Khamis, 15 Mac 2012

The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah

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The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah

Felda Lubok Merbau Dikunjungi Semula.....

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 05:32 PM PDT

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim

MAS – AirAsia Swap Deal Was a Mistake

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 02:28 AM PDT

The Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto/ Policy Committee thinks that the share swap deal between Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and AirAsia was a mistake and Najib as the chairman of Khazanah should be responsible for this mess.

From the onset, the justification of this collaboration is of suspect. If the intention is for MAS ti focus on premier services while AirAsia on no-frills services, no exchange of equity is needed. 

Since the collaboration took place, a lot of aggressive route and capacity cuts have been undertaken, mostly involving MAS. Furthermore, it has killed Firefly's (MAS' low cost carrier) lucrative budget services that were giving AirAsia a run for its money.

Clearly, this is a form anti-competitive behaviour displayed by MAS-AirAsia. Having AirAsia’s chief executive, Tony Fernandes, and his deputy Kamarudin Meranun on the board of MAS only serves the interest of AirAsia at the expense of consumers.

Additionally, The Edge has also reported that the share swap deal faced resistance from the Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union (MASEU). It is understood that MASEU's representative had met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to air the union's unhappiness.

Unfortunately, all this confirmed the predictions made by independent, not-for-profit research institute REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) on 12 Aug 2011, soon after the swap was announced. REFSA said that this collaboration would result in less frequent flights, reduced job prospects for airline staff and fewer opportunities for all Malaysians due to less connectivity.

Speculations are now abounding on the possibility of the Prime Minister asking Khazanah to buy back the stake exchanged with Tune Air.

In light of this development, we hope that Khazanah will not be bailing out Tune Air.  Considering the fact that MAS reported RM2.52 billion net loss for 2011, its largest loss in history, Khazanah must buy back the stake at a lower price to reflect MAS' terrible performance since the deal was made.

At the same time, advisory fees paid to the GLC that advised on the deal – CIMB Bank – should be clawed back since the deal was obviously flawed. In less than 6 months after the deal MAS reported this massive loss.

Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto/ Policy Committee

Rafizi Ramli
Dr. Dzulkifli Ahmad
Liew Chin Tong

Anwar: Pelabur dari negara Teluk perlu dukung ketelusan urusniaga

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 01:07 AM PDT


Ketua Pembangkang, Anwar Ibrahim berkata syarikat perdagangan dari negara Teluk yang berurusan di Malaysia perlu memastikan setiap urusan perdagangan dijalankan dengan telus dan menepati syarat.

Dalam wawancara dengan akhbar Gulf News di sini semalam, Anwar turut menyatakan bahawa gejala rasuah dan perjanjian perniagaan yang berunsur penyelewengan mengakibatkan Malaysia mengalami kerugian yang besar.

Beliau juga menyatakan sokongan ke atas inisiatif pelaburan dari negara Teluk ke Malaysia meski pun wujud beberapa perbezaan pandangan terhadap dasar-dasar kerajaan.

“Saya menyokong keperluan untuk menarik pelabur dari sini ke Malaysia, namun saya tegas berpendirian bahawa ianya perlu dilandaskan atas prinsip ketelusan. Tiadanya ketelusan serta amalan perjanjian yang menyeleweng akan menyebabkan timbul masalah di masa akan datang dan ini seharusnya dielakkan,” ujar beliau.

Tambah beliau lagi, pada ketika ini Malaysia sedang menuju ke arah mengamalkan dasar-dasar pasaran bebas, namun timbul beberapa kesan negatif akibat amalan nepotisme dan kurangnya ketelusan.

“Kamu tidak boleh memberi kontrak kepada ahli keluarga dan melabel amalan ini sebagai penswastaan dan kamu tidak boleh meluluskan tender tanpa mengikut prosedur sah — ini akan mengakibatkan kerugian. Laporan kerajaan menyatakan bahawa kerugian sebanyak USD6 bilion telah dicatatkan akibat amalan rasuah di Malaysia,” tegas beliau.

“Dalam aspek daya saing iaitu menerusi kadar pelaburan langsung asing dan pertumbuhan, kami (Malaysia) telah dipintas oleh Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam dan Singapura.”

Anwar berada di sini sebagai memenuhi undangan menyampaikan ucaptama di Kongres Perhubungan Awam Sedunia (PRWC) ke-20.

Isu Israel: Menteri Luar Cuba Kelirukan sidang Dewan 14 Mac 2012

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 12:41 AM PDT


From Arab Street to Wall Street: The Changing Political Landscape

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 12:21 AM PDT

Speech by Anwar Ibrahim at the 20th Public Relations World Conference 2012 in Dubai, UAE, 14th March?
Half a century ago in Vietnam, a Buddhist monk set himself on fire and triggered the fall of a regime. Since then, there have been numerous self-immolations with significant consequences but none as catastrophic as the one that happened in Tunisia.

Indeed, as we all know, Mohamed Buoazizi did not just set himself on fire. His death ignited the Arab Spring and spelled the doom of long held dictatorships and autocracies alike.

Back in 2005, at the US-Muslim World Forum in Doha, I spoke of the winds of change sweeping across the deserts of the Middle East. I said that given half a chance, the people would opt for freedom and democracy.

Well, the winds of change have become a raging storm, blowing the likes of Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gaddafi and Abdullah Salleh off their pedestals of power. There are others still hanging on for dear life but we know the outcome: it's just a matter of time. You can't fight the tide of history.

The repercussions of the Arab Spring are far reaching, going beyond the Middle East. Southeast Asia, for example, will be among the first to reap the fruits of this phenomenal change. Even so-called Old World democracies are affected. Wall Street, the icon of free market capitalism, has not been spared.

But first, the primary implications for the Middle East. Tunisia has successfully experienced her post-revolution general elections with significant results. The Egyptians too have cast their votes and all indications point to an Islamist-centric power sharing coalition.

There are concerns that reactionaries may want to turn back the clock on democracy but this fear is premature. What is certain is that the test of democracy will be manifold and challenges will emerge to push the endurance to its limits.

For Egypt now, the real test of the Arab Spring is whether it will be the voice of the people that will prevail or will the guns and mortar of the military hold sway. And even in this people's voice, whether the voice of moderation will prevail over the voice of ideological rigour.

As for Southeast Asia, detractors, sceptics, and the powers that be in the region have dismissed the idea of an Arab Spring. They say that it won't happen because unlike the Middle East, there has been no winter of discontent in Southeast Asia.

They say that the economy has been good, unemployment numbers are far lower than even the old democracies, and that revolution is not the Asian way.

They say that while the Middle East is marked by the rule of autocrats and family dynasties, Southeast Asia is led by democratically elected leaders. One is notorious for human rights abuses, negation of the rule of law and is a hotbed for terrorism. The other is a region of peace and security and espouses the protection of fundamental liberties, a free market and a policy of non-interference.  

It is said that street protests run counter to Asian values. An Arab Spring will undermine societal stability and economic prosperity. The powers that be tell us that Asian values favour a strong paternalistic government, not liberal democracy. Indeed, they have made it clear that they won't allow it to happen.

Now, we think it's time for a reality check.

Surely, the likes of Ben Ali, Mubarak and Gaddafi never allowed it to happen and had vowed to come down hard on their people. But the people went ahead, and they prevailed.

In spite of this, Southeast Asian leaders still believe that they can cow the people into submission. It seems to be lost on them that the Arab Spring happened because those deposed did not allow it to happen. And that is precisely the point – the spring is not about what they want – it's about what the people want.

Before we go from the Arab Spring to Wall Street, a quick survey of Southeast Asia will be telling indeed. With the exception of Indonesia, ASEAN is but a confederation of various pseudo democracies and several outright dictatorial regimes. Civil liberties are honoured more in the breach, and political dissent is considered treachery while minorities are treated as second class. Religious minorities in particular are viewed with suspicion and often dealt with in a patronizing way.

As for rule of law, the actions of the authorities leave no room for dispute. For example, instead of being used to fight crime, the police are employed as first line of offence for the powers that be, to suppress street protests by brute force, harass political dissidents, and generally as tools to fight leaders of the opposition.

Similarly, the agency tasked to fight corruption, drags its feet when the suspects are from the government or ruling party while the public prosecutor consistently shows that it is either unwilling or impotent to prosecute those with strong political connections.

In other words, they are behaving in more or less the same manner as the powers that be in the Middle East used to behave before the Arab Spring.

A democracy is characterised by the institutionalising of democratic principles. For example, separation of powers enables the check and balance of one organ of state against another.

In this regard, the Arab Spring itself will be considered a failure if the newly minted democracies like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya are unable to ensure this separation. The judiciary, for example, must be totally free from the influence of the executive. We know that the mother of all power abuses stems from the tenacious hold exerted on the Judiciary by the Executive. I speak from direct personal experience but I'm sure other examples abound.

Again, elections must be free, fair and transparent. There must be equal access to a free media, open debates and a conduct of elections that can stand up to international scrutiny. This level playing field will never be realised when opposition leaders continue to be exposed to criminal prosecutions for exercising their right to free speech.

What proactive steps to reform are the spin doctors talking about when the opposition continues to be barred from the airwaves, rallies are not allowed as of right?  

The Arab Spring is a metaphor for freedom and democracy for the rest of the world. It inspires the fight for justice for the oppressed and the marginalised. It gives hope to the weak and downtrodden that despite the odds stacked against them, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Arab Spring did not arise from a bed of roses. The violence and bloodshed that was descended on the people will serve as chilling reminders of desperate tyrants and autocrats trying to cling on to power.

The repercussions of the Arab Spring have been so far reaching that some say that Occupy Wall Street has been sired from its loins. Many may take issue with that and to my mind, a more apt description is that both are borne from winters of discontent.

Indeed, Occupy Wall Street is a clear indictment against market fundamentalism. It wants to nail the lie on the Wall Street mantra of "leaving it to market forces". It exposes the flaws, some say fatal, in the foundations of the capitalistic economic model.

Like the Arab Spring, it has spread beyond its domestic borders moving on from one free market capital to another. It tears apart the philosophy of greed which is said to be the cornerstone of the Smithsonian rationale for capitalism.

I believe it is a build-up of societal angst arising from the gross inequities brought by the free market. The conservatives and the detractors tell them to get a life and get a job. But they have completely missed the point because the fact is that many of them can't get jobs.

Arab Spring aspirants want free and fair elections i.e. equal opportunity to compete and on a level playing field. Likewise, Occupy Wall Street wants equality and if that is not possible at least an egalitarian deal, a 21st century New Deal. Not the Obama rhetoric of course but a real deal with tangible outcomes.

But we know that free competition has no truck with equality. That is why the bastions of capitalism are being overwhelmed. This is in essence a statement that people are simply fed up with getting poorer while the rich are getting richer – certainly not a new kind of suffering but one which has been given a collective voice by the movement and recognized as a legitimate grievance against the exploitation of the people by the corporate elite.

It is also a clear indictment against the concept of the invisible hand which has remained invisible so often that governments in the free world have felt compelled to intervene in situations traditionally left to market forces.

This brings us to a crucial component of the discourse: social justice. In my view, the principles of justice and fairness in dealings must remain the cornerstone to judge the validity of transactions. Justice and fairness can be attained through social justice.

But it should be remembered that the inequalities of wealth, power and status are not exclusive to nations practicing free markets.
Whatever may be the system, poverty reduction programs are essential without which the gap between the rich and the poor will never be narrowed. Occupy Wall Street therefore carries the overriding principle of the role of the state in guiding towards a more equitable distribution of wealth.

In Islam, the Maqasid al-Shari'a stress the importance of the protection of the environment, the eradication of poverty, and generally the promotion of social justice. Fighting poverty and redressing other social inequities are certainly among the priorities.

These concerns which should be the driving force of Occupy Wall Street must also be encompassed by the reforms of the Arab Spring. It is here that we can see a clear convergence. Where once both political tyranny and social injustice were prevalent, now we can say that the Arab Spring has changed the equation.

It has paved the way for further reforms. It certainly won't be plain sailing but having come this far, there is no turning back.

Thank you.

Wee Choo Keong

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Wee Choo Keong

Aj & Rashdan: “WHAT COST CUTTING?” & Zero Fare for uplifting 30,000 passengers of AirAsia X – Part 3

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 05:09 AM PDT

En Ahmad Jauhari Yahya (AJ), the Group CEO of MAS and En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof aka Danny (Rashdan), Deputy Group CEO of MAS and an Amok’s crony, have stressed on cost cutting under their New Business Plan to save MAS.  Are they seriously walking their talks or just a slogan for people with consultant mentality [...]

15-3-2012 Questions TIme: Under AJ & Rashdan RM24.9m consultancy fees paid to date

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 03:25 AM PDT

Tuan Wee Choo Keong [Wangsa Maju] minta MENTERI KEWANGAN menyatakan berapakah jumlah kos Konsultan yang dibayar oleh Khazanah Nasional daripada Jun 2004 sehingga 29-2-2012 dan berapakah Khazanah Nasional membayar Konsultan fi kepada BinaFikir Sdn. Bhd. untuk perlaksanaan projek "Widespread Asset Un-bundling" (WAU) yang gagal untuk MAS dan senaraikan konsultan-konsultan yang dilantik oleh MAS termasuk syarikat PlaneConsult [...]

14-03-2012 Questions Time: MYCC is investigating into MAS-AirAsia share swap & CCF

Posted: 14 Mar 2012 09:29 PM PDT

Updates @ 6:50 pm on 15-3-2011: blue sky has informed yours truly that Puan Nor Zalida Ahmad is the niece of Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, the Deputy CEO of AirAsia and after the secret MAS AirAsia share swap was inked by Tan Sri Mokhtar he was appointed  a director of MAS. By the way, she is [...]


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Pegawai kanan Felda ditugas 'gunting akhbar' di JPM

Posted: 14 Mar 2012 07:55 PM PDT

Setiausaha Koperasi Permodalan Felda (KPF) Abidin Abdul Rahman dilaporkan telah 'disingkirkan' ke Jabatan Perdana Menteri kerana didakwa membantah pelantikan Tan Sri Isa Samad sebagai pengerusi koperasi itu, kata Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar.

NONEAbidin yang juga adalah Timbalan Pengarah Besar (Pembangunan Komuniti) Felda, kata Mahfuz (kanan), hanya diberikan tugas menggunting keratan akhbar untuk perpustakaan di jabatan itu sejak 1 Mac lalu.

Menurut beliau, Abidin terpaksa menanggung akibatnya apabila menyuarakan kebimbangan ahli pada Disember lalu berhubung cadangan melantik Isa, yang merupakan pengerusi Felda untuk memimpin KPF. Langkah itu dianggap melanggar peraturan koperasi.

Mahfuz berkata Abidin memaklumkan bahawa beliau hanya akan menerima pelantikan Isa sebagai pengerusi KPF jika bekas menteri besar Negeri Sembilan itu adalah seorang ahli koperasi.

azlan"Dan untuk menjadi ahli, Isa (kanan) mestilah sama ada seorang peneroka Felda atau kakitangan operasinya," kata Mahfuz kepada Malaysiakini semalam.

Mahfuz juga mendakwa bahawa pada asalnya lembaga pengarah Felda mencadangkan supaya Abidin dipindahkan ke Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) tetapi oleh kerana Felda adalah sebuah badan berkanun manakala JPA adalah entiti kerajaan, maka, ia tidak menjadi kenyataan.

Beliau ke Jabatan Perdana Menteri, kata Mahfuz yang juga ahli parlimen Pokok Sena.

NONE"Ini tindakan memalukan (oleh kerajaan) untuk mengaibkan pegawai kerajaan," kata Mahfuz.

Sebelum ini, Pengarah Besar Felda, Datuk Dzulkifli Abdul Wahab (kiri) pula terpaksa mengambil cuti belajar selama sembilan bulan kerana membantah pelantikan Isa.

Adalah difahamkan juga kedua-dua pegawai kanan Felda itu juga membantah cadangan saham Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) di Bursa Malaysia.


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