Bananachinese’s Weblog

June 29, 2008

Shock 1 by Ong Ka Ting, Shock 2 at Anwar Ibrahim-Malaysiakini

As expected, Ong Ka Ting will not be seeking re-election at MCA’s party election this year. Malaysiakini broke the news yesterday and The Star’s headlines this morning was a shockful one.

What OKT shock?

OKT has been promoting Ong Tee Keat like the brisk wet market fish seller during the MCA state meetings where he gave OTK the honour to answer tough and about the future questions. My MCA insider told me that OTK must now scramble to get many more young members who are intelligent, got some leadership abilities, and know how to reply to emails or join online forums. To get approval from the oldies in the MCA central committee for Presidential seat is easy. To steer MCA in the next General Election, OTK must get younger faces into his team. Otherwise ‘mati katak’ like OKT.

I pity OKT. He started off on a strong footing when Ling Liong Sik gave him the throne. (Yuucck… why la must give President post from one person to another… no standard. Just offer top positions to all members to contest and get them a platform to caucus debate Obama-Hillary style la… then MCA can finally get to choose real solid leaders, not social workers or PR man la.)

Excuse me, digress a bit there.

OK, this OKT started on a healthy footing. Unfortunately, all the bureau programmes reeks of social welfare, business ventures rather than pure political stuff. So outdated and not matching voters’ aspiration. Sure la their customers run away to Pakatan Rakyat’s politics.

If you ask me, if OTK is confirmed as candidate for next MCA President, I will say, we need to do background check on suitability of all the oldies now in the Central Committee. One never knows for sure who will contest at the last minute. Don’t believe? Feel for yourself the hypocrisy, especially those who have vilified or spoke bad about OKT, healthy political culture, etc, here.

Anwar

Boring already this police report of sodomy. Like 10 years ago, also reported by a young fella. History repeating itself.

One or two explosive twist though. Anwar fought back with a fierce press statement alleging IGP Musa Hasan and AG Gani Patail were the black hand in the first sodomy case.
Sex laws

Personally I don’t give a damn to anyone’s sexual preference. But our archaic Malaysia laws still says that its an offence to sodomise. I don’t know what Syariah law says about sodomy.

Remember 1 Jan 2008 and Chua Soi Lek? An oral thingy got this former Health Minister kicked out. Also because oral sex is still an offence under Malaysia laws.

Perhaps Malaysia need to update its outdated laws that do not fit our current sexual preferences?

But then, in the free USA and Britain, they still sack and pressure their lawmakers to resign if one is caught for sexual misdemenour.

June 24, 2008

No, you cannot! Err… Yes, you can, my begging journalists…

According to Malaysiakini today:

More than 100 journalists are staging a boycott after the Parliament administration cut media access to the building’s lobby and barricaded the area.

Journalists from all print, online and electronic media decided to only cover the proceedings in the Dewan Rakyat and boycott all the press conferences or events held outside of the chamber.

The journalists were outraged and stunned by the latest ruling which has resulted in the entire lobby being cordoned off, apparently on security grounds.

This move has restricted the journalists from moving around freely in the lobby or approaching MPs directly.

Apparently, this is the first time Parliament enforced such ruling. Nazri Aziz said 5 of you journalists from each news agency are enough. If you come in a battalion, you are not efficient workers!!!

Proof of what he has blurted out to antagonise the bestest friends of any politicians is here.
Woookay….

And then at 2:15pm, a hero emerges from the depths of BN’s Backbencher’s Club, to gallantly remove the offending barricades to allow the begging media access to the Parliament lobby. And yes, according to loudmouth Bung Mokhtar, “It’s business as usual.”

Yup. A flip-flopping trend is now viral at Parliament.

Just like me virally infected noooooooose…

June 19, 2008

Barisan Nasional’s been SAPPed

SAPP used this window well to make demands which the BN government has long been deaf to. Stuff like illegal immigrants, petrol, etc only serve as tools for this purposes. Speaking of illegal immigrants, who was in charge to bring them into Sabah with fake ICs? I read somewhere that Anwar Ibrahim has a hand in it as he was in the government at that time. Must find more info.

Anyways, the problem is that our UMNO taiko in BN has forgotten the spirit of Federation of Malaysia. Compounding the problem is that current members with some position of authority (real or imagined) lacked respect for constitution or agreement that make a democratic Federation of Malaysia.

All in UMNO has lost direction and much needed courage to rein in the ‘intelligent’ or ‘influential’ ones who must be thinking Malaysia exists for them to manipulate or play around with impunity. Such as these ones.

Collective leadership in BN must be reinstated by today’s BN Supreme Council meeting. I give Ong Ka Ting full permission to push this and send this message on my behalf. Also, please don’t forget to tell UMNO that BN must listen to rakyat and make life happy for rakyat. Cooperate with people to make sound national policies and drive it properly. (keyword is ‘drive’) All within the BN must monitor and sound each other if any runs off track.

For once, MCA, please play your part as 2nd brother. As can be seen in kungfu flicks, 2nd brother’s core duty is to help counsel/offer solutions to big brother if they cannot think for themselves – advise or tell big brother if they make you worry or unhappy or if they have absent mindedly stolen your lollipops.

What’s so difficult for BN to say “Sorry, we will make it up to Rakyat of Malaysia?”

We await strong Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional. Otherwise no meaning or self driven improvement with only one party monopoly the political landscape.

June 16, 2008

Reminds one of Scomi and its centrifuge

Mention the word ‘centrifuge’ and it reminds me of the case of B.S.A. Tahir who was arrested and placed under ISA. Don’t remember? In February 2004, BBC came out a report about Scomi subsidiary, Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn. Bhd. was making centrifuge for export to Libya. These components were said made for nuclear devices. Read more here if you are still blur…
Its reports like these that make me say ‘Malaysia tak boleh’.

And how come Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has nothing to say about this?

Read the following from The New York Times:

Officials Fear Bomb Design Went to Others


Four years after Abdul Qadeer Khan, the leader of the world’s largest black market in nuclear technology, was put under house arrest and his operation declared shattered, international inspectors and Western officials are confronting a new mystery, this time over who may have received blueprints for a sophisticated and compact nuclear weapon found on his network’s computers.

Working in secret for two years, investigators have tracked the digitized blueprints to Khan computers in Switzerland, Dubai, Malaysia and Thailand. The blueprints are rapidly reproducible for creating a weapon that is relatively small and easy to hide, making it potentially attractive to terrorists.

The revelation this weekend that the Khan operation even had such a bomb blueprint underscores the questions that remain about what Dr. Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist and the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, was selling and to whom. It also raises the possibility that he may still have sensitive material.

Yet even as inspectors and intelligence officials press their investigation of Dr. Khan, officials in Pakistan have declared the scandal over and have discussed the possibility of setting him free. In recent weeks, American officials have privately warned the new government in Pakistan about the dangers of doing so.

“We’ve been very direct with them that releasing Khan could cause a world of trouble,” a senior administration official who has been involved in the effort said last week. “The problem with Pakistan these days is that you never know who is making the decision — the army, the intelligence agencies, the president or the new government.”

The illicit nuclear network run by Dr. Khan was broken up in early 2004. President Bush, eager for an intelligence victory after the failure to find unconventional weapons in Iraq, declared that ending Dr. Khan’s operation was a major coup for the United States. Since then, evidence has emerged that the network sold uranium enrichment technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Investigators are still pursuing leads that he may have done business with other countries.

Dr. Khan is an expert in centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium for bomb fuel, and much of the technology he sold involved enrichment. But it was only in recent months that officials have begun to confirm that they had found the electronic design for a bomb itself among material seized from some of Dr. Khan’s top lieutenants, a Swiss family, the Tinners.

The same design documents were found in computers in three other locations connected to Khan operatives, according to a senior foreign diplomat involved in the investigation.

American officials and inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency say they have been unable to determine if the weapon blueprints were sold to Iran or other customers of the smuggling ring.

The blueprints bear a strong resemblance to weapons tested by Pakistan a decade ago, said two senior diplomats involved in the investigation. Pakistani officials have balked at providing much information about the newly revealed warhead design, just as they have refused to allow the C.I.A. or international atomic inspectors to directly interrogate Dr. Khan, who is still considered a national hero in Pakistan for helping it become a nuclear weapons state.

Pakistani officials insist that Dr. Khan, as the leader of a uranium enrichment program, had no weapons access. But this is the second weapons design found in his smuggling network. The first was for an unwieldy but effective Chinese design from the mid-1960s that Libya acknowledged obtaining from the Khan network before it surrendered its bomb-making equipment in 2003.

Both the new and the old designs exploit the principle of implosion, in which a blast wave from a sphere of conventional explosives squeezes inward with tremendous force to compress a ball of bomb fuel, starting the chain reaction and the atomic explosion. A nuclear official in Europe familiar with the Khan investigation said the new design was powerful but miniaturized — using about half the uranium fuel of the older design to produce a greater explosive force.

“Pakistan cannot put the big China design on any of its rockets,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information is classified. “It’s too big.” A smaller warhead created from the new design, he added, is “more efficient and easier to hide,” meaning that one day it might become a “terrorist issue.”

China first exploded the old design in 1966, nuclear experts say, and Pakistan fired the miniaturized version in 1998.

Nuclear experts said a warhead built from the new design was small enough to fit atop a family of medium-range missiles that derive from North Korea’s Nodong class of missiles. Those missiles include Pakistan’s Ghauri and Iran’s Shahab. All are about four feet wide, and any warhead atop them must, by definition, be smaller.

In interviews in Vienna, Islamabad and Washington, officials have said that the weapons design was far more sophisticated than the blueprints discovered in Libya in 2003, when Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi gave up his country’s nuclear weapons program. The design is electronic, they said, making it easy to copy — and they have no idea how many copies, if any, are circulating.

On Sunday, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, said that the administration remained concerned about the possibility that additional plans had been disseminated, but he did not address any of the latest revelations, which were reported Sunday by The Washington Post and The New York Times. “We’re very concerned about the A. Q. Khan network,” he told reporters traveling with Mr. Bush from Paris to London.

The existence of the compact bomb design began to become public in recent weeks after Switzerland announced that it had destroyed a huge stockpile of documents, including weapons designs, that were found in computers belonging to Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, Marco and Urs, all arrested as part of the Khan investigation.

Switzerland’s president, Pascal Couchepin, said in late May that the government had destroyed the documents to keep atomic materials from “getting into the hands of a terrorist organization or an unauthorized state.”

Two former Bush administration officials said they believed that the Tinners had provided information to the C.I.A. while the father and two sons were still working for Dr. Khan and that some of their information helped American and British officials intercept shipments of centrifuges en route to Libya in 2003.

When news of that interception became public and Libya turned its $100 million program over to American and atomic energy agency officials, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan forced Dr. Khan to issue a vague confession and then placed him under house arrest. Dr. Khan has since renounced that confession in Pakistani and Western news media, saying he made it only to save Pakistan greater embarrassment.

It was not until 2005 that officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is based in Vienna, finally cracked the hard drives on the Khan computers recovered around the world. And as they sifted through files and images on the hard drives, investigators found tons of material — orders for equipment, names and places where the Khan network operated, even old love letters.

“There was stuff about dealing with Iranians in 2003, about how to avoid intelligence agents,” said one official who had reviewed it. But the most important document was a digitized design for a nuclear bomb, one that investigators quickly recognized as Pakistani.

“It was plain where this came from,” a senior official of the atomic energy agency said. “But the Pakistanis want to argue that the Khan case is closed, and so they have said very little.”

In public statements, Pakistani officials have insisted that the Khan “incident,” as they call it, is now history, and they publicly declared nearly two years ago that their investigations were over.

A senior Pakistani official said that in April that the information provided by the atomic energy agency was “vague and incomplete,” and he insisted that because Dr. Khan’s laboratories specialized in manufacturing equipment needed to enrich uranium, “he was not involved in weapons designs.”

But atomic energy agency investigators and American intelligence officials say they have little doubt that he was the source of the digitized bomb design. “Clearly, someone had tried to modernize it, to improve the electronics,” one said. “There were handwritten references to the electronics, and the question is, who was working on this?”

The officials said that parts of the design were coded so that they could be transferred quickly to an automated manufacturing system.

June 15, 2008

Next Malaysia PM faces bigger challenges socio-politically

I’m still sulking over the petrol hike.

My friend who works in a high powered think tank (ahem, not the Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA)… that one is not a real thinker tank according to my political strategist friend)

Now, where was I… yes, my friend was shocked that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi upped the hike so drastically, he has anticipated a max of 40 sens rise. Ah… the good ole days before petrol rose 41% and diesel 63%…

And I’m not terribly enamoured with the idea of Najib Abdul Razak to take over from Badawi… I haven’t heard anything from Najib on his plan to get Malaysia out of this quagmire. Give us the juice, Najib!!! Staying dumb on these issues will not earn you brownie points!!

Here’s something more for you to chew on, from Reuters.
.
Malaysia PM faces bigger protests, dissent over fuel

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi has ridden out the immediate popular anger over a steep rise in fuel prices but his survival will remain in jeopardy as a resurgent opposition presses home its advantage.

Abdullah faces multiple threats.

The opposition plans to topple his coalition in September through defections, while pressure is building within his ranks to quit and appoint his anointed heir to restore confidence in the Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled for five decades.

Protests against the fuel hike have been small and scattered so far, but if the opposition carries through its plan to bring a 100,000 people into the city centre next month the pressure on Abdullah will increase dramatically, analysts said.

The protests would be the largest in a country with tight restrictions on public gatherings and might well be the tipping point as inflation stoked by the fuel price hike hits a 10-year high of 4.2 percent.

Petrol rose 41 percent and diesel 63 percent.

“The pressure on him will increase enormously,” said Rita Sim, deputy head of a think-tank linked to the Malaysian Chinese Association, a member of the ruling coalition.

“He’s made an unpopular decision which in the long-term is good for the country. But in the short-term, this may mean his political life is going to shorten,” she said.

Opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim says he has the numbers to topple the ruling coalition, which has ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1957, but is waiting for the right moment.

“We have seen clearly more interest and support for Pakatan Rakyat (opposition alliance). This applies even to members of parliament. Even some of them have been encouraged to approach me directly even though they are being closely monitored,” he told a news conference over the weekend.

NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE

Anwar plans a no-confidence vote against the government in September, hoping popular anger over the new fuel prices, which are expected to be followed with higher electricity rates in August, will boil over.

Abdul Ghapur Salleh, a ruling party lawmaker from the politically key state of Sabah, said it was difficult to explain to his constituents the reason behind the increases.

“They are not convinced by the government’s argument when we are an oil-producing country,” the Star newspaper quoted him as saying.

Sabah and neighboring Sarawak account for a third of seats in parliament and both held firm with Abdullah’s coalition even during national elections in March, when the tide turned against it across the country.

Since raising fuel prices, Abdullah has announced new development funds for these big oil-producing states to soften the blow.

“But the short-term risk remains, especially from the political aspect. Badawi’s leadership position has certainly been undermined with these recent changes in policy,” said Irvin Seah, economist at DBS Bank in Singapore.

Even before the fuel hikes, Abdullah’s popularity had been falling with voters unhappy over racial and religious tensions, rising street crime and failure to honor a pledge to fight corruption.

Prior to the price increases, Abdullah’s approval rating stood at a low of 48 percent, market research firm Merdeka Center said, adding it expected the figure to dip further in a new survey to be completed this week.

The mild-mannered premier had an approval rating of 91 percent when he took power in late 2003.

But his coalition recorded its worst-ever performance during its 50-year rule in the March election. The government lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority and surrendered control of five of the country’s 13 states to the opposition in the poll.

TRANSITION

Assailed from all sides, Abdullah might head off the opposition challenge to the Barisan Nasional by quietly arranging to hand power over to his likely successor, deputy prime minister Najib Razak.

So far he has not spelt out any timeframe for the transition and has in the past said he planned to defend his position as president of his United Malays National Organisation, the dominant party in the ruling coalition, in elections in December.

But as the party struggles with public discontent, the call for a quick transition could intensify.

“UMNO members are clamoring for a clear signal on the leadership issue, especially with the party elections looming at the end of the year,” political commentator Joceline Tan wrote in the Star newspaper.

She said the succession issue came up last week during the meeting of UMNO’s supreme council to decide on the party’s future and party bosses left it to Abdullah and Najib to decide.

Such uncertainty, which analysts say will run through the year, ties the government’s hands in a difficult economic environment.

“What you’re seeing is a general feeling that the inflation environment is forcing policymakers to make tough decisions. It’s raising political risks so it’s exposing weak governments regionwide,” said Eric Fishwick, CLSA’s head of economic research in Singapore.

“I think one of the problems that we have is that inflation is going to be increasingly stymieing supply side reforms in these economies,” he said.

An inflation rate of between 4 and 5 percent would be the highest since 5.3 registered in 1998.

June 3, 2008

Malaysiakini.com latest: Petrol can be $4/lt at market price

Its time for everybody to downgrade to a Kancil or a Honda cub now!

Store your big petrol guzzler car in the house – only use it to show off when you go to wedding/association/clan dinners/functions.

According to the latest in Malaysiakini.com:
“If petrol is to be sold at full market prices, it could be as high as almost RM4 a litre – about 100% above current levels.”

Aiya, Malaysiakini, say the bitter truth out loud la. It’ll be more than 100% above current levels! To me madden mind it’s above 100%. Period.

El cheapo me always go for the Ron 92 at $1.88 per litre. Sometimes the over enthusiastic petrol pump attendant select the Ron 97 for my 4 wheeler. At $1.92 per litre, that set me back at some $ compared with if I had got my hands first to the petrol pump nozzler. Multiply that for a month’s petrol expenses. One of my greatest regret: quick draw I ain’t, sadly.

I ain’t also happy with the government’s poor attempt to pacify the rakyat that this price rise is inevitable to keep up with the Joneses in the world. Of course, I know Malaysia’s petrol is among the cheapest. Oi! I read the international magazines and keep up with news, you know.

Use la rational thinking and logic when telling us about this bad news. Don’t think that the rakyat is so stupid and do not know that we’ve been enjoying the Great Petrol Subsidy (GPS) all this while. Tell us la how government intend to formulate policies to ensure GPS erosion/pull back will not deter our country’s competitiveness. Don’t la hide behind some stupid unthinking politicians whose greatest skills are to make primary school level emotional/nationalistic statements to make us feel that the great government has been doing rakyat the greatest favour all these years with the GPS.

Did you know that even the local nasi lemak makcik is questioning whose pockets received the subsidy that government has been paying to Petronas. Malaysia owns Petronas, yes? Strange logic indeed to the Kancil owning rakyat.

If you do not have any competent ministers/politicians who can tell like it is to the rakyat and satisfy their concerns, please contact me, I’d love to give you some good references.

Welcome to the real competitive world, Malaysians.

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