Thursday, May 31, 2018

Nurul Izzah Anwar Stays Calm and Composed

Image credit: Webpage

On #FBILIVE on Friday, May 25, 2018, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar was sexually harassed by a caller.

In that “live” talk show, a man who identified himself as Azrul made vulgar remarks as he berated the PKR veep on her attire. 

He had told her to dress more modestly, saying that her clothes were sometimes transparent. 

He had time to elaborate: “YB’s tudung is sometimes swept aside, you know, so sometimes we can see the top part (of your clothing). Especially when you wear a kebaya, it’s tight, so the top part is visible”. 

He said her “tudung” (headscarf in English) went askew and he could see her brassiere and the swell of her breasts. 

Former Hot FM DJ Faizal Ismail who anchored the online chat show listened intently – but the wimp that he is, he did not even try to put an end to the smutty statements. 

The lecherous lowlife still managed to put in his final lewd words: “We can see your underwear. We can see your breasts”. And the supposedly hotshot host even thanked him! 

(If you listened intently, you can almost hear the caller smirking). 

The former’s crude comments were obviously wilfully spat to intimidate and badger – even to the point of making Nurul’s topic of conversation pointless. Nothing he said was ever remotely related to the topic(s) being discussed on air. 

One would think that after everything she has done, dedicating her life to this country – people could be more focused on her achievements rather than what she purportedly wears. 

Faizal should unreservedly and publicly apologize for putting Nurul through this hurting humiliation! It was his show!

And we should start to call the ignominious incident for what it is – a sexual harassment crime. Please don’t camouflage it as something else. 

I just hope Azrul is a mental case and nothing more sinister than that! 

Btw, Nurul did the right thing by staying calm and composed. Good of her!

As a side note, we should follow the Penang government’s example – they have now introduced a specific portfolio covering gender inclusiveness. That is a step in the right direction. 

FYI, DAP’s Chong Eng (right) carries that responsibility as the state Women and Family Development, Gender Inclusiveness and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairperson. 

She is expected to push for "gender inclusiveness" to be made into policy. 

More updates:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

GE14 Results Gazetted

GE14 results, which saw Pakatan Harapan end decades of Barisan Nasional rule and obtaining 113 of the 222 seats, was gazetted on Monday. 

(Three independents, two from Sarawak and one from KL hopped over to the victorious camp soon after, making the PH total 116).

The Election Commission said this was done in accordance with Regulation 27 of the Election (Conduct of Election) Regulations, 1981, for the purpose of publishing the election results and polling writ in the gazette. 

It is good to know that any party that is not satisfied with the GE14 results for both parliamentary and state seats may submit an election petition within 21 days of gazetting of the election results. 

I'm expecting election petitions to be lodged because hanky-panky is suspected.

Also on the same day, Mahathir Mohamad had said his Bersatu had received complaints against the EC in the manner the latter had conducted the 14th general elections. 

I know the other PH parties (and including Warisan) also have their share of alleged cheating stories too. 

The EC are widely suspected of being involved in trickery in order to reduce PH’s chances of winning a bigger number of seats. 

Mahathir warned that action will be taken against the EC and their chairperson Mohd Hashim Abdullah (right) if there is evidence of wrongdoings. 

I am waiting for the book to be thrown at the EC honcho soon. Please don't let him go scot-free!

The BDO workshop with photos from the Showcase on Friday, May 25: 

I was in charge of Group 1 and four of the six participants were “winners”. Wow!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Malaysia's RM1 Trillion Debt

On Monday, May 21, 2018, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (right) announced that Malaysia is saddled with over RM1 trillion in debt – and saying in no uncertain terms that the country’s finances have been “destroyed” by the previous Najib administration. 

The following day, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng re-confirmed that Malaysia has indeed crossed the RM1 trillion debt threshold. 

Two days later, Lim (right) gave a breakdown of the government debt and liabilities – the official federal government debts amounted to RM686.8 billion (50.8% of gross domestic product), commitments to government guarantees stood at RM199.1 billion (14.6% of GDP) and commitments to lease payments for projects under public-private partnerships stood at RM201.4 billion (14.9% of GDP). 

That takes the grand total debt to RM1.087 trillion, or 80.3% of GDP! 

Graphics courtesy of The Edge Markets 

In fact, Lim correctly said: “Let me emphasise that the obligations and financial commitments of the federal government are unchanged before 9 May and after elections today. The only change is that the new government has decided to call a spade a spade”.

If you have read Najib Razak’s griping protestations – it’s kinda pathetic really. He should know better – in any case, as Damansara MP Tony Pua asserted: “A debt in any other name stinks just as bad”. 

Najib stinks too!

It’s always great to be working with individuals who want to be good public speakers. It’s not difficult really – if you are ready to learn and get a good speech coach. 

I had that opportunity when Ahmad Fakhri invited me to be a part of his team in the ‘Persuade with Power’ workshop  as one of five speech coaches. 

I view the BDO people as uncut diamonds – endowed with shining qualities beneath a rough exterior. 

It is a one-and-a-half-day challenge and the Council of Esteemed Coaches as Ahmad labelled the speech coaches, had their work cut out for them. 

Photos taken on Thursday, May 24:

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Axe Falls

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had his maiden Cabinet meeting. 

And already he got down to serious business and making serious decisions. 

Most importantly, the clean-up continues 

Mahathir explained that these five entities are “political” and/or “non-essential”.

According to CILISOS, with the axing of SPAD, JASA, NPC, PEMANDU and JKKKP, the Government will save RM500 million every year. 

You'd better believe it because Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had revealed on November 27, 2017 that JASA's director-general is UMNO's Mohd Puad Zarkashi and he earns a gargantuan monthly salary of 20k! 

The government are also letting go of some 17,000 contract staff who are actually political appointees. 

It's about time! Please continue to get rid of the hangers-on, the sycophants, the spongers!  

Thanks to Mohamed Salah’s injury and goalie Loris Karius’ (right) errors – Liverpool are denied the Champions League on Saturday. 

Real Madrid won 3-1. Real Madrid are the European champions.

'Twas an agonizing night for Liverpool.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Malaysia's Amazing Race

The story of Malaysians overseas who were on an amazing race to get their postal votes home – all on a mission to save Malaysia!

GE14 rallied Malaysians as never before. 

And we all know the result. A new government, a new hope, a new future! 

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (right) turned himself in to the New York Police Department’s First Precinct on May 25, 2018. 

He was arraigned on charges of first degree rape, forcible oral sex, and third degree rape. 

The charges involve two alleged victims. The first is Lucia Evans, who came forward with allegations that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex at his Tribeca office in 2004. The rape charge concerns a woman who has not been identified, who alleges that Weinstein held her against her will at a Manhattan hotel room in 2013. According to the complaint, Weinstein forced the woman to have sex though she “had clearly expressed her lack of consent to the act”. 

The judge issued a protective order Friday, barring either side from releasing the woman’s name. 

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon had described him as using his “position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually”. 

Weinstein’s arrest came after more than 80 women accused him of sexual misconduct last year, sparking the #MeToo anti-harassment movement that spread around the world and exposed cultures of complicity in entertainment, media, sports and politics. 

Yet even as the stories piled up, the allegations against Weinstein stood apart, painting a portrait of a man for whom sexual assault had become a routine, enabled by his handlers and his unquestioned power in Hollywood. 

In the New Yorker, Evans said Weinstein had forced her to perform oral sex during an audition in New York. “I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t'”, she said. But she said Weinstein simply ignored her and later acted as if nothing had happened. Paz de la Huerta said Weinstein raped her twice in her apartment. “I was so terrified of him”, she told Vanity Fair. “I did say no, and when he was on top of me I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He kept humping me and it was disgusting. He’s like a pig”. 

Weinstein’s alleged misconduct was one of the biggest open secrets in Hollywood. 

Yet he eluded public accountability for decades, protecting himself through secret payoffs and non-disclosure agreements. He allegedly threatened the careers of women who turned him down, and wielded such influence that the threats were taken seriously. 

The one woman who did report him to the police, Italian model Ambra Battilana, was smeared in the tabloids before prosecutors decided they did not have enough evidence to file a charge. 

Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman has entered a not guilty plea.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

1MDB Bailout

We all know that 1MDB are heavily in debt. 

But we have been reassured that 1MDB have been successfully servicing their loans via the company’s so-called rationalization exercise. 

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (left) noted that 1MDB president and CEO Arul Kanda kept to the story that 1MDB are fully able to service their debt obligations. 

It turned out that this was nothing but a deliberate deception. We have been lied to. And not for the first time. 

In fact, MOF have been bailing out 1MDB since April 2017. 

On that May 22, Lim had reported that the Ministry of Finance had paid some RM6.98 billion to bail out 1MDB debt service obligations. 

The next payment of interest on the 1MDB borrowings is due on the coming Wednesday, May 30, 2018 amounting to RM143.75 million. 

There’s also the additional RM810.2 million in interest due between September and November this year. 

On Thursday, Lim said Bank Negara and Khazanah also made payments to his ministry which were then used to service 1MDB's debt obligations. 

Disgraced former PM Najib Razak had used funds from deals with the central bank and the sovereign wealth fund to pay for some of the liabilities of beleaguered 1MDB, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters

About $500 million raised from a land sale agreement with the central bank and about $300 million from the sell-back of shares of sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad were used to fund the $1.2 billion settlement amount owed to Abu Dhabi state fund IPIC, the sources said. 

Funds from the Khazanah share repurchase deal were used to pay for the first tranche of settlement payment owed to IPIC, while money from the land sale to central bank was used to fund the second and final tranche. 

As part of the initial settlement agreement with IPIC, 1MDB were supposed to pay the $1.2 billion in two tranches – one by July 31 and the other by December 31. 1MDB missed the first deadline to pay $600 million and the Abu Dhabi fund then allowed 1MDB to pay the amount in two equal instalments by end August. 

The payments, which were kept secret by Najib’s administration, show the extent to which federal agencies and government money were used to bail out debt-ridden 1MDB – a Najib scam that is now subject to money laundering investigations in at least six countries. 

It is said that the national sovereign fund still need over RM1.5 billion annually – until 2024 – just to service the debt as revealed in the declassified Auditor General’s 1MDB’s audit report. The total sum required to clear 1MDB’s liabilities is reportedly more than RM42 billion! 

On Wednesday, I went to Jalan Pantai Baharu and there, I delivered my CC #3 speech titled “A Big Relief”. 

At this Telekom Malaysia Toastmasters meeting, I also took up the role of Table Topics Evaluator. 

Thanks to Lucky for prompting me to attend this meeting and Chuan Leng for kindly giving me a speaking slot.

It has been a long time since I last visited this Toastmasters club.