Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Purchase of Defence Equipment is a Sham

Can our country continue to sustain wanton waste in the purchase of defence equipment which for the most part have little relevance to our national defence?The whole matter of defence equipment purchase seems to be done in an ad hoc manner with no proper due diligence carried out to determine the type and quality necessary for a modern defence system that will not only act as a deterrent but would also provide a sustainable level of defence that will ensure protection of our national sovereignty through the 21st century and beyond.
A few months ago our DPM, and Defence Minister was in U.K to sign an agreement for the purchase of Submarines.Purchasing submarines is the easy part but do we have the manpower, the facilities for such state of the art equipment to be part of our defence arsenal?Many of our previous purchases have ended in the junk yards and hopefully this purchase will not be the next statistic.
Then we had another deal with the Russians for the purchase of fighter planes.The deal was sealed with the addition of a Malaysian astronaut thrown in as an added incentive .Agro- based Industry ministry Parliamentary secretary Rohani Abdul Karim naively went on to say that 'the programme to send a Malaysian into space will not cost a single sen as it is part of an offset arrangement for the purchase of Russian military aircraft'.This of course is not true. It has now been established that it will cost us approximately $95 million to send our astronaut to space so that he can indulge in the children's game of Batu seremban and to experiment the effects of preparing teh tarik in outer space.
Finally, this week we were told that the defence dept has purchased 8 Italian fighter planes for a cost of $410 million.The question is how do we justify the purchase of three different types of defence equipment to blend into our defence strategy?The maintenance of these different types of equipment will pose problems in spare parts and manpower skills in ensuring our fighter planes are in tip top condition.Frankly I am beginning to question the wisdom of purchasing all those equipments which for obvious reason will end up as scrap in the metal junkyard.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

End of an Era for B.N

Every one knows that closing the barn door when
the horse has bolted is an exercise in futility.During
the last UMNO General Assembly ,delegates spewed fire
and brimstone at their perceived threats from the
miniority non malays especially the chinese.The
culmination of the disgraceful assertion of malay
supremacy was the unsheathing of the keris by the Head
of the UMNO Youth, Hishamuddin.The words of the
delegate from Malacca probably sum up the racist and
religious sentiments that pervades the assembly."UMNO
is willing to risk lives and bathe in blood to defend
the race and religion."The P.M's closing speech to
assuage the feelings of the non malays who were hurt
by the vitrolics hurl at them did very little to
repair the damage that occurred at the assembly.It was
a classic case of the horse has bolted.
The chinese media reported the UMNO proceedings
in great details and the simmering anger was without
doubt felt by the chinese community.They felt betrayed
by UMNO.It was through their help in the 2000 election
when UMNO was most vulnerable to the PAS threat( when
DPM ANwar was expelled and incarcerated by TDM)that
UMNO was able to retain most of its electoral seats
with a slender majority.At the time when most malays
had abandoned UMNO in support of PAS, the chinese
community gave their full support to UMNO.
UMNO and its leaders may have to ponder their
future without any help from their erstwhile partners
because the damage has been done.Despite damage
control by MCA with its intention of going on a nation
wide roadshow to explain and pacify the chinese
community it is unlikely the olive branch will be
accepted this time round.
It is ironical that after nearly 50 years of
Alliance and then later Barisan National union of UMNO
and MCA this seemingly invincible partner will come to
an ignominous end.There is little hope that the
chinese will continue to render support to the
B.N.From the feedbacks of coffee shops and private
conversations the response is unanimous.They will
throw their support to all independent and opposition
candidates.UMNO and its cohorts will learn a bitter lesson
that there is a price to pay for its betrayal

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

T.M Net Or Telekom-Both are still the same.

After spending millions in their rebranding
exercise, TM Net or Telekom has basically still remain
the same in its service and management of its now
private enterprise.Little has changed since its
privatisation and its recent refurbishing of its kedai
Telekom offices.Walk into any Kedai Telekom and you
will experience the appalling service.In any day
paying your bill is a hassle.It is not uncommon to
wait an hour or more just to pay your bills.( I have
personally experience such poor service in Kota Bharu
and Seremban Kedai Telekom).Payment and receipts of
cash is the lifeblood of any private enterprise but
here you experience a certain lackadiscal attitude
which translate to mean that you have to wait in a
long queue if you want to pay.
The trouble with T.M Net or Telekom and its
contemporary partner Tenaga Nasional Bhd, is that the
worker and its management teams are the same people
prior to its privatisation.They still adopt the same
work culture and 'tidak apa' attitude.Their work
ehtics have remained the same despite the
transformation to a private entity.When the whole work
place is populated with one race the tendency is that
there are so many common things to talk and gossip.A
lesson can be learned by watching the racial
composition of foreign Banks and Multi-national
companies.When there is a good mix there is healthy
competition to excel and no one wants to be seen
T.M net and Tenaga National Bhd has to overhaul
their old work culture if they wish to remain relevant
and competitive. Fortunately for these two private
enterprise they are a virtual monopoly in their
respective field and therefore can afford the luxury
of compacency.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Punish the Perak Mufti.

When my son told me that he saw a leprechaun in
the morning newspaper I thought he was joking.Then I
saw for myself a picture on the nst dated 13th Nov.
edition in the front page was the semblance of someone
who had the characteristic of a leprechaun.That man
was the Perak Mufti,Datuk Seri Harussani zakaria who
purportedly identified the mischievous woman who sent
the text message that a group of muslims would be
baptised at a church in Silibin on Nov.5th.
I used to read and remember in my younger days
that leprechaun are by nature mischievous creatures
who happen to create havoc in the lives of ordinary
mortals.Yes, this leprechaun in our midst is no
exception..During his tenure as the Perak mufti he has
taken particular delight in perpetuating one
controversy after another.It is as if he had a wicked
sense of humour or is it his evil intention to cause
racial and religious conflict among Malaysians of
different origin.
One of his outrageous claim in Feb. 2006 was that
100,000 of muslims had apostatised themselves.He did
not disclose the source of his information but claimed
it was from a' reliable source.'
Then in June 2006 he proclaimed that Kongsi raya
was not proper and could erode the faith of
muslims.How could any one who is suppose to be
knowledgeable in Islam propagate such a convoluted
version of religious doctrine?What remains clear is
that we do not need such religious bigots in our
Malaysian landscape.If the Perak Mufti is in any way
responsible for the sms which led to the protest and
demonstration at the church in Ipoh, then the full
weight of the law should befall this leprechaun.In
this day and age we just dont need any leprechaun
prancing in our midst with their own brand of
religious bigotry.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Iskander development Region will Be a Flop.

Like the few mega projects during
Mahathir's tenure which was a flop,the Iskandar
development Region is undoubtedly heading for
failure.This new project when examined under a
microscope has nothing new to offer.This ambitious
project is perhaps better described as new packaging
but the same contents.The same old mantra is repeated
here again.Vast expanse of land, a skilled workforce(
more likely Indonesian imports), efficient bureacracy(
most likely the same corrupt civil service
mentality)and modern infrastructure (but a third world
mentality in maintenance).Foreign investors are
already wise to such superficial promises and not
likely to fall for the same ruse.
The International trade and Industry Minister
recently gave a warning to foreign investors that if
they are not prepared to relinquish 30% equity to
Bumiputra when they invest here then they might as
well dont come here.Well looks like the foreign
investors have taken the cue from our arrogant Rafidah
Aziz and has stayed away in droves.Otherwise how could
you explain that a small red dot like Singapore could
garner Foreign Direct Investment of $20 billion in
2005 compared to $3.97 billion in FDI in 2005 for
Finally, how could the Iskander development
region take off when in the first instance the Johore
Sultan has already called for the demolishment of the
causeway?Indirectly this is to say that Singaporeans
FDI are not welcome.Then in the same breath, the
Sultan went further to describe the Mat Sallehs as
dirty and not welcome.So having excluded two of the
major FDI group from coming to invest here, can the
Johore Govt please let us know who are they targeting
to come and invest in the Iskander development Region?
Frankly the only expectation of the Iskander
Development region would be a vast barren uninhabited
industrial land which in due course would be
abandoned.Singapore would not be a properous,
successful, industrial state if Johore had the
potential and the ability to come out of its
hibernated state.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Uncalled for remarks by Sultan

The Johore sultan merely has a ceremonial role in our constituion. He should confine his thoughts and opinion and should not make public comments which might be misconstrued.If he choose to venture out of his ceremonial domain and go into the public domain then whatever statement he makes can and must be subject to public scrutiny and criticism depending on the merit and demerit of the subject matter.He should not expect any immunity from public scrutiny.
In this regard, the Sultan's comments to demolish the causeway was an extremely stupid and spontaneous statement made by someone who has scant knowledge of the historical and legal consequences of such a propose act.
Is the sultan aware that thousands of Malaysians seek employment in the red dot to eke out a living and 90% of them are his subjects from Johore.?Is he aware that Singapore's investment in Malaysia and in Johore constitute a substantial portion of FDI in Malaysia?
Instead of reaching out his hand in encouraging foreigners to come to Malaysia he has made disparaging comments that foreigners are dirty and not welcome.What is the point in spending millions in advertisement for tourists to come to Malaysia when someone whose opinion would carry alot of weight make such disgusting comments.And what is most disappointing is that none of our leaders including the P.M made no effort to correct the disparaging remarks made by the sultan..
06/11 22:29:23