Wednesday, October 29, 2008


How often does one get to receive a birthday greeting message via email? As for me, having to receive one on Monday from a very old friend, is for the very first time. How on earth did he know my birth date and what makes him do it? I hardly meet him, not even once a year, but the thought of him sending me a birthday greeting message must have been for a very special reason, which I am yet to ask him.

Normally, my birthday is being remembered by my daughter who would then remind my wife to cook something special for dinner. Personally, I don't really care much about birthdays, because as a child, there was never an occasion where I got to celebrate my birthday.

However, the children today are more fortunate. Most parents, especially those living in urban areas would normally want to share their children's birthday with friends, neighbours and including the child's classmates. This is already becoming a trend nowadays, that I thought this is good for the development of our children's social upbringing.

My 11 year old grandson don't need to be reminded of his birth date. Instead, he will remind us of his birthday well ahead, for the simple reason that he wants to be sure that his birthday is properly organised and is well attended by his classmates and neighbours. He makes his own invitation cards, and that saves the mother some money from buying cards and stamps.

I watched the prime news on TV3 last night, and the PM's announcement to defer the purchase of the most controversial Eurocopter helicopters for the RMAF. This must have shocked some interested parties. And I am quite sure the RMAF will be disappointed too, as they will now have to continue to fly the aged Nuri helicopters, which has now been referred to as the 'flying coffin'. I doubt very much if any of our politicians would want to fly in it now, given its past 'reputation'. Let us hope nothing untoward will happen to the remaining helicopters until it is replaced....when....only the PM knows.

I was surprised that the PM had also mentioned the actual price for the purchase of the Eurocopter helicopters which was RM 1.4 billion and not RM 2.3 billion as widely reported. By stating this new figure, it gives rise to lots of speculation and varying perception by people who knows very little about the actual business transaction between the government and the agent of Eurocopter. It can be reasonably assumed that a price difference of almost RM 1 billion can conjure up lots of negative speculation and perception by the public. The government has to be blamed for this, as the deal itself is not transparent to the taxpayers. Had this issue not been raised in the media, I am quite sure the deal would have gone through, and there will be many smiling faces marching to the banks.

The talk of money politics in the ongoing UMNO divisional election and the nomination for top party post for the the up coming general assembly, has not withered; rather it has gotten worse. This sentiment is being voiced by the likes of Tengku Ahmad Rithueedeen and Dato Shahrir Samad, who are both senior UMNO members. Earlier, the same sentiment is also being mentioned by Musa Hitam and Tun Mahathir in his blog.

As at this morning, I have heard of a complaint by one UMNO division in the Federal Territory that there was indeed money politics in the election of its divisional chief. Members were said to have been paid some amount of money to vote for a certain candidate, and at the final count, the incumbent divisional chief who had every chance of retaining his post, eventually lost to his challenger. If this complaint is true, we can now expect to see larger amount of money being circulated by candidates during the up coming UMNO elections scheduled March 2009.

If there is no will by UMNO leaders to stop the scourge of money politics during the March UMNO elections, it will surely spell the demise of the party in the 13th General Elections scheduled in 2012.

Posted at 7.07pm on Oct 29,2008

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