Monday, 17 May 2010

"You Give Me First La! Then I Give You Back!". People First, Performance Now?

This is your 1Malaysia Prime Minister. Watch it and you decide what you decide. I think Patrick Teoh got the nail on its head with this.

I have never met him personally but I keep hearing from my friends in BN that the PM is a sincere, polished, and intelligent guy. If so then the guy in the video must be an imposter.

Apart from the excreta that spews from his mouth, the continuous wiping of his lips indicates nervousness unbecoming of a nation's top leader. Also, the smug, condescending attitude and words are certainly not the mark of a sincere and intelligent guy. He seems to be saying to the predominantly Chinese audience, " cheapskate a**holes; you are all about money and therefore will sell your soul". Well Jibby, I think this time Sibu showed you where to stick the middle finger. 

Watch this video; imagine it is say, Lim Kit Siang talking instead of Najib. If it was so, you can bet the MACC will drag LKS's ass in for corruption and money politics or the EC will charge him for violating election law! 

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Postman Rang Twice? Ask The "Former Minister Of Post".

In the 1999 General Elections, Najib almost lost in his hometown, Pekan. He had won by a wafer thin margin of just 241 votes and speculation was rife at the time that the controversial postal votes got him through. The standing joke then was; although he was subsequently appointed Minister of Defense elections many (including those in BN) referred to him as Minister of Post.

Those tracking results of the Sibu by-elections today would have felt a sense of deja vu if they remembered Pekan 1999 and especially after Najib's last-minute, last-ditch, 3 hour whirlwind 3rd campaign visit to Sibu yesterday.

Official results were expected at 9.00 pm latest and by 8.14 pm, with 103 out of 110 voting streams counted, DAP was said to be ahead by 3,944 votes. By 9.00 pm the unofficial margin stood at 2,590 with 109 streams counted but the Election Commission had delayed the announcement of results pending the postal votes! The EC also stated that it was revising the voter turnout figure which for the whole evening was said to be 59.86%. The stench of a rat was beginning to permeate.

Finally, at about 11.00 pm (2 hours delay) the EC announced that DAP had won by a margin of a mere 398 votes. The turnout had been revised to 70% and of the declared 2429 postal votes; 70 went to DAP, a whopping 2,323 to BN, 36 to the Independent, and 208 were Rejected. What did the "postman" try to do? Was an attempted "fix" averted because of too many watching eyes? Or was there actually a "fix" to avoid showing a defeat of landslide proportions? You decide! Whatever it is, the easily abused postal voting must be removed from our elections process.

Read the Malaysiakini report on the Sibu by-election day before watching this must-view video, "Selepas Tsunami" (I understand it is deemed not seditious) that tells you why the Rakyat is still pissed off after 8th March 2008:

Selepas Tsunami (After the Tsunami) from Pusat KOMAS on Vimeo.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Dr Michael Newton: Spirit Realm Trailblazer Or Fraud?

People who know me well or who read this blog know I am a great advocate of the work and findings of Dr Michael Newton (MN).

Recently, there have been an increasing number of signs around me that seems to validate what MN postulates in his books yet, the skeptic within compels me to scour the www to seek any articles that refutes MN convincingly.

Well, not only has Google not  found any "convincing" counters to MN, I do not remember seeing a single article that refutes him. To me, this is pretty amazing considering the power of Google. I am now more convinced that more people must read his two books, "Journey of Souls" and "Destiny of Souls". The books are available free online too but I would suggest getting and keeping personal copies from the bookshop.     

The interesting article below is extracted (without permission) from the website of someone named Larry Carter...another skeptic. I found it when Googling for "Michael Newton and fraud". Please read:

The Spirit World

OK, this is something I've never done before. I don't put bumper stickers on my car - I don't even wear t-shirts with messages on them - so this is as close as I've ever come to proselytizing. However, after 50 years of exploring the great and not-so-great religions of the world, I finally found something regarding the afterlife that makes sense to me. (If an afterlife where some souls play harp all day while others are poked by demons with pitchforks sounds to you like a "Saturday Night Live" skit, you know what I mean.) So, I'm taking a chance and sharing what I've learned in hopes that it might be important to someone else as well.

The basics
Michael Newton is a hypnotherapist, meaning his expertise as a therapist is hypnotizing people to help them recall and resolve hidden memories (childhood abuse, for instance) that are resurfacing as adult problems. As he developed a technique for leading people into deeper and deeper trance states, he discovered that with some particularly sensitive people he was able to get beyond their ego bodies and converse with their immortal souls through past life regression. (If you don't think you have an immortal soul that has reincarnated in numerous bodies, you might as well stop reading right now. If, however, you think you do have an immortal soul, why shouldn't it be able to speak for itself when your physical body is placed in a deep enough trance?) As he developed his technique further, instead of focusing on just past lives he began asking them to describe the time between lives - after death but before incarnating in a new body. Through thousands of such sessions over 30 years of work, he pieced together a view of the spirit world that is very specific and revealing.

New Age mumbo-jumbo
I don't generally pay much attention to people who relate near-death or past-life experiences because, frankly, it all sounds like New Age mumbo-jumbo to me. Near-death experiences (lights at the end of tunnels and such) are by definition NEAR death rather than the real thing, so any observations from someone who "came back" might be based on their physical body reacting to trauma. Past-life memories make a certain amount of sense to me since I believe in reincarnation, but they are also susceptible to current-life egos - like all those people who insist they were someone famous like Cleopatra.

This, however, is something different. If Newton is telling the truth, thousands of people from very different spiritual backgrounds - from atheists to religious zealots - all give about the SAME DETAILS under deep hypnosis of what it is like in the spirit world. These details are far, far too specific to be explained as mere ego fantasies or coincidences, and since he claims to ask non-directive open-ended questions during hypnosis, the consistency of what he claims they report is startling. It is the CONSISTENCY OF DETAILS reported by thousands of very different clients that is most persuasive for me.

Fact or fraud?
Since his books include actual transcripts of hypnotherapy sessions where clients are reporting details regarding the spirit world, what it comes down to is that either these transcripts are real or he's just making the whole thing up. If this is all a hoax, it is an extremely elaborate one that he has somehow managed to carry on for decades. His books have sold around half a million copies over the last 13 years, so critics have had plenty of time and reason to expose any fraud. Given the thousands of people he claims to have personally had sessions with since the 1970s, and given that he has trained other hypnotherapists who have used his technique on countless more people, it seems unlikely to me that he would be able to maintain such an elaborate hoax over such a long period of time without someone, somewhere exposing any fraud. Although he certainly has his critics, I haven't been able to find anything that actually debunks his research claims. IF YOU CAN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Until that point, I'm inclined to put my SKEPTICISM (see below) aside and assume that the session transcripts he includes in his books really happened.

It - like - resonates with me, man!
There is an important qualifier: I suspect the spirit world is actually beyond human comprehension (why should the way it REALLY is be limited to what we can comprehend with human brains?), so I suspect any discussion of life after death relates to what REALLY happens in the same way that a kindergarten class in learning to count relates to advanced algebra. Given this limitation, however, this explanation is the first one I've heard that (as they say in California) resonates with me. Further, it seems quite compatible with what I consider to be the underlying assumptions of all peaceful world religions - being kind to others, practicing forgiveness, living a life of service, accepting consequences for decisions that hurt others, requesting spiritual guidance, believing the soul outlives the body, seeing spirit in all matter, striving toward the One, etc.

Leap of faith
Therefore, I'm willing to take the leap of faith and say that, despite some unanswered questions, this is what I believe. If you are interested in knowing what he has to say, a good place to start might be a 30-minute interview with him that someone posted on YouTube.Com. Click HERE or, if that doesn't work, go to www.YouTube.Com and search for "Michael Newton between lives." If the interview appeals to you, you might want to read one of his books - particularly Journey of Souls or Destiny of Souls. They basically amount to transcripts from his hypno-therapy sessions, plus commentary by him. His third book is an instruction handbook for other hypnotherapists interested in learning his technique. Used copies of his books are readily available from places like www.Amazon.Com for under $10.

And there you have it.

Larry, November 2007

Postcript #1: My SKEPTICISM is based on the following:

1) As a PhD, Newton is very familiar with the rigors of academic research, so what's with the total lack of substantiation for his claims? If this isn't a hoax, his findings are monumental and deserve academic validation - independent reviews of session tapes, for example. If he can include transcripts in his books, he should be able to make the original tapes available for peer review. Anecdotal evidence is interesting for the casual reader, but doesn't really validate his claims. On the other hand - perhaps he just isn't interested in convincing skeptical academics.

2) As a playwright myself who has struggled with writing dialogue, his transcripts don't sound very real. Perhaps that's because the subjects are in deep hypnosis, or because at the soul-level we all sound alike, or because he has edited the transcripts to make them more readable without altering the actual content - or perhaps it's because he's making the transcripts up as he goes.

3) Hypnotism is hardly new - some say it has been commonly practiced by Shamans and healers for thousands of years - so why is he the first person to tell us this specific information? Granted, he claims to have developed hypnosis techniques that allow him to go deeper into the trance state than normal, but even this doesn't sound all that unique. Given how exacting his information is, why haven't these very specific details found their way into numerous tribal mythologies? On the other hand, New Age enthusiasts insist that THIS is the most critical time in human history, and that we should expect spiritual messengers to be among us to lead us into the "new age" of our development.

4) Despite the above reservations, the way he describes the spirit world sounds very convincing to me. Ironically, it is SO convincing that it makes me suspicious. If I were to create a hoax regarding the spirit world, his multi-tiered system of non-judgmental educational development is about how I would have designed it myself. In other words, I am suspicious of being seduced by a vision that is so similar to what I would have created if I had been writing fiction. I realize this is a double-bind, but so be it.


Postscript #2 - Here are a couple of interesting REVIEWS I found on Amazon.Com from people who claim to have undergone hypnotherapy from either Newton or someone trained by him. Although plenty of reviewers disagreed with him, I didn't find any that disputed the integrity of his claims.

Review #1 - It is the truth and he is legitimate, January 2, 2002

By Reviewer "draiguisge" (Seattle, WA)

I first read Journey of Souls a few years ago, and had the same feeling of resonance that many reviewers did. But I wasn't convinced and still wanted to know more. I wrote to a reviewer on this site who had visited him, and following her suggestion, wrote to Dr. Newton for an appointment. At the time, he had a three-year waiting list, and was seeing about 2-3 clients a week. I saw him just before Destiny of Souls was completed, and while I did not experience my memories with the same clarity the subjects in his book did, I can say with utter certainty that Dr. Newton is not making it up, and is not manipulating his readers.

From my conversations with him, I have found him to be very intelligent, caring, funny, and honest. My experience in hypnosis was a bit unsettling for me, as much as the skeptic in me wanted to dismiss the truths I had learned about myself, I could not attribute my memories to anything that I had seen in his books or elsewhere. Nor did he plant the ideas in my head. He is absolutely the stubborn investigator he describes in his books and challenged the things I said, questioned me during the session, compared to things I had said earlier to make sure I was still saying the same things. Then, at the end of the session told me where I had said something similar to his other clients that had not been in Journey of Souls (but is now in Destiny), such as my detailed explanation of the medallion worn by one of the "Council" members.

In retrospect, I think the most amazing thing about my session was my casual attitude - as I talked about "unbelievable" things like hybrid souls I might as well have been telling him "the sky is blue" with the nonchalant way I felt. In fact, a few times I did get frustrated with his questioning, the same way someone would if challenged with "No, the sky is GREEN". What I was saying felt then, as it does now, to be nothing but pure and simple truth.

For the further skeptical, my small claim to fame is that one of his "One of my clients said.." comments to illustrate a point about soul names was something I told him after my session. So I know that whenever he says a client said something, they did.

Review #2 - My Experience of Life Between Life, May 26, 2007

By Reviewer "miteyoak" (Sacramento, CA)

I read this book almost 10 years ago, and it totally made sense with the way that I had always believed. I signed up to be on the waiting list for a regression, and I received a letter stating there was an 18 month or so waiting list. I only lived about an hour away from Grass Valley. I never heard anything. Then, about 5 years ago, I had a life between life regression from somebody who was trained by Newton. I had always wondered if I would lose my will and hypnosis would make me cluck like a chicken or if they would plant suggestions, but it isn't like that at all. First, they relax you and then they will ask you a question about what you see. I really saw things -- not always as clear as if I was watching TV -- but, I was able to get images and information and feel real feelings -- it was a very real experience. And, there isn't any way that my conscious mind could have fabricated what I saw. The whole process was mind blowing, and yet it eased my mind. I really went before a council of elders, and the some of the issues I had then are still issues in this life. I wouldn't have been able to make the link at the time -- and even during the process. It is only now -- several years later -- that I can see the pattern and see its relevance. It is hard to process everything all at once.

Postscript #3 - Having recently read Newton's 3rd book (basically an instruction manual for how experts already trained in hypnosis and therapy can use his technique) I am even more convinced that he is telling the truth as he sees it. After all, if he had made up all of these session dialogues up as a hoax, it seems highly unlikely that he would start a school to train other hypnotherapists on how to use his technique.

Postscript #4 - I find Newton's research to be compatible with the wide variety of spiritual practices I enjoy exploring. Below are links to some of my personal favorites.

Tiger E-List Gathering At "Chill Out" and At "Skewers": 30th April 2010 Subang Jaya

Highlight of the evening (well, apart from Co-Moderator, Nic Ong who was visiting from Singapore) was the Hoegaarden Beer at cost price the whole night long, thanks to Tiger Liz Tan.

Next "Tiger Tani Session" will be at "Ole Skool" Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya on the 14th of May.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sabah & Sarawak. Beginning Of The End-Game?

UPDATE: "A tale of two oil blocks", The STAR 9th May 2010

I suppose this settles it but the question that remains is; what's up Mahathir? Please read:

A tale of two oil blocks


The 2009 agreement between Malaysia and Brunei over territorial dispute has come under intense criticism for supposedly putting the former at a disadvantage. But is the picture being painted the correct one?

THE historic Exchange of Letters between Brunei and Malaysia, which ended two decades of territorial dispute between the two countries, was controversial from the day one.

Reporters who covered the March 16 event in Brunei last year and had filed their stories with their respective papers were stumped on their flight home – headlines like “Brunei denies Malaysia’s Limbang story” and “Limbang issue never discussed” were splashed across Bruneian newspapers available on the plane.

Just two days before, then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had signed the Exchange of Letters (essentially an agreement between countries) and had proudly told newsmen that Brunei had dropped its claim over Limbang in Sarawak as a result of the agreement.

But the Bruneian newspapers, quoting Brunei’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister II Pehin Lim Jock Seng, effectively denied Abdullah’s version of the agreement.

A little more than a year later, the agreement is still creating controversy.

This time, not only is the status of Limbang being questioned. The other major point of the agreement, that concerning the dispute over maritime territories, beneath which could lie billions of ringgit worth of oil and gas, is also being scrutinised.

The severe lack of information concerning the agreement has created opportunities to fan confusion and emotions among Malaysians. But thanks to the recent prodding by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Government has been forced to let more details out into the public domain.

With the information now available, it may be possible to see if Malaysia has benefited from the deal, or otherwise.

Let’s deal with the Limbang issue first. Brunei’s Lim was right to say that nowhere in the 2009 agreement was the word “Limbang” mentioned.

Reacting to Brunei’s denial, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who was then Foreign Minister, confirmed that Limbang was not mentioned in the agreement.

“But what was agreed to was for five historical border treaties between Brunei and Sarawak to be adhered to. This effectively makes the Limbang issue no more,” he said.

Two of the five treaties – one signed in 1920 and the other in 1933 – directly concerned Limbang. They established the border between Limbang and Brunei where it is today. As the border now places Limbang inside Malaysia, Brunei’s act of agreeing to follow the two agreements effectively means it agreed to let Limbang remain Malaysian. Once the demarcation of the border is completed, Limbang would be without question part of Sarawak.

So why the initial uproar by Brunei? One view is that it was not too happy with Malaysia quickly saying that it had got Limbang. It is extremely sensitive to the Bruneians as its loss in 1890 resulted in the Sultanate being split into two parts.

“Furthermore, they did not go around thumping their chests saying that they now got the oil that we wanted,” one commentator said. Nevertheless, he pointed out that Brunei’s Lim did not actually deny the statement that the Sultanate had dropped its claim over Limbang, indicating that there is no doubt that the claim had been dropped.

One of the points raised recently was whether Limbang was worth trading for the two oil-rich blocks. While the suggestion of such an exchange is wrong to begin with, the importance of Malaysia getting the isolated Limbang district should still not be downplayed.

A rather interesting but possibly exaggerated scenario was given by a historian. Brunei’s claim over Limbang, he pointed out, is based on the “unfair treaty” of 1890 between its Sultan and the White Rajahs of Sarawak.

“Brunei lost Limbang in an unfair treaty. But there is a school of thought that all treaties between the White Rajahs of Sarawak and Brunei, which resulted in Brunei losing the whole of Sarawak and the west coast of Sabah, were also unfair.

“After Limbang, could Kuching – or Kota Kinabalu for that matter – be claimed?” he queried.

Maritime territorial claims

Let’s move on to the maritime territorial claims and the two oil blocks.

Malaysia’s claim over the stretch of South China Sea where the two oil-rich exploitation blocks – named Blocks L and M by Malaysia (but were named as Blocks J and K by Brunei) – are located, and which Brunei claims to be its exclusive economic zone, has been described as akin to a person claiming ownership of the front yard of his neighbour’s house.

In 1979, Malaysia published a map showing its maritime territories. Whether rightly or wrongly, the map denied Brunei most of its territorial waters.

The UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (Unclos), of which both Brunei and Malaysia are signatories, gives all countries with coastlines the right to claim territorial waters up to a certain distance from the coastline. Malaysia’s 1979 map clearly did not conform to that provision as far as Brunei’s right to territorial waters was concerned.

It took four long days after the controversy blew up – after Abdullah and Petronas had issued statements – for Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry to state unequivocally that Malaysia’s dropping of its claim over the two oil blocks and the rest of Brunei’s territorial waters was based on sound international law.

There was no “signing away” of the two blocks because Malaysia could never have owned them in the first place. It would now seem unlikely that the two blocks could have been a major bargaining chip for Malaysia to get Limbang.

Malaysia awarded a concession over the two blocks to Petronas Carigali and Murphy Oil in 2003 as an assertion of its claim over the area, just as Brunei awarded concessions to six international companies to assert its claim over the same area.

But because of the dispute over sovereignty, none of the companies could start drilling for anything.

In March 2003, Murphy’s boat was chased away by a Bruneian gunboat and the following month, the Malaysian navy sent several gunboats into the area to block the arrival of a ship owned by Total, one of the companies awarded the concession by Brunei.

It was clear that not a drop of oil or a whiff of gas could be extracted from the area without the deadlock being resolved.

For more than half of the duration of the dispute, Dr Mahathir was Prime Minister. Going by what he has been saying recently, it is no surprise that there was no breakthrough in negotiations during that time.

However, as the realisation that no one would gain if the deadlock continued, pressure to move on started mounting.

A senior diplomat familiar with the negotiations said one of the things which broke the deadlock was when Malaysia indicated that it was willing to “discuss” its claim over the disputed waters.

Compromises were made by both sides and, because of the spirit of neighbourliness and close cultural ties, the matter was finally settled in late 2008. Malaysia recognised Brunei’s ownership of the disputed waters while the legality of the land border between Sarawak and Brunei – with Limbang remaining in Malaysia – would no longer be raised again by Brunei.

Despite Brunei becoming the owner of the oil and gas from the two blocks, the 2009 agreement allowed Malaysia to jointly exploit the resources of the area for 40 years. Petronas has confirmed that it has been invited by Brunei to take part in the development of the area.

Unlike two other existing “sharing agreements” – that between Malaysia and Thailand, and Malaysia and Vietnam – the one with Brunei is unique. In the two earlier cases, sovereignty of the overlapping area is still in dispute but with Brunei, this issue has been settled.

The cake is Brunei’s but Malaysia’s got a significant slice of it. More importantly, after waiting for 20 years, the two countries no longer need to wait further to start eating it.

Leong Shen-li, the senior news editor in The Star, is one of the reporters who covered the signing of the Exchange of Letters. He also has a big fascination for border disputes.

1890: Brunei gives up Limbang to Sarawak’s second White Rajah Charles Brooke, splitting the Sultanate into two parts.

1979: Malaysia publishes map of its territorial waters. Map denies Brunei of any territorial waters in the South China Sea beyond the depth of 100 fathoms (182m), leaving Brunei with just a narrow strip of territorial waters, and claims the entire area beyond 100 fathoms as belonging to it.

1984: Brunei gains independence from Britain. It claims a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone which overlaps with the territorial waters claimed by Malaysia as shown in the 1979 map.

2003: Malaysia awards Petronas Carigali and Muphy Oil production contracts for the disputed Blocks L and M which lie within areas claimed by Brunei. Brunei also awards production contracts to Total, BHP Biliton and Hess for one block, and to Shell, ConocoPhilips and Mitsubishi for the other block.

March 2003: Brunei gunboats chase away Murphy Oil’s boat. One month later, Malaysian Navy gunboats prevent a Total boat from entering disputed area. All exploration work is suspended by both sides.

2009: Brunei and Malaysia sign Exchange of Letters to settle their land and maritime territorial disputes after more than 30 sessions of negotiations.

With the 2009 Exchange of Letters, Brunei and Malaysia agreed to establish their common border in two ways:

> By following five border treaties which were signed between 1920 and 1939.

> By filling the gaps not covered by the five treaties by following the “watershed” principle. This effectively means that there would not be any major deviation from the current border between Malaysia and Brunei. As Limbang is currently in Malaysian hands, there would be no change in its status once the demarcation process is completed.

1. The 1920 treaty establishes the eastern boundary of Limbang with Brunei along the entire length of the Pandaruan River.

2. The 1933 treaty establishes part of Limbang’s western boundary with Brunei along the watershed of the Brunei and Limbang Rivers “until a point west of Gadong Hill”.

3. The 2009 Exchange of Letters will fill in the gaps in the border according to the watershed principle.


Any decent chess player will tell you that in chess the end-game refers to the stage of the game when there are few pieces left on the board.

The line between middlegame and endgame is often not clear, and may occur gradually or with the quick exchange of a few pairs of pieces.

The endgame, however, tends to have different characteristics from the middlegame, and the players have correspondingly different strategic concerns. In particular, pawns become more important; endgames often revolve around attempting to promote a pawn by advancing it to the eighth rank.

The king, which has to be protected in the middlegame owing to the threat of checkmate, becomes a strong piece in the endgame. It can be brought to the center of the board and be a useful attacking piece.

BN seemed in a comfortable middle-game position in the political chess game of Sabah and Sarawak just a week ago and it was "safe" for Najib to be in Sibu bringing Christmas early, continuing from where he left off in Hulu Selangor. Then the Limbang debacle breaks. Suddenly BN may be staring at a sudden end-game; will the Limbang Limbo bring BN down in East Malaysia? Can the  Sabahans and Sarawakians unite behind Blocks L & M? What can be more sensitive and close to the East Malaysians' soul than sovereignty? Has the last straw landed on the camel's back? Giving away State land without consulting the State governments?

Well, East Malaysian newspapers are not as easy to muzzle compared to their West Malaysian counterparts so it is interesting to watch attempted spin result in another tsunami in the opposite direction. Suddenly it may not seem so cushy sitting in the Federal Government chair.

The secondary question is; if Blocks L & M were given away to Brunei in exchange for ownership of Limbang yet Brunei has disputed dropping its claim, then WTF? Maybe the Sultan of Brunei paid cash for Blocks L & M? Under-table money ar?  Though it was Bodohwi who did it, Najib was DPM then, so how?

Read this from Malaysiakini:

Sabahans livid over loss of oil blocks

Joe Fernandez
May 4, 10

The chickens have come home to roost in the growing controversy over Malaysia's 'secret' handover of offshore oil blocks L and M to Brunei last March, during the tenure of premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The opposition in Sabah has charged that the handover was done without complying with Article 2 of the federal constitution, and wants it to be scrapped immediately.

PKR vice-president Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan pointed out that, under Article 2, no alterations can be made to the borders of a state without the express approval of the state assembly concerned by appropriate legislation, and without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.

“There is no record that the Sabah state assembly passed any law giving its seal of approval to the handover. Any such law would also need the consent of the governor,” he said.

Moreover, the 1976 oil agreement between Sabah and Petronas does not give the latter the authority via the Malaysian government to cede Sabah territory to a foreign country.

“Land remains a state matter under the federal constitution notwithstanding the 1976 oil agreement,” said Jeffrey.

The handover became public knowledge after an oil company announced that Petronas had terminated its oil contract involving the two blocks.

Abdullah had not publicly disclosed the handover in March last year, but had only claimed then that Brunei had dropped its claim to Limbang in Sarawak. The Brunei government had immediately disputed this.

Jeffrey castigated the government for being a willing party to the handover at a time when it was not willing to consider even a modest increase in the “measly 5 percent oil royalty to (Sabah)”.

He said he sees no reason why the government could not have surrendered the oil blocks back to Sabah by an amendment to the oil agreement.

Instead, noted Jeffrey, Putrajaya was more willing to hand over the oil blocks - even illegally under “suspicions circumstances” - to Brunei, while Abdullah had engineered the handover just three weeks before he stepped down as prime minister.

“He should not have been a party to the handover since he was in the process of stepping down. He should have left it to his successor, Najib (Abdul Razak), to sort out the border disagreements with Brunei so that suspicions would not be aroused. Why the great hurry?”

While stressing that he did not want to cast aspersions on Abdullah's character, Jeffrey demanded that the former premier should disclose any interest he may have had in the handover.

“It is not enough that we be asked to give him the benefit of the doubt on the handover - this is not a question of trust but of procedure.”

Abdullah (left) has claimed that the oil blocks are now shared by Malaysia and Brunei under a territorial and commercial deal inked on March 16 last year, but Wisma Putra has since acknowledged that Brunei has sovereignty over the two areas.

'Abrogate handover'

Since Brunei and Malaysia had been bogged down in border disagreements for decades, Jeffrey said “there is no reason why they could not have waited a little while longer while everything was done properly and legally in accordance with the federal constitution”.

He urged a halt to oil exploration and production activities in blocks L and M, now re-designated CA1 and CA2, pending resolution of the final status.

An emergency meeting of PKR's Sabah-Sarawak Consultative Committee will be called to determine a response, he said, hinting that a royal commission of inquiry on the handover may be a first step, followed by a referendum.

“Petronas, other oil companies and Brunei can't hang on to any proceeds and revenue from oil blocks L and M. The Sabah government has an equal claim to any revenue. Even royalties alone work out to nearly RM20 billion by conservative estimates at today's prices.”

He said the government cannot claim that the Sabah and Sarawak governments had been briefed on the handover and consulted accordingly.

“Even if the respective chief ministers were indeed briefed and consulted, it's not up to them to do what they like on the handover. There is still the need to comply with the federal constitution on the matter.”

Asked how he sees the way forward, since the deed is done, Jeffrey reiterated that the handover must be abrogated, and both the Sabah and Sarawak governments should be brought into renewed negotiations with the Brunei government.

He favours Petronas handing back the two oil blocks to Sabah for the state to consider “joint sovereignty” with Brunei, adding that this can be done if the Sarawak government can be persuaded to consider “joint sovereignty” over Limbang Division with Brunei.

'High treason'

Jeffrey's remarks have struck a chord with other opposition leaders including Sabah Progressive Party president Yong Teck Lee and Common Interest Group Malaysia deputy chair Daniel John Jambun.

Daniel said he is not surprised by the handover of the two oil blocks by Malaysia, and pledged to pursue the issue until justice is done to Sabah.

“This not the first time that the government has run foul of the federal constitution. The issuance of MyKad to illegal immigrants, refugees and other foreigners in Sabah is also being done without the approval of the state government,” he claimed.

He sees parallels, up to a point, between the handover of the oil blocks and the conversion of Labuan to a federal territory in 1984. In the case of Labuan, he said everything was done legally except that the people were not consulted.

“Even then it led to the downfall of the Berjaya government under Harris Salleh,” he said, predicting a similar fate for the current Umno-led Sabah government.

Yong, in dramatic vein, said Abdullah has committed “high treason” by handing over the oil blocks to Brunei without Sabah's approval.

“The government should make public the handover agreement. It should also publish the map of Sabah showing its land and maritime boundaries,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He insisted that the government must make good the loss that Sabah has suffered by the handover, and that the losses should be properly quantified and recorded.

“If we don't take action on the handover, a dangerous precedent would have been established. What is there to prevent the federal government from selling chunks of Sabah in future to foreigners?” he asked rhetorically.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

What Drives The Tun?

The following post was extracted from Tun Mahathir's "Che Det" blog. Personally, I have wondered about Tun's state of mind recently and his latest blog post adds to the doubts.

In it, he not only shows the continued seething disdain for his appointed successor (that Sleepy Head Bodowi) but also points obliquely at the BN culture and lack of transparency/accountability which has cost the nation billions in leakages.

Is his mind still sound? Does he realize he could well be sounding the death knell for his own beloved UMNO especially when he ended the blogpost with the words, "Wither Malaysia?"? His colleagues in UMNO may be more comfortable if he shuts up about Block L & Block M and the Limbang Limbo lest the Rakyat shout TREASON!

What more, he has added the earlier alleged RM270 billion to the Limbang tab to make it half a trillion ringgit.

Please read for yourself:


1. I am glad that Petronas is going to take part in the exploration and production of the two blocks we surrendered to Brunei. That still does not mean we will get much out of the deal.

2. Wisma Putra should make public the full contents of the agreement signed last year. When we give up what belongs to the people really, the people have a right to know. After all, Abdullah's Government made a point about being transparent, implying of course that the previous Government was not transparent. So let us see transparency in this decision to surrender the peoples' heritage. If as it is claimed we have not lost much, let us know how much is not much.

3. At the present price of USD83 per barrel (RM249.00), one billion barrels would yield USD 83 billion or RM249 billion. Forget the likelihood that the oil price would increase in future, how much would we get from Petronas' involvement in the production.

4. The question as to what happened to the RM270 billion that Petronas paid to Abdullah's Government has not been answered.

5. His apologists will say that I am being petty, that I lost billions too. But concern over a total of over RM500 billion not accounted for or lost cannot be considered petty.

6. The Malaysian public is very forgiving. When my questions are met with "elegant silence", that is the end of the story.

7. Whither Malaysia?

Saturday, 1 May 2010

CK Has Gone Home...

My friend Loh Cheng Kiat (CK) passed away at 3.00 am this morning. CK had been battling pancreatic cancer for about two years.

When I last met him in February this year, he had returned from cryo-surgery in China and just discharged from Pantai Medical Center after a bout of dehydration. 

The CK I met then had been physically ravaged by the cancer but mentally he was still the giant of a man that we know. He told me his body system had all but shut down when he was in Pantai but the doctors somehow managed to "re-boot" his system. CK the IT man had not lost his sense of humor!

The CK I know was a generous man whose charity often extended to things more than the pecuniary. He seemed to have a compunction to want to give back more than what life had bestowed on him.

The CK I spoke to in February was a man at peace with life. He mentioned he had had an up-lifting spiritual experience in the hospital and his departed mother had appeared to comfort him. I somehow felt it would be the last time I would see my friend CK but I felt glad to have met CK in the spirits that he was then. He had reconciled himself to himself.    

To Irene, Ivan and Jacy, there are no words I can offer that can console you at this time as nothing can fill that void in your hearts. I can only say time is a great healer. 

CK, you have left the pain behind and I am glad you are once again... Home.