All the Fuss about Two Rogues over a Kim Jong-Nam’s Demise


March 11, 2017

All the Fuss about Two Rogues over a Kim Jong-Nam’s Demise

by John Deans@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Najib Razak and North Korean Rogue leaderMission Impossible Rogue Nation – North Korean Kim Jong-un and Malaysian Najib Razak

The alleged assassination at KLIA2 of an alleged half-brother of North-Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the subsequent alleged holding of Malaysian citizens ‘hostage’ in Pyongyang have provided Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak with such an apparently heaven-sent opportunity to play the super-pious, super-patriotic super-statesman that we cynics could almost be forgiven for suspecting that the whole thing is nothing but yet another Najib-style con.

After all, the only evidence that we appear to have for the proposition that the assassination victim was in fact Kim Jong-un’s half-sibling Kim Jong-nam comes from the alleged investigation of the crime by the alleged Malaysian Police.

A force whose alleged ‘investigations’ into such previous high-profile killings as the murders of the Mongolian ‘model’ Altantuya Shaariibuu and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) ‘witness’ Teoh Beng Hock, not to mention the countless suspicious deaths of ‘suspects’ in its custody or alleged ‘shoot-outs’ with its members, have turned out to be more like unvestigations.

And this current case has eerie elements in common with the Altantuya one. Firstly that only two junior members of Najib’s bodyguard were convicted of killing Altantuya, and only two apparently junior suspects have at least thus far been arrested in this case, while in both cases more senior suspects and the ultimate masterminds have proven suspiciously difficult if not impossible to apprehend or even identify.

Image result for Najib Razak and North Korean Rogue leader

And then there’s the strange coincidence that Altantuya’s body was allegedly blown-up with military-grade explosive C4, and Kim Jong-nam or whoever the victim was in the hit recently carried out at the KLIA2 terminal was allegedly killed with a ‘nerve agent’ called VX, which is presumably as strictly restricted to the military as is C4, given that it is reportedly classified by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction.

And, as it appears to me and doubtless a great many other incredulous observers of the UMNO-BN regime’s incredible lies and deceptions, an all-too-convenient weapon of mass distraction from widespread and compelling suspicions that Najib Abdul Razak is the ‘Malaysian Official 1’ (MO1) identified by the US Department of Justice in its probe of the massive 1MDB embezzlement and money-laundering scandal.

Such a convenient and timely distraction, in fact, that it is tempting to suspect that it is not a conflict between Pyongyang and Putrajaya as it is portrayed, but a conspiracy between what would far more accurately be called Pongyang and Putridjaya.

‘Pongyang’ because the pariah North-Korean Kim dynasty, or, if you prefer, die nasty, stinks to high heaven in the nostrils of the civilised world in every sense from imprisoning its own people in a gruesome gulag of the body, mind and spirit, to constantly threatening the citizens of South Korea, Japan and beyond with a series of increasingly long-range rockets.

And of course ‘Putridjaya’ because Malaysia’s rotten-to-the-core UMNO-BN regime does nothing but allegedly enrich its members and cronies at the expense of its citizens with its ceaseless indulgence in ‘criminal’ rackets.

Rocketeers vs racketeers

But whether the recent alleged assassination and subsequent apparent diplomatic spat are truly a case of rocketeers vs racketeers, or pariahs versus putrids, as we’re all evidently expected to accept, or, on the contrary, the two sides are actually acting in collusion, the UMNO-BN regime is making as much capital of it as possible.

With the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi doing his bully-boy best to both pose as a strongman in the face of North Korean alleged aggression and to pretend that he “definitely” intends to “investigate a North Korea-linked company that is suspected of operating a sanctions-busting arms business in Malaysia”, of course in concert with an UMNO-NN ‘crony’, and Najib doing his fake-sanctimonious best to look like a legitimate national leader.

As evidenced by his triumphant tweets just the other day when he tried by implication to take credit for the UN-arranged permission for two Malaysian employees of its World Food Program to leave North Korea despite the ban on the exit of other Malaysians.

“Alhamdulillah (Thank God). Two of our citizens under WFP, Stella Lim and Nyanaprakash Muniandy, were allowed to leave Pyongyang and have arrived in Beijing,” he reportedly twittered.

Claiming that he had spoken on the phone with the counsellor of the Malaysian embassy in North Korea, Mohd Nor Azrin, he added that “I would like to update that he, his family along with all of the other Malaysians in North Korea are safe, Alhamdulillah.”

And in case he hadn’t already sufficiently convinced his Malaysian audience of his supreme sanctity, he went on to mention that “the whole of Malaysia is praying for them,” and to “let us pray for the best,” and that he “has also requested mosques nationwide to conduct prayers for the Malaysians in North Korea.”

What a pity that Najib so completely fails to extend his virtually orgiastic expressions of piety on behalf of Malaysian victims of alleged North Korean injustice to those who have allegedly been preyed on by his own, similarly God-forsaken Umno/BN regime, like the families of the aforementioned Altantuya, Beng Hock and countless others, allegedly including deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais and, most recently, ‘missing’ Christian pastors Raymond Koh and Joshua Hilmy.

Not to mention Anwar Ibrahim, who still languishes in jail following his dubious conviction on the second of two clearly trumped-up charges of sodomy, or the passengers and crew of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 who ‘disappeared’ in decidedly murky circumstances three years ago.

In short, to return to the headline of this column, the current alleged conflict with North Korea’s Kim nasties is proving such an absolute godsend to Najib in his efforts to make his criminal regime appear respectable that, to slightly paraphrase the great Voltaire’s famous comment on God, if it didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it.

READ THIS:

Image result for Najib Razak and North Korean Rogue leader

Malaysia’s Prime Minister criminal state of mind

Malaysian PM Najib Razak is using the assassination of Kim Jong-nam to deflect heat from ongoing scandal and economic slowdown ahead of scheduled elections, writes Manjit Bhatia.

http://malaysiaflipflop.blogspot.com/2017/03/malaysias-criminal-state-of-mind.html

Najib’s Criminal State of Mind


March 8, 2017

Najib’s Criminal State of Mind

by Manjit Bhatia

http://www.newmandala.org

Image result for Najib Razak the ciminalThe Face of a Troubled Prime Minister of Malaysia

The Jong-nam case is serious — on legal paper. His killing hasn’t caused Beijing’s eunuchs a twitch. But Najib is using the assassination to his own political ends. It’s what dastardly regimes or political leaders in trouble or on the people’s noses would do — exploit an awful criminal matter to cement their illegitimate and immoral positions.    

Malaysian PM Najib Razak is using the assassination of Kim Jong-nam to deflect heat from ongoing scandal and economic slowdown ahead of scheduled elections, writes Manjit Bhatia.

Image result for Zahid Hamidi and Tiga Line Gang

The Man from Pornorogo now Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister

It’s comical when Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi demands that criminals backed by North Korea, China’s client rogue state, respect the “sovereignty” of his country’s laws. As Home Minister , in 2013, Zahid had lavished praise on Tiga Line, the outlawed Malay gangsters. He also called on police to “shoot first” if non-Malay thugs threaten or kill his fellow Malays.

Meanwhile, Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar requested the same abominable Pyongyang “authorities” to extradite suspects in Kim Jong-nam’s assassination at Kuala Lumpur’s budget carrier airport on 13 February. Khalid’s lightning-fast move here isn’t surprising, seeking fame and kudos. Yet, when it comes to netting official corruption’s big fish, including corporate leaders, and independently investigating Prime Minister Najib Razak, he disinclines at every turn.

Strictly speaking, Malaysia has not a single independent institution. Instead, patron-client relations rule. Others call it patronage. Simple example: Khalid is subservient to Zahid who is subservient to Najib who holds Malaysia’s purse-strings as finance minister. This buys him allegiance and serious protection in a country racked by state-ordained corruption, cronyism and some of the worst forms of racism. What has this to do with the Jong-nam case? Everything. And just as well — Malaysia-North Korea diplomatic ties are flexing for bust-up.    

As baffling as the assassination was, it couldn’t have happened sooner. Malaysian elections are due mid-2018. Zahid and Khalid, like Najib, are hoping the matter of the half-brother of North Korea’s insane leader Kim Jong-un will grip Malaysians like a John Le Carre thriller. The state-controlled media is acting to orders of ensuring the case is lead news, 24/7. After all, Malaysians need distractions. Being a Muslim country — not an Islamic state,at least not yet — the visit of the King of Saudi Arabia this week has somewhat displaced the Jong-nam as the lead story, albeit temporarily.   

Interestingly, the North Korean Ambassador has had unprecedented scope in being seen to attempt to interfere in police investigations. Also curiously, Malaysian officials didn’t refute the Ambassador’s claim that South Korea and Malaysia were in cahoots, ostensibly to bring down the Jong-un dynastic regime. But when news outlets ran stories of a North Korean spy network operating in Malaysia, the episode moved from the bizarre to the whacky. Still, that’s exactly what Najib needs.

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Najib Razak–The Corruption Delivery Man

Problem is, the Jong-nam murder hasn’t absorbed Malaysians. They’re far more worried about their jobs future. Some factories have closed down; some others are moving offshore, to Vietnam, Burma and Bangladesh. The old ways of enticing foreign firms, via tax and other incentives, no longer work. These days China demands 99-year leases among its preconditions of investing in Malaysia. Like Singapore, Malaysia is struggling to establish anew its global competitiveness. For over a decade the international division of labor has shifted away from Asia’s first and second-tier ‘miracle economies’. 

Nonetheless, Najib boasts a high economic growth rate for the country. At 4.2 per cent GDP for 2016, it is significantly lower than 5 per cent in 2015. Between 2000 to 2016, average GDP has been 4.73 per cent. The jobs outlook is even bleaker. Official statistics put unemployment averaging 3 per cent; last year it climbed to 3.6 per cent, with 3.5 per cent in 2015. Most credible economists, even the market type,  know Malaysia’s official numbers are as rubbery as North Korea’s or China’s.

There’s no data for job participation rate in Malaysia. Yet it makes a better unemployment indicator, regardless or perhaps especially given the Najib regime’s propensity to embellish everything, including statistics. There’s sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest joblessness is far higher among Malays and Indians, the groups increasingly engaged in crime. There’s also extensive under-employment among Malays, Chinese and Indians. And Malaysians are struggling on a single income, where the ‘minimum’ monthly wage of MYR900 ($US200) is scarcely enforced.

Exacerbating Malaysians’ worries is inflation. At 3.2 per cent, it spiked after the introduction of a consumption tax. In Kuala Lumpur alone, credible estimates put inflation at least twice the “official” number. At 6 per cent GST, Malaysia was never ready for it, in the structural sense. Add the measly value of the Malaysian ringgit, inflation hits close to double-digits, in real terms, according to some investment banks’ research. Meanwhile, Najib will maintain taxpayer-funded personal income subsidies, mostly for the Malays, and he’ll boost ‘free money’ ahead of next year’s polls.

If Bank Negara, the central bank, isn’t manipulating the low currency, then it’s a ‘market godsend’ for this heavily export-dependent, natural resource-based economy. Yet after two years of the collapsing ringgit, Malaysia’s competitiveness hasn’t improved. Its budget deficit and national debt are ballooning. Najib is banking on a commodities boom as the manufacturing base is routed by global forces. Take the long-failed local auto industry: Proton is effectively sold off to cheap China money. Selling the farm is the last resort of a scoundrel. But don’t expect Najib to sell the family jewels.

Blockbusting official corruption remains front and centre in Malaysian minds. Najib’s sudden great wealth humiliates Malays and irks the others. Nobody believe a rich Saudi or the Saudi state had “donated” $US1.4 billion to Najib; almost everyone, including the Malays, believe it was siphoned from bankrupt state firm 1MDB – brainchild of its chairman, Najib. And those proceeds miraculously wound up in Najib’s personal bank accounts.

The 2018 polls should humiliate Najib but it won’t defeat him or the ruling UMNO party. Many Malays feel especially aggrieved at how easily the ruling class has enriched itself while Malay villagers eke out a meagre living from plots of land Najib has ‘given’ them. No similar generosity has been extended to non-Malays. Some Malays agree this is unfair; most, however, subscribe to Machiavellian politics. But it’s Malaysia’s banal inter-racial harmony that’ll suffer the more as a consequence.

The Jong-nam case is serious — on legal paper. His killing hasn’t caused Beijing’s eunuchs a twitch. But Najib is using the assassination to his own political ends. It’s what dastardly regimes or political leaders in trouble or on the people’s noses would do — exploit an awful criminal matter to cement their illegitimate and immoral positions.    

 

 

Trump, Najib and The Controlled and Free Media


February 18, 2017

Trump, Najib and The Controlled and  Free Media

 

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

Prime Minister of Malaysia (PMOM) Najib Abdul Razak must be feeling tremendously superior to his alleged erstwhile golfing buddy and recently-elected President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J.Trump, even without a chance to play a round with him recently.

Because, however many courses Trump owns, and however close to scratch his game might be, he’s competing at world-class level according to US and international rules in full view of a global gallery, and thus has no chance of hiding just how green, gruesomely handicapped and doomed to defeat that he thus far appears to be.

Whereas Najib plays mostly for Malaysia on a minor circuit restricted to such similar small-timers as North Korea and Zimbabwe, who all consider themselves winners because they not only make-up the rules of the game and fake their own scorecards, but also feel free to club anyone who dares criticise or oppose them into silence or submission.

Image result for altantuya

Or, in some special cases, to death, as in the current case of the alleged hit on a member of North Korea’s Kim family at the KL International Airport 2, or the murder and C4 dismemberment of Mongolian ‘model’ Altantuya Shaariibuu (pic above) in Kuala Lumpur a decade ago.

Image result for Half brother of North Korea's Dictator in Kuala Lumpur

No wonder POTUS Trump is so mightily teed-off at the way he’s thwarted at every stroke as he strives to triumph over obstacles like that mother of all sand-traps, the Middle East, and looming water hazards like the South China Sea, while simultaneously trying to deal with domestic challenges ranging from hostile Democrats and disaffected Republicans to hostile news media and intractable courts.

At least you’d imagine that a golfer as avid as Trump so evidently is would be aware of Theodore Roosevelt’s proverbial advice to himself and successive US Presidents to ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’.

But apparently not, as in the blustering press conference he held recently to praise his own allegedly ‘fine-tuned’ administration’s bumbling, stumbling performance in its first few weeks, he seemed rather to be still resorting to speaking glibly because he’s getting so much stick.

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Najib’s Team of Goofers

And if he’s even slightly sincere in his avowed desire to ‘make America great again’, he can look forward to getting even more stick in the future, in light of the fact that two of the principal principles that have contributed most to America’s self-perception as ‘great’ are the freedom of the press and the doctrine of the separation of powers underpinning the independence of the Judiciary.

And it is right here, of course, where Najib’s UMNO-BN regime, North Korea’s Kim dynasty, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe-figure eaded Zanu-PF gang and the similar dominant players in countless other no-account countries well and truly have the wood on Trump attempts to run the US.

Image result for Golfing Najib and Trump

Because while Trump can only endlessly and impotently repeat his lying refrain about the forces of ‘fake news’ that he claims are so ‘unfairly’ ranged against him, Najib, the Kims and Mugabes can, as they so efficiently have done, abolish independent news media, fake or otherwise, and create fake news in their own favour.

Thus, to refer back to the headline of this column, Najib easily trumps Trump in the management of negative or hostile news and views by the simple expedient of making sure there aren’t any. None that can be printed or broadcast, at least, as  UMNO-BN owns and controls all of Malaysia’s ‘mainstream’, or in other words, traditional news media. In contrast in the United States, freedom of expression is guaranteed by The First Amendment, making the media an independent and countervailing force in American society.

This blacking-out of bad news about Malaysia’s ruling regime is reinforced by an Official Secrets Act so severe as to cover virtually every activity of the government, the public services and crony based ‘government-linked corporations’ (GLCs), and of course backed-up by regime domination of the Judiciary which should by rights be Malaysian citizens’ final bulwark against the misrule of their country by the UMNO-BN ‘kleptocracy’.

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At least you’d imagine that a golfer as avid as Trump so evidently is would be aware of Theodore Roosevelt’s proverbial advice to himself and successive US presidents to ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’.

But apparently not, as in the blustering press conference he held recently to praise his own allegedly ‘fine-tuned’ administration’s bumbling, stumbling performance in its first few weeks, he seemed rather to be still resorting to speaking bitingly because he’s getting so much stick.

And if he’s even slightly sincere in his avowed desire to ‘make America great again’, he can look forward to getting even more stick in the future, in light of the fact that two of the principal principles that have contributed most to America’s self-perception as ‘great’ are the freedom of the press and the doctrine of the separation of powers underpinning the independence of the Judiciary.

And it is right here, of course, where Najib’s UMNO-BN regime, North Korea’s Kim dynasty, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe-figureheaded Zanu-PF gang and the similar dominant players in countless other no-account countries well and truly have the wood on Trump attempts to run the US.

Because while Trump can only endlessly and impotently repeat his lying refrain about the forces of ‘fake news’ that he claims are so ‘unfairly’ ranged against him, Najib, the Kims and Mugabes can, as they so efficiently have done, abolish independent news media, fake or otherwise, and create fake news in their own favour.

Thus, to refer back to the headline of this column, Najib easily trumps Trump in the management of negative or hostile news and views by the simple expedient of making sure there aren’t any. None that can be printed or broadcast, at least, as UMNO–BN either or both owns and controls all of Malaysia’s ‘mainstream’, or in other words traditional news media.

From left: Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Steve Mnuchin and Sen. Jeff Sessions have all been nominated to high-profile positions in President-elect Trump’s Cabinet. Alex Wong/Getty Images; F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This blacking-out of bad news about Malaysia’s ruling regime is reinforced by an Official Secrets Act so severe as to cover virtually every activity of the government, the civil services and crony so-called ‘government-linked corporations’ (GLCs), and of course  backed-up by regime domination of the Judiciary which should by right be Malaysian citizens’ final bulwark against the misrule of their country by the UMNO-BN ‘kleptocracy’.

One tiny flaw

Admittedly this game-winning strategy has one tiny flaw, which is that former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the man who devised and from whom Najib has inherited it, was so keen to create a world-class IT complex he grandly conceived as ‘Cyberjaya’ that he promised global players like Apple and Microsoft that he wouldn’t censor the Internet.

Cyberjaya, like so many of Mahathir’s alleged megalomanic projects, never really took off. But at least the Internet has surprisingly remained relatively free in Malaysia, and thus I can write what I like, or rather what my editors deem not so dangerously politically provocative as to get Malaysiakini raided or banned, in this column.

But Najib and his UMNO-BN accomplices and supporters are apparently quite prepared if not happy to tolerate this relatively minor annoyance, as it gives them a pretext on which to pretend they permit at least some slight degree of press freedom.

And in any event they must figure that however much bad news gets out about them, they can keep buying enough voters to keep them in power with money they SK1M from the public purse to fund annual hand-outs billed as BR1M, which Najib recently boasted increases in amount every year.

Or, to put this another way, there are always enough Malaysians prepared to be so D1M as to accept BR1M and in return to pretend that they’re unaware that Najib, like every one of his fellow UMNO-BN members and cronies, is a KR1M.

In short, though Najib Abdul Razak might seem to the embarrassed, embarrassing and deeply-embattled Donald Trump to be a winner in the contest between himself and the essential democratic institutions of truth, transparency and justice, the Malaysian people are the ‘sure-fire losers’.

Just as the American people will be if Trump and his goofers can’t be persuaded or if necessary forced to finally get themselves on the ball, stop playing around like dimwit banana-republic demagogues and realise that there’s as huge a gulf between their performance so far and true world leadership as between hit-and-giggle golf and the real thing.


DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.

Scandal ridden UMNO Malay Leadership


February 3, 2017

Scandal ridden UMNO Malay Leadership

http://www.asiasentinel.com/society/malaysia-scholars-fault-umno/

Malay Scholars Find Fault in Malay Leaders

Malaysian Official No. 1–The Corrupt and Corruptor

The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) presents itself as the guardian of Malay interests, culture and language. So what do the 1MDB and other scandals say about the fundamental problems of this long-dominant ruling party, the institutional arm of the Malay elite?

The disappearance of vast sums from the accounts of the state-backed 1MDB investment vehicle, the murder of a senior investigator, the murder by the Prime Minister’s security detail of a pregnant Mongolian translator/model and former girlfriend of Najib’s close associate, must say something about elite behavior.

They may be extreme events but by no means unique in Malaysian history over the past 40 years. What were then vast sums went down similar drains, more than one associated with Bank Bumiputra, including the murder in Hong Kong of an auditor doing his job too well. Plenty of other lesser financial scandals have emerged from specifically Malay, publicly-owned institutions supposedly created to benefit the rakyat but too often ATMs for the elite. They are mostly quickly forgiven and forgotten.

Rather than looking for a contemporary or political analysis of the causes of these various scandals, it is worth casting a glance back at how some well-known Malay intellectuals in the past saw their Malay leaders. Two examples, separated by 140 years, will have to suffice.

Image result for dr shaharuddin maaruf

The more recent, written in 1982, appears in Shaharuddin B Maaruf’s Concept of a Hero in Malay Society tracing the influences on the Malay elite from the epic of Hang Tuah to the later era where feudal loyalty was allied with a crass materialism. Some of the feudal traits exhibited by Hang Tuah (and by equivalents at the Javanese Majapahit court) included feats of drinking, gambling, hunting and lovemaking. Do they still dominate?

 Interestingly Shaharuddin singled out not a Malaysian but the martyred Philippine nationalist Jose Rizal and General Sudirman, Indonesia’s military leader in the war of independence, as the wider modern Malay world’s leaders as selfless, determined and principled. In contrast, he quoted the principal agent of British imperialism on the peninsula, Frank Swettenham, on the eagerness of the Malay rulers to accept British overlordship in return for position and income.
Image result for dr shaharuddin maarufA Contemporary UMNO Leader

Shaharuddin himself echoed other post-independence critics of the elite such as Syed Hussein Alatas, the Malay academician turned politician who became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Malaya and a founder of Gerakan, a multi-ethnic, reformist party. Alatas wrote the Foreword to Shaharuddin’s book.

They both noted the conflict between the feudal values of the elite, seen in their devotion to hierarchy, show and dynasty, and the Islam it professed. Instead of acknowledging that Islam’s strength lay in the diversity of interpretation of the Koran, it insisted on a single one laid down by an intellectually bereft elite, more interested in the furtherance of narrow Malay racial interests than in religion. Personal loyalty to a leader also trumped laws and principles.

There was, wrote Shaharuddin “no genuine interest on the part of the Malay elite to foster the intellectual, humanitarian and scientific aspects of Islam … but only to organize Koran reading competitions” – a stark contrast to the days when Islam was at the forefront of intellectual and scientific advance.

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 Present Day Malay Heroin Rosmah ‘Birkin’ Mansor

Reading about the shopping sprees of Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor, of the spending of huge sums to join the celebrity crowd in New York, mansions in California, Hollywood movies and high-priced western paintings suggests that elite behavior has got even worse since Shaharuddin wrote more than a generation ago: “The spirit of indulgence leads it [the elite] to imitate the negative aspects of western culture while the scientific and intellectual tradition is discarded… Being indulgent and imitative, the Malay elite always seeks to identify itself with its western counterpart.”

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Nor was it just a problem of aping western ways. Another was the desire to be grandiose and showy. “They spend lavishly on buildings, cars, official functions and other expenditures for prestige.”

Worse still, “celebrity worship is widespread in Malay society” – as if foretelling the elite urge to be seen in the company of such trashy western celebrities as Paris Hilton.

Shaharuddin’s criticisms were however mild compared with those of Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir 1796-1854) also known as Munshi Abdullah. He was a Melaka-born translator and teacher who worked for the British, notably with Stamford Raffles at the time of the British takeover of Singapore. Abdullah was not a traitor to the Malays but one so appalled by the condition of the Malay states that he saw cooperation with the British as a way of improving the lot of the Malays through economic progress, the end of internecine conflict and the spread of education and knowledge.

An 1838 work following a visit to Kelantan, Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah ke Kelantan, had polite advice for Malay rulers. But his better known autobiographical work Hikayat Abdullah written in the 1840s was more scathing in its views of the monarchs.

“It is no light tyranny that has been exercised by the Malay rulers, apart from a few who were good. Women and children who caught their fancy have been abducted by force as though they were taking chickens, with no sort of fear of Allah and regard for his creatures. They have often murdered men whose offences in no way merited death. They have plundered the property of other men, killing the owners or dragging them off into captivity. If they owe money they refuse to pay it. They are very fond of gambling, cock-fighting, opium-eating and keeping a host of slaves. …There are many other disgraceful practices which I feel too ashamed to mention in this book. They keep young girls, sometimes more than a hundred, as concubines in the palace. They have relations with a girl once or twice then for the rest of her life she cannot marry another man…

“Was there not a time when half the world was under Malay dominion and rule? There are many books and records which tell of the rulers of olden times, how great and powerful they were, so rich and full of wisdom. Why have their lands been despoiled by Allah ere now and passed into foreign bondage.

…Even in my own time there have been several Malay principalities which have come to ruin. Some have reverted to jungle where the elephant and tiger roam, because of the cruel injustices of their rulers and chiefs; not merely distant places but, for example, Selangor, Perak, Kedah as well as Padang, Muar, Batu Pahat and Kesang and many others like them. Once they were rich and flourishing states with a large population. Now they are states only in name. …

“Many are the places and lands which have been destroyed by the depredations of the young scions of the ruling house whose rapacious hands can no longer be tolerated by the people. Other races, the English, the Indians, the Arabs, the Chinese do not conduct themselves in the manner I have described. Only the Malays. Among all the other races the ruler’s children are expected to be well educated and very intelligent… If the Malay ruler do not keep their own children under control, how can they themselves exercise authority over the people? As it is under Malay rule ordinary people cannot lift up their heads and enjoy themselves… Another failing commonly found among Malays is their inability to change or modernise their idea or to produce anything new. They utterly refuse to abandon superstitions of the past…”

And so on. Abdullah used many more pages to denounce the rulers and attitudes of the Malay rulers and state of society of his time.

There seems a continuous theme from the 1820s until today. It might be argued that both Abdullah and Alatas were not really Malays. Abdullah was of Tamil Muslim origin, Alatas of Yemeni ancestry and born in Bogor. But the notion of a pure Malay race is a fiction to which the ancestries of Prime Ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman, Hussein Onn and Mahathir Mohamed attest. No one doubted the mastery of Malay language and culture possessed by Abdullah and Alatas, nor their standing as modernist Muslims with enquiring minds. Are there any such figures in Malaysia today?

(Translation of Hikayat Abdullah by A.H. Hill. Concept of a Hero in Malay Society by Shaharuddin b. Maaruf, Eastern Universities Press, 1984)

 

Malaysia: Exorcising Political Evil Spirits in Year of the Fire Rooster


January 27, 2017

Malaysia: Exorcising Political  Evil Spirits in Year of the Fire Rooster

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Excorcisinb the Evil Political Spirits in Malaysia

As deeply suspicious of superstition as I am, I must say I have a lot more confidence than usual that my annual Kung Hee Phatt Choi wishes will, or at least can, come true for the vast majority of us in this coming Lunar New Year of the Fire Rooster.

Because, in the process of scratching around among the prophecy-for-profit sites for enough grains of wisdom, or at least wishful-thinking, to inspire me to start pecking-away at the keyboard this week, I came across on that declared this Year of the Rooster to be a ‘wake-up call’ for the ‘exorcism of evil spirits.’

Admittedly, for all I know, this message may have been intended to have a mysteriously metaphysical or otherwise other-worldly meaning. But, simple soul as I am, I couldn’t help taking it literally, as I’ve long been conscious of the fact that there are far too many evil spirits existing and exercising themselves at our expense in this real world of ours, and a wake-up call to start exorcising them is way overdue.

Image result for Year of the Fire Rooster

And nowhere more so than in Malaysia, where the evil spirits of the UMNO-BN regime have been, to switch to more appropriately to poultry-related imagery, treating the country as if was their own foul-yard in which to endlessly rule the roost, or in other words their very own dunghill to crow on, for an astonishing 59 years.

Astonishing to many Malaysian exiles and expatriates, perhaps, not to mention us non-Malaysians, but evidently not sufficiently alarming as to arouse the majority of the nation’s citizens from their deep slumbers.

Certainly there’s a considerable and growing minority of Malaysians who are as wide-awake as can be to the crying need to turn the UMNO-BN rule-the-roosters for once and for all into feather dusters as they so richly deserve.

But so far all their efforts at ridding the country of the curse of the UMNO-BN’s self-styled cocks-of-the-walk, and thus beginning the long process of exorcising Malaysia of the their fowl influence, have turned-out to be futile exercises in nothing much more than cackling and squawking.

Because far too many Malaysians are still allowing themselves to be lulled into silence or some species of waking stupor, if not outright sleep, by a system so totally cocked-up as to included ‘free’ chicken-feed cash handouts and election-day bribes, unconstitutional laws designed to make most people too chicken to complain or protest, and a ceaseless barrage of cock-and-bull stories from the boss-cockies themselves, their capons in the police, ‘justice’ system, ‘religious’ organisations, civil services, government-linked companies (GLCs), regime-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and of course the cockroaches of the so-called ‘mainstream’ media.

Image result for Najib and Rani Kulup

Najib Razak and Kulup– Eggheads stick together

And the ruling-regime roosters themselves, far from being fazed by the fact that when sufficient Malaysians finally arouse themselves they’ll be given the chop, neck and crop, and end up as jailbirds, have taken to crowing about being inspired by the election to the US presidency of that supreme coxcomb, Donald Trump.

Attributing Trump’s success despite his UMNO-style unpopularity to his dominance of ‘non-traditional’ media during the presidential campaign, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi urged his UMNO accomplices and supporters to do likewise.

But as usual Zahid was talking total crap in thus trying to portray UMNO and Trump as similarly underdogs and thus birds of the same feather, given that UMNO has for decades dominated Malaysia’s traditional media, not to mention all the other influential institutions in the nation, allegedly including, crucially, in this context, the Election Commission.

‘UMNO-BN can hardly emulate Trump’

And in any case, UMNO-BN can hardly emulate Trump in making the kinds of promises, however empty they will doubtless prove to be, that arguably won him the election, media or no media.

The idea of UMNO-BN’s promising to ‘make Malaysia great again’ would be ridiculous in light of the fact that the ruling regime has consistently led the nation further toward disgrace than anything remotely like greatness.

Image result for zahid hamidi and gang

And as for the possibility of its plagiarising Trump’s promise to ‘drain the Washington swamp’, surely even Zahid would have to draw the line at promising to drain the Putrajaya cesspit, given that it was UMNO-BN who dug the thing, and has spent decades filling this stinking morass to overflowing.

Meanwhile, not to be trumped in the talking-cock department by Zahid, Malaysia’s supreme rooster, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, was busy speaking, or, more appropriately, beaking about national unity.

Addressing a ‘Moments of Unity’ event organised by the Malaysian National Unity Department, he declared that “our theme today is ‘moments of unity’. But the truth is, we don’t want just moments of unity. What we want is unity always.”

He then went on with lots more in this tedious vein, before pointing-out that “Malaysia is a multicultural nation,” and therefore “unity has to be translated into action and cannot remain as merely words or thoughts.”

All of which came across as a load of typically self-serving poppycock, in light of his infamous threat at an UMNO Annual General Assembly some years ago to bathe his keris in Chinese blood, and his administration’s strenuous efforts since then to keep ruling the races by dividing them, while pretending to promote racial harmony.

But at least there’s one grain of reality in Najib’s urging for unity. Never in all the years that I’ve been observing Malaysian politics has any Prime Minister/head of UMNO so powerfully and increasingly unified Malaysians in their loathing of himself, his party and his ruling coalition.

And what with the Scorpene submarine scandal and the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder still unifyingly fresh in our memories, and the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scam still ongoing, and massive ‘leakages’ being revealed in not just Felda and related companies, but also Tabung Haji and doubtless countless other regime-linked organisations yet to come, this Year of the Rooster looks like the most anti-Najib and anti-UMNO-BN unifying year yet.

And hopefully a wake-up call that will finally awaken enough Malaysians and fire them with a burning desire to put an end to this cock-up of a regime, or, in other words, to seal its cock-a-doodle-doom.


DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.

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

 

Imam Apandi Ali says Najib is OK, we Malaysians are not


February 29, 2016

A Parody: Imam Apandi Ali says Najib is OK, we Malaysians are not

by Iskandar Dzulkarnain

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

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Not only is he (Najib) a democrat, he is also a pious religious leader who upholds Islam and will not hesitate to invite a respected religious party like PAS to form a unity government with UMNO.–Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Attorney-General Apandi Ali recently cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of all charges relating to the RM2.6 billion donation and the RM42 million from SRC International that he received in his private bank accounts in 2013.

Instead of rejoicing at Najib’s good fortune as we get back to the daily grind, Malaysians are still speculating like stock market remisiers about his innocence. So what more do Malaysians want?

Why isn’t anyone apologising to Najib on social media or congratulating him for his innocence and honesty? Why is the Opposition still hell bent on implicating him and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) on the misappropriation of funds?

Way before these developments, Najib hinted of an Anti-Najib Campaign and an international conspiracy to unseat him, and now it is horribly clear countries from the four corners of the world have reared their ugly heads to do precisely as he indicated.

Hong Kong… USA… Singapore… France and Switzerland are all jointly investigating 1MDB for purported fraud and money laundering to the tune of USD4 billion although the Swiss have quietly hinted that Najib is not being investigated.

Everyone knows that America is an enemy, while Switzerland should investigate their own corrupt citizens like Xavier Andre Justo, instead of meddling in other country’s affairs. Hong Kong is China’s stooge while Singapore should be thankful to Malaysia for its very existence and France would do anything to sell their military arms like submarines and nuclear power plants.

Less than three days after AG Apandi cleared Najib of all possible criminal charges, these evil governments started to accuse 1MDB of the misappropriation of funds without any concrete proof. Even France has revived investigations into the Scorpene submarine commissions deal and Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibu.

Malaysians should learn to call it a day. Now that Najib has been triumphantly vindicated, we should be thankful for having such an innocent and honest prime minister who will lead the country to greater heights if we just allow him ample room to do his job.

Even an Arabian Prince who was mistaken for the late Arab King trusted Najib so profoundly, that he willingly donated RM2.6 billion to our Prime Minister’s personal accounts. But instead of blowing the whole sum on the 13th General Election and to combat the waning Muslim Brotherhood threat, our prudent Najib only used up a measly RM62 million of it.

An instead of pocketing the rest like other ruthless and greedy politicians would have done, our prime minister promptly returned the balance or 91 per cent back to the King with an open heart. Such tall tales of chivalry are what fairy tales like the Arabian Nights are made of.

Barisan Nasional leaders can vouch for a fact that Najib is a righteous man who is incapable of corruption, money laundering, swindling or any other hurtful accusations levelled at him by the Opposition.

This is why so many BN leaders are willing to pawn their reputations to protect his impeccable character and sacrifice their careers to ensure no harm befalls dear Najib. This is what true sycophantic friendship is all about.

Everyone including Royalty knows that Najib deserves another chance. AG Apandi should be highly commended for his virtuous actions and for not buckling under the tremendous pressure brought on by the onslaught of negative public opinion.

Meanwhile, a courageous Najib can only smile at all the unthinkable accusations being levelled at him, knowing full well that in the end, the truth will set him free.

Najib has always come across as a moderate world class leader compared to the likes of Robert Mugabe or General Idi Amin. His suave, dashing good looks and charming demeanour immediately impresses anyone he comes in contact with.

For the past six years Najib has done so much to unite the nation with his 1Malaysia slogan, 1MDB and BR1M, and we should be thankful for his contributions.

With the untamed energy of a Bugis warrior, Najib is ready to take the country to the 21st century. He single-handedly abolished the ISA, replacing it with more effective laws like Sosma, Pota and the NSC Bill. He also saved the nation’s economy by implementing the highly popular GST.

With Malaysians getting more and more racist by the day, such laws are heaven-sent to divide and rule the nation, and to save Malaysians from themselves.

Not only is he a democrat, he is also a pious religious leader who upholds Islam and will not hesitate to invite a respected religious party like PAS to form a unity government with Umno.

Therefore, Malaysians should stop believing in the Opposition lies that one man could single-handedly bring an entire nation’s economy to its knees but heed instead the advice of our ministers on getting a second (or third) job instead to ride out the economic downturn.

Be thankful that the GST has saved the nation from getting stuck in an economic rut so that we can look forward to the next BR1M handout.

Lastly, let’s give Najib a big hand for being found innocent, leading Malaysia into first world nation status and restoring democracy and the rule of law to this beloved land of ours.

Tour consultant, sports pilot and naturalist Iskandar Dzulkarnain has been writing for a few years now, especially satirical articles like this. He is an FMT columnist.