Satay outlet may stay open for a while[Source: pg4, theSun, 31st October, 2006).
by Terence Fernandez and Llew-Ann Phang
KLANG: He is an assemblyman, an Umno leader and a public figure. This is why the illegal satay outlet operated by Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zainal @ Zakaria Mat Deros may still do brisk business for a while.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) president Abd Bakir Zin said yesterday that although numerous notices have been issued to DZ Satay House to stop operations, the decision to seal, close or demolish the structure has not been exercised.
Although MPK has every power to do so, it is awaiting the green light from Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo before action is taken.
"He is an assemblyman, an Umno leader ... so he is answerable to the MB," Abd Bakir said at his office.
He said a detailed report on the stall containing documents and information gathered will be submitted over the next few days to Mohd Khir.
There will also be a report on other issues, including the failure to pay assessment by several councillors.
Abd Bakir reiterated that the council has left the decision on the next course of action on DZ Satay House to Khir because: « Zakaria is a state assemblyman and the council respects his position; « he is the Port Klang Umno division chief, and « he was appointed as a councillor by Mohd Khir.
"The decision will have to be taken by the MB and I will make sure he reads the report and makes a decision," Abd Bakir said, adding that he wanted to follow proper procedures as the matter had become a national issue.
On a newspaper report that DZ Satay House had been sealed, Abd Bakir said: "Not sealed. We have sent several notices to stop operations as it is being run without proper approval."
Asked why the outlet was not open, he said: "They might be on holiday (masih cuti raya)."
He said the council is also waiting for Zakaria to withdraw from the councillor's post but is abiding by the time-frame of up to Nov 8, as directed by the state government.
He explained the current status: Zakaria "accepted" the position which made him a councillor, thus he has to withdraw from the position.
"Failing this, the decision to dismiss him from the position will be implemented by the state government," Abd Bakir said.
He also said the council's operations had been affected because of the delay in appointing the 2006-2008 councillors.
He said committee meetings and full-board meetings could not take place, hence the delay in drawing up policies and implementing decisions.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who met his British counterpart John Prescott here Monday, said Britain, which also has a multi-religious population, is attracted to the concept of inter-faith dialogue practised by the Malaysian government.
Prescott, on a four-day visit to Malaysia, praised the Malaysian government-initiated inter-faith dialogue which he described as a "useful tool" in maintaining good relations among the multi-racial people.
Prescott said he has spoken to Najib about Hindu groups' complaints that their temples were being closed down in Malaysia.[Source]
He said Najib indicated that some of the cases were due to building permit problems.
Prescott said Britain, too, had faced such issues with gypsy groups building without permission.
Planning issues in the UK
Recent criticism against Travellers in the UK centers on Travellers who have bought land, built amenities without planning permission, then fought eviction attempts by claiming it would be an abuse of human rights to remove them from their homes. The families applied for retrospective planning permission whilst they were living on their land. This received much media attention during the British 2005 General Election, after it was brought up by former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard.
The use of retrospective planning permission arose after the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which Michael Howard brought through the Commons, started closing down many of the sites originally provided for the community. Howard advised that Travellers should buy their own land instead and assurances were made that they would be allowed to settle it.
However, a block to Travellers' attempts to follow this advice has emerged since, with a 2003 government survey finding that 96% of Travellers who applied for planning permission to settle on their land have had permission refused, compared to figures of less than 30% for the general population. Travellers have said that unless they use the retrospective technique, the closure of the caravan sites leaves them effectively homeless and unable to settle. Support networks have also pointed out that the number of retrospective planning applications brought by Travellers is dwarfed by both commercial and settled applications.
In a spate of 2004-5 evictions, concerns were raised internationally over the treatment of Travellers, and allegations have been made of violence used in eviction attempts by publicly contracted groups, such as assault, and destruction of traveller property (e.g., burning of caravans). Dale Farm, in Basildon, Essex has become the focus of a major legal case, as the council have refused to provide alternative sites for the travellers who currently occupy the ex-waste ground.
Cardiff Regional Open Forum
“Sesi Percambahan Minda Mengenai Dasar Pelajaran & Pengajian Tinggi”
Topics to be discussed & debated:
1) Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan Di bawah Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan : Ke arah Pendidikan Berkualiti
2) Sistem Persekolahan Menghadapi Cabaran Globalisasi
3) Hala Tuju Pengajian Tinggi Negara : Di antara Realiti dan Cabaran Masa Hadapan
4) Sistem Jaminan Kualiti Negara
5) Ke arah Kecemerlangan Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Negara: Satu Pandangan Kritis
A resolution needs to be achieved as the outcome of the forum, which is:
Merangka Resolusi Ke arah Penambahbaikan dasar Pendidikan Negara
Date : Tuesday, 31st October 2006
Venue : Refactory, Trevethick Building (Engineering Building)
Time : 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Chairperson : Rashdan Harith
- Rashdan - 07877185607
- Eric - 07894229886
All Malaysian students & professionals are invited.
How to get there?
1) As you reach the end of Queen’s Street, walk down Newport Road & turn left to West Grove street. Trevethick Building is on your left.
2) If you’re from the Student Union, walk down the road, and go through Senghennydd Court (ask your friend for the gate code), go across the flyover and the Trevethick Building is literally 5 minutes from there.
3) Google Earth: 51º 29’
03.38” N, 3º 10’ 09.15” W.
Everyone is highly encourage to attend this forum to voice out your our concern & opinions towards the education system in Malaysia, and means of improving it.
The outcome of the discussions & resolutions from regions all over the UK & Ireland will be submitted to UKEC, and will then be passed on to the Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Mustapa Mohamed & the Minister of Education, Dato’ Hishamuddin Tun Hussein on Thursday, 2nd of November 2006 in Nottingham.
ATUR CARA SESI PERCAMBAHAN MINDA
MENGENAI DASAR PELAJARAN DAN PENGAJIAN TINGGI
BERSAMA PELAJAR-PELAJAR PASCA-SISWAZAH DI UNITED
KINGDOM, PERASMIAN NOTTINGHAM GAMES 2006
2 November 2006 (Khamis)
C14 Lecture Theatre
University Park Campus
Tajuk Sesi Percambahan Minda
1700 - Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan Di bawah Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan : Ke arah Pendidikan Berkualiti oleh Y. Bhg. Dato' Dr. Salleh bin Hassan, Pengarah Bahagian Perancangan dan Penyelidikan Dasar Pendidikan, Kementerian Pelajaran
- Sistem Persekolahan Menghadapi Cabaran Globalisasi oleh Puan Hajah Noor Rezan Bt. Bapoo Hashim, Pengarah Bahagian Sekolah, Kementerian Pelajaran
- Sesi Soal Jawab
1823 - Solat Isyak
1900 - Makan malam
2000 - Majlis Perasmian Sesi Percambahan Minda Mengenai
Dasar Pelajaran Dan Pengajian Tinggi Bersama
Pelajar-Pelajar Pasca-Siswazah Di United Kingdom
- Ketibaan tetamu kehormat
- Bacaan doa
- Ucapan TYT Pesuruhjaya Tinggi Malaysia ke United Kingdom
- Ucapan YB Menteri Pengajian Tinggi
- Ucapan YB Menteri Pelajaran
- Perasmian Bersama oleh YB Menteri Pelajaran & YB Menteri Pengajian tinggi
- Sesi Dialog
- 2200 - Tamat sesi hari pertama
3 November 2006 (Jumaat)
University Park Campus
University of Nottingham
Sesi Perbincangan Panel II:
0900 - Hala Tuju Pengajian Tinggi Negara : Di antara Realiti dan Cabaran Masa Hadapan Oleh Y. Brs. Dr. Mohd. Padhil bin Hashim, Setiausaha Bahagian Perancangan dan Penyelidikan, Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi
0930 - Sistem Jaminan Kualiti Negara Oleh Y. Bhg. Dato’ Dr. Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hassan Shahabudin, Naib Canselor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
1000 - Ke arah Kecemerlangan Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Negara: Satu Pandangan Kritis Oleh Y. Bhg. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak Naib Canselor, Universiti Sains Malaysia
1030 - Sesi Soal Jawab
- Solat Jumaat
- Solat Asar
Pembentangan Kertas Maklum Balas oleh Pelajar Pasca Siswazah
1420 - Kertas 1
1440 - Kertas 2
1510 - Kertas 3
1530 - Sesi Penggulungan 1:
Merangka Resolusi Ke arah Penambahbaikan dasar Pendidikan Negara
1640 - Solat Magrib
Pembentangan Kertas Maklum oleh Pelajar Pasca Siswazah
1720 - Kertas 4 :
1740 - Kertas 5:
1810 - Kertas 6:
- Solat Isyak
Sesi Penggulungan 11:
Merangka Resolusi Ke arah Penambahbaikan
Dasar Pengajian Tinggi Negara
1900 - Sesi Penggulungan II : Merangkan Resolusi ke arah Penambahbaikan Dasar Pengajian Tinggi Negara
1930 - Makan malam
2000 - Resolusi Bersama Sesi Percambahan Minda:
Dipengerusikan Bersama oleh Y.B. Menteri Pelajaran
dan Y.B. Menteri Pengajian Tinggi
2100 - Majlis Penutupan Sesi dan Penyampaian Sijil
4 November 2006 (Sabtu)
University of Nottingham
0900 - Majlis Perasmian Nottingham Games oleh Y.B. Menteri Pelajaran
1149 - Solat Zuhur
1230 - Makan tengah hari
1401 - Solat Asar
1400 - Perjumpaan dengan pemimpin pelajar
1629 - Solat Maghrib
1830 - Penutup Nottingham Games oleh Y.B. Menteri Pengajian Tinggi
1930 - Majlis Sambutan Hari Raya
Lying alongside this relatively positive agenda of cultural and religious tolerance in the Moral Education curricula, however, is a rather more insidious agenda of, for want of a better term, political indoctrination. From the first year of primary school, pupils are taught that they have a moral obligation of ‘respect and loyalty (setia) for leaders, king and country’ (Ministry of Education 2000b, Tahun 1: 26). In year six, the field of ‘self-development’ contains a element dedicated to ‘gratitude’ (berterima kasih), in which pupils are taught that ‘national leaders are the pride of the people’; prescribed activities include writing ‘thank you letters’ to national leaders and writing poems on the theme of ‘the people’s support for their leaders’ (Ministry of Education 2000b, Tahun 6: 12 & 15). In form four of secondary school, under the section on ‘trustworthiness’ (amanah), pupils undertake activities themed on the slogan ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ (bersih, cekap dan amanah) – one of the BN regime’s main campaign slogans of the past two decades (Ministry of Education 2000a, Tingakatan 4: 10).
By secondary school, the Moral Education curriculum contains an entire field of study devoted to ‘patriotism’. Activities undertaken here include ‘discussing ways of showing gratitude to the government for its efforts to develop the nation and the people’ (Ministry of Education 2000a, Tingkatan 4: 23). In examining ‘freedom of speech’, pupils are encouraged to discuss the ‘bad effects’ (kesan buruk) of political demonstrations, clearly aimed at the massive reformist demonstrations of 1998, which were universally criticised by the compliant and fettered newspaper industry (Ministry of Education 2000a, Tingkatan 4: 30). Indeed, it is noteworthy that in a curriculum much of which is devoted to promoting the use of information technology as a learning aid, pupils are here specifically instructed to use the (government-dominated) newspaper industry as a source for their discussions, rather than the Internet, which proved to be one of the main vehicles for the dissemination of the reformist agenda (Abbott 2001; Brown 2004).
Elusive pass mark for law exam
IT was once thought that the process of appointing the leader of the Roman Catholic Church was one of the best kept secrets in the world. However, through time and people's pressing curiosity, the Church had slowly painted us a picture as to what goes on behind closed doors upon the demise of a Pope.
In Malaysia, one need not travel far to discover another best kept secret, that is, the mystery surrounding the Legal Qualifying Board Examination, more popularly referred to as the Certificate in Legal Practice or the CLP Examination.
To the uninitiated, upon a foreign law graduate passing this examination, he/she is able to practise in Malaysia as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya.
I am a foreign law graduate who will be sitting for the CLP Examination for the third time next year. For the last two sittings, I consistently failed the same paper(s). Now that I am about to embark on this whole daunting and depressing process for the third time, I am still unaware as to what led me to fail the same paper twice.
My question to the Director of the Legal Qualifying Board is simple: Why the secrecy?
Why does the CLP Board find it unfathomable or difficult to do what is obvious and logically right? Don't they realise that by attaching the examiner's report to our result transcript, we are able to see where we went wrong in our answering methodology?
Probably we are not addressing the rel evant issue or that we lack the necessary skills in properly gauging the questions in the paper. But we will never know unless we can see the examiner's report, and we will foolishly keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
A lot of my peers are sitting for the exams for the third, fourth, fifth and even the sixth time. Why? Because of the passion in them in wanting to practise as a lawyer. I share a similar passion and having to face this absurd exam after completing my law degree is extremely frustrating.
How is it even remotely possible for as many as 90% of the CLP students to fail the examination this year? From such a startling statistic, are we to deduce that we aren't as smart or as intelligent as our peers in the government universities, who seem to be exiting the local universities as lawyers in such large numbers? One can't help but wonder what is truly going on.
What surprises me the most is the Bar Council's silence in all of this. As future lawyers, we hope that the Bar Council would not keep mute at a time when their voice could matter the most. I urge the practitioners and members of the council to step up and help us gain admittance into this prestigious field of study. We hope the President of the Bar Council will be our "Datuk Michael Chong" in our time of crisis.
Clearly our polluted air is not the only hazy problem that is plaguing our country.
Alex Kuala Lumpur
“There is no quota. None at all. There has been no need for that. The truth of the matter is, those who fail just do not deserve to pass. They (candidates) are just not good enough,” the sources said.
“His face even glows now. When we praise him for looking good, he smiles shyly,” the staff added.
Met at a Deepavali open house last week, Dr Khir's wife Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik smiled when told how much her husband’s improved looks were drawing attention.
Asked about the secret, she merely said her husband's looks were a reflection of his “hati lapang” or happy heart.
Jigsaw has vanished. Now aided by his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Dr. Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) is unaware that she is about to become the latest pawn on his vicious chessboard. One night, after finishing a shift at her hospital, Lynn is kidnapped by the deranged Amanda and taken to an abandoned warehouse where she meets Jigsaw, a.k.a John Kramer (Tobin Bell), who's now bedridden and on the verge of death. Lynn is told that she must keep the madman alive for as long as it takes Jeff (Angus Macfadyen), another of his victims, to complete a game of his own.Racing against the ticking clock of Jigsaw's own heartbeat, Lynn and Jeff struggle to make it through each of their vicious tests, unaware that Jigsaw and Amanda have a much bigger plan for both of them.
Predecessor. Successor. Revenge. Game.
The economy is bad. I know because a lot of Chinese business people are very unhappy. I have told Pak Lah that some of them have said they will not vote for Barisan Nasional at the next election
Ong: Don't drag in Chinese traders
by Kong See Hoh
MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting says Chinese businessmen should not be dragged into the spat between Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
It is unfair to the businessmen, he said.
"We are convinced that the Chinese businessmen in Malaysia will continue to seek investment opportunities within the country and play a positive role in its economic development as they are responsible. We hope they are not dragged into the endless bickering," Ong was quoted as saying in a report in Oriental Daily News yesterday.
"We do not want to see the Chinese businessmen being dragged into the row ... we want to be fair to them."
He said that with globalisation, it is normal for the Malaysian Chinese to seek business opportunities abroad and this should not be seen as a negative development.
Ong said whatever problems they face, they would always raise them with the government through the proper forums.
"In the past, MCA and Chinese groups have discussed a lot on problems related to the economy with the cabinet, the prime minister and the ministers concerned," he said with reference to Mahathir's remark that the Chinese businessmen are unhappy with the economy.
Ong spoke to reporters while attending a Hari Raya open house hosted by the prime minister and the Muslim cabinet ministers at Putra World Trade Centre on Tuesday.
Mahathir was reported to have told a press conference on Monday, a day after his meeting with Abdullah: "The economy is bad. I know because a lot of Chinese business people are very unhappy. I told Pak Lah some of them have said they will not vote for Barisan Nasional at the next elections.
"And some of them said today they prefer to go to China to do business because there are more opportunities in China than there are in Malaysia because they don't find it easy to do business in Malaysia."
Mahathir's remarks also drew flak from Chinese community leaders who said the Chinese businessmen who venture overseas do so purely out of commercial interest and it is not a recent phenomenon as the Mahathir administration back then had encouraged Malaysian businessmen to invest abroad.
Hua Zong (Federation of Chinese Associations in Malaysia) president Datuk Seri Lim Gait Tong said it is also good for the country that Malaysians are venturing overseas as "this will enlarge the economic pie".
As for Mahathir's remark that Chinese businessmen are unhappy with the economy and some of them would not vote for Barisan Nasional in the next general election, Lim said different people may hold different views but "this is not what the Chinese would think".
Seven Major Clans Association president Datuk Ng Teck Fong said there is a slack in the economy and all people, not only the Chinese businessmen, are affected.
He said there is nothing wrong with investing in China, or where the business is, and bringing back the money. "It is not fair to only say the Chinese businessmen are not happy with the economy," he said.
Zakaria can't escape date with sultan
by Terence Fernandez
PETALING JAYA: "I can wait. No matter how long it takes, he still has to show up!"
This is the Sultan of Selangor's sentiment following the snub by Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zainal @ Zakaria Mat Deros.
Palace sources, quoting Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's stand, said as far as the ruler is concerned, Zakaria will not be able to escape a royal ticking-off.
"The summons still stands. The onus is now on Zakaria to show up and explain himself to His Highness," said one source yesterday.
Zakaria, who has been in the news for a litany of wrongdoing this past month, was summoned to Istana Mestika on Monday to explain the negative reports. The letter which was delivered by the Klang OCPD on Friday, stated that Zakaria must be present at the Istana at noon .
However, he did not show up, instead checking himself into hospital on Sunday and discharging himself the following afternoon.
The source added that at the end of the day, Zakaria is answerable to the rakyat and to the Sultan, as the guardian of the people.
"We will wait till after Hari Raya. Let him enjoy his raya and spend the festive season in Malacca where he is. After Hari Raya, he will have to show up," said the source, adding that Zakaria must get in touch with the palace to offer a new date and time which is agreeable to the Sultan.
"Tuanku is very concerned about what's going on in Klang and His Highness wants an explanation," said the source, adding that Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo will also be questioned.
Zakaria has been in the news since theSun front-paged the illegal construction of his fourstorey mansion among low-cost homes in Kampung Idaman earlier this month.
Following this expose, it also came to light that Zakaria did not pay assessment for his present home for 12 years.
Jarrad Howse (Aus) / 28 years old / 2006 Foster’s Men’s World Tour Member.
“I’m really happy to be here and starting like that is the best way for me. It’s been a tough year so far, I smashed 8 boards during my heats this year in both WCT and WQS events and now I’ve got this good one. I’m still not out of the WCT requalifying race as Brazil and Pipe will be crucial soon but I this 4 Star events reminds me of my victory last year in Spain, the one that got me back on track and gave me the spot in the Top 45. I’ll just be thinking of this event and forget about the rest for the moment,” confessed Howsy.
"The visitors included all races and this kind of open house shows that the various races in the country are united," he said in an interview with RTM.
He said such open house also helped foster closer relationship among the various races in the country and at the same time showed the world that Malaysia was a united nation despite the various races living here.
"I believe those who came are happy. Some told me keep on going with the good job. We will support you (they said). There are some who are happy and some not. People give me confidence...I like to meet the people," Abdullah added.
It is wrong what TV3 reported, saying that I agreed with him that what I had done made me and him unpopular and only Anwar Ibrahim and Nik Aziz benefited. This is what he said, not what I said.
Dr M: I have achieved the objective of telling him in quite substantial detail. I am quite sure that the reports that are in the controlled press, the spin from people like (News Straits Time group editor) Brendan Pereira and (NSTP deputy chairman Datuk) Kalimullah (Hassan) and all that would have given him a completely wrong impression of what I have done.
Now I have the opportunity to tell him as it is, no Brendan in between, no Kalimullah in between.
So to that extent I am satisfied, no “spinning” that things were not going like that. (Makes spinning motion with finger.)
Dr M: I didn’t know about it when I was PM (about the UN oil-for-food programme).
The first time I heard about it was when it was published by the (New) Straits Times that his name appeared there. Subsequently Najib said: “Don’t talk anymore about it.”
And of course there were no more reports about this affair in the Straits Times or any other newspaper.
Recently in the course of writing my memoir, I tried to get hold of the copy of the Straits Times which reported this thing but it seems to have disappeared.
The Berita Harian was there but the copy of the Straits Times has disappeared. Maybe somebody has a copy, can lend it to me.
I know the New Straits Times will have to make some kind of spin about this, TV3 too will have to spin somehow, but fortunately for us that in my time, we have the Internet, so I would advise people to read the Internet and not these newspapers because they are all getting phone calls.
Tomorrow the PM says we won’t build this bridge because Singapore might be upset, immediately the comments from people with pictures, their faces in the Straits Times with comments “We must not build this bridge, It is wrong.” You see the change is fantastic.
Please excuse me for any inconvience caused by this message.
My name is Valentin. I'm student and I live with my mother in city Kaluga,
Russia. My mother is invalid. She can not see and she receive very small pension
very rare which is not enough even for medications.
I work very hard every day to be able to buy the necessities for my mother, but
my salary is very small, because my studies still not finished.
Due to deep crisis authorities stoped gas in our district and we cannot heat our
home anymore. I don't know what to do, because the winter is coming and the
temperature outside will be lower than minus 30 degrees Celsius, as it was in
the last winter.
I am very afraid that the temperature inside our home will be very cold and we
will not be able to survive. Thanks to the free internet access in our local
library I found several e-mail addresses and I decided to write you with prayer
in my heart for small help.
If you have any old sleeping bag, warm blanket, portable stove, warm clothes,
electric water-boiler, canned and dried food, vitamins, medicines from cold, any
hygiene-products, I will be very grateful to you if you could send it to our
address which is:
Rileewa Uliza, 6-45.
If you think that it would be better or easier for you to help with some money,
please write me back and I will give you details for sending it safely if you
agree. This way to help is very good because in this case I will be able to buy
a portable stove and heat our home during the winter.
I hope to hear from you very soon and I pray that you can help us. I also hope
very much that this hard situation will get better very soon in our country.
I send you many thanks in advance for your kind understanding. Please excuse me,
once more, for inconvience caused by this message.
Valentin and my mother Elena.
Speaking at a press conference at his house in Seri Kembangan, he said mubarak, the association of former elected representatives, approached his son to try to resolve his problems with the government following his spate of criticisms against Abdullah.
He said Mubarak initially came out with several suggestions to resolve his spat with Abdullah, including that he should meet with Umno supreme council and if that could not be done, he could instead meet with the Malay members of the cabinet.
"If that is not possible... then for me to see Pak Lah (the prime minister), I don't know but anyway, Pak Lah agreed to see me," he said, adding that since this was initiated by Mubarak, he would like to see Mubarak first to find out what was it that they were asking him to do.
He said he met five of Mubarak members who said they liked him to see the prime minister who had agreed to the meeting.
"I said if I want to see Pak Lah I want to tell him about what I have been criticising him about. So I told Mubarak how I felt about things. And after Mubarak members listened to me, they felt that I should tell these things directly to Pak Lah," he said.
At yesterday's meeting with Abdullah at the prime minister's official residence Seri Perdana in Putrajaya which was held under a cloak of secrecy, Dr Mahathir said he told the prime minister that he would record their dialogue.
"So I set up the (tape) recorder...and I told him I was so critical about the government. Of course, there are so many things I have said but within one-and-a-half hours, I covered lots of things. After that he explained, of course he interrupted me several times," he said.
Dr Mahathir had told reporters after yesterday's meeting that it was a worthwhile meeting because he got to say things frankly to the prime minister, the way he had criticised him publicly.
The former prime minister's criticisms included charges of nepotism, incompetence and for axing some major projects conceived while he was in power. He said it was not true that the government did not have money to carry out projects, adding that when he decided to step down in 2003, he made sure that the country was stable, with the economy and government's finances in good shape.
"Only after that I decided I would step down. The government now has money, the government has more money that it has ever before," he said.
Dr Mahathir said during his time, the highest profit by Petronas, the national oil corporation, was RM56 billion but this had increased to RM86 billion in the last financial year, bigger than the total collection of corporate tax at around RM60 billion.
At Sunday's meeting, he said Abdullah told him that they had done a survey that as a result of his criticisms, he (Dr Mahathir) had become very unpopular and their differences had only benefited opposition leaders like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
"I told him that I don't care whether I'm popular or not, but if anybody does anything that is damaging to the country, and to the Malays in particular, I reserve the right to criticise".
He was asked if he was concerned that his legacy after 22 years as prime minister was being kept away.
"It's not being kept away. It is the action of the government for the past three years.. there has been no move. The economy is not doing well, the people are unable to get jobs, unemployment is still high. Nothing has been done to improve the economy although of course we read very good figures.
"But you see, retail business is not (good), contracts are not easy to come by and plus people have no jobs and a lot of small contractors have folded up. The economy is bad. I know because a lot of Chinese business people are very unhappy. I have told Pak Lah that some of them have said they will not vote for Barisan Nasional at the next election," he said.
Dr Mahathir said he was told that people today preferred to go to China to do business because there were more opportunities there than in Malaysia and that they did not find it easy to do business in Malaysia.
Asked if he felt he had achieved much in his meeting with the prime minister, he said: "I have achieve the objective of telling him in a quite substantial details. Now I have the opportunity to tell him. There is no spinning of what I said". Asked if he wished that he had not stepped down, Dr Mahathir said actually he wished that he had done so in 1998 if it had been possible and in 2002 (when he announced at the Umno General Assembly that he is resigning) but it was Abdullah who told him to stay on for another year.
To this he said today: "This is something I appreciate but this is not the question of what you do or character.. this is not about his character but this is about what is happening".
On his next move after Sunday's meeting with Abdullah, he said: "I've told you that I would continue to criticise and I will go on with my usual way".
Dr Mahathir also said despite his problems with the prime minister, he did not think that it was possible for the opposition to win the election.
"In my assessment, it is not possible for the opposition to win but they might reduce the majority of the government.
On the problems it might pose for Umno, he said: "It is not the internal problem of Umno or unity within Umno. Umno cannot win election without public support and today the public is very critical of the economy, system of administration, involvement of family members. These concern the public. If the public does not support, even if 100 per cent of Umno supports our candidates, they will kill you".
Summing up the meeting where he raised a host of other matters, he said: "There were a few other things he mentioned. I talk for two hours, I decided that the meeting was over. I got up, collected my recorder, said good-bye to him".
"No, no, no, I don't think it's a political suicide. He has been saying a lot of things, I've decided to keep quiet and to go on doing what I want to do.
"And the people want me to do what I want to do. And I have and I still command majority support today," he said in an interview with Anjali Rao in the "Talk Asia" programme aired by Cable News Network (CNN) Saturday.
Reporters stake out Seri Perdana
KUALA LUMPUR: The whole nation appeared to be waiting with bated breath yesterday over news that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad were meeting.
By afternoon, phone calls, emails and text messages concerning the peace talks reached a frenzied pace as many Malaysians wanted to find out the latest.
An aide close to Dr Mahathir said he received more SMS asking about the meeting than those extending him festive greetings.
Over the past several days, rumours had been rife that the meeting would take place yesterday but as the time and place could not be confirmed, it kept journalists fully occupied in verifying tip-offs and checking facts.
The strongest rumour was that the two men would meet at Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister’s official residence. About 30 journalists, from both local and foreign agencies, stationed themselves in front of the building, some as early as 8am.
At 3.30pm, reporters spotted Abdullah’s official car entering the compound of the official residence and sprung to their feet but it proved to be a false alarm.
But there was still no sign of either Dr Mahathir or Abdullah.
Some journalists shuttled between Abdullah’s official and private residence located in Precinct 10, about a kilometre away.
Some were even seen walking to and from the lake behind the house in case Abdullah or Dr Mahathir decided to travel by boat.
At 4.45pm, reporters at Putrajaya and their counterparts standing by at the Putra World Trade Centre and Menara Dato’ Onn in Kuala Lumpur heard the latest — that the meeting was taking place at Seri Perdana.