Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tightens the Screws on his Enemies w.e.f August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tightens the Screws on his Enemies

by John Berthelsen

Prime Minister Najib–The Erdogan  Copycat

It is all but certain that at some point over the next few weeks if not the next few days, the justice agencies of other countries are going to follow the United States in issuing charges of money laundering, theft of public funds and a plethora of others against Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and officials of the scandal-scarred 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Despite the fact that he is due to visit Indonesia on Monday – where criminality of leaders stirs little concern – Najib is finding fewer places to run or hide, except in his own increasingly desperate country. As many as 10 countries are investigating 1MDB or his family. The gilded shopping trips to New York are over, and the homes where he and his bejeweled wife Rosmah Mansor used to stay are now confiscated.

The infamous duo–Mr and Mrs Najib Razak

In addition to the United States, the government of Singapore has already lodged charges against officials of the Singapore arm of BSI, the Swiss bank, for money laundering, The Swiss earlier this year issued a statement that as much as US$4 billion had been laundered from 1MDB into Swiss banks, although no charges have been filed yet.  In a separate case, two employees of the French defense manufacturer have been specifically charged with bribing Najib by name.

Nonetheless, the Prime Minister and his allies in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and his tame officials have doubled down, determined to contain the scandal domestically if they can’t contain it internationally. They are threatening to charge Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the respected former governor of the central bank, Bank Negara, Abdul Gani Patail, fired from his post as Attorney-General when he was about to charge Najib, with crimes connected to 1MDB, and Abu Kassim Mohamed, the former head of the Malaysian Ant-Corruption Commission, for supposedly providing information to the FBI.  Although, in a truly bemusing bit of chutzpah,  he reacted to a question in a press conference on July 20 by saying he wouldn’t bring charges against the United States for its investigation !

There is rising concern in Malaysia that Najib will go further in throttling opponents with the use of an “anti-terrorism law” that was pushed through hurriedly in April. Concern is deepening in Malaysia, however, that Najib will use a new “anti-terror act” that was pushed through hurriedly in the early hours of April 7, supposedly to go after Islamic jihadists connected to the Islamic State. The law comes into effect on August 1.

Paying the Price of Loyalty

Critics say the measure is reminiscent of the notorious Internal Security Act that the country discarded in 2012 and resembles measured implemented by both the strongman Suharto in Indonesia and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines when their regimes were threatened by opposition. The law allows suspected terrorists to be detained for a maximum of 38 days without trial; a Prevention of Terrorism Board would then be empowered to extend detention to two years, renewable every two years after that, with no maximum period of detention. The measure allows for detention solely on the word of a police inspector, extendable without access to counsel. Critics of the government fear the act could be used against them.

Civil rights and journalist groups questioned the need for the return of a draconian security act that was abhorred by much of the country.

“These provisions run counter to the requirement to investigate wrongdoing and hold institutions and their personnel accountable in the case of human rights violations,” said Laurent Meillan, the United Nations Human Rights Office for Southeast Asia’s Acting Regional Representative in Bangkok. “We are gravely concerned that the immunity provisions in the Act may encourage human rights violations.”

Meillan expressed concern that the Act could also be used to impose unjust restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of assembly. “We call on the government to revise the Act to bring it in line with international human rights norms and standards. Furthermore, we encourage the Government to allow for an open and transparent consultation process on the provisions in the Act with all relevant stakeholders,” he said.

Amnesty International, in a prepared release, said: “Such laws do not comply with international human rights law and contradict commitments made by the Malaysian authorities to the international community.”

The Kuala Lumpur-based Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) said it was “appalled at the government’s proposal to reintroduce indefinite detention without trial.” The organization said it is “farcical that Prime Minister Najib Razak made a big show of announcing the repeal of the ISA in 2011 and for Parliament to have passed a law repealing it in 2012, only to have a very similar act reintroduced in 2015 under the exact same leadership.”

Pascal Najadi relentless in the pursuit of Justice

“Najib will make full use of the August 1st 2016, when the new Anti Terror law comes in to force,” said Pascal Najadi, an independent financial advisor now living in Moscow who has blamed figures in UMNO for the assassination of his  banker father Hussain Najadi, the founder of what became Ambank. “It is a law that the opposition stupidly let slip through Parliament without vigor. As of August 1, Najib will copy paste his other hero colleague, Mr. Erdogan.


5 thoughts on “Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tightens the Screws on his Enemies w.e.f August 1, 2016

  1. To support the “2 Tan Sri” right now would be hypocritical, unless they do the following:-

    1. Zeti to explain how and why Bank Negara allowed billions to slosh in and out of the country so easily and when 1MDB was ordered to return one odd billion from overseas and failed to do so, no action was taken?

    2. Gani Patail to apologize to Anwar Ibrahim for the wrongful prosecution of Sodomy 1 & 2.

    3. Abu Kassim to publicly apologize on behalf of MACC to the families of those detainees who died in MACC custody.

    We can forgive but we must never forget which is why we are what we are at now.

    I am disappointed that the call for action by the deputy UMNO Youth chief against these three has frizzled out because this should have sent a clear message to all civil servants, especially heads of departments that they serve the people as well and not just the politicians.

  2. @ Wayne, a very good 3-star pointers…… (seriously ) ha…ha….to prove to you that I am not a ‘hypocrite ‘ – well, well … does that connect to me ? ?

  3. Wayne, what occurred when this FUBAR of a “donation” was presented to TS Zeti, you wouldn’t believe. It’s the stuff of legend. But i can’t divulge it. Let the Courts decide, if this most stupid ball-polisher UMNOb youth case against the 3TS ever proceed.

    As for Gani and Abu Kassim – they were tools – the former, willingly in the case of DSAI and the latter, stymied when he took over the reins of the previous commissioner.

  4. I am a 58 year old former senior police officer who had done in the 20 odd years of service, a fair bit of Investigation Paper minuting. When faced with evidence in any case, I weighed it on the balance of probability. This scale allowed me to temper justice with mercy. I viewed the greater good that prosecution might achieve. I would then present it to the learned SFC; Senior DPP or DO I for their review especially when I was insitu their august company in their Chambers. They were, a bunch of fair minded legal eagles.
    Perusing through all that has been going on, with regard to Hon’ble PM, has left me puzzled at the ability for the authority to twist and turn with ludicrous agility bordering on plain stupidity. I am not using the phrase “foolishness” for none of the Heads of Institutions are so. While understanding the reason for Zeti or the former MACC head or Gani to curtail their public response to mass media, it is obvious that it is at the behest of their legal counsel.
    It is plain that Najib is in deep yoghurt. Slowly but surely, he is banking on staying on in power, so that investigation by the police can continue ad infinitum. Without completion, prosecution is not possible. It seems or appears glaringly, the extent to which the Attorney General will go to put the MACC at bay or the blatant labelling such as “civil matter” by the IGP. They seem so cocksure that their stand will never be subjected to any revisiting. They better have a bailout plan!
    I would never underestimate the Tun who has helmed this nation for 22 years. He can take them on in one sitting. Unfortunately, they think otherwise.

  5. It is not possible for the 3 Tan Sri to come clean on the 1MDB fiasco for the simple reason that they were former civil servants and all information relating to their former appointments are classified under the Official Secrets Act. It is just not practical for Malaysians to hope that they will openly reveal information that are classified as state secrets. So what other choices do they have except to leak these information to the US. Well, they’re certainly doing a good job. Kudos to all 3 of them

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