Obama and Malaysia

April 16, 2014

Obama and Malaysia

US President must walk a delicate line in a country facing increasing international criticism.

Obama-for-BERSIH2Obama for Clean and Fair Elections in Malaysia?

US President Barack Obama is expected to visit Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia this month as part of his push to increase US diplomatic, economic and security engagement with countries in the Asia-Pacific region. But despite the relative size and strategic importance of the other countries, it is his April 27 trip to Malaysia that arguably gives the President his biggest problems.

Given the events of the past few months, Obama will visit a country that has earned some of the worst press in Asia, not only for its fumbling response to the loss of its jetliner, MH370, with 239 people aboard, but to revelations of growing racial and religious intolerance, blatant attempts to silence the Opposition through spurious legal action and bizarre charges by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s own newspaper that the Central Intelligence Agency kidnapped the plane to foment trouble with China, 152 of whose citizens were aboard the missing craft.

The same newspaper, Utusan Malaysia, repeated as a real possibility speculation by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad that the CIA brought down the World Trade Towers in 2001 as a plot to blame Muslims for the destruction.

anwar-ibrahim2In recent weeks, an appeals court has reversed a lower court decision against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, declaring him guilty of what were clearly trumped up charges of sodomy. The decision, apparently rushed forward, was designed to deny Anwar an almost certain win in a Kuala Lumpur suburban by-election that would have paved his way to becoming Chief Minister of the country’s most populous and prosperous state and would have given him a potent rhetorical platform to challenge the government.

In an equally dubious decision, Karpal Singh, chairman of the Democratic Party, the biggest in the troika of opposition parties, was declared guilty of sedition for saying a decision by the Sultan of Perak could be questioned in court.  The conviction, which is being appealed, bars him from politics. 

The international press that showed up in Kuala Lumpur after the disappearance of the airliner began asking questions that exposed a regime unaccustomed to facing independent scrutiny – questions that a kept mainstream media, all of which are owned by the political parties in power, have ignored for decades. While a vibrant opposition press exists on the Internet, the government simply ignores it or tries to neutralize its reports. Those questions include crony capitalism, gerrymandering and political repression. CNN, the major US and British newspapers and other media assailed the government as authoritarian, corrupt and befuddled.

The feeling in Washington, however, is that the cost of cancellation to the strategic relationship between the two countries would be too high. Obama reportedly is being urged to visit a Christian church while in the country to show US commitment to human and religious rights. Advocates say the President should make at least some gesture of recognition of the fact that a 50.87 percent majority of Malaysians voted against the ruling coalition in 2013 general elections at 47.38 percent but still hold only 89 of the 222 seats in parliament because of gerrymandering. It’s unsure if he will do so. There is speculation that he may just opt for a “meet and greet” and get out of town as quickly as possible to avoid international criticism for propping up a regime that is starting to assume Zimbabwean characteristics of repression and kleptocracy.

“I don’t have any problem with Obama visiting Malaysia, provided he reaches outmalott1 to Malaysians on both sides of the aisle and all sectors of society, including the Christian community, whose rights are being trampled on by their government,” said John Malott, a former career foreign service officer who served as Ambassador to Malaysia from 1996 to 1998 and who has emerged as Malaysian government’s severest western critic. “But this has to be a visit that is based on the reality of what kind of country Malaysia really is today – and not to believe the talking points that Malaysia is still a tolerant multi-racial, multi-religious, harmonious, moderate Islamic nation, an economic success story, and a role model for others. It no longer is.”

Najib visited the White House in 2011 and was given a wholehearted endorsement by the President, who said Najib has “showed great leadership, I think, not only in continuing to show great leadership not only in Malaysia’s economy but on showing leadership on a wide range of multilateral issues.”

Najib PMThe President is said to like Najib personally despite the fact that a wide range of issues have never been cleared up, going back to allegations of Najib’s personal involvement in the US$1 billion purchase of French submarines that according to French prosecutors was said to have netted US$114 million in bribes and kickbacks to the United Malays National Organization. The case is still making its way through French courts.

There is also the matter of the still controversial 2006 murder by two of Najib’s bodyguards of Mongolian translator and party girl Altantuya Shaariibuu, who according to a now-dead private detective had been Najib’s girlfriend before she was allegedly passed on to his best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda, a key figure in the purchase of the submarines. The bodyguards were acquitted on appeal despite overwhelming evidence of their guilt, raising questions about Malaysia’s legal system as well.

There have been some rude shocks. Six months ago, in the run-up to his previous delayed visit to the region, the US President hailed Malaysia as an “an example of a dynamic economy” and praised its multi-ethnic, moderate Muslim-dominated society only to see just three days later a court decision ordering Christians not to use the word “Allah” when referring to God, making it the only Islamic country in the world to do so.

After that, the government ordered the confiscation of Malay-language Bibles containing the word – but only in Peninsular Malaysia. Christians using Malay-language Bibles in East Malaysia were allowed to keep them. That is because most of the Christians are tribes indigenous to Borneo that are aligned with the ruling party. In Peninsular Malaysia, they form the bulk of the Opposition.

“So the issue is — how can you talk about establishing a ‘strategic partnership’ with such a government?” Malott asked. “Maybe that is what will have to be downplayed or even canned for this visit. To me, the idea of a declaring a strategic partnership with a government whose faults have now been revealed to the world, day after day, seems politically unwise.”

Malott also questioned what strategic benefits the US can obtain from Malaysia.“What strategic value does Malaysia have that it warrants America to hold its nose and ignore the trampling of democracy and political freedom, not to mention the corruption and cronyism that hurt American business interests there?” he asked. “And with Mahathir, the great anti-American, increasingly calling the political shots and Najib’s popularity the lowest of any Prime Minister in polling history, will a ‘strategic partnership’ with the US survive Najib’s departure?”

Utusan’s claims of US role in MH370 disappearance aren’t the paper’s first wild charges

April 9, 2014

Utusan’s claims of US role in MH370 disappearance aren’t the paper’s first wild charges

Written by Our Correspondent, TUE,08 APRIL 2014



Utusan Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur-based Malay-language broadsheet newspaper that Sunday accused the CIA of having a hand in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, has a long history of heated invective as the attack dog for its owner, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the country’s biggest political party.

NAJIB_RAZAK_091213_TMINAJJUA_05_540_360_100It is a publication that could be simply dismissed because of its often-irresponsible diatribes. But presumably it is the mouthpiece for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, the Party President. And from his standpoint, the story had to be an utter disaster.  US President Barack Obama is due to visit Malaysia sometime over the next few weeks, a visit that Najib, whose popularity is fading, needs to prop him up.

There has been no public reaction in the United States. However, certainly Washington would be less than amused by the story, which accused the US of engineering the plane’s disappearance in order to disturb the growing relationship between Malaysia and China.  One source close to the government last week told Asia Sentinel the US has been instrumental in helping Malaysia behind the scenes, providing technological and forensic help from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other organizations in the search for the missing Boeing 777-200, which disappeared on March 8 into the Indian Ocean.

The paper targets a domestic audience and has traditionally felt it could indulge in any necessary rhetoric to help preserve loyalty to the party.  However, over the past three to four years, it has veered into strident invective. In 2011, the company drove senior journalist Hata Wahari, then the president of the National Union of Journalists, out of the paper after he complained about its agenda and urged it to go back to its traditional role of presenting unbiased news to the public. 

Now, it is reaping more unfavorable publicity and runs the danger of once again affecting international relations because of the perception that is has official standing.  But Najib, according to one senior source close to the party, has lost control of the Board of Directors and the editors and has been unable to rein them in despite the fact that his own press secretary sits on the board.

Earlier, the newspaper accused Indonesia of conspiring with the United States to hide the missing airliner after radar communication was lost over the gulf of Thailand.  The Indonesian online news portal Merdeka.com quoted the senior officer for foreign affairs at Indonesia’s Defense Ministry, Sumardi Brotodiningrat, as saying the allegation was “funny” and that his country was already doing its best to assist Kuala Lumpur in the search.

Najib already faces strained relations with the United States over the conviction on Anwar-Kajangappeal of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, a favorite of many US politicians and financier George Soros, among others, on what were obviously trumped up charges of sodomy. According to several sources including the purported victim’s father, the charges were cooked up in the prime minister’s office.  The country is also facing criticism over confiscation of Christian bibles that use the word “Allah” to denote God and other issues.

US officials have had a habit of publicly observing diplomatic niceties in dealing with Kuala Lumpur and it is uncertain what kind of conversation Obama is going to have with the Malaysian premier.  

Najib has repeatedly gone to the US – and the White House – and to the United Nations to characterize Malaysia as a moderate Muslim nation only to take no action against growing religious extremism on the part of Malay nationalists ‑ much to the distress of the country’s other races.

Utusan Malaysia has been at the forefront of racial attacks on ethnic Chinese and Indians. In 2012, a columnist called former Indonesian President B J Habibie a traitor and a “dog of imperialism” for meeting with Anwar. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the comments were unethical and overstepped the bounds of decorum, adding that they had jeopardized relations between the two countries.

However, Utusan’s vitriol is usually reserved for members of the opposition and for Christians. In 2011, for instance, the newspaper printed allegations that Christian pastors were seeking to install a Christian prime minister who would change the country’s official religion from Islam.

The story was ridiculous on its face. Muslims make up at least 60 percent of the population. Some Chinese are Christians, others are Buddhists.  Islam is the country’s official religion, enshrined in the constitution although other religions are guaranteed freedom to exist. Any attempt to change the status of Islam would result in a racial conflagration.

In the current flap, according to a translation by the website Malaysian Insider, assistant editor Ku Seman Ku Hussein said it was time “to think outside the box” about the tragedy to Malaysia and world aviation, repeating baseless allegations that the US had also engineered the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda.

“If the CIA could arrange for the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, it is not improbable to link MH370 with the intelligence agency,” he wrote, referring to speculation on the involvement of American intelligence in the 9/11 attacks.

“What if the MH370 tragedy had been arranged by certain parties to put Malaysia’s relationship with China in jeopardy?” Ku Seman asked in an opinion piece in the paper’s weekend edition, Mingguan Malaysia.

“The September 11 conspiracy which had been previously treated as nonsense was now a fact, and Putrajaya must look at it from a different point of view.” Ku Seman wrote.

Judges dancing to tune of UMNO

April 3, 2014

Judges dancing to tune of UMNO

It has to take one stupid, perverse and farcical court to agree with another stupid, perverse and farcical court.


Anwar-Ibrahim-2011-mantan-PMBy Anwar Ibrahim

Talking about political winds, it appears that lately, the Malaysian judiciary, particularly the judges of the superior courts, are caught in the whirlwind and are frantically racing against each other to please the powers that be of the day.

In the frenzy to curry favours from their political overlords, these minions have stopped at nothing to ensure that they will be the first to reach the finish line.

Pots of gold await the backscratchers and lackeys. And where financial gratification may appear a tad blatant, there’s always elevation to the higher rungs of office to whet the appetite.

Unlike parliamentarians, judges will never be content to be backbenchers. The preferred place is the front and the top where they can tower over ordinary mortals, even if they be law-makers or members of the Bar.

They fear no one except their political masters because they know on which side their bread is buttered. And they shall not bite the hand that feeds.

Throwing judicial decorum to the wind, they bare their fangs and sharpen their claws in order to cow supplicants in their courts into submission, and in the process, their demeanour and conduct leaves no one in doubt about their bias.

And though they know that an adversarial system dictates that judges must not just act impartially but must be seen to be so, they bend backwards to don the hats of prosecutor and executioner as well.

When this happens, as indeed it is happening now with unprecedented frequency, we know justice has gone to the dogs. It is happening because Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, in flagrant abuse of power, has launched a new campaign of political persecution.

“Even if we can’t defeat them at the polls, all is not lost (remember Altantuya?). We still have our judges to do our bidding. See how they fall over each other at the snap of our fingers!”

This is the alarming trend in our judiciary where judges work hand in glove with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to deny leaders of the federal opposition, duly elected representatives of the people in parliament, their right to justice.

In taking this unconstitutional and nefarious line, they have turned the doctrine of the separation of powers on its head.Hence, apart from me, MPs Karpal Singh, Azmin Ali, Antony Loke, Rafizi Ramli, Tian Chua, Syed Azman and Shamsul Iskandar just to name a few, are marked for the judicial abattoir by the executioners.

It may be sodomy, it may be sedition, or it may be illegal assembly, or whatever. These bootlickers know less of law and the principles of justice than lording over the courts parading proudly as peacocks (and peahens) their colourful judicial plumage overflowing with the arrogance of power.

Life after retirement

As for those judges who used to sit on the throne, there is still life after retirement. The involvement of former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad in the National Unity Front, closely linked to Perkasa, Malaysia’s icon of racism, while not shocking remains scandalous.

It makes a mockery of the institution of the judiciary which he once headed and contradicts the principles of equality, equity and justice that the judiciary is supposed to stand for.

Is it conceivable for a former chief judge to head an organisation that is adamantly opposed to the National Unity Consultative Council, and to be notoriously engaged in race-baiting and the trumpeting of the superiority of one race over other races in our multi-racial and multi-religious country?

It would appear that it is not only conceivable but that it is lauded with much fanfare by UMNO going by the prominent coverage given to it by the UMNO-controlled media.

Incidentally, this is the same judge who, in his Federal Court judgment, had written that “the court’s decision must only be based on the evidence adduced and nothing else and (hence) it had to acquit because of lack of evidence,” but qualified it with the illogical and manifestly asinine statement that “we find evidence to confirm that the appellants were involved in homosexual activities”.

In other words, “we find him NOT guilty but at the same time guilty”. Anything more stupid, perverse and farcical than that cannot be found in our judicial annals (no pun intended) except for the judgments and pronouncements of Augustine Paul and Ariffin Jaka in respect of Sodomy 1 and the current decisions in respect of the application for expunging and the Sodomy 2 appeal.

As they say, it has to take one stupid, perverse and farcical court to agree with another stupid, perverse and farcical court.

UMNO must fight its own political battles and not be such a coward to use the judiciary to help them fight the opposition. How long more are our judges going to dance to tune of UMNO?

When will they stop becoming stooges and lap dogs of UMNO leaders? How long more must the rakyat endure this sham? Who are the puppeteers in this shadow play?

Are these judges not aware that UMNO will not be there forever to cover their tracks, or their backs, or that not only will history judge them, but that the rakyat are not going to sit idly by – forever – while they continue to pervert the course of justice?

Parliament, as the vox populi, must make its voice heard before we reach the tipping point and the situation gets out of our hands.

There is a tide in our affairs which, unless we seize it, will see our voyage for democracy and rule of law in shallows and in miseries.This is the rising tide of judicial impropriety, arrogance of power and transgression. As one of the three branches of government, parliament must reassert the sanctity of the separation of powers principle.

It is therefore morally incumbent and constitutionally expedient that parliament acts accordingly to break up the illegal and unconstitutional collusion between the Executive and the Judiciary.

Anwar Ibrahim is the federal Opposition Leader.

MH370: Asking the Wrong Government for Straight Answers

March 27, 2014


On March 24, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (above) appeared before the press to announce that missing flight MH370 “ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.” Najib’s statement finally gave the families of the passengers an “answer” on the fate of their loved ones. But it comes after weeks of spectacular obfuscation by Malaysian government officials, who repeatedly fudged details, contradicted each other, or used the tragedy to score points against the political opposition.

Just to add insult to injury, Malaysian Airlines informed the families of the sad news by sending them a text message. Small wonder that some of the relatives are now accusing Malaysian officialdom of orchestrating a “cover-up,” and demanding to see concrete evidence such as the plane’s black box.

The rest of the world has reacted to the half-truths of the Malaysian authorities with bewilderment. But to us Malaysians it’s nothing new: We’ve been putting up with this sort of crap our entire lives. Our officials are incapable of communicating because they’ve never felt the need to. Our corrupt and incompetent bureaucracy regards its own citizens with such top-down contempt that its dialogue muscles have simply atrophied.

So it’s no wonder that Malaysians have spent the past few weeks coping the way we’re accustomed to: by indulging in conspiracy theories, the last pathetic refuge of people who know that they can never expect the truth from their own leaders. So we’ve seen some Malaysians blaming the loss of the plane on everyone from our own government to the United States, China, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, and — why not? — aliens. Yes, it’s sad. And yes, it’s more than a little crazy. But in the final analysis you can’t really blame us. Where else are we supposed to find any answers?

The Malaysian government’s response has been dismal almost from the moment MH370 went missing. In most countries, the prime minister would step forward and take the lead during a catastrophe of this magnitude. In Malaysia, however, our Prime Minister decided to spend his time boasting about his skill at buying cheap chicken, analyzing the economy’s health based on the price of kangkung (water spinach), or strolling around shopping malls. He’s left the bulk of the mundane task of disaster management to the acting Transport Minister cum Minister of Defense, Hishammuddin Hussein, who has figured as the official government spokesman at a number of press conferences following the disappearance of MH370. (Hishammuddin, it’s worth noting, is a cousin of Prime Minister Najib — a coincidence quite widespread in a country where politicians are often linked by clan ties.)

Hishamuddin HusseinJudging by the reactions from passengers’ families and the international media, Hishammuddin (left) hasn’t exactly been doing a stellar job. In the early days of the investigation, the minister and his team event offered a conspiracy theory of their own.

In this case, Malaysian officials speculated — without offering any particular evidence to back up their claim — that the plane’s pilot, a “fanatical supporter” of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and a relative of Anwar’s son-in-law, might have been motivated to hijack his own plane for political reasons.

The day before, a Malaysian court sentenced Anwar to five years in prison on sodomy charges, a decision that bars him for running for office in upcoming elections. Again, none of this comes as a particular surprise. In recent years, government officials have developed the habit of blaming everything and anything on the Opposition, and especially on Anwar.

One side effect of the government’s inept response to the MH370 catastrophe, according to some, is that it has prompted some unwelcome analysis of the country’s political system, which has been dominated by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition for the past 57 years. So is Malaysia’s paternalistic political culture really being challenged now that MH370 incident has exposed its leaders to the withering judgments of international critics? I’m inclined to doubt it. As soon as the MH370 issue cools down, Malaysia’s government will return to business as usual. Nothing will change.

Just consider the scandal surrounding Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Chief Minister ofSararwak's CM the Malaysian state of Sarawak. According to the Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss environmental group, and local critics in Sarawak, Abdul Taib, who’s held office since 1981, has amassed enormous wealth (and caused vast environmental damage) through his unchallenged control of the state’s forests. These critics allege that Taib has used his power to enrich his own family and well-connected cronies, who have harvested billions of dollars’ worth of tropical timber.

Early last year, the international corruption watchdog group Global Witness released extensive video footage from a covert investigation that showed Taib’s cousins explaining how they had circumvented state laws to acquired vast tracts of forest land. In January 2013, 20 Swiss members of parliament filed a motion calling for an immediate freeze of assets held by Swiss banks on behalf of the Malaysian Taib family.

In a normal, democratic political system, all this would have prompted official investigations, parliamentary inquiries, demands for accountability. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission did organize a probe to investigate Taib — but the minister simply declared, with apparent impunity, that he would not cooperate with the “naughty” and “dishonest” commission. As a result, Malaysian officials have yet to open a domestic investigation into the case. One year later, in February 2014, the probe made the improbable claim that it could not find any evidence that Taib had abused his power. On March 1 of this year, Abdul Taib was sworn in for a term as Sarawak’s Governor — a position even more powerful than the one he held before.

Taib can get away with this sort of thing precisely because of his cozy relationship with the ruling BN coalition and the party that dominates it (the United Malays National Organization, or UMNO). The ruling coalition sees Sarawak as a vital cache of votes for the party, and within this system, Taib is untouchable.

In our general election last year, the main opposition coalition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, won just over 50 percent of the vote — yet BN still ended up with 60 percent of the seats in the national parliament. That’s because the government uses gerrymandering and elaborate dirty tricks to divide up the election system in ways that ensure continued BN rule, regardless of the way Malaysians actually vote. It’s not surprising, then, that there is zero sense of accountability in our country — and that the government officials who have risen to the top of the system feel little pressure to respond to those pesky demands for information from ordinary people.

The Malaysian government has a long history of ignoring its citizens’ right to know. Just take one of the most notorious cases. Back in 2002, an international human rights group filed an international court challenge alleging that the Malaysian government had accepted millions of dollars in bribes from a French shipbuilding company in the $1.25 billion purchase of two Scorpene submarines. Though the French investigation produced enough evidence to implicate top Malaysian officials, the government summarily denied the claims, and no one was ever punished. Over a decade later, the scandal is still unresolved.

Or take the murder of Mongolian model and translator Altantuya Shaariibuu (which has also been linked to the submarine case). Witnesses linked Altantuya romantically to one of Najib’s best friends and close policy advisors, a man named Abdul Razak Baginda. Sources claimed that she was trying to blackmail Razak with her knowledge of the shady submarine deal before she was killed by two of Najib’s bodyguards.

Rosmah and NajibThough the case implicated both the Malaysian Prime Minister and his wife, the government never initiated any official investigation. The case has remained in limbo ever since.

A private investigator, P Balasubramaniam (known as “Bala”), made a convincing statutory declaration for the prosecution in the Altantuya case — but soon retracted the statement, and subsequently dropped out of sight, along with his entire family.

Bala turned up again a few years later, claiming that he’d been offered $1.5 million by a businessman close to Najib’s family if he’d take back his original declaration. Bala died of a heart attack on March 15, 2013, in the midst of campaigning for the opposition in the upcoming election. Then Olivier Metzner, a French lawyer involved the submarine court case, was found dead in “an apparent suicide” two days after Bala’s death.

Not long after that the Malaysian Court of Appeals decided to acquit the two policemen who had been sentenced to death for Altantuya’s murder. The court’s decision provoked an angry response from Altantuya’s father and the Mongolian government.

But, as we’ve pointed out, foreigners apparently have just as little right to satisfactory information from the Malaysian government as Malaysian citizens do.We Malaysians, in short, have been putting up with this culture of official impunity for decades. Without having much choice in the matter, we’ve become accustomed to living under an authoritarian bureaucracy that mocks our requests for honest dialogue, and revels in its own contempt for basic rules of transparency and accountability. Now the international community is getting its own taste of what dealing with this system is really like.

What’s more, MH370 proves that Malaysia’s political immaturity is not merely a domestic issue, but threatens the citizens of other nations as well. As Malaysian citizens, we offer our sincerest condolences to the families of the passengers and the  international community — and we hope that you’ll join us in the fight against our government’s blatant corruption.

Mahathir Behind Rush to Justice in Anwar’s Case?

Mahathir Behind Rush to Justice in Anwar’s Case?

Charge Against Malaysia’s Opposition Leader is Flawed and politically motivated


Sodomy charge Against Malaysia’s Opposition Leader is flawed And politically motivated

by John Berthelsen



The charges against Anwar seemed cooked up and malicious, but government prosecutors pressed ahead anyway.  

najibm1Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial, which ran almost two years before ending in 2012, was built on flawed evidence, procedural mistakes, tainted witnesses and reports of political collusion with Najib Tun Razak,  the current Prime Minister, and was condemned internationally by legal scholars and human rights activists.  

He was eventually acquitted for lack of evidence only to have an appeals court reverse that decision, ruling in favor of a government appeal on Friday. He was sentenced to five years in prison but is free on bail pending appeal. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia. The sudden reversal on Friday shocked political observers and the general public.

Sordid and Unbelievable

The story began on June 28, 2008 when a then-24-year-old aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhairy Azlan, made the sodomy accusation against Anwar, who had led the three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition to a historic sweep of five Malaysian states, winning 82 parliamentary seats in general elections and breaking the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition’s two-thirds majority hold on parliament.

Despite an offer to appear voluntarily at the police station to deal with the charges, the opposition leader was arrested at his home on July 16 of that year by a contingent of 10 carloads of police commandos and was locked up overnight in a Kuala Lumpur jail.

The trial, which began in February 2010, was marred by the introduction of a mountain of questionable evidence, egregious prosecutorial errors and a long series of prejudicial rulings by High Court Judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohamad Diah.

From the very beginning, doubts began to surface. To start with, Saiful belatedly sought to get doctors to certify that he had been sodomized 48 hours after the alleged encounter. Records showed he first went to a private hospital where a doctor found no evidence of penetration and told him to go to a government hospital. At the first government hospital, doctors also told him they had found no evidence of tearing or scarring that would have indicated his anus had been penetrated. He was forced to go to a third government hospital where he finally found a physician willing to say the act had taken place.

Political connections

Saiful acknowledged in court that he had met with then-Deputy Prime Minister220px-Anwar_Ibrahim-edited Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, on June 24, 2008, two days before the alleged sodomy took place and on other occasions with Rosmah’s close confidant, the former track star Mumtaz Jaafar. Neither the Prime Minister nor his wife nor Mumtaz was called to the stands to explain why they met with Saiful.

There were many questions about the DNA, which was allegedly taken from Saiful’s rectum 90 hours after the reported act took place. He claimed not to have eaten, drunk nor gone to the bathroom for that entire period.

The evidence was not refrigerated and was stored in an unguarded police office. Government laboratory technicians testified that as many as 11 different DNA traces had been found in Saiful’s rectum. At one point Zabidin ruled that the DNA was too doubtful to be admitted, only to have the prosecution appeal, at which point the judge reversed himself, leading to charges he had been coerced.

There were even questions whether Saiful had actually met with Anwar on the date he allegedly was sodomized. Although cameras showed him in the lift of the building where the offence allegedly took place, Anwar said he was meeting with a group of economists in the condo at the time and that Saiful had not appeared in the room.

Saiful also acknowledged meeting secretly twice with Rodwan Mohd Yusof, a senior assistant Police Commissioner, before the alleged offense took place. Rodwan became famous, or infamous, in Anwar’s 1998 Sodomy I trial when he was found to have illegally removed Anwar’s DNA samples from forensic custody and planted them on a mattress allegedly used by Anwar for a homosexual dalliance. To protect the integrity of the prosecution’s case, the presiding Judge, the Late Augustine Paul, expunged the entire DNA evidence at the time.

Saiful testified that on the day he allegedly met with Anwar, he had taken lubricant with him to Anwar’s condominium – hardly the act of an innocent aide who had no idea that the then 63-year-old Anwar was about to jump him for unnatural sex.

It also became known during that Saiful was having a sexual liaison with Farah Azlina Latif, a female member of the prosecution team, which might have further disqualified him as a complaining witness.

The family apologizes

Saiful’s father, Azlan Mohd Lazim in March 2013, apologized to Anwar at a press conference and said the plot to have Anwar arrested was cooked up in Najib’s office. He said his son had been used by “irresponsible quarters” and that statements that both he and his son gave to the press during and after the trial were written by his lawyer and a special officer in Najib’s office.

“Anwar is innocent and a victim of this slander… as such I apologize to Anwar and his family,” Azlan said in a printed statement.” He and his family have suffered a lot as a result of this slander. I deeply regret all the slander hurled against Anwar, which involved my son Saiful Bukhairi.”

Rosmah and NajibThe case “was planned in great detail by a special officer in the PM’s Department,” Azlan said. “Even the script I read during the press conference after Anwar’s sodomy acquittal last year was prepared by this officer.”

His son, he said, “has never explained the sodomy incident and the accusation to me. I was never called as a witness in the case. I was never called by any party to offer my statement as the father from the start to the end of the trial.”

Although he was always seen accompanying his son during the trial, Azlan TDMexplained that he did so simply as a father who was giving moral support. Azlan said he decided to make his statement after collecting information obtained during the trial, as well as that sent to him by the public.

“As a Malay and a Muslim, I started to realize the evil of this plan. I don’t want to RGESs’ continue to conspire with this malicious slander. I want the people who love this country to know their malicious intention,” he said. “If this malicious intention continues, not only the Malays and Muslims would be destroyed, but the nation would be destroyed as well. I do not want to see this happen.”

Anwar Ibrahim’s Conviction: State Department’s Reaction is mild and muted

March 8, 2014

Anwar Ibrahim’s Conviction: State Department’s Reaction is mild and muted

by http://www.themalaysianinsider.com


The United States yesterday voiced concern over what it says are politically motivated charges brought against Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, urging Malaysia to ensure fairness and transparency.

In a long-running case which stretches back to the late 1990s, the Malaysian Court of Appeals yesterday overturned Anwar’s acquittal on sodomy laws and sentenced him to five years in jail. He was freed pending appeal.

“The decision to prosecute Mr Anwar, and his trial, have raised a number of concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the court,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“In this high-profile case, it is critical for Malaysia to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy and judiciary.”

She also raised the case of the conviction of opposition figure Karpal Singh, who was found guilty of sedition even though Kuala Lumpur had vowed to abolish the law.

The outspoken, wheelchair-bound 73-year-old parliamentarian faces up to three years in prison.

Yesterday’s ruling against Anwar, 66, overturns his 2012 acquittal onpresident-barack-obama-calls-atlantis-sts-125 charges he sodomised a male former aide – in a case which has dragged on since 1998 and cut short his promising career during a bitter power struggle with his rival then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar’s case was loudly condemned at the time as politically motivated, and when asked whether this was still the US stand, Psaki replied “It is.”

Sodomy remains illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia and punishable by up to 20 years in jail. – AFP, March 8, 2014.

Stand Up for Democracy And Stand By Anwar Against Kelptocracy

March 7, 2014

Stand Up for Democracy,Freedom, Justice And Stand By Anwar Against Kleptocracy 

Stand Up for each other, Pakatan Rakyat.  Fight for freedom, democracy and justice. We have no option. Today’s Court of A Appeal decision makes Anwar the driving force for change in our country.  Let us not feel dejected. Our fight goes on against the dark forces of repression, arrogance, oppression; and like Badwawi’s supression, Najib will fall on the count of three.–Din Merican

by Josh Hong@wwww.malaysiakini.com

TDMBaruFor nearly 16 years now, Malaysian politics has been stuck in skullduggery just because one influential and popular individual by the name of Anwar Ibrahim was – and is – determined to challenge UMNO’s hegemony embodied by Mahathir Mohamad’s autocracy.

The sodomy issue is like a sword of Damocles that hangs forever over Anwar’s head. When he was acquitted for the first time over Sodomy II back in January 2012, some were quick to attribute the verdict to a restoration of judicial integrity. How premature the conclusion was, I would say.

Although there have been cases where justice was seen to be done, including a series of decisions against UMNO mouthpieces such as Utusan Malaysia and TV3, it would seem that the Judiciary remains very much beholden to the powers-that-be whenever the latter’s ultimate authority is severely challenged.

In other words, as long as the opposition adhered to the rules of the game laid down by UMNO and played its role within the permitted boundaries, it was allowed to survive but not to thrive.

Until, of course, the power of reformasi was unleashed by Anwar and turned the UMNO game upside down. Since then, the party that claims to represent the Malays has been fighting tooth and nail to stay relevant.

Still, neither Mahathir nor Najib Abdul Razak ever doubts the sodomy trump card that they have, alongside the advantages that UMNO holds as the ruling party. While Najib grudgingly accepted the not-so-splendid outcome of the 13th general election, he was privately relieved that more than sufficient time had been secured for him to say in power.

But Najib’s fortunes started to dwindle in no time as the costs of living were rising as a result of his hastily implemented economic measures.

At the same time, Mahathir and his cohorts cashed in on the increasingly discontents at the grassroots level by attacking Najib’s lacklustre performance, although the ex-dictator is never under the illusion that every act of defiance on his part is meant to soothe his immense grievances over his son’s failure to make it to UMNO’s top leadership.

So Najib was on the verge of repeating what Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had gone through – an ignominious exit that was.

Anwar-KajangAt this juncture, Anwar pre-empted Najib with the Kajang Offensive, seeking to regain the momentum that was clearly lost post-GE13.

All at a sudden, the public’s zeal for a regime change was aroused, posing a serious threat to UMNO’s legitimacy once again.

Should Anwar win big in Kajang, it would deal further blow to Najib’s diminishing authority within the party and nationwide.

Talk of reconciliation

Prior to this, there had been talk of reconciliation, with both sides of the political divides seemingly warming up to the idea.

I had chastised Anwar in no uncertain terms over the overtures that he had been making towards UMNO for the simple reason that the party that has ruined each and every public institution over the last 30 years and trampled on our national dignity time and again can never be trusted as a partner.

Then Anwar appeared to have changed his mind and decided to go on the offensive. But his Kajang strategy was interpreted by Najib as a betrayal on the consensus between them, which explains the rush to move the Sodomy II appeal forward to stop Anwar from getting closer to assuming a greater role in politics.

A calculative politician, Najib most probably decided to finish Anwar off by sending him to jail so that he gets to keep Putrajaya, while simultaneously appeasing Mahathir.

Yes, the Kajang Move has clearly backfired and one can go on arguing whether it was ethnical or justifiable from the very beginning. However, the very cruel reality remains that Umno is so arrogant and powerful that judges must disregard all the evidence and convict its opponents on the shakiest grounds.

Mahathir is the happiest man for now, but the country and the people will eventually pay for his and Umno’s perfidy unless a new generation of Malaysians are prepared to rise up against all the injustices.

Khalid disrupting Anwar’s plan ?

Khalid disrupting Anwar’s plan?

by Lim Sue Goan
MARCH 04, 2014

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim will contest the PKR deputy president post, challenging Azmin Ali in the party election. It seems like he is not willing to just let go of his menteri besar post and thus, is going all out to give it a try.

Anwar created the by-election with a dual purpose: to appease the power conflicts within Selangor PKR by blocking Azmin Ali's access to the MB's office to mess things up for Selangor; and to provide a political platform for Anwar to extend his Putrajaya dream.

Anwar created the by-election with a dual purpose: to appease the power conflicts within Selangor PKR by blocking Azmin Ali’s access to the MB’s office to mess things up for Selangor; and to provide a political platform for Anwar to extend his Putrajaya dream.

Judging from the evolution of events, Khalid’s attitude has indeed changed.

Anwar told Sin Chew Daily in an exclusive interview that Khalid had in principle agreed to pass on the Selangor MB post to him, but Khalid has said nothing about it.

In mid-February, it was said that Khalid refused to resign. He had originally been arranged to sign a post-dated letter of resignation but he refused to sign.

When being asked to comment on a poll showing 59% of Kajang voters supported Anwar to take over the Selangor menteri besar post, Khalid responded casually and said that it was just a poll.

In fact, making the Kajang state seat vacant to pave the way for Anwar to become the Selangor menteri besar was not the original intention of Khalid. It was reported that there was an agreement among Anwar, Azmin and Khalid before the resignation of Lee Chin Cheh.

The trio agreed that Azmin should first resign as the Bukit Antarabangsa state assembly member to create a by-election, so that Anwar could contest for the vacant post and become the Selangor menteri besar after winning the by-election. However, Lee was the one who resigned eventually and the agreement collapsed.

It showed that Khalid has been pressed and if he has no intention to step down, he is expected to fight back fiercely. His wishful thinking is to win the party election and thereby, continue his political life.

He chose to declare his challenge against Azmin before the by-election to convey the message that he is not yielding his position in the “power struggle”.

Now, it seems that Khalid is determined to get rid of the party’s control as he has inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal government over the water supply issue without notifying in advance the party’s leaders.

It has, however, triggered a doubt among Pakatan Rakyat component parties. As the content of the MoU has been kept in secret, it raised a question of lack of transparency. Would the Langat 2 Project be contracted to cronies and would the cost for water restructuring be increased?

Khalid said that the reason to keep the MoU confidential was to avoid the intervention of some PKR leaders. If his allegations are true, these leaders have violated the commitment of defending the people’s interests as increasing the RM9.65 billion purchase price will benefit the water supply company.

Before GE13, Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim was bold enough to say that his water deal did not necessarily need Langat 2. He envisaged diverting run-off rain water using new technology to increase the supply of water to Selangor and the Federal Territory without the need for a new plant.

Before GE13, Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim was bold enough to say that his water deal did not necessarily need Langat 2. He envisaged diverting run-off rain water using new technology to increase the supply of water to Selangor and the Federal Territory without the need for a new plant.

In fact, Anwar and Azmin cannot blame Khalid for acting on his own as when they planned for the Kajang by-election, they did not discuss with the DAP and PAS either. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had admitted that he received no prior notice about it.

The script written by Anwar is to settle the Selangor PKR in-fighting and march towards Putrajaya. The subsequent development, however, has gone out of the script. Khalid, who is gentle and does not know politics, might become the biggest obstacle.

It is believed that Anwar could win the by-election. But if Khalid refuses to step down, Pakatan Rakyat would have to decide who should be the menteri besar through an internal poll. Does PAS have another plan? Would PKR state assembly members supporting Khalid change their direction?

The PKR party election has been postponed to May 11. If the party election is going to decide Khalid’s fate, the issue will continue to haunt the party for over a month after the Kajang by-election and it is not conducive to the operation of the state government.

Anwar’s wife Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter Nurul Izzah are seen to tend to support Khalid while Anwar has been relying too much on Azmin. If the party election leads to a split, it would be devastating to the Selangor state government.

Although Khalid claimed that his track record gives him advantage over Azmin, party election depends on grassroots forces, something in which he is relatively weak compared with Azmin.

Tan Sri Khalid should accept the criticism with an open heart and fix his weaknesses as the Mentri Besar's leadership appeared to be getting weaker.

Tan Sri Khalid should accept the criticism with an open heart and fix his weaknesses as the Mentri Besar’s leadership appeared to be getting weaker.

Meanwhile, the Selangor water supply agreement might also detonate an internal conflict. After all, politics has no way to get rid of partisan interests.

After the 2013 general election, despite the weaker cohesion, the overall situation has remained favourable for Pakatan Rakyat, particularly since Barisan Nasional (BN) has failed to effectively manage the national debt and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been facing internal pressure.

However, the chaos in Selangor might give BN an opportunity to divert attention.

Pakatan Rakyat could keep Kajang, but it must ensure that it causes no damage to public confidence.

As DAP Parliament leader Lim Kit Siang said, “A House divided cannot stand.”

Pakatan Rakyat must overcome the big trouble or everything that looks good might turn out to be only an illusion. – mysinchew.com, March 4, 2014.

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

CT Ali: Could We be backing the wrong Political Horse?

February 24, 2013

Could we be backing the Wrong Political Horse?

Cronyism and nepotism are rife in DAP and PKR to the point that even UMNO must take a back seat when it comes to family dynasties.

COMMENT by CT Ali@http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Anwar-KajangMy sleeps are deeply troubled by my thoughts on what the future holds for those of us that had put our hopes and aspirations for our future in the hands of Pakatan Rakyat.

We have done much for Pakatan. Was it not our votes that gave them Selangor, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Kelantan in the 12th general elections? And again was it not our votes that gave Pakatan the popular mandate in the 13th general election? These votes were given by the rakyat to Pakatan, and not won by Pakatan from Barisan Nasional.

These votes were our way of telling BN that ultimately it is the rakyat that decide who should govern them. And I use the word ‘ultimately’ with the hope that these politicians will ultimately come to their senses and understand that what they do today, tomorrow and in the time they have before the next general election will determine their political future.

What is now clear is that in the flush of electoral victory, reason and common sense have escaped many of the Pakatan leaders since the last general election.

You would have thought that securing the popular mandate at the last general election would have given Pakatan a secure path towards federal government by the next general election.

Nothing can be further from the truth. The way things are today for Pakatan, they have as much chance of winning federal government as a Malay would have a chance of being Penang Chief Minister for as long as DAP is the state government.

We are agreed that Selangor has been managed prudently by KhalidLIMGuanEng.htm Ibrahim. PAS has ruled Kelantan and will continue to rule Kelantan for they understand the aspirations of its people well. Lim Guan Eng has financially restructured Penang by reviving industrial investments.

These are all individual achievements in each state by components within Pakatan.

Factionalism within Pakatan had already resulted in electoral blunders that had resulted in Pakatan losing Perak and then Kedah. Blunders by Pakatan’s first tier leadership in the 13th general election meant that Perak, Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan are still firmly in BN’s hand.

Sabah and Sarawak delivered the federal government to BN. Pakatan was sadly deficient in understanding the political dynamics of these two states.

After the 13th GE it would seems that BN is more entrenched in Sabah and Sarawak than before, and whatever inroads made by DAP would by now have dissipated as BN consolidate their hold there. And Pakatan is the antithesis of what it preaches about open, responsible and decent government.

Cronyism and nepotism are rife in DAP and PKR to the point that even UMNO must take a back seat when it comes to family dynasties.

Losing the support

Religion that has been used so effectively by UMNO to galvanise its strength among the Malays after the 13th GE has only created problems within Pakatan.

PAS’ insistence to focus on hudud embarrasses DAP and PKR, and all three within the Pakatan coalition have agreed to disagree of this issue.

mat-sabu-hadi-awangAnd we cannot ignore the reality that within PAS the perpetual struggle between the ulama and the professional technocrats will always advantage UMNO rather than Pakatan.

PAS, DAP and PKR prefer to preach to the converted when in Malaysia it is the fence-sitters who will decide who will govern at state and federal levels. This UMNO knows and is already working on increasing their standing amongst the Malays.

Race and religious centric deeds and actions – and nobody can do this asNAJIB_RAZAK_091213_TMINAJJUA_05_540_360_100 effectively as UMNO – do matter in the rural hinterlands as this is where the next federal government will be decided.

Today whatever goodwill, trust and confidence the people had for Pakatan to win election at the national level – as reflected in the popular mandate they gave to Pakatan at the last general election – is being lost at a fast rate.

Islam that gives strength to PAS in Kelantan cannot be ‘sold’ to the non-Muslims and thus cannot give PAS a national profile.

DAP that has done well in Penang unfortunately also projects what the Malay abhors – the Chinese as a political and economic force – and thus again cannot gain a national platform acceptable to all Malaysians.

PKR is a mass of contradictions, opportunism and political immaturity that is played out in the public domain – from its party elections, defections, nepotism, factionalism and avarice – all a mirror image of what has happened and is still happening in UMNO today.

All these have only reinforced public perceptions that PKR is not yet ready to do government at the federal level – maybe even at state level as evident in Selangor.

We perceived that nobody in Pakatan has the credibility to lead at national level. Whether real or imagined this is what the public perceives and in politics, perception translates into electoral support or not.

Too often Pakatan’s first-tier leadership has put self before party and national interests. Too often Anwar Ibrahim has failed to honor what he said he would do.

Too often DAP has talked itself up as a Malaysian party that is open and responsible – and yet what the party leadership is doing within DAP indicates otherwise.

PAS is torn between religion and politics, and you and I know that it cannot do both well.But I can only speak for myself.

Road to Kajang: Enter Tun Dr. Mahathir

February 20, 2014

Road to Kajang: Enter Tun Dr. Mahathir, the Prolific Peddler of Poppycock

by Terence Netto (02-19-14)@http://www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT: The Kajang by-election has triggered a crapshoot. With something like three weeks to go to nomination day, the campaign is already awash in the hogwash that tells you the silly season’s here – earlier than usual.

By now we well know that any contest in which the stakes are high and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is involved tends to attract mad hatters, like moths to flame.

It’s not that Anwar is a contributor to the crap; it’s just that he’s so unfailing a cause for the emission of the drivel that tells you the madding season has begun.

Presently, the most prolific peddler of poppycock is former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Even at an age that is supposed to bring on a mellow equanimity, the scent of Anwar can be counted on to make the octogenarian Mahathir’s nostrils twitch, like a tapir’s when browsing for food.

TDM LatestProlific Peddler of Poppycock

As gleefully as a hog after truffles, the former Prime Minister the past few weeks has dug up every unthinking cliché about Anwar for regurgitation without aid of the rhetorical contrivances that can render the jaded the gleam of wit.

Anwar, the agent of America; Anwar, the sly dodger of court action; Anwar, the PM-aspirant who’s barely MB material; Anwar, the sexual deviant but pretender to Islamic rectitude; Anwar, the justice exponent but hidden repressor of liberty; Anwar, the apparent meritocrat but latent promoter of nepotism; Anwar, the bogus financial czar and tool of the IMF and World Bank; Anwar, the public Islamist but covert Jew lover, and so on and so forth.

The range of these defamations must want to make Anwar say with the poet Walt Whitman: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I’m large, I contain multitudes.”

But the only multitudes that matter these days are the ones that turn up for his stumps on the election circuit. From Permatang Pauh to Pasir Gudang, from Kajang to Kota Kinabalu, the attendances at the Opposition Leader’s ceramah have not receded. And this is what appears to give his adversaries sleeplessness.

Anwar’s decision to go for a seat in the Selangor legislature has given his ally turned adversary Mahathir the insomnia that can cause memory loss.

Echoing Liow

Liow tiong layLast week, Mahathir, taking the cue from MCA President Liow Tiong Lai, blamed Anwar for Operation Lallang. Operation Lallang, launched in October 1987, involved the detention of over 100 politicians and social activists and the banning of several newspapers in what has come to be regarded as one of the darkest chapters of Malaysian history.

Anwar was Education Minister at the time while Mahathir was both Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister.

Mahathir has previously tried to dodge responsibility for that episode byTDMBaru claiming that it was the Police who had insisted on the repression, conveniently forgetting that the Internal Security Act only allowed for detentions under the signature of the Home Minister.

If Mahathir’s disclaimer of responsibility is taken at face value, then it meant that at the time of ISA arrests, Malaysia was a police state, not a parliamentary democracy.

With regards to Operation Lallang, Anwar’s links extended only to the fact that his ministry was responsible for the placement of non-Mandarin speaking personnel in government-aided Chinese schools.

The decision led to protest demonstrations by Chinese educationists. UMNO Youth responded with a menacing display of chauvinism. Tensions ran high and the government reacted with a spate of detentions and newspaper bans.

Last week, newly-elected MCA chief Liow, in his first foray into Kajang, which seat is likely to be contested by his party, reminded Chinese voters that it was Anwar’s actions that had led to Operation Lallang. Mahathir, 88, promptly seconded Liow’s view until Anwar countered by saying that he was in charge of the Education portfolio and not Home Affairs under whose imprimatur the ISA arrests occurred.

Lim Kit SiangUnder pressure from DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who was the Opposition Leader in 1987 and who tartly reminded Mahathir that he had signed the detentions orders as home minister, the ex-PM admitted responsibility, citing advanced age for his memory lapses.

However, a retentive memory for old canards was at work when Mahathir, pressing the attack against Anwar, trotted out all the hoary old charges against his nemesis, from western tool to latent sexual predator.

Mahathir sounded like a stuck record, spinning endlessly in the grooves of a discredited past. This is what gives Mahathir and his ilk goose pimples: while their target, Anwar, is taken up with what to do about the future, they are reflexively fixated on the past.

That is why, for the latter, the Kajang by-election is a crapshoot while for their adversary it is the signpost to a better future – for Selangorians, at least.

People Power can grill BN in ‘Satay Town’

February 19, 2014

People Power can grill BN in ‘Satay Town’

Mariam Mokhtarby Mariam Mokhtar

For the first time in 57 years, the rakyat is aware that the opposition coalition can destroy the BN coalition. Unless drastic measures are taken, UMNO-Baru fears that its rule will come to an end. The “Allah” issue and the bible snatching in Selangor are all about this change of power.

The increasing disintegration of racial and religious harmony in Selangor should have sounded the alarm to tell us that UMNO-Baru is mounting its strongest challenge against the Opposition.

Ironically, the man who has successfully led Selangor may also be its greatest stumbling block. The Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, is a perfect corporate man, who runs a tight ship and has successfully replenished the Selangor coffers; but he lacks the political cunning needed to mount campaigns to thwart the UMNO-Baru attacks against his leadership.

Another major disadvantage is that Khalid is not given coverage in theFather of Corruption mainstream media and TV3. In contrast, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a failure when it comes to managing the economy and uniting Malaysians, but the media and, it is alleged, foreign public relations firms, are paid to portray a glowing image of Najib to gullible Malaysians.

The seeds of disunity were planted by former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and since then, they have been used by UMNO-Baru to inflict maximum damage on the rakyat. Today, Malay and Muslim extremists goad their non-Malay and Christian peers to retaliate. All UMNO-Baru needs is a spark, to assume control.

The reason for the “Kajang move” is to pre-empt Mahathir’s manoeuvring to remove Najib and cause havoc in Selangor, the crown-jewel of Malaysia. One should reflect on and seize this opportunity for change. The people of Kajang can prove that power is in the hands of the people, and not the politicians.

Anyone who doubts UMNO-Baru’s fear and insecurity needs only look at its actions soon after the Kajang announcement was made.

UMNO-Baru started to praise the Chinese for their commercial success and Malays were criticised for failing to emulate the Chinese work ethic. Contrast this with last year, when the UMNO-Baru publicity machine insulted the Chinese, blamed the Chinese tsunami for the BN loss and told the Chinese to “balik Cina”.

dsai14BN’s anxiety showed when Lee Chong Wei, the badminton champion, was urged to stand against Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Kajang. This demonstrates BN’s shallow thinking and desperation. They considered fielding a sports personality to capitalise on his popularity.

In the legal world, the judgement in Datuk Seri Khir Toyo’s final appeal, and the corruption case against Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim, the former political secretary to the former Minister for Women Affairs, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, were postponed indefinitely. The publicity from the court case might highlight the fact that UMNO-Baru is mired in corruption.

Conversely, Anwar’s sodomy appeal will be heard in early February. Presumably, UMNO-Baru hopes the Opposition will be affected by the publicity. The case will waste Anwar’s time and resources, whilst attempting to tarnish Anwar’s good name.

Former cabinet minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said that Kajang was a “golden opportunity” to “regain the trust of the Malays” to “repay the Malays” after the “Chinese tsunami” of GE13. This is typical UMNO-Baru arrogance.

Najib deferred toll hikes this year, giving the impression that UMNO-BaruAh Jib Gor is listening to the rakyat; however, the rakyat may not know that the toll operators were given a golden Chinese New Year angpow of RM400 million in concessions.

Former PM Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi claimed that the by-election was a waste of public funds and a challenge to the country’s democracy. Billions of ringgit of taxpayers’ money have been wasted on grand projects but Badawi ignored the extravagance of UMNO-Baru ministers and their spouses. He also forgot the undemocratic Perak coup in 2009 and the cheating in GE13, and earlier elections.

Najib announced that recipients of the BRIM 3.0 would receive their money on February 22, 2014. This is Najib’s modus operandi, to pay his way into people’s affections. We saw his largesse in GE13, and then we suffered as our cost of living increased.

We have come a long way since the days of the master-slave relationship between the leaders and the rakyat; when UMNO-Baru dictates, the rakyat must obey. The rakyat is fed up with broken promises, price hikes and acts of injustice. Ordinary people are denied their basic human rights, if they are not well connected or belong to the wrong religion or race.

Proof that the people are not afraid of change was shown when Lim Kit Siang, who was parachuted into Gelang Patah, an UMNO-Baru stronghold, won with a huge majority. Anwar can do the same in Kajang. He can thwart UMNO-Baru’s attempts to divide the nation and deal more effectively with royalty.

No one in Selangor wants to return to the bad old days of UMNO-Baru, when there was excessive corruption, cronyism, nepotism and lack of transparency, amongst other things.

The by-election on March 23 is perhaps the rakyat’s only chance to vote for a better future for themselves, but more importantly for their children and their children’s children. Think ahead. Think change. Look at the bigger picture.

Road to Kajang: Anwar reaches out to Kajangites

February 17, 2014

Anwar sends a message of peace and harmony to Kajangites

by The Malaysian Insider.

Malaysians learnt a few things over a rather hot weekend, from Opposition leaders who reached out to all, to ordinary Malaysians preaching harmony and the few troublemakers who appear to incite trouble.

dsai14Anwar spreads a message of peace and harmony

Some might still think Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is a political chameleon but his visit to a Kajang church yesterday proved one thing – he was willing to take the bull by the horns and reach out to all Malaysians irrespective of their faith.

Perhaps he was just there for their votes, those less charitable of him would say. But the PKR de facto leader did something that no Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders has done in a long time – meet Malaysians outside their community and be the leader of all Malaysians, not just their own race or co-religionists.

Have we seen any BN leader face a crowd of ordinary Malaysians, not from their party or race or religion, and answer their blunt questions? In most cases, it is stage-managed events filled with either a pliant media or those paid to tweet photographs of these leaders.

Anwar is not alone, of course. PAS leaders such as Khalid Abdul Samad and Mujahid Yusof Rawa have also gone to meet and reach out to people from different faiths over the years. These men have kept their faith, and have no fear of being seen in a church with a crucifix in the background or speaking to Christians warmly and openly.

But for BN leaders, most prefer the company of their own community, whose cause they champion to the detriment of the larger Malaysian dream. One would expect Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (seen with a religious bigot below) to do the same, reach out to all. After all, he spoke of his 1Malaysia, echoing the words of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Bangsa Malaysia that was first mentioned in 1991.

mullah-harussani-and-najibNajib panders to the Ulamak and Extremists

But the Prime Minister has been silent. Instead, his UMNO-owned daily, Utusan Malaysia, has taken the cudgels to fight for race and religion, with one editor warning non-Malays not to overstep limits and to know who is the country’s master race.

Add to that potent statement is the curious incidents that only happen in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) states – provocative acts that could set off a religious clash.

Which Malaysian is stupid enough to distribute Bibles outside national schools or throw a slab of pork into a mosque? And why does it only happen in Penang and not anywhere else?

This comes on the heels of provocative buntings and a Molotov cocktail attack on a church in the island state. So, who in their right frame of mind would do this in Malaysia?

DR MThese incidents only lend credence to a theory that there are groups of people out there who want to foment trouble in Malaysia, especially in PR-ruled states. Why? There are endless possibilities to that question.

Police have yet to make any headway in any of these cases but any further acts of a similar nature will only stoke the religious tension in the country for the benefit of the few.

The good news is that there are Malaysians out there who know better, such as the group that has gone from the Klang Valley to Penang over the weekend to promote peace and harmony.

It proves one thing – that there are Malaysians who ignore provocations, threats and blinkered politicians to do what they do best, give each other the warm hand of friendship and smile that has made Malaysians among the most gentle people on the planet.

Politicians should know better, that the people want a better country for all, not one divided by race, religion and class. There will be many more weekends that will bring us joy or fill us with fear that Malaysia is tearing apart at the seams.

But the opposition have shown that they can handle hot issues of the day with the people that matter. Can BN do the same or just make motherhood statements that mean nothing to the people in the streets?

Yet, one lesson from the weekend is clear. There are more Malaysians out there who want peace and harmony than there are the few lurking around trying to provoke a fight. –The Malaysian Insider, February 17, 2014.

“A word is anything I say it means”

February 12, 2013

“A word is anything I say it means”

by Terence Netto@http://www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT: “So you are a mercenary, lah,” quipped judge Richard Malanjum from the bench yesterday while Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was holding forth.

The Senior Counsel was expatiating on the list of parties and politicians he had appeared for in the course of a long career – a variety, he submitted, that would attest his professional skills more than his partisan affiliations.

A titer of laughter ran through the crowd at the Federal Court as Malanjum interjected to make the comment. But the matter at hand – a defendant’s right to a fair trial – was not a trifling one.

It concerned whether Shafee, who has been prolific in advocacy of clients regarded as adverse to the defence, could perform without presumptive bias the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s role in the government’s appeal of the High Court acquittal for sodomy of Anwar Ibrahim.

Malanjum (left), Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, together with four others, was on a panel to decide a defence application to disqualify Shafee from appearing as DPP.

Malanjum made the remark as Shafee was attempting to rebut the defence argument that he was a political partisan, a hack with a bias for UMNO briefs.

Anwar’s lawyers had argued that Shafee’s past advocacy on behalf of a political entity seen as patently adverse towards their client had saddled him with bias sufficient to disqualify him for the role of DPP in the government’s appeal of Anwar’s acquittal.

Hearing of the appeal is scheduled for today and tomorrow at the Court of Appeal.

Amiable ribbing or deliberate putdown?

Shafee, whose riposte to Malanjum’s remark was that his was the business of professional practice of the law, was keen in comments to an inquiring press after the hearing, to make the point that Malanjum’s quip was to be taken in the spirit of banter.

Whether Malanjum’s comment was amiable ribbing or deliberate putdown, the nature of the profession is such that no lawyer can behave like a mercenary and at the same time be true to the profession’s ethics.

It would be a suicidal loss of essence to the concept of the Rule of Law if an officer of the court is motivated by mercantile considerations: a duty to the service of justice which underpins the whole concept of law’s rule and an attitude of hiring oneself out to munificent bidders is like water and oil – they can’t mix.

Given the gravity and majesty of the Rule of Law, Malanjum’s remark about the range of Shafee’s clients cannot be viewed as innocuous banter.
But Shafee (right) chose to interpret it in the spirit of Humpty Dumpty who famously held that “A word is anything I say it means”

However, the Rule of Law and the words used to formulate and interpret it cannot adopt the attitude of Humpty Dumpty whose creator, Lewis Carol, it is instructive to recall, was a mathematician and logician.

Precision in the making and interpretation of the law are an integral part of its panoply so that one cannot make light of a ranking judge’s remark such as Malanjum’s, more so when that advocacy is being commandeered for a public prosecutorial role that, by definition, is free of any presumption of bias.

Also, the practice of law is a tradition, with a known set of rules and attached meanings.This tradition is an accumulation of nuance given pith and moment by the behaviour of the profession’s leading lights.

Evidence given by a critical witness

In the course of his submissions yesterday on the matter of his fitness for the role of DPP, Shafee mentioned that he had assisted the late and eminent Raja Aziz Addruce in a 1987 court case that eventuated in the illegalisation of UMNO.

Judge Harun Hashim’s decision to render UMNO illegal triggered a concatenation that saw then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas hauled before an international tribunal of judges to be impeached, an episode that Salleh’s predecessor, Tun Suffian Hashim, would bemoan as the most “shameful” in our judicial history.

Perhaps the most excruciating aspect of the whole charade was the presence as head of the tribunal of Abdul Hamid Omar, the Judge who stood, in terms of promotion, to gain from Salleh’s impeachment.

Salleh was impeached and Hamid duly promoted to the vacant Lord President’s position. After that, for as long as Hamid was head of the judiciary, Raja Aziz (left), the Bar’s preeminent member at that time, chose as a matter of principle not to appear before any panel of the apex court that included Hamid.

The protest meant that Raja Aziz had to forgo much in the way of professional fees. This is the type of conduct that added several cubits to Raja Aziz’s already high standing among peers and lent luster to the ethical bases on which the legal profession stands.

Shafee has been on public record on the line of argument he will take in the appeal of Anwar’s acquittal for sodomy.

From what he has said, he will necessarily rely on the evidence given by a critical witness, DSP Jude Pereira, whose handling of DNA exhibits High Court judge Zabidin Mohd Diah found to be unreliable and, therefore, inadmissible as a basis for convicting Anwar of sodomy.

In a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry in 2009, as panel chairperson, Shafee impugned the probity of the same Police Officer whom the chair found unreliable as a witness in a matter concerning the violation of the rights of five lawyers who had complained to the commission on their treatment.

Today and tomorrow’s hearing on the appeal of Anwar’s acquittal will go a long way in establishing whether Shafee can with a straight face argue that what has not been good for the Suhakam goose can be good for the Court of Appeal gander.

“Wayang Kulit” Politics delivers very little change

February 11, 2014

“Wayang Kulit” Politics delivers very little change

by Dr. KJ John@http://www.malaysiakini.com

NAJIB_RAZAK_091213_TMINAJJUA_05_540_360_100‘Wayang kulit’ politics in Malaysia creates a lot of noise about the wrong issues but delivers very little change, in real terms. Let me give some good examples. Take the kangkong issue. Lots of noise and even some bigoted statements about Malays being ridiculed, but at the end of the day, price of food and ingredients still go up without fail. Are we addressing the real issues?

Or, take for example the Approved Permits (AP) Policy under the the National Automative Policy or NAP. It does not take brilliance for any ordinary first year business student to figure out that while the AP was introduced to “control flow of imported and built up units,” it does not do so any more, despite the same policy purpose and agenda being still in place.

Instead, the goal has been displaced but further justified, to make some selected crony individuals rich at the expense of the public interest. In the meantime, ordinary citizens pay more in terms of costs of goods and services and even ordinary cars.  

We are among the only nations in the world which makes cars but have to pay even more for cars. I suspect even if we compare car prices between Singapore and Malaysia, we can understand these issues and know the failed nature of our National Automotive Policy. Why do we even have this policy if it means paying more for all brands of cars? Is the policy relevant; if so, whom does it serve?

Globally, politicians are finding out that their attempt to control circumstances by power and authority to resolve policy issues and problems are finding no way ahead. The false assumption they make is that power can be used to control circumstances beyond their control. There is a false premise of a universal worldview of life and for life.  

Just take the ‘Allah’ issue and we can understand this problem. Instead of competing with each other to worship God in more meaningful ways, we stop others from worship because we have this holier than thou worldview. How can one group ever dictate how the other worships. Just try it with your own children and you understand why; not while they are below 12 but after then and before they turn 21.

The world of politics needs to understand that universal appeal of political parties and issues is no more. All issues and problems today have multiple perspectives, and unless one learns to hear and understand all the different ones, one will not really comprehend the core issue at hand.

Lack of Political Will

In the context of the above, I am rather amused that it is obvious that PKR Anwar-Kajanginstructed its party representative in the Kajang state seat to resign so that a by-election can be held. After the fact, we hear that they are asking their non-formal leader to stand for this vacancy in the state assembly in the Kajang seat. I still fail to understand the real reasons.

This is within the context of the issues on the ground related to cost and price increases as subsidies are being dropped and incompetent governance continues in most states and ministries.  One only needs a simple review of the Auditor-General’s Report to affirm the real reasons for cost increases. Do we really need the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee to instruct the secretaries-general to discipline their errant officers?  

For that matter, it is my view that the Secretaries-General are the controlling officers and the Auditor-General’s Report must take a more strategic approach and demand that they be more accountable. Simply demote one secretary-general based on the Auditor-General’s Report and we can see the full effects then.

Even far worse is the game-playing with the public interest that we see through this by-election.  In the past, the Federal government used the ‘buy-election strategy to win’. Now, it appears PKR is opting the ‘buy this election strategy’, taking the people of Kajang for granted, because they can change their representative at their whim or fancies.

Really? And the people of Kajang do not mind? My caution to PKR is, please do not take the people of Kajang for granted. Address their real issues and concerns, even if you know them.  

I must admit that I cannot buy the published version of the so-called PKR strategic agenda. First, I am not sure or convinced that it is a Pakatan strategy, because if it was, it was only one forced or foisted upon their partners, as DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng did not know about the strategy the very next day, and was reported to have said so.  

Therefore, if the PKR informal leader cannot rein in his party membership to resolve internal party issues, I do not agree with why they need to take the issue to a by-election to resolve their internal issues. On the other hand if there is a serious and earth-shattering reason as to why the people of Kajang need to help resolve issues, please make that straightforward and explain the core issue of the artificially created by-election.  

Otherwise, please do not take people for granted. Consequently, I find the PKR sudden decision irrational for the following reasons:

  • MB Khalid Ibrahim is already doing an excellent job and does not need another stronger personality in Selangor to muddy waters at the state level;
  • There are serious and significant areas of improvement still to be done in Selangor, but that is not something any personality driven leadership model can change.  What is needed is a Selangor state government with real political will to make changes happen, in order to make Selangor an exemplar state;
  • It appears that the rest of Pakatan partners were taken by surprise with this sudden action of PKR and its representatives. Pakatan needs a united and sincere but transparent stand if you want to convince the people of Kajang, that they are not pawns in some larger chess game;
  • Within the context of rising costs and obviously wasteful ministries; it is unwise to create a state level by-election simply to mediate some internal party problem or issue;
  • This by-election will raise another round of fervent politicking and lead to another round of wasteful and meaningless spending by the government which the nation-state can ill afford; and
  • It is in bad faith to treat ordinary citizens in Kajang as if they are simply going to be taken for granted because parties cannot rein in their rogue leaders.

KJ JOHN was in public service for 29 years. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of any institution he is involved with. Write to him at  kjjohn@ohmsi.net with any feedback or views.

The Malaysiakini Anwar Interview: Road to Kajang

February 6, 2014

The Malaysiakini Anwar Interview: Road to Kajang

by Aidila Razak (02-04-13)@http://www.malaysiakini.com


INTERVIEW The first person that visitors to the PKR headquarters will meet is mustachioed security guard Balu, who usually stands at the entrance to the building in the high-end neighbourhood of Tropicana in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Although he has a seat in the information booth, Balu could not help but crack a joke when asked why PKR has not provided him with a chair: “In this party, the biggest problem is seats.”

In the latest episode, the seat in question is the post of Selangor Menteri Besar, with the ‘Kajang Move’ being seen as a way to unseat Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and replace him with PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

A consummate politician, Anwar, who is contesting the Kajang by-election in a bid to enter the state legislative assembly, insisted on prefacing his plans with the word ‘If’.

“If I become MB,” he said, raising his voice on ‘if’, “it will be until I become Prime Minister.” He smiled.

Anwar’s meeting with Malaysiakini yesterday was sandwiched between a long list of media interviews, and even his cheery pink candy-striped shirt did not mask the shadow of fatigue on his face.

Still, fatigue cannot push a seasoned player like Anwar to say what he should not – that the MB’s post is merely a stepping stone and Khalid another pawn to be toppled on the longer route to the premiership.

Instead, Anwar painted a gentler picture of friendship and politics. Khalid, he said, is a good friend but Selangor needs “political clout”.

“It is sad how… he has to leave. It is sad. The circumstances and the dictate of the time requires that Selangor be driven,” Anwar said, clenching his fist at the end to prove this point.

“I cannot accept Selangor being held every time to ransom. Every other week you have this problem, these attacks.We seem to be quite helpless, either they (the BN) use state apparatus or some NGO and not much can be done … we will not allow this to happen. This requires political leadership.”

‘It’s not about the money’

Enter Anwar – former Finance Minister and someone so deft in political manouevring that he managed to oust Ghafar Baba for the UMNO Deputy President’s post in a heartbeat despite Ghafar’s four-decade long career in the party.

But Khalid (right), too, has solid credentials. Under his stewardship, Selangor reserves now stand at an astounding RM3 billion, a mountain of cash that he jealously guards.

Khalid has refused to play politics with the funds, either through politically-expedient projects camouflaged as state initiatives or through feeding the party.

Critics of the ‘Kajang Move’ claim that this is actually the main reason behind the manoeuvre. They say it is just a bid by PKR to break into the coffers. Anwar shrugged, as if this is nothing new, and without missing a beat lamented how “unfair” such accusations are.

“How can I, at this stage of my political career, compromise on good governance? It is sheer insanity if I do that! … On that score, I am not going to change.”

What he will change, however, is how the reserves are used. He argued that there is no point talking about reserves with issues like poverty and public housing still a problem in the state.

“The mantle of economic management is not good reserves but good management of the economy. If you spend money, say the reserves, for public housing and free education for Universiti Selangor students, then is it wasting public money?”

Solution to Bible seizure

Anwar took the long and winding route in responding to a question as to why he chose to finally intervene in Selangor. At the end of this, it was not difficult to conclude that one of his grouses was the way the state has handled the Bible seizure issue.

While the Bible Society of Malaysia continues to await the return of the copies seized, Anwar sees this as a cut-and-dried “administrative” matter. This, he said, will be his first stop as menteri besar.

“I would say: ‘Guarantee that they won’t be distributed to Muslims, don’t send them to schools and only use them for Christians. I want it in writing.’ And then I (would) send them back,” he said.

Comparing himself to Anwar, Khalid last week had said that, unlike him, Anwar can face impossible demands (he uses Hindraf’s demands as an example) but at the end of the meeting, those making the demands will be part of Anwar’s fan club. It is this trait that Anwar seems to be banking on to deal with rising religious tensions over the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.

If he heads the Selangor government, Anwar said, he could use state resources to build the confidence of Muslims so they would not feel threatened by purported threats to their faith. He said he has met Muslims who are “virtually fearful” of mass Christianisation and this means the issue is “beyond political”.

“No, I don’t believe Islam is threatened or (that) we (would) allow it to happen. I would say you have all the resources at your disposal to strengthen the position of Islam, to use the mosque to educate, to launch your dakwah (preaching) programmes.But you should never allow people to be held to ransom, to instil this sort of fear among the non-Muslims. This is something that is just pathetic after half a century of independence.”

If Anwar becomes Selangor Menteri Besar, would he then support a change in the state enactment to bar non-Muslims from using ‘Allah’? In answer, he related the anecdote of a Permatang Pauh Muslim scholar who had questioned him as to why non-Muslims want to change the enactment.

“I told him, Tuan Guru, if you have a non-Muslim living on Jalan Masjid, then technically he cannot use the term ‘Jalan Masjid’.(The scholar) said, ‘He can.’ I said, ‘But this is the law.’ Then he was shocked and his immediate reaction was (that) you have to correct the law, not knowing the implications.

“So I think we have to explain. People say, no, we change the law. But I think give it time, we have to explain. Don’t underestimate or overestimate your influence or power without engaging with the people.”

Deference to Palace

Outside Khalid’s reverence for his “political animal” instincts, Anwar, too, prides himself as being in tune with sentiments on the ground.

Reading this while planning the ‘Kajang Move’, Anwar has known that, even if the Palace cannot legally reject his nomination as Menteri Besar, it would be unwise to arrogantly brush off the influence of the Palace.

“I know the (state) constitution, I understand it. But as deference to the Ruler, I always said that in a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, it’s not just the legal constitution.

“If you accept the institution of royalty, then there is the paraphernalia, the facade of office that you need to recognise, and that means deference.”

Royal assent, protest votes and consensus within Pakatan Rakyat are hurdles he has to clear to become Menteri Besar, but these are all things that Anwar and his team of advisers have accounted for.

This is why his candidacy was announced less than 24 hours of Kajang incumbent Lee Chin Cheh’s resignation from the state seat and why he is “taking the soft line” in explaining why it was done.

It also means admitting to “mistakes” – like leaving DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng in the dark over the ‘Kajang Move’, blaming “pressure” to get things going and miscommunication (perhaps he thought DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang would tell his son).

Simply put, he said, Kajang was chosen among several seats because its demographics reflect that of the state and doing it now means there will still be time for Anwar and Pakatan to prove their chops in Selangor before the next general election.

“I cannot go on with this (and the feud within PKR Selangor and attacks by BN) on a protracted basis. I have to decide. It was a very difficult decision, not very popular in this instance and Malaysiakini is partly responsible. But the decision has to be made for the larger interest and I think, at least for a start, we have caught BN off guard. Nobody anticipated it…”

Neither did the people, some of whom are incensed that PKR is forcing yet another by-election.For now, though, Anwar almost appears proud. “It’s not bad (the responses). It means we had read the sentiments, which to me is a positive trait in political leadership.”


Part 1: ‘There was never an Azmin-Khalid deal’

Part 2: Anwar: What I would do as Selangor MB

Part 3: ‘Smut and sodomy, what have I not seen?’

Part 4: ‘Pakatan’s national reconciliation not about unity gov’t’

Interview by Steven Gan, RK Anand and Aidila Razak.

SakAK47 endorses Anwar Ibrahim for Kajang

February 5, 2014

SakAK47 endorses Anwar Ibrahim for Kajang

Anwar-KajangCongratulations to Anwar. For exposing the dark side of UMNO. The idea of universal democracy- rests on 2 pillars. The right to platform and the right to recall. Both are at play in the coming Kajang by-election. The kajang people are in a historic position in our democratic history. Never before have we been conscious of a game changing process.

The right of platform means the people have the right to know what the winners of an election will do after they have been elected. This right of platform belongs to the people as well as the political parties. Right of platform to political parties means they are free to present policies, ideas and specific programs for the betterment of the people.

That right to political parties is unrestrained subject only to the disapproval of voters at the end. This means UMNO and BN can present whatever policies, ideas, specific programmes and contents of a special manifesto they want for the Kajang by-election. They can offer racist, nationalist, programs or whatever- they can offer smut to people as the big idea which they can muster instead of defending the various elements in their manifesto so grandiosely launched by Kim Il Najib before GE13.

This is the beauty about right of platforms. Political parties are free to present and market their regressive policies to the people. This means, the right of platforms provide a medium of expression of the dark forces in our society. It is therefore cathartic in nature in that it allows UMNO for instance to market and offer its racists programs, holier than thou policies, its bullying and corrupting practices and even sordid sex details to the public. In the coming Kajang election, the freedom to offer platforms has exposed that UMNO is nothing, but a pedlar of pornography. That’s how UMNO runs the country. That’s how they roll.

Now, the regressive programs of UMNO measure the moral health of UMNO and put everyone on notice about UMNO’s racial, religious and national sentiments. What can we say about that? UMNO and its president are morally bankrupt.

Exposing UMNO’s hypocrisy is worth the spending by SPR. The worthiness is already apparent by the incoherent responses from BN leaders and their media minions. The utterances expose them for what they truly are.

So technically, the Chairman of SPR is right in saying, SPR has no supervisory role to play in political parties drawing up its election platform. It has a supervisory role on the conduct of election proper.

The right to platform introduces the idea of contractarian politics. The right to offer platforms raises the responsibility to implement them. To avoid parties using platforms to offer empty rhetoric, we the people, treat them as contracts whereby, having offered us the platforms and accepting them by voting them in, we have something like a contract. Hence contractarian politics, whereby winning parties are obligated to carry out their programs.

The people of Kajang have the opportunity to strip UMNO naked and expose its regressive programmes. The people of Kajang will have the opportunity to combat and destroy UMNO’s regressive platforms through dialogue and rebuttal. We engage the people in dialogues instead of using the mentally-challenged method of making police reports or invoking the fear of another May 13. And the best form of rebuttal is by voting against UMNO and BN in a great way by making them lose their deposit. Let them eat Kangkung.

UMNO fears Anwar Ibrahim.That’s the truth which explains the morbidity and maniacal responses from UMNO and its underlings. With Anwar leading Selangor in whatever position the PKR coalition eventually agrees, we will see a stronger political leadership with matching political skills to combat the evil machinations of UMNO.

Let’s face it; Khalid Ibrahim is a sound manager for Selangor. The results speak forKhalid Ibrahim themselves- good budgetary management, surplus reserves, good all round management, etc. what he lacks are political skills- the skills needed to consolidate power in Selangor. A weak political leadership can lead to a BN takeover and whatever reserves that Selangor has accumulated can be frittered away in an instance.

Consolidation of political power is the key for Selangor. The issue of whether Anwar can become MB or not, should not distract us from the bigger picture- Selangor is the lynchpin state pointing to Putrajaya’s heart. Let’s give them a heart attack.

SPR is going to spend some RM2 million for the by-election. UMNO is going to spend whatever it takes to stop Anwar. Maybe billions. I hope the Kajang people take whatever money BN gives them and consider them as atonement money for the evil BN has done. People are not obligated to reciprocate by voting in BN.

The RM2 million- budget for the by-election is only equivalent to one year’s utility bills for the PM’s official residence. The expenditure can never equal the wastage committed by the PM and his government. The amount of money spent on operating and maintaining the various executive jets is much bigger.

So the people can reject the pious and sanctimonious pleadings by UMNO and its BN underlings that this by-election is a waste of money. Right thinking people should not fall for the pretentious pleadings of BN leaders who are staring right in the face of exposure of their hypocrisy.

It shall be money worth spending to allow the people to exercise the right to recall. Right to recall is the modern equivalent to the Malays’ right to repudiate the Original Covenant between Demang Lebar Daun and Seri Teri Buana. It’s the modern equivalent to the withdrawal of the mandate of heaven. It provides voters the opportunity to re-evaluate the platform which BN promised at the onset of GE13.

DATUK SERI NAJIB TUN RAZAKThe Kajang people can use this by-election to reaffirm their vigorous objection to what BN has done after GE13- which is reneged on almost all its platform. Punish them severely by sending a strong message that, eventually the rakyat has the right to recall, i.e. the right to censure the ruling government, without waiting for the periodic 5 years. That message can serve to educate the whole of the country.

The opportunity to censure and reaffirm the rakyat’s displeasure is worth the RM2 million that SPR is going to spend. UMNO and BN are going to spend much more. Just wait for the torrential rainfall of money in Kajang.

So, in this respect I congratulate Anwar Ibrahim and PKR for enhancing the meaning of universal democracy. This is a great opportunity for the people of Kajang to also teach Najib and UMNO the meaning of the entirety rule. According to this principle, once having won the right to govern, the legal winner governs the nation not just the section of that nation that voted for them.

Let is pray and work for Anwar’s victory  for his victory is ours too.