Let's think before objecting


Written on 4/18/2008 03:35:00 pm by sikapitan

Sorry for not updating. I’m busy with work, though that primarily consist of attending pointless meetings and drawing up Six Sigma action plans without actually thinking of the solution and implementing it. A bit like the Government, you might say. But which Government are we talking about? Since 8.03.08, things are different.

Or so they say. But looking at UMNO, and their clever leaders, it’s hard to imagine that they’ve changed at all. The whole pig-farm issue in Selangor was the lead in several leading Malay newspapers. Obviously, in the interest of UMNO, they chose to pin the blame on the new PKR-DAP-PAS state government.

And as usual, Pakatan Rakyat had an easy time in kicking the ass of these UMNO folks. They made a decisive blow by proving that it was actually approved by the previous UMNO-led state government. There’s even a photo of an UMNO assemblymen (who was one of those loudly criticizing the project) smiling with a thumbs up at a pig farm in Netherlands. Crazy.

Don’t the Mainstream Media realize that they no longer can pull off this one-sided shit? Can’t UMNO themselves think before they speak? History have shown that UMNO is not past electing less-than-savvy (very PC, don’t you think?) representatives. Datuk Zam, our former Information Minister, immediately comes to mind for his almost comedic performance on Al-Jazeera.

It is at this juncture, when information flows uninterrupted from the grassroots to the top, that UMNO must take strategic steps to educate its members on the virtue of that very important ingredient of leadership – THINKING.

Well, at least Pak Lah has announced his plan to reform the judiciary. This is a good first step towards gaining back the public’s confidence. But it must be noted that the Pakatan Rakyat’s state governments are pushing in even more reforms, further proving that if PR comes into power, the same could be done at the Federal level. BN is playing catch-up, and the score now shows P.Rakyat leading the way in terms of reform and action plans.

I’ve just got a slight issue with Karpal that I wish to raise. If it’s true that he’s trying to bring up a judge on a charge of misconduct JUST BECAUSE of an innocuous statement made in the course of the judge’s duty, then he really is abusing the PR’s influence in Parliament for his own personal use. He should be a grown-up and stop with trying to get everything his way. It’ll just backfire in the long run.

Dr. Mahathir: I was rendered speechless


Written on 4/10/2008 10:05:00 am by sikapitan

From The Sun pg. 16
8 April 08

"As I had anticipated, my comment on (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department) Dato Zaid Ibrahim's suggestion that the Government should apologise for the action taken against Tun Salleh Abbas would draw accusations against me for my alleged misdeeds during my tenure of office.

I regard this as an attempt to shut my mouth should I find occasion to criticise the present Government. It is always about "You were worse when you headed the Government", even if it is obvious that I had not done badly.

Param Cumaraswamy's letter (The Sun, April 2, 2004) falls in that category. He wants to know why action had not been taken against me over the allegations made by Datuk Shafee Yahya (former director-general of the Anti-Corruption Agency) during the Anwar Ibrahim trial.

The statement may be a sworn testimony in court but the accuracy of it cannot be accepted unquestioned. There were omissions and inferences which mislead.

Counsel was of course interested in proving that Anwar did not inveigle Shafee into doing something wrong. But during the trial it was revealed that he did get a senior police officer to threaten and intimidate his accusers.

I admit to calling up Shafee to ask him about the raid by the ACA on the office of the director of the Economic Planning Unit. I did that because I received a complaint from the director that the ACA had been very offensive towards him during the raid. He also said that he believed the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister had set up the whole thing.

I knew that Government officers were sometimes overzealous and would overstep or abuse their authority.

I could not verify whether there was any truth in what the EPU director said. Accordingly, I called the director of the ACA to find out what actually happened.

I asked many questions, many more than what he said in Court. I also asked him if he had been directed by Datuk Seri Anwar to carry out the raid.

He denied it but he became angry when I asked whether he intended to pursue his investigation. Raising his voice, he accused me of trying to stop him from carrying out his duty. Angrily, he said that he was a senior civil service officer and that I had no right to question him about his work.

I was shocked at his loud accusation against me. No civil servant however senior had spoken to me like that. I was rendered speechless.

These exchanges were carried out in my office. No other person was present. No notes were taken, nor was there any recording at least by me. So only the two of us would know what really happened or was said.

What he said in court is his version. There is nothing to verify what he said nor is there anything to verify what I say now is wrong. It is a case of his words against mine, sworn testimony notwithstanding. He had obviously omitted his shouted accusations against me. Had what he said in court was all that happened, then it would not have taken more than three minutes. But what he said and what I said took longer than three minutes.

I wonder how counsel knew of what happened in the privacy of my office. Even the Chief Secretary, the only person who was informed by Datuk Shafee could not have told counsel. Obviously it was Shafee who volunteered information. Why did he do this?

I was not a party to the trial of Anwar. If I was to be accused, I should at least be heard. But clearly Shafee saw Anwar's trial as an opportunity to make statements detrimental to my reputation.

Shafee was an angry man and what he said in court was opportunistic and seem to reflect his desire to take revenge against me. I can only assume that this was what motivated him, because what he divulged did not help Anwar much. But it did put me in a very bad light.

As to why this case has not been followed, I can only assume that the courts are busy and there are tens of thousands of cases which have yet to be heard. Maybe the fault is with the Attorney-General or Police. I would not know.

Still I welcome any investigation by impartial people as to the truth or otherwise of what I say in this letter.

As for Param Cumarawamy and Karpal Singh, their hatred of me is well known and apparently has not abated even after I am no longer Prime Minister.

Many lawyers were angry with me because I had quoted Shakespeare during a Cabinet meeting which says "the first thing we do, we hang the lawyers". I was only joking but they heard of it and believed I meant what I said. The judges also felt unhappy with me.

Besides I had criticised the judiciary for disregarding the intention or objectives of the laws formulated by the legislative wing but instead interpret them based on the words used. Was I committing a crime for saying this? I was merely stating a fact. Can no one comment on the judiciary at all even when they disregard the interest of the country? In many developed countries it is common for the public to criticise the judiciary.

As for Param, he made libellous remarks about a fellow Malaysian when he was a member of a Untied Nations Commission. He should have been hauled before a Malaysian court but he claimed immunity due to his appointment by the UN.

My stand was that his immunity was only with regard to the specific work for the UN. If he breached Malaysian laws on matters not related to this work, then he cannot plead immunity.

His libellous words against a Malaysian individual had nothing to do with his work for the UN. He should therefore be liable, and his immunity could not be invoked. But he got the UN to back him. It was even hinted that if Malaysia prosecuted him, then our case before the International Court of Justice on the issue of the ownership of Sipadan and Ligitan would be jeopardised.

Accordingly, I agreed that he should not be prosecuted. Luckily it was only libel. Had Param Cumaraswamy murdered a person, and he claimed immunity, then there would indeed be a miscarriage of justice.

I do not think my recalcitrance over his immunity endeared me to him. Now that I am not a Prime Minister, he has expressed his delight at saying that I should not criticise anything the present Government does because I was guilty of worse.

I maintain that in the case of Tun Salleh Abbas, I did what was required of me under the Constitution and Malaysia's laws. I consider the suggestion that I should apologise as frivolous, unwarranted and stupid.

If Param or Karpal is not convinced perhaps they should use their considerable knowledge of the law to shut my mouth."

Fighting over What?


Written on 4/03/2008 06:15:00 pm by sikapitan

A lot has been going on these past few days in relation to UMNO’s leadership. A forum organized by MyKMU.net was heavily covered by the media. Tun again goaded Pak Lah and basically asked UMNO members to openly revolt against the embattled leader. Ku Li has already made it clear that he wants Pak Lah to step down.

Today Najib declared that he will support Pak Lah. Muhyidddin has been coy about his future, using very clever (cleverer than most UMNO politicians) tactics of avoiding taking a stand while at the same time making a stand.

Hishamuddin is moving up into the senior ranks, perhaps sensing that a challenge from Mukhriz might be too much for him to take. This perhaps leaves Mukhriz with a possible showdown with Khairy, his favorite victim thus far.

Again, they’re barking up the wrong tree. All this call for the change in leadership because the people are unhappy with the corrupt practices is a smokescreen to blind UMNO members from the real issue that they have to face.

The blogs, the sms, the vcds…these are merely medium to convey messages that have already been around for years. It is the ignorance to deal with the primary message that led to BN’s defeat, and from the looks of it, UMNO still haven’t learn their lessons.

UMNO, instead of merely changing leaders, must also change their mindset. Not one of the top UMNO man have been brave enough to come out and say that their “business model” is no longer applicable. Just like in any business, you must constantly re-invent yourself to remain relevant, but this fact is not even addressed by the top echelon.

They’re more concerned with who’s going to be in power next, instead of actually thinking that what they’re fighting for may no longer be relevant OR IN EXISTENCE if they continue down the same path.

It is not about the non-Malays not accepting Malays, but more like them not accepting underperforming Malays. Their huge approval of Anwar, Wan Azizah and other Malays from the Opposition must serve as a lesson to UMNO. UMNO must not be stuck in the mindset that their political will is god-given. They must revisit their standings, their attitude and their mindset to become relevant again.

This is not unique only to UMNO or Malaysia. Previous demarcation of political parties based on ideologies and territories have slowly disappeared with Republicans now having some Liberal views and Democrats having some Conservative views in the United States. The Labor party, under Tony Blair, have changed so much in terms of their values that the battle is no longer under the old ideological banner.

Labor, Conservatives…these are just names. Now, the true form of democracy is choosing your candidates based on specific policies dealing with current issues. If the issue in Malaysia is corrupt practices, then UMNO must start by arguing to the people that it is taking measures to combat it. Instead, by arguing over who is going to lead (a party that’s probably slowly disintegrating anyway), they have just shown to the people that they don’t really listen. They just let you speak, but they only hear the words that they want you to hear.

I am for removing Pak Lah, as a matter of principle. I just think too much effort is being put into the drama instead of looking down and realizing that…hey, we don’t HAVE credible, intelligent leaders! Go figure.


New Alliances- Pakatan Rakyat & Halliburton


Written on 4/02/2008 10:17:00 am by sikapitan

Pakatan Rakyat – Another Barisan?

The Opposition – PAS, DAP and PKR – has agreed to form a new coalition known as Pakatan Rakyat.

"Pakatan Rakyat pledges to uphold the rights and interests of all Malaysians, regardless of religion or race, as enshrined in the Constitution." said Anwar.

Previous attempt at a coalition (Barisan Alternatif) failed as DAP could not accept PAS’ central theme of forming an Islamic state. This time, Abdul Hadi Awang has expressed that this new Coalition is not part of PAS’ constitution – in other words, they are still pursuing the Islamic state agenda.

It raises a few interesting questions. What’s PAS intention? Is it simply concerned with being in power instead of pursuing its own constitutionally adopted agenda? What about its supporters? Are they really for an Islamic state, or are they now evolving and changing when they realize that it’s becoming almost impossible to implement their Islamic agenda? Or are they being played around by another political party?

The fear is that if this coalition is put into power, it would be nothing more than another Barisan Nasional with each component party pursuing its own agenda and there would be a silo mentality – only PAS can take care of Muslims, DAP the Chinese and PKR the “Malaysiana”.

Let’s not forget about the mentality of each of the races within those parties and their supporters! Why should DAP argue that there should be this many Chinese, or the PKR to argue there should be this many Malays in Selangor or Perak? Why should there even be such a discussion if you believe in equality?

Even the supporters of these parties are confused when on one hand they trash-talked Barisan’s race-based politics but at the same time exhibited some form of xenophobia when it actually comes to their part in choosing their leaders.

This is already evident in Perak when newly elected DAP Assemblyman A. Sivasubramaniam resigned (and later retracted the resignation…even in a card game you can’t just call off a bet…aiyoh) because only ONE INDIAN was chosen as an Exco member. In his letter, he claimed that DAP’s victory has a lot to do with Indian voters (which I am not objecting).

The point is this Mr. Siva – it doesn’t matter! According to DAP and PKR rallying call, Makkal Sakthi is applicable to everyone! That’s what your voters voted for…not because you’re Indian. It shouldn’t matter to supporters of A. Siva, but it does, as evident from some comments we read through Malaysiakini’s Vox Populi. Or are the voter themselves delusional by believing that it’s not about race?

Let’s get back to Pakatan Rakyat. PKR’s position, due to its multi-racial platform, becomes even stronger as people will start asking for “intergration” – forming one party to be led by DSAI.
We all hope that all political parties have the interest of the people at heart, and we should not give up on that hope. My only fear is that there is still a huge question mark on DSAI and though I know DSAI’s supporters are very vocal when it comes to protecting his character, as an until-now objective observer, I have listened to stories from people who has worked with him when he was in power. Power corrupts…I just hope that 6 years would have thought him some lessons.

Malaysia & Halliburton

Slipping under the news radar for most people is the recent investment by Halliburton in IDR valued at RM200 million. While our quest to develop all these corridors remains a noble one, shouldn’t we also look at the companies investing in it and what they stand for?

For a country that publicly condemns the Iraq invasion, and openly criticized the US government’s foreign policy as opportunistic capitalist “invasion”, our acceptance of a company that is a major part of these policies smacks of hypocrisy.

Halliburton is at the forefront of the war on terror – allegedly an attempt by US of A to control the growing influence of Islam while at the same time increase their presence in Arab countries (for the oil of course). Halliburton has been closely associated with the US government, especially as Dick Cheney is its chairman.

Halliburton’s subsidiary, Kellogg-Brown & Root, was an integral part in all major US operations overseas since the Vietnam war, supplying equipments and also being part of the major reconstruction company awarded with “no-bid” projects from the US government. It was also awarded contracts to build detention facilities for suspected terrorists – not the most humane of places I should say.

Halliburton is the only company in the world mentioned by Osama bin Laden when he claimed that this war on terror is actually a war to control oil resources. Halliburton’s track record is not only questioned around the world but also in its native country with allegations of fraud and accounting malpractice common. The U.S public’s growing concern prompted its CEO to move their office to Dubai, as part of an effort to concentrate on the “Eastern hemisphere”. Malaysia is now part of that plan.

I recommend you read Economic Hit Man where the author, a former “EHT”, revealed how the world is now commanded not by States but corporations like Halliburton.

Malaysia should seriously consider aligning its business policy with its moral standing. I'm sure my pal WMF would have something to say...if he reads this:)