Wednesday, February 13, 2013


A friend of mine who has become a rather prominent NGO activist in Kedah over the last few years (winnable candidate! Hahaha!), Shaharol Niza Omar, posted something troubling and a pathetically funny on his Facebook page yesterday. The original post is quoted below:


Baru hubungi sebuah agensi kerajaan Negeri Kedah utk site visit. Jwpnnya "kami tak dpt keluar kerana minyak kenderaan telah dibekukan seluruh negeri sehingga diberitahu kelak".

Tahukah kerajaan negeri dgn membekukan minyak kenderaan telah membantutkan urusan dan blh akibatkan kerugian masa dan wang ringgit serta pembangunan???

Zulkifli Yahaya tlg siasat perkara ini. Ini bkn fitnah tp saya sendiri yg hubungi jabatan terbabit.
Much to his surprise, Zulkifli Yahaya, who is part of PAS Kedah's Information team and is the so called Chief PAS Blogger for the state (got such thing meh? chief blogger?), replied rather honestly, but then proceeded to try to cover for his earlier 'slip-up' as captured below:

Of course there is much covering up and counter-spinning going on now. It is indeed as Shahrarol noted, tough to decide on whether this is funny, sad or does not make sense! For a state government agency to have its fuel budget frozen early in the year? IS THE STATE OF KEDAH NEARING FINANCIAL BANKRUPTCY? Or has it just run out of logging money.
I then read the following report in the NST, where Kedah MB, DS Azizan Abdul Razak is said to be "ADAMANT (!!) on RM100m to spare trees" - the RM100 Million being from the BN led Federal Government of course. He seems intent on topping his Chief Blogger in intimately linking state finances to logging! He is quoted as saying: 
Stop all the noise. I am asking the Federal Government RM100 million every year to spare the forest. Pay us and we stop the land clearing work.

The forests belong to the state. There are quarters who were worried that water supply in Penang would be affected when we log timber here. So, we can't cut trees because of Penang and at the same they are getting water free from our rivers.
So, he can link the logging to the threat of cutting water supplies to Penang. He can even make mention of how the water is going to Penang for free. HELLO?! Go and ask Penang la to pay Kedah RM100 Million a year for not cutting trees and continuing to supply Kedah water to fuel its Semi-Conductor and other industries!
Kata partners in Pakatan Rakyat. If partners, Pakat-Pakat la for the good of your economies. Neighbours what! Why la like this. How to run a state if the only way you know to fund your state coffers is by selling balak or threatening the Federal government! If Kedah goes bankrupt because of the PAS government is this incompetent... malulah!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Does Suing MRT Co Make Us Pinggir Za'aba, TTDI Residents Elite?

I'll begin first by thanking my good friend and occassional mentor, Ahiruddin "Rocky" Attan, for highlighting Pinggir Za'aba's suit against MRT Co. This suit is very much a private matter to the plaintiffs, my wife being one of them. I also thank those who have commented for and against the suit in Rocky's blog and hope they continue their interest here.

For those who have misunderstood Rocky's definition of Elite, please have a look at the images of the houses of most of the plaintiffs on Pinggir Za'aba that I have attached below. Pinggir Za'aba is a long road, just as TTDI is a large housing area. The part of TTDI directly effected by the MRT has neither bungalows nor semi-D's and whilst we are not the poorest of citizens, we are not among the most affluent either. We are Elite though, in that we are nearly all tertiary educated, most are or were professionals, managers in corporations or civil servants.

Having heard the views of many, allow me to present my reason for supporting my wife's decision to join the civil suit against MRT Co. Metaphorically and in brief, I can say that the reason for my support of the suit is from my reading of Clausewitz's On War, where the great Prussian military philosopher describes War as simply the continuation of Politics or Policy by other means. Hence, this suit, is simply the continuation of Pinggir Za'aba's engagement of MRT Co by more aggressive means.

To elaborate on the why, ever since residents of Pinggir Za'aba were informed our homes would be impacted by the MRT's construction by notices put up on trees along our road by SPAD some 2+ years ago, we have been trying our best to engage various government agencies. Understanding that the MRT is a nation-building project of some importance, we have never asked for it to be scrapped, but rather preferred re-alignment or an underground route for it, and failing that, that were at least hoping to be given due compensation either for damages to or for having to abandon our homes.

The PR and engagement from SPAD and Prasarana was to me actually quite poor, though I would put more blame on SPAD for this - Prasarana seemed in these engagements as being victims of circumstance. SPAD's position was often inconsistent, its approach to engagement shoddy (beginning with notices put up on trees remember!), but at least there were no empty promises. Where they could not deliver on our suggestions of hopes, we received non-commitals and silence, which sounds bad, and may even sound strange for those who went to the PR 'roadshows', but worse was to come.

The worse that was to come was from the empty promises of the CEO of MRT Co himself, who in return to our peaceful and quiet discussion with his team, assured us that he had the mandate to ENSURE the government would treat us residents of Pinggir Za'aba fairly. This promise was made some 2 years ago, at a time when we still had options to sell, rent, temporarily move or at least plan for the coming of the MRT. Unfortunately, Datuk Azhar of MRT Co was not able to deliver, and a couple of months ago, his PR Director, Amir Mahmood, even closed all avenues of engagement with us. 

Details of this will come out in court soon we hope, but in the end, the plaintiffs are suing MRT Co as they have no other choice. As the agency charged solely on this matter, MRT Co has curtailed all avenues of engagement and even the Media has had to tip-toe around this issue. Some wondered why I used my father's Tan Sri title in the press release - it  is to clearly showcase that the suit is being brought by BN supporters against a BN project. It is not political - the plaintiffs are not politicians. They are aggrieved citizens that have a case. They need the government to listen.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Weekend For Kids As MRT Corp Keeps Getting Whacked

Whilst the Great Wall of Jalan Sultan caught a lot of news on Friday, with more news coming from Pinggir Za'aba in a few of days' time, thought I'd focus on the family obsession of Chess again.

Started escorting kids to National Age Group (NAG) 2013 from Friday, a start of a 3 day event organised by Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) at University Technology Petronas (UTP) near Seri Iskandar, Perak.

The first photo is an image on the first match on Friday. The second being the 7th and second last game today. My kids aren't doing so well at this stage, but this is their first year and both have another year in their age groups... Yes, I only took two of my sons this year.In

Their sis decided to join a Tunas Puteri public speaking contest instead. Good call on her part, she got second place, the last image! Life presents choices and as long as my kids make WISE choices, the wisest always being to experience new and more enriching things, like my daughter had, rewards would follow!

The jokers in MRT Corp could learn quite a bit from my kids about choices and decision making I reckon!

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