Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Parliament Dissolved – Next, Psychological Warfare

Given a choice, Malaysian (PM) Najib Razak would like to cling to power via emergency rule, the same way his father did after 1969 racial riots post opposition huge victory in the general election during the same year.

However unlike 44 years ago, today is the age of information where people get the latest update and alternative news faster than government-controlled print and electronic media. Essentially, it would be extremely difficult to architect a full-proof plan to justify a declaration of a state of national emergency or “Darurat” by the King and thereafter suspension of the Parliament before the prime minister (via a national council) enjoys absolute power in the name of a caretaker government.

Damn you Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg!!! How the current regime wishes Internet, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, Smartphones and whatnot do not exist. It would be easier to cook up some stories without the internet.

That was the reason why the Sabah invasion was viewed with great suspicion, especially when the highly popular (*grin*) Najib stubbornly refused to dissolve the Parliament despite being the most popular prime minister this country have ever had. Just what was he really scared of? It’s funny that he was so indecisive on this matter but was super confident he wouldn’t get caught bonking an actress at Port Dickson and sharing Razak Baginda’s Mongolian mistress (*grin*).

Najib Razak Facebook LikesMahathir Facebook Likes

For God sake, Najib has a whopping 1.5 Million Facebook Likes while his nearest competitor Anwar Ibrahim has merely 460,000 Likes. On the other hand, DAP heavyweight Lim Kit Siang has a paltry 115,000 Likes while PAS Guru Nik Aziz has 871,000 Likes. But even then, PM Najib has more “Likes” than all the three opposition chiefs combined.

So, what gives? If that was not enough, Najib can still depends on his mentor Mahathir Mohamad’s staggering 2 Million Facebook Likes to help him send the opposition packing with tail behind their legs. Actually it’s no longer about cyber warfare between BN (Barisan Nasional) and opposition PR (Pakatan Rakyat).

Anwar Ibrahim Facebook LikesLim Kit Siang Facebook LikesNik Aziz Facebook Likes

Opposition did well in Mar 2008 general election primarily because of internet and hatred towards BN’s arrogance. Fast forward five years later, BN is on par with opposition PR in the social media presence. BN has been spending millions of dollars on battalions of cyber troopers in their payroll, never mind they couldn’t counter effectively the mismanagement of the present regime.

For the 13th General Election, it is not about merely cyber war anymore. That was so yesterday. This round, it’s about “Psychological Warfare” on the cyberspace. In fact, BN has been using such weapon with great success in the name of 13 May 1969 racial riots, minus the internet tool. And every time former dictator Mahathir sensed a little uprising from the people, he would conveniently whipped out this weapon and Malaysians obediently voted him to power out of fear – for a good 22 years.

Malaysia 13 General Election - Social Media

Thanks to the internet, the present regime can no longer monopolize its media in brainwashing people with its propaganda. The alternative media of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogs have given space to the opposition in airing their voices. Playing in the cyberspace is one thing but conducting psychological warfare in cyberspace is another thing.

The biggest thing that had happened prior to today’s Parliament dissolution was the announcement that DAP Supremo Lim Kit Siang would be contesting Gelang Patah parliamentary seat, bringing the 13th General Election to the state of Johor – BN stronghold. It was a brilliant move both tactically and psychologically.

Malaysia 13 General Election - Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang

Tactically, Kit Siang’s move from his safe seat in Ipoh Timor (won with 21,000 majority) would add additional seat to the opposition. Kit Siang is like one giant mine clearing machine – clearing landmines for the soldiers’ assault thereafter. He is one stubborn fearless leader who enjoys going into enemies’ territory and create havocs out of it.

Despite trying to calm their fear about Kit Siang’s entrance into their fortress, the fact is Najib administration is extremely nervous with their fix-deposit Johor. Psychologically, Kit Siang is leading the opposition bombardment into UMNO’s last bastion, and that’s bad news because the 2-year-old Kit Siang was bringing with him the “motivation” weapon too. Interestingly, despite being his birthplace, Kit Siang has never contest in Johor before.

Malaysia 13 General Election - Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang and Mahathir

If former premier Mahathir’s latest speech in Johor Baru was any indicator, Najib administration is trembling at the sight of DAP’s flags in the state. Mahathir commented that Kit Siang was so stupid to attack UMNO’s fortress in Johor and it didn’t make sense. Well, if Kit Siang was really that stupid, why should the genius Mahathir so concern about it, let alone alerted the enemy?

It was like former Iraq President Saddam Hussein asking why the Americans were so stupid to invade the country and warned they’ve covered the land with landmines. Get the juice? It shows even Mahathir was worried about onslaught by DAP’s heavyweights. Now that Kit Siang has invited Mahathir to contest in Gelang Patah, BN’s morale would be further cracked if the latter chicken out.

Malaysia 13 General Election - Kluang Liew Chin Tong

Another DAP big gun confirmed to be fighting along side Kit Siang in Johor is none other than a brilliant political strategist - Liew Chin Tong. Only a few know about this low profile strategist but DAP may not be able to capture Penang in the last general election without him.

Liew who won the Bukit Bendera constituency in Penang in 2008 with a majority of 16,000 votes has decided to leave his “safe” seat to challenge Kluang, another seat held by the ruling government in Johor. If everything goes according to the plan, both Kit Siang and Chin Tong would add 2 new parliamentary seats to the opposition’s pocket. DAP could be sending more heavyweights into the warzone in the coming weeks so stay tune.

One of the factors that could swing in Najib administration favour is a low Chinese turnout during the polling day. This is because majority of Chinese voters are opposition supporters. But Malaysian Chinese voters are also super “kiasi” in the event of a riot should the incumbent BN regime refuses to transfer power peacefully if they lose the 13th general election.

Hence it was a brilliant tactical move by opposition de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in bringing four retired generals into the opposition camp, led by former army chief General (Rtd) Md Hashim Hussein – Lieutenant-General (Rtd) Abdul Ghafir Abdul Hamid (Army); Brigadier-General (Rtd) Abdul Hadi Abdul Khattab (AirForce); Laksamana Pertama (Rtd) Haji Imran Abd Hamid (Navy) and Brigadier-General (Rtd) Najmi Ahmad .

Malaysia 13 General Election - Generals Md Hashim Hussein, Abdul Ghafir Abdul Hamid, Abdul Hadi Abdul Khattab, Haji Imran Abd Hamid, Najmi Ahmad

To add salt into injury, former army chief General (Rtd) Md Hashim Hussein was named as the PKR candidate for the parliamentary seat Johor Baru, a move that could send BN regime running for their money. Psychologically, the strategy could see Chinese voters flocking to the polling centers with the assurance by the retired generals that the country’s army is apolitical and loyal only to the King.

Of course not all psychological warfare by the opposition was executed smoothly. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng wasted precious time toying with Penang BN chief Teng Chang Yeow. Teng has no intention nor the courage to face Guan Eng heads on in the coming election, but rather to lure the chief minister hoping for him to make mistake so that the government-controlled media could spin some childish stories in order to boost BN’s morale.

Why do you think both sides of political divide were claiming victory before even Najib Razak found his gut, stuffed somewhere inside his closet, to dissolve the parliament today? Well, of course to boost morale as part of the “Psychological Warfare”, silly.

There’re two instances where the ground machineries would not work – arrogance due to over confidence and low morale due to anticipation of a loss. Of course along the way, you’ll get entertained by certain politician who knows nuts about psychological warfare such as MCA President Chua Soi Lek who dare not challenge Lim Kit Siang but chicken out with lame excuse that he can’t be parachuted into Gelang Patah.

If that was not comical enough, he even performed a self-praising stunt – MCA report card with flying colours. No wonder Selangor MCA chief, Donald Duck (Lim) begged the voters not to make MCA “eat egg”, literally means not to wipe MCA out during the election.

Malaysia 13 General Election - Donald Duck Eat Egg

While the opposition has tons of talents and giants to be unleashed as candidates, the same cannot be said about Najib’s camp. Obviously BN does not have sufficient good candidates to impress voters. When even expired MIC Samy Vellu offered himself as winnable candidate, you do not have to be rocket scientist to understand Najib’s dilemma. 

Najib’s biggest nightmare could be the candidate’s list. There would be many unhappy candidates wannabe who would sabotage its own well-greased machineries upon discovered that their names were not favoured. Facing an internal revolt, the Election Commission may have hard time allocating free postal votes to BN candidates if massive votes swing to the opposition.

Malaysia 13 General Election - Parliament Dissolved

If you care to listen to Najib Razak’s parliament dissolution announcement at 11:30 am just now, you may be able to sense how tense the situations were. Najib made an error in his speech about the date of dissolution – he mentioned 2012 instead of 2013. And when he walked around shaking his comrades’ hands, it was a sombre atmosphere, as if it was a farewell send-off (*grin*).

Perhaps Najib Razak knew something that we don’t from the military intelligence when he unexpectedly promise to ensure a peaceful transition of power should the federal or any state government switch hands post 13th General Election 2013. But he may not mean what he said but merely to ensure minimal impact or volatility to the stock market.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Malaysian Loves Corruption & Can’t Live Without It

If there’s one hot topic of discussion during the coming Chinese New Year, it has to be the Mother of General Elections – the 2013 Malaysia General Election. This is perhaps the final time family members would sit together, cracking garlic-flavour groundnuts sipping Anglia Shandy or Carlsberg, and debate over who and which party to elect – either current regime (BN) or opposition (PR).

This is also the time family members get to brainwash each other on which party to vote for the next federal government. The swing in support to either BN or PR would be fierce and wilder than Dow Jones during sub-prime crisis.

Of course PM Najib Razak’s PR team realizes the significance of this and has spent many hours on the drawing board preparing scripts to attract Chinese voters. That’s why PM Najib looks more Chinese than all the past prime ministers combined.

To a certain extent, he’s even more Chinese than the Chinese themselves (*tongue-in-cheek*). There’re thousands hanging buntings by the roadsides depicting him wearing Chinese traditional costume with his Chinese New Year message. Heck, he even tried his Chinese-friendly trick on radio station by having conversation in Mandarin with his son, although the stunt turns out rather funny (*grin*) and weird. If only he has the stamina he may just put on the lion dance costume and jump around your house begging for your votes.

KLCC-UMNO-PWTC-Najib CNY Greetings

Ultimately, the question will be – which party to choose and why? If your answer is the opposition because the current regime is corrupt, then get ready for a rude awakening – the so-called corrupt BN (Barisan Nasional) will win the next general election hands down. In case you’re still scratching your head peeling kuaci, the voters who voted opposition back in 2008 did not do so primarily because the current regime was corrupted.

If that was the main reason, how on earth could former PM Mahathir rule this land for a whopping 22 years, despite the fact that his regime opened the floodgates of corruption and racism? In actual fact, Malaysian Chinese and Malays love corruption, without them realizing it.

Like it or not, corruption has been part and parcel of Malaysian culture, thanks to Father of Corruption – Mahathir Mohamad. That was why a study done some moons ago found that graduates actually thought corruption was not such a big deal after all. Corruption has been ingrained into the mindset of Malaysian citizens so much so that it’s almost legal and inseparable entity from daily lifes.

Corruption was like lion-dance during Chinese New Year and “meriam-buloh” during Hari Raya festivals. While Malaysian Chinese consider corruption as a main ingredient to get business going, Malaysian Malays consider corruption as “rezeki”. That’s why the opposition can only go so far by drumming government massive corruptions as the reason why they should be booted from Putrajaya.

Malaysia Corruption - Cost of Doing Business

Do you really think corruption will disappear into thin air after opposition wins the next general election and form the federal government? Why do you think everybody rush to lick Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim boots to be fielded as candidates? And do you really think Sabah’s King of Frogs Jeffrey Kitingan, Wilfred Bumburing and Yong Teck Lee really want to take care of the Sabahan?

Pleeeeze!!! With the exception of probably Lim Kit Siang and Nik Aziz, you can’t really trust the rest of the opposition politicians. If they have no intention of enriching themselves, then President Obama is still a virgin. Ever wonder why Mahathir confidently declared he will not leave the country before the next election results are announced? That’s because he was dead sure the current corrupt regime will still form the next federal government.

If the recent AES implementation criticisms by the public was any indicator, it shows that the public can’t live without corruption, well, at least majority of them. Malaysian drivers like to speed and drive as if they’re Formula-1 drivers and they have no plan of changing their lifestyle (or rather drive-style). And AES was a classic example of how zero corruption will affect their lifes.

While they accept the reality that they would be caught breaking the laws, they want the flexibility to negotiate their way out through bribes. And you can’t “kautim” (settle) by giving money to the AES camera on the spot, can you? These people would rather pay RM50 as “coffee-money” for each of 10 traffic offences than to pay full RM300 for 2 offence tickets, literally speaking.

Malaysia AES Traffic

From sales executives to company directors, 90% of their business deals involve “under-table” money, one way or another. If the only thing that opposition can promise is eliminate corruption, then a sizeable Chinese and Malays would rather vote for the corrupt regime, if that was how they secured their current businesses or “rezeki” in the first place. So, does that mean the current corrupt regime should be returned to power?

Well, perhaps the answer can be found by the recent advise from Mahathir himself - choose between the lesser of two evils. Of course when Mahathir blogged his advise, he was referring to the possibility of violent demonstration should the opposition lose in the coming election, although I can’t figure out till today how can one lose something that it does not possess in the first place (*grin*).

Since the opposition has not win the federal government since independence, there’s no benchmark of how corrupted they would become. Thus, the perception of the general public – the BN regime is tremendously corrupt while the PR regime will be mildly corrupt, if the latter choose to corrupt after all. The choice is pretty obvious based on Mahathir’s “choose between the lesser of two evils” theory.  
The good news for the opposition fans – the corrupt Chinese businessmen are flexible to switch sides and butter the opposition’s bread should there be a change in government. The bad news – the corrupt Chinese businessmen are worry and perceive a lesser corrupt governments to mean lesser business deals for them.

Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir Mohamad - Devil Inside

While we’re still adamant the current BN regime will win the next general election, there’s a distant possibility the opposition may get enough seats to form the next government – via defections from BN camp. But for that to happen, a hung government must happen and the BN regime does not play dirty such as blocking opposition from entering the palace, intimidating and “hiding” opposition politicians, withheld official votes count, massive blackouts at counting centres and even declare the election results null and voids due to phantom voters.

Can you see how phantom voters can act as double-edged sword? Now, has anyone wonders what happen to the disappearance of PM Najib during 1st-Jan-2013, when he should be doing the New Year countdown instead of his deputy?

Underground naughty rumours has it that when the PM should be shouting “Happy New Year”, he had instead flew into a resort in Hong Kong. The interesting part was where all the local tycoons were summoned to a private meeting with the prime minister. But we’ll reserve that article for another day (*grin*). As of now, the opposition needs to behave - lock in existing supporters while compete for fence-sitters. But going by the rate on how PAS and DAP childishly playing the religion cards the same way BN used to play, no wonder Mahathir is grining from ear to ear.

Worst still, some opposition figures are already counting their chicks before they’re hatched, when they should instead presenting their arsenal of propositions for the betterment of the people.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It’s Not About the Rally, It’s About the Chinese Voters

Tomorrow’s rally, known as #KL112 (referring to Kuala Lumpur Jan 12th), to be held at Merdeka Stadium from 2pm – 5pm, should be the mother of all rallies considering that it involves some heavyweight NGOs namely Bersih (for clean and fair election), Royalti (for petroleum royalty), Anti-Lynas (to prevent rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan), Anti Felda Global Ventures (to protest the listing of FGV), and whatnot.

This should be an interesting and colourful Olympic-like demonstration as each of them will have their own colour T-shirt – Bersih’s yellow, Royalti’s red, Anti Lynas’s green, Anti Felda’s orange. The objective – to gather 1 million demonstrators at Merdeka Stadium that has a capacity of 30,000 seats.

This will be the last demonstration of such size before the next mother of all elections is called – Malaysian’s 13th general election, which must be held latest by 27th June 2013. #KL112 must generate nothing less than 250,000 participants tomorrow. Anything less than this, a figure generated during Bersih 3.0, is considered a failure. Besides not wanting to anger more people than it already has, the present BN-regime under PM Najib Razak was also interested to see the crowds that opposition-PR can attract.

Anything less than 250,000 would mean the support for the opposition is declining, literally speaking. Anything more than 250,000 could send Najib administration back to the drawing board about new strategies to fish for support.

KL112 - Demonstrators

Now that the police has kindly promise to assist the demonstrators and pledged to facilitate the mammoth event despite eleventh hour attempt by certain quarters within UMNO warlords to create havoc by forcing the organizer to use Bukit Jalil Stadium instead, there’re more reasons for the 250,000 record to be broken.

Heck, the police had even pledged not to use FRU to happy-spray chemical-laced water and tear-gas while forming a special squad – media police – to escort and protect journalists. When was the last time you see such a darling police serving their duties in protecting innocent citizens (*grin*)? But will 250,000 turnout guarantee a new government taking over post general election?

KL112 - Polis Media 1KL112 - Polis Media 2

We’ve written about the farewell party for PM Najib Razak. Unless he secures two-third majority, which is unlikely, he’s toast as far as UMNO warlords are concerned. Now, how does the UMNO Godfather, Dr M, knows the party he created can win the next general election while at the same time continues to weaken Najib’s powerbase? Simple – Dr M knows the Chinese voters are back to the present federal government’s lap, although not in a huge percentage. Yes, as much as it hurts, the Chinese voters will again help the corrupt BN secures its position come next general election.

When old dictator Mahathir Mohamad declared his supposedly retirement many moons ago, everyone seems to be rejoicing. There was this famous radio DJ who was attached to a local Chinese radio station who was very popular because he used to advice listeners with marriage or relationship problems.

Almost everyone who called in listened to his advises as if it was Gospel of Truth. Over time, the arrogant radio DJ learnt his lesson after confronted by angry guys whose wife were ill-advised to divorce their partner. When this DJ ran a radio talk for peoples opinion about newly Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi taking over the throne, he openly declared Badawi was Chinese Justice Pao.

Badawi Justice Pao

Boy, when a listener called in to offer his piece of opinion – that leaders from UMNO are equally corrupt – this DJ whacked the poor caller left, right, center and whatnot. This DJ who was a master in marriage counselling suddenly found a newly God to worship. Amusingly, this same DJ was spotted attending Bersih 3.0 together with his wife, 10 years after he (almost) pledged his soul to Badawi.

If only this chap knew the God he worshipped was actually a Sleeping God, he would have been a little humble (*tongue-in-cheek*) and wise. Now, how successful is the marketing ploy – 1Malaysia – in brainwashing the Chinese voters?

Couple of months ago during a radio talk, some Chinese listeners offered their cup of praises to Najib’s 1Malaysia. They were in love with 1Malaysia marketing strategy so much so that they actually sympatize with PM Najib’s noble sloganeering that attracted criticisms. They even asked the Chinese to give the 1Malaysia some time to prove its sincere intention.

And why do you think Mahathir commented that there should be nothing more the Chinese can ask from the government? Mahathir was sending signals (or rather threats) that the Chinese will be punished economically, if BN does not win the next general election handsomely. While the government’s scare tactic using racial riots doesn’t work, the economic scare tactic works flawlessly.

Mahathir - Chinese Voters

Last year, when I asked my Chinese friends to attend Bersih 3.0 together, just for the fun of it, most of them chickened out due to the possibility of getting arrested. This year, when I asked my same pool of Chinese friends to go for #KL112, they said if the opposition takes over, stock market will collapse, property market will tumbles, FDI will suddenly disappear, crimes will shoot up because the police will not care and tons of grandmother justifications.

So, are the Malaysian Chinese voters a bunch of cowards? Looks like it. Are the Malaysian Chinese voters a bunch of selfish and ignorant people? Absolutely. Are all the Malaysian Chinese voters hopeless? Fortunately not all of them. Will we ever see the same percentage of Chinese voters who voted for opposition in 2008 to vote in the same pattern again? Unfortunately they won’t.

And to think most of my Chinese friends are professionals with tertiary education yet to have such mentality is certainly alarming, at least to the opposition. No wonder BN warlords are still arrogant and still plundering the nation’s fortunes. With Chinese voters flocking back to BN’s arm, who cares if tomorrow’s demonstration can attract 100,000 or even 200,000 of same pool of die-hard opposition fans?

But if it can attracts 1,000,000 people, then it would be another different story. And we’ve not even talk about UMNO (or rather Mahathir) dirty tactics to stay in power even if the opposition wins with slim majority. But again, this article may be a reverse psychology attempt to provoke the Chinese, so go figure (*evil smile*).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Budget 2013 – What the Govt Doesn’t Want You to Know

There are good reasons why the opposition does not and should not reveal its shadow cabinet. It would be a suicidal mission to do so in a country like Malaysia whereby racial politics and race-based policies are part and parcel of present government which has been ruling since independence.

The moment the shadow cabinet is revealed, the government-owned media will spin till kingdom come to scare the heck out of rural voters. Hence, as expected, when the opposition presents their superior Shadow Budget, it wasn’t mentioned and compared in a fair manner by the media.

Whatever good idea proposed by the opposition will be rubbished as another way that could bankrupt the country – a lazy way by Najib regime’s propaganda machines in answering opposition propositions. By the same token, the prime minister should not whine when the alternate internet media criticises his recent budget which consists of nothing but Election Budget designed to buy votes out of taxpayers’ own money.

Considering BN government has successfully increased the nation’s federal total debt from less than RM200 billion in 2003 to an estimated RM502 billion in 2012, this is perhaps one of Mahathir’s greatest achievements – producing incompetent leaders who excel only in worshipping the dictator.

Budget 2013 - Federal Debt 2001 2012

Naturally, when Abdullah Badawi took over from Mahathir, the country was in auto-pilot mode while his administration spent as if they’re printing $US dollar notes. By the time Badawi booted from the office, the federal debt skyrocket to slightly more than RM300 billion in 2008. Well, if you think a sleepy prime minister was bad, wait till you hear what a transformation prime minister did in a short 4-year.

Najib Razak, whose favourite movie is none other than Michael Bay’s Transformers has leapfrog the nation to a new level – increases the debt to RM502 billion this year, the highest in history and reaching 54% of GDP. In short Najib doubled the debt in 4-year what Badawi managed to do in 8-year, an impressive milestone indeed (*grin*).

That’s just 1% (percentage) point before hitting the legislated debt ceiling of 55%. If this is not moving the country towards bankruptcy, I do not know what else is. While we’re waiting to see if the PM Najib will pooh-pooh the national debt as just paper debt, made famous by Mahathir while he was in office about paper loss due to forex gambling, let’s look at all the goodies and sweeteners before the coming general election:

Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M 2.0)

As expected PM Najib Razak put on Santa Claus costume again, dishing RM500 assistance money for a household earning less than RM3,000 – the second cash given since its first last year. The qualification criteria remains the same per previous time, so if you managed to pocket it last year you don’t have to queue or camp overnight as your particulars are already in the system. But if you’re new then you may register starting Nov 2012 (some say this month). The RM250 will be paid effective Jan 2013.

Budget 2013 - BR1M Cash
In addition, BR1M is extended for single unmarried individuals aged 21 and above with monthly income not more than RM2,000 but will only get RM250. It is estimated about RM3 billion is needed for this second round (first round already costs the taxpayers RM2.2 billion) of populist move, benefiting 4.3 million households and 2.7 million unmarried individuals.

RM200 Rebate for 3G Smartphone Purchase

Good news for young chaps – if you’re aged 21 to 30 years with monthly income of RM3,000 or below, you’re entitled to RM200 one-off rebate for purchase of one unit 3G smartphone (iPhone, Samsung, Blackberry, Nokia or HTC) from authorised dealers. The government is expected to spend about RM300 million on this incentive, a very small price to pay in its attempt to fish for ignorant young voters. However, the government has to precisely define the so-called “authorized dealers” otherwise every Tom, Dick and Rosmah can claim they’re the selected agents.

Budget 2013 - Smartphone Rebate
And how does the government ensure these youngsters can control their monthly spending on phone bills, now that they can connect to internet 24 hours per day? Obviously telecommunication companies such as Maxis, Celcom, DIGI and U-Mobile are grinning from ear to ear.

Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT)

Budget 2013 - Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT)
RPGT will be increased to 15% (from current 10%) for disposal of property within 2 years, 10% (from current 5%) for disposal within 2 to 5 years. After 5 years, it is not subject to RPGT. This is perhaps one of the propositions that attract the biggest yawn in this budget, so much so that you may be wondering if the person who proposed this was sleeping on the job.

Obviously speculators are still laughing their arse off at the budget since they’re already waiting for 2 to 3 years for their properties to be completed so that they can sell it. So how can this curb property speculation?

Personal Tax and Tax Relief

Individual income tax rate was proposed to be reduced by 1% (percentage) point for the first RM50,000 of chargeable income. This means if you earn RM50,000 or more annually, you would get to enjoy maximum tax saving of RM475. With this proposal, it also means 170,000 taxpayers do not have to pay income tax, with only about 1.7 million people pay tax from an estimated workforce of 12 million.

Budget 2013 - Personal Income Tax
Child tax relief to be increased from RM4,000 to RM6,000 per child for children aged 18 and above and receiving full-time tertiary education, effective from year of assessment 2013. Tax relief of RM3,000 for savings in the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) will be increased to RM6,000.

1.5 Month Bonus for Public Servants

Budget 2013 - Public Servant Bonus

Since this is an Election Budget, PM Najib was expected to lick 1.4 million public servants’ boots. Already known as the most generous Santa Claus prime minister ever, never mind that national debts is reaching a critical stage, bonus of one and a half month for public servants for year 2012 was proposed. Already, half month of bonus was paid during 2012 Hari Raya, hence the remaining one month will be paid in end Dec 2012 (50%) and in Jan 2013 (50%). This strengthened the speculation that PM Najib will only call for the next general election next year.

PTPTN Loan Discount

PTPTN has been a very sensitive and tricky issue ever since the opposition proposed free education. And since Najib administration is struggling to make ends meet, the prime minister is using the same tactic in traffic summon payments collection from traffic offenders. Thus those who are willing to pay full loan from 1st October 2012 until 30th September 2013, a discount of 20% will be given on their loan.

Budget 2013 - PTPTN Loan

For obedient borrowers whose repayment of PTPTN loan is in accordance to their repayment schedule, a 10% discount per annum on their repayment will be given effective from 1st Oct 2012.

My First Home Scheme and 50% Stamp Duty Exemption

Budget 2013 - My First Home Scheme Stamp Duty Exemption

My First Home Scheme income limit for individual loans to be raised from RM3,000 to RM5,000 per month, or in the case of joint loans of husband and wife of up to RM10,000 per month. 50% stamp duty exemption on sale and purchase agreements and loan agreements for purchase of the first residential property of up to RM400,000 (increased from RM350,000), be extended to 31 Dec 2014.

Other goodies

- Book voucher of RM250 for students.

- No increase in taxes for alcohol and tobacco.

- Malaysians with a monthly income of RM3,000 and below and who travel by KTM Komuter, will get 50% fare discount. Currently, only the disabled, retirees and students enjoy a 50% fare discount. This is really cool but I supposed people will start flashing their salary-slip every time they purchase their tickets at the station (*grin*).

- RM1,000 one-off payments for army veteran, RM200 per month for serving personnel and allowance increment for reserves corp. and Territorial Army to RM7.80 / hour. Actually PM Najib doesn’t really have to spend so much on this sector since the army are constantly brainwashed and forced to vote for the current regime, even if you announce a pay-cut. That’s how obedient they are.

- Passport fees for senior citizens and children aged 12 and below be reduced by 50% from RM300 to RM150 (5 years passport) and RM100 to RM80 (2 years passport), effectively from January 2013.

Budget 2013 - Reduce sugar subsidy

- Reduce sugar subsidy by 20 sen per kg from 29 Sept 2012. This means the cost of sugar is now RM2.50 and RM2.60 per kilogram for Peninsula and East Malaysia respectively. Consider this goodies if you’re a potential diabetes patient otherwise it’s another excuse to enhance fortunes of the new Sugar King, Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, a crony of former PM Mahathir.

You may not realize this but the indirect impact is equally serious, considering sugar is ingredient required in other food items such as bread, ice-cream, cereal, biscuits or cookies, juice, home-cook dishes and whatnot. Expect dearer Starbucks coffee and carbonated drinks.

The above goodies are indeed attractive and if this is not an Election Budget to buy votes, then PM Najib Razak is still a virgin. Since this is the last budget before the next general election, the prime minister put all his chips on the poker table hoping to win another term. Considering most Malaysians would kill each other just to get hold of a free Tupperware, the above short-term candies should return two-third majority to the current BN (Barisan Nasional) regime hands down. Thereafter, the government would go for the killing and the people would pay many times what they’re getting now.

But if there’s press freedom in this country, a published comparison between present government’s budget and opposition’s budget 2013 would put Najib administration in great danger. As a starting point, Najib’s 2013 budget continues to register another year of deficit, the 16th in a row since 1998. Now do you understand why we mentioned that this country’s economy has never return to its former glory after the 1997-1998 Asia Economic Crisis? While Najib presented a 4% deficit budget, opposition proposed a superior 3.5% deficit budget. You should take Najib’s 4% deficit figure with a pinch of salt though.

Budget 2013 - Where it Comes Where it Goes

Based on past records the current regime was notorious for its overspending habit. Last year alone, it overspent a whopping RM19.6 billion so you can sell your mother, wife and children and bet that the same government will do the same stunt again. The fact that the overall subsidy was set to drop 11.3% to RM37.6 billion in 2013 compares to RM42.3 billion in 2012 and yet the best beauty pageant they can put on stage is a 4% deficit, Najib’s team has been working really hard in trimming temporary fats every corner just to impress its audience, at least before the next general election early next year. Heck, Najib even cut its education budget by a whopping RM12 billion as compared to last year.

Budget 2013 - Government vs Opposition - Revenue, Expenditure, Deficit 

How the opposition can easily delivers 3.5% deficit with one eye closed whereas PM Najib struggles with only 4% deficit? Easy – the opposition took away figures from corruption, cartels’ cronyism, monopolies and whatnot from the budget figures. The present government is also tasting its own deficiency as a result of absorbing unemployable graduates into the public service – a mind-boggling RM202 billion for Operating Expenditure against RM49.7 billion only for  Development Expenditure, an unhealthy 4 to 1 ratio.

This means federal government’s estimated revenue in 2013 amounting to RM208.6 billion is just nice to pay for the RM202 billion operating cost only, not bad for a country with an estimated debt of RM502 billion by next year.

In the education sector, opposition proposes abolishment to the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN). While you can argue till the cows come home about the feasibility in wiping out PTPTN debts, the opposition has justified that it can be done although it’s not popular with ex-students who obediently paid their loans. Another interesting area that raises many eyebrows was the allocation of a whopping RM1.2 billion for pre-school education. The joke on the street – Najib’s biggest crony is none other than his “beautiful and intelligent” wife (*tongue-in-cheek*).

Budget 2013 - Rosmah Permata RM1 Billion Allocation

Permata Negara programme which is synonym with pre-school programme, a pet project of PM Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, was allocated RM100 million and RM111 million in 2010 and 2011 Budget respectively. Now that officially pre-school education is allocated RM1.2 billion, the past speculations that Permata had sucked up taxpayers money to the tune of RM2 billion prior actually carries weight.

The worst part was the fact that nobody knows how the money was being used. Does PM Najib’s wife project require such huge taxpayers’ money considering most of the pre-schools are fees-based and privately-owned?

While escalating housing prices remains one of the biggest issue of which neither Najib administration nor opposition can solve with their budgets, the opposition’s proposition to build 100,000 affordable homes with price range between RM130,000 to RM300,000 to be built by newly formed National Housing Board raises eyebrows.

Using Singapore’s Housing and Development Board successful model in solving its housing shortages, obviously opposition’s proposal should deserve some attention. Najib administration has been screaming about building thousands of affordable houses on every budget but the problem still persists. Perhaps the prime minister was not ready to take over the burden and prefers to let the private developers and speculators do as they wish.

Honda Civic BMW F30 Volkswagen Polo GTI After Excise Tax

The main battle - personal income – or how to put more money into peoples’ pocket has taken a new twist when BN cut income tax rates for taxable income up to RM50,000. Whether this is an acknowledgement of the present government about escalating cost of living or simply a first step towards introducing GST after general election next year is yet to be seen. Seriously, there’s not much Najib can do to increase peoples take home money except with one-off couple-of-hundreds thrown in to the cage. Obviously, opposition trumpeted again their proposed cheaper cars via excise duty reductions, toll abolishment, waiver of PTPTN, lower fuel and whatnot – all contributes to thousands of savings in the long run.

Overall, Najib’s proposition was slightly better than previous year’s budget but can’t compete with opposition’s budget. Of course, the prime minister made fun of opposition’s budget as populist but not worth what it was printed on. Really? If the prime minister was so dead serious about his superiority, he should gleefully accept opposition Anwar Ibrahim’s invitation for a “Budget Debate” to be live telecasted so that the rural and urban voters can see for themselves the opposition’s ridiculous and stupid budget. For all you know, the people may be so impressed and touched with Najib that they may decide to donate all the cash received to Najib’s administration, out of gratification.

Budget 2013 - Santa Claus Najib

PM Najib was so obssessed with being popular that he even copied what former US President Ronald Reagan said during Presidential debate in Oct. 28, 1980. On that day Reagan said “Ask yourself – Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was?”

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Abolish Car Excise Taxes – First Step Towards Dismantling Mahathirlogy

Basically consumers (yes, that’s you, dude) have been taken for a long ride since the introduction of former premier Mahathir’s pet project, Proton, not that it was a complete fault on the part of the dictator but rather on the stupidity of the consumers.

Right, it was your parents’ stupidity for voting the monster and his UMNO regime for the last 50-years so you shouldn’t get the blame. But if the same regime is returned to power again in the next general election, then you’re equally idiot, if you choose to cross the “X” next to the “dacing” symbol representing Barisan Nasional.

One of the reasons given in my article for holding on any new car purchases was the political reason. Today, opposition Pakatan Rakyat launches a new initiative in its bid to lure the young voters – abolishing excise duties on cars. It seems they do read blogs for new ideas (*including FinanceTwitter, tongue-in-cheek*) on how to swing fence-sitters.

This latest carrot will definitely send Najib administration into defensive mode and you can bet some money that the publicity-crazy prime minister will counter-offer in order to make himself looks good. To those who read our article and halted their intended purchase - congrats. To those who did not, we reserve this for another day - “We Told You Already What !!” (*grin*).

Abolish Duties and Taxes - Malaysia Motor Vehicles

The whole local automotive policy was a genius mechanism to suck people’s hard-earned money. Whether you’re buying a poor man’s Proton or a luxury BMW, you’re contributing to the government’s (read: UMNO) coffer to the tune of an estimated RM6 billion every year, thanks to the generous excise taxes. If there’s one project you should write for your PhD thesis, this is one of it – “Instilling National Pride while Milking Peoples’ Grapes to Dry”.

You may not know this but besides the mind-boggling excise taxes, the local automobile industry was also brilliantly designed so that the cronies are laid on top of the pyramid-like supply chain of spare parts. If you’ve been into MLM before, you’ll understand what I mean.

Now, there’re many ways to skin a cat. While Mahathirism has been very successful in skinning ignorant peoples’ wallet through privatization (to the cronies), it seems the grand plan has reaches its tipping point. Don’t make a mistake about it. The present government has not stopped skinning your hard-earned money.

On the contrary, the fear of losing the federal government only hastens their greediness. Putting the controversial Selangor water issue aside, the automotive industry saw prices of new model such as Toyota Camry and Honda Civic skyrocket without good justification. Heck, greediness knows no boundary – even an existing model was affected when Volkswagen Malaysia suddenly raised the price of both the 3-door and 5-door Polo GTI 1.4-TSI by a whopping RM34,000 a piece this month.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Price Hike

It was so bad that Volkswagen has to clarify on its Facebook that the price hike (or rather rip-off) was due to “authorities”. If the opposition is smart enough, it should re-strategize and propose more offerings on the table instead of screaming till foam at mouth about corruption. If you were to document every UMNO’s corruption, you can stack the files so high that it can make rounds of trips to the moon and back to planet earth. This latest sexy offering of slashing excise duties may not be as juicy as our proposal of giving away an AP (approved permit) to every citizen but it is good enough to raise millions of young voters eyebrows (and hopefully votes). This is one of the many ways to skin UMNO’s arrogance.

Sure, opposition via PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli may be testing water and toying with youngsters’ appetite with these latest goodies. They may not be serious after all about slashing the excise taxes in totality but even if they can reduce the present tax bracket of between 85% – 135% by half, that is good enough to cheers.

After all, what could you possibly lose with such proposition? This is hilarious but just when PM Najib thought he could buy your votes again with another round of BRIM RM500 cash in the pipeline before the coming general election, the opposition is dishing tens of thousands in saving for an affordable car.

ScientologyMahathirlogy - Proton

If the Church of Scientology makes money primarily by auditing which could run to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Doctrine of Mahathirlogy makes money by selling (obsolete) national car which run to tens of thousands of ringgit. And this is only Proton pet project, mind you.

The former prime minister may think his Mahathirlogy still works with his laughable threats of communists, terrorists, 13-May racial riots, police brutality and whatnot but if the opposition can pull more similar rabbit from its hat to help ease the burden of the people, the old dictator may decide to take the earliest flight out of the country before the next general election results is announced.

Actually there’re many other proposals which are dear to the average-Joes that can be used to send Najib administration to its kennel with tail between his legs but we’ll reserve that for another article. It’s time consumers dictate the prices of the basic necessity – an affordable safe car without costing an arm and a leg.

The fact that a Malaysian has to pay 5-year salary compares to their Facebook American friends’ 1-year salary to own the same car is simply outrages and insulting. And you can start doing that by not buying any car at all. That’s right, it’s all about basic supply and demand economy. When the cronies can’t make money in the automobile industry, they’ll panic and have no other choice but to lower their prices.

Honda Civic BMW F30 Volkswagen Polo GTI After Excise Tax

If a simple boycott of Mahathir crony’s Gardenia bread could send them screaming in pain, imagine the impact if everyone stop buying new car and make use of whatever left from their existing car.

Moving forward, you should know how to vote if you wish to be able to purchase Prevé 1.6 Premium CVT at RM44,000, Honda Civic at RM67,000 or F30 BMW 3-Series 320d at RM149,000. The choice is no brainer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FGVH IPO – What You Should Know Before Investing

Unlike the era of the 1990s, thanks largely to 1993′s Super Bull Run, you can’t expect to make easy money at IPOs tables nowadays. During the good old days, making 100% profits via IPO was a normal story. Heck, you would probably get laughed at for trumpeting 100% profits.

Even if you were very “Sui” (unlucky) for failure in getting even 1-lot (it was 1,000 shares then) in your IPO application, you still can make very handsome profits during the listing day. The fact that you just needed to call your remisier to (blindly) buy at whatever ask-price displayed on the screen and yet makes money shows how bullish the market was back then.

Today, you should make offering of “appreciation” to God, with fire-crackers and lion dance thrown in, if you can make even 10% profits on the listing day. OK, I was exaggerating but the fact that 3 out of 5 companies listed this year have lost between 4% and 20% of their market capitalisation value as at end-May, speaks volume about the risks of putting your hard-earned money in the local stock market during current challenging time. When everyone thought they could make a killing with Facebook Inc.’s (Nasdaq: FB, stock) IPO, the stock lost a whopping 29% from its IPO price of $38 a share as of yesterday’s closing.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH Prospectus

Come June 28, Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) will be listed on the Bursa Malaysia (Malaysia Stock Exchange) with a market capitalization of RM16.599 billion based on IPO indicator price of RM4.55 a share. There would be a mind-boggling 3,648 million shares floating in the market.

Actually FGVH is another animal and should perform differently compares to Facebook considering it is the third largest (by landbank) listed palm oil operator globally, if not for the fact that the company is tainted with truckloads of political elements attached to it.

For a start, the whole exercise of FGVH listing was rushed in as if a plague would be wiping out human civilization post-June listing date. When Isa Abdul, a person who was found guilty of money politic (a flowerish word for corruption) by its own party, UMNO, was made Felda Chairman, even though he wasn’t a KPF (Koperasi Permodalan Felda) member hence his membership was found to be “illegal” by the Malaysian Cooperative Societies Commission (MCCC), you can smell troubles miles away. It was simply an exercise to cash out from Felda by milking the ignorant 112,000 settlers’ tits to dry, before the coming general election.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH - Shares Allocation

Based on 1,208.9 million shares from shareholders and 980 million new shares offered to the public, the IPO will raise a combination of RM10 billion (based on retail offer price of RM4.55 a share). That’s a lot of money and anyone would not think twice about cashing out, not to mention such amount of money can buy hundreds of thousands of votes.

However there’s something fishy about the IPO exercise when KPF, which owns 51% of Felda Holdings Berhad currently had been left out in the exercise. It was a valid argument from opposition as to the reason of setting up a “mysterious trust fund” to channel 20% of dividend from the IPO. The fact that the trust fund wasn’t mentioned in the IPO prospectus could spook investors further.

Maybe that was the reason why some state governments was made to provide irrevokable undertakings to subscribe to FGVH’s IPO shares, should there be no takers. It’s both strange and weird that a 51% shareholder (KPF) which represent the 112,000 settlers are not represented in FGVH post-listing. Heck, technically, KPF does not even own anything in crown jewel Felda Holdings Berhad as the biggest shareholder would then be FGVH with its 40% stake. It seems the IPO was designed to sell off KPF’s 51% stake and park the RM10 billion under FGVH which includes the mysterious trust fund.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH - Milking Felda

State governments involved in irrevokable undertakings:
  • Pahang State Government – 5% (182,407,575 shares)
  • Sabah State Government – 5% (182,407,575 shares)
  • Terengganu State Government – 0.28% (10,000,000 shares)
  • Negeri Sembilan State Government – 0.16% (5,837,070 shares)
  • Perak State Government – 0.40% (14,957,421 shares)
Post-listing, Felda settlers would only own 2.5% of the enlarged share capital, and without KPF representative, it is as good as a toothless tiger, provided the settlers could raise money to subscribe to the pink (or whatever colour) forms in the first place. Judging from how Felda settlers jumping in joy after received RM15,000 each in so-called windfall as if the country has just crowned the FIFA World Cup Champion, most probably they thought they need not pay a single sen to gain shares via pink form.

The settlers may not realize it but the moment FGVH is listed, they have practically no say whatsoever as their lands are leased to FGVH for 99 years (lease begin from 1 Jan 2012).
Sure, based on the terms of the lease, FGVH must pay Felda RM248.5 million (or RM698.24 / hectare) annually together with a fixed percentage of FGVH’s plantations operating profit.

But when you compare this to Boustead REIT lease of RM3,500 / hectare, the settlers were made suckers for such a cheap leasing rate. Now you understand why Isa Samad was chosen as the person to rip off Felda Holdings. When you can underpay the idiots by a whopping 400% and yet they applause what you did, it simply means you’re as smart as Albert Einstein, if not better (*grin*). Based on 91,203,787.5 or 2.5% shares to be shared equally amongst 112,000 settlers, each of them will be getting 814 shares – great deal.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH IPO - Finance Data - RevenueFelda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH IPO - Finance Data - Profit Before TaxFelda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH IPO - Finance Data - EPS
Felda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH IPO - Plantation Maturity Profile

On paper, Felda Holdings via FGVH is a cash-cow waiting to be milked, with cool revenue and profits. However as a potential investor, you should realize that about 53% of its plantations is old (over 21 years) and needs to be replanted, which means high cost in expenditure. Using Greenfield development cost as benchmark whereby a hectare requires about RM15,000 to replant, 53% of 355,864 hectares will translates into RM2.8 billion on replanting cost alone, spread over 5-years.

And do we have to tell you that crude palm oil prices have crashed 18% since it hit a 13 month high in April this year due to declining demand from China and India? Yes, it seems China and India’s economies are slowing down and that spells trouble for palm oil players who depends heavily on these two giants. The Eurozone debt crisis doesn’t help the situation either. Already the crude palm oil prices is expected to tumble to RM2,700 per ton in 2012, if we’re lucky.

There’s also competitor next door – Indonesia – who just adjusted their palm oil export tax structure which gave Indonesia refiners bargaining power when procuring crude palm oil as well as lower export tax (yeah, they play dirty so what!).

Felda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH - CPO Prices

Plantation companies in Malaysia also rely heavily on foreign workers, primarily from Indonesia. With this controversial FGVH IPO, you also learn the reason why foreigners are the kingmakers in this country so much so that the present government was caught rushing in granting them citizenship – not only these foreigners can be used to deliver crucial votes in the coming general election but also as cheap labour working at plantation sector. Can you imagine what will happen to the stock price if 84% of FGVH’s current foreign estate workers totalling 25,000 were to take to the street asking for better pay and benefits?

Now, should you try your luck on this IPO? Well, if you look at the players interested in the stock especially people like Chua Ma Yu, you may want to jump in as it is no-brainer. However you have no idea how fast this legendary investor can unload his chunk of shares on the listing day.

FGVH will have huge floating shares so you should get ready for huge selling, just like what happened to Facebook, but in FGVH case it’s primarily due to political concern. If you’re not comfortable with the way FGVH is being listed, don’t bother because chances are you could get the stock cheaper post-listing, the same way Facebook stock price is suffering now.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings FGVH - Isa Samad

Investors also do not fancy hanky-panky, what more with this hidden 20% trust fund. If the government chose to play God by bulldozing majority shareholder KPF (51%) to extinction, what warranty do new investors have that they would not be short changed considering they’re just minor shareholders?

Many fund managers are bullish with Buy (silly, how can they recommend Sell instead?) and suggested target price of RM5.65, a price earning of 16 times Financial Year 2012′s EPS of 35.3 sen. Hence, just like Facebook, you can still make some pocket money, provided you can dispose it fast enough on the day of listing.

Don’t fall in love with the company. Sell it to realize the profit and wait for the major sell-off. There’s no harm waiting for the price to fluctuate and buy again at below IPO price, even though you’re a long term investor. If Najib administration needs more money for the general election, chances are the selling pressure will intensify further. And if this is the last rip-off from the present government to leave coffer dry, you’ve even more reason to follow the market maker and sell like crazy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Hidden Messages That You May Not Know

It’s been two weeks since the stunning 250,000 people brave the burning sun demanding for clean elections during Bersih 3.0 rally. Interestingly the topic is still selling like hot potatoes. Actually the rally is still hot news simply because both government and opposition wouldn’t want it to die a natural death. Understandably both sides are fighting tooth and nail as it would deliver the precious votes come the next general election. The aftermath of Bersih 3.0 is perhaps the last and biggest propaganda tool before election so whoever can manipulate it to the best will benefits the most.

Sometimes you got to wait for the dust to settle before the actual plot emerges. So if you care to see, read, listen and think over the last two weeks, you should be able to put all the puzzle pieces together. It’s become clearer why this version of Bersih was not as peaceful as previous version 1.0 and 2.0.

I’ve wrote before the Bersih 3.0 rally how some UMNO insiders were (plotting and) hoping for a chaos rally (read here). So far it didn’t disappoint and the story goes according to the script. Yes, you don’t have to go extra miles by consulting fortune tellers or look to the stars to get answers as to who were the script writer and producer of this classic peaceful turned violence film.

Arab Spring Mahathir Najib

There was this theory that PM Najib was scared shit that Bersih 3.0 would be the springboard for a “Malaysia Spring”, ala Arab Spring. But Malaysia is not Arab so that’s a truckload of bullshit. Malaysians simply cannot stomach a prolonged rally. Don’t believe me? Go and read this private conversation with PM Najib and President Obama (*grin*).

If Najib indeed was imagining himself as if he was on ecstasy and couldn’t think straight, and in the process ordered the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters, then he’s just months or weeks away from being the shortest serving prime minister of Malaysia. He deserves it.

Now, let’s see who spoke like a “Commander in Chief” right after the rally. Former PM Mahathir said the rally was an attempt to topple the government. Almost immediately, PM Najib was seen parroting Mahathir, claiming the rally participants had intended to take over Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and make it like the Egypt’s infamous Tahrir Square. Those statements from dictator Mahathir and PM Najib were so silly that it makes even a bulldog laughing and giggling like a hyena. That’s a huge insult to the country’s Military Intelligence. Do you know that Malaysia’s Police and Military Intelligence are amongst the best in the world?

Bersih 3.0 Kuala Lumpur

You meant to say the intelligence report only discovered the attempt to overthrow the government at the eleventh hour of the rally, just before Anwar-Azmin tag-team was seen showing that infamous hand signs? Given the fact that Najib’s administration actually allowed the Bersih 3.0 rally to proceed initially but flip-flop and claim it was an attempt to overthrow the government post-rally only goes to show that Najib was so stupid that his predecessor Abdullah Badawi looks like Albert Einstein. Didn’t his cousin, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced Bersih 3.0 was not a security threat hence the permission to walk the streets?

Actually it doesn’t matter if opposition de-facto leader Anwar and his lieutenant Azmin hand gesture exchange was indeed a signal to breach the barricades. Even if both of them were strapped in baby strollers and made to suck on pacifiers, the violence would still happen. You don’t think those police violence started by planted agents were mere coincidence, do you? The most disturbing statement came later from Mahathir who told voters to vote PM Najib-led government so that it would be able to revive the draconian ISA (Internal Security Act). But the humour part came from none other than former IGP Hanif Omar.

Genting Lim Kok Thay and Hanif Omar

Just when you thought the former IGP for 20 years was enjoying his fruits by virtue of directorship in gambling heaven Genting Berhad, banking AMMB Holdings Berhad, AmBank (M) Berhad, AmIslamic Bank Berhad, AMFB Holdings Berhad and AmInvestment Bank Berhad, the low-profile Hanif Omar suddenly jumped and claimed pro-communist individuals involved in the 1970s demonstrations were seen in Bersih 3.0 rally. If Hanif Omar, who was the longest serving “budak suruhan” (boy-servant) famous for taking Mahathir’s order in cracking opposition during Operasi Lalang 1987, speaks in support of Mahathir, you can smell troubles miles away.

Interestingly, not one but three former IGP who served or used to serve Mahathir’s interest, came out in support about the laughable communist element in modern rally. You can bet every penny that the old man is damn serious about defending his own UMNO legacy by hook or by crook. If you’re still couldn’t figure out the plot, it’s all about denying opposition’s right to take over the federal government, in case the planted hundreds of thousands of foreigners designed to deliver votes in favour of present government couldn’t stop opposition from winning the next federal government. It was never about Malaysia Spring but rather a sore loser who couldn’t afford to handover a 52-year-old tainted administration peacefully to a new government.

Telecommunication Jamming in Progress

So don’t think for a second that the opposition PKR-DAP-PAS can form the next federal government even if they could somehow get the numbers to do so. The coming election results may be blacked out, telecommunication services will be jammed the same way it was done during the Bersih 3.0 rally, ballot counting rooms may lose power suddenly leading to chaos, losers from Barisan Nasional will be declared winners by the election commission despite objections, DDOS attacks intensifies, opposition candidates go MIA and whatnot.

Even if the above fails, the palace may be guarded by thousands of police (and army?) to prevent opposition from delivering their winning tickets to the King to form the next government.
Najib administration will emerge from the palace as the new government even if they don’t have the numbers. To hell with democracy and foreign criticisms – there’s no way Najib administration will handover the government simply because the stake is too high. And if the attempt to form government fails, the sore loser may declare emergency. 

Yes, going by how the exercise of creating havoc goes during Bersih 3.0 rally, it seems Mahathir is ready to take over control of the situation, if the election results are not in Barisan Nasional’s favour. He has done the crackdown before during” Operasi Lalang” 25 years ago and for the sake of his family dynasty, he would certainly do it again.

Mahathir Hanif Omar National Service

The only difference is – 25 years ago there was no internet and certainly no Facebook and Twitter. Hence, it’s hard to say if the old man’s plan will work the way it was planned in this new technology age. In fact, Mahathir can’t tell for sure if Najib administration can win the young voters’ heart after billions in free flow money was given away.

In a conventional warfare without social networking and internet, Mahathir can tell at the fingertips the number of seats he can win (via cheating). But a full-blown internet warfare is something he has not done before. And he’s not taking any risk hence the need for a rehearsal for a mini violent rally as seen during Bersih 3.0.

There’s also one variable which Mahathir needs to consider very carefully. Unlike the racial riots in 1969, any provocation for similar incident now involves multi-racial composition. It’s safe to say it will be PKR-DAP-PAS versus UMNO alone. Furthermore unlike 1969 where UMNO politicians were largely poor, most of UMNO politicians nowadays are super rich. Therefore the landscape is rather different should the old man decide to use brutal force to stay in power since the chain reactions are unimaginable and could backfire badly. Are UMNO warlords willing to put their wealth on the gambling table with regards to the expired old man’s method?

IGP Hanif Omar during ISA crackdown

Judging by how Hanif Omar was appointed by Najib administration as chairman of the six-member Independent Advisory Panel set up to probe the Bersih 3.0 rally in spite of the fact that the former IGP already prejudged the rally as having communist element, you can be sure that another crackdown is in the horizon. It was like asking Adolf Hitler to probe Gestapo’s brutal interrogation method. There’s another hidden objective behind police’s brutality on that burning hot Saturday’s rally that PM Najib didn’t know. If somehow the 250,000 genuine peaceful protesters turned violent, the old man’s plan works even better.

History repeats itself and national emergency could be declared with suspension of Parliament. A National Operations Council (NOC) could then be established and PM Najib could be asked to resign with deputy Muhyiddin tasked to head the NOC. With almost unlimited power, the NOC can basically do anything it wishes to. Sounds familiar? It was a brilliant plan which could be used to kill two birds with a stone – eliminate oppositions as well as enemy within UMNO itself. Hey, Mahathir is no ordinary politician and for him to survive 22-year rule fighting internal power struggles within UMNO, it speaks volume about his capability. He can squeeze Najib’s grapes anytime he wants and yet the prime minister can only smiles and says harder.

Bersih 3 - Straw Hat Man vs Police

One more thing – why did the old former prime minister suddenly made his move? On paper, it seems there’s no chance for opposition to win the federal government. Did the old man receive troubling reports that allies within UMNO are ready to jump ships after the coming general election? While the arrogant UMNO was trumpeting about supports from the public, could Anwar quietly seal some deals with unexpected enemies such as with Sarawak’s Chief Minister himself? Hmm, that would be another interesting story for another day (*grin*). As for now, I hope the oppositions are ready for any eventualities, and that includes denial to form government even if they have the numbers.