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Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Untold story of the Crooked Bridge: Mahathir's unreasonable dendam

In his entire 22 years as Prime Minister, Mahathir had never hidden his distaste and hatred for Singapore.

Conflicts and heated arguments between the two countries never stopped and was a recurring issue whenever domestic politics needed a bogeyman.

But the crooked bridge was supposed to be the one final revenge for Mahathir over a humiliation so great that he could never live down or forget.

In 2003, in one of his last acts just before ending his 22-year tenure as PM, Tun Dr Mahathir announced that Malaysia would go ahead and build a crooked bridge.

The other last act before leaving power was when Mahathir mysteriously and very quietly directly awarding a lucrative sports betting license worth billions to his friend for just RM25m - but that's another story.

The failure of his successor Abdullah Badawi to push ahead with replacing the Causeway led Dr Mahathir to viciously attack him in 2006. The move, observers say, eventually pushed Tun Abdullah to resign in 2009.

The still influential Dr Mahathir now claims that Datuk Seri Najib Razak also failed to keep his promise to build the crooked bridge, and has asked Najib to step down.

In a TV interview in April 2015, Najib disclosed that this was one of the chief reasons why relationships between both of them broke down leading to Najib not speaking to Mahathir for 6 months.
He (Dr Mahathir) had two things he wanted me to do. He wanted me to do away with BR1M and the Johor crooked bridge,” Najib said during a televised interview on TV3.
“I respect Tun, just like I respect all the people,” he added.
“I gave my views on these issues. I see it as discussions between two individuals... It is quite healthy to have a difference in opinion, but in the end, I still have to be accountable to the rakyat and the party.
“Most of these issues were brought to Cabinet and Cabinet will decide on it,” Najib

In response Tun Mahathir replied in his own interview that Najib broke his promise to build 'crooked bridge'
“Not even one of the things that I had expected would be done, after I stepped down, has been done.” 
“Najib still continues to do whatever he wants to do and I feel things (that he’s doing) are not right.” said Mahathir
But why did Mr Najib not proceed with the crooked bridge?

Mr Najib and his Singaporean counterpart Mr Lee Hsien Loong had agreed instead to building a third link between Johor and Singapore. According to Dr Mahathir, Mr Najib told him that Malaysia could not proceed with the crooked bridge as there was an agreement not to touch the Causeway unless both sides agreed.

Mahathir had disclosed that Najib had claimed, during a one on one meeting between them after dinner one day, that there was an agreement between both countries on the causeway and that meant the crooked bridge could not be built unless both sides agreed.

“I asked him, ‘show me the Agreement’,” said Mahathir, implying that there was no such Agreement and that Najib had lied. “Are we an independent nation or a colony of Singapore?’, I asked him.” said Mahathir.

It is thus clear that before Mahathir started his attacks on Najib and wanted him removed for all sorts of reasons, this Crooked bridge was the main reason for Mahathir's anger.

But why does Dr Mahathir want the dang crooked bridge so much?

It boils down to Mahathir's personal humiliation, hatred and anger.

If you examine the designs of the crooked bridge, Mahathir had wanted to use the crooked bridge to stop the water pipelines connecting Singapore to Malaysia which then then carried 50% of Singapore's life-giving water. Let the ramifications of that sink in while you think about it from Singapore's perspective and why they would refuse to build the crooked bridge.

It was really Mahathir's way of punishing Singapore.

Now, exactly what gives? To answer that, we need to reach further back into history ( (Much of this article was adopted from Andrew Gomez's writings here) - Specifically, the years of 1997 and 1998 and the Asian Financial Crisis.

The then-prime minister was in a quandary. He had sacked his deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and to make matters worse, the country was experiencing a financial crisis unlike any other before. 

Currency speculators had devalued the Malaysian ringgit to a fraction of its previous value. Attempts by BNM to prop up the ringgit's value had been expensive and ultimately futile. Malaysia was virtually bankrupt. 

There was no more money left due to Mahathir and Anwar's mismanagement of the economy during the 1990s.

With metaphorical hat in hand, Dr Mahathir made a visit to Singapore to meet with PM Goh Chok Tong. 

Although unreported in the Malaysian media, Singapore's media nevertheless broke the news that Dr Mahathir had asked Singapore for a USD5 billion loan, as Malaysia was in dire straits financially. 

If you don't believe me, have a look at this November 2008 video of Mahathir asking Singapore for financial help on live TV - which of course was never reported in Malaysia.

Look at how sheepish Mahathir and Pak Lah looked when asking Singapore for help despite Tun M whacking Singapore for decades.

Other than Singapore newspapers, Hong Kong media also reported then:

It was the first top-level meeting between the two countries since relations, testy even before the added pressure of the Asian financial crisis, started to deteriorate rapidly earlier this year. They last met in April. 
Dr Mahathir said he intended to raise funds from neighbouring Singapore, though he didn't say how much or what the money would be used for. 
``We need to raise some funds from Singapore,'' he said, adding that Singapore could be of help to Malaysia ``during the economic crisis''. Mr Goh had little to add except that ``we are resuming a discussion'' and that he was pleased by Dr Mahathir's invitation to meet with him.
PM Goh responded positively. Singapore was willing to lend Malaysia the five billion but with "conditions". It remains unclear exactly what these conditions were as only Dr Mahathir and PM Goh were privy to the details.

Dr Mahathir in any event decided that these conditions were unacceptable and returned to Malaysia empty-handed. Indonesia's President B.J. Habibie had been closely observing these matters and pronounced loudly that “a friend in need is a friend indeed”.

Although the IMF had offered Malaysia a similar loan, that too came with IMF-imposed conditions and obligations which Dr Mahathir similarly refused to accept.

It is like this. Singapore did not ask us to go borrow money from them. When you go and ask someone to loan you money, you are going based on a weak position and can expect conditions.

It is up to you to fulfill these conditions or not. No one is forcing you.

It is not a big heart that Tun M went to borrow money from Singapore but sheer desperation.

The trick is not to get into this situation in the first place!

Let's put it on a personal basis. Let's say you one of your friends who is not so close (or even enemy) comes to loan money from you. And then you give conditions for loaning the money.

The other person trying to loan money from you don't like your condition - and then as dendam, he or she attacks you day in and day out.

Ultimately, as we may now recall, the ringgit was made non-convertible outside Malaysia. Effectively, the ringgit overnight became utterly worthless in every country on earth except for Malaysia.

Over time, Malaysia's financial situation stabilised. Malaysia's relationship with Singapore, however, had irretrievably broken down. The good doctor's ego had been severely bruised by his having to "beg" and his humiliation in Singapore.

Subsequently, relations between the two nations became even more acrimonious. Malaysian media regularly carried negative news about Singapore.

The hidden message was made very clear when Dr Mahathir proclaimed “there's more than one way to skin a cat”.

The Lion City, no doubt bristling at the threat, shot back via professor Jayakumar: "No cat will simply lie down and wait quietly to be skinned."

When plans for the demolition of the Causeway were revealed and the images of the new crooked bridge were made public, the penny dropped.

Before resigning as PM, Dr Mahathir obtained the assurance of his successor Pak Lah that the crooked bridge would become a reality.

Meanwhile, Singapore now realised that their only source of national water was no longer certain although water supply contracts were still in force. Heavy expenditures were made on desalination technologies as well as "NEWwater" which was purified raw sewage that was "clean enough to drink" and desalination plants.

The extent of which Singapore is now almost self-sufficient in water if they wanted to be and the threat of this crooked bridge and the stopping of water from Malaysia is no longer effective on Singapore.

And plus, Malaysia cannot simply cut water supplies to 6 million people - which is what construction of the crooked bridge would do. This would certainly cause an international incident and possibly war.

This means that the purpose of the crooked bridge is of no more and there is little reason any more why Najib would want to build this and destroy our relationship with our neighbour.

And Dr Mahathir never got his revenge for the humiliation of having to be a “beggar” - which is a reason why Mahathir is so angry with Najib then and wanted him to be removed for "breaking his promise".

All it boils down to is that Tun Mahathir's initial anger and insistence in removing both Pak Lah and Najib was all due to both Prime Ministers denying Tun Mahathir his revenge and dendam by not building the crooked bridge.

In an interview by the Johor Sultan just recently in Dec 2015, it is clear that the Johor Sultan is well-aware of Mahathir's intentions and "hati dendam" when he said:
Najib is deeply con­cerned about is­sues af­fect­ing Jo­hor be­cause of our prox­im­ity to Sin­ga­pore, which is a strate­gic part­ner to Jo­hor. Both of us be­lieve that Jo­hor and Malaysia will ben­e­fit from the on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment and when the Kuala Lumpur-Sin­ga­pore fast train is built, the ben­e­fits will be enor­mous. 
I do not want to dig up the past nor do I wish to take a swipe at any politi­cian, ac­tive or re­tired, but the PM un­der­stands and ap­pre­ci­ates the need to work closely and not to re­peat the past. 
I find it hard to un­der­stand the ra­tio­nale or ir­ra­tional­ity of any Malaysian leader who wants Malaysia to quar­rel with Sin­ga­pore. It’s what I called crooked thinking.
"Active or retired leader with Crooked thinking that dislikes Singapore" I wonder who that is?

His Highness, the Johor Sultan certainly knows.

It is very unbecoming and unreasonable for an ex-Prime Minister living in the twilight of his life still holding on to this malicious dendam and anger - to the extent of wanting to destroy our country's relationship with our neighbour unnecessarily, create chaos in Malaysia's politics which hurts our economy and wanting to remove two democratically-elected Prime Minister.

All because of his own humiliation and his subsequent dendam.

Let me para-phrase Yoda here:

"Dendam is the path to the dark side. Humiliation leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering".

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Azmi Arshad: A proper CFO answers Rafizi's latest attack on Tabung Haji

Azmi Arshad completely rebuts Rafizi Ramli's claim yesterday that "Rafizi: Tabung Haji pulling wool over depositors’ eyes with payout announcement" where Rafizi accuses Tabung Haji of actually losing as much as RM3.1 billion in the year 2015 instead of making RM3.5 billion.

Azmi is a bona-fide Chief Financial Officer of a public listed company. His last job was the CFO of SapuraCrest Bhd for 8 years. His biography and work experience is here.
Azmi Arshad, a Malaysian aged 50, is the CFO of our Company. He graduated with a degree in accountancy from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK in 1986 and passed the professional examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 1990.
In 2003, he joined SapuraCrest Petroleum Berhad (“SapuraCrest”), a company principally engaged in oil and gas services, as the CFO. During his eight years of service, he played a key role in numerous acquisitions, joint ventures and equity and debt fundraisings. These include the acquisition of Sapura Energy Sdn Bhd and the cross border acquisition of Total Marine Technology Pte Ltd, Australia. He was also involved in the joint venture arrangements with foreign partners for offshore installation and construction activities which include the construction of offshore support vessels and rigs for a combined value of over USD600 million. 
He was the chairman of the due diligence working group for equity and debt fundraising and other corporate exercises of SapuraCrest with aggregate funds raised of more than RM3 billion. During his tenure, he also oversaw the transfer listing of SapuraCrest from the Second Board to the Main Board of Bursa Securities (now known as Main Market of Bursa Securities). 
From 2011 to 2013, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Sapura Resources Berhad (“Sapura Resources”) and was responsible for its investments and businesses comprising property investment, facilities management, education, manufacturing, project management and aviation services. In addition, he oversaw the set-up of the aviation services business of Sapura Resources where he managed the corporate acquisition and joint ventures of the company with foreign companies.
Who do you trust more in financial analysis? Him or Rafizi?

Azmi Arshad writes:

Rafizi has clearly made himself out to be an enemy of the ummah by persistently attacking, with lies and spins, Tabung Haji that exists to help Malaysian Muslims fulfill the fifth Pillar of Islam by growing their savings/deposits and subsidising further their haj pilgrimage cost. I hope people understand the message I am stressing here i.e. why I regard him as an enemy of the ummah.

Bila ramai orang soal Rafizi berkenaan kenyataan-kenyataan beliau memburukkan Tabung Haji, dia hanya menjawab, "Saya bukan mahu layan sangat pencinta Najib Razak yang meroyan mengenai bonus Tabung Haji, tetapi demi memastikan orang ramai boleh fokus kepada isu sebenar dan tidak disibukkan dengan mereka…”. His inability and refusal to answer questions and requests for clarification compelled him to block many people on Facebook including Lim Sian See and myself.

Yesterday he published a half-baked financial analysis to support his attack against Tabung Haji. The analysis makes him appear diligent but is yet another attempt to pull the wool over our eyes.

(By the way, those with audit experience will spot in the first page of the paper that Rafizi used the term “analytical review” out of context. AR is a method using calculations and ratios etc to verify that accounting figures make sense (reality check) and intended also to reduce substantive testing (or vouching) in an audit but comically Rafizi says he used “analytical review” as the method for his forecast numbers.

Never mind, not relevant anyway. It’s just him trying to impress with jargon. Not wrong linguistically but it shows his silliness).

His analysis is divided into three sections: (1) Kaedah Unjuran (2) Analisa Penyata Pendapatan (3) Analisa Rizab dan Keupayaan Tabung Haji Membayar Balik Pendeposit. There are also five attachments of numbers intended to impress. Any layman might be in awe but there is guess work in the numbers premised on his own assumptions. His numerical analysis is supposed to support the three claims and conclusions he listed down on his FB status and in the summary of the paper but they do nothing to prove his case.

Rafizi is intent on fooling depositors that their guaranteed savings are at risk while he keeps enjoying the dividends from the very institution that he is condemning. Rafizi’s savings in TH is more than 70 times the average savings. Many people have foregone dividend/bonus and lost their place in the queue because of this penghasut dan perosak umat.

Rafizi claims that TH is insolvent, then tells you to leave your money there (after many have already withdrawn their money) "because TH does not belong to Najib Razak or Azeez", then tells us again that TH is insolvent. 

That is truly stupid and contradictory logic.

He literally does not put his money where his mouth is and tells you to not trust the place where he puts his money.

His insincere “advice” comes too late for many people including the ones interviewed in this video:

Let’s answer Rafizi's four claims / conclusions:

1. RAFIZI: Kedudukan rizab Tabung Haji diunjurkan terus negatif bagi tahun kewangan berakhir 31 Disember 2015 iaitu dua tahun berturut-turut rizab Tabung Haji mengalami defisit. Ini selaras dengan peringatan yang diberikan oleh Bank Negara Malaysia. Defisit rizab Tabung Haji bagi tahun kewangan 2015 diunjurkan boleh mencecah sehingga RM3.195 bilion. Rizab yang negatif bermakna Tabung Haji tidak berkeupayaan memulangkan semua simpanan pendeposit Tabung Haji jika ia dituntut serentak oleh pendeposit.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rafizi is recycling his misunderstanding on the negative reserves and its relation to deposits. Saya telah ulas berkenaan rizab yang negatif tetapi Rafizi masih tak faham atau buat tak faham. Saya tidak dapat komen di page dan Twitter Rafizi sebab telah di block.

Rafizi tidak tahu bezakan antara Rizab Boleh Agih (distributable resrves) dan Rizab Tidak Boleh Di Ageh (non-distributable reserves). RBA adalah POSITIF, bukan negatif. Selain itu, saya juga telah ulas bahawa rizab (samada positif atau negatif) tidak berkait dengan keupayaan memulangkan semua simpanan pendeposit Tabung Haji. Saya tak tahu samada Rafizi bodoh, jahil bidang perakaunan (pelik kalau benar) atau sengaja ingin mengelirukan dan menghasut orang awam.

Saya telah ulas berkenaan rizab di sini.

I had said before: Very briefly, he wants to stupidly assume a scenario where all depositors decide not to go for haji hence the 100% withdrawal. Try getting a haji visa on your own instead of through Tabung Haji.

Secondly, reserves have nothing to do with cashflow. Thirdly, he has not taken into account the fair value of TH’s portfolio of assets where not all may have been revalued and/or reflected in the accounts. Furthermore TH has already given assurance of the safety of the deposits. They are not only backed by assets but government guarantee so bakal jemaah haji need not worry.

Kenyataan Tabung Haji:
"Untuk makluman pendeposit, nilai aset TH mestilah mengambil kira keseluruhan nilai saksama potfolio pelaburan TH. Ini adalah kerana nilai aset yang dinyatakan tidak mengambil kira potfolio pelaburan seperti saham anak-anak syarikat atau syarikat bersekutu, serta aset perladangan dan hartanah yang diduduki TH. Sepanjang tahun kewangan 2014 dan 2015, nilai keseluruhan aset TH adalah lebih tinggi daripada nilai liabiliti TH, dimana ia mengambil kira kesemua nilai saksama potfolio pelaburan TH."
"Prestasi kewangan TH berada dalam keadaan baik disokong oleh aset-asetnya yang kukuh termasuk peratusan mudah tunai yang tinggi. Contohnya, aset tunai sahaja pada 31 Disember 2015 adalah sebanyak RM10.7 bilion. Di samping itu, pendeposit tidak perlu risau kerana simpanan mereka di TH dijamin oleh Kerajaan, sebagaimana yang termaktub dalam Akta Tabung Haji. TH juga tidak pernah lari dari tujuan asal penubuhannya dalam membantu umat Islam di Malaysia menunaikan Rukun Islam ke-5."

His analysis (Bahagian 3: Analisa Rizab dan Keupayaan Tabung Haji Membayar Balik Pendeposit) is talking all about negative reserves without realising that it is not reserves but fair value of assets that is a financial indicator of whether TH will be able to meet its financial obligations. He has gone totally off tangent and merely recycled his earlier error.
2. RAFIZI: Keuntungan RM3.53 bilion yang diumumkan oleh Datuk Seri Jamil Khir pada 4 Februari 2016 lalu tidak mengambil kira kerugian akibat kejatuhan harga saham dan sekuriti yang dipegang Tabung Haji sebagai pelaburan. Memandangkan prestasi Bursa Kuala Lumpur jatuh mendadak sepanjang tahun 2015, kerugian akibat kejatuhan harga saham dan sekuriti diunjurkan boleh mencecah sehingga RM3.14 bilion. Jika kerugian akibat kejatuhan harga saham mencecah paras tersebut, ia boleh menghapuskan keuntungan yang diumumkan oleh Datuk Seri Jamil Khir.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lim Sian See (yang juga di block oleh Rafizi) menyekolahkan Rafizi sekali lagi berkenaan unjuran Rafizi kerugian boleh mencecah sehingga RM3.14 bilion:
"Today I am convinced that Rafizi is an amateur in financial analysis. Today, Rafizi claims that Tabung Haji may have lost up to RM3b if Bursa Malaysia dropped by 10% in 2015 and the reserves are negative. How utterly simplistic this Rafizi is!! Having pages of analysis and tables is of no use if your basic assumptions are already all wrong!"

Lim Sian See's earlier analysis on the same subject was also published here under the title "Rafizi's sotong economics" - a headline title given by Malaysia-Today.
Dari perspektif accounting pula, Rafizi sekali lagi menunjukkan beliau jahil berkenaan accounting treatment, kerana kerugian akibat kejatuhan harga saham dan sekuriti tidak memberi kesan pada distributable reserves / RBA (Rizab Boleh Agih, bukan Red Bean Army). Begitu juga keuntungan pun tidak memberi kesan pada RBA. Profit or loss will be realised only upon disposal of the investments and in this respect Tabung Haji is in a position to hold its investments until the value recovers if not offset by gains in other assets in its investment portfolio. Furthermore the selling price or value of shares in associated companies and subsidiaries are usually much higher than their book value because valuations of going concerns are based on discounted cashflow projections (DCF) and not the balance sheet.

The 2015 financial statements have not yet been published but for argument’s sake let’s say the group reserves turns negative as a result of stock market performance (which is beyond anybody's control) as predicted by Rafizi. Still this would not affect distributable reserves nor liquidity because (i) the investments are for the long term, (ii) it is not a cashflow movement and (iii) Tabung Haji has the staying power. Therefore assets will never disposed of at forced sale value.

Rafizi then tries another trick in his analysis (Bahagian 2: Analisa Penyata Pendapatan) whereby he claims that losses in the value of equities (referred to as ‘Changes in the fair value of securities available-for-sale’) should be booked as losses in the Income Statement instead of the Statement of Comprehensive Income. The loss (RM2.4 billion) in the Comprehensive Income Statement is also reflected as a loss under non-distributable reserves in the Statement of Changes in Fund (or reserves).

If Tabung Haji's CFO, the Auditor-General and Malaysian Accounting Standards Board were as stupid and ignorant as Rafizi, then the effect would be to reduce earnings, even if unrealised and not a cashflow movement. Rafizi ignores the fact that in the past, gains in equity invesments were also not taken as earnings/profit for the same reason i.e. the investments are held for the long term and is a non-cashflow movement. Rafizi again shows his ignorance in accounting standards (revenue item vs capital item and revenue reserves vs capital reserves) and accounting concepts (consistency concept).

I find it incredible that Rafizi actually wants capital (paper) losses to offset earnings and reduce distributable reserves so that depositors will get less dividend. Why? How does that benefit anyone? Just to make TH and the government look bad? This insistence can only be attributed to Rafizi having hati yang busuk. Nonetheless his opinion is utterly worthless because he can’t change international accounting standards and the Companies Act according to his whim and fancy. Rafizi may also not realise that many ordinary companies would be having a party declaring unrealised profits as dividends and eventually go bust if his ignorant opinion was adopted as an accounting standard.

3. RAFIZI: Tabung Haji bernasib baik kerana jumlah simpanan baru setiap tahun mengatasi jumlah pengeluaran deposit. Malah, jumlah bersih simpanan (simpanan baru tolak pengeluaran) adalah secara puratanya dua kali ganda lebih tinggi dari keuntungan yang dijana oleh Tabung Haji lalu memberi banyak ruang kepadanya menguruskan pelaburan dengan lebih selesa.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I shall repeat what Rafizi has said:

“… banyak ruang kepadanya menguruskan pelaburan dengan lebih SELESA."

That shows that, apart from the fact that deposits are backed by assets and government guarantee, even Rafizi acknowledges that Tabung Haji has no liquidity issue. If there is no negative reserves problem, no liquidity problem, no dividend payout problem then what’s the problem?

4. RAFIZI: Tabung Haji membayar bonus melebihi keuntungan yang dijana pada tahun-tahun 2012 dan 2014. Bonus bagi tahun kewangan berakhir 31 Disember 2012 (yang dibayar pada awal 2013) besar kemungkinan bermotifkan pilihanraya. Bonus bagi tahun kewangan berakhir 31 Disember 2014 (yang dibayar pada awal 2015) disyaki berlatar belakangkan krisis 1MDB bila mana pihak berkuasa perlu meyakinkan rakyat bahawa masalah kewangan 1MDB tidak mempunyai kesan kepada pasaran kewangan tempatan.

This is scraping the barrel and a mischievous remark by Rafizi. Rafizi nampaknya terdesak sangat ingin mencari kesalahan Tabung Haji sehingga terpaksa mendakwa bonus “kemungkinan bermotifkan pilihanraya” dan “disyaki berlatar belakangkan krisis 1MDB”. Benefit for more than 8 million of the rakyat is poison for the Opposition.

Tahun 2012: RBA telah meningkat dari RM327 juta pada tahun 2006 ke RM895 million pada tahun 2011. Sekiranya bonus tidak melebihi keuntungan, RBA akan meningkat ke sekurang-kurangnya RM1.2 billion bagi tahun 2012. Bilangan pendeposit pula telah meningkat dari 5.6 juta pada tahun 2010 ke 7 juta (25.3%) pada tahun 2011 dan 8.2 juta (20.3%) pada tahun 2012. Maka tidak munasabah dan tidak masuk akal jika RBA hanya dibiarkan meningkat tanpa diagihkan bila tidak ada kemelesetan ekonomi berbanding bayar dividend kepada ramai orang Islam. Kita tidak perlu ambil tahu atau mempertikai samada ada kaitan dengan pilihanraya. Kalau ya pun, so what? Furthermore, the dividend RATE is nothing exceptional.

Tahun 2014: It looks to me that Tabung Haji’s policy is to keep dividend rates pretty stable whether during good or bad times. Otherwise it would be unfair for depositors whose money is with TH only during the bad times through no fault of theirs. Therefore whether bonus is higher or lower than profit is incidental. What matters is that depositors do get bonus because the purpose of the savings is primarily for haj, at least for 80%-85% of the depositors. It is mischievous of Rafizi to try to connect this to 1MDB. And as had been explained before, TH took a prudent approach to declare a lower dividend for 2015 in view of the economic outlook and after considering BNM’s advice hence the increase in distributable reserves.

This fourth claim is a desperate and pathetic attempt based on an afterthought by Rafizi to cast negative suspicion upon Tabung Haji.

I know this won’t be the last from Rafizi.

I hope everyone will whack him on his page to tell him to stop his fear-mongering at the expense of the ummah. I can’t because I have been blocked. Of course be prepared to receive responses such as these.

Semoga Allah SWT gagalkan rancangan jahat Rafizi Ramli memburukkan institusi Islam dan merosakkan ummah.
- AA -

Distributable reserves = rizab boleh agih (RBA) = revenue reserves (e.g retained earnings)

Non-distributable reserves - rizab tidak boleh agih (RTBA)= capital reserves (e.g. revaluation reserve, share premium account (for companies))

Rafizi’s FB post:

Further to our dismantling of Rafizi's accusations, Rafizi then came out with with two very bizarre points:
1. He finally admitted that he still has money in Tabung Haji and did not take out any money despite him frequently attacking Tabung Haji. He claims he does not know the actual balance as he seldom checks his balance (jarang semak). We have calculated that he has at least RM520,000 in Tabung Haji based on his earlier declarations.
2. Despite multiple attacks and all sorts of accusations on Tabung Haji over the past year, he finally advises depositors not to withdraw their money from Tabung Haji - a piece of advice that came one year late.

Recently, due to Rafizi's many failed accusations in the past, a growing number of people on social media have started showing their disgust at Rafizi and started calling him with the unkind name of Sotong with all sorts of trolls on him now.
Personally I want to avoid such name-calling, but I do believe we should not simply trust cuttle-fish.

I offer this generic advice which is not directly targeting or insinuating anyone in particular.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Does Mahathir have the moral authority to talk about our judiciary system after he had crushed it?

Reading back, what he did then was really over the top.  
Getting his own party declared illegal, phantom voters, used and slander the Agong, change the constitution, threw more than a hundred people in jail, paralysed the courts systems.  
All because one man wanted to remain president.
Today there was a statement that slammed Tun Mahathir's blog post a few days back and correctly pointing out that it was seditious.
Annuar: Is Mahathir courting a sedition rap?
Tan Sri Annuar Musa has raised the possibility that former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad was deliberately courting a sedition charge by making remarks about the appointment of the Attorney-General, Apandi Ali.
In a statement today, Annuar said it was clear that Dr Mahathir’s blog article on Wednesday had contained “words seditious in nature.” 
Annuar said it could be that Dr Mahathir “being a shrewd political strategist” was trying to mobilise support for his cause to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak by inciting the authorities to act against him and hence garner public sympathy. 
“Having been a Prime Minister for a very long time, Tun Dr Mahathir must have known that those words are seditious in nature, what more when the Federal Government under his stewardship used to very frequently charge people for the same offence,” Annuar said. 
“But it could also be that Tun Dr Mahathir thinks that him being a former Prime Minister and a former Umno President may make him immune from the power of law, hence his boldness in going against the law in his attempt to try to get the PM removed.” 
However, Annuar pointed out that the authorities would have to act if police reports were lodged against Dr Mahathir, lest the government be perceived as being selective.
Annuar charged that Dr Mahathir was laying himself open by his writing about “the improper dismissal of the previous Malaysian AG (Gani Patail) just before he was expected to bring a charge against the PM” and that “the current AG was appointed by the PM through false representation made to the King.” 
He said Mahathir’s claim that Apandi was appointed through false representation made to the King was not only seditious, it was an insult to the King. 
He pointed out that even the usually pro-opposition law experts such as Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar of University of Malaya, and “fiercely independent law experts” such as Emeritus Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi of UiTM were of the opinion that Gani Patail’s dismissal was constitutional, unlike Mahathir’s dismissal of top judges. 
He said Gani had never challenged his dismissal, and the Bar Council had also fully recognised Apandi. 
“It naturally goes that if the previous AG’s dismissal is constitutional then the current AG’s appointment is also constitutional, as simple as that,” Annuar said. 
Annuar turned the spotlight on Dr Mahathir’s past, pointing out that the premier had removed the Lord President of the Federal Court, Tun Salleh Abas, and fellow Federal Court Justices, Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and George Seah, in 1988 in order to save his own position.
Dr Mahathir had no moral standing to preach or complain about the ruining of the Malaysian judicial and legal system, he said. 
“If there’s any fault with the current system, he should blame himself”, Annuar added, saying Mahathir had created and perpetuated the situation.
The last part about Mahathir having no moral standing to comment on this is especially hurtful to Tun Mahathir.

The judicial crisis of 1988 was the single most corrupt and brazen attempt to subvert justice in Malaysia and has forever tainted Malaysia's judiciary system and is a story that deserves repeating - especially to the younger Malaysians who may not be aware of the significance of this event.

Suffice to say that Tun Mahathir subverted our constitution and corrupted our judiciary system just because he wanted to stay in power as UMNO president and Prime Minister.

This story was told by one of the victims himself, the former Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas in his 1989 book:  May Day for Justice: The Lord President's Version 

Here is a a summary of this book:



Mahathir was continually upset with the Judiciary because the verdicts in a number of cases went against the Government. According to Deputy  PM, Datuk Musa Hitam, one
of  his favourite slogans was "Hang the Lawyers! Hang the Judges!" From 1987, he intensified his verbal attacks against the Judiciary in the news media, making damaging statements which clearly demonstrated that he did not understand the role of the Judiciary as being independent from the Executive and Legislative arms of Government. 

That the Judiciary exists as a check-and-balance against the excesses of the Executive appeared to have been a concept he never fully grasped. Instead, he accused judges of the sort of political interference that would result in confusion and loss of public confidence in the Government. Hence, to curtail the powers of the Judiciary and subsume it beneath the Executive became one of his cherished dreams.

In April 1987, after an UMNO leadership contest in which Mahathir very nearly lost to Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, there were allegations that several delegates who had voted were drawn from branches not properly registered under the Societies Act 1966. An appeal was filed by eleven UMNO delegates to have the elections declared null and void. This was a very serious matter for Mahathir because if the appeal succeeded, fresh elections would have to be held and he might lose. The matter finally came before Justice Harun Hashim of KL High Court who ruled that under the existing law, he had no choice but to declare not just the elections invalid, but the whole of UMNO an 
unlawful society as well. The country and, more particularly, UMNO, went into a state of shock.

In most modern democracies, a political catastrophe of this magnitude would have result in the immediate resignation of the party's President and Prime Minister. But Mahathir did not resign. He informed the country that the Government would continue running the country. Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang and Tunku Abdul Rahman called for a vote in 
Parliament to establish Mahathir's legitimacy but those calls were ignored. Mahathir then set in motion the machinery to form a new surrogate party called UMNO Baru. His opponents, however, wanted the old party revived. The eleven UMNO delegates then launched an appeal in the Supreme Court to have the 1987 elections alone declared illegal and the party not an unlawful society.

Mahathir fully understood the danger to him of this pending appeal. He had to act quickly. In October 1987, he launched the notorious Operation Lalang in which at least 106 people were arrested and detained without trial under the ISA, including three very articulate critics, the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, political scientist Dr. Chandra Muzaffar and leading lawyer Karpal Singh. The official reason for the arrests was that a highly dangerous security situation had arisen but this has been strongly disputed as nothing more than a shameless fabrication. The broad sweep included even environmentalists and Consumer Association spokesmen. Four of the most outspoken newspapers -The Star, The Sunday Star, Watan and Sin Chew Jit Poh - had their publishing licences suspended. When, after five months, the papers were free to publish again, they were no longer the same.

Mahathir's next move was to push through Parliament far-reaching amendments to the Constitution so that the Executive gained in power enormously at the expense of the Judiciary. There was general indignation at this rude behaviour which shocked a good many people. The indecent haste and the fact that the amendments were made at a time when the Government's main critics were in detention, including the Opposition Leader and six vocal MPs and outspoken newspapers demoralized added further to the appalling injustice of the situation. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's beloved first Prime Minister, put it succinctly: "It was legal, but was it just?" Others noted angrily that the Constitution had been raped once again. In a speech, the outgoing President of the Bar Council, Param Cumaraswamy, said:

"The Prime Ministe's vile and contemptuous allegations, and the accusations levelled at the Judiciary and our judges left many shocked beyond belief. His speech which was full of venom, hate and spite with no substance whatsoever, illustrated his complete and total ignorance of the role of the Judiciary and the judicial process itself. He has indeed defiled and defaced the Constitution. It is surprising that those 142 MPs who voted in favour, after taking the oath that they would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, had no compunction about destroying one of its basic structures."

One visiting parliamentarian was astonished at the lack of public debate. In his own country, he said, such amendments would have taken years.

Next, after having curbed the independence of the Judiciary, Mahathir set about destroying its integrity. This was the removal of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President in 1988, a move which Tunku Abdul Rahman described as "the most shocking story in modern legal and judicial history,"


Tun Salleh Abas was a man of humble origins - his father was a sailor and small village trader - who rose to become Lord President, the highest judge in the land and head of the Judiciary while remaining a deeply religious man.

By March 1988, Mahathir's scandalous and violent public attacks on the Judiciary had so provoked the judges that Tun Salleh was obliged to call a conference. Twenty judges met in the Supreme Court one week after the debilitating and shameful Constitutional amendments were made. 

By unanimous agreement, a letter was drafted to the King (also the Sultan of Johore) and copied to all Sultans, expressing disquiet over various comments made by the Prime Minister. 

The letter was delivered on 25 March and Tun Salleh left soon after for medical treatment in the United States followed by a pilgrimage to Mecca. He had a most important duty to perform upon his return: he fixed the hearing of the crucial UMNO Eleven appeal for June and, because of its overwhelming significance, decided that a full coram of nine Supreme Court judges should hear this. 

Three days later, Tun Salleh was suspended from his official capacity by the King on recommendation of the Prime Minister. In the same hour that he received the suspension letter, the Acting Lord President, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid took the UMNO Eleven case out of the calendar so that the link between the two was difficult to deny.

Tun Salleh's suspension came after he refused to bow to Mahathir's pressure to either resign or retire, even though financial inducements were offered, including mention of a lucrative job in the International Development Bank in Jeddah. The initial reason given for the suspension was that the King had taken great displeasure over the letter Tun Salleh 
had written on behalf of all judges. According to official records prepared by the Attorney General, the King had requested Tun Salleh's removal in an audience with the Prime Minister on the "Wednesday morning of 1 May 1988" after the weekly Cabinet Meeting.

There are serious doubts as to whether this audience actually took place. The first of May 1988 fell on a Sunday, not Wednesday as the Attorney General recorded. Even if the day of week were corrected, there can be no Cabinet meeting on a Sunday. That the King expressed great displeasure only on 1 May, when he had in fact received the letter on 25 
March cast further doubt over this assertion. It is difficult to believe that the King wanted Tun Salleh removed purely because he had protested about the public insults directed against the entire Judiciary by the head of the Executive. 

In any event, royal displeasure would not be a constitutionally valid ground for dismissal. Indeed, Mahathir advised the King as much in a letter written four days after this probably fictitious audience; however, the Prime Minister went further in the same letter to say that he would investigate Tun Salleh for any evidence of misbehaviour. 

The King did not clear up the mystery and, in an audience with Tun Salleh, actually asked the latter to step down without giving reasons although the Conference of Rulers had already asked for his reinstatement. 

Amazingly, Tun Salleh was suspended and a Tribunal set up to determine his fate before any formal charges were laid.

The Constitution does not provide for the removal of a Lord President. While the Tribunal need not be an inappropriate means, its composition was to say the least, disgraceful. It was composed of six acting and retired judges, although the Constitution required an odd number to prevent deadlock. 

Of these -four from Malaysia, one from Sri Lanka and one from Singapore -only the Sri Lankan enjoyed a rank comparable to Tun Salleh's. This was contrary to the very reasonable dictum that one should be tried by one's peers rather than one's juniors. The fact that two retired Lord Presidents of Malaysia were available but not invited was glaring. 

There were grave conflicts of interest with three of the Malaysian judges that should have disqualified them from sitting: Tan Sri Abdul Hamid who was next in line to succeed as Lord President and who had also participated in the conference of 20 judges which resulted in the letter to the King; Tan Sri Zahir who, being also the Speaker of the Lower House, was beholden to Mahathir, the principal complainant in the matter at hand; and Tan Sri Abdul Aziz who, although a former judge, was then a practising lawyer and, more incredibly, had two suits pending against him at that time. 

But Tun Salleh's objections were ignored and when the Bar Council issued a statement calling for the Tribunal to be re-constituted, both the New Straits Times and The Star refused to publish it. 

Further, it was decided that the Tribunal would sit in closed sessions although Tun Salleh had requested a public hearing.

The charges, when finally published, were manifestly absurd. Running over 12 sheets of paper, it was clear that quantity had been substituted where quality was lacking, and some of them actually related to Tun Salleh's behaviour after suspension. Many of them related to his speeches and press interviews, whereby sinister meanings were imputed to various innocuous comments that he had made. 

To cite an instance, in a speech at the University of Malaya, he had said: "The role of the courts is very important to bring about public order. If there is no public order there will be chaos in this country and if there is chaos, no one can feel safe" On this basis, Tun Salleh was charged with making statements criticizing the Government which displayed prejudice and bias against the latter. 

Another statement of his, "In a democratic system, the courts play a prominent role as agent of stability but they can perform this function only if judges are trusted," resulted in the charge that he had ridiculed the Government by imputing that it did not trust the judges. These charges were doubly ludicrous in the light of Mahathir's many poisonous attacks against the Judiciary.

It is not surprising that Tun Salleh, after reading this catalogue of fantasy crimes, refused to appear before what was so evidently a kangaroo court. 

The Tribunal, after refusing representations made by Raja Aziz, Tun Salleh's leading counsel, that it had no constitutional validity to sit, chose instead to proceed so hastily that it wound up deliberations, including the examination of witnesses with just four hours work. As it prepared to issue its Report, 

Tun Salleh's lawyers sought an urgent stay of proceedings in the High Court. This would normally be granted immediately at the least possibility that an 
injustice may be about to be done but, here, events turned into utter farce.

Instead of immediately reaching a decision as expected, the presiding judge, Datuk Ajaib Singh, after the court had been in languorous session the whole day that Friday, adjourned hearings for 9.30 am the next day. On Saturday however, the judge emerged in court only at 11.50 am and, even then, postponed hearings again for the Monday! 

In desperation, Tun Salleh's lawyers, knowing that the Tribunal could easily release its Report before then, sought the assistance of Supreme Court judge, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman, in his Chambers. 

The latter agreed to hear them in open court in half an hour's time and called a coram of all remaining Supreme Court, one of whom, Tan Sri Hashim Yeop, refused to sit. The soap opera reached an apogee of ridiculousness when Tan Sri Abdul Hamid, head of the Tribunal and Acting Lord President, gave orders for the doors of Supreme Court to be locked and for the seal of the Supreme Court to be secreted away!

Undeterred, the five Supreme Court judges ordered the policeman on duty to open the door forthwith. After less than half an hour, the Court ordered the Tribunal not to submit any recommendation, report or advice to the King. Tun Salleh's lawyers were typing the Order to serve personally to the Tribunal at Parliament House when news arrived that the gates of Parliament House had been locked!
At this point, Justice Wan Suleiman rose to the occasion and, calling the office of the Inspector General of Police, told a senior officer that any impediment to serving the Order would constitute contempt of court. The gates of Parliament swung open and, at 4 pm, Raja Aziz and his team served the Order to the Tribunal members who were found to be still hard at work on a word-processor that Saturday afternoon. All six members accepted service without complaint.

It would appear that justice had at last prevailed but, four days later, all five Supreme Court judges were suspended. Almost every rule that was broken to suspend Tun Salleh was broken again to suspend them. 

The prohibition order they had made were revoked within days. A second Tribunal eventually reinstated three of the judge: Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoff Abdoolcader and Tan Sri Wan Hamzah but Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Edward Seah were removed from office.

The UMNO Eleven case was quickly dismissed. The removal of Tun Salleh also saw the resignation of Deputy PM Datuk Musa Hitam who, according to popular wisdom, could no longer stomach Mahathir's ways.

Well, that's the long and short of it. And it took almost two decades and multiple apologies by the governments after Mahathir retired to help right this wrong.

But in the middle of last year in June 2015, Mahathir suddenly talked about this issue again - this tie in an even more twisted and bizarre version.
Dr Mahathir again claimed, as he has done before, that he had to take the blame for Salleh’s sacking and that it was the late Tuanku Iskandar’s wish to remove Salleh. 
“The Johor Sultan never liked Salleh. He (Salleh) wrote a letter complaining about noise coming from his (Sultan’s) house. That was wrong… but Salleh wrote the letter and copied it to every Sultan. The Johor Sultan, who was the Agong, was annoyed and said this is the wrong thing to do, and he asked me to dismiss Salleh,” said Mahathir
Yes, you read correctly. Mahathir blamed the late Johor Sultan for the removal of our highest judge (as well as the sackign and suspension of 5 other top judges) on the excuse that the Late Johor Sultan was unhappy at Tun Abbas because Tun Abbas complained that the Sultan's palace was noisy !!

Immediately and rightfully, the son of the late Sultan and the current Johor Tunku Bendehara slammed Mahathir.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The Tunku Bendahara of Johor has claimed that his father, the late Sultan Iskandar Ismail had been “used” by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remove the country’s top judge in the late 1980s. 
Nearly three decades on, Tunku Abdul Majid Idris Ibni Sultan Iskandar sought to reignite debate over the controversial sacking of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President by holding the former prime minister accountable for the act that triggered the 1988 judicial crisis. 
“Mahathir used my father to remove Tun Salleh, period. 
“Tun Salleh is a good man and my father acknowledged that. He has already made his peace with Tun Salleh,” the 44-year-old wrote in a short Facebook post yesterday, taking a leaf from another Johor prince’s playbook. 
“Mahathir, please don’t blame people who can’t defend themselves anymore,” he added. 
Tunku Abdul Majid’s remarks follows Dr Mahathir’s assertion Saturday that the late Sultan Iskandar had disliked Salleh and was instrumental in removing the judge from office after the latter complained about the noise from the king’s house that was being renovated.

“The Sultan of Johor, who was Agong, was very annoyed. This was a wrong thing to do, and he asked me to dismiss Salleh Abas,” Dr Mahathir told a forum at the Cooler Lumpur Festival here over the weekend. 
The 89-year-old said a tribunal was then set up, adding that the Attorney-General at the time did not want to mention the Agong’s name, but made Dr Mahathir out to be the main complainant against Salleh instead. 
Dr Mahathir, who was in office from 1981 to 2003, said he has never restricted judges and denied ever talking to them, except to the Lord President who would inform him about official matters like promotions and appointments. 
Dr Mahathir first made the claim that Salleh was sacked for complaining about the noisy construction work at the Agong’s house in his first autobiography, “A Doctor In The House: The Memoirs of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad”, published in 2011. 
The former Umno president had denied removing the former Lord President, along with five Supreme Court judges, in retaliation when the court declared the party illegal after the 1987 Umno election that saw Dr Mahathir narrowly defeating Kelantan prince Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. 
“I’ve explained this over and over again – I did not interfere. I’m prepared to go as a Muslim – we swear before Quran and all that.... I didn’t ask anybody to dismiss Salleh Abas. But I got that reputation,” Dr Mahathir said.
Looking at what he had done and the damage he made on our judiciary, you would expect that he is the last person to be qualified to question the Attorney-General in the seditious manner he did recently.

A person on Facebook commented this.

While I do not agree that anything justifies what he did back then, but it has already been done. Unless a Royal Commission of Inquiry is launched to determine if Tun Mahathir should be held responsible and be punished for it, there is little we can do to change history.

I do agree with that person commenting that the fact that he continues to attack others while conveniently ignoring what he had done is shameful and pure hypocrisy - of the highest order.

Another friend of mine commented this which I cannot agree more:
One thing about the opposition is that it used to object very vehemently against Tun M when he committed that wrong. Tun M survived the onslaught due to his association with the ruling party. If the opposition really wants him to account for all his past wrong, now would have been the best time. But politicking makes them blind to this opportunity ...
Current events with Tun Mahathir clearly proves that our current Pakatan Harapan opposition is really not interested in justice despite decades of calling and complaining about it. They are clear opportunists willing to set-aside true justice when it serves their interests.

In his June 2015 interview, Mahathir did say he was prepared to swear before the Quran to defend himself on this - but so far that remains so much hot air.

Do you think he would actually dare?

Maybe someone should remind Tun Mahathir to fulfill this vow to swear on the Quran before his story on the same events changes again?

And after this extra-ordinary episode, read what he did to ensure that he no longer had to go to such lengths to remain in power in The Shameful 43 votes.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

'BN sold more land than Pakatan in Penang and collected less' ??

One of the most often repeated lies by the DAP Penang State Govt and Lim Guan Eng is this:
"Barisan Nasional has sold 35 times more land than Pakatan Rakyat and yet received less money."

And it will come with newspaper headlines mostly printed in their own state newspaper Buletin Mutiara like this:

I have lost count on how many times YAB Chief Minister and the various DAP ADUNs have said this.

Each time, they are lying each time they say it.

Firstly, they will show you this graph as "proof".

Looks like too cheap right and BN very corrupted right? That's until we look at the details:

1) 980 acres at Tanjung Tokong:
This deal was signed in 1992 (yes almost 25 years ago) and Please... that Tanjung Tokong land was NOT EVEN LAND! It was a reclamation project awarded 15 years ago and the price of RM1 was just the rights to reclaim and once reclaimed the developer still have to PAY for land alienation premium and also to PAY for the conversion premium and also hand-over 10% of the reclaimed land FOC BACK to the State Govt.

As part of the deal, the developer also had to build subsidized low-cost housing.

You mean there is no cost for reclaiming land? So how can you say it is only for RM1psf? What is the cost of the 10% reclaimed land given back? The subsidized housing? the land premium and conversion cost?

And another part that YAB CM forgot to mention to you is that as part of the arrangement, 191.13 acres will be reclaimed and surrendered to the Penang government which includes 131.09 acres at Persiaran Gurney.

Out of this 191 acres, Penang govt had already signed to give away 110 acres of this land to the concession company constructing the Penang Tunnel.

And the Penang Tunnel company has just turned around and sold 50 acres of this land at RM2.83 billion.

This means that this 1992 reclamation agreement by the BN Govt then would have given 191 acres worth RM10.82 billion worth of land to the Penang Govt - or at least RM253psf - and certainly not RM1 psf (which is the often repeated lies of DAP).


2) 325 acres at Jelutong Expressway
This deal signed in 1997 (17 years ago) is again NOT EVEN LAND!!! The developer was given the right to reclaim 325 acres of land in exchange for constructing the Jelutong Expressway at an estimated cost of RM300m and payment of RM25.4m.

Again, once reclaimed the developer still have to PAY for land alienation premium and also to PAY for the conversion premium.

Again, you mean there is no cost for reclaiming land? No  land premium and conversion cost again?


3) 750 acre at Batu Kawan at RM3.24 psf:
This deal signed in 2004 was to facilitate the transfer of the Penang Turf Club away from the Island to Batu Kawan. This Batu Kawan land was supposed to have been used for a new equestrian centre which the developer had to build at no cost for the Penang Turf Club.

However, the two year deadline was not met and the project was cancelled.

Parcels 1, 2A, 2B 3A, and 3B measuring 450 acres in total and is mostly for industrial development and not for lucrative residential or commercial development.

Parcels 1 & 2A (150 acres) were signed on 16th January 2004 while Parcels 2B, 3A and 3B (300 acres) were signed by Lim Guan Eng himself in 5th April 2011 at RM 3psf.

Parcel 4 (300 acres) have yet to be signed.

Therefore only 150 acres were signed by BN govt in 2004 and sold for RM3.24psf while 300 acres were signed by DAP govt in 2011 and sold for RM3.05psf.

The market value for the Batu Kawan land in 2011 was only RM15psf (it is now much higher with the opening of the second penang bridge) therefore land sold in 2004 at RM3.24psf is not considered excessive.

After the Second Penang Bridge was opened in 2014, the land prices in Batu Kawan had shot up tremendously.

Even then in 2015, the land price here is still only around RM30-40 psf level as evidenced by the Penang govt selling 20 acres of this land for just RM30 million in 2015.

4) 1606 acre at Butterworth at RM8.40 psf
This deal signed also in 1997 (17 years ago) is again NOT LAND!!!

Under the agreement, the developer was given the right to RECLAIM land:
- 900 acres for the expansion of the North Butterworth Container Terminal and port-related use and a buffer zone for future port use;
- 706 acres for development by the firm (of which about 200 acres would be  for public infrastructure and open space to be handed back to the state government).*

In addition, the firm had to build seven government quarters in Bertam within three years to replace those affected

This means the firm has only about 500 acres of land to develop with the rest given back to state govt and remember... this is 1997! Even in 2008, the land price is Butterworth is not even RM15psf.

The concessionaire was also expected to finance 5km of the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway beginning from Butterworth. In return, the company would be allowed to collect toll at the present Sungai Nyior toll booth, though this was deferred. This toll concession is still suffering from low traffic and not very profitable.

Again this is RIGHT to reclaim land and not even land.

Therefore, a more accurate table would be this instead:

Please, Mr, LGE, stop using land reclamation deals from decades ago to justify your huge land sales.

The people are not stupid and knows the difference between land reclamation deals and actual land and asset sales lah!

People also not stupid and know that land prices 25 years ago and now are very different and land prices have sky-rocketed in recent years lah!

How can you still compare? 

Also, to further justify their lies, the Penang Govt would use this chart:

Again, that is inaccurate.

The truth is that since 2008, the Penang government has sold or traded a way more land than this.

Way lot more.

Easily more than RM10 billion of land sold or traded away by the state government since the year 2008 and not much to show for it with State reserves only increasing a paltry RM500million from RM1.1b to RM1.5billion in 2014.

This is because the Penang govt has been very free-spending with their annual state spending which has quadrupled. And if they did not sell land, the state would be running increasingly huge deficit every year.

Read more about this here: Penang financial management: An unsustainable bloat?

Selling assets to cover increasing yearly spending can only be possible if you never run out of assets or land to sell.

Unfortunately this is not the case. as even DAP Penang's State EXCO Chow Kon Yeow has already admitted on Jan 7th 2016 that the Penang state govt has run out of valuable land to sell.and have no choice but to do land reclamation.

In any case, such strategy to sell assets to fund increasing yearly spending is not rocket science and does not take a genius.

Anyone can do that. Even this person: