Where Should The Allegiance of the Armed Forces Lie

Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans

I received this copied in a Veterans’ WhatsApp group. I omitted some parts of the message as it was just gibberish talk:

_Copied from write up by Mej **** ***** TUDM (Rtd)_

Good afternoon to all. The fight for a free Malaysia must go on!
Let us get one thing clear – the country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal.

We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national. Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country.

Clean elections
Clean government
Right to dissent
Save our economy


Fine words they are, but for someone with some legal training to write as such shows how much understanding the author has of the Federal Constitution.

Let us address this “call”:

Point 1:

“Good afternoon to all. The fight for a free Malaysia must go on!
Let us get one thing clear – the country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal.

We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national. Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country.”

The country and the government cannot be separated, neither can a state be separated from its state government.  Yes, governments come and go, but a government is still a government.  Officers and men of the civil service, the Armed Forces, the Police owe their allegiance to the King and Country.  The King rules the Country, as do the Sultans their respective state, through a government that was picked by the people. Be they the Federal Government or the State Government, they administer the country and the states on behalf of the King and Sultans, as well as the Governors.  This is prescribed by Article 39 of the Federal Constitution where the Executive Authority of the Federation is vested in the Yang DiPertuan Agong by him, or by the Cabinet, or by any Minister authorised by the Cabinet.

In the case of the Armed Forces, the King exercises his power through the Minister of Defence.  Which is why the officers and men of the Armed Forces are required to salute the Minister of Defence who represents the King’s executive power over the Armed Forces, and the Prime Minister who is the King’s Chief Executive, representing the King.

Article 41 states that the King is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and therefore those representing the King as prescribed by Article 39 are performing their duties on behalf of the King.

Therefore, it is imperative that the Armed Forces, as well as the civil service and the Police, remain loyal to the government of the day as the government of the day represents the King – be it bad or otherwise. Whether or nor a member of the Armed Forces, or the civil service, or the Police subscribes to the government of the day politically is a secondary matter.  The oath that was taken was to be loyal to the King and Country; therefore loyalty shall be given to the government of the day.

The Minister who represents the King in matters of defence is also made the Chairman of the Armed Forces Council which is responsible for the command, the discipline and the administration of the Armed Forces, except for matters relating to their operational use.  This is prescribed in Article 137 of the Federal Constitution.

And it is the Parliament that passed an Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to the establishment, government and discipline of the Armed Forces is made which is called the Armed Forces Act, 1972.

It is also the Armed Forces Act, 1972 that gave the powers to the Armed Forces Council to enable Brigadier-General Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican be promoted to Major-General while she is being seconded to a Federal Government Department.  Section 5C of the Armed Forces Act, 1972 determines that she remains a member of the regular forces but her remuneration shall be paid by that Federal Government Department.

By the same token, even the ordinary people who are citiens of Malaysia must realise that the Federal Government represents the King, the state governments represent the resective state’s Ruler.  These are governments chosen by the people but was appointed by the Rulers to administer the country and states on their behalf.  The only way to change these governments is by a democratic process called ELECTIONS (unless you have not heard of that word before).

Point 2:

“Clean elections”

Since 1955, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor and Sabah have all seen a change in government.  If the elections were not clean, would it have been possible for the Opposition to have won cash cows such as Pulau Pinang and Selangor?

Point 3:

“Clean government”

I must admit there are bad hats in the government, be it the Federal government or the states government.  This is why we have seen people like Harun Idris, Mokhtar Hashim, Khir Toyo, Lim Guan Eng charged in court for corruption. All but Lim Guan Eng have served jail time.  Guan Eng, who said that he is not afraid to go to prison, has been delaying his corruption trial using technical issues.

Many more state excos have also been arraigned in a court for corruption.  This is not possible without agencies such as the Auditor-General’s Office and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission which act as checks and balances to ensure that the Federal as well as states governments are run efficiently and cleanly.

Of course there are those who have yet to face the music. For example those responsible for the Maminco scandal in 1985 that saw a loss of RM1.6 billion (about RM2.56 billion in today’s terms); the Perwaja scandal in 1982 that saw a loss of about RM10 billion (RM18.73 billion in today’s terms); the BMF scandal of 1983 that had caused a loss of RM2.5 billion (RM4.5 billion today); the 1986 Deposit-Taking Cooperative Scandal that caused a loss of RM1.5 billion (about RM2.58 billion today); the RM30 billion loss by Bank Negara Malaysis through foreign exchange gambling in 1994 (RM45.25 billion today); the Malaysia Airlines scandal of 1994 with the loss of RM9.4 billion (RM14.18 billion today); the PKFZ scandal of 1999 with a loss of RM12.5 billion (RM13.5 billion in today’s terms).

The above all happened during the tenure of a certain former Prime Minister.  The grand total of losses is RM67.5 billion (or RM101.3 billion in today’s terms).  The amount shown does not include the bailouts reported in various books, Opposition leaders’ blogs and so on.

I do hope that the cry for a clean government will also call for the arraignment for the Prime Minister during whose tenure the financial scandals happened.  Had the RM101.3 billion been put to good use during those 22 years, Sabah and Sarawak would have had SIX toll-free Pan Borneo Highways, or 1,013 80-bedded Government hospitals all over the country!

Instead, it enriched the few and killed one person.

Point 4:

“Right to Dissent”

I have not seen any Opposition-leaning media being taken off print or air, unlike during a certain 22-year period of my life.  Malaysiakini et al are still spinning their version of what they call “balanced news” (read: news the way we want you to see it).  The way these media operate reminds me of a character in Netflix’s limited series called “Godless” called A.T Grigg, a newspaper owner-editor who writes news the way he sees it, not how it truly happens.

The ISA was repealed six years ago by this present administration. Although replaced with SOSMA and POTA, it doesn’t give powers to the authorities to hold anyone without trial as the ISA did. And the ISA was being used a lot against political dissenters especially in the late 1990s during the tenure of a certain former Prime Minister.

This administration also introduced the Peaceful Assembly Act, 2012 that has allowed more freedom to assemble peacefully, unlike during those days of a certain former Prime Minister where at the slightest hint of a political dissent, you get whisked away to the University of Kamunting.

Has the author of the message been arrested yet?  Of course not.  Even when he actually committed sedition against Malaysia by encouraging Sarawak to secede from Malaysia.

How is it that a legal-trained person does not know that his act is seditious escapes me

Now, how is that seditious?  If you look at Section 2 of the Sedition Act, 1948 it tells you the following:

Section 2 defines how an act is seditious. He has committed a seditious act by definition of Section 3(1)(a)

This former Armed Forces officer also committed a crime of sedition under Section 3 (1) (b) of the same Act for encouraging Sarawak to leave Malaysia:

Section 3 (1) (b) of the Sedition Act, 1948

And you thought that the Federal Constitution protects freedom of speech?  Yes, it does.  But as with all other liberties, they are subjected to restrictions.  Article 10(1) guarantees that every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression, but at the beginning of the Article it also says the following:

You cannot just say anything you like although you have the freedom of speech and expression

To dissent is okay. To dissent seditiously, or criminally, or dangerously, or incitingly, is not okay.

Any legal-trained person ought to know this, right? What more a former officer of the Armed Forces!

Point 5:

“Save Our Economy”

In April 2017, the World Bank forecasted that Malaysia’s GDP would be at 4.3 percent.  This was revised in June 2017 to 4.9 percent due to an acceleration in domestic economic activities (people in Malaysia are actually spending more) by 5.7 percent year-on-year.  The GDP growth was revised again in October 2017 to 5.2 percent.

Let me quote several reports here by the World Bank.

World Bank Group lead economist Richard Record said at a media briefing on the update that Malaysia’s robust GDP growth in the first half of 2017 was largely underpinned by strong private-sector expenditure, with additional impetus from an improvement in external demand.

“Private consumption expanded firmly this year, supported by favourable income growth amid stable labour market conditions, and improved consumer confidence. Private investment also sustained rapid growth rates during the period, reflecting mainly continued capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors,” said Richard Record.

“On the external front, gross exports rebounded strongly from the subdued growth experienced in 2016, supported by double-digit growth in commodity and manufactured exports,” he added.

Economic watchdogs are generally bullish on the Malaysian economy’s performance, buttressed by strong expansion in private consumption and private investment. In the latest update on its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund has upped its GDP growth projection for Malaysia in 2017 to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent previously.

Apart from that, the Asian Development Bank has also upgraded its 2017 growth outlook for Malaysia to 4.7% from 4.4%, and indicated that the two-year slowdown in economic growth is likely to have bottomed out last year.

Richard Record also predicted Malaysia’s economy for 2018 and 2019.

“We are forecasting Malaysia’s GDP to grow by 5 percent next year (2018) and 4.8 percent in 2019. Our prediction reflects how we are seeing the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals’ performance and the baseline scenario,” he said.

Online economics portal ‘Focus Economics’ also said the following:

“Economic momentum remained robust in Q3 as confirmed by more complete data. Export growth expanded by a double-digit pace in September, underscoring thriving external demand for Malaysian goods. Household spending was buoyed by a low unemployment rate in September and by higher wages, which were propped up by a thriving manufacturing sector, the key driver of industrial production growth in the quarter. The 2018 budget passed on 27 October is focused on fiscal consolidation and is expected to narrow the fiscal deficit from 3.0 percent in 2017 to 2.8 percent in 2018. Despite the tightening, the budget has consumer-friendly components that will increase disposable income. These include lower income tax rates, especially for middle-income earners; higher public wages; and increased assistance spending.”

By contrast, Brunei’s fiscal deficit had hit 16 percent in 2016.

Of course, with the oil prices continue to stay below the USD70 per barrel level, Malaysia as well as other countries will continue to experience some sluggishness in the economy. However, good fiscal policies have allowed us to grow unlike a neighbour of ours that is often quoted as being a model economy.  That country’s growth have been at 2 percent in 2016, and 2.5 percent this year.

The outlook for the construction sector has taken a sharp turn for the worse, with poll respondents tipping a contraction of 4.2 per cent. The previous survey, released in June, had respondents forecasting 0.2 per cent growth in the sector.

The outlook for the accommodation and food services sector in this model country has also worsened – it is now expected to shrink 1.5 per cent, from previous estimates of a 1 per cent expansion.

Economists polled expect overall economic growth of 2.5 per cent next year for this model country, the same pace as this year.

Perhaps the author of the message we are discussing here should go down South and help revive the economy of that model country.


So, there have you.  I really do not know what the fuss is about.  All I can deduce is that the author of the message is all hot air – you can feel it blowing on your face, but there is no real substance there.  This is the same as BERSIH, and the recycling of petty but stale issues by the Opposition just so that they can remain relevant, and justify for the allowances they receive from the pockets of the rakyat.

You can express your dissatisfaction, but always do so constructively. Especially if you are a member of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans.

Kata Mereka, Kata Kita

Masih sibuk lagi para pencacai Mahathir membawa isu-isu basi seperti biasa, bermula dengan penjualan Proton kepada entiti China oleh pemiliknya yang sudah tentu bukan kerajaan Malaysia, MAS yang dipimpin oleh warga negara asing, dan juga penasihat komunikasi korporat Perdana Menteri yang juga bukan warganegara.

Gambar yang dikongsikan oleh bangsat-bangsat Mahathir
Hakikatnya, semasa zaman Mahathir, MAS yang menjadi kebanggaan negara telah menjadi sebuah syarikat bangsat setelah diuruskan oleh seorang kroni Mahathir. Berbagai bantuan kewangan terpaksa kerajaan berikan untuk menentukan syarikat penerbangan tersebut tidak berkubur.

Namun, kerajaan terpaksa akur bahawa entiti Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia terpaksa ditamatkan kerana tidak termampu melangsaikan segala beban dan diwujudkan pula Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad untuk menggantikan syarikat sebelumnya.

Kini, ianya dikemudi oleh Peter Bellew, seorang warganegara Ireland yang sebelum ini berjaya menaikkan jumlah penumpang di Kerry Airport dari 6,000 orang ke 400,000. Bellew juga merupakan salah seorang dari pihak pengurusan syarikat Ryanair yang telah menjayakan syarikat tersebut.

Setakat suku kedua tahun 2017 MAS telah mencatatkan lebihan sebanyak RM16 juta dengan kenaikan Available-Seat-per-Kilometre sebanyak 8 peratus berbanding jangkamasa yang sama tahun lepas.

Sebelum Proton dijual oleh pemiliknya (dan bukannya oleh kerajaan seperti yang dicanangkan oleh pembangkang), kerajaan telah menghabiskan sebanyak RM44 billion untuk pelbagai kos bagi menentukan Proton mempunyai daya saing di peringkat global.

Malangnya, syarikat yang ketika itu milik kerajaan dan diuruskan oleh kroni Mahathir langsung tidak boleh bersaing di dalam negara, apatah lagi di luar.

Setelah 30 tahun dan bukan lagi milik negara, setelah menghabiskan RM44 billion wang rakyat, Proton telah memerlukan suntikan modal sebanyak RM3 billion untuk mengeluarkan model-model baru, dan akhir sekali memohon geran sebanyak RM1.7 billion untuk terus bernafas.

Proton yang menjadi kebanggaan negara juga menjadi sebuah syarikat bangsat di bawah kroni-kroni Mahathir.

Akhirnya, pemilik Proton menjual sebahagian saham kepada syarikat pembuat kereta terkemuka, Geely.

Jika dalam pejabat Najib Razak ada penasihat komunikasi korporat dari kalangan orang asing, orang yang paling dipercayai Mahathir semasa beliau menjadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri  merupakan seorang bangsat dan juga agen KGB, agensi perisikan Soviet Union.

Mahathir amat mempercayai agen komunis
Tiga hari sebelum Mahathir menjadi Perdana Menteri, Siddiq Ghouse yang merupakan Setiausaha Politiknya selama tujuh tahun sejak 1974 telah ditahan bersama peralatan perisikan yang telah dibekalkan oleh pihak Soviet Union.

Akibat itu, kerajaan telah menahan beliau di bawah ISA dan mengusir keluar serta-merta tiga orang pegawai Kedutaan Soviet di Kuala Lumpur kerana kesalahan pengintipan. Perisik KGB yang diusir ialah G.I. Stepanor, Setiausaha Pertama Kedutaan Rusia; Encik V.P.Romanov, Setiausaha Kedua Kedutaan Soviet dan seorang kakitangan bukan diplomatik di bahagian ekonomi kedutaan Soviet iaitu Z.L. Khamidauline.

Tujuh tahun pun tak kenal orang yang paling rapat dengan beliau.  Tapi tak menghairankan sebab dulu beliau gelar Lim Kit Siang sebagai musuh yang nyata. Sekarang Lim Kit Sianglah sahabat paling karib beliau.  Anwar Ibrahim yang beliau penjarakan akibat liwat pun dah tiada bau taik.

Kata kita
Aduhai! Rindu zaman Mahathir.  Zaman pelingkup segalanya. Zaman bangsat.

Scorpene: Who Is Who And What Is What?

Tokong Lim Guan Eng torpedoed Pakatan’s claim in December 2011 when the submarine he was inside DIVED into the depths of the Strait of Melaka. He was on board for 90 minutes (pic courtesy of BigDog)
Now that I have your attention on the Scorpene issue that U-Turn Mahathir has conveniently forgotten (like the PKFZ issue and others), let me take you down memory lane to tell you more about the whole issue. There will be a few corrections pertaining to the timeline as per the previous posting.

Everyone who talks about the Scorpene deal talks about Abdul Razak Baginda and a company called Perimekar Sdn Bhd that supposedly had gotten millions of Ringgits in kickbacks pertaining to the submarine deal.

The original proponents of the Malaysian submarine program were Mokhzani Mahathir and Ibrahim Mohd Noor (who was then then CEO of newly-listed BERNAS, acting on behalf of Daim Zainuddin). They proposed the German Type 212 (an Air-Independent Propulsion version of the Type 209 design) through a company called…wait for it…Perimekar Sdn Bhd, then operating drom a bungalow in Jalan Lembah Ledang off Jalan Semantan in Kuala Lumpur.

However, in 1999 the then-Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Admiral Tan Sri Abu Bakar Jamal convinced the then Prime Minister (guess who) at the Avillion Layang-Layang Resort for a submarine program purchasing a very capable submarine.

The Prime Minister bought the idea when Admiral Abu Bakar said, to the effect of, “Imagine we (the RMN) could operate in stealth as far as the Sea of Japan and the North Indian Ocean, without anyone finding out.” The green light was given then.

Sometime in September 2001, the ownership of Perimekar Sdn Bhd was transferred to the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) through Boustead Bhd’s special purpose vehicle called Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd. The Board of Directors of Perimekar Sdn Bhd then were Rear Admiral (Rtd) Hussin Tamby and Mazlina Makhzan, Abdul Razak Baginda’s wife.

The company, together with officials from the RMN sifted through more than 17,000 pages (28 volumes) of technical documents of the Scorpene. After this point, as mentioned in my previous posting, the Secretary-General of Treasury took over the final commercial negotiations. MINDEF, Perimekar et al no longer had any role to play.

The deal to purchase two Scorpene-type submarines from DCNS and Thales was inked in June 2002, when the then-Prime Minister was also the Finance Ministry who would have given the final approval for the procurement. It was signed by all the relevant parties at the Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

The Ministry of Finance was represented by the Secretary-General of Treasury Tan Sri Samsuddin Hitam while LTAT was represented by Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.

The consideration for the deal was partly in kind – export of palm oil to France. The final consideration of the deal came from a condition laid by the Ministry of Transport which the French agreed to the day before the deal was inked – for Malaysia Airlines to get the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th landing rights at the Charles de Gaulle (CDG) in Paris.

So, now you know the story behind the Scorpene. Now you know why it is impossible for anyone involved to forget the deal that was made 15 years ago.

Anyone who does forget should not be in politics as it could be a sign of a deterioration of the brain function. And these persons should remember Allah before he finally forgets Who Allah Is.

Vile Asia

Imagine not long after QZ8501 went down an airline advertisement reads:

“Our planes land at airports, not at sea.”

Or,

“Our planes may be older but they are safer.”

But the above never happened. Imagine if it was another airline that had gone down. Guess who would be quick to make fun of the situation?

It happened when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Air Asia in-flight magazine came up with an extremely distasteful article:


But of course, Air Asia is the fun airline. Everything is about having fun and making fun.

Its latest victim is Malindo Air – after Malay Mail Online reported that cabin crew candidates were asked to strip.

Malindo Air has since denied the allegation.

According to a statement carried by The Star, the airline said each applicant was briefed for her consent on the process before the checks were carried out.

“Grooming checks for visible marks are conducted privately by female supervisors in a professional manner and is part of the interview process,” it said.

“Herein candidates are briefed ahead and consent from each candidate is required prior to proceeding to ensure that no prominent marks will be visible while wearing the uniform,” it said.

How different are the uniforms?

Cabin crew uniforms: Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia and Malindo Air

Malindo Air cabin crew wear a finer white kebaya top. If you have ugly scars or tattoos, they would show up easier than if you are wearing the uniforms of Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia.

As expected, Air Asia was quick to take a CHEAP shot at Malindo Air’s unfortunate episode:


It may all seem funny to Air Asia and ridiculous to many, but how does Malindo Air’s policy on body marks fare compared to other airlines?

Ryanair’s cabin crew

RYANAIR

Perhaps like Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Air Asia, tattoos that can be covered by the uniform are acceptable. No visible tattoos are allowed.

Emirates’s cabin crew

EMIRATES

Emirates has a similar policy. Tattoos that are visible while wearing their uniform are not allowed. The tattoos cannot be covered by cosmetics or bandages.

Etihad Airways’s cabin crew

ETIHAD

Etihad Airways has the same policy as Emirates’s. You cannot have tattoos that are visible while wearing their uniform and no covering using cosmetics or bandages are allowed.

Qatar Airways’s cabin crew

QATAR

If you look at the uniform you would think that Qatar Airways has the same policy as the ones adopted by the airlines mentioned above.

WRONG!

Qatar Airways does not allow tattoos no matter where they are located – PERIOD. The airline did not hesitate to make redundant senior employees when the policy was introduced.

How do you think did the interviewers find out about where their tattoos are? By stuffing remote cameras inside the candidates’ clothes?

Generally, any airline policy would say that cabin crew cannot have visible distinctive marks, be they scars, birthmarks or tattoos.

Normally a candidate is required to declare if she has any of such mark on her body and where are they exactly positioned.

If the candidate refuses to declare such marks, it would eventually be found out during the physical or medical examination stage. If they find a mark that you have not declared, you will be asked to go home.

Even if you get employed and decide to have a tattoo, your airline medical examination will uncover this and your employment contract will be ceased immediately.

Singapore Airlines is strict on tattoos as well. Although more liberal than Malaysia is, visible tattoos, scars and marks are not allowed to be on any of its cabin crew.

This is firstly because of the branding of Singapore’s icon. Whoever had read the book “Branding Strategy: The Singapore Airlines Story” would know what I mean. Branding in Singapore Airlines lingo means uniformity – Asian hair (no blonde Asians), Asian features, similar makeup, nails and service attitude. You cannot even talk on your mobile phone while walking in the Singapore Girl uniform.

Secondly, the branding of Singapore Airlines, or of any airline for that matter, is about superficiality. Being in an airliner is like being in a five-star hotel. Everyone wants to be served by a pleasant and well-groomed waiter/waitress, or in this case, stewards and stewardesses.

So it is not as easy as Air Asia’s claim of zipping up and you can become a cabin crew no matter if you have pock marks or pus-filled acne on your face.

Malindo Air’s cabin crew, like the ones Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines have carry that image of elegance. You know you are not on board an Air Asia flight when on board any of the other three airlines mentioned.

In short, although it offers inexpensive fares, Malindo Air maintains its brand and class. It certainly does not feel like a no-frills airline.

If you look up the definition of no-frills you will see that it means, among others, providing only the basic necessary of service – in another word: CHEAP.

Kelepetokrasi

KELEPET.

The word means hem or a fold on a piece of cloth or paper.  A Malay synonym would be ‘lipatan.’  To Lipat or to Kelepet would colloquially mean ‘to pillage.’

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800

Malaysia Airlines has always been a favourite airline of mine.  The national flag carrier is THE symbol of Malaysia’s global reach.  However, the airline which roots can be traced back to 71 years ago has been suffering badly from an especially bad episode of mismanagement dating back from 1994.

Disguised under the New Economic Policy that was supposed to assist the Bumiputeras to be economically stronger, U-Turn Mahathir and financial henchman Daim Zainuddin selected several cronies to helm public-listed companies.  They include Amin Shah Omar Shah (who screwed up the Kedah-class NGPV programme) and Tajuddin Ramli (TR) who stripped Malaysia Airlines of its edge and finances.

TR took over Malaysia Airlines in 1994 through his company Naluri as instructed by U-Turn Mahathir and Daim, the year Jaffar Hussein resigned as the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia after making a loss in the region of RM30 billion in US Dollars through foreign exchange gambling.

Malaysia Airlines was okay for about two years before crashing in 1997 with a net loss of RM259.85 million (RM426.15 million in today’s terms) from a net profit the year before of RM333.01 million (RM546.14 million in today’s terms).

Like the collosal losses of real money the nation had to absorb through the BMF as well as the BNM Forex scandals, U-Turn Mahathir and Daim saw it fit for Malaysia Airlines, or rather their crony Tajuddin Ramli, be bailed-out using, again, the rakyat’s money.

An infuriated Lim Kit Siang (thank you again, Uncle) released a press statement on the 20th February 2002 saying among others:

The Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) police report on January 9 and the police investigations into alleged million-ringgit  management irregularities at  the MAS  cargo division during   the tenure of  former MAS executive chairman and key shareholder Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli is  a most welcome  departure from the invariable past practice of government and  corporate cover-ups, especially  in government-owned or controlled companies, making Malaysia notorious as a country teeming with “heinous crimes without criminals” – starting with the infamous Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal in the eighties. 

It has been reported that the alleged management irregularities centred on business arrangements between MAS and a Germany-based cargo handler controlled by Tajudin Ramli and focussed on contracts between MAS and ACL Advanced Cargo Logistic GmbH, a 60%-owned unit of Naluri Bhd., a listed Malaysian company in which Tajudin is the largest shareholder.  ACL operates a cargo facility in Hahn, Germany, that MAS in 1999 contracted to use as its global cargo hub.  

The management irregularities being investigated by the police can only be  the tip of an  iceberg as MAS has chalked up colossal debts of RM9.2 billion and accumulated losses of R2.5 billion, requiring repeated billion-ringgit bailouts at the public taxpayers’ expense – and the Malaysian public are entitled to demand a  full accountability as to how the national airline could end up as such a sick company, a national embarrassment and a burden on public coffers.  

It was reported that the management irregularities in the cargo division  were discovered in   an audit ordered by the government after taking control of MAS early last year  following  the scandalous RM1.79 billion buyback  bailout of Tajudin’s 29.09 per cent stake at RM8 a share when the market price was only RM3.68.

This raises the question as to why an audit was not conducted before the government’s  buyback  bailout of Tajudin’s MAS stake – which would have a very important bearing on the proper price of the government buyout. 

I am sure Uncle Ah Siang has not forgotten this episode too when he became pally with U-Turn Mahathir recently.  Surely the interest of the rakyat is paramount to the God of DAP.

Or is it still?

He continued:

On March 21 last year,  the then Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, gave a long and most unsatisfactory reply in Parliament during question time to justify the buy-back bailout of  Tajudin’s MAS stake which took place under his watch, but he  failed to address or  answer the  two most important questions, viz:

  • Why no independent professional valuation was ever done when the government agreed to  pay Tajudin’s Naluri Bhd for the MAS stake at RM8  per share representing  a premium of  RM4.32 or 117 per cent over the closing market price at RM3.68 per share when the deal  was signed on 20th December 2000; and 
  • Why rules for the bail-out of companies established by the National Economic Action Council  in the “National Economic Recovery Plan” was violated and  Tajudin was not only spared from having to “take his appropriate hair-cuts” but was given a bonanza at taxpayers’ expense to reward for his mismanagement of MAS by  being given  117% premium for the  MAS shares over the  market price, transforming it into a personal rescue for Tajudin instead of a public rescue for MAS.  

The  current police investigations into management irregularities in MASkargo Sdn. Bhd. have again brought to the fore  the  questions concerning  prudence, propriety, responsibility,  integrity, accountability and transparency of the decision to use RM1.79 billion public funds for the buy-back bailout of Tajudin’s MAS stake.  

Last month, the government announced a RM6.1 billion MAS restructuring exercise involving assets sale to enable the national carrier to retire some of its debts and provide RM820 million as working capital, which is just a creative way for a second round of government bailout for the national airline.

Malaysia Airlines, Perwaja, Renong as well as other companies steered towards oblivion by their cronies had to be bailed out using the rakyat’s coffers, and not one person has ever been charged in a court of law for the breach of trust they committed.  This included Amin Shah Omar Shah who, prior to being given the contract to build our Navy’s vessels, had never built a single fishing boat!

Kit Siang the self-proclaimed rakyat’s champion as recent as 2012 stated in the DAP’s mouthpiece Roketkini that Mahathir cannot pretend to be ignorant of the MAS scandal.

In fact it as also reported that “Mahathir had his hand in getting Petronas to bail out his son Mirzan Mahathir’s shipping company, then Konsortium Perkapalan, which had trouble servicing US$490 million debt!”

(courtesy of Finance Twitter)
(courtesy of Finance Twitter)

Lim Kit Siang was so furious about the bailout of Konsortium Perkapalan using the rakyat’s money that on the 16th June 1998 he wrote:

But Mahathir should similarly give full co-operation to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Nepotism, particularly as to whether there is any nepotism in the government, through Petronas, using hundreds of millions of ringgit of public funds to bail out Mirzan Mahathir’s Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd.

Just recently, a copy of a directive from the Ministry of Finance to Telekom Malaysia regarding a direct negotiation contract award totalling RM214.2 million to Mukhriz Mahathir’s OPCOM made its rounds on the Internet:

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A blog post by a Sup Torpedo wrote about this back in 2006:

Mahathir’s criticism of Scomi is justified. It has proved that Scomi does not garner very much government work and now that’s all open to scrutiny. Unlike a company called Opcom Sdn. Bhd. who had a direct nego approved by the Finance Ministry way back in 2003 when Mahathir was both Prime Minister and Finance Minister. The amount of the tender by Telekom Malaysia Berhad was two hundred and fourteen MILLION ringgit. The Ministry of Finance approved it, no doubt with the blessing of the then Finance Minister and Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Hey! What’s new?  If you look at the above letter, it was dated on the 7th October 2003.  The old fart stepped down as the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on the 31st October 2003.

It was an eleventh-hour effort to enrich his kin – a true nepotistic egoist dictator who was afraid that money made during his 22-year dictatorship would not be enough to cover his grave.

Even in 2006, during the peak of the old fart’s attacks on his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, observers such as Sup Torpedo could see that it was little about putting the interest of the rakyat ahead as compared to securing money for the Thousand-year Reich of his:

Don’t miss the wood for the trees. This fight that Mahathir got going on with Pak Lah is not about doing the right thing. It is at best about putting his old crony’s rice bowl firmly where the padi fields grow. At the very worst of motives might be the will to further advance Mukhriz’s political career and provide continuity to the old ways.

Again, what is new now? Virtually nothing, except for one little glaring fact: WHY IS UNCLE KIT SIANG SELLING HIS SOUL AND PUTTING HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL INTERESTS AHEAD OF THE RAKYAT’S BY MAKING A U-TURN ON HIS ATTACKS ON MAHATHIR?

A simple answer would be that he is nothing but the stinking, arrogant cow-dung for brain hypocrite he has always been.  Power is what he seeks for power ensures riches, just like his charged-for-corruption son.

And what of the rakyat then?

As the saying goes: “The meek shall inherit shit.”

Going Sul

  

9M-MTG, the aircraft that flew as MH132 during the event – photo credit Stefan Perkas

 

MH132 took off from Auckland on the 24th December 2015 and was headed towards Kuala Lumpur. 

Eight minutes into the flight the pilot queried the air traffic controller why was the flight being directed more South than the flight plan he had in hand. Airways, the agency that handles airspace traffic management in New Zealand told the pilot that that was the flight plan submitted to them by Malaysia Airlines’s Operations Dispatch Centre (ODC).

Many read only the headlines in various news portals and began to make fun of Malaysia Airlines. Already reeling from the wounds of MH370 and MH17, this latest incident isn’t the kind of publicity the airline would want to have. Even in Whatsapp groups that I belong to misinformed persons were making jokes of Malaysia Airlines. I had to correct their perception and so did a senior airline Captain in one of the groups.

Malaysia Airlines pilots do not make their flight plans. It is up to the ODC to do so and pilots fly the routes prescribed. The ODC will then submit the flight plan to the countries the aircraft will be flying from, over and to and the air traffic management agencies will then review the requested altitude and route and amend if necessary before clearing. A copy of the flight plan will then be dispatched to the flight crew involved.

Flying from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur will normally take a northwestern route passing, for example, Brisbane. However, due to headwinds caused by high-altitude jetstreams, or if severe thunderstorms are expected en route then a southwesterly route is taken – either passing over Melbourne or Sydney, before tracking northwesterly again towards Kuala Lumpur. In this case, the aircraft flew heading towards Melbourne before it was then directed towards Sydney and flew just south of the latter city. As a matter of fact, the aircraft landed in Kuala Lumpur nine minutes ahead of schedule. The aircraft would have had more than enough fuel for this route plus a buffer for diversions and the different routing was not a safety issue at all.
However, it is of my opinion that Malaysia Airlines should look into why was Airways not updated by the ODC when the pilots had been updated.

This occurrence is not something peculiar that it demands the negative publicity it received. It is just because it is Malaysia Airlines, an easy target for sensationalists.

MH17

  
It stares at you. It is dead, has been so for the past 15 months, victim of a struggle it never was a part of. Yet you cannot avoid the stare and today we know why.

A couple of hours after the MH17 went down, I was asked to appear on a TV channel to try and make sense of what was happening. I finally left the studio at 6.30am saying that a BUK system had downed the aircraft.

We know now that it’s true. The 9M-MRD was downed by a proximity-fused BUK. Conspiracy theorists were quick to jump the gun saying a Su-25 Frogfoot did it using its cannons while others posted a video of a plane going down somewhere in India and passed that off as the MH17.

There were no bombs on board, no were there bullet holes on any part of the fuselage. In fact Malaysia Airlines too cannot be faulted for flying in that area because 61 carriers flew there, with 160 aircraft flying there on that fateful day itself until the airspace was declared off-limits.

When the announcement was made by the Dutch Safety Board, everyone thought it would be the day we would know who the perpetrators are. When no such detail was given, families were left disappointed. Some journalists and even a cabinet minister asked on social media why have the perpetrators been allowed to go scot-free?

This is the Dutch Safety Board. It operates in accordance with Annex 13 of the ICAO guidelines as follows:

  
The investigation team was only to find out hownthe plane was brought down and if there were weaknesses in the system that could have prevented the incident from happening – and learn lessons to prevent recurrence. To find the perpetrators is the job of another investigation team that looks at the criminal aspects of the MH17 incident.

We all want to know who made 9M-MRD stare at us like in the photo above. But that is not for us to know tonight. That will come at a time I hope that is not too far in the future.

I am glad that the cockpit crew did not know what happened to them. It was swift. It was in the microseconds. I am not too happy that some had a minute or slightly more to digest what was happening. I don’t even want to imagine those last moments.

And we wouldn’t have known anything much had we not been able to retrieve the black boxes as well as most of the bodies of the victims if not for these two men who worked in an unorthodox manner to secure them.

While everyone else was figuring on how to get to Donetsk, these mostly-forgotten two paved the way for our team to get there.