Saturday, July 14, 2012

First it was Tony Pua. Now it is Rafizi's turn to grill Chua Tee Yong

As expected, MCA MP for Labis Chua Tee Yong has declined to debate with DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua over the Talam debt restructuring deal despite his claims of massive wrongdoing by the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor state government.

Tee Yong, who is also the son of scandal-tainted MCA president Chua Soi Lek, has been written off by many pundits and members of the public as a 'sure loser' if the debate took place. At 32, Tee Yong may be the one of the youngest 'Datuks' in the country but his oratorical skills and ability to articulate himself still needs seasoning.

Threatening to expose more Talam misdeeds by Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim's administration, Tee Yong also declined to respond to another Pakatan leader - PKR's Rafizi Ramli - who had a day ago warned that he would expose MCA's links with Talam.

“I am not going to respond to his statements and threats,” the MCA-owned Star newspaper reported Tee Yong as saying.

Glaring errors

Tony had a day ago slammed Tee Yong for his huge mathematical errors over the Talam deal, which Tee Yong has yet to acknowledge. Tony challenged the Labis MP to a debate so that the Malaysian public could gauge for themselves and decide who was telling the truth and who was lying.

"Datuk Chua (Tee Yong) has become an embarrassment for the MCA as he stumbles from one mega-blunder to another. I call upon Datuk Chua to end his misery once and for all, with a public and open debate in any language, at a time and place of his choosing, even if it is held at Wisma MCA over the Talam Debt Recovery: A Billion Ringgit Bailout or a Billion Ringgit Mega-Blunder," Tony had said in a statement.


Khalid has also announced Selangor would appoint 5 accounting firms to review the Talam deal. Tee Yong has also failed to respond to this. So far, he has clung on to his claims, despite the errors pointed out to him.

This perceived lack of fair play has sparked great public annoyance with him for being a sore loser.

Father and son 'disaster team' for the MCA

The recent fiascoes hatched by the father and son team has caused deep rumblings in their party. Within MCA, a simmering revolt is already out in the open. The party has been fractious for years and after Soi Lek took over the presidency from Pandan MP Ong Tee Keat in 2010, there was a lull but only waiting for the storm to break.

Earlier this week, MCA elders were forced to use the party grapevine to warn against a purported plan by Soi Lek to sell 45-acres of land belonging to Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman for RM100mil.

The rumor sparked massive outrage as not only was the college land considered a 'sacred trust' to be reserved for future expansion, the price tag was shockingly low. One pundit said it was at least ten times less than the market value given the prime location of the land in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur and accused Soi Lek of trying to benefit himself and his cronies with the deal.

Like his embattled son, Soi Lek has come out to deny the rumor - pinning the blame on arch rival DAP.

“The motive to destroy MCA is clear as the rumour was spread right after the DAP insulted the inception of TARC during the debate on Sunday as there are people who do not wish to see the success of TARC,” Soi Lek said in a statement on Friday.
Cowardice in Malacca too

Earlier this month, Soi Lek and team had also tried to discredit DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng with accusations of an extra-marital affair.

But instead of hitting Guan Eng directly, they did so through the Malacca state assembly, where Guan Eng's wife Betty Chew is the Kota Laksamana assemblywoman.

When Guan Eng challenged them to repeat their accusations outside the assembly where they would no longer enjoy legal immunity, Soi Lek and team did not do so for fear of being sued for defamation as they could not stump up the proof.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Boycott Petron to fight corruption

A PKR leader has suggested that a boycott of companies owned by BN cronies would be a more effective method of fighting corruption in Malaysia than depending on action by the police or MACC.

Malacca PKR vice chairman G Rajendran said he would start the ball rolling by launching a “Say No to Petron” campaign against the new petrol and gas company, which is said to be owned by Mirzan Mahathir, one of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s sons.

He told FMT the campaign would be initially carried out through Facebook and other social networking sites, but did not say when he would launch it.

“I’ll request Malaysians to boycott all Petron petrol stations to show our dismay over cronyism in Malaysia,” he said.

“Petron Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which has links with Mahathir’s son Mirzan, has taken over Esso Malaysia Bhd and all Esso stations are being rebranded to Petron.

“This is ridiculous. While the people are struggling, a few are enjoying a lavish life because of cronyism. Those who are related to powerful leaders are getting favours without any problems.

“I am really saddened by our system.”

Rajendran said cronyism, in his book, is just another name for corruption.

“There are thousands and thousands of complaints lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police, but nothing is done about them.

“So, the time has come to use a new method to fight cronyism.”

Petron acquired the oil refiner Exxon Mobil Malaysia Bhd in April, when it bought 65% of the firm, and now has full ownership of the subsidiaries Exxon Mobil Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Exxon Mobil Borneo Sdn Bhd.

It has since rebranded 580 former Exxon Mobil fuel stations nationwide and, it is learnt, will do so with 120 more stations by the end of the year.

PKR de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim recently alleged that Petron paid for the acquisition with money gained from the sale of shares in the San Miguel beer company.

Anwar has also raised concern over a deal between Petron and Malaysia Airlines System (MAS).
Petron has signed an agreement with MAS for the supply of fuel for the national carrier’s entire Airbus A380 fleet for six months.

[Source: FMT]

I guess PETRON petrol stations cannot be considered halal since beer money was used in the transaction.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can BN take back Selangor?

The question above is one to consider objectively, and yes, we the people of Selangor will be questioning and prodding the politicians about their propaganda.

The state of Selangor, after all, is a very valuable state. It is the state with the largest population of both locals and migrants, at least until the Sabah RCI tells us otherwise. We are the state with the most number of cities. We are also the state with the highest income per capita in the entire federation.

The state also has the largest population of youths due to the concentration of tertiary education centres here both inter and intra state.

If we are to study the voting patterns in 2008, one of the major reasons for Pakatan Rakyat winning the state government was due to the fact that this state is well developed with better infrastructure in terms of access to alternative media. Alternative media being that which is available online.

And most of those who read online media as their main source of information and news are based mostly in the urban and suburban areas. If we were to analyse GE 2008, we would notice that the seats in the state assembly won by Barisan Nasional were in the rural areas.

This advantage for Pakatan has apparently been halved nowadays with the emergence of pro-government blogs and social media outlets.

In terms of lingua franca, most of the online news portals and alternative media outlets use English as their medium. In that sense, I do agree that GAPENA may want to look into asking Umno, at least, to tell their cybertroopers to stick to BM instead of their grammatically confusing English.

The cyberworld is full of grammar Nazis such as me. Good grammar is equally as important as your political selling points.

Studying the voting patterns of the Selangor population, we can detect that the swing towards PR in the urban areas was unanimous. Seats such as Kota Anggerik, which is predominantly Malay, as well as those in Subang, which is more balanced, all swung towards Pakatan.

At this point I wish to clarify statements by two former prime ministers, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. While the upcoming election could be about “race”, it certainly won’t be so for the urban population since the last election showed no racial bias in these areas.

Now, with the idea set in place that the Barisan Nasional wants to retake Selangor, there are a few questions that they will have to answer.

For one, what is your state manifesto for this upcoming election?

This so-called manifesto was something promised since September 2011 but has yet to see the light of day.

Furthermore, is it true that Selangor must deal with the federal government, but to what end?

What benefits the Federal Territories may not be what benefits the state. The state is an independent entity that must have a symbiotic relationship with the federation. The state of Selangor is a sovereign state in a federation of many, but we would not appreciate being whored out like what is being done to east Malaysia. As such, what promises can the BN make that caters to the state that may not be beneficial for the federal government?

There is also a need to address the question of state policies. Would the policies brought forward by the current PR state government which benefits the people of Selangor still remain or will these be reversed?

Can the future BN state government guarantee a savings of RM1.8 billion a year and above?

Can they guarantee, similarly, the continued hosting of SELCAT hearings to address corruption within the public administration sector for the state?

Would you openly allow protests and local gatherings? To what end?

I’ve seen in Selangor protestors bearing cow heads, Khalid Samad’s portrait being stepped on, the state mosque being used for politics by NGOs linked to you, Barisan Nasional.

There are implementations by Pakatan which have brought a lot of benefit to the majority of people who reside in Selangor and I am pretty sure we are keen to maintain them or at least put them on the ballot for a referendum vote. And that’s the other thing. Would a Selangor state BN government work towards local council elections?

The state of Selangor is well placed to live up to its motto, promoting sincerity and diligence. Now it is clearly revealed that these two virtues were not taken seriously by the past BN state governments after SELCAT clearly highlighted how individuals serving state organisations and entities were abusing the state coffers. With this in mind and in view of the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government run by the BN coalition, why should the people of Selangor want the same to happen to our state’s income?

Here’s the bottom line I would give to Selangor BN if they truly want to take back the state.

To win back Selangor, an urbanite savvy state, requires the ability to be both moderate and independent, catering for Selangor first and the federation second and ensuring that Selangor remains the prime example of a modern state that others want to be. To do this, the BN coalition must speak up against moves by the BN federal government which does harm to the state, one of which was the cutting of PTPTN funding which was quickly reversed.

How many Selangor BN leaders spoke up?

If you cannot even speak up for the youth of Selangor, what guarantee can you give to us, the people in the state, that you will not become yes-men?

You know what? Screw that. Show me your one-year delayed manifesto.

[Source: The MI]