Putting Malaysia’s Future in the hands of Mahathir Mohamad


April 28, 2017

Putting Malaysia’s Future in the hands of Mahathir Mohamad

by P. Gunasegaram@www.malaysiakini.com

If only the Opposition thought like Mahathir and stayed focused on their goal – which is not to just remove Najib but to change the government for the better – they will stay well away from a man like Mahathir – his record is there for all to see. Instead they have been seduced by the mantra, let’s get rid of Najib first.

If Opposition, in its strange state of amnesia, continues to forget to remember, they are going to lose their chance to heal this nation, their agenda hijacked by the one who was ultimately responsible for all this.–P. Gunasegaram

Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the one who tore UMNO apart, six years after he became Prime minister in July, 1981 when a bruising battle saw him win the UMNO presidential elections against challenger Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah by the narrowest margin ever. But he did much worse than that.

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The Opposition trusts Mahathir, do we Malaysians? Hopefully we are not a bunch of suckers–Din Merican

When Razaleigh challenged the election results and the courts declared it illegal, he did not respect the law and hold a new election. Instead, he set up a new UMNO, UMNO Baru, using the power of incumbency to force officialdom to facilitate the transfer of assets to UMNO Baru from the old, original UMNO.

He excluded from UMNO Baru those who considered his opponents compelling Razaleigh to form the alternative Semangat 46. He went about solidifying his position in UMNO Baru by altering the party constitution making it well nigh impossible for anyone to challenge the party president again, removing a check-and-balance so vital for democracy.

In 1987, via Operasi Lalang, he imprisoned over 100 people under the Internal Security Act or ISA and shut down several newspapers ostensibly to defuse interracial tension and bring back order, sending waves of shock and fear throughout the country and consolidating his then tenuous hold on power.

He is the man who is a master at exploiting racial divisions for his own gain, using it pre and post the May 13, 1969 riots – riots whom by some accounts he “predicted” will happen – to gain rapid ascension after Malaysia’s First Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was effectively deposed by his deputy, Abdul Razak Hussein, current Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s father. Razak worked closely with young Turks within UMNO who included Mahathir and Musa Hitam among them.

Mahathir took revenge on the Judiciary in 1988, emasculating them by suspending Tun Salleh Abas,the Lord President and several Supreme Court judges and putting puppets in their place, a body blow from which the judiciary is yet to recover. Then on, Mahathir played enforcer, prosecutor, and judge. He could pretty much do what he wanted without controls, setting the stage for Malaysia’s descend into an abyss from which it is struggling to crawl out of now

There’s a fuller list of questionable things he did in an article I wrote for The Edge in June 2006 which was used in The Sun, three years after he stepped down, which posed a series of 22 groups of questions on his leadership, one for each of the 22 years he held the reins of power in the country.

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Then and Now (below)

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During the Asian financial crisis in 1998, he again resorted to strong-arm tactics to stay in power when his deputy then Anwar Ibrahim, now jailed opposition leader, mounted a thinly-disguised challenge to his leadership as the ringgit declined precipitously and the region was in turmoil following sharp falls in regional currencies.

Mahathir reacted swiftly and sharply, expelling him from all government and party posts and then sending in an elite squad to capture him at machinegun-point and detain him under the infamous ISA. He simultaneously imposed capital controls to stem the damage on the currency. And then came the sodomy charges against Anwar.

Paradoxically, it was Anwar who ensured Mahathir’s narrow victory in the 1987 party election when he prevailed upon Najib to cast the votes controlled by his block to Mahathir. If Najib had not and favoured Razaleigh instead, Razaleigh would most likely have won.

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Mahathir Mohamad with Singapore’s Philosopher-King Lee Kuan Yew

Mahathir did not even use the benefit of his dictatorial powers for the sake of the nation the way Lee Kuan Yew did for Singapore as I pointed in an article comparing the two. Lee used his immense powers to cut corruption, improve the quality of education and evolve a strong, competent and incorruptible civil service amongst others. Mahathir effectively promoted corruption and patronage, oversaw a decline in educational standards and undermined one of the finest civil services in Asia with his arbitrary decision-making.

What is it about Mahathir that makes the Opposition so enamoured of him? People like Anwar and Lim Kit Siang who directly suffered so much from his blatant misuse of authority to perpetuate his own power and continuance?

Forget to remember

Perhaps the Opposition feels, like a lot of people, that Mahathir has some power of invincibility and that he can influence the people. But an examination of history does not show this as I explained in an article in 2006.

Mahathir was elected MP for the Kota Setar Selatan seat in Kedah in 1964. It was established early on that he was not invincible when he lost the seat to PAS’ Yusof Rawa in 1969. According to some accounts, he had said in 1969 that he did not need Chinese votes to win.

Following the May 13, 1969 riots, Mahathir wrote a widely-circulated letter criticising then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. He was dismissed from his UMNO supreme council position and expelled from the party. The following year, he wrote the controversial book ‘The Malay Dilemma’ which was promptly banned, the ban being lifted in 1981 when Mahathir became Prime Minister.

Mahathir was readmitted into UMNO 1972 after Razak assumed the mantle. The Tunku had stepped down in 1970 after the 1969 riots. Mahathir stood for the Kubang Pasu parliamentary seat in 1974 and won unopposed, retaining the seat until 2004 when he did not contest after his retirement. He was appointed education minister in 1975. The vital turning point for Mahathir came the following year when Hussein Onn became Prime Minister following Razak’s untimely death. Hussein picked Mahathir as his deputy.

And this was not because Mahathir enjoyed overwhelming support in UMNO. Mahathir was picked over two UMNO Vice-Presidents who had higher votes than him, Ghafar Baba and Razaleigh. An accident of fate put Mahathir in line for the top position. When Hussein retired due to failing health, Mahathir became Prime Minister in 1981.

And in 2006 when he attempted to get elected as a delegate to UMNO, after stepping down as Prime Minister, so as to voice his opinions at the UMNO General Assembly, he got a thumping defeat, meriting an article in The New York Times. He was placed ninth in a field of 15 for delegates from Kubang Pasu, his former seat! Mahathir pleaded money politics – something he never bothered to check during his time.

Despite his intense, tireless campaigning at the age of over 90 in both Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar in June last year, BN won handsomely in both seats, indicating that Mahathir has insignificant sway with the Malay voters anyway.

The Opposition is not likely to benefit much from Mahathir and his party Bersatu, especially with PAS now seeming to align itself with the government. It seems unlikely that the disunited Opposition will win.

But what if the Opposition won? What if Bersatu held the balance of power? Would it stick with Pakatan Harapan or would it go over to UMNO and make a deal by telling to get rid of Najib and bring back Muhyiddin Yassin to take over as Prime Minister?

Surely Anwar as PM would be unthinkable for Mahathir even if a process of pardon could be initiated. Mahathir can tell Harapan, no deal unless Muhyiddin becomes PM. And so we go from Najib to Muhyiddin – is that a big improvement in the overall scheme of things.

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Mahathir Mohamad and his Accomplices in the Political Destruction of Malaysia

That’s what Mahathir wants to be – a power broker, the king-maker. That way no matter who is in power, he is not going to be brought into account for his past misdeeds. That way he has a pretty good chance of putting his son, Mukhriz, in a strong position to assume future leadership. That way he is assured that history – written by the victors as the wise tell us – will be far more kindly to him.

If any one takes the trouble to remember what this man did and stood for, he would be mad to think that Mahathir is the solution – he was, and is, the problem. Without him and his 22 years of misrule, Malaysia would not have descended to what it is today.

Mahathir was accountable to no one. Not the people, not the party, not the judges. He could do almost anything he pleased and get away with it using the apparatus and machinery of control he had put in place.

He made opaque many decisions of government, putting anything marked secret by the government as secret under the law by removing the power of judges to judge even if the secret posed no danger to the country but only embarrassed the government and exposed its corrupt ways

That was the legacy he left behind – and a leader who followed him used it to do nasty things, some worse than that by Mahathir. Now we expect Mahathir – the source of all this – to save us Malaysians from Najib!

Is that why Mahathir is sticking his neck out? For the good of the country? But remember he had his chance – 22 years of it. He bungled – all he did was to stay in power and do the greatest damage to the country ever by any one, Prime Minister or not

His goal now is not to get into power but to ensure that whoever comes into power does not destroy him. As far as Mahathir is concerned, it is always about him – not Malaysia, not Malaysians, not even the Malays.

If only the Opposition thought like Mahathir and stayed focused on their goal – which is not to just remove Najib but to change the government for the better – they will stay well away from a man like Mahathir – his record is there for all to see. Instead they have been seduced by the mantra, let’s get rid of Najib first.

If Opposition, in its strange state of amnesia, continues to forget to remember, they are going to lose their chance to heal this nation, their agenda hijacked by the one who was ultimately responsible for all this.

 

United Airlines Saga is a Lesson for Corporates and Politicians–No Bull, Please


April 16, 2017

United Airlines Saga is a Lesson for Corporates and Politicians–No Bull, Please

by Azly Rahman@www.malaysiakini.com

You can’t take your customers and voters for granted

Karma for United Airlines – share prices down and down and down, from US$700 million loss in a day to US$1.4 billion the next. This will continue. But there is a lesson here. Capitalism and its arrogance. Corporate capitalism and its treatment towards customers, in a cut-throat airline competition.

And the good Vietnamese-born doctor dragged away bloodied will sue big-time. Bravo. The world is cheering. The Internet has won again. A General Lafayette aiding George Washington in that Revolutionary War.

Lesson for Najib and UMNO in Malaysia

In the United Airlines Corporate Bulls**t and Karma story, there is a lesson for Malaysia as well. This country is known for its politeness but of late corporate and political culture is evolving towards bulls**t.

Malaysian customers too can do it, too. Whether you’re an airline or a cable TV company or a cellular communications company, you do the dance of your corporate bulls**t, public anger, with the help of social media can bring you down.

Whether you are giants like Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, or any new airlines with strange and humiliating interview techniques(Malindo), or whether you’re Astro or Celcom or Maxis or any company that takes people’s money and do not deliver quality, public anger can imitate the global reaction we are seeing with United Airlines. I hope these Malaysian companies are doing the right thing in keeping their customers happy.

So, companies must behave and refrain from exercising policies amounting to corporate bulls**t. I hope Malaysian companies such as those continue to behave well while laughing their way daily to the bank.

Even companies allying themselves with allegedly lousy and money-laundering politicians ought to be shamed and exposed of their unholy alliances, so that it is easy for the public, local and global, to also punish them for their corporate bulls**it. Let the public decide the nature of karma. Corporate karma.

Lessons for politicians as well

Though BS is your ammo, the public must be appeased, especially in the age of trolls and anyone with a cellphone is a citizen journalist. It’s the age of boycotts going viral and corporations that BS should be careful with their ethics of enterprise-sustainability.

Politicians are always a target of citizen anger, because they had promised to deliver when they were begging for votes. Yet when they have won and have held power for endless number of years, they become arrogant and thieves, suing race and religion to rationalise their moves and motives.

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And herein lie the power of the Internet trollers. The storm-bringers of the political world. The case of the leader of a major Islamic party getting trolled, and cartoonised, and humiliated in cyberspace is an example of public anger over a religious issue that is plagued with arrogance. The case of the tabling of the amendments to Act 355.

The case of unholy alliances that is framed in the language of religion and the need to have an Islamic state even though Islam does not require nations to have such a state. Islam is a personal religion that help develop the self into a kingdom of peace – not a cultural-religious ideology used by a party to insist on a system of demagoguery that belittles other religious beliefs. That is not Islam. That is a grand slam of a medieval ideology.

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Seeking solace

In the end, what Malaysia is seeing is a state of chaos and of double-dealings and triple lyings of Malay-Muslim political parties playing up each other. In the end the game is all the same – political bulls**t to the max.

The Internet as monster

The cybernetic world is precarious and brutal when it comes to addressing public anger. And no one controls the Internet. Technology will always be the winner. We have been seeing numerous cases in Malaysia wherein companies are brought down, politicians shredded to pieces, and issues of human right violations exposed for the world to see – all these by the power of the Internet and the ease of employment and deployment of social media.

Karl Marx, the social historian, said whoever owns the means of production, owns the means of changing social relations of production and consciousness as well. Today we are all owners of the means of production called free speech enabled by our personalising and ‘personacratic technology’ called the cellphone.

We are all part of the whole. In the case of fighting against corporate bulls**t and politicians with BS attitude, we are all members of the new resistance movement – the army of that is also raging. Rage against the machine, A new Luddite. A new force. To bring down capitalism’s glorified bullsh**ters.

And the biggest winner, still is the Internet. That Frankenstein of a monster roaming in cyberspace.

I hope the good doctor David Dao is feeling better. I hope it is not a case of racial profiling at the height of Trumpism. But fly not United Airlines until its corporate bullshit is grounded and buried.

Listen to Dr.Farish Noor–Public Intellectual and Academic @The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


April 12, 2017

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Listen to Dr.Farish Noor–Public Intellectual and Academic @The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore:

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Easy to catch the Corrupt,says Citizen Nades


December 3, 2016

Easy to catch the Corrupt,says Citizen Nades

http://www.thesundaily.my/node/409549

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Citizen Nades

UNTIL October 2006, few people outside political circles knew him. He rose from an obscure railway gatekeeper staying in a one-room quarters at the railway crossing where he was required to raise the barriers to allow vehicular traffic to flow after the trains had passed by.

By the time theSun front-paged the story on his “meteoric rise” and his “palace” which he had built on land meant for low-cost housing, his positions in the party and as a state assemblyman were hanging by a thread.

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The dearly departed UMNO crony of the convicted former Selangor Menteri  Besar Mohamed Khir Toyo

The late Zakaria Mat Deros (pic) (God bless his soul) gained notoriety for building his 16-bedroom house without even submitting building plans. He had not paid the assessment for 12 years on two low-cost units previously occupied by his large family.

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Jamal Yunos is arguably the richest Ikan Bakar man in the world with close connections to Najib Razak  who is the most corrupt Malaysian Prime Minister and UMNO el Presidente.

So, last week nostalgia came back when the Ikan Bakar man took journalists on a helicopter ride to show the “palace” of a politician – a divisional youth leader in the opposition.

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He is not Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police, but UMNO’s Policeman and Prime Minister Najib’s Poodle

Preceding this, Crime Watch supremo alleged that the Inspector-General of Police had himself built yet another “palace” in Mantin (pic above).

The accusers in both instances asked the relevant authorities to investigate them alleging that they must explain how they got the money to acquire such property.

This prompted a Facebook user to suggest in jest that he wants partners to start a helicopter service for aerial tours to pick out mansions of politicians. In banter, I offered my services and reasoned that I had a good track record.

Over the years, I have come across several ordinary cikgu who became millionaires after their foray into politics. There are scores of “politically connected people” (to borrow a term that has now become the new mantra for banks and bankers) living in similar luxury.

There are also good people who stepped into the dark side unable to resist their own temptation or that of their wives to lead different lifestyles and keep up with the Joneses. There are some female golfers who even have golf bags to match the colour of their attire.

Then there’s the average man who is turned over because he can’t make ends meet on his meagre salary and many dependants. But the law does not differentiate between the poor, the middle class and the rich. Perhaps, such a factor could be pleaded in mitigation for a lighter sentence.

I have been repeatedly told that being rich or wealthy does not constitute an offence. An offence only takes place if the money is obtained illegally – corruption, money laundering, criminal breach of trust, cheating and the like.

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Asking the authorities to investigate the source of the money is dangerous territory full of mine fields and cluster bombs.

First of all, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can only compel someone to declare his assets. Once the assets are declared, there is no offence.

Second, if he or she is caught with the cash or money in the bank, a non-acceptable explanation would lead to charges of money-laundering – NOT corruption; not getting assets through corruption; not getting money from illegal activities.

We had the perfect opportunity to put it right when former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi promulgated the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act to replace the outdated Anti-Corruption Act towards the end of his tenure.

In the proposals was a clause which stated: “It shall be an offence of any person to lead a lifestyle or possess assets which are disproportionate to his or her declared income.”

By the time this legislation was presented as a bill in Parliament, this clause had been removed from the original draft. We were then told that several “warlords” within the system opposed the clause because they themselves would have to account for their wealth!

So, instead of putting the onus on the official suspected of corruption to prove he earned the money legitimately, the prosecution has to prove that he had received a gratification. That is difficult because corruption is a victimless crime. Both giver and taker benefit and one usually will not squeal on the other.

In the absence of such legislation, the prosecution usually files money laundering charges. But the core issue of proving that he or she was a corrupt person through the legal process becomes almost impossible. In such circumstances, it leaves Joe Public’s imagination to run wild as to the source of the wealth.

Under these circumstances, shouldn’t that catch-all clause be re-visited with a view to tightening our anti-corruption laws? Hong Kong has been successful in its fight because such a clause in its legislation empowers officers from the Independent Commission Against Corruption to serve notice demanding explanations from suspected corrupt officials.

If they fail to provide a plausible or satisfactory account of their wealth, they are prosecuted. A few like-minded lawyer-friends had a discussion on this and came to the conclusion that if this clause is incorporated, our prisons would be overcrowded.

R. Nadeswaran had the benefit of seeing the “new” legislation before and after it was presented and passed in Parliament. Comments: citizen-nades@thesundaily.com

 

BERSIH brought out the best in Malaysians


November 24, 2016

BERSIH brought out the best in Malaysians

by Ambassador Dennis Ignatius

http://www.dennisignatius.com

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BERSIH brought out the best in us; it renewed our hope to believe that change is possible.

Now that BERSIH 5.0 is over, the campaign to define it has begun. BN parties, worried about the BERSIH effect, have embarked upon a Goebbels-like effort to rewrite the history of those few hours when yellow became the colour of our nation.

All sorts of falsehoods, misinformation and disinformation are being put out about what BERSIH stands for, who and how many attended, why they attended, what transpired that day and what was achieved. In the process, they are demonizing, discrediting and delegitimizing the people who participated.

We are being told, for example, that Saturday’s rally was a riot, that BERSIH supporters were confused or clueless as to why they were demonstrating, that they felt exploited by opposition politicians, that it was largely a gathering of DAP [read Chinese] supporters, that participation was mostly confined to so-called urban elites, that no more than 15,000 attended, that it was an attempt to overthrow the government.

For all these reasons, they would have us believe that BERSIH was a failure, a non-event, an insignificant gathering of rabble-rousers and troublemakers. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Defying intimidation

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Defying threats and intimidation, harassment and disruption, and the very real possibility of violent attack, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens flooded the streets of Kuala Lumpur and other cities in support of BERSIH.

They came with an unambiguous message to a government that has long since broken faith with its people – they want a government that upholds our constitution, that is committed to democracy, good governance and transparency, that respects the voice of the people, that puts their interests ahead of the cronies and fat cats. 

Malaysia in all its hues and colours 

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And what an eclectic mix they were: Malays, Chinese, Indians and Orang Asli; Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians; professionals, traders, hawkers, students, farmers, retirees. They came from every state, their respective state flags, and of course, the Jalur Gemilang fluttering in the wind.

Some are insisting that it was largely a Chinese affair but that is a lie that disenfranchises the thousands of Malays who were present and who came in defiance of both UMNO and PAS as well as the religious establishment.

To see Malaysians marching together as one was truly inspiring. We have our differences, of course, but there was a unity of purpose, a sense of brotherhood, a shared pain over the sad plight of our nation.

It was Malaysia in all its hues and colours, strong, proud and free. It showed us what could be, what we ought to be. Only those whose power rests on dividing the nation, of playing off brother against brother, would find nothing to rejoice about such a gathering.

A mockery of truth 

The atmosphere too was remarkable. People chanted and sang and laughed together. With the support of the police (who did an outstanding job keeping us safe), the rally was peaceful, respectful and orderly. And there was courtesy, kindness, respect, civility – something that those in power have largely forgotten.

To call it a riot, an attempt to undermine parliamentary democracy or accuse its leaders of plotting to illegally topple the government is to make a mockery of truth, to call good evil and evil good.

Of course, we were there to press for change; citizens in a democracy have the right to peacefully vent their frustrations over the abuse of power, misgovernance and corruption, to tell the Prime Minster that they have lost confidence in his leadership.

Only in authoritarian regimes is that considered subversive or unlawful. In any case, both the courts and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) have consistently upheld this fundamental right to protest. SUHAKAM, in fact, emphasized that Saturday’s gathering was by no means illegal and that “participants conducted themselves in an acceptable way, not threatening public order and the security of the country.”

Tip of the iceberg of discontent

Much is also being made about the numbers – that there were less this time around compared to previous BERSIH rallies – but BN shouldn’t be too quick to gloat. BERSIH is more than a numbers game. Those who turned up were but the tip of the iceberg of discontentment and anger. For every single person who marched on Saturday, a hundred more were at home cheering them on, marching with them in spirit, sharing their frustration, believing in their dream for a better nation.

We’ll yet hear from them come election day.

Clueless or clued-in?

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Tajuddin Abdul Rahman is what UMNO has to offer to Malaysia

BN leaders also give the citizens of our country far too little credit, esteem and respect when they assert that most rally-goers were clueless about BERSIH’s goals.

Ordinary citizens may not be as sophisticated as some of these BN elites but they understand enough to know that the country is in a mess, that unbridled corruption is destroying us, that all the race-baiting and religious extremism is pushing the nation towards the brink, that the abuse of power is turning our country into an ugly dictatorship.

After all, unlike so many politicians and their cronies, it is the people who are the first to feel the effects of corruption, failed policies and mismanagement. They are the ones who have to carry the burden of GST and pay more and more for basic necessities. They are the ones who have to struggle with substandard education, low wages and unemployment. They are the ones who have to live further and further out and pay more and more to get to work.

They are hard pressed, and they were there Saturday to tell the government of their pain.

Justice or vengeance? 

Whatever it is, the harsh reaction of the government, was totally unwarranted. As SUKAHAM itself noted, there was simply no justification for the arrest of BERSIH leaders. It was an abuse of power, plain and simple.

Image result for Suhakam Chairman Razali zzzzzzzismai.

Seldom has the state expended so much of its resources or brought so much of its power to bear to deter a peaceful gathering of citizens seeking to exercise their democratic rights.

Even that was apparently not enough for some politicians. The leader of a once-progressive political party accused BERSIH of being “out of control” and urged the government to bring back the Internal Security Act to deal with BERSIH supporters.

There’s simply no telling how low such morally-bankrupt politicians will go.

maria-bersihWorst of all, however, was the arrest of the heroic and courageous BERSIH leader, Maria Chin Abdullah, under SOSMA, the draconian anti-terrorist act, a new political low even by BN standards.

And now Maria is being made out to be some sort of sinister super villain heading a foreign-funded, CIA sponsored, ISIS-infiltrated network working in tandem with an assortment of apparently dangerous civil society groups like election monitors, Sisters in Islam and feminist NGOs to terrorize the nation.

It’s laughable really if not for the fact that a grave injustice is being committed against a true patriot and a great Malaysian.

The harsh treatment of Maria smacks of vengeance more than anything else. Malaysians will not soon forget so great an injustice.

As well, it makes the struggle for democracy and accountable government all the more urgent and justified.

BERSIH brought out the best in us

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Whatever may be said about BERSIH, one thing is clear: it brought out the best in us. It inspired a great many Malaysians to reach beyond the narrow and petty divisions that have divided us. It taught us that the dream of our founding father, Tengku Abdul Rahman, of a progressive constitutional democracy, united in diversity, is not as forlorn as they would have us believe.

The road ahead may be long and arduous but BERSIH gave us hope to believe that change is possible and it inspired us to press on.

For now, at least, that is enough. And they can’t take that from us.

 

SARAWAK Report: Rosmah and Najib Razak apply pressure on Thai Government


September 17, 2016

SARAWAK Report: Rosmah and Najib Razak apply pressure on Thai Government regarding Xavier Justo

Shock news from Bangkok has confirmed that the  so-called ‘holiday’ taken by Najib Razak and wife Rosmah in Thailand this week was no coincidence.

Wife Laura is distraught

Laura Justo

In a dramatic reversal, the Thai authorities have made a U-turn over a promised prisoner transfer agreement for Xavier Justo with the Swiss Government.

Under normal rules for prisoner release the star witness and whistleblower in the 1MDB/PetroSaudi financial scandal had been due to be returned to Switzerland on September 1st.

Informal assurances had already been given to the Swiss and US authorities that this was indeed the case and that only a few formalities were needed and papers to be signed.

Then on August 31 there was a sudden delay. Diplomatic whispers explained that since Najib was due to visit in early September it would be polite not to dominate his visit with headlines concerning his global kleptocracy case.

However, Laura Justo told Sarawak Report that she feared the Malaysians were pressurising the Thais to keep this embarrassing witness in the 1MDB case from testifying to global regulators against Najib and his former colleagues at PetroSaudi.

Her fears now seem born out. The formal meeting to secure the transfer had been postponed till today (September 16), just after the Malaysian couple had left.  However, Justo’s lawyers confirmed that the papers were now all ready to be signed for his immediate transfer, already delayed under the inter-country convention on prisoners.

There was never any doubt Rosmah would fight this release

The Justo family had made a decision to lower their profile during this sensitive period to allow formal procedures to take place. However, there was increasing concern that the desperate tactics they had already experienced at the hands of the Malaysians and PetroSaudi, now in centre frame for the world’s biggest ever kleptocracy case, would again come into play.

“They were there [in Thailand] to use every influence they had, power, money, sweetheart deals and cooperation, to get the Thais to hold on to Justo. They played the same game with Singapore. They are willing to sell out their country’s interests to save their skin” explained one observer, close to the family.

Laura Justo went public on the circumstances of her husband’s arrest and conviction in July. She explained how PetroSaudi operatives had blackmailed him into a forced confession and had boasted they had “paid everyone in Thailand” to get him arrested.

The British Director of the company, Patrick Mahony, has further admitted in a recorded conversation that behind him it was Najib who was directing the operation because:

“A Prime Minister of a country is in deep shit because of him [Justo]”

But Malaysia’s first couple and their entourage, who refuse to accept they are not all powerful and protected by impunity are still using every power they have to fight through and cement their grip on the situation.

Phoney excuses

Sure enough, today Thailand presented a U-turn to the Swiss authorities, whom they had earlier assured that all was proceeding with the transfer.

“Because of all the delays in releasing him and the recent amnesty the Thais are now saying that Xavier now has just less than a year left to serve, which means he apparently can’t be transferred! This is a complete turnaround on their previous commitments and they are playing games” wife Laura Justo has told Sarawak Report.

“My biggest fear is that the Malaysians will try and take this a step further and extradite him under some kind of legal pretence” Laura added.

Thai officials have now further warned Justo’s lawyers that despite there being ‘less than a year to serve’ there could be several months of delay after the end of the sentence before he can be released, because of ‘paperwork delays’!

Najib’s game plan to stay in power against growing coalition

Jho Low joined Rosmah and Najib in Thailand

Najib has changed his strategies by the day to keep power in the face of increasing exposure over 1MDB.

First, he lied and organised the jailing of Justo in Thailand. He then persuaded a Saudi Minister to appear to condone a story that Malaysia’s stolen billions had been ‘donated’ from an anonymous Royal donor.

Now that the US Department of Justice has exposed the whole scam Najib seems determined to just bludgeon control in Malaysia as a growing coalition of political forces are joining from all sides against him.

The couple are now preparing to fight early elections in March and Najib is trying to bulldoze through a last minute further gerrymandering of seats to disadvantage already disadvantaged opposition politicians – the size of many opposition seats is now well over ten times those of BN held constituencies, which are located mainly in rural areas where the party believes it can control the outcome through ‘money politics’.

With this ‘mandate’ the desperate ‘first couple’ believe they will be able to sweep aside all protests over their billion dollar heists.

Council of War – Jho Low joined Najib/Rosmah in Thai retreat

The purpose of the extended visit in Bangkok was plain from the start, observers say. The Malaysian Prime Minister and his wife were there to offer whatever was wanted to the Thai leadership seeking cooperation on border controls.

Malaysia’s public money is also plainly on offer to smooth any consciences in a country which PetroSaudi Directors had bragged that ‘everyone’ can be bought.

Joining the couple in Thailand was none other than the fugitive 1MDB financier Jho Low, sources have told Sarawak Report.

Others linked to 1MDB, including Nik Faisal Arif Kamil, the executive still in charge of the former subsidiary SRC International, is also believed to have joined the council of war in Thailand. SRC borrowed RM4 billion from the pension fund KWAP in 2012 and has yet to produce a satisfactory account of where that money now is.  However, several millions have been traced into Najib Razak’s private spending accounts from SRC.

Nik Kamil is known to have now returned to his home in KL, which is believed to now be the safest place for known 1MDB fugitives from the international manhunt for key players in the theft.

However, Low, who is instantly recognisable in Malaysia, has not dared to returned to the country since he was exposed last year for stealing billions of the country’s development money on behalf of Najib.

Image result for jho low yacht

Sarawak Report has previously revealed that Taiwan and Bangkok have been his favourite haunts since then, although the financier also still retains his yacht, which recently returned to Hong Kong, where he is believed to be attempting to make a sale.