The PKR situation in Sabah from another perspective (October 26, 2009)

On PKR Sabah

by Hussein Hamid

Re: People Parliment article “The End Days of PKR in Sabah”.

Quote : “My source who was at the meeting at Merchant Square today said Anwar made it clear at the meeting that he was not going to have any of this. “No way in hell will I have Jeffrey as chief”, Anwar is reported to have blasted. Anwar, it seems, is determined to see a Muslim lead PKR in Sabah because, it is said, he insists that Muslims make up the majority in Sabah.”

Steadyaku47 comments: I do not as a rule read other blogs. Just MT2Day , The Malaysian Insider  and maybe some Local Media – just to keep myself current. This morning one of my friends, KS, sent me Harris posting ‘The End Days of PKR in Sabah” and asked for my comments.  So comment I will – and  I do so with the intention of putting the record right – as I know it -with apologies to Harris.

With all due respect to Harris I have known Anwar for over 50 years. I have yet to hear him use that “HELL” word even once. Not even when he speaks of Mahathir or UMNO! I am sure his close associates will vouch for this claim of mine. So I can say with conviction that he did not say, “No way in hell will I have Jeffrey as chief”,

Jeffery KitinganNow as to whether he will have Jeffrey as ‘Chief’ – is this the same Jeffrey as below:

He is known to be a controversial politician, having been detained under the infamous Internal Security Act on suspicion of plotting to secede Sabah from the federation of Malaysia. He is also known to have switched political parties a number of times, being a former member of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Parti Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat (AKAR Bersatu), and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO). In 2003, he applied to join the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) but his application was rejected. He is currently the Vice President of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

In the Malaysian General Election 2008, he challenged his brother Joseph Pairin from Barisan NasionalParti Bersatu Sabah at the Keningau Parliamentary Constituency, but lost.

If he is then it is not only in Peninsular Malaysia that we are burden with one katak call “Ibrahim Ali’ but there is also one in Sabah. Now if my common sense dictates that I will not want this Ibrahim Ali to be on my team when I am going against another team call UMNO – why would anybody want Jeffery to lead any team against UMNO? You would need to be a moron to trust this guy with anything, much less the future of Pakatan Rakyat! And I know Anwar is not one! You need Jeffery like you would need a hole in your head.

Another quote from Harris article:

“In a fax message addressed to PKR president Wan Azizah, 14 Sabah PKR division chiefs put their signatures to this message, naming just one man as their choice to lead PKR Sabah. Keningau division chief, Datuk Dr. Jeffery Kitingan, is the choice of the strongest PKR divisions in Sabah”.

Again I beg to differ. My credible sources indicated that more divisional heads support Ahmad Thamrin Hj Zaini (letters duly signed) compared to Jeffery (letters by Fax).  All these letters (duly signed for Thamrin and faxed for Jeffery) were tabled at the meeting.  Thamrin is aligned to Jeffery’s camp and was the Secretary to the KeADILan State Committee.

Another quote from Harris article:

“Azmin’s out. The PKR division chiefs have made it clear that he’s not wanted”. There really is no need to malign Azmin. His mandate by Biro Politik Keadilan ends in October. Ditto for Mustafa Kamil in Sarawak!

Another quote:

“Anwar, it seems, is determined to see a Muslim lead PKR in Sabah because, it is said, he insists that Muslims make up the majority in Sabah”.  This is a most pathetic assumption to say that no Muslim is eligible. That all Muslims are deemed to be racists. I see this as a trend among those pseudo intellectuals, clearly with no roots in their own culture and tradition. Do they have any idea what impression the Sabah Muslims  has of Jeffery?…and well deserved too if I may add!

Enough said for now. What I have said above are based on facts that will be borne out in the time to come. As to what transpired when Anwar was in UMNO  and with Mahathir I will leave it to Anwar himself to tell us. Time will reveal all that we need to know. After all we must leave Anwar with some things to tell when he does get to writing his memoirs!

The Lingam Charade

October 31, 2009

The Lingam Charade  ends at Judiciary’s Expense

by Daniel Albert
October 29, 2009

The refusal by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to take any further action or proffer charges against any of the six named individuals involved in the Lingam video clip fiasco has received scathing criticism from the public – and rightly so.

This pre-mature attempt to close official investigations into this matter is an affront to the judiciary and a slap in the face to us all.

The refusal to prosecute in effect means that the implications of blatant judicial manipulation and improper interference surrounding this affair, which were reinforced by the findings of the Royal Commission, will be left to linger and fester without any finality or conclusion.

lingam tape panel meeting 031007 abdul gani patailDespite the public fury stirred by the contents of the video clip, no basis or reasons were given for the AG’s decision. Only a blanket statement was offered to the effect that investigations into the affair had failed to turn up sufficient evidence to bring charges.

So smug are our government officials and leaders that despite the decision going completely against the findings and recommendations of the Royal  Commission, no attempt has been made to provide any further explanation or give reasons for their decision to the rakyat.

It is significant that the findings of the Royal Commission were not merely made by lay individuals devoid of any knowledge of the law. The panel was headed by a former Chief Judge of Malaya and also included a former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, a former Court of Appeal Judge and a former solicitor-general. The panel was not only highly proficient in the law, but in addition, possessed valuable experience in the workings of the judiciary and AG’s Chambers.

Their specific findings that there was sufficient cause to invoke the Sedition Act 1948, the Prevention of Corruption 1961, the Legal Profession Act 1976, the Official Secrets Act 1972 and the Penal Code against some of the principal individuals involvedwould therefore have been made with a thorough understanding of the application of these laws and the requisite burdens and standards of proof entailed in invoking these laws.

Identities of witnesses not shrouded in secrecy

It is also significant the entire process that led to the commission’s findings were transparent and open to public scrutiny. The identities of the witnesses called were not shrouded in secrecy. Neither was witness testimony extracted behind closed doors by unknown means. Evidence presented was adequately tested by a host of lawyers that represented the interests of all parties concerned. The quality of the inquiry conducted and the evidence obtained as a result was apparent to all.

Over and above all this, what is of utmost significance is that there was basis provided for the findings of the commission. The reasons for their findings were detailed in a report that was disclosed to the public. The conclusions and recommendations made were justified with their interpretation of the evidence obtained.

All this adds credibility to the findings of the commission; a quality sorely lacking in the AG’s decision. What investigations were carried out? Were they sufficiently thorough? What was the outcome of these investigations? What kind of legal expertise were used? Surely, the rakyat is entitled to such answers. It is absurd that a matter of this significance is now being swept under the carpet in such cavalier fashion.

vk lingam tape inquiry 210108 loh mui fah and loh gwo burneShould we be surprised by such action? Sadly, no. The manner in which this matter had been dealt with, from the very start, was indicative of the fashion by which it would be concluded.

When the video clip was first disclosed, whilst the rakyat were livid at the contents of the clip, our then prime minister instead chose to warn those that reported the video clip that action will be taken against them if the allegations that surfaced as a result of the video clip were proven untrue.

Calls for a royal commission were immediately rejected. Instead, a cabinet appointed panel was instead set up. The legal basis of this panel was vague and it was unclear if the panel had the necessary powers to conduct a proper fact-finding inquiry.

Thereafter, the focus was skewed towards identifying the maker and source of the video clip; the contents were made secondary. Curiously, whilst their identities were fastidiously pursued, all mention of the lead actor and his likely conversation partner was carefully avoided by the authorities. Continued calls for a royal commission to be set up fell on deaf ears. The entire time, the de facto law minister had the gall to maintain that the matter had been blown up and there was no crisis within the judiciary.

A royal commission was only set up after almost two months of unabated public outcry and more footage of the video clip revealed – and even then, the terms of reference of the royal commission were exceedingly confined.

Whilst the motivation for such conduct is open to speculation, it is clear that the integrity and sanctity of the judiciary has taken a back seat. As opposed to immediately making every effort to fully investigate the allegations surrounding the video clip and thereafter undertaking the appropriate remedial measures to restore the integrity of the judiciary and public confidence, there have been concerted efforts to play down and where possible avoid the issue all together. Avoiding the issue does not resolve the issue. This however is a solution our leaders seem quite content with.

Scant regard for judicial institution is nothing new

This scant regard for the judicial institution is sadly nothing new. This willingness to prostitute the judiciary has been consistently demonstrated time and time again by our leaders. The integrity and independence of the judiciary is simply not a priority. In fact, it does appear that many of our politicians perceive a strong judiciary as plain trouble.

These sentiments have manifested in the form of continued attacks by our leaders on the judiciary. Attacks, whether by means of controversial appointments and removal of judges or ousting the court’s jurisdiction so that certain governmental action is beyond judicial scrutiny, have undeniably led to the continued erosion and decline of the judicial institution and the state of affairs present.

vk lingam tape 3rd part 280108It was against this backdrop that the Lingam video clip was disclosed. Hence, the public distrust and immediate presumption that many of the allegations surrounding the video may be credible. The hue and cry that ensued and demands for the video clip to be thoroughly investigated was understandable. Had the video clip been disclosed against a backdrop of a strong independent judiciary with a sterling track record, perhaps the AG’s decision, given without reason, would be easier to swallow.

And at what costs is this to the rakyat? Most significantly, the decline of our judiciary has resulted in its inability to function as an effective watchdog on the executive and legislative.

The doctrine of separation of powers dictates that all three organs of the state (executive, legislative and judiciary) act as watchdogs on each other to carry out a process of ‘check and balance’. This is a safeguard to ensure that none of the organs abuses its constitutional power or oversteps its mandate. The reality however is that because the composition of the legislative (Parliament) and executive (government) overlaps and both organs are effectively controlled by the prime minister, the process rarely is effective. This emphasises the role of the judiciary.

Ills of corruption allowed to fester

This failure of the judiciary to carry out this process has allowed avoidance of accountability and transparency in the country’ governing. The ills of corruption, abuse of public funds and excesses of power have been allowed to fester and become constant features in our political landscape.

The disclosure of the video clip presented a golden opportunity to our leadership reform the judiciary; to clean up everything that was wrong and perceived to be wrong with the judiciary and start afresh. Sadly, this now looks unlikely.

It is clear that unless and until there is sincere political will for reform, things will not change. We, the rakyat, must mk50provide the impetus for that change in political will. We need to make clear to our leaders, regardless of political divide, that a strong judiciary is a priority and we will accept nothing less. It is for this very reason we cannot allow this matter to be put to sleep quietly.

Yet another political nonsense: Just Take Action, not another Task Force

October 31, 2009

Comment:  Another Task Force has been created by Prime Minister Najib, this time, it is not a super Task Force like the one set up to look at the PKFZ scandal; it is only an ordinary Task Force to look into the findings of  the 2008 Auditor-General’s Report.  The link between the Super and the Ordinary Task Force is its Chairman, Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, Chief Secretary to the Government.

He is all hypeOnce upon a time (al kisah) in the days of old, UMNO-BN Prime Ministers used the Late Tun Raja Mohar bin Raja Badiozaman to head Task Forces to deal with specific issues. The brilliant Cambridge educated and much admired civil servant was overloaded with such work that he could not perform his role as Advisor to the Prime Minister as effectively as he would have  liked to.

History repeats itself and Prime Minister Najib is now making a habit of using the Task Force approach  to deal with issues that he is not prepared to take on with a firm hand. Like some of his predecessors, especially Mahathir, he has started to overload the present Chief Secretary with duties which are strictly speaking outside the scope of his duty as Head of the Civil Service. Najib is all hype.

The government does not need a Task Force to deal with the Auditor-General’s report; what it needs is the political will to take action quickly  to deal with the mismanagement of the various ministries by senior civil servants.  The Chief Secretary is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of the civil service. He should, therefore, haul up the Secretary-Generals of ministries identified by the Auditor-General and ask them to explain their excesses and other departures from the General Orders and Treasury regulations. Then the MACC  should be called in to deal with those who have flouted the guidelines and procedures, and there should be no cover-ups.

As for the Prime Minister, he should hold his Ministers personally accountable for abuses in their respective Ministries. Will he do it?  To answer this question, I wish to quote Barry Wain, author of Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times, who had this to say of Najib:

“Najib’s record offer few clues as to how he might approach his prime ministerial assignment, beyond acting cautiously and pragmatically. So light has been his ministerial touch, except in defence, that it is hard to establish where he stands on major issues, or how he would like Malaysia to adapt to the strong currents buffeting the country, from globalization externally to so-called “creeping Islamization” (and if  I may add, UMNO  racist politics) within. The charitable explanation is that he was long overshadowed by the dominant Mahathir, who involved himself in almost every major policy his administration pursued for 22 years.

In short, Najib won’t cut his own throat by taking a tough stance on the civil service. Neither would he  against his own party, UMNO. On UMNO, Barry adds,” …Najib is unlikely to clean up the party, since that would antagonise the divisional warloads and others who delivered the votes for him and now expect to reap the business rewards. As the close associate of Najib puts it, ‘He won’t cut his throat‘ “*.

Malaysia is a rich country and UMNO leaders and their cronies will continue to put their hands in our national till at the expense of the rest of us. After all, outstanding Auditor-Generals like Tan Sri Ahmad Noordin and Tan Sri Ishak Tadin and others were dispensed with. The same fate may await  my good friend, Tan Sri Amrin Buang–Din Merican.

* Barry Wain, Najib’s Challenge: Glory or Oblivion (Far Eastern Economic Review, 2009), reprinted from FEER by Research for Social Advancement (REFSA), 2009, pp 15 and 19.

Yet Another Task Force with the same Task Force Head

bernama logoThe government has set up a high-powered task force, headed by chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan, to study the 2008 Auditor-General’s report and initiate appropriate action against those responsible for financial irregularities and abuse of power mentioned in the report.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said the setting-up of the task force had received the green light from the cabinet, which met today, and was in line with the government’s effort to realise a high performance culture in the civil service.

NONE“The cabinet views the report seriously and has decided that a task force be formed to probe financial irregularities mentioned in the report.

The committee will not only look at the abuse of power and initiate action against those found involved in financial irregularities but also take administrative action against those found guilty but could not be charged in court for various reasons,” he told a news conference at his office.

The task force would also include Finance Ministry secretary-general Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, Public Service Department director-general Ismail Adam and auditor-general Ambrin Buang himself.

They would have the power to rope in attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission if the need arose.

The Augitor-General’s report has highlighted cases where billions had been lost due to mismanagement of government projects.

This included the Transport Ministry’s RM6 billion Ipoh-Rawang double-tracking project, which due to it being poorly managed, resulting in losses amounting to RM1.14 billion.

Najib: It’s not a witch-hunt

“I want to emphasise here that we are not on a witch-hunt of any kind, but we want to ensure that those who have done wrong are not let off the hook.

“We will use the law against those found to be involved in irregularities but if there are cases which we cannot take to court, we will use administrative action like a demotion or a transfer,” said the prime minister.

He said action would be based on fairness and would take into consideration all mitigating factors and circumstances.

“We also have to give these people a fair chance to defend themselves. The task force will have the power to summon anyone it thinks fit to testify to the task force.

“We also want to show that even those in the government administrative system are not let off if they had issued wrong orders to those lower down. The cabinet feels that action must be taken as we do not want mistakes repeated annually and only pointed out in the Auditor-General’s report without any serious action taken against wrongdoers,” said Najib, who is also finance minister.

Najib said the task force would hold its first meeting Monday and look at the report on a case to case basis in stages.

The prime minister stressed that the government wanted to show that it was committed to initiating stern action against those who abuse power while in office.

“I know we cannot achieve zero irregularities but we can reduce its incidence,” he added.

He said that while the government was going after those who committed wrong while in the civil service, it would also reward those who performed their duties well.

“We are not only taking punitive action but also instilling the high performance culture where those who perform well mk50get rewarded,” he added.

Happy Birthday Tean Rean

October 31, 2001

tean rean

Tean Rean

Dr Kamsiah and I sincerely wish you Many Happy Returns of the Day and hope that despite depressing news out of BolehLand, you find some time to enjoy this occasion with my family and friends  just sabai, sabai.

Well, being caught between Maria Osawa and Paris Hilton is not a bad situation to be in and I think, New Yorker Bean, Salmiah Hassan, Tok Cik , Menyalak-er, Danildaud and others including our UMNO- BN brother, Ilham, will agree on this. For one single moment, we all can agree while we have our differences when it comes to politics.–Din Merican

ps we have added a Louis Armstrong song for you with a kind reminder that we must not lose our capacity to dream.

Press Release from Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, PKR President


Tarikh: 29hb Oktober 2009

wan azizah wan ismailRombakan kepimpinan KeADILan telah menimbulkan kekeliruan dan keresahan di kalangan tertentu. Saya sepenuhnya menyedari bahawa tidak semua akan berpuas hati dengan keputusan yang dibuat kepimpinan parti serta menghargai betapa sukarnya kami untuk membuat keputusan dengan meneliti setiap pandangan yang disampaikan, termasuk dari cabang-cabang yang menjadi tulang belakang parti, di samping memastikan parti mencapai matlamatnya.

Tatkala parti kita mulai berkembang dan menjelma menjadi sebuah organisasi yang disegani dan dihormati, sememangnya kita akan menempuh saat sukar untuk mencipta kesimbangan kepimpinan yang terbaik dan strategi yang ampuh untuk mengangkat kita ke tahap perjuangan seterusnya. Sepanjang itu kita telah menempuh pelbagai cabaran serta menemui bakat-bakat baru yang komited dengan perjuangan parti. Kita perlu bekerja kuat untuk mencapai apa yang dicita-citakan dan keputusan yang dibuat minggu ini dibuat selepas mendapat mandat dan berdasarkan semangat musyawarah dalam parti.

Keadilan ditubuhkan untuk menjadi wadah penyatu kepada semua Rakyat Malaysia merentasi batas agama dan kaum serta mengembalikan keutuhan keluhuran Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Perjuangan ini ternyata bukan tugas mudah dan merupakan satu tanggungjawab serta cabaran kepada semua pendokong Keadilan.

Beberapa tahun lalu ramai yang mencemuh kita kerana kesungguhan perjuangan KeADILan yang berhasrat untuk menamatkan politik perkauman sempit dan membanteras amalan rasuah. Namun bersama rakan-rakan dalam Pakatan Rakyat, kita telah melakarkan kejayaan bersejarah demi memulihkan demokrasi, kebebasan dan kedaulatan undang-undang. Kejayaan tersebut kita kecapi walaupun tidak mendapat sokongan media arus perdana dan berhadapan dengan segala kekuatan serta serangan bertali arus institusi kerajaan yang dikongkong pimpinan UMNO-Barisan Nasional.

Sememangnya kita terpaksa berhadapan dengan pelbagai masalah yang mengecewakan selepas pilihanraya umum Mac lalu. Perjuangan politik kepartian terbukti berhadapan dengan jalan berliku, dan permuafakatan politik tidaklah menjelma sekelip mata. Kekecewaan yang diluahkan oleh sebilangan rakan dan ahli parti ada asasnya. Walau bagaimanapun saya sedia berbincang dengan semua pihak didasari rasa hormat, persefahaman dan iltizam menegakkan keadilan.

Masa hadapan negara ini, perjuangan kita serta Pakatan Rakyat tidak bergantung kepada mana-mana individu. Saya menyeru agar semua berpegang teguh dan tetap bersabar memastikan kejayaan perjuangan kita demi Rakyat Malaysia.

Parti KeADILan Rakyat


Date: October 29, 2009

Recent changes to the leadership in KeADILan have caused confusion and consternation among some.  I recognise that not everyone will be pleased with decisions made by the party’s leadership and not everyone will appreciate the difficulty we face in seeking to accommodate all views, including those of the divisions and branches which make up the backbone of the party, while striving to guide our party towards achieving its goals.

As our party grows in number and transforms into a national organization we have struggled at times to identify right strategy and mix of leadership that will carry us to the next level. Along the way we have encountered great challenges and have also uncovered promising new talent. Our task remains a work in progress and the announcements made this week are based on consensus and consultation within the party to work towards a better future.

KeADILan was established with a mission to be a unifying force for Malaysians of all races and religions and restore the integrity of the principles enshrined in the Federal Constitution.  This mission carries unprecedented import and its pursuit confronts us with unparalled challenges.

Over the years many have poured scorn on our aspirations for a brighter future and have derided our belief in an end to racial politics and rampant corruption.  And yet we, with our partners in the Pakatan Rakyat, made historic progress towards restoring democracy, freedom and the Rule of Law. We have done so despite a hostile media and the relentless attacks on us by the institutions of the government and the unlimited resources of the UMNO-led BN coalition.

I acknowledge the setbacks that we have faced since the March elections.  Political parties are complex organisms and political coalitions are neither crystallised overnight nor even in a fortnight.  The frustrations which have been expressed by some colleagues within the party and by some supporters are valid and I remain open to engaging all parties on the principle of mutual respect, understanding and an unrelenting commitment to the principles of justice and fairness.

The future of the nation does not lie in the hands of any one individual nor does our party nor does this coalition. I continue to ask the ongoing faith and patience of the people in supporting the mission of KEADILan and of Pakatan Rakyat.

Parti KeADILan Rakyat

Some jazz and sentimental tunes to soothe your aching heart this weekend


It has been rough week for my colleagues and I with all the happenings in Sabah and Selangor. It is timely for me to play a collection of jazz tunes (Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and His Majesty The King of Thailand and Nat King Cole)  and sentimental songs (by Peggy Lee and Joni James) for us to relax together.

Jones James and Peggy Lee are my favorite female vocalists  from yesteryears and I am sure their fans will be happy that I am featuring them for this week’s entertainment.  Yes, Joni, I love to take Dr. Kamsiah on a slow boat to Shanghai, China.  New Yorker and Osawa Tean, I preempt you this time.–DJ Din Merican

Glenn Miller–In the Mood

Benny Goodman and His Majesty The King of Thailand

Nat King Cole–Let There be Love

Peggy Lee–Mr. Wonderful

Joni James– You’ll Never Know

Joni James–On A Slow Boat to China

Joni James– Where can I go without you