Governance Matters–Effective Action speaks louder than words


November 17, 2017

Governance Matters–Effective Action speaks louder than Political Talk

by TK Chua

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Image result for Governance Matters

For whatever reasons or motives, I think we have showered enough praise on Dr. D. Jeyakumar, the MP for Sungai Siput and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), the only “socialist party” in Malaysia. It is a plus if he is humble and willing to serve his constituents diligently.

But first and foremost, why did he become a politician? He must have believed that his policies and “system of government” would bring the people a better life.

Why do people face systemic problems every day – the problems that the government system is supposed to resolve for them? How effective can he be by helping five people here and two people there, when society churns them out by the thousands each year – problems that are generated out of deliberate marginalisation, neglect, discrimination, incompetency and ignorance?

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Lee Lam Thye and Michael Chong have also done the same thing for many years. They helped some people, no doubt, but have they brought societal change to Malaysia? If anything, they have made those who were supposed to do their jobs even more complacent and lazy. When a person gets beaten up, why must he see Chong and not the Police?

Similarly, why can’t the built-in system in Sosco or any government institution provide efficient and equitable services for the people?

We elect MPs because we want better governance and policy changes, not just to provide day-to-day services to the people.

I maintain that if our governance is right, our civil service professional, and our government competent and corruption-free, the services rendered to the people will be above board and fair.

Over many decades, we have fought over ideologies. From my observations, ideologies do not put food on the table or bring people a better life. Both communism and socialism have failed, as has unfettered capitalism or a version of the two extremes.

Image result for Mahathir and Good Governance

Najib Razak believes in 1Malaysia Governance: Lu Tolong Gua, Gua Tolong Lu

What matters the most is pragmatism, “corruption-less” government and good governance. Seriously, does it matter if the government is neoliberal or neoclassical?

Let’s be realistic: Jeyakumar and PSM can’t bring systemic change to this country, at least in the foreseeable future. Instead of creating dissension, he and PSM should join forces with right-minded politicians and political parties to bring fundamental changes to this country.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

Comment: Dr Jeyakumar was a devoted Member of Parliament, Sungei Siput, Perak. He earned the reputation of being the man who defeated MIC President Samy Velu. He is a committed socialist. While we may recognise his service to his constituents, we should not glorify him. Here, I agree with TK Chua.

Ideology no longer matters these days. Tell me what is communism with Chinese characteristics? It is no longer Maoism. I think it is Confucian capitalism. Times have changed and so have expectations. Politicians have become dinosaurs for not keeping up with the times. They are short of deliverables; in fact, they have not produced results in terms of improving the lives of the people they seek to serve. Ideology does not create and public goods. What is lacking today is good governance. This seems to be a global problem. Look at Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Congo, and Yemen. –Din Merican

 

PetroSaudi’s Prince Turki Is Rounded Up On Corruption Charges In Saudi Arabia


November 6, 2017

PetroSaudi’s Prince Turki Is Rounded Up On Corruption Charges In Saudi Arabia

by Sarawak Report

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For two years Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak has leaned on an implausible explanation for his pre-election bonanza of US $681 million in his bank account, which was that it was a kind ‘donation’ from Saudi Royals. These Royals were hinted to be a king and his son, whom current Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi claims also to have met and discussed the ‘donation’ matter with.

The US Department of Justice have, to the contrary, traced the money step by step back to a theft from Malaysia’s own 1MDB development fund, which was controlled by Najib.

Requests that the alleged Saudi royals should be named have always been met with a shrug by BN’s top brass – why should one delve into detail about such ‘untouchable’ people was the official line?  On the other hand, off the record, Najib’s key media spinner, his British communications chief Paul Stadlen, has subtly directed journalists to a BBC article which named the late King Abdullah and his son Prince Turki, who is a former shareholder and director of PetroSaudi.

Image result for Prince Turki with Najib Razak

From left to right are Jho Low;Prince Turki, the owner of PetroSaudi;  Prime Minister Najib Razak; wife Rosmah Mansor and the couple’s son, Nor Ashman ; Tarek Obaid, the Director of PetrSaudi and Rosmah’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa.

PetroSaudi was the company embroiled in the first major theft from 1MDB, a matter originally exposed by Sarawak Report and now confirmed by the FBI/DOJ court filings on the world’s largest kleptocracy investigation.

Some $1.83 billion was stolen from 1MDB using a bogus joint venture with PetroSaudi during the period 2009-11. At the time this supposed Saudi oil company was effectively a shell, despite being presented to the Malaysian public as a major player in the oil business.

The money trails show that $77 million was paid to Prince Turki in the aftermath of that deal, although most of the cash went to Jho Low, who was Najib’s own proxy in the negotiations. Even larger kickbacks also went to Prince Turki’s active business partner, Tarek Obaid, who has faced investigations into the affair in several countries and is currently remaining in Switzerland.

Prince Turki extricated himself from PetroSaudi soon after the scandal broke and is no longer involved in the company.  He has also taken action over being effectively named as “Saudi Prince” in the DOJ’s original court filings in 2016, which detailed how $24.5 million had been passed from Jho Low’s company Good Star in 2011 to a Saudi Prince and then $20 million of that was passed on to Najib:

Original court filing mentioning 'Saudi Prince' - our highligts

Turki’s lawyers have been pointing out that the most recent version of the FBI filings (July 2017) indicate a more complex transaction that may have distanced the prince through the joint ownership of a company that received the cash.  The revised version of the court document refers to a Riyadh company and Saudi Associates rather than a Saudi Prince:

According to J.P. Morgan Chase and RBS Coutts banking records, between February and June of 2011, approximately $24,500,000 of these funds was transferred to an account at Riyad Bank maintained in the name of two Saudi nationals who were associates of LOW and TAN (“SAUDI ASSOCIATE 1” AND “SAUDI ASSOCIATE 2”). From those funds, $20,000,000 was then transferred, within days, to an account belonging to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 [updated version of the DOJ court filing]

Prince Turki went on to become Governor of Riyadh, thanks to his powerful connections as the seventh son of the former King Abdullah.  However, he was sacked the day after his father died and now he features as number three on the list of princes rounded up overnight by the new powers that be in Saudi Arabia.

World headlines

He and his fellow princes have been charged with corruption, which makes an uncomfortable prospect for Najib Razak, who has continued to rely on his dodgy Saudi Prince donor story to cover up the vast sums found in his personal bank accounts by global and domestic investigators tracing the billions stolen from the fund he controlled.

Image result for Najib's Selfie with King SalmanSaudi King Salman with Malaysia’s Corrupt Prime Minister Najib Razak who claims to be the King’s especially close and trusted friend (sahabat akrab)

Najib and his wife Rosmah have traded on their supposed good relations with Saudi as a vital part of their bid for respectability.

Najib gloried that he had managed to steal a selfie opportunity with the new King Salman on a visit to Malaysia and circulated it on social media.

He and his wife have hurried to and fro from Mecca to repeatedly and very publicly perform religious obeisances.

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Prime Minister of Malaysia and his Foreign Minister Anifah Aman

Crucially, he was able to stage through his Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman, a press interview with the Saudi Foreign Minister, in which the Minister said he accepted after all that there had been such a donation.  No details were given and earlier the same minister had denied that Saudi royals had provided Najib’s cash.

There is a view that one trade-off for this willingness by the Saudi establishment to turn a blind eye towards Najib’s domestic corruption issues has been Malaysia’s support of their military adventures against Yemen. Solidiers have even been despatched to join the military operations pummelling that troubled and backward country.

Najib and Rosmah have enthusiastically visited Saudi Arabia numerous times

 

Najib and Rosmah have visited Saudi Arabia numerous times

In seeming harmony with this currying of favour, Najib has also bowed towards supporting increasing extremism and intolerance over religious matters in Malaysia, promoting the ‘Islamic State’ agenda of the Saudi-educated leader of the Islamic party PAS, which was perhaps supposed to bring Malaysia in line with the Middle East, but has destabilised relations between communities in his own multi-cultural South East Asian country.

Now, however, the power in Saudi is a young Prince, who says he wants a corruption clean up and to modernise the Kingdom. Even if that means turning on members of his all-powerful Royal Family, once considered so ‘untouchable’.

The Prince, who has effectively taken over all his father’s powers, has also made clear he wants to ‘return his country to moderate Islam’ and to encourage tolerance and openness towards other faiths that will encourage outside investors, as Saudi looks forward to a future where the world no longer relies on its petroleum deposits.

“We want to lead normal lives, lives where our religion and our traditions translate into tolerance, so that we coexist with the world and become part of the development of the world,” he said…Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vowed Tuesday to destroy “extremist ideologies” in a bid to return to “a more moderate Islam.”…”Seventy percent of the Saudi population is under the age of 30. In all honesty, we will not spend 30 years of our lives dealing with extremist ideologies. We will destroy them today and immediately,” bin Salman said. [CNN News October 25th]

So, the question is, where does this leave Najib and the tacit understanding that all his money was a nice gift from the previous King and his son Prince Turki, now arrested on corruption charges?  What will those charges be?

Also, where does the new look Saudi Arabia leave Najib’s growing pact with the old-school Muslim supremacist, Hadi Awang of PAS, who wants to introduce Hudud Law and an ‘Islamic state’ into Malaysia?

Venezuela

This is not the only foreign corruption case that 1MDB’s erswhile partners at PetroSaudi are facing.  There is a developing court case in Venezuela, which is proving very embarrassing indeed and also proving that every word that Sarawak Report has written about the concerns over corrupt conduct over the company’s 1MDB financed investments in Venezuela are founded on fact.

A recent article in the Venezuelan press details that court proceedings have now implicated the fugitive former head of the state oil company and six senior executives in a corrupt contract that was effectively bought by up front cash introduced by PetroSaudi from 1MDB. In return these officials lumbered their own country with an outrageous agreement that guaranteed PetroSaudi vast returns on their paltry investment, which has now ceased to produce any oil at all.

PetroSaudi has been suing Venezuela to honour that dodgy contract, which is an issue that is separately still going through the London courts.  The person who supported that contract and who provided the front required by PetroSaudi, which was posing to Venezuela as a Saudi state linked company, was Prince Turki.  He had performed a similar role in giving status and a sense of official Saudi backing from his father, the then King, at the launching of his company’s joint venture with 1MDB.  This was his opening letter to the Venezuelan authorities, which had been dictated by his partner Tarek Obaid:

Prince Turki's letter to Venezuela

Malaysians, including Najib, must now wait with interest to see what information comes out of Saudi, now that his key ally has been hauled up on charges.

Prince Turki's similar letter to Najib

 

Najib Camp’s Clarion Call: Be ready for another OPS LALANG


November 5, 2017

Najib Camp’s Clarion Call:  Be ready for another OPS LALANG, says Raja Petra

by Raja Petra Kamaruddin

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The problem is people. If they want to believe RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money has disappeared into thin air they will believe it. And they will believe it because it is fun believing it or they are comfortable believing it — just like suicide bombers believe if they blow up a busload of schoolchildren they will be rewarded with more virgins than they can handle and if they take one virgin a night to bed it will be more than two months before they can come back to the first one.

Google has just announced that something needs to be done about Fake News. UMNO Youth Leader Khairy Jamaluddin is upset that Pakatan Harapan people are spreading Fake News. Cabinet Minister Salleh Said Keruak is equally unhappy that the Internet is being used as the primary source of Fake News.

Twenty years ago it had been forecasted that the opposition will gain a lot of ground if it takes to the Internet and ‘controls’ the news on the Internet. At that time there were only 280,000 Internet subscribers but one day there will be more than 20 million Internet subscribers so the opposition needs to monopolise the Internet and beat the government in the game of news dissemination. I was one of those who started my own anti-government website in 1997 called ‘Raja Petra’s Homepage’. Today there are more than 21 million Internet subscribers.

A knife is a useful tool in the kitchen. But a knife can also be a weapon that kills. So it all depends on what you want to use that knife for. And that includes how you use the Internet as well.

How do you stop Fake News on the Internet? You cannot. The problem is not the Internet. The problem is people — just like the problem is not guns but people who kill.

If people want to believe Fake News they will believe Fake News. And even if you ban or close down the Internet people will still listen to Fake News and will believe it.

Raja Petra claims  that Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak is a Victim of Fake News

Thousands of years ago people already believed in God, religion, and so on. Why did they believe in God? Had they ever met God? Did God come down to earth and make his existence known? Had people died and met God and came back to earth to tell the people that they met God so God does exist?

Nothing of that sort. People just believe in God because they want to believe in God. They feel ‘comfortable’ believing in God. They are not comfortable feeling that they are going to die and when they die that is the end of everything, nothing more is going to happen. People need to believe that death is not final or the end but just the beginning. They might live for a few years on earth but after they die they will live on forever in a special place which is far better than this miserable place called earth (or get reincarnated as something or someone better).

So, since birth, people have been indoctrinated into believing something that cannot be proven. And you believe what is comfortable to you, whether it is true or false. There are so many religions and if only one is the true religion that would mean all other religions are Fake News. Muslims insist that Muhammad is the last Prophet of God and that Islam is the true religion. That would mean all the other religions are the result of Fake News.

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Isa Samad, Chairman, Felda Global Ventures who was arrested by Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Agency is another victim of Fake News by the Malaysian Opposition

If what Muslims believe is true, and they insist it is, then Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and many more are all Fake News. Christians, however, will insist their religion is true while all others, Islam included, are Fake News. And Atheists will say all religions, without exception, are Fake News and that God is as real as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

 

So, Fake News has created many fake religions but those who believe will insist their religion is not fake. In fact, they will insist their religion is true while all the others are Fake News.

So you see, you do not need the Internet to disseminate Fake News. Of course, the Internet is faster so it helps in the dissemination of Fake News. But people have been believing Fake News long before the Internet was invented. And that is why today we have so many different beliefs and religions. It is all because of Fake News.

The problem is people. If they want to believe RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money has disappeared into thin air they will believe it. And they will believe it because it is fun believing it or they are comfortable believing it — just like suicide bombers believe if they blow up a busload of schoolchildren they will be rewarded with more virgins than they can handle and if they take one virgin a night to bed it will be more than two months before they can come back to the first one.

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The Journalists of Malaysiakini led by Premesh Chandran and Steven Gan at their Headquarters Building, Jalan Tandang , Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Pakatan Harapan people love Fake News. Their religion is founded on Fake News. They get an erection or orgasm when they read Fake News. Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insight, Malaysia Chronicle, Sarawak Report and the many other opposition sites can say anything, and as long as it is anti-government it will be treated like Moses preaching in the Sermon on the Mount. If people verify what they are told before believing it no one would believe in God and no religion would exist. So the truth is not important, mere belief is. And that is why Pakatan people believe in Fake News.

Raja Petra Kamarudin

– http://www.malaysia-today.net/

FELDA Global Ventures is bigger scandal than 1MDB, says Jomo


November 4, 2017

FELDA Global Ventures is bigger scandal than 1MDB, says Jomo

by Geraldine Tong@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for jomo kwame sundaram

 

The Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) scandal is bigger than the one surrounding 1MDB because it affects more people, opined prominent economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

“There is a tendency for everyone in the opposition to focus on 1MDB, but there is a lot of nonsense going on and it is not all 1MDB.

“The bigger scandal in my view, affecting more people, is FGV,” Jomo said in a forum titled “Envisioning the Future: Malaysia Beyond GE14” in Bangsar today.

He pointed out that Felda settlers took part in the “second biggest IPO (initial public offering)” in the world with FGV in mid-2012, but now the stock prices are less than 40 percent of their original value.

This has caused Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to resort to giving Felda settlers “bribes” in the form of a RM5,000 replanting grant as well as instructing banks to forgive all their loans, he said.

“This underlines how sensitive the issue is,” he said.

Jomo stressed again that there are other scandals in Malaysia aside from 1MDB and even FGV, including the Gatco issue in Negeri Sembilan.

Amanah strategic director Dzulkefly Ahmad, another forum panellist, denied that the opposition only focuses on 1MDB. Dzulkefly said that Pakatan Harapan also focuses on the cost of living, GST, the Mara scandal and many others, including FGV.

When FGV was first listed, its stock price was RM4.55 per share. It is currently listed at RM1.83 per share.

FGV had also come under investigation by the MACC in June after its former CEO Zakaria Arshad was given leave of absence, and CFO Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha along with two other senior management members were suspended.

‘Incompetent’ opposition

Jomo said that BN is likely to gain strength in the upcoming general election if things remain as they are now. “It is not as if BN, UMNO or the Prime Minister is very strong. Rather it is the situation of the incompetence of the opposition”.

Meanwhile, Jomo said that BN is likely to gain strength in the upcoming general election if things remain as they are now.

“It is not as if BN, UMNO or the Prime Minister is very strong. Rather it is the situation of the incompetence of the opposition,” he said.

This will lead to three-cornered fights, which will subsequently open a path for BN to secure a two-thirds majority, which he said will give the ruling coalition greater legitimacy and allow them to reform laws to suit its interests.

Image result for Malaysia's Most Corrupt Prime Minister Najib RazakThe Most Corrupt Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak is poised to win a stronger mandate in GE-14 because of the incompetence of the political opposition, says Dr. Jomo

“The opposition, by being unable to unite, is going to give this government, arguably the most corrupt government we’ve ever experienced in my lifetime, a stronger mandate. That is, unfortunately, the dystopia we face (in the future),” Jomo said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak belongs in Jail: Mahathir’s Mission


November 1, 2017

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak belongs in Jail–Mahathir’s Mission

by The Malaysian Insight

Image result for Najib Razak liar and crook

PAKATAN HARAPAN today announced its pledge to clean Malaysia from corruption as part of its manifesto for the coming general election.

PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said during the first 100 days of PH in power, it would:

1. Arrest Malaysia Official1(MO1) and other “sharks”.

2. Set up a royal commission inquiry to investigate the misappropriate of funds in 1MDB and Felda,

3. Set up an independent body to return the asset and people’s money stolen and misappropriate through corruption,

4. To make MACC an independent body that reports direct to Parliament.

5. To eliminate direct negotiations for government contracts.

Image result for Najib Razak I am a crook

Also present at the press conference were other leaders such as PH president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Armada youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, DAP leaders Teresa Kok and Liew Chin Tong among others.

The pledge to fight corruption is not as new as PH has repeated it during its many roadshows across the country.

The latest was at the Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy rally in Petaling Jaya on October 14. – October 31, 2017.–The Malaysian Insight

 

Malaysia: The Huff and Puff of Budget 2018


October 29, 2017

Malaysia: The Huff and Puff of Budget 2018

Image result for Najib and Zahid at Budget 2018Two Jokers in a Unity Pact to safeguard a kleptocratic and corrupt Malay-centric regime with 2018 Budget Proposals

 

COMMENT | Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his team should learn how to manage public perception, than recycling year after year the same huffs and puffs that will just fade away after the general election.

Right after the election, we will again see the likes of minions Jamal Md Yunos (UMNO Sungai Besar division leader) and Gerakan Merak leader Mohd Ali Baharom (known also as Ali Tinju), veteran Abdul Rani Kulup, lecturer and Muslim convert Redzuan Tee Abdullah, Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali, Isma’s Abdullah Zaik and extremists like Zakir Naik, becoming the heroes.

There will be others like the self-styled “Raja Bomoh” Ibrahim Mat Zin who hog the headlines. So far, Ibrahim has never been prosecuted despite appearing on the grounds of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and making a nuisance of himself.

Image result for Hussain Najadi murder

To date, the investigation into the protest over a cross erected by a church in Taman Medan has not proceeded any further. What about the probe into people missing in action, such as Pastor Raymond Koh and several others? What about the death of Teoh Beng Hock and former customs officer Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed and the murder of banker Hussein Najadi?

What was the motive behind the killing of former Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibuu? Who was behind the Scorpene submarines scandal and after Abdul Razak Baginda was charged in France, why have investigations on the Malaysian side stalled? Who was behind the death of deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais?

Instead of prosecuting people for their wrongdoings, we see the MP of Batu, Tian Chua agreeing to go to jail over a small matter which could have been solved at a personal level and coming out more as a hero of the people.

There will then be the same old issues again – the banning of use of the term “Allah” by non-Muslims; stateless Indian children; Chinese schools being threatened to be closed down; the likes of Abdullah Hussain’s book “Interlok” where Indians were called by names; and yes, a thousand and one issues that UMNO and its proponents would try to harp on.

Ordinary Malaysians like me are already fed up with all the polemics by now because the leaders have lost their credibility. A decision would have been made a long time ago.

We can only wait for the coming general election, when we will come out once again in droves like in the previous general election.

Outstanding problems

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That is why despite all the huffs and puffs of the budget, we know it will not bring the country forward. While we will take what is rightfully ours, most of us look at the 1MDB scandal as the bigger problem that Najib has failed to solve.

For a long time, the Chinese community have been harping on the need for more Chinese schools. However, the Ministry of Education has been moving snail-slow on approval of the Chinese schools.

Applications for a new school have gone into a “black hole”. When I showed the news about 10 new Chinese schools being greenlit by Putrajaya to the chairperson of the board of governors of the affected school, he merely said, “Year after year, election after election, it is nothing but empty promises”.

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Economist Ramon Navaratnam@ASLI Public Policy Studies

Chairperson of ASLI’s Centre for Public Policy Studies, Ramon Navaratnam, pointed out to me that Sekinchan has had the most productive paddy growers in the country.

“Yet, they are not given the incentives to become even more productive,” he said. “The government should focus on the strengths of each community and boost their productivity even further.”

Licenses for fishing are given to cronies when the fisherpeople themselves are unable to get more licenses. With these cronies and Ali Baba licence holders, the prices of goods rise. The real beneficiaries are not the fisherpeople themselves, but some cronies.

Likewise, I pointed out the plight of taxi drivers in this country. Although mostly Bumiputera, they too have been earning pittances. Now with Uber and Grab, who is most badly hit? Taxi licenses should not be given to a consortium, but to individual taxi drivers to motivate them to work even harder.

According to Ramon, budget proposals must address the “structural problems of low productivity, rising unemployment, inflation, the weak ringgit, the brain drain, sustainability and the fight against extremism and bigotry.”

As fellow columnist R Nadeswaran rightly put it, “The prime minister, his ministers and the government must stop treating Malaysians as fools by making all kinds of statements which more than not, appear like a page from Grimm’s Fairy Tales”.


STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.