Tuesday, August 12, 2008

EZAM THE GIANT-SLAYER

Malaysia Today
Posted by Super Admin
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 11:40



Many have probably noticed that Sodomy I and Sodomy II appear to be from the same script. Of course it is when the same scriptwriters, actors, producers and directors are involved. We must understand that these people have little imagination. They are incapable of being creative.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Malaysia Today

Run-up to Permatang Pauh by-election: All eyes on Ezam
By Zubaidah Abu Bakar, New Straits Times

IF there is anyone besides the candidates who needs to prove his worth in the upcoming Permatang Pauh by-election, it is Ezam Mohd Nor. One of the most watched for aspects of the campaign will be how well the one-time Parti Keadilan Rakyat Youth leader uses his oratorical skills to attack his former mentor, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Ezam was very vocal in criticising Umno's leadership, particularly on alleged corruption in the Barisan Nasional government, before he rejoined the party in late May. He continued to do so after he left PKR two years ago and set up the Movement for Democracy and Anti-Corruption (Gerak).

Ezam has vowed to do all he can to deny Anwar victory and return to active politics. He even offered himself as the Umno candidate although he pledged to support anyone picked by the party.

The by-election is by far the best platform for Ezam to convince Umno members unhappy with, and suspicious of his return to Umno, that he is sincere in fighting for the cause. His re-entry into the party has been met with distrust and even hostility. Some senior party leaders openly showed they were less than thrilled by his presence, fearing him as a Trojan horse for Anwar's comeback into the party.

Ezam, who has been travelling the country helping Umno reconnect with the Malay grassroots, has called Anwar a traitor to the Malays because of the latter's alleged willingness to do away with the New Economic Policy and compromise on Bumiputera privileges in exchange for non-Malay support. He charged that Anwar was willing to risk the country's political and economic stability to pursue his political ambitions.

"My priority is to campaign against Anwar and I support any candidate picked by BN," he said at a Malay unity gathering at Politeknik Permatang Pauh recently. At a talk organised by the Shah Alam Umno division last month, Ezam warned Anwar not to implicate him in the conspiracy that Anwar claimed was behind the latest sodomy charge.

He threatened to divulge secrets that he claimed could disgrace Anwar's family, a move he said he would be forced to make to defend his dignity after he heard allegations that he received millions of ringgit to join Umno.

Ezam was confidential secretary to Anwar from 1996 until the then deputy prime minister's expulsion from the government and Umno in 1998. The by-election will be a testing ground for those in Umno who doubt him, as well as those who see him as Anwar's most credible critic. What Ezam says and does during the campaign will be monitored with eagle eyes both in and outside Umno.

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That was what Zubaidah Abu Bakar of the New Straits Times wrote, almost like a warning to Ezam that his credibility depends on how well he can demolish Anwar Ibrahim. And everyone knows that Zubaidah speaks on behalf of ‘media baron’ Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, the real and hidden mastermind behind the infamous ‘fourth floor’. So consider Ezam warned: shape up or ship out. Ezam’s future depends on how effectively he attacks Anwar over the next couple of weeks.

Ezam was brought back into Umno for only one purpose, to checkmate Anwar. Thus far he has not quite succeeded. Many a time you can spot Ezam in Bangsar, huddled over a table, almost head-to-head, with K.S. Nallakarupan, a central figure in the 1998 sodomy allegation against Anwar. What they are whispering into each other’s ears only these two would know. But it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what they are discussing.

Not long ago, at the behest of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Nalla formed a pro-Barisan Nasional Indian-based Party called MIUP. This is supposed to be the replacement to the dying MIC, which Umno feels will not be around come the next general election expected around 2012-2013. Najib is supposed to be Prime Minister by 2010, at least according to what Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said, so this new party will be Najib’s platform to win back Indian support, 85% or so who voted for the opposition in the 8 March 2008 general election.

Ezam and Nalla are supposed to be the two who were once closest to Anwar and who know the most about their ex-comrade. The other, of course, would be Azmin Ali. If there were anyone who would be able to fix Anwar up, that would be Ezam and Nalla. Many within Anwar’s inner circle suspect that Ezam and Nalla played a crucial role in the latest sodomy allegation against Anwar. But they are not the only two. Other ex-comrades of Anwar are also said to be in the loop.

One central figure is Rameli Musa. This is what The Star reported on 14 July 2008:

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Another RM1 bil double-track job for Ingress?
By Yeow Pooi Ling, The Star

INGRESS Corp Bhd (see http://www.ingresscorp.com.my/index.html) is tipped to have secured another RM1 billion worth of contracts to supply signalling and communication systems for the Ipoh-Padang Besar double-tracking railway project. An industry source said the contract would be awarded to a joint-venture company between Ingress and Italy-based Ansaldo Group.

Ingress's 49% associate, Balfour Beatty Rail Sdn Bhd, via a joint venture with Ansaldo's Malaysian unit – Ansaldo STS Malaysia Sdn Bhd – recently secured an RM1bil contract for the electrification part of the double-tracking project. Ansaldo, which is listed on the Milan stock exchange, has a reputable record in the provision of traffic management, planning, train control and signalling systems and services.

“Electrification works start first before signalling and communication systems are set up,” the source said. Having both contracts would encourage sharing of resources and creating more efficiency and cost savings, thus giving better margins for the group, the source added.

Ingress group chief executive officer Datuk Rameli Musa, when contacted, declined to comment on the matter. However, he said, the company was interested in bidding for the electrification portion of the Seremban-Gemas double-tracking project, which was estimated to worth between RM400mil and RM500mil. Ircon International Ltd, which is the main contractor, has yet to open the tender for that part.

Meanwhile, Ingress' power engineering railway (PER) division would remain profitable in the next two years, buoyed by demand for electric rail in the country as well as in the region. “With oil prices rising and environmental issues cropping up, there will be demand for cleaner form of transportation,” Rameli said.

The group would also leverage on its partner Balfour Beatty's expertise and global network to expand regionally. “We've been invited to view some rail electrification projects in Mumbai, India and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

For the auto and components manufacturing (ACM) business, Ingress expects Indonesia's total industry volume this year to supersede Malaysia. This would bode well for its ACM division in Indonesia, which supplied to carmakers like Daihatsu and Suzuki, Rameli said.

Last year, its ACM division in Indonesia produced about 30,000 of auto part sets from a total capacity of up to 100,000 sets. This was likely to increase to some 60,000 sets this year, Rameli said, adding that in revenue terms, it would be more than 50% higher.

The prospect for the Indonesian auto sector looked buoyant, especially after the bilateral agreement with Japan, which allowed Japanese auto parts to be exported to Indonesia with free duty. Thailand's demand is also expected to remain firm. Last year, its ACM division in Thailand produced about 80,000 auto part sets from an annual capacity of 1.4 million.

Locally, Ingress expects new products like wire harness, stamping and under carriage parts, which are of higher value items, to sustain its ACM earnings. “We already controlled about 70% share of the door sets and moulding market,” he noted.

On rising cost of fuel, he said the impact would be more visible in the next six months. Currently, there was strong demand for compact and fuel-efficient cars like Perodua Myvi and Viva, as well as for Proton's Persona and new Saga models, Rameli added.

This year, Ingress formed a partnership with South Korean-based CES Co Ltd to design and fabricate tools, dies and jigs. Rameli said by having in-house expertise, Ingress would see enhanced competitiveness in terms of product pricing and lead-time.

Meanwhile, Ingress is eyeing for further exposure in India's auto sector. It presently provides technical assistance to Mayur Industries Ltd of India. “We hope to form a joint-venture company in India by end of this year,” he said.

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Yes, Rameli is involved in Malaysian government contracts in a big way. He has billions at stake and can’t afford to rub the government the wrong way. His pay-off in helping to fix Anwar in the latest sodomy allegation amounts to more than RM1 billion in government contracts. There are people who would sell their own mothers for much less than that.

Rameli, Nalla and Ezam go back a long way. Back in his Magnum days, Nalla used to finance Ezam when Anwar was the Deputy Prime Minister cum Finance Minister, the days before the 1998 political crisis erupted. When Anwar went to jail, Rameli helped finance Ezam’s political activities. That was how Ezam was not only able to cover the cost of the running of PKN’s Youth Movement (now called Angkatan Muda PKR) but he could also afford to pay the salaries of the entire Youth Movement Committee. Ezam practically had everyone on his payroll and the money came from Nalla and Rameli.

One key personality in the Youth Movement, who is now in Umno, related how he used to act as the courier between Rameli and Ezam. He was tasked with the job of carrying large sums of money from Rameli to Ezam. Ezam, of course, paid him a commission for the job. This was in the days of 2001-2003 when Ezam was under Internal Security Act detention and was not able to collect the money himself. Later, after Ezam was released, he cut out the middleman, who soon after that left the party to rejoin Umno since it was no longer profitable to remain in the opposition.

Yes, it’s all about money. Rameli, Nalla and Ezam are united by their love for the Ringgit. And they can make even more money if they successfully fix up Anwar on sodomy charges. Ever wondered why Daim Zainuddin are also involved? Yes, they are involved. And this is because these two also worship money and bow five times a day to the mighty Ringgit.

Many have probably noticed that Sodomy I and Sodomy II appear to be from the same script. Of course it is when the same scriptwriters, actors, producers and directors are involved. We must understand that these people have little imagination. They are incapable of being creative. Even Tun Dr Mahathir said so recently in his response to the latest sodomy allegation. Furthermore, they imagine Malaysians to be dense in the head who can be easily fooled by government propaganda. Maybe that was true back in 1998. But 2008 is different. Times have changed. People have changed. The borderless world of the Internet has allowed Malaysians access to information that was unavailable ten years ago.

Maybe Ezam can take advantage of the 16-25 August 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election campaign (no more campaigning allowed on Polling Day) to explain what happened to the ‘six boxes’ of evidence he has hidden that proves almost everyone in Umno and Barisan Nasional are corrupted. He can also explain why his mother took an oath in the name of Allah and declared it haram for any member of her family to join or rejoin Umno. And while he is at it, he can also explain the sumpah keramat or sacred oath that he took where he swore he would never rejoin Umno even if he died and was reborn. Yes, that would certainly make the Permatang Pauh by-election very interesting indeed. And while he is at it, he can also do what Rafidah Aziz suggested: that he apologise to all the Umno leaders who he ‘slandered’ while he was the PKR (then PKN) Youth Leader.

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