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Saturday, October 31, 2015

No change in fuel prices in November

Fuel prices will be maintained next month, according to a source. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 31, 2015. Fuel prices will be maintained next month, according to a source. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 31, 2015. 
The retail price of RON97 and RON95 petrol as well as diesel would remain unchanged in November, effective midnight.
Fuel prices would stay at the current rates of RM2.05 a litre for RON95 petrol, RM2.45 for RON97 petrol, RM1.90 for diesel and RM2.00 for Euro5 grade diesel, a source said today.
Putrajaya implemented the managed float system to determine the price of RON95, RON97 petrol and diesel from December 1 last year.

More goodies in Pakatan Harapan’s budget than BN’s?

Budget 2016 is deemed ‘populist’ because of its tilt towards rural folk, and Sabah and Sarawak. Yet the opposition’s alternative budget contains just as many handouts for the two target groups. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 1, 2015.  Budget 2016 is deemed ‘populist’ because of its tilt towards rural folk, and Sabah and Sarawak. Yet the opposition’s alternative budget contains just as many handouts for the two target groups. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 1, 2015. 
When Putrajaya hands out cash to poor people and announces policies for rural folk and Sabah and Sarawak, it is accused by analysts of vote-buying and being populist.
Yet Pakatan Harapan, in its alternative budget, allocates even more money and projects for Sabah and Sarawak and subsidies for rice farmers.
According to its 2016 budget, if Pakatan Harapan were in power, it would continue to give cash aid to the poor but with conditions. But they are not accused of being populist.
So is there a bias against the ruling Barisan Nasional’s Budget 2016? Should Pakatan also be considered populist in its plans for the poor, Sabah and Sarawak, and rural folk?
Who’s the bigger populist?
Analysts and experts in reports by business website Bloomberg on the RM267.2 billion Budget 2016 described it as being filled with handouts to please rural and poor folk, which the BN relies on for support.
Plans considered populist include raising the minimum wage, goods and services tax (GST) exemptions for more food items and more cash under the 1Malaysia People’s Aid Scheme (BR1M).
It has also been called an election budget because of the pay raises for the civil service and programmes designed for Sabah and Sarawak, such as a scheme to build longhouses.
But the Pakatan budget has even more ambitious proposals for Sabah and Sarawak. It promises to give 20% oil and gas royalty to the two states and half of those proceeds will be put into a resource fund modelled after the world-renown Norwegian Pension Fund.
The opposition coalition would give RM1 billion to develop secondary cities in Sabah and Sarawak and another RM1 billion for conditional university scholarships.
It would also build a railway line connecting Kota Kinabalu to Kuching by diverting funds from the Singapore-KL Highspeed Rail (HSR) which it would cancel.
In the peninsula, Pakatan would reform the current rice subsidy scheme by redirecting funds from millers to padi farmers.
The biggest, and potentially, most popular proposal would be to set the GST at 0%, which is likely to benefit low-income households the most.
Narrowing gaps   
Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen, who is part of Pakatan’s budget drafting committee, refutes suggestions that its proposals are populist. 
He said they were part of the coalition’s budget philosophy to narrow socio-economic inequality.
“Our concentration on Sabah and Sarawak, especially, is because they are two of the biggest sources of oil and gas yet they do not get back a fair proportion of this revenue,” said Wong.
“Sabah and Sarawak and rural areas are the least equal to other parts of Malaysia.”
Setting the GST at zero, he said, was necessary to help low-income households and businesses survive a recession which Pakatan predicted would happen next year.
Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen says Pakatan Harapan’s budget is designed to narrow socio-economic inequality. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 1, 2015.Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen says Pakatan Harapan’s budget is designed to narrow socio-economic inequality. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 1, 2015.“This is by no means a populist measure but a necessary one,” he said.
A policy would be considered populist if there was no underlying rationale for it other than a blatant attempt to buy votes, said another Pakatan budget committee member Dr Ong Kian Ming.
The rationale for the KK-Kuching railway was that it would do more for Sabah and Sarawak’s economy than the Singapore-KL HSR, said Ong, who is Serdang MP.
The scholarships would only be given out to the brightest from the two states provided that they return to work in Sabah and Sarawak after they graduated, said Ong.
“(It) is to address the shortage of human capital in Sarawak and Sabah and the fact that many talented (ones) come to work in KL and Singapore rather than go back.”
Big talk, small allocations 
The perception that there was double standard when it came to BN and Pakatan policies was because there was less goodwill and trust towards the ruling coalition, he said.
The scepticism about whether the BN would walk their talk instead of promising things that sounded good was also evident if one were to scrutinise the nitty-gritty details of the budget.
Wong said although it sounded much, all the aid in the federal budget totalled about RM500 million, which was small percentage in terms of the overall RM267.2 billion.
When it came to the Pan-Borneo Highway, said Ong, the project has been estimated at RM16 billion, but its allocation was RM800 million from the Prime Minister’s Department.
“BN has promised much over the past 50 years of independence and has delivered only a small percentage of what they promised.”
- TMI

Chua sings Najib’s praises: 'Helped with sex video statement'



Former MCA president Chua Soi Lek, known for his phenomenal political comeback despite resigning over a sex scandal, said then Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had lent him a hand when the controversy erupted.
Spefically, said Chua, Najib helped in the drafting of the speech that the embattled party chief read out on television admitting he was the person in a sex video that had been anonymously circulated.
"At that time, when I drafted the speech to admit on television, I wrote it with Najib. I went to his house.
"He thought I wrote it in a way that was too rigid, (so) he edited it for me," Chua said in a Mandarin interview with Cari.com.my.
Chua praised Najib as someone who was always ready to lend his ear.
"Najib is actually a good listener; he listens to you," said Chua.
Chua, who was MCA vice-president at that time, had admitted to being the man in the sex video on Jan 1, 2008, and resigned from all posts - including as health minister - the following day.
However, he made an unprecedented comeback nine months later, and was elected MCA deputy president in October.
Then MCA president Ong Tee Keat used Chua's sex scandal to expel him from the party in 2009 but failed, and was instead unseated by Chua the following year.
Decision to take responsibility
Chua admitted that eight years on since the scandal, his opponents still bring up the sex video when he criticises MCA president Liow Tiong Lai.
"But I think if you want to hurt me, you have already hurt me. I have already paid the price.
"I have even gone through a party general assembly which voted to restore my party membership," he said.
Recalling the sex scandal, Chua, who is married, said he did not hesitate in admitting to being the man in the video with a woman whom he had described as a personal friend.
"On the day I knew about it (the video being circulated), the next day after the cabinet meeting, at 4.30pm, I admitted (to the video)," he said.
He said this was despite his lawyers advising him that he could get away with denying it.
"Lawyers said ‘no one can prove it's you. First, you will need the woman to cooperate and then the person who shot the video must also come forward.
"‘These two people will surely not come forward, so no one would dare say it’s you. If you sue them (the accusers), you could even win'," he recounted.
Chua added that he had also consulted the attorney-general at that time, who had given a similar view.
However, Chua said he wanted to take responsibility for his actions.
Asked if he regretted the scandal, Chua said life has to go on. -Mkini

ZAHID IN ASCENDANCY: MUHYIDDIN MAY QUIT, NAJIB AT RISK AMID TALK OF SECRET DEALS WITH DR M

ZAHID IN ASCENDANCY: MUHYIDDIN MAY QUIT, NAJIB AT RISK AMID TALK OF SECRET DEALS WITH DR M
KUALA LUMPUR - As Umno hurtles into an inevitable blow-up, forces aligned to Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi appear to be gaining ascendancy - not only over Muhyiddin Yassin, the incumbent party No.2 and previous DPM - but also over embattled party president, Prime Minister Najib Razak.
"Najib has no choice. He is under pressure from the Zahid camp but to show he 'trusts' Zahid and will promote him as the next in line," a political source told Malaysia Chronicle.
"But will Zahid wait and will Najib keep his promise."
Indeed, the ruckus over a 'plot' to sack Muhyiddin from Umno is now being fuelled by the Zahid camp, much more than by Najib's supporters.
Many believe Najib is now 'extremely nervous' and is trying to negotiate a way out with Muhyiddin so as to keep the ambitious Zahid at bay.
"Najib's men may be screaming at the top of their lungs to get Muhyiddin removed but that could be for show. What is the worse Muhyiddin can do at the Umno assembly in December? Muhyiddin can only harp at 1MDB, while if Najib makes the unwise move of dumping him, Najib may find himself in Zahid's power," said the source.
"And there is already talk Zahid is making overtures to Mukhriz Mahathir."
The source was referring the Kedah chief minister, who is the youngest son of former premier Mahathir Mohamad. Both father and son, along with Muhyiddin, Sabah leader Shafie Apdal and Kelantan prince Tengku Razaleigh are believed to be on a blacklist of 7 'rebels' due to face face disciplinary action, suspension and the sack for criticizing Najib.
Of late, Zahid has hinted that Mahathir may even be summoned by the police for his anti-Najib comments.
But Mahathir still wields important influence in Umno despite retiring in 2003, and Zahid would need his backing and blessings to be able to ensconce hmself comfortably in Najib's seat.
Zahid putting pressure on Muhyiddin to quit, Ku Li also on watch
Many Umno watchers believe Zahid's focus will be on Muhyddin and Ku Li - two men who have refused to buckle to pressure and harbor ambitions to lead the nation.
"It's an open secret in Umno that Zahid has been trying to persuade Muhyiddin to quit before the general assembly, ironically for the sake of party 'unity'. So far Muhyiddin has refused. So out comes the stick - resign or be sacked. It is something Muhyiddin is now considering seriously," said the source.
"As for Ku Li, Zahid has already previously warned of an Umno leader trying to topple the government by going through the Malay rulers. Once, Zahid is finished with Muhyiddin, he may look again to Ku Li. Any obstacle to the PM's chair won't be spared."
Insiders had said the party supreme council was preparing charge papers against Muhyiddin, to be submitted to the disciplinary board along with evidence of his 'offences'. Grassroots have been told the move was necessary to prevent Muhyiddin from continuing to attack the Umno leadership during the officiating ceremony at the assembly, which will involve all wings of the party.
Umno secretary-general Ku Nan, who refused to name the 7 'rebels' but disparaged them as 'termites', has confirmed investigation papers have been completed and will be submitted to the party's disciplinary board.
"If the disciplinary board decides to issue only a warning letter, Zahid's hope go up in smoke. Najib can breathe again but for sure Zahid will try again," the source said.
"Najib is now more precarious than before. At least, Mahathir and Muhyiddin openly declared their intentions to topple him. For Zahid, he publicly stands on Najib's side but it is evident in the party that his men are openly calling for Najib to declare him the official successor."
Among the prominent pro-Zahid leaders is Nazri Aziz, a senior Umno minister who had previously aligned himself to the Najib camp. Nazri recently raised eyebrows when he declared he would support Zahid to be Prime Minister if Najib resigned.
Mahathir's deafening silence: Secret deals being struck?
All eyes are also Mahathir, who has kept a deafening silence on the issue.
A blog posting by one of Mahathir's staunchest allies, former minister Zainuddin Maidin, has sparked speculation that the ex-PM might be dropping his support for Muhyiddin and switching to Zahid.
"It is not impossible that a top secret Zahid-Mahathir alliance is in the works. Their people are always talking to each other. At the moment, what is apparent to us is Mahathir is working with Ku Li and still supporting Muhyiddin. But if Muhyiddin quits or is sacked?
"On the other side of the fence is Zahid working with Najib to keep their factions in power. The words to describe the Umno equation now are fluid and volatile. Anything can be negotiated behind closed doors.  The only certainty is Najib will go - either by Mahathir, Muhyiddin, Ku Li or Zahid's hand."
Pushing Najib off the cliff
At the core of Najib's problems is the massive 1MDB debacle which has plunged the Malaysian currency to unprecedented 17-year lows, and severely dented the image of the country.
Najib is under investigation the authorities in the U.S. U.K., Switzerland and Singapore. A shock RM2.6 bil was discovered in his personal bank accounts, with a money trail leading back to a 1MDB unit.
Despite the enormous pressure, Najib has refused to step down, perhaps for fear of immediate arrest and jail. He has sacked Muhyiddin and several top leaders, civil servants including the Attorney General Gani Patail in a bid to foil corruption investigations against himself.
Many have accused the 62-year-old PM of using his enormous and some say unscrupulously-obtained wealth to buy the support of key Umno division chiefs. Such an image of 'political invincibility' has helped him to maintain his dignity in his party.
However, a recent shock popularity poll may be Najib's final undoing.
A recently released survey conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Centre showed that only 31% of Malay voters are satisfied with the government. This is the first time approval among Malays for the government has fallen below 50%.
Faced with such bleak prognosis, Umno leaders must know they cannot win the next general election unless Najib is taken out of the equation, and a new leader installed to restore Malay confidence in their party.
"The poll gave the final impetus and was a godsend for Zahid to use to get the warlords on his side. Once they have neutralized Muhyiddin, who is a key obstacle by virtue of his deputy president's post and therefore in line to be PM if Najib falls, Zahid will try to strike a deal with Mahathir and push Najib off the cliff. Watch it happen," said the source. - Malaysia Chronicle

WATCH UMNO GO DOWN THE DRAIN: KU LI, MUHYIDDIN WILTING AS NAJIB'S HOT-HEAD WARLORDS BAY FOR BLOOD

WATCH UMNO GO DOWN THE DRAIN: KU LI, MUHYIDDIN WILTING AS NAJIB'S HOT-HEAD WARLORDS BAY FOR BLOOD
Here is the latest post from Zam's Blog (scroll below for more)
http://zamkata.blogspot.my/search/label/utama#sthash.vVbzdNtl.dpuf
MUHYIDDIN MESTI DISIKINGRKAN DARI AHLI UMNO
My comments : This is a very sharp critique by Zam, cloaked in polite Malay. Except for that last line of course. King of Money and Money is King.
UMNO is now all about money. One fellow got bought over for just RM1.0 million. Another fellow did better, he got RM2.0 million.
The real targets here are Muhyiddin and also Ku Li. The people who are targeting them are the hangouts and hangers on around Najib and Zahid.
This was supposed to happen at that last Mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi scheduled for 30th October, 2015 but which got cancelled. They chickened out. Couldnt put all the pieces together.
Lets say they manage to take out Muhyiddin and Ku Li (kick them out of the party - thats why Tengku Adnan is conducting that "investigation") what happens next?
Well first of Najib remains and of course Zahid gets a huge boost.
Low quality vie for VP posts
Talk is there will be a scramble for the THREE Vice president's posts next.
Guess who is eyeing them folks - get this - Ismail Sabri Yaakob and that Hamzah guy from Perak. So the story goes.
Imagine Ismail Sabri as an UMNO VP? Elok UMNO pi jual pisang goreng bawah jambatan. This is the party of doom.
Zahid to dump Najib sooner or later: Muhyiddin, Ku Li should team up
The big question mark is when does Zahid do an Operation Barbarossa on Najib? I think that may happen too.
What should Muhyiddin Yasin do? He does not have much choice - if he does nothing he will become ZERO. It is better if he goes all out to edge the No. 1 out and take over from there.
Up the road from Merapoh the royal prince and gentleman from Gua Musang is rounding up his supporters. It will be good to team up with Muhyiddin. So many possibilities.
The nation, the entire nation is with them. The nation really needs heroes. Leaders, to stand up and save the situation. The nation is not just ready but we are waiting.
And who is the enemy? Almost insignificant.
MUHYIDDIN MESTI DISIKINGRKAN DARI AHLI UMNO
http://zamkata.blogspot.my/search/label/utama#sthash.vVbzdNtl.dpuf
Muhyiddin Yassin tidak boleh dipecat dari jawatan Timbalan President UMNO kerana beliau dipileh oleh Perhimpunan Agung
tetapi pemecatannya sebagai ahli UMNO secara automatis akan menggugurkannya dari jawatan penting itu.
Pemecatan sebagai ahli boleh dilakukan jika ada bukti yang kukuh.
Inilah yang sedang digerakan oleh Tengku Adnan dengan kenyataan siasatan terhadap tujuh pemimpin UMNO sedang dijalankan
Usaha untuk mengkondisikan UMNO telah pun didahului dengan dakwaan 75%-95% ketua bahagian UMNO menyokong tindakan ini.
Ismail Sabri Yaacob juga mendesak tindakan tegas tanpa mengira jawatan
Barangkali Muhyiddin menyedari perancangan terhadapnya
baru ini beliau menganggap "pengecut" pemimpin UMNO yang menyokong presiden
penyokong-penyokong Najib menjadi semakin agresif .
tidak nampak masalah penyingkiran Muhyiddin, sebahagian besar anggota MT adalah juga ketua bahagian."
Mereka tahu apa untuk dilakukan pada mesyuarat MT akhir bulan ini" katanya ( Star 30 Oktober) (Tapi mesyuarat Mt itu tak jadi pula)
mencantas Muhyiddin mesti dilakukan sebelum PAU tidak lama lagi
kehadiran Muhyiddin akan menimbulkan kekecohan, menjatuhkan maruah Najib
Mencantas Muhyiddin perlu dilakukan awal supaya bakal timbalan dapat dipromokan
dan supaya Najib berkuasa sehingga pilihanraya umum itu
memberi peluang kepada Najib mengkosolidisasikan kekuatannya dalam parti
negeri-negeri mahu mengadakan pilihanraya DUN berasingan seperti Sarawak supaya tidak menampakan penglibatan imej Najib
Muhyiddin mestilah bersedia untuk dicantas
Ketua bahagian melihat menyelamatkan kepentingan peribadi Najib perlu untuk kekuatan parti dari menyelamatkan parti untuk kepentingan seluruh rakyat
Keputusan ini mereka buat oleh kerana Najib adalah King of Money yang mempunyai pengalaman lama dalam UMNO bahawa Money Is The King. - http://syedsoutsidethebox.blogspot.my/