Forest City Continues To Benefit Its Surrounding Communities

When the development of Forest City commenced, it came under fire by many including the surrounding communities. This is because of the concerns regarding the impact to the environment as well as the negative publicities fed on how livelihoods would be affected. But my recent article has put that to rest.

Despite having only 245 registered fishermen in a community of 11,000 Country Garden Pacificview (CGPV) finds it of utmost importance that the fishermen would be able to continue conducting sustainable fishing in the waters off Forest City and its surroundings.

Kelab Alami, an NGO concerned with environment conservation, was born out of these concerns in 2008. CGPV works hand-in-hand with Kelab Alami by funding its awareness and research activities.

For 2018, Kelab Alami have lined up a series of activities including the spreading of wider awareness pupils in Sekolah Kebangsaan Tanjung Kupang and Sekolah Kebangsaan Tanjung Adang, both in Gelang Patah.

Kelab Alami founder Shalan Jum’at, 30, said plans for 2018 also include mussel farming, habitat documentation and monitoring of various marine species found in the surrounding area of Kampung Pendas and the other nearby villages.

With development such as Forest City, which is near to Kg Pendas, it is a boom in eco-tourism. The project have presented challenges as well as the potential of the natural wonders in the sea and rivers that lie just at our doorstep,” said Shalan Jum’at.

Development has changed the face of Tanjung Kupang for the better and spurred the birth of Kelab Alami, which provided opportunities for the local fishermen to diversify their skills as well as given the children a chance to become citizen researchers as well as act as eco-tour guides to tourists and visitors to the villages here,” he said.

Muhamad Sofi Juhari, 19, who joined the club when it was first set up, said he would have been a youth without any goal in life if not for the club.

I currently work at a motorcycle repair workshop, which is managed by Anak Alami Enterprise. Shalan showed me the ropes in acquiring entrepreneurial skills. Business is good at the motorcycle repair shop with about 300 customers a day,” Muhamad Sofi said.

Kelab Alami not only helps me to gain self-confidence and knowledge about the natural wonders of the surrounding environment, I also get to hone my entrepreneurial skills and am able to earn an income that I can contribute to my family,” he added.

Another club member, Mohammad Irfan Yazid, 19, who joined Kelab Alami when he was 7 years old, has a different passion. He operates a ikan bakar (grilled fish) and burger food stalls near Muhamad Sofi’s workshop.

I can sell about 100 burgers and about 10 grilled fishes per day. With more people coming to work in Forest City, my food business is also improving by the day,” said Mohammad Irfan.

Forest City has also funded Kelab Alami which has organised activities such as youth ranger training and entrepreneurship seed funding as well as fishermen’s seed funding, among others,” he added.

Another member Muhd Arif Aiman Fazail, 17, who joined Kelab Alami at age 11, said he has forged friendship with the other neighbourhood children through club activities.

I have learnt to appreciate the different species of snakes, lobsters and other creatures of the sea since becoming a club member. Former club members who have left the village in pursuit of higher education come back to see us whenever they can to share their experiences and knowledge with us,” Muhd Arif said.

Meanwhile, Datuk Md Othman Yusof, executive director of CGPV, who visited Kelab Alami in Kampung Pendas Laut recently, applauded the efforts and achievements of Kelab Alami.

Kelab Alami can also organise community workshops which offer skills to make handicrafts or build items such as wooden chairs and tables. We can emulate Thailand by manufacturing souvenirs in a local cottage industry to present as gifts to visitors. This would generate income for the village where the profit can be enjoyed by the local community,” Md Othman said.

Md Othman, who was at the clubhouse to hand over a cheque of RM194,450 to the non- governmental organisation, also spent some time to chat with the kids of Kelab Alami.

Md Othman, impressed by the knowledge of these youths and confidence exuded by them, was encouraging them to keep up their good work and continue to strive for a brighter future.

Meanwhile, 90 students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Simpang Arang who come from low-income families, were treated to to a ‘Back to School’ shopping spree at Giant Hypermarket in Tampoi, courtesy of CGPV.

CGPV corporate communications director Aeron Munajat said the Back to School programme is intended to alleviate their families’ financial burden as they prepare for the new school term.

We do not want the local folk to feel left out due to the development around their village,” she said.

Aeron added that it was an eye-opening experience for some volunteers who were employees from China.

The programme also allows volunteers to interact with the local community, giving them exposure to the lives of the indigenous people.

Chen Hao, 27, who is an assistant legal advisor at Country Garden Pacificview’s legal department, was among the volunteers who overcame the language barrier to communicate with the Orang Asli children.

We did not speak the same language, but the children and I found ways to communicate through body or sign language. The children would point at something they wanted to buy for school, (for instance). It is my first time meeting Orang Asli children, and I find that they are as bright and bubbly as any other child I know,” said Chen, who has been working at Forest City in Johor for the past two years.

The treats were not limited to Giant Hypermarket, as the Orang Asli children were also treated to lunch after their shopping excursion.

Forest City staff assisting Orang Asli children to choose their school uniform at the Giant Hypermarket in Tampoi (pic courtesy of NSTP/Hairul Anuar Rahim)

Country Garden Pacificview plans to adopt SK Kampung Simpang Arang next year, making it an addition to the five primary schools it has adopted since 2015.

The five primary schools are SK Morni Pok, SK Tanjung Adang, SK Tiram Duku, SK Tanjung Kupang and SK Pendas Laut.

Besides youth development and education, Forest City focuses on two other pillars, namely societal development and environmental awareness.

DAP Benefitted From Military Camps

Screen Shot 2017-12-25 at 23.48.38

Recently Kluang Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong slammed Minister of Defence Hishammuddin Hussein for denying that an army camp was being built in Paloh, a state seat in the latter’s constituency of Sembrong.  Liew Chin Tong implied that the army camp is being built for political purposes.

“This proves that Barisan Nasional (BN) is using these army camps to increase voters in constituencies that it won with thin majorities in the 13th general election,” Liew told a press conference last week.

He said the inclusion of the army personnel in Paloh would increase the electorate by over 1,000 voters.

“In Paloh, DAP lost only by a few hundred votes and these new voters will result in another BN win,” he added.

The fact is that while members of the Malaysian Armed Forces swears its allegiance to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, His Majesty’s Government (the Government-of-the-Day), and the Country, each member of the Malaysian Armed Forces are free to vote for whom they are politically-inclined to support.  Therefore, having a military camp/base does not guarantee you any solid support for votes.  I had written at length on this issue of allegiance in a recent blog post.

Perhaps it would be good for Liew Chin Tong to admit that he won Kluang against the Barisan Nasional in 2013 because of the presence of a huge army camp, namely Kem Mahkota, that houses the 61st Royal Artillery Regiment as well as the 881st Regiment, Malaysian Army Aviation.

Come to think of it, out of the 89 Parliamentary seats won by the then-Pakatan Rakyat during the 13th General Elections four years ago, at least 18 parliamentary constituencies have major military camps/bases in them.  That is 20 percent of the total of parliamentary consituencies held by the Pakatan candidates. Here is the list that I have compiled:

Senarai Kem Tentera Bawah PH 2013

Let us take for example the Lumut Naval Base which is under PKR.  That base alone had 14,231 registered voters while PKR’s Mohamad Imran Abd Hamid won 40,308 votes.  Why didn’t Barisan Nasional win there?

Perhaps Liew Chin Tong should also inform all Malaysians that out of the 18 constituencies with major military camps/bases that was won by the Pakatan back in 2013, eight seats were won by the DAP. That is 44 percent!  Despite being the other “Malay” party within the Pakatan, PKR managed only seven seats or 38 percent. PAS could only get three then but one of those seats, Shah Alam, is now firmly under Khalid Samad of Amanah after he betrayed his oath to remain in PAS if nominated as a candidate and would divorce his wife if he jumps ship.  Shah Alam is the home of a major Royal Malaysian Air Force base – Subang.

Pakatan and its supporters should just stop politicising the Malaysian Armed Forces.  As towns and cities are developed, old camps and bases are no longer strategic nor conducive to be inhabited.  How could Pakatan, advertising that it is all for rights and stuff, allow military personnel to live and work in deplorable and antiquated conditions?  And as development creep into their surrounding areas, military bases are no longer of any strategic value.  I have addressed this issue in a posting of mine and so has my friend Danny Liew in his recent posting.

So, wouldn’t DAP now like to offer a piece of land in constituencies held by it for Hishammuddin to build military bases or camps?

The RMN 15 to 5 Programme Is On Track

15to5

The Royal Malaysian Navy has recently laid the keel for the third Littoral Combat Ship (to be named Shariff Masahor after the Sarawak warrior who fought against the White Rajahs) at the Boustead Naval Shipyard in Lumut.  This will be the third of six LCS planned by the RMN as part of its ’15 to 5′ transformation programme.

Dogged by having as many as 15 classes of ships with an average life of 15 years, the current RMN fleet is supplied by seven different nations, causing logistical and financial nightmares for the operators. As a result, the RMN cannot have the kind of force projection that it envisages.

The transformation programme allows the RMN to reduce its current classes to just 5 classes of ships namely the LCS, the Littoral Mission Ships (LMS), the Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS), submarines, and the patrol vessels (PV).

The LCS, with its ability to perform complete multi-mission 3-D operations, will be the obvious class to spearhead the Royal Malaysian Navy.  The six vessels, based on the Gowind 2500 corvette design, will fulfill the operational requirements in both the blue and littoral waters of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

All six vessels are and will be built at the Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS), which is a bit unorthodox given the need for a good project risk management as not to repeat the disaster caused by a previous builder.  The GMD of Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC), Vice-Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor TLDM (Retired) said that the project team from both BNS and Naval Group have taken the necessary measures to prevent such failure to occur in this project.

Commonality between classes is also key to the success of the 15-to-5 programme.  Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Hj Ahmad Badaruddin TLDM said that all the classes will have major items that are common to ensure the availability of vessels.  Most importantly, these items are being supplied by 104 local vendors and that in turn has created thousands of jobs and endless learning opportunities for locals.

“The Navy is determined to show that not only does it give opportunities to local companies, but also help build the local defence capabilities to reduce reliance on foreign companies,” said Ahmad Kamarulzaman.

The Navy hopes to have up to 12 LCS, 18 LMS, four submarines, 18 PVs and three MRSS to fulfill its doctrine requirements.  It is believed that the PVs will consist totally of the Kedah-class NGPV while two more Scorpene submarines will be acquired depending on the funding from the government.  It makes a whole lot of sense to have the Kedah-class expanded as Malaysia is already in possession of the builder’s plans, while the acquisition of two more Scorpenes would be a lot cheaper as the infrastructure as well as logistics support are already in place.

In observation however, if all these vessels are already in service, there is only so many number of vessels that the Navy’s bases can handle at any given point of time.  I believe that the PVs will all be deployed to the Second, Third and (soon) Fourth Naval Regions, with major assets such as the LCS and LMS divided between the First and Second Naval regions.

How The Royal Malaysian Air Force Fits In

Commonality is another goal the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) hopes to achieve.  Recently, RMAF Chief General Tan Sri Dato Seri Affandi bin Hj Buang TUDM celebrated his first year as the service’s Chief.  Although dogged with several incidents of crashes, it has not diminished his team’s aim to elevate the RMAF’s ability as a force to be reckoned with.  Only the cut in defence budget has curtailed some of its plans for expansion.  The withdrawal of the MiG-29Ns from the frontline has stretched its frontline capabilities too thin.

Although the reintroduction of the MiG-29Ns back into service was thought of as an interim measure before getting its direly-needed MRCAs, this was not agreed by the government as it does not want to see its pilots flying aircraft that may endanger themselves.  This would also mean that the RMAF’s current LIFT, the Hawk 208s which are in their 23rd year of service, will soon have to go.

The 15-to-5 programme of the RMN would not mean much without sufficient air cover for the Navy to keep the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) open, especially between states in the Peninsular Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak.  The RMAF is already in the process of looking for a suitable replacement for the Beechcraft Super King Air B200T MPAs.  If commonality is a key to this, then we would either see the Air Force acquiring either more CN-235s, or opt for a stretched version which is the CN-295.  However, given the different powerplant of the CN-295, a MPA version of the CN-235 sounds most viable.

Combat Air Patrols, or sufficient and adequate air cover is also critical to the success of the RMN’s 15-to-5 programme.  However, current number of aircraft available to perform the task is limited as only the Boeing F/A-18D Hornet and Sukhoi Su-30MKM would have the ability to get into the theatre in the shortest time compared to the BAe Systems Hawk 108s and 208s.  Furthermore, the Su-30MKMs would have to undergo their 10-year maintenance and that would affect the number of availability.

As it is, the supersonic Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50/FA-50 LIFT cum light fighters are the most suitable for this role, as well as to take over the LIFT role from the BAe Systems Hawk 208s.  I have written on the KAI T-50 in a recent article and still believe that other than its cost (said to be a third of a full-fledged fighter aircraft) the commonality that the KAI T-50 have with a type of aircraft that the RMAF is already operating is the Boeing F/A-18D Hornet as they use the same powerplant. Should the RMAF plan to acquire more of the Hornets, the T-50 would be the best option for the RMAF to consider acquiring as they can play the dual role of LIFT and advanced supersonic fighter far better than the Hawks ever could.  The RMAF would be able to provide more capable birds in the air in a shorter amount of time while waiting for a much larger budget to actually acquire new MRCAs.  The T-50s are combat-proven and have performed well in recent bombing missions against the ISIL-Maute group in Marawi.

Having the T-50s in Kuantan as LIFT/Advanced Fighters and as a advanced fighter detachment in, perhaps, Bintulu, would enhance the RMAF’s operational capability not just as a strike force, but also to provide air support for the Navy’s surface missions.  The Chief of RMAF is well-known as a fighter and operations man, and is therefore the perfect person to make a case to fulfill the RMAF’s doctrine with the correct equipment needed by his frontliners.

Summary

The Royal Malaysian Navy is spot on when it decided to go with its 15-to-5 transformation programme that would see more lean-and-mean vessel types be introduced into the service.  However, having a good surface capability without capable air support from the Royal Malaysian Air Force would limit its capabilities to keep hostiles away.  Both services would need strong support from the government to ensure that force projection to deter opportunistic hostile forces can be achieved by both services.

A Royal Poser

The above Facebook account has been posting stuff which raised many eyebrows, and as usual many gullible Malaysians fall for it.

If it was true that His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei did indeed post especially the one above, he needs to employ someone with better command of the English language and maturity to post on his behalf. It sounds like an elementary school student wanting to sound intelligent.

In a previous post I wrote on how gullible Malaysians can be, often taking “news” at face value without verifying for truth. So, I checked the above account with my niece. She is a Brunei government servant married to a member of the Brunei royal family who is also a diplomat serving at one of Brunei’s embassies in Europe.

She confirmed that the account does not belong to His Majesty and that he does not post his own self. She also pointed me to the official Facebook of His Majesty.

It is very sad to see that we are moving towards getting a developed nation status but Malaysians remain as cultured as the Neanderthals.

The Pick And Choose Patriot

Hishammuddin Hussein delivering his speech at the recent UMNO General Assembly

It is bad enough that there is a large number of non-Malays who do not have good command of the Malay language despite it being the National Language, and despite this nation’s being in existence for 60 years, but nothing can be worse than Malays who do not understand the language themselves.

Left-leaning media have been slamming the speech by UMNO Vice-President Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also the Defence Minister, on the so-called deployment to Jerusalem in response to President Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

This began with the criticism by a group of political ex-soldiers calling themselves the National Patriots Association (NPA).  Its President, Brig-Gen Arshad Raji (Retired), said that Jerusalem is not a military issue to begin with.

The international conflict in Jerusalem is a political issue. It is best left to diplomacy to sort out this historical mess. If diplomacy fails, the next course of action can be international condemnation.  Blindly making a declaration to commit our troops is unwise,” he said.

I would like to know who authorised Hishammuddin to prepare the army to be deployed in the Middle-East? Was there a special session of parliament on this matter for the matter to be debated?” asked DAP’s P Ramasamy.

You can see how this issue is being played in Israel.  The Jerusalem Post reported it as:

The issue made headlines on The Jerusalem Post

Whereas, in relatively sober Malaysian media it reads as:

The not-so-kosher Malay Mail Online sought clarification on the matter with the Deputy Defence Minister

However, if one were to listen to the speech made by Hishammuddin, nowhere in the speech did he mention about committing the troops to defend Jerusalem.  All he said was if the need arises, if the King as The Commander-in-Chief decrees it, then the Malaysian Armed Forces is always ready to contribute in any manner.  You can listen to the part where this is mentioned from 18:19 to 19:47 of the following video:

The issue also sparked a debate between myself and a fellow defence blogger Danny Liew versus two of his Facebook followers who criticised the speech saying that our troops are not ready nor trained for desert warfare.

The truth is, our troops have had its fair share of desert operations that started off with the UNIIMOG mission of 1988-1991 to monitor the ceasefire between Iran and Iraq after a lengthy war.  This was followed by UNTAG in Namibia (1989-1990), a country named after the vast Namib Desert that makes up the most of its countryside. We still maintain our presence in the Western Sahara as part of MINURSO and we have been there since 1991.  We were deployed to monitor the Kuwait/Iraq border as part of UNIKOM, after the first Gulf War and were there from 1992 to 2003.  Don’t also forget that we were in Somalia from 1993 to 1994 as part of UNISOM, and this was where we saw full combat rescuing US troops from their disastrous unilateral operation at the Bakaara Market.  We have been deployed in South Lebanon as part of UNIFIL since 2007. And we are part of Exercise North Thunder in Saudi Arabia as part of the International Military Alliance To Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), a coalition that was formed to combat Da’esh.  You may read more about that HERE.

The NPA picks and chooses its quarrels, and the quarrels are mainly with the government despite Arshad Raji having said that they are apolitical.  But the apolitical nature of the NPA is the same as that of BERSIH.  It never attacks the Opposition.

The NPA is silent about DAP’s P Ramasamy who supported the Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, a separatist movement in Indonesia whose aim used to be to liberate Aceh from Indonesia, and also supported the internationally-recognised terrorist organisation Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) otherwise known as the Tamil Tigers.

The NPA also claims to be loyal to the Rulers Institution and the Country.  Yet, they only provided deafening silence when U-Turn Mahathir and DAP’s running dog Zaid Ibrahim were rude towards the Sultan of Johor and Sultan of Selangor.  So, what are they patriotic about? Supporting a DAP-led coalition to form the next government?

The NPA is nothing more than just Mahathir lackeys

Maybe their pension is not enough to support them.

A Lesson On Fake News In Malaysia

STUDENT activism in Malaysia peaked in December 1974, having started in September of the same year in Tasek Utara, Johor Bahru, when some 5,000 students demonstrated at the Selangor Club Padang (now Dataran Merdeka) and as expected, clashed with the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU).

As a result, the students retreated to Masjid Negara with the FRU hot on their heels.  The demonstration was culled and 1,128 students arrested. The student leaders who were holed up on the University of Malaya campus were soon arrested and so were those who hid inside their rented rooms in nearby Kampung Kerinchi.

Three representatives of Kampung Kerinchi complained that the FRU had taken harsh measures to apprehend the students by firing tear gas and that had resulted in the death of a baby.

My father immediately summoned his then deputy, the late Tan Sri Mahmood Yunus, and then Director of Special Branch, the late (Tan Sri) Mohamed Amin Osman, and asked them if the FRU had indeed fired tear gas into Kampung Kerinchi. Amin was adamant the FRU did nothing as such.

When asked if he (Amin) had checked the allegations himself and also the report received from the FRU troop leader, Amin said no.  So my father instructed Amin to go to Kampung Kerinchi to check himself.

Celaka! Depa tipu saya!” (“Hell! They lied to me!”) exclaimed Amin when he saw the empty tear gas canisters that littered the lanes of Kampung Kerinchi, to which my father replied, “You fell for it because you did not check the information yourself!

Fake news is a neologism that has entered the lexicon, used to collectively describe rumours, hoaxes, misinformation, propaganda and recycling of old rumours that had been debunked, that mislead people into believing that they are current and true.

Fake news caused the Barisan Nasional to lose its long-held two-thirds majority in 2008 because it was complacent and not quick enough to react and dispel these rumours.  Back then, political discussions and dissemination of fake news or propaganda occurred in chat rooms, in SMS, and blogs which were only a handful then.  Now there is Facebook, Twitter, Line, Telegram, WhatsApp, YouTube over and above the media available almost ten years ago.

Claire Wardle, Executive Director of First Draft a non-profit organisation dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges associated with trust and truth in the digital age housed at the Shorenstein Centre on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, categorised mis and disinformation into seven types:

Satire or parody – this type of misinformation has no intention to cause harm but has potential to fool. A good example of this is of a message purportedly sent by a passenger of the MH370 who said he managed to hide his iPhone5 up his anus!  This had been debunked as a prank, but there are those who still believe that the person did manage to shove a five-inch by two-inch phone up his anus without any problem on the island of Diego Garcia.

Misleading content – most recent would be issues tweeted by two artistes that evolve around the rising cost of living, the weakening ringgit, a shambolic economy, designed to rile up anger in their followers. The tweets, not backed by published facts and figures, would do damage to those who have no inclination to check for the truth and to retweet or forward to others.

Imposter content – these are usually propaganda designed to use genuine sources but impersonated as theirs. A simple example would be of Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s recent event officiating the opening of the Rawang-Serendah Bypass, eight days after the bypass was opened by a minister.

Fabricated content – this type of content is 100 per cent false and is designed to deceive and cause harm. If you remember in July 2007, PKR’s Tian Chua admitted that he had fabricated a photo to show that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was together with Abdul Razak Baginda and now dead Mongolian-model Altantuya Shaaribu in Paris.

False connection – this is when headlines, visuals and captions do not support the content. The most famous example from recent times was of The Star’s headline that said “Malaysian Terrorist Leader” while having a huge photo of Muslims praying during the first night of Ramadan. Although The Star apologised for the error, it was not the first time it had made a similar mistake.

False context – this is when genuine content is shared with false contextual information. Artiste Fathia Latiff put up a screen capture of the price of fuel in various OPEC countries on Twitter, asking why Malaysia, as an oil producing country, charges very high for petrol?  The screen capture is of oil prices back in 2014. The average value of fuel prices for Malaysia between September 4, 2017 and December 11, 2017, was RM2.23. For comparison, the average price of petrol in the world for this period was RM5.82!

Manipulated content – this is when genuine information or image is manipulated to deceive. Recently, there was a video of a skinny polar bear with muscle atrophy struggling to find food in a snowless land that was made viral. This was attributed to global warming. However, the video was filmed in August when the tundra was snowless. It was only published in December.  Even the indigenous community living in the area thought it was a stunt to raise more funds and was doing a disservice to the war against climate change.

I don’t know why Malaysians are so gullible and eager to share fake news.

In WhatsApp groups, you can see how some people could post about something religious and then help spread fake news – something totally against religions. Nowadays, this fake news comes with a disclaimer – “Dari group sebelah”.

Every time we forward or share a post without double-checking or verifying, we add to the noise and confusion.  We never consider the source, we never consider the supporting sources and worst of all, we never check our biases.

The late Tan Sri Amin learnt this the hard way.

Having seen that he was misled about the FRU not firing tear gas into Kampung Kerinchi, he went on to check about the claims of a baby that had died as a result of the tear gas.  None of the three village representatives had themselves seen the dead baby and no one had actually reported to them of the death.

When asked where the information had come from, they replied, “From Anwar Ibrahim and the other student leaders!”

It seems that nothing has changed since 1974.

(This article was first published on The Mole)

Jumping To Conclusion

Arul Kanda was spotted at the opening of the UMNO General Assembly

I don’t know why Arul Kanda’s presence at the opening ceremony of the UMNO General Assembly is made a fuss.  So did Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Azman Mokhtar, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) group chairperson Abdul Wahid Omar, CEO Abdul Rahman Ahmad and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) CEO Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.

It has always been a tradition for CEOs of Government-linked companies to be invited to the opening ceremony to listen to the UMNO President’s speech where it always touches socio-economic concerns.  Even President of BN component parties are invited.  In fact, among those who attended the final UMNO General Assembly with Mahathir as President were MCA’s then-President Ong Ka Ting and also PPP’s M Kayveas. So, what is the big deal?

Not too long ago, an archnemesis of the Opposition attended DAP’s Convention.  There, those who swore to spit on his grave lined up to smile, bow and shake hands with the man they all had wanted to send to prison for being a corrupt dictator.

Heil Mahathir!

Behind Mahathir in the screen capture above is the very man who used to go around the country calling the former a PEROMPAK (robber).

Of course, now Mahathir is forgiven.  All the RM100 billion according to both Lim Kit Siang and Barry Wain that Mahathir squandered have been forgotten, all in the name of politics.  And in the name of politics, all those with past sins are forgiven the moment they work hand-in-hand with Pakatan.

Arul Kanda, President of BN component parties, all sat with the rest of the guests an delegations. Mahathir, however, was given a seat on the stage with DAP’s central executive committee members.

DAP Member 001A was given a seat on the stage

So, is Mahathir a DAP member?  Maybe, Malaysiakini can answer this question.