Najib was speaking about the Umno’s crony agenda. Not the Malay agenda.
For those reasons we must do the exact opposite. Deny these so-called Malay leaders a chance to concentrate power. It’s power which they shall apply to the misfortune of the majority of Malays and to the misfortune of this country. Give us power, bellowed Najib, because we want to continue with the agenda? Why wasn’t the agenda, whatever it is, debated in that GA? Give us power, intoned KJ, so that the nikmat or tidings we enjoy with having power is kept. Nikmat to do what? To pillage and plunder?
Instead it was an event of love fest and blood fest. This delegate loves Najib. That delegate says more about how Najib is the saviour and all that. The agenda of the GA was actually to whip delegates into a frenzy about how to defend Umno and defend life as the leaders and Umno warlords have always known. It’s the life of the leeching aristocrat feeding off the fears and hopes of the silent Malay majority. It’s a life of living a lie pretending to fight for the interests of the majority and the interests of the nation.
When KJ said that we have to defend Umno because of tidings (nikmat) that come along with having power, that’s the real weltanschauung of Umno. That’s its real raison d’etre. Umno exists to secure power so that through power it can do all the bad — corruption, pillage and plunder the nation’s wealth. As far as the Malay agenda is concerned, yes, the GA2011 was a non-event. It wasn’t worth my mental effort to exert.
Let me ask you why the real big issues were not and never discussed? Why do Umno leaders have this self-conceited idea that it is when we, good people like ourselves, hold power we can do more good that those evil in the DAP, PAS and PKR and whoever else.
The answer to this seeming paradox is this. I find it a pleasure repeating the seminal ideals of Milton Friedman in his preface to Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom”.
 “It is tempting to believe that social evils arise from the activities of evil men (Umno has already identified these evil people) and that if only good men (like ourselves, naturally) wielded power all would be well.”
That describes very well those Umno delegates recently. This view is fallacious.
“That view requires only emotion and self-praise (that’s the orgy of the love fest in the Umno GA) — easy to come by and satisfying as well. To understand why it is good men in positions of power will produce evil while the ordinary men without power but able to engage in voluntary co-operation with his neighbours will produce good, requires analysis and thought, subordinating the emotions to the rational faculty.
“The argument for collectivism (read concentration of power as demanded by the Umno president and his cohorts) is simple and false. It is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism (read: emancipation of the people especially Malays) is subtle and sophisticated; it’s an indirect rational argument.”
I didn’t write about it while the GA was going on. The point is I write when I have something to say about it. I am not a journalist trained to give run-up-by-the-moment-takes on events. I have to think it through, being a little slow. You want to read trash or you want to read something that sets you thinking? You want coffeeshop chatter, please visit other blogs.
Let me ask you this question. How does Umno sustain itself? You get the answer if you analyse what just went on during the Umno General Assembly 2011.
Umno gets on by making Malays believed that they being besieged, attacked, assaulted and victimised. That’s how Umno can survive. How does it do that? By fabricating lies and manufacturing stories. The Chinese are going to eat you up. The Chinese are going to Christianise you. They are going to wipe out the Sultans, ban the use of Bahasa Malaysia, abolish Jawi and so forth. You feed on people’s irrational fear. You want to maintain stupid and mute people.
Can you sustain whole people like that, turning people into xenophobes? I say that this is a recipe for destroying Malays, not cultivating them to become self-confident people. What kind of political party, and government by extension, keeps its people on a leash and drums into them a debilitating dependent mindset? I say this is a party not interested in cultivating people
 Datuk Seri Najib Razak warned today the future of Malays would be in doubt if his ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) does not remain in power after a general election expected soon. 

After presiding over an Umno general assembly last weekend that saw delegates and leaders accusing Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of being anti-Malay and Islam, the prime minister today told a Malay NGO that claims a membership of over two million that their “responsibility is to defend the current government.”
“The alternative choice, are they better than what is already in place? Can they guarantee our power is not dissolved or our position eroded? What about the dignity of Islam and Malays?
“We will not allow our people to be insulted. We will not back down by even an inch. We are warriors,” he said to cheers at Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia’s (Pekida) gathering here before leading cries of “Hidup Melayu (long live the Malays)!”
Umno had sounded the alarm last weekend, warning that only BN will ensure that Islam remains an important aspect within the government administration.
Party delegates had cited events such as claimed proselytisation of Muslims since Election 2008, when PR took power in five states, as proof that the faith among Malays would be in jeopardy.
Najib said today if the Umno-led BN lost power, “all our ambitions will be buried and our future will be full of darkness.”
“What will happen to Muslims if the government changes? What will happen to Islam if we lose our strength?
“What will happen to the Malay rulers if we are no longer there to honour them? What will happen to our descendants if we cannot fight for policies that protect them?” he said.
He accused PR of trying to “demolish what we have built.”
“Without having power, they have defiled the Malay rulers. Without power, they have questioned policies to help Malays and Bumiputeras, which are always questioned by them.
“Without power, they can say they want to halve the civil service. Who will be affected? If hundreds of thousands of civil servants are sacked, who will be the victims?” he said, referring to recent suggestions by DAP to trim the majority-Malay civil service.
 Abim accuses the MCA president of spreading Islamophobia, while Perkasa wants Umno to remove MCA
Two Muslim groups are up in arms over remarks made by MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek at a party organised forum on the implications of hudud on non-Muslims.
PAS: Non-Muslims have no right to discuss Islam


related article read this Those behind the drive say  (The Star) – The DAP has been invited to the forum on hudud and its implications on non-Muslims in Malaysia. “The purpose of the forum is not to challenge anybody. Rather, we just want to explore the law and what implementing it would mean to a … Read more
QUOTATIONS: “The messenger of Allah said: “Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.” He said: ” You … Read more


For weeks, just in time for Malaysia’s United Malays National Organization(UMNO)’s annual general assembly which opened this week, the party has been embroiled in an embarrassing scandal involving a 2007 government decision to spend RM300 million (US$94.3 million) to establish a national feedlot corporation to slaughter as many as 60,000 cattle annually under Islamic halal dietary requirements.
The scandal seems emblematic of a long series of such situations that imperil Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s vow in April 2010 that the government “can no longer tolerate practices that support the behavior of rent-seeking and patronage, which have long tarnished the altruistic aims of the New Economic Policy.”
The National Feedlot Corporation, as it is known, has never slaughtered 10 percent of the projected total and has since scaled back its target to 8,000 head but hasn’t been able to meet that target either. Worse, the company has been losing millions of dollars every year – while pouring funds into an RM10 million condominium in Kuala Lumpur, among other things, and spending RM800,000 for overseas travel and entertainment.
The scandal is doubly embarrassing because the agreement to establish the National Feedlot Corporation, made when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was prime minister, went to the family of Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the Minister of Women, Welfare and Community Development and head of the women’s wing of UMNO. Her husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail, is the chairman. Her three children are respectively the chief executive officer and executive directors of the company. None had any experience in cattle production or beef supply prior to the establishment of the company.
The report of the NFC’s operations was contained in the 2010 report of Malaysia’s Auditor General, which was delayed for weeks before it was finally released. The scandal has generated tensions inside UMNO, with some reformers demanding that Shahrizat be forced out of her job as minister. However, the leadership has circled the wagons to protect her. In particular, Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy prime minister, has said there was no case to be brought against her. Muhyiddin was the agriculture minister in 2006 when the project was approved. Others who have come to her defense are Abdullah Badawi and his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, the head of the UMNO Youth Wing.
The National Feedlot scandal is said to have the potential reformers worried because party operatives thought they had the Selangor electorate turned around and that they could take the state back from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat in national elections expected to be called early next year. However, Asia Sentinel has been told, the refusal to hold anybody to account in the feedlot scandal could well turn the tide back against them, especially as other patronage scandals continue to bubble up.

More patronage scandals

The depth and breadth of the scandals also calls into question moves earlier this year with Najib launching a series of programs to develop bumiputera, or ethnic Malay companies, including allocating an RM2 billion fund for development. In the 2012 budget, Najib also announced the government would allocate RM200 million to guide 1,100 high-performing bumi companies with the potential for listing on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Critics are concerned that the patronage system will continue unabated. The current UMNO general assembly was hoped to provide a dramatic backdrop for Najib to win back disaffected Malay voters.
For decades, this patronage has involved highway construction and defense contracts and a variety of other government arrangements with UMNO cronies in a plan formulated by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. His ambition was to create a cadre of 100 super-rich bumis who in turn would help rural Malays into prosperity under a “konsep payung”, or umbrella concept routed through UMNO, much the way he envisioned driving the country into industrialization through massive projects. However, many of the companies eventually collapsed and are being supported by government institutions such as Khazanah Nasional, the country’s sovereign investment fund, or the Employee Provident Fund.
Ranhill’s ‘undulating’ road
Contained in the same 2010 auditor general’s report, for instance, is a passage on the decision to privatize a 77-km stretch of highway from Senai to Desaru on Peninsular Malaysia’s southeastern coast. The land acquisition turned out to have doubled, from RM385 million to RM740.6 million, with the road surface described as “undulating.” The project completion “was not in accordance with specifications, causing damage to the road surface and endangering road users.” The company failed to complete construction within the stipulated period of the contract. However, the construction agreement didn’t specify damages in the event it wasn’t completed. Required maintenance is described as “unsatisfactory.”
The company that won the RM1.7 billion contract is Ranhill Corp. Sdn Bhd., which has long been described as UMNO-linked. It is partly owned byLambang Optimia Sdn. Bhd. Both are headed by (Tan Sri) Hamdan Mohamad, described as Malaysia’s “water baron,” who operates several utilities and power companies.
Hamdan was one of several ethnic Malay businessmen who followed former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s vow to take Malaysian companies overseas. Another shareholder is YPJ Corp. Sdn Bhd., an arm of the Johor State Government, and yet another appears to be UMNO itself, which owns a minority share through an account at Public Bank Bhd., according to records. Ranhill has had a lackluster two to three years, capped by disaster earlier in 2011 when its Libyan operations were caught between the Muammar Qaddafi forces and those of the Libyan rebels aided by NATO air strikes.

Syed Mokhtar again

Also, earlier this year, Deftech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-Hicom, won a contract without an open tender to produce and deliver 237 eight-wheeled armored personnel carriers to the Ministry of Defense. DRB-Hicom is 55 percent owned by Etika Strategi Sdn. Bd., which is wholly owned by billionaire Syed Mokhtar Al Bukairy, one of Mahathir’s targeted bumiputras and a man who is extremely tight with UMNO.
Opposition member Tony Pua complained on the floor of Parliament that the average price of RM29.4 million for each unit compared unfavorably with a Portuguese Army purchase of 363 similar vehicles for the equivalent of RM4.4 million each from the Swiss MOWAG CmBH Corp, Malaysia is paying a 6.6-fold increase over the Portguese purchase. Saudi Arabia, he said, bought 724 such vehicles for the equivalent of RM9.9 million from General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, with Malaysia paying almost three times as much Government officials said the contracts don’t compare with each other and that the government is getting more equipment, maintenance, etc. for its money.
“Further research has revealed that DRB-Hicom will be acquiring the AWC technology from a Turkish company – FNSS Defence Systems Inc which manufactures the Pars 8×8 AWV models,” Pua said. “With this deal, Malaysia will be its first foreign customer for this vehicle. What is perhaps of greater alarm is the fact that FNSS has announced that they have sold 257 units of Pars 8×8 AWVs to Malaysia for approximately US$600 million or RM1.83 billion or only RM7.1 million per unit,” Pua said in a prepared statement — considerably different from what the Malaysians said they bought the vehicles for.

Offshore patrol vessels – RM6bil for just 6

Pua also complained about the cost of six offshore patrol vessels fromBoustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd at RM1 billion each in the aftermath of another total fiasco. The Auditor General, in a 2007 report tabled in Parliament, alleged that a contract to build naval vessels given to, a subsidiary of Penang Shipbuilding & Con PSC-Naval Dockyardstruction Sdn Bhd, which was owned by another UMNO crony, Amin Shah Omar Shah.
PSC-Naval Dockyard, which was taken over by Boustead, contracted to deliver six patrol boats for the Malaysian Navy in 2004 and complete the delivery in 2007. Those were supposed to be the first of 27 offshore vessels ultimately to cost RM24 billion plus the right to maintain and repair all of the country’s naval craft. But only two of the barely operational patrol boats had been delivered by mid 2006. There were 298 recorded complaints about the two boats, which were also found to have 100 and 383 uncompleted items aboard them respectively.
The original RM5.35 billion contract ballooned to RM6.75 billion by January 2007. The auditor also reported that the ministry had paid out RM4.26 billion to PSC up to December 2006 although only Rm2.87 billion of work had been done, an overpayment of Rm1.39 billion, or 48 percent. In addition, Malaysia’s cabinet waived late penalties of Rm214 million. Between December 1999, according to the Auditor General, 14 “progress payments” amounting to Rm943 million despite the fact that the auditor general could find no payment vouchers or relevant documents dealing with the payments.
The auditor general attributed the failure to serious financial mismanagement and technical incompetence stemming from the fact that PSC had never built anything but trawlers or police boats before being given the contract. Once called “Malaysia’s Onassis” by Daim Zainuddin, Amin Shah was in trouble almost from the start, according to a report in Singapore’s Business Times in 2005.
Eventually Boustead PSC was born out of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s dockyard facilities which were to provide ship repairs and maintenance services. Under the corporatization program advocated by the Malaysian Government, the dockyard was set up as Limbungan TLDM, a wholly owned government company. It has modern facilities to meet the maintenance requirements of the Royal Malaysian Navy fleet, from hull repairs to major overhauls and from radar refitting to weapon systems refurbishment.
The six patrol boats have now cost five times what the Royal New Zealand Navy paid for its patrol vessels, bought at only RM210 each (NZ$90 million) from BAE Systems, the second largest global defense company.

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