Of PKR, Football and Talking Bull

Source: The Malaysian Insight

I’m not sure if Pakatan Harapan understands media or even journalism. News is defined by what is new, and thus it makes the headlines.

So when you repeat the good old youth promises of affordable housing, lesser migrant workers, higher salaries, and then add making the English Premier League (EPL) available on Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), of course it’s going to make headlines.

Pakatan’s defence that this isn’t a high ranking priority is whitewashing the fact that it was high enough to bloody get a mention in their manifesto. Their explanation that this is to try to undo the cable television monopoly by Astro is also another red herring, especially since people can just ask HyppTV to provide the same for a fee.

Only problem is I have to wonder if that means HyppTV would have to pay Astro for such rights.

At the same time, some Malaysians are already viewing football matches online rather than bothering to subscribe to the cable TV package after finally understanding that nobody is actually at home to watch it most of the day and thus, Astro seems a waste.

Others will just gang up with friends and watch it at a pub or a mamak – which is also why there is resistance to having such places shut at midnight.

And then, there is the argument on costs. While the cost to screen all 380 Premier League matches is opaque, it is said to have been RM1 billion for three seasons from 2013 to 2016, with an increase of 25 to 30% every renewal. This would make the current seasonal cost from 2017 to 2019 some RM1.3 billion – roughly RM433 million per annum with a 25 to 30% increase every year.

Imagine what that would look like in their budget tabling every October.

Thus, is Pakatan promising to allocate this much to RTM in their shadow budget? This is odd, since I didn’t see it listed in their last presentation. One can only wonder what would have happened had Wong Chen mentioned this plan in front of Jomo KS for his economic analyses.

And while the Pakatan youth leaders are going about defending this football fetish of theirs on social media accounts, they can’t seem to answer the very basic of questions – how did the Premier League heading on RTM become part of their manifesto?

Is there a poll or research to suggest that this is something the youth, which is 45% of Malaysians, want? Where did this Blue Ocean strategy come from? Who proposed it? How are they going to do it? Aren’t there better things to find on RTM other than football?

So, who watches football?

All these questions lead to the same finality – go ask Nik Nazmi as head of Pakatan youth. And Nik Nazmi has answered this with the same excuses as before – to undo the monopolising of cable television over football so he can watch Liverpool matches.

According to a joint paper by UiTM, UMS and UKM on the attendance at Premier League friendlies in Malaysia, the majority of those watching football are single, male, Malay and between the ages of 18 and 34. So perhaps this football fetish is only justifiable as an election candy.

I’ve been an advocate for more youths to take part in politics because we are a rather young nation but this, to myself, is a dumb idea. They could have gone and proposed more youth candidates for parliamentary seats, with a promise of fielding 40% of fanfares nationwide under the age of 40.

Instead, here’s football, go and entertain yourselves and have some escapism. Gosh, and you wonder why they youth are apathetic about political parties.

There are quite a few of these bad ideas in the Pakatan youth manifesto. But then again, I did warn in an earlier column that we were stuck between a party of bad ideas and a party of no ideas. One can suggest a bad idea, and the other one can make it worse and horrible in its implementation.

So hopefully the BN Youths will not take this idea and run with it when they win the next general election.

That being said, Pakatan needs to think about what more can be done to assist the youth beyond football and even 30km of bicycle lanes per city when they can’t even get sidewalks in Selangor properly done, and justify their thoughts more eloquently.

Hopefully, all these are backed by data and research that one hoped would have come from their Institut Rakyat, Refsa, Penang Institute, Invoke, Institut Darul Ehsan and God knows what other research institutes they are spending their funds on. I’m quite amazed at how many they have and this is what was coughed out.

But not to worry. They will have another decade to figure it out before taking over government. – January 12, 2017.

* Hafidz loves to ruffle feathers and believes in the EA Games tag line of challenging everything. Most times, he represents the Devil’s Advocate on multiple issues.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

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26 Responses to Of PKR, Football and Talking Bull

  1. Anonymous says:

    Harapan can revamp RTM, removing the redundant workers, eliminate BN propaganda programs. The savings can give us live telecast of the World Cup 2018 in June and live matches of EPL. No need to waste money on the local Liga Super.

    • Anonymous says:

      The post article says, ” had Wong Chen mentioned this plan in front of Jomo KS for his economic analyses.”

      That was not a Pakatan shadow budget, Mista. A true Pakatan shadow budget would have input by Tun Mahathir. You think a PM for 22 years would have a shadow budget that’s not top form? You must be joking. Laughing at yourself.

      Btw, Jomo is not the only economist of caliber. And economists of the world always differ, anyway. They have not been unanimous on the causes of the World Economic depression of the 1930s – now over 80 years since.

      • Anonymous says:

        ‘You’ll Never Win Again’, Malaysian football fans tell BN

        NAJIB RAZAK’S call for ruling coalition Barisan Nasional to adopt Liverpool Football Club’s anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, has drawn the ire of Malaysian football fans on Facebook and Twitter.

        Earlier today, the prime minister urged BN component parties and BN-friendly groups to use the club’s iconic anthem as a unifying factor to win over Malaysians ahead of the 14th general election.

        For the record, You’ll Never Walk Alone is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.

        It became a popular pop hit when Liverpool musicians Gerry and the Pacemakers released their version in 1963.

        Prior to the song’s release, band leader Gerry Marsden presented a recording to then Liverpool manager Bill Shankly and the song was quickly adopted by the team and the fans.

        Today, it is sung before every home match at Anfield.

        As such, some fans haves refused to have Liverpool associated with Najib and BN, including opposition politician Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

        The PKR Youth chief and Liverpool FC fan had shared The Malaysian Insight report on his Facebook page with the caption, “Hoi apahal nak samakan Liverpool dengan penyamun!” (Why would you associate Liverpool with a thief.)

        Similarly, user Mohammad Firdaus wrote in The Malaysian Insight Facebook comments section, “Janganlah kaitkan Liverpool dengan kekotoran BN.” (Don’t relate Liverpool to BN’s dirty ways.)

        Other fans have even declared they will stop supporting the club.

        “OK I am leaving Liverpool!” said Anthony Dylan.

        “With you around, I rather walk alone,” Ng BsNg wrote.

        Other users with a sense of humour played around with the anthem, YNWA, changing the words to “BN, You’ll Never Win Again” or saying kleptocrats will indeed never walk alone – to prison.

        “So suitable for BN, YNWA – You’ll Never Win Again (or Anything) terbaik,” Liang Albert said in the Facebook comments section.

        “Yes, you kleptocrats will never walk alone to Sg Buloh or Kajang Prison!” said one Ray Ong.

        Selva Govind said Liverpool would lose even more games after gaining support from Najib and BN.

        “Habis la macam ini, pasti Liverpool akan kalah banyak game kerana orang yang selalu membawa malang dah support Liverpool,” he said. (We’re finished. Liverpool will lose many games because people who always bring misfortune now support the club.)

        Mohammad Firdaus refused to have Liverpool associated with BN.

        “Janganlah kaitkan Liverpool dengan kekotoran BN,” he said. (Don’t link Liverpool to BN’s dirty ways.)

        Many users also took the opportunity to remind Najib of his allegiance to rival football club, Manchester United.

        “Say MU fan but wanna use Liverpool anthem?” said Nathan Ramoo.

        “Please don’t. You support Man U. Please use whatever song they sing. Thank you,” said Eugene Wang.

        On Twitter, UCHI (@Akmalyusriuchi) said that Najib is not welcomed by Liverpool fans.

        “Najib pulang lah ke Man U tu. Liverpool fans won’t welcome you,” said the tweet.

        Meanwhile, user hazuru (@vonlibertad) said it is no longer 1990, and Liverpool is no longer enjoying its heydays. The year refers to the last time Liverpool won the top division title.

        “Sekarang tahun 1990 lagi ke?, kahkahkah,” hazuru tweeted. (Is this still 1990?).

    • Anonymous says:

      Vote for the RULE of LAW. Vote for justice and fair play. Vote for the SEPARATION of powers — the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary. Vote for MERITOCRACY. Vote for EQUAL opportunities for ALL Malaysians. Vote for REFORMS to make Malaysia a great nation. Vote for FIRST class education system. Vote for the best judiciary system. Vote for freedom of religion. Vote for a DEVELOPED nation. Vote for peace, harmony, prosperity. Vote for transparency. Vote for accountability. Vote for the nation.

      Of course, having free telecast of EPL will be good as I cannot afford Astro.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is now confirmed that Azmin has been ABSENT from Gombak. He is nowhere compared to Anwar Ibrahim who remains in the heart of Permatang Pauh voters despite his busy schedule and now in prison. This shows that Azmin is just a Mat Jenin who wanted to replace Anwar. Azmin should look himself in the mirror. Just look at the majority in 2008 and 2013; it is down instead of going up. Kick Azmin out from MB seat as well as he has also been absent from Bukit Antarabangsa. And this has been the case before he became MB in late 2014. Azmin is a liability and Mahathir was spot on when he declined the offer of coming to Gombak

        • Anonymous says:

          Mahathir thanked Azmin for the offer but said he was interested in either one of 3 constituencies: Langkawi, Kubang Pasu and Putrajaya.

        • Anonymous says:

          Azmin Ali is pushing his luck too far… This PM hat is just too big for him to wear as of now… But then again he has shown he is an opportunist… PKR Selangor without his acknowledgement will not OPENLY reject Tun M as PM. Unless he is a leader incapable of leading PKR in Selangor as NONE of his top men in PKR Selangor listens to him? He’s ACTING dumb but by doing so, he actually looks dumb… This rhetoric will not carry him far… History will tell you that such leader will be sidelined in the long run… Or this country under his leadership, everything will collapse…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Who is “Hafidz”, pray tell.

    “he represents the Devil’s Advocate ” – he sounds the devil himself.

    Criticizing Pakatan’s stand, he doesn’t seem to know the difference between “to undo the cable television monopoly by Astro” and “can just ask HyppTV to provide the same for a fee.” And between “viewing football matches online” and on cable TV.

    Is he so daft that he cannot tell the difference? There is no need to elaborate those, is there?

    And concluding his writing by saying “another decade … before taking over government” without justifying or even clarifying that is devilish, isn’t that?

    His daftness has no limits. People are talking about taking over the government thru the ballot box no later than August 2018. Unless he is talking of doing it via undemocratic process, in which case, he should be arrested.

    • Anonymous says:

      We must stand united with our main focus of defeating BN, & this GE14 is very timely now for action to be taken. The proper person to helm Pakatan Harapan temporarily is Tun Mahathir. He can’t be carrying out his duties due to his age. We must feel proud that this person at his age, who is witty with his razor thin sharpness in his thinking. He is not “senile & moronic” like some leaders from UMNO.

      • 1MDB Pirate says:

        Senility doesn’t go with age.

        Senility goes with terrible, endless and merciless whackings on “pirating 1MDB”.

        Pssst, the words “Bugis pirate” irk some people. Maybe ok to use the words “1MDB pirate”.

  3. Quite a whacking says:

    By Luke Hunt, in the Diplomat. Extracts –

    It’s a festive message typical of Najib’s New Year addresses. But it is also a recipe which bodes badly for a leader who, though widely expected to capitalize on a heavily gerrymandered electoral system … is nonetheless badly damaged by scandal and continues to undermine his country’s future prospects.

    Rarely has a political leader of any political stripe clung to power in the face of such a breathtaking array of charges and investigations into colossal corruption and even murder. Despite this, Najib has ignored calls for his resignation, which in a real democracy would have been a mere formality.

    That’s why his gestures of goodwill — to many an empty vessel of self-promotion – over the festive season are struggling to find any traction, particularly the lectures from his New Year’s address.

    Lines like “I believe that the fathers of our independence would be proud to see what their countrymen and women have achieved” were as glib as they were predictable.

    “Our economy beat all expectations” was hardly convincing …

    This was mixed with some spin-doctoring like, “Malaysia’s leadership was also recognized at the United Nations”; gross annual assumptions like, “for it was a year in which we redoubled our efforts to ensure good governance in all sectors”; and a warning that his government “is cracking down on the crony capitalism culture.” Few Malaysians would find these remarks credible given Najib’s own record.


  4. Quite a whacking says:


    Stranger still was Najib’s reference to the “wishes of the Malaysian people.” If he truly values popular sentiment, then Najib might consider releasing Anwar Ibrahim from prison and installing him as prime minister, given he won almost 51 percent of the popular vote at elections almost five years ago but lost through gerrymandering.

    The trials and tribulations of Najib’s scandalized time at the helm of Malaysian politics have been scrutinized by journalists, the police, and authorities across the world.

    As long as Najib and his unpopular first lady Rosmah Mansor remain ensconced, the murder of Mongolian model and translator Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa as well as their personal records of dealings will remain in the international debate, alongside a French court case into Malaysia’s acquisition of two submarines amid charges of graft.

    But on the economic front, the latest scandal has been breathtaking.

    Authorities in Singapore and in the United States, Switzerland, and Hong Kong are still investigating the disappearance of more than $1 billion from the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund amid allegations it was stolen by people close to Najib.

    They believe that money went into his personal bank account, although Najib and officials from 1MDB have denied any wrong doing.

    Despite the denials, a string of arrests has followed and sentences meted out by the courts over the past year, which, despite Najib’s feigning of indifference, must have unnerved him.

    The important issue between now and then is whether or not Najib’s own party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), will attempt to limit the political fallout by ousting him before the poll (rather than sometime after) or take their chances on a scandalized leader whose tenure has proven remarkable for the sheer scale of the allegations brought against him.

    • Anonymous says:

      “ousting him before the poll” –

      Waaaa, please do.

    • 1MDB Pirate says:

      “Authorities in Singapore and in the United States, Switzerland, and Hong Kong are still investigating the disappearance of more than $1 billion from the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund amid allegations it was stolen by people close to Najib.” –

      DoJ of USA said a total of US$4.5 billion (about RM20 billion) has been identified as “misappropriation of 1MDB funds ad money laundering”, of which assets worth US$1.7 billion have been brought to seizure action at the courts.

      DoJ has recently changed the focus of their 1MDB investigatios to the” criminal aspects”. Hopefully they would put out another Press Release like heirs of 15 June 2017 but this time giving the full identity of “MO1″ and details of his criminal acts. Our prayer is of course such a Press Release be made just before the general elections.

      DoJ has a Kleptocracy Division committed to the promotion of true democracy and bringing down kleptocracy. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has calls Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal ”kleptocracy at its worst” –


  5. kuda besar says:

    But not to worry. They will have another decade to figure it out before taking over government.
    wow! wow! what a bombastic statement!!!
    another five years taking over goverment, probably xi ask jib to rename mesia
    to “ta mah” – kuda besar.

    beweary of writing “taking over goverment” – seditious.
    can ask mamak kutty if not understand

  6. "Brilliant move appointing Mahathir" says:

    “(Appointing Mahathir) is a controversial move on the part of the opposition — and it’s brilliant.” – New York Times


    Political scientists estimate that in the previous general election, in 2013, the opposition coalition of the day won overwhelming support among Chinese, for example, but only about one-third of votes among Malays, a far bigger constituency. That result, combined with the government’s crafty redelineation of voting districts, explains why the opposition secured only 40 percent of seats in Parliament despite winning 51 percent of the popular vote.

    Mr. Mahathir’s advanced age is an asset: His term would presumably be short, forcing turnover in a country long dominated by dynastic politics. Mr. Anwar, who is in prison on a sodomy conviction, is expected to be released in June, subject to a ban that prevents him from holding office for five years. But the prohibition can be lifted with a royal pardon, and Mr. Mahathir has committed to helping Mr. Anwar’s rehabilitation and passing him the baton.

    Mr. Mahathir …is also the only one who stands any chance of defeating Mr. Najib at his own game, namely by appealing to the Muslim-Malay majority.

    UMNO loyalists call him a turncoat, and reformists may question his bona fides as a democrat, but he is popular among many Malays. He is credited with spearheading the country’s industrialization in the 1980s and standing up to the International Monetary Fund during the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

    His Malay-nationalist credentials are even stronger than those of Mr. Najib, who contemplated rolling back ethnic privileges when he became prime minister in 2009. Mr. Mahathir vehemently opposed the move at the time. Today, his new party admits only Malays and natives of Borneo as its members — a clear attempt to steal some of UMNO’s ethnic thunder.

    UMNO and PAS have a long and complicated relationship. In recent years Mr. Najib managed to lure a group of PAS hard-liners to his side by endorsing their call to implement and expand certain Shariah punishments. PAS, for its part, has defended Mr. Najib against charges of embezzlement, for example decrying the United States investigation into the 1MDB scandal as a foreign intervention. It has also announced that it will run in 130 out of 222 constituencies nationwide in the upcoming election, putting additional pressure on Pakatan Harapan.

    With PAS out of the opposition coalition and Mr. Mahathir’s party in, Pakatan Harapan has traded the need to appeal to (Muslim) religious nationalists for the need to appeal to (Malay) economic nationalists, a shift that may help loosen UMNO’s lock on mainstream Muslim-Malay votes.

    And because Mr. Mahathir represents continuity in change, his nomination has just made change more acceptable — for voters in this election perhaps but, far more important, for eventually reforming Malaysia’s deep state.

  7. Anonymous says:

    No wonder Tun Mahathi called him “budak hingusan” –

    Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed has warned opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim against issuing statements without approval from prison authorities, saying it could affect his jail term.

    “Lately, several statements have been issued by Anwar. I wonder whether he really made the statements,” he was quoted by Bernama as saying.

    Note that he “wonders” – when he has all the means to check. And he should be talking to the Director General of Prisons, not to the public.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The situation in Malaysia under Najib, what a shame –

    The US embassy in Kuala Lumpur has warned American citizens to avoid visiting popular nightspot The Beach Club in Jalan P Ramlee, citing what it said were “coordinated drink-spiking” cases targeting foreign nationals.

    “This prohibition was not based on one singular event, but was developed after a careful review of historical events associated with this venue,” a statement issued by the embassy said today.

    It said the outlet was officially “off-limits” to all American diplomats, following a similar incident in 2015.

    The embassy told citizens to avoid any display of wealth such as jewellery and watches, and advised them to be extra cautious when walking or driving at night.

    It also advised citizens to stay alert in places frequented by Western tourists.

    Today’s notice is the second warning issued by the US embassy, prohibiting its citizens from frequenting The Beach Club.

    In 2015, Americans in KL were warned to stay away from Jalan Alor, a street in the popular tourist district of Bukit Bintang, due to fears of a terrorist attack.

  9. Najib "Fake News" gone viral says:

    ‘Najib to land in prison’ is fake news: Sinar Harian

    Sinar Harian has denied a news report attributed to the publication which claimed that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak would be imprisoned if BN is defeated in the coming general election.

    The daily said the news, which had gone viral on social media, featured a photograph of the prime minister and quoted the latter as stating, “If I lose, I would definitely follow the way of Anwar Ibrahim and perhaps die in prison.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    After Tun Dr Mahathir sarcastically suggested to Najib to sell off a few states in Malaysia to China to pay off debts, now it has started, beginning in Malacca?

    Bank of China opens branch in Malaysia’s historic city of Malacca

  11. Anonymous says:

    Apathetic non-voters have chosen to abstain from voting because they feel neither Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Harapan have anything productive to offer and some have chosen to stay away from politics by not even registering to vote because politics is dirty and they are better off embracing the concept of ‘self-governing’ communities.

    Many feel detached or disillusioned and would rather continue carrying on their lives whilst preserving the status quo. Some believe that no matter what happens in this country, they will still have the minimal necessities to keep them happy, but let’s be realistic – all of that can change and it will at some point.

    Having spoken to a lot of people from every political spectrum (something that hasn’t been the most pleasant of experiences at times), I understand all of these sentiments and empathise with these concerns.

    For the longest time, I too, was unable to fully accept the changes we have made recently, until someone pointed this out to me: Pakatan Harapan (Pakatan Rakyat) has done everything they could to obtain as many votes as they can. Both GE12 and GE13 proved that a majority of Malaysians want change; PH won 52% of the popular vote in 2013 but in a system that is just too heavily rigged – how can you fight this? How can you overcome gerrymandering –where majority Malay constituencies were especially carved out and designed to present obvious victories to BN/Umno?

  12. Anonymous says:

    EPL not to be blamed but k-pop?

    An activist from conservative youth group Gamis has blamed “K-Pop” for what he claimed was rampant “hedonism” among young Muslims, which he said made them unable to secure high-paying work.

    Faizuddin Mohd Zai told the Rise of the Ummah convention here that the Korean pop culture, among others, weakened discipline among Muslim youths and encouraged “excessive” individual freedom.

    “We are damaged because we grow up in an environment that is unhealthy and how do we expect our youths to be good when even the (entertainment) programmes are immersed in hedonism, like K-Pop here and there,” he said in his presentation.

    The Gamis leader then sought to use official data to back his allegation that the “hedonism” he alleged was causing Muslim graduates to lose out to non-Muslim counterparts in the race for jobs in well-paying professions.

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