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Why indy blogs thrive April 6, 2007

Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Human Rights, Malaysia, Politics, Southeast Asia.

I’d asked my dinner companions last night why pro-government blogs do so badly in the open market, despite all the money thrown in to nurture and nourish them.

Naturally, the answer was right in front of me all this while.

One can just pick up a copy of one of many licensed, state-sanctioned dailies from the news stands. And they aren’t going to publish or follow-up on news such as the one below, despite it being more than a week old.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wood carriers allegedly hid 1.1 billion yen income
Kyodo News

Nine Japanese shipping companies that transport lumber from Sarawak, Malaysia, allegedly failed to report some 1.1 billion yen of income in total during a period of up to seven years through last March, sources said Wednesday, alleging the money constituted kickbacks to Sarawak officials via a Hong Kong agent.

Such tax irregularities have occurred as the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau determined the companies’ remuneration payments to Regent Star, a Hong Kong agent, which has a connection with Chief Minister of Sarawak Taib Mahmud and his family, were rebates, not legitimate expenses, the sources said.

Although the Hong Kong agency did very little in the way of substantive work, the shipping companies are believed to have used rebates as a lubricant to facilitate their lumber trade, the sources added.

Lumber export is controlled by the Sarawak state government on grounds of forest resources protection.

Rejecting the tax authorities’ conclusion, the shipping firms claim the transactions with Regent Star have been legitimate and deny wrongdoing.

The companies accused of the alleged tax evasion include Mitsui O.S.K. Kinkai Ltd. and NYK-Hinode Line Ltd. belonging to the Nanyozai Freight Agreement (NFA), a cartel formed in 1962 to avoid excessive competition in import of lumber from Southeast Asia. The 12-member group is exempt from the Antimonopoly Law.

The shipping firms will likely be slapped with well over 400 million yen in back taxes along with heavy penalties, the sources added.

According to NFA and other sources, the Japanese cartel concluded an agreement in 1981 with Malaysia’s Dewaniaga Sarawak regarding lumber transport. Dewaniaga is a state-affiliated concern in charge of lumber export control and is headed by the Sarawak chief minister’s younger brother.

Try lubricating out of this.



1. eyeonmalaysia - April 7, 2007

Dear EW,

Just take a look at the hacked webpages of some of the Government sites is proof enough why nobody bothers with them. They not only do not update regularly, they let hackers and spammers populate their pages for free porno promo.

See for yourself: http://wielmaja.blogspot.com/2007/01/rtm-web-page-hacked.html#links

2. kittykat46 - April 7, 2007

Taib Mahmud has long run Sarawak as his personal fiefdom. His family – brothers, children, in-laws etc. etc. have their tentacles everywhere. And the state’s rich natural resources have provided ample sources of gravy.
Its the main reason he is still so reluctant to retire. But never fear. His long tenure has ensured that the culture of corruption and rent seeking is so heavily entrenched, they wouldn’t know how to govern the State without it.

3. A Voice - April 8, 2007

I think your comment is not quite true. Apart from mainstream press, they have their cyberwarriors. In TDM’s time, they engage, particularly with PAS and was effective.

That group now do not agree with the present admnistration. Generally they believe the present administration’s position as indefensible and regressive to both Malay and National interest and Nationbuilding process. They are very active and can be attributed with most of the major leads, scoops and exposures on Blogosphere and physical politics.

Perhaps you are talking about the present administration. But they do attempt it. One is said to be under the Dato Azalina, Nori and Puteri is KPMU. But they suffer the mistake of trying to replicate MyKMU and the grave mistake of spinning rather than being informative.

There is also Macai.net, said to be under Dr Vincent Lim, AAB’s Chinese Pol Sec. The website wrote in English and attempted to present a more professional image and touch on corporate issues. They made the mistake of TDM bashing and it backfired.

They have tried going into blogging recently with names like Lahabau and Warong Kopi focusing comment on Gerbang Ruhanie and certain UMNO blogs to do more of discrediting and inplanting doubt than again, information disseminating. Their blogs has poor standard of writing and low infomation content.

One such effort is SIPM or Siber Party of Malaysia. Its a blog with a group of 4/5 contributors like Dek Mat, Mydeen, Mat Merah, and others. They seemed to preach a more liberal posture and at time takes shot at AAB’s admin as decoy. They have denied any link with AAB and Tingkat 4. But I believe they are of same genre by the manner they were unabatedly resisting and debating the idea of Blogger United, which is moral support for Rocky and Jeff.

I think what is happening now is that the rising credibility from the presence of such groups is a source of discomfort to the present administration. Opposition bloggers is nothing worrisome. Its this voices.

Congrats on your selection as Protem of All Blog. Perhaps this comment should provide a glimpse of the Blogging senario seldom mentioned. And, you will champion the camaraderie of Bloggers and “agree to disagree”. At the end of the day, we have to Walk teh Talk, life goes on, problems need solving, plans need to be made, and Governing must continue.

The message here is as per the theme of the upcoming SOPO get-to-gather … “Embrace and Engage”. Thats very wide implication.

4. monsterball - April 8, 2007

a voice can sure persent a good case for his selfish ulterior motive….on political matters..not for the interest of the people or the nation as a whole…but mostly to hero worship a political leader against another in UMNO. In that sense..he supports disunity amongst the malays. One can put out equally long message to disagree with him.
Waste of time.

5. monsterball - April 8, 2007

On politics..may I quote ‘anarkis’…a wise commentator said at Sheih’s site:-
“the world is a play. maybe i am ur enermy, maybe u are actually my enemy, disguising as combrades. isn’t the betrayal of the closest one is the most painful? love is the last man standing in the world dramas.”

6. Sheikh's Brother - April 9, 2007

Aha..EW…I have found the way hither. I do agree with Voice. The Govt is finding it hard going cos it is a lot of the old Govt guys who are now all out against the Govt. People are fed up with AAB. I think Rocky, BigDog, kickdefella were all on the same side. Not traitors but they are actually loyal folks become disillusioned with the limp king. They also know where and how to hit – the hardest. This is what is making it tough for the Govt. Note that the Govt just ignores the Pas, DAP, PKR and other websites. They can afford to – who reads them anyway ? In the age of ex Govt warriors turned anti Govt Bloggers, the big losers are also the Opp. websites. Harakah who ?

7. monsterball - April 10, 2007

Have we ever hear people are happy with the government…any government in the world?
Sure there are pros and cons …those who benefit are happy…those who got nothing will complaint.
But many are like me…never depended on the government for any help…so my complaints will be limited to dirty politics to disunite the people on race and religion issues….plus corruptions..which infact is also happening all over the world. It is when it reaches a dangerous level to get the country into trouble… indirectly the poor suffers..that we must react. Who cares PM buys Queeen Elizabeth ship or have a mistress!!
The share index went up record high…all are peaceful. Does that mean people are satified? Yes and no.Yes we love peace and no…none of the poor are getting better.
What is a government? Why are we complaining? WE ELECTED THEM ….ARE WE NOT??
So are we not saying we are idiots? Try to be smarter next election ….EVEN SHOW THAT AT THE MACHAP BY-ELECTION..and stop complainng…that is my stand. We will see…how to live under any situations….that again is my opinion.

8. monsterball - April 10, 2007

At the end of it all…we voters are to be blamed for making mistakes over and over again. Lets see the machap by-election…..are we getting marter.

9. Sheikh's Brother - April 11, 2007

The Machap election will be a goner. The Dark Side will win, they may even increase their majority. Hence we may have to question if they are indeed the Dark Side ? Perhaps they are just a shade lighter ? N’theless I think Batu Talam and Machap may not be indicative of the general sentiment that is present in a General Election. We will have to wait for the GE. I will not vote for the Dark Side come this round. I am not the only one. And I am not a dreamer.

10. Winston - April 18, 2007

Elizabeth, I think that if the opposition parties can disavow the rural grassroots, of all races, of the BN, then they can have a good chance of wining the next GE.
What do you think?

11. Taib Mahmud's last stand? « elizabeth wong - June 1, 2007

[…] originating article came from Kyodo News, dated 29 March 2007.  It is not known whethere Kyodo will be sued in the […]

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