Wednesday, June 25, 2008




Even as astounding events unfurl simultaneously over Malaysia that are sizzling the Prime Minister in an aggressive swear of no-confidence and the street-demonstrative Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has turned upon itself in a fury of alleged higher-up misdealing, it is still Raja Petra’s rush upon a flavor of fantasy to knuckle “the full” band of killers of the Mongolian beauty, Altantuya Shaaribu, that has hogged the attention of the country.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, blogger of bloggers famed for his No-Holds-Barred in Malaysia-Today, believes the number of killers on the fateful night of October 18, 2007, should be six and not the three that are now still facing trial.

He rammed right into the heart of power his Statutory Declaration (SD) of Wednessday, 18 June, that’s behaving like it is meant to scuttle once and for all the ruling Umno’s numbers one and two, hence securing for the Opposition the way for regime change kicked started by the SAPP in Sabah a couple of days earlier.

Petra’s SD, popularly described as a “nuclear bomb”, threatened to wrack the Malaysian political terrain and can blow the lid of Pandora’s Box, naming as it did the wife of Deputy Premier, Rosmah Mansor, her aide de camp Norhayati and her husband, Acting Kol. Aziz Buyong he described as a C4 expert, as the second triad that killed Altantuya and blew her body to bits to remove the evidence.

In his SD he wrote his source had informed him of an army intelligence report which said the trio were also at the scene of the crime at the material time and the report was sent to the Prime Minister who had given a copy for safekeeping to his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin.

Another copy, he said, was sent to one of the Malay rulers, meaning he was sure there’s a cover-up and pointing towards a state extra-judicial killing, suggesting the actors were like the special agents of M15, CIA or MOSAIC, and in Malaysia possibly M.I.C.K.E.Y. M.O.U.S.E., involving as it were the number two’s spouse, Rosmah Mansor, as chief of operations, code-named ‘Madam’.

The blast from Petra’s “nuclear bomb” can toss him back into prison where he had been for a few days after refusing to post bail following a charge of sedition only months before.

After the CID chief had mentioned the jail term for making a false report could be two years, Petra once again looms as an incredible hulk battling alone for years against the state’s terror agencies and remaining fit for yet another shot against the oppressors, this time fighting those he believes are licensed to kill.

In the dock are Najib Tun Razak’s political strategist, Abdul Razak Baginda, and two Special Task Force police officers detailed to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, making the second trio the complement of a ring around Najib that some find it easy to believe since it provides the missing links to the macabre murder that had happened in a spot on a blukar-covered hill some have named “the police killing patch”.

The weakness in the facts and figures in the case is the missing melody about who procured the C4 from the army’s armory. That blank has been causing people to continue thinking and filling the vacuity with songs they would otherwise never sing against Rosmah Mansor.

Those come from the question about who ordered the two police officers to execute the Mongolian woman.

The popular plot needed a big-shot in the Ministry of Defence to give the order and to obtain the C4 and Rosmah, her aide de camp and her husband fall neatly into place.

Petra had boldly said the long trial was a “show trial” and after he implicated the deputy premier’s wife and was charged for sedition, he was reported to have said he could be holding a document which we now know as a report from army intelligence.

In his SD Petra reminded the country to withhold evidence is a crime, meaning the Prime Minister and his son-in-law are together liable if his story is true.

But his evidence could run out of character and it could stretch itself into a fantasia of absurd cross-purpose the likes of which was never seen before or after Cervante’s Don Quixote charged some gruesome enemies that were, in fact, windmills.

What then are probably Petra’s plan and purpose?

The Prime Minister has since denied there has been an army intelligence report of such purport.

Unless Petra has corroborative evidences that will stand in a trial, his only relief appears to be hanging somewhere in a royal privy.

He did not tell us which royalty is the link, causing many to suspect the royal household is in a Disney studio he is using to hold the police at ransom so the department must thoroughly investigate or find itself facing the ire of the sire just in case Petra’s story somehow becomes true. He is closely linked to the Selangor Sultan and was also a close friend of the Sultan of Trengganu, who is now the Yang Dipertuan Agong (King).

There is another face to Petra’s novel action. If he had timed his adventure to mix well with the SAPP’s curtain-raiser revolt against Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his temper this time is, indeed, a sparkling act of self-sacrifice to divide the house into two halves, one believing there was a cover-up no matter if the police investigation finds not an iota of truth in Petra’s hearsay.

Should the police investigation reveal nothing, Petra need to merely point towards a royal household that will remain silent to set Malaysian politics adrift in a divide of wills, with one side allegedly guilty of extra-judicial murder and removing the bodies with C4.

Petra, if he is jailed for sedition and for making a false report, will become the cause celebre, as Anwar had been before.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, once before the chairman of East Asiatic Company and proven a mean mind in corporate strategy is showing his natural bend for political strategy as well. He could be trying to turn the tables, playing the counter-conspiracy game in a style not altogether unlikely.

Should all go according to plan and he finds himself back in a jail cell, all he would need to pull off another spate of spitfire web- and street-aggressions against the government of flip-flop Pak Lah would be a death-fast he had longed to do.

The glorious intermix of political revolt with the stress of hyper-inflation ought to pack enough force to unseat the premier.

Pak Lah could be forced to call for a snap-election and that would leave Umno and the Barisan Nasional in ruins no matter the troubles brewing in the PKR against its Selangor Mentri Besar.

Raja Petra is a genius gone stark crazy, a Bugis as impulsive as they come and choosing to dance on the flavors of fantasies in creating history, like it was with I La Galigo.

I La Galigo was the Bugis legendary hero who took for himself and his nation a niche in China simply because he found a Chinese princess attractive and must have her, plus the kingdom her husband ruled, or he would rather be dead.

He planned all sorts of plans and finally decided to simply walk straight into her room, let her take him captive and seduce him instead, stayed for days with her and finally replaced her husband as ruler of the land as well. Some guts! ----- a. ghani ismail, 25 June, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008



It is Pak Lah’s failure to understand the new realities issuing from the transition from bureaucratic government to the informational society his predecessor had initiated that could have resulted in what the former premier, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, described as the lack of openness, a terminal understatement of the new regime’s control of the Press uploaded since the “Nice Guy” took over the helm at the end of 2003.

Mahathir, in his blog,, said many journalists who were sacked or who accepted voluntary severance, and other senior journalists who were believed to have been “linked” to the former premier were refused even the slightest space in the mainstream media since Pak Lah took over as Prime Minister.

Mahathir’s statement is true. He said Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and he himself were not allowed to speak to Umno members to campaign for the Umno Supreme Council election scheduled for December.

Pak Lah held tight control over the mainstream media in Malaysia.

He placed people from the PM’s office and a select crop of his friends to the top of the heap. They removed all and sundry deemed or suspected of having been “linked” to the former PM or who showed little enthusiasm for Pak Lah as the big boss.

The actions are those of people who believe in the power of the bureaucratic hierarchy and the resulting information became the spin of tamed editors and the media shamans.

Pak Lah was swiftly spun into a Nice Guy and a Mr. Clean. He had then, in fact, recommended his brother-in-law for the Iraq Oil For Food Program and later rewarded members of his family and cronies to the tune of the fabulous.

Fist-tight control of the Press and hiding a nepotist tilt as bold as Mount Rushmore could not possibly escape popular ire in an informational society.

It proved to be the greatest of Pak Lah’s follies, the sacked journalists with fellow bloggers from all walks of life detailing the New Media of the informational society with strategies, talents, humor and courage the likes of which were never known before in Malaysia, resulting in a stripping of the sunshine spun by the artful shamans of the controlled media and leaving Pak Lah and his son-in-law, Khairy, in the blind side of reality.

Pak Lah was aiming to place all of the conventional media under one roof, Media Prima, striking a shadow of a doubt of the Singapore Press Holding that is said to control information in Singapore so precisely people can hear a pin drop when the powers decide to let them hear. Otherwise even a wise-crack as good as that will be retired into Pandora’s Box.

Pak Lah probably never understood what Mahathir had known well – that the informational society would work at its best in a mutual leadership within a free and sharing open community, making the control of information and opinion by a bureaucratic hierarchy in Malaysian plural society the worst of errors.

Mahathir was the architect of the Malaysian informational community, himself trained as a medical doctor with a distinction in Physics in his pocket and hence, well-endowed to convene the world’s best and foremost in the field of ICT in Putrajaya.

Mahathir was also a self-taught writer. He was later to become himself a phenomenal Blogger, discovering rather late in life that he should have been a Blogger decades before. He is a born Blogger.

Pak Lah, alas, was heavily into Civilizational Islam (Islam Hadhari) he seemed to have understood as that part of Islamic culture that was an extension of the Greco-Roman philosophical and scientific pursuits which could be deemed to have begun in the late 9th century AD and limped after the fall of Baghdad in 1258.

It then revived and died sometime in the 16th century after the apex of Mughal art and architecture was reached in India, hence leaving the premier’s perception of control and governance stalked by the medieval feudal-religious regime and of bureaucratic government that filtered later into the Islamic landscape through Western colonialism.

He was centuries behind Mahathir, sliding under the sheath of the Singapore-anchored Level Four boys for appearances of efficiency and effectiveness but failing to impress because of the open nepotism, flip-flop policies, and finally, an undeniable cerebral incapacity to do better than his predecessor who he wanted so much to outdo.

He should have been replaced with Najib, but for the fact Najib is power-shy, perhaps remembering his father had taken all authority following the 1969 Emergency and then quickly returning to the people parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.

Maybe Najib was too young then to have understood what, in fact, his great father had done. Tun Razak was a member of the British Labor Party, himself an evolutionary socialist who genuinely placed the nation and people first and foremost.

Pak Lah was believed to be ideologically Islamic, but that can hardly be upheld. He has given himself so enthusiastically to the power-patent of the feudal regiment, favoring his own family and his cronies, rewarding sycophants and punishing people he suspects of alien alliance.

He applied such a tight-control over information and opinion he had become to the New Media, undeniably an ogre.

Much has been said about the New Media being a significant reason for the failure of the Barisan Nasional in the 8 March elections.

It would be easier to comprehend the efficiency of the blogosphere should we limit the damage done mainly to the person of the Prime Minister, his son-in-law, the Level Four boys and the medley of maimed Barisan Nasional leaders who either damaged themselves by hubris or were injured by enemy fire for being too arrogant, corrupt and complacent.

The blogosphere is a people’s sphere of information that’s an extension of our nervous system. It is where we express our shared feelings and sensitivities. Pak Lah possibly failed to grasp the change that has found root in Malaysia. Locked in the assumption that the feudal patron-client culture remained efficient, he aggressively purposed and pursued it, leading himself into the underside of doom. Hush! ---a. ghani ismail, 16 June, 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008



In the kind of classic flip-flop the world has seen little of since the Abbassid dynasty collapsed before Hulagu in 1258, Pak Lah, Malaysia’s out-going Prime Minister, raised fuel prices by a fiery snort and then gave rebates to about 6.1 million non-commercial car-owners. Now conscientiously working to “automatically” reduce road-tax and even income tax, it is clear he had raised fuel prices in a flip to cut the fuel subsidies and then he flopped to cut government revenue to raise the people’s humor, or something like that.

In Baghdad the flip-flop was, of course, even more critical. Hulagu forced the sultan to decide between keeping his treasures or his concubines - numbering more than 800 he described as ‘women that had neither been touched by the light of the sun nor that of the moon.’

Hulagu let the captured sultan believe he could leave with the women and about 200 miles from the capital, he intercepted the sultan’s caravan and had him and his men cut to pieces.

Both the episodes have one thing in common, and that’s about the Beast. The Beauty Hulagu distributed between his captains. It must have raised their humor somewhat, for a while.

The humor could not last. From out of the general despondence caused by rising prices, several thousands took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Friday, 13 June) to protest the flip-flop policy.

The government should have known better. Fuel prices to most Malaysians are far above what are paid at the kiosks. These kiosks are not available to most people.

Even in the outskirts of the Klang Valley fuel is often sold in bottles and in plastic cans. When petrol used to cost RM1.92 at the kiosks, a liter in a bottle would cost RM6 or more. As an example, RM6 per liter was charged at two small sundry shops in Batu 14, Ulu Langat, Selangor.

In Sarawak it was reported petrol was sold along the Rejang at RM5.05 per liter and some in the government may have us believe it is the story of a remote upstream station.

But between Slim River and Bidor in West Malaysia is a Felda scheme plopped 45 kilometers from the trunk road and settlers will have to drive or ride about 60 kilometers to fill their tanks at the kiosk in Slim River. That means 120 kilometers to and fro. Is that also a remote place?

Should you drive from Kuala Pilah to Sri Menanti in Negeri Sembilan, the last petrol kiosk you’ll find would be about 12 kilometers from the royal village. Then, from Sri Menanti to Gunung Pasir and Inas, you will see no kiosk until you get to Johol. Through all of the 60 kilometers fuel was sold in bottles until one enterprising fellow set up a skid-tank pump that’s now out of service.

Is Batu 14 Ulu Langat remote? Is Sri Menanti also remote?

Still wonder how come prices of goods go up by leaps and bounds in some places following the fuel price hike? Development in Malaysia is like a checker-board, but with less than equal black squares and white.

Someone should put on the web a map showing the distribution of the fuel kiosks and superimpose that on a demographic map and there before our very eyes would be a lesson we ought to have learned a long time before.

It will tell us the kiosks are commercial and not featuring a public utility provided by the government. Hence, their absence means a higher fuel price than the ones the government decided without bothering to consult the people via the parliament or via any forum.

You still think it had been a great idea to rush the price of petrol to RM2.70 from RM1.92 and diesel up RM1 to RM2.54 per liter while issuing rebates for 800 liters?

You still think it was smart to do that and then, seeing the general price increase can overwhelm the society, you reduce road tax, income tax and sales taxes, resulting in an elaborate exercise to save on the fuel subsidies and then lose a lot of revenue. What kind of a subsidy-taxes swop is that?

A sales girl told this writer she has started to eat broth for lunch and to skip dinner. Many will have to do that, earning only RM800 per month or RM30 per day part-time, in Kuala Lumpur.

These are the people that are punished most severely, people who do not at all use petrol or diesel, and along with them all those we may categorize broadly as less endowed.

The injury is done. What we need now is intervention between policy decisions and implementation simply because there was no consultation before the hopeless decision was made.

But how can that happen if the deputy premier, Najib Tun Razak, is not willing to place the nation and the people before self and decided he will not contest for party president in the forthcoming Umno Supreme Council election?

Rumors suggest Pak Lah will retire anytime between March and June next year. But in that time the injury would have become gangrenous and what Najib shall be taking over would be a country in critical need of surgery.

Najib must become more policy-active now, not later. The protest march from Kampung Baru to Sogo yesterday the Pas Youth organized was merely a foretaste of what’s to come. Planned on 5 July is the “million march”. Will it happen?

Judging from the enthusiasm shown yesterday, with a lot of people waiting at and around the KLCC to welcome the walkers, the answer is yea, it will.

The fuel-price decision was crazy. It made no sense at all to save on the fuel subsidy and cause a general price rise, and then cut revenue by reducing tax after tax in addition to the RM625 rebate. It makes the policy a veritable gas-bag but certainly filled with other than laughing-gas.

People are bound to ask who made the money from the fuel price hike?

Caramba! We need a problem solver, not a bleeding-heart or peace-maker for a leader. Maybe we need one such as Hulagu, the Mongolian. ----a. ghani ismail, 14 June, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008




Unless the god you worship is dumb, and stupid, you will never get away with the things you have been doing in Malaysia, such as the police refusing to take a report made against a crown prince who battered a young woman he kept as a lover, and the Prime Minister elaborately lying through his teeth on TV about his son’s business dealings.

But the second matter is old, resurrected currently after it was known who has been selling buses to Rapid KL and the monorail to Penang.

On 7 August 2006, in an arranged interview on TV3 with BERNAMA chairman, Datuk Annuar Zaini, the premier said this:

Q: You are known as Mr Clean and Mr Nice Guy. Sometimes that intention is
disrupted because of business interests. Besides KJ [Khairy Jamaluddin, his son-in-law], your son, Kamaluddin, is also in business and has he misused or taken advantage of his
relationship with you to excel in his business?

A: Kamal has never used his relationship with me to advance in business. His
business is in a field which only has two companies in the world. Of the two
integrated oil companies, one is in the US and the other is his.

He is not involved in many other companies and he operates overseas. Sometimes people ask, why is he overseas?

He tells them that since his father has become the Prime Minister, it is difficult for him to make a living here. That is why he opted to do it overseas. Eighty percent of his contracts are from overseas and that is where he gets his rezeki (sustenance).

Petronas usually participates in international open tenders. Any tender he gets is too small compared to what he gets overseas and he also has to compete for the tenders with other companies.

He usually gets tenders from companies like Shell and Esso because it is related
with oil and gas. He has never asked for help from the Government. There is also
no bail out. None.

Q: In your capacity as the Finance Minister, has his company obtained
government tenders?

A: No, not at all. To my knowledge, he has not received any. He does not manage
the business and is only the major shareholder and had made a move to buy a
Singapore company with 188 ships to transport coal.

Q: Some say that the Penang monorail is reserved for Kamal. Is that true?

A: Siapa cakap? (Who said so?) I tell you, it is hard to be nice.

That was on Monday, 7 August, 2006. Nine days later (15 August 2006) in Malaysiakini, Sulaiman Rejab wrote to say he did not wish to refer to the Prime Minister anymore as “Pak Lah”, saying the man had lost all his endearing qualities since becoming Prime Minister.

Then he recounted the following:

‘In March, The Malay Mail reported that KTM had in 2005 awarded a five-year RM50
million contract to Scomi Group [Kamaluddin’s company] ‘to overhaul and maintain’ as many as 1,000 wagons.

‘Also in March, Business Times reported that Scomi Group was going to submit a
bid for a RM120 million contract ‘to make body parts for about 400 buses for
state-owned Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd’.

‘Then in April, The Edge reported that Scomi Engineering Bhd is acquiring a 51%
stake in MTrans Transportation Systems Sdn Bhd for RM30 million to provide it a
platform to be a key player in urban transportation.

‘Scomi Engineering had on April 28 signed an agreement with Kiara Kilau Sdn Bhd,
which owns 100% stake in MTrans, to acquire the 51% stake. MTrans owns bus
manufacturer MTRans Bus Sdn Bhd and MTRans Technology Bhd, which specializes in
monorail systems and technology. This is, of course, for the Penang monorail

So the five-time hike in petroleum prices over the last year on the pretext of
improving public transportation is certainly benefiting some parties - your
son's Scomi Engineering, to be specific.

‘What have you done to improve the public transportation in Kuala Lumpur since
then? The LRT is still madly congested and the city buses are still breaking
down in the middle of already congested roads
.’ .[Italics mine]

‘The pieces fall into place nicely…’, Sulaiman wrote, possibly fully aware the end of the story was still a long way from where he was looking.

Even after Malaysian society had awaken to the regime-corruption signage and almost voted the Barisan Nasional (BN) out in the recent 8 March elections, the BN, and especially Umno, is still appearing like it is enjoying somnolence of the kind dreams never visit.

It is in deep sleep, and apparently believing God is dumb and is causing the acquired impotence of the party members.

What now?

Superman-under-siege, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former premier and all that jazzy stuff, in his phenomenal blog,, recalled the great open lie on 6 June 2008, and once more set the stage for awakening Umno from the “elegant” somnolence that’s making many think it is, indeed, in a smear of death.

Scomi, the flagship of the premier’s son, after taking over M-Trans Sdn. Bhd., which is the bus and monorail builder, has now been supplying the GLC, Rapid KL, with new buses, some it built itself in the M-trans yard and others it bought from China, which must be pretty convenient, of course.

Hence, Dr. M wants to know:

What prices did Scomi (or the relevant subsidiary) pay for the Chinese buses and what did it charge Rapid KL for the same imported buses? What tariffs and taxes did it pay for bringing in those buses?

He also wants to know if it is possible for Rapid KL and Khazanah to show the people their profit and loss accounts, which could mean he thinks transparency concerning the GLCs has gone under the Official Secrets Act as well under Pak Lah.

What does Rapid KL intend to do with more than a thousand buses it now keeps in a yard at Sungai Chua, Kajang, which it paid for in its takeover of City Liner and Intrakota? Surely these buses could be repaired or refurbished and be taken back on the road or sold?

Why on earth were they replaced by new buses from China in the first place, when public transport in the Klang Valley and surrounding areas are appalling and can do with the extra buses now lying idle?

And, of course, in Penang, isn’t the monorail given to Scomi’s subsidiary to build?

These and many other questions will surely be raised in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

But will it move Umno in any direction that shall serve the society in a way that can inspire maturity and refinement 62 years after the ruling party was born or would that necessarily need a regime change?

To state that differently, how much of corruption, nepotism and poor governance will it take for Umno members to aggress and demand for Pak Lah to retire?

I cannot answer that. The present Umno is not the Umno I knew.

It would be equally audacious for me to try and suggest this may be the final straw that will break Umno’s gentle somnolence and that the party will soon wake up to say “it’s enough!” and bid Pak Lah a tearless goodbye.

Therefore, keeping alive the belief there will be a regime change sooner than later is, indeed, the wiser thing to do.

Pak Lah’s Nice Guy and Mr. Clean images could have all been appearances of the Dorian Gray sort, a magic of art or an artifice of magic, which, in a single word, is a lie. ---a. ghani ismail, 11 June 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008


The sage has withered from the lake and no bird sings.

The dust settled quickly after Pak Lah’s kiss of death announcement on 4 June that raised the price of petrol at the stands by more than 40 percent and diesel hiked beyond 63 percent. It was like the sun intended one last rising for the “flip-flop” Prime Minister to sing his swan song. He is still refusing to retire, waiting to be cast out by the count of delegates’ votes in December.

If there’s ever a need for Umno to hold an emergency general meeting to oust the party president, that occasion is certainly here and now. Umno and the BN are defenseless against the people’s woes now that prices will rise once again like the dead, to haunt.

His ingenious “tiered-system” of fuel pricing has only offered a lollipop rebate of RM 652 or about 800 liters of petrol at the rate of the hike - 78 sens per liter. It is for vehicles of 2000 cc and below.

While that rebate works out to merely about 52 Ringgit per month, the rise of gasoline price to 2.70 will issue another general price-rise that will assuredly eat into the household incomes way above the paltry sweetener.

In February 2006 when the price was raised by 30 sens from RM 1.62 to RM1.92, the effect was like the floodgates were opened and in the general price rise that ensued, the consumers were simply helpless watching the prices go up and up like hot-air balloons.

Control isn’t a word of any value in Pak Lah’s regime. Prices o s$ome brands of chilly sauce went up from RM1.25 to RM1.90 within a couple of months, confirming the suspicion some really like it hot.

Why then did Pak Lah decide on RM2.70 and then pay the rebate of RM52 a month (RM 625 a year) when the price could be much lower without the rebate and the floodgates effect could be lessened?

People are unlikely to forget the price of diesel is now RM2.58, up one buck from RM1.58, meaning the prices of everything commercial will rise like Dracula.

If that’s complicated, a simpler way of saying the same thing is why not decide on a lower price of fuel and forget the rebate?

The society is still haunted by the sudden general cost-climb caused by the fuel price-rise of Feb. 2006. It was compounded by the cabinet’s shameless incompetence to manage and control the effects of the price-rise that resulted in what appeared like a scramble for survival among manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers.

Until some brands, especially of the food-link, began to run beyond the reach of consumers, prices kept climbing. Some essential items like floor and cooking oil were soon hoarded to force the government to concede to demands for higher prices.

Petrol will now cost RM 2.70 per liter, from RM1.92 the day before, up 78 sens. Diesel is RM2.58 per liter from 5 June, from RM 1.58 the day before, up RM1 overnight. It used to be only 78 sens until May 2004.

The senseless argument would have to be it’s a malady of the world and Malaysia is not an exception even if we are a net exporter of oil and we are earning more in our exports and we are enjoying a much larger tax take since the tariff reforms.

Malaysians obviously are feeling themselves roped like dopes in a noose that has instantly brought home the point that the government is heartless and is being punitive.

Should Pak Lah call for a snap-election the debris that will be strewn in the aftermath would definitely be the pieces of the trounced BN.

Pak Lah has been observed to have been more and more isolated from the realities of Malaysian society. Now he is altogether lost.

After the February 2006 fuel price decision Pak Lah decided to raise the salaries and living allowances of the government servants as an easy means to keep them happy. That happened against a shower of protests since that would compound the inflationary effects. He did not care and inflation indeed jacked-up more than four percent in the following month.

Now many are saying the Prime Minister is simply being punitive. He is punishing the people for voting the Opposition in five states and in one Federal Territory and denying the BN the two-third majority in parliament for the first time in history.

It is looking like it is either curtain for Pak Lah or it would be unlikely for the BN to stave off regime-change no matter the Malay solidarity movement launched in early May to defy Anwar Ibrahim’s Malay-led supra-ethnic initiative for a multi-racial Malaysia with the Party Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

The Malay intelligentsia is cold toward Anwar’s PKR. They prefer Anwar to find his way back into Umno rather than force a supra-ethnic leading number to rule the country before the Malays are ready for such a change.

But where Malay interests and destiny are concerned, Pak Lah is seen as having worn a mask now assumed to have hidden an intriguing split-personality. He inclined too much to Singapore and discontinued his predecessor’s policies and vision, causing a decided net loss of Malay faith and confidence in him.

In his Monsoon Cup poly-caper in Trengganu it was discovered several billions of Trengganu oil royalty (Wang Ehsan) somehow went missing and the mystery of the missing money now compounds the already squelchy reserve of Pak Lah’s misadventures that had left a stench.

Pak Lah has too big a credibility deficit. His crony from Penang, Patrick Lim, bill-boarded himself beside the premier in the Trengganu Monsoon Cup, while in Perth, his wife’s multi-million dollar mansion has been Pak Lah’s holiday retreat and lair.

This same Patrick Lim is the brain behind the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC), a multi-billion mega city development project now suggestively about to tilt towards ruination. Penang fell to the Pakatan Rakyat in the 8 March elections.

This same man and his company somehow acquired several hundred acres of choice land at Batu Kawan as soon as Pak Lah had become prime minister according to some reports. The chunk of prime land is right beside where the Penang second bridge would begin on the mainland

Pak Lah is self-entrapped, and speedily sinking deeper and deeper into disgrace he cannot halt and overcome.

His brand new cabinet he constructed without bothering to acknowledge the contribution and significance of Sabah, resulting in a couple of resignations, loud protests, threats to cross the floor and much of the premier’s time wasted in the effort to sooth the wounded pride and feelings of a people who deserves much better.

In his encounter with himself the leader has told his party members he wants more time to rehabilitate Umno and to see through the development corridors he planned, the northern chapter of which has since been blemished and bashed by the acquisitions of Patrick Lim while the eastern corridor is stumped by the missing funds belonging to Trengganu.

How can Pak Lah lead an attempt to rehabilitate the party when as a Malay leader he is already assumed as baroque? He is also observed as nepotistic, placing family before society and nation.

He has serially bungled in the Trengganu Cup poly-caper, in the intrusions into Penang Development Plan, in his continued deference to Singapore for whom he had dumped the Crooked Bridge Mahathir had begun to build. Even about Islam Hadhari he bungled.

He has enriched his family members and made worse corruption in the country.

Has he been true to the aspirations of the Malays and of Umno whose elders had asked him to restore democracy after he suspended it in the 2004 party Supreme Council election that frothed with accusations of “money politics”?

And now we have this so-called “tiered fuel pricing system” that raised prices by 78 sens to RM2.70 for gasoline and by RM 1 to RM2.58 for diesel when the prices could be lower if there’s no lollipop rebate.

What kind of alchemy are we dealing with here?

Pak Lah did not even care to wait for improvements in public transport before leaping. The timing in the Klang Valley is quite clearly horrid. Of course the chorus will say it is about the same in most places in Malaysia.

KTM’s Komuter is now running on a schedule of 20 minutes per trip instead of 10 minutes and many areas are neither served by buses nor by taxies, Bangi old town and the surrounding villages and housing estates being merely one example.

This kind of policy blunder cannot be treated as a lark. This can amount to gross negligence of the economy, something that will certainly become overwhelmingly clear in a matter of a few weeks when once again prices of essentials would have breached the ozone layer and the society would be hot, restless and feeling more threatened than ever before. It would lead to anomie.

So, which way is Pak Lah going?

It’s best for him to accept the verdict of the people and decide to go. Adios amigo! -----a. ghani ismail, 6 June 2008