Shifting Alliances in the Corridors of Power


September 21, 2018

Opinion

Shifting Alliances in the Corridors of Power

 

The Pathetic Inheritors of the Corrupt UMNO Najib Legacy

COMMENT | Former minister Nazri Abdul Aziz is now brazenly saying out in the open that UMNO’s best-case scenario for future prospects is to support and team up with Anwar Ibrahim.

More than any party here by far, UMNO is a collection of fat cats.They reached their heights of obesity and opulence by sitting in the free-ride comforts of a government they never imagined losing control of.

Quite simply, almost all UMNO leaders have absolutely none of the integrity, experience, gumption, skill, drive, motivation, diligence, intelligence, passion, know-how, fibre, endurance (you get the idea) or interest really, required for being an effective or successful politician outside of the federal government.

All the UMNO fat cats really want is a shortcut that will take them from the cold rain, in which they now shiver and starve, back into the warm government mansion they grew up in, to purr and preen in comfort amidst their never-ending gravy train.

The path Nazri seems to be advocating offers exactly that, and all they apparently have to do is to create enough friction between Bersatu and PKR, and make sure that Anwar becomes the prime minister.

As detailed in Part 1 of this article, Anwar could conceivably then dump Bersatu in favour of UMNO – especially if he starts to feel that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed may renege on his promise to hand over power.

Mahathir could of course react by calling for early elections. Perhaps it was in anticipation of such a scenario that Anwar started courting good relationships with the Malay rulers very early on, as a refusal by the palace to dissolve Parliament could complicate matters.

Mahathir taking pre-emptive measures?

Image result for master yoda mahathir mohamad

Needless to say, Mahathir is far too intelligent to let such an outflanking manoeuvre happen without a response, and calling for early elections is likely a last resort rather than the first line of defence.

I think this is the context of UMNO’s recent resignations – the post-Port Dickson timing of which could be no coincidence at all.

Not every UMNO person buys Nazri’s plan. Indeed, while most of the party members do favour the fat-cat shortcut back to power, there appears to be considerable differences of opinion as to which shortcut in particular is best.

The three main schools of thought seem to be: through PKR, through PAS, or through Bersatu.

Nazri is probably correct in pointing out that going through PAS makes pretty much no numerical or ideological sense whatsoever.

Image result for Musthapha Mohamad and Anifah Aman

Perhaps the likes of Mustapa Mohamed and Anifah Aman(pic, above) are leaning towards the Bersatu route.

This is an interesting response. If there is a sufficiently large migration from UMNO to Bersatu, this could basically make Bersatu the new UMNO in terms of their position in the coalition – a big, Malay party that everyone agrees will nominate the PM.

Splitting UMNO could also neutralise any effort by Anwar to use UMNO as a threat against Bersatu.

If large numbers of UMNO MPs join Bersatu, then the UMNO support may no longer be the same bargaining chip it currently is.

Then again, for all an outsider like me knows, Mustapa and Anifah could be the ones looking to join PKR.

Either way, those who have left clearly do not have faith in UMNO as a bloc, and appear to be seeking their futures elsewhere.

Two out of three

In summary, in this bizarre love triangle between Bersatu, PKR, and UMNO, almost any two-out-of-three combination essentially produces a workable win.

There are a number of other factors, and/or radical possibilities.

DAP will obviously play a big role, while PAS, PBB, Amanah, and Warisan will play slightly smaller ones. Then there is the Azmin Ali factor.

Only while writing this article did the scenario occur to me: Especially if Azmin loses the PKR Deputy President’s race, what’s to stop him from defecting over to Bersatu?

This solves a number of different problems for both Bersatu and Azmin.

If the PKR elections go on in its current trajectory, the bad blood between team Azmin and team Anwar may be irreconcilable, and Azmin’s position within PKR may no longer be tenable.

Azmin moving to Bersatu would give the party a more viable succession plan with regards to subsequent PMs (a Goh Chok Tong to Mukhriz Mahathir’s Lee Hsien Loong perhaps?), and the numbers that could follow Azmin would also, again, help with Bersatu’s low-in-parliamentary-seats problem.

An exodus from PKR to Bersatu would be even bigger if Bersatu goes multiracial – further reducing the role or need for a party like PKR.

These battle lines are perhaps already visible in the copious amount of columns, blog posts, and viral Whatsapp messages that are either very strongly pro- or anti-Anwar, suggesting a consolidated and coordinated effort.

The race factor

Needless to say, all of this is speculation – and a somewhat sensationalist one at that.

For all I know, we could see a smooth transition to Anwar becoming the next PM, a stable rota system put in place to determine future prime ministers, and Harapan continuing just the way it is, happy as a clam.

Or, it could all be unrecognisable inside a year. It’s hard to say.

All these seismic shifts are potentially possible in large part because ideology has almost never played a big role in modern Malaysian politics.

The only vital and somewhat ideological question is how much of a factor race should be in Malaysian politics. This may come into play, say if Umno MPs need to decide which new party they want to support.

Perhaps some see maintaining Malay supremacy as the priority, a goal which can only be achieved by supporting Bersatu or PAS, while others may prefer the PKR route.

Other than that, Malaysian politics can likely be said to be dominated more by personality politics than anything else. It often comes down to which feudal lord one likes better.

Transforming incentive structures

Of course, just because this is the way it is, doesn’t mean that this is the way it always needs to be. Changing the incentive structures and the architecture of our political system could largely eliminate the need for many of the conflicts above.

One radical way to drastically cut back on inter-party conflict (such as Bersatu and PKR fighting over long-term stewardship of the PM’s post), is simply for all Harapan parties to merge.

Many would cite mind-boggling logistical difficulties (true, no doubt), and extreme resistance to the idea by conservatives.

If we think about it though, what function does having multiple parties in the coalition actually serve?

The old BN model was simple, for the peninsular at least. We have one party for one race. If you are Malay and have a problem, go see UMNO; Chinese, look for MCA; Indian, MIC.

It was devilishly simple in its concept, but simply devilish in the divided Malaysia it eventually created.

What about the realities of today? Do we want to follow the old formula? Malays see Bersatu, Chinese see DAP, and Indians can see the new Malaysia Advancement Party?

A merged party will still have leaders and elected representatives from every community that voters will likely find approachable.

True, little Napoleons will perhaps find themselves with less power, but wouldn’t that be a good thing?

It’s a bold idea that is unlikely to see the light of day, but regardless, I do hope we keep looking to radical solutions to blaze paths forward and leave behind the endless internal politicking that takes up far too much time and energy of Malaysian politicians.

After all, all the intrigue and speculation is somewhat entertaining, but don’t we have a new Malaysia to govern?

YESTERDAY: Future PMs: Many possibilities within Bersatu, PKR and Umno triangle


NATHANIEL TAN is eager to serve.

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

Malaysia: The Economy is in bad shape. Thank you, UMNO


September 18, 2018

Malaysia: The Economy is in bad shape. Thank you, UMNO

by Phar Kim Beng@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Najib Razak is Malaysia's best economist

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak should be awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for his management of the Malaysian Economy. He pioneered the 1MDB method of robbing the Malaysian Treasury.

COMMENT | The Malaysian economy is in bad shape. Very bad.

Revisiting the 2014 magnum opus of the Prime Minister’s new Economic Advisor Dr. Muhammed Abdul Khalid, The Colour of Inequality: Ethnicity, Class, Income and Wealth in Malaysia, we see that Malaysia’s income gap has not changed much from 1957 levels, when the country first gained independence.

Between 1990 and 2018, Malaysians on the whole gained little, except the very rich. Muhammed describes a small breakthrough in 2012, but there is no telling if this was due to fiscal spending to ward off the effects of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.

Muhammed’s reliance on the Statistics Department’s Household Income Survey, while illuminating, is not entirely convincing, especially when paired with numbers or assertions culled from Pemandu, the now-defunct government-funded performance delivery unit.

Image result for The poor in kuala lumpur

 

In other words, the actual picture of the Malaysian economy could be worse than what Muhammed actually describes.

Income from the manufacturing sector, for example, has been on the decline, which may be due to the over-reliance on cheap foreign labour – with an estimated 5.5 million migrant workers in the country – which further depresses the cycle of Malaysian wages.

Indeed, Muhammed correctly notes that “90 percent of each ethnic group does not have any liquid savings, and would not be able to survive more than few months in case they lose their source of income or employment”.

Ticking time bomb

This is not a very pleasant picture, even if it is colour blind. Why? The danger lies in the ticking time bomb that cuts across all races and groups. When the income chasm widens, people tend to blame one another for their problems, which in turn accentuates social, political, religious and racial tensions.

While democracy can ameliorate the tensions, it cannot overcome them completely. What democracy cannot structurally and systematically solve, groups of all religious and ideological fancies might rise to plug the policy gaps. When they do so, inter- and intra-ideological or religious pressures will only become more acute.

When political parties refuse to have elections, or postpone them indefinitely, they become blindsided by what the people want, which in turn hastens their own demise, as witnessed with Umno and BN.

Knowingly or unknowingly, as the book was completed well before the May 9 polls in which a kleptocracy was defeated, the above was one of the key takeaways of Muhammed’s simple but sophisticated book.

A bad economy will skew a political party’s fate, even if it well-larded with cash, corruption and connections. Reading the book now, after the 14th general election, it almost seems like a eulogy to UMNO-BN.

Barely a trickle

But The Colour of Inequality is also a sad indictment of how politicians and corporate leaders have steered the mighty Malaysian ship aground.

Image result for the colour of inequality ethnicity class income and wealth in malaysia

As Muhammed (photo, below) notes, most companies simply refuse to pay their workers well. When they don’t, and with less than nine percent of workers unionised, the bargaining power of the workers is overwhelmingly diminished, leaving them to the mercy of their corporate masters.

 

If the book is anything go by, the whole of Malaysia is sputtering to a halt – despite a GDP that “grew from RM5.1 billion in 1957 to RM1 trillion in 2012”. With the national debt now standing at RM1.09 trillion, Malaysia is caught in the vice-like middle-income trap.

The infamous trickle-down economics, for the lack of a better term, is not just non-existent here; wealth seems to be flowing upwards. Given when it was written, The Colour of Inequality references the Occupy Wall Street, where the 99 percent were trying, seemingly in vain, to challenge the grip of the exalted one percent.

In any case, widespread disempowerment is a phenomenon that should not be happening if the state and the market, as is the case in Malaysia, have vouched to work in tandem to help the poor – as reflected in the National Economic Policy and its derivatives.

But although Malaysia as a whole was becoming richer, the income differentials of Malaysians is growing wider. The lethal brew of myriad income determinants and gangly systems of income distribution have conspired to render the middle and working classes disempowered.

As Muhammed puts it: “(As of 2012), the top 20 percent held more than 52.1 percent of all wealth, while the bottom 40 percent held less than eight percent. The distribution of liquid assets was very extreme – the top 20 percent had 95 percent of all financial wealth, while the bottom 80 percent had only five percent.”This shouldn’t be happening

This process of emasculation should not be happening. Especially not after 61 years of independence.

In 1958, there were only 3,000 Malay taxpayers out of the overall of 33,000 taxpayers. A decade later, of the 1,488 students in Universiti Malaya – the only university in the country at the time – who graduated with a BSc, only 69 were Malays. Only four of the 408 who graduated with an engineering degree were Malays.

“During the same period,” Muhammed adds, “only 12 Malays graduated from the medical faculty, representing less than 10 percent of the total medical faculty graduates.”

But while the number of Malay graduates, technocrats and universities between 1970-2018 have risen dramatically, the chasm between rich and poor continues to stay the same, if not widened.

Statistics from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) show that 92 percent of the people are earning less than RM 6,000 a month; four out of 10 Malaysians have no pensions at all; close to 40 percent earn less than RM3,000 per month; 25 percent of Malaysians have no properties to their names; and the money that pilgrims save for the hajj is spent entirely on the hajj, leaving their children with nothing to draw on.

Muhammed adds that it is “estimated that there were only 150,000 inter (-racial) marriages in Malaysia, a small figure in a population of 28 million”. Wealth, or, the lack of it, tends to have the same clustering effects in one group and one race.

An epilogue

One thing that Muhammed does not address at length is the extent to which the state can compel GLCs and GLICs to remunerate their workers well, or at least put a cap on the salary differentials between those at the top and the workers at the bottom.

Additionally, in the aftermath of the financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street, the honeycomb, gig, platform and sharing economy has emerged. If more people put their minds together, more bottom-up solutions – as manifested by Uber, Grab, Air BnB and other forms of electronic commerce – can and will emerge.

But are Malaysians ready for this, beyond the template of the digital free trade zone offered by Alibaba? Or will the proverbial cheese of Malaysians once again be consumed wholesale by a flood of new migrants from China, India and the rest of the world?

Come what may, Malaysians have to work together and understand the structural and systemic reforms that are needed beyond the mere creation of a few digital unicorns.

They need to empower themselves through education, especially online education, even if this involves disciplining themselves to start taking self-enrichment courses – including learning management systems such as edX or Class Central.

If anyone is in need of more inspiration, Muhammed’s book is the best place to start.

The Colour of Inequality, if not redressed, will lead to the panic of inequality, in which only the paranoid will survive. Especially because it is only another 20 years or so before Malaysia starts greying, a process that took European societies a century to experience.


PHAR KIM BENG was a multiple award-winning Head Teaching Fellow on China and Cultural Revolution in Harvard University.

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

Lies, damned lies and fairy tales


September 13, 2018

Lies, damned lies and fairy tales

Image result for Bullshit Najib

COMMENT

Unlike the past, I am not going to address you as “Yang Berhormat” (YB). I am not being impolite. Translated, it means the “Right Honourable”. Your conduct over the funds of the 1Malaysia Development Fund (1MDB) has been nothing honourable.

I pride myself as a journalist. It will not need a forensic auditor and time-consuming investigations to poke holes in your assertions and contentions over the past two days.

I have been keeping tabs on the issues related to the 1MDB’s missing billions over the years. You have vindicated my belief that a massive attempt had been made to cover the shenanigans in the company, especially with its finances. Through your statements, you attempt to imply that you’re an angel who has been falsely ostracised and vilified by political opponents.

Image result for New book on 1mdb by WSJ

On Monday, you issued a statement, with documents, to show that you received US$100 million (RM420 million) from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud. I will accept this on face value, but I am wondering what took you so long to release the letter? It was dated February 1, 2011.

You could have released the letter to counter the Asian Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which broke the story in July 2015. You could have avoided the entire furore and the rakyat would have believed and trusted you. Who knows, you could still be the Prime Minister today. And if that had happened, this commentary would have never seen publication!

 

Even when the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions branded your dealings as “kleptocracy at its worst”, you maintained elegant silence. Understandably so – with one letter, you could supposedly account for only a fraction of the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) which found its way into your personal account in AmBank.

Like DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and the majority of right-minded Malaysians, I believe you had been feeding the public with a series of misinformation – aided and abetted by your then cabinet colleagues, your aides and cronies. No one believed you then and no one believes you now on anything you say on 1MDB.

Even WSJ journalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope (who broke the story and extensively covered the scandal) don’t believe you. Neither do Clare Rewcastle Brown and Sarawak Report and any journalist worth his salt.

Wright and Hope say you were not offering anything new with this disclosure and maintain that the bulk of the RM2.6 billion banked into your account came from 1MDB.

These days, when a currency with all the security features and watermarks can be counterfeited, one does not need sophisticated equipment to produce letterheads in colour on expensive Conqueror paper bearing the emblem of any royal household. I remain to be corrected.

Hence, it is not surprising that Wright noted: “The documents you (Najib) have included are partly misleading (i.e. the wire transfers, which shield the true origin of the funds) and based partly on alleged fraud (the letter purporting to be from the Saudi prince, which was created to mislead regulators and banks.)”

But if you thought that your statement on Monday would have been swallowed by gullible Malaysians, you were wrong. We read only one chapter from Grim’s Fairy Tales. You did yourself no credit with the second chapter with yet another piece of fiction yesterday.

 

The second chapter was an attack on Kit Siang  saying you had issued some proof of the money donated from Saudi Arabia to your personal account. Really?

Image result for New book on 1mdb by WSJ

“Returning stolen money is not the real issue. You should be answering questions on the billions in your bank, your wife’s extravagances, your stepson’s movies, his millions on gaming tables and the apartments in New York and London”.– R. Nadeswaran

 

The Malay Mail quoted you as saying: “Prior to GE 14, Kit Siang along with DAP often asked ‘where is the RM2.6 billion?’ I want to ask Kit Siang before I reveal more documents and explanations, would the YB admit that I have returned some or all the RM2.6 billion, but the facts are deliberately omitted by Pakatan (Harapan)?”

The questions you should answer

Returning stolen money is not the real issue. You should be answering questions on the billions in your bank, your wife’s extravagances, your, stepson’s movies, his millions on gaming tables and the apartments in New York and London.

If the Arab prince (pic below) had only wired US$100 million (RM420 million), where did the balance in your personal account come from? Then again, why return more than US$500 million (RM2.1 billion)?

I find your distraction humorous, entertaining and amusing. We are coming close to the modern day alter-ego of Robin Hood who did just the opposite – robbing the poor to pay the rich.

Common sense dictates this question: Why was the money from the Arab royalty sent to your account via a circuitous and convoluted way before it ended up in Singapore’s Tanore Finance, which then transferred the money into your account?

Couldn’t the money be wired via a bank in Saudi Arabia? Similarly, why send the money back to Tanore instead of the prince’s account?

Image result for jho low 1mdb

The Penang-born Arab who is known for his lavish ways at Malaysia’s taxpayers expense.

We now know who were the owner/beneficiary of this company. They were inexplicably linked to one man – Low Taek Jho or Jho Low (photo). You don’t remember him or you want to say you have not met him? Just to refresh your memory: You and your family holidayed on his yacht and pictures of this outing have gone viral.

You, your Comical Alis and cronies tried to discredit the US Department of Justice (DOJ) report and used it to parrot it as “an attempt by foreigners to overthrow a democratically elected government”.

The DOJ report could not have been more succinct and unequivocal. Paragraphs 339 to 348 outline the flow of funds to an account belonging to “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1). Former BN propaganda chief, Abdul Rahman Dahlan confirmed (to the BBC) that you and MO1 were indeed the same person.

Image result for Tony Pua

Thank You, Tony Pua, for 1MDB Expose

Para 340 says: “On or about March 21, 2013, Tanore transferred US$620,000,000 into an account at AmBank in Malaysia, whose beneficiary was listed as “AMPRIVATE BANKING-MR.” The wire transfer was processed through correspondent bank accounts at JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo in the United States. On or about March 25, 2013, an additional $61,000,000 was wired from the Tanore Account to the same account at AmBank, for a total of $681,000,000.”

What have you got to say about this? Where does this fit into your scheme of things? The courts will decide on your innocence or guilt. In the meantime, if there is going to be a third chapter, don’t take Malaysians to be fools with your implausible, unbelievable and far-fetched stories. If you have to say something, let it be the truth and nothing but the truth.


R NADESWARAN says that Najib should put everything on the table and come clean which could be points for mitigation in the current situation. Comments: citizen.nades22@gmail.com

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

Time for Malaysian Bar Council to act against Shafee Abdullah


September 11, 2018

Time for Malaysian Bar Council to act against Shafee Abdullah

by Malaysiakini

Arrogance is this outstanding lawyer’s Waterloo. I watched Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah in action during the Dato Ramli Corruption Trials. He was brilliant, earning the presiding judge’s respect and consideration.A man of his talent and legal reputation does not need the money. His gamble is likely to bring an end to his brilliant career as a prosecutor and defence attorney. –Din Merican

The Bar Council has been urged to take action against lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for allegedly receiving RM9.5 million from former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“We urge the Bar Council to uphold the Rule of Law and to invoke the provisions stipulated in the Legal Profession Act 1976 and to take necessary action against Shafee inter alia, by lodging a complaint with the disciplinary board,” Perak DAP legal bureau chief Leong Cheok Keng said in a statement today.

Shafee purportedly received the payment for his services as special prosecutor in PKR President-elect Anwar Ibrahim’s appeals against his Sodomy II conviction in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

According to Leong, the Perak DAP legal bureau believes that Anwar may have been denied a fair trial as Shafee had not acted independently in the appeal, but for “financial or pecuniary interest.”

“An advocate and solicitor is duty bound, even when, or more so when, acting as a senior deputy public prosecutor to uphold the law, the dignity and the high standing of the profession at all times, and shall not practise any deception on the court and shall not accept a brief if his professional conduct is likely to be impugned,” he said. This is all laid out by the Legal Profession (Practice and Etiquette) Rules 1978, he added.

As such, he said he believes Shafee may have committed misconduct in his professional capacity, which amounts to grave impropriety and is subject to disciplinary actions by the Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board.

 

On Sept 6, it was reported that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AG-C) submitted “new information” to the Court of Appeal that showed Najib paid RM9.5 million to Shafee between 2013 and 2014.

The evidence was submitted by a special task officer to the attorney-general in an affidavit, which included transaction details of Najib’s and Shafee’s bank accounts. It also included a copy of two cheques from Najib dated September 11, 2013, and February 14, 2014, to Shafee for RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million respectively.

However, Shafee has since responded to this, admitting yesterday that he received the RM9.5 million from Najib, but that it was merely part of fees owed to him for legal services rendered to Umno and BN since the 1990s.

Shafee also alleged that it was Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had pushed for him to be appointed special prosecutor in Anwar’s trial.

In 2010, Anwar was charged and tried with sodomy for the second time, this time involving his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur cleared Anwar of the charge, but the prosecution appealed, this time with Shafee being put in charge as special prosecutor.

The Court of Appeal then overturned Anwar’s acquittal in 2014, which was reaffirmed by the Federal Court in February 2015.

Anwar received a royal pardon for the conviction in May. He had argued at the Kuala Lumpur High Court that he was denied a fair trial because his prosecutor had received payment from Najib. The appellate court is set to hear his appeal on September 14.

For Anwar Ibrahim : It’s Political Power First, Malaysia Baru Second


September 10, 2018

For Anwar Ibrahim : It’s Political Power First, Malaysia Baru  Second

by Mariam Mokhtar@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Anwar Ibrahim

COMMENT | At a time when integrity amongst politicians and civil servants is at an all-time low, why is PKR President-elect, Anwar Ibrahim unashamedly abusing his power?

Anwar recently announced that a parliamentary seat would be vacated to trigger a by-election in which he hoped to contest and be made an MP.

If Anwar is as credible as he portrays himself, he should reject this fast-track method of becoming an MP. Vacating a parliamentary seat reminds us of another of UMNO-Baru’s backdoor trick. Failed politicians who lost elections were sworn in as senators, then elevated to important positions in government.

Anwar admitted that two, possibly three seats, would be made available. He claimed that he did not know which constituencies were involved and told us to wait for the announcement.

First: He should reject the proposal and censure the people who cooked up this suggestion.

Second: If he is a man of integrity, he should put the electorate first. They voted for change. They voted for the man or woman in their constituency. They placed their trust in this person. They did not elect him, only for their votes to be manipulated.

Third: Agreeing to this by-election proposal only projects Anwar as a greedy, power-hungry, self-serving and impatient man. The electorate would feel that they have been cheated of their votes, if Anwar were to become an MP, via this backdoor route.

Fourth: The rakyat is tired of elections and by-elections. The low voter turnout at the last two by-elections reflects this. The process of canvassing, and getting ready for voting, is time-consuming and expensive. The parties need to focus on ridding the nation of corruption and its other ills. Why distract politicians from their duties? Why waste money unnecessarily?

Fifth: What if Anwar loses?

The opposition, pre-GE-14, could not shift the Malay electorate without Dr Mahathir Mohamad (photo) being part of Pakatan Harapan.

Image result for mahathir mohamad

We are aware of Mahathir’s past and we want him to fix the nation, as he was responsible for many things which affect us today. He knows what should be done and how to crush UMNO-Baru.

Anwar should allow Mahathir to deal with the mess created by UMNO-Baru and not have to deal with the potential mess which Anwar might create.

In the new reformed Malaysia (Malaysia Baru) the best Anwar can do is to assist the government from the sidelines. He should not undermine the reform, by going around paying homage to various people as he did, immediately after his release from Sungai Buloh. Nor should he make remarks, as he did in Ipoh, that GLCs should not be criticised.

Prison may have stopped Anwar from knowing what goes on in the outside world, but the GLCs are part of our problem. The CEOs of GLCs, their mismanagement, and their inflated salaries and perks, have been detrimental to the efficient running of our GLCs.

Soon after his release, Anwar’s behaviour was reminiscent of another infamous spouse, the former First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM), Rosmah Mansor, who upstaged her husband, the former disgraced PM, Najib Abdul Razak.

Image result for Malaysia's First Female Deputy Prime Minister

“Why can’t some Malaysian spouses of key politicians, be less visible? One couldn’t accuse Margaret Thatcher’s husband of projecting himself.”–Mariam Mokhtar

 

Why can’t some Malaysian spouses of key politicians, be less visible? One couldn’t accuse Margaret Thatcher’s husband of projecting himself.

The rakyat is also not amused by Anwar’s name dropping (just listen to his speeches). Many moderate Muslims wonder if he will resume the Islamisation of the nation if he becomes PM.

In the early 1980s, Mahathir enlisted Anwar’s help to project a more Muslim image for UMNO, to counter the rise in the popularity of PAS, which was energised by the Iranian revolution and the global rise of Islam.

Anwar introduced the tudung to our educational institutions and today, the emphasis on rituals in Islam, has overshadowed many of the good aspects of Islam.

A few days ago, Anwar warned PKR leaders and members not to abuse their power. Wouldn’t he be abusing his power, if a seat were to be vacated especially for him?

If we worked hard to achieve a particular position in a company, why should we give way to someone else, just because he feels he deserves the post? The sense of entitlement and lust for self-aggrandisement are two of the negative traits that are destroying the work ethic and social structure of the Malays.

UMNO Baru’s tactic of using race, religion, the royals and the rural people, was a trick which they used to maximum effect to divide the people. Anwar’s party is divided, between the Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli camps.

Anwar was once a staunch UMNO-Baru man. Is he using this tactic of divide and rule, to strengthen his grip on power?

To regain the rakyat’s trust, Anwar could unite his party and force these two camps to see eye-to-eye. The nation is angry with the distractions they create. Moreover, they undermine Harapan.

The people have tasted change and found it easy to vote for an alternative government. The rakyat, which is fed-up with an impatient Anwar, may vote Harapan out of office in GE15.


MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.

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

Shafee Joins Najib Razak Liars’ Club: READ ON:


September 10, 2018

Shafee Joins Najib Razak Liars’ Club: READ ON:

 

Image result for sarawak report

Have you heard the one about the Prime Minister and the one billion dollar donation from an Arab Royal (no strings attached)?

Well, here’s another even taller story.  The chief lawyer to the aforementioned Prime Minister has admitted after publicly claiming it was “nonsense” that he had after all been paid RM9.5 million by Najib Razak out of money stolen from 1MDB.

Earlier he had denounced Sarawak Report for exposing it and threatened to “see Anwar in court” for suggesting he had been bought, has now admitted the payment was in fact entirely true.

Shafee had never imagined, of course, that BN could lose the last election and that all the forces of law and order would then be unleashed to investigate the whole affair. With the proof and documentation now presented by the public prosecutors in open court the lying lawyer has had to acknowledge the truth at last.

He should be stripped of the right to practice immediately and thrown off the defence team for Najib Razak, which attempted to gag the entire proceedings, accusing none other than Sarawak Report of falsifying information on grounds of bias.

However, Shafee still thinks he can explain his way out of the situation with a laughable tale of woe. The RM9.5 million was an act of kindness for a friend who needed a new house for his growing family, he said yesterday. What a big family it must be!

Because of this tear-inducing situation the sharp suited lawyer had decided to tot up bills owing to him from UMNO for whom he had worked for simply years without getting round to pressing for payment. Perhaps he thought UMNO was short of money?

Shafee goes on to explain that he therefore took an opportunity of a “chance meeting with” his close friend and confidante, Najib Razak, to raise the matter with him out of the blue.  Why he had never done so on all the previous occasions when they had hunkered down together, for example to discuss how to manage the supposed allegations by one Saiful Bukari against Anwar and then strategise Anwar’s prosecution, is not explained.

After Shafee had brought it up on this unspecified occasion Najib immediately paid ou,t the lawyer’s latest story continues – but not from UMNO’s various offical funds, which you would expect to be the case given Shafee claims it was for accumulated official legal services or as he put it:

“Cases that were assigned to me and my firm ranged from election petitions to other serious litigations involving UMNO and BN.  I remember undertaking litigation works on behalf of UMNO and some other clients in relation to the mega damages in defamation matters”

Najib paid Shafee out of his own bank account instead (from money that Najib says he thought was donated from the Arab Royal, but has also now admitted came from 1MDB instead).

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Strangely, Najib did not pay the money in one cheque.  As Sarawak Report originally correctly reported, Shafee received one payment RM4.3 million in 2013 and a later payment of RM5.2 million in 2014. That RM5,200,000 received in February 2014 came just a fortnight before the Appeal Court overturned the earlier acquittal of Anwar, after Najib had specially brought in Shafee to handle the prosecution case.

Shafee still says this was not a payment for those services however.  He still claims that he did that bit of work for UMNO for free – or rather he claims he did it “for the country”.

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Pascal Najadi, the grieving son of the murdered banker Hussein Najadi, former Chairman of AmBank, has pointed out that the payment in September 2013 came just a month after his father was shot dead.

 

Najadi has claimed that his father had attempted to make a police report and to notify the banking authorities about the mysterious billion dollar payments that had entered Najib’s account at his former bank shortly before his assassination.

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Can you spot Lawyer Shafee Abdullah who had mysteriously appeared at the hospital?

He also says that Shafee had mysteriously appeared at the scene as his father’s body was transferred to hospital and had aggressively taken over the handling of affairs, including a swift burial before he could reach his father’s side. He has asked if the two matters might be connected and who paid Shafee to turn up at the mortuary to take control?

Malaysians have been left to digest Shafee’s own explanation of events and the fact he has admitted now to lying in public about the whole affair. In the end they will have to see how he fares in court.