Malaysians are forgetful


July 25, 2017

Malaysians are forgetful about scandals, that is why they keep coming back from Mahathir to Najib Razak

by R.Nadeswaran

http://www.malaysiakini.com

 

Forex, Maminco, Cowgate, Mara, FGV, 1mdb…what next?

 

COMMENT | Dr Mahathir Mohamed recited a sajak (poem) entitled ‘Melayu Mudah Lupa’ (Malays forget easily) at the 2001 UMNO General Assembly. After 16 years, is it still appropriate or does one word need to be changed?

Replacing “Malays” with the “Malaysians” would better describe how events and scandals of yesteryears have been consigned to the burial grounds and entombed.

But even the dead can be awakened for political expediency. After 30 years, the ghost of the foreign exchange market (forex) losses, said to run into billions of ringgit, has arisen from the grave – with hopes of it demonising the leading opposition figure, Mahathir.

So, a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) has been set up and will soon start the proceedings, in the hope of establishing a host of facts. There’s certainly nothing wrong with this – perfectly legal. Using provisions provided in the Federal Constitution, the system allows Joe Public to have privy and access to the reasons for decisions to the commitments made by our leaders and their reasons for doing so.

But what can RCIs do? What does our government do with the findings? What happens after the findings? Will they bring about changes or will they be consigned to gather dust in some steel cabinet in Putrajaya?

There have been many, but let’s look back at just two. The first was on the VK Lingam video and the other was the RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah.

V.K. Lingam–Vincent Tan’s Correct, Correct, Correct Lawyer–Fixing the Judiciary with Tun Ahmad Fairuz

In 2007, a five-man panel chaired by the former Chief Judge of Malaya, Haidar Mohamed Noor, examined a video clip allegedly of lawyer VK Lingam (photo) being involved in the manipulation of judicial appointments.

Subsequently, Lingam was barred from practising in 2015, but he has since challenged the decision of the Bar Disciplinary Committee, which found him guilty of interfering with judicial appointments. The case is scheduled to be heard next month.

In 2013, the former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Steve Shim, chaired a five-man panel to investigate “Project IC”, in which citizenship was allegedly given unlawfully to illegal immigrants in Sabah during the Mahathir administration for electoral support.

‘Project IC probably existed’

After hearing 211 witnesses and recording more than 5,000 pages of evidence, the panel concluded that “Project IC” probably existed. It recommended the formation of a permanent secretariat, along with either a management committee or a consultative council, to address the issue of illegal immigration in Sabah.

But the immigrant problems still continue to prosper across the porous borders between Malaysia and The Philippines.

Against such backdrops, what would yet another RCI bring about? For a while, the proceedings will be the talk of the town, after which, it will enter into a sleep mode to be awakened when yet another scandal surfaces on our shores.

The Cowgate Scandal–The Gatekeeper got awa ,thanks to UMNO

Can someone update Malaysians on the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp)? On July 25, 2013, NFCorp chairperson Mohamad Salleh Ismail (photo) told a press conference that Japanese company, Kirimitonas Agro Sdn Bhd, had agreed to purchase its entire shares and related companies, and accordingly take over all the assets and liabilities, including the RM250 million loan with the Malaysian government.

Two weeks earlier, the then Finance Minister II Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, told Parliament that the government had recovered RM79.9 million from the RM250 million it loaned NFCorp.

Ahmad Husni said the government also sealed NFCorp’s assets worth RM23.3 million – two pieces of land in Putrajaya, two units of real estate in Menerung Township Villa and three plots of land in Gemas.

“Out of the RM250 million, close to RM80 million has been received and RM170 million is yet to be received,” he said when winding up the debate for his ministry on the motion of thanks for the Royal Address in the Dewan Rakyat then.

Ahmad Husni said the Finance Ministry took three steps to resolve the NFC project controversy, namely bringing the case to court, taking over or getting back the amount owed and the assets, and finding a new company to continue the project.

And they drive around in their Porsches…

What happened to the real estate that was seized? Can someone give Malaysian taxpayers a status report on the case? After all, RM250 million belonging to the people was given in loans and surely, the least we can expect is some decent, truthful answers. No need for an RCI to tell us how the money for cattle breeding was used to buy luxury condos and property.

Almost two years ago, Mara, its associated companies and senior officials were caught with their hands in the cookie jar. They were involved in a multi-million ringgit scandal where buildings (student accommodation) in Melbourne were bought at inflated prices and the difference filtered down to some people’s pockets.

Police reports were made; the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission briefly detained a couple of people, and the Mara Chairperson was replaced. So, what happened to the investigations? Have the crooks been brought to book? Some of them are driving around their Porsche cars, acting as if nothing ever happened.

The construction of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) was the biggest financial scandal in the country prior to the emergence of an entity called 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Six people were charged and all were acquitted. But, if no one is guilty, then the question is: Where did our money go?

The government continues to service the loans taken by the developer. Even as this is written, the Port Klang Authority (PKA) owes the Treasury billions of ringgit. By the year 2051, PKA’s commitment will accumulate to RM12.4 billion. How is it going to get the money? As a regulatory body, its revenues are meagre. Did anyone think about an RCI to get to the bottom of the issue? Bottom line: The loan will be written off and we, the people, will have to bear that burden.

Image result for The Mother of All Malaysian ScandalsThank You MCA and MIC–Gua Tolong Lu, Lu Tolong Gua

There are dozens of other instances or issues that may not be of the magnitude of the forex losses but have made headlines that require some form of inquiry. The obvious one is the 1MDB, which has made headlines all over the world for the wrong reasons.

But does the government have the political will and determination to get the bottom of all these, especially the Mother of all Scandals?

 

Citizen Nades on a Mission Larger than himself


April 5, 2017

Citizen Nades on a Mission Larger than himself beyond Curi-Curi (Steal-Steal) Malaysia

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

https://www.mariammokhtar.com/an-interview-with-citizen-nades-the-author-of-curi-curi-malaysia/

When R Nadeswaran, the former editor of Special and Investigative Reporting at theSun, retired last December, it was not because he had called it a day, or wanted to potter around in the garden, tending to his prized orchids.

He had a bigger mission at hand, and that was to focus on, and publish his second book, called ‘Curi-Curi Malaysia’.

Image result for nadeswaran curi curi malaysia

My friend and Fellow Malaysian, R Nadeswaran (Citizen Nades) is on a mission larger than himself. A pioneer investigative reporter, he is fearless and relentless in his pursuit of truth, but he is  responsible and balanced in his expose. I admire and respect Citizen Nades for his dedication to civic duty.

Like a good soldier, he will not retire but like me and others of his generation, he will fade away when his mission is finally accomplished, that is when the present incompetent and corrupt regime led by the infamous duo of Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor is replaced by a government committed to good governance. I wish him well as he charts his next mission–always larger than himself–to make Malaysia a place for all Malaysians and an oasis of integrity and honesty.–Din Merican

Launched in January 2017, ‘Curi-Curi Malaysia’ is self-published, and as Nades points out, is not an autobiography, which he claims he has no desire to write. Nor is it a compilation of his articles, which after a distinguished career spanning over 45 years, would probably fill several volumes, like the Encyclopædia Britannica.

No! ‘Curi-Curi Malaysia’ describes the hours of hard work done by him and his team of investigative journalists. More often than not, the work would have been shared with his former partner of many years, Terence Fernandez.

People may recognise Citizen Nades as the man who broke the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) story, or the reporter with the dogged determination to prevent the culprits in the PKFZ scandal from escaping scot-free (they did, as the recent court case in March showed!).

It will come as no surprise to many Malaysians, that there are other scandals, some we know about, and many of which we are unaware.

‘Curi-Curi Malaysia’ represents the tip of this iceberg. Nades covers only the stories for which he has expert knowledge. For that reason, he avoids sensitive topics, such as religious issues, in which, he readily admits, that he is not an expert, and religious interpretations are needed.

Many people who read about an exposé in a newspaper do not realise the months of work, the money spent and dedication needed to produce a one-page-long article. They do not know about the threats to the reporters, the unanswered calls, the emails which are ignored, the sleepless nights or the frustration of trying to get a straight response from a corrupt politician who is avoiding a straight answer.

Nor would the reader know about the angst of having to deal with a civil servant who is petrified of telling the truth, for fear of losing his job.

Work of journalists more challenging and frustrating

Equally important, says Nades, is having an editor, or a newspaper owner, who allows free rein over the piece, so that he, as a responsible journalist, need not look over his shoulder all the time.

In today’s climate, with newspaper ownership in the hands of the powerful, who have strong links to the ruling politicians, Nades knows that the work of many journalists is more challenging and frustrating than ever.

Nades, once referred to as “the scariest man in Malaysia”, is also a reporter of whom the politicians are wary. If an email from Nades were to land on the desk of a junior member of a government department, it would soon find its way to the minister. An example of a minister who is micro-managing, perhaps?

Ministers and civil servants treat Nades with kid gloves. One wrong slip and he may have a major story on his hands.

In the northern hemisphere, spring is in the air, and in England, the Chelsea Flower Show (CFS) will be open to the public and the Queen. In 2011, Tourism Malaysia tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the horticultural world.

As Nades pointed out, Tourism Malaysia opened a tender exercise, in which people were invited to pay for tender documents, despite having already awarded the contract to represent Malaysia at the prestigious show.

Nades was most interested in transparency and accountability, but it is doubtful if the respective Malaysian departments were willing to help him.

He managed to expose the cheating, and exorbitant expenses claimed by Malaysian officials, who stayed in London, to attend the CFS. More importantly, he discovered the Malaysian CFS garden exhibit did not have any Malaysian plant species, because quarantine laws had to be respected.

In fact, the award-winning Malaysian garden contained plants which, although native to Malaysia, were sourced and cultivated in Holland. Another wayang!

Image result for Ng Yen Yen

Ng Yen Yen–Ex Tourism

The behind-the-scenes exchanges, of many other eye-watering cases of abuse of the Malaysian taxpayers’ money are highlighted in ‘Curi-Curi Malaysia’, the book that has taken Nades on a personal quest, throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Australia, England and Europe.

Image result for azalina othman

Former Minister of Tourism Azalina Othman Said before she became Macho Minister in Najib Razak’s Cabinet (pic below)

Image result for azalina othman

These scandals include the Awana Chelsea restaurant, the Brickendonbury sports centre, jet-setting VIP wives, the Paya Indah Wetlands, the palatial mansion in Port Klang and ministers Ng Yen Yen and Azalina Othman Said (both were Tourism Ministers).

At his book launch, Nades reminded his audience to make others aware of the controversies, the corruption and the injustice. He told us to do the right thing in GE-14. So, grab a copy, before ‘Curi-Curi Malaysia’ is banned.