Friday, January 27, 2017

Mahathir cannot explain this away so easily

Salleh Said Keruak

The latest revelations regarding the BMF and Forex scandals have put Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a very awkward position. As much as he is attempting to explain away the issue and treat them as if they are not material, it invariably reveals his hypocrisy and doubled standards. This is the conclusion anyone would draw from his recent very defensive posting.

Without question the CIA report exposes Mahathir's responsibility in this mega-billion loss suffered by the country. And as usual Mahathir blames others except himself for this financial disaster. The BMF and Forex scandals makes Mahathir the last person in Malaysia qualified and credible enough to ask Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to step down from office citing 1MDB as the excuse.

While Mahathir refuses to accept responsibility for the BMF and Forex scandals, he is using the  1MDB issue as an excuse to topple the Prime Minister. The truth is 1MDB was sabotaged to turn it into a problem and it started with the sabotage of the IPO.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mahathir's ludicrous conspiracy theory

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the recently-released CIA report implicating him in the 1983 multi-billion BMF scandal is meant to demonise him. And the reason the CIA wants to demonise him, said Mahathir, is because he criticises the US.

If that is true why did the CIA wait 34 years to do this? They would have done it when he was still Prime Minister and not now when he is no longer important to the US.

Actually the BMF report is just two pages of 13 million pages that the CIA declassified and is purely coincidental. The CIA did not declassify just these two pages regarding the BMF issue alone.

Many countries declassify documents that are classified or under the Official Secrets Act after 25, 35, or more, years depending on the sensitivity of those documents. Some, of course, remain classified forever. But for Mahathir to suggest the CIA declassified 13 million pages of documents just so that they can leak two pages related to BMF aimed at demonising him is ludicrous.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Is Kit Siang the Opposition Leader or Shadow PM?

Salleh Said Keruak

Lim Kit Siang has challenged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to a debate. Maybe Kit Siang has forgotten he is just the Chairman of DAP. He is not even the leader of Pakatan Harapan so that does not put him at the same level as the Prime Minister, who is the Chairman of Barisan Nasional.

If Kit Siang is Pakatan Harapan's leader or the Shadow Prime Minister then this gives him some leverage to demand that Najib debate him.

Kit Siang must first take over as Pakatan Harapan's leader from Dr Wan Azizah Ismail and officially announce he is Pakatan's Shadow Prime Minister before challenging Najib to a debate.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mahathir's normal warped logic

Salleh Said Keruak

Today, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad replied to the interview by HRH the Sultan of Johor that was carried by The Star yesterday and, yet again, he uses his usual warped logic to reply to His Highness.

For example, Mahathir said he was using foreign news reports as his point of reference and since these reports have not been challenged or denied then they must be true. Using that same logic much has also been said about Mahathir which he also has not denied. And it was Mahathir who said not all foreign reports are true.

Mahathir then went on to explain the difference between acceptable and unacceptable FDI. Foreigners are welcome to invest in Malaysia as long as they do not benefit and only Malaysia benefits. Investors will only invest in any country if it benefits them, such as during Mahathir's time when he allowed them tax holidays and guaranteed them cheap labour. Investors are out to make profits and not to do charity work and Mahathir knows this.

Mahathir has his own ideas on how things should be done but a lot of those ideas are outdated and no longer work. Mahathir should brush up on his knowledge on how things are done nowadays and what the word globalisation means. The world is now  borderless and Mahathir needs to come to terms with this.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cyber-related laws reviewed holistically to promote Internet Economy

Salleh Said Keruak
Minister of Communication and MultiMedia

All cyber-related laws are being reviewed and looked at in a holistic manner towards developing the Internet Economy in Malaysia.

As our Prime Minister announced during the 2017 Budget speech, this year will be the year of the Internet Economy for Malaysia. In order for us to develop our Internet Economy, consumers must have trust in the networks.

In fact, Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 had been reviewed over the past 18 months with a view to improving the online environment. Some of the considerations made during the review is the need to develop interoperable and enabling platforms to increase the volume of digital transactions and harness data as a resource. Such platforms include payment systems, identity verification, cloud services and big data analytics.

The review also takes into account the need to improve security and build greater trust in existing networks as more transactions will attract more risks.

The review of the CMA 1998 has been completed and the proposed amendments will be tabled as soon as the review of other relevant laws is completed.

Initially, the amendments were supposed to have been tabled a year ago, however, with other legislation being reviewed and new laws to be introduced, particularly in the area of cyber security, the amendments to the CMA 1998 were put on hold so that everything could be approached collectively.

I am confident that this holistic approach and the proposed amendments to the CMA 1998 will facilitate a healthy online environment and help to promote more digital transactions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

News can be fake or real, depending on what you choose to believe.

Salleh Said Keruak

I’ve said this before and I will say it again – verify before you vilify your source of news information. It is very unfortunate to know that many people still cling on to mistaken beliefs and theories that could even be decades old!

Fabricated news stories and irresponsible online news sources spread misinformation in order to mislead and/or make money when others click on the site or article. This makes fake news much more insidious than real news.

According to an analysis by BuzzFeed, a leading independent digital media company, hoaxes about the US politics were among the top-performing fake news content on Facebook in 2016. BuzzFeed News Media Editor, Craig Silverman said that twenty-three of the 50 top-performing fake news hoaxes found on Facebook, were focused on US politics.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addresses the proliferation of fake news on his Facebook account, “The bottom line is: we take misinformation seriously. Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information.”

In that same post, Zuckerberg shares how the Facebook community can help Facebook understand what is fake and what is not, as well as outlining some of the projects that are underway to minimize misinformation.

In using social media and other communication platforms, we need to be responsible users, so don’t be too quick to hit the Share, Forward or RT button without verifying the piece of news.

Monday, January 9, 2017

This is called globalisation

Salleh Said Keruak

UK car sales for 2016 achieved a record figure of 2.7 million cars sold. That is the best year ever for the UK motor industry.

Mini saw an increase in sales of 8.5%, Land Rover 19.47% and Jaguar 45.37%. The irony of this is that all these British brands are now foreign owned.

Even Volvo is doing much better since the Chinese took over the company whereas it was on the verge of closing down earlier.

This is the reality of the business world today. Sentiments and national pride must not get in the way of business decisions. Sometimes hard decisions need to be made for the business to remain viable.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Mahathir is stuck in the past

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's remarks show that he is still thinking 'old school' and does not realise that the world has changed since the time he was Malaysia's Prime Minister 14 years ago.

Since the 1990's China, which was a sleeping giant for hundreds of years, suddenly woke up and once awake there was nothing that could stop them.

It is futile trying to resist China's great march forward just like it was futile to resist Western colonisation 500 years ago. China is on the move and no one can stop them .

All over the world China is investing, going into partnership, and is buying up assets like never before in history. This is a phenomena countries like Malaysia need to accept or else get left behind and perish.

We have been warned that while globalisation does have its good side it also means the creation of a bordeless world and the end of protectionism. You cannot expect FDI or money to flow into your country and yet not be prepared to relinquish control of certain assets.

This is the reality of the 'new world' and Mahathir needs to wake up to this. The other alternative is to adopt a closed-door policy and move backwards and remain poor.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mahathir needs to be consistent

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest blog posting shows his inconsistency and his lack of understanding regarding the meaning of FDI. He also does not understand sovereignty.

'Foreign land' refers to sovereignty. The UK, in particular in London, is probably a good example where a lot of property is owned by foreigners. But the UK still has sovereignty over all that property. Only in cases of foreign embassies does it differ.

If foreigners are allowed to purchase land in Malaysia that enhances the value of the property. That does not give the foreigners sovereignty over the land they bought. They are still on Malaysian soil.

Attracting FDI comes in many forms. It could be manufacturing plants, trading companies, property investments, resorts, clubs, etc. All attract FDIs. Mahathir somehow has the notion that FDI only means factories. Even golf courses set up by foreigners attract FDIs.

Many foreigners in any country in the world would certainly change the social structure of any country. That is why more than 50% of British voted in favour of Brexit. But what does Mahathir mean  by major impact on the political landscape of the nation in future? Can he be specific? What exactly is he referring to? Is he talking about Malay political power?

Mahathir is the one who is saying that Umno must be defeated in the next general election. Now he says the opposite. So which one does Mahathir want? Mahathir wants to change the political landscape of Malaysia and then grumbles about the possibility that foreigners will change the political landscape.