Kee Thuan Chye on BERSIH 4.0


August 28, 2015

Kee Thuan Chye on BERSIH 4.0

This is a moment we have never experienced before. At no time in our history has a single person in the highest office of the land drawn so many Malaysians together to go against him(Najib).–Kee Thuan Chye

The stage is set for Bersih 4.

Many Malaysians have been waiting for this, and now it is coming at aKee Thuan Chyepoignant moment in our nation’s history – our confrontation with a corrupt system concretised vividly in the form of a man who has received an astronomical amount of money that he shouldn’t have but is abusing the nation’s institutions and bending the nation’s laws to exonerate himself and persecute people who are investigating his alleged transgression, a man who is using his supreme power to save his own skin and deceive the public.

This is a moment we have never experienced before. At no time in our history has a single person in the highest office of the land drawn so many Malaysians together to go against him.

We must capture this moment, exercise our power as citizens of a democracy, as stakeholders of this land, to show this man that our power is greater than his, and try as he may to outfox us and suppress our voices with the forces he has co-opted to his side, he must not escape justice.

More than this, as we march as one on Aug 29 and 30, we must insist that we no longer want to put up with a system that is corrupt, a system that gives so much power to one man to do what he pleases while those who would expose him suffer the consequences of his counteroffensives.

If anything is to come out of our street rally to call for his removal from office by legal means, an endeavour that could subject us to harsh reprisals by the forces of the dark side, cause us to suffer bodily harm or arrest or eventual incarceration, it has to be a commitment from our public officials, including our elected representatives in the state and federal legislatures, that they will revamp the system with a commitment to bringing positive reform, so that we can thenceforth move forward towards a better Malaysia.

We want a clean government, a fair government, a government that sees to the needs of every citizen under the Malaysian sun, a government that unites, not divides, that ceases to capitalise on race and religion for its own ends, that restores our battered institutions to their pride of place, a government that will fight for us and with us, not against us.

We want to secure this not just for the present but also because we want a brighter future for our children and their children.

That, as I understand it, is what Bersih 4 is about. And that is what must propel Malaysians who care for their country to go for it – despite the natterings of the nay-sayers, the threats of the police to take severe action, the hinting of dark forces to create violence at the event.

Remember – always – that calling for the prime minister to be removed by constitutional means or to resign of his own volition is well within our rights. Don’t let the inspector-general of police and his officers tell you otherwise.

Important distinction

Of late, they have been quick to throw Section 124B of the Penal Code – the government’s new lethal weapon – at dissenting Malaysians, accusing them of carrying out activities “detrimental to parliamentary democracy”.

These very Malaysians who are being so wrongly and unjustly persecuted are, ironically, fighting to preserve parliamentary democracy. It is those who attempt to stop them who should be arrested and charged under Section 124B, for they are the ones who are subverting parliamentary democracy. I don’t need to mention who these people are; you already know most of them.

Above all, be aware of the important distinction between government and country. Our government sucks, but not our country. As patriots, it is our duty to save our country from a government that is corrupt, self-serving and incompetent – in short, a government that sucks.

I would like to reproduce here what I wrote in an article published by Malaysiakini on December 8, 2010:

“The country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal (unless it is destroyed or fragmented). We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national.

“Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country.”

This weekend, those of us who will gather around Dataran Merdeka need not fear. We will be walking on the side of right. That will be our strength and our protection.

Some of our young people have shown no fear, and for that 17 of them were arrested a few days ago for camping outside Parliament House. They are now being investigated. Despite the arrests, other students have not been cowed. They have vowed to continue camping at the same venue until the prime minister steps down.

The young have shown us the way. Now we must follow after them. We must turn up in numbers never seen before in a street demonstration in Kuala Lumpur – and walk for them, for the future generations, and even for ourselves.

So that in years to come, we may hopefully look back and be proud that we did our bit for the sake of our people. And for our country.


KEE THUAN CHYE is the author of two soon-to-be-released books, ‘Unbelievably Stupid!’ and ‘Unbelievably Stupid Too!’

Red Shirt UMNO Goons may cause trouble at BERSIH4.0


August 27, 2015

Red Shirt UMNO Goons may cause trouble at BERSIH4.0

by Asiasentinel Correspondent

http://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/umno-threats-violenceumno-readies-violence-against-weekend-protests-weekend-protests/

UMNO Red Shirt GoonsUMNO Goons

The threat of violence by an UMNO-linked coalition of goons against demonstrations set for August 29-30 raises the risk that the party is willing to spill blood in its campaign to save Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s job.

Jamal Md. Yunos, a 41-year-old minor tycoon who says he owns 25 companies is also head of the Kuala Lumpur Petty Traders Action Council, which held a rally on August  25 to threaten violence against anti-Najib protesters. That was followed a day later when he said his “red shirt” followers would train with machetes and swords.

Yunos claims to be seeking peace in the country. He ran in 2013 to become an UMNO division chief in response to a call by Najib to bring younger leaders into the party. He remains a strong UMNO figure said to be aligned with several cabinet ministers.  The fact that he is an UMNO stalwart raises questions whether the party is behind the threat to intimidate protesters.

Certainly Najib has pulled out all the other stops in his attempt to forestall investigations and protests over how US$681 million appeared in his personal accounts in 2013, only to have US$650 disappear out a few months later into a private account in Singapore, which was almost immediately closed, an indication that the money has gone somewhere else. Najib is also under fire over his stewardship of the badly mismanaged 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a state-backed investment fund that now faces at least RM27 billion worth of unfunded liabilities, much of it believed to have been stolen.

Spreading scandal

Although Najib has sacked or neutralized almost all of the investigators working on the two scandals, Swiss authorities have opened investigations into money laundering.  Complaints have also been filed in the UK and France, asking for probes into banks that handled the funds. Although he has hinted at “foreign conspiracies” out to break up Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy, he has offered no proof.  A threat to sue the Wall Street Journal for an article that ran more than a month and a half ago has not materialized.

However, the Prime Minister has continued to raise the temperature on race relations in the country, telling UMNO division leaders that Malays and UMNO would be “bastardized” if the party is driven from power – read by most people as a shot across the bow at the Chinese-dominated opposition Democratic Action Party, perhaps the most effective unit in the three-party opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.  Given Malaysia’s decades of delicate race relations since murderous riots in 1969, his comments are regarded as troubling if not frightening to the country’s 22 percent Chinese minority.

Bring in the clowns

With or without Yunos’s Red Shirts – a parallel to Thai anti-government protesters against royalists who wore yellow, as the election-reform NGO Bersih does — it is unlikely that the planned weekend Bersih rally will uproot any UMNO support despite the anticipated – or rumored – presence of such former UMNO leaders as former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and sacked Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.  Previous rallies prior to the 2013 general election, which were said to have attracted anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 protesters, only resulted in the jailing of protest leaders.

On August 25, about 160  “red shirt” demonstrators held what by all appearances was a clownish demonstration of “martial arts,” beating each other with wooden poles and smashing roof tiles while imitating the sounds tigers are said to make.

Yunos told reporters he expects 30,000 activists to demonstrate against the rally called by Bersih, which is scheduled for Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in East Malaysia. Organizers say they hope to bring out 100,000 activists demanding that Najib leave office.

Clean Malaysia.2015

Yunos’s most recent star turn was in May 2012, when a group of retired soldiers joined a protest he had organized in front of the home of Ambiga Sreenevasan, the former head of Malaysia’s Bar Council, to drop their pants at her. He and a group of traders also held a “burger protest,”   claiming losses of up to RM200,000 due to a rally she had organized as then-head of Bersih.

Volunteers?

“All of our participants have been informed of the possibility of assaults and they volunteered to participate because we just want peace in our country,” Yunos told reporters, adding that his group would call off its rally if Bersih canceled its protest.

Malaysian Police have taken increasingly draconian steps against critics, arresting 16 students on August 25 for a sit-in near parliament and charging them under Article 124B of the penal code, a nebulously worded amendment against actions detrimental to parliamentary democracy, which carries a potential sentence up to 20 years in prison. Over the weekend, police jailed another 29 people for attempting a protest at a shopping center. That is in vivid contrast to police inaction against Yunos’s demonstration in front of a Sogo department store in which his followers openly threatened violence.

Time Magazine to Obama: Steer Clear of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib


August 27, 2015

Obama Should Steer Clear of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Why

by Charlie Campbell

http://time.com/3974380/obama-malaysia-najib-razak-1mdb/

Washington is having serious trouble finding dependable allies in Southeast Asia

The U.S.’s “rebalancing” toward Asia has two main pillars: being a counterweight to China and securing a free-trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If Washington is to succeed on both fronts, it needs as many friends in the region as it can win. The U.S.’s newest ally is Malaysia, this year’s chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Nation, collectively a growing market, and, on the surface, a modern, democratic, Muslim country.

In April 2014 U.S. President Barack Obama paid an official visit to Malaysia, the first sitting President to do so in decades, and, later in the year, played golf with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when both were on holiday in Honolulu. This November, Kuala Lumpur will host the next East Asia Summit and Obama is due to attend.

Obama_Najib-1mdbObama and the Sapuman

But recently, all the news coming out of Malaysia is negative. After becoming embroiled in a corruption scandal, Najib on Tuesday sacked his Deputy and Malaysia’s Attorney-General in an apparent purge of critics. British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing a domestic backlash for pushing forward with a visit to Kuala Lumpur this week despite the snowballing controversy.

Here are five reasons why Obama might want to break from Cameron by giving Najib a wide berth.

  1. 1MDB — A Wall Street Journal report has alleged that Najib’s personal bank accounts received nearly $700 million in March 2013 from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a government-owned development fund. Najib has protested his innocence and threatened legal action against the Journal. “I am not a thief,” Najib told Malaysian media on July 5. “I am not a traitor and will not betray Malaysians.” The police, the local anti-corruption agency, the attorney general’s office and the central bank are investigating the allegations. On July 8, the police raided 1MDB’s office in Kuala Lumpur and took away documents. Even before the latest news, 1MDB was an embarrassment for Najib, who chaired the fund’s advisory board as debts of $11.6 billion were accrued. Such are the suspicions of malfeasance that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who ran the country from 1981 to 2003 and has long been considered Najib’s mentor, has repeatedly called for his protégé’s resignation over 1MDB’s alleged mishandling.
  1. Anwar Ibrahim — Najib’s main political rival is once again in prison for a sodomy conviction. Human Rights Watch deemed his five-year sentence handed down Feb. 10 to be “politically motivated proceedings under an abusive and archaic law.” This is the second time Anwar has been jailed for sodomy.
  1. Hudud — Stoning for adultery and amputation for theft are not the kind of punishments meted out by the progressive state that Malaysia purports to be. Yet Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is supporting attempts to introduce hudud Islamic law in the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) heartland state of Kelantan, where nightclubs are forbidden and men and women are designated separate public benches. Why is UMNO supportive of recognizing hudud under federal law? Largely because PAS is part of a three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition that is UNMO’s chief challenger. The other partners — Anwar’s Keadilan, or People’s Justice Party, supported by middle-class, urban Malays, and the Chinese Malaysian–backed Democratic Action Party (DAP) — are strongly against hudud. Many analysts accuse UMNO of cynically fostering a radical Islamic bent to widen rifts in its political opponents.
  1. Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa — In 2002, when Najib was Defense Minister, a $1.25 billion contract was signed to purchase two Scorpène submarines from French firm DCNS. Altantuyaa was a Mongolian woman who, knowing French, facilitated negotiations as a translator, and then allegedly attempted to blackmail Abdul Razak Baginda, one of Najib’s aides with whom she was also having an affair, for $500,000 over “commission” payments he had allegedly received. Two Policemen posted to Najib’s bodyguard detail were convicted of murdering Altantuyaa on October 18, 2006. Najib denies any involvement.
  1. Prevention of Terrorism Act — Najib campaigned on scrapping the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) but then immediately replaced it with the equally sweeping Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or SOSMA. The POTA includes practically the same powers as ISA, including two-year detention without trial, and was dubbed a “legal zombie arising from the grave of the abusive [ISA]” by Human Rights Watch. Najib also vowed to repeal the similarly maligned Sedition Act but reneged after his election in 2013. In fact, in April his government extended the maximum jail term under the Sedition Act from three to 20 years.

bersih-4.0

 

Malaysia: BERSIH 4.0: It truly will be game over for Najib.


August 27, 2015

Malaysia: BERSIH 4.0: It truly will be game over for Najib.

by John R. Malott, Washington DC

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Today, thanks to the most prestigious newspapers and magazines in the world, the whole world knows who the real Najib is. Now the world understands that there is only one Najib. And it is not the dapper, suave, reformist Najib that they believed in. So, it is game over for Najib Razak internationally.–John R. Malott

COMMENT Ever since he became Prime Minister in 2009, NajibAmbassador John Malott Razak cut a very impressive swath overseas.

Armed with his impeccable English, a product of his British education, and dressed immaculately in his elegant bespoke British suits, Najib talked a good game. He traveled the world and spoke of how he wanted to reform Malaysia’s political and economic systems and transform his nation into a model for the world.

He spoke at the United Nations time and again of a Global Movement of Moderates, of which Malaysia would be the leader. He spoke of Malaysia as a tolerant nation that respected all religions and races.

In contrast to former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose trips were primarily to Third World nations, Najib actively courted the United States and European nations – the lands of Mahathir’s dreaded “orang putih.”

Backing all of Najib’s efforts was a multi-million dollar international PR operation, paid for by the taxpayers. It was aimed at swaying international opinion. It spent untold millions on PR firms APCO and FBC Media. Their job was to puff up Najib and tear down the political opposition, along with anyone who dared to tell the truth about what was really going on in Malaysia.

And most of the outside world believed what Najib and his PR machine had to say. But for the past few years, there were a number of people outside Malaysia, myself included, who tried to tell the world what the truth was – what really was going on in Malaysia. That Malaysia was no longer the country they thought it was, and that they should not believe Najib’s paid propaganda agents.

We wanted people to know that there were two Najibs. There was the fake Najib, the international Najib, the Najib who talked a good game overseas. That Najib was backed up by millions of dollars in PR fees. That man even fooled the President of the United States into a game of golf just last Christmas.

The real Najib

And then there is the other Najib, the real Najib.He is the “domestic”Najib Quit Najib, the man who stifles freedom. The man whose police force tear-gassed people in the streets for demanding free and fair elections. The man who has arrested scores of opposition politicians and dissidents under the Sedition Act.

He is the corrupt Najib, the man who arranged the over-priced purchase of non-functioning Scorpene submarines, and most recently, the man behind 1MDB and its missing billions. He is the Najib who received US$700 million into his personal bank account.

He is the Najib whose wife’s many Birkin bags and multi-million dollar emerald necklaces were the subject of a three-page expose in The New York Times.

Today, thanks to the most prestigious newspapers and magazines in the world, the whole world knows who the real Najib is. Now the world understands that there is only one Najib. And it is not the dapper, suave, reformist Najib that they believed in. So, it is game over for Najib Razak internationally.

bersih-4.0

On Saturday,August 29, tens of thousands of Malaysians will march in Bersih 4.0 to protest Najib’s authoritarian rule. It is certain that Najib, the man who brazenly stood before international fora and proclaimed himself to be a reformer and a liberal, will send his Police Force in to break up the rally.

Najib will deploy tear gas, chemical-laced water, and Police batons to ensure his rule. The whole world will be watching – and finally will realise what kind of man he is.

It truly will be game over for Najib.


JOHN R MALOTT is former United States Ambassador to Malaysia and a frequent commenter on Malaysian and regional politics.

Malaysia Scandal Wreaks Havoc on Economy


August 26, 2015

http://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/malaysia-scandal-havoc-economy/

Malaysia: Scandal Wreaks Havoc on Economy

by John Berthelsen@www.asiasentinel.com

Zeti

Malaysia’s central bank (Bank Negara Malaysia) is clearly losing the battle to defend its national currency, the Ringgit, which fell to RM4.2275 to US$1 on August 24 before recovering slightly on the bank’s buying, with the pace accelerating as the international financial community continues to lose confidence in the country’s  deteriorating economic position and its massive twin financial scandals.

Events over the weekend did little to inspire confidence, with the Police arresting 29 protesters before they could even start a rally and charging them with Section 124 of the Penal Code, a nebulously worded amendment that deals with “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” and carries penalties up to 20 years in prison.

The electoral-reform group Bersih has called for mass street protests in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu on August 29 and 30. Police have vowed to stop the rally and jail its organizers.  The harsh penalties leveled at the protesters over the past weekend may have been aimed at frightening next week’s participants.

Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) issues currency alert

The Swiss bank UBS last Friday, Aug. 21, issued an alert saying the magnitude and speed of the currency’s decline “exceeded our bearish expectations,” falling 24 percent against the US dollar over the past year and bringing the rate to a 17-year low.  But although UBS set a short-term target of 4.35, privately UBS bankers are saying the currency could go to RM5.0:US$1 just this week. It shot through the psychologically important barrier of 4:1 last week without a hitch.

With international reserves having fallen to US$94.5 billion as of August. 15, Bank Negara has few tools to stop the slide. Bank Negara Governor, Zeti Akhtar Aziz last week ruled out currency controls, leaving her only the weapon of raising interest rates, which would play havoc with the economy, given high household and government debt.  With crude oil and other commodity prices sliding, GDP growth fell to a still-respectable 4.9 percent for the second quarter.

The Kuala Lumpur stock market has headed for collapse as well, falling by 12.7 percent since August 3 and 2.17 percent today alone.  Although all Asian markets have been descending in line with China’s crashing bourses, the KLSE is the worst-performing market in Asia and looks set to get worse.  Foreigners have been bailing out of the market, the currency and foreign direct investment, with FDI plummeting by 41.8% to RM21.3 billion in the first half of 2015, although officials said the sharp fall was due to a high base year in the first half of 2014.

Throw it away

Prime Minister Najib Razak is seemingly willing to wreck almost every government institution in his bid to stay in power in the face of a widespread effort by the opposition and members of his own party to oust him over two massive scandals, one a US$681 million “donation” from unnamed Middle Eastern interests into his personal account, supposedly in gratitude for fighting ISIS. However, US$650 million was spirited back out of the account in 2013 to another Najib personal account in Singapore – then disappeared out of that account to somewhere else, raising more questions than it answered. 

The second is his stewardship of 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a state-backed investment fund which, according to critics, has US$6.6 billion worth of unfunded liabilities that a revolving door of chief executive officers and accounting firms have been unable to explain. The Sarawak Report, edited from the UK by Clare Rewcastle Brown, alleged that hundreds of millions of dollars have been diverted to accounts in Singapore and elsewhere held by the young Penang-born tycoon Jho Taek Low, who was instrumental in persuading Najib to establish the fund.

Unity Coalition Seeking No Confidence vote?

However, despite desperate attempts to contain the scandals by sacking or neutralizing a long list of officials involved in investigating them, there are indications that they are escaping into the wider global financial sphere. On August 26, Switzerland’s financial regulator FINMA announced that it is investigating the extent of any involvement which its banks may have had in any of the alleged ‘dubious’ transactions linked to 1MDB. At least half a dozen banks including Falcon Private Bank, BSI of Lugano, JP Morgan and Coutts & Co have been named elsewhere as involved.   Singapore authorities have also said they are investigating accounts connected to 1MDB.

Over the weekend, it appeared that the opposition  Pakatan Rakyat coalition’s three component parties might be willing to at least discuss the possibility of teaming up with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Najib’s severest domestic critic, to seek a vote of no confidence in the Parliament.  Mahathir is insisting that the ruling Barisan Nasional lead any unity government. Lim Kit Siang, the Democratic Action Party parliamentary leader, said that the idea might be worth discussing. 

For Mahathir to team up with Lim would be a surprise. But earlier this month he agreed to meet with longtime foe Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who tried to oust him in the 1980s and failed, nearly destroying UMNO in the process. A vote of confidence would first have to get by the parliamentary speaker, who is a close ally of the Prime Minister’s.

Mahathir and Najib in the same UMNO pod

Perhaps anticipating such a challenge, over the weekend Najib set out to play the race card, telling a United Malays National Organization assembly that Malays and Muslims would be ‘bastardized’ if UMNO is ousted from ruling the government as a part of the Barisan Nasional coalition. The leaders of the challenge against him are almost all ethnic Malays, including Mahathir, Razaleigh, fired deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and others.

Fear tactics by Najib

“Some people say that the Malays will be defeated, beaten or fall flat on the ground but I choose the word ‘bastardize,’ Najib was quoted in local media as saying – a veiled reference to the possibility that ethnic Chinese would dominate the political process as well as the economy.

He and other officials have also charged that unnamed foreigners are also out to wreck Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy.  The United States’ two leading newspapers, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, have both carried extensive, deeply detailed stories describing both the 1MDB shenanigans and the Najib family’s personal wealth including expensive properties in New York and California. Najib has threatened to sue the Wall Street Journal for its reports, but has stalled on actually issuing a demand for retraction. His counsel’s latest ploy was to say he would seek advice from “other countries” on the feasibility of suing. That has been met with derision.

The Sarawak Report has been a particular source of irritation, with a constant drumbeat of entries describing family and governmental misdoings. The government has charged Rewcastle Brown with sedition and sought to have her extradited from the UK, which is regarded as nonsensical grandstanding for a domestic audience.

 

Open Letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak


August 25, 2015

Malaysia: Open Letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak

“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.”– Eugene V Debs

Dear Prime Minister,

The late great American journalist, Edward R. Murrow said, “No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.” Here in Malaysia, the ordinary Rakyat have ceased to be your accomplices.

Najib-Razak-david-_3392712bNajib and David Cameron

In the  GE-13, you lost the popular vote and were denied 2/3rd majority in Parliament. If you were to hold an election today, I do believe you would lose, or barely win and only because as former Bersih chairperson and my good friend, Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan detailed in her New York Times op-ed piece, “Once again, the people of Malaysia risk being cheated out of an election.”

Your accomplices are those who in your own words benefited from the “donation” by concerned Arab potentates. Your accomplices are a person like the Inspector- General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, who instead of carrying out his mandate of protecting the Rakyat busies himself by intimidating and harassing people who point out that his Emperor and master (you) has no clothes. Your accomplices are in government institutions who instead of carrying out their duties, concern themselves with ensuring that your position is secure. What happens to our country is secondary to them as long as  they can benefit from your largess.

You have either sacked or sidelined anyone including Deputy Prime Minister and party Deputy President, Muhyiddin Yassin. who values UMNO over the man and ensured that dissent within your own party, is met with the full force of the State or the malicious rumor mongering of cyber thugs in your employ.

The silencing of the  respected Edge magazine and the harassment of its eloquent  and erudite owner and its public spirited and brave editor was another failed attempt at controlling the narrative, and your reluctance to initiate proceedings against the Wall Street Journal  is evidence of the bullying nature that characterizes UMNO rule under former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir but you are elevating to new heights.

You are a Prime Minster bereft of political or populist legitimacy and public trust. When Prime Minster David Cameron visited Malaysia, he was forced to confront issues created by your political and financial scandals, instead of fostering international ties with a foreign country. Your political career is defined not only by financial scandal but the cloud of mystery surrounding the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

You are the most tainted Prime Minster in Malaysian history. You surround yourself with a cadre of sycophants who care more for their own position and what you can give them instead of the ordinary Rakyat.  You may claim that you are beholden to the Rakyat but the reality is that you think that the Rakyat are beholden to UMNO.

You claim that the Malay community would be “bangsat” without UMNO, but the reality is what I wrote in my open letter to former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir, “the Malays have been conditioned by Tun Dr. Mahathir (refer to his controversial book, The Malay Dilemma and Dr. Syed Hussein’s critique of it in his book, The Myth of the Lazy Native)  have been conditioned to think that we have dilemmas. In truth, we all want  progress, modernisation and national unity, and  shun ignorance,and backwardness.”

Instead of progress and modernization, you give us bigotry and fear, with members of your administration and most damagingly you, claiming that the Malays would lose power to the Chinese community and we would be nowhere without UMNO.

And yet your propaganda apparatus tout the 1Malaysia concept as something that should be emulated and feed BR1M to the rakyat as if that paltry sum would cauterize the deep wounds you have inflicted on Malaysians.

Gandhi quoteAs a contributing member of the Malay community whose fortunes and failures are part and parcel of my life, I cringe and feel a deep sense of hopelessness when I see an idea like Low Yatt 2, in the wake of the Low Yatt incident which had nothing to do with race but instead an ordinary criminal act that was used by opportunistic members of your administration to further this sense of “Ketuanan Melayu”.

Please do not be fooled by your foreign spin masters, no doubt purchased by foreign donations. Ordinary Malaysians regardless of race or religion realize that something is very wrong with Malaysia. They may not have access to the writings or ideas that the Internet offers, but their circumstances tell them that something is wrong with the economy, something is wrong with the social fabric, something is wrong with politicians and they know that all of this comes from Putrajaya.

You can blame the Chinese, you can blame China’s economy, you can blame the falling petrol prices but everyone knows that the economy has been mismanaged. That corruption is rampant. Everyone knows that money placed in your account benefited you through placating the various warlords who see to it that your position is secure.

I realize my words hold very little value to you, including what I said to you during our short conversation at the Maybank hospitality tent during the 2010 Maybank Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club when I counseled you to use the awesome power of your office with responsibility. You agreed with me and pledged to make Malaysia great again. What a lie it was and I believed you then, but not now, not a second time.

You have dismantled or neutered any mechanisms that could remove you from power. The best thing you could do for this country is remove yourself from office. Allow UMNO the slight chance of reforming itself and perhaps attempting to get back to the ideals of the founders of this once great country.

I will be returning to Phnom Penh soon to resume my academic duties at the University ofDin MericanK Cambodia  where I will enjoy the company of my fellow academicians  and our students. Leaving Malaysia  and being away from my dear wife, Dr Kamsiah, at this point in time when our country faces an imminent economic crisis (a worse case scenario being the recent prediction of former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin) as a result of your economic policies and politics is difficult for me.

It is indeed sad for me to acknowledge that you have failed in the performance of your duties as Prime Minister of our country. If you have any shred of pride and honour left in you, you should resign of your own volition. If you do not do so, you will face the indignity of being thrown out of office by all Malaysians who love their country.

Remember the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi. “Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”

Yours sincerely,

Din Merican

Acknowledgement: It will be utterly dishonest if I fail to acknowledge the contributions of friends, blog readers and commenters in terms of ideas, views, perspectives and thoughts which I have used in this message to our Prime Minister.

This blog is read in 206 countries; each day I get around 10, 000 to 15,000 hits. It is, therefore, impossible for me to mention specific names who have directly and indirectly contributed to this open letter. Thanks to you for your support and contributions to the discourse and dialogue on this blog. A blog is as good as those who read it. Without that level of interest and encouragement, it will just be another run of the mill blog. But I  alone am responsible for what I write here.

God Bless Malaysia as we collectively face the consequences of our Prime Minister’s character flaws, follies and policy failures. Good luck for those participating in BERSIH 4.0 on August 29 and 30.–Din Merican