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Sunday, August 31, 2014

The 7th MAS Bailout in 13 Years



Khazanah has worked out a "12 Point Plan" to bailout MAS. Someone said this "12 points", "Newco" etc are typical Mckinsey talk. The con-sultans are making money again.  Khazanah does not have the smarts to sort out this type of mismanagement.  Their mismanagement created this mess in the first place.  

(By the way dont ask how Medini is doing. The Chinese developers - from China - are giving away FREE RM1.0 million apartments in south Johor fo every purchase of an apartment in Shanghai !! Thats how bad the property situation is in Johor.)

I was reading BK Sidhu’s story about MAS in The Star yesterday (Sat 30/8/14).  BK is a wonderful writer. She can make things look so good and then suddenly she gives a duku. 

First lets start with a joke. The PM says injecting RM6.0 billion into a Newco to save our national airline operations (aka MAS) from going under is NOT a bailout.  The PM says its an investment.   And the PM feels that he has outsmarted everyone. 

The real joke is when the PM says that every Ringgit from the RM6.0 billion "investment" in Newco will be recovered. This is where BK delivers a duku – “Since taking over MAS in 2001…Khazanah has injected more than RM7.0 billion into MAS, which Azman (Mokhtar) does not think would be recoverable.”

If the super dunggus could not recover RM7.0 billion in 13 years, how on earth are the same super dunggus going to recover RM6bil in what THREE years?  Or is it 20 years now? 

And folks, this bailout is NOT RM6.0bil ok. MAS has debts totalling RM11.7bil. Who is going to tanggung those RM11.7bil debts?  The short answer is YOU,  Mr and Mrs Rakyat Malaysia Suckers. For example read this : 'the plan calls for conversion of some debt into equity. Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) agreed to swap its existing RM750mil sukuk with ordinary equity.'  

There you are folks – already a RM750mil hutang has been absorbed by you and you, Mr & Mrs Rakyat Malaysia, just like that. So now the bailout will be RM6.0bil + RM750mil = RM6.75bil. 

Ok a few more questions. MAS does not even own their building anymore. They do not own any airplanes. All their airplanes are owned by Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (from that WAU bailout). So how in Allah's name did they stack up RM11.7bil in debt? Hutang apa ini RM11.7bil?

I believe there will be more ‘absorption’ of this RM11.7 billion debt. Why? Because if you transfer all this RM11.7bil debt to that Newco which they are planning, it will kill Newco even before a single flight takes off.

People in the know say that MAS’ local bankers (err CIMB and Maybank??) will also write off some of their portion of that  RM11.7bil debt.  Bankers call it a ‘haircut’. Since CIMB and Maybank are GLCs, it actually means you and you again - Mr & Mrs Rakyat Malaysia Suckers.  The Chairman of CIMB is the PM's brother. Do you think he is going to do anything to embarrass his brother the PM? Not likely. If you feel embarrassed so what? Who cares?

The question is how much more of MAS RM11.7bil debt will be 'turned into equity', 'haircutted' by the GLC banks etc?  Khazanah is not divulging this part of the story.

And here is another nightmare.  Folks say that the new MAS Act will also authorise the Minister of Finance Inc to issue gomen bonds to raise funds to retire some of that RM11.7bil MAS debt.  To be repaid  from tax collections. Thats you and you again Mr and Mrs Rakyat Malaysia.  

So the total bailout is NOT RM6.0bil. It is going to be much, much more than RM6.0bil.  Err...PM's Advisors....ente semua boleh faham ke semua isu ni? Ini belum lagi high finance tau. Ini baru arithmetic Darjah Lima.

This 7th bailout of MAS will wipe out ALL the projected GST collections of RM5bil - RM6bil ??  So Mr and Mrs Rakyat Malaysia, you will be paying GST taxes to pay for the super dunggus incompetence at Khazanah Nasional.

Which is why I feel MAS will end up selling their family silver namely MAS Kargo, MAS Engineering, the CEO's car and so on. They have to sell assets to reduce debt. And if the assets are sold to cronies or to Khazanah itself, they will engage in the "Buy High Sell Low" business model.  Just wait and see. (Like that food catering contract lah). 

Of the RM6bil bailout, they say a sum of RM1.4bil is for the "privatisation of MAS". Come again? What exactly are you paying for with that RM1.4bil?

Another RM1.6bil will be used to ‘shut down’ the existing company. Come again? Why are you paying RM1.6bil to shut down a loss making company? Why does it cost RM1.6bil to shut down a company?

They say some of that money will be used for VSS to layoff some 6000 employees. Ok fine. But here is a tiny ‘by the way’ fact. Some of the RM1.6bil will be used “to pay penalties for early termination of contracts with suppliers’.

We need to know who are these suppliers and how much they are being compensated? Most importantly we want to know if the former PM’s brother’s company (that food caterer) will get any of these penalty payments. If so, how much? Don’t be shy.

I have found new friends in Parliament who I can pujuk to ask these questions when the next Parliament session begins.   Sawadeekap.

By the way, I want to register a duku here. Say there is a very senior management executive in MAS whose sister is also a major spare parts supplier for MAS aircraft engines. Doesn’t that raise conflict of interest issues?  It may even raise corruption issues.  Well thank  Allah this is just a fluke. I just made up the story.   Its not true at all.  Just like Mary Jane is not a girl or even Chinese.

But the food catering company that has an almost monopoly supply of inflight meals to MAS was  owned (now partly) by the brother of the present  Advisor to MAS (the ex PM). Doesn’t that raise conflict of interest issues? Yo super dunggu, what do you think?  And that is how we lost the entire airline. They flew it into the ground.

Now they say the CEO Ahmad Jauhari will leave by end June 2015. That is nine months away. Shouldn’t he leave now? So that you can appoint a new CEO soonest. If changing the CEO is a good thing, then why keep the 'old' CEO for another nine months? For your information, nine months is three full quarters. 
So this means there will be no new CEO for three full quarters? If Ahmad Jauhari is not going to be involved in the restructuring, then why pay him CEO salary for nine more months? And please dont say that he will be involved in the restructuring. Because if he is helping in the restructuring, then why change the CEO? But if the 'old' CEO is roped in to plan the restructuring, wont that be committing suicde again? Just thinking aloud. What do you think?




Here is a silly question – does this mean that all the super dunggus in Khazanah will still achieve all their KPIs? Which they have been achieving non stop for the past 11 years?

(Err..it will be September soon. How many TNB shares is Khazanah planning to sell this year? You know to make the books look good.  Or other “blue chip” counters that dictator Tun  Dr Mahathir gave you – all those years ago).

Why fire just the CEO? Fire the entire line up of the super dunggus at Khazanah. The music has stopped and the super dunggus have no chairs to sit on. The musical chairs game is over.

Unless they find another GLC fellow, maybe a toll highway manager, to become the CEO of MAS. Or maybe a toll collector.  Talk is Jamaludin the former Maxis guy will be roped in to become the new CEO of Newco.   If that is the case then why employ McKinsey or any other con-sultan to do a global search for a new CEO? Buang duit saja.

The consultans are getting rich from this thing again. You and you Mr and Mrs Rakyat Malaysia are being suckered again.


By the way what will they name Newco? Let me guess  Malaysian..jeng..jeng..jeng..Airlines !! 

Folks, so what should be done with MAS? Simple - first change the entire management team at Khazanah. People have been saying this for ages. Khazanah has been mismanaging MAS for 11 years now.  This is the seventh bailout of MAS.  With such a poor track record, do you honestly think Khazanah will manage MAS to success over the next 11 years? I dont think so.

In the past 10 years, Khazanah has appointed FIVE CEOs for MAS. Now they are firing the CEO again. A CEO lasts an average of two years ?? What type of management is that? It is as if some people are intentionally sabotaging MAS from succeeding.

Here is some business management I learnt when I was in Standard Five : Dont appoint an Advisor whose brother is also a main supplier to the company. That is bad business. Other people who are not as kind as me will call it 'conflict of interest'. 

Dont allow your stationery suppliers and napkin suppliers to dictate company policy. You know when you change your logo, change the livery of the A380 or change the address of the HQ (from Subang to KLIA) then you must spend money on new stationery, new business cards, new napkins etc. All this costs money. 

Dont hire the same con-sultans who have been giving you bad advice all these years.

Dont buy spares that you dont need (like spare Black Boxes or spare T-72 axles, thats from another story but you get the meaning).

Find out the best practises in buying fuel in the industry and try to do the same lah.

Bring back those fantastic muffins which MAS used to serve on its flights. Dont buy muffins that are made in a house belonging to family members of a company director.

Chop off those cheap fares for retired Civil Servants. And no upgrades either.  (Can or cannot?)

Expand the engineering business. Other than Boeing and Airbus, prepare now for the Chinese airplanes. Yup they are coming.

Rationalising routes is ok but my suggestion is expand, expand, expand to new and profitable routes. Tora, Tora, Tora. Be aggressive. Identify new routes with potential and start working now to enter those routes. Negotiate with foreign governments, negotiate with other airlines, use our diplomatic leverage (kalau ada). Work out clear delivery dates to enter new routes. If there is profit flying to the North Pole, just do it. Nike !! If there is no profit, then drop it.

It does not matter much if flights are below eight hours or longer than eight hours. As long as there are loads and routes are profitable, just do it. All this requires work. That is a four letter word.

This is still a viable business. MAS has a 67 year track record. Few can match the national airline.  MAS certainly deserves better management. Unfortunately Khazanah is just not the right fit.

MIC SUDAH MASUK PARTI


Insiden baling kerusi mesyuarat Umno disiasat

ALOR SETAR - Jawatankuasa khas akan ditubuhkan untuk menyiasat kekecohan ketika Mesyuarat Perwakilan Umno Bahagian Pokok Sena di Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Hutan Kampung kelmarin.


KAH KAH KAH

i rest my case

my lord

KAH KAH KAH

Muslimat PAS Bersama Wanita PR Sokong W Azizah Sebagai MB Tanpa Syarat

Wanita Pakatan Rakyat bersatu dalam menyatakan sokongan tanpa syarat untuk Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor. 

Demikian menurut satu kenyataan rasmi yang dikeluarkan oleh tiga ketua wanita parti tersebut iaitu, Ketua Wanita PKR Zuraidah Kamaruddin, Ketua Wanita DAP Chong Eng, Ketua Muslimat PAS Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff. 

“Kami telah bersama-sama bersatu dan mengukuhkan sokongan Wan Azizah sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor” kata kenyataan tersebut.

Dalam kenyataan yang sama, Wanita Pakatan berkata majoriti menunjukkan 30 dari 43 Ahli Undangan Negeri sudah bersetuju Wan Azizah sebagai MB.

Mereka turut mempersoalkan sekiranya Wan Azizah adalah lelaki adakah pelantikan beliau sebagai MB akan diadili.

Dengan berbekal semangat demokrasi, Wanita Pakatan turut menekankan bahawa perlembagaan negeri tidak menyokong diskriminasi terhadap jantina dan seterusnya tidak menghalang wanita menjadi pemimpin sesebuah negeri.

Wanita Pakatan turut menggambarkan Wan Azizah sebagai seorang wanita besi yang tabah menerima segala dugaan bersama suaminya, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim serta keluarga.

“Dari tahun 1998 sehingga kini, sudah 16 tahun Wan Azizah menghadapi segala tohmahan dan dugaan pada suami dan keluarganya.

Pilihan untuk beliau melangkah keluar dari kancah politik sentiasa ada, namun dengan sikap dedikasi kepada keluarganya, PKR dan Malaysia membuatkan beliau lebih tabah dalam perjuangannya untuk keadilan, demokrasi dan kebebasan” kata kenyataan itu lagi.

Sebelum ini 30 ADUN Pakatan Rakyat di Selangor menyatakan sokongan Wan Azizah sebagai Menteri Besar yang baharu.

Sokongan tersebut sekali gus menandakan ADUN Pelabuhan Klang, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim hilang kepercayaan majoriti di Selangor untuk terus kekal sebagai Menteri Besar. -aa

ULASAN GB

Ada pula nanti yang bersuara dan memabawa usul supaya tindakan disiplin dikenakan kepada Dewan Muslimat PAS.. atau ada yang usulkan nak pecat semua anggota muslimat PAS (?)

AMANAT AKHIR TSKI .... HORMATI INSTITUSI RAJA BERPERLEMBAGAAN DAN UNDANG-UNDANG TUBUH NEGERI SELANGOR.



SHAH ALAM – Perutusan ulang tahun ke-57 kemerdekaan negara oleh Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim sarat dengan amanat kepada rakyat agar menghormati institusi Raja Berperlembagaan dan Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Selangor.

Abdul Khalid berkata, dalam perjalanan berdepan kemelut politik yang  berlarutan sehingga lapan bulan ini, beliau mengingatkan semua pihak supaya menghormati pemimpin yang menjalankan tanggungjawab dengan baik, adil dan berintegriti.

“Saya perlu menyentuh hal ini kerana akhir-akhir ini terdapat pihak tertentu yang menggunakan media sosial untuk mempersoalkan hak mutlak sultan atau institusi beraja Selangor dan Raja-raja Melayu,” katanya ketika berucap pada Malam Ulang tahun ke-57 Kemerdekaan di Dataran Shah Alam, malam kelmarin.

Dalam perutusan berkenaan, Abdul Khalid menyatakan ucapan penghargaan kepada rakyat Selangor yang memberi kepercayaan kepadanya mentadbir negeri ini sejak 2008.

“Di kesempatan ini saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada penjawat awam dan seluruh lapisan rakyat yang bekerjasama bersama saya sejak Mac 2008 untuk mentadbir urus kerajaan negeri ini dengan penuh berhemat, berhemah dan berintegriti bagi kesejahteraan rakyat dan kemakmuran negeri kita.

“Saya memohon maaf atas segala tindakan dan tutur kata sepanjang mengemudi pentadbiran Selangor,” katanya.

Beliau turut mengingatkan rakyat Selangor supaya sentiasa menjalin hubungan baik sesama kaum sebagai usaha mengukuhkan perpaduan serta keharmonian dalam kalangan masyarakat majmuk di negeri ini.

Katanya, hubungan kukuh masyarakat secara tidak langsung mampu menghindar sikap menghina atau mencela agama dan amalan budaya kaum lain.

Abdul Khalid menyatakan kurang pengetahuan dan kefahaman sebilangan rakyat terhadap agama dan budaya antara kaum boleh menyebabkan perpaduan sukar dicapai.

“Dalam masyarakat majmuk perpaduan adalah tunjangnya, hubungan baik antara kaum adalah keutamaannya, kerjasama dan tolak ansur adalah syaratnya manakala menghina bangsa, agama dan budaya adalah pantangnya,''katanya.

Selain sambutan merdeka, kerajaan negeri turut menganjurkan Rumah Terbuka Hari Raya Aidilfitri dan sambutan Hari Belia...SH

Demi Mencari Rezeki

Tumpat – Seorang cacat penglihatan manakala seorang lagi dilahirkan sebagai kerdil, tetapi kedua-duanya saling melengkapi apabila mengayuh basikal roda tiga sejauh 20 kilometer (km) setiap hari untuk mencari rezeki.
Kaedah digunakan mereka ialah si kerdil menjadi pengemudi manakala yang cacat penglihatan mengayuh serta menjaga brek basikal yang sudah diubah suai dengan roda tambahan.
Walaupun pelik, itu rutin pasangan Mohamad Yusoff, 65, dan adik iparnya Hasnah Ngah, 56, untuk mencari sesuap nasi untuk menyara kehidupan mereka.
Walaupun pernah beberapa kali terjatuh ke dalam parit, gara-gara arahan Hasnah yang gagal difahami Mohamad kedua-duanya tetap komited berniaga dan tidak menjadikan insiden itu sebagai halangan.
Ini kerana mereka yang dikategorikan sebagai orang kurang upaya (OKU) tidak mahu menjadikan kekurangan diri sebagai alasan untuk terperuk di rumah dan mengharapkan bantuan semata-mata. –myMetro Online

Pasangan Lesbian Ditahan Bersama Alat Sulit Lelaki

Hiasan
Dua penuntut institut pengajian tinggi (IPT) ditahan Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri Johor (JAINJ) selepas disyaki pasangan lesbian berikutan penemuan alat perangsang seks berbentuk kemaluan lelaki ketika pemeriksaan bilik di hotel bajet di Johor Jaya, di sini, awal pagi semalam.

Dalam pemeriksaan jam 2 pagi itu, pasangan yang masing-masing menuntut di Pulau Pinang dan Pasir Gudang, di sini, mendakwa alat itu baru dibeli dalam talian. 


Ketika ditahan keduanya berada dalam keadaan terpinga-pinga dan mendakwa alat sulit berkenaan baru sampai selain belum lagi ‘merasainya’. 

Seorang daripadanya mengakui dia mengambil penerbangan dari Kuala Lumpur untuk bertemu kekasih yang juga berperanan sebagai ‘suami’ di atas ranjang.

Mereka ditahan mengikut Seksyen 26 Enakmen Jenayah Syariah Negeri Johor 1997 kerana melakukan muhasaqah (lesbian) dan jika sabit kesalahan boleh dikenakan hukuman penjara sehingga tiga tahun atau denda sehingga RM5,000 atau kedua-duanya sekali.

Pasangan berkenaan adalah antara lapan pasangan ditahan JAINJ dalam operasi membanteras maksiat di sini, diketuai Ketua Penolong Pengarah Bahagian Penguat Kuasa JAINJ Mohd Zamri Kambari./hmetro

Time to sell or liquidate Malaysia Airlines – M. Bakri Musa



When I think of the many needed functions of government, owning or running an airline is not one of them. Instead, taking care of the health, welfare and security of its citizens should rank way up there.
Once you have done an excellent job in those essential areas and still have extra time, talent or resources, then you could consider running an airline. A humble and conscientious leader would never be satisfied when it comes to serving the public, for no matter how excellent a job he may be doing, there will always be room for improvement. The Finns have the finest schools, yet their leaders are consumed with improving the system. That is what progress means.
Malaysia once again contemplates pouring out billions to rescue Malaysia Airlines (MAS). Apart from consuming a never-ending amount of scarce and expensive government resources, the company receives an inordinate degree of attention at the highest level of the Najib administration. I would have preferred that those leaders be concerned with our deteriorating schools and universities, or the awful delivery of our public services. On the day of the news of the proposed MAS bailout, there was another headline on a fire at the waste dump in Klang Valley.
The future of Malaysia or Malaysians (especially Malays) does not depend on Malaysia Airlines. Nor does the fate of the company reflect adversely on the calibre or future of Malays, Malaysians or Malaysia. Our schools and universities, on the other hand, do determine the future of our people and society.
Malaysia does not need MAS to project the nation’s image abroad. Besides, the image MAS now projects is of the worse kind. Malaysia also does not need MAS to bring in tourists. The other airlines including AirAsia do a fine job of that, and at no cost to the government. Malaysians do not need MAS for their international travels. You can choose from a dozen airlines to fly from Kuala Lumpur to San Francisco. In fact, MAS no longer flies to the west coast of America.
There can only be one prudent decision on what to do with MAS now after all the repeated expensive and unsuccessful bailouts and reorganisation exercises: sell it or declare bankruptcy, with a view of total liquidation.
MAS now but a shell company
After its “successful” WAU (Widespread Asset Unbundling) manoeuvre a decade ago, MAS today is but a shell company, burdened with tonnes of liabilities. Even its brand is now tarnished. That leaves only its traffic rights as assets. I reckon there would be few takers for its slots in Buenos Aires and Mexico City.
We should not be squeamish about or ashamed of bankruptcy; it is an integral part of business. No enterprise is guaranteed to be a success.
Swiss Air, once dubbed the “Flying Bank” because of is solid finances, went bankrupt in 2002. Nobody would conclude negatively from that the business acumen or executive talent of Swiss managers. The more relevant lesson for Malaysia from the Swiss bankruptcy is this: the company’s entire top management was prosecuted for alleged criminal misconduct. They were found not guilty; nonetheless they were made to go through the wringer – a thought, should MAS file for bankruptcy.
Japan Airlines, another government-linked company, also filed for bankruptcy. Today it is flying high after its reorganisation. The venerable Pan Am, the very icon of a once-glamorous industry, too was done in; likewise all the major legacy US airlines (Delta, United, American). Neither Japanese nor American pride was dented. Life (and business) goes on.
Malaysians need an airline, a safe and reliable one without regard as to who owns or runs it. If MAS is liquidated, other airlines will fill in the void. That is the law of the marketplace. Government intervention would only distort this reality, and then only for so long. Despite Air India, also a GLC, Emirate Airlines is the de facto official airline of India.
Instead of spending the one and a half billion ringgit buying the rest of MAS shares, and many billions more to “rehabilitate” the airline, Khazanah should sell the company and use the resources to enter a new line of business such as private education and healthcare. There is certainly a great need for both, not only in Malaysia but also the region.
If I were running Khazanah, I would direct MAS management to settle quickly with its insurers over the loss of its two planes, and distribute the proceeds as dividends and then promptly declare the airline bankrupt. That way it would have recouped part of its bad investment.
American Airlines posted its biggest quarterly “profits” from the insurance settlement of its DC 10 that crashed on take-off from O’Hare in 1979. However with MAS today, thanks to that “brilliant” WAU scheme, both planes were probably owned by another company with MAS leasing both back. So the insurance payments would go to that company instead of MAS!
In a statement referring to the proposed MAS reorganisation, Prime Minister Najib Razak said, “Only through a complete overhaul of the company can we deliver a genuinely strong and sustainable national carrier.” He went on to say that renewal involves painful steps and sacrifices from all parties.
What Malaysia desperately needs is for Najib to overhaul his administration. Getting rid of MAS would be a great first step in that direction. Unfortunately, Najib is incapable of undertaking that. He just does not have what it takes to lead the nation.
Najib’s leadership, like MAS shares, is penny stock quality. MAS is an apt metaphor for Najib, except that Najib was never blue chip to begin with.
* M. Bakri Musa reads The Malaysian Insider.

Gadis Hina Kalimah Allah Dengan Darah Haid

Aliyaa Magda Alirkan Darah Haid Atas Kalimah Allah Akhirnya Mati

Seorang gadis Mesir yang menggemparkan umat dunia semalam apabila beliau dengan beraninya mengalirkan darah haid atas kalimah allah kini terlibat dalam kemalangan ngeri menurut sumber dari Upi.com.

Kini kesombongan dirinya tidak dapat lagi diperlihatkan kerana perbuatan kejinya dibayar cash didunia. Alangkah ruginya seorang manusia itu jika belum sempat bertaubat. 



Marquese Scott (VIDEO)

Hadi Awang a GONE case?

Hadi Awang a GONE case?
In politics, there are always some characters who may have appeared to be rather dull and even mediocre, but may eventually rise to the occasion and establish themselves as statesmen (or women).
One such person is BJ Habibie of Indonesia, handpicked by President Suharto as vice-president and expected to carry on the authoritarian rule of the so-called Orde Baru (New Order).
What happened after the dictator was overthrown in the 1998 uprising thoroughly surprised the world - rather than a seat-warmer or a puppet leader, Habibie went on to lay the foundation for Indonesia’s democratic transition by giving powers back to the provinces (decentralisation), starting the process of sending the military - guardian of Orde Baru - back to the barracks, and paving the way for democratic elections.
Habibie even went a step further when he approved of the referendum that led to the independence of East Timor (now Timor Leste), officially acknowledging Indonesia’s historical wrong in annexing the island state at the connivance of the western powers back in 1975.
Though short his presidency has been (only 17 months in total), Habibie nevertheless achieved far more than the Indonesian populace had expected of him. One of the positive outcomes of his far-reaching reform agenda has been the peaceful political transition - not once but thrice - since 2001, the latest being the election of the people-friendly Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, as the 7th president after the country’s independence from the Dutch in 1947.
Most notably, the Indonesian military has maintained largely neutral throughout the tight and at times acrimonious presidential race, so much so that Prabowo Subianto, the losing candidate and a former lieutenant-general with close ties to the old regime (along with his questionable human rights record), had no option but to challenge the result in the Constitutional Court, which finally ruled in favour of Jokowi.
The fact that none of his former colleagues in the military has uttered a word of support for him speaks volumes of the distance that Indonesia has trodden on the path of democratic reform since 1998.
As Indonesians look back at history, they really should not forget Habibie’s audacity in seizing the historical moment to right all that was wrong with the country, while giving credit also to the people who were determined for change, even if it meant they had to pay with blood.
Sadly, the same cannot be said of Hadi Awang, the PAS president. He, too, was presented with a golden opportunity to help the country rid of more than five decades of Umno that is deeply tainted with nepotism, cronyism and corruption - three issues that consigned Suharto to history - but has only proven himself to be nothing more than a political flimsily calculative and full of vengeful spirit.
Hadi belongs to the generation of idealist Malay youths who, having witnessed student movements around the world, were inspired to change Malaysia through political activism. His comradeship with Anwar Ibrahim actually dates back to the late 1970s when they were both prominent leaders of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim), although the latter subsequently joined Umno rather than the Islamic party, which shocked many.
While he did rise through the rank to assume PAS leadership through hard work at the grassroots level, Hadi lacks the critical outlook and skills that would have better prepared him for national leadership. He was given a chance to prove his worth when Terengganu fell to the opposition following the Malay backlash over Mahathir Mohamad’s persecution of Anwar, only to squander it five years later.
When PAS was entrusted to run Kedah in 2008, Hadi did nothing to rein in the underperforming but arrogant Azizan Abdul Razak despite growing discontent over the latter’s administration, causing the Islamic party to lose in 2013 and, worse, making it possible for the equally uninspiring, run-of-the-mill Mukhriz Mahathir to become menteri besar.
Ill-equipped to adapt to a new era
Like the Ulama wing, Hadi Awang feels increasingly challenged and even threatened by the rise of the professionals within the party. As the Young Turks represented by Khalid Samad, Saari Sungib, Husam Musa and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad become household names and seek to shift the political discourse from religion to policy as well as ideas of human rights and democracy, the conservative forces, well-versed only in religious rhetoric, are ill-equipped to adapt to a new era.
Granted, one should be sympathetic with those who are confined by their own limitations and hence unable to shine. After all, not everyone could be as visionary as Habibie with the acute awareness that historic chances are hard to come by.
But in the case of Hadi, he has messed things up by refusing to allow a smooth replacement of menteri besar in Selangor out of his personal jealousies and sense of insecurity. That he and his allies in the party are deepening the constitutional crisis by proposing more than one candidate to the sultan is indicative amply of his short-sightedness as a leader.
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has already secured the support of more than half of the support in the state assembly, and there is no reason for the sultan to request more names for consideration. The refusal by PKR and DAP to go along with the condition should not be interpreted as disrespect of the ruler, but a move to ensure Malaysia’s system of constitutional monarchy remain intact and well-respected.
And this is not what small-minded politicians such as Hadi understand it to be. The longer the conundrum drags on, the higher the chances of more royal interference in other states in the future, and Hadi, Khalid Ibrahim and all their ardent supporters could one day be considered as undermining the foundation of Malaysian politics by simply procrastinating in solving the crisis.
Worse, Umno is losing no time in pressing with charges against opposition lawmakers with the help of the Sedition Act, which can have far more damaging consequences than what the defunct Internal Security Act could produce in the long run in that all those found guilty and sentenced could find themselves losing their seat and deprived of the right to contest in an election for up to five years or more.
Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and the late Karpal Singh remained MPs when in ISA detention, while others continued to run for election from behind bars, but the same cannot be said of the Sedition Act, the conviction of which would carry serious political repercussions.
Lest we forget, Lim Guan Eng lost his parliamentary seat in 1998 after conviction under the said Act and was barred from running for five years, as a result of which he was unable to run in the 2004 general election.
Can we imagine all those opposition lawmakers currently under investigations over their ‘seditious remarks’ are all incarcerated in the next few months? What would happen to the opposition front then?
It is indeed tragic that Hadi and his supporters refuse to tackle the imminent crisis but continue to indulge in their own selfish interests and calculations. Most likely, he will go down in Malaysian history not only as just another has-been, but also someone who, together with Khalid, is responsible for the erosion of constitutionalism in Malaysia. -M'kini

WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY: Time for PAS to close ranks with Pakatan & accept Azizah as MB`

WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY: Time for PAS to close ranks with Pakatan & accept Azizah as MB`
The debate around Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's suitability as Mentri Besar of Selangor has gone on too long.
It has gone on too long because of two main factors. One is the opposition of certain male leaders in PAS who act as though they are living in rigid and conservative Islamic nations where the role of women is to be subserviant to men.
However, even in such societies as Pakistan we have seen women leaders, such as Benazir Bhutto accepted as the highest ranking political leader of the country. So why is it unacceptable to PAS leaders and other Malays that her selection should meet with so much resistance.
"Women hold up half the sky". This is a famous proclamation made by Mao Zedong to bring gender equality to China. It applies not only to China but to all countries of the world, including Malaysia.
In fact, PAS and others who are living like frogs underneath their coconut shells should realise that women not only hold up half the sky but they hold up more of the sky than men.
This is because women outnumber men in most if not all countries in the world besides having longer life expectancies. In Malaysia, women have a life expectancy of 77 years compared with 73 years for men.
PAS must abandon 'ketuanan lelaki' ideology
PAS leaders should also realise that women voters outnumber males. The party can never come to power with an ideology of "ketuanan lelaki" or "male superiority or male dominance".
Malaysia may be a Muslim society but our Malay women are just as, if not smarter and more advanced, than men. The proof of this is in the public universities where Malay women form the majority of undergraduate students and consistently top the men in the examinations.
The second factor is the attempt by certain quarters to provoke resistance to the replacement of current Selangor MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim by a new MB candidate selected by the party coalition having the majority in the Selangor state government.
Thus, a loud whispering campaign has been started especially by pro-Umno and pro-Barisan bloggers questioning the qualifications and suitability of Dr Wan Azizah – "Is she really MB material?", "Will she be a proxy for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim", "does she have the political smarts to bring about the development of Selangor".
To many Malaysians though, there is little doubt that Dr Wan Azizah has all the makings of an outstanding mentri besar whose appointment will bring a breath of fresh air to the jaded ranks of our male-dominated and scandal-ridden political leadership.
Unlike the outgoing MB, her name is not associated with cronyism and hanky panky deals involving millions of ringgit but with service to the society, initially as a government doctor and later as a leader of various voluntary bodies. Not only is she seen as "bersih" (clean) but she is also admired for her role in helping Anwar survive as a political leader and in building PKR to become a force in Malaysian politics.
Why Selangoreans and Malaysians must support Wan Azizah
Selangoreans and Malaysians must not forget that following the arrest of her husband on September 20, 1998, Dr Wan Azizah became the leader of the fledgling Reformasi movement. She also first led the Social Justice Movement(ADIL), a civil rights NGO, before helping to establish the Parti Keadilan Nasional on April 4, 1999.
The establishment of the party saw Dr Wan Azizah being elected as the first party president.
She also brought the party into a merger with the older Parti Rakyat Malaysia, thus paving the way for the establishment of PKR which now promises to be the party, together with its coalition partners, which will finally break the authoritarian and abusive monopoly of power that the Barisan Nasional has imposed on Malaysians.
There is consensus that PKR's huge gains in the 2008 general election – winning 31 seats and becoming the largest opposition party in parliament – could not have come about if she had not braved and overcome the ordeal by fire that she, her husband and her colleagues were put through.
Dr Wan Azizah has survived tests of leadership, character, stamina and courage such as few politicians – male of female in the country – have experienced. That is a fact.
Since Anwar's return to active politics. Dr Wan Azizah has retreated to a less prominent role. This is understandable given the importance of Anwar to the political struggle to break Barisan's grip on power in the country.
But she has continued to be the President of PKR and to be an active and involved influence in PKR and Pakatan party dynamics behind the scene in ways that are not easily discernable or visible to the public.
Now that Anwar is again facing imprisonment and renewed attempts are being made to destroy his political career, Dr Wan Azizah has to step up to the plate one more time if the reform movement in Malaysia is to succeed. But it is not only Dr Wan Azizah, whose mettle is being tested.
Malaysians, beginning with rakyat Selangor, are also being tested. If we deny her the support she needs to take up the position of mentri besar, then we would only have ourselves to blame should the fight for justice, good governance and democracy in Selangor and throughout the country fall further back. –TMI