Malaysia: China, Malaysian Chinese and GE-14


February 15, 2017

Malaysia: China, Malaysian Chinese and GE-14

by Dato Dennis Ignatius@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

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Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak (pictured with de facto PM Rosmah Mansor) recently offered three reasons why Barisan Nasional (BN) can expect a significant increase in support from the Chinese community at the next general elections – “the opposition’s shortcomings despite being given the opportunity; Malaysia’s good relations with China; and, the good moral politics practiced by the BN.” (Bernama, 5th February 2017)

It is an astonishing assertion to say the least. In the first place, by any reckoning, the Opposition in both Selangor and Penang has, in fact, performed far better than previous UMNO-BN governments. In a few short years, corruption and waste are significantly down; there is greater accountability and transparency and people are better off than before. And this despite the unrelenting hostility and lack of cooperation from the federal government.

The Opposition may have their shortcomings but there’s little doubt that if they ever came to power at the federal level, Malaysia would be the better for it.

As for the claim that BN practices “good moral politics,” it is so risible that it isn’t even worth a second thought.

The China card

The reference to China, on the other hand, is significant if only for the mindset it reveals. It suggests that the Minister  who is notorious when he was a Sabah state minister  considers Malaysian Chinese more parochial than patriotic, that the Chinese community will overlook the bigotry and racial prejudice perpetrated against them as well as the injustice, corruption and scandal that have blighted our nation simply because they prize good relations with China.

Acting on this belief, UMNO-BN ministers have assiduously sought to co-opt China into their elections strategy in the expectation that China’s ringing endorsement of the current Malaysian leadership will play out well with Malaysian Chinese.

At the ground level, a senior UMNO minister even went so far as to accompany the Chinese Ambassador around as the ambassador distributed Chinese government assistance to Malaysian Chinese schools, something that was always frowned upon in the past.

The MCA too appears to be counting on China’s endorsement to restore its fortunes as the party of choice for Malaysian Chinese. By setting up a PRC affairs committee and an OBOR (One Belt One Road) centre, the MCA is clearly hoping to convince Malaysian Chinese that its close relationship with China will bring huge dividends to the Malaysian Chinese community through lucrative deals, projects and other businesses.

But is relations with China a key election issue for Malaysian Chinese? Even a cursory survey of Malaysian Chinese attitudes suggests otherwise. In fact, their key concerns – security, education, tolerance and good governance – are not even on Salleh’s radar.

Security and safety

There is no doubt that Malaysian Chinese have been quite traumatized by the rising level of anti-Chinese sentiment in the country as well as the threat of racial violence.

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The Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur (2015)

For many, the 2015 Petaling Street affair – when senior UMNO leaders shamefully stood by and did nothing even as the Red Shirts threatened a bloodbath – was a turning point; it indicated that Malaysian Chinese could no longer count on UMNO-BN for their safety and survival.

Frustrated at the lack of government action and fearful for their safety, many Malaysian Chinese, and others as well, applauded when the Chinese Ambassador finally intervened to stop things from getting out of hand.

Those who believe that China might provide some protection for Malaysian Chinese might, therefore, welcome closer relations with China; not because of any loyalty per se to their ancestral homeland but simply in the hope that it would bring a measure of stability.

Some also harbour the hope that closer relations with China might somehow forestall the growing drift towards Islamic extremism in Malaysia, another area of great concern to Malaysian Chinese as well as to other Malaysians. They reason that the more indispensable China is to Malaysia’s economic well-being and to UMNO-BN’s survival, the less UMNO would want to scare them away with any dramatic Islamisation initiatives.

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The Anti-Chinese Malays

Whether China can or will provide such a security blanket is, however, an open question. Observers have argued, for example, that the Chinese Ambassador’s intervention in the Petaling Street affair was aimed more at avoiding the kind of internal instability that could jeopardize China’s economic and political gains in the country rather than out of any particular concern for Malaysian Chinese.

Education

It is no secret that Malaysian Chinese also place a very high premium on education and the opportunities that a good education provides. It is, after all, education that transformed a ragtag bunch of largely indentured labourers into an economic powerhouse that Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi recently described as “the group that will carry the nation forward.”

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The Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi with UMNO Racists, Noh Omar and Jamal Ikan Bakar Yunos

In this context, the Chinese school system occupies a special place in the Malaysian Chinese psyche. It is more than just education; it is about inculcating traditional values, culture and language. Its very existence is a psychological beacon of hope and comfort, an assurance that their language, culture and identity will endure.

When the Chinese school system is condemned as unconstitutional, detrimental to national integration and threatened with closure, when the Unified Examination Certificate is refused recognition, when funds are withheld, it is, rightly or wrongly, perceived as a thinly veiled attack on the Malaysian Chinese community itself.

After all, how is it justified to demand the closure of Chinese schools on the grounds of national unity when Chinese schools today are more integrated than national schools, when foreign English-medium private schools proliferate, when monoracial educational and religious institutions continue to flourish with government support?

To be sure, we have a serious national unity issue in this country that needs urgent attention. However, the way to build unity must surely be through consultation, cooperation and accommodation rather than further marginalising besieged minorities or demonising them for political expediency.

Tolerance

As well, Malaysian Chinese are deeply concerned, even grieved, over the way they have been racially harassed and taunted by many from within UMNO and PAS itself.

It hurts that even after more than a century of living in Malaysia and contributing to its development as much as anyone else, they are still considered interlopers, intruders and “pendatangs.” It hurts when they are taunted as unpatriotic, as disloyal, as ungrateful. It hurts when decades of blood, sweat and tears in the service of their nation are dismissed as irrelevant or deliberately downplayed. Or that their votes are not solicited with promises of wise policies but demanded with threats of punishment and retribution.

And it hurts when those who come from countries like Indonesia are permitted to be proud of their heritage while Malaysian Chinese must always be watchful lest they be accused of chauvinism and disloyalty.

Sure, no community is without their faults but the constant racist polemics is discouraging, discomforting and disquieting.

Good governance

Finally, there is the issue of good governance.Like other Malaysians, Malaysian Chinese are sick and tired of the corruption and abuse of power that has become commonplace in our nation today.

It was this concern that compelled thousands of them to join their fellow citizens in participating in the BERSIH rallies, despite the threats and intimidation, to press for political change, for respect for the constitution and for good and clean governance.

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Malaysian Chinese, in fact, feel insulted that politicians think they can be won over simply on the promise of good relations with China. They are, first and foremost, Malaysians and it is national issues like good governance, justice and respect for diversity that matter far more to them than relations with China.

Malaysian Chinese want what other Malaysians want

If UMNO-BN wants to win the support of Malaysian Chinese, it does not need to look to China; it simply needs to treat them with respect and dignity as fellow citizens of this nation we all call home.

In the final analysis, Malaysian Chinese want what everybody else in Malaysia so desperately wants – good governance, security, respect for our constitution and for the rights of all citizens irrespective of race or religion, and the opportunity to pursue their dreams and live in peace with their fellow citizens. And the answer to that is not found in Beijing but in Putrajaya.

 

 

 

Malaysians are a tolerant and docile lot


February 15, 2017

Malaysians are a tolerant and docile lot over Najib Razak, bigotry, racism, corruption

by S. Thayaparan@www.malaysiakini.com

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“The difference between fundamentalists and moderates – and certainly the difference between all ‘extremists’ and moderates – is the degree to which they see political and military action to be intrinsic to the practice of their faith. In any case, people who believe that Islam must inform every dimension of human existence, including politics and law, are now generally called not ‘fundamentalists’ or ‘extremists’ but, rather, ‘Islamists’.” – Sam Harris

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak described (an example of) the beauty of Malaysia as the Chinese waiting (uncomplaining) for Muslim potentates while they prayed when an official function was about to begin. This really sums up the concept of “moderation” in this country. The non-Muslims do not complain and indeed make pacts with Islamists, and life carries on as usual as long as there is money to be made.

In this country, “tolerance” is a one-way street. It is a street only used by the non-Malay population. The claim that the constitution guarantees certain rights is a complete sham. Mind you, the word “tolerance” is in itself a loathsome word. It is a word lacking empathy, simpatico, goodwill or camaraderie. The word implies, “enduring” instead of “accepting” and “understanding” – all those sentiments that denote a sense of belonging.

When it comes to race and specifically religion, I wrote – “…The reality is that the only people who find themselves disturbed by another religion are the non-Muslims. If there is a disparity in treatment, a lack of fairness, outright persecution or double standards, it is faced by non-Muslim communities.”

The post-69 history of Malaysia is the history of non-Malays non-complaining, as we allowed our country and our politics to be hijacked by charlatans who promised security, stability and prosperity if we continued tolerating everything that deep down inside we knew was destroying this country.

Image result for Najib Razak QuotesThat’s a lot bull, Prime Minister Najib, you betrayed our Trust, and one day you are going to pay the price for doing so.–Din Merican

When the Prime Minister of this country claims that “The Federal Constitution stresses that we must respect our difference in diversity in terms of culture, language and religion”, I double up in laughter because the constitution is meaningless without people who actually believe in discovering and enforcing the intent of the constitution.

Honestly, this is the same regime where a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department wanted to crack down on religious pluralism (amongst others) because “They are trying to do this by putting pressure on our country to surrender and adhere to what they said as ‘international standards and laws’ to allow total freedom of human rights, which contravenes the principles and teachings of Islam, the cultures of our multiracial people, and the spirit of the Federal Constitution.”

This has never been about a government of equals. This has always been about creating a monolithic community under the yoke of UMNO. Always remember what the Pahang mufti said after he backtracked form his genocide comment – “We are not forcing but I urge non-Muslims to convert to Islam to be safe in the afterlife and for unity in Malaysia. There will be no more chaos and we can focus on development” – which is the canard that Muslims shove down one another’s throats in attempt at solidarity.

So yes, we are a “tolerant” people. And if you are Malay and feel the same way about what non-Malays have tolerated, then perhaps you understand the situation deeper than the average establishment supporter.

Unilateral conversions

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The man who destroyed our institutions–Can Malaysians think?

We tolerated a great many things. Here are some of things I think we tolerate.We are tolerant that a specific race is defined in our constitution. We are tolerant that race determines privileges. We are tolerant that a religion is deemed superior and this is codified in our laws and constitution. We are tolerant that the security apparatus in our country determines which laws to follow. We are tolerant when our religions are mocked and we are branded traitors because we defend our rights which are supposedly enshrined in our constitution.

We are tolerant when religious personalities imply that oppositional political parties are the enemies of Islam and thus open to war-like retribution. We are tolerant when our public spaces are invaded by a state-sanctioned religion. We are tolerant when we are warned not to interfere in the state-sponsored religion even though it has been objectively proven that the same religion interferes in our rights.

We are tolerant when our children are indoctrinated in our public schools. We are tolerant when our politicians play the race-and-religion card at every opportunity. We are tolerant when men convert to the state’s religion to vindictively attack their wives and children. We are tolerant when public spaces are raided by religious officials and our fellow countrymen and women are dragged out and humiliated. We are tolerant when the propaganda organs of the state lie and disseminate fake news vilifying Malaysians as “racist”, “chauvinist” and “anti-Islam”.

We are tolerant when members of the so-called opposition claim that they have to use the same tactics as UMNO to remove the current grand poohbah. We are tolerant when voices tell us that we should be grateful for being allowed to live here. We are tolerant when our history is distorted.

We are tolerant when foreign Islamists came to this country and mock our religions. We are tolerant when we are warned by the mainstream political establishment that we can never assume to lead this country because this would hurt the sensitivities of the majority. We are tolerant when the natives of this land are abused and expelled from their ancestral homes.

We are tolerant of unilateral conversions. We are tolerant of attacks against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. We are tolerant of attacks against liberalism and progressive ideas. We are tolerant when our education system is used as a petri dish. We are tolerant of quotas in our education system. We are tolerant of quotas in our civil and security services. We are tolerant of deaths in custody. We are tolerant when laws are created that would give the executive unlimited powers. So yes, we tolerate a great many things.

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The UMNO racists

The UMNO state understands that the non-Muslims would not do anything about it. Sure, a majority of non-Muslims would like to see Najib go and they would be joined by Muslims with the same cause, but ultimately the UMNO state knows when the chips are down, the opposition will not do anything to challenge UMNO hegemony on race and religion.

Indeed, the regime is extremely confident that the Malaysian non-Malays will tolerate this, too.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah: Understand Malaysia better through its History


February 14, 2017

HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah:  Understand Malaysia better through its History

COMMENT: HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah, the Oxford and Harvard-educated political economist, is to be congratulated for publishing a monumental book on Malaysia’s economic history.

One cannot dispute His Royal Highness’ view that understanding the country’s economic, political and socio-cultural history is important since it enables us to appreciate the progress we have achieved since Independence in 1957 due to the contributions of our diverse communities, and learn from our policy failures, and follies and frailties of our past leaders and administrators.

Our achievements have been spectacular by any measure  to earn the respect of the world. The developing world used to look up to us for our economic success. But in recent years, while we enjoy continued economic growth (in GDP terms), albeit modest by comparison with our past attainments, the management of our economy has been increasingly disappointing and depressing. The level of corruption is now the worst I have ever witnessed in my nearly 45 years of public, corporate, academic and civil society life.

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It is obvious to me at least that our present generation of UMNO-BN leaders have not learned the lessons of history especially why nations can and have failed because of corruption, abuse of power and sheer incompetence. HRH Sultan of Perak would, therefore, be well advised to remind Prime Minister Najib Razak of the consequences of poor governance. Preaching to the converted like me and others is inconsequential since we are not in power.

Finally, I must add my disappointment with this piece by Hanis Zainal. While publicizing HRH Sultan Nazrin’s book, she chose not acknowledge that scholars and academics like James Puthucheary, Agoes Salim, Lin See Yan, Rais Saniman, Junid Saham, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Edmund Terrence Gomez, Mohamed Ariff (formally with MIER),Kamal Salih (USM), Lim Teck Ghee, Johan  Saravanamuttu et.al have contributed immensely to our understanding of Malaysia’s political economy and history. They have, in fact, preceded HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah.–Din Merican

by Hanis Zainal@www.thestar.com.my

The key to understanding a country better is through its history, so it is logical to assume the key to studying a country’s economy is through studying its econo­mic history.

This was what Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah set out to achieve in Charting the Economy: Early 20th Century Malaya and Contemporary Malaysian Contrasts which was launched yesterday.

The book charts the country’s economic activities under colonial rule and contrasts it with the economic growth and development in contemporary Malaysia.

During the launch at a hotel here, Sultan Nazrin said that lessons learned from history carry “great relevance” for overcoming the economic challenges of modern-era Malaysia.

 “To better understand contemporary economic performance, it is necessary for us to go back into history to understand long-term trends,” he said.

In his book, Sultan Nazrin charts the changes – from an economy based largely on agriculture and mining in the past to one that is more diversified and broad today.

One of the most important lessons he learned in his study was of people’s contributions to the economy, said Sultan Nazrin.

“The truly remarkable economic and social transformation that Malaysia has experienced is due to the outstanding contributions made by all of our diverse communities working together.”

Quoting novelist Henri Fauconnier, who wrote the Soul of Malaya, Sultan Nazrin said the soul of Malaysia “is found in the country’s diverse people”.

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In his address, Harvard University’s Professor of Political Economy Prof Dwight Perkins noted the book’s importance to the economic literature of Malaysia.

Charting the Economy is published by Oxford University Press and retails at RM99 at all major bookshops in Malaysia.

 

UMNO is Mudlaysia, Mucklaysia, Merdelaysia


February 4, 2017

UMNO is Mudlaysia, Mucklaysia, Merdelaysia

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

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Guards of Dishonour for President, Mudlaysia, Mucklaysia, Merdelaysia (UMNO)

I must confess to loving coining puns on the word ‘Malaysia’, as I know how much it upsets those legions of hypocrites who don’t seem to mind UMNO-BN’s having spent six decades so comprehensively ‘corrupting’ the country as to make its name mud, muck or merde (in French) in the global community, but are driven to frenzies of fury by my merely corrupting its spelling.

So if you’re one of those people so deranged as to delude yourself that Malaysia has any dignity to stand on, or deserves any shred of respect from me or anyone else after so many dreary decades of dreadful misrule by the ‘criminal’ UMNO-BN regime, I suggest you go read something else.

Or, better still, deal with your shame and shaky self-esteem by attacking not me, the messenger, but the agents of Malaysia’s disgrace, the misleaders, members, accomplices and supporters of the misruling regime.

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“UMNO does not practice corruption.” UMNO is incorrigibly CORRUPT

One of whose senior members and literally as well as figuratively ugly faces, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (he is actually not Royalty since he is Teuku from Sumatra like P. Ramlee) , earlier this week had the unspeakable arrogance to claim that “UMNO doesn’t practice corruption”.

Responding to a televised warning by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad that the MACC “has corrupt politicians in its crosshairs”, Tengku Adnan was quoted as saying that “well… the warning, to me, is a warning. It is quite good for us all to be careful, to be aware.’

“But we don’t practice corrupt practices so please don’t practice corrupt practices,” he continued, clearly with his tongue planted firmly in his lumpy cheek as he played his part in his hopelessly ‘corrupt’ regime’s latest laughable attempt to portray itself as clean.

Of course a great many and indeed possibly the majority of Malaysians are perfectly well aware that the MACC’s latest alleged anti-corruption drive is yet another regime attempt to fool the ignorant.

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Corruption Heroes led by Abu Kassim who has been replaced by Dato’ Dzulkifli Ahmad (pic below)

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As lots of far-from ignorant Malaysiakini readers scornfully commented, the UMNO party itself, and by extension the UMNO-BN regime it dominates, has no further need to ‘practice’ corruption, having perfected it years ago.

Perfected the practice of corruption not only in and for themselves both individually and collectively, but also perfected the art of perpetuating their perfectly corrupt system by riddling so much of the rest of Malaysia with the rot of corruption, and in the process so euphemising and otherwise ‘normalising’ it, that even the most cynical of citizens would surely be astonished at its degree and extent.

For example, it seems to me that most of us observers of Umno/BN’s expertly-perfected system of corruption tend to see it as exemplified by the countless massive financial frauds, scams, embezzlements and outright thefts that have characterised the regime’s seemingly endless misleading of Malaysia.

Large-scale larcenies

But actually these large-scale larcenies are just the tip of the iceberg (or, as I’ve suggested before, heistberg), because they overshadow and distract our attention from the continual, day-by-day, hour-by-hour squandering and alleged stealing of public funds in every department of government, at every level, as at least partially revealed by the auditor-general in the totally-ignored report he makes every year.

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UMMO Information Chief and MARA Chairman under Investigation by MACC

Then there is the massive corruption that’s absolutely intrinsic to UMNO and indeed all the component parties of Barisan Nasional.

While commonly minimised or mitigated by the culprits as ‘money politics’, this is nothing more or less than the blatant purchase of party positions and other posts for cash, with the result that money trumps merit at every level of so-called government, or rather grubernment.

And every level of grubernment, and every one of the so-called civil services, and indeed most of Malaysia’s civil, social and religious institutions are also seemingly corrupt. Or, in other words, according to the definition provided by my Oxford Dictionary ‘willing to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain’.

Thus, all the so-called ‘journalists’ and all the managers and members of staff of the regime-complicit ‘mainstream’ ‘news’ media are, as evidenced by their willingness to dishonestly hide or manipulate the ‘truth’ about the regime in return for their salaries or positions, are corrupt.

As are seemingly the members and management of the MACC, in their all-too-obvious willingness to act dishonestly by allegedly selectively ‘investigating’ minor-league corruption suspects in a bid to make the prime minister and his perfectly corrupt henchpersons appear honest in their pretence to be against the very corruption that they themselves thrive on.

And the same goes for all the other arms, or, more accurately harms, of the perfectly corrupt UMNO-BN monster, from an electoral commission that is apparently willing to dishonestly draw electoral boundaries, and dishonestly conduct polls, in return for salaries or positions; to a police force (i.e farce) and other apparatchiks, far too many of whose big-wigs and rank-and-file are willing, indeed in some cases eager, to dishonestly skew the institutions of law and order in the perfectly corrupt regime’s favour in return for enough pay, perks or other opportunities to survive if not thrive on.

In short, given the perfectly spectacular levels of corruption that the Umno/BN regime has managed to achieve with decades of dedicated practice, and all the people they have perfectly corrupted into Mudlaysians, Mucklaysians and Merdelaysians in the process, it’s a miracle to me that there are any true Malaysians left.

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Veteran UMNO Member and sacked FELDA Chairman

But there are, and let’s hope for a future Malaysia’s sake that they’re well and truly in the majority, and united in their determination to rescue the country they love from the perfectly corrupt Umno/BN regime when the current perfectly corrupt current prime minister decides to hold the next perfectly corrupt general election.


DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.

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

https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/371367#ixzz4XgxDCfHC

 

Malaysia: Exorcising Political Evil Spirits in Year of the Fire Rooster


January 27, 2017

Malaysia: Exorcising Political  Evil Spirits in Year of the Fire Rooster

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

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As deeply suspicious of superstition as I am, I must say I have a lot more confidence than usual that my annual Kung Hee Phatt Choi wishes will, or at least can, come true for the vast majority of us in this coming Lunar New Year of the Fire Rooster.

Because, in the process of scratching around among the prophecy-for-profit sites for enough grains of wisdom, or at least wishful-thinking, to inspire me to start pecking-away at the keyboard this week, I came across on that declared this Year of the Rooster to be a ‘wake-up call’ for the ‘exorcism of evil spirits.’

Admittedly, for all I know, this message may have been intended to have a mysteriously metaphysical or otherwise other-worldly meaning. But, simple soul as I am, I couldn’t help taking it literally, as I’ve long been conscious of the fact that there are far too many evil spirits existing and exercising themselves at our expense in this real world of ours, and a wake-up call to start exorcising them is way overdue.

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And nowhere more so than in Malaysia, where the evil spirits of the UMNO-BN regime have been, to switch to more appropriately to poultry-related imagery, treating the country as if was their own foul-yard in which to endlessly rule the roost, or in other words their very own dunghill to crow on, for an astonishing 59 years.

Astonishing to many Malaysian exiles and expatriates, perhaps, not to mention us non-Malaysians, but evidently not sufficiently alarming as to arouse the majority of the nation’s citizens from their deep slumbers.

Certainly there’s a considerable and growing minority of Malaysians who are as wide-awake as can be to the crying need to turn the UMNO-BN rule-the-roosters for once and for all into feather dusters as they so richly deserve.

But so far all their efforts at ridding the country of the curse of the UMNO-BN’s self-styled cocks-of-the-walk, and thus beginning the long process of exorcising Malaysia of the their fowl influence, have turned-out to be futile exercises in nothing much more than cackling and squawking.

Because far too many Malaysians are still allowing themselves to be lulled into silence or some species of waking stupor, if not outright sleep, by a system so totally cocked-up as to included ‘free’ chicken-feed cash handouts and election-day bribes, unconstitutional laws designed to make most people too chicken to complain or protest, and a ceaseless barrage of cock-and-bull stories from the boss-cockies themselves, their capons in the police, ‘justice’ system, ‘religious’ organisations, civil services, government-linked companies (GLCs), regime-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and of course the cockroaches of the so-called ‘mainstream’ media.

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Najib Razak and Kulup– Eggheads stick together

And the ruling-regime roosters themselves, far from being fazed by the fact that when sufficient Malaysians finally arouse themselves they’ll be given the chop, neck and crop, and end up as jailbirds, have taken to crowing about being inspired by the election to the US presidency of that supreme coxcomb, Donald Trump.

Attributing Trump’s success despite his UMNO-style unpopularity to his dominance of ‘non-traditional’ media during the presidential campaign, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi urged his UMNO accomplices and supporters to do likewise.

But as usual Zahid was talking total crap in thus trying to portray UMNO and Trump as similarly underdogs and thus birds of the same feather, given that UMNO has for decades dominated Malaysia’s traditional media, not to mention all the other influential institutions in the nation, allegedly including, crucially, in this context, the Election Commission.

‘UMNO-BN can hardly emulate Trump’

And in any case, UMNO-BN can hardly emulate Trump in making the kinds of promises, however empty they will doubtless prove to be, that arguably won him the election, media or no media.

The idea of UMNO-BN’s promising to ‘make Malaysia great again’ would be ridiculous in light of the fact that the ruling regime has consistently led the nation further toward disgrace than anything remotely like greatness.

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And as for the possibility of its plagiarising Trump’s promise to ‘drain the Washington swamp’, surely even Zahid would have to draw the line at promising to drain the Putrajaya cesspit, given that it was UMNO-BN who dug the thing, and has spent decades filling this stinking morass to overflowing.

Meanwhile, not to be trumped in the talking-cock department by Zahid, Malaysia’s supreme rooster, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, was busy speaking, or, more appropriately, beaking about national unity.

Addressing a ‘Moments of Unity’ event organised by the Malaysian National Unity Department, he declared that “our theme today is ‘moments of unity’. But the truth is, we don’t want just moments of unity. What we want is unity always.”

He then went on with lots more in this tedious vein, before pointing-out that “Malaysia is a multicultural nation,” and therefore “unity has to be translated into action and cannot remain as merely words or thoughts.”

All of which came across as a load of typically self-serving poppycock, in light of his infamous threat at an UMNO Annual General Assembly some years ago to bathe his keris in Chinese blood, and his administration’s strenuous efforts since then to keep ruling the races by dividing them, while pretending to promote racial harmony.

But at least there’s one grain of reality in Najib’s urging for unity. Never in all the years that I’ve been observing Malaysian politics has any Prime Minister/head of UMNO so powerfully and increasingly unified Malaysians in their loathing of himself, his party and his ruling coalition.

And what with the Scorpene submarine scandal and the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder still unifyingly fresh in our memories, and the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scam still ongoing, and massive ‘leakages’ being revealed in not just Felda and related companies, but also Tabung Haji and doubtless countless other regime-linked organisations yet to come, this Year of the Rooster looks like the most anti-Najib and anti-UMNO-BN unifying year yet.

And hopefully a wake-up call that will finally awaken enough Malaysians and fire them with a burning desire to put an end to this cock-up of a regime, or, in other words, to seal its cock-a-doodle-doom.


DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.

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

 

BMF and 1MDB–Two Wrongs don’t make it right


January 26, 2017

BMF and 1MDB–Two Wrongs don’t make it right because in the end the losers are Malaysian Taxpayers

by Susan Loone@www.malaysiakini.com

Original Title: DAP: BMF money didn’t go into Dr M’s account

Najib’s Mentor turned Tormentor–Two Wrongs don’t make it right

DAP veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said the 1MDB controversy was much more serious than the declassified US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) document which claimed that Mahathir Administration had links to the Bumiputera Malaysia Finance Ltd (BMF) scandal.

During a press conference in Penang today, Lim said the declassified documents offered nothing new and that he had said far more in the past on the issue through his press statements and his speeches in Parliament.

“The report did not say anything which I have not said before,” said Lim. “I have even debated the government report on the BMF scandal, but I am not even allowed to raise the 1MDB issue in Parliament, I may not be allowed to mention the word kleptocracy.”

Also at the press conference was DAP vice-president Ariffin Omar (photo), who recalled that a government report on the BMF scandal was made public.

In contrast, the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB was classified under the Official Secrets Act, he said.”Also, the CIA report never claimed that the money went into Mahathir’s personal bank accounts, unlike the 1MDB scandal,” he added.

BMF vs 1MDB

Among recently declassified CIA documents was a document which claimed that actions which resulted in BMF’s US$1 billion loss during the early 1980s was perpetrated by individuals who had links to UMNO, which was then helmed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

This was a major political issue at the time because BMF was a subsidiary of state-owned Bank Bumiputera Malaysia Bhd, and a BMF auditor Jalil Ibrahim was murdered in Hong Kong during the course of his investigations.The issue erupted during Mahathir’s second year as Prime Minister. On the other hand, the 1MDB controversy is the subject of money laundering investigations by several jurisdictions.

Singaporean authorities have convicted four individuals in connection with dubious transfers of 1MDB-related funds while Swiss authorities have sanctioned several banks over similar offences.

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However, the most damning allegation was made by the US Department of Justice over claims that portion of 1MDB’s money made its way into the bank accounts of one “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1). It has been established that MO1 is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.