Badawi’s legacy in Medini Iskandar

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has unofficially resigned so to speak, but will only officially do so in March next year after his party polls.

The question is how well will his tenure be remembered?

Or has he left any good legacy for the country and people, at least so far? I wouldn’t want to mention deeply about this issue but all I can remember from his few years of popular-then-very-unpopular premiership was nothing more than his so-called “Economic Corridors”.

This week at a global real estate event in Dubai, Iskandar Malaysia – one of Mr Badawi’s brainchild corridor project has revealed an ambitious multi-billion dollar development in the Iskandar region of Johor, the southern state neighbouring Singapore.

Medini - Iskandars Financial District

Medini - Iskandar's Financial District

It is called Medini Iskandar (City) or simply known as Iskandar Financial District, which is to be developed by a consortium of investors mainly from the Middle East. (It was also announced that the Iskandar region would have at least three world-class theme parks.)

The unveiling of this urban-centric project came after the privately-funded Penang Global City Centre project in the northern economic region of Penang, another brainchild of the Prime Minister, was scrapped by the recently-elected Opposition government of Penang.

Medini Iskandar

Medini Iskandar

I’m here trying to be a little pessismistic on the prospect of Iskandar Malaysia, not really because it was a brainchild of an unpopular Prime Minister but more of the fact that our political uncertainty since March 2008 is taking its toll (or has had) by driving out the “forces” to other emerging economies, perhaps China and India.

The fact is Malaysia last year already had an “investment deficit” or negative flow of investments due to fund outflows exceeding the inflow of funds (such as FDI and tourism receipts?) into our country, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2008. What more can you say for this year.   

And then we have a record-breaking inflation rate then doesn’t seem to drop at all when crude oil prices already trade well below the $100 per barrel mark (consumer prices at pump have dropped a little). So I ponder why is our government putting enormous importance to mega-projects that no one cares at all than the welfare of the people who are suffering from a 27-year high inflation?      

It is even harder to believe the viability of this dream corridor amidst a very nasty financial crisis evolving in the developed world. The ongoing crisis in the US and Europe will certainly hit Malaysia’s export-oriented economy very very hard. And we all know this for sure.  

In the end, many corridor projects will just be Dreams, not until everything in the world including Malaysia gets better. Mr Badawi would certainly want his Iskandar Malaysia legacy to live on under the hands of his successor, that most of us already know.


News: RPK to be sent to Kamunting

NEWS – Sept 23

RPK sent to Kamunting…

1. Malaysia’s famed political blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin or better known as RPK was brought to ISA detention centre at Kamunting, near Taiping, Perak this morning. He’ll begin his detention there for up to 2 years.

2. Arrested since Sept 12, RPK will continue to be held without trial under Section 8(1) of the ISA, reporters were told by his lawyers who were at the High Court today to argue RPK’s habeas corpus application. RPK’s wife Marina and ex-ISA detainee-Seputeh MP Teresa Kok were spotted chatting with former de facto Law Minister Senator Zaid Ibrahim as they sat at the public gallery.

3. Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar confirmed signing RPK’s detention order yesterday after he was satisfied with the reasons given by the police for his detention. The detention was due to RPK’s articles that was deemed insulting to Islam which could arouse anger among Muslims.

4. Malaysian Chinese student-rapper Wee Meng Chee or better known as Namewee has been interogated by the police in Bukit Aman today. He is under probed under the Sedition Act.

5. PKR’s information chief, Tian Chua says that his PR alliance has held talks with the Government over the transition of power. Pak Lah has rebuffed this allegation almost immediately.  

6. MIC president Samy Vellu claimed that Pak Lah has agreed to consider releasing the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders that were detained under the ISA.

7. Malaysia’s 2008 ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International slipped further to 47 (from 43 last year out of 179 countries) out of 180 countries surveyed. Malaysia was ranked 2nd among ASEAN countries behind Singapore who was ranked 4th in the world.

8. The Malaysian Insider reported that nearly all (except two) of Umno’s state chiefs will support the Pak Lah – Najib Razak team for the top two positions in the party. Umno division meetings will begin on October 9 and Pak Lah needs at least 58 nominations out of 191 Umno divisions to qualify to contest the Presidency in December polls. 

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News: Teresa Kok released! (updated2)

NEWS – Sept 19:

1. (GMT+8) 1.30pm: Seputeh MP and Kinrara Adun, Teresa Kok released from ISA detention (at last). Will give a press conference in 2 hours time at DAP headquarters.

“She was released unconditionally.”  – Acting Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar

“What have I done to be arrested under the ISA?”  – Teresa Kok

“I have not been able to sleep in the last one week, and my high-blood pressure has gone up.” – Teresa’s father

“If you have proof, let the courts decide. There’s no use for this draconian law.” – PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub

2. The Star reported: The High Court here fixed next Friday to hear the habeas corpus application by RPK who is seeking his release from detention under the ISA.

3. Teresa to sue Utusan Malaysia and its columnist Zaini Hassan over articles accusing her which led to her ISA detention. Teresa will also sue the Government and former Selangor MB Khir Toyo. Malaysiakini reported: Utusan dares Kok to take lie detector test.

4. Bukit Gelugor MP and veteran Opposition leader Karpal Singh has filed an RM10mil suit against Utusan on another defamatory article. 

5. Further remand for blogger Kickdefella.

6. Guan Eng: Anwar is only a threat to BN.

7. Continued pressure on Anwar to reveal the ‘frogging’ MPs, while Pak Lah needs to get at least 58 of the 193 divisions to nominate him to defend his Umno presidency come October 9.  

8. Ong Ka Chuan backs Ong Tee Kiat for No.1 at MCA.

9. KLCI rallied in line with other regional stock markets, up 34 points at closing.


News: Next Tuesday is critical (updated2)

NEWS – Sept 18:

1. Anwar wants Parliament to meet by next Tuesday, Sept 23 in order to pass a vote of no confidence on Pak Lah. Anwar also did not discount the possibility of seeking an audience with the King.

2. Pak Lah: “There is no need to call for an emergency session of Parliament because the next session is soon anyway (after Hari Raya)”. Meanwhile, Anwar’s sodomy trial is set for the next day, Sept 24.

3. Pakatan to meet on next move as emergency call strongly rejected by Pak Lah.

4. Home Minister Syed Hamid says his Ministry is watching over Anwar before taking any action. Pak Lah says there was no suggestion to use the ISA on anyone.

5. Aliran expresses serious concern over ISA detainee, RPK’s deteriorating health.

6. Pak Lah said he officially informed the Umno Supreme Council about the portfolio change with his deputy Najib Tun Razak.

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News: SAPP pulls out from BN

NEWS – Sept 17:

1. The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has pulled out of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and will become an independent party.
– SAPP has 2 MPs and 4 State reps.
– 2 of the State reps disagreed with the pull-out and have quit SAPP, and perhaps rejoin another BN party later.

“SAPP hereby proudly disassociates ourselves from these shameful wrongdoings of the BN government. SAPP further believes that the BN is not capable of practising good governance and non-racial politics.”

2. Pak Lah is now the new Defence Minister while Najib takes over the Finance Minister post. With this, Najib was also appointed the new deputy chairman for Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

3. The swapping of portfolio is part of the Umno transition of power which is planned for 2010, but the transition could happen earlier than 2010 depending on the situation, and that it would not exceed that year.

4. ‘He (Anwar) has become a threat to the economy and possibly (national) security,’ warned Pak Lah.

5. Pak Lah says Anwar’s letter only mentioned national security, the leadership and problems on morality and politics and had not touched on the transfer of power to Pakatan Rakyat.

Malaysias administration centre, Putrajaya at night. Photo by split.second.

Malaysia's administration centre, Putrajaya at night. Photo by split.second.

6. ISA detainee Teresa Kok has lodged a police report against Malay-language newspaper Utusan, its columnist Zaini Hassan and former Selangor Chief Minister Khir Toyo.

7. Popular blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz (aka was arrested in Kota Baru before being taken to Kuala Lumpur by the police. His wife believes that he was arrested for sedition.

8. PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz is confident Anwar will succeed in his plan to take over the Federal Government.

9. The ACA has begun investigations into claims by BN MPs that they are being offered money by Pakatan Rakyat to cross-over.

10. Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Khir Toyo confirmed going for Umno Youth’s top post. The other candidate is Mukhriz mahathir, son of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed. 

11. Sex-scandalled former Health minister, Chua Soi Lek will contest the MCA deputy president’s post. This is a straight fight with Housing Minister Ong Ka Chuan, brother of the current MCA president. The presidential candidates this time are Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat and another former Health Minister Chua Jui Meng.

12. A Muslim NGO, Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM), has come out strongly to condemn the ISA detentions of Teresa Kok, Raja Petra and others. It has also questioned the detention of journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.

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CNN reports: Malaysia PM says he might resign before 2010 

Channelnewsasia / AFP: PM says may step down earlier

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News: Malaysia Day – 16 Sept


16 September 2008 – Malaysia Day

1. BN is still the Government of Malaysia as of now. But Anwar says today is the ‘beginning’ of a new hope.

2. It’s final. Zaid Ibrahim re-confirmed leaving his post as Law Minister.

“Although I thanked the PM for his suggestion that I go on leave instead, I am not tired. I’m just disappointed… I apologise to all Malaysians because of my weaknesses, I have failed.” – Zaid

3. Anwar Ibrahim says he has 31 BN MPs pledged to crossover in the next few days/weeks. The MPs include some members of the Cabinet. He is also seeking an audience with Pak Lah asap to discuss the ‘smooth transition’.

“The numbers are increasing by the hour, but as of now, it is in excess of 31 MPs.” – Anwar

3. Pak Lah refuted Anwar’s claims as a ‘political lie’. He said Anwar’s (Pakatan’s) letter sent to him yesterday was not about power transfer.

“Do you think he would ask for a meeting with me to discuss a transition? He (Anwar) would storm into my room with hundreds behind him, shouting victory. This is Anwar’s style.”

“There has been no letter sent to me regarding a power transfer. He sent a letter about general matters on the current situation in the country.” – Pak Lah

4. Pak Lah challenges Anwar to reveal his list publicly.

“If Anwar has the names, please show the whole country. Everyone wants to know.” – Pak Lah

5. Tengku Razaleigh, Pak Lah’s contender within Umno continues to mount pressure on Pak Lah to step down asap. He referred the transition plan as “undemocratic”.

“In such trying times, the country needed real leadership.” – Tengku Razaleigh 

6. The KLCI fell 19.21 points to close at 1,012.37 on political concerns and international issues. World markets slump as Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch say goodbye to their financial life. AIG and Citigroup were reportedly having big trouble too, while crude oil prices dip again to US$92 per barrel. 

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Sites with photos on yesterday’s Malaysia Day Rally at Kelana Jaya:

The Beautiful Face of Malaysia | Video: Anwar Ibrahim: “Malaysians are now Mature…” | …

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NST reported this headline: “No names. No list. No crossovers. Anwar fails to form next Government.”

Teresa Kok’s mom: “They treat Teresa like a dog.”

ChannelNewsAsia / AFP: “Defiant Malaysian PM rejects fresh opposition claim on power”

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Anwar: I have the numbers!

As midnight of Sept 16 approaches, Anwar proclaimed that HE HAS THE NUMBERS.

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Stay tune for more updates this evening.

Latest 2pm Sept 16:

1. Zaid confirms quiting. His decision is final.

2. Pak Lah and Najib brush aside takeover plans today. Pak Lah calls Anwar’s claim a blatant lie.

3. Raja Petra met with family members.

*** *** ***


Pakatan Rakyat may make an announcement tomorrow (Sept 16)

regarding the letter they sent to PM earlier today.

*** *** ***

Mass Gathering To Celebrate Malaysia Day

Mass Gathering To Celebrate Malaysia Day at Kelana Jaya Stadium

News reporting by Malaysiakini and picture by The Malaysian Insider:

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim told his supporters to have faith as a new government was in sight.

“Tonight on the eve of Malaysia day, we are ready to form the government tomorrow,” he said to loud cheers from the crowd.

He said that he had the required number of members of parliament to form the government.

He said that Pakatan Rakyat has submitted a letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today, seeking a meeting with him for a smooth transition.

“Tomorrow is the day we are ready to form the government. But the best time, I tell you, is when we meet the prime minister.

“A peaceful transition is paramount,” he added.

He was talking to more than 25,000 people who had started gathering at the Kelana Jaya stadium to celebrate Pakatan Rakyat’s Hari Malaysia celebration.Anwar began his speech at 10.15pm and is still giving his speech as this report is filed.

Anwar also emphasised the importance of Sabah and Sarawak to Malaysia.He also criticised the Barisan Nasional for pursuing its divide and rule agenda at the expense of the two east Malaysian states.

“This is the first time ever a celebration of this scale was being held to recognise that we are one, that Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia,” Anwar told the crowd.

He added that he would declare Sept 16 as a public holiday when he forms the government.

Anwar also slammed the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi-led government of practising racial politics, which he said led to the ISA arrests of three people.He urged the Malays not to be swayed by the BN policies.

“The Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) benefitted only the rich and elite Malays, not the rest,” he said.

Most of those in the crowd are there in the belief that PKR leader Anwar is to make an important announcement later tonight on the formation of a new government in time with his self-imposed deadline which expires tomorrow.

Earlier Anwar entered the venue at about 9.40pm to wild chants of ‘Reformasi!’ and ‘Merdeka’.

Organisers Pakatan are expecting a bigger turnout as the night continues with speeches from coalition leaders. Anwar will be the last speaker.

Many Pakatan leaders are already at the venue, most of them also believing that Anwar would be making an important announcement later tonight.

Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, when asked if there would be a surprise announcement today, merely said: “Wait for Anwar”.

Guan Eng and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang earlier arrived at the stadium to loud cheers at about 9.15pm.

Many people on the ground whom Malaysiakini spoke to also expressed confidence of an impending change.

“He may reveal the first batch of defectors and maybe on how they will approach the king.

“I think they will wrap it up and form a new government by the end of this month,” said retiree G Maniam.

‘I am surprised at how fast things are changing,” said another person at the stadium Anthony Tong.

The 52-year-old accountant from Cheras said that he will not be disappointed even if Anwar managed to make a change (of government) by the end of the year.


You can comment on the article at:

Blogger Anil Netto has the following: Live from Kelana Jaya Stadium

TheStar reports: Anwar: We have the numbers

Bernama reports: Forming Of New Government By Opposition Tuesday Ridiculous, Says PM

ChannelNewsAsia Singapore/AFP reports: Anwar says he can form govt, wants meeting with PM


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