Listen to this Janus-Faced Malay Chauvinist Najib Razak at the UMNO General Assembly


December 2, 2016

READ THIS:

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/12/02/stop-asking-malays-to-pledge-loyalty-to-umno–delegate-tells-party/

Malaysia: Members of the International Community–Listen to this Janus-Faced Malay Chauvinist Najib Razak at the UMNO General Assembly

The most corrupt UMNO Leader will use race and Islam for his own political survival. He is a Malay, a Muslim and a bumiputra who is the worst Prime Minister in Malaysia’s history. If the Malays do not realise this fact, they deserve all the crap  they are getting from Najib Razak  at this UNMO General Assembly. He is talking tough in his home ground. Hanya berani di rumah sendiri. We should teach him a lesson in the 14th General Election. What makes me sick is his audacity to compare himself to the much admired Prophet of Islam pbuh.–Din Merican

READ: Translation of Najib’s Policy Speech @2016 UMNO General Assembly.–The New Straits Times

http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/12/193667/umno-general-assembly-policy-speech-umno-president-najib

Maria Chin Abdullah et. al and the Fight for Regime Change


December 2, 2016

Maria Chin Abdullah et. al and the Fight for Regime Change

by Ambassador Dato’  Dennis Ignatius

Maria Chin Abdullah & the quest for change

No one should underestimate the power of the simple faith that was on display through all those days, at all those events, the belief that somehow justice will prevail in the end, that what we do as citizens, no matter how small, can make a difference.–Dennis Ignatius

maria

The crowds that turned out to support BERSIH 5.0 and the vigils and rallies to free Maria speak volumes about the hunger and thirst for change, for justice and good governance in Malaysia.

An outrageous act 

The arrest of Maria, in particular, seems to have generated an upsurge of public anger at the outrageous behaviour of those in power. That the government would treat a widow, a crusader for justice, a woman who has spent most of her adult life fighting for the disenfranchised, the dispossessed, the downtrodden in such a cruel, callous and capricious manner was simply beyond the pale.

Instead of intimidating the people, however, Maria’s arrest appears to have strengthened their conviction that their struggle for justice, for good governance, for accountability is a righteous one and must be pursued with vigour for the sake of our nation.

And they turned out in force to send a message to those in power that such actions are simply unacceptable, that no citizen should be deprived of his or her liberty and rights and incarcerated in such an arbitrary manner, that laws such as SOSMA have absolutely no place in a democratic society.

Can we still call Malaysia a democracy?

The authorities can, of course, spin their fanciful accounts of foreign interference, sinister plots to overthrow the government or undermine the state but they fool no one but themselves.

In fact, the more frantically they spew out such drivel, the more they lose credibility. The more they insist they are acting within the law when they act in such a high-handed manner, the more the law itself becomes suspect.

In any case, the state does not have the right to claim legitimacy with laws like SOSMA that are brokered on false promises and applied in bad faith.

The Prime Minister’s recent statement that he has no reason to apologize for SOSMA because it is needed to fight terrorism is appalling given that it has just been used against Maria. Is the Prime Minister now suggesting that all his critics and political opponents are terrorists?

After these events, can we even refer to Malaysia as a democracy any more?

Intimidation stiffens resolve

Somehow illiberal governments never seem to learn that harsh measures against those who fight for freedom and democracy stiffen resolve rather than weaken it. Far from discrediting human rights activists, they make martyrs of them. Instead of diminishing the stature of advocates for justice, they empower them.Have they learned nothing from history?

They tried to suppress the late Irene Fernendez, judicially harassing her for more than a decade; far from crushing her spirit, it made her stronger, more determined. In the process she became an international symbol of justice for migrant workers and refugees.

They tried to railroad another crusader for justice and change – Anwar Ibrahim – and today he has become a symbol of hope for Malaysian who long for a better nation. The longer they incarcerate him, the more his stature grows.

And now they are about to discover the full measure of Maria.Already, she is something of an icon in the struggle for freedom, good governance and justice in Malaysia. It was plain to see that the jubilant crowd that gathered in the city center last Monday night to celebrate her release, love her, admire her and look to her. Rarely do public figures evoke such enthusiasm.

A generational struggle for justice 

It is also heartening to see the generational mix in this struggle for a better Malaysia which people like Maria now lead.

The older folks, the Merdeka generation, some in their twilight years now, are coming out of retirement to join the fight. They were there when the dream of Malaysia was born and still hold on to it despite everything that has happened, still believing that we can be that nation we thought we would be.

So many youthful activists are rising up as well to fight for change and reform. It reminds me of the anti-war (Vietnam war for those of you who were not born then) movement in the US and the student activism of an earlier era in our history.

At the Free Maria – Mansuh SOSMA rally last Friday, for example, they sang protest songs and spoke with great fervor. Young student activists like Muhammad Luqman, Anis Syafiqah and Adam Adli are already paying a high price for their political convictions but they are undeterred.

They stand testimony to the fact that even the mighty power of the state – with its vast system of indoctrination, manipulation and patronage – cannot suppress the desire for change.

Clearly, the torch is being passed to a new generation with a passion for justice and democracy.

Malaysia’s wonder-women

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These smart women put Malaysian men to shame–They have guts to take on UMNO and its corrupt leader, the Rosmah controlled Najib Razak

It is said that crisis often brings out true leaders.In Malaysia, many of the remarkable leaders and voices for change that crisis has brought forth are women.

Despite deeply ingrained misogynistic attitudes, they rise like giants in the land, inspiring us all with their courage, quiet determination, fortitude and integrity; cajoling us to action.

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Mariam Mokhtar and Cartoonist ZUNAR

Women like Irene Fernandez, Wan Azizah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Ambiga Sreenevasan, Zainah Anwar, Cynthia Gabriel, Marina Mahathir, Noor Faridah Ariffin, Ivy Josiah, Anis Syafiqah, Siti Kassim, Zuraidah Kamaruddin, Theresa Kok, Hannah Yeoh, Mariam Mokhtar and others are now household names across the land.

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The Late Dr.Irene Fernandez –Champion of the Underdog and Down trodden and Human Rights

And when the authorities raid a women’s rights group aimed at encouraging women’s participation in the political process and threaten to charge them with activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, you know that these women are becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Thank goodness for these remarkable women who inspire and encourage us to press on. Our nation is stronger, and better, because of them. They deserve our respect, admiration and gratitude.

The faith that brings change

Some may say that events like last Friday’s Free Maria-Mansuh SOSMA rally, and the vigils that preceded it, make little difference but Maria is now free!

Perhaps the authorities heard the roar of the people after all.Now the struggle continues for democracy, for justice, for the abolishment of repressive laws like SOSMA and an end to harassment and arbitrary arrests.

No one should underestimate the power of the simple faith that was on display through all those days, at all those events, the belief that somehow justice will prevail in the end, that what we do as citizens, no matter how small, can make a difference.

The words of that towering figure in the fight for justice – Martin Luther King – come to mind:

“With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

 

 

Great Anniversary, Malaysiakini


December 1, 2016

Great Anniversary, Malaysiakini

Premesh Chandran, Steven Gan, Fathi Aris Omar and the great team of talented and brave journalists, you are very special Malaysians. My wife Dr. Kamsiah Haider and I admire your determination to bring to us in Malaysia and others around the world news and views on a timely basis. Please accept our sincere good wishes for many more years of exemplary journalism.

We  stand with you and, as loyal subscribers, we thank you for keeping us posted on developments about our country. You will remain our web-paper of first choice because you are the best in the business. 

To mark the occasion, your 17th Anniversary, Dr. Kamsiah Haider and I dedicate Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses”  Tennyson to you all, our fellow travelers in search of the truth. Yes, we are not faultless. But we are Malaysians who care for our country and are not afraid to speak the truth to power.  May Alfred  Lord Tennyson inspire you to continue on a journey to do your best for Malaysia, and never to yield.–Dr. Kamsiah Haider and Din Merican

 Seventeen years of Courageous Journalism

by http://www.malaysiakini.com

A long road traversed, dodging potholes, negotiating sharp bends as well as running into roadblocks and litigation hurdles.

Borne out of the intention to break the government’s monopoly on truth, Malaysiakini has helped provide a space for voices that are often unheard and ignored. Not surprisingly, the often-hurled allegation is that the news portal is pro-opposition. The answer is of course an emphatic ‘No!’

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The dedicated Malaysiakini Team

Such allegations stem from what is known as the law of the excluded middle, where what is not white must therefore be black – there is no third alternative. In other words, if you are not with us, you must be against us.

Detractors argue that since greater prominence is given to those critical of the government, as opposed to others, Malaysiakini must therefore be taking sides.

The first part of the argument is valid, but this does not lend credence to the notion that the editorial team therefore comprises opposition cheerleaders.

There are two reasons for this.

The first is that those in the opposition are more productive in generating media statements and more active in engaging with the media, compared to their ruling counterparts, where apart from a handful, the rest choose to remain silent or prefer to confide in acquiescing media organisations.

The second, and more important factor, is that the media, as the fourth estate, must help create a level-playing field in the information arena.

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The undeniable fact in Malaysia is that the ruling BN and its component parties still control the narrative in almost all major newspapers, radio and TV stations.

In addition, despite repeated denials, the actions of certain powerful individuals helming institutions of supreme importance in our country suggest clear bias in favour of the government.

When the chasm of disparity in influence is so wide, it would be a disservice to justice if Malaysiakini provided equal space to all.Indeed, when power is so lopsided, giving equal coverage to both sides only maintains injustice. To overcome this, media organisations must give a greater say to those without a voice, those without power, and those without influence.

We seek to challenge unequal power structures, not to reproduce them. However, if and when the scales are level, Malaysiakini too will provide a balanced space for both sides.That said, Malaysiakini is non-partisan. Our role is to tell truth to power and hold them to account, be they BN or opposition politicians.

But that doesn’t mean we are apolitical. We take strong editorial stance on many issues we hold dear – good governance, anti-corruption, independence of the judiciary, press freedom and the like.

However, this does not mean Malaysiakini provides the opposition with a carte blanche. The news portal recognises that the opposition is no longer a voice in the political wilderness but rather a government-in-waiting – it is already in power in some states – and therefore it too must be held accountable.

And while Malaysiakini supports freedom of expression, it must be stressed that such liberties come with responsibility – for both writers and readers.

Malaysiakini encourages the contestation of ideas, but it is just as important to ensure that this democratic process is carried out in a civil manner, without resorting to personal attacks, racist and sexist remarks or lewd comments.

One of the most common complaints against Malaysiakini is that the news portal spins articles, ostensibly to further a certain agenda.

More often than not, it is the politician who does a 180-degree turn after shooting his or her mouth off – and then blames the media when the heat is turned on.

But does this mean Malaysiakini is faultless?The answer is ‘No’. We do make mistakes. But unlike politicians, we admit and apologise instead of blaming others.

 

The Trump Effect and the UMNO-Red Shirt Buffoonery


November 27, 2016

The Trump Effect and the UMNO-Red Shirt Buffoonery on the Malaysian Economy

by Koon Yew Yin

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

 

I can see clearly that there are various push and pull forces at work in our economy. Some of these forces are linked to political ones which economists attached to banks or universities do not want to talk about publicly. But they are happy to do so privately or in coffee shops with their good friends.

Image result for The Trump Effect

Other forces are more obvious but it is still useful to emphasise them in case they are easily forgotten.

Let me flag some of these which will be of special concern to investors in the market.Firstly, there is of course the “Trump effect”.

Readers will recall that I had predicted – contrary to many analysts – that the US stock market would head higher post-Trump. Well, for now, my prediction has proven to be correct.

One of the world’s foremost business newspapers, The Financial Times, in a lead article on November 26 noted that when Wall Street traders departed for Thanksgiving, they could celebrate a rare achievement. On Monday and Tuesday, the four most widely cited indices of US stocks — the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite and the Russell 2000 —hit all-time highs simultaneously. The last time a “grand slam” took place was on New Year’s Eve 1999, at the height of the tech bubble.

The article noted the breakthrough for stocks in the US which had moved sideways for two years since the Federal Reserve stopped its quantitative easing programme, seemed to confirm a regime change. Prompted by Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, the narrative has changed to preparing for an era of tax cuts, deregulation and fiscal stimulus, after eight years of markets being guided by the Fed’s historically low interest rates.

I also predicted in my article “Trump is better for business than Hillary, that the Malaysian stock market and other Asian markets will also strengthen as a result of the US economic recovery.”

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The UMNO Redshirt Buffoons

Specifically I had written: “History has shown that when the Dow goes up, almost all the stock markets in the world, including KLCI, go up.”

 Well, the second part of my prediction has still to happen.On November 10 when my article was published, the KLCI stood at 1652.74. At the close of November 25, it stood at 1627.26 – a drop of 25 points.

Of course it is much too early to say what will happen next but my prediction that our market will move in tandem with the US market – that is upwards during the next 12-18 months still stands.

There are two big dark clouds hanging over the market. One is the big black hole left by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which most analysts are aware of but are too afraid to talk or write about openly for fear of being branded as anti-national or taken under Sosma and put into solitary confinement.

I will not go into the size of the 1MDB financial hole but will leave it to our accounting experts to do the mathematics. My main concern is not so much the actual financial loss incurred by the government.

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CIC of the Red Shirt Buffoons

Although this will go down in history as one of the biggest scandals carried out on a nation’s financial guardians and gatekeepers, frankly the actual financial loss is really not that big and it is one which the nation’s treasury can well afford.

What we cannot afford is the loss of confidence among foreign and local investors which cannot be easily quantified. Should this lack of confidence continue, then my predicted Malaysian market upturn will be undermined.

There is a second dark cloud – and this is the Red Shirts phenomenon. We have now seen the Red Shirts political ‘mat rempits’ come to centre stage in our political life. I am not only referring to Jamal Yunos but also his supporters and leaders who are now engaging in the use of force, threats of violence and other provocative actions in Parliament, Komtar and elsewhere and aimed at whoever they see as opposed to their vision of party, racial and religious dominance.

Everyone who has access to a smartphone will have seen the behaviour of these street and parliamentary hooligans and how they are destroying the peace and harmony of the country. Well, perhaps not everyone. It seems like the country’s leaders including the Prime Minister, the entire Barisan Nasional cabinet, the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General and others responsible for law and order in this country have not seen these videos.

Or if they have viewed them, they do not care.

Let me be very blunt. The business community and investors in the country – foreign and local – do not read Utusan Malaysia or any of the Malay papers. They do not listen to Radio Malaysia or view TV3.

They care about how their money and the market is affected by these thugs and hooligans. They can make up their own mind on which way our national politics is going.

And if the Red Shirts phenomenon gets worse, we can expect some of them to take out their businesses and money.

Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

 

Rudy or Mitt or Kelly as Trump’s Secretary of State


November 25, 2016

Rival factions of Republicans are locked in an increasingly caustic and public battle to influence President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for secretary of state, leaving a prominent hole in an otherwise quickly formed national security team that is unlikely to be filled until next week at the earliest.

The debate inside Mr. Trump’s wide circle of formal and informal advisers — pitting supporters of one leading contender, Mitt Romney, against those of another, Rudolph W. Giuliani — has led to the kind of dramatic airing of differences that characterized Mr. Trump’s unconventional and often squabbling campaign team.

And it traces the outlines of the enduring split in the Republican Party between establishment figures who scoffed at Mr. Trump’s chances of victory and the grass-roots insurgents who backed him as a disrupter of the Washington power structure.

The most publicly vocal faction has been the group opposed to Mr. Romney, which has questioned whether he would be loyal after his searing criticism of Mr. Trump during the campaign. But Mr. Trump himself has told aides that he believes Mr. Romney “looks the part” and would make a fine secretary of state, a senior Trump official said on Thursday. Mr. Trump, who is always difficult to read and is capable of changing his mind at any minute, has also praised Mr. Giuliani in recent conversations with acquaintances.

Even Thanksgiving did not provide a reprieve from the extraordinary public efforts to cast doubt on Mr. Romney. Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said on Twitter that she had received “a deluge” of concern from people warning against picking Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor.

Those raising concerns about Mr. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and an early and loyal supporter of Mr. Trump, have said they fear that his tangle of foreign business ties could lead to a damaging confirmation battle. They also worry that Mr. Giuliani lacks the vigor for the globe-trotting job.

Both Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani have made their interest in the role known to Mr. Trump. But while Mr. Giuliani has been very public about his intentions — angering Mr. Trump at times with his statements — Mr. Romney has been more reserved.

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Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, was an early and loyal supporter of Mr. Trump’s campaign. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

The split over the two men has opened the door for another candidate altogether. One potential pick Mr. Trump and his team have entertained is Gen. John F. Kelly of the Marines, a former head of the United States Southern Command. Others are David H. Petraeus, the retired general and former C.I.A. director, and Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, according to two people involved in the process.

Asked about Mr. Trump’s deliberations, a spokesman, Jason Miller, said in an email Thursday, “The president-elect is meeting with a number of well-qualified potential selections for this important position who share his America First foreign policy — some of whom have been made public and others who have not — and the president-elect will make public his decision when he has finalized it.”

Mr. Romney would represent a departure from the hard-liners Mr. Trump has already picked for his national security team. But aides like Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, have expressed doubts about Mr. Romney’s loyalty given his denunciation of Mr. Trump as a “phony” and a “fraud.” Mr. Bannon and others have told colleagues they fear that a State Department under Mr. Romney could turn into something of a rogue agency.

Asked to explain her Twitter post about Mr. Romney, Ms. Conway said that while she trusted Mr. Trump’s judgment, she found it notable that the most outrage directed at Mr. Trump from the party’s grass-roots “is not against something he said, but something he may do.” In another post, she said that being “loyal” was an important characteristic for a secretary of state.

Others hoping to catch Mr. Trump’s ear have taken their message to a place they know he is likely to absorb it: cable news. Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host, who has spoken with Mr. Trump about his concerns that Mr. Giuliani would not be confirmed by the Senate, has taken to making those arguments on a daily basis on his morning show, which he knows Mr. Trump watches.

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker, and Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, have gone on television to try to dissuade Mr. Trump from picking Mr. Romney. Mr. Huckabee, who said during the 2008 presidential campaign that Mr. Romney reminded voters of “the guy who laid them off,” told Fox News on Wednesday that picking Mr. Romney would be “a real insult” to Mr. Trump’s supporters. Mr. Giuliani is a favorite of the Republican voters who turned out in large numbers to lift Mr. Trump to victory.

Sean Hannity, a Fox News host whose opinion Mr. Trump often privately solicits, has also been deeply critical of Mr. Romney on his show.

Shortly after the election, Mr. Giuliani told associates that he believed the job was his. He had communicated to Mr. Trump’s top advisers that it was the only post he was interested in, according to the people briefed on the discussions.

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Gen. John F. Kelly, the former head of the United States Southern Command, has emerged as an alternative to Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani. Credit Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

But he began to run afoul of Mr. Trump when he told a Wall Street Journal forum that he would probably be a better candidate than John R. Bolton, who served as one of George W. Bush’s ambassadors to the United Nations.

And when reports surfaced about Mr. Giuliani’s foreign business entanglements and highly compensated speechmaking, Mr. Trump grew even warier. His firm, Giuliani Partners, has had contracts with the government of Qatar, and Mr. Giuliani has given paid speeches to a shadowy Iranian opposition group that until 2012 was on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

As a backup plan, some of Mr. Trump’s aides encouraged him to meet with Mr. Romney. Though some in Mr. Trump’s inner circle, like Reince Priebus, his choice for chief of staff, thought that such a meeting would anger the president-elect’s supporters, Mr. Trump went ahead. In the meantime, he started sounding out Mr. Giuliani on a different post, director of national intelligence. Mr. Trump’s advisers have discussed the role for Mr. Giuliani, but there has been no indication he wants it.

What many people believed would be a perfunctory meeting with Mr. Romney last weekend at Mr. Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., turned into something more substantial.

Mr. Trump liked Mr. Romney quite a bit, and was intrigued by the possibility of such a camera-ready option to represent the country around the globe, advisers to Mr. Trump said. The following day, Mr. Giuliani met with Mr. Trump and urged him to make a decision in one direction or the other.

Mr. Romney, who was mocked in 2012 when he described Russia as the greatest geopolitical foe of the United States, has seen his stock in the Republican Party rise since his loss to President Obama, although he is still viewed skeptically by the party’s grass-roots. His allies believe that his position on Russia has been vindicated, but it is starkly at odds with Mr. Trump’s stated desire for a better relationship with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.

Privately, Mr. Giuliani has expressed his frustration at going from front-runner for secretary of state to a contender who has to convince Mr. Trump of his strengths. He is particularly irritated over the focus on his business ties.

The option of a third person like General Kelly has gained currency in recent days inside the transition team. A respected leader, General Kelly served as the senior military assistant to former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. He led the Southern Command, responsible for all United States military activities in South and Central America, for four years under Mr. Obama. And his appointment would fit Mr. Trump’s inclination toward putting people with combat experience in senior foreign policy roles.