Monday, November 30, 2009


Many have wondered why I have been 'off the air' for quite some time now. Some even thought that I have absconded; but believe you me, I am still around wondering what next to write.

Actually, since moving to our new home at Sering Ukay, Ampang, I accounted some difficulties in getting good internet connection with my Jaring wireless internet. My neighbours says that they get better internet connection using Streamyx, and I am yet to have that installed.

Army recently saw the promotion two officers whom I believe have the necessary prerequisite to be given higher command positions.

Firstly, Mej Jen Dato Ahmad Hasbullah Nawawi who is promoted to the rank of Lt Jen and assumes the position of the Army Field Commander. Hasbullah is only in his late 40's and with many more years to serve. Those who have served him would say that he has the potential to lead the Army in the years to come. I view the choice of Hasbullah as the Army Field Commander as apt, and a step closer to the exulted post of the Deputy Army Chief.

Secondly, Brig Jen Dato Razali Hj. Ahmad who is promoted to the rank of Mej Jen and holds the position of the 3rd Division Army Commander. I was told that Razali was initially earmarked to serve as the Malaysian Defence Attache to Indonesia. I really do not know what was the reason for Razali to be earmarked for that posting, knowing full well that the post has always been held by an officer of the rank of Colonel. It has been rumoured that Razali's initial posting to Indonesia was an attempt by Army to keep him off the promotion line in favour of some other officers. If this rumour is true, it is indeed a mischievous attempt by the powers that be to ignore Razali's seniority and service, and sets a dangerous precedence on future promotions that is based on favourites and cronies. I applaud the decision of the Armed Forces Council to disregard the practice of favourites and cronies in the selection and promotion of officers to higher command positions.

It was also rumoured that the incumbent Deputy Army Chief was to assume the post of the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces Headquarters (previously held by an Air Force officer), and to be replaced by the Army Field Commander. Had this posting been implemented, it is deemed to be in contravention to the norms in the succession of command, whereupon it is the Deputy Army Chief who will assume the post of Army Chief when the latter retires, believe to be in the next few months. Having to replace the Deputy Army Chief at this late juncture conjures undesirable perceptions of 'favourites and cronies' that does not augur well for the future of the army.

'Favourites and cronies' is a sad phenomenon that has taken shape in the army today, and I believe it is a direct result of officers who have lost their true sense of military professionalism, and are now driven by uncontrollable greed.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


Interestingly, I read Star Online today showing a photo of PM Najib Tun Razak viewing a lorry load of cows that are to be slaughtered during Adiladha, and to be distributed to mosques and madrasahs throughout the Pekan parliamentary constituency, of which the Najib is its elected representative.

The news report also says that a total of 427 head of cows and 3 camels will be slaughtered, and that surely cost a lot of money. By merely looking at the photo of Najib stroking the head of a cow in the lorry, it give me the impression that maybe the entire lot, or could it be just that particular cow, be borne at his personal expense.

This reminds me of the case last year where Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was alleged to have used public money, other than his own, to purchase a number of cows to be slaughtered during Adiladha. I remembered the furor created by this incident and the media frenzy that was to last several weeks.

This time around, and with Najib’s photo stroking the head of a cow, are we likely to witness another furor and media frenzy alleging Najib of using public money to buy the load of cows for Adiladha? Certainly, Khalid had learnt his lessons and is most unlikely to be captured on photo stroking the head of a cow, or be even near a cow.



NST Saturday, November 21, 2009 (World page 33) reports, ‘MP quits over expenses scam’.

The above report refers to a British Conservative party lawmaker David Curry who quit his post as head of the House of Commons committee charged with policing lawmakers’ expenses, after the media raised allegations concerning his own expenses. Curry is alleged to have ‘claimed almost 30,000 British pounds (RM 170,000) of public fund to maintain a second home that he was barred from using’.

Can we not see the difference here i.e. a British MP quits his post in the House of Commons merely upon a media allegation, while in the Malaysian scenario, a state legislative member will vehemently deny any wrong doing, even if he is unable to justify his excessive lifestyle (outrageously spending money that does not belong to him), and the ownership of some palatial home (the Khir Toyo case).

Here lies the difference between some of our lawmakers and this particular British MP. By quitting merely based on a media report, the latter has proven himself to be gracious and upright in facing public allegations, and that the righteous recourse to take is to resign. What he did is unselfish and honourable, rather than be shamed by his constituents who will now view him in abject disapproval. And there isn’t a single MP from his party who would want to side him, or to raise a protest against the media allegation.

Can we not see the maturity in the way the British lawmakers react to a case of abuse, in comparison to our lawmakers? If this was to happened to our MP or state legislative member, I am quite sure a ‘mini rampage’ would have started by their party supporters. And have we not seen such ‘mini rampage’ happening, and of all places, in the august house of Parliament (like what happened to Karpal Singh) or State Legislative Assembly itself (the fracas in the Perak State Assembly)?

We have seen too much of denials of abuses by our MPs and state assemblymen from both the political divide, and I am yet to see one, just one that has proven himself/herself to be righteous, upright, honest and sincere to be called the Yang Berhormat (Honourable); probably with the exception of the Menteri Besar Kelantan Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz, and maybe a few others.


Thursday, November 19, 2009


Can someone tell me whether Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz is a court jester or is he saying things for real, when he offered Karpal Singh to prosecute lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam (correct, correct fame) for brokering judicial appointments as shown in the infamous Lingam Tape? History will be created if the offer does gets through, where Karpal Singh is supposedly to act on behalf of the government, setting a precedence for future cases.

I am not a lawyer, but any right thinking person would say that this Nazri fella must have had a bad tummy or suffered sporadic migraine to say such a thing. Or was he thinking that Karpal Singh is the newly appointed Attorney General?

Despite the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) comprising of five eminent Malaysians who are former judges, lawyers and including a renowned historian, that there are enough evidence to investigate the people implicated in the case; yet Nazri who is himself a lawyer by training, thinks otherwise. He acts like the most supreme Judge, that is well above all other Judges in this country.

Whatever comments/remarks that Nazri has made with regards to dropping the case from being further investigated is mind boggling. It would appear to me that the RCI is nothing but a show, and this would make any future RCI's worthless.



Sometime ago, a reader to my weblog has suggested that the post of the Chief of Army (COA) that has traditionally been held by an infantry officer from the Royal Malay Regiment (RMR), be open to officers from other corps of the army. On hindsight, I personally think that this suggestion need to be considered.

Presently I believe, it is more of a practice rather than the rule that the post of the COA be held by a RMR officer. This practice however has been broken once in the early 80's, where the post of COA was held by an officer from the Reconnaissance Regiment (now referred to as the Armoured Corps). And at about the same period, the post of the Deputy COA was also held by an officer from the same regiment. The appointment of these two officers to the exulted army post had broken the long held practice, that the post be held by officers from the RMR Since then, the post has been continuously held by an officer from the RMR.

If one studies at the armies of the Commonwealth countries or for that matter, armies throughout the world, the post of the COA is not a 'privilege' to be held by officers from the infantry corps; rather it can be held by officers from the armoured, artillery, as well as from the engineer corps. These three corps are termed as the combat and combat support arms with sufficient experience of command of troops in the battlefield, as well as having been operational staff officers at field headquarters; ie. Brigades, Divisions and Field Command. In fact, the infantry, armour, artillery and the engineers forms the core of the fighting force that will face the brunt of battle. This being so, their officers are so trained (besides their specialised roles) to have the capability and experience of command in the field, which I suppose is an essential prerequsite to being the COA.

In the Malaysian scenario however, there is a preponderance of the infantry (including mechanised infantry, airborne and special forces units), over the other three combat and combat support arm units. The fighting formations i.e. Infantry Brigades and Infantry Divisions being structured and designated as such, are presently infantry bias. And because of this, the formations are usually commanded by infantry officers.

There has been cases in the past where Infantry Brigades and Infantry Divisions are commanded by officers, other than from the infantry, but this has become uncommon today. I do not believe that the non infantry officers are incapable of commanding Brigades and Divisions; rather I believe the sense of dominance among the infantry officers seems to be the reason why non infantry officers do not get to command fighting formations. This sense of false believe is no longer applicable today.

The lack of opportunity for combat and combat support arms officers to become COA can be overcome if the army fully implement the Combine Arms organisational structure; meaning that each Combine Arms Brigade or Division is augmented by a force that is balanced. This means that every fighting component within the formation has a definite role and task, and collectively they form a cohesive and formidable fighting entity. In other words, no single fighting component is capable of fighting on its own. If such a fighting structure can be fully implemented, this could justify a non infantry officer from assuming the command of the fighting formation, and subsequently qualifies him to the exulted post of COA or Deputy COA.

Be that as it may, certainly there is nothing to stop or to disqualify a non infantry officer from assuming the post of COA or Deputy COA in the present scenario. If it has worked well in other armies, it can certainly work well with the Malaysian army. I deemed the present non infantry officers are no less superior than the infantry officers. And can this also be a way to end the corruption that is so mired among the top echelon of the army today?


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Are we not ashamed to see Malaysia's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2009 dropped nine places; from position 47 in 2008 to position 56 this year? What tickles me is that despite this appalling performance, Transparency International Malaysia (T-IM) has the audacity to 'acknowledge Malaysia's efforts to deal with corruption', despite the results proves otherwise. It is just like telling your son that his class performance this year is outstanding despite having dropped to 20th placing, compared to being top of the class last year. I am one who would not be easily fooled by what T-IM says, or are the people in T-IM fools themselves?

Ashamed I am, when our neighbour Singapore is tied with Sweden for a third placing, after Denmark. How is that Singapore is able to achieve such high ranking in its CPI, while we continue to drop? Sure, they are highly paid for their job, but they deserve so because they are a hard working people. This is unlike us, being reasonably well paid but at the same time, most act like thieves. Singapore has anti-corruption laws like us, but just look at how they enforce the laws; without fear or favour. Can this be the same with us?

And I have little hope that we can perform any better with the prevailing state of affairs that is inflicting our society, and the much hyped 'practice of good governance' that is so often heard, but never in practice. The Auditor General's yearly report tells it all, but nothing drastic has been done to bring the culprits to justice. Or has our justice system failed too?

Talking about corruption, I remembered back in 1984 when I was a student at the Indian Defence Services Staff College, where I had to hire a car for the year that I was there. To be able to drive, I have to obtain an Indian driving license, despite having a Malaysian license. I sought the advice of the car owner on how I could obtain an Indian driving license. His answer was simple i.e. get two bottles of good Indian whiskey, wrapped it in paper and hand it over to the person in charge of approving the license. And sure enough it worked, and I got my license approved at the wink of an eye.

Now, with all the corruption that we hear happening in this country today, and the magnitude getting into the billions, we certainly have outclassed the little experience that I had in India with just two bottles of good Indian whiskey.

Some years ago, I was told of some enforcement officers from the Road Transport Department could get their car tyres changed for free by just sending their cars to some selected tyre shops. Even this free car tyres are certainly much more expensive than the two bottles of good Indian whiskey. This proves that Malaysians have a much more 'expensive taste' than the Indians, and true enough; what we hear of a few hundred ringgit in corruption some years ago, has now ballooned to billions this present day.

And if we are not careful, the billions will just ballooned to trillions at the wink of an eye. God save us all.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I had on March 8, 2009 posted and article titled 'Direct negotiation being blatantly practiced by Defence Ministry despite public resentment', in that I questioned the manner in which the Defence Ministry had proceeded to negotiate directly the award of the Submarine Rescue Services to a construction company (CC) that had in the past been awarded several multi million construction projects with the ministry; reportedly through direct negotiations.

There has been a delay in finalising the award of contract for the submarine rescue services, and I am told that the reason being that there is another bidder that has quoted a much lower contract price than the CC. This alternate bidder is said to be directly involved in the business of submarine rescue operations, unlike the CC that is just an agent for the services.

I am told too that the RMN is not too pleased with the offer made by the CC because the company does not have the experience in offering such services. And being agents, they do not have total control over the services to be rendered by the principal company and furthermore, who in the CC is an expert and an authority in submarine rescue operations. We know that submarine rescue service is a highly specialised and life threatening job and should anything go wrong, I am quite sure the CC will not take on the blame, but will point the finger to the company providing the services. Ask any RMN sub-mariner what all it takes to perform a submarine rescue operations, and beside the RMN, it will only be the company that performs the services, that can provide the answer; not the Directors of the CC.

Being agents, the contract costs will naturally be high i.e. enough to cover the cost paid to the service provider, profits to be earned by the CC and including the silent disbursement of commission to a line of people. And I am quite sure someone in the ministry is also in that line of commission takers. I am told that it is for this very reason that the alternate bidding company is able to offer a contract price that is almost half of what the CC is offering, because they were able to shortened the 'line of commission takers' and the profits may not be so exorbitant.

I am also told that in the award of such 'high profile contracts', it would normally be the civilians in the ministry that calls the shot; not the services. Now, this contract involves lives, and certainly it is beyond the civilians in the ministry to understand what submarine rescue operations is all about. Why not just leave it the professionals i.e. the RMN to decide, and I am quite sure they are capable enough to make a professional decision.


Monday, November 16, 2009


If the PKFZ scandal is dubbed the ‘mother of all scandals’, what then would the electrified double tracking rail track from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh be referred to. Can it be called the ‘daughter of all scandals’? And with such massive scandals involving billions of ringgit of public fund, the reported RM500 million commission paid for the purchase of the two French made submarines, is a mere pittance.

And now there is also a memorandum submitted by UMNO Youth Kelantan requesting for the MACC to investigate Kelantan’s Menteri Besar, Ustaz Nik Aziz and his son-in-law over a report that they were offered a sponsorship worth RM65,000 each to perform the Haj this year.

Now what is RM65,000 compared to the RM24 million that Khir Toyo supposedly paid to build his palace, and the millions he spend to ‘tour the world’ with his family and including his maid………..what a lucky maid. And between Ustaz Nik Aziz and Khir Toyo, which one of the two ought to have a higher preference to be investigated first? My read is that Ustaz Nik Aziz surely must have a higher preference over Khir Toyo simply because of Malaysia Boleh.

This Malaysia Boleh slogan seem to be creating wonders, and there can be no denying that Malaysia’s lowly placed international rating for corruption is all but true. Just look at the recently released Auditor General’s report. Where on earth can a laptop computer be bought for RM24,000 a piece, except in Malaysia. I suppose the laptop has gold trimmings and the screen must be made of crystal.

Now the MACC is reported to have said that they have opened up more than 40 investigation papers based on the Auditor General 2008 report. How many of these papers will be closed, and how many will find its way to the courts is what concerns the general public. Citing numbers of investigation papers alone is not enough to satisfy the public. Mind you, this is public money; not private funding from some billionaires. And what of the Auditor General 2007 report?

Talking about Malaysia Boleh, this slogan has infected some in Mindef as well. I am not just referring to the uniform staffs alone, but the civilian staffs as well. They have to be working in tandem to get things going.

Just look at the comments that I get from my recent write-up on the army’s purchase of the 120mm Rifled mortars. There is no hiding the fact that the Evaluation Team recommendation was for the 120mm Smooth Bore mortars; not the Rifled Mortars. Someone must have arbitrarily changed the recommendation of the Evaluation Team to satisfy someone’s greed. I would like to suggest that MACC gets down to the bottom of this by looking at the Evaluation Team report, and to also look at the company that was offered the contract and the costs. The market is rife with talks that it was corruption being the primary reason for the change.


Sunday, November 15, 2009


On November 11, 2009, the retired Armed Forces Officers held its inaugural reunion dinner that was attended by no less than 700 retired officers and their spouses. The guest of honour was their Royal Highnesses the Raja of Perlis and his consort. His Highness the Raja of Perlis was himself a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, United Kingdom and upon his return in 1965, served the Recce Regiment (now known as the Armoured Regiment).

One notable invitee needs mentioning is Gen Tun Ibrahim Ismail, the only surviving army officer to have served the Second World War, the first Malayan Emergency, Malaysian-Indonesian Confrontation and the Malaysian Insurgency. I am told that upon being informed of the dinner, he despite his failing health felt no qualms about attending the function, and came bound to his wheel chair. This is the man that every member of the Armed Forces and the nation should remember for his outstanding military leadership during the darkest period of our nation’s history i.e. the May 13, 1969 racial riots. He, true to his sworn allegiance to serve King and country, withstood the temptation of taking over the reigns of government from his civilian counterpart, during that horrendous period.

Present too were the Defence Minister, Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Deputy Defence Minister, Dato Dr. Latif, former Chief of Defence Forces and Service Chiefs. The presence of the Defence Minister had made the organizers richer, when it was announced that the minister had kindly contributed RM50,000 to the dinner.

In an impromptu speech delivered by HH Raja of Perlis that evening, there were two things he mentioned that caught my attention. Firstly, he would like that the proposed establishment of the Retired Armed Forces Officers Club (RAFOC) to play some meaningful role in looking after the well being of retired armed forces officers. I believe, such a role is to further augment the role played by the Veteran Affairs Department. I, however do not believe that the Ex Servicemen Association is capable of looking after the well being of retired officers, as the association have never been known to have done so in the past.

Secondly, HH Raja of Perlis expressed ‘dissatisfaction’ at the change in the design of the epaulette adorn by retired senior armed forces officers on the official ceremonial jacket. I am told that it was during his tenure as King that he gave his consent to the design of the epaulette. I was told that the change was made by the previous CDF, and it is quite obvious that HH Raja of Perlis was not consulted of the change. I do not know too if the change was properly administered for it to be recognized as the official design to be worn on the official ceremonial jacket.

The dinner was a success in many ways. It has not merely brought together friends and long lost colleagues, but more importantly, it reignites the espirit de corps that had once bounded the officers together in their service to the nation.

Most who were at the dinner have aged, but the spirit that evening was one of joy; doing away with protocol, status and position.


Saturday, November 14, 2009


Residents of Kuala Lumpur should congratulate former Housing and Local Government Ministry, Secretary General and present City Mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail for his bold and courage’s decision to terminate a three year contact for the supply of flowers to City Hall worth RM 32.4 million, which he says is “a total waste of funds to throw money on such extravagances, especially during current lean times”.

Datuk Ahmad Fuad assumed the post of City Mayor from incumbent Datuk Abd. Hakim Borhan in December 2008, after a less than satisfactory performance by the latter, brought about by numerous complaints from city dwellers, and following the victory by the opposition in the Federal Territory parliamentary constituencies during the March 8, 2008 General Elections.

Sometime ago, a business friend of mine remarked that City Hall is likened to a gold mine; a remark that has some similarity with Mindef. But to strike a business deal is not that easy too. It requires political patronage and knowing some ‘big shot’ in the City Hall’s administration and management. The contract to supply flowers to City Hall as mentioned above, to little known Bright Spark Sdn Bhd is one obvious example. I suppose there will be many more ‘unscrupulous contracts’ being awarded at exorbitant rates by the previous City Hall administration, if one really care to find out.

Talking about extravagances and questionable decisions, I am told recently that Army has proceeded to purchase another MLRS regiment to augment the present two regiments. They have also proceeded to purchase the 120mm Rifled Mortars supposedly to be mounted onto the Adnan AFV.

The question ask is why need a third MLRS regiment of ‘antiquated’ weapon system? Why not consider augmenting the artillery with more medium field guns, or with Self Propelled guns, where there has been so much of development on the ammunition itself. The whole world knows that the MLRS is a dumb weapon system, but our army leaders chose to think otherwise.

And secondly, why opt for a Rifled Mortar and not a Smooth Bore Mortar? I know for one that there was an earlier study being made on the preferred choice of the 120mm mortars, and the recommendation was for a Smooth Bore mortar; not a Rifled Mortar. Is army playing ignorant of not knowing that even the US Army has done away with the Rifled Mortars? And having to think of mounting the mortar on the Adnan AFV is another serious blunder in the making.

Or are the purchases made to enrich someone, without due regard that the weapons will be made obsolescence in a few years from now? Please do not make a similar mistake when army decided to purchase the Colt M4 Carbine, only to know now that the weapon will be done away with by the US Army in 2012.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The MACC is said to be making a recommendation to the government for an increase in the allowances of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and assemblymen as a means to curb the prevalence of graft supposedly from among some of them. If this is to be the recommendation, then public perception that Ministers, Deputy Ministers and assemblymen have for so long been involved in graft stands to be true.

I do not know what the Ministers, Deputy Ministers and assemblymen would have to say of such a recommendation that smack of belittling them. And if at all there is a need to raise their allowances, surely there are better excuses than the one recommended by the MACC. To me the recommendation is rather childish and one that makes little sense. Just ask anyone, and I bet their answer are more cynical than mine.

The recommendation also took into consideration the allowances received by MPs in neighboring Singapore. Why consider only Singapore that is having a population that is five times smaller than Malaysia, and whose GDP per capita is approximately four times larger than Malaysia. Why not look at Cambodia, Laos or Thailand? Singapore should not be taken as a basis for comparison for they are far ahead of us in almost ever aspect.

And why not also consider the quality of their MPs in comparison to our MPs and state assemblymen? I am not belittling our MPs and state assemblymen, but this is the reality that cannot be denied. The antics of some of our MPs and state assemblymen alone leaves much to be desired. A good example are the three PKR Perak state representatives that had ‘jumped boat’ and subsequently caused a furor to the PKR state government. In all honesty, can we claim that the examples shown by the three are good examples of an elected representatives? My honest and sincere answer to this is a big NO.

I think the MACC should wake up from their slumber, and quickly adorn their thinking caps, and to start saying things that are more sensible.


Monday, November 9, 2009

I would like to post a comment that I received from a reader regarding my last posting for the general consumption of all readers. I strongly believe that there is much to be done to eradicate corruption, and the ‘rot must stop at the head’. As of now, I see little hope that this could be done.

1. Corruption is a practice as old and as difficult to stamp as prostitution.

2. MACC must be seen to be serious in taking drastic measures to eliminate or at least minimize acts of corruption. To do this MACC must tackle the big fishes. Their targets should be those politicians and civil servants including those in the police and armed forces who appear to live beyond their means. They must be thoroughly investigated and if they cannot explain their sources of income and new found wealth they must be brought to book, charged in the court of law and if they were found guilty, then they should be punished in accordance to the existing law and their properties confiscated.

3. Next is for MACC to investigate those givers of bribes, especially those in the business sector. They too should be brought to book and be meted with the same punishment.

4. I am sure, after several such cases, the news will become a deterrence to such future acts. To achieve this the top leaders of the political parties and the civil service in the government must have the political will and the moral courage to stamp this social menace and curse from our society !



'Anti-graft lessons for elected reps' reads the title of a report on The Sun tabloid dated November 9th 2009.

The report states that the 'MACC will hold special sessions to educate MPs and state assemblymen on practices and offences that amounted to corruption to deter corruption among politicians'. Doesn't this sound stupid? I am just a retired military officer and I don't need to be taught what constitutes the practice of corruption. For any ordinary person who have at bit of education and conscience will know what is corruption and what is not.

And do you honestly think the MACC sessions be of any meaning to those MPs and assemblymen whom the public knows are deeply mired in corruption? Just look at one particular former MB who within a span of two terms in office can afford to built a house worth millions? And I am now told that even some senior military officers can also afford to built a house that costs more than a million immediately upon his retirement. I suppose they have been taught some useful lessons from politicians on how to make in rich while in power. I just wonder if they have any conscience at all to be living in such luxury, knowing full well that the wealth that they have acquired is through some dubious acts.

If indeed the MACC wants to conduct the sessions to MPs and assemblymen, I would suggest that the sessions be extended to the senior members of the Armed Forces and including all senior government servants as well. A session simply for the MPs and assemblymen is not good enough because for corruption to work, it has to have a network of people to partake in the act. Corruption will not work without the connivance of others.

There has been far too many people in high places that are involved in corruption, but we are yet to see some big names being charged. Now that the PKFZ 'mother of all scandal' report is out, it will be interesting to see if the allegation does 'stick' on those involved. And what about the infamous 'Palace of Khir Toyo'? Will the authorities be serious enough in getting down to the very bottom of this issue? Unless these issues are resolved, I will have little faith in the investigating authorities; be it the police, the MACC or any other investigating bodies formed by the government.