Loose Talks Sink Ships


A friend wrote this to me:

“I disagree with Sanusi Junid that Najib is the person that made UMNO weak.
Mahathir is the root cause of UMNO weakening. But he did make UMNO strong once during the past 16 years.
Statistics don’t lie.
1999 GE, Mahathir made UMNO lose a staggering 24% of their seas – down 22 seats from 93.
2004.- Mahathir made UMNO strong by retiring from politics, no longer contesting and keeping quiet and letting his replacement do his work. 
Immediately, UMNO won 53% more seats and jumped from 71 seats to 109 – in the best results ever for UMNO and BN.
2008: Mahathir made UMNO weak again by continuously attacking and treasonously attacking his own party over years – which made UMNO weak again by losing 38% seats.
In 2013, Najib won 9 more seats for UMNO – hence strengthening UMNO.. Mahathir was also relatively quiet this period.
Najib inherited an UMNO that already has partners that have been rendered weak. UMNO with the remnants of supporters of its partners not only have to fend off attacks from the Opposition but also now from those who cling onto Mahathir for meagre amount of morsels to remain relevant in their dreams. It is these attacks that further divided UMNO into the circus it is now. Lest we forget the younger and opportunistic vultures who help pick the flesh off others.

Thus, this is indisputable proof where we can draw two conclusions:
1) Mahathir is the main cause of UMNO weakening. 
2) If you want UMNO to be strong, ask Mahathir to shut-up.”

I have said this again and again. STFU and let the authorities do their work. The more you feed fuel to fire, the bigger it will burn.

But not everyone has the brain power to understand simple logic such as that.

If you go back to the early 1980s, it was Mahathir who prodded Sulaiman Palestine to mount a challenge against Tun Hussein Onn. Then urged Ku Li to take on Musa Hitam. Those in their 30s wouldn’t remember how UMNO split into Team A and Team B after Ku Li in turn challenged Mahathir and UMNO was declared illegal soon after. And because of the Team A and Team B spat, Mahathir changed the UMNO constitution into the form it is now and changed how an UMNO President is elected. Oh! How can we forget that because of the Team A and Team B thing Mahathir fired several ministers as well – Pak Lah, the late Ajib Ahmad and a few others.

Then Mahathir also lost Kelantan in 1990 to PAS. That was the biggest blow to BN that time, only to be outdone again during his time in 1999. Who remembers the Wan Mokhtar-Yusuf Noor spat and why it happened?

Musa was too smart for Mahathir. Everyone knew this. The MM (Mahathir-Musa) partnership was more a “don’t step on my toes and I don’t step on yours” relationship. In the end, Mahathir used the mishandling of the Memali incident to oust Musa Hitam. He did not stop at that. He had Ghafar Baba as his deputy, but his real sight was on Anwar.

Ghafar was that pleasant and docile deputy everyone would have loved to have, but not as a successor. Anwar had a lot of following especially from his former organisation, ABIM. Mahathir used the late Rahim King’s organisation, Kelab Bekas Komando Malaysia, to pave the way for Anwar’s rise and to remove any opposition to Anwar. In the end, Ghafar, a true UMNO loyalist, was dropped in a disgraceful manner helped by hidden hands.

UMNO was weak. Members were tired of Mahathir who had by then overstayed his welcome. The onybreason they were still supporting him was because of his choice for deputy – Anwar Ibrahim. Finally, UMNO had found a young and energetic character to be able to replace Mahathir and everyone waited for that day.

Of course, unbeknownst to both Mahathir and the Special Branch then, Anwar was engaging in unhealthy activities that the DAP had known since 1984 but brought it to the surface in 1997 by the late Karpal Singh, and subsequently given the title “Sheikh al-Anwar al-Juburi” by some people’s new hope: Mat Sabu.

Naturally when Mahathir fired Anwar and sacked the latter from UMNO, the party weakened even further. In the 1999 elections even Sanusi fell victim to the people’s wrath against Mahathir. Members of the Actors Studio were seen taking to the streets in support of the “Reformasi” movement giving ad hoc interviews to Maria Ressa from CNN then saying “We are tired of Mahathir! He must go!”

Mahathir’s move against Najib has also gained support from the member of a certain state’s royal family. The irony is in 1983 it was this royal family member’s late grandfather whom Mahathir was trying to prevent from becoming the Yang DiPertuan Agong. Almost weekly a Nuri helicopter would fly the then-Prime Minister to Kuala Kangsar to convince the late Sultan Idris, who also happened to be the maternal grandfather to this member of the Royal family, to become the Yang DiPertuan Agong instead. Fate had it that Sultan Idris passed on in early 1984 and Sultan Iskandar ascended the throne of the Yang DiPertuan Agong in April of 1984.

It was during this seemingly invisible interference by Mahathir that had caused a constitutional crisis that almost saw the civilian government being overthrown by the military. The only problem the military had was its lack of contact with the general population and needed a bridge in the form of the police. Although the police supported the idea but they thought it was not the right time for a coup and it failed. The constitutional crisis did not rear its head again until 1993 when the powers of the Rulers Institution was greatly reduced.

So, UMNO gets blamed for everything when it was all done by Mahathir for himself, or for those close to him. And as mentioned, Pak Lah inherited a weak UMNO from Mahathir. All the previous UMNO proxies were not allowed to help finance BN after Mahathir stepped down. Mahathir left taking all the UMNO proxies with him. UMNO was left not only weak, it was also left poor, save for whatever was handed to Pak Lah.

The government now has Revenue Recovery Committee to recover lost government revenue, it is time that UMNO has one too.

As confidence in Malaysia continues to weaken helped by with no thanks to Mahathir and his hanger-ons who keep burning the party on the pretext of saving it, both UMNO and PAS now suffers from trust deficit and the likely winner in all this would be DAP and the Gerakan Harapan Baru.

And by Mahathir’s logic, only Najib should shoulder the blame when it is his loose talks that helped sink the ship.

The Zombie Apocalypse 

I’m sharing the item below because it is very relevant to those who fear the decline of the Ringgit versus the Greenback. This fear is further underscored by zombies who think the world is going to end tomorrow.

Malay Mail Online) – Today, the Ringgit breached RM4.00 for a dollar.
When I logged in to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, 9 out of 10 posts that appeared on my timeline were slamming the Government on the Ringgit.
To sum them up, youths who dominate social media today were posting comments as though tomorrow spells the end for Malaysia.
And in just the past month, I saw how Malaysians transform from being constitutional experts, to aviation analysts and now economics.
Some even went as far as pushing the blame on Umno and Najib. There’s this group called Suara Rakyat who likes to say “other countries are doing better because Umno is not there in their country”.
Of course, when you have a narrow, myopic view, you will tend to miss out the fact that over the 5 year period,
• Russian Roubles lost 114per cent against USD
• Indonesian Rupiah lost 51per cent against USD
• Indian Rupees lost 38per cent against USD
• Norwegian Krone lost 37per cent against USD
• Australian Dollars lost 24per cent against USD
• Euro lost 20per cent against USD
• Thai Baht lost 10per cent against USD
Do I need to go on?
One of the contributing factors faced by these countries is the drop in oil prices. Crude oil was trading at US$70-80/bbl few years ago and today it has fallen below US$ 50 per bbl. 
Also, US is not our only trading partner and the performance of our Ringgit is not measured against US dollars alone.
When we look at the Ringgit, 
• we strengthened against Canadian Dollars (2per cent)
• we strengthened against Indian Rupees (10 per cent)
• we strengthened against Japanese Yen (14 per cent)
• we strengthened against Indonesian Rupiah (18 per cent) 
I don’t need to name more currencies, do I?
Do you know that the value of our trade with India, Japan and Indonesia is close to 20per cent?
Understandably, we are quick to feed on negative news and quick to comment like an expert on our Facebook and Twitter. That’s how things work these days.
Of course, none of you made reference to 1998. 
No one remembered the time when the Ringgit crashed to as low as RM4.725 for a dollar on 7 January 1998 (BNM selling rate, over the counter was more than RM4.80).
All of you, who were quick to comment about the state of our economy on your Facebook, were still in school.
So none of you knew, none of you remembered, none of you experienced what happened in 1998 when Anwar Ibrahim was Finance Minister.
Back then
a) People were losing jobs or had difficulty in getting jobs
b) Households were squeezed
b) average lending rate was 12.16 per cent
c) Inflation was close to 3 per cent without subsidy removals. 
If any of you doubt the 2-3 per cent inflation numbers today and felt it is way higher, apply the same thought to 1998-1999.
And yes, average lending rate was over 12 per cent. Those were the days.
You may say it is history and you may continue to slam the Prime Minister, the Central Bank and the Government for today’s numbers.
But the next time before you give you get upset and share your anger on Facebook or Twitter, ask yourself whether or not the Ringgit — Dollar exchange rate affects you, and how.
1. Do you shop online from US websites? 
2. Are you planning to fly over to US for a holiday?
3. Are you a Malaysian studying in the US?
4. Do you import goods to be resold in Malaysia?
5. Do you buy necessities and food from the US to use here?
6. Do you at all use the US dollar in your daily life?
Because my dear, only if you answer yes to the above, you are affected. Otherwise, what are you shouting and so worried about?
Your salary is still denominated in Ringgit and you don’t buy necessities with US dollars. 
Sure, no one can deny that it has some impact to some segments especially imports and our plans to travel to US, UK etc. I am also of the opinion that there are many things Najib can do (which he isn’t at all now) and I will share more soon.
And guys, the international ratings agencies — Fitch, Moody’s and S&P — have all maintained Malaysia’s outlook as stable.
There are no economists out there who are saying that Malaysia’s economy will collapse, only politicians are saying this.

Gone Over The Edge

I love the way people reacted to my previous post. I made no mention of who’s who at the meetings, and I was merely writing about what I was told. The reactions, or over-reactions have been priceless. It wasn’t me who stalked them. They should be more aware of their surroundings. Furthermore not one of the above are a leader of any of the opposition-held states. Unless, as the Malays would say: PERASAN.

The police should also investigate the alledged Pemuda UMNO Whatsapp messages that went flying around recently. Messages can be deleted, but the Whatsapp server still stores them. All that is needed is a number or two, and the whole trail of messages can be retrieved.

All attempts or conspiracies to remove the Prime Minister should be investigated. Not because I am protecting Najib Razak, but the institution of the Prime Minister. The last thing Malaysia needs is a vicious cycle of removals and appointments of Prime Ministers that would totally erode the confidence others still have in this country.

On the economic fundamentals of this country, this is what Abdul Wahid Omar had to say:

Back in 1997/98, Malaysia had international reserves below USD30b sufficient to cover 3.2mths of retained imports. We had trade deficit & corporates were highly geared with many borrowing in USD when their income/assets were in MYR. Now even after the recent outflows, our international reserves is more than 3 times larger at USD96.7b as at 31 July 2015 sufficient to cover 7.6 mths of retained imports. 

Our trade surplus reached RM41b for 1st half 2015 notwithstanding the lower oil & commodity prices. And corporates’ balance sheets are much healthier. Our labour market conditions are stable with low unemployment rate of 3%. 

Our banks are well capitalised with core Tier1 capital ratios of 12.5%, liquid & with good asset quality where net impaired loans ratio is at a low of 1.2%. Banks & financial system are well regulated & supervised by BNM. Our fiscal position continues to improve with budget deficit reducing from 3.4% of GDP in 2014 to a target of 3.2% in 2015. We are still on track to achieve GDP growth of between 4.5% to 5.5% this year. That’s what I meant by strong economic fundamentals. 

Rgds. AWO.

Living On The Edge

I don’t talk much about who I am. Only BigDog actually sent me a private message on Twitter about four years ago asking if I am who he thought I am. I just said yes. Being who I am also means I do not have to rely on The Edge to know of some things. On that same note even Rahman Dahlan could dig up more information on things, better than a certain person who had to rely on The Edge ever did. 

Being who I am also means I still have strong links with my father’s former contemporaries. These once junior officers are now very senior ranking officers, and loyal to their profession and to the institution of the force.  I had dinner with a couple of them tonight and of course the discussion that ensued ranged from the old days to the current political circus. Much was revealed about the things that have been happening in the background.

And what a revelation it was.

It seems that a certain former senior minister had met up with the head of an opposition-led state government with thirty other MPs to discuss the formation of a coalition government to replace the current one.  Of course PAS was not invited, not the incumbents of course. There was also another similar meeting held at the KLGCC where around fifteen people attended. When the lead “guest” arrived, they changed the venue to a larger meeting room.

This seems to tally with the recent raids by the police on the MACC. Of course The Edge would not tell you that the raid is about leaking information pertaining to the investigation so everyone could be led on to believe that this is all a conspiracy to cover up. And this coming from the same people who complain about criminals going scott free due to leaks.

And being the person I am also means I know three other things: first, that the recent meeting with the Sultan of Johor by the former Deputy Prime Minister was not at the request of His Highness. Rather, it was arranged by a certain businessman who did not get to execute a project when Pak Lah was the Prime Minister. Second, that the former Attorney-General has to go for three dialysis sessions per week that takes up a whole work day each session. Third, the MACC head has been hospitalised to remove a growth near his spine. It is operable but has to be done quickly, and the good Tan Sri will be out of action for about a month.

Of course, you would not be able to read the above on The Edge. Therefore I felt that I’d have to pre-empt any talk of conspiracies.

Anyway, yesterday too there was a “guerrilla movement” (as described by the message originator) by a group of UMNO people, inviting non-UMNO party of the BN coalition members to join them in pressuring the Prime Minister to step down. When I asked my dinner companions, they just smiled and said, “Wait for it. We know.”

And know they do, as do I.

And we never knew this from The Edge.

So DAP Is Opposed To Regulating Political Funding

From Miss Lim Sian See at https://www.facebook.com/lim.siansee/posts/1704208903131230

Terence Gomez of Transparency International confirms what Najib and Rahman Dahlan said as he was part of the team to regulate political funding.

Yes, Terence confirms that DAP and opposition were the ones who objected to full transparency of political funding.
This means that Lim Guan Eng was telling a white lie again by saying PM never approached DAP to ask them about regulating political funding. 
Lim Guan Eng conveniently forgot to mention that it was the Transparency International team that led this initiative which they rejected and not PM Najib.
Tokong or Tokong… always telling little white lies.

In his letter, published in Malaysia’s leading newspapers on 1 August 2015, Rahman, a minister in Najib’s cabinet – offering his views in his capacity as the BN’s Director of Strategic Communication – drew attention to a meeting held between Transparency International (TI) and members of the opposition parties in Parliament on 1 December 2010.

TI had initiated a project to review the financing of politics and to prepare relevant recommendations to eradicate processes that were hindering the conduct of fair elections. I had been appointed by TI to help implement this project. 
At that time, the president of TI was Paul Low, now a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. Abdul Rahman disclosed, at this meeting with TI, that opposition parliamentarians were not in favour of mandatory full disclosure of all funding sources as this would deter their contributors from financing their parties.
The views held by the opposition, as outlined by Abdul Rahman in his letter, are in my recollection accurate. 
Only one person showed up for this meeting: Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, in his capacity as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
At this meeting, Nazri acknowledged that Malaysia’s general elections were free but not fair as political parties did not have equal access to funds. He asserted that donors to Umno were registered, but some of them preferred to remain anonymous. 
Nazri agreed with some of TI’s recommendations, including direct state funding of parties to reduce, even halt, the latter’s dependence on business for money to run their campaigns; to prohibit ownership of the media by parties; and to institute full disclosure of political donations.
However, Nazri did not agree to all of TI’s recommendations. Nazri’s primary concern was TI’s recommendation that power be devolved to oversight agencies such as the Election Commission (EC), as well as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney General’s Chambers – but this one is a completely different subject and not related to disclosure of political funding.