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The Drums at Hulu Selangor last night 13 April 2010

April 14, 2010

A win for Zaid to boost Pakatan’s ranks in parliament
By Debra Chong

SERENDAH, April 14 – PKR has named Datuk Zaid Ibrahim as its choice for the April 25 by-election for Hulu Selangor in an effort to restore faith in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and maintain its voice in parliament after losing four lawmakers recently.

The opposition bloc’s unprecedented 82-seat win in Election 2008 broke Barisan Nasional’s (BN) traditional two-thirds stranglehold in the Dewan Rakyat, but is now barely holding that edge over the ruling coalition.

Public confidence in the PKR-PAS-DAP partnership plunged in the last two months after three PKR parliamentarians quit the party and another was sacked. The four are seen as allies to the ruling government, further dimming PR’s plans to takeover Putrajaya.

But Zaid may just be the pill Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim needs to boost public faith in PR once more.

Anwar admitted as much in his speech last night here, just before announcing PKR would be fielding the outspoken ex-law minister, to regain strength in Parliament.

“We want to show we are serious,” he stressed, in a bid to convince the crowd thronging the community hall here that the Kelantan-born was an excellent choice to become the “voice” of Hulu Selangor.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution noted that when choosing a leader, two qualities were needed: “One, must be elok (good); and two, must be pandai (intelligent).”

“Insya Allah (God willing), our candidate tonight will be both elok and pandai,” he quipped.

Fuziah Salleh, PKR’s Wanita chief and elections strategy chief pushed the alliance’s two-pronged campaign theme to a packed hall here last night — “Harapan Baru (New Hope)” and “Selamatkan Malaysia (Save Malaysia)”.

“Our victory here and our victory in Sibu will bring us closer to Putrajaya,” she cried, stirring the hall packed with PR supporters into a frenzy.

A lawyer-turned-politician, Zaid’s star has been rising ever since he quit his ministerial post in late 2008 to protest the ISA arrest of Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.

He was the Kota Bharu MP for one-term from 2004 but was dropped by Umno in Election 2008. He was then made a senator and appointed as de facto law minister by then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Zaid edged a few local-born aspirants in the race to be PKR’s candidate for the seat the party won by 198 votes in Election 2008 to end MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel’s 18-years as MP there.

The MIC has named Palanivel as their choice to regain the seat the size of Malacca but BN is also considering other names. The coalition will name their candidate on April 15, two days before nomination day.

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Other News:

Apco contract cost RM77 mil a year
// <![CDATA[//
Christine Chan and Hazlan Zakaria
Apr 13, 10
5:52pm

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz today revealed in Parliament that the contract signed between the government and the controversial communication consultant giant Apco Worldwide amounted to a whopping RM77 million.

azlanIn a written reply to Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) to his query on the fees paid to Apco, the amount provided by Nazri is more than twice what was earlier reported.

Chua referred to a newspaper report which quoted Nazri as saying that the amount paid to Apco was RM28 million.

“Convert this to ringgit and you will get almost RM77 million,” he said based on last year’s currency exchange rate.

“I don’t know whether he was mistaken or his conversion rate of ringgit to US dollars is different. Maybe he thinks that the Malaysian ringgit is still strong, almost on one to one with the dollar?”

Chua also expressed his disbelief that much money is being paid to a foreign contractor for a task which could have been performed by a local company.

He said that the RM77 million contract was for one year.

“Are Apco’s services so special that we need to pay so much? Why wasn’t a local company employed? I am sure there are local firms that can do the job.”

Nazri: Apco a bridge between Malaysia and US

Nazri (below) explained later today that Apco was hired to help strengthen ties between Malaysia and US.

parliament gobind singh ban over nazri mistake 251108 04He said that the government hired the company to not only improve the government’s image but also to “get close to the US”.

Speaking in his office in Parliament, he refuted Tian Chua’s claim that local firms could do the job.

“In US, there is the lobby culture. That is normal, every country who wants to be close to US has to resort to lobbying. You think a local company can do that for us?” he countered.

Nazri then said the Jewish Americans were the biggest lobbyists.

“So if we want to lobby for something in the US adminstration, do you think that we can succeed if we use an Islamic company?”

NONENazri went on to illustrate what made Apco worth the millions that the government paid for its services.

“Our prime minister is meeting Obama and some prominent US leaders. (Making it happen) is no easy task,” he said, adding that during his own trip to US in February he was able to see the people that he wanted.

Dictators use the best

Nazri also responded to the opposition’s call for the government to terminate contracts with Apco as they were also engaged by countries ruled by “dictators”.

“Dictators with money will only use the best,” he explained, adding that the same applied to the services of veteran opposition strongman Karpal Singh, a lawyer who had represented murderers and drug traffickers.
“If you are using Karpal’s legal service, it does not mean that you are also a murderer. It just means he is a good lawyer. Similarly we use Apco because it is good. So what is wrong with using Apco?”

Further, Nazri explained that it is time that Malaysia strengthened its ties with US now especially with the prime minister’s recent support for economic liberalisation.

“The government is making more effort to make up for the 28 years of “not so good” foreign policies under the reign of the two former prime ministers.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bei Suu Lan permalink
    April 14, 2010 11:02 AM

    To: All Malaysians with a One Good Heart,
    From: Ms Bei Suu Lan, NGO for Natives, KK, Sabah,
    Subject: Help the poor natives of Sabah,
    I came from Kedah to settle down in Sabah twenty years ago.I have seen with my own eyes the natives descending from prosperity to the living in the sewers.The politicians grew from rags to riches.The natives descend from a decent simple work status to living to the sewers.
    Why?Why?Why?
    It is because illegal immigrants has been given Real Residential Documents.They have been made real citizens.
    This enables them to compete and take away the jobs from all the local natives.
    I am in the hotel IT management line.I found that all my hotel clients employs immigrates with real documents.When they conduct job interviews they will just talk to the natives as a goodwill gesture.Then they will throw away the documents into some big box in the store.They will give all the jobs to illegals.I have seen it a million times.
    Look this is what is happening to the Sabah youths of today and the Sabah leaders of tomorrow. The future of Sabah has been sold to the foreigners by today’s politicians,

    Thursday February 25, 2010
    Scores of Sabah youths living like beggars in KL after losing jobs
    By MUGUNTAN VANAR and JOSHUA FOONG

    newsdesk@thestar.com.my
    KOTA KINABALU: They sleep along roadsides, parks or buildings and have to forage for leftover food.
    About 400 homeless Sabah youths are loitering around Jalan Masjid India, the Dayabumi Complex, Klang bus station and Bukit Nanas in Kuala Lumpur.
    Most of them come from the interiors of Sabah. One of the youths, Apai John from Tenom, said he had been without a job for four years.
    Their plight has been highlighted by the Catholic church and NGOs like the Kechara Soup Kitchen Society (KSK) and Street Fellowship.
    The NGOs claimed that the Sabahans roamed the streets and relied on free meals after they lost their jobs or were cheated by bogus employment agents.
    Bleak future: Some of the Sabahans seen loitering nearby Dayabumi Complex. Picture courtesy of Kechara Soup Kitchen Society.
    “Most of them are young – 16 to 25 years old – and are hoping to seek employment in the Klang Valley,” said KSK treasurer Julia Tan who leads her group of volunteers to distribute food to the homeless every Saturday and Sunday.
    “Those who are still unemployed mingle with the homeless in the city,” she added.
    “When I ask them why they choose to stay on, they said there are more opportunities here for them to earn a living,” she added.
    Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah recently said the Sabah government should assist homeless Sabahans to return home if the cases were genuine.
    Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said state Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun and state Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai would investigate the claims.
    “We will come out with some assistance to bring them home,” Musa said.
    “They can then find employment in the state,” he said.
    Musa advised Sabahans to be cautious about agencies offering jobs in other states or overseas.
    “They should only go to government-approved labour agencies.”
    He said some of these youths had become drug addicts.
    “As a result, they have lost their jobs,” Musa said.

    To all Malaysians,
    Please report all corrupted politicians,government officers and private people to the following agencies by phone and by emails,
    1) SPRM at Tel: 1800886000 and email: info@sprm.gov.my
    2) Prime Minister Office at Tel: 0388888000 and email: ppm@pmo.gov.my
    3) Bukit Aman Police at Tel: 0322626222 email: rmp@rmp.gov.my
    4)Registration office: pro@jpn.gov.my
    5)Customs: kastam@customs.gov.my
    6) Bank Negara: fiu@bnm.gov.my
    7)Income Tax: callcentre@hasil.org.my
    8)Home Affairs: pro@mois,gov.my
    9) MITI: webmiti@miti.gov.my
    10) Sabah local police: aduanawam@rmp.gov.my

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