Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The New Istana - analysis of the increased costs

Source:  29 Jun article - reproduced in full here
Quote :

A Malaysian Palace fit for a King

Or at least for the current wearer of the king’s hat, who gets to stay there for five years

On June 23, speaking to the Regional Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime in Kuala Lumpur, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, outlined broad efforts to improve transparency and confront corruption, saying all reported cases will be fully investigated regardless of the position or status of those involved and that punishment will be swift and harsh.

But before the policy can be fully implemented, there is the matter of the cost of building a new national palace for the country’s sultans, which has doubled from RM400 million (US$124.2 million) to RM811 million since the contract was let – without bid — in 2006 under the premiership of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and may well triple, according to government insiders.

Under Malaysia’s system of rotating kingships between the country’s nine sultans, each assumes the title of Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and lives in the Istana Negara, or national palace, for five years before moving on – or uses it as a ceremonial residence during his reign. Each has his own palace in his respective sultanate. The grounds of the new one, to be built on a hill, will cover a massive 96.52 hectares, according to the government.

Well-placed sources in Kuala Lumpur told Asia Sentinel that the RM811 figure is only preliminary. The total cost is actually nearing RM1.2 billion and is expected to go higher, the sources said, with both the Sultan of Perlis, who retired as Agong in 2006, and the Sultan of Terengganu, who took his place, becoming hidden partners with Malaysia’s seventh richest individual, Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhairy.

“Syed Mokhtar got the original contract at RM400 million. Then the Raja of Perlis was given a gratuity and his brother, Syed Anwar Jamallulail, became Syed Mokhtar’s 30 percent partner and costs escalated,” said a source. “When the current king came in – the Sultan of Terengganu — he asked for a piece of the action and costs went up again. It was brought up in cabinet in December by an MCA minister. [Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, minister in the prime minister's department for parliamentary affairs] replied: “So what? It’s the house of a Malay King, not a Chinese contractor.” Needless to say, no one has brought it up since.”

The favoritism allegedly shown on the Istana contract presents a challenge for Najib, who has publicly vowed to clean out rent-seeking and preferential treatment in government-linked contracts in his campaign to clean up Umno’s tattered reputation.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim alleged on the floor of parliament last week, for instance, that the land under the 115-year-old Pudu Jail, which is being torn down, is being handed over to Vincent Tan, another longtime Mahathir crony and head of Berjaya Corp. Anwar accused the government of handing out contracts worth billions of ringgit to favored individuals.

The next big test will probably be the construction of a new building to house the Dewan Rakyat, or Parliament, whose current building is an exemplar of the tacky architecture that the third world thought was modern when it was built in 1962 and when Malaysia was a third-world country. The project has been shelved for the time being because of lack of money but it will probably resurface as the economy improves.

Although the construction consortium building the Istana Negara includes the Bumiputra firm Ahmad Zaki Resources Sdn Bhd with partners Kejuruteraan Kenari Sdn Bhd. and Maya Maju (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, there are widespread reports in Kuala Lumpur that although his name appears nowhere, the construction operation is actually headed by Syed Mokhtar.

A onetime roti canai seller who was born into a poor Kedah family of Arab descent, Syed Mokhtar amassed more than US$2 billion in assets and made the Forbes Magazine list of richest individuals partly due to government contracts, primarily as a result of his close relationship with former Premier Mahathir. Today, his business empire encompasses plantations, property development, construction, engineering, power generation, infrastructure and ports.

Deputy Minister Yong Khoon Seng told reporters the construction of the main complex was awarded to Maya Maju Malaysia Sdn Bhd at a sum of RM650 million, while a contract for the flyover from Jalan Duta to the palace was given to Ahmad Zaki Bhd. The palace is far behind schedule and is scheduled to be completed by 2011. The contract for the upgrading of a flyover to the new palace will cost an additional RM150 million. Malaysia has been abuzz for days since the cost overruns were announced over the identity of Kejuruteraan Kenari and Maya Maju. Both are listed in Malaysia’s corporate registry with a flock of officers that nobody seems to know. The Malaysian blogosphere has been preoccupied with speculation on their connections. Maya Maju lists two shareholders and five directors. The directors are Man Bin Mat, Md Nizam B. Md Sharif, Rasidah Bt. Salleh, and secretaries Lim Hooi Mooi and Tan Enk Purn. The shareholders are
Maryna Keh Abdullah @ Miss Keh Kim Lan and Man Bin Mat.

Then there is the question of why, with Malaysian politicians making public pronouncements that the country will go bankrupt unless subsidies for the poor are withdrawn, a new Istana is needed at all. The current one, built in 1928 as the onetime home of a Chinese tycoon, stands on 11 hectares of grounds in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. It has undergone a long series of renovations going back to World War II when it was used as a Japanese Army mess hall. It was refurbished in 1986 at a cost of RM70 million.

It is difficult to say just what the RM811 million actually includes. Some critics say the costs for equipping the new building do not include furniture, lighting, air conditioning and a wide variety of other charges that can be expected to drive the total price tag far higher.

“For Umno,” wrote one critic to the Malaysian Insider online news portal, “all projects MUST undergo an increase of minimum 40 percent of total budget in order for it to be completed in triple the estimated time. If not, then that person isn’t a loyal Umno member.”

Unquote :

My previous posting about the increase costs of RM 400 million for the new istana ------>  here

8 things you can do a Jailbreak Ipad

Source : PC World article today 30 Jun

- Explain what is Jailbreaking and How to do it
- Getting programs from Cydia ( the non-authorised Apple apps store )

The 8 advantages :
- MultiTasking
- Sync over WiFi
- Add a Bluetooth Mouse
-Files Management as on PC
- Add GPS thro Bluetooth
- Play Classic Games
- Customize the interface
- Run iPhone apps Full screen with better results

My previous post on May 9  about jailbreaking the iPAD :  here

Samsung Galaxy S Software Tour

Comprehensive review at :

Reading through these 3 sites is good enough for one to judge whether this is a better alternative to the other Androids - the htc Desire, Google Nexus One , Motorola Droid X or  even Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

Software tour from
Part 1:

 Part 2 :

SONY to recall 535,000 Notebooks

All Sony notebook users especially the F and C series - check up immediately with your vendor . Luckily my X-series is not affected.

The problem is serious , quote " Sony Corp. said Wednesday it is recalling about 535,000 Vaio laptops world-wide due to a temperature-control defect that may cause excessive heat and distort the shape of the laptop."

KDSB did not pay tax for last 13 years ?

Internal Revenue Board : KDSB owe back taxes amounting to RM 328 million - now PKA has to settle it !!

Faizal Abdullah, the new CEO of Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), today denied that the company has outstanding taxes of RM328.4 million, says IRB is "GILA"

WHO is telling the truth ???
Or the matter is not so simple as it seems

Source :
Excerpts :

Tony Pua questioned how KDSB has been able to owe corporate taxes for 13 years and still remain in business, as well as obtain government contracts.
"The amount is not small. Why are they still allowed to continue their business for 13 years without having to pay the tax that was due?"
Pua referred to The Edge Financial Daily which states that KDSB owed taxes to the IRB for the period 1997-1998.
"We know that the IRB is very efficient in ensuring that every company pays taxes. Why were they (KDSB) allowed to continue for 13 years without paying taxes?"

Last Wednesday, the IRB directed PKA to stop payment to KDSB and instead remit RM328.4 million allegedly owed by KDSB to the IRB in backdated taxes.

Certain BN luminaries untouchable?
The DAP national publicity secretary also questioned whether IRB had allowed the tax to remain uncollected all these years because KDSB is owned by BN parliamentarian Tiong King Sing, who is also Backbenchers Club chairperson.
"Does that mean a prominent member of BN is allowed to get away from paying taxes for so long before IRB finally says that they are going to collect through PKA?" he asked.
KDSB's new CEO denies outstanding taxes

Excerpts :
Faizal Abdullah, the new CEO of Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), today denied that the company has outstanding taxes of RM328.4 million.
Faizal, who has just assumed the post from Tiong King Sing, described the Inland Revenue Board's (IRB) allegations as “gila” (crazy).
“Go to court. If they want to sue us, come to the court lah! But we will tell the truth to the judge.”

However, in a circular last week, IRB has ordered PKA to stop payments to PKFZ bondholders and instead remit RM328.4 million, allegedly owed by KDSB in outstanding taxes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Port Klang Authority will pay Kuala Dimensi RM772 million !!!

As postulated in my earlier posting , today in Parliment Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri has given an assurance that the government will pay what is due to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bondholders.
Any of my dreams and hope that the government could possibly consider setting up an escrow account to hold the funds till investigations are completed is now dash to pieces.
As predicted, the government rationale is compliance to the contractual agreement with the bondholders and to protect the government bond ratings.  
Why is such an important issue not announced by the Transport Minister himself ? I supposed he is still dazed, confused and possibly shock  by the scandal.
I await MCA president,  Dr Chua Soi Lek stand on this issue. Will he come out guns blazing to condemn this decision or will he just  keep quiet dismissing it as as no concern to MCA but to be handle by the Ministry of Finance. I hope Dr Chua has the b***s to uphold his principles of integrity and transparency. He need to remember that MCA has always been closely linked and connected with PKA as far back as 1989. All the previous MCA Transport Ministers and senior party leaders such as Michael Chen, Ting Chew Peh, Yap Pian Hon, Chor Chee Heung and Lee Hwa Beng are thick and thin into PKA's planning, development and growth. If Dr Chua choose to be silent, I am very sure at the next General Election, the MCA will lose more Chinese votes.
I also await what our PM Najib has to say tomorrow.
Agreeing to pay this RM772 million looks more like a bailout of Kuala Dimensi. I was shock to read that the government also need to pay another RM328 million to the Internal Revenue Board ( IRB ) as unpaid backdated taxes. 
WHY should the government pay for taxes owing by KDSB To IRB using our taxpayer's money ? Am I interpreting right to say KDSB is profiting from this non-tax payment ? 
Why can't the government hold the payment in an escrow account until full settlement of the court case ?  Taxpayer's money is and will be use here to bailout KDSB while the corrupted  and guilty culprits responsible for this scandal  will probably go scot-free. So far the charges and prosecution on the few directors is just another " sandiwara";  the big fish is now far away in the open sea and will not be caught.
Paying KDSB is a breach of trust by the government to the rakyat and is a total shame. In the very first place, it is wrong to allow a private company KDSB to raise bonds for such a large government project - what is our Treasury doing ?? The 2 Transport Ministers signing off the letters of guarantee is another joke - I have talk about this in my earlier posting All these actions just smell plain "fishy and dirty" to me. We demand to know who are the bondholders - how many percent of them are foreigners ? Paying up would mean vast amount of money will be taken out of the country.
It was only in the last few weeks we hear what a dire situation the country is facing -  Idris Jala saying we could be bankrupt by 2019 if the subsidy cut proposals are not implemented,  Sime Darby losing billions, Felda reserve shrunk by billions, Pos Malaysia losing hundred millions, government cannot afford to sponsor any more new scholarship next year etc. And here we are seeing another " bailout" ?
DAP's MP, Tony Pua summarized it very well  :   PKA should not make any payments to the bondholders since it was KDSB that had raised the money to finance the PKFZ project through the issuance of bonds worth RM4.6 billion....PKA's obligation is not towards KDSB's bondholders.....If the government pays both the bondholders and the IRB, said Pua, "this would be the perfect scam of the century".
PKA will have to pay a total of RM1.05 billion to both IRB and the bondholders. The result will then be ... the IRB gets to collect its taxes, the bondholders get to recover their investment with interest, while KDSB escapes its obligations without having to fork out a single sen of its tax (owed to IRB).
He added that this will also save KDSB owner Tiong King Sing , who is Bintulu MP, from being sued by the IRB and bondholders.
However, the burden would then be transferred to the rakyat.
"The complete burden amounting to billions of ringgit is shifted to the hapless and helpless rakyat who will be forced to pay for the follies of the BN government,"
"(This would) enrich KDSB and its shareholders while those possibly guilty of criminal breach of trust such as former transport minister Chan Kong Choy (will) get away scot-free."

Full report at :

MALAYSIA forecasted to be "Young and Poor" by 2030

Malaysia’s relatively high population growth rate will see the country remain comparatively young over the next two decades but economic growth is not expected to keep pace with population expansion, according to a report by Bank of America Merril Lynch
Most developed countries experience lower population growth than developing countries and thus become older as they grow richer but China and Thailand however, are forecast to grow old before they can become rich with more than 15 per cent of the population aged above 65 years in the next 15-20 years.

The forecasts are part of an analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the impact of demographic trends on investment opportunities.

It also found that the population in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia are growing old fast but they are expected to remain among the wealthiest in the world.

By 2015, Malaysia is forecast to have an elderly dependency ratio (EDR) — population aged above 64 divided by population aged between 15 and 64 — of 10 with a GDP per capita calculated on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis of US$20,000 (RM64,950). Current young and rich countries such as Australia, Singapore and the US have EDR’s of between 15 and 25 with a GDP per capita of between US$50,000 to US$70,000.

By 2030, Malaysia’s EDR is expected to be about 15 with a GDP per capita of about US$50,000 while Australia, Singapore and the US are expected to have an EDR of between 30 and 40 and per capita GDPs of US$110,000 and US$160,000.
The forecasts are part of an analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the impact of demographic trends on investment opportunities.

Source for more detailed information :

CEBU 1500 prison inmates tribute to Michael Jackson

 26 Jun 2010 : Cebu City, Philippines : The inmates of Cebu who became famous for dancing to Michael Jackson tunes gave a tribute performance on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the death of the "King of Pop".
Foreign tourists also watched as the “Cebu Dancing Inmates” in the high-security jail in the central island of Cebu performed dances to some of Jackson's biggest hits, prison officials said.

The official footages of the performance has yet to be uploaded online. Here's an unofficial video of this year's performance:

Jan 2010 : Filipino, Philippines "Dancing Inmates" from Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum security prison, were treated to a visit by Michael Jacksons long-time choreographer Travis Payne and dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid to learn performances from THIS IS IT.

The 2007 performance: Thriller

The 2008 performance : Holding out to a Hero ( Bonnie Tyler )


The 2009 performance :
July 2009 public performance : Dangerous :
A tribute performed by 1,500 CPDRC Inmates on June 27, 2009 in memory of Michael Jackson. Completed in 10 hours after receiving word that the King of Pop passed away. Songs -  "Ben" and "I'll be there" and "We are the World"
Interview with a convicted killer who is also the leading dancer in Grease Lightning


APPLE products - 30 years history in 2 minutes

From TUAW : Here's a great video compiled by Gary Katz of Mac M.D. Inc. Using photos of Apple machines in his own collection, Gary's video highlights the major design changes that have taken place over the past 30 years.

Monday, June 28, 2010

WINDOWS 8 details Leaked

The documents were originally XPS files converted to PDFs with the goal of removing any incriminating watermarks. Well, made a mistake. As “DanielRemains” — the individual who posted the leaked content — notes, “I spent many hours working on these on removing watermarks etc.” Unfortunately, he seemed to miss a slide and it has undoubtedly brought some unwanted attention to one Derek Goode from HP.

The Italian Windows website 'Windowsette' somehow managed to get a hold of a super-secret, highly confidential PowerPoint presentation outlining many of Microsoft’s goals and plans for Windows 8. Apparently this sensitive data (complete with UNDER NDA watermarks) was just found sitting around the Internet.
MSFTKitchen has an extensive breakdown and detailed posting of all the slides from within the slide deck.  The presentation details many of Microsoft’s thoughts going forward for Windows 8, including the fact that it is taking direct cues from Apple on how to build something customers want to pay for.
While we’ve heard various rumblings about time tables and features of Windows 8, according to the slides, it looks like the internal plan is to have the product to market sometime in 2012. Of course, that could change (see Vista), but from the roadmap presented in the presentation, 2012 looks like the accurate release date.

World Economy Collapse Easily explained in 3 minutes

PALMARY WEATHER - best Android weather app ?

Since I stop using HTC Sense ( Desire rom ) on my Nexus, I was looking high and low for a good weather application. Tried several but noted mostly poor features and has problems locating my town Batu Pahat, often displaying either no such city, or city display but no weather forecasts .  I bought Beautiful Widgets, Weather and Toggle Widgets and  tried Fancy Widget and a host of various Weather widgets  .

This is so far the best Weather application I have seen and best of all is FREE. You can have following screen views:
1. Main Screen - you can select several locations and all display in one page
For any of the location , you can select display:
- 48 hours
- 15 days forecast
- Full weather info for the day

HOW do you hold your Nokia ??

What an opppurtunistic attempt by Nokia to ridicule Apple since Steve Jobs said one need to hold the iPhone4 correctly to have good reception. Read the article - I reproduced the last 3 paragraphs here. I like their last closing paragraph - the killer comment ( highlighted in bold )

We’ve found any of the four grips mentioned above to be both comfortable and as you can see, offer no signal degradation whatsoever. This isn’t a feature you’ll only find on high-end Nokia devices either. It’s something that’s been a part of pretty much every Nokia device ever made (perhaps with the exception of that teardrop 3G one, which was a bit ridiculous).
The key function on any Nokia device is its ability to make phone calls. After all, that’s why we know them universally as mobile phones (or smart phones, feature phones or mobile computers – though the same grip styles work for those, too). One of the main things we’ve found about the 1 billion plus Nokia devices that are in use today is that when making a phone call, people generally tend to hold their phone like a…. well, like a phone. Providing a wide range of methods and grips for people to hold their phones, without interfering with the antennae, has been an essential feature of every device Nokia has built.
Of course, feel free to ignore all of the above because realistically, you’re free to hold your Nokia device any way you like. And you won’t suffer any signal loss. Cool, huh?

Froyo Final release build FRF85 available OTA 28 Jun

Wow!! Google's updates to Froyo ver 2.2 is indeed fast. It was only a week ago, we see minor updates of build FRF72 follow by FRF83. Today, we see a release of FRF85 which I think is the final build for ver 2.2.

 Links to update :

-- EPE54B to FRF85B (EPE54B ver  2.1)
-- FRF50 to FRF83
-- FRF72 to FRF83
-- FRF83 to FRF85B

-- Any to FRF83 rooted
-- Any to FRF85B rooted

For those on stock rom:

Download the appropriate zip file.
Copy  the zip file to the root of your SD card and re-name it
Turn your phone off.
Hold “Volume down” while turning the phone back on, don’t let go until you you’re on the white screen.
Wait for the quick search to be over and scroll down with “Volume down” and select recovery with the power button.
Stock recovery : press the power button and the “Volume Up” button at the same time when you see the “!” symbol, now use the trackball to “Apply”. 
After the installation is complete you can go ahead and reboot.

If  you had a custom kernel, you will have to apply it again since it will be replaced by the stock one.

Customized rom released by Paul of Modaco :  Release v20 Froyo FRF85B

Other download info and links :

Chris Brown tribute to Michael Jackson

A fantastic performance by Chris Brown as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

21 Jun : DEMOLITION of Pudu Jail



Despite the protest of concerned citizens, artists, and historians, the iconic 115 year old Pudu Jail was finally demolished on 21 Jun night.
The government has decided that it needs to be be torn down to make way for road widening works and development into another shopping complex.  The first stage was the demolishing of the whole length of the hand painted mural wall on the eastern side. But the absence of the physical structure will not dim the memory of a jail that holds tales both poignant and spine-chilling.
Large crowds turned out to witness this "historic" ocassion. Some enterprising ones have gone round collecting the broken bricks as souvenirs and probably hoping it'd be of value in the future ??
The response of both mainstream and alternate media, bloggers, NGO's were mainly negative about the demolition. Calls to the government to preserve the jail as a heritage site went unheeded.
When queried whether there is a plan to preserve some sections as a mususeum for historical purposes, Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Awang Adek retorted back no musuem will be build as “It is not something that we are proud of, even though it is an old jail,”.
The issue of pride is irrelevant. The jail is a reminder of the country's history and penal system. The jail was  used since the days of the Japanese occupation where soldiers and army personnel was imprisoned. The most striking part of the jail is the hand-painted wall murals ( supposedly the longest in the world ) all done and maintained by the prison's convicts. Such a heritage can never be reproduced and should be preserved and protected.
I don't think we need another shopping complex in that area. There are already many shopping centers just within a mile radius. Popular landmark complexes such as Sungei Wang Plaza, Lot 10, Imbi Plaza, Berjaya, Times Square etc caters  to low, middle, upper income and tourists.
Even if road widening is required especially at the eastern side, the wall can be " dug " and move several feet inwards - no doubt it'd be a major engineering work  but it can be done. It will again be a project that will benefit a few developers that are well connected to the ruling coalition.

Videos :
MalaysiaKini.TV : History

FreeMalaysiaToday : Demolition Night

Blogger Fat Bidin : Demolition Night

The STAR report : History and interview


Blood and violence on your electronic gadgets

Have you ever thought that the shiny phone or MP3 player or PDA in your hands  has blood and violence preceding its production ?
Have you seen the movie "Blood Diamonds" - the movie title refers to blood diamonds , which are diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and diamond companies across the world. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards. If you have, you will have an idea of what i meant by blood and violence.

I was never aware about this until I came across this article written by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times:
Much of the violence in the Congo is due to warlords trying to control the mining and distribution of minerals that go into our shiny gadgets. Specifically these minerals include tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold, and they are called by those seeking to stop the violence “conflict minerals.” Nicholas Kristof says “Blood diamonds” have faded away, but we may now be carrying “blood phones....Electronics manufacturers have tried to hush all this up. They want you to look at a gadget and think “sleek,” not “blood.” The war in Congo had claimed 5.4 million deaths as of April 2007, with the toll mounting by 45,000 a month, according to a study by the International Rescue Committee. 

Excerpts from his article :

- An ugly paradox of the 21st century is that some of our elegant symbols of modernity — smartphones, laptops and digital cameras — are built from minerals that seem to be fueling mass slaughter and rape in Congo.
- I’ve never reported on a war more barbaric than Congo’s, and it haunts me....Warlords finance their predations in part through the sale of mineral ore containing tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold. For example, tantalum from Congo is used to make electrical capacitors that go into phones, computers and gaming devices.
- Protesters demonstrated outside the grand opening of Apple’s new store in Washington, demanding that the company commit to using only clean minerals. Last month, activists blanketed Intel’s Facebook page with calls to support tough legislation to curb trade in conflict minerals. For a time, Intel disabled comments — creating a stink that called more attention to blood minerals than human rights campaigners ever could.
- Yet now there’s a grass-roots movement pressuring companies to keep these “conflict minerals” out of high-tech supply chains. Using Facebook and YouTube, activists are harassing companies like Apple, Intel and Research in Motion (which makes the BlackBerry) to get them to lean on their suppliers and ensure the use of, say, Australian tantalum rather than tantalum peddled by a Congolese militia.

Given this scenario, are we in any position to change ??

A humorous new video taunting Apple and PC computers alike goes online this weekend on YouTube. Put together by a group of Hollywood actors, it’s a spoof on the famous “I’m a Mac”/”I’m a PC” ad and suggests that both are sometimes built from conflict minerals.
“Guess we have some things in common after all,” Mac admits.

iPhone 4 vs htc Evo4G

This is funny but it indeed shows the mentality of some guys who are obviously "brain washed" and "blinded" by Steve Jobs

TOILET PAPER promotes election raises political awareness

Source :

Odawara City of Japan election organizers has been distributing toilet paper to Odawara restaurants, along with posters and special drinks coasters to get the population interested in their forthcoming elections.

A possible propaganda tool for Malaysia's political parties ? Now you can buy the rolls printed with the party you will reject and wipe your shit with it. What a way to express your dissatisfaction !
Party A could buy Party B rolls and vice versa and distribute it free to the rakyat. What a good idea - freebies before election.

Reasons NOT to buy the iPAD

The iPAD was launched in USA on 3rd Apr.  On May 28th, it was make available to the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.  Apple will add 9 more countries to the launch, beginning in early July.   There is no exact July date but the countries on that list are Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Singapore. Malaysia will most probably have its allocation by September.

In the last 80 days on the market, Apple has sold 3 million iPads and according to Morgan Stanley , it's on track to be the fastest selling mobile device in history. This works out to about 37,500 units per day, or about one unit sold every two seconds. Assuming an average selling price of $650 per iPad, Apple just generated $2 billion in sales. That's better than iPod sales from the March quarter, which according to Morgan Stanley's  only totaled $1.5 billion.

Steve Jobs said, “People are loving iPad as it becomes a part of their daily lives, We’re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more people around the world, including those in nine more countries next month.”
Apple also announced that developers have now created more than 11,000 iPad-specific applications. The iPad will also run most of the 225,000 apps created for the iPhone and iPod Touch, though graphics quality may be uneven on the larger iPad.

The iPAD is indeed "magical" generating such sales volume as it has several limitations. Apple is creating a new niche in tablet computing and the iPAD fits in as a cross-product in between the notebook and the hand-held iPod Touch. It can never replace even a generic branded netbook.

I was aware of these limitations but I still buy it mainly for its portability and convenience as I plan to use it mainly for browsing, emails, RSS, Tweets updates, reading eBooks and magazines . To maximize its usage efficiently,  I install some other  3rd party programs and further  " jailbreak" to install non-approved Apple programs. This will be elaborated in my subsequent blog write-ups together with the steps I have taken to overcome some of the limitations.

If you have doubts whether the iPAD is suitable for your needs, the below videos will assist in your decision making.  There are many such videos on the web " condemning" the iPAD. These videos are the more reasonable and better ones, and it could convince you NOT to buy the iPAD.

Reasons not to buy

Not impressed and dissappointed

5 reasons not to buy

5 worst things

Dilbert's Tech Support

I like this strip release today :

Port Klang Authority to pay 2010 dues of RM772 million to Kuala Dimensi ?

Grapevine news these two days is that the Port Klang Authority  board of directors will meet next Tuesday to make a decision of paying RM772 million due to Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB). I supposed the  PKA board is under political pressure to pay up ??
On 7 Jun, the newly appointed Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha had said  "I think (we have) enough of the investigation, enough of all the study. All had been done on this issue so I don't think there is any need for further re-look into it," .  He added he would take time to study the issue to understand all about the scandal.
So now the million dollar question is : Will the  new Transport Minister support PKA to withhold the next payment of RM772 million next month to KDSB ?
This is necessary as PKA had filed two civil suits against KDSB last September for overcharging for and making false claims up to RM83 million for two development works. PKA is still in process of studying other claims against KDSB. 
In December 2009, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail had loudly declared that “more” and “bigger fishes” would be prosecuted for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, apart from the four executives arrested and charged in court. He had said in the presence of the chief of MACC Datuk Abu Kassim and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan that the prosecution of four executives were “just the tip of the iceberg” and more people will face charges. Till now, we have yet to see any new developments of the AG's claims.
My opinion : PKA should NOT pay until the investigations are complete and the relevant culprits are charged and prosecuted. Datuk Kong must now prove his critics wrong that with the " demise" of his ex-president Ong Tee Keat as Transport Minister , the PKA scandal will be swept under the carpet. He'd already make the first mistake in declaring no further investigations into the scandal.
Till today, I still feel the new MCA President, Dr Chua Soi Lek had made a " mistake" to dismiss Ong Tee Keat as Transport Minister. His decision is obviously politically motivated and as I am not so "politically minded" to understand it, I give him the benefit of the doubt.
Feedback from most local blogs is PKA will pay. What could be the possible reasons if such a decision is made ?
- Unofficially : Corrupt politicians in MCA and UMNO  who are exerting pressure on  the government to pay ? Whether he like it or not, Najib still has to "listen and respect " his grassroot political partners.
-  Officially : The Treasury need the PKA's board to consider both local and foreign investor confidence in the Malaysian private debt securities market. The argument here will be the four letters of support issued by former Transport Ministers Ling Liong Sik and Chan Kong Choy to KDSB.  With these letters, KDSB had issue bonds to finance the PKFZ project. These four letters were implicitly a form of government guarantee for the bonds issued by KDSB. If PKA board refuse to pay, it'd severely affect Malaysia's credit rating.
Both ex Transport Ministers had gone scot-free despite calls from the opposition that further investigations be conducted on them. The opposition must be naive to think that the government will listen to such call. I am sure the Ministers issue of guarantee would not have been granted without blessing and approval from the echelon top guys. MCA did not even conduct an internal enquiry on the ex Ministers with possible dismissal for breaching the trusts placed on them.
Last year when the news of the PKFZ scandal broke out, the RM660 million ( due for 2009 )  was withheld supposedly pending a full review by a task force established by Transport Ministry. However the PKA board finally paid on instructions from the Treasury and taking into consideration appeals from bondholder trustees. So it's probable we will see the same reasoning for payment.
Furthermore,  our PM Najib had told an investor briefing in New York last November that the government would honor all PKFZ obligations up to US$1bil.
Transparency International Malaysia president Paul Low, appointed by former Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat to investigate and resurrect the PKFZ, warned that should PKA make the payment, it might not be able to get its money back if it won the suit. He had suggested that an escrow account agreed to by both sides be set up to hold the funds before the court decides on the outcome of the litigation.
I'd say this is still the best solution to this "Catch-22" situation.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sports betting licence NOT approved

24 Jun The STAR : Sports betting should be legalised to recognise the rights of non-Muslims, said Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim. The social rights of Malaysian non-Muslims were contained in the Federal Constitution, he said......“Whatever the Government’s taxes (from sports betting), use that fund for the good of the non-Muslim poor. The Muslims do not have to touch it,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Rais Yatim is insulting all the non-Muslims with such statement. He's also implying that gambling is a given right of all non-Muslims. Dear Minister, not all non-Muslims gamble.
I suggest this weekend you hop down to the nearest 4-D, Sports Toto sales outlets and just judge for yourself how many Muslims go inside these sales outlets to buy their bet tickets. Do not be suprised it will be 50 % , which so closely match our country's racial composition. At same time, find the nearest kopi-tiam or warong near these outlets and see for yourself how many Muslims are there drinking kopi-oh while discussing the upcoming results. Do not be shocked if you see them openly displaying such betting sales tickets. This is an open secret - Muslims also bet and gamble in our country. Even though there are signage in these outlets  barring sales to Muslims, this was never enforced. Do we ever read hear actions being taken against Muslims buying such bet tickets ??
This is not the first time you have issue such irresponsible statements. I do understand your purpose  - trying to find another way to gain political mileage and show that you do "care" for rights of the non-Muslims. You are wasting your time. I suggest you spend more time to seriously look into how you can improve Malaysia broadband performance - allow me to remind you Malaysia ranks 102 out of 152 countries - we are in the bottom 50's inspite of our so called Multi-Media Super Corridor initiatives. Refresh your memory at my blog here if  you need to.

25 Jun The STAR :  The government will not be issuing a sports betting licence to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on Friday night.
The Prime Minister said although the government had in principal approved the licence, it decided not to proceed with it after taking into consideration the feedback from all layers of the community.....
“This was discussed at the (supreme council) meeting and the council supported the decision unanimously,” he told a press conference after chairing the meeting on Friday night.
27 Jun The STAR : The Government will stick to its decision not to legalise sports betting in the country, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said although some parties were in favour of granting a licence to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, most were against the move.
“The issuance of a licence to legalise sports betting is no longer an issue as a decision has been made. We always listen to the people’s wishes and put their interests above all,” he said.

Kudos to our PM Najib for taking this stand. This is something that you have done right this time. 

However I am surprised you said that this decision was make after discussion at UMNO's supreme council meeting. I view this negatively as shouldn't such a major issue should also involve the other major component parties in your coalition - MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP ?? I do recall that  MCA, MIC and PPP leadership had supported sports betting with some restricted control mechanism.  Again you are showing that UMNO  don't respect and care about the view of your other BN partners. I don't even remember you calling any meeting with them to discuss this issue .There is  always talk and consensus that Barisan Nasional is actually Barisan UMNO. You have now proven this point . Well done ! 
So it is not surprising that your strongest opposition,  the  DAP has now question you : "Does this mean that the Umno supreme council decides all government policies, and not the cabinet comprising all the BN component party leaders? Where is the power sharing concept that was supposed to one of BN's main principles?"

Your supporter ,  our dear ex PM Dr Mahathir must be very disapointed with you now. Did he call you to express his displeasure about your decision. It was just only a day ago he said “If I were still in the Government, I would approve the license for sports betting,”. The rakyat knows that Dr Mahathir is a strong supporter of  Datuk Vincent Tan's and is an  open secret that Vincent Tan's business empire had grown through his close alliance with Dr Mahathir . 

There had been speculations that Vincent Tan will sue the government if he does not get his sports betting license. So will he ??? 
Just check up the local blogs - there are already speculations that Vincent Tan could be compensated in other means - perhaps some new "skyscraper and mega" projects will be given to his Berjaya group ? So he will still win as this is only a temporary setback.

So dear Najib - please prove us wrong that you have make this decision rightly based on your judgment of what is morally and ethically right.

HITLER is angry about the iPhone 4 antennae problem

Hilarious !

He's Upset About the iPhone 4 Antenna

Friday, June 25, 2010

iPhone 4 "OFFICIAL uncensored video " ???

A parody of Apple's official original video with added in hilarious commentators.  Watch it only without your kids present as some %^&^@$ words and innuendo being used

Source :

HTC HD2 upgrade to Android OS getting closer


HTC HD2 on Windows Mobile 6.5

to >> Android ver  2.1

Android port for HTC HD2 overcomes big hurdle, finally getting close - This was Engadge headline news on 25 Jun. This is GREAT news to HD2 owners.  In this blog on Apr 10 , I have compared my hands-on experience of the Google Nexus One and the HTC HD2 .  Two days ago,  the Google Nexus One had received a MAJOR upgrade to its O/S - Android ver 2.2 codename Froyo . The upgrade is impressive , which I elaborated too here in this blog.
The stakes is now raised even higher in the HTC HD2 challenging the Nexus One. I'd say at this point, the score is Nexus - 1, HD2 - 0.

Since late March, the guys at forum XDA had been working feverishly hard at porting the Android O/S over to the HTC HD2. HTC had released in USA  its Android version equivalent in the HTC Evo ( a CDMA 4G version ) . Most XDA's developers had confidence basing on the HTC Evo, Android on the HTC HD2 can be done. I'd say just in 3 months, what they had achieved is impressive.

Quote :

The great thing about the HD2 is that it remains one of the most gorgeous pieces of smartphone hardware ever released -- but as long as it's saddled with the dead OS walking known as Windows Mobile 6.5, its stature in the power user community is perpetually stuck in first gear, no matter how pretty HTC has managed to make it. To that end, some of those very same power users have been working tirelessly to salvage the beast and shoehorn Android on there, but they've been tripped up by some errors involving the phone's Snapdragon core and the so-called HaRET tool used to boot Linux from Windows CE-based devices that have made a proper port seem all but impossible. Those hurdles have been overcome in the past couple days, though, which means a marginally consumer-friendly Android build might finally be within reach -- and considering that there's no proper EVO 4G equivalent from HTC in Europe yet, this project could have an awful lot of value.

MAXIS Android offers : htc DESIRE vs Samsung GALAXY S

War of the premium Androids from Maxis

On 27 May,  Maxis launched the htc Desire at KLCC. This coming weekend on  25 till 27 Jun, Maxis will launch another premium Android phone, the  Samsung Galaxy S at Sunway Pyramid ( LG2, Blue Wing Section E ).

Buyers will now have 2 great choices of these higher end non-keyboard Androids

Special pricing plans are offered with any of the following rates and data plans:
Rates Plans : Value Plus 50 or 80 or 150 or 250 or 500 AND a corresponding Data Plan ( 12 months contract ) of 500 MB ( RM 58 )  or 1.5 GB ( RM 78 ) or 3 GB ( RM 88 ).

Details of offer :
Brief comparison on specs , major differences highlighted in bold:

Quad band
Handsfree loudspeaker
FM radio
5 megapixel camera
Weight: 118 grammes
Height: 122mm
Width: 64mm
Depth: 10mm
Internal Memory: 16GB
Expandable Memory: 32GB
Screen Size: 4 Inches
Screen Resolution: 480 x 800 Pixels Super Amoled
Camera Specifications: 5 megapixels, autofocus, geo-tagging, face and smile detection
Operating System: Android OS v2.1

Quad band
Handsfree loudspeaker
FM radio
5 megapixel camera
Weight: 130 grammes
Height: 119mm
Width: 60mm
Depth: 11mm
Internal Memory: 1GB
Expandable Memory: 32GB
Screen Size: 3.7 Inches
Screen Resolution: 480 x 800 Pixels Amoled
Camers Specifications: 5 megapixels, autofocus, LED flash, smile detection, geo-tagging
Operating System: Android OS v2.1

Deciding on which phone depends fully on one's needs of the features available. This is my personal opinion of the 2 phones :

Samsung Galaxy S:
I'd say the most obvious advantage here over the Desire is the Super Amoled screen which offer several advantages over the normal Amoled screen :
- lower power consumption estimated at 20% resulting in better battery life
- Superior viewing under sunlight , Samsung's official measurement is 80 % less sunlight reflection
- the display offers a 180 degree angle, meaning at eye level view images can still be seen without blurring or distortion
- Very high contrast ratio 100,000 to 1 : unmatched vivid colors and clarity
- Brighter display estimate at 20 % better

The internal memory of 16GB is very impressive and it'd be ideal for those who wishes to dump movies/audios onto internal memory instead of the SD card.

HTC Desire :
The strong points of the htc Desire is in its builtin software. The fully customized htc Sense interface with its attractive clock/dynamic weather widget is first class with no competition from others. Samsung products has consistently  failed to match HTC's implementation of user friendliness and it smoothness in touchscreen operation. The web reviews on the Galaxy is mainly and  heavily emphasized on its screen.
Those who like to customized and tinker with customized roms, application of modified themes etc will love the Desire. Such flexibility and enhancements  are terribly lacking and very limited for Samsung; infact the interface of this Samsung Galaxy S is more iPhone like.

Based on my needs, my choice will be the HTC Desire . If htc Desire adopts the screen of the Galaxy S , it'd be the perfect Android smartphone. But again, one can never have the best of both worlds !

CNet  had posted a voter's choice in its site.  To date,  the score reads 59 % for the HTC Desire and 49 % for the Samsung Galaxy S. It's a close fight and will continue to be so with each one gaining and losing against one another with time.

A must watch video done by Zenkinz . As it's mostly in Chinese you can read his full review at his blog :

Comparing the hardware :

Links to view other comparisons :—-lords-of-android-do-battle/

On going forum discussions :


With the impending subsidy cuts that will be enforced soon, all our beloved government leaders are asking us to "change our lifestyle" and meet the tough times ahead.
This call reminds me of the following youtube videos that were produced before the last General Elections 2008

CHANGE your LIFESTYLE or CHANGE the Government ??

The longer version of above with other issues of  "politician's popularity", "sleeping" government and "warning to bloggers"

13 Reasons to vote for BN

MP Wee Choo Keong in Parliment questioning Sime Dary losses and other issues

A very outspoken and frank address by MP of Wangsa Maju,  Wee Choo Keong on 21 Jun in Parliment. Even though the whole text is in Bahasa Malaysia, every Malaysian should read even if one's BM is rusty. I struggle reading it but it was very insightful. The mainstream media only report less than 10 % of what he said.

Datuk Yang Di Pertua
Skandal Sime Darby

Izinkan saya menyentuh tentang Sime Darby Berhad dan kerugiannya yang kini mencecah 2 billion ringgit.

Kerugian syarikat ini dalam dua projek di Qatar telah bermula pada tahun 2007, tetapi dalam kenyataan-kenyataan akhbar yang di buat oleh pihak syarikat sehingga ke tahun 2009, ianya di nafikan.
Ini bermakna Sime Darby bukan saja membohongi pemegang-pemegang sahamnya, malah ianya telah menipu Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia dan Suruhanjaya Sekuriti.

Di sini saya ingin bertanya YB Menteri Kewangan apakah tindakan telah diambil oleh Bursa Malaysia dan Suruhanjaya Sekuriti untuk menyiasat skandal Sime Darby.

Saya juga hairan bagaimana Pengerusi Sime Darby Tun Musa Hitam boleh membuat kenyataan bahawa Lembaga Pengarah nya tidak tahu menahu tentang kerugian yang dialami. Ini amat memalukan kerana Sime Darby adalah syarikat perladangan yang terbesar di dunia. Sepatutnya Sime Darby menjadi contoh kepada syarikat lain dalam tadbir urus atau Corporate Governance (dengan izin).

Ini bermakna Sime Darby Berhad mempunyai Lembaga Pengarah yang MATI PUCUK atau IMPOTENT (dengan izin). Ataupun Lembaga Pengarahnya masih tidur bersama dengan pentadbiran Tingkat 4.

Lembaga Pengarahnya hanya sedar tentang perkara tersebut apabila kerugian Sime Darby sudah mencecah hampir 2 billion ringgit, termasuk dalam projek Bakun. Ini amat memalukan bukan saja di Malaysia, malah di seluruh dunia, sebab Sime Darby mempunyai operasi di 20 negara.

Mengapa Sime Darby hanya mengambil tindakan terhadap Ketua Eksekutif Kumpulannya Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid. Bagaimana pula dengan pegawai-pegawai pengurusan kanan yang lain yang turut terlibat dalam membuat keputusan tersebut?

Saya senaraikan nama-nama pegawai tertinggi yang sepatutnya juga menerima tindakan yang sama seperti Datuk Seri Zubir:

1. Datuk Sekhar Krishnan – Pegawai Kewangan Kumpulan Sime Darby semasa Sime Darby membuat keputusan untuk memulakan projek di Qatar;

2. Hisham Hamdan – Bekas Ketua Strategi dan Bisnes. Dia bertanggunjawab memastikan bahawa setiap projek adalah “viable” (dengan izin) sebelum membuat pelaburan.

3. Tong Poh Keow, yang dilantik Ketua Pegawai Kewangan Kumpulan pada Jun 24, 2008. Sebagai Ketua Pegawai kewangan, dia tidak membuat peruntukan atau “provisions” (dengan izin) untuk kerugian yang bakal dialami.

4. Nik Muhammad Hanafi Nik Abdullah yang pada masa itu merupakan Ketua Audit Dalaman Sime Darby. Dia telah gagal menegur Jabatan Akaun dan Kewangan kerana tidak membuat peruntukan atau “provision” untuk kerugian tersebut.

5. Foo Marn Hin – yang memegang jawatan Ketua Pengurusan Risiko apabila Sime Darby membuat keputusan untuk melabur di Qatar.

6. Abdul Rahim Ismail, yang pada masa itu memegang jawatan Ketua Pegawai Kewangan Division Tenaga dan Utiliti.
Kerugian yang dialami Sime Darby bukannya disebabkan oleh seorang individu. Ianya memerlukan peranan setiap individu yang saya sebutkan tadi.

Kerugian itu juga disebabkan oleh kegagalan Lembaga Pengarah memantau aktiviti syarikat.

Kerugian itu juga disebabkan oleh kegagalan Lembaga Pengarah memantau aktiviti syarikat. Gejala ini boleh diibaratkan seperti “harapkan pagar pagar makan padi!”

Saya juga amat hairan atas alas an apakah Dato Bakke pengarah Felda dilantik sebagai CEO Sime Darby sedangkan beliau pun ada terlibat dengan kerugian lebih kurang RM300 juta dalam pelaburan Felda in America Syarikat dan Suadi. Saya berharap Menteri Kewangan menyiasat perkara ini.

Dengan ini saya ingin mendesak Tun Musa Hitam dan keseluruhan Lembaga Pengarah Sime Darby meletakkan jawatan dengan serta merta.

Datuk Yang DiPertua

Salah satu objektif dari RMK 10 adalah hasrat Kerajaan untuk menghapuskan rasuah. Tetapi apabila ada kes rasuah yang melibatkan kakitangan seseorang Menteri, tiada pula tindakan. Saya ingin memberikan satu contoh. Iaitu, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) telah menahan Encik Hasbie, Setiausaha Politik kepada bekas Menteri Kewangan Ke II, iaitu YB Tasek Gelugur, dan hasilnya SPRM telah menemui berpuluh-puluh juta ringgit di sebuah kondo di Pulau Pinang. Kita juga dimaklumkan beliau iaitu Orang Kena Tahan, turut memiliki beberapa buah kondo mewah.

YAB PM perlu memberi penjelasan kenapakah sehingga kini En Hasbie belum di dakwa di Mahkamah atau pun kes rasuah ini telah ditutup walaupun SPRM telah memperolehi bukti-bukti yang mencukupi dan juga adakah siasatan juga dijalankan terhadap bekas Menteri Kewangan II. .

Datuk Yang DiPertua

Apa rasional subsidi hendak ditarik semula sekarang, walhal itu sepatutnya langkah yang terkakhir! Sudah bertahun subsidi memberi menafaat kepada rakyat miskin dan kaya. Samada kita suka atau tidak, kita mempunyai peluang untuk memenafaatkan pertaruhan sukan. Mengapa kita perlu bertindak membuta tuli tanpa sebab dan gagal mengambil sesuatu yang positif daripadanya untuk kebajikan rakyat dan negara. Benarkan saya membuka mata dan telinga semua yang hadir di Dewan yang mulia ini berkaitan isu ini.


Sebelum saya berhujah lanjut, izinkan saya menegaskan pendirian saya bahawa perjudian dalam apa bentuk sekalipun adalah tidak boleh diterima atas sebab yang jelas. Dan saya tidak berhasrat membosankan Dewan yang mulia ini dengan hujah baik buruk yang telah diperdebatkan dalam menghalalkan pertaruhan sukan dalam negara ini. Daripada rakyat biasa kepada aktivitis social, pentadbir awam dan persendirian, badan agama termasuk kalangan kita Ahli Parlimen, isu pertaruhan sukan ini mencapai tahap yang memualkan, dan kita berbalah tentangnya sebagaimana biasa.

Mengapa terjadi sedemikian? Adakah kerana perjudian dianggap tidak bermoral? Atau tiada kewajaran politik? Atau kerana kita irihati terhadap mereka yang menikmati keuntungan darinya? Mana satu alasannya? Dan tiap pendirian pasti ada penyokongnya!

Mari kita bertindak lebih realistik! Marilah kita lebih realistik mengenai subjek ini walaupun kita tidak menyukainya. Kita boleh berdebat sehingga kucing bertanduk, namun pertaruhan tetap dan akan terus menjadi kegemaran manusia apa jua pendapat kita.

Fikirkan ini! Adakah kita tahu terdapat tidak kurang daripada 750 laman pertaruhan di internet yang tersedia 24 jam 7 hari seminggu! Apakah kita mampu menyekatnya? Sudah tentu ianya mustahil!

Apa yang jelas pertaruhan sudah menjadi kelaziman dalam kehidupan manusia. Persoalannya hanya setakat mana penerimaan kita mengenai judi pertaruhan ini, setuju ata tidak, terima atau tidak. Benarkan atau tidak!

Apakah kita lupa bagaimana kita menyelak buku untuk “bertaruh” dengan sedikit habuan atau aiskrim?

Suka atau tidak, pertaruhan sukan bolasepak sudah ujud sejak dahulu dan berleluasa, kini dan akan terus ujud selagi ada permainan bola dan peminatnya dimukabumi ini. Namun apa yang tidak boleh diterima ialah kegiatan pertaruhan haram dan underground yang berleluasa dan diluar kawalan, dengan jumlah pertaruhan yang mencecah berbillion-bilion ringgit!

Siapakah pemenangnya, dan siapa yang rugi!

Perbetulkan saya jika saya salah. Namun hakikatnya “sindiket haram” lah yang mengaut keuntungan besar – kerana pihak berkuasa tidak mempunyai kebijaksanaan menanganinya dan gagal melihat gambaran besar bahawa pertaruhan sukan yang dilesenkan dan dikawal akan memberi menafaat yang besar kepada rakyat dan negara. Sebenarnya yang rugi ialah rakyat dan negara. Sindiket haram ini mengaut keuntungan yang berbillion tanpa membayar cukai. Tiada cukai maknanya tiada pembangunan, dan rakyat marhaen lah yang mendapat kerugian besar.

Kita tidak perlu pergi jauh untuk melihat bagaimana pertaruhan sukan membawa kesan positif. Lihat sahaja Singapura. Dengan memperlesenkan pertaruhan sukan dan meletakkannya dibawah kawalan, Kerajaan Singapura pernah satu ketika berjaya mengutip cukai sebanyak S$360 juta (RM878j) setahun. Begitu juga Kerajaan Hong Kong yang berjaya menambah kutipan cukai tahunan sebanyak HK$3.1 billion (RM1.4b) setahun. Ini adalah jumlah dana yang banyak yang boleh dimenafaatkan untuk kepentingan dan kebajikan rakyat, hanya jika pihak berkuasa mempunyai pandangan jauh untuk mengambil menafaat daripada hasil ini.

Apatah lagi jika kita mengambil kira hasil haram yang diperolehi sindiket haram ini melahirkan lebih banyak kegiatan haram saperti perjudian atas kredit, kegiatan along, pengedaran dadah, pelacuran, dan macam-macam lagi! Atas alasan ini sahaja tidakkah wajar untuk pihak berkuasa meperlesenkan dan mengawal selia pertaruhan sukan. Bukan menghalalkan judi saperti yang ditohmahkan!

Saya tidak bersetuju dengan terma “menghalalkan judi bola” kerana kita adalah negara umat Islam. Sebaliknya saya usulkan supaya pertaruhan sukan diperlesenkan dan dikawalselia supaya ianya boleh dipantau dan dikawal. Dan apa juga duti dan cukai yang diperolehi boleh dimenafaatkan untuk pembangunan social saperti pemberian biasiswa, bantuan sarahidup bagi yang memerlukan, kemudahan kesihatan untuk rakyat miskin dan lain-lain, termasuklah menngunakannya untuk pembangunan sukan bolasepak agar pasukan Malaysia dapat mencapai persada antarabangsa dan membawa nama Malaysia ke tiap penjuru alam, sekaligus meningkatkan industri pelancungan negara.

Saya adalah seorang realistik. Dan saya nampak faedahnya pertaruhan sukan diperlesenkan dan dikawalselia didalam negara ini kerana menafaatnya jauh mengatasi keburukannya. Contohnya:

1. Pertaruhan secara hutang akan terhapus serta merta. Kerana pertaruhan dibuat secara tunai, para pemain akan berfikir banyak kali sebelum mengeluarkan wang tunai mereka sebelum bertaruh. Ini kerana mereka tahu daripada kehilangan wang tersebut, lebih baik mereka menggunakannya untuk makanan keluarga, atau membayar sewa atau ansuran kereta contohnya;

2. Kerajaan akan mendapat dana tambahan untuk membangunkan sukan bolasepak untuk kepentingan rakyat dan negara;

3. kita akan dapat mengawal dan memantau kegiatan pertaruhan sukan daripada membiarkan ia menjadi kegiatan haram dan bawahtanah;

4. kita akan dapat mengawal dan menghalang aliran keluar wang negara akibat pertaruhan yang dibuat dengan operator pertaruhan luarnegara;

5. kita akan dapat menghalang pembiakan aktiviti haram dan tidak sihat dengan menghalang sindiket haram daripada memperkayakan diri mereka;

6. kita juga dapat menghalang aliran wang negara ke negara lain kerana sindiket haram memerlukan ‘tempat selamat’ untuk menyimpan hasil mereka;

7. kita juga akan mendapat dana tambahan untuk tujuan pembangunan sukan sekiranya pemegang lesen pertaruhan sukan saperti Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Pengerusi Ascot Sports yang berjanji untuk memberi sumbangan kepada satu yayaysan pembangunan sukan daripada hasil pendapatan syarikat beliau kelak;

8. dan tidak lupa penambahan peluang pekerjaan untuk rakyat!

Saya adalah seoran realistic, dan kerana itu walaupun saya menggalakkan kerajaan memperlesenkan pertaruhan sukan ini dan mengawalnya, saya bersetuju beberapa syarat mesti dipatuhi dan dilaksanakan oleh para operator yang akan diberikan lesen tersebut.

Pertama, kita perlu sensitif dengan kedudukan Islam sebagai agama rasmi Persekutuan, dan hendaklah kita pastikan tiada mana-mana orang Islam dibenarkan terlibat dengan akitiviti pertaruhan ini atau bekerja didalam mana-mana operator tersebut.

Kedua, saya mencadangkan supaya tiada monopoli oleh mana-mana pihak dalam pertaruhan sukan ini. Sebaliknya hendaklah lebih daripada satu operator diberikan lesen untuk menjalankan pertaruhan sukan ini, seelok-eloknya melalui tender terbuka. Saya percaya habuan akiviti ini lebih daripada mencukupi untuk semua. Dan apabila ada persaingan yang sihat, ianya akan memberi menafaat kepada pelanggan tempatan, dan para operator tersebut akan lebih berhati-hati dan memberi khidmat yang terbaik.

Akhir kalam, saya menyeru rakan Yang Berhormat semua supaya bersikap lebih realistik; dan berhenti daripada mempolitikkan isu ini dan bersikap hipokrit. Berilah kerjasama kepada Kerajaan untuk membawa aktiviti pertaruhan sukan ini ke arus perdana dan mengawal selia dan memantaunya untuk kepentingan dan kebajikan rakyat dan negara.

Saya sedar bahawa kini kita tiba-tiba mempunyai juara-juara sumbang yang kononnya menentang aktiviti pertaruhan ini saperti Ketua Pembangkang!

Perangainya sekarang membuktikan pendirian “cakap tak serupa” bikin beliau. Inilah kelaziman politik “DUA ALAM”. Inilah politik matlamat menghalalkan cara, apa sahaja yang menguntunkan beliau dari segi politik kira beres. Tiba-tiba beliau menjadi jaguh kampong penentang judi kononnya. Sikit punya hipokrit Ketua Pembangkang ini!

Siapa yang tidak lupa beliaulah yang menghalalkan judi di Sabah semasa menjadi Menteri Kewangan yang sangat berkuasa! Walaupun ianya ditentang keras oleh YAB Ketua Menteri Sabah yang bukan Islam masa itu! Dialah rakan baik Datuk Nallakarupan, Pengarah Eksekutif Magnum, operator judi Empat Nombor ekor. Inilah politik cakap tak serupa bikin. Kini beliau mahu menjadi suci dalam debu! Lebih putih daripada kloroks! Itulah bekas Menteri Kewangan yang dahulunya sangat berkuasa. Alangkah anehnya bagaimana seorang manusia boleh betukar menjadi raksaksa pelbagai wajah, menjadi sesumpah hipokrit, dan semuanya atas angan-angan untuk menjadi “Perdana Menteri” ‘at all cost (dengan izin). Ini adalah kes klasik “politik cakap tak serupa bikin”.

Kerajaan hari ini sepatutnya konsisten dan menyedari bahawa suasana pertaruhan sukan di Sabah hari ini tiada beza dengan Sabah waktu dahulu. Melainkan Menteri Kewangan sekarang merasakan dia tidak sehebat bekas Menteri Kewangan dahulu. Beliau sepatutnya membenarkan aktiviti pertaruhan sukan; atas alasan bahawa kita perlu bersikap realistik, dan menyedari bahawa menafaat aktiviti pertaruhan ini jauh mengatasi keburukannya. Adakah Menteri Kewangan sekarang akan tunduk kepada tekanan, atau dapat berbuat lebih baik daripada bekas Menteri Kewangan dahulu. Kita tunggu dan lihat. Sedang kita sibuk berdebat didalam Dewan yang mulia in berbillion-bilion dana pembangunan yang sedia ada sedang dirampak oleh sindiket haram. Ini adalah sangat menyedihkan. Dan selagi kita masih sibuk dengan bahas dan debat kita siapa betul siapa salah, yang ruginya ialah rakyat!

Apatah lagi jika Menteri Kewangan berani mengambil pendirian membenarkan kegiatan pertaruhan sukan, ianya sudah pasti akan dapat meringankan beban rakyat kerana Kerajaan tidak perlu mengenakan cukai-cukai baru untuk mendapatkan dana pembangunan. Kerajaan boleh melupakan hasrat melaksanakan GST, dan saya yakin rakyat akan berterima kasih kepada Kerajaan. Ya, saya menyatakan bahawa Menteri Kewangan bertindak bijak dan membenarkan aktiviti pertaruhan sukan yang terkawal dan diperlesenkan. Menteri Kewangan sepatutnya lebih realistik, apa juga pendirian beliau, aktiviti pertaruhan sukan sedang berlaku secara haram dan bawahtanah. Mengapa biarkan wang berbillion ringgit terbuang begitu sahaja, sedangkan dana tersebut boleh digunakan untuk kepentingan dan kebajikan rakyat dan negara.

Pada ketika ini, marilah kita mengambil sedikit pengajaran dan iktibar daripada ajaran manusia suci dan agong, Mursyidul Am PAS Tok Guru Nik Aziz, yang pernah memfatwakan bahawa “hasil haram” yang diperolehi daripada aktiviti haram dan dosa saperti jualbeli dan peminuman arak dan alkohol boleh digunakan untuk pembangunan negeri Kelantan. Ini yang saya tidak faham. Kalau Mursyidul Am PAS boleh membenarkannya, mengapa ada beberapa kerat Ahli Parlimen PAS hari ini yang menentang perlesenan pertaruhan sukan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan? Lagipun ianya tidak melibatkan orang Islam. Mengapa membantah? Mengapa bersikap talam dua muka? Apakah mereka tidak bersetuju dengan fatwa Mursyidul Am PAS? Atau apakah mereka lebih menjadikan Ketua Umum PKR sebagai kiblat mereka dan Presiden pemimpin mereka?!

Saya mengajak Dewan yang mulia ini dengan fatwa Tok Guru Nik Aziz mengenai isu menggunakan hasil perolehan daripada akitiviti dosa dan haram ini untuk pembangunan negeri Kelantan, khususnya hasil arak dan alkohol. Dan Kerajaan Persekutuan sepatutnya belajar dan mengambil iktibar daripada fatwa Tok Guru ini.

Dibawah pentadbiran Islam di Kelantan, YAB Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz terus membenarkan penjualan arak kepada bukan Islam dengan mengenakan cukai arak kepada premis-premis jualan arak.

Fatwa Tok Guru, “bagi penjualan arak, ia hanya dibenar jual oleh orang bukan Islam kepada golongan itu sahaja, kerana jika ianya diharamkan sudah tentu menyulitkan orang bukan Islam untuk menikmatinya”. Itulah kata Tok Guru pada 19 November 1992.

Selang dua tahun kemudian, iaitu pada 26 November 1994, apabila ada pihak yang tidak faham dan memepertikaikan dasar Membangun Bersama Islam dan mengkritik penjualan arak, YAB Tok Guru berkata;

“Kelantan menggunakan hasil cukai arak, lesen anjing dan sebagainya bagi menampung kos membuat jalan dan lain-lain projek pembangunan. Arak itu sendiri boleh diminum oleh bukan Islam, jadi bila diminum oleh mereka, maka untuk menjaga keselamatan, Kerajaan mengambil duit dari mana?”

Saya tegaskan bahawa kita tidak perlu menjadi hipokrit, berlaku jujurlah, dan ikutlah nasihat Tok Guru dan berilah sokongan kepada usaha Kerajaan Persekutuan untuk memperlesenkan pertaruhan sukan untuk kepentingan rakyat dan negara. Ahli-ahli PAS sepatutnya tidak menadi lidah bercabang dengan menghalalkan sesuatu apabila menguntungkannya tetapi menjadi haram apabila memenafaatkan orang lain. Tok Guru adalah seorang politik yang bijak, realist dan bukan seorang hipokrit. Saya tegaskan PAS sepatutnya tidak membantah perlesenan pertaruhan sukan sebagaimana ia telah mengeluarkan 40 lesen arak di Kelantan dan menggunakan hasil cukainya untuk pembangunan infrastruktur di kelantan! Sedarkah kita bahawa Kelantan juga pasti akan mendapat menafaat daripada perlesenen pertaruhan sukan ini, samada secara langsung atau tidak langsung. Bayangkan berapa banyak jalan, sekolah, hospital, dewan-dewan dan lain-lain kemudahan awam yang akan dapat dibina. PAS sepatutnya mengamalkan apa yang dicadangkan. Apakah PAS juga juda terkena sindrom “cakap tak serupa bikin” yang menjadi lambang kemegahan Ketua Pembangkang!

Saya yakin Kerajaan Persekutuan boleh melakukan yang lebih baik daripada apa yang dibuat oleh Kerajaan PAS Kelantan dan mengambil iktibar daripada Tok Guru, dan bertindak secara realisitik dengan membenarkan pertaruhan sukan. Pasti perolehan yang akan dijana daripadanya jauh lebih banyak daripada perolehan hasil arak Kerajaan PAS Kelantan. Apa pendirian Kerajaan Persekutuan? Apakah kamu tidak boleh bersikap realistik? Apakah Kerajaan boleh melakukan yang lebih baik daripada PAS? Tidakkah boleh pengajaran diambil daripada fatwa Tok Guru? Adalah jelas PAS tidak sepatutnya membantah kerana mereka juga melakukan hal yang sama di Kelantan, iaitu mengambil hasil cukai lesen arak, judi dan lain-lain di Kelantan!!

Saya telah berhujah panjang tentang isu ini dan saya akhirinya dengan mesej yang jelas ini.

Saya adalah seorang yang realistik dan saya mahu lontarkan satu ingatan kepada semua: Selagi kita melengahkan usaha membawa pertaruhan sukan ke arus perdana dan memperlesenkannya, kita hanya melengahkan perolehan dana yang boleh digunakan untuk pembangunan sosial dan sukan bolasepak termasuk lain-lain sukan untuk kepentingan rakyat dan negara. Sedang kita semua sibuk berbahas dalam Dewan yang mulia ini, negara mungkin sedang kehilangan nilai hasil yang berjuta, mungkin berbillion-bilion! Ini semua hanya kerana politiking melampau dan hipokrit, dijana oleh seorang manusia rakus demi memenuhi nafsu politik matlamat menghalalkan cara, ketaksuban seorang yang bertindak sasau untuk ke Putrajaya dengan apa cara sekalipun! Negara ini tidak memerlukan retorik politik, dan menafikan rakyat dan negara daripada cukai perlesenan pertaruhan sukan yang boleh digunapakai untuk kepentingan dan kebajikan rakyat dan negara ini!

Adalah tidak masuk akal untuk kita menghapuskan subsidi, tetapi diwaktu yang sama membenarkan sindiket haram judi sukan mengaut keuntungan yang banyak!!

Mengapa kita boleh menjadi bendul dan buta kepada ini semua? Mengapa rakyat harus menjadi mangsa dengan penghapusan subsidi apabila hasil cukai pertaruhan sukan boleh menampungnya? Pertaruhan sukan yang dikawalselia adalah jawapan kepada masalah ini!

Kita semua mesti tegas menyatakan pendirian jelas kepada Kerajaan bahawa negara ini tidak sepatutnya menghapuskan subsidi untuk rakyat, tetapi diwaktu yang sama”memberi subsisi” kepada segelintir sindiket haram. Ini tidak betul dan adalah tidak bertanggungjawab bagi kita untuk tidak bertindak demi kepentingan rakyat yang telah meletakkan kita disini!

Sedarlah. Bukalah mata. Janganlah kita mempertuhankan diri, “don’t play God” (dengan izin,. Kita sendiri telah mengambil hasil daripada dana-haram ini kononnya dengan cukai keatas lesen arak, Big Sweep, loteri, dan Empat Nombor Ekor dilain-lain negeri saperti Kedah, Pulau Pinang dan Selangor.

Pertaruhan sukan yang diperlesenkan dan dikawalselia dengan peraturan akan membawa menafaat yang banyak kepada rakyat berbanding dengan keburukannya. Jadi marila kita bersama menyatakan “YA” kepada perlesenan pertaruhan sukan”. Saya mendesak Kerajaan supaya memberikan lesen sukan pertaruhan bukan sahaja kepada Ascot Sports tetapi sebaliknya hendaklah diujudkan sistem tendet terbuka untuk membolehkan syarikat lain juga turut serta kerana “the more the merrier” (dengan izin, lebih banyak syarikat lebih hasil yang akan diperolehi Kerajaan yang akhirnya akan memberi menafaat kepada rakyat dan negara.

Terima kasih.