How to Win General Elections?


I have been away from the country on work assignment but hardly a day passes by without me checking into the latest happenings in the country.

Criminal gangs have now turned to grenades for turf war in Bukit Bintang and at least 1 innocent person have been killed. A politician who earns more than RM21,000 comes around and says that as a Member of Parliament, he had to make do with insufficient money (he had to “ikat perut“) and even complained that MPs in Uganda are paid twice and this comment came after Najib decided to reduce the petrol subsidies causes the petrol price to go up 20 cents. Somehow that made it easy to predict where the savings from subsidies is going to end up. And speaking about taxpayers’ money, it seems like more money is splashed on Rosmah’s pet projects (Najib had announced RM711 million in the recent budget but how much of it is for Permata remains unclear for the moment).

And to add the problems & the rising cost that the common man is facing on daily basis, we still had to content with this kind of news:-

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the Chinese could not make demands on Barisan Nasional (BN) if they continued to support Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Speaking at the MCA’s 61st annual general assembly, Najib said BN would only be fair to the Chinese if they supported the ruling coalition instead of PR.

However, Najib conceded that he did still “try” to be fair to the Chinese community now, despite the fact that there were only two MCA ministers in the Cabinet.

(Source)

The PM may be misquoted or he may have say this in light of another situation but then again, it was clear that he was not happy with the Chinese community after the elections and asked what else the Chinese wants. Doesn’t the Chinese who had voted for Pakatan Rakyat also pay taxes, participated in the development of the country and some had even paid the highest sacrifice for this country? If a Prime Minister of a country can do things for a community only based the votes given to his political party, then what’s the point of having elections in this country? What’s the point of having oppositions in this country? Why not he just disband democracy in this country and just rule the nation as a ruthless dictator?

Anyway, what was more interesting on what the PM had said previously:-

Suitable candidates, strong machinery and a united Barisan Nasional are key factors to ensure victory for the coalition in the 14th general election, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

Najib, who is Barisan chairman, said the combination of the three factors was proven with the big win for Barisan in the Pengkalan Kubor state by-election on Sept 25.

(Source)

It is laughable indeed.

This shows that the PM had not learned anything from the last 2 general elections where it saw the number of votes in favour of BN dwindled. More than 50% of the country voted against BN in the last general elections. He still sticks to a formula that does nothing to regain voters’ confidence in the government.

The PM speaks about of having the suitable candidates as a key factor to win the general elections. That is true indeed but the fact is BN does not really have suitable candidates to offer – at lower levels, perhaps there is still some hope but forget the same at Federal level. What BN could possibly offer that is so new compared to the dumb, sick line-up of politicians that it has given us in the last 2 general elections?

The same politicians who are quick to ask Malaysians to leave the country to leave if they are not happy with the Government or makes seditious statements but quick to act on others who makes non seditious statements (one even asked suggested arrests to those who oppose to draconian laws) or embroiled in corruption scandals continues to be in the limelight and running the show. Dumb statements have been far too many when one had expected to be more intelligent and courteous.

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(Are these politicians qualify as suitable candidates for winning the elections? Image source: http://malaysiaflipflop.blogspot.hk)

What about Najib himself? After all, he is the leader of the pack and have all the powers to engage and sack and to determine and overrule. He alone can make a huge difference on how the people sees the Government.

Najib, I am sorry to say, is definitely is not one of the better Prime Minister that this country have seen. Only history will tell whether he is better or worst that the sleepy Pak Lah. His performance todate as the Prime Minister that not been that impressive either.

How many times he and his wife have taken lavish overseas trips at taxpayer’s expense since becoming the Prime Minister? How many times he had failed to step in and eliminates any seeds of disunity among fellow Malaysians? How many times he has kept his silence and let the radicals & extremists of race & religion in the country to have their say? Far too many times.

And as the Finance Minister, how many times he has come across strongly against the mismanagement of funds in this country and taken strong action to curtail them? For example, despite all the red flags going off, he has only kept his silence on some of the potential economic time bombs such as this:-

Lurking beneath Malaysia’s solid investment-grade sovereign rating is a risk posed by a $14 billion investment fund that is not even generating enough cash from operations to cover interest costs.

Regarded as a cross between a sovereign wealth fund and a private investment vehicle, with Prime Minister Najib Razak chairing its advisory board, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is struggling under the burden of $11 billion in borrowed money.

The government says it only guarantees around 14 percent of the debt. The investment community assumes it would provide more if needed, and it is the potential strain on Malaysia’s debt position from these contingent liabilities that raises concern.

“We don’t know how well 1MDB is doing,” said Christian de Guzman, senior analyst of sovereign risk group at ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. “It does pose a risk in terms of the amount of borrowing they have made over the past few years.”

Controversy has dogged 1MDB almost since it was first set up months after Najib came to power in 2009, and used for funding projects that form part of his Economic Transformation Program.

Critics have questioned its investment choices, the size of its debt, $2.25 billion parked in a Cayman Island fund, hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue earned by Goldman Sachs for handling its bond issues, delays in its accounts, changes of auditors, and a perceived lack of transparency.

(Source)

One thing that is going very strongly for BN is a strong election machinery – there is no secret about this. It has the money, support and more importantly the control of the media. But for how long he expects to rely on this to get the crucial votes to keep his Government in place? Information is at the finger tips these days and when the Government tries to spin the truth, the more truth comes up in the open.

And let’s not even go to the aspect of an united Barisan Nasional – it is a mirage. We all know that UMNO runs the show and the rest are just there to manage their own influence on their own community. We are just sick of a race based country. Everything that one touches has to be determined based on race. And notion of race divides the country even more – one race pitched against another and sometimes allocation of national resources & time spent on one race is often questioned and deemed unfair. This is not the way the country should be heading. Najib brought the concept of 1Malaysia but it too proved to be nothing but another illusion and tactic to rein in the votes.

So, to say that having suitable candidates, strong machinery and a united Barisan Nasional are the key factors to ensure victory for the coalition in the 14th general election is incorrect. What is more important to have greater transparency, responsibility and commitment to the people. We all know what it takes to regain the voters confidence in the Government. Najib and his people knows this well too. If he chooses to ignore it and insist to keep his own personal politics, ignore to mismanagement of funds in this country and leaves racial & religions fanatics unchecked, then there is no point even talking about suitable candidates, strong machinery and a united Barisan Nasional.

Hong Kong Occupy Central Rally


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(The first night of the protest was bad with tear gas & pepper spray on the protestors and this prompted a greater support for the rally but it is not something new here. Image source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

Well thing for sure, my trip this time has been screwed up big time and need to be rescheduled. There’s plenty of work need to be done and the last thing I need now is for a prolonged public protest and plenty of uncertainty.

Couple of days before my departure, I managed to get my watch fixed and change the “leather” strap to the original strap that I had ordered online. Finally it was comfortable wearing my chronograph. The flight from KL was good as usual and this time, I even had plenty of space to my side, thanks to the flight not being that too full (I opted for a seat at the back and managed to lose the crowd in the process).

I was not aware of the protest and thought it will be the usual breeze reaching my apartment after I had landed in Hong Kong but thanks to a friend who had been keeping tab on the protest and the traffic situation, he managed to inform me of the latest situation and I had to ditch the idea of taking the taxi from the Hong Kong MTR station and instead had to change train to another station where the roads were not blocked and outside the protest areas. It was not easy taking the my heavy luggage bag up and down the escalators. It was even worse when doing it in a station packed like sardine (many probably missed their bus or could not get a taxi). My friend who just happened to be outside visiting another friend was also caught in the chaos and had problem getting taxi or bus. We decided to meet up at the last train station and get the taxi from there (where the queue was long as well).

As Malaysians, we are no stranger to street protest having seen Hindraf and Bersih rallies in the past but we did not cause major disruption to others’ daily routine for more than 1 day (other than perhaps, the usual police road blocks few nights before). And to ensure that we do not disrupt our weekdays too much, we usually have it on the weekends where a majority of Malaysians are happily resting at home. Getting prior notice of the expected traffic jam and road closures from the organisers and the police helps a lot too. And when it comes Monday, everything goes back to normal with hardly any evidence of the street protests on the weekend, other than on Facebook pages and blogs. For that alone, I guess we need to salute Malaysian street protestors.

In Hong Kong, the protests that crippled the financial district is coming to almost 2 weeks now and there is no definite date for the end of the protest even though everyone involved is very tired of the protest. Given the fact that some seems distrust the Government, some even saying that it will be weeks or months before things go back to normal. Bus service have been badly affected and in a country where people rely very much on public transportation to get from Point A to B, a lock down of a key road in the island has been very damaging. Some temporary arrangements have been made but the bus services have yet to come back to a more normal level.

According to the administration, top officials were still working from other locations because of safety concerns. Courier service for internal documents and office supplies remained suspended, off-site meetings were cancelled and disabled staffers were still unable to get to their workplaces.

The police reported at a press conference that at 8:45 am, there was a whopping 9-kilometer-long line of traffic backed up along the coastal highway from the piers at Central to the Shau Kei Wan area in the east.

Traffic blockages have been most acute on the Hong Kong Island, but commuters in Kowloon also suffered badly. Some were stuck in a 7-kilometer-long standstill as vehicles attempted to reach the harbour crossing. Others were stranded in a 6-kilometer traffic jam on the Mongkok-bound thoroughfare.

With 30 kilometers of heavy traffic lining up on trunk roads in the morning rush, the Transport Department concluded that traffic conditions on Monday were the worst since the protests broke out eight days ago. It warned that the situation could worsen as more businesses resume operations during the week.

(Source)

And despite the long hold up by the protestors (who mainly consists of students), there are some things that one could only see in Hong Kong (and no where else) as this compilation from BBC clearly shows:-

Doing your homework
Perhaps it isn’t actually anarchic but it is definitely one of the biggest protests in Hong Kong for years. And yet students – some of whom were at the vanguard of this movement – find time to sit down and do their homework.

Apologising for the barricade you put up
An entrance to the Causeway Bay MTR station was barricaded and emblazoned with signs shouting out for democracy. In the middle was a small cardboard sign – also written by the protesters: “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Concern for how fragrant fellow protesters are
Hong-Kong-based journalist Tom Grundy tweeted a picture of a protester proffering free shirt-fresheners. At times the temperature has been sweltering and amid the crowds things are bound to get a little bit sweaty.

Shirt freshener anyone? And while on the streets with the protesters, the BBC’s Martin Yip witnessed volunteer armies spraying people with water to keep them cool and fresh.

Keeping off the well cut grass lawn when asked by a cardboard sign
A picture on the live page of the South China Morning Post showed a sea of protesters who it noted had parted for the grass courtyard where Hong Kong’s cenotaph is located. Protesters still obeyed signs telling them to keep off the grass at the monument, putting the “civil” into civil disobedience.

“Despite the crowds around the war memorial in Central, not one person is standing or sitting on the grass. There’s a new cardboard sign over the usual sign telling people not to go on the grass,” the Hong Kong-based paper wrote.

Being the tidiest protesters on the block
The BBC’s Saira Asher reports on how diligently the protesters cleared up after themselves. “The morning is being spent mostly removing rubbish left over from last night’s huge crowd. Students are picking up cigarette butts and plastic bottles, others are distributing breakfast buns. That is why those on the street are being called ‘the politest protesters’ by some on social media.”

Recycling has also been organised by those on the streets. Many agree that the world hasn’t seen organised and tidy protests quite like this before.

There were even photos of the protestors shielding the policemen who been manning the barricades from the rain and there are also photos of the policeman helping out protestors hit by tear gas.

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(Helping each other during the protest – It is something we can deploy in the next BERSIH rally which I expect will happen before the next general elections. We had not seen any improvements in governance since the last general elections. Images: Google/AFP)

But still, continuing to protest on something that will not happen is going a bit too far.

Unlike in Malaysia, where street protests in the past had dented the creditability of the Government and had seen them losing valuable votes in the general elections, there is little that the protestors in HK can expect to achieve, more so when it is not a free country on it’s own.

Look it from the Chinese Government point of view – to accede to the protestors’ demands now would be to open the Pandora’s box and it is something that the Chinese Government is not willing to accept for the time being. The fear that once the Government gives in due to protests, it will cause similar protests in other side of China. And the those who are protesting in HK knows this all too well.

Sadly, Occupy Central is doomed to fail. The Chinese government will not accept the protesters’ demands.

Beijing has already made it clear that it views free and fair elections in Hong Kong to be a threat to one-party rule in the country. At most, it will allow Hongkongers to select one of the candidates that it pre-approves.

It has also deemed Occupy Central illegal. In other words, the Chinese Communist Party views the issue as one of its “core interests,” and it hasn’t stayed in power this long by compromising on issues that it views as threats to its survival.

(Source)

Protestors know this would be the ultimate outcome of their week long protests and it is time to end it quietly and peacefully. They have made their point loud and clear and if they hope that the Chinese Government will ponder on this, enough room must be given without pushing them to a corner, forcing them to respond with drastic measures.

Businesses have been suffering from huge losses and must be allowed to get back on their routine business before they lose more and goes  bankrupt. Some sense of normalcy must return as well. In Malaysia, we too protests passionately on what we think is the right thing to do but not to the extent it causes huge losses or inconvenience to others on a long run. And do it in a way where the Government has enough lee-way to introduces some small changes to appease the protestors without giving in too much and knowing that if not much is done, they can expect more protests and this ultimately will come to haunt them in the near future.

 

Missing Children


In the last one week ago, I got 5 notification of missing children (of various ages) and 5 in a week was very disturbing.

As a parent, it is very unsettling news and I can understand the agony of the parents of the missing kids. Some of the kids who were reported missing are very young, very much in the age of my daughter:-

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(They are just 3 and 5 years old and too young to defend themselves. Who had taken them? If there is any news on the missing children, please call 0164114656 Arul, 0167093244 Prem, 0187659530 Mary or 0149175213 Suha)

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(Muhammad Azfar Adriel Bin Mohd Zaki aged 10 years old. Missing at about midnight on 23rd September from Koi Tropika Condo, Puchong wearing black t-shirt and short jeans. If there is any news, please call the parents at 0123390149 /0123853936)

Last year, TheStar reported this:-

A startling average of 15 people went missing every day in Malaysia last year, nearly a quarter of them Malay girls aged between 13 and 17. According to police records, 4,804 people were reported missing from January to October last year and more than half of them did not make it back home. In 2011, 5,961 people went missing.

(Source)

And this:-

Last year, between January and October, 4,804 persons were reported missing, according to the Royal Malaysia Police website (www.rmp.gov.my). Of that, 2,332 were found, while 2,472 are still missing (826 males, and 1,646 females). A total of 109 missing persons were below the age of 12, about 1,068 were between 13 and 17 years old, 1,111 were above 18 years old, and 184 cases were of unknown age groups.

(Source)

In the past, when a child is reported missing, the outcome has not been very positive (here and here).

I just hope that all the children who were reported missing would be found soon and return to their families safe and sound. In meantime, please subscribe to Talian Nur as follows (it’s free and it is for a good cause):-

nur-info

You will never know – you might make a difference

Sedition & Fatherly Advice


Read these first:-

Negaraku

(This image uploaded onto Facebook by Anwar Miswan allegedly shows movie-goers not standing up when the national anthem was played. No doubt, there is no excuse for not standing up when the national anthem is played but can this construed as treason? How about corruption or misuse of taxpayers’ money? Image Source)

A couple of days ago, this nation celebrated Hari Malaysia (the day when we welcomed our brothers & sisters from Sabah & Sarawak into the Federation of Malaysia) and couple of weeks earlier, the Independence (the day when we got our independence from the British).

And every year, it has been one of the much waited celebrations as a nation. It reinforces the notion that we are all united as one, no matter we come from. But lately it has come to a point where one had to ask “is there a point in these celebrations?” and “what we are really celebrating?”. Have we really gained our independence and had become a very united people with a common goal and vision? Or we have this sabotaged by the very people who suppose to drive the message of unity and moderation on a regular basis?

Don’t get me wrong – there is no question whatsoever of the level of patriotism among Malaysians. When the country is faced with calamity or tragedy, you can easily see on how Malaysians from all walks of life and different background, culture and religion united. The recent tragedies of MH370 and MH17 is one such instances.

But then again, lately anger and rude statements against politicians or even the Government has been wrongly construed as a severe wrongdoing against the country itself. It is wrongly construed as sedition. A prime example has been this:-

Seri Delima assemblyman R. S. N. Rayer is to be charged with sedition tomorrow at the Sessions Court in Penang over his “celaka Umno” remark, which he had uttered in the state assembly against several Umno members in May.

(Source)

And it gets worse:-

What is considered “seditious” under the Act is very wide. Section 3(1) of the Act uses the phrase “seditious tendency”. According to a Suaram report, theoretically even an article on water cuts may amount to sedition, since it could be interpreted as the tendency “to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State.” Many have said the problem lies with the arbitrariness of determining what is actually “seditious”, making the law very political.

(Source)

Rayer may have been rude or vulgar or as some would have said, “kurang ajar” but when does that statement amounts to sedition? Seriously it is difficult to place Rayer’s “celaka Umno” under the provisions of the Sedition Act so we have to wait and see how the court proceedings go. What is and amounts to sedition anyway? But interestingly after a string of people been caught and charged for sedition, the Old Man uttered this in public:-

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malays in the country are lazy, dishonest and complacent.

In an exclusive interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said Malay men are also lagging behind the women, with many of them preferring to become ‘Mat Rempits’.

“The Malays are lazy and they are not interested in studying. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women, so where are the men?,” he asked.

(Source)

Doesn’t that borders sedition too?

And I strongly disagree that Malays are lazy, dishonest and complacent. I worked with some of them who seems to have endless energy, commitment and passion. And there are lazy people in all races in this country – Malay, Chinese, Indian and others. There are village idiots in every sector of the society in this country. But yet, there is no sedition charge made against the Old Man. No arrests or street protests whatsoever. Even the ultra Malay group is taking this insult as a fatherly advice, something that would have been unthinkable if the same had been said by someone else.

And even if you take the Old Man’s words as gospel truth, didn’t he too played a crucial part in all of this? After all, he was the PM for 22 years and shaped the direction of the community?

That brings back to the question what amounts to a real sedition and what amounts to angry, rude and perhaps dumb statements. Will now uttering the word “celaka” amounts to sedition – no questions asked? It is not going to go well for country if we are still striving for a developed status by 2020.

Presently it does not look good and the PM is keeping his silence again. Yes he spoke of coming up with another law to replace the current Sedition Act but without him stepping in to stop these senseless prosecution of citizens under sedition, how we can feel confident that the new law will not be an old wine in a new bottle?

Still with me?

Confirmed, No KitKat for SP


Read these first:-

Sigh, it was not a big surprise though…

Seeing how other (newer & higher model) Sony models are getting their firmware updates to Android KitKat but not the Xperia SP, I had long suspected that Sony in the end will not deploy Kitkat to SP model. And today my suspicion has been confirmed:-

Sony Mobile has this morning confirmed that the Xperia SP will not be upgraded to Android KitKat

(Source)

Not that I am desperate for an upgrade to Kitkat as the Jelly Bean v4.3 works just perfectly and handles my usual use of the phone without any problems. But if I decide to move on to Kitkat in the near future, all is not lost as I still would have an avenue to update Xperia SP to Kitkat via CyanogenMod (details here)

But not at the moment…

MH17 – The Final Goodbye 3


More Malaysians have been brought back home…

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The remains of two more Malaysian victims who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 – Shell employee Tambi Jiee, 49, and one-year-old Benjamin Lee Jian Han – have been brought home.

Benjamin’s remains were taken to the Xiao En Bereavement Care Centre in Cheras. He was with his mother – Universiti Malaysia Sabah lecturer Ng Shi Ing, 33 – and aunt Elisabeth Ng Lye Ti, 30, on the aircraft when it crashed in Ukraine on July 17, killing 283 passengers and 15 crew members.

(Source & Photo Credit)

I do not know Benjamin personally and I am very sure that he is one adorable kid who made everyone laugh with joy. I am sure his parents had high hopes on him and of many things that he will do and achieve in his lifetime. Being a father myself, seeing his small coffin somehow left me in tears and I silently prayed that the young Benjamin did not suffer when his life was taken way from him so tragically at this very tender age.

It breaks my heart to know there were innocent young children who had nothing to do with the conflict on the ground be made to pay the ultimate price, just because some monsters had itchy hands on a trigger. We may never bring these monsters to face justice and bring this tragedy to a proper closure but never again we should bear witness to another tragedy like this.

May you rest in peace, young Benjamin…

MAS: Logic Defying Economics


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(Will it work or it is going to be RM6 billion down the drain again? This is going to be the last chance for MAS and the people who are managing it. We do not want to see another bailout in 2018! Image source: TheStar)

It is going to leave the economists around the world speechless. It may even cause the rules of economics to be re-written all over again and the geniuses that came up with this brilliant plan will be worshipped as the God of Economy for many years to come.

If you do not know what I am talking about, well, read this first:-

Khazanah Nasional Bhd has unveiled a 12-point plan to enable Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to achieve sustained profitability within three years of de-listing, by the end of 2017.

Its managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the plan involved a comprehensive overhaul of the airline.

“At its core, the plan involves the creation of a new company, (NewCo) which will house the ‘new MAS’ and the migration of the right-sized workforce and work practices and contracts into NewCo,” he told reporters at a special briefing at Khazanah headquarters on Friday.

(Source)

When I talked about re-writing the books on economy, blah, blah, I was not talking about Khazanah’s plans to restructure MAS. They seems to be doing things by the books and whether it will work or not, we will know in the next 3 years. One just hopes that they had identified all the correct shortcomings and have addressed them comprehensively in their plan. In an interview with the first CEO of MAS, it is obvious that there have been some serious bad decisions made in the past and all these must be addressed too:-

Generally, MAS poor performance is due to its wrong business plan and the loss of flight MH370 demoralized the staff and MAS has to handle this. How to do it? MAS must change its business plan. What’s wrong with the plan? The thing that is wrong with the plan is the choice of its routes which it has been plying for the past 15 years.

Those routes are now overcrowded with all the low cost carriers. The market now wants to fly domestic and regional and 80 per cent of air travellers want to fly budget. Only the rich and the businessmen fly full service. So MAS has to do something to capture that 80 per cent market. It has to reshuffle and realign its aircraft fleet. Utilizing Firefly as the main carrier for domestic and regional. The rest, let MAS handle.

And take a second look on the use of the A380. Does MAS really need six of the super-huge aircraft. No need to file for bankruptcy. Don’t be ridiculous.

Maybe in some departments there are a surplus of workers but we have to look at it in totality. We can’t lay off 5,000 workers out of the 20,000 employees which MAS has. It does not have to lay a single worker if it is restructured properly. But we have to take a look at the salaries of some of the management team of which I was told touch more than RM100,000 a month.

Why must they be paid such a huge amount at a time when MAS is in the red and why do you axe workers with low salaries? I question how the board of directors can approve such a huge salary. How did it come to this?

I question why MAS use the A380 which is hardly utilised but cost millions to operate.

Why do we need the six air-crafts? That is one out of a thousand and one issues plaguing MAS. MAS also wants to sell the MRO and the person who proposed it does not know anything about the aviation industry. Engineering plays a huge part in the MAS makeup and plays a vital role in safety, efficiency, integrity and operations.

MAS has to fully control that business and if properly managed can become an income earner. During my time, MAS maintains and services aircrafts from the US, Australia and Canada. MAS made money out of this division. So why do you want to hive off this division to another company and then buy back the service from the very same firm? MAS will bleed even more just like the catering business. Although MAS has a 30 percent stake, it has to pay a high price for the food. MAS can sell a small stake but make sure it still controls MRO. Don’t sell the entire stake.

(Source)

Anyway, we’ll see this one closely. Very closely indeed. However, the one that is going to rewrite the books of economics is going to be this:-

Khazanah Nasional Bhd not only intends to recover every sen of the RM6bil investment into Malaysia Airlines (MAS), but wants to make money on the venture, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister, dismissing perception that the money pumped into the airline was a bailout, said Khazanah would be injecting the money to make MAS a viable organisation.

“This is not a bailout but an investment. Khazanah intends to recover every single sen of the RM6bil and more,” he said after chairing the monthly Umno supreme council meeting Friday.

(Source)

And this:-

Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia has given the thumbs up to the comprehensive revamp plan to revive loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS), saying that the move to turn the national carrier around will not affect its services.

Awang Selamat, the collective voice of the paper’s editors, said he was confident the national icon would be back in the black in three years, based on stringent regulatory controls over the 12-point plan unveiled by state sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad yesterday.

“The emphasis on these aspects will have a significant impact on the recovery effort. It also differs from previous efforts which have ended in failure.

“We are also confident such changes will bear fruit and more importantly, the services of the national carrier will not be affected,” he said in the column today.

(Source)

Yes, firstly use the word “investment” instead of “bailout” to hide the fact that IT IS a bailout. Then tell the whole world that the money spent on the bailout, opps err, investment will be recovered. And continue with the statement that the entity that was put in charge of the bailout, sorry, investment is doing it because they want to make money on the said venture. I wonder how many millions was paid to external consultants to come up with such brilliant idea to substitute a bailout with an idea of investment. Can they for once call a spade a spade? Malaysians are not that dumb, you know?

Then secondly get the editor of a newspaper (that is deep in shit themselves with RM11 million loss), to put on the hat of a learned economist and turnaround specialist to say that the proposed turnaround plan will definitely work and all that will happen in 3 years as promised. And this is despite of many failed attempts to turnaround the national carrier in the past by the same group of people. After all, if the editors are so smart and confident, why the paper is not making money themselves? After all, Khazanah themselves was reported to say this:-

Khazanah, which has injected more than 5 billion ringgit into MAS over the last 10 years, said its new fund injections would be strictly tied to the new company meeting performance targets.

“Success is by no means guaranteed,” Khazanah said.

(Source)

And even the Old Man has his doubts:-

I may be wrong but I think Khazanah’s 100% ownership of MAS will not be much different from its 70% ownership. We are going to see a lot of new people who will receive huge salaries, allowances and bonuses and not much else. That I believe is how Khazanah operates.

(Source)

Whatever bullshit that will be spinned in the next 3 years, one thing will be sure – the taxpayers need to be prepared for the worse to kiss their RM6 billion (or more in the coming years) goodbye. Unless of course, certain things happens.

The Government through Khazanah must have the will-power and political clout to make real changes that will see the RM6 billion to be spent on the turnaround plan of MAS be recovered with every cents accounted for in 3 years time. They must look beyond the color of the skin when it comes to picking the right people to run the airline (and never this piece of idiotic thinking again) and it should not be limited to Malaysians alone. Priorities must be set right and must be followed strictly.

They must not be swayed with likes of extremists like Perkasa, Pekida, Isma (do I need to say more?), dumb “keris wielding” politicians (who will make noise for the sake of making noise) or inexperienced consultants with unbelievable fat payroll (who may prolong the misery for more fat salary). Otherwise they will end up digging deeper into the taxpayers money for another turnaround plan after 2018.

And more importantly, they must always remember that national pride and the nation’s good name is at stake here and thus no matter what, this turnaround plan must work. No ifs or buts. They must remember that the RM6 billion that will spend on the turnaround plan belongs to the taxpayers (and not from their own personal pockets) and every cent must be accounted for. I hope so they will or otherwise we will talking about another turnaround plan in 2018.

Selamat Hari Merdeka!!