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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015: WIll you stand behind your Prime Minister?

"These are the worst of times, these are the best of times." - Anonymous, near the end of 2014 yesterday.
I am positive that things will be looking up, especially for the average Jo. I am confident that this government and this Prime Minister will not let things fall apart, that we as a nation will prevail." 
If my Facebook greetings for 2015 had sounded too optimistic, I think that's because some of us are being overly pessimistic of prospects during the New Year. Yes, 2014 was one of the most trying years for this young nation but it's how we learn from these lessons in life that will determine where we go from here. Make no mistake: 2015 will be a very tough year. When the going gets tough, you don't break up -- you unite. Let's not stand behind Najib Razak because it's the convenient thing and politically expedient to do; let's stand behind him because we know he needs our support to deal with the massive challenges that will come our way and that will determine the very future of this nation.

I have not always been a supporter of the government of the day, as my online record since 2006 would speak for itself, but in all honesty, given these extremely challenging times, I don't see anyone else who's more able to carry Malaysia through Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Vision 2020 other than Najib Razak. I think you'd agree with me that he'd dealt with the biggest crises we faced in 2014 extremely well, the worst-floods-in-a-decade included. My wish for 2015 is that he wastes no more time and just fix some of the more urgent housekeeping issues that have been letting him down lately. If some of his aides and Ministers have to go so that his Administration can move faster, let them go. As one of Najib's own officers is fond of saying, "Some things are beyond good manners". I wish, too, that the PM would stop being nice to everybody. You don't win wars wish niceness, Sir.

But what do I know, right?

p.s. I know that we should all share the PM's hopes for 2015. May he - and we - have the strength to succeed ...

2015: Najib Hopes To Build Safer, More Prosperous And More Equal Society

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hopes to build a safer, more prosperous, and more equal society next year, by focusing on the lives and needs of the rakyat.

Prime Minister in his End of Year Message on his blog, www.najibrazak.com Wednesday said in the months and years ahead, his focus was on the rakyat.

"Although Malaysia's economic performance has been exceptional, I know that people do not always feel they are getting their piece of our national success.

"So alongside our efforts to strengthen our economy by raising incomes, reducing spending, and boosting productivity, we will also work to reduce inequality by narrowing the gap between the rich and poor," he said.

Najib said he was confident that Malaysia's economy would continue to grow, and bring more jobs and a better standard of living, because of the strong fundamentals, and clear and consistent government policy.

"Our economy is on track to grow by 5.7 per cent this year, and 4.7 per cent in 2015. Our deficit is falling, our reserves are strong; we have trusted financial institutions, low unemployment, and record levels of foreign investment.

"Malaysia's economy is well placed to weather any storms," he said.

Najib said Malaysia needed to be proactive to build a resilient economy that was prepared for any eventuality.

"With global events causing problems for many countries, I am pleased that we have already taken measures to protect our economy. Just last week, the World Bank confirmed that Malaysia remains in a strong position precisely because we acted to rationalise subsidies," he said.

He said the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which would be introduced on April 1 next year, would help strengthen the government finances so that Malaysia could continue productive expenditure on things like roads, schools and hospitals for the benefit of the people.

"And alongside the GST, we will continue the reforms to make our economy more competitive, which will bring more opportunities for our businesses and higher income for the people," he said.

Najib said that to ensure the safety and security of the Malaysian people from the increasing threats of terrorist groups, the government had introduced a new terrorism white paper and was also strengthening the country's cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies.

"My greatest responsibility as the prime minister is to ensure the safety and security of the Malaysian people. Our position is quite clear; we reject this so-called Islamic State. We reject this state defined by extremism. And we condemn the violence being committed in the name of Islam," he said.

On recent floods suffered in several states, Najib said the government s priority was to get help to people who need it now, with the supplies and assistance for those who were stranded or displaced, and financial support, so that people can get their lives back together.

Next year, he said, the government's priority was to rebuild the infrastructure, businesses and homes that were damaged in an environmentally friendly way so that future floods would not be more likely or more damaging.

Najib said Malaysia would play a much bigger role in the region and world affairs in the year to come.

"Next year, we will chair Asean, as we prepare to launch the Asean Community. "In 2015, under Malaysia's chairmanship, we will lay the foundations for deeper regional integration. For the people of Asean, this will mean more opportunities with more jobs, and easier ways to do business.

"In 2015, we will also hold a non-permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Far from just a diplomatic badge of pride, this is a chance for Malaysia to state our support for key objectives, including a dignified and secure future for the Palestinian people and make a real contribution to global security problems," he said.

Najib described 2014 as the most challenging year of his career and one of the most difficult years in Malaysia's history with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 and the destruction of MH17.

"2014 did bring prosperity for Malaysia, but it was also the year we were united in grief. I believe we will come out of these twin tragedies stronger and more determined.

"In mosques, churches and temples, in shopping malls and online, Malaysians responded to these tragedies as one. We have been tested by disaster, but the spirit of the nation remains strong," he said.

MH370, enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared on March 8 while MH17, during its journey from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17.

On the AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 tragedy, the prime minister said: "Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters in Indonesia."

Amidst the tragedies, there were high points in 2014, including the country's 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China and United States President Barack Obama's visit to Malaysia.-- BERNAMA

-rocky's bru

ROSMAH RUMOURS pile pressure on embattled Najib

ROSMAH RUMOURS pile pressure on embattled Najib
KUALA LUMPUR - The issue of Rosmah Mansor using the official government jet has again become the subject of gossip, and joining the chatter is Shahbudin Husin, a harsh government critic and a blogger with a large following.
In his latest blog entry, Shahbudin notes that Najib returned from his holiday without his wife and that he landed in an Air Force jet although he and his family left for the United States in the government’s private aircraft.
He asks for official confirmation that Rosmah is still holidaying in the US, repeating questions asked in an official press release by PKR Youth: Why didn’t Najib return in the official jet? Is it true that the jet is now in Indianapolis in the American Midwest? Who is using the jet?
He says the public needs the answers to these questions because it appears that public funds are being misused. “The use of an Air Force jet to bring Najib home of course doubles the cost,” he adds.
He says that although Najib has somewhat mitigated his error of going on a holiday in the midst of the flood crisis by cutting the vacation short, he has committed a worse mistake in allowing his wife to use the official jet because she doesn’t have the right to it and because it involves public funds.
He implies that this could be the reason why some ministers were defying the Prime Minister’s order for them to cut their vacation short to deal with the flood crisis.
“Rosmah has used the official jet several times for personal purposes and it seems that no one can stop her,” he says. “This time it is used for her to holiday while Najib is in the country. This only adds to the hatred and resentment.”
Shahbudin recalls Deputy Prime Muhyiddin Yassin’s remark when asked to comment about Najib golfing in Hawaii with US President Barack Obama. “Leave the Prime Minister alone,” said Muhyiddin. “Like any normal human being, he too needs a holiday.”
He interprets the DPM’s comment as a veiled criticism, using the Malay expression that translates into “poisoned honey”. He speculates that Muhyiddin, if asked to comment on the gossip about Rosmah, would say, “Just let Rosmah use the jet. She too has made huge sacrifices for the country.” - FMT

ECONOMIC DISASTER NEXT if GST not deferred & floods emergency not declared - Guan Eng warns Najib

ECONOMIC DISASTER NEXT if GST not deferred & floods emergency not declared - Guan Eng warns Najib
DAP urges the BN Federal government to declare a state of emergency over the national flood disaster in affected areas in Peninsular Malaysia. The Federal government is behaving irresponsibly and mala fide by relying on ridiculous, invalid and baseless excuses that declaring a state of emergency would adversely affect those insured, by preventing the hundreds of thousands of flood victims from filing for insurance claims. This is not true.
For a high water mark of 250,000 flood victims, the largest in Malaysian history evacuated from their homes, and financial losses of billions of ringgit certainly necessitate a state of emergency over the national floods disaster to expedite rescue, recovery and restoration works of damaged homes and infrastructure. There is no reason why a state of emergency can not be declared when a haze emergency was declared in parts of Malaysia on 2005 and 2013? Is haze a bigger threat than floods?
In the face of such natural disaster, the BN Federal government should also avoid an economic disaster for the 14.1 million labour force(as of October 2014) by deferring the imposition of the 6% GST on 1 April 2015, which will result inflation and worsen the average standards of living. For the 14.1 million labour workforce with 13.7 million employed and 378,000 unemployed, BN’s claims that the mean monthly gross household income has increased by an annual rate of 8.4% to RM5,919 in 2014 from RM5,000 in 2012 is an empty and meaningless announcement.
A more accurate measure is that the median income for the bottom 40% of households increased 11.2% to RM2,312 in 2014 from RM1,847 in 2012. For this reason, a deferment of the GST is important so as to reduce the financial burden of ordinary Malaysian families when even the data provided by the Performance Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu) reveal that about 80% of households in Malaysia are currently earning less than RM4,000 per month. The problem is that the rise in income has not caught up with rising costs of living resulting in Malaysia recording the second highest personal household debt in Asia of 87% of GDP.
In politics of government, winning is not about winning elections but about generating good and creative ideas that can capture the imagination for a brighter future. BN and UMNO is about appealing to our primordial fears and hate that dehumanises minorities to not only steal our children’s future but even permit the most barbarous villainies in future. Instead of aping BN’s primitive rule that rewards bad behaviour, we must focus on moderation, generate prosperity by stressing on excellence and competence and ensure socio-economic justice.
We need to be an innovative society leveraging on the conditions of 3Ts of Talent, Technology and Tolerance of new ideas based on ideals of freedom. We must remember that innovation depends less on developing specific ideas than it does on creating broad spaces. Autocracies can always mobilize their top 0.1% to accomplish excellence but what about the remaining 99.9%? Autocracies’ only answer is to administer dictate, oppress, repress and suppress the people.
For this reason, Malaysians can celebrate the new year in a more meaningful manner by fighting to preserve the freedoms in our Federal Constitution born of equal opportunity where you can be the best you want to be, rule of law, transparency and sustainable development that can give a better future to our children.
LIM GUAN ENG is Penang Chief Minister

这场水灾已造成25万人受到影响,是马来西亚史上最多人被疏散的一次,经济损失更高达数十亿令吉,政府理应尽速宣布紧急状态,以便全力投入救灾行动,协助灾民修复家园以及一切受损的基设。 大马曾在2005年及2013年因烟霾入侵而宣布部份地区进入紧急状态,这次的水患冲击的层面更大,没有理由不发号紧急命令,难不成,烟霾比水患问题更大?

Rising seas return, as searchers struggle to find AirAsia plane wreck

Indonesia Marine divers prepares their gear on deck of search-and-rescue ship Purworejo for search operation of passengers onboard AirAsia flight QZ8501 at Kumai port, Pangkalan Bun, today. – Reuters pic, January 1, 2015.Indonesia Marine divers prepares their gear on deck of search-and-rescue ship Purworejo for search operation of passengers onboard AirAsia flight QZ8501 at Kumai port, Pangkalan Bun, today. – Reuters pic, January 1, 2015.

Search teams looking for the sunken wreck of an AirAsia jet off Borneo struggled to resume full-scale operations on Thursday after a small window of fine weather closed, giving way to rising seas which have dogged the search from the start.
As dawn broke, revealing blue skies, hopes had risen for divers to be able to investigate what is believed to be the fuselage of the Airbus A320-200, which was carrying 162 people when it crashed on Sunday during stormy weather on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.
"Clouds have started to descend again...and the weather conditions will deteriorate again," search and rescue official Tatang Zaenudin told TV, adding that the conditions would limit air searches. "For the sea search, we will continue."
None of the tell-tale black box "pings" had been detected, an official said.
The plane's black box flight data and cockpit voice recorder should help solve the mystery of the crash.
Investigators are working on a theory that it went into aerodynamic stall as the pilot climbed steeply to avoid a storm.
Bodies recovered from the Java Sea are being taken in numbered coffins to Surabaya, where relatives of the victims have gathered, for identification. Authorities have been collecting DNA from the relatives to help identify the bodies.
Some of the bodies recovered so far have been fully clothed, including a flight attendant still wearing her AirAsia uniform. That could indicate the Airbus was intact when it hit the water and also support the aerodynamic stall theory.
Most of the 162 people on board were Indonesians. No survivors have been found.
Strong wind and waves hampered the search and with visibility at less than a kilometre (half a mile), the air operation was called off on Wednesday afternoon.
"The weather today was really challenging in the field, with waves up to 5 metres high, wind reaching 40 km per hour (and) heavy rain, especially in the search area," Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, the head of the search and rescue agency, said.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said his priority was retrieving the bodies.
Relatives, many of whom collapsed in grief when they saw the first grim television pictures confirming their fears on Tuesday, held prayers at a crisis centre at Surabaya airport.
Steep climb
The plane was travelling at 9,753 metres (32,000 feet) and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet to avoid bad weather. When air traffic controllers granted permission for a rise to 34,000 feet a few minutes later, they received no response.
A source close to the probe into what happened said radar data appeared to show that the aircraft made an "unbelievably" steep climb before it crashed, possibly pushing it beyond the Airbus A320's limits.
"So far, the numbers taken by the radar are unbelievably high. This rate of climb is very high, too high. It appears to be beyond the performance envelope of the aircraft," he said.
The source, who declined to be named, added that more information was needed to come to a firm conclusion.
Online discussion among pilots has centred on unconfirmed secondary radar data from Malaysia that suggested the aircraft was climbing at a speed of 353 knots, about 100 knots too slow, and that it might have stalled.
The Indonesian captain, a former air force fighter pilot, had 6,100 flying hours under his belt and the plane last underwent maintenance in mid-November, according to the airline, which is 49 percent owned by Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia.
Three airline disasters involving Malaysian-affiliated carriers in less than a year have dented confidence in the country's aviation industry and spooked travellers.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing in March on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew and has not been found. On July 17, the same airline's Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
On board Flight QZ8501 were 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, and one person each from Singapore, Malaysia and Britain. The co-pilot was French.
The AirAsia group, including affiliates in Thailand, the Philippines and India, had not suffered a crash since its Malaysian budget operations began in 2002. – Reuters

Prominent lawyer betrayed clients’ trust in land deal, says Federal Court

The Federal Court on Novenver 27 said prominent lawyer Gurbachan Singh betrayed his clients in the purchase of more than 1,400 hectares of estate land in Perak 20 years ago. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 1, 2015.The Federal Court on Novenver 27 said prominent lawyer Gurbachan Singh betrayed his clients in the purchase of more than 1,400 hectares of estate land in Perak 20 years ago. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 1, 2015.
Lawyer Gurbachan Singh and his legal firm have been found by the Federal Court to have betrayed the trust of their clients in the purchase of more than 1,400 hectares of estate land in Perak about 20 years ago.
A five-man bench chaired by Tan Sri Richard Malanjum on November 27 said the prominent lawyer should have acted in good faith and refrained from making profit from the trust placed in him in the purchase of the land in Hutan Melintang, read a court judgement on the case posted on the Malaysian judiciary website.
"He should not have placed himself in a position where his duty and his interest conflicted.
Gurbachan was part of the legal team which represented Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his first sodomy charge in 1999.
Malanjum said a committee representing the group had approached Gurbachan to obtain his professional services to ensure claims of the purchasers of the land were secured.
"In this case, the evidence adduced and on the given facts and circumstances, the relationship between Gurbachan and the purchasers could only be properly characterised as fiduciary,"  Malanjum said in 101-page judgement.

Bukan tsunami, bukan gempa bumi dan juga bukannya ribu taufan.....hanya kedatang air deras........

Air mata bercucuran lihat rumah musnah

ABD SHUKUR HARUN | 01 Januari 2015.

DENGAN keadaan yang amat gawat akibat rempuhan banjir besar, ribuan rumah musnah, terutama di Pantai Timur, ada yang terperangkap, terkorban dan kelaparan, nyatalah malapetaka itu menimpakan kerosakan yang sangat besar.

Rakyatlah yang sangat menderita di mana ia akan berterusan memakan masa yang lama, kerana bukan mudah untuk meneruskan kembali kehidupan.

Bagi rakyat yang ditimpa malapetaka banjir itu, hanya cucuran air mata ketika melihat rumah dan harta benda mereka yang musnah, terutama di Gua Musang, Kuala Krai, Manik Urai dan kawasan lain yang musnah.

Ratusan ribu orang yang terperangkap, lapar dan dahaga tidak terkirakan lagi, hospital bergelap, tiada bekalan elektrik dan bayangkan bagaimana hendak merawat pesakit di dalam gelap, atau hanya lampu kecil di tangan. Namun dengan gigih kakitangan hospital bertungkus lumus juga untuk merawat pesakit.

Di samping itu, ternyata pelbagai golongan rakyat Malaysia umumnya telah menunjukkan simpati yang amat sangat kepada mangsa banjir itu, di mana pelbagai bantuan dari seluruh negara telah dihantar untuk menolong mangsa. Ini adalah manifestasi kemanusiaan yang sangat tinggi.

Selangor, negeri kaya yang diperintah oleh Pakatan Rakyat berjanji akan menyalurkan bantuan kewangan tambahan sehingga RM5 juta lagi bagi membina semula rumah baru untuk keluarga miskin di negeri yang terjejas teruk akibat bencana tersebut. Ini dinyatakan oleh Menteri Besarnya Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Katanya, pihaknya akan menerima sumbangan sebanyak RM5 juta daripada syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLC), sektor swasta dan perniagaan pada Jumaat ini dan beliau menjangkakan jumlah itu akan meningkat lebih banyak dalam tempoh seminggu akan datang untuk diberikan kepada mangsa banjir.

Katanya, setakat ini Selangor sudah menyumbangkan sebanyak RM1.5 juta kepada mangsa banjir - RM1 juta untuk Kelantan, RM100,000 masing-masing kepada Terengganu, Pahang dan Perak serta RM200,000 kepada Pertubuhan Misi Bantuan Kemanusiaan Selangor (Pantas) yang turun padang membantu mangsa banjir.

Adapun banjir besar yang melanda ini sewajarnya menjadi renungan dan muhasabah semua pihak, bagaimana ia terjadi, sebab musababnya, bagaimana keadaan apabila rakyat biasa ditimpa malapetaka seperti ini.

Menteri Besar Kelantan, Ustaz Datuk Ahmad Yakob menangkis kenyataan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang mengaitkan bencana banjir buruk dengan kegiatan pembalakan tidak terkawal di Kelantan.

Jika dakwaan itu benar sekalipun, katanya, ia mungkin berpunca daripada kegiatan penerokaan (pembalakan) haram.

“Kejadian pembalakan yang tidak terkawal jika berlaku mungkin disebabkan penerokaan haram yang dilakukan oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab. Kerajaan akan melaksanakan penguatkuasaan yang lebih tegas dan efektif dalam hal ini,” kata Menteri Besar itu.

Ustaz Datuk Ahmad Yakob membangkitkan beberapa piawai dan syarat pembalakan yang menurutnya sudah dipenuhi oleh kerajaan negeri Kelantan.

Menurut beliau, faktor lain termasuk fenomena limpahan air hujan yang berlebihan juga menyumbang kepada bencana tersebut, yang menyebabkan sehingga 275,000 hilang tempat tinggal.

Ketika sibuk-sibuk menghadapi banjir besar ini timbul cadangan supaya kepimpinan PAS dan Umno di negeri itu mengenepikan fahaman politik mereka dan membentuk kerajaan campuran demi memastikan rakyat Kelantan mampu bangkit menghadapi situasi yang teruk selepas banjir.

Cadangan ini – datng dari tokoh anak Melayu Kelantan, Datuk Dr Hussamuddin Yaacub - saya kira adalah ikhlas.

Tetapi ada jawaan dari Naib Presiden PAS Datuk Husam Musa yang berkata, Kerajaan Persekutuan sepatutnya membayar royalti minyak yang ia berhutang dengan Kelantan supaya kerajaan PAS boleh membina semula negeri itu.

"Apa kata Petronas yang mengaut kekayaan dari laut Kelantan tanpa apa-apa sumbangan selama ini menunjukkan jiwa kemanusiaannya dengan memberikan RM3 billion bagi tujuan itu?" kata Husam dalam satu kenyataannya.

Husam pernah mengetuai kempen menuntut Putrajaya membayar wang royalti kepada Kelantan bagi petroleum yang digali dari perairan negeri itu sama seperti bayaran yang diberi kepada Terengganu.

PAS Kelantan berulang kali mendakwa Putrajaya sengaja menangguhkan pembayaran royalti itu kerana kerajaan negerinya tidak ditadbir oleh Barisan Nasional (BN).

Saya kira, walau apapun keadaan, perpaduan antara Umno dan PAS tidak mungkin akan berlaku dan ia hanya ‘mimpi ngeri’. Saya yakin, pendukung PAS semua peringkat tidak terlintaspun untuk bergabung. PAS telah serasi dengan Pakatan Rakyat. Saya kira, selepas banjir inipun, isu gabungan ini tidak akan berbangkit.

Kini banjir sudah beransur surut, tetapi ribuan mangsa yang berlindung di pelbagai pusat penempatan menghadapi dilema yang sangat berat. Mereka mahu pulang ke rumah masing-masing, tetapi bagaimana keadaan rumah mereka? Ada yang musnah sama sekali dihanyut banjir, ada yang rosak teruk, barang-barang bersalut lumpur, sementara barang elektrik sudah tidak boleh diguna lagi.

Kini pelbagai golongan rakyat, khususnya petugas PAS seluruh negara, datang lagi untuk membantu membersihkan rumah mangsa banjir ini dengan membawa segala peralatan. 
Inilah cerminan solidariti dan kemanusiaan dari mereka, lebih-lebih lagi dari Unit Amal, yang sejak awal banjir telah datang bertungkus lunus membantu walaupun menghadapi pelbagai kesukaran.

Yang penting di sini, ialah pihak kerajaan negeri dan Putrajaya sama-sama berfikir dan berusaha (bukan bergabung) untuk membuat persiapan secukupnya cara bagaimana untuk menghadapi banjir di masa akan datang, yang biasanya, tiba setiap tahun.

Segala pemikiran dan idea dengan segala teknologi tinggi, kesungguhan dan segalanya, saya kira, masalah banjir ini boleh ditangani dengan berkesan di masa depan.

Allah s.w.t. membekalkan manusia dengan akal yang mendorong usaha untuk menghadapi segala ujian seperti ini. - HARAKAHDAILY


Harga petrol RON95 dan RON97 akan menurun sebanyak 35 sen seliter manakala diesel turun 30 sen, mulai 1 Januari 2015.

Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan (KPDNKK) dalam satu kenyataan pada Rabu berkata, dengan penurunan itu, harga minyak seliter kini RM1.91 untuk petrol RON95, RM2.11 (RON97) dan RM1.93 bagi diesel.

Menterinya, Datuk Seri Hasan Malek berkata, kerajaan akan terus memantau harga pasaran petrol dan diesel, dan juga kadar pertukaran mata wang, dalam beberapa bulan akan datang.

Pada 1 Disember 2014, harga runcit petrol dan diesel ditetapkan mengikut sistem apungan terurus, yang menandakan penghapusan semua subsidi bahan api.

Di bawah apungan terurus tersebut, harga runcit akan berdasarkan purata harga bulanan minyak mentah dunia.

Lantak Hangpa La.....

Mariam Mokhtar on Najib and Crisis Leadership

by Mariam Mokhtar@www.malaysiakini.com
Najib and Obama in HawaiiPosing with Obama in Hawaii
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has more than just the rising flood waters to worry about. He probably returned home  to stop being swamped by the efforts of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who said that Najib need not abandon his holiday to deal with the flooding.
Few people believe Najib’s declaration that he has genuine concern for the welfare of the flood victims. Did he return for the rakyat, or to save his own skin? We will probably never learn the true reason. The truth is always suppressed by UMNO Baru.
najib and his deputyPartners or Rivals for Power?
On Christmas Day, Muhyiddin said, “The PM is overseas, but I’m in charge here. I am running the country”. His comment is insignificant if taken as a single remark, because a deputy should take control, when his boss is away.
However, when other things are taken into consideration, it is an indication of the level of animosity between the two men and the swirling discontent within UMNO Baru.
When one includes the recent barrage of verbal assaults and criticisms of Najib, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and his administration, it looks like a repeat of the drama at the time of the KL112 rally, dubbed the People’s Uprising Rally, two years ago.
At that time, in January 2013, one political pundit claimed that Najib, who was on a family holiday in Europe, had to rush back to Malaysia immediately after his audience with the Pope at the Vatican.
It was alleged that Muhyiddin had conspired, with other UMNO Baru warlords in Malaysia to act against his boss. Then, as now, the criticisms against Najib have been loud and unrestrained. Najib has much to worry about.
Floods, Obama and NajbNajib needs Obama
With critics lambasting Najib, for abandoning the country while it suffered from the worst flooding in decades, Muhyiddin poked fun at Najib, when he said, “The PM has worked very hard. Be fair to him…”
Muhyiddin also said, “If I can’t do the job then I will call him to come back”. So, poor Najib had to return. Perhaps, Najib should consider sacking Muhyiddin, who has made a hash of everything he has touched.
Intense rivalry between PM and DPM
There is no doubt that there is intense rivalry between the two, but Najib was being insincere when he claimed that he was glad to be with the flood victims. It had taken public humiliation, on the social media, to drag him away from Hawaii, and  his golfing buddy, the President of the United States.
Najib said that he did not mind foregoing his family vacation, in America, to deal with the flooding at home. Few of us are moved by this trite comment. We know from experience that Najib is always abroad when the nation is in crisis. He may as well form a government in exile, judging by the number of times he has issued comments from abroad.
A country needs its leader to assume control in times of disaster. Najib should also realise that his bloated Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) acts like a lumbering container ship, rather than a sleek vessel. Instructions take a long time to filter to the bottom.
With factions existing in many Malaysian institutions, the heads of department of the 45,000 civil servants in the PMD, may not want to make decisions, nor be held accountable for their actions.
The UMNO Baru cybertroopers will never understand that it is pointless asking where the opposition leaders are. The opposition does not have the authority to deploy the army to help the relief effort. They cannot tell the Treasury to allocate funds for food or medical equipment. UMNO Baru controls Putrajaya and is in charge of the resources of the nation.
Floods not a one-off incident
An aerial view of flooded streets of the National Park in Kuala Tahan, Pahang
On his return, Najib headed straight to Kota Baru, in Kelantan, and instructed cabinet members who were on holiday to return and help manage the situation.
Does Najib have to “order” them to return? Are these men and women so irresponsible and immature that they have to be told what to do? They probably own smartphones and the latest electronic gadgetry to inform them of what is happening in Malaysia. Must they be summoned like errant school children?
A leader should set a good example and this experience should tell Najib that when he absconded to Hawaii, his minsters decided to emulate him, and also go on holiday.
The floods are not a one-off incident. They are an annual occurrence. The signs that this year was going to be worse than previous years have been evident. Why ignore them?
If I had a ringgit for every insult our politicians hurl at the Malaysian rakyat, I would be a millionaire. If I were given a sen for all the lies they tell us, I would be a billionaire.
There are three mysterious allegations that Najib may want to clear up: Did he go on a private vacation using a government jet? Why did he not take the direct route home, instead of stopping off in Indianapolis? How many planes were used to fly him to Hawaii and back?
The floods are an annual occurrence, exacerbated by illegal logging, deforestation and the destruction of the mangrove swamps. The problems are not helped by development on the flood plains.
Najib should plan flood mitigation measures to prevent a recurrence of this disaster. A tiny proportion of the illegal outflow of money, from this country, would pay for dredging and widening of rivers and many other methods of water control.
So, why has Najib not mentioned anything about flood mitigation measures? He should consult Ahmad Maslan, the expert geographer and Deputy Finance Minister.

An extremely extreme 2014, year of hudud next?

Tan Jooi Long
All bad that ended worse is one way to sum up Year 2014 for Malaysia.
Isma, Perkasa, the Teeliban, defenders of “Allah” and proponents of hudud have all made sure of a bad, bad, bad time for most Malaysians.
Then throw in MH370 which vanished without a trace, MH17 which was shot down by God-knows-who, and Indonesia AirAsia QZ8501 which was lost over the Java Sea.
Finally, add on probably the worst-ever floods to inundate the country with more than 240,000 Malaysians having to flee their homes, and we have the makings of a year we would all rather forget.
Worse is still to come because the global plunge in oil price is not good news for Malaysians apart from the immediate gratification of the cheaper cost of petrol. Just wait for the wider impact.
In fact, the collapse in the price of oil is seen as the most significant development in the world economy in 2014.
The near-50 per cent slump in the price of internationally traded Brent crude from a high of more than US$115 a barrel in June to less than US$60 in early December has stoked financial crises in oil-producing countries, especially Russia and Venezuela. Expect the spill-over effects to devastate the rest of the world’s economies next year.
The roots of the price collapse lie in the US shale oil boom, which began when small and medium-sized producers worked out in 2009-10 how to apply to oil production the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that had already been highly successful for natural gas.
This oil price slump will lead to widespread economic disintegration with corresponding breakdowns in the political and social systems of many countries, Malaysia not exempted.
But right now, our immediate concerns are the devastating floods especially in the East Coast, and the 699 passengers and crew lost in the three airliners, with the first two belonging to Malaysia Airlines, and QZ8501 being 49 per cent owned by Malaysian-controlled AirAsia.
We can’t blame the Creator for the devastating floods in the manner of the infamous Works Minister who attributed the cracks in Kuala Lumpur’s Semi Value MRR2 to “an Act of God”.
Activist Anas Alam Faizli claimed on Twitter that uncontrolled logging was behind the worsening floods.
He said that according to a report based on a global forest map, the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang worst affected by floods were victims of wanton deforestation.
The report, he claimed, said that between 2000 and 2012, Malaysia recorded the world’s highest rate of forest loss.
We’re paying that price with a record number of flood evacuees in six states – Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Johor and Selangor – as rains continue to fall and floods worsen.
Aid workers are hampered by logistics issues in the struggle to send food and water supplies to flood-hit areas, and the new school year has been put back by one week.
No wonder one Malaysian lamented on social media that this has been a terrible year for Malaysia in all respects.
Government revenues are shrinking, he said. The ringgit is crashing, and national unity and morale is at an all-time low.
Bad karma?, he asked. “I don’t care what it is. It’s just not working out for Malaysia.”
He is not the only disgusted Malaysian venting it on Facebook, Twitter and the popular online news portals.
On Malaysiakini, one reader commented: “Oh no not again! God have mercy!”
Another said, “Simply incredible… just when we thought 2014 was almost over… #3!”
Both were, of course, referring to the missing AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501.
A third reader wrote: “Our blighted country has also been inflicted with other major catastrophes that can be considered as happened as a result of natural disasters. The entire Klang Valley’s 10 million residents suffered a critical water shortage crisis for eight months since January.
“Then the East Coast states were inundated with massive floods and the weather has still not shown any let-up so far. In short, five major misfortunes have lashed our shores and its people.”
A fourth reader wrote that the largest retribution on Malaysia was yet to come. “It is called 1Malaysia Development Berhad”.
Of course, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not spared.
Someone posted, “Why was our PM not in the flooded areas where he was needed most and spend time mingling with the victims?
“He was busy playing golf with Obama then and could not ‘let the opportunity slip'”. Oh oh.
What a downward spiral 2014! Will it get better in 2015?
Go ask Isma, Perkasa, the Teeliban, and hudud’s proponents. Then go pray. Pray real hard.