Thursday, May 25, 2006

No patching up with Anwar, says Mahathir

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dismissed the possibility of reconciling with Anwar Ibrahim arguing that it would lend credence to accusations that the charges against his estranged ex-deputy were trumped up.

Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 and subsequently charged and convicted for sodomy and corruption. Anwar has claimed that the charges were part of a political conspiracy against him, an allegation that Mahathir denied.

"If I have reconciliation, it may be interpreted as my belief that actually nothing happened, that it was wrong, my mistake, (that) my decision was wrong, that this thing did not happen.

" But to me, I was convinced, I made the decision, no matter what the people say," Mahathir said in an exclusive interview with editors.

Mahathir maintained that it was his responsibility to ensure that Anwar did not succeed him because his alleged homosexuality had rendered him "unsuitable to run the country".

Mahathir talks about famous sons and business

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he did not ask his sons to divest their business as alleged by certain quarters.

" It's just that I have always stopped them from doing any business with the government. They can do business. I've never stopped them from doing business. But no business with the government, no candidature. People came to ask me to nominate my son as a candidate for parliamentary seat. I said, "No. Not while I'm prime minister."

Mahathir told that he did not want to give the impression that he is creating a dynasty.

But as far as business is concerned, they can do business, (but) not with the government.

"As a matter of principle, when I was prime minister, I did not allow my children, my wife, to be involved in business with the government. My wife, certainly not - no business at all. This is a matter of principle for me," Mahathir said in an exclusive interview with the internet media.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

PM Abdullah made some wrong moves, says Mahathir

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is disappointed with certain decisions made b y his handpicked successor, Abdullah Badawi, who took over the reins three years ago, according to

The former prime minister, however, refused to rate the performance of Abdullah, citing possible negative effects.

" I don't like to pass opinions on the present government's performance because that may have negative effects, so I just will miss out on that. That is my answer," he told malaysiakini editors during a 45-minute interview in his Petronas Twin Towers office in Kuala Lumpur last week.

As for his disappointment with the current administration, Proton and the half-bridge project topped the list.

" I am disappointed in what happened to Proton and also to the half-bridge," he said. He also revealed that it was the Malaysian government, and not Singapore, that had offered to sell sand as well as the use of Johor's airspace to the island state.

Mahathir argued that the offers were made at a meeting in 2004 between the two nations to get Singapore's agreement to the building of a straight bridge.

The sale of sand, in particular, was to the tune of one billion square metres, or 50 million square metres a year for 20 years, he said.

" That will make Singapore one-and-a-half times its present size. It will be suitable for a population of, maybe, 10 million," he added.

Just as Malaya was "cheated" into selling Singapore to the British for RM60,000 and Penang for RM10,000 then, the present government was selling sand - "a part of Malaysia" - to Singapore, claimed Mahathir.

President Bush is anti-Islam - here is the proof

President George Bush is alienating Muslims around the world by using Christian rhetoric to discuss his foreign policy issues.

This statement is not from Osama Bin Ladin, or Hamas, or Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Sadam Hussein or from some Islamic fundamentalist mullahs in Iran or Afghanistan or Islamist militants in the Middle East or Sudan.

The statement was made by non other than Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton. She is a Jew.

" I worked for two presidents who were men of faith, and they did not make their religious views part of American policy," Albright said, referring to Carter and Clinton, both Christians.

" President Bush's certitude about what he believes in, and the division between good and evil, is, I think, different," said Albright who recently published a book on religion and world affairs.

Bush claims that his Christian faith inspires his decisions as president. He says, for example, that GOD told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.

Albright says Bush's religious absolutism has made the American foreign policy " more rigid and more difficult for other countries to accept."

Let us pray that Bush the Devil, will not push the button to fire nuclear weapons on Muslim countries by claiming that GOD told him to do so.

Human Rights in Malaysia

The Malaysian chapter of Amnesty International (AI) calls for the government to end detention without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Emergency Ordinance (EO), and to close down the Kamunting and Simpang Renggam detention centres.

It claims that last year, 17 alleged Islamic activists were detained under the ISA and nearly 700 people under the EO and Dangerous Drugs Act.

However, AI admitted that the battle for human rights in Malaysia is showing signs of hope. But added that there is still a need to transform rhetoric into reality.

"There are still concerns," AI Malaysia executive director Josef Roy Benedict said late Tuesday at the Malaysian launch of the global Amnesty International Annual Report for last year.


Thank you Brother Abdullah Aljunid for sharing the item below (forwarded to him by Tan Sri Ani Arope). I would like to share it with my readers. Thank you.

Perceptions are very real, but they may not be always true.

A man is taking a walk in Central Park, New York. Suddenly he sees a little girl being attacked by a pit bull dog.

He runs over and starts fighting with the dog. He succeeds in killing the dog and saving the girl's life.

A policeman who was watching the scene walks over and says:

"You are a hero, tomorrow you can read it in all the newspapers: "Brave New Yorker saves the life of little girl".

The man says: "But I am not a New Yorker!"

"Oh then it will say in newspapers in the morning: "Brave American saves life of little girl" the policeman answers.

"But I am not an American!" says the man.

"Oh, what are you then?"

The man says: " I am a Pakistani!"

Next day, the headlines in all the newspapers:

"Islamic extremist kills innocent American dog."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sarawak politics - it is time for Taib Mahmud to go

It is interesthing to note that Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, Abdullah Badawi said that he knew something was amiss in Sarawak but he could not make it public, instead he will let chief minister Taib Mahmud know about it.

Logically, this means that Abdullah has been given the feedback by the normal sources namely the Special Branch, the Military Intelligence and various government agencies, that the people of Sarawak by and large want Taib to retire.

For example, the Chinese of Sibu rejected the SUPP, the Chinese-based political party led by deputy chief minister George Chan, because they hate the fact that Taib had Chan by the *@##&.

The fact is that nobody, especially politicians, is indispensable. By clinging to power for the seventh term, Taib is telling Sarawakians and all of us, Abdullah and Najib included, that he is indispensable. But, the results of the Sarawak election show the votes obtained by the BN had drastically dropped.

In Malaysia, the Chinese voters always have no second thought or no qualms about speaking their mind through the ballot box. The just did that in Sarawak.

Unlike the Chinese, the Malays and Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak, don't have the guts to do so. We, the Malays and Bumiputeras, talk about unhappiness and dissatisfaction and we talk about our disgust for this politician or that politician but only at teh tarik stalls or coffee shops.

This ie because we are "trapped" in having to depend on the government for almost everything in our daily lives, even for primary school text-books, let alone scholarships and subsidies.

While the Chinese are very independent and can be on their own, in fact they are mostly on their own and don't want to be disturbed. They prefer to be left alone to fend for themselves and, believe me, they are the most professional people in Malaysia in whatever they do. Even if they want to commit robbery, they will do it in a big way, not just to scoop ten, twenty or a hundred thousand ringgits. They go for million of ringgits, hide the money somewhere, go to jail and after a few years, enjoy the freedom with plenty of cash.

For the Chinese, there is no half-past six or half-way. If they want to be a mechanic, they will give your car the best treatment, unlike most of other mechanics including Malays. Yes, it is a bitter pill to swallow but it is a reality.

The Sarawak election is a clear signal to national leaders, UMNO in particular, that the Chinese voters will tip the balance in the next general election. As for the state legislative assemblies, there might be changes in Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak and Penang.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sarawak state elections - a bitter pill to swallow

Although the Barisan Nasional (BN) or National Front coalition has retained control of Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states in Borneo, it is a bitter pill to swallow especially to its flamboyant and powerful Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Taib's Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB)-led coalition suffered a setback due to the strongest election showing by opposition parties, namely the Kuala Lumpur-based Chinese-led Democratic Action Party (DAP) in 20 years.

The near-clean sweep expected by Taib and national BN leaders did not materialised. Instead, it lost nine urban and semi-urban seats out of a total of 71 in the state legislative assembly. It is Taib's nightmare.

The Sarawak state elections was spearheaded by none other than the deputy prime minister, Najib Tun Razak with an, on-and-off entourage, of federal ministers including "outspoken" information minister Zainuddin Maidin.

The federal government touted billions of ringgit in spending for development projects and immediate assistance to the poor and needy, something which is normal during elections in Malaysia.

Hopefully, the long-serving Taib Mahmud will learnt something - if you are too long in office, your popularity will slip down the drain - remember Wan Mokhtar Ahmad of Terengganu? Taib has been in office for some 25 years and it is time for him to go.

As for the federal BN in general, the Sarawak election is a clear signal that everything is not OK. In Sarawak, the urban voters especially the Chinese has rejected BN, similar to the trend in most of peninsular Malaysia's urban constituencies.

The BN depended heavily on the Malay-majority semi-urban and rural constituencies, but for how long? Young Malays are moving away from UMNO (United Malays National Organization), the main partner of the BN and the power-base of the Malays. They see UMNO as a party comprising a number of untrustworthy, corrupt leaders who enriched themselves through political connections. If the Malays reject UMNO, it is the end of the road for the BN.

UMNO leader and prime minister Abdullah Badawi must be brave enough to check the unhealthy trend in his party. There are too many corrupt leaders at the middle-rung of the heirachy, including the youth and women wings. Even the newly-created but not needed Putra and the active Putri wings are beginning to taste the "luxury" of power and the "wealth" of being part of UMNO.

"Hidup Melayu!" (Long Live the Malays). Yes you can "hidup" with or without UMNO. The question is what kind of living standard you want to "hidup" in? As the old Malay proverb says: "Tepuk dada tanya selera" (literally it means it is up to the Malays themselves).

Friday, May 19, 2006

Palestinians commemorates catastrophe day

On May 15, Palestinians commemorated Nakba Day, the day when Israel was declared a state atop the ruins of Palestinian homes and hundreds of ethnically cleansed towns and villages, 58 years ago. How many of us honestly remember it?

According to Palestinian official statistics, the number of Palestinians in the diaspora is estimated to be 5.1 million.

In a special report issued on the occasion of the 58th Anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCPS) said that the Palestinians who were expelled as a result of the Nakba is about 750,000 in addition to about 350,000 in 1967. They are mainly in Jordan (about 3 million), another 1.6 million stranded in other Arab countries and the rest in Western countries.

PCBS president Loay Shabaneh reported that the immediate results of the Nakba were the occupation of more than three quarters of Palestinian land, destruction of 531 localities and displacement and expulsion of about 85 per cent of the Palestinian population.

Based on United Nations record for the end of 2004, the number of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza totaled 4.2 million, many of whom live in 59 camps in various countries. The estimated number of Palestinians who remained in their homeland in the territories after the Nakba was 154,000 people, compared to 1.13 million in 1948.

About 25 per cent of the Palestinians in Israel were recently exposed to at least one kind of property confiscation.

The population of the Palestinian Territory is estimated to be 3.88 million in mid 2006, with 2.44 million in the West Bank and 1.44 million in the Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinian people in the Jerusalem governorate is 407,000 of which about 254,000 live in those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israel in 1967.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wahhabis continues to destroy Islamic heritage

Makkah, the cradle of Islam, is being buried in an unprecedented onslaught by religious zealots - the Wahhabis led House of Saud authoritarian government.
Almost all of the rich and multi-layered history of the holy city is gone. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of the millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades.

Now the actual birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (may the blessings of Allah be upon him) is facing the bulldozers, with the connivance of the Wahhabis whose hardline interpretation of Islam is compelling them to wipe out their own heritage.

A Saudi architect, Dr Sami Angawi, who is an acknowledged specialist on the region's Islamic architecture, told The Independent - UK newspaper that the final farewell to Makkah is imminent.

"What we are witnessing are the last days of Makkah and Madinah," he said.

According to Dr Angawi, who has dedicated his life to preserving Islam's two holiest cities, as few as 20 structures are left that date back to the lifetime of the Prophet and those that remain could be bulldozed at any time.

"This is the end of history in Makkah and Madinah and the end of their future," said Dr Angawi.

The motive behind the destruction is the Wahhabis' fanatical fear that places of historical and religious interest could give rise to idolatry or polytheism, the worship of multiple and potentially equal gods.

The Wahhabis now have the birthplace of the Prophet in their sights. The site survived redevelopment early in the reign of King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud some 50 years ago when the architect for a library there persuaded the absolute ruler to allow him to keep the remains under the new structure. That concession is under threat after Saudi authorities approved plans to "update" the library with a new structure that would concrete over the existing foundations and their priceless remains.

Ali al-Ahmad, the head of the organisation, formerly known as the Saudi Institute, said the destruction of Islamic landmarks in Hijaz is the largest in history.

Most of the buildings have suffered the same fate as the house of Ali-Oraid, the grandson of the Prophet, which was identified and excavated by Dr Angawi. After its discovery, King Fahd ordered it be bulldozed before it could become a pilgrimage site.

Similarly, finds by a Lebanese professor, Kamal Salibi, which indicated that once-Jewish villages in what is now Saudi Arabia might have been the location of scenes from the Bible, prompted the bulldozers to be sent in. All traces were destroyed.

This depressing pattern of excavation and demolition has led Dr Angawi and his colleagues to keep secret a number of locations in the holy cities that could date back as far as the time of Abraham.

"The man-made history of Makkah has gone and now the Makkah that God made is going as well," says Dr Angawi. "The projects that are coming up are going to finish them historically, architecturally and environmentally."

Whereas proposals for high-rise developments in Jerusalem have prompted a worldwide outcry and the Taliban's demolition of the Bamiyan buddhas was condemned by Unicef, Makkah's busy bulldozers have barely raised a whisper of protest.

"The house where the Prophet received the word of God is gone and nobody cares," says Dr Angawi.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers

Pix taken at Penang's Residency, the official residence of the Governor (Almarhum Tun Syed Sheikh Barakhbah - late 1960s) from left: Almarhumah Sh Fatom Albahar, Almarhumah Sh Aloyah Alsagoff, Almarhumah Sh Muznah BinSheikhabubakar, Sh Fatimah BinSheikhabubakar, Almarhumah Toh Puan Sh Fatimah and two unidentified ladies. May Allah bless their souls and grant them peace in heaven. Amin.

On May 14, the world celebrates Mothers' Day. To us Muslims, every day is our mother's day. Every day is our father's day. So we do not need a special day to celebrate it.

Mu'awiya bin Jahima said that his father approached Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) and said, "I intend going on Jihad. I seek your advice."

The Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) inquired, "Is your mother alive?"

He answered, "Yes".

The Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) said, "Go and serve her for Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers." (Narrated by Ahmad, an-Nasai, Bayhaqi)

Abu Huraira relates that a man came to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) and asked: "O Messenger of Allah, which person of all the people is best entitled to kind treatment and good companionship from me?"

He answered, "Your mother".

The man asked: "And then?" He said, "Your mother".

"And after her?" He said: "Your mother".

"And after her?"

The Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) said: "Your father". (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Political corruption in the way of physical development

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said Malays had no choice but to move forward and emerge as a developed race by the year 2020. They should not waste the available opportunities to realise this objective.

Abdullah, who is president of the Malay-based United Malays National Organization (UMNO) political party, was speaking at its 60th anniversary gathering in Johor Baru, today (May 11).

First of all, to be a "developed race" you must be educated, dedicated, hard working, honest and trustworthy. Yes UMNO is blessed with a number of educated leaders who are dedicated and hard working. But, how many of them are honest and trustworthy in the real meaning of the words.

One has to look at each and every UMNO divisional leders, state leaders and supreme council members. Look at their dwellings, the cars that they drive, where do they go for holidays, then trace their status and living conditions before that. You will be taken aback.

Abdullah has to be serious to rid his party of corrupted leaders. Many people believed that UMNO will be left with a handful of leaders who are really clean, honest and trustworthy.

The government should award tenders and contracts to genuine contractors and businessmen not to politicians who set up a shell company and then sub-contract the job to other contractors for a quick and easy profit. Problems such as the MRR2 fly-over, the Kuching prison headquarters, the Royal Malaysia Navy base in Johor, the Lumut Naval Dockyard episode, and hundreds of delayed or uncompleted schools, houses, hospitals and clinics would not have occurred.

Stop giving import permits, business and other licences to companies or individuals with political links unless they are genuine businessmen not sleeping partners or those who want to make quick profits.

It is an uphill task to realise the objective of a developed race when your political party is corrupted.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Imam Sheikh Ahmad Badjunid dies

At 6.20 am today, Sunday 7th May, I received SMS from my third cousin Syed Abdullah Aljunid that Imam Sheikh Ahmad bin Othman Badjunid of Kelawai, Penang died at 5.40 am. He was 93. He left five sons namely Prof. Dato Dr Ibrahim Bajunid, Dr Omar Farouk, Mokhtar, Abd Hamid and Abd Latiff. He was my teacher, my first Ustaz.

To my knowledge, he was the longest serving imam in Malaysia. He led prayers including Friday prayers at the Kelawai Road mosque until recently. He had served as imam for some 63 years. During that long period, he lead some 1,500 Friday prayers and about 110,000 daily prayers.

Ustaz Ahmad, as he was popularly known, was the last mudir or principal of the well-known private Islamic educational institution, Madrasatul Mashhur Islamic in Penang before it was taken over by the Education Ministry in the late 1970s. Thousands of Muslims from Penang, Kedah, Perak, Perlis and Kelantan were his students.

Words fail me to express my sorrow. I am with Ustaz's family in this hour of suffering and darkness. May Allah grant him peace in heaven.

My family join me in conveying our heartfelt condolence and sympathy to Ustaz's family. Alfatihah.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

For decades America suppress the world

American presidents have played fast and loose with lives of innocent people outside the United States and yet they refer to themselves as the protectors of democracy and human rights. In fact, the Americans are WMDs - Weapons of Mass Deception.

Here are examples:-
1. President Woodrow Wilson helped Britain and France redraw the European boundary lines in a way guaranteed a century of wars and resentments - and that continued to trigger conflict in places like Bosnia and Kosovo as recently as the 1990s.
2. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s American Presidents practiced gunboat diplomacy with the nations of Latin America - invading countries like Nicaragua and Honduras.
3. Franklin Roosevelt - with the same vision as Woodrow Wilson, and with no more knowledge of history or foreign affairs than Wilson had - sacrificed the freedoms and independence of people in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and China - to satisfy his own ambition to be the world leader who would guarantee peace.
4. Harry Truman supported dictators in Asia and Africa, and by calling that policy the Truman Doctrine, people around the world knew it was the U.S. that was supporting some of the worst elements of the world - and Truman sent American troops to die defending the autocratic Rhee regime in Korea.
5. Dwight Eisenhower approved the CIA coup that overthrew the democratic government in Iran, replacing it with the American stooge, the Shah. Eisenhower also continued the Truman Doctrine - standing by dictators in Latin America and Asia, stationing American troops in dozens of foreign countries, and reminding people everywhere that America had become an imperial power.
6. John F Kennedy invaded Cuba, sent troops to aid in the suppression of a pro-freedom rebellion in the Congo, supported a brutal dictator in South Vietnam before assassinating him, aided oppression in Laos and Cambodia, and extended American military bases to more and more foreign countries.
7. Lyndon Johnson secretly bombed Cambodia, only to have his secrets revealed to the world - and secrtary of state Henry Kissinger became known worldwide for practicing 'realpolitik', a policy of using human beings around the world as bargaining chips in his tete-a-tetes with dictators.
8. Ronald Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon to butt into a civil war there, invaded tiny Grenada, bombed Libya, meddled in Central America, planted U.S. missiles in Europe and stood by brutal dictators in El Salvador and Guatemala.
9. George H.W. Bush (the father) invaded Panama and Iraq - and put in place the sanctions and air raids that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children.
10. Bill Clinton maintained the Iraqi sanctions and air raids, sent American troops to intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo, used American force to install a dictator in Haiti.
11. George W Bush (the son) invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, killing tens of thousands of civilians, threatened Iran and Syria; overthrew the government of Haiti. He demanded that everyone in the world support America or risk being bombed and invaded -- all the while proclaiming that he wants to bring freedom and democracy and yet he rejected the democratically elected Palestinian government.

The so-called sole superpower of the world is in fact the one and only superbully of the world. The true axis of evil.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The story of Kampung Syed, Penang

Down the road of Kg Syed

Burma Road, Penang was the only road where, once upon a time, you can meet communities from South-east Asia and the Middle-east. Most of the communities are sadly gone today due to commercial development of their 'kampungs' or because of migration.

The Jewish community, which migrated to Australia, left a cemetary at Jalan Zainal Abidin (formerly Jahudi Road), the Bawean or Boyan 'pondok' further down the road had to make way for development. The Bawean migrated from an island off Java and most of them work as horse handlers with the Turf Club or as drivers.
Further down the road towards Pulau Tikus is Kampung Herriot (Malays and Jawi Peranakans), Kampung Hogan (mixed community), then Kampung Syed or Kampung Arab, Kebun Sireh (Chinese) followed by Kampung Awak (Burmese) and Kampung Siam (near the Thai Buddhist temple) and then Kampung Serani, near the Pulau Tikus Cathedral.
Except for Kampung Syed and Kampung Herriot, the other kampungs are mostly gone. Most of the Seranis or Eurasians migrated to Australia or settled elsewhere in Penang and the other states while the Burmese and Thais had to make way for development.
Other small kampungs include Kampung Palembang next to the Kelawai Road Mosque which produced two well known Malay actors of yester-years Nyak Osman or Man Kuching (acted in Keris Sempena Riau, Laksamana Bentan among others) and the late Ibrahim Din (comedian-cum-actor).

As for Kampung Syed or Kampung Arab or Kampung Coopee Ammah (according to the corrupted version of the English) was owned by Syed Abdul Rahman bin Tunku Syed Hussein Idid. He sold it to Syed Mohamad bin Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshee for 500 Spanish Dollars. Syed Mohamad is the husband of Ku Pahmah binti Ku Zainal Abidin, a wealthy lady from Kedah. The name of Ku Pahmah was corrupted by the English as Coopee Ammah and because of that, many were of the impression that she was an Indian Muslim. The English also corrupted Tanjong Bunga to Bungah, pinang to Penang, Kelawai to Kelawei, Baru to Bahru or Bharu and the list can go on and on.

Syed Mohamad Alhabshee was a palace official serving Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II, who ruled the Sultanate of Kedah from Kota Kuala Muda. He was a widower with two children namely Syed Noh or Habib Noh (born 1802), the Saint of Singapore, and Sharifah Aloyah. Syed Mohamad married Ku Pahmah, widow of Syed Yassin Al-Anggawi who was killed at Limbong Kapal when Kedah was attacked by Siam (1821). They migrated to Penang.

On 24th February 1875, Ku Pahmah wrote a will to transfer the land situated in the District of Telok Ayer Rajah, being part of Grant No. 1170 Registered No. 684 of 1860/61, which she endowed to her son Syed Zain (a trusted officer of Tunku Dhia'uddin or Tunku Kudin, the then Raja Muda of Kedah and son-in-law of Sultan Abdul Samad of Selangor) as the official trustee.
In the will, she stated that the land shall never be sold, leased or mortgaged by any trustee or trustees thereof or by any other person or persons whomsoever in any manner whatsoever. The land was later refered to as Coopee Ammah Wakoff of Lot 147, Town Sub-division IV, in the North-East District, Penang covering an area of 142,417 square feet.

On 6th August 1936, one of the trustees, Syed Abdullah bin Syed Mohamad bin Syed Zain Alhabshee, after consulting Syed Mohamad bin Syed Ali Idid, Kelawai Road-born Kedah magistrate and great grand-son of Tunku Syed Hussein Idid, handed over the administration of the land to the Mohammedan and Hindu Endowments Board (The Board). He did that in order to honour the will of Ku Pahmah because his elder brother and the other trustee, Syed Noh (not The Saint) wanted to sell the property. Syed Noh was living in Johor and was in need of money.

The land was officially administered by the Board effective 23rd December 1936 under the provisions of section 4 of the Mohammedan and Hindu Endowments Ordinance (Vide Gazette No. 122 of 31st Dec. 1936).

When the Board took over the administration of the land, there were seven houses:-

1. House no 196, (Syed Ariffin Alhabshee, son of Ku Pahmah. It was the official residence-cum-family court of the Kadhis (Syed Ariffin, his son-in-law Syed Hashim bin Idros Alsagoff and lastly Syed Salleh bin Hashim Alsagoff).

2. House no 196A (Syed Haron bin Syed Omar Aljunid, son-in-law of Syed Ariffin Alhabshee. Syed Haron's family are occupying the said house today).

3. House no 196B (Syed Salleh bin Syed Abbas Aidid - original house demolished).

4. House no 198 (Sharifah Khatimah binti Syed Abbas Aidid, grand-daughter of Syed Ariffin Alhabshee and grand-mother of Datuk Sharifah Aini).

5. House no 198A (Sharifah Mariam, grand-daughter of Sharimah Ghamamah Alhabshee, younger sister of Syed Ariffin Alhabshee. The ownership was later transfered to her grand-daughter Sharifah Halimah Aidid and then to Halimah's children Syed Ariffin Alhabshee, Sharifah Azzah Alhabshee and Sharifah Aishah Alhabshee).

6. House no 198D (Sharifah Raguan binti Syed Abu Bakar Alsagoff, late wife of trustee Syed Abdullah Alhabshee).

7. House no 202 (Syed Abdullah Alhabshee and presently occupied by his grandchildren Syed Othman Aidid (Imam, Kelawai Mosque), his brother Zain and sisters So'ad Halimah and Azizah).

Today, 16 out of the 23 houses standing on the land were owned by descendants of Ku Pahmah and Syed Mohamad Alhabshee.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The honeymoon is over for Abdullah Badawi

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is facing the difficulty of moving away from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's shadow and asserting himself, while not arousing the ire of his former boss. Abdullah has shown that he is politically skilled, but he will need support and a certain amount of luck to succeed.

Can Abdullah count on his deputy Najib Tun Razak for support knowing for a fact that Najib is closely associated with Mahathir. It was Mahathir's wish that Najib be appointed as Abdullah's deputy over Muhyiddin Yassin, the agriculture minister.

When he assumed office, Abdullah has indicated that he will move away from 'mega projects' and will instead focus on agricultural and small business development. This may or may not discourage cronyism because agricultural development and small businesses are harder to skim huge amounts of money off the top of, and these types of projects will be less accessible and less attractive to the old-guard tycoons.
Thus, Malaysia may enjoy the best of both worlds - increased transparency and competitiveness to go along with the lure of a well-developed infrastructure.

Abdullah does not have the solid hold on the reigns of power that will allow him to be perceived as favouring one group over the others. If he allows cronyism to flourish anew, he risks losing credibility with youn ger Malaysians still forming their political loyalties.

His reputation as a consensus-builder should further soothe the misgivings of international investors. One good example is the scrapping of the multi-billion ringgit bridge to replace the Causeway, which, however aroused the ire of Mahathir.

As Abdullah follows a moderate path, institutions that were cowed under Mahathir are slowly reasserting their constitutional purview. This will increase transparency and improve governance, anhancing Malaysia's image among human-rights watchers.

We must not forget that Mahathir has been labeled a visionary and will go down as a national hero in Malaysia - people will remember him when they look at Petronas Twin Towers, KLIA and Sepang F1 Circuit, just to name a few. Under his leadership, Malaysia's per capita income grew from RM4,630 in 1982 to RM14,877 in 2003; a true middle class developed society.

His style not withstanding, Abdullah does not have the political capital to dictate his terms. He will need to be more open to other views and will need support of other leaders to buttress his administration. In the long-term, this will provide stability and more enlightened policy making. For Abdullah, the honeymoon is over.