Friday, 28 September 2012


By Lord Haw-Haw

We should congratulate Tan Sri Muhyiddin on his leadership and the spirit of compromise with which he is striving for an agreement on the Selangor Water Crisis.

Muhyiddin’s comments yesterday stating his readiness to discuss the water issue with the Selangor State government were thoughtful and showed his concern for the long term interests of the state.

Tan Sri Khalid on the balance has proven to be unyielding, verging on obstructionist, in arriving at a lasting solution for Selangor’s water supply, preferring to defend his position of offering short term solutions at the expense of reaching a conclusive resolution.

At the heart of the issue is a failure of communication. Both sides have until now preferred to stand by their partisan views which have proven to be strongly prejudiced in favor of their respective causes.

It was Muhyiddin who crossed the political divide and appealed directly to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at a Luncheon on Wednesday given by the Speaker of the house.

Muhyiddin showed his political maturity by asking Anwar, in his position as economic adviser to Selangor, to press Khalid for an enduring resolution to the Water Crisis for the sake of the people of Selangor and not as a means of securing political mileage.

In light of this Muhyiddin’s appeal for compromise resonates like the first real voice of reason in this altogether prolonged and unnecessary fiasco.


Thursday, 27 September 2012


By PJ Uncle

The knee-jerk reaction by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) elected representatives in Selangor on an “infomercial” at Happy Mansion, Section 17, recently does not bode well with the state government’s pledge that “Selangoreans” are not bracing for a water crisis.

The defensive approach on the repercussion of the infomercial by some PR politicians does little to re-assure “Selangoreans” that there is adequate treated water in the near term without the need of the Langat 2 dam.

Many residents of the 9-storey Happy Mansion apartment were “unhappy” to be awakened on the morning of September 24 by the sound of water tankers and the sight of more than 200 people preparing for a commercial shoot.

While residents of the quiet and serene apartments occupied mainly by pensioners and students had the right to be concerned with the noise and what the gathering was all about, since when a commercial shoot had gathered so much attention of PR politicians.

Were there DSAI or MB Khalid look alike present? Were there any banners or buntings with PR party logos or paraphernalia? Were the hired extras wearing any shirt that were anti-PR or depicts the current Selangor government? For that matter, were the hired extras adorned with materials that were political in nature at all?

If there were no political elements present at the shooting of the infomercial, what’s the big fuss? Why must some PR politicians jump to the conclusion that the infomercial is on water shortage and alleged that it is political smearing campaign that will mislead Selangoreans?

PR politicians, especially the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)-led state government, should look at such infomercial objectively and positively. The message may perhaps be to educate Malaysians in general to conserve water and to use such precious commodity wisely.

It is certainly childish for PR elected representatives in Selangor to have pointed their fingers at Barisan Nasional (BN) for such infomercial when in the first place the PR leadership often boast of freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom to assemble that should be in place.

After all, the infomercial was shot by an award-winning production house with the permission of the management of the apartment coupled with hired extras that were willing to participate. Does the PKR-led state government want production houses to seek their permission and submit a storyline or agenda to them for consideration before any shooting is allowed in the state?

Certainly, nobody wants the “happy” residents of Happy Mansion to wake up one fine morning with dry taps. If that happens, the cafes and restaurants located within the Happy Mansion area will not be able to serve their popular Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rice, Pasta, Crepes, and Tom Yam to faithful customers. Worst still, there is a huge laundry in the area that services the many residents of PJ’s Section 17.

PR elected representatives should have the wisdom to think that BN could by the same token allege that the infomercial was orchestrated by the federal opposition to gain political mileage. Moreover, the production house did not disclose who their clients were for the infomercial and thus it will not be right to speculate if such infomercial had political overtones.

As many are aware that once the rumour mill starts to grind in Malaysia, anything is possible and believable. Perhaps, the question that lingers is was it a coincidence for the shooting of the infomercial to take place the same day when Dewan Rakyat convenes its third meeting of the fifth session of the twelfth parliament.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


By Lord Haw-Haw

Johor is reversing the trend of Malaysian’s travelling overseas to get a quality education, now that students based in Singapore are making the trip across the causeway to go to school in Johor. 

It’s a well known fact that Singapore is the main beneficiary of Malaysia’s brain drain, accounting for 54% of the total figure, but it seems that the tables have been turned.  Singapore is now taking lessons from Johor!

It should come as no surprise that the Singaporeans are already recognising the potential in Iskandar Malaysia’s Educity.

I mean take a good look at what’s there.  In terms of higher education Educity has branches of The University of Southampton, Newcastle University and the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology.

Three Singapore operators, namely the Management Development Institute of Singapore, Raffles University Iskandar and Raffles American School, have also chosen Johor over Singapore.

On top of that Educity is home to Marlborough College, one of the most renowned and prestigious British Public Schools. 

It was reported that nearly half the students in Marlborough College were from Singapore and that more than 100 children from Singapore travel to Johor daily to go to school. 

The only other place I can think of where that happens is Switzerland, where students from neighbouring France, Italy, Austria and Germany, sleep in one country and spend their school hours in another.  

Wait a minute, did I just compare Switzerland with Johor?


Thursday, 20 September 2012


Today marks the beginning of the alleged insider trading case against Datuk E. Sreesanthan in the Kuala Lumpur Session Court.

Sreesanthan, a seasoned legal practitioner who was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1988, has laid claim to his right for a fair trial and requested that the charges against him be dismissed or struck out as being void in law.

His affadavit reasoned that the Securities Commission has very wide powers of investigation which should be used to get all relevant information for the fair trial of the accused and not just information that is favourable to the prosecution.

The Securities Commission has charged him with seven counts of insider trading involving equities in Sime Darby, UEM, VADS and Maxis.

At case management today Sreesanthan requested the following orders:

(i)         That the five charges under the Securities Industry Act 1983 be dismissed or struck out as the charges are under a repealed law and therefore void in law;

(ii)        That all the seven charges be dismissed or struck out as being instituted under a consent for prosecution dated 18 July 2012 for each charge that is invalid, null and void;

(iii)       That various questions of constitutional law relating to the federal constitution, the Securities Commission Act 1993, the Securities Industry Act 1983 (repealed) and the Criminal Procedure Code be referred to the High Court for determination and if the High Court answers all or any of the questions in the affirmative, the institution of this entire prosecution would be declared as bad in law and should be struck out;

(iv)       That a summons be issued to the Securities Commission and or its officers to produce and deliver all statements, documents and any form of evidence that the prosecution intends to rely on, in connection with the investigation.

Dato’ Sreesanthan is represented by counsel Dato’ Cyrus Das, Dato’ Haji Sulaiman Abdullah, Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, Dato’ Jerald Gomez, Steven Thiru, Wong Kian Keong, David Mathew and Suzalena Salleh.

The Star has published an article on the court case: “Court case of high-flyer corporate lawyer begins


Wednesday, 19 September 2012


This video is interesting in a way that it shows how much opportunities Johoreans could benefit from Iskandar Malaysia development. It shows two Johoreans working as Lego model builders for Legoland Malaysia which has just opened its door last Saturday. This is something that all Johoreans and Malaysians should be proud of...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 (Bernama) -- Selangor will certainly face a critical water crisis if the state government remains stubborn by continuing to block the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant, a water management expert warned today.

Dr Ahmad Zaharuddin Sani Ahmad Sabri said providing treated water was a most important responsibility of the state government and the Langat 2 plant remained the only alternative means for the state to have adequate supply of treated water because all existing treatment plants had exceeded their production capacity.

"Without this alternative plan, the people and industries in Selangor will run out of treated water as we have reached the maximum production level. We have come to the stage of requiring a new solution and new alternative. And in the immediate term, Langat 2 is the only solution," he said in an interview.

Dr Zaharuddin Sani uses a simple "nasi lemak " analogy to explain the situation. "If we need 500 packets of nasi lemak to be given to 500 people, then it's enough. But if we only have 500 packets and there are 520 people to eat the nasi lemak, then it won't be enough."

He rubbished the Selangor government's free-water policy and called for a review of the policy because, he said, water was a precious asset for any nation and should no longer be deemed as something cheap, let alone given free.

Following is the Q & A from the interview:

Q: Will the Langat 2 plant overcome all water problems in Selangor?

A: At the moment, when we talk about Langat 2 being able to solve our water problems, the answer is yes, because we need treated water. Based on a very high current demand, we need Langat 2 as the solution. But even this solution is temporary in nature. Why I'm saying temporary is because in the future we will have 1,000 people who want to eat the nasi lemak and even if we have new dams, it's not going to be effective compared to the most important approach for us to adopt from now -- to educate the people to use water wisely.

We must recognise our water as an asset that no longer can be viewed as something cheap. Water can no longer be regarded as something to be given free. Water should be seen as something very valuable. If we compare one litre of bottled water and one litre of oil, the price is about the same, so we should appreciate the value of water. But why is it that we can conserve the use of oil and not when it comes to water?

So what's the solution? Because we ourselves don't realise that water is something very valuable. If we do realise how precious it is, then certainly we will be very cautious in using it.

Back to the question of Langat 2. Yes, it is absolutely necessary. And, at the same time, it should be followed with massive efforts to educate consumers on the real value of water, so that we won't need a Langat 3.

Q: So, it means that the Selangor government's policy of giving free water is something unwise?

A: There is nothing free in this world, and the water that's given is treated water. Treated water requires cost to produce.

If we require cost, we need money. So, if we give free water, then we devalue this vital commodity and no one will value something that's given free.

If we increase the water tariff, just like in Europe, we could see consumers place a high value on water in terms of their attitude towards water consumption as they look at water as a vital asset.

But if we are provided with unlimited water everywhere and, worst of all, provided free, we will lose our sense of value over water. So, the move to give free water should be reviewed.

Q: Langat 2 is a solution but it still doesn't exist due to the state-federal conflict. What's the implication?

A: The implication is that we won't be able to provide adequate treated water to consumers while, at the same time, we can say we have sufficient water sources.

Based on this assumption, we need to conserve our water resources. We just cannot dream that tomorrow we'll have more than what we have today.

We must live in reality. If we have so much today, we have to adopt accordingly. And if Langat 2 remains unresolved, we then need a new solution.

Among the solutions over the longer term is educating the people on water consumption and control on the supply of water.

Q: The capacity yield of rivers in Selangor that provide the main sources of raw water to the treatment plants is reported to be reaching the maximum. Will this undermine the supply of treated water?

A: To treat water, we need raw material which, in this case, is raw water. But if we want to treat something and the raw material is not available, so there's nothing to treat.

Yes, it's true to say that currently the capacity has reached its maximum. If we don't have raw water to treat, we can't produce treated water to supply to consumers.

So, if we think of our rivers, dams that have reached their maximum, we have reached a stage where we need to look at new alternatives.

Q: You have cited studies that show each Malaysian uses an average of 310 litres of water per day (lpd), which is 145 litres more than what consumers in other countries use. Can you elaborate?

A: It's 145 litres per person. If one household has five residents, then the consumption is five times more. Imagine the millions of litres in excess consumption per household.

This is the study by the United Nations that stipulates consumption at 145 lpd per person.

But in Malaysia the consumption is very excessive in every sense of the word.

Q: The Selangor government says that Langat 2 is not necessary because the ongoing mitigation projects are able to cope with the demand? Is this so?

A: The Selangor government only plans things for the short term. It looks at adequate water up to 2014. In contrast, the planning done by the federal government is over the long term, stretching more than 20 years.

Langat 2 is necessary for this period. At present, we might not see water problems as something critical because, everywhere we go, there's water in the tap. But, try to imagine the situation five years from now. Would we still have this luxury?


Tuesday, 4 September 2012


The oft-quoted 55% debt limit does not exist in our lawbooks.

HishamH is forced to repeat himself again to remind readers that the debt to GDP limit is not bound by law, but is the government’s internal target.

Gazzetted in Malaysian lawbooks however is a 55% limit on the amount of MGS, GII and Treasury Bills that the government can issue. Currently it stands at 45% of the GDP.

This is not the first time that the economist has written about this, thus his crankiness comes at no surprise.

Monday, 3 September 2012


By Hidup Johor

JOHOR BAHRU: The soon-to-be opened Legoland Malaysia is creating a lot of buzz as a tourist attraction and the anticipation of jobs and business opportunities it brings.

Sited on a 31 hectare site in Nusajaya, Legoland Malaysia is the first Legoland to open in Asia.

Opening ahead of Japan and Korea, Legoland Malaysia is the sixth in the world after Legoland Billund, Legoland Windsor, Legoland California, Legoland Deutschland and Legoland Florida.

Judging by the long queues at the public previews during the Hari Raya holiday weekends, Legoland Malaysia will be a hit among families and children.

Johoreans are very lucky as this Khazanah-led project costing RM720 million will change Johor into a destination tourists want to go to, instead of just being a cheap backyard to Singaporeans for car wash, groceries and massages.

Taxi operators for one are already excited about the opportunities Legoland brings. United Taxi Association of Johor Bahru (Gapet) treasurer Hadi Mohamed said the theme park, the first of its kind in Asia, would enhance their livelihoods.

"Many passengers, especially from Singapore, have been asking about it and we personally can't wait for the official opening of the theme park on Sept 22," he said.

Wahab Hashim, President, JB-Singapore Taxi Owners Association added that Legoland offers taxi drivers more business as taxi drivers have more travel routes than merely going to Johor Bahru city centre only.

Meanwhile tour company, Eastcoast Adventure Travel and Tour Sdn Bhd managing director Liza Alip said Legoland’s orientation towards family, will be a big pull among domestic and foreign visitors.

"Prior to this, we can only promote beautiful islands, such as Tioman and its seafood, but now we have a new tourist icon to promote for family holidays," she said.

Aidah Abd Rahman, the marketing and communications manager of Thistle Hotel, echoed this sentiment as the hotel industry is thrilled about the expected boost to business.

"The family-oriented theme park is expected to increase the bookings of rooms especially during school holidays," she said.

Legoland Malaysia has also opened up new job opportunities for Malaysian youths.

For model builder, Ahmad Radhi Abdul Rahman, 25 years, from Johor Bahru, working on Lego models was a chance of a lifetime which allowed him to remain in Johor.

“Initially, family and friends thought I was playing around with Lego, but as time went on, they came to understand what the job entailed. They support what I am doing and give me encouragement.”

Noor Amyee Suratman, 25 years, from Kota Tinggi, said the job allowed her to indulge in her creative interest. She is especially happy that in this new field, women can advance without limits to their achievements.

“There’s no need to think that a job like model building is strange or is just fun and games because you can go far in this field. “

Amyee, Radhi and colleague

Their skills will continue to be in demand with other existing Legoland parks and the new Legolands being built. Legoland expects to add another new park to its portfolio every two to three years.

In addition, Legoland is venturing into Legoland Hotels which will utilise the skills of these model builders.

So all good things come to those who wait. It was worth the five year wait for Legoland to be delivered. Welcome, welcome Legoland with open arms!


The Singapore government has been asked to hand out a S$100 million grant to seed 100 knowledge-based startups to spur the country’s economy.

NUS Pro-Chancellor, Ngiam Tong Dow, made the proposal in an article published recently, and asked that the government not leave the task of wealth-creation up to chance.

A grant of similar scale would be much welcomed by Malaysian entrepreneurs, and would go a long way towards funding Malaysian startups through the bootstrapping stage.

Though nothing so far suggests that the Singapore government has agreed to Mr Ngiam’s proposal, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for the Malaysian government to consider his ideas.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


Hasil bancian terkini mendapati Gen Y sangat yakin objektif-objektif Wawasan 20 akan dicapai.

88% responden di dalam kelompok umur 21-35 tahun itu menyatakan yang mereka sangat optimistik visi mantan PM Tun Mahathir akan tercapai, seperti yang dilaporkan di dalam laporan hasil bancian oleh Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (IIUM).

Keyakinan Gen Y di dalam visi Malaysia yang maju menunjukkan mereka masih mempunyai motivasi untuk menjadi penyumbang produktif kepada ekonomi negara.

Hampir 20%  penduduk Malaysia hari ini berusia di bawah 20 tahun dengan kadar literasi yang hampir sempurna (98%), menjadikan kelompok ini berpotensi besar menjadi penjana kuasa ekonomi untuk negara.