Jan 17, 2009

PAS wins Kuala Terengganu seat

The Election Commission's returning officer announced that PAS has won Kuala Terengganu. PAS vice-president Ahmad Awang: "The win shows that Pakatan Rakyat is aviable coalition... This win is not just for PAS but for Pakatan Rakyat."

KUALA TERENGGANU: PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut has been declared the winner of the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat by-election by the Election Commission.

Wahid polled 32,883 votes to Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh who garnered 30,252 votes for a majority 2,631 win

Independent candidate Azharuddin Mamat received 193 votes while there were 665 spoilt votes.

A total of 63,993 of the 80,229 voters cast their votes in the by-election.

With the victory, the Opposition now has 82 seats in Parliament. Barisan has 137 seats and the remaining three seats are held by independents.

Jan 14, 2009

Tun Mahathir : Send aid by ship to Palestinians

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Government can team up with other nations to immediately send a ship laden with food and medical aid to help the suffering Palestinians in Gaza.

PETALING JAYA: The Government can team up with other nations to immediately send a ship laden with food and medical aid to help the suffering Palestinians in Gaza, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former prime minister said international water law stipulated that an unarmed ship could not be sunk and this would be the best route for the aid to reach the Gaza strip.

“Sending food via organisations such as Mercy (Malaysia) is a good effort but (the) scale is not sufficient.

“There is a need for the world to show sensitivity. If Malaysia truly symphathises (with the Palestinians), it should initiate the action,” he told reporters after giving a lecture on ‘Global Peace’ at Taylor’s University College in Subang Jaya yesterday.

He added the sea route was the best because aid could not travel by land as neighbouring countries such as Egypt and Jordan would not allow supplies to pass through.

Jan 8, 2009

PM : Tun Mahathir is 'irrelevant' in KT campaign

Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi finally called his trenchant critic Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad irrelevant in the recent Kuala Terengganu by-election campaign. Recently Tun Mahathir Mohamad expressed disappointment with the selection of Wan Ahmad Farid as the Barisan Nasional candidate in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 8 - Just two months before leaving office, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi finally called his trenchant critic Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad irrelevant as he defended his choice of candidate for the crucial Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Dr Mahathir, who has repudiated his anointed successor Abdullah, had called the Barisan Nasional's candidate Datuk Wan Farid Salleh as a bad choice and a proxy of the prime minister, who hit the campaign trail today.

"Dr Mahathir can say anything he wants. He is irrelevant to us. We know what we are doing and we know what we want, we will continue to fight to defend the seat," Abdullah said after meeting party workers involved in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

The by-election, which is probably Abdullah's last election campaign as the Prime Minister, is widely seen as a referendum on Datuk Seri Najib Razak's leadership who is slated to succeed him in March.

But the selection of Wan Farid, who was his former political secretary, as the BN candidate is a reflection that Abdullah is still very much in control of Umno, the dominant party in the ruling coalition.

Earlier at the closed door meeting, the Prime Minister said he reminded party members that Wan Farid, a senator who was appointed deputy minister after the last general election, is a serious candidate for BN.

"I have told him that if you do not win, you will lose your senate seat and lose the deputy minister's position and you cannot come back to me to be my political secretary," Abdullah told reporters adding that Wan Farid was willing to risk his political career.

"When I first informed him, he replied that he is willing to be the BN' candidate in Kuala Terengganu because he wants to serve the people in the constituency as he is also the division chief," he added.

He also reiterated that only Wan Farid's name was proposed by the state Umno, which proved that there was no internal bickering within the party.

The Umno president also reminded the party campaign machinery to remain stay focused on the by-election and not to be distracted by the party elections scheduled for March.

Abdullah also said BN component parties remain committed in ensuring Wan Farid's victory on the Jan 17 polling day.

Jan 6, 2009

Tun Mahathir : How many airports do we need?

According to Tun Mahathir, the voices he hears concerns the possible construction of a new airport in the country.

"We have three airports in and around the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. One in Sungai Besi, one in Subang and one in Sepang. Sepang was designed for 125 million passengers a year. It can have two terminals, four satellites and five runways," he said

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 - Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed today added to concerns over the proposed low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Labu, Negeri Sembilan, insisting that the capacity at existing airports is sufficient.

"We have three airports in and around the capital city Kuala Lumpur, one in Sungai Besi, one in Subang and one in Sepang. Sepang was designed for 125 million passengers a year," he said referring to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Writing in his blog, Dr Mahathir alluded to the idea that news of a new LCCT less than two years after the one at KLIA was opened, was sheer madness by referring to "voices" he had been hearing.

"Right now the voices tell me we are handling only 25 million passengers. So we have capacity for another 100 million passengers more. But the voices said we will be building a new airport at Labu," he stated.

"After thinking up about raising buffalos in Langkawi, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must be congratulated for yet another great idea," he added to mock his successor.

He was referring to Buffalo Park Langkawi, said to be the current prime minister's brainchild.

The government yesterday gave government-linked company (GLC) Sime Darby the go ahead to develop the LCCT.

Sime Darby and local budget airline AirAsia Bhd had proposed to jointly develop and operate the RM1.6 billion LCCT which will be known as KLIA-East@Labu although this estimate does not include the 3,000-acre tract of land where it would be constructed.

Dr Mahathir sarcastically remarked that "the building of the airport should stimulate the economy. Somebody can make quite a bit selling land.

A GLC will get the job and contract it out to some lucky bloke. There will be a whole lot of other contracts to look forward to. It could even help with the coming recession."

Malaysia's fourth prime minister, whose 22 year administration saw vast development in the country, also made jibes at the location of the project.

Referring to the constant "free flights" promotion by AirAsia and the cost of getting to the airport, he said that "the distance to Kuala Lumpur would be longer but of course it would be nearer than Seremban and other parts in Negri Sembilan. But that's all right as you don't pay any fare for the flights, only for the fares to the airport."

"Maybe the Government can enlighten us why Sepang or even Subang is not suitable. Has the Sepang Formula One circuit taken up all the land so we cannot build any more facility in Sepang?" he said.

Jan 5, 2009

Tun Mahathir : Wan Farid a proxy for Pak Lah

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed disappointment with the selection of Wan Ahmad Farid as the Barisan Nasional candidate in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Wan Ahmad will contest the parliamentary seat that had been held by deputy education minister Razali Ismail up to his death on Nov 28 last year.


PUTRAJAYA, Jan 5 – Dr. Mahathir may have jeopardised Barisan Nasional's (BN) chances in the crucial Kuala Terengganu by-election when he said that the ruling coalition's candidate, Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, is a bad choice and merely a proxy.

“The choice of the candidate is really very bad because people see him as a proxy to be used if Najib becomes prime minister,” the former prime minister said.

This condemnation of the BN candidate is seen as another swipe at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“The candidate was the prime minister's choice because he was working with the prime minister,” he added.

Wan Ahmad, the former deputy home minister and member of the senate, who resigned both posts last Friday, will contest against Wakaf Mempelam state assemblyman Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut of PAS.

Even without Dr Mahathir's remarks, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was expected to use his close links with Abdullah to attack him in the campaign.

This latest bombshell by Dr Mahathir could lead to a repeat of the March 8 general elections where his attacks on the government and calls for a stronger opposition were credited with helping the opposition to their biggest electoral gains ever.

Dr Mahathir's attacks were widely perceived to be personal in nature, and a calculated strategy to force his successor from power.

The prime minister became a focus of Dr Mahathir's attacks when he was blamed for the reversal of several of Dr Mahathir's pet projects including the crooked bridge to Singapore and the decision by Proton to offload Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta for one euro.

Dr Mahathir, who is Proton's advisor, had supported Proton's purchase of MV Agusta and was bitterly opposed to its sale.

In the Permatang Pauh by-election last August, Dr Mahathir had predicted that the BN candidate Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah would lose but with a reduced margin.

Tun Mahathir: Boycott the United States


(Malaysiakini) Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today called for a global boycott of the US dollar and US-made products, including Coca-Cola, in protest over Washington's backing of Israel.

Mahathir, who during his two decades in power was a leading voice in the Muslim world, said people had to take action against the United States over its support for Israel, which is conducting a military offensive in Gaza.

"If you stop accepting US currency, the US can't trade and can't make any money, it will become very poor and it will have to stop the production of more and more weapons in order to kill people," he told a press conference.

"People will not die if they don't drink Coca-Cola," said the ex-premier.

"If the people don't want to drink Coca-Cola, governments cannot force the people to drink Coco-Cola," he added.

And since governments are scared to act against the US, Mahathir urged the people instead to take action in boycotting the powerful nation.

Mahathir, who is also the chairperson of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War, also added that Malaysia should stop purchasing weaponry from the United States.

"We can buy weapons from the Russian's as an alternative, like the MiGs and Sukhoi (fighter jets)," he said.

Asked on the repercussions of boycotting US-based products, Mahathir said that with every action "there is a price that we must pay but if we keep quiet on these things, matters are only going to get worse".

"We hoped that the World War II would have put an end to wars... but today's wars cannot be justified and it is not an option to settle disputes between nations".

These wars regard the whole country as a battlefield and innocent people are being killed as a result, he lamented.

"We must not allow ourselves to be cowed. Even if we do little things, I think we can achieve quite a lot," he said.

"It is strange that this country (US) which is suppose to be fighting against the Nazi to relieve the world of oppression, is now the country that is oppressing the world," he added.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi this morning announced that Malaysia would be extending humanitarian efforts of US$1 million to aid the Palestinian people.

Abdullah had also called for ceasefire and assured that Malaysia's representative to the UN would raise the issue with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of developing nations and the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).