Liu Xiaobo– A Warrior for Human Freedom


July 15, 2017for

Liu Xiaobo– A Warrior for Human Freedom

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

“…we owe it to ourselves and our fellows to progressively throw off the chains we are born with, or into, or otherwise shackled with, and seize our freedom to be, and do the best we possibly can”.–Dean Johns

Like so many famous rhetorical flourishes that come to be regarded as self-evident truths, French philosopher, and writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ringing declaration that “man is born free, and is everywhere in chains” is, on careful consideration, ridiculous.

Tribute to Madiba and Liu Xiaobo

In fact, the reality is entirely the opposite. We are all born in chains – chains of genetic inheritance, of infantile ignorance and impotence, and of the familial, physical, cultural, political and other environmental circumstances in which we find ourselves – and can either submit to being constrained by such chains or struggle against them to try and set ourselves as free as possible.

And this state of affairs seems to me to be nowhere more evident than in China, or what I prefer to think of as “Chaina”, on the grounds that its people have been enchained throughout history by an endless series of dismal dictatorships.

Mostly imperial dictatorships, of course, but currently one led by a Communist Party as dictatorial as any emperor could possibly be, and so deceptive as to try and pass itself off as the “People’s’ Republic of China” into the bargain.

When the people protest, however, it quickly reverts to the “Party’s Republic of Chaina”, as it did on the occasion of the notorious massacre of protesting students and workers in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and again following the publication of Charter 08 on 10 December 2008, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Liu Xiaobo, a hero of Tiananmen Square who had subsequently sought and found sanctuary in the US before courageously returning to China/“Chaina” to co-author Charter 08, was sentenced in 2009 by the regime to 11 years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power”.

And today, as I write this, it has been reported that Liu has died under guard in a hospital of cancer after being refused permission to seek treatment overseas for his illness.

Here, courtesy of Wikipedia, in honoured memory of Liu Xiaobo and in support of his fellow activists against the Communist Party overlords of the “Anti-People’s Republic of Chaina”, is the first paragraph of Charter 08, followed by a list of its demands of the regime:

“This year is the 100th year of China’s Constitution, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Democracy Wall, and the 10th year since China signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“After experiencing a prolonged period of human rights disasters and a tortuous struggle and resistance, the awakening Chinese citizens are increasingly and more clearly recognising that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal common values shared by all humankind and that democracy, a republic, and constitutionalism constitute the basic structural framework of modern governance.

“A “modernisation” bereft of these universal values and this basic political framework is a disastrous process that deprives humans of their rights, corrodes human nature, and destroys human dignity.

“Where will China head in the 21st century? Continue a “modernisation” under this kind of authoritarian rule? Or recognise universal values, assimilate into the mainstream civilisation, and build a democratic political system? This is a major decision that cannot be avoided:

1. Amending the Constitution
2. Separation of powers
3. Legislative democracy
4. An independent judiciary
5. Public control of public servants
6. Guarantee of human rights
7. Election of public officials
8. Abolition of Hukou system
9. Freedom of association
10. Freedom of assembly
11. Freedom of expression
12. Freedom of religion
13. Civic education
14. Free markets and protection of private property, including privatizing state enterprises and land
15. Financial and tax reform
16. Social security
17. Protection of the environment
18. A federated republic
19. Truth in reconciliation

Of course, China is by no means alone in the world in urgently needing many, if not all, of these reforms for the sake of good government and honest governance on behalf of its citizens. Malaysia, for example, enchained as it has been for almost 60 years by its corrupt, illegitimate, and otherwise criminal UMNO-BN regime, has a crying need for items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 19.

And a great many other nations, from Russia, Pakistan, and all the other “-stans”, to a great many more similarly freedom-impaired countries in Asia, Africa and South America could do with many, if not most of them.

My own country, Australia, could perform much better, in my opinion, on points 6, 11, 13 and 15. And of course the United States, as the self-proclaimed world leader in government of the people, by the people, for the people, could well do itself and the rest of the free world a favour by electing a president capable of thinking coherently and telling or at least tweeting the truth.

But to end on a personal level, it is worth making the point that we are, all of us, part of the problem and thus capable of making ourselves part of the solution.

In other words, whether Chinese or whatever other nationality or ethnicity, we happen to be, we are all chainees of various false “faiths”, “beliefs”, “customs”, “prejudices”, and other mental bonds and restrictions that prevent us living up to our full human potential.

And thus we owe it to ourselves and our fellows to progressively throw off the chains we are born with, or into, or otherwise shackled with, and seize our freedom to be, and do the best we possibly can.

The Spirit of Liu Xiaobo


July 15, 2017

NY Times Editorial Board

How Liu Xiaobo died says a lot about modern China and the fears of modern Chinese leaders. The government in Beijing controls a nuclear weapons arsenal and throws its weight around in international affairs. Yet it was afraid to hear the democratic ideas advocated at great cost by a courageous man of conscience.

In 2009, Mr. Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison, and even after he learned he had liver cancer in May, Chinese authorities refused to let him leave the country for treatment. So one of China’s most famous dissidents died on Thursday under guard in a Chinese hospital at age 61. He was his country’s only Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

As is common in an increasingly repressive China, Mr. Liu was punished not for a crime, but for giving voice to the most basic human yearnings. In 2008, he was a leader in drafting Charter 08, a constitutional reform manifesto that advocated respect for “universal values shared by all humankind,” including human rights, equality, freedom, democracy and the rule of law. The charter endorsed direct elections, judicial independence and an end to Communist Party dominance, and though it was on the internet only briefly before censors pulled it, it garnered 10,000 signatures.

Image result for The death of Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate

The government accused Mr. Liu of “inciting subversion of state power,” but in fact the life of this multitalented scholar, writer, poet and social commentator was devoted to peaceful political change. During the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, he staged a hunger strike, then negotiated a peaceful retreat of student demonstrators as thousands of soldiers stood by with rifles.

Mr. Liu was detained many times after that. Yet when Beijing pressed the Norwegian Nobel Committee not to honor him, the committee wisely awarded Mr. Liu the 2010 Peace Prize in recognition of “his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

There are reasons to question whether the detention prevented him from being diagnosed early enough and from receiving medical treatment that could have extended his life. On Saturday as he weakened, two Western doctors who were allowed to examine him pronounced Mr. Liu fit to travel overseas for care, but still China refused, seeking to control the man and message until the end.

The authorities also ignored dozens of writers and Nobel laureates who signed petitions calling for Mr. Liu’s release. His final days were spent in a hospital under guard, unable to communicate with the outside world. Meanwhile, authorities filmed him lying still in his bed, then released the footage without his permission for propaganda purposes.

Western leaders, perhaps cowed by President Xi Jinping’s obvious distaste for hectoring on human rights, were unacceptably subdued before Mr. Liu’s death, mostly leaving comments about his case to lower-ranking officials. None were more callow than President Trump, who since taking office has shown little interest in human rights while enthusiastically embracing many authoritarian leaders, including Mr. Xi.

Mr. Trump did not raise Mr. Liu’s case when he met Mr. Xi in Germany last week. And within hours of Mr. Liu’s death, Mr. Trump, asked at a news conference in Paris to give his impression of Mr. Xi, heaped praise on him, calling him a “very good man” who “wants to do what’s right for China.” Some American officials, including Nikki Haley, the Ambassador to the United Nations, hailed Mr. Liu’s contribution, but Mr. Trump’s words in Paris signaled to Beijing that it need not listen. Regardless of Mr. Trump, other world leaders should join human rights groups in insisting that Beijing release Mr. Liu’s wife, the poet Liu Xia, who has been under police surveillance since 2010, and let her move to the country of her choice.

Mr. Liu’s death is soul-crushing for his supporters, and there are no signs China will open the door to political reform anytime soon. Even so, there is reason to work for a different future. More than 34,000 people, most in China, recently signed an open letter demanding Mr. Liu’s freedom. And many more Chinese today than in 1989 or 2008 are carrying out “small but significant peaceful acts of protest to further human rights protections,” Xiaorong Li, the founder of several human rights groups, wrote in a Times Op-Ed article.

It will now be up to Mr. Liu’s admirers to dedicate themselves to his dream of a modern China that embraces “universal values,” which will outlive the ruthless leaders who sought to crush him but never could.

A version of this editorial appears in print on July 14, 2017, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: The Spirit of Liu Xiaobo.

Malaysians–Rise up against toxic racism


July 14, 2017

Malaysians–Rise up against toxic racism

by Farouk A. Peru@www.themalaymailonline.com

There is something so counter-intuitive about racism. Even when racism was the norm, racists found a need to explain themselves.

They would come up with different theories as to why some races were superior to others. They would feel the need to explain why segregation was important. Think about it — do we ever have to explain why being united and transcending racism is important? No, because these attitudes are intuitively good.

There is something about them which we know, deep down, is correct and we gravitate towards them. Yesterday, I read a very disturbing news report about Astro and how it treated one of its customers.

Image result for racism in malaysia

A woman by the name of Madhavi Rai was told by Astro’s customer service that ethnic Indians and foreigners were only allowed to use auto-debit service as their payment option.

Rai, who is of Malaysian Nepali and ethnic Chinese parentage, had complained that her application was rejected as she did not choose the auto-debit payment option after she was allegedly informed it was her only payment option as she is “an Indian.” How did they know she was an Indian? They simply guessed from her name!

It is true that my outlook on these matters may be out of touch with reality in Malaysia but I refuse to believe that this incident is acceptable where ever you are.

In the UK, even where the majority population is overwhelmingly white, an incident such as this would receive condemnation from the entire population except a marginal one or two per cent (who are the far right, neo-Nazi types!).

Racism is simply not acceptable and I learnt that from my earliest days here. A police chief commissioner at the time made the mistake of calling a convicted criminal a “black bas***.”

Image result for racism in malaysia

An UMNO Racist Leader and Najib Razak’s Cheerleader

Had he just used the second word, it would have been ok but the first word made it racist. He then lost his job. No ifs, no buts. That incident left a lasting impression upon me.

Since Astro has not denied this incident—but have apologised unreservedly—it is safe to assume that this policy must have been known to its management.

There is certainly no way lower level management, let alone the employees themselves, could have put such a policy into operation.  The strange thing is, according to Ms Rai’s account, they simply offered no explanation at all.

A customer service representative even admitted that the policy sounds racist but “has nothing to do with it.” Quite a puerile explanation, if you ask me. Sounds more like a denial even though the facts are clear.

Worse still, Ms Rai’s Chinese heritage was invoked. She was told that if she were to register as a Chinese, she would be able to choose other payment options. How utterly demeaning to our Indian brethren!

In Malaysia, we are relatively lax about these things, especially when they happen to non-Malays. We simply see them as realities in 21st century Malaysia but even so, we forget that realities are not made without our consent. It is because we tolerated incidents such as these that they have become the norm.

Imagine the humiliation Ms Rai must have gone through! However she chooses to define herself, racially speaking, it should not have any bearing on her being able to choose any particular payment option.

Pegging payment options to race only says one thing — that some races are either economically disadvantaged or worse still, morally inept.

Either way, this is extremely insulting and all right thinking Malaysians cannot afford to ignore this deeply troubling incident. It is not enough for Astro to apologise. They need to give compensation to Ms Rai for her mental anguish.

If not cash, then free Astro service for an extended period. Even so, that is getting off lightly.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

The Passing of China’s Iconic Human Rights Campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate–LIU Xiabo dies


July 14, 2017

The Passing of China’s Iconic Human Rights Campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate–LIU Xiabo

Peace prize winner and democracy activist dies of liver cancer, after spending almost a quarter of his life behind bars in China

by  Tom Phillips

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/13/liu-xiaobo-nobel-laureate-chinese-political-prisoner-dies-61

Liu Xiaobo, who has died aged 61, was imprisoned in 2009 on charges of subversion for calling for democracy in China.
Liu Xiaobo, who has died aged 61, was imprisoned in 2009 on charges of subversion for calling for democracy in China. Photograph: Liu Xia/EPA

China is facing a barrage of international criticism for its treatment of the Nobel laureate and democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo, who died at the age of 61 on Thursday.

Liu, who championed non-violent resistance as a way of overcoming “forceful tyranny”, had been serving an 11-year jail sentence for demanding an end to one-party rule when he was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May.

He died of multiple organ failure while under guard at a hospital in north-east China, making him the first Nobel peace prize winner to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the 1935 recipient, who died under surveillance after years confined to Nazi concentration camps.

 

News of Liu’s death sparked an immediate outpouring of international mourning and condemnation. His peaceful activism and biting criticism of one-party rule meant he had spent almost a quarter of his life behind bars.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, paid tribute to “a courageous fighter for civil rights and freedom of opinion”. The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said he mourned the loss of a man who had dedicated “his life to the betterment of his country and humankind, and to the pursuit of justice and liberty”.

The leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the prize, said the Chinese government – which had stopped Liu traveling abroad for treatment despite appeals from world leaders – bore “a heavy responsibility for his premature death”.

“We find it deeply disturbing that Liu Xiaobo was not transferred to a facility where he could receive adequate medical treatment before he became terminally ill,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen.

The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said he was deeply saddened by the “huge loss” of the “lifelong campaigner for democracy, human rights and peace” and attacked Beijing for denying Liu and his family the chance to seek medical treatment overseas.

“Liu Xiaobo should have been allowed to choose his own medical treatment overseas, which the Chinese authorities repeatedly denied him. This was wrong and I now urge them to lift all restrictions on his widow, Liu Xia.”

One of the most forceful attacks on the authoritarian regime of China’s President, Xi Jinping, came from his Taiwanese counterpart, Tsai Ing-wen, who paid tribute to a “human rights warrior”. Tsai said Liu had striven to transform China into a nation where human rights and the rule of law were respected. “This was Liu Xiaobo’s Chinese dream,” Tsai said, alluding to Xi’s central propaganda slogan.

“We hope that the Chinese authorities can show confidence in engaging in political reform so that the Chinese people can enjoy the God-given rights of freedom and democracy … Only through democracy, in which every Chinese person has freedom and respect, can China truly become a proud and important country.”

Liu Xiaobo was famed for his Gandhian “no enemies” philosophy – but there was rage as well as grief among his friends as news of his death spread.

Liu Xiaobo and his wife, the poet Liu Xia, in 2002. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

“I hate this government,” said the author and activist Tienchi Martin-Liao, breaking down in tears as she learned of her friend’s death. “It is not only sadness – it is fury. How can a regime treat a person like Liu Xiaobo like this?

“This is unbearable. This will go down in history. No one should forget what this government and the Xi Jinping administration has done. It is unforgivable.”

The writer and activist Mo Zhixu, said he felt “bitter hatred”. “It is so cruel and inhuman.”

Hu Ping, a friend of almost three decades who edits a pro-democracy journal called the Beijing Spring, said: “Liu Xiaobo is immortal, no matter whether he is alive or dead. Liu Xiaobo is a man of greatness, a saint.”

Hu said his friend’s plight highlighted the bleak realities facing activists living under Xi, who has presided over what observers call the most severe political chill since the days following the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

“I think the situation in China now is deteriorating – and the way in which Liu has been treated clearly shows us what the current situation is, and how it goes beyond our imagination.”

Born in the northern province of Jilin in 1955, Liu was part of the first generation of Chinese students to go to university after they reopened following the upheaval of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. He studied Chinese literature and went on to become a revered writer and public intellectual.

When pro-democracy protests broke out in Beijing in the spring of 1989, Liu was lecturing in New York but decided to return despite having previously shown little interest in politics.

“He thought: ‘This is where I should be and this is where I can make a contribution. So I am going there’,” said Perry Link, a Chinese literature expert from the University of California, Riverside, who knew him.

Liu flew back to Beijing and headed to Tiananmen Square, where he played a central role in the protests. He led a hunger strike shortly before the 4 June military crackdown in which hundreds, possibly thousands of lives were lost. He was jailed for almost two years for his role in what Beijing called “counter-revolutionary” riots. The experience served as a political awakening that transformed Liu into a lifelong activist and champion of democracy.

 

Liu Xiaobo, second from right, in June 1989, with demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
Pinterest
Liu Xiaobo, second from right, talking to reporters with fellow demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Beijing on 3 June 1989. Photograph: Str Old/Reuters

Over the coming years Liu continued to speak out, despite two more stints behind bars, railing incessantly against China’s authoritarian regime in essays and interviews.

The “crime” that led to Liu spending his final years behind bars was Charter 08, a 2008 declaration inspired by Charter 77, a manifesto published by Czechoslovakian dissidents in 1977. “The current system has become backward to the point that change cannot be avoided,” it warned, calling for an end to one-party rule.

Authorities did not approve. Hours before it was due to be published, Liu, who had been one of the document’s drafters, was detained at his Beijing home. The following year he was handed an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power”.

“The charter was the first public document since 1949 to dare to mention the end of one-party rule,” said Link. “But of course the problem with having an influence is that the crackdown has been effective. A lot of young people don’t know about the charter and don’t know about Liu Xiaobo now.”

In 2010, Liu was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”. He was represented at the award ceremony by an empty chair. When he was informed of his victory he reportedly said: “I dedicate this prize to the lost souls of 4 June,” in reference to the victims of the Tiananmen massacre.

Human rights and democracy campaigners saw Liu’s Nobel prize as a triumph for their cause. But for his wife, the poet and artist Liu Xia, with whom he had fallen in love during the 1990s, it was a catastrophe. She was immediately placed under house arrest and has spent recent years living in almost total isolation, under constant surveillance.

“She is a wonderful woman. A really wonderful woman,” says Jean-Philippe Béja, a French academic and longstanding friend. “I don’t even dare to imagine how she feels now.”

Eva Pils, an expert in Chinese law and human rights from King’s College London, said Liu Xiaobo would be remembered for his “wise and forceful” style of political resistance. Supporters had been counting the days until his expected release from prison in 2019. “Now this is extremely disappointing,” she said. “Naturally, I, like many others, had been counting down to the time of his release. It’s so unfair.”

Link said Liu would be remembered as “a stubborn truth-teller” and someone who opened “the possibility of a different kind of China”.

“That is a lasting legacy. The model of how an independent intellectual stands up to the state will be admired if it is not completely obliterated.”

Béja said Liu’s ideas would continue to inspire, long after his death. “It’s always very hard to evaluate the impact of a thinker or of an actor but I am sure that – despite all the efforts by the party – he won’t be forgotten.”

Additional reporting by Wang Zhen

Image result for Liu Xiaobo and wife

‘Your Lifelong Prisoner’ – Liu Xiaobo’s poem from prison

A book of poems published in 2012 by Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident released from prison on Monday, contained a moving tribute to his wife, the poet Liu Xia

To Xia

My dear,

I’ll never give up the struggle for freedom from the oppressors’ jail, but I’ll be your willing prisoner for life.

I’m your lifelong prisoner, my love
I want to live in your dark insides
surviving on the dregs in your blood

I hear your constant heartbeat
drop by drop, like melted snow from a mountain stream
if I were a stubborn, million-year rock
you’d bore right through me
drop by drop

day and night

Inside you
I grope in the dark
and use the wine you’ve drunk
to write poems looking for you
I plead like a deaf man begging for sound
Let the dance of love intoxicate your body

I always feel
your lungs rise and fall when you smoke
in an amazing rhythm
you exhale my toxins
I inhale fresh air to nourish my soul

I’m your lifelong prisoner, my love
like a baby loath to be born
clinging to your warm uterus
you provide all my oxygen
all my serenity

A baby prisoner
in the depths of your being
unafraid of alcohol and nicotine
the poisons of your loneliness
I need your poisons
need them too much

Maybe as your prisoner
I’ll never see the light of day
but I believe
darkness is my destiny
inside you
all is well

The glitter of the outside world
scares me
exhausts me
I focus on
your darkness –
simple and impenetrable

Reprinted by permission of Harvard University Press from No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems by Xiaobo Liu. Copyright © 2012 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

 

Muzzling Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad


July 12, 2017

Muzzling Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

by S. Thayaparan@www.malaysiakini.com

“The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.”

– John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

COMMENT | So now we have proof that UMNO members “cover” for their president. We have proof that the corruption of UMNO Presidents are covered up by UMNO members. We have proof that UMNO members will overlook any kind of malfeasances to keep their leader in power.

Image result for Mahathir and Zahid Hamidi

All UMNO Leaders are filthy rich

We have this proof because UMNO Vice-President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is now acting Deputy President of the party, admitted as much when he told former Prime Minister and de facto opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad to shut up or recite Quranic verses to Allah, whichever comes more easily.

This is what Zahid said: “He unveils the flaws of the present leaders, don’t forget we also used to cover his flaws. Don’t let it be our turn to show his shame and ‘scabs’. There is so much that we can reveal.”

Let us unpack this statement. We can discern three important facts from it.

1) Zahid does not dispute that the current UMNO leader and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has “flaws” and in this case, the only flaws that the current de facto opposition leader Mahathir is unveiling are the numerous corruption scandals that are plaguing this regime. You would note that the UMNO acting Deputy President is not disputing those flaws, indeed he acknowledges them as human “weakness” that every UMNO politician (leader) has.

2) He acknowledges that UMNO members “cover” the flaws of their leaders. So, as an UMNO member, he is admitting that over the years Umno has engaged in acts to cover the possibly criminal or unconstitutional acts of their leaders to safeguard the position of Umno and the position of the President of UMNO and the office of Prime Minister of this country.

3) That by claiming “there is so much we can reveal”, Zahid is admitting that UMNO members have evidence of wrongdoing and have purposely concealed these alleged criminal acts from the state security apparatus, the Judiciary, the Press but more importantly, the public.

So, let me be clear. What Zahid’s statements reveal is that (1) UMNO members know that their leaders are corrupt (flaws); (2) that UMNO members cover for their leaders; and (3) UMNO members have evidence of the wrongdoings of their leaders.

How do UMNO members cover for their leaders? Now, I am just spitballing here, but they would have to ensure that their leaders are insulated from the banalities of accountability. This would mean that independent institutions that are meant to investigate and prosecute the “flaws” of politicians would have to be accountable to members of UMNO, whose primary goal is to cover for their leaders.

This would mean that the security apparatus, the judiciary and the press would have to answer to UMNO because these would be the institutions that the UMNO leader and Prime Minister would need “covering” from.

In other words, UMNO members, like Zahid and every other UMNO member who are covering for their dear leader, are collaborators and/or accomplices to the crimes committed by their President. I am merely clarifying what the acting UMNO Deputy President said.

Image result for Mahathir and Zahid Hamidi

Partners in Power or Rivals for Power?

So, when UMNO members defend the indefensible, when they claim that their leaders have done no wrong, when every state apparatus clears UMNO leaders of wrongdoing, what we are left with is the knowledge, articulated by the UMNO deputy president, that all this was done because UMNO members cover for their leaders.

So, this means that the so-called Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the foreign exchange market (forex) issue of the past is merely an attempt by UMNO members to “reveal” the wrongdoings of Mahathir? This would also mean that this RCI is indeed politically motivated in defence of the current UMNO President and Malaysian Prime Minster because Zahid publicly threatened to “reveal” the “shame” and “scabs” of the former Prime Minister.

And why was Salleh shocked?

So, let’s take this issue of the “appointments as additional judges to the Federal Court”, which has received a fair amount of justified criticism from members of the Bar and former judges. Former Chief Justice (CJ) Abdul Hamid Mohamad had warned that “an extension of a CJ’s tenure beyond the 66 years and six months may compromise the independence of the Judiciary”.

In other words, what the Najib regime is doing may affect the independence of the Judiciary. This brings us to Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak’s shocking revelation that Mahathir, in his interview with The Guardian implied that jailed political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim “was fixed up by a corrupt Judiciary and the Judges were dishonest”.

Here is the problem. If UMNO members cover for their leaders and the only way they can do this is if they control the apparatus of the state, then why is it shocking that a former Prime Minister implies that the state, through the Judiciary, covered up a political problem for an UMNO President?

If UMNO members cover for their leaders, and the only way they can cover for their leaders is by controlling the apparatus of the state and concealing evidence (as articulated by Zahid), then why is it a surprise to the Communications and Multimedia Minister that the former Prime Minister implies a conspiracy by the state (during his tenure) to imprison a political opponent?

If by stacking the Judiciary in favour of UMNO politicians means that it would be easier to “cover” the flaws of UMNO Presidents, then why should we be surprised by the fears and warnings that this would lead to an unnatural relationship between the executive and the Judiciary as articulated by former CJ Abdul Hamid?

With this in mind, how can we not believe that this move by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to compel the DAP to hold a further round of its central executive committee (CEC) elections is anything but a political gambit by the UMNO state to neutralise a political opponent of a compromised UMNO President before the upcoming general election?

Concerning this crippling of the DAP, this quote from Lim Kit Siang’s blog needs to be addressed.

“In fact, it has led even independent observers to swallow hook, line and sinker to believe in these fake news and false information. For instance, one independent commentator described the whole ROS fiasco as ‘a ticking time bomb of DAP’s own design’ that should have been addressed a long time ago in a transparent manner. How is the ROS fiasco ‘DAP’s own design’?”

Which is the more plausible proposition?

1) That I have swallowed hook, line and sinker the fake news and false information of this regime and its propagandists.

Or

2) That I was sincerely questioning the strategies (as it were) of an opposition political party that is in the cross hairs of this regime, the state apparatus that they control and the propagandists who serve them.

I will leave rational readers to decide which they think is more plausible. Ultimately, muzzling Mahathir says more of the collective guilt and complicity of UMNO members, rather than the agenda of the former Prime Minister turned de facto opposition leader.

Father of Modern Malaysia backs jailed former Deputy in attempt to oust PM Najib Razak


July 12, 2017

Father of Modern Malaysia backs jailed former Deputy in attempt to oust PM Najib Razak

by Randeep Ramesh

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/06/father-of-modern-malaysia-backs-jailed-former-pm-in-attempt-to-oust-incumbent

Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister
Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister, said his former protege Anwar Ibrahim is the victim of a political vendetta. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

Mahathir Mohamad says former Deputy Anwar Ibrahim, jailed on charges of sodomy, should be freed to contest election against scandal-ridden Najib.

In a remarkable political U-turn ahead of a general election next year, Mahathir now says that his former protege Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s most famous political prisoner and its most charismatic public figure, ought to be released from jail and allowed to contest parliamentary elections.

Human rights groups have long said the allegations against Anwar are politically motivated attempts by his opponents, including Mahathir and the current Prime Minister Najib Razak, to silence him.

Speaking to the Guardian on a visit to London, Mahathir, who in power was accused of being an autocrat, said Anwar is a victim of a political vendetta and that a new administration would seek a royal pardon to allow him to re-enter politics.

Image result for Getting Rid of Najib Razak

Najib Razak will be singing the Blues as the Day of Reckoning is coming soon. He is bad news for Malaysia, says Dr. Mahathir

Anwar’s lawyers are currently seeking to get him released after evidence emerged that suggested an impartial government-appointed prosecutor was paid a sum equivalent to £2m from a bank account controlled by the Prime Minister.

“In the case of Anwar we can make a case that he was unfairly treated. The decision of the court was obviously influenced by the government and I think the incoming government would be able to persuade the King to give a full pardon for Anwar,” Mahathir said. “In which case he would be able to participate in politics and become PM. I can have no objection to that.”

Malaysia’s opposition has gained ground in recent years, and nearly toppled the governing party in 2013, winning the popular vote in the general election.

Since then prosecutors have filed a multitude of cases against government critics, including opposition figures, a professor and a cartoonist. A national security act, widely criticised by rights campaigners, came into force last year which gives the army and police sweeping powers for seizure and arrest, and does away with inquests into the deaths of anyone killed in zones declared under a “state of emergency”

Mahathir stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in office, with no heir apparent. He brooked little dissent during his time in office, and ousted Anwar – seen by many as his natural successor – during a power struggle, ostensibly over an argument over the use of capital controls, in 1998.

A few weeks later Anwar was arrested, beaten by Police, then charged with sodomy and corruption. After a trial widely considered to have been politically rigged, he was given a six-year jail term for abuse of power, sparking widespread protests.

Image result for Anwar Ibrahim

 Time to set Anwar Ibrahim Free

Following his release in 2004 he became a leading opposition figure, before returning to prison in 2015 when a court upheld a five-year sentence on another sodomy charge.

Mahathir now accepts he made a mistake by not allowing Anwar to “succeed him”, and that he held on to power for too long, only to anoint two men who subsequently disappointed him, especially the current PM Najib, who is embroiled in one of the world’s largest kleptocracy cases.

According to lawsuits filed by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ), at least $4.5bn has been stolen from a state investment fund 1MDB. The purpose of the fund, which was set up by Najib as Prime Minister in 2009, was to promote economic development in a country where the median income stands at approximately £300 per month.

Instead, the DoJ alleged that stolen money from 1MDB found its way to numerous associates of Najib, who subsequently went on a lavish spending spree across the world. It also accused Najib of receiving $681m of cash from 1MDB. Najib has denied that claim, and all other allegations of wrongdoing.

Money from 1MDB, the US also claimed, helped to purchase luxury apartments in Manhattan, mansions in Los Angeles, paintings by Monet, a corporate jet, and even financed the Wolf of Wall St, a major Hollywood movie. Last week Australian model and actress Miranda Kerr handed over $8m of jewelry she received as a gift but which US authorities say was paid for by money linked to a Malaysian money laundering scheme.

“Najib is bad news for Malaysia. For the PM to be accused of stealing huge sums of money, I think that is something we don’t expect of any other PM. Certainly not in Malaysia. The money he is said to have taken is mind boggling,” said Mahathir.

Mahathir remains hugely popular with a broad swath of rural Malay voters who remember the boom years of his rule. He has registered a new party and is in talks to join the opposition coalition led by Anwar’s party. He now accepts that the authoritarian turn Malaysia took under his rule – including the use of the colonial-era Internal Security Act to jail troublesome opponents and tighten laws covering protests and the press – needs to be reversed.

Mahathir said he never foresaw a Prime Minister like Najib who was willing to “implement laws in a much more oppressive way than during my time”.

“Are the checks and balances not good enough? I agree to a certain extent they are not. We in Malaysia live in a multi-racial society and cannot be ever as liberal I think as the USA or Britain. But we should allow free expression in the press. Najib has a new security act that allows him to declare any territory under a state of emergency and detain people without any reason. I inherited and used the law. I did not abolish it and make another one even worse.”