Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prescene 8 - Will Pak Lah's son exits Scomi?

Jurublog has been planning to put up this Predictive Scenario (Prescene) upon noticing a flurry of exits by Pak Lah’s known lieutenants from the corporate scene. These exits looked like a prelude to Pak Lah’s own exit from Malaysia main political scene in March 2009.

Kalimullah has exited New Straits Times, where he has been helming the mainstream paper’s editorial board. There are now lesser “over-the-top” praises for Pak Lah in the newspaper on anything that Pak Lah did (except sleeping during meetings and conferences, even in the presence of the Agong). Kalimullah had a few times boasted in his weekly column in the newspaper that he was so close to Pak Lah that he would know first hand of Pak Lah’s intended actions.

Patrick Lim (a.k.a. Patrick Badawi) has also exited Equine Capital. Patrick Lim was one of main guys responsible for the mega project in Penang, which has since been abandoned by the DAP state government. Patrick Lim was also involved in Monsoon Cup in Terengganu. It was said that in one occasion in Terengganu, Pak Lah actually disembarked from his official car to ride on together with Patrick Badawi. It was also said that Patrick Badawi would be at Pak lah’s house on the first day of Hari Raya wearing full gear Baju Melayu with samping. And the house that Pak Lah was purportedly staying in Perth, Western Australia during the great flood in Johor in December 2007, was owned by Patrick Lim’s family.

But last week’s announcement by Scomi to undertake Rights Issue of shares to raise RM120 million in capital caught Jurublog by surprise. During this time of financial crunch, when it is difficult to get investors to invest new monies, Scomi made a bold move to solicit new capital from its shareholders.

Scomi is substantially owned by Pak Lah’s son, Kamaluddin, together with Shah Hakim Zain, the CEO of Scomi.

Scomi has loss a potentially lucrative monorail project in Penang when the current DAP government decided to look at other alternatives to ease the urban transportation problem on the island.

When Pak Lah decided to ride on the Komuter and LRT just before Hari Raya 2008, everybody thought that he was going to announce something for the benefit of Scomi, to compensate Scomi’s loss of the monorail project in Penang. Luckily, by not announcing any major initiatives after his public transportation surprise ride, Pak Lah has avoided another potential controversy.

To be fair, much of Scomi’s businesses are located overseas. Scomi has recently been awarded a mega train project in Mumbai, India. The RM120 million capital raising exercise through the Rights Issue may be use to partly finance the Mumbai project. Unfortunately, due to the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai, the project looked a bit risky, and may be subjected to prolonged delays.

Unfortunately too, although Scomi has been relatively successful with their overseas ventures, there are negative perceptions on their ability to deliver their part of the deal locally in Malaysia. For example, Scomi has been criticised for the abandoned city buses owned by RapidKL.

With Pak Lah exiting the top administration post, it will be likely that Kamaluddin will concentrate on his overseas projects.

Will he exit Scomi? May be. Jurublog thinks so.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Prescene 7 - The Arafah Sky Opens Up For Doa Made By Muslim Pilgrims During Wukuf

As narrated by Imam Muslim and others, Prophet Mohamad SAW said, “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from the Fire than on the Day of Arafah, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angels, saying: ‘What do they seek?’”.

Today, 9 Zulhijjah of the Muslim Calendar (7 December 2008) is the Day of Arafah.

The blessed and the selected few of our Muslim brothers and sisters are currently gathering at Arafah (a large plain to the south-east of Makkah) for Wukuf (Standing in Arafah), the main rite for Hajj.

For the pilgrims, it is sunnah to stand upon the rocks beneath the Mount of Mercy (Jabal ur-Rahmah) and if not then all of Arafah is a place of standing. It is sunnah to stand facing the Qiblah, raising hands making doa and reciting talbiyyah.

It is sunnah for the pilgrims to recite much “La ilaha illallah” as it is the best doa of the Day of Arafah as the Prophet SAW said: “The best thing that I and the Prophets have said on the evening of Arafah is ‘La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la shareekalahu lahul mulk wa lahul hamdu wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’ia qadeer’”, and occasionally adds in the talbiyyah: “Innamal khairul akhirati (All good is the good of the Hereafter)”.

And the pilgrims remain in that state, remembering Allah, reciting tarbiyah, making doa as they wish – hoping from Allah that He will make them of those whom He boasts of (those He frees from the Fire) to the Angels as occurs in the Hadeeth above. In another Hadeeth as narrated by Imam Ahmad and others, Prophet Mohamad SAW said: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafah before the people of heaven (the angels), saying: ‘Look to my servants who have come to Me dishevelled and dusty.’”

It was said that on the Day of Arafah, at the time of Wukuf (from Zohor until Maghrib), Allah will grant the doa of the pilgrims. It was said that it is best for the pilgrims to stand on the plain of Arafah (preferably on top of a hill) facing the Qiblah and make doa to the Almighty. For it was said that the sky will open up, for Allah to directly hear the doa of the pilgrims, and grant them their doa.

For those who have had the privilege to perform the Hajj, they will testify that at the time of Wukuf, the sky surrounding the plain of Arafah will be very clear (blue) with minimal (or no) clouds at all. The occasion is so surreal. And yes, by the Will of Allah, their doa will be granted.

I have not heard of anybody experiencing rain in Arafah during Wukuf.

Another phenomenon that will be experienced by the pilgrims will be the strong winds going through the plain of Arafah after sunset (Maghrib) on the Day of Arafah, as if to clear the sins left by the pilgrims.

Ask your friends or relatives who had performed Hajj on the observations above (the clear sky and the wind gust on the Day of Arafah).

We should empirically test the observations above.