History: From a Burmese prison to Tunku’s home


July 13, 2018

Note: I will away from Phnom Penh from July 14- 17 and being outstation, where I will not have access to a computer, I am taking a break from blogging. But I will back soon enough.–Din Merican

History: From a Burmese prison to Tunku’s home

Image result for Photo Journalist Kim Gooi
 Photojournalist Kim Gooi

 

MALAYSIANS KINI | In 1977, the Bangkok-based photojournalist Kim Gooi was sentenced to a year in a Burmese prison.

He was said to have violated immigration laws after he slipped into the rebellious Shan State. He thought he would die in jail.

Death was common in Burmese prisons, the “hell on Earth” he describes in “The Poet of Keng Tung Jail,” published in 2013. The book chronicles the horrors he faced on the inside, along with poems written by a fellow inmate and some of Kim’s photographs.

Yet prison was also the place where Kim would meet those who would eventually lead him to Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Father of Independence.

To Kim, the encounter with Tunku in 1978 was “a gift from above,” one of many recollections which he contributes to “Dialog: Thoughts on Tunku’s Timeless Thinking,” a 270-page compilation of anecdotes and essays by Malaysians about the country’s first prime minister.

While in prison, Kim was asked to pass a message to Tunku by a Burmese Muslim leader from Rangoon. At the time, 200,000 Muslims had just fled to Bangladesh due to persecution by Burmese authorities. It was also when Tunku served as the secretary-general of the World Islamic Council.

Image result for tunku abdul rahman

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haji is No. 1 and will always be Numero Uno in  our pantheon of Malaysian Leaders

Kim was uncertain if Tunku would meet a “nobody” like him, but he took his chances and wrote to Malaysian Islamic Welfare Organisation (Perkim) anyway, as Tunku was head of the Penang branch.

“To my surprise, Perkim replied after a few days. They even asked for my mugshot as they wanted to print my letter to Tunku which detailed the plight of the Burmese Muslims,” Kim said in an interview with Malaysiakini.

He then managed to get the phone number of Tunku’s secretary, and fixed a date for a meeting.

“These are all very happy occurrences. I felt rewarded. A small occurrence, but this was something that filled my heart (with joy),” Kim recalls.

Image result for Photo Journalist Kim Gooi with Tunku Abdul Rahman

https://kimgooi.wordpress.com/category/home/

“I didn’t know what to expect as I’d never met Tunku before. There was a bit of apprehension on my part as I waited for him in his office,” said Kim, who has written for various news outlets in the US, UK, Australia and Malaysia, including New Straits Times, Harakah and Malaysiakini.

Kim couldn’t take his eyes off the mementos and gifts in Tunku’s office, including several tongkats and a tiger skin rug.

“Then Tunku came down, shook my hand and offered me coffee and cigarettes. I realised it was so easy to talk to him, there were no airs about him.”

Tunku was a “gold mine of information” and had a talent for making people feel at home. As Kim recalls, Tunku was generous, and had great empathy for common folk.

And so it was to his delight that soon after, he got the chance to meet Tunku again.

Kim’s passport was still under Malaysian custody. He had a new job waiting for him in Bangkok, but he knew it could be months, maybe years, before he’d get his passport back, as a friend in a similar situation said it would.

An officer at the Penang Immigration Department suggested that he ask Tunku for help. It didn’t occur to Kim that Tunku still wielded a lot of influence in the government.

And true enough, Tunku issued him with a letter of support. With that letter, Kim was able to get his passport from Immigration. His career was saved.

“Tunku was my saviour, redeemer, he saved my life and career and gave me a second chance.”

Since then, Kim has had a special bond with Tunku. When the Kedah prince visited Bangkok, Kim helped to round up a host of local and foreign journalists to attend his press conference.

Kim loved attending events organised by Tunku, like his birthdays, which he said was a real “sight to behold.”

“There were lots of Malaysian delicacies, but there were also a multiracial mix of guests at his parties, and lots of children, Tunku loved children. He was more than just a politician.”

Today, Kim lives in a modest terrace house in Tanjung Bungah with his family. He’s maintained a bit of his “hippie” lifestyle. Books and photographs lay scattered on the floor of his living room. His tiny garden is overgrown with plants and grass.

Dressed in a flowery orange shirt and sarong, he gives off the vibe of someone who’s seen it all. Now 70, Kim is an ardent practitioner of Chinese art and health. He still plays the blues on his harmonica, and still lives by his Taoist beliefs.

Here, in his own words, Kim talks about how certain world events shaped his life and career.

I AM INSPIRED BY TAOISM AND CHINESE SCHOLARSHIP AND CULTURE. Some may call me a “Chinese chauvinist,” but behind all these teachings is a universal humanitarianism. It is the only philosophy that can save mankind.

I STARTED MY CAREER IN JOURNALISM during the height of the hippie era. It was an incredible time of hope and optimism for the world.

MY CAREER WAS VERY MUCH INFLUENCED BY MUSIC, POETRY, PHILOSOPHY, AND DRUGS. It was all things combined. The hip word then was that these things were “groovy” and “cool.” I was called a hippie since my days at the polytechnic in Singapore, as I often wore blue jeans.

IN MY CAREER, I HAVE MET MANY WRITERS, SINGERS, POETS who introduced me to the world of photojournalism. They read a lot, and I learned from them. They also taught me how to travel the world, take photos, and get paid for it.

HIPPIES WERE FANTASTIC. They were highly educated and thoughtful people, and totally disillusioned with American culture, which we should emulate today, as it is the most rotten culture.

PEOPLE OF MY GENERATION ADORED THE USA. But from the hippies I learned the other side of the story. Look what they have done to the whole world, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and with the secret bombings in Laos.

BEING A JOURNALIST INTENSIFIED ALL THESE FEELINGS. I came face to face with American hypocrisy and lies, but at the same time, my experiences also led me to see that they have the “best” and “worst” the world has to offer.

THESE DAYS, JOURNALISM IN THIS COUNTRY IS VERY SAD. The world of journalism which I grew up with is no more. In my time, evidence mattered, and statements published were real, but today, you don’t know what is, with all the fake news on the internet.

From Merdeka Day to Malaysia Day, Malaysians Kini will feature personalities known to Tunku, as well as their memories about him. Their detailed recollections are featured in the book “Dialog: Thoughts on Tunku’s Timeless Thinking.”


MALAYSIANS KINI is a series on Malaysians you should know.

Previously featured:

War has no victors, says last surviving WWII vet

The one-man Malay literature archive

The last of generations of storytellers

Sarawak’s sape travels across the South China Sea

Art for the people – Manjat’s work transcends controversy

Trump and Thinking Dirty


July 12, 2018

Trump and Thinking Dirty

by Mike Minehan

 

The best show in town these days is the President Trump Circus. Full of tantrums, tirades and a trashy sort of political reality TV show.

But maybe the worst thing about this is that it’s encouraging others to do the same. Or even worse.

This was the idea behind a recent aticle in Politico magazine about Democrats being encouraged to think dirty because there are ‘no longer any unwritten rules in American politics’.

Image result for Brett Kavanaugh

 

The trigger for this is Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court of the USA. This nomination comes after Republicans blocked President Obama’s nomination of the Chief US Circuit Judge Merrick Garland for the vacancy that existed in the last six months of Obama’s office. The Republicans then rushed Justice Gorsuch into this position as soon as Trump became President, and now Trump is getting another early pick after the resignation of Justice Kennedy.

Concern amongst Democrats is that the Supreme Court, with a majority of Republican nominees, will now swing towards conservative decisions that will support pro-life (anti-abortion), the gun-rights lobby and, dare we mention it, will refuse to support a subpoena of President Trump or follow through an impeachement process. There’s also the question of whether or not Trump can pardon himself and whether he is above the law.

Trump’s voting base, Christian Evangelicals and the white working classes in the ‘Rust Belt’ are now, no doubt, a-hollerin’ and a-hootin’ their delight.

Although America’s late night talk show hosts are also having their say:

But back to this thing about thinking dirty.

According to the Politico article, Democrats should now fight fire with fire. Amongst the suggestions:

Grant statehood to D.C., break California in seven, with the goal of adding 16 Democrats to the Senate, expand the Supreme Court and the federal courts, packing them with liberal judges, and, grant citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants, creating a host of new Democratic-leaning voters.

This last one is because “Republicans have always feared that immigration would change the character of American society. Democrats should reward them with their very worst nightmare.”

Wow. The Democrats will probably gain control of Congress after the coming mid-term elections. Will they be able to restrain themselves?

Don’t Kiss the Hand that Beats You


July 12, 2018

Don’t Kiss the Hand that Beats You

by Fadiah Nadwa Fikri

Image result for fadiah nadwa fikri oxford

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri@Oxford

https://malaysiamuda.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/jangan-engkau-cium-tangan-yang-memukulmu/

“To be free does not and cannot mean to only be free from the visible concrete prison walls in our midst. Freedom must mean that we are collectively free from invisible walls that have long been erected to rob us of our dignity. To be free is to persistently and collectively stand up against and resist institutional dehumanization in all its forms.”–Fadiah Nadwa Fikri

Jangan Engkau Cium Tangan yang Memukulmu

 

Artikel versi Bahasa Melayu boleh didapati di sini.

Upon his release from prison, former Opposition Leader and Prime Minister in waiting Anwar Ibrahim shared his thoughts on his winding political journey and went on to say something that was exceptionally profound – that the value of freedom was the lesson he learned from prison life. Three years flew by. A man’s liberty was taken away and shackled to prison walls. To spectators of this political episode, Anwar’s incarceration felt like a long absence.

In his absence, ordinary Malaysians continued to deal with their everyday struggles amidst the mundane and intolerable suffocating reality. Some struggled to navigate and make sense of the meaning of freedom, having been forced to live in a bigger prison surrounded by impenetrable walls invisible to many.

When May 9 happened, the country went into immense shock. To witness the fall of an authoritarian government which had been clinging on to power for 61 years was not an impossibility. It is undeniable that the change of government enabled, among others, the release of the former Opposition Leader. The picture of Anwar, swarmed by a sea of journalists, held tightly in his family’s arms, finally free from imprisonment was a sight to behold. The celebration continued late in the night, where thousands of supporters assembled at Padang Timur to listen to his freedom speech.

While the majority of Malaysians were still immersed in the indescribable euphoria, trying to wrap their minds around the change and what it meant for the country, the internal power struggle among the political elite started to rear its ugly head. Realizing how fragile the transition was, some started to question the drama that was unveiling before the nation. There were voices who were quick to tell critics to bite their tongues and have faith in people occupying positions of power.

The terrain on which this internal power struggle was taking place was clearly off limits to ordinary people – including the very people who elected those who are now at the helm of the government. This is the harsh reality associated with representative democracy – a reality we rarely talk about and examine, in which political participation is mainly confined to the ballot box whose final outcome would subsequently be handed over to the ruling elite. In defence of this reality, people are often told to wait another five years if they wish to change the government. Who has the luxury to wait another five years? This question must not be left unanswered.

Image result for anwar ibrahim and the sultan of johor

Any attempt to break the fortress built around this existing system in order to democratize the space for people to assert their political existence is often met with harsh criticism and rebuke. As a result, the power to shape the future and direction of the country remains in the hands of the privileged few, thus further alienating the voices of the many, in particular the marginalized. Genuine democracy which seeks to place people at its heart therefore remains out of reach.

The unending internal power struggle reached a whole new level when the picture of Anwar, bending down, kissing the hand of the Sultan of Johor emerged on the internet. Given the Prime Minister’s strained relationship with the monarchy, there are no prizes for guessing why the Prime Minister in waiting did what he did. What is disquieting about the act captured in the picture is the indefensible feudal culture it’s embodying and the catastrophic consequences it’s transmitting.

It bears reminding that to most of the rest of the world, monarchy was rendered obsolete a long time ago. History has shown that the absurdities on which the institution was built can no longer be tolerated, defended, and justified. To situate a class of people above others by virtue of their aristocratic birth could not be more revolting a notion – a notion that stands in contradiction to the concept of freedom and human dignity.

As people constantly rise to reclaim the meaning of freedom and human dignity in a world that is plagued with institutional dehumanization, this indefensible notion of subjugation raises a number of questions which demand answers. Why do people who bleed red just like everyone whom unconditional submission is forced upon deserve such privilege? Why do people who perpetually live off the backs of those who are struggling to survive and live a dignified life deserve god-like treatment and adoration? Why are people who are unilaterally endowed with immense power and wealth extracted from people they subjugate immune from accountability?

The answers to these questions lead us to one inevitable conclusion: not only is the monarchy anti-democratic, it is also a direct assault on our very dignity which is inherent to our existence as human beings. While proponents of this feudal relic would argue that the monarchy as it exists today is nothing but a neutral constitutional adornment, the fact however demonstrates the contrary. One must look beyond what is written in the Constitution in order to understand the politics this institution practices, whose interest it truly represents, and whose side it is on.

Image result for The Crown Prince of Johor

One month before the recent general elections, the Johor Crown Prince, popularly known as TMJ, unreservedly told the whole nation not to bring down the government – the government which had been ruling the country with an iron fist for 61 years. The Crown Prince’s act of uttering these words shortly before the elections, while many people were engulfed in simmering anger, struggling to escape the oppressive situations they had been subjected to for so long, was indeed a calculated move.

The act was clearly executed out of fear of the unknown – fear of losing the privilege and power accorded to the monarchy by the oppressive government who was complicit in subjugating the people, should a change of government become a reality. This particular event which is in no way an anomaly is proof that the institution has never been neutral. It’s as clear as day that the side of the people is the side it has never been on.

As for believers of this archaic institution who contend that it is a symbol of unity, standing on the side of the oppressor while many are denied the right to good life in a country that is structured by domination, inequality, and exploitation only speaks of one kind of unity: unity in oppression.

Image result for Anwar Ibrahim and The Sultan of Selangor

To be free does not and cannot mean to only be free from the visible concrete prison walls in our midst. Freedom must mean that we are collectively free from invisible walls that have long been erected to rob us of our dignity. To be free is to persistently and collectively stand up against and resist institutional dehumanization in all its forms. As Judith Butler puts it:

“Indeed, if resistance is to bring about a new way of life, a more livable life that opposes the differential distribution of precarity, then acts of resistance will say no to one way of life at the same time that they say yes to another. For this purpose, we must reconsider for our times the performative consequences of concerted action in the Arendtian sense. Yet, in my view, the concerted action that characterizes resistance is sometimes found in the verbal speech act or the heroic fight, but it is also found in those bodily gestures of refusal, silence, movement, refusing to move, that characterize those movements that enact democratic principles of equality and economic principles of interdependency in the very action by which they call for a new way of life more radically democratic and more substantially interdependent.”

 

 

 

Pakatan Harapan: What is so special about this Naik Fella from India?


July 12, 2018

Pakatan Harapan: What is so special about this Naik Fella from India?

By Dennis Ignatius

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Image result for Naik and Mahathir

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad protects an Indian Cobra

What’s so special about Zakir Naik? Why is he so uniquely deserving of Putrajaya’s support and attention?

These are among the many questions that Malaysians are asking in the wake of the government’s decision to allow him to stay; so far no satisfactory answers have been forthcoming.

Well-deserved reputation

Any which way you look at it, Naik is a highly polarising demagogue. Considered one of the most influential Wahhabi ideologues in the world, he aggressively propagates a version of Islam that even Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman says is in need of reform, and which, incidentally, the National Fatwa Council (NFC) of Malaysia declared “has no place in Malaysia”.

Countries as diverse as Canada, India, the UK and Bangladesh consider him an extremist who seems to endorse terrorism. Some countries have denied him entry as well. Bangladesh alleges that he inspired a terrorist attack in Dhaka in 2016 which left 22 dead. India’s National Investigation Agency is also investigating his foundation for alleged money laundering.

While he consistently denies these allegations and claims that he has been misunderstood or taken out of context, it’s hard not to conclude from even a cursory viewing of his many YouTube offerings that his reputation for extremism is well-deserved.

Dishonest and deceitful

Image result for Naik and Mahathir

Now that he is in the dock of public opinion, and desperate for refuge in Malaysia, he is attempting an image makeover, claiming that his “primary concern” has always been “to foster social harmony”. He is, of course, being utterly dishonest given that he has a long history of being extremely intolerant, insulting and demeaning of other faiths.

And when cornered by his own remarks, he immediately cries that he is but a victim of some vague conspiracy against Islam, part of a “broader objective of demonising Islam and Muslims”, never mind that it is his own hate-filled invective that does more to demonise Islam that anything else.

Skillfully exploiting our divisions

While many of us might shudder at the thought of someone like Naik being turned loose in a country like ours which is struggling to contain religious and racial extremism, he has apparently no shortage of supporters. With the Wahhabi narrative already well-established in the corridors of power, the NFC’s opinion notwithstanding, he is of course a perfect fit. His choice of abode – in Putrajaya – is itself very telling.

He also seems to have adroitly exploited Malaysia’s political, racial and religious divisions to his advantage, endearing himself to many in UMNO and PAS by his endorsement of both Islamic and Malay supremacism. And they, in turn, have showered him with a level of praise, privilege and protection that he never found anywhere else. No surprise then that he loves it here.

Legal obligations

The Indian government is now apparently seeking to extradite Naik (who remains an Indian citizen) to face money laundering and terrorism-related charges.

Ultimately, extradition is a legal matter subject to treaty obligations which the courts must decide upon. The government must take a principled stand and affirm that it will respect its legal obligations. To do otherwise, to insist that Naik be treated differently from others in similar situations, would undermine the government’s own oft-repeated commitment to the rule of law.

Does Naik deserve to be here?

Beyond the issue of extradition, however, is the larger question of whether or not he deserves to be a Malaysian permanent resident. A strong argument can be made that extremists like Naik do not deserve residency status in our country.

His values, his actions and his worldview stand in sharp contrast to the kind of tolerant, respectful and inclusive nation we are trying to build. He has nothing to contribute to making our nation a strong, united and prosperous one. He is but an intolerant religious bully who does not deserve our respect let alone our protection.

And don’t forget that this is also the same opportunist who, convinced that UMNO would rule forever, insisted at a seminar last year that Muslims ought to vote for a Muslim leader who might be corrupt (read Najib) rather than a Muslim leader who depends on non-Muslim support (read Mahathir).

Of course, once Najib lost power, he immediately ingratiated himself with Putrajaya’s new leaders and now sings their praises. And this is the man that some in Pakatan Harapan are now defending.

Naik doesn’t belong here. If he doesn’t have the courage to return home to India to answer the charges against him, let him find sanctuary in Saudi Arabia; after all, he is a great admirer of the Wahhabi clerics who hold sway there.

Government owes us an explanation

Image result for Malaysia-India Relations

In the interest of transparency, the government has an obligation to explain why it refuses to extradite him and why he deserves to remain in Malaysia.

As well, the government needs to clarify whether it is paying for Naik’s ever-present security detail, whether he is receiving financial support of any kind from the public purse, and whether he is being considered for Malaysian citizenship now that India has withdrawn his passport.

Whatever it is, the government should not underestimate how deeply offended many Malaysians are with Naik and how deeply disappointed they are by the inexplicable and shocking decision to continue offering him sanctuary here.

Dennis Ignatius is a former ambassador.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

Malaysia-China Relations: Time to Pay the Chinese Piper?


July 12, 2018

Malaysia-China Relations: Time to Pay the Chinese Piper?

By Toh Han Shih@www.asiasentinel.com

As Malaysia begins negotiations with China over billions of dollars of Chinese-led public service projects, the outcome will be a litmus test of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is designed to develop infrastructure across 70 countries.

How China treats Malaysia will go a long way toward determining international perceptions of the BRI, which has aroused suspicion and criticism among some quarters of the global community.

There are reasons for concern. As Asia Sentinel reported on July 9, a long list of countries including Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and others have found themselves mired in debt to China’s Ex-Im Bank and other financial institutions for projects whose costs have soared out of sight as they have moved toward execution.

They have found that renegotiating debt with China  is difficult. And in some of those countries, their leaders have discovered that financial debt disturbingly translates into political debt as Beijing extends its hegemony across the region.

Malaysia’s new government, which came into power on May 9 after ending more than six decades of rule by the race-based Barisan Nasional,  may learn what Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Montenegro in particular have learned: that the Belt and Road Initiative has beggared their governments.

Image result for Daim Zainuddin in China

Read This:

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2154053/mahathirs-date-beijing-shows-china-cant-be-ignored-malaysia

Top Malaysian officials are expected to visit China in the coming weeks. At a press conference on July 6, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he intends to visit China in August to discuss Chinese-built projects largely financed by Chinese state-owned banks that have assumed new controversy after the fall of former Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Image result for Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng

 

 

“There are several issues to be brought up, among which is the unfairness of the terms of the contracts and also of the loans,” Mahathir said. “The interest is also of concern to us because the interest is much higher than when government borrows.”

The previous day, the Ministry of Finance confirmed that the Malaysian government has suspended three Chinese-backed projects worth more than US$22 billion. They comprise the East Coast Rail Link, estimated by the finance ministry to cost US$20 billion, as well as two gas pipelines estimated at US$2.7 billion being built by the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau.

These two pipelines are overseen by Suria Strategic Energy Resources (SSER), a body under Malaysia’s finance ministry. Also on July 5, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, appointed by the new administration to replace Najib, who had headed the ministry in addition to his role as premier, confirmed that a fourth China-related project, a US$813 million gas and petroleum pipeline had been suspended.

Image result for Daim Zainuddin in China

At the July 6 press conference, Mahathir said Daim Zainuddin, who headed the ministry during Mahathir’s previous prime ministership, will precede him to China to negotiate some Chinese-backed contracts. Shortly after winning the Malaysian elections on May 9, Mahathir appointed Daim to head the Council of Eminent Persons, a body which advises the new Malaysian coalition government.

Mahathir announced on June 6 that Lim, with a posse of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers, will travel to China to discuss the SSER pipeline projects.

The fact that three senior Malaysian officials will visit China indicates the importance which the Malaysian government places on China, as well as the difficulty in renegotiating these Chinese projects.

The announced accompaniment of anti-graft officials in Lim’s trip to China suggests the Malaysian government suspects corruption in the SSER pipeline projects. Lim said on June 11 that a report has been filed with the MACC on the SSER projects. On the same day, Lim disclosed the MACC had raided SSER’s office, and the Malaysian finance ministry was forming a committee to investigate these projects.

As Chinese leaders meet Mahathir, Daim and Lim, the Chinese government has to prove its commitment to the rule of law and fighting corruption in Belt and Road projects.

The Forum on the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation, which was held in Beijing on July 2 and 3, declared its stance in fighting corruption. The statement of the co-chairs of the forum, which was attended by over 350 delegates from China and other countries, said, “We call on the parties participating in the BRI to jointly strengthen anti-corruption cooperation, on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other international conventions as well as bilateral treaties.”

In September 2017 in Beijing, the World Bank and a Chinese anti-graft agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, held a seminar on international cooperation to fight corruption in the BRI.

It is interesting that the World Bank was a partner in this anti-corruption seminar, given that the multilateral lender debarred China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) from 12 January 2009 to 11 January 2017 for fraudulent practices. CCCC, a Chinese state-owned enterprise listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai, was the main contractor for the East Coast Rail Link, which will link the east and west coasts of peninsular Malaysia with railway. The World Bank’s debarment of CCCC and all its subsidiaries was related to a CCCC subsidiary China Road and Bridge Corporation’s project in the Philippines.

Although no fraud or corruption has been found in CCCC’s East Coast Rail Link, critics argue the cost of this project is several times higher than similar railway projects. Lim said the East Coast Rail Link cannot continue unless its price tag is lowered.

All companies and individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but if Malaysian investigations reveal corruption among Chinese companies or executives, the Chinese leaders must allow the law to take full effect. After all, in China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, Xi has not spared senior Chinese officials from punishment after they were found guilty of corruption.

Image result for CCCC Chairman Liu Qitao

CCCC Chairman Liu Qitao (pic above) said he was not worried at the Malaysian government’s focus on development, because CCCC projects benefit the countries they are located in. Speaking at the Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong on June 28, Liu said CCCC helped Malaysia’s development.

“If we don’t benefit the local country and environment, the risks will be very great,” Liu added.

Chinese corporate chieftains like Liu, as well as the Chinese government, must prove their professed commitment to ensuring BRI projects in countries like Malaysia are transparent, free of corruption and benefit the local countries. The Chinese government, banks and companies must prevent BRI projects from becoming a heavy financial burden to the countries they are based in. Otherwise, as Liu said, the risks will be very great, not only for Chinese companies but the global image of China and the BRI. At stake is whether other nations will accept BRI projects from China.

Toh Han Shih is a Singaporean writer based in Hong Kong.

Malaysia: Richard Malanjum takes his oath as new Chief Justice


July 12, 2018

Malaysia: Richard Malanjum takes his oath as new Chief Justice

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Tan Sri Richard Malanjum receives his letter of appointment as the new Chief Justice from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara July 11, 2018. — Bernama pic

Congratulations to new Chief Justice and his colleagues administer the Law without Favour. The Judiciary has been seen as subservient to the Executive Branch for far too long (since 1988 when the then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas by Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad)–Din Merican

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum (pic above) took his oath of office as the new Chief Justice on July 11.  He is the first person from the Borneo states to be appointed to the highest judicial post in the country.

Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Ma’arop has been elevated to the post of Court of Appeal President.

They were sworn in before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.

Meanwhile, Justice Zaharah Ibrahim will replace Justice Ahmad as the Chief Judge of Malaya, and Justice David Wong Dak Wah will be the new Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak.

Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal President Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who are supposed to retire on July 31, had been asked to vacate their post effective today, according to a source.

This came after as the Malay rulers had their conference beginning today.

Justice Malanjum, 65, is the first from the Kadazandusun community in Sabah to be appointed as the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak and he was the youngest to be elevated to the Federal Court in 2005 at the age of 52.

Image result for Malaysia's Palace of Justice

He will reach the retirement age of 66 in October this year but his term can be extended for another six months, until April next year.

At present, Malanjum is the most senior Federal Court judge.Earlier today, he downplayed speculation of him being nominated as the next chief justice.

Second female judge as CJM

Justice Ahmad, 65, who hails from Malacca, was appointed a judicial commissioner in 2000. He was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2007 and then promoted to the Federal Court in 2011. Last year, he became the Chief Judge of Malaya.

Justice Zaharah, 65, is the second woman to hold the post of Chief Judge of Malaya, after Siti Norma Yaakob.

She was appointed as judicial commissioner of the High Court in 2004, elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2010 and then to the apex court in 2015.

Wong, 64, from Sarawak, was appointed as a judicial commissioner at the Kuching High Court in 2005.He was then elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2013 and became a Federal Court judge earlier this year.