Monday, November 19, 2012

Pinggir Za'aba Protest Against MRT Co Management On Tuesday 20 November 2012

Just over one year ago or so, the residents of Pinggir Za'aba were on the verge of picketing against the MRT's construction so close to our residences. We were curtailed by promises by the then new MRT Co CEO, Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid. Promises that proved to be empty, misleading even. And so now things have turned full circle it seems, as the neighbourhood plans its peaceful picket as per below...

Event : PZ Peaceful Protest against MRT Line which is affecting our living environment.

Date/time : 20.11.2012, Tuesday @ 9.45am

Participants : All Pinggir Za'aba residents
Residents involved in the picket are gathering PZ house No. 97, Pinggir Za'aba for the picket. They will then walk together to the current MRT construction site next to Pinggir Za'aba that has already begun to disturb the peace.

All media and of course other friendly parties are welcome!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MRT Co Not In Control Of Its Contractors? Then Who Are?

Following on from the incidences of last week, when residents of Pinggir Za'aba were given a good sampling of how noisy and distrubing life would be for many months over the next 2 years of MRT construction, we were treated to freshly recycled promises from MRT's Director of Strategic Communications and PR, Amir Mahmood Razak. These were his and hence his organisation's, re-assurances to this blogger's good neighbours:

Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:14 AM

Dear Xxxxxxx, Xxx and Xxxxx,

I believe works has stopped in the area. My commitment remains that we will re-start works after we complete the engagement we promised.

Again, my email and my number (017 6xxx 5xxx) remains accessible to all of you for contact.

Thank you again for the patience displayed.

Warm regards,

Such assurances are said to have followed earlier excuses that MRT Co had supposedly not allowed for these works near Pinggir Za'aba to begin in the first place. I mention this as a note or 'aid memoir' for the events that follow as whilst I have this coming from several sources along the neighbourhood, I find it highly unbelievable that MRT Co could be so incompetent as to have allowed a contractor to begin its works without their express knowledge!

Please also note that the 'commitment' Amir Mahmood mentions about an engagement with Pinggir Za'aba residents was promised to us on an earlier engagement on 3 September 2012. Amir Mahmood and a raft of nodding reps from MRT Co's contractors declared that they would invite us back for a follow up engagement 2 weeks from that date as they could not at the time address our concerns. Amir Mahmood and co are now some 2 months late, based on whatever Calendar, Gregorian, Lunar, Muslim, etc... known to this man.

What follows is however most unfortunate, and is probably best reflected by the following e-mail from a neighbour to Amir Mahmood Razak which he had copied all of us on the street:

On 15 November 2012 20:03, Xxxxx wrote:

Dear Amir Mahmood,

Last week I complained to you about sudden start of construction work, the excessive noise and the late hour that the construction work was being carried out by your contractors. You told me that you would take immediate action, and on November 8, 2012, 11:14:15 AM had given us, the residence of PZ the assurance via e-mail, Quote " I believe works has stopped in the area. My commitment remains that we will re-start works after we complete the engagement we promised." (Meaning a dialogue between the residents of PZ and MRTCo was to be held before any construction was to begin )

Yesterday to our utter horror we received a written notice telling us that work will resume on Friday,16 November 2012 with work hours 7.00am to 12.00 midnight (Monday to Saturday) My phone had since been ringing non stop by calls from furious residents demanding to know just what is going on. We consider this a serious breach of promise and cannot accept this latest turn of events. Can you please explain your self.

The plot then thickens when we then received the following e-mail from another neighbour that further showcases just how 'Strategic' communications regarding this MRT has become!
Sent: Thursday, 15 November 2012, 22:23

Dear All,

On Monday night (12/11), i received an sms from Bhavani from MMC-Gamuda informing me they are scheduling a follow-up engagement session with PZ residents on Friday (16/11) at TTDI Info Centre and will be sending out invitation letters to residents and email to me by 14/11 morning.

This afternoon, Bhavani send me another sms stating that the engagement has been postponed to a later date.

Xxxxx (A different one from above)
Perhaps Amir Mahmood has not been communicative due to the public holidays. The problem he has is that this hardly looks like there is barely any Communication let alone Strategically being Directed on this MRT, which is his job. Well, perhaps if he was not so busy trying to cover up for his boss Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid's broken promises to neighbourhoods affected by the MRT, like Pinggir Za'aba, he would have more credibility and even time to perform what should be his real job!

One of course hopes MRT Co is not now descending to the depths of communications incompetence of its governing body SPAD, led by the somewhat more epicly incompetent TS Syed Hamid Albar, which started communicating to residents affected by the MRT with notices stuck onto trees... in a country where it rains daily... 

In the meantime, the residents of Pinggir Za'aba remains steadfast in waiting for the promises MRT Co has been making to be fulfilled - with some suspense as well now thrown in due to recent events. We are ever ready to share with anyone, especially past, present and future, even potential, victims of the MRT our experiences thus far.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

MRT Co Continues Dire Record Of Empty Promises Towards Klang Valley Voters

On 3 September 2012, under challenge from members of a community needing special attention according to the DEIA, the residents of Pinggir Za'aba, MRT Co's Director of Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Amir Mahmood, assured residents that the working hours for MRT construction will be from 7am to 7pm. This was ment to minimise disturbance to the community.

Setting aside the community's view that this was insufficient as a mitigating action against noise and vibration disturbances and the broken promise to come back to the community with new proposals 2 weeks from then, MRT Co it seems cannot even deliver their own original pledge of having no disturbances after 7pm. The video link below was captured at approximately 7.45pm on Monday, 5 November 2012:

The noise we experienced would be louder than what can be heard via this recording of course. In addition, this was from behind the sound barrier and we expect further piling works to be even more noisy! This went on till 9.30 pm! Good luck putting your babies to bed during that time! To think that some of us will have these machines IN FRONT OF OUR HOMES in time!

One of the residents of Pinggir Za'aba most affected by this noise reported the case to DBKL. Here is her report to us her neighbours:
reported the case to DBKL re the noise and vibration disturbance and the contractor's long operating hours till 930pm yesterday and over the weekends (Sat & Sun). The officer in-charge recorded my complain and gave me a Complain Ref No. to report the complaint again if the contractor still works after 6pm today, then DBKL will send their officers to visit the site immediately and issue stop work order on the spot. Somehow, few hours later (ard 1130am), the officer in-charge called me again and said that when he brought my complain to the relevant department in MRTCo, they were advised by MRTCo that all MRT related complains have to be reported and handled by MRTCo directly, DBKL is not in the position to take up such complain (!!!). So, the DBKL officer advised me to report our complain to MRTCO instead. Meantime, he further advised that we can write to DBKL for necessary action if MRTCo fail to attend to our complain and address the issue accordingly
Wah, so powerful MRT Co man! Can say to DBKL, the responsible municipal body, that they cannot take in complaints! Actually, such arrogance from MRT Co is quite familiar to us residents of Pinggir Za'aba. It setms from the MRT Co CEO's belief that he is responsible to the PM, DS Najib Tun Razak alone! In doing so, he forgets his place and he allows his people to treat DS Najib's bosses, THE VOTERS, to be treated poorly and in arrogance! Camana nak menang PRU13 ni!

By the way, yesterday night, the noise was still going on till 8.30pm. MRT Co's arrogance and empty promises continue...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Nurul Izzah Sepatutnya Sibuk Dengan Obama-Romney, Bukan Isu Murtad!

Malam tadi jurublog ini betul-betul seronok berhujah di Astro Awani - ye lah, cerita pun tentang Pilihanraya Presiden USA, pilihan antara Obama dan Romney. Isu tersebut memberi peluang seseorang yang beraspirasi untuk menunjukkan keperihatinan tentang dunia luar sekaligus kelincahan berhujah tanpa batasan oleh kerana risiko topik hampir pasti tidak akan menjejaskan senario lokal sama-sekali, baik dari segi politik, ekonomi, sosial... agama.

Jurublog Tengah Ghairah Berhujah Di Astro Awani
Ini terlihat berbeza sungguh dengan pendekatan YB Nurul Izzah Anwar, mungkin akibat beliau merasakan dirinya tetiba lebih ahli tentang ilmu agama dari hal politik USA, kini dirinya sudah terjerumus dalam isu getir buatan sendiri. Tetapi kita mungkin sukar juga untuk menyalahkan beliau, kerana Papanya pun lebih kurang begitu! Kan DS Anwar Ibrahim di antara orang yang paling corot pengetahuan agamanya namun cukup riak sehingga naik ke mimbar untuk berkhutbah?

Dalam hal DS Anwar, mungkin beliau tidak ada pilihan. DS Anwar memang corot pengetahuan dalam pelbagai hal, sehinggakan bidangnya sendiri, Pengajian Melayu, sekalipun beliau takat boleh lepas dengan General Degree sahaja, maka beliau mungkin merasakan lebih mudah bantai cakap agama dari benda lain! Kalau YB Mat Sabu boleh buat dengan habis belajar takat SPM je, apa salahnya DS Anwar buat mungkin fikirnya?!

Tapi masalahnya, YB Nurul Izzah tak perlu buat begitu! Beliau lebih cerdik dari Ayahnya dengan kelulusan akademik yang lebih menyegankan - ye lah, benih maknya DS Wan Azizah kan seorang doktor pakar mata! Jadi apalah YB Nurul Izzah buat sampai naik pening dah sekarang, tengok gambar bawah peningnya beliau sekarang? Ni sekarang teman-teman lama Papanya Hj Ismail Mina dan YB Datuk Dr Hassan Ali pun dah steady nak bantai YB Nurul Izzah di Kelab Sultan Sulaiman pada Khamis 8 November, 8 malam!

Nurul Izzah Anwar kan dan PENING sebab tak biarkan isu Agama dijawab Tok Guru je! (NST pic)
Padahal banyak bebenor hal yang boleh diceritakan tentang Obama-Romney nih! Contohnya, bagaimana US$2.6 BILLION(!) telah dibelanjakan oleh kempen Presiden Amerika Syarikat tahun ni! Ini belum lagi termasuk wang kempen untuk Senate serta Dewan Perwakilan Kongres deme! Ah, tapi mungkinkah YB Nurul Izzah tak mahu bercerita sangat tentang Obama-Romney sebab ada sebenarnya risiko buat partinya dan Papanya? Yelah, parti pun duitnya dari Soros & Co  kan? Mungkin orang yang sama juga yang membiaya kempen Obama-Romney?!

Takpelah, yang penting, diharap semua ahli politik muda yang tak berapa berilmu agama, walau yang ingat dia ahli sebab ada kertas dari pusat kajian Islam di Oxford, sedar sikit sekarang yang tak wajar berceloteh perkara agama bila diri sendiri pun belum cukup ilmu di dada. Ini bukan zaman Papa lagi, nak muhong tentang apa-apa pun susah, apatah lagi hal agama!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Is Hj Hadi Honourably Bowing Out By Challenging DS Najib In Pekan?

I thought that it being election day in the US and with the PM being overseas, that there would hardly be any local political news left to capture my imagination. Then I saw the news in the NST reporting an earlier tabloid report of Hj Hadi Awang, the PAS President, considering contesting against DS Najib for his parliamentary seat in Pekan!

Those in the know know that this is not really a silly notion. DS Najib's seat, despite being held by his family, with his father before him, since independence, excepting the period when he was Menteri Besar of Pahang, is not actually safe! DS Najib almost lost the seat in the 1999 General Election and it has ever been the target of the opposition since.

However, since 1999, DS Najib and his organisation has taken some significant steps to make the seat more secure. Certainly since 2004's PRU11 landslide, when the seat was held by a Deputy Prime Minister for the first time in some 3.5 decades, the likelihood of DS Najib being beaten off the seat has dimished significantly. So, any opposition leader challenging DS Najib in Pekan, even DS Anwar Ibrahim, would be committing harakiri!

So, is that really what Hj Hadi Awang is after? A noble political death at the hands of DS Najib at the pollbooths of Pekan? It should be noted though that there may be more reasons that one for Hj Hadi to wish for an end to his political life. Among them?:
  1. Hj Hadi's leadership of his party has been increasingly undermined over the period of his tenure. In the first place, Tok Guru Nik Aziz's role as an unelected spiritual chief seems ever at odds with him on some quite temporal matters. I would not see him as being too comfortable staying in the role if he keeps being treated like so.

  2. The loss of YB Nasharuddin Mat Isa to YB Mat Sabu must still rankle. Whilst Hj Hadi is ever pragmatic as a politician that has survived the ups and downs of politics for so long, I am sure he would prefer YB Nasha as his presumed successor to be groomed - the younger, more educated and urbane man being more suited to attract the more educated younger generation to the party.

  3. Hj Hadi is also likely feeling the physical limits of his age now. Word on the ground in Marang over the last Hari Raya Haji was that he could not do the full circuit of mosques in his constituency to participate in the physical slaughtering of the animals for 'Qurban'. He had to delegate half as he was not fit enough. This may also be the reason why he does not 'turun padang' as actively as before.

  4. Hj Hadi may end up losing in Marang this time around as UMNO and BN in the area has revived, with Dato' Rahman Bakar, the 'giant-killer' who had beaten Hj Hadi before likely to be involved in PRU13, either as a candidate or at least as a key contributor to any BN campaign.
So, a political HARAKIRI! may be just the tonic Hj Hadi needs to ease him towards a final retirement from politics. In fact, he may well have seen the light from observing how much YB Nasha and even YB Hasan Ali has been able to continue to contribute despite being expelled from the mainstream of PAS party politics. Perhaps he feels it is time for him to invest the last years of his life in something more constructive than being PAS President?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

AES, MRT Co And What's Wrong With Our Value System(?)

In a few weeks time, a few of us residents in Pinggir Za'aba will commence further legal proceedings against MRT Co. I cannot discuss the specifics of the case, but suffice it to say, we have a case, and have found our trust as among members of the public most affected by the construction of the MRT (according to the DEIA) abused by MRT Co as the so called manager of the project, with its CEO, Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid, personally culpable.

Putting aside the false promises of the past, Pinggir Za'aba residents now face fresh insults. In an engagement by MRT Co with residents on 3 September 2012, MRT Co and its contractors, led by its 'Director of Staregic Communications and Public Relations', Amir Mahmood Abdul Razak, had promised to address some of the issues raised by the residents regarding the safety issues and mitigation measures to be put in place to safeguard the well-being of residents during the project. We were promised another engagement in 2 weeks time.

This engagement never materialised and now, more than 2 months hence, residents of Pinggir Za'aba are still awaiting the follow up engagement. This actually makes MRT Co's Director of Strategic Communications a liar (!) ... wonder who he's emulating? In the meantime, these 'strategic communicators' at MRT Co have chosen to forget Pinggir Za'aba, by instead:

  1. Ceasing to engage the community with regards to works due to commence in the area. This despite surveyors from at least one contractor company parking in Pinggir Za'aba to access planned construction areas and portions of the sound barrier separating the road from the LDP Highway overpass already marked for some mysterious and surely dastardly reasons.

  2. Stepping up a major PR campaign with Millions of RM spent on Media Buy, contests, engagement of the general public mostly not affected by the MRT as well as running an mobile propaganda vehicle! I kid you not, rather than resolve the DEIA requirements to ensure the well-being of affected neighbourhoods, they'd rather convince everyone all is well instead!

  3. Advising anyone in power, a complaints committee involving the new Chief Secretary of the Government (KSN) said to be the most recent, or who would ask that all is well at Pinggir Za'aba! Why? Because 'we have been quiet!

Perhaps the reason why MRT Co is behaving this was is not really their fault? Maybe it's because they do not understand what are the primary grouses presented by the residents of Pinggir Za'aba on 3 September 2012? Did it not compute that we were really worried about the health effect from dust, sound and vibration from the project to be built in front of our homes? Maybe they don't understand the traffic safety issues and inconvenience we will face? Perhaps they are surprised when asked for further guarantees that we will not be invaded by foreign workers cum part-time robbers on our streets!

Then I see the behaviour of some of our so called 'political leaders' regarding the AES implementation, meant to save lives on the road, regardless of their political affiliation. I find it amazing that a PAS VP and an UMNO Youth Leader could come to a closer agreement over the AES than over whether they are both going to the same heaven! It seems to them and whomsoever their supporters are, a system like AES that saves lives is not worthwhile as it is an 'inconvenience' to Malaysians. No wonder then MRT Co's rampant disregard of our neighbourhood's safety, it's inconvenient!

So, OK, let us accept then that all these people, MRT Co, the anti-AES people, are all just sharing the same values that looks at people's lives and general well-being is cheap... cheap... not worth the public inconvenience of any effort to be improved! So let us at least draw a line that differentiates them, at least so far... at least the anti-AES mob so far are not LIARS! Unlike MRT Co who are LIARS! MRT Co' Director of Strategic Communications himself cannot keep to a promise to engage us in Pinggir Za'aba. His boss is a liar too, but that is for the courts...

In any case, I think the Malaysian value system needs a small reboot in this case - hopefully for a minority rather than the majority of the population. The AES matters. Keeping affected neighbourhoods safe during MRT construction matters. Else all the material benefits we hope to enjoy by 2020 would be worth not as much to a society bereft of proper, civlised values...

Why Is Pakatan Rakyat Campaigning So Early?

I was undertaking one of my infrequent forays into Twitter on Saturday when I found PKR (not Pakatan but PKR) leaders busily inviting people to view their new PRU13 posters. There is just one problem, PRU13 hasn't been declared yet! Which begs the question, why are PKR leaders 'campaigning' for PRU13 so soon? The following are in my view the more 'interesting' potential reasons...

  1. It's a budgetary issue! PKR budgetted for PRU13 to be held this year and had received financing from their overseas funders for campaign paraphernalia to be spent before year end. If PKR does not spend the money, they may have to return the money to Soros and co! So, might as well spend first meh before year end!

  2. Some of the PKR folks with kids in Government schools are freaking out seeing scenes like this in schools all over the country.

    PKR feels pressed to react... doesn't matter how, just react!

  3. PKR has come to a realisation that it cannot be too linked to its de-facto leader, DS Anwar Ibrahim, any more as he is starting to become a liability now what his many 'peculiarities'. So? Time to 'brand-build'! No wonder you have PKR posters with no DSAI around! (One distinct possibility related to this is that they have conceded losing PRU13 and are planning for PRU14 already!)

  4. PKR has come to realise it cannot compete with PAS and DAP for many seats in the elections because, it doesn't have enough members to generate enough viable, let alone winnable, candidates! So, its actually a desparate recruiting exercise they are in - not campaigning for PRU13 la!
OK, I am having a little fun here, but seriously, numbers 3. and 4. above may not be far from the truth!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

How Experienced Competent Winnable Candidates (Minister!) Can Lose BN PRU13

Social media is now rampant again with shocking words of a Minister pooh-poohing the implication of actions involving their family. Whilst the matter was not nearly as grave as the Mega Wedding some weeks ago, it is the response of the respective ministers to public outcry over both that is hurting BN.

In the case of DS Nazri TS Aziz, dissociating himself from his son's apparent closeness to a tycoon may be professional and very much reflecting the truth, however, it does not address the perception. It would be wiser perhaps for him to take a more conciliatory tone, or best still, give his son a good talking to.

Following the poor reaction by DS Ali Rustam last week that even excused himself of blame for his subordinates alleged wrong-doing, this flippant attitude towards public reaction will hurt BN in marginal seats across the country come PRU13. Ironically, both these ministers remain winnable candidates, with DS Ali's performance likely to carry the entire state of Melaka for BN, but 1 seat or 1 state alone cannot decide PRU13's outcome.

Across the country, the accumulation of such responses and behaviors are being conveniently collated by various parties as evidence of the arrogance and unelectability of BN as a party as a whole. And it isn't the first time such claims of arrogance and impropriety of behavior has been levelled against BN leaders. It is precisely such behaviors that DS Najib needs to address before declaring PRU13.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beware The Rise Of The Barrarian!

Rather than helping out a Korean with his ridiculous dance moves that actually doesn't need our help anyway to get any further, thought to help this local effort along the path of viral distribution. Besides, its fun! BARRA!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

55 Years Merdeka; MRT Co: Janji TIDAK Ditepati

I am at the National Press Club Awards Dinner and am criticised (yet again) on the poor updating of my blog. My retort that there was little I could write with sincerity in my blog before I let it rip on how this government's MRT project is destroying our home and endangering my children with no care besides lip service, let alone recompense!

I'm also upset about MAYC, but that story's not accessible nor dramatic enough for the non-Belia activist to appreciate. Ya la, the last AGM the successors of TS Syed Hamid blocked us from joining the AGM using bouncers and RELA, and all so they can try and legalize their whalloping RM 30-40 Million of MAYC's assets, but what is that against the government's RM50 BILLION project, said to be the PM's pet project risking the life of my children by bulldozing their plans through!

Then again, it is about my kids kan, so, let it rip la! After months of promising to buy us out of our house and home, not ideal, but at least fair in that we could move to a safer house, some distance from any MRT development, this Dato Azhar Hamid, CEO of MRT Co, who claimed before that the decision was his to deliver, turned around and said we would not be bought out! They keep saying all our concerns will be mitigated, but cushion this with a public LIE saying our houses are 14-18 meters from the MRT.

THE TRUTH IS, THE EDGE OF THE MRT PARAPET IS 8-9 METRES FROM OUR FRONT GATE! For some of our neighbours, its WORSE. Why did they say the government rejected the buyout plan for our houses? Because they didn't want to 'set a precedent', as according to the law, they only need to acquire when the distance is 6 metres or less from a development!

Now, how does it make sense to respect a law that endangering lives? Is it so wrong to set a precedent leading to a change in law when the law is unjust? Well, there are many ways to change a law besides setting a precedent. We can ask the lawmakers to change the law! And if the lawmakers refuse to? We change the lawmakers! For why would I support a government screwing around with the future and welfare of my kids?

There is much that is rotten about the MRT as a development. The promises broken to affected Pinggir Za'aba and Jalan Sultan stakeholders are not even the worst of their crimes. There are questions to be asked on why land and properties not approved or budgeted for acquisition by the government are suddenly being acquired. Or why a land owned by a prominent UMNO Tun was bought out by MRT Co when an Imam's extended family of almost 20 souls is left wanting of a reasonable 'compensation'... all above the law of course!

I intend to expose the rot that has engulfed the MRT project for entirely selfish reasons. They will say I am disgruntled and full of self interest, well, I am. This is personal. They are robbing me of our home lives and putting my kids at risk. I'll demonstrate how over time and also intend to expose all the rot that is hiding behind the PR and promises of what the MRT would bring. Better the demise of the MRT than their being allowed to rob my kids of health and laughter.
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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

WHO In The Selangor Government PROFITS From The Talam Scandal?

When doing business, everyone, even governments, monks and mosques, would want to make a profit. If you ask a man on the street then why the Talam deal looks very funny, it is because it is not clear until now why the Selangor government would want to do what they did. This is because all the proof shows that the Selangor government came out of the Talam deal at a loss, with land which they do not need and at values far less than what the state ‘paid’ for. Even so called Oxford trained YB Tony Pua struggled to explain how the Selangor government could make a profit from Talam. So why did it happen? Did anyone profit?

Of course Talam, or its new name Trinity Corporation, and its shareholders including TS Chan Ah Chye, his wife and Kumpulan Europlus (who in 2009 controlled Talam AND Europlus), profited. However, for a deal like this to happen, it is the Selangor government that should have seen a bigger profit. This was because Talam, before the deal, was a company in trouble. It had so much unpaid debt that it was delisted from Bursa Malaysia as a PN17 company or labeled in layman’s terms, ‘company with cashflow problems’! Surely the Selangor government could have made a better deal with Talam so desperate?

So the question must be asked, did 'someone' in the Selangor government profit from the Talam deal? Maybe someone very influential? But who? And how was the profit made? Someone did profit from the Talam deal who is very influential with the Selangor government, and how he and his friends profited will be shown here. To understand how the profit was made, your must look back in history and begin with what happened in the year 2006. What happened then made what happened in 2009 possible. It made it possible for someone influential with the Selangor government profit from the Talam deal.

In 2006, Talam was already a company in trouble and about to be delisted. It used to have many, many 'friends' in the BN establishment, you could even argue these BN friends were the ones that got Talam into trouble in the first place! However, there came a time even these friends could not save it. Somewhere along the way of it trying to save itself, Talam converted some of its loans to preference shares, loan stock and Islamic financial instruments to the value of RM423.4 Million to Abrar Discount House. This was all done legally and would have remained innocent if Talam was not delisted from Bursa Malaysia then soon after!

See here and here.
However, with Talam delisted or made a PN17 company, all the RM423.4 Million worth of equity and financial instruments of Talam that was owned by Abrar Discount House effectively has no value! The value of all these Talam ‘financial paper’ was effectively zero because no one could buy or sell them on the open market with Talam being delisted. In addition to that, no one would want to buy them because Talam was immediately seen to be such a lousy company that was delisted!

So, Abrar Discount House was then holding all of this Talam paper with effectively zero value that they ‘bought’ for RM423.4 Million.

In 29 June 2009, something interesting happened. Kumpulan Europlus, a major shareholder of Talam also controlled by TS Chan Ah Chye, announced that it was buying all of the Talam paper from Abrar Discount House for RM125 Million. When the news came out, it was reported as being a good deal for Kumpulan Europlus, as it was buying RM423.4 Million worth of equity etc. from Abrar Discount House for RM125 Million, a 71% discount! However, there is just one problem. With Talam still delisted, still PN17, any of its financial paper would be worth zero! Including the ones Abrar Discounts House held!

So why would Kumpulan Europlus, and TS Chan Ah Chye, which already had control of Talam with its existing shares, pay Abrar Discount House RM125 Million for worthless paper that it does not need? Most Malaysians know that Abrar = DS Anwar Ibrahim. In fact, more accurately, Abrar = Dr Wan Hasni Wan Sulaiman = DS Anwar Ibrahim’s crony. At the same time, we know that DS Anwar Ibrahim is very influential in the dealings of Selangor government, being its ‘Economic Advisor’!

A few months after this RM125 Million payment from TS Chan Ah Chye’s Kumpulan Europlus to DS Anwar Ibrahim’s Abrar Discount House for its worthless paper, the Selangor government executed the many land deals with Talam now known as the ‘Talam Scandal’ in Selangor, that actually made Talam so much profit that it even left it financially liquid enough to be relisted in Bursa Malaysia! In fact, RM125 Million bought Tan Sri Chan Ah Chye a lot of support, as DS Anwar Ibrahim personally supported the deal when Pakatan ADUN’s voted for the deal in the Selangor State Assembly!

I suppose RM125 Million is too much money for even DS Anwar to ignore, as in supporting this deal, he actually backed up TS Khalid Ibrahim in his clash with then PKR Secretary-General Datuk Salahuddin Hashim. Datuk Salahuddin Hashim left PKR and began criticising DS Anwar some 2 months after the entire drama around Talam ended at the Selangor State Assembly. Ironically, TS Khalid Ibrahim now wants to appoint 5 separate audit firms to audit the Talam deal! I understand TS Khalid is not so close to DS Anwar any more, so, is this an effort for TS Khalid to reveal the truth behind the Talam deal?
So, the deal DS Anwar supported for Selangor State agencies to buy Talam water over land, buildings with no tenants on dodgy land, etc. is detailed with much complication here. How Anwar profits from the Talam Scandal is shown in the graphic below. Of course, this is very simplistic. We suspect more shenanigans than this as during this time, Talam was on the verge of being re-listed (so you can ask the confusing question of why Abrar Discounts wanted to sell the Talam paper!?) and Talam even lost an influential royal person as a Director and discontinued its relationship with highly reputable accountants Deloitte Kassim Chan!

So, in short, Talam and its shareholders benefited from the Selangor Talam Scandal. However, someone with influence over the Selangor State Government also benefited from the Talam deal and allowed the deal to happen. The influential person who benefited on the Selangor side was its Economic Advisor, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with his cronies in Abrar Discount House. How much did they benefit from the deal? RM125 Million! Is it legal? Most likely. Is it right? Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his cronies getting RM125 Million cash whilst Selangor state overpays for land under water? Hell no!

But... the story does not end there! For the deal for Abrar Discount's Talam paper to go through, Danaharta had to be party to it. So who in Danaharta agreed to this and why? All legal we are sure, but...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Perebutan Harta Di Sebalik Pembatalan MAYC?

Jurublog mendapatkan pendapat dari beberapa tokoh pemberita mengenai kisah tragedi yang melanda MAYC dan amnya mereka menyarankan agar pembaca segera dimaklumkan tentang perebutan harta di MAYC. Harta? Ya, harta...

Para pembaca yang mengikuti berita terkini MAYC mungkin telah berpeluang membaca bagaimana Mesyuarat Agung dilaksanakan pada 7 Julai 2012. Anda mungkin mahukan pendapat jurublog sebagai pemimpin kumpulan perwakilan MAYC yang dihalang serta dihalau dari menghadiri Mesyuarat Agung tersebut ataupun perasaan kita apabila disenarai-hitamkan. Namun kita memohon kesabaran sementara jurublog melengkapkan latar-belakang kemelut MAYC.

Kerana walaupun sdr Hasri Haidzir diangkat oleh minoriti perwakilan MAYC yang tidak dihalau menjadi Presiden MAYC Kebangsaan kini juga menunggang organisasi ini demi menjadi calon Parlimen Sik, Kedah, pada ramai pembaca, mungkin lebih menarik mengetahui beliau kini juga salah seorang Pengarah Wisma Belia Sdn Bhd.

Banyak sangatkah hartanya MAYC?

Harta MAYC dianggarkan bernilai RM30-40 Juta, dan itu anggaran nilai harta di Kuala Lumpur sahaja! Ini merangkumi tapak tanah serta bangunan Wisma Belia dan Wisma Tunku di Jalan Syed Putra, berdekatan Mid-Valley, Kuala Lumpur dan juga rumah kedai di Taman Shamelin Perkasa.

Wisma Belia terbina hasil usaha arwah Tunku Abdullah dan Tun Dr Mahathir sementara Wisma Tunku diusahakan pembinaannya sebagai tambahan kepada kompleks asal pada zaman Tan Sri Sanusi Junid menerajui MAYC Kebangsaan. Kepada seluruh warga MAYC, Kompleks Wisma Belia berkenaan bukan sekadar warisan pesaka tetapi merupakan simbol pembangunan jatidiri mereka sendiri yang lazim dikursus dan menjalin persaudaraan sesama Belia sambil beraktiviti mahupun bermesyuarat di situ.

Tetapi yang kita dengar MAYC ni banyak hutang kan?

Banyak juga hutangnya, sampai RM9-12 Juta dianggarkan pada suatu masa dahulu. Tetapi terkini difahamkan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, penaung MAYC merangkap Menteri Kewangan, telah pun mengurangkan hutang MAYC ke RM3 Juta.

Tetapi MAYC kaya harta sahajakah? Mungkin harta sahaja ada tetapi pusingan wang tunai atau cashflow turnovernya tidak ada?

Mana mungkin tidak ada? Padahal sewa dewan besar PKBM di Wisma Belia sahaja adalah RM3,000 se-acara (sehari). Bilik tumpangannya, walaupun murah, banyak, lumayan serta popular, terutama sekali untuk rombongan-rombongan pelajar serta Belia dari luar Kuala Lumpur. Agro-Bank masih menyewa ruang cawangannya di tingkat bawah Wisma Belia dan rumah kedai di Shamelin Perkasa pun bersewa!

Malah, pada penghujung tahun 2000, sejurus sebelum peralihan kuasa dari TS Sanusi Junid ke TS Syed Hamid Albar, MAYC Kebangsaan berupaya membayar balik hutang dengan bayaran bulanan RM50,000 sebulan dan pada masa sama mengerakkan aktiviti-aktiviti kelab, kawasan serta negeri gabungan dgn dana bantuan selain sokongan lain.

Maksudnya, MAYC suatu organisasi yang bukan sekadar kaya harta, tetapi mampu menjana keuntungan lumayan bagi kegunaannya?

Benar, maka apa-apa dongeng tentang parahnya kedudukan kewangan MAYC, terutama setelah sebahagian besar hutangnya dilupuskan atas ihsan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, hanyalah kepalsuan serta fitnah terhadap keupayaan bekas para pemimpinnya. Ian juga menjadi sebab kenapa MAYC terus-menerus menjadi rebutan orang-orang yang berjiwa kerdil.

Apabila ditanyakan kepada kelab-kelab gabungan serta sesetengah kawasan dan negeri, sudah lama bantuan mahupun program peringkat Kebangsaan tidak sampai 'ke bawah'. Ada yang mengharapkan ini akan diubah pada zaman pentadbiran Mustaffa Mat Arof, namun kehampaan terus melanda.

Jadi untuk manfaat siapakah harta MAYC menjadi rebutan?

Sang rakus yang merebut harta MAYC sudah terlalu ramai dari zaman ke zaman, tetapi yang terkini kelihatan terlebih zalim dan rakus, sekaligus bertopengkan suatu agensi kerajaan yang tak disangka serta malang sekali berkait secara langsung dengan Jabatan Perdana Menteri! Kita sambung lagi selepas ini.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Percaturan Politik Punca Pembatalan MAYC?

Tarikh 7 Julai 2012 seharusnya tercacat sebagai tarikh berkat bagi Persatuan Kelab-Kelab Belia Malaysia (MAYC) Kebangsaan. Pada tarikh tersebut, sebuah Mesyuarat Agung pemilihan yang menyatukan semula MAYC seharusnya dilangsungkan. Malangnya, rentetan penghancuran budaya Belia MAYC yang berlanjutan sejak tahun 2002 demi kepentingan politik individu, Mesyuarat Agung tersebut mungkin sekali akan membawa MAYC ke ambang pembatalan sebagai sebuah organisasi.

Kisah bagaimana sebuah organisasi yang dikagumi pada penghujung abad lepas, tapak latihan kemimpinan hebat tokoh seagung Tun Dr Mahathir dan pembangunan jutaan warga Belia sejak sebelum Merdeka boleh kini bakal punah sama-sekali akan jurublog rekodkan di sini dengan harapan ia dapat dielakkan menjelang 7 Julai 2012 kelak.

Rencana DS Shabery Cheek

Pada bulan Oktober lepas, DS Shabery Cheek telah memutuskan untuk menyelamatkan MAYC dari pembatalan melalui sepucuk surat yang dengan jelas memberi garis-panduan menuju perpaduan:

1 - Kepimpinan MAYC diserahkan ke tangan Jawatankuasa pilihan TS Syed Hamid Albar yg dipilih pada Mesyuarat Agung bertarikh 26 September 2010. Ini berniat menyejukkan hati para penyokong TS Syed Hamid Albar serta anak-anak buahnya.

2 - Penyerahan kuasa tersebut bersyaratkan MAYC Kebangsaan mengadakan Mesyuarat Agung pemilihan yang baru menjelang bulan Mac 2012. Mesyuarat Agung tersebut disyaratkan juga wajib menyatu-padukan kembali kedua pihak yang berbalah.

Syarat diadakan Mesyuarat Agung tersebut berniat memuaskan hati pihak lagi satu yang dipimpin barisan Pengerusi-Pengerusi Negeri, Kawasan serta ahli Jawatankuasa Pro-tem pimpinan YB Suraya Yaacob, termasuklah jurublog, anak bekas Presiden MAYC sebelum TS Syed Hamid, iaitu TS Sanusi Junid. Ia juga berdasarkan kesedaran DS Shabery yang dengan menyegerakan peralihan kepimpinan MAYC, generasi baru akan berupaya ke hadapan tanpa gangguan berterusan hasil perbalahan orang-orang lama MAYC.

3 - Untuk menjamin kepatuhan kepimpinan MAYC dibawah kePresidenan Mustaffa Mat Arof, disertakan syarat bahawa sekiranya Mesyuarat Agung pemilihan dan penyatuan MAYC Kebangsaan tidak diadakan menjelang Mac 2012, MAYC Kebangsaan pasti terbatal.

Mustaffa Ingkar Menteri Bermodalkan Jajaan Nama Perdana Menteri

Malangnya, Mustaffa telah mengingkari arahan DS Shabery, bukan sekadar dengan menunda Mesyuarat Agung pemilihan MAYC tetapi dengan memerangi secara berterus-terusan para Pengerusi Negeri serta Kawasan yang dahulunya berbalah dengan beliau sebagai pilihan TS Syed Hamid Albar dan kuncu-kuncunya seperti Datuk Zaini Ahmad, Tuan Syed Rahman Tuan Kuning serta Tuan Hashim.

Mustaffa melakukan pengingkaran beliau terhadap arahan DS Shabery dengan bermodalkan kedudukan beliau sebagai seorang Naib Ketua Pemuda Bahagian di Pahang yang kononnya rapat dengan pejabat Perdana Menteri, termasuklah Setiausaha Politik DS Najib, Datuk Sahlan serta YB Norol Azali, Naib Ketua Bahagian Bera. Sesungguhnya, kemungkinan besar DS Najib sendiri tidak tahu-menahu tentang tindak-tanduk Mustaffa, cuma sekadar ditunggang nama baiknya.

Maka Mustaffa ke hulu-hilir menjaja ide yang MAYC Kebangsaan setuju menunda Mesyuarat Agung Pemilihan sehingga selepas PRU 13. Ini dilakukannya tanpa adanya apa-apa usul pun yang dicadangkan apatah lagi diluluskan untuk menunda Mesyuarat Agung pemilihan 2012 tersebut pada Mesyuarat Agung tahunan MAYC pada Disember 2011. Pihak KBS, dan pasti juga pejabat Perdana Menteri juga tidak pernah meminda arahan DS Shabery tersebut.

Tetapi kenapakah Mustaffa begitu beria-ia melakukan demikian? Ini tidak lain kerana beliau berharap dengan kedudukan Presiden MAYC Kebangsaan ditangannya, beliau akan berjaya merebut tempat sebagai calon Wakil Rakyat Parlimen Jerantut menggantikan Ketua Bahagianna, YBM Tunku Azlan, pada PRU 13. Sesungguhnya kepentingan politik yang dikejarnya terbukti dengan kempen blog yang dilancarkan teman-temannya di Jerantut sejurus beliau disahkan Presiden MAYC Kebangsaan.

Bukan Mustaffa Pemula Budaya Menunggang MAYC Ke Jawatan Politik

Malah bukan Mustaffa seorang sahaja yang menunggang kedudukannya di MAYC untuk mencapai sasaran politik. Ada juga pemimpin lain dalam barisannya yang berlaku demikian. Tetapi Mustaffa bukanlah pemula budaya menunggang MAYC ke jawatan politik. Tokoh yang memulakan budaya ini tak lain dari Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

Ramai pemerhati bersalah anggap apabila melihat TS Syed Hamid Albar maju dalam politik pada era Tun Dr Mahathir. Ramai menyangkakan yang ini kerana legasi ayahanda beliau sebagai bekas Ketua Pemuda UMNO. Samalah juga ramai berfikir beliau orang Johor kerana menjadi ahli Parlimen Kota Tinggi sekian lama, beliau sebenarnya orang Pulau Pinang. Sebenarnya, TS Syed Hamid diangkat ke kedudukan Menteri atau saranan TS Sanusi Junid kepada Tun Dr Mahathir agar seorang lagi pemimpin MAYC diberi peluang menyertai kabinetnya.

Malah, TS Syed Hamid yang tak jauh umur dari TS Sanusi menyedari perkara ini apabila memohon peluang menggantikan TS Sanusi sebagai Presiden pada tahun 2000. Beliau telah mengakui pada masa itu bahawa kedudukannya sebagai Presiden MAYC demi mengekalkan kedudukan politiknya. Oleh kerana mereka masih berkawan pada masa itu, TS Sanusi telah bersetuju. (Sesalan TS Sanusi direkodkan di blog beliau)

TS Syed Hamid Mempermainkan Mesyuarat Agung Demi Mengekalkan Kuasa

Usaha mengekalkan MAYC sebagai tunggangan politik beliaulah di sebalik pembatalan pencalonan DS Zahid Hamidi dengan pembatalan pendaftaran MAYC Negeri Perak dan Negeri Johor pada Mesyuarat Agung MAYC Kebangsaan tahun 2012. Ini juga di sebalik penundaan Mesyuarat Agung pemilihan 2004 kemudian kejadian baling kerusi pada Mesyuarat Agung pemilihan 2005 apabila TS Syed Hamid dicabar Naib Ketua MAYC Kawasan Jerantut, Mustaffa Mat Arof! Ini jugalah sebab kenapa MAYC Kebangsaan pimpinan TS Syed Hamid tidak mengadakan Mesyuarat Agung selama 5 tahun selepas tahun 2005.

Pak Lah sendiri apabila ditanya kenapakah TS Syed Hamid kekal dalam kabinet beliau pada masa beliau Perdana Menteri mengakui TS Syed Hamid dipilih kerana beliau masih Presiden MAYC Kebangsaan pada masa itu. Ramai yang tidak tahu yang kekalnya jawatan TS Syed Hamid adalah melalui salah-laku pengurusan Mesyuarat Agung MAYC Kebangsaan. Jelas jugalah Mustaffa telah menerima pengajaran ini dari TS Syed Hamid serta kuncu-kuncunya.

Tetapi adakah kepentingan serta tunggangan politik sahaja yang menjadi punca merudum hingga ke ambang pembatalan MAYC? Tidak sama-sekali. Malah isu harta MAYC Kebangsaan juga tak boleh dilupakan dan inilah juga antara sebab pokok kenapa jurublog serta 'tim'nya ditolak oleh kuncu-kuncu TS Syed Hamid sebagai pengganti kepimpinan. Kisah ini bersambung dengan perebutan harta tersebut.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Introducing Nyanyak's Aces!

Today is a big day! OK, it is already a big day being one of this blogger's son's 8th birthday. However the same son woke this bloggers up early this morning declaring he wants to go for his first gift, a chess tournament today, where for the first time we will contest as a family team!

The photo above showcases the team as it stands now, with this blogger as team Manager and 'all-round' Ayah! The team's name, Nyanyak's Aces, is in honour of the all sacrificing Nyanyak of course! She has had to stay home to take care of our 'pelapis', but will join us for lunch.

Not sure if we would win anything, but we looked smug in the photo as at least we know we won't be last having won that (second) round. Points will be hard to come by after this with so many strong players! And the team manager sees this as a big day being the first Chess Tournament I've played in after some 27 years!

Hope I don't drag my kids down!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012


An 8.6-8.7 richter earthquake struck off the west coast of North Sumatra estimate at around 16.37 hours Malaysia time. This blogger was alerted of tremors from as far as Pasir Salak, Perak where residents felt the ground shift. The lastest news from Acheh indicate residents fully aware of the risk leaving coastal areas for higher ground to avoid the risk of a repeat of the 2004 tsunami which left around half-a-million Achehnese dead.

Earthquake location some 434 km from Banda Acheh, 963 km from Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of USGS
Whilst Malaysians enjoy the remainder of our holiday celebrating the installation of our new Agong, please lend a thought for those neighbours of ours who may be facing tougher realities and challenges as we speak. A doa too all affected. And should the need arise, may Malaysians once again show our exemplary traits of giving and sacrifice for those in need, such as repeatedly shown over these many years.

Monday, April 09, 2012

The False Redemption Of Shahrizat Jalil

The NFC Saga continues its damage of UMNO and BN's chances of securing a convincing win in the coming General Election despite the departure of DS Shahrizat Jalil from her cabinet post. Even Rafizi Ramli, the unlikely whistleblower of the scandal, acknowledges this through his gleeful tweets over the course of the weekend - if Shahrizat's departure was to bring the NFC scandal to a close, Rafizi's behavior would have been more subdued.

Some weeks ago this blogger blogged on how the NFC, and substantially the complicity of Shahrizat as a Cabinet member and UMNO Wanita Chief in the wrong-doings, would have an effect on the General Election. One may imagine that with Shahrizat no longer being in the cabinet that the matter is resolved, but truly it is not. As the issue of credibility remains a stain unerased, just as Shahrizat is not really out of the corridors of power.

The salient point that needs to be discussed first is, does Shahrizat remaining as Wanita Chief affect its capability to deliver votes in the coming PRU13? Answers this blogger gained from 2 separate government agencies is that it has a very negative impact on Wanita's effectiveness as a critical component of BN's election machinery. As with its leader seen as being so morally bankrupt, Wanita losses its credibility.

In fact, Wanita risks not just losing its credibility, but also its unity, as pro and anti-Shahrizat factions jostle around the future of their disgraced Chief. And with loss of unity, Wanita will surely disintegrate into parts of which the sum of cannot compare to the sheer effectiveness of a one united party wing. Indeed, Wanita UMNO may even struggle with the question of relevance of Shahrizat's continued leadership is allowed to further stain its reputation.

The reality is that Shahrizat may have been spared any suspicion even if her husband was not simply accused but was then successfully prosecuted for Criminal Breach of Trust in the handling of the NFC initiative. Many, even world leaders, have suffered errant husbands in the past. Even when it is revealed she did not block the involvement of her children as paid managers of NFC, Shahrizat could still have been painted with a shade innocence.

However, any illusion of innocence was completely shattered when she used her highest party platform, the 2011 Annual General Assembly of Wanita UMNO, to defend her husband and children and their suspected corruption of the NFC. It was said that her defence was so emotional, that she could not finish more than half of the prepared text, or more importantly, failed to convey the priorities of Wanita UMNO coming into a likely election year.

So Shahrizat over the course of one UMNO AGM speech, personified all that is wrong about the party today. She showcased how the power and position afforded to her by the party could and was willingly used to defend and perhaps indeed enhance private interests. And in her selfishness which is more reflective of a lioness protecting her cubs than a leader staying above the fray, she pushed Wanita to the edge of a precipice, where it remains.

So many lauded Shahrizat's announcement that she was 'withdrawing' from her Cabinet post some weeks ago. This was of course Shahrizat at her politically most cunning, where she pre-empts being naturally 'dropped' from her post when her Senate tenure was up, allowing her then to attempt to selfishly cling to the more important Wanita UMNO Chief post. And so she clings on with claws that tear fresh wounds into Wanita.

However, it is not the population of pre-independence Malaya that Shahrizat is trying to convince that she is redeemed with her fake 'withdrawal'. Almost every educated person this blogger met following the news expressed disgust at how Shahrizat's 'withdrawal' was lauded by even the TPM as a 'sacrifice' - it was probably one of the worst pieces of media-spinning since the Pulau Batu Putih win-win nonsense! All EXPECTED Shahrizat to be dropped anyway.

That DS Najib as Prime Minister was compelled to take on the Women Affairs Family and Community Development Ministry rather than appoint another Wanita leader to the post is testament to how dire things look for Wanita UMNO now. Battle lines are clearly drawn with unity being threatened, with Shahrizat accusing those who simply want her to do the right thing; i.e. resign. But Shahrizat doesn't dare to resign, as in the end, she's no leader.

If Shahrizat was a true leader, she would do the right thing without the asking. She would have resigned the moment she saw that, as evident to everyone else, something was wrong with the way the NFC was run. In fact, if she was a leader she may even have asked her husband to stay away from the NFC. Certainly as a leader and a responsible mother, she should have kept her children well away from the NFC, which is NOT a family concern!

Well, as it should be abundantly clear to Wanita that it doesn't really have a Leader as its current Chief, rather than suffer further and longer to the point of obliteration due to 'Shahrizat's False Redemption', its true leaders should step up and shove Shahrizat out! The Wanita exco can certainly call for a no-confidence vote, and should do so before someone in the Supreme Council musters the guts to do so. It is the right thing to do.

For in the absence of a true Leader as its Chief, Wanita has to move quickly to redeem itself among its stakeholders, especially all the women that are its constituents in the electorate. It is the right thing to do. And that is what Leaders are chosen to do, to DO THE RIGHT THING.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Investment Choices: Kids' Activities! 1Malaysia Too!

Chess weekends coming fast and furious over the weekends of April, beginning yesterday as March closes actually! My two elder sons r on the final Swiss round of the KL Scholastic where a lower turnout than expected by organisers is compensated by the appearance of some 40% of 'new faces'!

No surprise that numbers of circuit 'regulars' are down as mothers and even kids reprioritise. My son's regular sparring partner had to go to Maths tuition after weeks of missing and even my daughter had to favour Tunas Puteri this weekend in order to get her 'Calit Emas'.

A few observations here. One is on how parents will see the choices to invest their own and their kids' time presenting increased challenges over time. Sure, if a child displays extraordinary talent, choices become obvious, but for the common parent, it is the toil, time and money that will help grow their child's abilities.

One would also think that choices favouring academics are also obvious, but really, they are not always so. Lets say your child has a chance to become a state player then perhaps even play internationally, many parents would allow the skipping of classes and tuition surely.

Another observation today was how 1Malaysia the Chess tourney looked. Having been used to a Chess field being so predominated by Chinese players, it seemed that a more 1Malaysia mix seen at the venue, ironically being Asrama 1Malaysia at Titiwangsa. A slightly Chinese majority still, but a better mix.

Photo is taken using Paper Pictures app. Cool huh?

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Third Force Arises In Malaysian Politics

I have been speaking with many, again, about the possibility of a 'Third Force' arising in Malaysian politics, but with little personal conviction. Tonight I see such a force actually coming together as a culmination of the dedicated effort of 2 friends with a smile.

Perhaps what we need is a different view as to what constitutes such a 'Third Force'. Tonight we see it bring together a political legend and a new generation of those who care in both old and new media. Tonight, Teh Tarik Bersama YB comes of age...

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Monday, March 26, 2012

24 Hours In Kuching; Food, Work And Politics Abound!

I was in Kuching on a slightly more than 24 hour visit on company business last week. One great thing about being in the Retail business is the food culture that you could immerse yourself in as part of work! Actually, anytime also can makan la, but the obese need excuses...

The above green house, known literally as Rumah Hijau, is a Cafe where we had lunch at, enjoying a nasi lemak Ayam Penyek, followed by Roti Pisang Coklat, hence having a taste of both Malay and Neo-Indian cuisine in Kuching. l already had my Laksa Sarawak fix for Breakfast and was 'forced' to enjoy a variety of barbecued meats at the Carvery at Abel Hotel the night before! I was well and assuredly stuffed even before the seafood dinner (with sayur bilin) that was my send off!

In the midst of all this food, and of course quite a bit of work, I did discover that TMI's Jahabar Sadiq was also wrong in his shortlist of items troubling DS Najib Tun Razak into postponing PRU13. He forgot the Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud departure, or rather continued hold on power, issue! This is very much in the forefront of many Sarawakian minds and with the 'fixed deposit' potentially already 8 Parliamentary seats short, should this not be a worry?

(Actually, I was also surprised that Jahabar's list was so short with 5 items... and with one item being not too important really to the common electorate. Perhaps further evidence of his writting being conjecture more than insider!)
One would have hoped with his 'Besan' or In-Law, Tan Sri George Chan's departure from the leadership of the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) that PS Taib would busy planning a cruise with his old school-chum. Unfortunately, PS Taib is instead rumoured to have been meddling in the SUPP elections, not favouring current President DS Peter Chin, and then rumpured to be active in 'other ways' too. Maybe it's the new wife?

Anyway, it was a good, fruitful, 24 hour trip... 

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The KL And Malaysian Chess Community

This blogger is on the morning shift today with kids at the regular Insofar meet in KL. The system is cool in that it pits players across all ages whilst awarding prizes by age and other groups. It also has a scheme to encourage kids to continue tournament play with a 'scholarship' that pays for playing beyond a first few tourneys.

But what moved me to blog on today wasn't the program but my joy at seeing my kids joining the vibrant community of Chess players in the country. Whilst still very much centred around their school, they have progressively become tournament regulars around KL, such that even my standard 2 boy was familiarly greeted by an adult upon registration.

The space for growth of Chess has transcended beyond the schools system and the formal Youth & Sports Ministry setup, with enthusiasts and players finding interested sponsors for significant events. Nevertheless, a common thread of quality and merit unites the community, as games translate to where one sits in the national ranking.

It is amazing how much can go wrong with a sport in Malaysia. Our underperforming football team, such that recent regional successes were inordinately celebrated, and now troublingly shallow pool of successors to Datuk LCW are the more obvious examples. However, with Chess, I at least see value in the community keeping the game as it should be in Malaysia.

Pairings' out!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Malaysia Youth Empowered By Tsunami In Japan

Alhamdulillah, my short piece on MAYC Global Relief's efforts in Ishinomaki last October was published in Utusan Malaysia on Thursday with relatively minor truncations for brevity, which nevertheless did deliver the majority of the message intended. I am hence posting my full submission below as much for the record as to ensure the entire message does appear in some media in complete form; e.g. one of the quotes was from a non-Malay participant of the team, which showcases MAYC as still being 1Malaysia in nature.

Antara tanggungjawab utama mana-mana pemimpin organisasi belia adalah melaksanakan program membina jati-diri, mengasuh nilai-nilai murni seperti budipekerti dan mendedahkan golongan muda kepada ilmu serta pengalaman yang tak dapat dikecapi dengan usaha peribadi.

Pada 16 October tahun lepas, 20 belia sukarelawan dari kelab-kelab gabungan MAYC seluruh negara telah ke Jepun untuk menyertai kerja-kerja pemulihan pasca tsunami yang melanda pesisir Timur Laut pulau Honshu pada 11 March 2011. Pemergian mereka ke Jepun selama 10 hari adalah hasil kerjasama MAYC Global Relief bersama rakan NGO kami di Jepun, Peace Boat.

Sepanjang masa di Jepun, para sukarelawan Malaysia bertindak bukan sekadar tenaga-kerja tugas pemulihan, tetapi juga secara langsung mengharumkan nama baik negara sambil menaikkan semangat para penduduk setempat yang melihat golongan belia dari negara asing pun sedia berganding bahu membantu mereka dalam usaha baik-pulih, walau 7 bulan sudah berlalu sejak bencana melanda.

Kenapa MAYC Global Relief Ke Jepun

Bencana kekadang melanda di setiap penjuru dunia dan lazimnya, sukarelawan dari Malaysia menumpukan usaha dan sumbangan pemulihan ke negara-negara membangun atau serantau. Contohnya, apabila berlaku tsunami di Acheh, Indonesia dan bencana banjir di Thailand, sukarelawan Malaysia dilaung sebagai antara kumpulan sukarelawan dari luar negara bencana yang pertama sampai serta terserlah keikhlasan menyumbang dalam usaha pemulihan.

Namun MAYC Global Relief memilih untuk menghantar sukarelawan ke Jepun, sebuah negara yang lebih maju dari segi teknologi mahupun ekonominya berbanding negara kita. Sebagai pemimpin belia, ini kami laksanakan atas dasar memupuk nilai membalas budi dengan mengirim tenaga-kerja seberapa mampu kepada sebuah negara dan masyarakat yang amnya telah banyak menyumbang kepada pembangunan negara kita dari sejak Malaya merdeka lagi.

Kebetulan juga, negara Jepun sebagai sebuah negara yang kaya serta maju teknologinya, walaupun ditimpa bencana, ia tidak memerlukan apa-apa sumbangan peralatan mahupun kewangan untuk membaik-pulih kawasan yang dilanda tsunami. Malah, jemputan untuk melabur ke kawasan tersebut yang dilaporkan mediamasa tempohari juga lebih untuk mempercepatkan pembangunan semula. Tetapi apa mereka benar-benar kekurangan adalah tenaga-kerja belia untuk melaksanakan kerja-kerja yang sudah pun dikenal-pasti.

Sesungguhnya kepada warga MAYC, sumbangan negara-bangsa Jepun menjangkau lebih dari apa yang dikecapi oleh rakyat Malaysia amnya hasil dari pelaburan ekonomi mahupun perpindahan teknologi dari syarikat-syarikat terkemuka negara tersebut. Sejak mantan Naib Presiden MAYC, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, mengemukakan Dasar Pandang Ke Timur sebagai salah satu dasar pembangunan negara, MAYC telah menerapkan nilai Bushido kepada ahli-ahlinya melalui pendekatan MENJAROH.

MENJAROH, atau pendekatan MENtal, JAsad dan ROH, menerapkan ciri-ciri Amanah, Berani, Disiplin, Rajin serta Setia dalam program-program belia yang merangkumi aspek-aspek politik, ekonomi dan masyarakat. Ke lima-lima ciri ini seiras dengan pembawaan Bushido yang diterapkan ke seluruh masyarakat Jepun dari zaman, pra-Sengoku Jidai, yakni hampir 10 abad yang lepas, hinggalah ke sekarang, menerusi prinsip-prinsip koprat syarikat-syarikat gergasi seperti Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sumitomo dan sebagainya.

Maka budi yang dibalas oleh para sukarelawan MAYC Global Relief di kawasan tsunami adalah dari jasa penerapan nilai jati-diri organisasi belia kami sendiri sepanjang lebih 3 dekad lamanya. Pada masa yang sama, ia juga memberikan peluang atau jalancara baru untuk golongan belia Malaysia merapatkan silaturahim dengan para belia Jepun. Sesungguhnya hubungan yang terjalin hasil bantuan pada masa mereka kesusahan kami harap akan menghasilkan talian yang utuh buat usaha jangkamasa panjang.

Mengejar Ilmu, Menyelami Budaya

Manfaat tambahan yang juga dikecapi oleh sukarelawan ke Ishinomaki, Jepun tersebut adalah ilmu dalam bidang penyelenggaraan sukarela serta baik-pulih bencana. Walau tempoh mereka ke sana hanyalah beberapa hari, ilmu yang ditimba dengan penyertaan dalam misi pertama ini sudah pun kami mula terapkan dalam rencana pembangunan organisasi MAYC Global Relief, termasuklah perancangan misi kedua kami ke sana yang dirancang untuk penghujung bulan April atau awal Mei tahun ini.

Selain itu, kebetulan kerja-kerja pemulihan ekonomi yang melibatkan sukarelawan mendedahkan mereka kepada pengalaman yang tak mungkin dialami di negara sendiri. Contohnya, sukarelawan di Ishinomaki telah ditugaskan untuk membantu masyarakat nelayan mempercepatkan process penyemaian tiram-tiram di pesisir pantai. Tugasan tersebut bukanlah ringan kerana cabaran fizikal, termasuklah menahan dari kesejukan yang tak lazim dirasai di Malaysia. Namun sukarelawan bersemangat hasil dari pengalaman baru yang dikecapi.

Sukarelawan juga dipupuk dengan budaya-kerja Jepun yang berdisiplin tanpa mengira tugasan mahupun jawatan. Menurut saudara Vimal, seorang sukarelawan beragama Hindu yang terlepas sambutan awal hari Deepavali akibat menyeratai misi tersebut,"Deepavali kita dapat raikan setiap tahun, tahun-tahun sebelum ini dan tahun-tahun kemudian pun dapat saya alami semula, tetapi pengalaman bersukarela ke Ishinomaki seperti ini mungkin sekali seumur hidup dapat peluang untuk dirasai."

Misi Kedua

Maklum-balas seperti ini dari para sukarelawan berserta dengan penghargaan yang kami terima dari rakan NGO Peace Boat telah memperkukuhkan azam kami di MAYC Global Relief untuk memberikan peluang kedua bagi para sukarelawan belia untuk menyertai usaha baik-pulih sekali lagi. Ini sebahagian dari rencana jangkamasa panjang MAYC Global Relief untuk membina organisasi yang menawarkan pengalaman bersukarela yang berlainan bagi golongan belia.

Menurut Ketua Misi Pertama, saudara Saiful Anuar Baig,"Sebagai sukarelawan, MAYC Global Relief menggunakan pendekatan berlainan yakni pergi membantu selepas keadaan bencana sudah reda, tetapi masih ada lagi keperluan bantuan tenaga-kerja belia untuk memulihkan kembali kawasan yang terjejas. Ini juga memberi peluang sukarelawan kami menimba ilmu dan pengalaman yang boleh dibawa pulang seperti proses mengkitar semula sisa bencana tsunami yang diamalkan di Jepun."

Seperti juga Misi Pertama, kejayaannya hanyalah boleh dicapai dengan bantuan para penaja koprat dari Malaysia seperti CIMB Islamic dan kumpulan Dynac bersama-sama organisasi-organisasi Jepun seperti Peace Boat serta Kumon. Adalah menjadi harapan kami untuk menjalin hubungan jangkamasa panjang juga dengan para penaja yang sedia-ada, mahupun yang baru, untuk terus menjayakan lagi program-program kami, bermula dengan Misi Kedua ke kawasan tsunami Jepun.

Segala usaha kami sebagai pemimpin belia adalah untuk membina jati-diri anak-anak muda yang merupakan masa depan negara. Walau tsunami amnya membinasakan, di Jepun kami harap pengalaman menyeratai kerja baik-pulih pasca tsunami ini melambung nilai kualiti dan taraf anak-anak muda kita ke tahap yang setanding dengan mana-mana kumpulan belia di peringkat global.

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Tan Sri Sanusi
Pengerusi, MAYC Global Relief

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