Monday, September 29, 2008


IPOH, Sept 28 - Veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang last night outlined several options for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to end uncertainty over his political future, asking him to either call for snap polls or cooperate with the Pakatan Rakyat to change the federal government.

The DAP supremo said the Prime Minister has less than 12 days to mull the current options available to him to either get 58 nominations for the UMNO polls, not contest the party elections or announce his retirement from the country's top post by Oct 9.



SEPT 28 - With Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi eclipsed, his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the rise and the UMNO succession dispute all but settled, it is tough times ahead for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the erstwhile prime minister-in-waiting.

While meeting fund managers In Hong Kong on Thursday Anwar put up a brave front to questions on whether it is troubling him with Najib set to get the job he craves and whether the leadership transition in UMNO means a strong and united UMNO training its guns on him.

"No," Anwar told them. "In fact the changes makes it easier for me…nothing really has changed because the corrupt system remains, the cronyism remains and race and discrimination remains."



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today he will contest the Umno presidency even if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi decides against defending his post.

He also spoke out against the postponement of the party polls, and urged members to push for the reinstatement of December as the date of the annual general assembly.

Tengku Razaleigh also called on Umno grassroots to reject the latest transition of power plan involving Abdullah and party deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak. - The Malaysian Insider



KOTA KINABALU, Sept 28 (Bernama) - When Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee announced the party's decision to leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition on Sept 17, it did not surprise many people as it was something to be expected.

This was because three months beforehand, SAPP had displayed such a tendency.

But when United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) yesterday threatened to review its position in BN, it came as a shock and was seemingly reminiscent to SAPP's political move.

UPKO thus became the second BN component party in Sabah to make a "strong statement" against BN after SAPP. - BERNAMA



Although the sentiment among the grassroots for Gerakan to leave Barisan Nasional (BN) is prevalent because of incidents that took place over the last two months, the party is adopting a cautious stand as it needs to examine and ponder over its survival post-BN.

"At least 60% say 'let us be relieved of this burden', which is considered an emotional burden, but we have to go beyond that, we have to go beyond sentiments," the party's acting president, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, said today.

"Now, after the initial feelings and sentiments because of things that have happened, especially in the last one to two months, have subsided, they are becoming much more calm, collected and mature in their approach and are able to think over the things that have been discussed," he said at the opening of the Federal Territory (FT) Gerakan Wanita and Youth delegates conference. – The Sun


PETALING JAYA: More than 20 Federal Territory Gerakan members have defected to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) with “more expected in the coming weeks.”

Former Federal Territory Gerakan information bureau chief Gan Kok Keng said there would be at least 300 members from four divisions joining the opposition party soon.

The divisions involved are the Setiawangsa, Wangsa Maju, Bukit Bintang and Kepong divisions. – The Star



The West's pillorying of Moscow over last month's invasion of Georgia has kindled a fierce Russian resentment that poses dangers for security in Europe and in trouble spots beyond.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lectured Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during a United Nations gathering in New York, telling him Russia was now isolated. Lavrov countered that his appointment book for the meeting had never been fuller.

Behind the studiedly gentle riposte lay a sense, echoed on the streets in Russia, that the West was not granting resurgent Russia the respect it feels it merits. Animosities ascribed in earlier times to ideological schism between communism and capitalism are proving hardier than many might have expected.

Russia's sense of grievance over the Georgian war stems from Western governments' unwillingness to acknowledge publicly what many say privately – that Tbilisi started the conflict.

Adding insult to injury for the Russians is strong Western support for Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili – loathed by Moscow – and Western media coverage which has overwhelmingly favored Georgia during the conflict.


Friday, September 26, 2008


SEPT 26 - It is game over for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

His 2010 transition plan was shredded by his deputy and the Umno Supreme Council today and he was presented with little choice but to accept the exit plan.

The plan calls for the Umno General Assembly and party elections to be postponed from December till March next year. Divisions will still meet from Oct 9 and nominate candidates for top positions in the party.

At a brief press conference after the Supreme Council meeting, Abdullah appeared to suggest as much that the 2010 plan had been dumped.

The Umno president said: "If we want to make it before 2010, it is not an issue."

He also added that he would make an announcement before Oct 9, when party divisions will meet to nominate their candidates for the party leadership.

One name not likely to be considered is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He is expected to announce that he will not defend his party president's position, possibly just after the Hari Raya holidays.

He will then stay on as party president and prime minister until March 2009. Presumably he will be given some time to complete some of the reforms he promised Malaysians and then be given a grand send off at the party assembly.

Party vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been one of those pressuring Pak Lah to step down earlier, said after the meeting, that the postponement of the general assembly was effectively a new deadline for Abdullah to leave office.

The extension of his term of office until at least March will not remove the bitter feeling among Abdullah's supporters that he allowed himself to be outflanked by Najib and other supreme council members,



SEPT 26 - The decision by the Umno Supreme Council to postpone the party polls till March next year will have a major impact on many of the big players in the party. Below is the Malaysian Insider's take on who benefits from it and who loses big time.


• Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak:

After Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi does the inevitable and announces that he will not seek re-election as party president, nearly all 191 nominations from the divisions will flow to Najib.

This new transition plan works for the Deputy Prime Minister like a dream. By persuading Abdullah to accept the March transition plan, he has managed to remove the two impediments to the top job in the party – the possibility of him having to face the wrath of the ground by continuing to stay with Abdullah or the possibility of having to confront Abdullah in a no-holds barred contest.

Not too shabby for someone who only a few months ago was having to defend himself against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Opposition leader implicated Najib in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibuu and accused him of benefiting in several defence deals while Dr Mahathir accused him of being a coward by not forcing Abdullah out of office after Election 2008.

With Abdullah all but gone, Dr Mahathir will probably rejoin Umno, team up with Najib and fight Anwar. Najib will inherit a united Umno.

• Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin:

He wore the broadest grin today. Not surprising since today was a victory of sorts for the party vice-president.

He has been leading the charge within Umno to force Abdullah to step down since March 8, moving his criticisms from behind closed doors to public forums. Muhyiddin's main plank of attack was that the party and Barisan Nasional has lost confidence in the PM.

When Abdullah and Najib agreed on the 2010 transition plan, it seemed that Muhyiddin's efforts were going to end up in tears. But the BN defeat in Permatang Pauh in August galvanised Muhyiddin and other critics of Abdullah.

They whipped up the percolating anti-Abdullah sentiment, making it difficult for either the PM or DPM to ignore them. Now as critic-in-chief, he is poised to be the favourite to suck up most of the nominations for the deputy president's position.



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 - The prime minister and his deputy are turning Malaysia into a banana republic and a laughing stock, according to Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

In a press statement on the outcome of today's emergency Umno Supreme Council meeting, he called Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak "two grown men playing this endless children's game of 'yours and mine' with the most important responsibility in the land, oblivious of the law, oblivious to the damage they are doing to the nation."

The Kelantanese prince said that it appeared that their political careers appeared to be more important than the future of the nation.

"Instead of a national economic plan or any kind of reform, all the Umno leadership has only given us since March 8 is a transition plan designed to save two individuals from the inconvenience of facing elections," he said.

Razaleigh has also been critical of the original mid-2010 pact between Abdullah and Najib, calling it a "fantasy which rides roughshod over the party's constitution and the rights of its members."

The former finance minister has declared his intentions to challenge for the party presidency but doubts continue over his ability to garner the required 58 nominations to be eligible to contest the top post.

Razaleigh is scheduled to speak further on this matter in a press conference tomorrow.


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 (Bernama) -- Will the special Umno supreme council (MT) meeting Friday decide to set an early power transition date between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or discuss more effective ways to strengthen the party?

The former was the question uppermost among politicians and political observers soon after it was made public that Umno would convene an MT meeting at 10am at the party's headquarters here.

Over the last two days, the political rumour mill has been going on overdrive, with speculation that the nation's top two leaders were involved in "re-brokering" the transition date originally set for June 2010, which some say had caused dissatisfaction among Umno members aligned to some leaders.

The two leaders had earlier agreed that Abdullah would transfer power to Najib by June 2010, but this was seen by some segments in Umno as being too long, especially with the largest political party in the country holding its party polls in December this year.

The first signs of dissent was evident after Abdullah on Sept 17 made a public announcement that he did not rule out an early handover of power and was swapping his Finance Minister portfolio with Najib's defence portfolio. – BERNAMA



It's as if an entire nation is holding its breath.

Malaysia's embattled Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has already said he will give up power to take responsibility for the ruling coalition's humiliating performance in polls earlier this year. But Abdullah hasn't specified exactly when he might hand over the reins to his deputy, Najib Razak, even though the government's popularity figures are languishing at a record low.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, whose People's Alliance did surprisingly well in the March elections, boasts that he has lured enough defectors from the governing alliance to form a new government. But despite promising to unveil his new team in mid-September, Anwar hasn't shown the goods yet. As the political standoff heightens, Malaysians can only sit and hope that someone will soon tackle the nation's problems: a growing racial divide, a lagging economy, a judiciary whose independence has been questioned, and, most fundamentally, a sense that things in Malaysia aren't quite right.

No one doubts that Malaysian politics are about to undergo a sea change. The only questions are when and how - and those are big questions in a country that is trying to secure its status as a model Muslim-majority democracy.



PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has held the list of Barisan Nasional MPs allegedly "crossing over" to the Pakatan Rakyat so close to his chest that even the DAP has not been privy to it.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser had also not revealed the list to Pas leaders.

"I have not seen the list and in my meeting with Anwar on Tuesday night, he told me that he has not shown the list to any Pakatan Rakyat leaders," he told a press conference at party headquarters yesterday.



KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia's government sought to allay fears Thursday that growing demands for the prime minister's resignation could spark rifts in the ruling party and enable its opposition foes to seize power.

Speculation about political strife increased after Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak canceled a trip to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York just hours before his scheduled departure Wednesday.

Najib said government duties kept him from leaving, but independent news portals reported that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib were discussing when Abdullah should hand power to his deputy.

Abdullah has said he will defend his position as chief of the ruling United Malays National Malay Organization in December elections and that he wants to remain in office until mid-2010 _ though he has said he could retire earlier. Every prime minister since independence in 1957 has been the UMNO leader.



WHAT: A pre-planned collapse of the US (and global) financial and economic systems.

WHO: The same characters who perpetrated the original 911.

WHERE: New York City & DC, of course. Plus a sideshow in Washington state.

WHEN: The days surrounding September 11, naturally.

HOW: Instead of painted drones, missiles with fins and fake airplanes, they used the much more stealthy short seller.

WHY: To remake the economic/financial order of the world.

WHY Really: Think about it! And then ask yourself, “Cui bono?”

The 911 blueprint worked so magically for the world controllers that they were compelled to use virtually the same playbook. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

So, what’s the real deal here?


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

1. The goings on in the UMNO Supreme Council are supposed to be secret. So it was quite a surprise when the press reported some important details regarding the Supreme Council's meeting on Thursday, September 18. What is even more surprising is that the reports expose the attacks against Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by several members of the council and their demand that the transfer of power should take place before the divisional meetings which would nominate the candidates for President.

2. It appears that the words used by some of the members were very strong. Dato Seri Rafidah Aziz even attacked the roles played by Abdullah's son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin and the PM's son, Kamaluddin.

3. So harsh were the words used that Abdullah's face changed and he was reeling from the onslaught when Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, ever the protector of Abdullah, stopped the proceedings. Najib promised he would speak on the matter with Abdullah.

4. It seems that the other Supreme Council members were not happy as once again controversial council matters were made into private deals between Abdullah and Najib. It is the kind of negation of council rights that both Abdullah and Najib had frequently resorted to. The two would later come out with decisions which were unsatisfactory to the council members. Najib would then stress on the need to be united and loyal to the President.

5. This time around it is not going to be any different. When faced with a tricky problem Abdullah would consult his family members, usually his son and son-in-law but now also his wife.


WASHINGTON, Sept 24 - It is time for the top two positions in UMNO to be contested to strengthen the party's democratic process, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim said here yesterday.

“UMNO is in dire need of a strong democratic process and I belong to that group where the (positions) of the president and the deputy president should be challenged," he said after chairing a meeting of 13 heads of Malaysian missions in the Americas at the Malaysian Embassy here.

“Any office should be subject to contests – public office should not be sacrosanct -– UMNO should go through a process of reversion," back to the way it was,” he said. - Bernama


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 - The government and UMNO are no longer viable and all Malaysians must come together to rectify the “dangerous situation” the country is in, former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said yesterday.

“The government, in its present form, and under the present leadership, led by the party to which I have given my life, are now structurally and inherently incapable of providing the direction and confidence that the country needs,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The MP for Gua Musang and aspiring UMNO presidential candidate said the country was facing a political and economic crisis because of a leadership vacuum and the country was in turmoil because the rule of law was uncertain and the Constitution was not being upheld.

"Everyone must come together in humility, beyond party politics, to hold an honest discussion, in the spirit of shared citizenship, to steer the country out of the crisis," he said.



Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, who is supposed to leave for New York tonight, has made a last minute decision to cancel his trip.

Political observers say that Najib's decision is prompted by the advice given by several Supreme Council members that he should not leave the country as the UMNO divisional meetings draw close.



In an appearance on CBS 60 Minutes, Senator McCain was asked if his administration would engage in a preemptive war against a country that might pose a threat to the US but has not attacked the US.

McCain echoed the Bush Doctrine and said that such an attack would be legitimate 'if it is a provable direct threat'.

The Bush Doctrine, introduced in the wake of the September 11 attacks, is a series of aggressive foreign policy principles set by President George W. Bush's administration, such as an anticipatory self-defense right - the right to launch preemptive strikes against any country that might attack the United States.

"Suppose that the Iranians had nuclear weapons. And you had a whole lot of other information about Iranian intentions and you could make the case to the American people and to the world, I think it's obvious that we would have to prevent what we're absolutely certain is a direct threat to the lives of the American people," McCain expounded.

At a time when the US presidential election is greatly overshadowed by a major economic crisis and candidates are competing to prove they are capable of resolving this problem, Iran remains a major foreign policy challenge for both camps.

The Bush administration has long blamed Iran for the violence in Iraq, a country that is under US military occupation. Tehran maintains it only seeks the restoration of security and stability in its neighboring country.



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 (Bernama) -- Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim Tuesday met up with PAS leaders in an effort to convince them that PAS members of parliament (MPs) would not be marginalised should the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) form the next federal government.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua said Anwar, who is also PKR advisor, wanted to impress upon PAS leaders, especially its spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that Muslim MPs would not be sidelined if the PR gains power.

"We have to do this before proceeding to the next course of action," he told Bernama without revealing what the next course of action would be.

Last week, Anwar issued a Sept 23 deadline to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to call for an emergency Parliament session in an attempt to move a motion of no-confidence against the government, claiming that he had 31 Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs in the opposition's fold. - BERNAMA



The most important political development in town has very little to do with Anwar Ibrahim. Instead, it is about the dynamics of the relationship between the Prime Minister and his deputy and how they approach the UMNO party elections that are set to commence with the divisional meetings on 9 October.

Neither Abdullah Ahmad Badawi nor Najib Tun Razak wants to fight the other. They know that this would be disastrous for the party and even prove to be the final nail in its coffin. Both want to honour the spirit, if no longer the exact letter, of the transition plan which originally intended for Najib to take over the premiership and party presidency in June 2010. It was a deal brokered directly by the two men and endorsed by the party Supreme Council.

But things began to fall apart after the loss at the Permatang Pauh by-election even though this had very little to do with Abdullah's leadership (in fact it was seen more as a battle between Anwar Ibrahim and Najib). There was a resurgence of dissent within party ranks led by vice president, Muhyiddin Yassin, and egged on by Mahathir Mohamed from the outside. This was an opportunity to renew the pressure on Abdullah to go now rather than later. But the spark that lit the fire was Najib's statement a couple of weeks ago that although he was committed to the transition plan, he would also leave it to the divisions to decide whether they want to support it as well. Politics is all about signaling. For many in the party, that statement by Najib was a signal that he would contest the presidency against Abdullah.



Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's decision to "stand and fight" has begun in earnest. Yesterday, the Umno president and PM was in Kelantan to break fast and meet members of the Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee.

On Sunday, Abdullah was in Johor Baru. He'll be all over the country to meet as many Umno division chiefs as possible to tell his side of the story, ie, to try and defend his post as Umno's number one chief.

Many senior members of the supreme council have told him to forget the idea of defending his post in the December party elections. In fact, many of them told him to step down and pass the baton to his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, ahead of the transition plan.

Under the plan, Abdullah is supposed to quit in June 2010 and pass the leadership to Najib. Many council members, grassroot leaders and ordinary members believe that 2010 is too late and could spell big problems for Umno and the Barisan Nasional come the next general election.

At the last council meeting, Abdullah was told to step aside and avoid a potentially-embarassing contest in December. Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has offered himself to be nominated, and expressed confidence that he would get the 30 per cent quota needed to qualify to challenge for the post (ie at least 58 nominations out of 191).

Talk is widespread that Abdullah won't be able to get sufficient nominations to contest. Grassroot leaders have voiced open endorsement for Najib, with vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the most popular choice for the deputy's post.



Trade Minister and Umno vice president Muhyiddin Yassin today warned that the ruling party and the coalition it has led for half a century faces oblivion at the next elections if it fails to reform.

The Barisan Nasional coalition, helmed by the ruling Umno, has floundered since March elections which saw a resurgent opposition score unprecedented victories.

Muhyiddin, who has called for premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to stand down before his planned departure in 2010, said the party must address internal conflicts and the opposition threat.

"It is a situation which is very serious. It is of concern not only to Umno members but to the country at large, to the Barisan Nasional and people who cares about what is happening to the government," he told a press conference.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 - Barring a last-minute turnaround, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will go ahead and defend his position as Umno party president, despite some pressure from the ground for him to short-circuit his transition plan.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider that the Prime Minister reached this decision after meeting several Umno supreme council members, state liaison chiefs and political operatives over the weekend at his official residence Sri Perdana.

The consensus among this group, which includes Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor, is that Abdullah should be able to garner the minimum 58 nominations needed to contest the top post. Abdullah's supporters said that with the green light from him, they will hit the ground and conduct a no-holds-barred campaign for the next few weeks to ensure that he gets the nominations when Umno divisions begin their divisional meetings.

This decision by Abdullah to defend his party president's position will come as a surprise to many, especially those in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's camp. During the supreme council meeting on Thursday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Rafidah Aziz and Datuk Shafie Apdal urged Abdullah to hand over the reins to Najib soon, with Rafidah saying that the PM will face difficulty getting the minimum number of nominations.

Hearing this feedback, many party officials and political pundits expected him to announce that he would not contest the party elections.

But instead of demoralising Abdullah and his supporters, the attack by Hishammuddin and others had the opposite effect. Abdullah's camp felt that despite being magnanimous by handing over the Finance portfolio and even suggesting during a press conference that he would hand over power to Najib much earlier than 2010, he was being pushed to the wall.

A senior party official told The Malaysian Insider: "You can push someone up to a point only. After that it becomes humiliating. So it is rubbish to say that Pak Lah will be humiliated if he contests the party elections. Some people are already trying to do this. He has nothing to lose by keeping to the original transition plan.''


(Sin Chew) KUALA LUMPUR: Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Monday (22 Sept) it is up to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to decide whether to hand over power before 9 Oct.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, he believed that Abdullah knew what was happening on the ground.

Muhyiddin's comments came after several Umno supreme council members said over the weekend that there was no pressure on Abdullah to step down before the agreed transition period timeframe of June 2010.

Abdullah himself had indicated that he might decide whether he would leave earlier than the June 2010 deadline. - 22 September 2008


(Bernama) Umno Information Chief Tan Sri MuhammadMuhammad Taib today slammed "opportunists" who leaked information on matters discussed in the party's supreme council meeting.

He said as supreme council members, they should uphold the ethics when attending meetings whether at the supreme council or at state level.

"If we leak things that we discuss in closed-door meetings, it means that we are opportunists.

"There should not be opportunistic traits among party leaders," he told reporters after handing over donation to 71 Sungai Panjang residents whose house were destroyed in a storm yesterday. - 22 September 2008


Marriott Hotel has now become a ghost house which was yesterday the most beautiful and prestigious hotels in the Islamabad. While the condemnation of the blasts and the deaths and the loss of property is going on from all the quarters, some intriguing news is also pouring in.

After the blast, mysteriously fire was started at the fourth and fifth floors. It was said that this fire was the result of gas pipeline burst running through the hotel. The million dollar question is that was the gas pipeline not running through the other floors? Why the fire broke out from the fourth and fifth flours? That is the question which perhaps holds the key to the mystery as why the hotel was targeted yesterday, in which more than 60 people died including many foreigners.

Though it would never get confirmed but the fire on the fifth and fourth floor of the hotel broke out because those flours were housing the mysterious steel boxes under the heavy guard of United States marines and no one including the Pakistani security forces and the security men of the hotel were allowed to go near with the them. These boxes were shifted inside the hotel when the Admiral Mike Mullen met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others in Islamabad.

It is said that one member of parliament Mumtaz Alam who belongs to the PPP, the ruling party was there eye witnessed the whole scene when the white truck of US embassy came to the gate of Marriot Hotel and US marines themselves unloaded the steel boxes from the trucks and shifted them to the fourth and fifth floors without passing through them the scanners at the entrance of the hotels. When the truck was there, all the entrance and the exit passage way to the hotels were closed.

And now this blast has occurred at the Marriott, while that mysterious activity was going on. Pakistan Daily – September 21, 2008


The massive bomb blast that devastated the luxury Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening is one more sign of the deepening political crisis in Pakistan produced by the Bush administration’s spreading “war on terrorism”. While no one has claimed responsibility, the blast was undoubtedly in retaliation for continuing attacks by the US and Pakistani military in the country’s border region with Afghanistan against Islamist militias.

Investigators have recovered a videotape showing a dump truck exploding after being stopped at the hotel’s security gates. The blast from an estimated half tonne of explosives left a huge crater some 20 metres wide and 8 metres deep and sparked a fire that rapidly engulfed the hotel and took 12 hours to bring under control. At least 53 people were killed and more than 250 injured. Among the dead were the Czech ambassador Ivo Zdarek, a Vietnamese woman and two unnamed US Defence Department officials.

The bombing was clearly aimed at sending a message to the Pakistani government. The Marriott Hotel is in the political centre of Islamabad, near the parliament building, the prime minister’s residence, presidential offices and foreign embassies. As one of the capital’s two five-star hotels, it was frequented by top foreign visitors and government officials as well as the capital’s business elite. Senior Interior Ministry official Rehman Malik immediately declared that “all roads lead to FATA”—the Federally Administered Tribal Areas where the Pakistani military is currently waging a major offensive against militias supportive of anti-occupation insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The blast came just hours after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari addressed a joint session of the country’s parliament pledging to free Pakistan from “the shackles of terrorism”. Since taking office earlier this month, Zardari has been engaged in a delicate balancing act—on the one hand, bowing to US demands for a crackdown on Islamist militants in the FATA, and, on the other, attempting to placate popular anger over what is seen as a proxy war on behalf of the US.


Friday, September 19, 2008


A lot sooner. They told me it was one of the hottest supreme council meetings that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ever chaired.

All the top Umno leaders who spoke this afternoon, save for one who hailed from the East Coast, spoke up on the need to save the party, i.e. for the president to give way for a change in leadership, i.e. for Pak Lah to step down and leave Najib with the task of repairing the damage suffered by Umno over the last few years before it's too late.

You are not likely to read a blow-by-blow account in any of the government-controlled media.



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today that whatever decision concerning his position as Umno president and the transition of power will be made by him personally.

The Prime Minister said whatever changes would be discussed together with his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"Because the (divisional) meetings have not started, and whatever things that I need to do, whatever action that I will take, it's all up to me.

"I will talk to (Deputy Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak), there's no need to repeat," he told reporters after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting here.



The UMNO Supreme Council, with an overwhelming majority, has TOLD Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to relinquish his post as Umno president and Prime Minister.

Abdullah has been given the ultimatum to announce his RETIREMENT on or before October 9, 2008 when the Umno Divisional Meetings begin.

A senior Umno member who was present at the meeting said the most vocal among senior Supreme Council members was Wanita Chief and Kuala Kangsar Member of Parliament, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

The Supreme Council members, except for a few rookies, told Abdullah that he should announce his intention of NOT seeking re-election during the party polls in December or risk being HUMILIATED.

They explained that Abdullah would face the greatest humiliation if he fails to garner enough nominations to retain his position as president.

“They made it very clear to the President that a vast majority of grass-root Umno members and leaders, both at Branch and Division levels, want him OUT.

“We just hope that he understands the actual scenario now and leave gracefully,” the source said.

It appears that Umno Divisional leaders have already started to distance themselves from Abdullah.



The US Defense Department has notified Congress of plans to sell 1,000 bunker-buster bombs to Israel in a deal worth 77 million dollars.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced the possible arms sale of the GBU-39 small diameter smart bombs on its website. The deal still requires approval from Congress.

The bombs, which are touted as more precise than larger munitions, have the capacity to penetrate 1.8 meters (six feet) of reinforced concrete and carry a 50 percent probability of reaching a target within five meters.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the bombs could help Israel in a possible strike against Iran's nuclear sites, some of which are protected by bunker-like structures.

Last month, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that his country will never accept Iran developing a nuclear weapons capability and refused to rule out "any options."

Israel, the region's sole if undeclared nuclear armed state, considers Iran its main strategic threat because of its nuclear programme, which Israel and its staunch US ally suspect is aimed at developing weapons. - AFP September 16, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Malay heroes are usually dead. Some heroes like Hang Tauh and Hang Jebat does not qualify the moral standard to be called one.

After our heroes have outlived their death defying heroic pursuit and the public salutation, they are left to the elements. Some heroes are left uncared for in their old age. Some ended life in a pathetic state. Only to be revered and glorified upon their death.

In the post GE 12 UMNO political struggle to remove the Prime Minister – an incompetent and highly suspected puppet of some invisible parties, there were many lone voices expressing the grassroots grouse and demand him to take responsibility for BN’s extremely poor showing by resigning.

There was the eminent Tun Dr Mahathir, filial son Dato Mukhriz, loyal lieutenant Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, former rival Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah, and many others mostly retired politicians.

But Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is the lone voice of conscience that consistently stood up from amongst the kow towing members of the UMNO Supreme Council to put the party ahead of self interest.

Guided by his moral conscience, his latest move to demand the power transition immediately persuaded Dr Mahathir to rejoin UMNO and provided Najib the moral strength to set aside the power transition agreement.

This will likely be the might be the tipping factor to make that change. But will Muhyiddin ended up as another martyred “dead” hero?



SEPT 17 Mid-2010 is the finish line but the transfer of power from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak kicked in today.

By handing over the powerful finance portfolio to Najib, Abdullah was making good on a promise to flesh out his transition plan and give the DPM more important responsibilities to prepare him for the top job in the country.

It was also a concession:

- To someone who has stuck by him through a tumultuous six months since the debacle of Election 2008, when calls for him to step down as president of Umno and the PM have grown louder and more bellicose. And whose support he still needs to fend off the challenge of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin;

- To concerns among investors and the public that someone new was needed at the helm of the finance ministry to inject confidence in the handling of the economy.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the ministry swap - Najib going to finance and Abdullah taking over defence - was discussed during three meetings in recent days between both men.



The riveting excerpts below are from the revealing accounts of 20 award-winning journalists in the highly acclaimed book Into the Buzzsaw. These courageous writers were prevented by corporate media ownership from reporting major news stories. Some were even fired or laid off. They have won numerous awards, including several Emmys and a Pulitzer. Join in building a better world by helping to spread this news across the land.

Jane Akre—Fox News. After our struggle to air an honest report [on hormones in milk], Fox fired the general manager [of our station]. The new GM said that if we didn’t agree to changes that the lawyers were insisting upon, we’d be fired for insubordination in 48 hours. We pleaded with [him] to look at the facts we’d uncovered. His reply: “We paid $3 billion dollars for these stations. We’ll tell you what the news is. The news is what we say it is!” [After we refused] Fox’s GM presented us an agreement that would give us a full year of salary, and benefits worth close to $200,000, but with strings attached: no mention of how Fox covered up the story and no opportunity to ever expose the facts. [After declining] we were fired.

Dan Rather—CBS, Multiple Emmy Awards. What's going on is a belief that you can manipulate communicable trust between the leadership and the led. The way you do that is you don't let the press in anywhere. Access to war is extremely limited. The fiercer the combat, the more the access is limited, [including] access to information. This is a direct contradiction of the stated policy of maximum access to information consistent with national security. There was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways the fear [now in the U.S.] is that you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. That fear keeps journalists from asking the tough questions. I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.

Monika Jensen-Stevenson—Emmy-winning producer for 60 minutes. Robert R. Garwood—14 years a prisoner of the Vietnamese—was found guilty in the longest court-martial in US history. At the end of the court-martial, there seemed no question that Garwood was a monstrous traitor. Several years later in 1985, Garwood was speaking publicly about something that had never made the news during his court-martial. He knew of other American prisoners in Vietnam long after the war was over. He was supported by Vietnam veterans whose war records were impeccable….My sources included outstanding experts like former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Tighe and returned POWs like Captain McDaniel, who held the Navy’s top award for bravery. With such advocates, it was hard not to consider the possibility that prisoners (some 3,500) had in fact been kept by the Vietnamese as hostages to make sure the US would pay the more than $3 billion in war reparations. [After the war] American POWs had become worthless pawns. The US had not paid the promised monies and had no intention of paying in the future.



Within months of returning to power, the right-wing Italian government is becoming increasingly explicit in its political pronouncements. Prominent members of the ruling coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi have recently launched a concerted campaign for the rehabilitation of fascism.

It was Berlusconi who fired the first shot shortly after assuming office as prime minister. On April 25, Italy’s national holiday marking the country’s liberation from fascism, Berlusconi declared that, while it was appropriate to acknowledge the anti-fascist resistance (Resistenza), it was also necessary to understand the motives of the “Ragazzi di Salò.”

Berlusconi was referring to those Italian soldiers who defended Benito Mussolini’s “Republic of Salò.” This so-called “Italian social republic” established by the Italian fascists existed from 1943 to 1945 under the military protection of Germany’s Nazi regime in northern Italy.

Similar comments had been made during the spring election campaign by the entrepreneur and senator Giuseppe Ciarrapico, a close friend of Berlusconi. “The Italian social republic never sent anybody to the concentration camps; the Germans were to blame,” Ciarrapico declared.

Now, the country’s defence secretary Ignazio La Russa has also expressed his admiration for the Italian fascists. Provocatively using the occasion of a ceremony commemorating the Rome resistance fighters of September 1943, La Russa evoked the memory of those fascists who sided with Mussolini after the official surrender of Rome.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


PETALING JAYA, Sept 15 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim Monday night claimed that he had sufficient majority to form a new government.

He also claimed to have sent a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Monday afternoon on the list of Barisan Nasional members of parliament who would cross over to Pakatan Rakyat.

However, Anwar who spoke before some 12,000 supporters at a 45th Malaysia Day celebration at the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium in Kelana Jaya here, did not name the MPs involved.

Anwar, who is also the Opposition leader in parliament, said he would later be meeting the prime minister to discuss the change of government.



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 (Bernama) -- Umno Vice-President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says he will not resign from his post despite his recent remark on the country's leadership transition plan.

Muhyiddin, who said on Wednesday that the timeframe for the plan was too long, said today he would instead leave it to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to determine if he had done anything wrong which deserved action.

The International Trade and Industry Minister insisted that he did nothing wrong as he was only doing his duty as cabinet and party member in conveying the views of the grassroots.

"I have done nothing wrong; there are many people who have spoken about many things and there are even among Umno leaders who have said things that can be considered going against (the party).

"I don't think that my statement is unusual or burdening the country; I just want to help improve (the situation) and create awareness (about it)... because if we don't do something, a bigger problem may occur," he said.

"There may be people who don't like to see my face in the cabinet, so they demanded (for my resignation), but I've been discharging my duties and responsibilities... what then is the problem?" he told reporters after launching the Women Entrepreneurs Award 2008 today.



"We should not take any unilateral steps. It is not acceptable to opt for a military scenario,"" President Medvedev said Friday at the Valdai Club, which sees journalists and academics specializing on Russia.

His remarks come as speculation runs high that Israel and the U.S. are drawing up plans to launch a military strike against Iran in a bid to hamper the country's nuclear program.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested last week that should Iran continue with its uranium enrichment program, it could be attacked by Israel.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says a strike on Iran would not be questioned ""We could find one morning that Israel has struck (Iran),"" said the French president, adding that no one would question the legitimacy of such an act of aggression.

The U.S. President George W. Bush and upper echelons in Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Iran with war under the pretext that Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), seeks nuclear weaponry.

Under the U.S. pressure, the UN Security Council has so far imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran, demanding the country to halt its enrichment program.

This is while the UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran enriches uranium-235 to a level of 3.7 percent - a rate consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.

The Russian president says Moscow only supports negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program, Reuters reported.

President Medvedev added that the talks between Iran and the West, led by European Union foreign policy Chief Javier Solana, 'have been quite positive'.

""We should not adopt any additional sanctions now,"" he warned.


Monday, September 15, 2008


MELAKA, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- An Umno leader today advised party leaders and members against calling for the resignation of Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over his suggestion for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to rethink his transition plan to step down by 2010 as the timeframe was too long.

Datuk Asa'ari Ibrahim, vice-head of the Bukit Katil Umno Division, said Muhyiddin was right in giving his opinion as an Umno vice-president in representing the grassroots.

"As an Umno vice-president and chairman of the party's committee on the constitution, Muhyiddin knows that the decision of the supreme council must be endorsed by the party divisions at their respective annual meetings," he told Bernama.



Two huge assumptions in the heading there.

Self proclaimed Maharaja Blogger seems to think that the pressure from the grassroots for an accelerated change will be to great for the leadership to resist. He predicts a leadership change by the end of the year.

The prediction also states that former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir wil play the role of adviser to the new Government.

News like this is going to make ti difficult for Anwar's boys to get Umno MPs to jump ship, in fact the Fantastic Five sent to Taiwan admitted that some of the BN MPS do not want to jump because they hear news of interesting development within Umno that could strengthen the coalition and make it more relvant to the people. - Posted by Shamsul Yunos


DATUK Zaid Ibrahim, a first-timer in the Malaysian Cabinet, has 'advised' his senior colleague, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to resign from his portfolio if he's unhappy with his boss, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The defacto Law Minister also 'advised' Abdullah to sack Muhyiddin, an UMNO vice president, for publicly suggesting that Abdullah should not wait till June 2010 to put into effect the Umno transition plan which has been endorsed by the party supreme council and subsequently by the Cabinet.

Zaid's comments were carried in today's newspapers. I scanned the newspapers but didn't see if Zaid had also commented on deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who suggested that the transition be put to Umno members for their views.

Najb's statement is a departure from his previous stand that the transition plan should be supported. Today, Najib's statement had emboldened other Umno leaders to also suggest the plan be tabled at divisional meetings which begin next month. - Posted by Ahmad A Talib at 2:00 PM


Sunday, September 14, 2008


Reports released by the US Interior Department on Wednesday revealed that employees at the US agency in charge of collecting royalties from energy companies have been involved for years in inappropriate and illegal behavior, including accepting gifts, handing out sweetheart deals and engaging in sex and illegal drug use with oil company employees.

The reports from Interior Department Inspector General Earl E. Devaney detail the activities of employees of an arm of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the agency that issues lucrative drilling leases to energy companies and collects royalties from the leasing of federally owned land.

MMS takes in up to $10 billion a year in royalty revenue from energy companies, making it one of the US government’s largest non-tax sources of revenue. The revelations of misconduct at the agency come as Congress prepares to lift restrictions on offshore drilling and leading Democrats move closer to an agreement on expansion of the practice.

At the center of the investigation, conducted over two years at a cost of $5.3 million, is the 60-employee Denver, Colorado-based Royalty in Kind (RIK) program, which collects royalty payments made “in kind,” e.g., in oil instead of cash, and then resells the resources on the open market. Energy companies named in the report include Chevron, Shell Oil, Hess Corp. and Gary Williams Energy Corp.

According to the inspector general’s investigation, employees of RIK engaged in a “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity.” Employees also reportedly allowed energy companies to revise their lease agreements, resulting in millions of dollars of lost government revenue.

Between 2002 and 2006, according to the investigation, “nearly one-third of the entire RIK staff socialized with, and received a wide array of gifts and gratuities from, oil and gas companies with whom RIK was conducting official business.” These gifts included, among others things, meals, high-priced wines, golf outings, sporting event tickets, concert tickets, paintball games, concert tickets and a desert-island treasure hunt.



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- After a period of unease following the March 8 general election, Umno is seeing winds of change blowing it towards rehabilitation and consolidation.

There are two vital signs pointing to that, one of which is former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's intention to return after announcing that he was leaving the party on May 19 in a move that had shocked many.

The other is the clarion calls among leaders and grassroots members, urging the party to do away with the quota system for the sake of democracy in the party and to curtail money politics.

The party's divisional elections will begin next month while the main party elections will be held at the party's general assembly from Dec 16-20.

The rumoured cross over of Umno members of parliament to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) so far, is just that -- a rumour -- and is seen as mere political gimmick by PR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Dr Mahathir's intention to return to Umno was announced by vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday following his meeting with the former prime minister at the latter's house on Saturday.



‘Bitch’–It’s an ugly word, for sure, and I am not using it as cavalierly as some might imagine here. I always winced when I heard it growing up as a kid, mostly because I always held women in such high respect and because I was sure that in 9 out of 10 cases where the word was used it was most likely unjustified. After all, they–women–are the bringers of life and who civilize us (hopefully) through their influence in the home. Can you imagine what a mess the world would be in if it was the guys raising the children instead of the gals? The kids would speak in mono-syllabic grunts rather than full sentences and would settle all issues with their fists instead of their mouths and brains.

So my use of the word ‘bitch’ comes with a LOT of hesitation, believe me. Mz. Palin is the mother of 5 children, and for that she deserves mucho respecto as far as I’m concerned. She–like a good number of women in the ‘Christian’ west these days–could have kneeled at the communion rail of Roe V Wade on many occasions, including when she learned her most recent child would be born with Down’s Syndrome. Instead, she elected to have the chalice pass from her lips, much to the rage of feminists who pay to have their children killed for matters of simple convenience in what has become something of a sacramental rite in America these days, God help us. Despite what I consider to be her seriously-misguided religious ideas concerning Israel and the Jews, I’m sure had she been around in a better time period in this nation’s history–meaning a time when the Jewish state and her spies DID NOT dominate our political system–she would have been a great stateswoman.

Let me clarify further–I use that ‘b’ word in describing her not because she stomps around barking out orders at those around her, complaining about this and that and generally making life hell for everyone in her vicinity. In this case, the word ‘bitch’ encompasses the more modern understanding and use of the word, meaning ‘whore’, or someone willing to lower herself (or himself) into doing immoral, degrading, and life-threatening things for a fistful of dollars, or, as in the case of our elected representatives, a fistful of political power. As she demonstrated to the world in the last few weeks since her nomination as Republican VP, she–like a streetwalker negotiating with a prospective client over what services she’s willing to perform and for what price–has let it be known she is willing to go ‘all the way’ with Israel’s demands, regardless of how raunchy or immoral these demands are. Not only towing the line with regards to the fatal myth that the Jews are ‘God’s chosen’ and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, namely stealing the real estate between the two ‘great rivers’ of the Nile and the Euphrates as well as the right to murder anyone they see fit at anytime they so decide, she has also embraced the other fatal myths of our modern times as well–that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and that Iran must be stopped at all costs from ‘wiping Israel off the map’. She calls herself ‘pro-life’ but in perfect Zionist double-speak has signaled she will use her office to rain down death on millions, possible even billions of innocent people and all of it for the ‘Jewish cause’. She calls herself a Christian and yet has promised Israel that the Jewish state will continue receiving her daily diet of 15 million dollars from good ole Uncle Sam so she can continue de-Christianizing the land made sacred by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and in general making life for the Palestinians there a living hell.

And if these weren’t bad enough, Mz. Palin has now gone on record saying that war with Russia is a real likelihood, and not ‘war’ as in the ‘cold’ one but rather the real deal, just as the Neocons have wanted since Trotsky and his gang were ousted from power in the early 20th century.


Friday, September 12, 2008


United States has refused to provide Israel a security aid package fearing that the Jewish state would use it to attack Iran to foil its nuclear ambitions, a media report said.

Israel has requested the US for large number of "bunker-buster" bombs, refueling of planes and permission to use an air corridor to Iran, which has raised eyebrows in Washington in an apparent hint of advanced stage of preparations to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, an online news agency reported.

Officials from both countries have been discussing the Israeli requests over the past few months and rejection of the same would make it very difficult for Israel to attack the Islamic Republic, the report said.

Israeli media had reported about a month ago that the US administration had turned down an Israeli request for certain security items that could upgrade Israel's capability to attack Iran.

The bunker-buster bombs, which weigh 2.2 tonnes each and can penetrate six metres of reinforced concrete, were supplied by the United States to Israel during the Second Lebanon war but a request for a large consignment of the same has been turned down.



PUTRAJAYA, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today expressed surprise over a statement by Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that his transition plan to step down in June 2010 was too long.

Abdullah, who is also Umno president, said the Cabinet understood and agreed with the transition plan and the Umno Supreme Council had also agreed to it.

"I'm surprised that a member of my Cabinet should come up with that kind of statement. It is against what has been agreed to," he told reporters after chairing the 20th MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting at his office here.

Abdullah was asked to comment on the statement yesterday in Singapore by Muhyiddin, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, that the transition plan had "sunk away" and that people were not thinking about it anymore.

Abdullah also said he was surprised that Muhyiddin came up with such an opinion as he had agreed to that (transition plan) before. Under the plan for transition of power, Abdullah is to hand over the post of prime minister, the chairmanship of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the presidency of Umno to his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in June 2010.



A third US missile strike in less than a week inside Pakistan again underscores the danger that the escalating war in Afghanistan will spread into its neighbour. At least 20 people died on Monday when up to five missiles fired from US unmanned Predator drones hit a madrassa or religious school and a compound in North Waziristan—part of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the border with Afghanistan.

The strike on the village of Daande Darpkhel targetted Jalaluddin Haqqani, who established the school and backed the Taliban following the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. His son Sirajuddin is now reportedly leading the Haqqani militia and has been accused by the US military of being behind a series of assaults inside Afghanistan, including an attempt on the life of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a suicide bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul.

Pakistani intelligence officials told the Associated Press yesterday that four foreign militants were among those killed but provided no evidence. The dead included Jalaluddin Haqqani’s wife and sister, several other women and at least four children. Some 15 to 20 people were wounded, mostly women and children, and were taken to the hospital in nearby Miram Shah. Another of Jalaluddin Haqqani’s sons, Badruddin, told the Pakistani media that neither his father nor Sirajuddin were in the compound at the time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 (Bernama) - Key representatives of the 13-member Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will meet here Tuesday and facing them are a myriad of issues which may sap their stamina and solidarity.

How the government is going to steer the country out of the current phase of uncertainty following the sabre-rattling and wild boasts of Opposition politicians will definitely be discussed.

The management of the economy will be another. For the fence-sitters and all their idle-talk in running down the economy and everything else that they do not see eye-to-eye with, due credit must be given to the crafting of the 2009 Budget by the government.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has put in place a business-friendly budget and now it is up to the business sector to take up the challenge amidst the tougher economic environment. - BERNAMA



KOTA KINABALU, Sept 8 (Bernama) -- The High Court here Monday declared null and void the election of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup as the unopposed winner of the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the March 8 general election.

In delivering the landmark judgment, Justice David Wong Dak Wah ruled that the wrongful rejection of the nomination papers of the petitioner, Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Danny Anthony Andipai, had breached the petitioner's constitutional right to take part in the election and the written law relating to the conduct of the election.

In his 36-page judgment, Wong said the decision of the deputy director of the Sabah Election Commission to accept Andipai's nomination papers was final and could not be overruled by the returning officer, Bubudan OT Majalu, under the pretext that there was an objection during the objection period.

The deputy director was exercising a power provided for by law in making the decision, said the judge who also ruled that Bubudan's decision to uphold the objection was a wrong decision. - BERNAMA



By James Cogan

The propaganda used to justify the US-led occupation in Afghanistan typically leaves out any explanation of the origins of tendencies such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban movement and other Islamist groups resisting American and NATO troops. The spin merchants of the so-called “war on terror” would have people believe that the US and its allies are fighting religious fanatics who have no support in the country and are motivated by an inexplicable and irrational hatred of Western civilisation.

On rare occasions, however, someone deviates from the script and draws attention to historical facts regarding present-day Islamic extremism that Washington and its allies prefer to leave unmentioned. One occasion was an interview on August 19 with Time magazine with a very close American ally—Hamid Karzai, the man who was installed by the Bush administration as President of Afghanistan in 2002.

Challenged by Time to answer how an enemy could be fought that “only has annihilation as its goal”, Karzai felt compelled to note the current situation was a by-product of US support in the 1980s for the creation of an Islamic fundamentalist army to wage a jihad or holy war against a pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan and embroil the Soviet military itself in a decade-long guerilla conflict.

Karzai told Time: “In order to fix terrorism at large, we need to remedy the wrongs of the past 30 years. Remedy means to undo. The world pushed us [Afghan jihadists] to fight the Soviets. And those who did walked away and left all the mess spread around. September 11 is a consequence of this ...


Monday, September 8, 2008


SEPT 7 - Once again, Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has shown that he is unable to keep in check his party politicians.

If racial tensions have risen in the past few weeks, the blame should lay squarely with him because he is the good man who did nothing while Datuk Ahmad Ismail postured and catapulted himself from an unknown regional politician to the national stage by standing up to his party president.

But it is not just Umno politicians he has failed to keep in line.

He also allowed anger to mount among Chinese parties in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, to the stage where both the MCA and Gerakan are facing pressure from within to pull out of BN.

Now he is asking everyone to cool it. He says it is the collective responsibility of all Malaysians to preserve racial harmony.

But that is not likely to end the debate.



SEPT 7 - Over the last few days, Gerakan's Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon has been sending out an SOS of sorts to close friends in government and the Barisan Nasional.

The gist of this message was that he alone could not hold the line against the rising tide of party members who wanted Gerakan to ditch the ruling coalition.

The way he put it, he was facing a critical situation and only the strategic intervention by the BN leadership could help. If he tried to fight the momentum on his own, he would be swept aside.

Officials in government who know the former Penang chief minister well say that he is prone to over-dramatising and is not above political posturing if it serves his ultimate goal of protecting his position.

In this case, the BN officials speculated after receiving word from Koh, that he was preparing them for a piece of bad news, and making sure they understood that he had tried his best and should be absolved of blame if Gerakan cut its links with the Umno-led coalition.



BANGKOK, Sept 7 (Bernama) -- Thailand's political stalemate is set to prolong after Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej vowed to remain in office and used his weekly television address today to bash the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders.

Despite repeated calls for his resignation by the PAD and other groups bent on seeing him thrown out of office, the 73-year-old premier said he would stay in power to protect democracy and the monarch.

"I don't know what is their (PAD) intention but I will remain as prime minister," he said over NBT channel.

Samak, whose office was hijacked by PAD supporters on Aug 26 and currently operating from the Armed Forces headquarters, took the opportunity to slam the movement and its demands, which he said were unreasonable. – BERNAMA


Sunday, September 7, 2008


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 - Top government leaders yesterday defended an overseas trip planned for Barisan Nasional MPs over the next two weeks, dismissing speculation that it was to prevent their defection to the opposition.

“Why connect their trip to the Sept 16 issue? They are not the ones planning to jump and leave the BN,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“We will not give them the opportunity to set up government on Sept 16,” Abdullah said.

The Deputy Premier, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, confirmed that he had approved the trip from Sept 7 to 19 organised by the BN Backbenchers Club for its 75 members.

Sept 16 is the date on which opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that he would topple the BN government with help of at least 30 BN defectors.

Despite their denials, the coincidental timing swiftly cemented the impression of a panicky BN, as rumours spread wildly yesterday that the first wave of crossovers was imminent.



I was actually shocked when Japanese premier Yasuo Fukuda resigned abruptly last week. After a series of e-mails, I finally got a simple explaination from him, probably his last e-mail as a Prime Minister.

"There is a saying that I like very much: Dragons do not have snake scales. A dragon is covered with hundreds of thousands of scales. But if even one of them is a snake scale, then that is no true dragon. It is merely a snake that has turned into a false dragon. My take on this expression is that no matter how excellent a certain policy may appear to be, if it contains a single lie, you will not be able to trick the people into buying into it. I believe that politicians must constantly feel and fear the sharp gaze of the people on them. Unless the people are able to be certain that the political realm is safe, they cannot be reassured. Only when the people feel safe and reassured will they definitely come to place their trust in politics. Safety, a sense of reassurance, and trust. I will say no more. Thank You"

I pray for his success and health in his new undertakings... and I still remember a John Howard's (former Aussie premier) e-mail to me about two years ago... "every leader must subscribe to the right liberty..."


Perak MCA made a resolution for the party to leave the Barisan Nasional because an irresponsible UMNO member made a disparaging remark about Malaysian Chinese.

The onus is on the word "irresponsible". The thing is no responsible UMNO members in their right minds would think of making such an irresponsible remark as the one made by Bukit Bdendera UMNO division chief, Datuk Ahmad Ismail.

Ahmad purportedly to have said that Chinese are squatters in this land called Malaysia. Well he is wrong! Malaysian-Chinese is part of this country and in a very large part helped this country grows to be where it is today. And as citizens they have every right to get angry over such an insensitive statement.

But, my point is if Perak MCA made such a resolution it would it not be similarly an irresponsible statement then, when Gerakan and DAP only cited the statement made by the Bukit Bendera UMNO member as "immature".


Saturday, September 6, 2008


PUTRAJAYA, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today no Barisan Nasional (BN) member of parliament would leave the coalition by Sept 16 to join the opposition in setting up a new government.

"I am sure (the government of) Sept 16 will not happen. Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is banking on our party members to leave us but our people will not desert us," the prime minister said.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had repeatedly said that several BN members of parliament would join the opposition to enable PR to form the federal government by Sept 16.

"We will not give them the opportunity to set up government on Sept 16. No," said Abdullah at a news conference after launching the Business Licensing Electronic Support System (BLESS) at the Prime Minister's Department, here.

He said the opposition would not be able to set up government if it was depending solely on the crossover of BN members of parliament to the opposition to make it happen. – BERNAMA



KOTA KINABALU, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- Leaders of several Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties in Sabah have expressed disgust at the ongoing rumours of Sabah BN parties defecting to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

They were even surprised by rumours today that seven BN component parties were purportedly holding a news conference this evening to announce their defection, the rumours augmented by a Short Messaging Service (SMS) text circulated by unknown persons in the name of the Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, on the non-existent news conference.

The rumours came in the wake of statements by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor and parliamentary opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that the PR would form the federal government by Sept 16 following the defection of BN MPs. -- BERNAMA



The US is continuing to ratchet up tensions with Russia in the aftermath of last month’s war in the Caucasus.

On Thursday, US Vice President Dick Cheney appeared in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Cheney reiterated US support for Georgia’s incorporation into NATO, while making bellicose denunciations of Russia.

Only a day earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice proposed the staggering sum of $1 billion in aid to the impoverished Black Sea nation.

During his visit, Cheney made statements tantamount to declaring Georgia an American military protectorate. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Cheney said, “can count on continued support and assistance from the United States. I assured the president as well of my country’s strong commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity.”

“Georgia will be in our alliance,” Cheney promised. “NATO is a defensive alliance. It is a threat to no one.”


Friday, September 5, 2008


Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

1. All four computers in my house are somehow not connected to the Internet. I wonder if other people are having the same trouble?

2. I cannot access my blog though I was able to do so this morning. I read some of the comments.

3. I wanted to reply but I can only do so imprecisely from memory.

4. One comment asked me what am I doing about the current situation and my criticisms about it? It also suggested what I should do.

5. I have always been asked to do "something". I had done my best and:

a) I had openly blamed Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and asked him to step down

b) I had criticised his decision on the bridge

c) I have openly accused him of corruption

d) I have told UMNO leaders and members that they are destroying UMNO etc etc



KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 4 - Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today echoed Gerakan leader Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik's call for Umno to reform and further suggested that Barisan Nasional become a single multiracial party.

"The Pakatan Rakyat is turning into what BN used to represent," the former MCA vice-president wrote in his blog. "BN should eventually turn into a single multi-racial party which really represents the interest of all Malaysians.

"Realistically this cannot happen immediately of course but we must set it as a real target, instead of brushing the suggestion aside."



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik’s interview in Off The Edge seems to be the latest marker in a widening schism in Gerakan.

The party’s influential adviser and former president’s assessment of the membership’s desire to quit the Barisan Nasional is agreed to by grassroots leaders and observers alike, but they are divided on his suggestion that they give the Umno-led coalition one last chance despite his scepticism over their ability to reform.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng, whose book on the party was recently published, says that the difference in opinions goes all the way up to the top leadership.



Wan Hamidi Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 - Twelve more days and it will be revealed whether Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Sept 16 takeover of the government is a reality or nothing more than the former deputy prime minister's psychological warfare against Barisan Nasional (BN).
One thing is real though - BN, especially its backbone Umno, is under a tremendous pressure, both externally and internally.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's stern warning to Anwar last week - at the end of his 2009 Budget speech in the Parliament - was a reflection of what was going on in his mind at the moment.



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 (Bernama) -- Umno veteran Datuk Mazlan Harun Thursday lodged a second report to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) against the Umno top leadership whom he claimed committed political graft in party elections.

He also handed over an album containing photographs, videos and documents in support of his complaint.

"What are in the album I cannot tell in details. I am only asking for the matter to be investigated quickly," he told reporters.

An Umno member from Muar, Datuk Kadar Ninam Shah, who accompanied Mazlan said if the ACA still did not take action that it was supposed to within a certain period, a follow-up action would be taken. – BERNAMA


KOTA KINABALU, Sept 4 (Bernama) -- Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) Parliamentary Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Anifah Aman has denied widespread speculation that some BN Members of Parliment (MPs) from Sabah would defect to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) starting from Friday.

"There is no such thing... no Sabah BN MPs have indicated their intention to defect," he told Bernama here Thursday. -- BERNAMA



Georgia permitted Israel to use two military airfields for 'a potential pre-emptive strike' against Iranian nuclear sites, a report says.

The revelation came after Georgia's offensive into South Ossetia in early August prompted Russia to march its Special Forces into the region, United Press International reported.

Russian Special Forces raided the airfields - in addition to other Israeli facilities in southern Georgia -, where Israeli drones were captured.

According to the report, Israel had used the airfields to 'conduct recon flights over southern Russia, as well as into nearby Iran'.

"A secret agreement between Georgia and Israel had earmarked two military airfields in the south of Georgia for use by Israeli fighter-bombers in a potential pre-emptive strike against Iran," read the report.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008


1. Suddenly, in the aftermath of the disastrous Permatang Pauh by-election an announcement was made that a panel of retired judges from India and Pakistan and lawyers from Australia and Malaysia had been set up to review the 1988 judicial crisis in Malaysia.

2. The Panel was set up in August 2007. Yet until now there had been no news about it and its work. Now we are given its report mainly to blame me for what it termed Malaysian Judicial Crisis and the removal of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President of the Malaysian Courts in 1988.

3. This is a new idea by the Bar Council to invalidate the findings of the Tribunals set up according to the Constitution of Malaysia, the Supreme Law of Malaysia. It is a negation of the rule of law and a slap in the face for the Malaysian King, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

4. It was the Agong who complained against Tun Salleh for writing two letters, one to complain about the noise made in repairing the Agong's residence and one alleging that the then Prime Minister was undermining the independence of the judiciary. Both letters were extended to all the Rulers which the Agong regarded as putting pressure on him. He found the letters offensive and against the Malay custom in which the customary thing to do was to have an audience with his Majesty and to make verbal complaints. The letters could follow but should be to him alone. He then requested me as PM to remove Tun Salleh as Lord President.

5. In keeping with the provisions of the Constitution a Tribunal was set up. But Tun Salleh tried to stop the Tribunal from doing its work and reporting to the King.

6. Now the Bar Council is resorting to extra-legal means to vilify me. If it can set up panels to nullify the findings of a properly constituted Tribunal then everyone should have a right to set up panels to negate the findings of the Malaysian courts, Tribunals and Commissions. There is no need to appeal to the higher courts set up for the purpose of hearing appeals against the decisions of lower courts. It should be noted that Tun Salleh had not resorted to the courts over the findings of the Tribunal.

7. Is this what we call the rule of law which the Bar is said to advocate? If you cannot get the judgment you want in a proper court, then set up your own court and get the decision you want. But do it quietly in case the decision, despite your choice of panel members, did not decide in your favour. The whole thing stinks of political skulduggery - an attempt to get at someone and to seek revenge for some imagined wrong done in my past.

8. There seems to be a pattern here. First we have a Royal Commission set up to find that I had been influenced in my choice of judges. Then we have Justice Chin, secure in his court accusing me of threatening to sack judges. And now this private and mysterious court to blame me for the "Judicial Crisis" of 1988.

9. I wonder what else will be coming. The President of the Bar Council is very pally with the de-facto Law Minister and the Prime Minister. Even the dinner given by the Bar is paid by the Government.

10. If by these vilifications they think I would stop criticising this corrupt government and its allies then they are wrong. I am not intimidated.

11. As a matter of curiosity, perhaps the Bar Council would like to enlighten the public regarding the cost of the panel, who paid for it and how much did each member get? Or is this another secret of a secretive Bar and its shenanigans.


SEGAMAT: A fight broke out at the Felda Palong Timur 5 Umno branch meeting after several members claimed they were unhappy with the results of the nominations.

Punches were traded and chairs thrown during the commotion at 6pm on Saturday.

It is learnt that when the votes for the division chief post was tallied, incumbent Datuk Othman Jais lost to newcomer Shaifuddin Ali Hanafiah.

Othman, 61, in his sixth term, is the longest-serving state assemblyman in Johor.



Dr. Ivins is dead. I guess that’s all we really know. Although it is widely reported that Dr. Philip Zack, a more credible source for the stolen anthrax, is a Zionist Jew, we now see reports that he is a Catholic (see the bottom of the article for the writer’s strange arguments for why Philip Zack is a Catholic). Apparently the fact that he is a member of a particular Catholic church and got married in a Methodist church is all the proof one needs. I think you will find this portion of the article as amusing as did I. You will note the headline that accompanies the article.

I’ve been reading that there are kiosks in malls around the U.S. you can get a lot of information on this by using a search engine. They are selling everything from bad art to skin lotions. The Jewish Journal has quite an article on them. When you look at the membership of PNAC and any list of Neo-cons and when you look at who heads up a number of the main departments at Homeland Security you find mostly Zionist Jews. When you look at who pushed for the Iraq War and who is pushing for an attack on Iran you come up with a preponderance of Zionist Jews. Five Israelis were found celebrating the assault on the WTC. How did they know?

It’s well beyond strange at this point. How is it that Zionist American and Israeli Jews are connected to so many things involving murders, single and plural? How is it that the same Israeli security firm was in charge of all 9/11 airports as well as the London Tube and the Madrid train station at the time of the attacks? What’s the story with Odigo and Promis software? Why does it all track back to Israel? Understand that I could add much, much more from Larry Silverstein to the curious locations of Olmert and Netanyahu on certain significant dates. Two things seem apparent, thinking or talking about these things is anti-Semitic and whatever happened was mere coincidence and Israel should probably get more money and guns for being associated with unbearable coincidences.



Bruno Waterfield

According to reports in the newspaper De Telegraaf, the country's intelligence service, the AIVD, has stopped an espionage operation aimed at infiltration and sabotage of the weapons industry in Iran.

"The operation, described as extremely successful, was halted recently in connection with plans for an impending US air attack on Iraq," said the report.

"Targets would also be bombed which were connected with the Dutch espionage action."

"Well placed" sources told the paper that a top agent had been recalled recently "because the US was thought to be making a decision within weeks to attack Iran with unmanned aircraft".

"Information from the AIVD operation has in recent years been shared with the American CIA secret service."