Saturday, January 31, 2009


Dear YAB,

I know you do not know me personally because I am not an UMNO politician. But I do know you because I am a retired army officer at a time when you were the Minister of Defence. I even had the opportunity to shake you hands when you visited me, when I was the Malaysian Army Contingent Commander serving the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) in 1992/93, and with photos to prove.

You certainly had done a lot for the Armed Forces, and there is no denying that your concern for the welfare of the soldiers takes priority. Today, the soldiers are better housed, given a good salary and are better equipped. These all round improvements have made the Armed Forces a profession to be desired by the younger generation today and hopefully, it will remain that way.

However of late, I begin to take pity for you. Not because you are not a capable leader, but you seemed not to fully understand the mood of the ordinary people anymore. I think you have insulated yourself, and the people that surrounds you are like barricades that makes you appear aloof. Even your stern looking police body guards that accompanies you everywhere has made you look like a caged lion that is untouchable and beyond reach. How could you, a politician and a national leader understand the ordinary people if you allow yourself to be caged like this.

Now on the more serious note; there is already a rising tide of public anger against you, and I do not know whether you are aware of this. Everywhere I go, and every time I sit to talk to people, the discussion will surely be centered on you. I believe, this stems from the persistent accusations against you (you know what they are) that has influenced the minds of many into believing that the accusations are true. Hence, they say that because of these accusations, you may not be a suitable leader to lead the nation come March this year. This opinion does not come from UMNO members, but from the ordinary people; people that had voted for you, and you do not know a single one of them.

While I don't dispute your abilities as a leader, you will need a lot of soul searching to built up your tampered image. And how could you possibly do this? Please open your heart to what I have to say in the succeeding paragraphs below.

First, is to get rid of all those people that have insulated you. If you know them to be corrupt and have enriched themselves through your patronage, jail them. Select people who are sincere, honest and god fearing to be close to you, and there are many to choose from. With such people around you, will help you build yourself a new image. Get close to your mother, and constantly seek her advise and blessings.

Second, constantly listen to the voices of the people, and this can be done by you taking a casual walk regularly along the street to meet and talk directly with the ordinary people. I bet, the people have lots of things to say to you, and these are honest talk. Don't just listen to your party members because most are persistent and cogent liars. But in your round of talks to the ordinary people, please, do not have your body guards cage you.

Third, please tell Rosmah to stop being extravagant and to cease acting like Imelda Marcos. The 'mak ciks' and 'pak ciks' does not like this. Show generosity and compassion by helping the 'anak yatim' and the old folks, Ask her to regularly visit these unfortunate people and eat with them occasionally. Tell her to stop looking snobbish, and to show a face that is friendly and approachable.

Fourth, you ought to improve your oratory skills, but do not adopt the style of Mr. Samy Vellu. He is plain arrogant and makes others to look stupid. Certainly, you do not want to end up like him. Neither would you want to emulate the Anwar Ibrahim style. Just be plain simple, direct and do not make the mistake of making too many promises.

Fifth, you seemed to have copied your boss at decision making. You most certainly do not want to be called another flip-flop leader. But your handling of the IJN and LCCT issues reflects a decision that is flip-flop. You first announced that the cabinet have approved both the projects, only to retract when you see mounting public pressure. I do not know how cabinet decisions are made, but I am sure there has to be some viability studies made before cabinet reaches a decision. You now have to shoulder the blame alone and believe me, no one member of the cabinet would want to take the blame from you. Do not flatter if you have made a mistake at decision making. Just admit that a wrong decision has been made, and quickly take corrective actions. I appear to be teaching you, which I should not. But the ordinary people sees it that you are weak, by consistently faulting in your decision making.

Six, I know that you have many close friends that are in business today. They are all waiting for you to take over as the PM and to grab the government contracts available. My brotherly advise to you is to discard them now. These are the people that will destroy your reputation, and please keep the promise that you made recently (in case you have forgotten) that all government contracts have to go through the open tender process......not the selective process.

I can keep on writing what others have said about you, but suffice for me to say that your appointment as the future PM comes with a myriad of challenges. Please remain focus in what you do and seek the advise of others (from good and sincere people) if you are saddled with a problem. You are knowledgeable enough to see the 'thorns' and 'spikes' that surrounds you, and just ignore them.

I hope you care to heed the brotherly advise given above, and even if you don't need the advise, I am the least hurt by it. At least I have voiced to you the concerns of others concerning you; especially the non UMNO members that had voted you.

And finally,always remember that your fate is in the hands of Allah SWT. Seek his guidance always in your prayers, and when you finally resides at Rumah Perdana, occasionally visit the grand Putra Jaya mosque for your daily prayers.

Posted at 10.00am on Jan 31, 2009


1. I have recently been asked by a serving army officer with regards to my preference for either a wheeled or a track self-propelled howitzer in the Malaysian scenario. I hastened in providing him a quick answer because I am not an artillery trained officer. Hence, I cannot claim to be anything near an expert on gunnery. I know that the questioner does not expect a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer from me, but an answer that has to have depth of reasoning and rationalization.

2. This question certainly interest me because the country’s physical terrain has certain peculiarities that favors the deployment and employment of military assets, and from another standpoint, it can also be a serious impediment to a successful military operations. This is the reason way, in any military operations, the knowledge of the environment and terrain of the battle area is given high emphasis.

3. The howitzer, or what is generally referred to as the gun, has an important role during war. It is an ‘area weapon’ which simply means that it is effective over large areas to ‘soften up’ enemy resistance before the full brunt of an assault by other elements of the assaulting force. Guns are either towed or mounted on vehicles; the latter also serves as the firing platform for the gun , and this is referred to as a self-propelled howitzer.

4. The Malaysian Army today has in its inventory the 105 mm Pack Howitzer that has been in service for more than 40 years. Most world armies today have discarded this gun because of its limited range. In terms of the larger caliber guns, the Malaysian Army is equipped with the FH 70 and G5 which are both of 155 mm caliber guns; the former being of UK product, and the latter being of South African product. Both these guns are towed guns and are of second generation make developed during the 70’s.

5. I believe the Malaysian Army is in the midst of acquiring a recent generation of artillery gun system that will meet future challenges of the army; either to augment its existing gun system or as a replacement. The procurement of new weapon system and equipment is a natural process of upgrading and modernization for all armies, and the move by the Malaysian Army to go for new artillery gun systems has to be viewed at in that light.

6. The self-propelled howitzer is somewhat an obvious choice for consideration for most armies; the major plus factor being speed and mobility of deployment against towed guns, and without least compromising the weight of fire power to be delivered onto assigned targets.

7. There are basically two types of self-propelled howitzer, i.e. wheeled and track, each with its own strength and weakness. And I tend to believe that there is already an on-going evaluation being made by the Malaysian Army to determine which of the two self-propelled howitzer system suites the army.

8. Let me now reasoned out the strength and weaknesses of both the wheeled and track self-propelled howitzer, based on my reading of the systems and from the experts within and outside the military service. Basically, my reasoning hinges upon four critical factors as follows:

a.Mobility. Both wheeled and track does provide mobility i.e the ability to move freely and speedily along roads and cross country. However, track self-propelled howitzer has limited mobility when required to move over long distances. It has to be transported on low loaders or transporters, and this will result in a combined weight in excess of 65 tons, against a weight of less than 30 tons for the wheeled self-propelled howitzer. With such massive weight, mobility is restricted to certain roads only, and some of our bridges are incapable of taking such a load. In this regards, wheeled self-propelled howitzer can traverse over long distances without the requirement to be loaded onto transporters, and being much lighter in weight, it can be easily air transported by medium lift aircraft.

b.Logistics. Based on the experience of advance armies around the world, it was found that the maintenance cost of a track self-propelled howitzer is 10 times that of a wheeled self-propelled howitzer. Coupled with the expected high cost of maintenance, the Malaysian Army have rather limited experience in maintaining track vehicles which will in itself pose added problems to the user. Wheeled vehicles are comparatively much easier to maintain beside lower cost, and certainly the army does not lack the experience in maintaining wheeled vehicles.

c.Speed. With mobility, speed in deployment is enhanced. Speed in this context also refers to the efficiency at which the guns are prepared, loaded and readied to engage targets. Wheeled self-propelled howitzers definitely has an edge in speed in deployment over track self-propelled howitzer simply because of the requirement of transporters for the latter. A loaded transporter is certainly no match in speed to a wheeled vehicle that can reached a speed of 70-80 km/hour on the highway. And speed of deployment is paramount in battle to achieve success.

d.Economic/Cost Factor. It is a recognized fact that track self-propelled howitzer cost almost twice, if not more than that of the wheeled self-propelled howitzer. And on top of that, track self-propelled howitzer will require transporters for reasons described in sub-paragraph 8.a. above which accounts for added cost. Track vehicles that a generally heavier than wheeled vehicles obviously consumes more fuel.

9. The above clearly gives the wheeled self-propelled howitzer the advantage over track self-propelled howitzer and reportedly, it is for the above stated reasons that armies today have sought greater preference for the wheeled self-propelled howitzer.

10. I have been made to understand that there has been some ‘unprofessional’ remarks by those outside the military circle that says “since the tanks are track, so has the self-propelled howitzers”. Such remark amazed me, and the person not having been trained a soldier, must be forgiven for passing such ridiculous remarks.

11. But to a professional soldier, guns being supporting elements are never deployed alongside the assaulting tanks or the infantry. It has to deployed at the rear, and only fools would want to have the guns charging along with the tanks and infantry in the battle area.

12. Now, that the Malaysian Army is serious about wanting to acquire the self-propelled howitzer, it has therefore to decide wisely whether it is going to be wheeled or a track self-propelled howitzer. As army professionals, the choice is not a difficult one to make, and let not ‘political consideration’ takes the better off the professionals in making that final decision. I would like to be blunt here, that civilians are in no way competent to make capital procurement purchase decisions for the Armed Forces.

13. There has been far too many ‘errors in procurement’ for the Malaysian Army in the past years, and it is the user that will finally takes the brunt, besides the millions that is lost through bad procurement decisions.

14. Finally, to answer the question posed to me by the serving army officer earlier and based upon the discussions presented above, my final preference would certainly be a wheeled self-propelled howitzer. Now, will the Malaysian Army make a similar decision as mine?

Posted at 23.30pm Jan 30, 2009.

Friday, January 30, 2009


New Straits Times (page 6), Thursday, January 29, 2009 heading reads “ MACC looking into defection”. The source is reportedly from MACC itself, though no particular name is mentioned.

Having read the report, I am somewhat certain that the reporter, Hamidah Atan is not very truthful in what she had written. It may be a case of wanting to demonise Datuk Nasarudin Hashim for his decision to quit UMNO, or to instil fear among other UMNO parliamentary/state representatives from crossing over to the opposition. It appears odd for MACC to make such a statement, knowing fully well that they will only investigate upon a report being made. If indeed Hamidah Atan's report is true, MACC then could be seen as to be flirting with politics, and this is not what MACC is suppose to do.

Being a reporter from a government backed print media, I fully understand Hamidah's predicament. Stirring up an issue like this to discredit the opposition is Hamidah's bread and butter. Honestly, does Hamidah really believe that there is corruption involved in the defection of Datuk Nasarudin Hashim to the opposition? Even Perak UMNO liaison committee chief, Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli has not said a thing about the possibility of corruption being the cause of the defection. Come on Hamidah, I dare you to reveal your MACC reliable source, and please don't hide behind anonymity of source that is so blatantly used by reporters like you.

And with regards to Tajol Rosli's decision to quit being the state party liaison committee chairman, and take full responsibility for the defection is most honourable of him. He has taken the interest of the party first and not self. I do not know whether former MB's of Perlis, Kedah and Selangor would dare do the same.

Posted at 6.10 am Jan 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009


So the A-G has rejected police findings on the Kugan murder case, and wants a more thorough investigation, reports the New Straits Times. What does this indicate?

Is there an attempt to cover up the truth in order to protect the 11 policemen involved from persecution? Or was the report too heavily tailored to make it appear that the cause of death was indeed the accumulation of fluid in the lungs as reported earlier by the CPO Selangor? Whatever the reason for the A-G’s rejection of the police findings, must have been serious enough, and the A-G knows fully well that his decision concerning this case is being watched very closely by the concerned public, and more so by the legal fraternity. And more importantly, a decision perceived by the public to be wrong, will certainly impact upon the popularity of both the government and the judiciary, that has since the last few years saw a rising tide of public anger against both the aforesaid institutions.

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had even voiced his concern when he said “If someone dies in custody, there is no compromise. We will investigate and take action”, and that is exactly what the public wants the police to do. And rather than do what they are suppose to do, the Selangor CPO, has come out with a statement that raises more suspicion than truth. This is where the problem lies, and the Selangor CPO must bare the full brunt of public anger.

I believe the Kugan case has been poorly handled by the police themselves. Had they taken a more friendly approach by explaining the truth to the aggrieved family, the case would not have been blown out of proportion. The police would have known exactly what had happened to Kugan when he was in custody, and by denying the truth, the entire police force is now being placed on the defensive. Everything they say now is viewed with distrust and suspicion, and it will take time for the police to regain public confidence.

I think, had the police acted more professionally by telling the truth, they would have been highly praised and regarded with dignity, and received public accolades. Certainly, by this incident, the police have missed the opportunity to redeem themselves.

Posted at 16.00pm on Jan 29, 2009


The police report launched by Gerak Chairman, Mohd Anzree Mohd Yunus against Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, alleging the latter for corruption is to my mind, an effort in futility. Mohd Nazree alleged that Tan Sri Khalid had abused his position by authorizing PKNS to purchase 46 cattle’s costing RM 110,400, to be distributed to the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary constituency for Hari Raya Haji, of which Tan Sri Khalid is its Member of Parliament.

I suspect what Mohd Nazree did is under instructions by someone, to discredit Tan Sri Khalid. Gerak, that I know off is the same ‘outfit’ that Ezam Md. Noor once led, and who claimed to have boxes of files of corrupt practice by UMNO leaders. I am not implying that Ezam has anything to do with Mohd Nazree’s report, but wouldn’t it be better for Mohd Nazree to expose the file in the boxes kept by Ezam? I think these files are related to the ‘big fishes’ or ‘ikan yu’, and the amount must have run into millions. And what is RM 110,400 compared to the millions squandered by reportedly UMNO politicians.

Anyway, the 46 cattle’s were not eaten by Tan Sri Khalid alone, but were for his constituents. Isn’t this not the same with what UMNO politicians had done during the Kuala Trengganu by-elections……giving out cash handouts in the millions in the pretext of welfare and development for the state? And these handouts are not UMNO’s money you know, but money derived from the public, and that includes my money and everybody else.

Mohd Nazree’s action is no better than Khir Toyo’s. If at all they are angry at having lost the Selangor state to Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, why pick on minor issues? Don’t tell me that Selangor under UMNO politicians in the past have not practiced corruption? Just look at the infamous Dato Zak, from ‘rags to riches’; would he be able to build a mansion in Klang if he was forthright, honest and god fearing. I may be wrong in picking Dato Zak, but common sense will tell us that his ‘rags to riches’ was not along a ‘straight path’. He must have taken a lot of diversions, hooks and corners. And what can Khir Toyo say of this UMNO Ulu Langat fellow named Dato Ahmad Kuris who is being charged for corruption. Don’t tell me that he only started his corruption business yesterday.

My brotherly advice to Mohd Nazree is to stop fiddling with Selangor and to allow Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to govern the state, the best he can. And if Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim decides to sue you for defamation, do you think your Gerak members or Khir Toyo would come to your assistance?

Certainly, if you are privy to the files kept by Ezam in the boxes, why don’t you show it to Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. This I think will help Pak Lah and Najib solve the massive problem of corruption in UMNO today, that has now crept into the very core of the party.

Posted at 13.20pm on Jan 29,2009


The death of Kugan said to have been caused by police brutality leaves another dark spot in the annals of the RMP. It was reported that over the years, 80 others have died under mysterious circumstances whilst under police detention, and the perpetrators (whoever they are) were never brought to justice. This makes the RMP a force filled with licensed murderers, and though their sins are ‘forgiven’ on earth, the same cannot be said when they are buried 6 feet under.

Regardless of whether Kugan did commit a crime or other wise, he is still a human being and has every right to be treated decently by the police. The police knows fully well that the country has all the necessary laws that governs society, and the role of the police is to ensure society is safe and protected. Making arbitrary judgment and pronouncing sentence whilst under their care is certainly not a police role. It is for the courts to decide, and don’t they know this? What can Kugan do to protect himself when there is a horde of policemen battering him? Even an elephant would not have survived under this circumstance.

The Kugan’s case has certainly opened the eyes of all Malaysians to the sort of ‘holiday treatment’ that one gets while being detained by the police. This reminds me of stories that I read about the Abu Gharib prison in Iraq, with an exception that there were no women police reported to be involved in the murder…….hopefully not.

While Kugan’s family and civil society are in grieve over this brutal act, a minister has the audacity to come out with a statement that smack of arrogance and threat. If this is how politicians respond to such a sever case as this, I can now understand why the civil society has so much of hate for this minister. I would like to place my bet that this minister’s tenure will not last the next election.

Will the Kugan’s case be a lesson to the RMP? I hope it does.

Posted at 11.30am on Jan 29, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My family and I would like to wish all my Chinese friends, particularly those whom I had served with in the Armed Forces, both serving as well as those who have already retired.

Specially to those Chinese friends of Intake 8 SSC, meeting all of you during the Reunion Dinner held last month after so many years, was indeed a memorable occasion.

Have an enjoyable 2009 Chinese New Year celebration with your families, children and grandchildren, and the many more celebrations to come. Age certainly has not caught up on you all.

Posted at 5.30pm on Jan 25,2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I have all along said that direct negotiations of government contracts will encourage corruption by approving authorities. And just read what Najib has to say about the open tender system (he used the term competitive bidding) as reported by Tim Leonard, published in The Sun Daily recently, produced below.

I would like to hear my readers comments on what Najib has said, and whether is it worth believing or not.

Najib: Implement Competitive Bidding
by Tim Leonard

PUTRAJAYA: Corruption among civil servants can be avoided by implementing competitive bidding on government projects and reducing the use of discretionary authority, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said the government wants less use of discretionary authority among officials in the public sector as this will directly reduce the opportunity for corruption or corrupt practices.

He said allowing competitive bidding for tenders and contracts would significantly reduce the use of such authority by officials. “We should hold on to our integrity and values to support the strengthening of integrity in the procurement system”. Said Najib at the Treasury Department's Quality Day at the Finance Ministry yesterday.

He said Treasury staff should reduce their power to make decisions based on discretionary authority to avoid corruption and achieve higher levels of integrity. Najib said among the ways to reduce discretionary authority was to implement competitive bidding. “Reducing discretionary authority will also help Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his efforts to achieve higher levels of integrity in the country”.

“We must also ensure that ever ringgit spent brings value to the government and the people,” he said.
All expertise and knowledge relating to management of the economy and the country's finance must be consolidated for decisions to be made more accurately.

Najib also urged Finance Ministry staff to look at solving problems in a more creative and innovative manner. “Under the current global economic conditions, we must use our mental capability to come up with more creative ideas,” he said.

He added that efficiency at the Finance Ministry will cause other ministries to also improve their performances, especially matters involving funds to implement projects for development. “The ministry and its staff need to be efficient. As a central agency that serves other ministries, our efficiency will result in others being efficient. Even I often remind myself that I too play a role in the process of efficiency,” he said.

Najib said the coming year will be very challenging for the ministry as the people have high hopes on the government to lessen the impact of a global economic slowdown on the domestic front.

Posted at 10.20am on Jan 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Can anyone imagine a foreigner being awarded the supply of defence equipments worth billions without going through the process of an open tender? And can you believe that the same foreigner has in all probability been awarded the contract for the maintenance of the very defence equipment that he had supplied? Finally, I am told, it is again the same foreigner who was awarded another contract for the supply of a passive radar system for the army, once again, not through the process of an open tender.

Haven't I said in my previous articles that the award of contract through direct negotiation is an opportunity for corrupt practice. But the Defence Ministry with billions to spend, seems to favour direct negotiations, as oppose to the process of an open tender. I am also told that there is a third process of awarding contracts which they termed as the 'wahyu' process. This 'wahyu' must have it origins from 'heaven', because no one is allowed to oppose the 'wahyu' and strict compliance is to be expected.

Now who can this foreigner be, who mingles easily with the top brasses of the Armed Forces and is accorded easy access to the Defence Ministry. Most certainly, I do not know him nor have I met him. But from what I gather, he is extremely rich and when the ministry's top military brasses and officials goes abroad on a site visit to the manufacturers of the defence equipment intended for purchase, this foreigner will accord the ministry's top brasses and officials with the luxuries like never before.

The defence equipment that I was referring to is the JERNAS air defence system, which is actually the export name for Rapier air defence system, delivered to the Malaysian Army in 2006.; the manufacturers being Matra BAe Dynamics of the United Kingdom. Two regiments worth of JERNAS (delivered over different period) were purchased at a cost of almost RM 2 billion.

As I have said above, the purchased was through direct negotiations with the foreigner being the agent. I recently gathered that six months after the equipments were delivered to the army, the manufacturer ceased its operations and is no longer manufacturing parts and components for the equipment. Don't the army feel cheated by the manufacturer, and with no parts and components to purchase, I wonder for how long more will the RM 2 billion worth of equipment remain fully operational.

Recently, there was an announcement made by the Armed Forces top brass of their intended acquisition of the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). I am not surprise if the same foreigner is the agent and once again, the favoured process of direct negotiations by the ministry's procurement officials.

Please pardon me if I say that I smell another skunk in this whole process of awarding contracts by the Defence Ministry. Why to the same foreigner, and I tend to believe there are some influential officials from the ministry who have facilitated the award of contracts to this favoured foreigner. These officials (whoever they are) are scums that deserve to be sliced in their bellies and to be gorge by the dogs.

I would like to place a challenge to all serving members of the Armed Forces to come forward to report to the authorities of any corrupt practice that there are aware of in the award of contracts. I plea to you to fight this scourge of corruption within the Armed Forces, and to maintain your dignity and honour as the loyal servant of the king and country.

Posted at 10.30pm Jan 22, 2009


Malaysiakini reported the death of a 22 year old Kugan Ananthan, while in police custody at Subang Jaya police station for alleged involvement in an international car theft. He had been in custody for 5 days and was proclaimed dead on 20 January 2009. Kugan’s death is believed to have been caused by serious abuse by unknown person(s) which the police have yet to identify.

Photos of the deceased revealed ( that there is a positive indication of abuse and brutality on the victim which calls to question, the high probability of police direct involvement in the case. The civil society’s perception is that there can be nobody else except the police to have cause the ultimate death of Kugan, and for however serious his offence may be, he does not deserve to die under such circumstances.

Earlier, there was another report of abuse on one Prabakaran, who was poured hot water on him causing severe bleaching of the body. The incident happened at Brickfields police station while he too was under detention. The incident is now being investigated, only after it was reported in the media resulting in 7 police officers being charged. It will be interesting to see how this case will be handled, and who among the 7 police officers will be persecuted……… or will all of them be released.

Police brutality in not new in this country. It has been going on for years, and I too bore witness to the death of a Malay soldier in police custody in Perlis many years ago. There was certainly signs of physical abuse on the body of the deceased soldier, but the parents being simple kampong folks, had accepted that their son was destined to die in that manner, and it being Allah wishes. The person(s) who had caused the soldier to die may have all retired from the force, but their guilt, I am sure will haunt them on earth and into their graves. And if they are Muslims, they fully well know that there is no hiding during judgment day, where they have no lawyers to defend them for their misdeeds and crimes committed on earth.

I have many friends in the police force and they certainly are the good ones and god fearing. Some had admitted to me how they despise the ‘activities’ of some of their colleagues whom they say had tarnished the good name of the police profession. It is not surprising that some of the ‘activities’ are carried out by the lower ranks, are in cohort with the superiors.

The above incidences of police abuse and brutality is a cause of great concern; not only to the civil society but more so to the Inspector General of Police, and the police force in general. There is already a lack of public trust and confidence in the police force over the happenings in the last two years or so, which has indirectly affected the government’s popularity as well. And to make matters worse, statements made by the Ministry of Internal Security on any piece of criticism from the public of the police force, has been one of denial.

We members of the civil society is deeply concern at the outrageous act of abuse and brutality perpetrated by officers of police force on arrestees. It appears that justice for all offenders is no longer the domain of the civil courts, but is at the whims and fancy of police officers. If this perception is not corrected, then the country might as well dispense with the civil courts and all its judges.

Posted at 16.45pm on Jan 22, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The Kuala Trengganu by-election is over, and the winner is formally crowned. I know how difficult it is for the loser to accept defeat and of all things, in the state that they governed.

But for the UMNO leadership, losing just one more seat in parliament has little impact on the BN they say. The ruling government still remains with the BN. The analogy is I suppose likened to a slight pinch on the tight. It hurts a bit, but the pinch does not immobilised the leg and the affected person can still move around freely.

BN/UMNO has to understand that this is already the third pinch. The first being the March 8, 2008 general elections. The second being the Permatang Pauh by-election and thirdly, the KT by-election. And yet they say it doesn't hurt them. Are there expecting a Mike Tyson like punch to awake them, and when that punch does come, it will all be too late. Or are they all geared and ready to deflect the punch, since they have among them, this fellow called Muhammad Tyson. And if they are to rely on this fellow to defend them, then I would say that BN/UMNO is doomed.

Then came this young up-start whom they say is super brilliant, having graduated from a prestigious British university, and has the making of the future Prime Minister of this country. He can be the future Prime Minister for all I care, because I know I won't be around then.

Having heard him campaign, I don't hear anything outstanding from him. He was trying to speak a word or two in the Trengganu dialect, that sounded so funny. He should have used the Negeri Sembilan dialect instead to confuse the listeners, and to cheer them up a bit. Certainly, Mat Sabu has better oratory skills compared to this brilliant guy., though not from a prestigious British university.

This brilliant guy had spoken out on some of the reasons for the failure of the BN in the by-election. The reasons are so obvious, and it is no different from the reasons of the last two elections. I heard someone says that this brilliant guy's presence at the KT by-election itself contributed to the candidate losing. Poor Mr. Wan, even your best buddy wasn't of any help, and now he has made you jobless. Are not going to submit to Pak Lah an application form to rejoin the Ministry of Education as a consultant?

To UMNO's leadership, please keep on searching for faults and failures, and you need not look too far; because the faults and failures are found in you, yourself.

Posted at 12.10 pm Jan 19, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009


Since retiring from the military service in 1998, I have had several opportunities to work with friends in business that was all alien to me, simply because the military does not teach us to become businessman The remuneration offered is no big deal. But in the process of working, I learnt and saw a lot of what the business world is all about.

If I were to say that the military vocation is stressful, the business world has its own stresses too. Making money for the company is the bottom line in business, but in the case of the military, winning the war is the core business. The military is not concern where the money comes from, for as long as they get the tools to fight.

Today, I have several retired military friends who have gone into business; either as partners or on their own. Some have become rich, and some are still struggling to meet ends. The more senior ones have been appointed Chairmen and Directors of companies (public listed and non public listed), and with some reaping considerable allowances and benefits.

Recently, I met an old friend who last served the naval service in a senior capacity. He too had joined up with a local and foreign companies to package a specialized naval related services; a business proposal that he is technically proficient at.

During the conversation that ensued, he related to me at how difficult it was for him to penetrate the Ministry of Defence as it is a being ‘cartel-controlled’ fitted with a solid and invisible ‘no entry barrier'. Being a retired senior navy staff and knowing the procurement process, he patiently waited for the ministry to tender out the services as in all fairness, it is the government's order of the day. Tender process has always been what he wanted, simply because there are only a few companies in the world that are capable to deliver, and it will provide the end user the option to choose the best, meeting service requirements and at competitive pricing.

Having waited for several months, he was informed that a particular service provider has been called to conduct direct negotiation without tender being called. He was also informed that the price quoted by this particular service provider is few times more than that of other competitors. Upon checking, it was revealed that the services are beyond the core business of the service provider, but nevertheless being specially selected.

What I have tried to describe above, I am told is simply nothing new, and has been a norm in the ministry where jobs that costs millions are offered at the whim of the senior civilian officer. I certainly smell a skunk in this deal, and isn't the senior civilian officer in contravention to rules and regulations that disallows direct negotiations where there are several bidders. And aren’t direct negotiations constitute elements of corrupt practices and abuse of power?

The experience that my retired friend has gone through with the Ministry of Defence is certainly one that is bitter. It is not the question of his proposal being eliminated from the evaluation process, but it is about NOT being given the opportunity at all. There is absolutely no transparency in the procurement process, and the right to make the important decision for the Services seems to be in the hands of this all powerful senior civilian officer. I don't believe that the end user is being fully consulted, or it is too technical for him to understand, but find it easy to justify for direct negotiation.

Is there any option? Will Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) take on the case if my poor friend makes a report?. A test case.

Posted at 1.20am Jan 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The results of two by-elections i.e. Permatang Pauh and Kuala Trengganu is clearly an indication of the voters rejection of BN/UMNO. There is no denying this, and UMNO must openly face this fact. This is a solemn reality, and if UMNO keeps denying it, there will be nothing left of the party in the 13th General Elections. Tun Mahathir's prediction will then become a reality.

UMNO's problems are indeed serious, and it stems from within the party itself. Clearly, the party is broken into factions. To make it simple, it is about the haves and the have not. The haves obviously takes good care of the other haves, while the have not are merely given the scum. Those Malays outside UMNO are left in complete oblivion.

Within a span of only 5 years, we now see UMNO in tatters. How could this happened, and yet UMNO does not see this.

I have always relied on UMNO as the bastion of the Malay race, but following the change of the party leadership in 2003, and with rhetorics like 'work with me and not for me', the party seemed to have lost its direction and moved on 'auto pilot', so they say. Leaders seemed to be making their own decisions, and if something goes wrong, denial is the word to be used, so much so that the word 'deny' is synonymous with UMNO. This business of 'centralised command and control (CCC)' for all critical decisions that the Armed Forces have used so effectively, is lost in UMNO.

Tun Mahathir, I am told had a complete grip of all critical decisions, and being a man of knowledge, those who sees him must have equal knowledge as him, if not more. Tun therefore had applied CCC most effectively, hurting some others along the way. Had Tun Mahathir not been 'dictatorial' in this command over his ministers, do you think Malaysia could be what it is today? I cannot say this of the current leadership, because the failures are too many.

Now Najib is at the verge of taking over the leadership of UMNO, which comes along with it the exalted position of the Prime Minister. Many have argued that there are dark clouds looming over Najib as the result of the Altantuya case, and the allegations of his corrupt practices, which was a bane to UMNO during the Permatang Pauh by-election. In the absence of any formal charges, Najib has little to worry and he can presume that all that is said of him, are meant to destroy his political career.

But with so much of negativities about Najib and Rosmah being spread around, what appears to be untrue can be presumed to be true. The Malay mindset is such, that with consistent barraging and persuasion, one's mindset can be easily compromised. It is no easy mean for Najib and Rosmah now to undo the Malay mindset, and whatever they do now is looked at with disdain. Najib have to believe in this, and to quickly recognised that those who insulates him now, will be those that will betray him later.

Now with the by-elections over, UMNO can now look forward to the party's general assembly in March. And are we to see the re-emergence of money politics?

Posted at 13.00pm Jan 18, 2009


The voters in Kuala Trengganu has decided. Once again, it is not money and promises that the voters wants. Clearly, in this instant it is about the person........his good personality traits. And to be associated with PAS is what draws the voters to elect Abdul Wahid Endut as their representative.

The fear that the Chinese voters would vote for the 'opposite side' is no longer the issue. One must understand that the Trengganu Chinese are not the Chinese that we see in Kuala Lumpur or Ipoh. Just talk to any Trengganu Chinese, and you will at once noticed that the language they speak is no different from a Trengganu Malay. For a person visiting Trengganu for the first time, it is difficult to differentiate between a Trengganu Malay and a Trengganu Chinese. There is a distinct similarity between the two races; not only in their spoken language, but also in character. The same can also be said for the two races in Kelantan where 'racial assimilation' is so obvious.

The BN candidate Datuk Wan Farid Ahmad who was promised a ministerial post, had he won, is now a 'jobless person'. However, being closely associated to the top party heirachy, getting another vocation is not too difficult. There are many GLC's where Wan Farid can be slotted in, and to savour the benefits that comes along with it. Or he can be a consultant for the Ministry of Education.

I suppose BN and UMNO in particular will have another round of post mortem, to identify their weaknesses and failures during the KT by-election. Post mortems are of little meaning if it is meant to be kept merely as records, and I presume BN's lost in KT is partly the result of UMNO's failure to heed the lessons of the Permatang Pauh disastrous outing. The failures are too obvious.......and UMNO knows it too well.

Now, what will BN/UMNO say of Najib? He is indeed a badly wounded person. And to place blame wholly upon him may not be just and fair. Blame must also be apportioned to others, particularly the UMNO leadership in Trengganu. Didn't we hear that Idris Jusoh has yet to overcome his disappointment at not being appointed the Menteri Besar? I am told that there is still an animosity hovering between the current MB and Idris Jusoh. Could this be a reason for BN/UMNO lost in the by-election? And where was Idris Jusoh when Najib gave a press conference following the defeat of UMNO? Isn't he UMNO's Ketua Perhubungan Negeri? I think, had UMNO won, he would be the first person to sit besides Najib.

This is what ails UMNO.

Posted at 10.00 am Jan 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Disgusting' is the word. Cash being easily thrown around, and of all people, to journalists reporting on the Kuala Trengganu by-elections. Whoever did this in-despicable act, must have tons of cash, and one can easily guess who in this country today have that volume of cash......certainly not you and me. These cash loaded 'sons of bitches' (pardon my word) must have acquired their wealth through corrupt practices.

The Kuala Trengganu by-election results are officially out, and the PR candidate's win by a much larger majority i.e. 2,631 votes is no surprise to most. Once again, the pro-opposition bloggers have won, and the main stream media is left to lick its wound.

The PR representation in parliament has now increased to 83, and it is strongly rumoured that a few more parliamentary members (reportedly from Sabah) are expected to join the PR coalition soon.

Najib, upon acknowledging the lost of the BN candidate is reported to have said “that the result was not a reflection of the people's lack of confidence in him”. Had the BN won, he would have said “ the result is a reflection of the people's confidence in him”. Politicians have a funny way of talking, to satisfy their wounded ego.

The winning PR candidate should not rest on his laurels. There are lots of work to be done, and the people that have voted in the candidate expects the promises made to be fulfilled. Otherwise, the candidate will not last the next elections.

Posted at 11.50pm on Jan 17, 2008


Bloggers are certainly having a field day in Kuala Trengganu covering the by-election campaign since nomination day.. Once again, it appears that it is the bloggers that will eventually determine the winner of this by-election. As of now, the PR candidate is having a slight edge over the BN candidate, so they say. However, the main stream media, especially the electronic media has the opposite view, and with Najib's image being potrayed at every prime time news, makes one to wonder who actually is the BN candidate.

During the March 8, 2008 general election, the lost of four wealthy west coast states was partly attributed to the bloggers, which the BN took scant notice of. BN relied heavily on the main stream media and even went to the extend of displaying the BN party symbol continuously on TV. This was where the BN had failed i.e utilising a government facility for its political end. And BN was stupid enough not to realised that by the continuous display of the BN party symbol on TV, will no longer attract the attention of viewers. It is just like having nasi lemak for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, and you guess what will happen to the person eating the nasi lemak.

I view daily no less than twenty blogs, and I find that the majority are slanted towards the opposition party. And if you notice a new blog, they are sure to be ones that are also critical against the BN government. Has the BN seriously reasoned out why is there so much of opposition against them? I personally think BN has not changed the least since their disastrous March 8, 2008 general elections., with corruption being the major issue that will finally bring the BN to oblivion. Have they not sense that this is coming, or are they still day dreaming of winning back all the lost states in the next general elections?

So much has been said about the BN's failures, and their past actions has created so much of mistrust for the BN that anything they do now is looked upon with deep suspicion. Just look at what the Eurocopter deal had done to the image of the BN government. The more recent one is the failed attempt by Sime Darby to buy over the IJN, and now the proposed construction of a new LCCT at Labu. All these will require government approval, and that approval seems to come too easily with the BN government. I just wonder who the experts are in coming up with these proposals. Hope it is not from the 4th Floor boys.

Posted at 14.00 pm on Jan 17, 2009


It was reported in the media that seven policemen from the Brickfields District Police Station, who were alleged to have been involved in excessive physical abuse of two detainees, have all been formally charged. This, I believe is the first case involving a large number of policemen from a single police station. There may be other similar cases that went unreported, and hence have evaded the law.

What is interesting is that the charges were made only upon a complain has being launched by the victim. Had there not been a report, the case would not have been known to the public.What I would have thought is that the report should have been made by a member of the police who was witnessed to the abuse. I am quite sure there were others who knew and saw what took place in the police station, and it is only righteous that they launched the report, rather than to play ignorant. Had the police themselves reported the abuse, the public would have accorded them the highest regards and respect. This is one opportunity where the police have failed to exploit for their good name, and to redeem themselves from being regarded in utter disgust by the public.

We all know that the police today, by their own past actions have a serious problem of regaining respect and confidence from the public. There have been too many cases of excessive manhandling and unprovoked abuse by policemen upon civilians while in detention or otherwise And here, I am reminded of the Anwar Ibrahim case where he was beaten up in his cell by no other person, than the IGP himself. I suppose the seven policemen must have learned this outrageous act from their former boss.

I just wonder why excessive abuse need to be meted upon civilians especially when they are detained? What can the detainee do? Certainly, the detainee cannot fight back, and beating up a helpless person is indeed a cowardly act. And are our policemen made up of cowards? I think, certainly not. Should they insist that the detainee ought to be taught a lesson, then why not give the detainee a boxing glove instead, and challenged him to a one-to-one fight. This is a more gentlemen act, rather then having seven people trampled upon one helpless detainee.

Bringing to justice the seven policemen will be an interesting case to watch. Let us all wait and see how the case will proceed. And what interest me most is to know who will be the prosecution witnesses. If some are policemen, then it is a case of policemen vs policemen. Mind boggling isn't it?

Posted at 08.20 am on Jan 17, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009


Recently, I received an email from an undisclosed sender, of a number of photos purportedly to be that of the son of a cabinet minster, in various seductive poses with a number of young European looking ladies. By the look of the photos, it must have be taken overseas, and one can easily guess who the father is, for there is a striking resemblance of a cabinet minister. The boy must be in his late teens or early twenties, and obviously still a student.

I am not quite sure if the father too had received a similar email or had been informed about the photos. I suppose by now, the photos must have been widely circulated in cyberspace; the motive of which is best known to the originator of the email.

As a father and a grandfather, this is the sort of thing that I least want to be slammed with. It is not only shameful, but more importantly, it reflects the boy's social and family upbringing. I suppose this boy must be cash rich, to be in the circles of such voluptuous and seductive ladies. There is also a photo of the boy holding a can of beer and a kissing scene.

Whoever the father may be, and if indeed the father is a cabinet minister, my advice to the father is to bring home the son immediately, and to send him straight for religious reorientation. Any responsible father would not want the son or daughter to be involved in activities or acts that are in contravention to religious norms and practices. Certainly, I being a Muslim would not want my son or grandson to be an alcoholic or a womanizer. And the same goes for my daughter and granddaughter.

Posted at 9.10pm on Jan 16, 2009


I read that you Ezam, the former Political Secretary to Anwar Ibrahim had revealed a ‘plea letter’ purportedly written by Anwar in 1998 to former PM Mahathir, the full contents of which is not fully known to me. You said that both the PM and the DPM had consented that the content of the letter be revealed, most appropriately during the KT by-election.

I wish to ask you Ezam these questions. What dirty tactics are you applying, and don’t you have anything better to do? Yes, I know that you are an UMNO man now, and what do you hope to achieve by revealing a 10 year old letter to the public, and of all time, during the KT by-election? You think the PM or the PM designate would want to offer you a post in UMNO for your despicable act? Remember your promise to expose documents kept in 6 boxes, of corrupt practice by supposedly UMNO ministers? Where are these boxes or have you eaten them all?

I have this to say to you Ezam. You are nothing but a coward who now hides behind the PM and the DPM. By your act, you have shown yourself to be most untrustworthy, disloyal and having the character of a snake. I don’t believe anyone would want to take you as a loyal friend, because they know that one day, you will turn 360 degree against them.

I don’t personally know you Ezam and I am a NO PARTY MAN. My humble and brotherly advise to you is to stop these unworthy act of yours. You have set a bad example to others, especially the youth who had once looked at you as an inspired leader. If your act is intended to disgrace Anwar, you then have disgraced your race and the religion you profess. It is your act that I am strongly against and hate most.

Posted at 12.30 pm on Jan 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009


“6000 policemen deployed in Kuala Trengganu for the by-election” answered my Kuala Trengganu friend over the phone the other day, to my question regarding the status of both the BN/UMNO and PR/PAS candidates. Many have discarded the chances of the third candidate from winning, but the likelihood of him being the ‘spoiler’ cannot be ruled out.

6000 policemen is an exceptionally large number for just one parliamentary constituency, and certainly there wasn’t that many policemen during the March 8, 2008 general elections for the same KT constituency. If the number is indeed true, it is mind boggling, and one should not blame the opposition for casting aspersions regarding this unusual police deployment.

I suppose the police have their reasons for this massive police deployment. But I also think that the country as a whole has greater need for police presence, especially at a time when thieves, murderers, rapist, molesters and thugs are on the rampage. It was only a few days ago that thieves had broken into a house and cold blooded murdered the occupants. In another case, the occupant was handcuffed to the window grills of his house. Even parked cars are not spared in Kuala Lumpur, and the recent burning of cars in broad daylight by thugs, will soon be a trend in Kuala Lumpur, if matters are not taken seriously by the authorities.

Even the activities of the Mat Rempits that has been terrorizing motorist in the cities at night; especially in major towns, has not been totally eradicated by the police. In fact, their activities are a regular feature during the weekends. And now with 6000 policemen out in KT, I am sure the Mat Rempits are going to have a field day with their dangerous antics.

Are we not told recently that a policemen was being bashed-up by a group of Mat Rempits? And the effort to ‘befriend’ them, as what UMNO had tried to do, served little to change these devilish motorcycle riders, who are predominantly Malays. This is something that I simply could not understand.

Saturday 17 January 2009 is just a few hours away, and let us hope that the KT voters are not swayed wholly by the promises made by the candidates, but elects wisely a representative that will truly serve them.

Posted at 2100 hrs on Jan 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I had previously posted three articles relating to the plight of LCpl Maarof bin Ahmad who is presently disabled and paralysed waist down, due to a fall while he was in the military service. I had also written two letters to the Chief of Army expressing a sincere desire that the soldier’s entitlement for pension and other financial benefits be reviewed in light of the soldier’s poor health and financial predicament.

In late December last year, I received a letter from Army Headquarters stating that LCpl Maarof’s problems are being attended to, and that his pension and other financial benefits have been reviewed (despite him not having been recruited a regular soldier), and is awaiting final approval by the approving authorities.

Briefly the financial review includes the following:

1. He is now entitled to receive monthly RM 506.57, being ‘Elaun Nafkah’ payable under the ‘Tabung Amanah Perwira Pertahanan Negara’, which is a five fold increase from what he receives previously.
2. He is also entitled to receive yearly RM 680.00, being allowances for his two school going children, which was not available to him previously.
3. An ex-gratia payment will be paid for his permanent disablement, the sum of which has yet to be decided by the government.

Other than the above, the soldier will received continued free medical care and treatment at any Armed Forces Hospital or Government Hospital, and any fees arising shall be paid by the Ex-Servicemen Affairs Department.

I have met the soldier to explain the contents of the letter that I had received from Army Headquarters, relating to his case. He was almost in tears when I read the contents of the letter, and his long wait for ‘justice’ is now well paid off.

I also wish to sincerely thank the Chief of Army for having accorded due attention to this case, and I am sure this justly act by the Chief of Army will be long remembered by LCpl Maarof.

Posted at 15.35 pm on Jan 13, 2009


In the up-coming Kuala Trengganu by-elections scheduled January 17, 2009, the person most concerned with the outcome of the election is non other than UMNO’s Deputy President Dato Seri Mohd Najib. He is being entrusted by the party to lead the campaign and to ensure that BN retains the KT parliamentary seat.

Najib was in a similar position during the Permatang Pauh by-election last year, where we saw him swore that he wasn’t involved in the Altantuya murder case. But the swearing had little effect on the outcome to election, which was won by Anwar Ibrahim of Pakatan Rakyat by a thumping majority. The BN too played up the Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case featuring the nightly video of the confession of Saiful. I am just wondering where is this Saiful fellow now?

The KT by-elections campaigning now takes a much different approach. No swearing and no video show. Even Anwar’s campaigning is so much subdued, and Najib’s much viewed campaign speeches on prime time TV news makes it look like it is Najib that is the BN candidate, and not Wan Ahmad Farid. With so much of Najib being extensively featured daily in both the print and electronic media, Wan Ahmad Farid’s chances of winning is most likely to be affected.

I had just received an SMS from a friend in KT who says that PAS chances of winning the by-election is now rated at 57-43. It was 50-50 at the start of the campaigning. I do not know whether to believe or not to believe in the rating. But what I hear on TV and read from the mainstream media is that it is an assured win for the BN candidate. And likewise, I do not know whether to believe or not to believe in what I hear or read.

Certainly, KT and the state of Trengganu in particular, has been receiving loads to ‘gifts and handouts’ from the federal government since the start of the campaigning. Money seems to be ‘falling from the sky’; this despite many who claims that our economy is not doing too well. I hear too that school children in KT will be given a laptop each, and that’s the most generous gift ever by the federal government.

They say that the Chinese voters in KT are the ‘king makers’ in this by-election. Hence, every effort is made to win them over to the parties contesting. Of course, BN has an edge with money being poured into Chinese schools, and even for the construction of new temples. This is ‘durian runtuh’ for the Chinese community in KT, and if BN still loses the Chinese votes, this may be a bad omen for BN/UMNO continued rule in Trengganu.

The KT by-election is certainly a severe test for UMNO’s leadership, particularly that of Najib, and losing is not an option. Hence, the pressure is on the BN/UMNO, and should BN lose the by-election, I am quite sure many heads in UMNO will fall, and Najib is no exception.

Posted at 13.10 pm on Jan 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009


Over the past two weeks, the world witnessed the carnage, death and humiliation of the people of Gaza, by Israeli’s weapons of war supplied with courtesy of the west, and foremost, from its American allies. To the Israelis, death knows no limit – innocent children, women and elderly Palestinians are ‘collateral damage’ acceptable to them and their US allies.

The war rages on deeper into Gaza, and there is virtually nothing to stop the rampaging Israelis forces from completing its act of destruction of innocent human lives. Palestinians are their fodders of war. Some even termed the raid on Gaza as another holocaust; reminisce of Hitler’s murderous acts of the Jews during the Second World War in Europe.

While destruction rages on in the Gaza, where then are the voices of the Muslim world….especially the filthy rich Arab states. One cannot expect Egypt, Jordon, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait to come to the aid of their Arab brethren in the Gaza, for these countries are simply another ‘star’ in the American flag. These toothless Arab states and their cowardly Kings and President are too engross in entrenching their own positions and status, to really care with what is happening to the Palestinians in the Gaza. They ignored the smell of death that permeates the region, and the deafening cries of innocent and defenceless children, women and the elderly.

And where are the voices of the leaders of the OIC? Why have they been late in acting and remaining silent, while the sufferings of their Arab brethren at the hands of the enemies of Islam goes unabated. Are they all blind and mute to the sufferings of the people of Gaza? Is this what they called Muslim solidarity? Shit is my answer.

And at home, NGO’s and political parties can only makes noise in front of the US Embassy. Why don’t they all make the same noise in front of the Embassies of the Arab countries to awaken the sleepy Arabs a bit?

There are many lessons that we can learn from the destruction of Gaza by the Israelis. One serious question that need to be asked is whether we are really serious and ready to defend our motherland from an unsuspecting enemy? Certainly, I am in no position to answer this question, but I would prefer the question to be answered by our political masters, and certainly not from leaders of our Armed Forces.

Posted at 22.30pm on December 12, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Capt Zahar Hashim (Retired) who had caused a stir among UMNO circles and the government by exposing the now deferred purchase of the Eurocopter helicopters for the RMAF, and who was subsequently suspended from UMNO, is once again in the limelight. This time, he claims to have reliable information regarding the purchase of a submarine for the RMN, which was purportedly done through direct negotiations, and not through the open tender system.

I do not recall of any more new purchase being made by the RMN for additional submarines, but I do know that there is a dire need by the RMN to acquire submarine rescue services for its newly acquired submarines. The submarine rescue is deployed during times of emergency, to undertake life saving rescue operations of the crew of a troubled submarine.

The sea rescue of submarine crew is a highly specialized operations, undertaken by experts at underwater rescue using specialized equipments. For our RMN to have a dedicated submarine rescue unit may not be economically viable, because of the high costs of acquiring and maintaining such equipments. Hence most navies, with the exception of large navies, would outsource such services when the need arises. And I am told that there are not many companies in the world that provides submarine rescue services.

I suppose the issues likely to be raised by Zahar Hashim could be firstly, one that is related to the manner in which the contract was awarded and secondly, the cost of contract. If it was awarded through direct negotiation, then the issue of cost that is competitive to other bidders does not arise. Being direct negotiation, the award of contract can be subjected to abuse by the awarding party, and in this case by the Ministry of Defence high officials. I am also not surprise if the company that has been awarded the contract is owned by someone known and close to the ministry officials. One only need to check with the registrar of companies the know who’s who in the company.

Let us all wait and see what will come out of Zahar Hashim revelation and the people involved in this ‘scam’, if there is really one. And if there is one, this may yet be another test case for the newly formed MACC.

Posted at 14.00 hrs on Jan 6, 2008


Today, January 6, 2008 is nomination day for the Kuala Trengganu parliamentary by-election. Unlike the last Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election, the scene in Kuala Trengganu is unusually quite, and the voices of leaders of both contending political parties are somewhat subdued. Have they lost steam and energy, or are they confident that their candidates will win their contest, without the usual excitement and ‘party like’ atmosphere of their supporters, that was displayed in previous by-elections?

In my article posted on December 13, 2008 titled ‘Santa Claus comes to Trengganu’, I did comment that many ‘gifts’ and ‘presents’ with courtesy of the BN government will be flowing into Trengganu. Now it is past Christmas, the ‘gifts’ and ‘presents’ are still flowing endlessly, under the pretext of social and economic development that is meant to benefit the people. Even, royalties from petroleum, the spending of which in the past was very much determined by the federal government, is now channeled to the state coffer. The state, and in particular the Menteri Besar will now have some additional cash to spend, and hopefully not to be used to renovate his official residence, or to print banners with his picture portrayed prominently amongst catchy slogans, displayed along highways and the town center. The Trengganu Menteri Besar only need to travel to Seremban, Negeri Sembilan to understand what I mean.

Malaysian leaders are an unusual lot. They all love publicity; hence we see endless pictures of our leaders being displayed throughout the country, and in the villages as well. Just take a stroll along the streets in Kuala Lumpur, and one will not fail to see pictures of ministers portrayed everywhere. Of course, the picture of the PM and his deputy has to be portrayed too besides the minister. I suppose one does not see pictures of Bush or Blair being prominently displayed on banners along highways and the city centre in the US and the UK.

Having read the Star today, I am glad that Najib has reminded UMNO and Barisan National leaders campaigning in the by-election to be humble. “Don’t be boastful….(do not) move around in luxury cars and don’t be excessive (when meeting voters). Stick to the principle that we are servants of the people, that’s the key to BN success. That is why I ask leaders who are going down to the ground to be people-friendly”. These were exactly the things that I had commented of UMNO/BN in my earlier writings.

UMNO/BN has finally learnt their lessons from their failures in the past. And if only they had been reminded of the same in the past, the election results may have been different.

Let us now all await the outcome of the Kuala Trengganu by-election scheduled January 17, 2008, and to know whether Najib's reminder has it's effect.

Posted at 12.00pm on Jan 6, 2008