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.

A Possible PLUS Point

A view of the Greater London area with the 188km M25 motorway circling, clearly visible from the International Space Station

It may seem like a coincidence that during the recent Festival of Light I was driving on the Maju Expressway at night to attend an open house.  What struck me is that the expressway is lit up all along the stretch and wondered if Tan Sri Abu Sahid would light up all the PLUS highways if he gets to purchase PLUS.

Over the past couple of months I have been reading about the proposed purchase of PLUS by Maju Holdings from Khazanah and EPF.  Several people have written on it while I waited a bit to read up on the interviews given by Tan Sri Abu Sahid himself.

While other toll concessionaires strive to increase toll rates to keep up with ever-increasing OPEX, one of Tan Sri Abu Sahid’s selling points is to NOT increase toll rates until the concession agreement that was signed during Mahathir’s administration expires in 2038, and while many think Tan Sri Abu Sahid is mad, I see method in his madness.

Backing

The first question raised by many including myself was where is Maju Holdings going to raise the kind of money needed to buy PLUS from Khazanah and EPF?  Tan Sri Abu Sahid revealed that he is getting financial backing from Evercore, an independent investment banking advisory firm and a boutique investment bank.

Evercore is involved in many toll road projects around the world, and has crunched the numbers to support Abu Sahid’s claim that he could run the PLUS highways at a profit without having to increase the toll rates until the expiry of the concession.

So far, all the “experts” that have spoken against Abu Sahid’s claim have not shown any credible evidence to support their opposition to Abu Sahid’s proposal.  They counter Abu Sahid’s proposal by saying that it is not viable and may increase risks to users, without any figures to back them up.

But Abu Sahid has already shown that currently PLUS is paying about RM58 per square metre for resurfacing works, compared to just RM18 per square metre done by MEX.  And those figures are based on both operators using the same contractors for the works.  How is it that PLUS is paying RM40 more per square metre compared to MEX using the same contractors?  Neither EPF nor UEM have offered any explanation to say otherwise, let alone sue Abu Sahid if the latter had gotten his facts wrong.

The best thing for them (UEM and EPF) to do is to sell PLUS. I pay them RM4 billion in hard cash, and you have taken back whatever you invested, so it’s already free, their IRR (internal rate of return) is 20 percent. If they say it’s not enough, how much do they want? Show me how much they make on their investments,” said Abu Sahid to reporters in a recent press conference.

Abu Sahid also seeks to forfeit the government’s compensation of about RM900 million owed to the toll road operator, which arose as a result of toll hikes not being implemented.  Imagine what the government could do by chanelling this money to sectors that badly need such funds.

Dangerous For Users?

In an interview, Dr Mohamad Shazli Fathi who is the Deputy Director at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Unit said that by not increasing the toll for the next 20 years will only endanger highway users.

Citing the ever-increasing cost of maintenance, especially for bitumen and cement, Dr Mohamad Shazli is skeptical of Abu Sahid’s offer.  Again, Dr Mohamad Shazli was just shooting from his hip without any figures or projections to back his claim, as with the other experts sought to “help explain” matters.

What these experts forget is that Abu Sahid could obtain these materials in bulk, thus reducing costs, through Ipmuda Berhad where he holds 31.23 percent equity interest.

And if he can do resurfacing for the 26-kilometer MEX at RM18 per square metre, it should be far cheaper, if not the same, for 974 kilometers of highways owned by PLUS through its various operating companies, because of economies of scale.

In fact, as the owner of MEX, Maju Holdings had had the expressway lit up as an extra safety measure for drivers and users, all 26 kilometers, and plans to do the same for all 974 kilometers of expressway under PLUS.  No longer are drivers required to strain their eyes in the dark, or feel scared if they suffer a breakdown at night.  If this is not safer than what the PLUS highways are now, I don’t know what is.  Try driving from Kulai to the Second Link at night and you will know what I am talking about.

If you look at the photo above of London and the M25 motorway as taken from the International Space Station, imagine how 974 kilometers of expressways lit up at night would look like from space.  That would certainly look awesome!

We Have Just Sold Our Country To The Chinese, Now We Want To Surrender Our Highways To The Americans?

Of course there is no such thing as selling our country to China (read ‘Apa Yang Strategiknya?‘, ‘Teka Bila Kem Tentera Mula Hendak Dijual?‘ and ‘The Living Forest‘). That is just people who are no longer politically-relevant talking to justify their miserable existence.

The other question that is in the people’s mind is: if Abu Sahid defaults on his payment to Evercore, does this mean that Evercore owns the highway?  Highway concessionaires only hold concessions.  The highways belong to the government.  What Abu Sahid is seeking is to buy PLUS the highway concessionaire from Khazanah-owned UEM and EPF.

When Abu Sahid proposed to sell of MEX (a deal which eventually fell through), Mahathir was angry and said, “You sell what is yours. You don’t sell what belongs to others. It could be as bad as selling APs.”  Only what is owned by MEX were allowed to be sold. The cars, the computers, the chairs, tables, tea cups. Not the highway.

The term “highway” by law includes all traffic lanes, acceleration lanes, deceleration lanes, shoulders, median strips, bridges, overpasses, underpasses, interchanges, approaches, entrance and exit ramps, toll plazas, service areas, maintenance areas, highway furniture, signs and other structures and fixtures and any other areas adjacent thereto. These are under the control and management of the Highway Authority of Malaysia (Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia or LLM).

It is because of that if Abu Sahid actually defaults on payments to Evercore, the PLUS highways will not be closed to traffic.

So what does Abu Sahid want from PLUS if it does not make him much money?  Access to his parcels of land so he could develop them, and provide access to land to the left and right of these highways for them to be developed.

Like it or not, mad or otherwise, Abu Sahid is a patriot at heart.  Just like the cheap and controlled price of food sold at his Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), Abu Sahid does not want the people to be further burdened once UEM has to service its RM30 billion principal payment that is due soon.

But Abu Sahid Has A Bad Track Record – PERWAJA

Perwaja, the brainchild of Mahathir, was set up in 1982.   Even in the initial years of operating, it continuously lost money, mainly due to the global recession, lower steel prices and softer demand for steel.

Government-owned Hicom Holdings was the original major owner of Perwaja Steel with a 51% stake, which it divested in 1988.

A year later, Nippon Steel of Japan gave up its 30% stake to the Malaysian government, paving the way for a major restructuring of the company.

The government pumped some RM2 billion into the company, and new facilities were built in Kemaman, Terengganu, and Gurun, Kedah.

Despite this and several more capital infusions by the Government, Perwaja still suffered losses.

Later in 1995, the Government put Perwaja up for sale and after a delay due to the Asian Financial Crisis, Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed’s Maju Holdings emerged as Perwaja’s ultimate holding company in 2003, in a deal valued at RM1.305 billion.

Abu Sahid, like Tajuddin Ramli and Halim Saad, are victims of Mahathir’s manipulation.  He had agreed to help rescue Perwaja because the then Prime Minister asked him to do a “national service.”

And despite the massive losses Abu Sahid never sold his shares in Perwaja.

I promised the government I would not sell and I didn’t. I burnt RM700 million  to keep my word,” he said to The Edgemarkets recently.

Who Is Happy And Who Is Not?

The happiest people if Abu Sahid gets to buy PLUS are the people – the users of the PLUS highways.  For the next 20 years, Malaysians plying the PLUS highways would not have to worry about the increase in toll rates.  This definitly augurs well for the government, especially in the savings it could make.  The deal also saves EPF contributors from suffering once the massive principal payment needs to be made.

The ones who do not seem to be happy are UEM (Khazanah) and the EPF, for reasons only known to them.  The best part is, without passing Abu Sahid’s proposal to the investments committee where it could be studied and recommendations made, both UEM and EPF have made it clear that they are not interested to sell PLUS to Abu Sahid.

How can they make such a call when the investment committee from both government institutions have not studied the proposal?

Is there more to the RM58 per square metre that meets the eye?  Again, only UEM (Khazanah) and the EPF can answer this, and if only they feel like answering.

For the people, this is a possible plus point for the government. In the meantime, the voters wait.

Mari Bantah Penjualan Negara

Seronok melihat semangat patriotik rakyat Malaysia yang cintakan tanah air dan bangkit bersuara membantah penglibatan negara luar dalam projek-projek raksasa di Malaysia.

Aliran wang yang masuk dari negara luar dalam bentuk pinjaman mudah (soft loans) untuk membangunkan projek-projek ini adalah seolah-olah kerajaan pimpinan Dr Mahathir Mohamad lebih gemar menjual negara untuk meraih keuntungan tanpa mengambil kisah ancaman terhadap kedaulatan negara.

Di antara projek-projek yang dibina oleh orang asing termasuk KLCC Tower One, Port Dickson Power, Jimah Power Plant, PERWAJA, Bekalan Air Mentah Pahang-Selangor, Bekalan Air Pahang, Empangan Kenyir dan banyak lagi.

Malah Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (PROTON) adalah kereta Jepun (Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore) yang dipasangkan di Malaysia dan Mitsubishi memegang saham PROTON sehingga 2005.

Sejak “Dasar Pandang Ke Timur” kerajaan Mahathir, jumlah pinjaman kerajaan Mahathir daripada Jepun berjumlah 10 billion Yen (RM390 juta) pada tahun 1980an sahaja.

Pada tahun 1994, kerajaan Mahathir telah meminjam sebanyak 61.5 billion Yen (RM2.4 billion) untuk membina KLIA walaupun penyokong Mahathir menyatakan bahawa ekonomi negara berada dalam keadaan kukuh.

Beribu pekerja Jepun masuk ke Malaysia untuk bekerja, termasuk rakan saya Norikazu yang bertugas di projek KLIA hingga boleh berbahasa Malaysia dengan fasih berbanding penyokong DAP yang mengagungkan Mahathir dan mengaku rakyat Malaysia.

Mereka mendapatkan khidmat kereta terpakai dari seorang lagi rakan saya bernama Fujita yang dahulunya tinggal di Sri Petaling dan tidak menjalankan transaksi jual beli dengan orang tempatan.

Malah, Japanese lounge tumbuh dengan pesat menawarkan hiburan kepada para pekerja dari Jepun yang mana orang tempatan dilarang masuk. Ini termasuklah sebuah lounge bernama Kaede di Plaza See Hoy Chan di Kuala Lumpur.

Malah pada 6 Ogos 1998, Mahathir sekali lagi memohon pinjaman daripada Jepun sebanyak USD 1 billion (RM4.29 billion) atau USD 2 billion (RM8.58 billion) untuk menampan keadaan ekonomi yang meruncing walaupun penyokong beliau tetap mengatakan ekonomi negara tetap kukuh walaupun nilai Ringgit berbanding USD jatuh dari RM2.10 = USD1.00 di zaman Hussein Onn (1978) ke RM4.71 = USD1.00 pada tahun 1998.

Disebabkan kekukuhan ekonomi itulah Mahathir berpendapat adalah penting bagi negara yang dipimpinnya mempunyai jalinan dagangan dan kewangan (JUAL NEGARA) dengan Jepun.


Dasar Pandang Ke Timur Mahathir juga berjaya menghantar seramai 1,200 orang pelajar untuk melanjutkan pengajian di universiti-universiti Jepun. Daripada jumlah tersebut menurut Mustapa Mohamad yang ketika itu Menteri Pembangunan Usahawan hanya 12 orang menjadi usahawan yang berjaya. Di antara kejayaan dasar ini ialah pertumbuhan pesat pusat-pusat karaoke yang menambahkan lagi masalah sosial di kalangan remaja dan belia.


Dasar ini juga telah membawa penjajahan ekonomi oleh Jepun kerana di antara 1981-1986 sebanyak 37 buah syarikat Jepun telah membuka cawangan mereka di negara ini.

Pada 15 June 1998, pakar kewangan bernama Robert Zielinski (“Role Model From Hell” – Time, 15 June 1998) dasar ekonomi Mahathir dilihat sebagai bakal membawa Malaysia ke ambang kehancuran ekonomi kerana menggunakan dasar ekonomi Jepun sebagai titik rujukan. Namun Mahathir tidak mengambil kisah dengan amaran-amaran yang diberi.

Akibatnya, salah satu sebab Anwar Ibrahim dipecat dari jawatan dan parti adalah kerana tidak sehaluan dengan pandangan ekonomi Mahathir.

Begitulah penjajahan ekonomi dan minda Jepun ke atas Mahathir. Hinggakan dasar ekonomi ditiru dari sebuah negara yang hanya 36 tahun sebelum itu menamatkan penjajahan kejam ke atas Tanah Melayu.

Namun, ianya tidak dilihat sebagai penjajahan okeh Mahathir kerana hanya beliau sahaja yang betul dan tidak boleh orang lain.

Sebab itulah kini walaupun negara tidak meniru dasar ekonomi negara lain dalam mendapatkan pelaburan dan pinjaman dari luar, beliau meneriak berkata negara kini dijajah oleh China.

Maka wajib bagi kita membantah penjualan negara oleh Mahathir.

Banzai!

How Petronas Was Used As A Bailout Bank

I found this on FMT and this is good especially for those born after 1970 and never knew the man:

Malaysians must never forget that under former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir there were monetary losses amounting to tens of billions of ringgit unaccounted for, and irretrievable.
These include:
Forex scandal in early 90s : RM30 billion
The Perwaja Steel Scandal : RM10 billion
Bank Bumi scandal: RM10 billion
Maminco-Makuwasa Affair RM1.6 Billion
Mahathir used Petronas as a ‘bank’ to bail out many companies, banks etc.

Opposition politician Syed Husin Ali said, “Petronas has neither been fully transparent nor accountable with how it spends its money, especially in aiding and abetting Tun Mahathir to indulge in unproductive construction of mega projects, to bail out ailing crony companies and corporate figures, and to involve [itself]in excessive and wasteful spending on celebrations and conferences.”

Mahathir used his position to bail out his children or to give them special benefits.

Konsortium Perkapalan
In early 1998, Petronas acquired a debt-laden shipping concern controlled by Mahathir’s eldest son Mirzan Mahathir’s Konsortium Perkapalan for RM 226 million and assumed its debts of more than 324 million, according to Far Eastern Economic Review stating the debt at RM 1.6 billion.
In early November 2012, Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd reportedly awarded a RM700 million contract to a Sapura-Kencana Petroleum Bhd wholly-owned subsidiary where Mahathir’s son Mokhzani is a vice-chairperson.
Mahathir replied in a sarcastic tone when asked during a press conference whether there was conflict of interest in the deal.

“Yes of course, he (Mokhzani) is given it because I instructed Petronas. Put that in your paper. I presided over everything. I told them, please give to my son and not to anybody else. That’s what I have been doing all the time. When I was the prime minister, everything was given to my children. But when everything goes to the children of the other Prime Minister, you don’t want to mention because he is a nice man. He enables you to read, doesn’t he?” Mahathir said in reply.

Can Mahathir explain and repay all the above losses?
In sharp contrast, 1MDB is facing a cash flow situation but has strong assets.
When president of UMNO, Mahathir introduced a quota system for party elections to ensure he was not challenged. Now he is telling UMNO members to remove the PM.
When he was PM, he was infamous for using the ISA jailing opposition. Can you ever forget Ops Lallang I and II?
Has the current regime done that? No.
Tun Dr Mahathir could never be criticised by anyone, not even Soros. Today, old and filthy rich, he wants to criticize and remove Najib who has silently endured all attacks and is ready to be transparent.
Malaysians seem to have forgotten how ‘wonderful’ Malaysia was under TDM and are sharpening claws to attack Najib whom, thanks to the TDM media psywar, is perceived as the bad guy when actually the worst villain ever to have walked Malaysia is TDM!
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/highlight/2015/03/14/never-forget-the-billions-lost-under-mahathir/

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.”

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

My father is 76 this year. He is still as sharp as ever. He only learnt to use a smartphone about a year ago after the passing of my late brother. He relied much on his trusted Nokia mobile phone until that got spoilt. He now sends and forwards Whatsapp messages to his children and grandchildren. Previously they were all sent as SMS. Of course, some of the messages he forwarded to us make me cringe as they were either older than the age of his smartphone, or unauthenticated; something you would not see if this was 21 years ago when he was still the IGP that he was for 20 years.

Having been the IGP for 20 years means that his opinions, in law and order as well as public moral and safety, count. This he continues to speak out at public forums. When he does so, he would relate it to the history of this nation most would have forgotten, or never experienced. He does so without interfering with or meddling into how the current leadership of the Royal Malaysian Police manages the force, and law and order. He knows his place – he was the IGP. He no longer is one.

I, too, find that as I age, I grow more sensitive. There are times when I wish I am still wearing my uniform. There are times when I wish that the Air Force still runs on the same tradition and system as those times when I was a serving officer. I meet up with veterans from other services as well, and just yesterday I was with a former army commando talking about old times. He keeps talking about “how it was then, as compared to how it is now” something I am also inclined to do.  However, I smiled at him and said, “times have changed. This is the present generation’s time.” I do engage former colleagues and squad mates who are still serving. I give ideas when asked, but always remind myself that I am no longer part of that life I sorely miss.

Tun Dr Mahathir was a towering statesman. For 22 years he managed this country with an iron fist along the line of his favourite Sinatra song, “My Way.” My way or the highway was his style. It was his style that propelled this beloved nation to where it is now. For all the good that he had done, many remember that his ways were often brash and snubbed many people in and out of this country that former Prime Minister of Australia, Paul John Keating, branded Mahathir an incalcitrant.

When Dr Mahathir was at the helm, there were dozens of accusations made against him. From bailouts to cronyism to interference in the independence of the judiciary to name just a few.  Of course when the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Ltd bailout happened and its auditor got murdered, many of those who cry out against bailouts today were still in diapers. When Perwaja steel was bailed out, the Internet in Malaysia was still in its infancy, hence never received the same level of amplification that the recent “bailouts” have seen.  It was a time when UMNO cohorts thumped their chest and said, “UMNO and the government are one.” I don’t have to dwell on this as Tunku Abdul Aziz and numerous blogs have covered these “abuse of power.”

I don’t care for those in the opposition because it is their job to criticize come what may, but it is those in UMNO who are now taking the same line as the opposition. When the judiciary came under attack for not coming up with a verdict that favoured Anwar Ibrahim, UMNO members were quick to defend the judiciary, or any other government agency for that matter, the Audito-General’s office included.  Now, they too say that the audit report by the Auditor-General may not be transparent or not impartial.

Why the about turn now? Why the change in behaviour from UMNO to becoming the opposition? Why the incessant attack regardless of whatever explanation is offered? Isn’t this the very same opposition method that these same UMNO people criticized and ridiculed? How can public attacks on UMNO’s President be beneficial to UMNO if it means adding friendly fuel to the opposition’s fire?

Of course, now is about now and how best we move forward from here. Calls for Najib Razak to step down have not been accompanied by who should succeed and who should succeed next after the successor. The business continuity plan just isn’t there.  Even Dr Mahathir has stated that he doesn’t know who should lead the nation should Najib step down. So should we continue with this onslaught on Najib?

Dr Mahathir is whom I would describe as a once-in-a-lifetime leader. There is no doubt that I will never live to see another great leader such as he. Sharp, witty, acid-tongued, sarcastic to the point that the west has this love-hate relationship when it comes to Mahathir. I love the legacy he has built for us all, but now I am beginning to have my doubts about the relevance of his spoken facts. It was still okay when in the beginning he asked about 1MDB. However, when he raised the issue of Altantuya not only was he underscoring the opposition’s stand that the judiciary is not impartial, but his act was in contempt of a court decision. Is that the case that he is putting forth? The straw that broke the camel of my respect’s back was the announcement he made on the resignation of the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat. In my eyes the pre-emptive announcement was a low blow. It would have been alright had such an announcement been made AFTER the fact that a resignation had indeed taken place.

How different is that than Anwar’s 16th September 2008 announcement of having the numbers to form a government?  The funny part is, the announcement was spun by pro-Mahathir people as “the trump card of all announcements.”!

Sometimes I wonder if it is the people around Dr Mahathir, especially those in want of something out of all this or just in want of a raison d’etre, who keep prodding the 90-year old to continue attacking Najib? Why are they taking advantage of an old man? Why use him as a shield? Is there no shame in that? That goes to the pro-Najib people too! Why make matters worse by attacking Dr Mahathir and family? Why are you bringing yourselves down to the pro-Mahathir level if you find their methods despicable?

I just wish they would stop the quarrel and leave Najib and the old man and his legacy alone.