Monday, June 30, 2008
The next few days will be interesting. I am sure the press will be hounding him for a closeup photo. Saiful will certainly be at his best, when he is invited to the court's to answer his charges.
But don't be deceive by this latest act of Saiful. We also have other actors to watch...the latest on the Altuntuya case. I hope Saiful's story will not drown the Altuntuya story,
For all Malaysians, happy viewing!
The above were the words of Home Minister, Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar, reportedly to have been said at the Parliament Lobby, today, Monday 30th.
Who is the minister trying to fool? Wasn't Anwar's life threatened when he was arrested and brought to Bukit Aman aka Bukit Jahanan? Has the minister forgotten about the 'Black Eye' incident? Who was the person that 'mutilated' Anwar during the investigation? Wasn't it the honourable IGP of all the person?
With that as a reminder, and if you were Anwar, would you not be frightened too?. Or would you invite the police to arrest you? Only a fool would want to do that.
What alternative has Anwar got, other than to seek refuge where even the police could not get him. That was what he did, and you think he did the wrong thing?
My thanks and that of all peace loving Malaysians, to the H.E. The Turkish Ambassador for protecting the valuable life of our future Prime Minister.
Pak Lah was quick to dispel his government’s involvement with the allegation that Anwar had sodomized his young assistant, who is not a PKR party member. PKR Party President, Datin Seri Dr. Azizah is reported to have said that there is a systematic and determined plot by members within the government to silenced Anwar, and also revealed that an aide to Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak was seen with the supposedly sodomized victim. Anwar had claimed that the allegation is “a complete fabrication”.
Now, where do we go from here? Will there be another reformasi movement that will cause social unrest throughout the country? Please remember that Anwar’s popularity has grown enormously since the elections. And unlike the 1998 reformasi movement which was confined to the Federal Capital, this time around the protest could be more widespread, especially in the opposition controlled states. Just ask the IGP whether he is capable of controlling a simultaneous public protest in the 5+1 opposition controlled states? My answer is NO. And if the Army is called in, than Malaysia is in trend with Pakistan or Zimbabwe.
With the judiciary in a ‘mess’ and a loss of public confidence, coupled with a police force that is continuously seen to be bias and selective in its investigations, a fair trial for Anwar seemed highly remote. Hence, Anwar’s decision to take refuge at the Turkish Embassy compound is out of fear for his personal safety, and a recurrence of his humiliating arrest by the police in 1998.
The position of the government in handling the above state of affair is indeed precarious. A miscalculation is sure to lead to disastrous consequences for the country, and this has to be avoided at all costs. Malaysians are already stressed by the escalating high cost of living, and I therefore plea to the government to act sensibly in addressing this explosive issue.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I don’t really know the reasons for the long delay in completing the market. One can come up with several guesses, but I think DBKL should assume full responsibility for the delay, for reason that they were the authority to award the contract. However, in the Malaysian scenario, it is fairly normal for the authorities not to accept blame for any failure of projects. Normally, fingers will start to be pointed at others, and even if the resultant failure involves a huge lost of public funds, this is of little concern to the authorities.
I was told that the YB Dr. Lo Lo Ghazali, Member of Parliament for Titiwangsa recently visited the market, as part of her tour of her constituency. It was reported that the visit had the full knowledge of BDKL, and as an MP, Dr. Lo Lo had expected officers from DBKL to be present to brief her. However, no officers were present, which clearly reflects poorly upon DBKL, as administrators of the project. I suppose, had YB Dr. Lo Lo been a BN MP, I am not at all surprise if the Mayor himself will be present.
From the above, one can expect the other 10 opposition MP’s within the Federal Territory to suffer a similar fate i.e. the lack of support from the authorities of DBKL, who now seem to be acting like politicians. I wish to reiterate that the actions of DBKL not to lend support to the people’s elected representatives in their constituencies, may be counter productive to the BN government itself.
And clearly, if this is to be the attitude of DBKL authorities for the remaining period prior to the next General Elections, I can bet that the losses to the BN will be even more catastrophic.
During a conversation with a former colleague, he raised a question as to why do the senior officers of the army today, while in uniform stoop to kiss the hands of royalties and also the Prime Minister. I told him that I too noticed it happening on a number of occasions, but this act to me is rather unusual. I could not also recall as to how it all began, but strangely enough, this practice is becoming a norm.
I have served the army for 33 years, and I can vouch that kissing the hands of royalties and the Prime Minister whilst in uniform, isn’t taught to us as a common military practice, during our days as cadets.
Being a Malay, my parents have taught me since I was a child, to kiss their hands every time I greet them. Kissing the hands of our parents and the elders is a symbol of subservience and respect. Likewise, when I had children, I too taught them to kiss their mother’s hand and mine, every time they leave for school in the morning. And this practice is now being passed down to my grandchildren, and hopefully to my great grandchildren.
I believe that the act of kissing the hands of royalties or the Prime Minister by a senior army officer whilst in uniform is unusual and should cease. As military officers, the right practice to show subservience and respect (while in uniform) to royalties, is to stand at attention, and salute them. However, if one is not wearing a cap, one need only to brace-up smartly. This is the normal practice among other world armies, that I know off.
Should this article find its way to servicing military officers of the Malaysian Army, I would like to propose that this issue be discussed professionally, in the hope that the practice be corrected, not out of disrespect and arrogance towards the royalties and the Prime Minister, but of retaining the army’s true traditions, practices and values.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Being a Malay, I have many Indian friends whom I have been associated with since childhood, and are today still my dearest friends. My dad being a government servant, lived in a government quarters, and we had four Indian families as our neighbours. As a child, I would just walk into my Indian neighbour’s home, and asked if I could play with their children, and eat with them. Having sampled so much of my neighbour’s food as a child, I till today have a special liking for tosai, rasum, dhal, ittily and chappati, and am also able to understand what is in the hearts of the Indian community.
Some of my grown up friends are professional, with some having migrated overseas. Others may not be so lucky, but sufficiently enough to continue living a decent urban life. However, those in the rural areas; the estates in particular, are not so lucky. Why is this so? Why have they not been able to change their life style, and have remained in a state of neglect and dispair for all these years? These are questions that need to be answered by our political masters, especially those that have claimed themselves to be leaders of the Indian community.
Now back to the issue of the cabinet committee. It was announced that the DPM together with Samy Vellu shall co-chair the committee. My question is…”Why Samy Vellu? Can he still claim himself to be the leader of the Indian community?”. My answer is a big NO, and isn’t there any other better person than Samy Vellu?
The government being in constant denial, has failed to see that by virtue of having lost his parliamentary seat at Sg. Siput during the last general elections, Samy Vellu is still being accepted as the government’s mouth piece, for the Indian community. This is simply absurd. Losing to me simply means that the people no longer wants him. And does the government believe that what Samy Vellu could not do to his community while he was a minister all these years, can be undone today? Again, my answer is another big NO.
The talk among my Indian friends of Samy Vellu is that, he is arrogant, insensitive, authoritarian and simply thinks that others are stupid, and he alone knows everything. Just watch the way he communicates with meets people…..egoistic.
With all the negative attributes inherent in this man called Samy Vellu, I would therefore advice the DPM to get somebody else to replace him immediately, if the government is serious enough to make amends to the long sufferings of the Indian community.
This country has enough highly qualified, educated and brilliant Indians who fits into the committee. He need not be a politician, and not being one does not mean the he lacks the qualities of a leader, and the command of the community.
For sake of my Indian friends and the community, I hope the government is willing to give this suggestion , due consideration.
Friday, June 27, 2008
1. By joining UMNO, Ezam will see himself safe and secured from harassment by the some agencies of government, notably the ACA and PDRM.
2. Being out of UMNO and PKR, Ezam has very little to fend himself. He needs to feed his family, and be looked up as an aspiring politician. As an NGO, he can only make noise, and nobody really care or listen. Look at what happened to his claims that he has files and files of reports concerning corrupted BN politicians. I wish to ask him now....."Where are the files now. Have you eaten them up?"
3. Pardon me for saying this, "A person like Ezam can never be a trust worthy friend. I will cast him away like a rotten egg".
4. Ezam need to look at himself at a mirror, and say "Who is the worst of person on this earth today". Bet you, the mirror will say " You Ezam".
As for UMNO, the reason Pak Lah smiled was because he can now make full use of Ezam to discredit Anwar Ibrahim. Sure enough, Ezam has said that he will expose all the misdeeds of Anwar Ibrahim. But Pak Lah and Ezam must understand this...God is watching you. Is this what you preach in Islam Hadhari?
Ezam...you were with Anwar once before. And is this the way you treat someone who had looked after you. I am quite sure that there was something good that Anwar has given you. In return, you throw shit and rubbish at him, in you greed for UMNO power. Believe you me, your stay with UMNO will be short live.
As a former Menteri Besar, Minister and Vice President, he surely has supporters who would like to see him back at the top helm of the party. With the weakened leadership of Pak Lah, and the growing animosity among grass root members over who should best lead the party, Tan Sri Isa Samad's role as a moderator to minimise dissensions within the party before the party general assembly,is very much sought after. Whether Tan Sri Isa Samad will accept and want to play the aforesaid role is very much left to him to decide.
I suppose, Tan Sri Isa Samad is well aware of the difficulties facing Pak Lah's leadership today, and the possibility of a challenge to his Presidency by YM Tengku Razaleigh and YB Mahyuddin Yasin. A three cornered fight for this top party post, if it does materialise, is unprecedented in UMNO politics. And should YAB Dato Seri Najib decides to throw in his challenge, this will definitely cause a split and factional infighting within the party, that serves only to weakened the party, and the Malays left to aggrieve further. Under this circumstance, Pak Lah will obviously need the support of some old hands, to reposition himself and heighten his popularity. Surely, Pak Lah will be looking at Tan Sri Isa Samad.
The UMNO general assembly is just around the corner, and the jockeying for positions and favours among aspirants for top party posts has been heard (though not too obvious). It will be interesting to watch the position taken by Tan Sri Isa Samad from now till the general assembly, and to which 'faction' will he align himself. Or will he himself decides to join the fray?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
YAB Tan Sri Khalid Nordin's decision to suspend a close political associate instantly, after been informed of the case, reflects his grit and determination to rid his administration of all forms of abuses and corruption, which he has vowed to do upon being appointed the MB of Selangor. The action of Tan Sri Khalid to act without fear or favour, serves as an sterling example of what leadership, honour and responsibility is all about.
Politicians are well known to have used their status for their own self pecuniary interest.And Malaysian politicians are no exception. YAB Tan Sri Khalid's action to suspend a close associate, may incur the wrath of some of his party members.
Being a person of great wisdom, YAB Tan Sri Khalid is well aware that it is better for him to rid one 'bad apple' early, then to save that one 'bad apple', who would later emerge a bigger culprit and an incurable parasite to the party. We have seen many instances of this happening in the Malaysian political scene...from rags to riches scenario.
I wish YAB Tan Sri Khalid is not shaken nor threatened by the actions of a few bad apples, as shown by Yahya Sahri and his supporters. His demand for you to step down as the MB, I believe has little influence on the top party leadership, who all hold similar aspiration as yours.
RM 1 million for a gold medal winner is a lot of money, and the reason given for the hike does not really make sense.
Please do not get me wrong. I am not totally against price money for medal winners, for I too believe that those who excel in sport and have brought fame to the country, must be appropriately rewarded.
I am just wondering, with all this talk about austerity in government spending, here will suddenly hear of an announcement to spend more money on something that does not benefit the general public at all. Where is the conscience of the Minister who made such an announcement.
I do not care if the money is coming out from the Minister's pocket, or from some political funds somewhere. But if is from public funds, it is definitely a big NO. I am further advising the Minister to stop acting like Santa Claus.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The absence of any response from BN politicians equally erodes their standing in public ratings.
Truly, no one is in any position to lay claim to the veracity of the declaration as at yet. The Court of Justice must prevail. In the meantime, public interest must be given due regard by all, especially those elected in power.
Lest we forget, here is a case that has put the nation under the global spotlight, and for all the wrong reasons. To remain mum, or to give delayed response only fires more speculation and the entrenchment of perceptions.
And the subsequent damage would maim this beloved nation’s global ranking.
Since the reputation of this nation is under siege, three considerations must be met immediately:
Firstly, the DPM must immediately resign and detach himself from all vantages that may or may not influence any institution or individuals responsible for ensuring justice takes precedence. This is to enable the impartial investigations to be carried out in a transparent manner.
Secondly, the media must report in an independent manner devoid of any vested interest. National interest precedes personal allegiance. Failing which the credibility of any independent press will only be damaged further along with the nation’s democratic principles.
Thirdly, upon establishing the whole truth and nothing but the truth, whoever is guilty should not escape punishment.
If RPK is guilty of shameless wrongdoing, then the law must take its full course to the last letter. If the DPM is party to the guilt, then no rod should be spared and the same goes for the deputy PM’s wife.
Mere rhetoric and guarded responses or safe silence is not going to make any positive impact to nation, king and citizens alike.
Denying that the nation is in crisis mode will only cheat us even further.
A month ago, several soldiers who had served with the contingent and are now retired from the army, hosted a reunion dinner at Johor Baru. I was fortunate to have been invited, and to once again meet the soldiers that had served me in Cambodia.
For me, it was an emotional reunion, and the long 14 years has taken its toil on some of the ex-soldiers; in age and as well as in their physical well being. Gone are their youthful look, but their laughter and cheerfulness that has motivated me to perform well throughout the trying period of my command, is still very much alive in them, throughout the evening.
I was speechless as names of those who have died (for various reasons) were mentioned, and there were no less than ten of them. I could still remember them, and even felt their presence among us that evening.
I have always taken my ex-soldiers to be my best of friends, and the 15 months in Cambodia with them, is something that I shall cherish till the end of my dying day.
Surely, there were many things to talk about, but what pleases me most is to meet the families of my ex-soldiers, most of whom I have not met before. I therefore had to play ‘grandpa’ that evening, for some of their children are of the same age as my grandchildren.
I returned home that evening with sadness in my heart. I was wondering if I could once again be able to join them the next time, and to reminisce the past. And true to the spirit of soldiering, the espirit-de-corps among them has not withered the least. On the contrary, it remained strong and I believe, it shall remain strong for as long as they live.
Rosmah’s loyal cohort, Lt Col Aziz Buyong being from the Malaysian Army Corps of Engineer, now seems the most probable link to the source of the deadly explosive. Being a senior army officer, he could have used his authority and position, to have excess to the explosive.
Whether he was the person to have placed the explosive and to detonate it as alleged, this has to be thoroughly examined, in light of a similar charge being brought against the two UTK police officers accused in the ongoing murder trial at Shah Alam High Court.
C4 is a controlled item. Hence, there are strict standing operating procedures (SOP) that governs its release. Although Lt Col Aziz is an officer, this does not exempt him from complying to the SOP. The final authority for approval usually lies in the Officer Commanding of the unit, or an officer designated by him. This designation of authority is usually spelt out in the unit standing orders.
If Lt Col Aziz had merely used his officer status as the authority to obtain the explosive, he then would have committed a serious offence, and is therefore liable to be Court Marshal.
We also need to determine whether the Officer Commanding of the unit was the person who gave the approval, or was it someone else, who without the knowledge of the Officer Commanding, released the explosive. These are questions that have to be investigated thoroughly by the Army, if Army is serious enough in wanting to rectify flaws to the existing standing operating procedures.
And if Lt Col Aziz is actually the person who has committed the offence, he now has to face the consequences of his stupidity alone in the Court of Law.
The whole world has the story now, and I even received a phone call from my New Yorker friend late last night, to verify the truth regarding the story. He told me that he obtained the news from another of his Malaysian friend. If the news had traveled to New York, I see no reason why the news has not reached London, Paris, Oslo or even Kenya.
A blogger friend also called to say that he received more than 91,000 hits for a story he wrote relating to the murder. That’s how important and concern bloggers view the story, and the number of hits is a clear indication of the importance of the story to the concerned public. Like all good movies, viewers are attracted to big names. Similarly in this story, viewers were attracted because the big name happened to be Rosmah Mansor, the darling wife of Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak.
But what of the mainstream media, especially those that are owned by political parties affiliated to the government?
Admittedly, I am not a loyal subscriber of the NST or any of its dailies. But for this shocking story that has made us grasp in wonder, I thought surely NST will have the story flashed out on its front pages and in bold letters. I frantically browsed through the NST website , and to my disappointment, NST suddenly ‘ran out of ink’ to run the story.
I now wonder, if only it was RPK who was involved in the murder, how would the NST react? I think it will be a ‘field day’ of reporting for the NST, and also for the government controlled electronic media. Just watch how the media will react when RPK goes to court to answer his charges for sedition this October.
So please pardon my language, if I call you the mainstream media (both print and electronic) mute and dumb. You certainly have lost credibility in the eyes of all Malaysians, in fair, just and accurate reporting.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I sense a dead rat in the above charges, and ACA must have all along stored the charges in some isolated vault, only to be brought out at the 'appropriate time' on the instructions of someone in absolute power........who could that be? I now tend to believe that the recent 'sacking' of the President of International Islamic University, Dato Seri Sanusi Junid, is as a direct result of his tirade against UMNO, and his resolute support for Tun Dr. Mahathir. It has nothing to do with his performance as the President, which I am told has been oustanding all along.
I also believe that there are many more stored up charges against individuals (politicians and private individuals) kept in ACA vaults, awaiting to be retrieved, should someone goes against the wishes of the powers that be. I thought, such a thing only happens in communist governments or in a police state; or are we already a police state?
I now begin to fear for myself and that of my entire family, for who knows that one fine day, I will be slammed with a charge of corruption reportedly to have occurred, when I was in my mother's womb.
What makes this latest revelation more damming is that it named PM Abdullah Badawi, his up-start son-in-law Khairy, and a mention of a Malay ruler (though not by name), as having the full knowledge of Rosmah's involvement. If this is true, what this mean is that, all are liable to be dragged to the Shah Alam Court for conspiracy. Even officers from the military intelligence should suffer the same fate. What of Najib than? Your guess is as good as mine.
Raja Putra's revelation comes at a time when the country is going through a political and economic uncertainty, which can lead to serious social unrest. This situation has to avoided at all costs. But with our political leaders themselves at each others throat, and increasing in ferocity each day, how than could we hope of abating a dangerous situation from erupting?
PM Abdullah Badawi and his Ministers must realise that the people who had voted them into power demands a good and effective government that serves them faithfully. What the country is going through today, obviously smack of incompetency of the 'Kerajaan Tiga Beranak', a term used by Sang Kelembai.
Friday, June 20, 2008
In an earlier programme, it was the Head of Puteri UMNO, YB Dato Noraini who failed to turn up to a face-to-face meeting with PKR's MP, YB Nural Izzah Anwar, also for unknown reason.
I now begin to wonder if the 'disappearance' of both the UMNO politicians on a live TV programme, is UMNO's latest strategy of frustrating their political enemy, or are they just too timid to face them? Compared to the two UMNO politicians, both Badrul Hisham and Nurul Izzah are relatively new in politics, having only made their presence felt during the last general elections.
If this is UMNO's strategy, little wonder none of the other veteran UMNO politicians have ever dared to accept the opposition's challenge to an open debate. If one could recall, Badrul Hisham did offer a challenge to UMNO's up-start Khairy to a debate during the last general elections, which the latter had conveniently ignored. Likewise, Anwar Ibrahim also offered a challenge to some UMNO leaders to a debate during the elections, but sadly, there were no takers.
By absenting themselves, both the UMNO politicians had missed a golden opportunity to project themselves, as having the oratorical ability and skill to discourse knowledgeably on a variety of issues affecting the country today. On the other hand, Badrul Hisham and Nurul Izzah appearance on live TV, has certainly made them ever more popular.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I believe, the decision has political connotation, aimed at safeguarding and bolstering the waning popularity and interest of the Malays towards UMNO in the state.
Being born in Selangor, I can vouch for the Malays in my kampung that UMNO’s popularity was drastically reduced, when Pak Lah’s family members came into the political limelight. I do not need to name here, who the family members are, for they are a house hold name today.
I have to be honest to Pak Lah that nothing good is being said of his family members, and you know this. And the lost of the UMNO candidate representing my kampung during the last general election, has much to do with the negative reports (true or otherwise) concerning Pak Lah’s family members. I must admit that I too was influence, and Pak Lah need not know who I voted for.
Now, we have Tan Sri Muhammed Taib back as a Minister (though not an elected representative) trying his luck at establishing his popularity in Selangor. I can say for certain that he is no longer the people’s choice in Selangor; certainly not from among the Malays in my kampung. And by appointing Ketua Kampungs and JKKK members in Selangor, this will only create animosity and dissension among the Malay kampung folk. Is this UMNO’s way of uniting the Malays?
50 years of BN/UMNO rule is enough for Selangor, and for the Minister to say that he has done so much to uplift the plight of the rural folk, and therefore sees it fit to interfere in the administration of the newly elected state government, is totally unacceptable and insane.
My advice to Tan Sri Muhammed Taib is to “back off, for we in Selangor no longer need your filthy meddling hands”.
Aiyoo….Mr. Samy, why have you to say that now. Why don’t you say it when Tun Mahathir was the PM, and you his Minister. Were you not the one who used to apple polish and heap praises on Tun Mahathir?
What are you trying to prove now Mr. Samy? Trying to regain your lost popularity and championing for MIC? It is a bit too late Mr. Samy. Please behave and act like a gentleman, and accept the fact that you were the cause of the problems faced by the Indian community today.
For example, look at what happened to Maika Holdings? You want to blame this on Tun Mahathir also? This issue, I believe is still unresolved, and your community is still waiting for an answer.
Finally. I have this to say to you, “Your days in politics is over. And your chances of being elected the next time is zero. Nobody believes in you anymore. So why not take a trip to Gantok around the Himalayas for a long…….long holiday. It is an ideal location for actors like you……. you know”.
Of course, when we the elders meet, there will be many things to talk about, ranging from the result of the last elections to the recent oil price hike, and many more. It is a ‘mini parliament’ of sort, where views and opinions are blurted out without due regards to those around; and without a presiding Chairman, the meeting can be boisterous.
After a two hour sitting, I was able to grasp a range of interesting issues discussed which I would like to share here in this blog.
First. It was reported that Dr. Khair Toyo, the former MB of Selangor had ‘deployed’ some lawyers as his ‘eyes and ears’ to monitor speeches made by PKR members at religious gathering. Dr. Khair is reported to have said that he will sue those speakers who makes false and malicious remarks against him.
I do not know whether the above report is true or not, but on hearing it, my immediate remark was to say, “How silly of Dr. Khair to do such a thing. Don’t he has other better things to do. Don’t tell me that this is his new occupation after being ousted as the MB of Selangor. And don’t he realize that he is wasting the precious time of the lawyers?”
And from the responses of many, it is obvious that all were not quite pleased with the action of Dr. Khair Toyo either, and this is certainly a minus point for Dr. Khair Toyo’s popularity. I know for sure that most of my relatives are UMNO members, but I do not know for certain whom they voted for during the last elections, or have they all shifted their allegiance to other political parties?
Second. The issue of ‘Rumah Rasmi Exco Selangor’ that was build by the previous Selangor state government was raised. To this, someone remarked that the ‘ghosts’ of the previous occupants still lingers in the houses, and this was the reason why the present Exco members are reluctant to occupy the houses.
There is the believe among the Malay folk, that houses left vacant for long period of time, will actually be occupied by ghosts, and I have come across some who have had such experiences.
Later, I am told that the houses will be made good use of by the new state government, through leasing or hiring it to corporations , thus generating valuable income for the state coffer. This is a plus point for the Selangor MB, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and the PR Exco members who have all decided to reside in their own homes.
Third. The talk that Pak Lah is acting like Santa Claus recently, was about the most interesting topic at the wedding. Pak Lah now appears to show his gentle and generous being, by announcing huge ‘financial reward’ during his state visit to Sabah, in particular. The questions asked, “Where did he get all the money from?. If he has all the money to throw around, why then did he raise the price of fuel?”. Is this an act to entice his waning Sabah supporters to remain loyal to him?.
Many more questions were asked, but I personally think the ‘threat’ from Anwar Ibrahim, and also from Sabah’s YB Yong Teck Lee, a BN partner, is haunting Pak Lah. This is certainly a plus point for Anwar, and his ‘threat’ is taking full effect on Pak Lah.
I left the wedding ceremony sensing that there is now greater sense of awareness among the ordinary people regarding issues effecting the country today, and to themselves. Certainly, the results of the March 8 election has taught politicians that they should no longer take the people’s views for granted. And to those who have lost the elections, particularly those who were elected representatives before; gaining back their lost position may not be so easy the next time.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I read with utter disgust, the decision by the Ministry of Defence to allow Majidee Camp, an Army camp that had existed prior to the Second World War, to be developed as a commercial centre. The developer is reported to be Zaman Land Sdn Bhd., that is said to have made an agreement with the
Being a retired Army officer, I have had on several occasions visited and stayed at Majidee Camp, with its uniquely solid structured buildings, that are constructed to last for several more generations. But unfortunately, the camp is slowly reaching its closure and eventual demise, through the pretext of development, by those who have little thought of preserving the pages of military history. I know for one, that what is today the Malaysian Army Special Forces, or the Malaysian Special Service Unit (MSSU) as it was designated then, was established in Majidee Camp in the early 60’s. Its establishment was the pride of the Army, where only the toughest could gain entry into the unit.
I hasten to wonder why has this culture of greed and outrageous land thievery by supposedly developers, and presumably in cohort with politicians, care little about national security and defence. What is so wrong about having to leave the camp as it is? Has the soldiers been such a nuisance to the public that they don’t deserve to reside in Johor Baru? Where next will they go? Certainly not into temporary wooden structured camps, that was the norm in the seventies.
I am quite sure that what is left of Majidee Camp, will sooner or later, be acquired, giving the dumb justification that it is no longer appropriate and safe to have an Army Camp in the midst of urban development. The Army unit final eviction from Majidee Camp is likened to the Israeli’s military occupation of Palestinian land. This is indeed a well crafted thought by the powers that be, and my utmost congratulations to the Ministry of Defence for being in connivance with such idiotic thoughts.
This leaves me to wonder whether a similar fate will befall upon other military camps located in urban areas, that are scattered across the country. And my memory flashes on
Last Wednesday 11th June, I was traveling in a taxi to Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) for my usual medical check up, after alighting from the commuter train at Putra Train Station. This has been my traveling routine for several years. I find it convenient to travel by such means for two reasons.
Firstly, as a man pass his 60th birthday, I only pay half the normal fare for traveling in the commuter, and with reasonable comfort. However, that comfort will diminish, if I travel during peak hours, which I would normally avoid.
Secondly, I find it less stressful traveling by commuter and taxi, although the fare for the latter can be reasonably high, when caught in the usual
During the 15 minutes drive in the taxi, I was entertained to a lively conversation by an Indian taxi driver in his mid thirties, who happened to be born and raised in
The moment I got seated, he began to ask me if the recent fuel hike has affected me. To this, I said “No, because I seldom drive to work, and it is my wife who uses the car most of the time to market and to perform her other chores”.
Next, he asked, “Macam mana pula dengan harga barangan makan yang banyak sudah naik sekarang?”. I answered that, “I actually do not know because my ‘home minister’ does all the buying. I only give her the money”.
On hearing my answers, the taxi driver turned around and gave me a deep stare and said, “Macam mana encik tak tahu ini semua. Saya sekarang mau makan nasi di kedai pun takut, kerana kalau saya makan di kedai, sudah tentu saya tidak dapat beli susu anak saya”.
I was taken aback by what came out of the taxi driver, and I could not believe that the economic situation in
“Encik”, he said, “Saya tahu mengapa itu menteri kasi naik itu minyak dan barang makanan – itu menteri semua tak perlu beli minyak kerana dia semua naik kereta kerajaan. Tak perlu bayar tol, cukai jalan dan parking. Saya kena bayar itu semua dan lagi kena bayar kepada tokey punya teksi tiap tiap hari. Menteri punya makan pun tidak susah. Mereka main order saja”
With a sense of remorse and sympathy, I replied “Awak kena banyak sabar kerana mungkin ini kerajaan sudah tidak ada wang lagi, dan kalau tidak ada wang, macam mana mau bayar gaji menteri dan orang kerajaan”.
To this he replied, “Kalau tak bayar gaji menteri satu tahun pun tak mengapa, kerana mereka sudah banyak kaya. Rumah pun besar besar dan anak bini pun boleh meniaga senang senang. Tengok itu menteri…………dia punya bini beli barang di luar negeri serupa macam Imelda Marcos lah”.
I could guess which minister’s wife he was referring to, and to this, I asked , “Macam mana awak tau itu cerita”.
With a smile, he replied “Saya pun tengok internet dan baca. Saya ingat itu internet tak bohong punya. Bukan macam itu Straits Times dan Berita Harian. Itu radio dan TV sama juga”.
Upon arriving at IJN, and having got out of the taxi, I handed the taxi driver a 50 ringgit note and said, “ Tolong beli susu anak awak dengan duit ini ya”.
I then asked him, “Siapa awak undi pada pilihan raya lalu”.
He hesitated for a moment, and said, “Mungkin encik tidak percaya. Saya undi BN juga, dan sekarang saya menyesal”.
The brief conversation that I had with the taxi driver, has made me to realize the economic difficulties that this poor taxi driver is confronted with, due to the recent price hike in fuel and food. I believe there are many more like him, and maybe there are even much more who are worse off than the taxi driver. And I don’t think this situation will get any better.
From this encounter, I could only hope that the BN government fully understand and feel the impact of the price hikes on the ordinary people; particularly that of the lower income group that forms the majority of the population of this country. And I honestly do not know if any minister has had the experience of traveling in the commuter; especially during the peak hours, or a taxi of late, to have the feel, hear and witness the people’s grievances at the recent price hike in fuel and food.
So please Mr. Ministers, have a heart for the people, and listen to them first before you decide to change anything that affects the economic livelihood of the people. For them, even a sen hike makes a lot of difference.
I had just finished reading a book titled ‘In The Line Of Fire’ written by President Pervez Musharraf of
“The outstanding performance of the
Being a retired Army Officer, I was aware that the Malaysian Army too had a contingent deployed in
From the briefing that I had upon the troops returned to
En route to Madina Bazaar, and upon reaching the last check point manned by some Pakistani soldiers, the escorting Pakistani Tank Troop Commander refused to move any further, stating that his tanks are not equipped with night fighting capabilities. An argument ensued between the Malaysian Troop Commander and the Pakistani Tank Troop Commander over the reluctance of the latter to continue the task of escorting the combined Malaysian/US troop.
Since time was the essence, and any delay could jeopardize the rescue operation and the safety of the trapped
This significant incident is well documented by the Malaysian Army, and a commendation letter issued by the US Military Commander in
President Musharraf’s book obviously has worldwide circulation, and for those who do not know about the incident, will believe in what has been written. And also, neither has the book made any mention about our troops participation in the rescue operation. Not even in the film Black Hawk Down, which only depicts
For the information of our Malaysian readers, the soldier who died in the incident and the Malaysian Troop Commander was meritoriously awarded the Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB) by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong in 1994.