Please Send Me Stuff

If you have articles, information, thoughts you want to share just send it to me at ali.syedakbar@gmail.com. Please keep your articles brief, not more than 1000 words or just use bullet points. If you have pictures to go with the articles, that is even better. Towards an excellent Malaysia.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tongues of fire and sacred mysteries - The Economist

I have readers who read my Blog 24/7 and sms me as soon as they read something new. Thank you. 

There are others who recall things I wrote years ago, including Mr Mooptee. He he. 

Yet others have profiled me quite exactly and have taken it upon themselves to send me many articles, views and thoughts which tally quite closely with what I believe. Thank you too. Some of my posts are from these folks. 

Here is an article sent to me by a good doctor, taken from The Economist:


May 20th 2015

ANOTHER linguistically interesting holiday is upon us: Pentecost, from the Greek for the “50th [day]” since Easter. The other Germanic languages tend to call it something like the German Pfingsten, which is just pentekoste plus a thousand years of sound change. 

In Britain, it is Whitsun or Whitsunday, a derivative of “White Sunday”, which itself has several competing explanations.

There is more to Pentecost than just its etymology, though. The holiday highlights the very different attitudes of the major world religions towards language. On Pentecost, according to the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus’s followers

"...
saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

Christianity is a translating religion. Jesus preached in Aramaic, but in Roman Palestine, the language of prestige and commerce was Greek (not Latin, a flub made by Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ”). As a result, just a few of Jesus’s Aramaic words make it into the Gospels; the rest of his teachings were translated to convert the widest possible audience, in Greek. 

Non-canonical gospels were also written in languages like Syriac and Coptic. It does not seem to have bothered early Christians much that anything critical would get lost in translation.

After the western Church moved to Rome, it translated once more, then froze that translating tradition in place: a Latin Bible and liturgy would prevail for more than a thousand years, with the Council of Trent in 1546 even declaring St Jerome’s fifth-century Vulgate translation of the Bible into Latin official: “no one is to dare or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever.” 

But the church had split; eastern Orthodox churches went on using Greek and added Church Slavonic. And the Reformation, with its emphasis on a direct relationship to God and the scripture, would bring more translation into the picture: Martin Luther’s German version of the Bible became the Ur-text of modern High German, and the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible in English would be the most important book in the history of the language. 

Christian missionaries remain busy translating the Bible into the world’s smallest languages, the better to convert their speakers.

Buddhism is also a translated religion. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha himself, spoke an unknown northern Indian vernacular, but the oldest surviving Buddhist texts are in Pali, a related language that may have been a regional lingua franca.

Many Buddhists, especially of the Theravada tradition prevalent in South-East Asia, still study Pali in order to read the oldest written words of Buddhism. But the religion made its way into India’s prestige language of Sanskrit, too. Sanskrit became the main vehicle of Mahayana Buddhism's northerly path to China, Japan, Korea and elsewhere. 

Sanskrit and Chinese are unrelated, and about as different as it is possible to be; Sanskrit is highly inflected (with long words and complex endings with explicit meaning) while classical Chinese is highly isolating (overwhelmingly one-syllable words, with much left to context and shared knowledge). The translation process, including even the borrowing of Taoist terms (like wu wei, "non-action", for nirvana), contributed to a distinctly East Asian Buddhism.

Being a “translating” religion is not the only way to go: some religions are stubbornly originalist in things linguistic. Hebrew has united the Jewish community for almost 3,000 years. 

By Jesus’s time, the spoken language of most Jews had become Aramaic, but Hebrew was still the language of sacred literature and prayer. It would remain so long after the Jews were scattered after the destruction of the second temple. 

Even after Hebrew’s revival in Israel, a majority of the world’s Jews are not native speakers of Hebrew—but they must show their ability to read a Torah passage aloud in Hebrew in the bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, a ceremony welcoming them to adulthood in the community.

The other big Abrahamic religion shares Judaism’s linguistic originalism: Muslims believe that Allah revealed the Koran to Muhammad directly, in Arabic, and the Koran itself is repeatedly explicit about the importance of the language:

Had we sent this Koran in a language other than Arabic, they would have said: "Why are not its verses explained in detail? What! A book not in Arabic and its messenger an Arab?”

The context indicates that Arabic was intended for the conversion of the Arabs themselves. But Arabic would accompany Islam’s spread far beyond the Arab world. Muhammad’s conquests Arabised huge swathes of the Middle East and North Africa, but even where the language did not take root as a native language, the importance of the Arabic Koran remains. 

A hafiz is revered for memorising the entire text. Translation is allowed for the purposes of aiding the believer, but the original text is the only authoritative one. This is an improbable success for Arabic: more than 80% of believers are today native speakers of another language.

Muslims like to say that Arabic contributes to a single community of believers, even though actual Muslim practice varies quite a lot from place to place. Meanwhile, many Christians also feel part of a single church, despite the linguistic diversity. 

The decision to translate does not seem crucial to the spread, the unity or the endurance of a faith. Plenty of people prefer faith in their own languages, but just as many others seem to prefer their religious life kept at one remove from the daily humdrum, sacred mysteries all the more mysterious for being in a foreign tongue.

The Curse Of The Pandas

In 1972, China gave pandas to President Richard Nixon. 2 years later he stepped down after the Watergate scandal.

In 1974, China gave pandas to British PM Edward Heath. One year later he was forced to resign.

In 1971, China gave pandas to Japanese PM Tanaka. In 1974, he was forced to resign for taking bribes.

In 1976, China gave pandas to Holland. In that same year, Holland's Prince Bernhard was stripped of his royal title for accepting bribes.

Welcome Fu Wa & Feng Yi to Malaysia!. All Malaysia is pinning great hopes on you.



Friday, May 22, 2015

1MDB : Khazanah & TNB Boards - Do Not Commit Treason, Do Not Forget Your Fiduciary Responsibilities

Just about two weeks ago I received some information that Najib's team had come up with another hare brained idea to recoup the RM42 billion that has been lost by 1MDB. 

Yes folks, the whole RM42 billion is gone and I doubt we can get any of it back. Even those power stations are over valued and over priced.

And may I make a suggestion to the Members of Parliament who are interested in this 1MDB - please ask some questions about those desalination plants which 1MDB has bought. 
  • Where are they located?
  • How many of them?
  • What is the name of those desalination plants?
  • How much money was paid for them?
  • Are they functioning?
  • Do they really exist?
I think they are fake. I dont think those desalination plants exist.  Please raise this issue in Parliament.

Back to the sms, the sender said that the gomen will be asking the GLCs to fork out cash to save 1MDB. This was just before that Tabung Haji fiasco was exposed.

Now the news is goin around that TNB will be forced to bailout 1MDB to the tune of RM16 Billion - to buy out those power plants. It has been reported on Online media that the Management of TNB is NOT agreeable to this suggestion. 

However  the Board of Directors of TNB sudah kena kau thim. And so has the BOD of Khazanah Nasional - the major shareholder of TNB.

(One long time skunk in this band of thieves has met Najib and offered to solve 1MDB's problems. I think this idea of TNB buying out the power plants is part of this idea.)  But the scary part is that they want to take TNB private first - delist the company - before doing this asset shuffling.

I am sure the skunk and insiders would have taken positions in TNB shares to make a killing. It costs money to 'go private' - Khazanah or TNB must buy up all the TNB shares from the market.

They want to take it private so that they do not have to justify or show any valuations to the SC how much they are paying for the power stations.

Why should TNB buy out 1MDB's power plants? They are old and outdated anyway. TNB can build their own brand new power plants. 

If TNB is planning to buy out 1MDB's power plants at above market prices, well the whole world knows that 1MDB is in deep shit. So TNB should offer a 'fire sale' price for 1MDB's power plants.  There is no need to even offer market price.

TNB has much experience in squeezing people. An IPP (Northern Utility Resources Sdn Bd)  where I was a Director  had built a 225 MW gas fired power plant in Kedah. That was Phase 1. The plan was to build another 225MW and the design allowed up to 1200MW.  

It cost us a billion Ringgit to build a super brand new 225MW power plant. I was closely involved in raising the money. In 2001 we were hit by the Asian Financial Crisis and the factories in Kulim closed down - greatly reducing the uptake of our power. 

We approached TNB to buy our surplus power - a very small amount of just over 100 MW. TNB offered us 5 sen per kw !! At a time when the market rates were in excess of 13 sen per kw. They were purposely squeezing us.

Then they changed their mind and offered to buy us out. They offered us RM25 Million for a plant that cost RM1.0 billion to build. Their offer was 40 times below our cost.  They could bully us because you cannot sell a power plant to anyone else (except maybe to 1MDB).

So here is my suggestion to TNB. If they are planning to buy 1MDB's power plants, then please make an offer that is 40 times below market price. 

So if 1MDB says the price is RM16 billion, do not offer them anything more than RM400 million.   (If TNB or Khazanah need some referencing look up your old files on Northern Utility Resources Sdn Bhd or NUR). 

It will be an act of fiduciary irresponsibility if TNB makes an offer that is higher than market price or even  higher than break up value (because 1MDB's plants are old plants, sudah habis shelf life).  You are NOT buying a brand new power plant.

Unfortunately the same crooks inhabit the system. 1MDB, Khazanah, gomen etc. Its all about I scratch your back, you scratch mine. 

There is plenty opportunity for insider trading as well. Maybe too late.  

The Malaysian public has already been robbed of RM42 Billion. That money is gone. I doubt there are any real desalination plants. Silap-silap water purifier saja kut. 

TNB is still majority owned by the Malaysian taxpayer through Khazanah. If they take it private, then TNB will be 100% owned by the taxpayer. If TNB pays 1MDB RM16 billion, RM15 Billion or even RM10 Billion for the power plants, then the Malayian taxpayer is being suckered TWICE.

Our money will be stolen TWICE.  The Malaysian public must understand this and do not allow this to happen.

Folks, here is the equation. 

Pinjam RM42 Billion. 
Shopping RM15 Billion. 
Habis mana pergi baki RM27 Billion?

And do the desalination plants really exist? Where are they? In which country are they located? Are they functioning?

Someone please do something.

War Of The Running Dogs : Puad Zarkashi Fumbles Big Time

That video of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin blasting the 1MDB fiasco has gone absolutely viral. The video is still new - taken on the 15th of this month.

One theory is the video was "leaked" to embarass Muhyiddin. A conspiracy to cause a rift between Muhyidin and Najib. I dont buy that. There were about 100 people in that video including Zahid Hamidi, Ahmad Maslan Bodoh, Menteri Besar Pahang Adnan Yaacob etc. Plus Pemuda and Wanita people. 

Surely Muhyiddin knew that whatever he said to a such a sizeable number of people would reach the outside world.   In other words, that video was designed to be leaked out.

In other words Muhyiddin was drawing the line in the sand. 

Well its open warfare now. And it has started off as the war of the running dogs. 

Puad Zarkashi, Naib's running dog has made a huge mistake by opening this new front in the war against Najib's critics. 

Before this Najib and morons only had to deal with the Social Media. Thats the blogs, Facebook, Tweets etc. Only one front to deal with. War against jungle snipers, sharpshooters, booby traps and sneak attacks.

Then Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed started criticising Najib. Dr Mahathir then opened a new front against Najib with cannons and artillery blazing away. 

Now Puad Zarkashi has made enemies of Muhyiddin and possibly a large part of Johor UMNO as well as UMNO in general. Muhyiddin has a sizeable support base in UMNO. His support base is also becoming larger.  Puad Zarkashi has opened a third front.

First here is the news about Puad
  • Puad Zarkashi slams 'lazy' Muhyiddin
  • criticised Muhyiddin for being "lazy" to check on schools nationwide
  • Puad said because Muhyiddin did not visit schools
  • officers on the ground did not bother to do so 
  • "everything look rosy from the top."
  • "Why didn't they visit? Because the Minister ..lazy to come down."
  • Puad said Govt spent billions on 1BestariNet but effectiveness unproven.
  • “Muhyiddin, Education Minister for two terms, should do something..” he said.
Brader Puad, you better listen to this joke/story. One day a guy went to the racetrack to bet on the horses  (judi lumba kuda). Lets say the guy was like you lah - senang cerita. 

As he went to place his bets (taruh duit) on his favorite horse, an angel appeared and told him, 'Dont bet your money on the horse. You will regret it'.

Then the devil or syaitan came. The syaitan said, 'Puad, dont listen to the angel. Listen to me. Go ahead and place your bet. You will win big money".

Guess what brader Puad, the dumb guy listened to the syaitan, bet his money on the horse, lost all his money and sat down and cried.

Then the angel appeared again. The angel said, 'Puad, didnt I tell you NOT to bet money on the devil's horse?  If you had listened to me you would have won bigger money because my horse won".  

The moral of the story is you should not bet or gamble. It is very reckless if you bet or gamble. However, if you have to gamble then make sure you pick a winning horse.

Here Puad Zarkashi has made two big mistakes. You should not have gambled. Why take so much risk? Secondly you have bet on the wrong horse. Yours is the losing horse. Najib is going down.

When Najib goes down, the PM will be Muhyiddin. Puad can become Chief Gardener in your house.  

People sometimes make big misakes in their carreers. Puad Zarkashi has just made his.

Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, "You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"

Well the news is Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing has joined as Najib's No. 4 advisor, to help Najib crawl out of the sh*t hole he has dug for himself.

Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, now joined the list of four more advisors to Najib - Datuk Seri Dr Abdullah Md Zin, Datuk Johari Baharum, Tan Sri Rais Yatim and Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. First here be the news :

Lim Kok Wing is Najib’s new PR strategist

BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Lim is now back to serve Najib in a charm offensive amid Dr Mahathir's incessant attacks. 


Lim Kok Wing Najib Razak's new public campaign coordinator in a charm offensive 

to shore up the prime minister's flagging popularity.

Lim has drawn up plans for Najib to go nationwide to gather support and listen to the complaints from the people.

Now, Lim has to run a fully political campaign for the embattled Najib against Dr Mahathir 


He also sits on the (MACC) consultation and corruption prevention panel.

Lim now joins the list of four official advisors to Najib - Dr Abdullah Md Zin, Datuk Johari Baharum, Tan Sri Rais Yatim and Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Apco Malaysia's Paul Stadlen, had also served in the prime minister's National Communications Team.

"To date, the government did not pay any salary to Paul Stadlen," Shahidan Kassim 


- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/lim-kok-wing-is-najibs-new-pr-strategist#sthash.yg57tL11.dpuf


My comments :  Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing sat on the same panel with me on the MACC (for four years). I have just a couple of points. This is a very bad time to be joining Najib. He is going down. 

The video of Muhyiddin Yassin tearing into the 1MDB scandal exposes senior UMNO leaders (representing four Divisions who were present) cheering, clapping and urging Muhyiddin on. You can see them laughing along. One fellow shouted 'Buang presiden'. Najib's can count his days. 

No amount of PR can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. That is a fact. There is another  more simple reason - thiev*ry. These folks have st*len. And the man has li*d - in Parliament.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pelingkup Najib : Muhyiddin Declares War


Muhyiddin : "Buang Board of Directors 1MDB, buang CEO, panggil Polis..!"