Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 10:34 AM PST

Click here for more posts about my Bangkok Trip.

Bangkok Trip: Wat Arun Temple – It's time to share back about my Bangkok Trip that I've been to a week ago. After getting onto the water taxi at Tha Tien Pier, we reached the other side of Bangkok, where the famous Wat Arun Temple is located. Wat Arun is also known as ιƒ‘ηŽ‹εΊ™ Zheng4 Wang2 Miao4 to the Chinese is famous for it's pyramid-like Prang-style tower which symbolic holistic goddess and it's away for the Thai's buddhist to worship to god.

It's very special and only available in Thailand, and I heard Cambodia too. It's something that you couldn't be found in China or Malaysia.

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

The weather was really really hot, 2 set of umbrellas were really not enough for four of us. It's best to have one for each. Hueisean and I went in to the Wat Arun to check out and climbed up to the top. Entrance fee at 50 Baht per person and you will have to wear a proper clothing in there. Hueisean dear wore a pair of shorts so she had to rent a piece of Sarung-liked cloth to cover up the leg. Deposit 100Baht and pay a rental of 20Baht for it, it's pretty cheap. There's no dress code for man though.

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

Bangkok: Wat Arun Temple

We took photos at the bottom of the tower later then we climbed up the stairs. The stairs are pretty steep and I need to hold tight on the handle to guide me up and there. There's two landing point up there and from there I can get a good view of two sides of Bangkok.

It's better at the top because it's windy and we enjoyed the view of Bangkok. The Prang-styled tower is a really special architecture element of Thai. Every part of it are decorated with tiles and ornaments, I feel it's very, unique and amazing. Spend 10 minutes up there and we went back down. Mom and dad were waiting for us down there because they had no interest in climbing it. After that, we went back to the pier to catch the water taxi back to the other side of the river. We then we to tour the famous reclining sleeping Buddha – Wat Pho and Grand Palace.

View Nick Chan's Travel Map in a larger map

Click here for more posts about my Bangkok Trip.

Debate: DAP Lim Guan Eng vs MCA Chua Soi Lek

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 10:09 AM PST

Lim Guan Eng vs Chua Soi Lek Debate – Yesterday's debate was the most anticipating debate of all time because it involved two very "big" people, MCA (Malaysia Chinese Association) President Chua Soi Lek and Penang's Chief Minister & Secretary-General of Democratic Action Party Lim Guan Eng. Lim Guan Eng is currently my favourite person because he is the Chief Minister of my lovely Penang and he has did a good job administrating the state.


I went to Prangin Mall to join the crowds to see the live telecast of the debate. Despite it can also be watched at home, I went out to join the crowds and also my friend. It's just like going out to mamak to watch football instead of staying at home.


The whole ground floor was filled with Lim Guan Eng's supporter and they cheer when Lim Guan Eng speaks. It's really unite and shows that the Penangite love Lim Guan Eng. They also boo-ed when the camera pan to Chua Soi Lek's face. Very funny. Haha.

It was pretty fun seeing the debate, however it's kinda disappointed and it's not what I expected. Debate somehow turned into a forum-like. Chaos at there with so much MCA supporter in the hall. Lim Guan Eng did not do enough homework as far as I've seen, but he is still good. He dare to show off the good work that he and DAP and also PR has done, but MCA was only knowing how to talk bad on PR/DAP. Well, Lim Guan Eng also did not answer some of the questions that were threw at him.



The most interesting part of the debate was when an emotional woman shouting like crazy, condemning the Penang government, raising on pointless question that is why Penang Government still want to tow the car when it's 1030pm even there's no car on the road, sucking people's money. The question is so stupid and obviously the car got towed away is because of breaking the law. Who the hell says that Penang's road is quiet at 10.30pm. She moreover claimed herself as a half-Penangite. What is a half-Penangite, I wondered? Another funny one raised question in Malay, ""Kenapa selepas Pas memerintah itu Kelantan, penyu diharamkan di Terengganu?" WTH?!

Internet is really powerful, people and hater has already found who was the lady that was shouting emotionally, turned out she is Jessie Ooi, MCA's representative for Selayang area. She had a Facebook page and everyone was spamming her wall and people even created various MEME trolled at her. As of now, 2am, her Facebook page is now shut down. What a noob. Facebook people now call her the Parking Aunty.

Well,as a Penangite, I support my chief minister, I see improvement and I see he is somehow better than the CM before. Looking forward for the next debate. Hopefully it will not be disappointed.

Watch the full debate after the break.

A Chilling Story about Destiny

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 10:00 AM PST

Death came to a guy and said, "My friend, today is your day!"

The guy said, "But I'm not ready!"

Then death said, "Well, your name is the next on my list...."

Guy: "Okay, then why don't you take a seat and I will get you something to eat before we go?"

Death: "All right.... "

The guy gave death some food with sleeping pills in it. Death finished eating and fell into a deep sleep.....

The guy took the list & removed his name from top of the list and put it in the bottom of the list.

When death woke up, he said to the guy, "Because you have been so very nice to me, I will start from the BOTTOM of the list...."

Lesson for the day: Accept whatever is written in your destiny. Destiny will never change, no matter how much you try....

-Author Unknown-

Thanks to SK who sent me this story.

Linsanity catching on, triggered by faith in God. -

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 09:51 AM PST

I first came across the word 'Lin-sanity' when a friend posted in Google+ this news link:

Exclusive: Jeremy Lin says faith in God triggered 'Lin-sanity'

The term 'Lin-sanity' now popularly known as 'Linsanity' is fast catching on. A California man, Andrew Slayton, is cashing in on the 'Linsanity' frenzy by selling 'Linsanity' T-shirts on his website.


Jeremy Lin Applies For Trademark On Linsanity

[Bergambar] Anwar Dibawa Dengan Motosikal Ke Tempat Ceramah Di Pekan Pahang

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 10:02 AM PST

Sekatan Sebabkan Jalan Raya Sesak 5 Km, Anwar BONCENG Motosikal GEMPUR Kubu Najib di PEKAN, Pahang

Blog pkrnegeripahang melaporkan program ceramah Ketua Umum PKR Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim di dua lokasi berasingan di Pahang, iaitu di Taman Mahkota Aman, Batu 11, Kuantan dan juga di Pekan, Pahang.

Walaupun dimomokkan dengan isu Israel oleh media propaganda milik UMNO, namun hal itu tidak menghalang ribuan rakyat tempatan menghadiri ceramah beliau. Blog rasmi PKR Pahang itu mendakwa tidak kurang 3000 penduduk di Taman Mahkota Aman mendengar penjelasan Anwar berkaitan dengan isu semasa dan isu Israel yang diputarbelitkan oleh media perdana.

Program ceramah di Taman Mahkota Aman itu bermula pada jam 9.00 malam dan Dato' Seri Anwar tampil sebagai penceramah pertama memandangkan beliau akan bergegas pula ke Pekan untuk program ceramah berikutnya

Ceramah Anwar di Kuantan, Pahang

Orang ramai membanjiri lokasi ceramah di Mahkota Aman

Ceramah Anwar di Pekan, Pahang

DEMI RAKYAT....Dato' Seri Anwar menaiki motosikal ke Pekan

Kredit gambar: blog pkrnegeripahang

Berbeza daripada situasi di Mahkota Aman, perjalanan Dato' Seri Anwar menuju ke Pekan terganggu apabila pihak polis mengadakan sekatan jalan raya di beberapa lokasi menuju ke tapak ceramah. Sekatan polis itu menyebabkan orang ramai yang ingin ke lokasi ceramah merungut kerana berhadapan dengan kesesakan jalan raya yang teruk.

Kesesakan sejauh 5 km seperti yang dilaporkan oleh MK itu memaksa Dato' Seri Anwar menaiki motosikal ke lokasi ceramah.  Tiba di lokasi ceramah, Anwar disambut tidak kurang daripada 4 000 penduduk tempatan yang sabar menunggu untuk mendengar penjelasan tentang pelbagai isu semasa. Sambutan dan jumlah penduduk yang hadir pada ceramah itu sesungguhnya sesuatu yang luar biasa kerana Pekan dimomokkan sebagai kubu kuat Najib 1Malaysia. -DuniaCacaMarba

P/s: Walaupun polis mengadakan beberapa sekatan jalan raya di laluan ke tapak ceramah, namun kunjungan penduduk tempatan dalam jumlah yang besar sudah tentu menggerunkan Najib. Bayangkan jika tiada sekatan jalan raya, agak-agaknya berapa ribu yang hadir semalam?


Sekatan akibatkan kesesakan 5km di ceramah Anwar
[MK] Sekatan jalan raya di jalan utama menuju ke ibupejabat PAS di Pekan, tempat ceramah Ketua Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim semalam, menyebabkan berlaku kesesakan lalulintas sepanjang lima kilometer.

Menurut Ahli Parlimen Kuala Selangor, Dzulkefly Ahmad, mereka yang mahu mendengar ceramah Anwar terperangkap dalam kesesakan tersebut selama "lebih daripada 40 minit".

Katanya, beliau terpaksa ke tempat ceramah dengan menaiki motosikal, begitu juga dengan Anwar.

Menurutnya lagi, kesesakan lalulintas itu menyebabkan kelewatan ceramah bermula, sehinggakan ucapan Anwar melebihi waktu had permit polis sehingga jam 12 tengah malam.

Katanya lagi, anggota polis berada tepat jam 12 tengah malam, tetapi Anwar dapat melanjutkan program tersebut, kerana masalah kesesakan untuk ke sana.

Dzulkefly berkata, kira-kira 3,000 orang menghadiri program tersebut, "kebanyakannya penduduk tempatan", yang disifatkannya sebagai "luar biasa bagi Pekan".

Kerusi Parlimen Pekan diwakili Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, yang 'diwarisi' dari bapanya, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein - perdana menteri kedua Malaysia, yang meninggal dunia pada tahun 1976.

-blog duniacacamarba

Anwar naik motosikal gempur Parlimen Pekan

PEKAN: Sekatan polis yang cuba menghalang orang ramai ke Markas PAS di sini, Pahang malam semalam tadi, tidak menghalang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim untuk bertemu rakyat.

Penuh kesungguhan, Ketua Umum KEADILAN itu meredah kesesakan lalu lintas dengan menaiki motosikal sejauh tiga kilometer untuk tiba di lokasi ceramah di Kampung Mengkasar di sini.

Asal jumpa rakyat, naik motosikal pun Anwar sanggup.

Mengikut jurugambar Keadilan Daily, Yuisriah Yusuf, Anwar membonceng motosikal seorang lelaki yang dalam perjalanan untuk mengikuti ceramah berkenaan.

"Ia menyebabkan ceramah bermula lewat. Anehnya, sebaik Datuk Seri (Anwar) tiba, polis menghenti sekatan," katanya, menambah Ahli Parlimen Kuala Selangor, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad yang turut menaiki motosikal atas sebab sama.

Sekatan polis dibuat berhampiran lokasi ceramah hingga menyebabkan kesesakan lalu lintas sejauh kira-kira lima kilometer. Kesesakan itu dikatakan berlarutan lebih sejam.

Mengikut Yuisriah, polis juga cuba menghentikan ceramah Anwar atas alasan melebihi waktu sedangkan Ketua Pembangkang itu lambat tiba di lokasi berikutan kesesakan sekatan polis tetapi diteruskan selepas rundingan dibuat.

Pedulikan sekatan polis, rakyat mahu dengar ucapan Anwar

Sekalipun banyak sekatan polis dilakukan hingga menyebabkan sebahagian rakyat gagal tiba di lokasi ceramah, kira-kira 3,000 penduduk setempat sempat mengikuti amanat Anwar dan pimpinan lain.

Halangan sedemikian bukan sesuatu yang menghairankan kerana kawasan itu adalah kubu kuat Umno dan terletak dalam kawasan Parlimen Pekan disandang Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Stress Management

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 07:45 AM PST

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'..... she fooled them all... "How heavy is this glass of water?", she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 2...0 oz....

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

"So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night.... pick them up tomorrow.

"Whatever burdens you're carrying now, put them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now 'supposed' stress that you've conquered!"

1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!
2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
3 * Always read stuff that makes you feel good.
4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague
6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
8 * Never buy a car you can't push.
9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.
13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
15 * You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone thought about you today.
20 * It was me!..... And finally, *Save the earth -- It's the only planet with chocolate!*

-Author Unkonwn-

Thanks to SK who sent me this post.

Sorry for the late posting! Have a restful evening!


Posted: 18 Feb 2012 07:21 AM PST

A few hours ago I had a nice and interesting topic (well, at least I think it's interesting). I had a few things to do before that and by time I got everything done and actually have the time to sit and write my thoughts, I can't for the life of me remember just what I wanted to write about!

No matter how much I try to pick my brain thinking what it was, I just can't seem to remember a single thing about what I wanted to write. Damn, either I'm getting really old or my memory just isn't what it used to be.

That's not entirely far from the truth though. My memory really isn't what it used to be. The wife can vouch for that. Half the things she tells me are completely forgotten in a matter of hours. If it wasn't for my pop up reminders on my cell phone, I wouldn't remember a single thing.

I won't be surprised one day I'd even forget my name, then again, just what the heck is my name? LOL! As long as I still remember to wake up at ungodly hours on a Sunday morning to run aimlessly, I suppose things can't be all that bad.

Whatever supposedly interesting thing I wanted to write would eventualy pop to mind soon but for now maybe I should bore you by telling you all about what an automated clearing house is but why torture you :-) Have a great weekend,

Jessie Ooi the winnder @ the Debate between Chua Soi Lek Vs Lim Guan Eng

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 07:19 AM PST

I watched the debate between Chua "pornstar" Soi Leg Vs Lim "ex-con" Guan Eng, I think Pornstar is better with his tongue than the ex-con but end of the day, the only one who achieve his/her target is Jessie Ooi.

Jessie Ooi definately make herself famous with heavy makeup & stupid question!

61 Remaja Dicekup Semasa Tonton Penari Tiang

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 06:54 AM PST

Kuala Lumpur – Seramai 61 remaja yang sedang berseronok menyaksikan aksi panas penari-penari tiang adalah antara yang ditahan dalam serbuan Ops Noda di sebuah pusat hiburan di Jalan P. Ramlee di sini, awal pagi tadi.

Pusat hiburan itu menggunakan khidmat penari tiang bagi menarik ramai pelanggan termasuk mereka bawah umur.

Kelab malam ini dipercayai baru beroperasi empat minggu menyajikan 'hidangan' yang menjolok mata apabila penari wanita hanya memakai coli serta seluar dalam mempamerkan aksi ghairah kepada para pengunjung saban malam.

"Pelanggan akan dihiburkan dengan tarian ghairah di atas pentas, penari itu akan melakukan aksi panas dan memanjat tiang setinggi kira-kira tiga meter, mereka akan melakukan persembahan kira-kira 15 minit pada jam 10.45, 11.45 malam dan 1.30 pagi, " kata Pegawai Turus Bahagian Kongsi Gelap, Judi dan Maksiat (D7) Kuala Lumpur, Deputi Superintendan Azman Mat Isa.

Kesemua mereka ditahan dalam operasi sekitar jam 1 pagi tadi.

Azman berkata, polis memeriksa hampir 217 pengunjung di premis tersebut dan turut menahan enam penari tiang wanita warga tempatan."Kita juga dapati pusat hiburan itu tidak mempunyai lesen perniagaan sah atau permit pusat hiburan.

"Semua remaja itu kemudian dibawa ke Ibu Pejabat Polis (IPD) Dang Wangi untuk diambil keterangan sebelum penjaga atau ibu bapa mereka dihubungi bagi mengambil semua mereka," katanya. -SH

Gold Bulls Expand as Billionaire Paulson Says Buy: Commodities

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 06:06 AM PST

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Gold traders are getting more bullish after billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson told investors it's time to buy the metal as protection against inflation caused by government spending.

Twelve of 22 surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to gain next week and five were neutral. Paulson & Co. is already the biggest investor in the SPDR Gold Trust, the largest exchange- traded product backed by bullion, with a stake valued at $2.9 billion, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Feb. 14 showed. Investors have 2,389.7 metric tons in ETPs, within 0.2 percent of the record reached in December and more than all but four central banks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Speculators in U.S. gold futures are now their most bullish since September after the Bank of England and Bank of Japan said they will buy more assets and the Federal Reserve said it was considering purchasing more bonds. Central banks are also expanding their bullion reserves, adding 439.7 tons last year, the most in almost five decades. They may buy a similar amount in 2012, the London-based World Gold Council said yesterday.

"The appalling state of fiscal finances of most industrial nations does lead to concerns about the possibility of inflation," said Mark O'Byrne, executive director of Dublin- based GoldCore Ltd., a brokerage that sells everything from quarter-ounce British Sovereigns to 400-ounce bars. "Gold is a crucial diversification given the various risks out there."

Bank of America

Gold rose 9.9 percent to $1,722.20 an ounce this year on the Comex in New York. The Standard & Poor's GSCI gauge of 24 commodities gained 6.6 percent and MSCI All-Country World Index of equities climbed 9.7 percent. Treasuries lost 0.5 percent, a Bank of America Corp. index shows.

Hedge funds and other money managers boosted wagers on higher prices by 57 percent since mid-January. They raised their net-long position by 8.6 percent to 173,172 futures and options in the week ended Feb. 7, the highest level since mid-September, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

Central banks are keeping interest rates at or near record lows and expanding stimulus measures to spur growth that the International Monetary Fund predicted on Jan. 24 will be 3.3 percent this year, down from a previous forecast of 4 percent. Greece is seeking more aid on top of the 110 billion euros ($145 billion) awarded in 2010 and Moody's Investors Service cut the ratings of six European nations on Feb. 13.

'Build a Position'

"By the time inflation becomes evident, gold will probably have moved, which implies that now is the time to build a position in gold," New-York based Paulson said in a letter to investors obtained by Bloomberg. Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson, declined to comment.

The 56-year-old manager's SPDR Gold Trust holdings fell 15 percent in the fourth quarter as his $23 billion hedge fund company had its worst-ever year. His Advantage Plus Fund lost 51 percent in 2011, and the firm said in a third-quarter letter that financial services companies were the "primary drag." Paulson became a billionaire in 2007 by betting against the U.S. subprime mortgage market. Gold rose 10 percent last year in New York trading, an 11th consecutive annual gain.

Europe's deepening debt crisis may spur some investors to retreat to cash. Bullion dropped 3.4 percent in the three months through December, the first quarterly decline since 2008, as the value of global equities slumped more than $10 trillion from the May peak, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Debt Crisis

"Despite the strong start to global markets this year, the underlying sentiment is still one of fear," said Chris Weafer, the chief strategist at Troika Dialog, an investment bank in Moscow. "Until the euro zone debt crisis is put to bed, all assets, even gold, are in the risk category."

Investors should avoid gold because its uses are limited and it lacks the potential of farmland or companies to produce new wealth, Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., wrote in an adaptation of his annual letter to shareholders that appeared on Fortune magazine's website on Feb. 9.

Vinik Asset Management LP, Tudor Investment Corp. and SAC Capital Advisors LP sold shares in the SPDR Gold Trust in the fourth quarter, filings showed this week. George Soros, the billionaire founder of Soros Fund Management LLC, raised his stake to 85,450 shares from 48,350.

Record investment drove gold demand to 4,067.1 tons last year, the most since 1997, the World Gold Council estimates.

Nine of 24 traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect copper to climb next week and seven were neutral. The metal for delivery in three months, the London Metal Exchange's benchmark contract, rose 7.4 percent to $8,161.50 a ton this year after declining 21 percent last year.

ICE Futures

Ten of 14 people surveyed expect raw-sugar prices to drop next week. The commodity is up 1.8 percent this year at 23.72 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Eleven of 21 people surveyed anticipate lower corn prices next week, while 12 of 22 said soybeans will advance. Corn fell 0.3 percent to $6.4475 a bushel this year as soybeans rose 5.7 percent to $12.77 a bushel.

"By initiating further rounds of quantitative easing, central banks should be one of the supporting factors for commodity prices," said Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. "The high uncertainty and growing risk aversion among market players surrounding the Greek debt saga should depress any meaningful price increases."

--With assistance from Maria Kolesnikova, Agnieszka Troszkiewicz, Isis Almeida and Tony C. Dreibus in London, Jae Hur and Yasumasa Song in Tokyo, Glenys Sim and Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore, Helen Sun in Shanghai, Yi Tian and Saijel Kishan in New York and Jeff Wilson in Chicago. Editors: Stuart Wallace, Claudia Carpenter.

Real taiko is BN, Umno gang leader. MCA machai!

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 05:31 AM PST

RPK wrote 'ABU? Betul ke?' and said:
Actually, it is not enough to just kick out Umno the political party. Umno has less than 80 seats in Parliament. And there are 222 seats altogether. So Umno needs to win at least 112 seats to become the Taiko. Hence Umno can never be the Taiko and in fact never was. The real Taiko is Barisan Nasional, with Umno as the CEO or gang leader.

Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said today that voters should not write off MCA in the coming general election just because DAP succeeded in making large gains in the previous polls.

Unlike DAP is democracy and all Malaysians regardless of race, MCA is merely the MaChAi of Umno.

Kelantan Miskin Kerana Dizalimi Kerajaan Pusat

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 05:59 AM PST

Kelantan miskin bukti Najib dan PM terdahulu gagal

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 Feb: Dakwaan Datuk Seri Najib Razak bahawa Kelantan negeri paling miskin di negara ini, hanya membuka pekung dirinya sendiri sebagai pemimpin nombor satu negara.

Pensyarah Jabatan Pengajian Media, Universiti Malaya, Profesor Madya Dr Abu Hassan Hasbullah berkata, jika benar dakwaan itu, ia bermakna kegagalan kesemua enam perdana menteri termasuk Najib untuk memajukan kesemua negeri dalam Malaysia ini sejak BN memerintah lebih 50 tahun lalu.

"Sekira benar Kelantan ini negeri miskin mengikut kata PM DS Najib, maka ini bermaksud benar-benar gagalnya enam orang Perdana Menteri dalam memajukan setiap pelusuk tanah air, setiap orang dari rakyatnya.

"(Ini) kerana negeri Kelantan ini adalah salah satu negeri dalam gabungan 14 negeri di dalam Persekutuan Tanah Melayu atau Malaysia, dan sama sekali bukan sebuah negeri yang berada di Thailand, atau Indonesia, atau Brunei, atau Kemboja, dan tidak mungkin sebuah negeri di Benua Afrika," coretnya melalui Facebooknya Hassan Hayastani..

Beliau dipercayai mengulas kenyataan Najib ketika berucap di Lahad Datu semalam kononnya Kelantan adalah negeri miskin tercorot dan bukan lagi Sabah.

Najib berkata kedudukan tercorot itu bermula sejak negeri tersebut berada di bawah pemerintahan kerajaan PAS Kelantan.

Beliau berkata demikian semasa merasmikan Mini Estet Sejahtera (Mesej) Akuakultur Kampung Nala, Tungku, Lahad Datu di sini semalam.

Mengulas lanjut, Abu Hassan berkata, adalah menjadi tanggungjawab kerajaan memerintah untuk memajukan mana-mana negeri dan tugas itu berada di atas batu jemala seorang perdana menteri.

"Negeri mana pun yang dikatakan miskin selagi dia adalah negeri di dalam Malaysia maka tanggungjawab memberi kekayaan, kemajuan, kesejahteraan dan kebajikan masadepan itu berada di atas kepimpinan seorang Perdana Menteri.

"Ini bukan zaman penjajah British dengan polisi kejadah pecah dan perintah!," tulis beliau. -HD

Kelantan miskin: 'Air terpercik ke muka Najib'

KOTA BHARU, 18 Feb: Kenyataan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yang mendakwa Kelantan negeri termiskin di negara ini berbanding Sabah umpama menepuk air terkena muka sendiri.

Ketua Dewan Muslimat PAS Negeri Kelantan, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusof, juga berkata kenyataan memuji Sabah kerana ingin 'membodek' rakyat di negeri itu dengan fakta yang merapu.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas kenyataan Perdana Menteri itu ketika berucap di Lahad Datu, Sabah yang mendakwa Kelantan negeri termiskin di negara ini.

Menurut Zailah lagi, tindakan kerajaan Pusat terhadap Kelantan juga tidak ubah seperti mengingat kaki dan tangan, apabila merompak hasil kekayaan di negeri itu, namun tidak menyalurkannya semula.

"Jangan membuat sebarang dakwaan yang mengatakan Kelantan miskin selagi hasil royalty negeri ini dirompak serta tidak dikembalikan pada negeri kami.

"Kerajaan Pusat telah merompak hasil royalty Kelantan sejak sekian lama sebanyak RM300 juta setahun, kemudian menuduh Kelantan miskin,"ujarnya yang juga Anggota Parlimen Rantau Panjang.

Beliau juga turut menempelak kenyataan Perdana Menteri yang mengatakan Kelantan negeri termiskin di negara ini, sebaliknya Sabah, Sarawak dan Terengganu adalah miskin berbanding Kelantan.

Tegasnya, semua negeri berkenaan adalah diperintah oleh Umno dan BN bukan Pakatan Rakyat.

Pada masa yang sama Zailah turut mempersoalkan Kelantan masih dianaktirikan sejak hamper 22 tahun lalu dengan menyekat pelaburan, jalanraya juga tidak dimajukan.

"Begitu juga tebatan banjir di Rantau Panjang telah dijanji nak buat sejak RMK-7, kini dah RMK-10 masih tak buat-buat lagi.

"Bila banjir besar melanda, rakyat tidak boleh mencari rezeki menyebabkan ekonomi mereka lumpuh, jadi jangan buat kenyataan yang membolehkan rakyat Kelantan marah,"ujarnya.

Ulasan GB

Sebenarnya kelantan negeri terkaya di negara ini jika UMNO BN tidak merompak wang royalti minyaknya.

Dan jangan lupa Mahathir mengakui bahawa beliau sendiri menyekat pembangunan di Kelantan kerana khuatir rakyat negeri itu tidak menyokong BN. Saksikan:

This is the shop that Janson enjoys eating a lot! 8D

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 04:53 AM PST

Vid taken using HTC Desire S - free phone from Maxis.
The shop 'Ana Wasabi' is at Kenanga Wholesale City.

Penagih Larikan Kereta Peronda Polis

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 04:33 AM PST

Lari guna kereta peronda

BUKIT BE­­RU­ANG – Polis Melaka meminta keprihatinan orang awam untuk mengesan seorang suspek yang terlibat melarikan ke­reta peronda polis.

Suspek berasal dari Kampung Baru Kanan, Kemasek, Kemaman, Te­reng­ganu juga dikehendaki membabitkan dua kes dadah.

Ketua Polis negeri, Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye berkata, dalam kejadian jam 9.50 malam semalam, suspek ke Balai Polis Trafik Alor Gajah untuk mem­buat laporan kemalangan jalan raya berlaku pada 14 Februari lalu.

"Tetapi nama suspek disenaraikan sebagai orang dikehendaki yang bersangkutan dua kes dadah di Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan dan Tanjung Minyak, Melaka.

"Apabila mengetahui dirinya dikehendaki polis, suspek melarikan diri sebelum ditangkap semula. Dia tidak digari kerana tangan ka­nannya bersimen akibat kemalangan," katanya.

Menurutnya, ketika dimasukkan ke dalam kereta peronda, suspek berjaya ke tempat duduk pemandu dan mengunci kesemua pintu sebelum melarikan kereta terbabit.

"Kereta peronda berkenaan ditemui pada jam 2.30 pagi semalam, di Kampung Panchor, Alor Gajah.

"Bagaimanapun, suspek mempunyai lima rekod kesalahan lampau menghilangkan diri," katanya.

Ghee Lye berkata, suspek mempunyai ketinggian lima kaki dan berbadan kurus, dipercayai akan mendapatkan rawatan dari klinik dan hospital kerana kecederaan dialaminya.

"Kes disiasat di bawah Seksyen 379 Kanun Keseksaan. Orang ramai mempunyai maklumat boleh menghubungi IPK Melaka 06-2851999 atau Ibu Pejabat Polis Alor Gajah, 06-5564153," katanya. -SH

Ulasan GB

Yang peliknya apakah polis cuai meninggalkan kunci di dalam kereta sehingga mudah ianya dilarikan?

Jay Chou portrait with coffee cup stains

Posted: 17 Feb 2012 11:55 PM PST

A new piece of art work by Malaysian artist Hong Yi, aka Red – making a portrait of Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou with coffee cup stains. The Shanghai-based architect made headlines last month with her painting of a Yao Ming portrait with basketball.

There's more, read the full post »

Jay Chou portrait with coffee cup stains from YeinJee's Asian Journal

Malaysia's Latest Proton Saga

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 02:22 AM PST

Questions of insider trading in national car shares remain unanswered a month after sale to a Mahathir crony

For nearly three decades, Malaysia's national car project, Proton, has suffered through endless troubles, nearing its demise several times only to be propped up again and again by the government.

The government has regularly sought foreign buyers to come in and save the project, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd. The carmaker has cost the country's consumers billions in lost opportunity costs from the steep tariffs levied against other carmakers in addition to the losses the company made on its own, estimated at US$2-3 billion, plus the cost of building its factories. The preferential tariffs haven't stopped consumers from turning to other makes anyway.

In January, DRB-Hicom Bhd, controlled by billionaire Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, a longtime Mahathir friend and United Malays National Organization crony, agreed to take the ailing carmaker off the hands of Khazanah Nasional Bhd., the state-owned investment fund which owned 42.7 percent of the shares after taking the company over during an earlier period of distress. The subsequent events have raised many questions of insider trading, none of which have ever been addressed either by Proton, Hicom or Bursa Malaysia, the country's stock exchange.
 In the two months prior to the announcement of the sale, Proton's shares went on a wild ride, beginning on Nov. 14, when the shares traded thinly, at only about 300,000 per day at a price of around RM2.70 (US88 cents)
 According to official announcements by Bursa Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur main board, the shares took off on Nov. 15, rising to RM3.21 on volume of 4.3 million traded. Over the next 12 days, daily volumes averaged 4.4 million shares. By Dec. 5, volumes increased to 20 million shares per day – 60 times the November average - with the price rocketing up by nearly 25 percent over the period to RM4.50 per share.

Proton's Wild Ride

It wasn't until Dec. 5, three weeks after the shares began to gyrate that Bursa Malaysia issued an Unusual Market Activity enquiry. On the next day, Proton announced: ""The Board of Directors of Proton wish to clarify that after making due enquiry with the Board of Directors and major shareholders, the company is not aware of any reason for the unusual market activity in the shares of the company recently, and further, that there is no material corporate development not previously disclosed."

Certainly not! On Jan. 17, DRB-Hicom announced it would buy Khazanah's stake in the carmaker for RM1.291 billion, the equivalent of RM5.50 per share. That meant that those smart enough – or informed enough -- to buy the Proton shares in November at RM2.70 had effectively doubled their money in two months.

Insider trading?

"The above chain of events makes a bad overall impression. It looks very much that certain parties were privy to inside information," wrote M A Wind, who blogs for Asia Sentinel. "Why was Bursa Malaysia so late with its Unusual Market Activity query? The share price of Proton had increased already over three consecutive weeks by a whopping 70 percent while daily turnover had risen 20-fold when it finally took action."

The announcement on December 6, 2011 by Proton that neither it nor Khazanah Nasional were aware of any unusual activity looks puzzling to say the least. The market was rife with rumor, but neither Proton nor Khazanah Nasional said they were aware of any activity.

More suspiciously, the share price more or less stratified at RM 5.50 several days before the final announcement on January 16, 2011 – the DRB-Hicom offer price, which seems to suggest that unknown parties might have known what it would be.

Also, both Proton and DRB-Hicom appeared remarkably passive in issuing announcements, both only responding to queries from Bursa Malaysia (most notably on Dec. 6, 8 and 13, 2011 and Jan. 9, 2012), not initiating the announcements themselves although the stock exchange's website says: "We place significant emphasis on timeliness, adequacy and accuracy of disclosure to enable investors to make informed investment decisions."

"Let's be clear," said a Kuala Lumpur-based investment banker. "All of Malaysia is one big insider-trading casino. There aren't any other kind of trades."

The banker declined to speculate on who made the killing. However, he said the clues point to top political figures. The car company was government-owned, the new ownership is close to top United Malays National Organization figures.

One of the victims of the exercise appears to be Malaysian workers -- the Employee Provident Fund, which provides retirement benefits for 13 million private and public sector employees at about 485,000 institutions and companies in the country. The EPF acquired an additional 830,000 shares in 2007 in one of many bids to rescue the company, making Malaysia's taxpayers owners of the company whether they wanted to be or not.

The EPF, presumably unassuming, sold off some 15 million shares for a price well below the mandatory general office price, which is estimated to have cost the fund roughly RM20 million to RM30 million on the trades.

The next question is why Mokhtar wanted to take over the car project, initiated in the early1980s by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad against the advice of his advisors, all of his critics and common sense. It has been unable to achieve economies of scale that would allow it to survive and flourish. Although local media reported that the financier was considering a possible tie-up with Volkswagen AG of Germany, as long ago as 2004 – eight years ago – it had been vainly seeking buyers that included Volkswagen, the American giant General Motors and PSA Peugeot-Citroen of France -- none of the bids has ever worked out.

However, Proton Holdings Bhd registered a first-half 2010-2011 pre-tax profit of RM186 million in the first half of its 2010/11 financial year, built on improved market sentiment and a 13 percent increase in vehicle sales. From an earnings point of view, the company is described by analysts nonetheless as "quite hopeless." But the company holds some valuable assets, including the land on which its old factory is sited in Shah Alam, and the UK-based Lotus manufacturer or sports and racing cars. The Net Asset Value is RM9.81 per share, well above the purchase price paid by Syed Mochtar. The company has RM1.3 billion in the bank and almost no debt.

"If in three months time Lotus is sold for a huge price, then we know why," said an analyst. " Maybe Syed Mokhtar knows already how to unlock the value."

Selling off the assets, however, would probably infuriate Mahathir, something the tycoon probably would not want to do for fear of retaliation by the still-powerful former premier. The 86-year-old Mahathir is said to be readying a return as a special advisor. On Feb. 6, he wrote an enthusiastic entry in his blog, Che Det, saying he had test driven a new model and found it to be an excellent car.

Proton was the focal point of Mahathir's dream to turn Malaysia into an industrial powerhouse built on the country's considerable natural wealth of rubber, palm oil and crude. The car was one of a flock of mega-projects that Mahathir forced onto Malaysia in the 1980s and 1990s, creating steel mills, the US$475 million Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, a US$5.5 billion Putrajaya administrative capital, the US$2.4 billion Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the US$15 billion Multi-Media Super Corridor which was supposed to eclipse Silicon Valley. The Bakun Dam in Sarawak was to generate enormous amounts of electrical power to be piped through 1,500 kilometers of underwater cables to West Malaysia. A vast network of highways was flung across the country.

Japan's Mitsubishi Corp persuaded Mahathir to retool an even-then ageing Lancer in 1985 and put an Islamic star and shield on the hood to create the first Proton Saga. Mitsubishi, however, quit in 2004 and sold its 16 percent stake back to Proton Holdings Bhd, the parent holding company.

After Mitsubishi pulled out, the absence of newer models and the inability to find a reliable and technically sound foreign partner meant that sales began to decline. Although Proton had more than 60 percent of the market in 2002, that fell to 30 percent by 2006. It has hovered around 30 percent ever since, despite the preferential government treatment. A 2007 Wall Street Journal-Asia report suggests that Proton burned up RM300-500 million annually.


Malaysia’s RM456 billion of federal government debt does not take into consideration additional RM96.9 billion of “contingent liabilities”.

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 02:07 AM PST

Based on the Government's Economic Report 2011/2 published last year, our Federal Government debt will hit RM455.7 billion as at the end of 2011. This was a 11.9% increase from RM407.1 billion incurred in 2010. Our debt levels have been increasing rapidly in recent years compared to RM242 billion in 2006 and RM146 billion in 2002.

As it stands, our Federal Government debt has hit 53.8% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 53.1% in 2010 and 44.6% in 2006.

However, what is of greater concern is the Government "off-balance sheet" financing which isn't reported as Federal Government Debt. In recent years, the Government has increasingly issued debt papers via its statutory bodies and corporatised entities. These loans are obtain with guarantees provided by the Government, but are not reflected as Federal Government borrowings.

In 2010, the "off-balance sheet" financing activities has hit a record high of RM96.9 billion in 2010, a 14.9% increase from RM84.3 billion in 2009. These are loans which have been taken with a Government guarantee i.e., the Government is obligated to pay should the borrowers fail to settle the debts. As an example, if the Federal Territories Foundation is unable to repay the proposed RM300 million loan from EPF to provide financing for the low-cost housing purchasers, then the Government will have to step in to make the RM300 million payment to EPF.

Hence for all intents and purposes, even though these loans are not taken by the Government, they are essentially government debt or otherwise known as contingent liabilities. Adding RM96.9 billion to the current debt of RM455.7 billion, the effective debt which Malaysian tax-payers are liable for is RM552.6 billion. This expanded figure would then constitute 65.2% of our GDP, well above the 55% federal government loan limit as defined in the Loan (Local) Act 1959 and Government Funding Act 1983.

The list of statutory bodies and corporate entities which have been given Government guarantees are as per Table 1 at the bottom. Based on the list, there are some serious concerns over the performance or non-performance of these loans which will require bail outs by the Federal Government.

For example, the PTPTN and Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd owes RM17.0 billion (17.5%) and RM9.1 billion (9.4%) respectively and they have both been heavily criticized by the Auditor-General for their weak financial management and their inability to repay their loans.

The list also includes Syarikat Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (RM7.0 billion) which was set up to bail out Malaysian Airlines System (MAS); 1MDB (RM5.0 billion) which in turn lent nearly all its money to a questionable foreign company, PetroSaudi International Limited and Silterra Bhd (RM1.0 billion) which has made more than RM2 billion in losses to date.

What is interesting is also the fact that loans of Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary-owned Port of Tanjong Pelepas (PTP) also received financial guarantees from the Government. PTP's "guaranteed" loans have in fact increased from RM715 million in 2009 to RM1.275 billion in 2010.

Expert testimonies in 2009 in the United Kingdom Parliament has heavily criticized Government guarantees to statutory bodies, government-linked companies or "private-finance initiatives" as an attempt to hide real debt levels in order to achieve better credit ratings. Professor Dieter Helm of Oxford University said that such initiatives had succeeded as "an exercise to get investment off the public balance sheet so that the debt numbers look better than they otherwise would have done." The Greek financial crisis has similarly unraveled as a result of hidden contingent liabilities not reflected as official government debt or reported in its balance sheet.

For a start the BN government must reflect all its guarantees and contingent liabilities in the annual Economic Report and Budget to be debated in Parliament and it must impose measures to slow down the rate of growth of Malaysia's debt levels. Malaysia should not wait for a major financial crisis of Greek proportions before attempting to reform our public sector finance. At the pace which our debts are increasing, we are accelerating and plunging headlong into a financial disaster.

Tony Pua is the DAP MP for PJ Utara

Bankrupt in no time: Desperate BN set to raise borrowing limit again?

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 01:58 AM PST

Bankrupt in no time: Desperate BN set to raise borrowing limit again?The Barisan Nasional has modified the Statutory Borrowing Ceiling at its whims and fancies over the past decade rendering meaningless the legal debt ceiling for Federal Government.

The Loan (Local) Act 1959 and Government Funding Act 1983 puts in place a 55% federal government debt limit relative to Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as determined by the Ministry of Finance (MoF). Based on the Government's Economic Report 2011/2, our federal government debt will hit RM455.7 billion as at the end of 2011 which works out to 53.8% of our GDP, or a whisker away from the statutory borrowing ceiling.

However, what is worrying is the fact that the "statutory borrowing ceiling" has actually been raised multiple times by the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government over the past decade to "legalise" the federal government debt level which has been increasing at a much faster pace than our GDP.

The 55% statutory borrowing ceiling only came into effect in July 2009 by order of current Second Finance Minister Dato' Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah. Prior to the revised limit, the limit was set at 45% in June 2008, barely 13 months before by the then Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Md Yakcop.

It was 5 years before that when the limit was raised to 40% in April 2003 by the then Second Finance Minister Dato' Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis.

15% of GDP jump in just 6 years
Hence our statutory borrowing ceiling has been raised by 15% of our GDP in just 6 years. The question is if the ceiling is repeatedly raised with such nonchalance, why did the Government bother setting a limit at all? Given that our debt level is expected to increase beyond 55% over the next 2 years, are we expecting the Federal Government to once again raise the ceiling in Parliament to circumvent the breach?

In fact, we are extremely concerned that the Federal Government, which is mindful of their debt level relative to the GDP, is using all sorts of creative measures to by-pass the limit set by law.

It should be noted that the MoF will be raising approximately RM20 billion to fund the first phase of the Klang Valley MRT mega-project this year. However, based on the fact that the MRT was never debated in the 2012 Budget tabled in Parliament for approval last year, it is clear that the funding will be raised by a wholly-owned "special purpose vehicle" (SPV) known as Dana Infra, and guaranteed by the Government.

This way, the BN Federal Government kills two birds with one stone. Firstly, the debt raised will not be part of the Federal Government debt (because Dana Infra is "not" Federal Government) and hence will not be perceived to jeopardise our credit standings. This is despite the fact that all parties are expecting MRT to be a financially loss-making project and that the Federal Government will have to fund Dana Infra's debt repayments at some point in the future.

Secondly, by placing the debt and expenditure of the MRT project in a SPV, such expenditure then escapes the purview of direct parliamentary oversight because it is never debated in Parliament as an official Budget item. As mentioned earlier, there is not a single line item in the 2012 Budget approved at the last parliamentary sitting for the purposes of constructing an MRT despite the fact that this will be Malaysia's largest ever infrastructure project by far.

Creatiive manipulation will bankrupt Malaysia
Such creative manipulation of our federal government debt and expenditure is not limited to just the MRT project but many other multi-billion ringgit projects such as the construction of 74 police headquarters with government-guaranteed RM10 billion debt by MoF-owned Pembinaan BLT Sdn Bhd, or the proposed RM20 billion sukuk plan by Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) to restructure the country's water assets.

Governments all over the world, especially in developed countries like the United Kingdom and Germany, are now changing their laws to require such debts and contingent liabilities to be incorporated into the Government's financial statement to ensure greater transparency and financial accountability. This is to avert a financial crisis which has already enveloped the Euro-zone over the past 2 years.

However, it appears that the Malaysian government is still sitting back and resting easy, while making full use of the "loop-hole" in our government financial reporting standards to continue to recklessly in-debt future Malaysians with none of the checks put in place.

Tony Pua is the DAP MP for PJ Utara

My two brothers at the mourning ceremony of dead ABSDF NB students news

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 01:45 AM PST

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Najib's pot of gold at the end of the GE-13 rainbow

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 01:44 AM PST

Najib's pot of gold at the end of the GE-13 rainbowPrime Minister Najib Razak has delayed making firm decisions on almost every issue. Whether or not the delay is intentional, as he has been accused of being manipulative, he has chosen to let the RM250 mil NFC financial debacle involving minister Shahrizat Jalil simmer even though it could trigger a backlash in public sentiment for his Umno party.

He has also cut adrift the MCA, Gerakan and MIC, causing these parties to further weaken in the eyes of their communities. Even former premier Mahathir Mohamad tried harder, sending his deputy Ghafar Baba to troubleshoot at the components and help repair their common Barisan Nasional boat. But perhaps, the BN can no longer be saved anymore.
Only once since inheriting the premiership from Abdullah Badawi in April 2009 has Najib tried to steer a direction for the BN. It was during the Sarawak state elections in April 2011, and Najib failed - miserably. He had set out to 'tame' Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud but ended being embarrassed by the wily older man.

Taib managed to make Najib look foolish without even raising his voice. All he had to do was to ignore Najib's desperate and rather rude call for him to step down. It was after the Sarawak election was over that Malaysians, especially from the peninsula, realized that Najib is not omnipotent as his Umno party likes to make him out to be.

So 'soft' was Najib that he could not even control his wife Rosmah Mansor or stop her from grabbing the First Lady of Malaysia title, which is actually meant for the Queen. Needless to say, he also had zero luck in getting her to stop her shockingly expensive shopping sprees.

Suddenly on the offensive
Suddenly, beginning 15th February, Najib started to move with more visible energy. He started to hurl verbal missiles at arch rival Anwar Ibrahim, calling the latter "two-faced" over an interview with the WSJ on the Israel-Palestin issue, which was also stirred up by Umno newspaper Utusan.

His Umno elder Mahathir Mohamad fired the next volley, calling Anwar a spy out to help US and Israel set up a puppet government in Malaysia to overthrow BN. This is a perennial hot topic for Umno, especially in the olden days whenever it wanted to galvanize the Muslims into a voting bloc for the BN.

Even Anwar believes GE-13 is close at hand, and has forecast a May-June 2012 balloting day. But this may be too soon. November 2012 might be the more likely, given the money-raising schemes Najib has in mind for Umno, BN and of course, himself.

Cleaning up his image and tarnishing Anwar at the same time
In one of his swifter moves, Najib has managed to convince Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria that he and Rosmah were not bad Muslims for attending Thaipusam in Batu Caves, Selangor.

Harussani had shocked the nation when he chastised the couple for being 'un-Islamic' and attending an "idolatrous" event. Within 2 days, national TV1 showed Najib meeting with the Mufti and clarifying the Batu Caves trip.

Sure enough, Harussani admitted his mistake and declared a clean bill of Islamic health for both PM and wife.

UMNO attacks PR and prepares to win Selangor
On the same night, TV3 held a talk show with Umno's Satim Diman, the Selangor Opposition Leader and Sohaimi Shahadan, the Umno Youth Exco member. Both men rushed to highlight all the things that Pakatan failed to deliver in its election manifesto.

The week before, Najib confirmed the appointment of Ong Tee Keat as the Selangor BN Chief. Last night amid criticism that his grand plans for recapturing Selangor was floundering as he could not even name a Mentri Besar of chief minister-designate, he appointed Mohd Zin, the Sepang Umno Member of Parliament to be the BN election campaign coordinator for Selangor.

Speculation has swirled that Tee Keat may even be made the Selangor Menteri Besar if he gives up his Pandan parliamentary seat for a state assembly one. If true, this would indeed be a controversial move as it would be the first time Selangor had a non-Malay MB. However, all this would depend on the grace of the Sultan.

Umno has also begun efforts to win back Kedah
Umno's hand was sighted stirring unrest in the Pakatan Rakyat-led Kedah state government, with MCA-linked association heads lodging complaints that assistants to the Pakatan state assemblymen had demanded 'rebate' of between 25 to 30% of the funds due to them.

This was followed by BN declaring Kedah a 'winnable' state.

Indelible ink
The Election Commission has just announced that indelible ink will be used in the GE-13, and that stock ordered must be used within three months of its shelf-life. So, the moment Customs announces the arrival of the first batch of ink, Malaysians will know GE-13 will be within three months from then!

Strengthening BN
Najib has also announced three new affiliate members to BN, namely Gabungan Wawasan Generasi Felda, Persatuan Bekas Anggota Kemas Malaysia and Persatuan Kontraktor Melayu Malaysia. The three bodies have members all over Peninsular Malaysia, who will be mobilized to help BN win GE-13, focusing on the rural areas and servicing the constituents there.

Mahathir supporting the BN campaign
Mahathir has upped the ante, and is trying to frighten the Malays in particular, by accusing Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim of collaborating with the US and Israel to topple BN and set up a puppet government here.

The underlying message of course is that the fate of the Malays will be very uncertain under Pakatan Rakyat. At the same time Mahathir is trying to instil fear in the minds of the non-Malays that such a regime change will be resisted by the Malays. Violence could even break out, sending Malaysia to the dogs.

Najib not taking any action against Taib
After his April 16, 2011 lesson, Najib has given up on trying to push Taib out.

The PM is going to continue closing an eye to Taib plundering the wealth of the Sarawak people, so long as the CM delivers the parliamentary seats to BN in GE-13.

Effects of Budget handouts and economic growth
Najib is also confident that the feel-good factor from the various Budget 2012 cash handouts to students and lower-income families will work in BN's favor.

He is hoping the announcement by Bank Negara that Malaysia's economic growth was 5.2 per cent, exceeding the previous 4.2 per cent forecast, will bolster confidence in his management of the economy.

But already, analysts complain the result was 'hiked up' and does not reflect a healthy trend at all  as it relied on consumer spending - at both government and private  level - to push up headline growth. Very glaring was the absence of growth in public and private investments.

But are UMNO and Najib really ready?
The answer is NO. Najib is still not happy with the present situation even though Rosmah has been conferred an honorary doctorate by Curtin University to help her redeem some credibility.

There is also talk that Najib has in the works a popularity survey that will show him far ahead of Anwar in the people's esteem. This 'survey' is being held back until he is confident enough to dissolve Parliament.

Najib not only wants to create a feel-good factor. He wants the people to regain confidence in the BN and help him achieve a two-thirds margin in Parliament. But even Rosmah would be able to tell him that might well be fat hopes!

Najib needs more time and money
Then, Najib also needs more money. It is significant that the Felda Global Ventures listing will hit the market in May-June. The IPO can be expected to jump on listing day and deliriously-happy Felda settlers can be expected to vote good-old Umno once again when called to the ballot box shortly thereafter.

The grapevine in the Ministry of Finance is buzzing with talk that Umno will siphon out every single sen of spare funding from all the other government bodies on the pretext of implementing projects across the nation. Actually, the money will be used in a gigantic vote-buying spree, much like Rosmah's jaw-dropping shopping trips.

The controversial 1Care will be bulldozed through, raising about RM11 billion for Umno-BN to siphon out once it is launched, perhaps by January next year. Umno will of course continue to milk the Employees Provident Fund.

The Felda listing, expected to hit RM21bil upon debut, will be controlled by Koperasi Permodalan Felda (KPF), which will become the single largest shareholder of the listed Felda Global Ventures entity with a 37 per cent stake. No wonder, Najib was insistent on making Isa Samad the KPF chairman. This will allow Umno and its proxies in Felda to cash out and cart away huge sums raised from the share sale.

PERKESO or Socso will also have its funds be diverted as well as Tabung Haji, the Umno-supported cooperatives, other statutory bodies and all the Government-Linked-Companies. Needless to say, these will all be called on to contribute huge portions of their resources to help Umno stay in power.

Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
A question worth asking is, does Umno-BN really need so much money to hold GE-13? Obviously, the answer is NO. Najib and his cronies are also jumping on the bandwagon for their LAST GRAB, and Malaysians can be sure that the amounts they rake in will be many folds that actually spent on financing GE-13, including the 'allocations' set aside for vote-buying.

Call it institutionalized cheating or corruption, but it won't stop Najib. For his plan to be successful, Najib will need time and he is willing to wait even until nearing the end of his term in 2013. The proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is just too much to ignore. Not even Mahathir can frighten him into holding GE-13 earlier.

So given the current status of 1Care and the Felda listing, which are both still facing public resistance, GE-13 looks more likely to be held in November 2012 rather than in May-June. It could even be in 2013.

Malaysia Chronicle

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