Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Anwar Triumphs In Permatang Pauh

PERMATANG PAUH: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday won the Permatang Pauh by-election with a big majority to mark his official return to politics, just five days short of the 10th anniversary of his controversial sacking as deputy prime minister on Sept 1, 1998.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser fought off a tenacious Barisan Nasional (BN) onslaught that included being charged with sodomy two weeks ago and an aggressive campaign waged against him by former confidants Ezam Mohd Nor and Datuk S Nallakaruppan, aside from top guns like Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin who had vowed to “bury” his political career.

He garnered 31,195 votes to defeat BN’s Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah by a majority of 15,671 votes, more than the 13,398-vote majority obtained by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail during the March 8 general election. Arif Shah polled 15,524 votes, while Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) president Hanafi Hamat obtained 92 votes. Voter turnout was 81% and there were 447 spoilt votes.

“The message behind my victory is clear that Malaysians demand change,” Anwar said after his win.

After the results were announced, the crowd shouted “Putrajaya” and “Reformasi”, and also sang the national anthem, with Anwar leading the chants of “Merdeka”.

Anwar hoped to be sworn in at parliament the latest by tomorrow and believed that there was no reason for the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to delay the process.

On his planned takeover of the government by Sept 16, Anwar said he would have a meeting with Pakatan Rakyat leaders to discuss the matter. “This victory is not only made by people of Permatang Pauh, but reflects the sentiment of all Malaysians, who want change, a just society, free media, independent judiciary, and the rejection of slander and corruption.”

Najib, who led the BN campaign, said the by-election was a reflection of a vibrant democracy and the country’s democratic journey was unhindered.

Arif Shah said he accepted the people’s decision and would continue to serve them nonetheless.

The results were announced last night by Election Commission returning officer Roslan Yahya at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers Training college where the vote tallying was carried out.

During the March 8 general election Wan Azizah, who is PKR president, trounced former Masjid Negara imam Datuk Pirdaus Ismail by a 13,398-vote majority.

The voter turnout then was 82.06% out of 58,449 voters, and Wan Azizah garnered 30,348 votes against Pirdaus’ 16,940 votes while there were 636 spoilt votes.

By as early as 6pm, when the results started trickling in from the respective 25 voting centres, it was obvious a victory was imminent for the PKR leader.

With the results, the people of Permatang Pauh have made their stand very clear by throwing their support behind Anwar as they always have since he first stood as a candidate in Permatang Pauh on a BN ticket in 1982.

While they never fell for the sodomy and corruption charges levelled against Anwar 10 years ago as reflected in Wan Azizah always retaining the seat, the voters did the same this time around as well by giving Anwar a clear win over the BN.

Though the Chinese and Indians had indicated full support for Anwar, it was the Malay votes accounting for 69% of the electorate which were in doubt. Chinese formed 25% while Indians were 6% of the voters.

Anwar won with overwhelming leads in Chinese and Indian majority areas and most Malay areas, losing to Arif Shah at six streams in some Malay areas, postal votes and they were tied in two streams.

Arif Shah obtained 479 postal votes, Anwar managed 53 while Hanafi obtained three votes. Over 40% of the voters are aged between 21 and 40, 25.3% aged between 41 and 50, bringing the number of those aged under 50 years old to over 65%.
Analysts said the results reflected the sentiments on the ground with the majority believing the charges levelled against Anwar were a political conspiracy.

The by-election, dubbed the mother of all by-elections, had also earned its place as the dirtiest in recent years, with mudslinging and personal attacks being levelled by both the PKR and BN.

The voting process went on smoothly though there were tense moments when vociferous supporters taunted each other. Hundreds of Federal Reserve Unit personnel and plainclothes policemen moved in to disperse thousands of supporters outside the SK Seri Penanti voting centre in Kubang Semang.

Earlier in the morning, police moved in and arrested a PKR supporter who attempted to taunt BN supporters.

Anwar and his wife had earlier cast their votes at the school at 9.48am and 9.53am, respectively while Arif Shah cast his at the SK Seberang Jaya 2 at 8.08am. Hanafi is not a voter in Permatang Pauh.

A heavy downpour in the afternoon cooled down flaring tempers which had risen in tandem with the sweltering heat earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, DAP vice-chairman M Kulasegaran, who is the MP for Ipoh Barat, said the massive victory showed the confidence the people had in Pakatan Rakyat. “Obviously, it will be a short journey after this to Putrajaya. The public has made a wise decision.”

Parti Sosialis Malaysia pro tem central committee member and Sg Siput MP, Dr D Jeyakumar, said: “There were different kinds of campaigning in Permatang Pauh. BN played a racial campaign by saying he was selling out Malays, while Anwar’s stand was that he was for all races. This is a sign of a forward-looking and mature Malaysian public, and it is a breakthrough for Malaysian politics.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

By-Election Political Scenes

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Calling it the dirtiest election campaign ever, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is contesting the Permatang Pauh by-election, lashed out at the Barisan Nasional (BN) for its allegedly unethical ways of trying to demean the party.

"Since the 1999 general election, they have used every means, threat and dirty tactic in the book to ensure they secure the landslide victories.

"This time, this by-election takes the cake and the prime minister, deputy prime minister, ministers and other BN leaders have jumped on the bandwagon on a free-for-all, no-holds barred smear campaign against me," Anwar alleged after a visit to the Kubang Semang mosque and the Penanti market.

He said this was partly reflected by the detention of six people, including two PKR state executive councillors and a former PKR state assemblyman, for alleged corruption and "sexual" bribery in Ipoh involving a housing project.

"Especially during this by-election period, it is surprising how extremely efficient the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) officials have become.

Propaganda of me being an agent for the Chinese and Indians has also been distributed in the villages, painting me as a traitor to my own race.

"I have always advocated a Malaysian supremacy, not Malay supremacy, and this has been distorted by certain mainstream media using racial undertones to put me in a bad light in this by-election.

"They are trying to fool my people and I do not like my people (Malays) being hoodwinked and fooled," Anwar added.

Later, at a press conference at the PKR operations centre at Yayasan Aman, PKR secretary-general Datuk Sallehudin Hashim lambasted several media reports which stated that the executive councillors had been caught with RM100,000 in a hotel room.

He said the duo had been at a stall when they were approached by two unidentified men who chatted with them. Sallehudin claimed the two men left, leaving behind a bag and when this was realised by the two executive councillors, they touched the bag and were immediately detained by ACA officials.

He described the incident as an attempt to overthrow the PR state government and an effort to mar PKR's image in Permatang Pauh.

"Where did you all obtain these details? It was not even in a hotel room, it was at an open air cafe and did the ACA mention sex?" he said, adding that media reports should be accurate and not half truths.

PKR information chief Tian Chua, meanwhile, said that according to Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizhar Jamaluddin, there was no such housing project to start with and the two executive councillors were not involved in any housing portfolio.

"They have not been charged, and they have only been taken in for questioning but the ACA issued statements to the media and the public as though they were implicated including elements of sex being mentioned.

"We don't think that the ACA acted neutrally and independently in this case, and the timing is really questionable especially with the ongoing by-election campaign," he said.

Tian Chua also criticised the arrest of Batu PKR deputy chief Mohd Noor Kamil Abdul Samad and several other PKR members who have been detained in connection with the assault of two press photographers on nomination day.

He claimed that all of them were on duty that day and actually went to the aid of the two who were being assaulted.

"This also smells of an attempt to tarnish our image as the arrests have been portrayed as though they were the perpetrators when in fact they are being questioned to assist in investigations," he added.

Monday, August 18, 2008


The expectations of the whole nation to bring back Malaysia's first-ever Olympic gold medal proved to be too heavy a burden for Lee Chong Wei.

He failed to bring out his best and blew the chance to win the RM1mil reward for gold – suffering a 12-21, 8-21 thrashing by top seed Lin Dan of China in the men's singles final at the Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium last night.

Chong Wei was erratic on court. He made half-court returns and the strong net-play performance he showed in earlier rounds was missing from his game.

Lin Dan pulled away from 8-3 to 16-8 and wrapped up the first game in 20 minutes. The two-time world champion's confidence grew as he took control in the second game and was already up 8-0 before Chong Wei picked up his first point.

The slouched shoulders and grim look were telling as Chong Wei eventually conceded defeat in 19 minutes.

Despite the tame loss, Chong Wei will receive RM300,000 from the government for securing the silver medal. He will also enjoy a reward of RM3,000 monthly under the Olympic incentive scheme and it will take effect from next month.

The Olympic silver medal from Chong Wei is still the first for Malaysia in 12 years.

The pressure was on Lin Dan to ensure China match their three-gold haul from the 2004 Athens Games.

And he let out a giant scream of delight after securing the winning point while Chong Wei was left pondering on what might have been.

“I tried to follow his speed at the start but he was in total control. My heart wanted to take him on but I just could not bring it out,” said the second seeded Malaysian.

On what coach Misbun Sidek told him before the start of the second game, Chong Wei said: “He told me to play a faster game but I could not follow. But there's no excuse for losing. This is my worst defeat by him.”

On whether he would still aim to play in the 2012 London Olympics, Chong Wei said: “I will have to wait and see first after the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.”

Lin Dan, who became the first men's singles player to win the Olympic title as the top seed, said he had sleepless nights thinking about delivering the gold for China.

“I concentrated hard on trying to play a stable game each time. I am glad I was able to do it here,” he said.

Although Chong Wei lost, Badminton Association of Malaysia president Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Salleh hoped that his success to make the final would inspire younger players.

“Although he did not win, I am happy that Chong Wei has made it to such a level. We will try again in London Olympics in four years' time but the important thing is we have to start planning now. We have to bring in our juniors into the national set-up,” he said.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Importance of Dow Theory!

The Dow theory has been around for almost 100 years, yet even in today's volatile and technology-driven markets, the basic components of Dow theory still remain valid. Developed by Charles Dow, refined by William Hamilton and articulated by Robert Rhea, the Dow theory addresses not only technical analysis and price action, but also market philosophy. Many of the ideas and comments put forth by Dow and Hamilton became axioms of Wall Street. While there are those who may think that it is different this time, a read through The Dow Theory will attest that the stock market behaves the same today as it did almost 100 years ago.

More info:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Stock Direction: BEIJING 2008

Lets Visit Beijing 2008!
Tiananmen Square
One World, One Dream

Beijing Olympic [08/08/08 - 24/08/08]

Friday, August 01, 2008

Benjamin Graham: The Father of Value Investing

Graham, who was of Jewish descent and whose original last name was Grossbaum, was born in London and moved to New York with his family when he was one year old. Benjamin Graham's parents changed the family name to Graham during World War I, when German-sounding names were regarded with suspicion. After the death of his father and experiencing the humiliation of poverty, he became a model student, graduating from Columbia, as salutatorian of his class, at the age of 20. He received an invitation for employment as an instructor in English, Mathematics, and Philosophy, but took a job on Wall Street eventually starting the Graham-Newman Partnership.

His book, Security Analysis, with David Dodd, was published in 1934 and has been considered a bible for serious investors since it was written. It and The Intelligent Investor published in 1949 (4th revision, with Jason Zweig, 2003), are his two most widely acclaimed books. Warren Buffett describes The Intelligent Investor as "the best book on investing ever written."

Graham exhorted the stock market participant to first draw a fundamental distinction between investment and speculation. In Security Analysis, he proposed a clear definition of investment that was distinguished from speculation. It read, "An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and a satisfactory return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative."

Graham wrote that the owner of equity stocks should regard them first and foremost as conferring part ownership of a business. With that perspective in mind, the stock owner should not be too concerned with erratic fluctuations in stock prices, since in the short term, the stock market behaves like a voting machine, but in the long term it acts like a weighing machine (i.e. its true value will in the long run be reflected in its stock price).

Graham distinguished between the passive and the active investor. The passive investor, often referred to as a defensive investor, invests cautiously, looks for value stocks, and buys for the long term. The active investor, on the other hand, is one who has more time, interest, and possibly more specialized knowledge to seek out exceptional buys in the market.

Graham recommended that investors spend time and effort to analyze the financial state of companies. When a company is available on the market at a price which is at a discount to its intrinsic value, a "margin of safety" exists, which makes it suitable for investment.

Graham wrote that investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike, a statement which Warren Buffett regarded as the most important words about investment ever written. Graham said that the stock investor is neither right nor wrong because others agreed or disagreed with him; he is right because his facts and analysis are right.

Graham's favorite allegory is that of Mr. Market, a very obliging fellow who turns up every day at the stock holder's door offering to buy or sell his shares at a different price. Often, the price quoted by Mr. Market seems plausible, but often it is ridiculous. The investor is free to either agree with his quoted price and trade with him, or to ignore him completely. Mr. Market doesn't mind this, and will be back the following day to quote another price. The point is that the investor should not regard the whims of Mr. Market as determining the value of the shares that the investor owns. He should profit from market folly rather than participate in it. The investor is best off concentrating on the real life performance of his companies and receiving dividends, rather than being too concerned with Mr. Market's often irrational behavior.

Graham was critical of the corporations of his day for obfuscated and irregular financial reporting that made it difficult for investors to discern the true state of the business's finances. He was an advocate of dividend payments to shareholders rather than businesses keeping all of their profits as retained earnings. He also criticized those who advised that some types of stocks were a good buy at any price, because of the prospect of sustained stock price growth, without a good analysis of the business's actual financial condition. These observations remain extremely relevant today.

In recent years, Graham's "Mr. Market" approach has been challenged by Modern Portfolio Theory, as advanced by such proponents as William J. Bernstein, whose book The Intelligent Asset Allocator is a direct challenge to Graham's The Intelligent Investor. Modern Portfolio Theory posits that it is generally impossible for any individual to outwit the market, and is widely taught in American and British business schools. Nevertheless, Graham's approach retains a widespread and dedicated following. Indeed, numerous academic studies, including "Contrarian Investment, Extrapolation, and Risk," "Good news for value stocks: Further evidence on market efficiency," "The Cross Section of Expected Stock Returns," and many others, have proven that value stocks outperform the market over virtually all multi-year periods.

According to Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham said that he wished every day to do something foolish, something creative, and something generous. Warren Buffett said that Graham excelled most at the last.