MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku

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Friday, May 26, 2017


PETALING JAYA – In a sarcasm-laden response, Umno minister Nazri Aziz today challenged Muhyiddin Yasin to deny receiving any funds from the party.
The tourism and culture minister said that every division chief and MP received funds prior to the 13th general election (GE13) four years ago.
“I suppose he is not a division chief and not an MP, and I assume that he didn’t receive any money.
“Good for him, I think he must be rich,” he told FMT, taking a sarcastic tone to respond to Muhyiddin having denied that he received any money from the RM2.6 billion that was deposited in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank accounts two months prior to GE13.
At a ceramah on Wednesday night, the former deputy prime minister swore he did not receive a single sen from the sum.
The PPBM president also described Nazri’s allegation, which he made on Sunday, as slanderous.
Prior to being booted out from Umno, Muhyiddin was the Pagoh division chief. He, however, remains as the MP for the constituency, a position he retained in GE13 as a BN candidate.
Nazri went on to state that every BN candidate received RM10,000 as a deposit to be paid to the Election Commission (EC). The candidates, he added, also receive a cash cheque of RM200,000 to be spent on their respective campaigns, as that is the maximum allowed to be spent under EC rules.
“We all received this money. So, I don’t know, maybe Muhyiddin and Shafie (Apdal) paid with their own money or they rejected the cash cheque.”
The Padang Rengas MP then challenged Muhyiddin to deny he had received RM10,000 for the deposit and a cash cheque of RM200,000.
“Deny that lah.”
Last Sunday, during a tell-all session with Umno Overseas Alumni Club members in Kuala Lumpur, Nazri had also alleged that Shafie, the former rural and regional development minister, had received such funds.
Nazri claimed the duo had received more than him because aside from the fixed amount of RM210,000, every MP was also given money based on the number of Umno branches under their constituency.
Nazri said he received an additional RM300,000 for 60 branches, while Muhyiddin and Shafie were given more as their constituencies had many more Umno branches.
Shafie, who is now the president of Sabah-based party Warisan, also denied Nazri’s claim, adding the allegation was “absurd”.

Proton workers cautiously optimistic after Geely sale

Some, however, fear new China-based partner may push for retrenchment to cut costs in a bid to turnaround the loss-making national carmaker.
proton2TANJUNG MALIM: Proton workers are looking at the entry of their company’s new China-based partner with cautious optimism but some fear the management may resort to a retrenchment exercise to cut costs in a bid to turnaround the loss-making carmaker.

Anuar Kamarudin
Anuar Kamarudin, 33, a marketing staff, said there were pros and cons in the sale of a 49.9% stake in Proton to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, the parent company of Hong Kong-based Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd and Sweden’s Volvo Car Group.
Anuar, who has been with Proton for the past 13 years, said the entry of Geely would help boost the sales of Proton cars.
“On the negative side, our dignity is affected. In these times, however, we can’t go it alone. We need a partner to help us market our products, help us in finances and technology,” he said.
Asri Yusof, 40, who is with the company’s communications division, said the Geely deal would enable Proton to reach a larger market instead of just selling in the domestic market.
“It is my hope that in another 10 years, Proton will be more successful and be able to compete in the international market,” he added.
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Faiz Farhan
Faiz Farhan, who works in the body assembly division, welcomed the Proton-Geely deal but disagreed with the assertion that Proton had fallen into China’s hands.
“This partnership is a good development for our community and to move Proton forward as well as improve work performance.
“We in Proton don’t want to be too dependent on the government,” he said.
The Proton-Geely deal was announced by both companies two days ago.
According to the deal, the Chinese company would enjoy a 51% stake in Lotus Cars from DRB-Hicom Bhd, Proton’s parent company. The agreement is expected to be signed in July.
Proton received RM1.5 billion in government aid last year on condition that it sought a foreign partner to help turnaround the company.
Some of Proton’s 10,000 employees however, have been left wondering if the deal would result in retrenchment as Geely is expected to bring in their own personnel. If this happens, it will further reduce job opportunities for locals.
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Zamrul Fauzi Arifin
Zamrul Fauzi Arifin, 36, who works at a Proton factory here, said the announcement of the partnership did not address the issue of job cuts.
“We could be retrenched and maybe half of the jobs will be cut,” he told FMT.
Even before the sale announcement was made, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) warned of the possibility of retrenchment of Malaysian workers.
The think tank’s external relations manager, Azrul Khalib, said some automotive companies forced to downsize in the past, such as Ford, Volvo and General Motors, had retraining programmes for their employees so they could take on new jobs or choose new career paths.
Zamrul also revealed that it had been a while since Proton reviewed its salary scheme and he wasn’t sure if this would take place under Geely.
“Yes, there are yearly increments, but the basic pay is still low compared to other car companies,” he said. -FMT

Jamal makes ‘spooky’ claim of phantom voters in Selangor

Umno man shows up with a group of 'ghouls' at Election Commission office and accuses DAP's Ng Suee Lim of using phantom voters since the 11th general election.
jamal_zombiSHAH ALAM: First it was showing up in nothing but a bath towel to protest water cuts in Selangor. Then he protested the mushrooming of massage parlours by parking 10 beds outside the Selangor secretariat building. His last gimmick involved a trail of caskets as he alleged the misuse of a senior citizens’ fund.
Today, Umno Sungai Besar division chief Jamal Yunos showed he had no shortage of creative ideas when he presented himself at the office of the Election Commission along with a fright of “ghosts” to protest the existence of alleged phantom voters in the state constituency of Sekinchan.
According to Jamal, phantom voters were supposedly brought in by Ng Suee Lim, the DAP assemblyman for the said constituency to ensure he won with a bigger majority.
Truth be told, Jamal’s “phantoms” made a rather comedic lot with a dash of the macabre as most were decked in “blood-spattered” white shrouds, with some wearing garish, ghoulish masks.
The spooky group was shuttled to the Election Commission office in a bus.
At a press conference, Jamal alleged that the ferrying of phantom voters to several parts in Selangor – currently under the Pakatan Harapan – were a common occurrence since the country’s 11th general election.
jamal_zombi123Jamal, who is the leader of the infamous Red Shirts, claimed that Ng, a three-term assemblyman, had roped in phantom voters to increase the majority of votes he garnered so as to retain his seat.
“In the 11th GE, Ng won Sekinchan after obtaining a majority of several hundred votes. In the 12th GE he won with a majority of over three hundred votes.
“Then in the 13th GE he obtained a majority of over 2,200,” Jamal said.
Jamal later handed over a memorandum to protest Ng’s alleged use of phantom voters.
In 2004, Ng defeated MCA’s Chia Chim Lem by 344 votes, while in the 12th GE in 2008 he retained Sekinchan after defeating MCA’s Puah Boon Choon with a 190 majority.
In the 2013 elections however, Ng garnered 8,107 votes, while his opponent, MCA’s Kek Seng Hooi received 5,868 votes. -FMT

TN50 poll: Most Malaysians ‘respect’ each other’s culture

A national survey conducted by Kajidata Research on TN50 also reveals that 72.6% prefer living in neighbourhoods of mixed races.
malaysian-TN50PETALING JAYA: A telephone survey among 1,025 Malaysians has revealed that most respect each other’s culture, would encourage their children to mix with those of other races and prefer living in neighbourhoods where there was a mix of different races.

Conducted by Kajidata Research from March 8-17 in support of the government’s TN50 programme, its advisor, Professor Dr Syed Arabi Idid said although the country was going through an “identity phase”, the “majority of Malaysians were opposed to the idea of a polarised country”.
According to the survey, the majority understood the concept of “unity”, giving as examples “communities that are cooperative” (37.4%), “multi-racial communities living in harmony” (32.0%), and showing tolerance to one another (29%).
96.9% indicated they respected the cultures of others while 80% agreed that Malaysia was a multi-faith country that guaranteed freedom of religion.
“Further questioning revealed that 82.5% agreed Islam was the official religion of Malaysia”, with most (72.7%) suggesting they celebrated the festivities of those of other faiths while 17.7% said they did not.
72.6% also preferred living in neighbourhoods where there was a mix of races. “This was exemplified when 95.7% of the respondents surveyed indicated that they encourage their children and/or family members to befriend people of different ethnicity,” a statement regarding the survey results said.
The survey also found that most Malaysians took patriotism seriously with 93.5% indicating they were willing to fight for the country.
“This is a good indication that Malaysians want to reconcile and progress as a united people and country,” the statement said.
On the education front, 82.4% supported efforts to offer scholarships regardless of race and religion and 75.1% supported the different types of schools although 41.4% said they supported the streamlining of different types of schools and 47.4% were opposed to the idea.
80.9% also agreed the usage of Bahasa Melayu would achieve the aim of fostering unity in the country.
The survey was conducted to gauge what unity and prosperity really meant to the average Malaysian.
Respondents comprised 58.0% Malays, 23.2% Chinese, 7.5% Indians, 6.0% Bumiputra Sabah, 4.2% Bumiputra Sarawak, 0.1% Orang Asli and 1.0% of other ethnicities and were selected on the basis of random stratified sampling along ethnicity, gender, age and state according to national demographics.
The survey was conducted via Computer Aided Telephone Interview (CATI). The complete cross-tabulation report can be obtained by contacting Kajidata Research. -FMT


HOWEVER you look at it, it was inevitable that national carmaker Proton Holdings had to find a foreign partner, and sell a stake in itself. Not that it hasn’t tried over the years, but it finally succeeded.
The 49.9% stake sale to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co this week caps the long search for a partner over the years – from established Western carmakers such as Germany’s Volkswagen to France’s PSA Group.
But the stake sale has obviously generated mixed feelings with the man who thought up of Malaysia’s heavy industrialisation push – Dr Mahathir Mohamad  — calling it “the great sell-out”.
Yet, others see the publicly-listed company’s move as unavoidable in order to keep it alive and, inevitably, also the end of an era in Malaysia.
Heavy industrialisation
For Dr Mahathir, the last piece of his heavy industrialisation edifice is being dismantled. Perwaja Steel failed. And now Proton.
The politician took power in 1981 and by 1983 had made heavy industrialisation a cornerstone of his economic policy. Steel and later, making cars from that steel, would vault Malaysia from an agrarian and assembly economy to the bigger industrialised economies.
It was also a way to cut imports and sell cars cheaply to Malaysians. Launched in 1985, the first model Proton Saga sold at under RM18,000 and proudly became the first car to cross Dr Mahathir’s other great project, the Penang Bridge that same year.
Yet, foreign technology played a big part in the national car. The Proton Saga was based on the Mitsubishi Motors’ Lancer Fiore chassis, and the Japanese company provided major components for many of Proton’s later models.
Only in the late 1990s was Proton able to develop new cars completely on its own.

One aspect of Malaysia’s heavy industrialisation push and Proton’s business was to develop local vendors. Many third-party accessories and other car components were made in Malaysia although quality was suspect and led to many complaints.
Some continued to be part of the vendor network but piled up debts as stocks gathered dust. The same could be said as Proton cars piled in stockyards when sales declined following the establishment of a second carmarker Perodua in the 1990s.
Will the vendors get a lift from the Geely acquisition? Or will they also cry like Dr Mahathir in describing the sale of his “child” to foreigners as not benefitting Malaysians?
The fact is Malaysia still holds a majority stake in Proton and some vendors will finally get paid but they should not expect sweetheart deals.
Only the strongest and fittest will survive. One cannot expect mercy from the new shareholders who have built their business after Proton was set up but have done better than the Malaysian automaker.
The Malaysian car industry
Proton was always a risk, and seen as a vanity project. Malaysia’s passenger car sales is easily the biggest in Southeast Asia with some 600,000 in total industry volume sold annually.
As Bloomberg put it, for most of its history, Proton cars benefited from tariffs of as much as 300% on imported cars. It also benefitted from as much as US$3 billion in research and development grants given by Putrajaya.
But Proton’s share has been shrinking over the years – peaking in1993 with 74% of new cars sold in Malaysia but in 2016, a decade after the government slashed tariffs on foreign-made vehicles in a regional pact, it was just 12.5%.
Also, second national automaker Perodua has been taking over the market share. And Perodua is essentially seen as an assembler rather than an automaker.
That is the market reality. But Dr Mahathir has always seen it differently.
“It is a national car industry. It’s not just about a car. It’s about engineering. A country without engineering skill and knowledge will never become a developed country,” he told the Bloomberg news service in 2012.
Just a business
For all of that, Putrajaya sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad sold Proton in 2012 to DRB-Hicom, a conglomerate controlled by billionaire Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.
Even the serial and over-leveraged entrepreneur had to find a partner as Proton was essentially a business to him. Putrajaya loaned RM1.5 billion last year to prevent Proton from going under from defaults as sales still flagged.
That loan came with a caveat: Proton must get a major new investor to ensure the business was sustainable.
There is nothing in Proton now about heavy engineering or a developed nation. It is a business that supports jobs and vendors while struggling for a significant and profitable market share.
Dr Mahathir’s dream of a developed nation with steel plants, automakers and other manufacturing businesses supplying to the world has come to an end.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/


Umno MP not surprised over cracks in 'party of disappointed people'

An Umno lawmaker is not surprised over the problems in Parti Pribumi Malaysia Bersatu (Bersatu) as it is a party born out of disappointment.
Sekijang MP Anuar Manap said this proves that when a party is formed by a group of disgruntled individuals, it would normally end in disappointment as well.
“The leaders and members of Bersatu comprise those who are disappointed, and when those who are disappointed do not get something they want, cracks appear,” he told Umno Online.
Furthermore, he pointed out that Bersatu is also unclear with regard to its leadership.
“Many are confused and uncertain as to who leads the party or has the final say. Sometimes, it seems that (Bersatu chairperson) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) controls everything.
“But at one point (president) Muhyiddin (Yassin) tried to act as the leader. Then there was also a time when (deputy president) Mukhriz (Mahathir) seemed like the party's spokesperson,” he added.
Anuar said the problems in Bersatu are related to its birth, where there was no clear policies or struggles outlined with regard to its formation.
“So the present development comes as no surprise. This is the price to pay when (the party) is centred around personal interests and so forth...
“As for the people. See what is happening before your eyes. Do we want to trust those who are not on solid footing in their own party?” he asked.
On May 3, Perak Bersatu's Srikandi (women's wing) exco Zulaiha Sidek relinquished her post citing disappointment with the internal problems.
Prior to that, Ipoh Timur Bersatu chief Azrul Suhadi Ahmad Mokhtar called for Muhyiddin to resign as president.

He was reported as saying that a large number of the 24 Bersatu divisions in Perak feel that Muhyiddin is responsible for all the deviations in the party at the state and national levels.
According to him, this is because Muhyiddin was never sincere to Mahathir and Bersatu's supporters.
Subsequently, Mahathir defended Muhyiddin and accused the rebels of working in favour of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.- Mkini