. That means Syed hamid Albar isn’t contesting anymore as he is no longer winnable. Sembrong is gone. Bakri seat is another area that’s losable. Subramaniam can say bye bye to Segamat. Pasir Gudang is another parliamentary seat that looks shaky. Johore will remain a bastion for UMNO still, but a few more parliamentary seats are gone. The labis seat, Pulai seat, Gelang Patah seat, are all at risks. If Shahrir does not stand in JB, that seat will migrate too. These may not all go to PKR but DAP is set to take over some of these seats. The opposition may increase their parliamentary presence from the current 1 to 7 seats.

There’s one commentator (Quiet Despair) who thinks PKR cannot win any parliamentary sets in Sarawak. The SUPP seats will all go to DAP.  As to PKR, allow me to cite one observation passed to me by the Oracle of Syed Putera. He was commenting on the Sarawak state elections then. The victory of 100% by PBB candidates (its record is thus anytime better than UMNO’s) wasn’t unexpected. The Oracle wasn’t interested to speak on what the mainstream newspapers were screaming haughtily regarding the victory. He was more concerned about the victory by PKR in the Sarawak state elections. Anwar Ibrahim with all the assassinations carried out on a daily basis, managed to assist Baru Bian get 3 seats! What do the wins represent? Unless UMNO people are sleeping or are busy shashaying in the lobby of Concorde Hotel and cockily holding fort in the coffee house, the wins tell us, the opposition can win. PKR made inroads in Dayak grounds. And Oracle must be mimicking Daim Zainudin.

Then the news about the sacking of one ADUN from SPDP came. SPDP has 4 parliamentary seats. The sacking shows there are dissension with the SPDP and may result in election losses. With the SUPP gone, PBB is banking on SPDP and PRS which has 6 seats. The two have 10 seats between them; a number of these will fall to PKR. The oracle was even saying, at this moment, Daim thinks, the Opposition has 16 seats in the bag from Sarawak.

This thing about saying that someone is over the hill and past the time, is haunting the UMNO people. Yet they forget repeatedly to shut their mouth. Before 2008 Daim Zainudin was saying that BN will lose 5 states. Everyone was saying he’s past his prime and over the hill and other unmentionables. This time he’s more or less saying the same thing.

That’s why the Oracle says, the UMNO people are sleeping when they dismissed the few seats won by Baru Bian in the Sarawak state elections. That’s just a precursor of worse things to come.
That’s how I see the GE13.

Now, let’s get back to what Rahim Tamby Chik said in an UMNO forum. Rahim Tamby Chik( RTC) has now achieved political significance that he couldn’t achieved before- being mentioned in the same bandwidth as Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Otherwise, as we know, hehe, Rahim is mentioned and associated more with less than regal extra-political pursuits. He is deep and down you know.

We now come to the most interesting bit about Rahim’s political imagination- Tengku Razaleigh being invited to become the PM.
In order for that to take place, TRH must have standing. He has standing by the following manner;
(1)        He heads a political party. That party then can become the negotiating entity sought after by the people who want to form a government. He has none at the moment. AMANAH is an NGO which he heads is not a political party and so, he has no standing to be called in should there be a hung parliament. 
(2)        He could have a standing on the other hand, if he heads a faction in UMNO with enough numbers to go along with him should he decide to part ways with mother ship UMNO. Right now, I don’t see any number of MPs being with Tengku Razaleigh. Some may agree with his stand and ideas but are always mindful to stay on the side on which the bread is buttered. None are brave enough to be with him while serving as UMNO MPs. Just look as some of the erstwhile comrades who were with Razaleigh before- Shabery Chik for example- who served as TRH’s personal assistant and speech writer sometimes is touching TRH with a 10 foot pole. The minister of Information who used to be the number 2 man in Semangat 46 and who burnt his bridges to cinders is working overtime to make sure everyone knows he has nothing to do with Tengku.

So we can rule out the formation of another political party by Tengku Razaleigh or Tengku having the standing by heading a faction within UMNO.

So why should Tengku Razaleigh be invited at all? In what capacity?
The answer is the hard realities of Malaysian politics.

Let us assume a hung parliament. It can take place when not one single party has the majority in parliament. Anyone party can have the largest number of seats which if it less than 112, can never go on to form the government. Let’s say UMNO comes out with the most seats- 70 from its current 79. It is the party with the largest number.

What happens when the results of the elections come out? The first person or persons to see the Agong will be the chief secretary and possibly the AG because of the constitutional implications. He will look around and inform the Agong, the party that has the largest number is UMNO. The Agong then summons UMNO to inquire whether it can form the government. UMNO looks around; it sees its traditional partners decimated.

It casts its eyes, and sees possibly PBB which probably retains 12 seats. But what if 16 seats are won by the opposition there? PBB has only 3 more seats friendly to offer. Taib Mahmud says, boss I can only offer 15 seats. The other 16 have gone to DAP and PKR and to those who don’t want BN anymore. I can’t gawai and ngajat anymore. It makes me dizzy.

UMNO plus the Sarawak party now has 85 seats. If we are kind enough, let’s say MCA managed to wriggle through with 3 seats- UMNO/BN has 88. MIC delivers 1 seat. Now it has 89.
Out of the 25 seats in Sabah, after excluding UMNO, BN takes another 8. In total now, UMNO and BN have 97 seats. Still not enough ma….

Mana mahu cari? The UMNO president goes on air and proclaims, we can’t form a federal government if we can’t show we are multiracial. Since my macai party MCA has not enough seats, in order to show we are inclusive, 1 Malaysia, multiracial and all that, I now call upon my old friend uncle Kit to join us.

DAP is invited to join the new coalition party. Uncle Kit says- mo-wa thank you. The story we wish we can expand is thus cut short. Uncle Kit and Uncle Karpal say- over my dead body.  Nahi!
So UMNO and BN have run out of options and so they say, we can’t form a government. We give up.

Meanwhile Anwar Ibrahim is jumping up and down at the palace gates screaming- I have the number. I have the number! Here- I have a signed declaration from the MPs they want us to form a government. But the paper with the signed names is worthless. You have to test it actually in parliament. Parliament hasn’t yet sat so there’s no way of testing. So Anwar Ibrahim couldn’t pass the palace gates.

He requests for an audience to meet the King along with all the signatories of his paper to show the King he has the number. They all come in Air Asia buses provided by Tony who’s eager to high five with the new rulers.

Anwar can only succeed if he gets an audience. This way has precedence. Zamry Kadir brings all the ADUNs who supported him before Raja Azlan and submitted- Sire, here is the proof that I have more support than Nizar. Until today, we are still debating, whether the meeting with Raja Azlan in his istana, constitutes a dewan siting. But now, BN people cannot say, it doesn’t because that’s how Zambry got to become MB. Anwar is just doing a Zambry when he asks to meet up the Agong.

Anwar Ibrahim who over the years has created animosity with the AG, the Police, and the Chief Secretary is still not given permission to pass the gates to the new Palace. He camps outside the gates- eating his marukku, idlee or apom or whatever he fancies. Maybe he sings a few Hindi songs and does a passable impression of Sivaji the Boss, hurling a knife slicing a speeding bullet in two.

That’s when Tengku Razaleigh comes into the picture. But that my friends will be in another installment.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

The 13th GE: Its an open field.

Rahim Tamby Chik( RTC) says there are attempts by the opposition  parties to invite Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to become PM. This will happen Rahim says, if there is a hung parliament. Such a situation is untenable says Rahim because it will create political instability. So UMNO must work hard to get a 2/3rd majority.

Those were the observations and musings by (RTC) on the political possibilities after the GE13. What is intriguing was his warning that a hung parliament will create instability. I hope we will not be in such a situation. Malaysians would prefer a clear cut victory one way or the other.

I am not going to respond to his nervous prognosis; being more interested on how such a scenario can possibly happen and what are the implications if it does. I don’t think we are going to have a hung parliament. It will be clear cut either way. I am also bemused at his attempt to involve Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in such a scenario. To qualify as a participant in any future negotiations should a hung parliament comes into being, TRH must be head of a political party. Right now, TRH is in UMNO and doesn’t head a party nor is he a leader of any faction in UMNO. Could Rahim’s advice be another attempt to isolate TRH from UMNO?

TRH is far too principled to agree being appointed as leader of government on a personal to holder basis. He will be a figurehead.  Oh, because Tengku has never disowned the ambitions to become PM, comes the answer from UMNO people. So my answer is- why should he not have that ambition? He was cheated to becoming one before. He has all the credentials to become one.

Here is an interesting piece of information. When certain UMNO people wanted to kick out Abdullah Badawi , they approached Tengku Razaleigh for a solution. Their agenda was only one- because of Najib’s hesitation they went to see Razaleigh asking him to stand as UMNO president and Muhyidin as Deputy President. This group was made up of powerful people, united at that time, by their intense disapproval and loathing of Dollah Badawi. My point is this- at that time, they didn’t think it was inappropriate for Tengku Razaleigh to become UMNO president and if he had won, go on to become PM. Tengku’s ambition wasn’t an issue. His age wasn’t an issue. The fundamental objective was to remove Pak Lah.

Why should the opposition parties invite Tengku Razaleigh to become PM, if they could win the elections on their own? PAS has Haji Hadi, DAP has Lim Guan Eng and PKR has Anwar Ibrahim? This assessment presupposes that between the 3, neither one accepts the leader of each party as a future PM.  It also assumes further, that Tengku Razaleigh commands a number of elected MPs to give him standing in future negotiations. Where will he get the MPs? Rahim says 20-30 people are being lined up to stand as MPs who are aligned to Tengku Razaleigh. Where are these people? In UMNO? Within the opposition camp?

So now, let us build up a case, why a hung parliament cannot happen. Just for the moment, let’s not talk about how UMNO and BN can lose. Let’s talk about HOW the opposition- DAP, PAS, PKR can WIN.  Let’s begin by asking, will the PR lose its current 82 seats? Possible, but very unlikely. The seats which they lost when some people jumped ship, will become theirs again. We won’t see the likes of Zahrain and his types in parliament again.

DAP.

DAP now has 28 seats in parliament. DAP has gained substantial ground with Chinese voters. Chinese voters identify more with DAP. By and large the Chinese do not require the intervention and involvement of the government to improve their wellbeing. They got to where they are now, largely by their own efforts and independence. They want to preserve and reinforce that independent streak. How best for them to do that? By staking their future in a party that best represents the independence streak. They don’t want a sissy party perceived as easily compromised, intimidated or even bought over to represent them. DAP is their preferred choice.

I mean that is the reason driving Hishamudin pondering a move from Sembrong to Kota Tinggi. To the Chinese in Sembrong, and this doesn’t please me in saying, Hishamudin is irrelevant to them. He knows if he stays in Sembrong, he can kiss his seat goodbye. They want to kick the ass of the man with the monkey grin.

The Chinese are less dependent on the government and by government, I mean the BN. they need champions for other requirements and that they find in DAP. So the DAP will more or less pummel MCA to the ground. They will take most of the 15 seats the MCA won in the 2008 elections. At the very best, MCA can retain 3 seats. The worst case scenario is, MCA wins nothing. The DAP will increase its seats by another 12 in Semenanjung. It gobbles up most of the seats now held by MCA.

Why will DAP win over the MCA? Because the Chinese believe MCA has sold them out. Not necessarily by kowtowing to big brother UMNO over many issues, but by retreating from representing the indomitable spirit of the Chinese. MCA has lost its mandate. That’s how DAP is winning the Chinese over- where MCA failed.

On a more simplistic reasoning, the Chinese who have traditionally supported MCA are asking- how come almost all our Chinese MCA leaders are being persecuted and prosecuted by the Courts once they leave office? How come UMNO leaders who do or are alleged to be doing the same things are not? They know Malay leaders stole and swindled more.

What about the DAP in Sarawak?  Generally speaking, the urban seats will be taken up by the DAP. That will be another 8 or 9 seats for the DAP. The seats held currently by SUPP will end up in DAP’s hands. The DAP will get around 20 seats more than they got in 2008.  This time around, DAP will be in parliament with probably 46-48 seats.

The newer and younger DAP leadership is taking on Malaysian politics with more finesse and it doesn’t now intimidate modern thinking Malays as the older generation of DAP leaders once did. And it has shed its umbilical connections with the PAP. So now, if there are attempts for example to link DAP as a stool or Trojan horse to Singapore’s PAP, such attempts will be laughed at.

PAS.

It’s difficult to dislodge PAS from where they are now. Has any elected PAS rep jumped ship? This means, PAS has been careful to select leaders on the basis of each having convictions and intense belief. It will likely do the same thing for the 13GE. 

How can PAS win? It’s difficult for its opponent to dislodge PAS in its traditional role as champions for Islam and serving as the emotional anchor for conservative Malays. It will retain the many seats it now has in Kelantan. It will gain more seats in Terengganu which is expected to go back to PAS this time around. Some of the seats in Kedah for example, currently held by MCA  and UMNO will be won by PAS. The seat now occupied by MCA’s Chor will be lost to PAS. PAS can win because it’s organized and is motivated by convictions. This is what sets it apart from UMNO.

They are not out for personal glory and gratification. They have got a number of secular liberals in the party who can attract younger Malay voters. They will attract the serious thinkers among the younger Malay crowd who are not included in the tweeting about football or about Elton John variety.

PAS currently has 23 seats in parliament. It will secure a large number in Terengganu, maybe 1 seat in Pahang, 3 in Kedah. My guess is they will increase their seats by another 7-8. PAS will enter the next parliament with around 30-31 seats.

PKR.

What about PKR? I thought PKR is the weak link in PR. Let’s not forget it won 31 seats in the 2008 elections.  Those who jumped ship are either ex UMNO members (that tells us much about the quality and resolve of UMNO members) and those who were selected on the basis of urgency and expedience. The ‘fluid’ candidates will be removed this time around, and it is likely that PKR will select candidates with firmer constitution. PKR will secure a number of seats in Sarawak taking away seats from SPDP and PRS. Baru Bian will spearhead PKR’s drive in Sarawak. I am thinking that PKR will still enter parliament with around 33-35 seats.

Let’s take the worst case scenario. DAP= 46, PAS= 30, PKR= 33. The opposition has 109 seats. They are short of 3 seats to secure the majority.

We haven’t included Sabah in our discussion. With the disenchantment towards Musa Aman, it’s unlikely that UMNO Sabah can retain all its seats it currently has. Unless of course they pay the voters in their constituencies. The non UMNO parties in Sabah are increasingly less enamored with Musa Aman and they can’t defend their positions by sticking around with Mr. Vacuum Cleaner. The opposition will probably gain around 6 seats outright.

To me Sabah is the powder keg. It’s likely to blow in the face of BN. the non-Malay indigenous people of Sabah are likely to pressure their parties to abandon BN. they have had numerous UMNO leaders leading them in the past, all they got was continued marginalization. They don’t see development in their areas. They don’t see electricity and roads and clean water after years of BN rule.  It’s therefore possible for us to see 8-10 seats migrating to PR’s camp.  We can say that around 14-16 seats from Sabah alone are PR inclined.

My own personal observations about the coming 13th GE is as follows- PR 118-125 seats. UMNO/BN= 98-104 seats.

There won’t be a hung parliament.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Rahim Tamby Chik dan Kebarangkalian politik Malaysia

ALOR GAJAH: Bekas Ketua Menteri Melaka, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik mendakwa beliau ada maklumat pihak tertentu mempelawa Ahli Parlimen Gua Musang, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah menjadi Perdana Menteri jika pembangkang menang atau wujud keadaan 50-50 dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU-13).

Demikian observasi Rahim Tamby Chik(RTC) terhadap kebarangkalian politik yang mungkin benar2 terjadi. Saya tidak mahu mengulas kecemasan dari pandangan tersebut tapi mahu menganalisa implikasi jika ia benar benar terjadi dan bagaimana ianya boleh terjadi. Jika sebuah kerajaan korap dan incompetent, memang patut pun ianya di ganti. Ini berlaku di seluruh dunia dan Malaysia tidak terkecuali daripada kesan ini.  Dan mungkin ianya terjadi di Malaysia sebab Dr Mahathir sendiri sudah menyatakan kepimpinan UMNO incompetent dan korap.

Bagaimana bentuk parlimen yang tergantung itu? parlimen tergantung atau juga di sebut sebagai parliament seimbang( balanced parliament) berlaku bila mana, tidak ada satu pun parti politik secara sendirian dapat membentuk kerajaan kerana secara sendirian, parti tersebut gagal mendapat majority yang di kehendaki.

Sebagai contoh: Pada PRU  Mei 2010 di England, satu parlimen tergantung telah di ujudkan dengan party Torries atau konservatif sebagai parti dengan jumlah kerusi yang terbesar. 2 parti pembangkang yang lain iaitu Parti Buruh dan Parti Liberal Demokrat secara berasingan mendapat kerusi parlimen kurang dari parti konservatif tapi, secara gabungan mempunyai kerusi parlimen yang lebih besar. Keputusan PRU 2010 adalah seperti berikut: Konservativ - 307, Parti Buruh( Labour) - 258, Liberal Democrats - 57.

Dalam contoh diatas, Parti Konservatif secara sendirian mempunyai jumlah kerusi terbesar. Tapi ianya tidak mempunyai majority di parlimen iaitu sebanyak 326 kerusi dan yang demikian tidak dapat membentuk kerajaan. Jumlah semua kerusi parlimen di UK ialah 650 kerusi. Majority yang di kehendaki ialah separuh dari 650 + 1 iaitu 326.

Bila keadaan ini berlaku, mana mana parti boleh bergabung untuk mengujudkan kerajaan campuran. Walaupun parti konservatif secara sendirian mempunyai kerusi terbanyak, ia tidak di beri hak pertama membentuk kerajaan. Dalam keadaan UK pada tahun 2010, parti Buruh( incumbent) telah mengambil hak pertama cuba memujuk parti Liberal Demokrat untuk membentuk kerajaan. Tapi perbincangan tersebut gagal mendapat permuafakatan dan oleh kerana itu, PM terdahulu dari parti Buruh, Gordon Brown meletakkan jawatan. Ini membuka jalan untuk parti Konservatif mengadakan perbincangan dengan Liberal Demokrat.

Prinsip yang di pakai disini ialah bukan nya parti yang incumbent atau yang memerintah dalam penggal terdahulu yang berhak mendapat peluang pertama berbincang dengan rakan prospektif untuk membentuk kerajaan, tapi parti yang secara sendirian mendapat majority yang terbanyak. Ini prinsip yang lebih praktikal dan yang akhir nya berjaya.  

Bagaimana ia dapat membentuk kerajaan? Ia dapat berbuat demikian jika ia mengujudkan kerajaan campuran dengan memujuk parti Liberal menyertai kerajaan. Pujukan tersebut di buat dalam bentuk merangka dasar legislative yang di sepakati bersama dan dengan memberi parti liberal kedudukan dalam cabinet atau kerajaan.
Adakah keadaan demikian menujudkan ketidakstabilan negara?  Jawapan nya tidak jika semua orang terutama ahli parlimen berpegang kepada prinsip undang undang dan tata cara orang berparlimen. Kerajaan campuran England hari ini tidak pula hura hara dan tidak juga tidak stabil.
Jadi, kegusaran RTC sebetulnya, bukan mencerminkan kecemasan untuk negara, bahkan ianya rasa cemas, untuk  UMNO sebenarnya. Jika UMNO mendapat kerusi terbanyak tapi bukan majority, maka ia terpaksa berurus niaga dengan parti lain.
Cuba kita bayangkan perkara begini. Dalam PRU yang akan datang UMNO secara sendirian mendapat 70 kerusi. DAP dapat 45, PAS 43, PKR 30, PBB katalah 12. Parti2 lain dapatlah sedikit lagi kerusi. Sebagai parti yang secara sendirian UMNO tidak boleh membentuk kerajaan kerana ia tidak dapat majority 112 kerusi. Tapi oleh kerana ia mempunyai kerusi terbanyak, maka UMNO mendapat hak pertama untuk berbincang dengan mana mana parti politik yang lain. Ia boleh sebagai contoh, berbincang dengan PBB untuk memasukkan 12 MP PBB kedalam kerajaan. Tapi dengan 82 kerusi belum dapat membentuk kerajaan. Terpaksalah UMNO mempelawa parti2 lain untuk mendapat 40 kerusi lain. Katalah UMNO dapat kautim parti2 kecil yang lain, dan menambah jumlah kerusi nya sebanyak 15 lagi. Jumlah UMNO+PBB + lain2 = 97. Tak cukup lagi.
Jika UMNO dan BN gagal dalam masa yang pratikal( satu minggu?) maka presiden UMNO dan pengerusi BN harus mengadap Agung dan menyatakan mereka tidak dapat membentuk kerajaan.
Katalah, UMNO mencuba last desperate act iaitu cuba kautim dengan PAS, PKR dan DAP(PR). Apa kemungkinan2 nya?
Kita boleh gerenti DAP tidak akan termasuk dalam perbincangan tersebut. Maka rakan prospektif ialah PAS atau PKR. Adakah PAS akan termakan dengan pujukan UMNO?
UMNO akan menggunakan kepentingan Islam dan orang Melayu sebagai asas permuafakatan dengan PAS. Mungkin ada setengah bahagian dalam PAS terpengaruh dengan prinsip perbincangan tersebut, tapi tidak cukup untuk mempengaruhi sikap keseluruhan untuk tidak menyertai UMNO. Selagi NIK Aziz dan penyokong Anwar ada dalam PAS, parti tersebut tidak akan masuk UMNO. Lagi pun, PAS akan menyedari bahawa mereka have been doing allright dalam segi memperjuangkan kepentingan Islam dan orang Melayu selama ini tanpa UMNO. Jadi apa perlu mereka kepada UMNO?
PKR bagaimana? Mungkin PKR akan termakan dengan pujukan UMNO jika UMNO menggunakan hujjah bahawa pimpinan PKR pun kebanyakan nya ex UMNO. Maka mereka mempunyai citarasa yang sama dan persamaan tersebut memungkinkan kesepakatan. Apatah lagi jika asas perbincangan memasukkan faedah untuk Anwar Ibrahim sebagai perencah penting. Mungkin PKR akan melupakan kesepakatan antara nya dengan PAS dan DAP untuk menjadi kerajaan.
Tapi saya rasa kemungkinan2 yang melibatkan PAS, DAP dan PKR tidak akan berlaku kerana pada asas nya, punca mereka berpakat ialah menjatuhkan UMNO dan BN. maka adalah sangat tidak lojik, jika mana mana antara 3 parti ini, melukahkan diri mahu berpakat dengan UMNO.
Ke3 parti tersebut akan melihat dengan jelas, bahawa adalah lebih pratikal dan pantas jika ke3 mereka bergabung kerana dengan gabungan mereka, DAP +PAS + PKR ada 118 kerusi. Itu sudah memberi mereka majoriti dalam parlimen. Ke3 parti ini tidak memerlukan UMNO. Bahkan jika mereka berjaya pula memujuk parti2 lain yang di satukan dengan rasa meluat kepada UMNO, mereka akan menambahkan jumlah kerusi parlimen mereka.
Juga, jika mereka berkuasa, untuk melincinkan lompatan MP UMNO dan BN kedalam kumpulan mereka amat mudah sekali. Belum habis secawan teh tarik, pasti MP UMNO dah lompat.
Jika ke3 parti ini dapat berpakat, macam mana pula timbul scenario seperti yang di cemasi oleh RTC yakni, macam mana timbulnya nama Tengku Razaliegh sebagai PM?
TRH masih UMNO dan oleh kerana itu mustahil lah jadi PM kerana dia yang masih UMNO ketika itu, berada dalam kumpulan yang tidak di ingini oleh PR.  Kedua, mengapa perlu PR menjemput TRH jadi PM walhal mereka semua mempunyai pemimpin tersendiri dan disana ada Anwar Ibrahim yang semua orang kata, akan jadi PM. DAP pun dah sebut beri Anwar peluang jadi PM.
Ia boleh terjadi, dalam keadaan PR walaupun ada majoriti kerusi dalam parlimen, setelah mencongak dan bermuhasabah diri, mendapati tidak ada seorang pun pemimpin dari kalangan mereka ada PM material. Pemimpin DAP misalnya, ramai yang berkaliber tapi saya rasa mereka realistik juga memperakui bahawa tidak mungkin orang Cina di terima sebagai PM dalam negara yang majorti nya orang Melayu. Saya bukan nya rasis disini tapi menyatakan kemungkinan pimpinan DAP bersifat realistic dan praktikal. Mereka sedar tidak ada pemimpin bukan Melayu boleh jadi PM. DAP tidak mungkin dapat memerima pemimpin PAS jadi PM. Jadi mereka tidak akan bersetuju dengan PAS jika tokoh dari PAS di cadangkan untuk PM.
PAS pula saya rasa mengakui bahawa walaupun mereka ada pemimpin, had mereka ialah setakatjadi MB atau menteri biasa. Hal ini saya cakap secara terus terang- saya rasa pimpinan PAS akan memperkui bahawa mereka tidak ada PM material untuk memimpin negara.
apa masaalah nya dengan Anwar Ibrahim? Saya rasa when it comes to the acid test, Anwar pun tidak mempunyai material untuk jadi PM. Anwar mungkin crowd puller tapi kualiti ini sahaja tidak menjamin dia jadi PM. Lagi pun, dan factor yang penting juga, saya rasa pimpinan DAP dan PAS dan rakyat terbanyak tidak mampu mempunyai seorang PM yang 24 jam menangkis pelbagai tuduhan seperti pertuduhan sekarang ini. Habis masa Malaysia melayan tuduhan2 tersebut. Kita tidak mampu ada PM seperti ini.
Jadi golongan ini akan mencari seorang tokoh yang dirasakan di terima oleh kebanyakan ahli parlimen dan rakyat sebagai berkaliber untuk memimpin negara. Katalah, tokoh itu, seperti yang di katakan oleh RTC ialah Tengku Razaleigh.
Jika Tengku Razaleigh, apa salah nya? Dia masih dari UMNO dan jika TRH ialah UMNO kenapa RTC mahu mempertikaikan nya. Juga, ia membuktikan bahawa walaupun UMNO di genangi dengan pelbagai mudaharat dan sakit, orang lain masih meyakini bahawa dalam UMNO masih ada tokoh yang terbaik dan layak jadi PM. Jika ini terjadi saya, rasa orang UMNO patut menyokong bukan merasa cemas.
Untuk hal ini berlaku, beberapa syarat mestilah ujud dahulu. Pertama jika TRH masih UMNO, dia mestilah memimpin suatu faksi dalam UMNO. Ertinya, ada 20-30 orang MP UMNO yang mengiktiraf TRH sebagai pemimpin mereka.  Dalam keadaan sekarang, amat sukar kita mencari 20-30 orang dalam UMNO yang berkiblat pada TRH. Lagi pun, UMNO presiden yang sekarang sudah tentu memadamkan kareer mana mana pemimpin UMNO yang pro TRH.
Jadi di mana TRH mempunyai 20-30 orang seperti yang di maklumatkan kepada RTC? RTC jawab, kumpulan 20-30 ini berada di luar UMNO. Di mana? Di DAP, PAS atau PKR. Jika kumpulan 20-30 ini sudah berada dalam kem yang menang, apa faedah nya dan perlu nya mereka menyokong TRH?
Kecuali lah jika TRH berpakat dengan PR meletakkan calun2 nya dalam 20-30 tempat supaya memberi TRH kekuatan moral untuk bersetuju dengan jemputan PR. Saya tidak fikir TRH akan bersetuju, jika dia hanya keseorangan dalam scenario yang di gambarkan oleh RTC.
Maka scenario yang di gambarkan oleh RTC hanya terjadi jika, TRH sebenar benar nya mempunyai kumpulan 20-30 yang bertanding dalam PRU 13. Jika mereka menang daam PRU utu, ertinya, TRH ada kekuatan 20-30 orang dan tidak terkonteng konteng di beri peluang untuk jadi PM. Tanpa ada pasukan sendiri, saya tidak fikir TRH akan terima tawaran PR untuk jadi PM walaupun menjadi PM iru di katakan, impian TRH yang tidak pernah padam. Dan apa salah nya seseorang itu tetap dengan cita cita untuk jadi PM. Apataah lagi TRH mempunyai kredibiliti dan standing serta kepabiliti untuk jadi PM.  
Tapi tidakah kepentingan terpenting ialah (1) memastikan PM orang Melayu dan (2) tokoh UMNO. Dan siapa yang lebih UMNO semangat nya dari TRH pada hari ini? Negara dan orang Melayu sudah tentu akan mengecapi hasil pengalaman, kebolehan dan standing Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Dan saya merasakan jika lah TRH di jemput untuk jadi PM, semua orang Melayu patut menyokong nya.


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Friday, 18 November 2011

The Oracle on Economics and Business


Some economics lessons from Oracle.
These are some recent opinions from the Oracle of Syed Putera. He has been away for an extended period this time darting in and out of the country, traversing different climatic zones and all that. For that, he was still nursing flu when I met him last week.
He was already prepared with a small note on the topics he wanted to speak about and through experience, for me to write on.
Before he could share with me the contents of the note, I asked him about the listing of Felda Ventures.
Why is the issue about Felda listing evolving into a very hot topic? Isn’t it illogical and highly unreasonable for any right thinking individual to oppose the listing that would result in more cash in the hands of ordinary Felda settlers? To oppose the listing would be selfish and even envious on the part of the objector over the benefits that would go to settlers.
That would be a very reasonable argument indeed. Our objection to the proposed listing is based principally on our concern that businesswise, the listing isn’t aimed at actually giving Felda settlers long term benefits. IPOs are usually used as a means, by the underwriting banks to make money as well as the people in the listing company to reap sudden windfalls.  Two groups make big money. One, the underwriting bank or banks. Two, the people with large block of shares- those who got pink forms and have money to subscribe to the IPO.
After the initial euphoria, look at the long term price of stocks belonging to GLCs. They stay just above par value for the next 10 years. So, the stakeholders, namely Felda settlers maybe who own 5,000 to 10,000 worth of stocks cannot expect to make big money. Those who make money are those owning more than 250,000 shares. How many are of this type in the Kumpulan Permodalan Felda presently? Maybe 2.
The basic philosophy of our economics is wrong. The listing of Felda Global  Ventures for instance. Felda should stay close to its core business which is plantations and its related business. That’s where its business skills are. It can’t compete here except under a protective regime yet it wants to compete in global business. It has to be managed by a team which knows how to compete in global business in a variety of ways.
We are told, the new listed company will be managed by the team that is managing the present unlisted FGV. The record there is dismal having an accumulated loss of RM 500 million. This raises a cause of concern whether the new entity will be managed by capable team.  It does place KPF berhad( the cooperative arm representing the Felda settlers) which has been making money and declaring dividends, potentially at risk.
The problem with our economics managers here is they have flouted the first fundamental law. If the thing is unbroken don’t try to fix it. Improve on it yes, but not alter its entire character. Before something happen everyone is buoyant. We can write beautiful treatises and working papers in support of our business model. The man who helped Salleh Budu prepare his paper on the NFC project in order to get money from MOF/MOA must have given a detailed model to succeed getting RM 240 million. Did it also prescribe buying a high end condo at 1 Menerung to earn revenue? If it did, then NFC is also in the property business.
Because of that we get the funds we aim for. If it fails, how do we justify that? We can’t say we worked hard as hindsight. Prostitutes work hard. GRO in Karaoke joints do so. The touts asking for donations on 1001 religious orphanages and schools work hard with patrons at eateries and petrol stations. We can’t defend by saying we haven’t disbursed the money fully. Then the borrower can say we fail because we don’t have sufficient funds. It’s even more disingenuous saying its ok, we placed the money in escrow account. Show it then. If placing public funds in escrow account, we have to have a lawyer in charge of that account. Ask him or her to speak about the escrow account. If placing public fund in escrow accounts is good policy, then perhaps we will be better off placing the entire appropriated fund from our consolidated fund aka the budget in escrow accounts. By giving all those excuses we are skirting around the issue.
We seem to miss the point. The point is managing our assets and public money responsibly and accountably. These are the issues.
Back to Felda listing. There is the real question of managerial capabilities. You are going to place felda in a wide ranging business fields. If listing is an all-consuming obsession, then it would be rationally better to list the successful KPF rather than having it team up with FGV which has a bad record. You are putting the interests of the 220,000 settlers at risk by teaming up a poorly performing business arm and have it listed. FGV is then riding off KPF. Can FGV go listing on its own? It can’t right? It has to depend on KPF. If that is the case, KPF is the entity that should go for listing, not FGV.
IPO can’t be an excuse for Felda to get funds right? It has and can borrow from our EPF funds. In any case it says it has money and large reserves. Ahmad Maslan once threatned to sue people over allegations that Felda funds are so low. So why want to do an IPO? What is the typical spread between the issuing company and the public? The public is usually given 25% of the listed shares. Out of that maybe 5% is reserved for directors, Felda employees, selected persons. Those who can and are able to subscribe more than 250,000. For these people, a moratorium is a small price for waiting.
Ananda Krishan took his public company private because he reasoned out, the public isn’t appreciative of his business. We can’t argue with the owner if he feels it that way. Delisting his company and making it private allows him to control the business and gives him more freedom.
When you go for listing there are some many rules and regulations and protocols with which you now must adhere. Every 3 months, you prepare voluminous reports to the SC. Not that SC necessarily reads them, but that is the protocol by law. You have to submit quarterly reports. That means a lot of paper work for a long time. Then you have to maintain the reporting accounting firms. You retain them to monitor the public listed company on a fee costing a few million Ringgit a year. That means, you take up more costs not associated at all coming from business operations. These are additional administrative costs. But if the FGV thinks it can absorb all these costs, who are we to argue with them? We wait for them to publish escalating administrative costs in the next few years.
****
Why the speed rail to Singapore? The news that the government is re looking into the proposal to develop a speed rail to Singapore raises astonishment all around. If we had wanted to bolster trade and other things with Singapore then why did we abandon KTM land? Did We give up valuable KTM land in Singapore so that we can claim we are able to resolve what  Dr Mahathir wasn’t able to do in 22 years and we end up paying a gargantuan amount as development charges? (1) We gave up priceless land.(2) we shall pay more than SD20 billion as development charges. A long time ago, any PM of any country would have gotten the sack for doing a treacherous act.  
Why did we give it up so that we can justify building bullet train service to Singapore under the name of trade and other things. What are we going to do? Transport Chinese gamblers so that they gamble at the casinos in Singapore overnight and patronize massage joints and be back the next morning for bak kut teh?
The man who is now the chairman of MAS who started the WAU( wide asset unbundling) strategy or whatever that means, is now back into the saddle. What will he chair over? A skeleton of a company with no assets, no new planes and F1 type of accelerating costs?
Why does he want to come back? Oh I am taught discipline at the RMC so when I am given the marching orders I go- comes the answer. Please remind me to order him to jump from the PETRONAS twin tower should I have the power next time. Can he save MAS? He was non-committal about that except says he will try.
Wan Azmi joined the newly reconstituted MAS. What for? Why did he do it in the first place? Oh because Azman Mokhtar came by the house twice and asked me to help out. Remind me next time to go to Wan Azmi’s house 3 times to ask him do a favor. His house at Taman Melawati isn’t difficult to find. Otherwise I will go to KB to find him or asked Nik Nazmi to locate him for me.
How will you do that? We will clean up MAS. Sure- Idris Jala came and butchered everything- retrench many people, change and give up routes, sell everything except the stewardesses and did extensive fuel hedging and MAS is still reeling under. Let’s see how Wan Azmi will do it.
Idris Jala did just that at the cost of RM 1.2 billion. Still after the exercise, MAS is losing. When the book closes for this final quarter, we can expect MAS to lose another 1 over billion. It’s now losing RM 5 million daily. Yes sir, 350 days x 5 million (assume 15 days non-revenue days).
The first thing Wan Azmi should study is why is MAS operating on a business model resembling more of an inverted pyramid? Every level is skimming off the MAS name. The cekai factory in Sungai Buloh which does the attendants uniforms using cheap material. The towkay has become a multi-millionaire since. He’s no Ferragamo or Channel. The shoes they wear cost a few hundred Ringgit per pair and they are not leather. The inflight catering used to cost around RM 2 million a year now costs RM 7 million a year because MAS wanted to award the business to Pak Lah’s brother. The VPs are all given 5 series and a driver to drive around but earn no money. The SVPs probably use Porsches. The MAS designed uniform is now worn by the sea food restaurant waitresses in Kuala Lumpur with notable differences in having them worn tightly to the body as opposed to loosely as in MAS and with slits right to the thighs or to the armpits. That’s done probably for added appetizing effects.  The wau/kite design can be found on almost everything and sold in the open in Petaling Street.
Fernandes sits on the board of mas, but who sit on the board of Air Asia in exchange? He knows all the trade secrets of MAS and is now planning to set up an executive flight service so that from now everybody can fly to everybody now can sleep with me. MAS is being dismembered and vandalized precisely to help AiR Asia.
I have been asking this question- if everyone says they want to help MAS why don’t they study what Emirates did and how they did it. How come Singapore Airways can stay profitable? The sick man of the airline industry once, Garuda Airways is becoming profitable.
I don’t have to be quantifiable about this- you need to apply a little bit of Austrian Economics to apply some logic and common sense. MAS airplanes are old planes and are fuel guzzlers. Singapore buys new planes, Emirates buys new planes. Garuda buys new ones. They save fuel as they are more efficient. Ours drown fuel and no amount of oil hedging can overcome fuel consumption by old planes. Here is the thing- every decision to buy new planes has to go round the table on who’s getting commissions.
MAS’s problem is in marketing. How come they can’t sell their first class and business class seats? Because its country managers sitting in London, New York and Brussels and other places are NOT selling tickets. They are comfortable there ensuring their children complete school there and enter universities. They are not interested in selling rickets for MAS. Recall each and every one of them.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

UMNO MP's ritualistic tirades againts MAS-AirAsia Sting


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — Umno lawmakers accused Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes today of cheating the public in the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia share swap.

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin called on Khazanah chief executive Azman to be investigated by graftbusters after the state investment agency exchanged 20.5 per cent of the national carrier for a 10 per cent stake in Asia’s top-performing budget airline. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must call Tan Sri Azman ... all of them ... if there is any misappropriation, stuff them into jail,” the Barisan Nasional (BN) backbenchers deputy chief told Parliament.  “How can Khazanah be fooled? Azman Mokhtar, how can he be so stupid, to be ‘tuned’ by Tony Fernandes. If I was in such a position, I would resign rather than troubling others. “Maybe they are not stupid. Maybe they get huge profits by squeezing and grabbing money from the public,” he said, referring to the AirAsia CEO’s company Tune Air which now owns a fifth of MAS.

Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz also accused AirAsia of “clearly cheating the public and now trying to cheat MAS.” “If this kind of man (Fernandes) can control us, God forgive us,” he said while debating Budget 2012.

Bung Mokhtar also said the government should “not be scared of Fernandes. Whatever he wants, we give. He wants to overcharge for excess baggage and suck the blood of poor villagers.

“Now I hear he has a plan in the future to take over all domestic flights and MAS will only have international flights. If we give this to him, the country will be in ruins. It will be the end of the world for us,” he said. Bung said if the government could not provide a satisfactory answer, it meant that “government officials colluded with AirAsia and has vested interests.”

The MAS-AirAsia swap has come under fire from both sides of the political divide as well as employees of MAS who believe the deal will affect their careers.

The finance ministry said earlier this month that the deal is being investigated by Bursa Malaysia and the Securities Commission for insider trading despite the swap being agreed on three months ago. MAS’s poor financial performance of late had resulted in the share swap with AirAsia on August 9.

This allowed AirAsia boss Fernandes to sit on the MAS board, ostensibly to help turn the ailing airline around.

MAS had announced in August a net loss of RM527 million for the second quarter of 2011 due to higher fuel costs despite recording a better yield and a nine per cent growth in passenger revenue from the same period last year. This brings total losses in the first half of the year to RM769 million even as the airline said that profit outlook for the second half of the year appears bleak.

Putrajaya insisted last month it had “no choice” but to implement the controversial share swap as “if (MAS) continues to make losses and the government has to inject funds, then there will be even more anger.”Critics have accused the budget carrier’s boss of taking advantage of the loss-making national airline to fuel his personal ambitions, the latest being the acquisition of English Premier League club, Queens Park Rangers (QPR). The national carrier will sponsor QPR’s home jersey for the next two seasons, while AirAsia’s logo will be emblazoned on the team’s away and third kits in a “multi-million pound” deal.

Finally I hear and read some UMNO MPs wailing against the sting in the air. You get bamboozled by the razzle dazzle of the super salesman known as Tony F and the Mafiosi Azman Mokhtar, you finally come to your senses that these people are doing a big scam. But I bet ya- Tony F will come visiting these two and offering packaged holidays and the issue will die out a premature death.
I wrote about this sometime ago and I have been accused of pushing the racist angle because the owner of AA is one Ceylonese. This is a free market economy- whatever he wishes to do with his AA , that’s not our damn business. But when he sticks his fingers into the ass asset belonging to the nation and whose stakeholders are the people of Malaysia, we have every right to question the motives of those who are pushing for a private business agenda.
Except one thing- the UMNO MPs are missing one person who is as involved as Tony and Azman are- the man who I described as the modern day Hamman. Now, if you all remember a little bit of religious history, especially about the story of Moses, you will remember, Hamman was the majordomo for Pharoah. In modern day terms, you could say, Hamman was the chief broker, deal maker, official merchant banker for Firaun or Pharoah. But the old day Hamman was at least ethical in serving only one paymaster. The modern day Hamman services 2 masters at one- AirAsia and Khazanah. The modern day Hamman, reappearing in the person of the CIMB boss services both Tony and Azman.  Ouch!
Just in case the two chief noise makers from the BN, Bung Mokhtar and Mohamad Aziz don’t yet know- the deal was planned as far back as 2 year ago my friends.
People want to take the easy way out when solving the MAS issue. Why can SIA still make profits? How come Emirates who started much the same way as MAS grew into the big and profitable airline it now is? How did Etihad succeed?
The simple answer is because MAS operates on a business model shaped like an inverted pyramid. At every level people skim off the milk. The people who decide that the MAS uniforms be tailored by some cekai tailoring outfit in Sungai Buloh. The supplier who supplies funkeong standard shoes and handbags. (last time when we cant afford Bata shoes, we wore FunKeong- remember?)  Even the people who interviewed prospective pilots for a RM 500 fee. The catering service that is now paid RM 7 million a year when the initial cost was RM 2 million a year. The VPs who are given BMW 5 Series with drivers and SVPs who may be driving Porsches around.
Yet despite the bloodletting by Idris’Al Dunlap’ Jala, MAS is still drowning. Its losing RM 5 million a day!
Now you bring in a master butcher to save MAS.

I remember a few years ago, when people and journalists were looking for Eric Chia- Karpal Singh boomed- fellas you are looking for him at the wrong address. He is staying at Sri Perdana.
So, Bung Mokhtar and Yb M Aziz, please look for the 3rd man, the banker at the correct address yes. And mention also his name in your tirades. Kalau you orang berani lah!.

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