Najib : To Stay for UMNO and continue Tun Razak’s Legacy

May 18, 2015

Phnom Penh

Najib : To Stay for UMNO and continue Tun Razak’s Legacy

by  Akyaa

Najib Vs MahathirPrime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and former premier Dr Mahathir continued to trade barbs. While Tun Dr. Mahathir reiterated that  the incumbent should step down, Najib  took a swipe at the former Premier stating that he was able to remain in power for more than two decades because of the UMNO constitution.

Speaking at an event organised  by the UMNO Veterans Club in Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur today, Najib stressed that he did not wish to tread the same path. He pointed out that he was the first UMNO President elected after the constitution was amended.

The amendment saw the total number of delegates eligible to vote increased and the quota system abolished. “Previously, only 2,600 people in Kuala Lumpur will vote for the President. (Sixty nominations) are needed to challenge the President,” said Najib. “Do you think it’s easy to do so? No way. That’s why Mahathir managed to stay for 22 years,” he added.

Dr M’s time had problems too

Najib said he too could remain as the longest-serving prime minister, but opted to be chosen through democratic means. “Since I was chosen democratically, why must I be disturbed? Why must I resign from my post? I will continue this fight for the party’s interests,” thundered Najib to the crowd of about 300 people.

As he continued to hit out at Mahathir for having “many more problems” during his tenure as Prime Minister.

“It’s not like there were no problems then. There were many, it’s just that I don’t want to mention. Too many. Why must we wash our dirty linens in public? It’s only detrimental for us. We should defend our party, not destroy it. If we have a problem, we rectify it and find a way to solve it,” he said.

Najib all for Vision 2020

Meanwhile, Najib said he had many more duties to deliver, such as realising Vision 2020. “Even though it was Mahathir who inspired Vision 2020, I don’t mind it because it was a good vision.

“But whatever that I believe is not suitable, I will not implement. Although he does not agree with (cash aid) BR1M, I think it’s good because people can use the money to buy rice, milk and sugar. At least the poor can receive assistance from the government. We shouldn’t focus on mega projects only,” he said, in an obvious dig at Mahathir who is known to have a penchant for mega projects,

Meanwhile, the Premier also said that he had joined politics to continue the struggle left by his father, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, the late  TunAbdul Razak Hussein.”If my father was the country’s father of development, I am determined to not only continue his struggle, but to bring the people to a higher level. “That’s why whatever policy I have introduced as Prime Minister, it is not far from the party’s principles,” he said, pointing out that it was he who upgraded ITM to university status when he was Education Minister and increased the university’s enrollment.

The Now Infamous Tabung Haji-1MDB Land Deal–Heads Must Roll

May 9, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

MY COMMENT: What is happening to Malaysia? We are not short of news that soil the image of ourDin Merican New country abroad and undermine public trust in the Najib administration. Our country is rotting and I can smell the stench from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

It is a sorry state of affairs when professional accountants and senior public servants fail to protect the interest of stakeholders of Tabung Haji, the much respected, trusted, and successful  pilgrim fund which was set up to enable Malaysian muslims who are members of the Fund to save for their pilgrimage.

By using their savings to purchase the land from 1MDB at an inflated price, these individuals have failed in their fiduciary duty, which is to ensure that the funds are prudently invested. And it is not known whether a proper independent  evaluation was undertaken. We will never now since all documents relating to this transaction are now classified under the Official Secrets Act. I am told that Tabung Haji has filed a police report in connection with the leaked documents.

The whole  Tabung Haji -1MDB deal is an example of blatant conflict of interest. It cannot be said that this transaction is conducted on  an arms length basis “since senior Tabung Haji executives – CEO Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, Deputy CEO Johan Abdullah, Investment Panel member Tan Sri Abdul Samad Alias and Director Tan Sri Irwan Siregar – also hold top positions in 1MDB, where Ismee is a director in the state investment fund, Johan is Chairman and both Abdul Samad and Irwan sit on the 1MDB advisory board. Irwan is also the Ministry of Finance Secretary-General” are involved.

AmbrinIn the meantime, the Auditor-General continues to drag his feet on the audit of the financial affairs of IMDB. This is totally unacceptable since the Malaysian public demands a full and thorough report from Tan Sri Ambrin. This feet dragging nonsense is one clear indication that our entire system of governance is dysfunctional and our country is in a mess. I fail to understand why we Malaysians in general are content to accept the status quo. We  continue to allow our leaders, government officials and those in charge of government-linked corporations to act with impunity. Najib and his cohorts must be held to account for all the scandals that have occurred since he took office in 2009.

It is  encouraging to note that the UMNO Youth under Khairy Jamaluddin is making a stand on this Tabung Haji-1MDB land deal. Let us hope that Mr. Jamaluddin is not just playing to the gallery. Only UMNO collectively can act to remove this incompetent and dishonest Prime Minister.  Najib is UMNO’s problem. It is also time for the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhiyuddin Yassin to make his stand. He cannot just stand back and watch while our country rots.–Din Merican

The Now Infamous Tabung Haji-1MDB Land Deal–Heads Must Roll

by The Malaysian Insider

Najib Vs MahathirHeads must roll over the controversial 1Malaysia Development Bhd-Lembaga Tabung Haji land deal, but the buck stops with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who must bear the ultimate responsibility by resigning, a DAP lawmaker said today.

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari said this was the first time a political issue had gained so much traction and agreement from both sides of the political divide with strong statements coming from not only DAP, PKR and PAS, but also UMNO leaders past and present.

“To begin with, the entire debacle would not even have occurred had it not been for 1MDB’s misadventures, resulting in the sovereign fund racking up a massive debt of RM42 billion, which it now appears unable to repay.

“Therefore, responsibility lies on the shoulders of the man who is not only chairman of 1MDB’s Board of Advisers, but also the person responsible for appointing all the key personnel in both Lembaga Tabung Haji and 1MDB. There does not appear to be any other option. Najib must bear the ultimate responsibility by resigning with immediate effect,” Zairil said in a statement issued in Kuala Lumpur today.

Tabung Haji, a savings fund for Muslims to go to Mecca on pilgrimage, confirmed two days ago it bought a parcel of land from state strategic investor 1MDB’s Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project for RM188.5 million, which it claimed was a “discounted” price.

Azeez of Tabung Haji

It plans to build a residential tower at the site. News of the purchase was first published in The Benchmark blog three days ago when it revealed documents related to the land purchase. Tabung Haji has lodged a Police report over the leaked documents.

Zairil said it was clear the “ship is sinking”, where in addition to UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s stinging reproach on the land deal, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal had also warned of a loss in confidence and raised serious concerns over the management of 1MDB.

He said given the rate the issue was unfolding, Putrajaya look set to capitulate unless visible steps were taken immediately to ensure accountability. “In plain and in no uncertain terms, those responsible must be made to pay the price,” said Zairil, who is also DAP Assistant Secretary-General.

It has been revealed that senior Tabung Haji executives – CEO Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, deputy CEO Johan Abdullah, investment panel member Tan Sri Abdul Samad Alias and director Tan Sri Irwan Siregar – also hold top positions in 1MDB, where Ismee is a director in the state investment fund, Johan is chairman and both Abdul Samad and Irwan sit on the 1MDB advisory board. Irwan is also the Ministry of Finance Secretary-General.

He also asked whose interests did Ismee, Johan, Abdul Samad and Irwan have in mind when they decided to put the land deal together, questioning if the four were acting on behalf of the millions of Muslim depositors of Tabung Haji or if they were more concerned about the flagging financial fortunes of 1MDB.

He added that the entire senior management and board of directors of Tabung Haji had also failed to carry out their fiduciary duty as managers of public funds and also as trustees of a religious duty.

He added this was not limited to those with a foot each in Tabung Haji and 1MDB, but to the entire team including Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Sri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim. “The whole Tabung Haji leadership must be replaced,” Zairil said.

PKR Lily Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh but with reduced majority

May 8, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

PKR Lily Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh but with reduced majority

by Sheridan Mahavera and Looi Sue-Chern

wan azizah 1

With a smaller voter turnout, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had its absolute majority slashed by more than 3,000 votes in Permatang Pauh yesterday, but analysts dissecting the by-election said Barisan Nasional (BN) was still the bigger loser.

There are also warnings for both sides, as BN’s losses came from among Malay votes, while Pakatan Rakyat (PR)Dr Wong Chin Huat appeared to concede some Chinese votes to BN. BN’s failure to get more votes in Permatang Pauh, especially from Malay areas, mirrored the cold shoulder it got from the largely Malay seat of Rompin in the by-election there three days ago, said political analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat (right). Although BN was the incumbent in Rompin, its support level went down by 5% from 2013 levels.

BN failed to take advantage of the infighting between PKR and ally PAS, and despite a strident machinery, did not manage to erode support for PKR’s Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. She won by a margin of 8,841 votes against BN’s Suhaimi Sabudin.

Given the lower voter turnout, her win translates into 57% of all ballots cast, roughly the same vote share PKR had in the 13th general election. In the national polls two years ago with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as candidate, it took 58.56% of votes.

In contrast, BN received 40.1% of all votes cast in Permatang Pauh this time, slightly less than the 40.3% it received in 2013.This is despite BN pouring vast amounts of resources into its campaign and the disunity in the PR machinery, which saw some PAS allies threatening to boycott PKR.

“BN campaigned hard and we expected PR to suffer. But they did not increase their votes even with all the PR infighting,” said Wong, of the Penang Institute. Noth BN and PR have internal struggles, the former from attacks against its chairman, who is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and the opposition from discord over hudud and threats of sabotage by some segments of PAS against PKR in Permatang Pauh.

Yet, even with internal strife in both camps, BN was the weaker of the two, Wong said. It failed in this by-election to capitalise on the chaos and disillusionment with PR to garner more votes.

PKR outpolled Suhaimi in Permatang Pasir and Penanti, constituencies with majority Malay populations of 72% and 76% respectively. Dr Wan Azizah won 63% of the popular votes in Permatang Pasir and 57% of all votes cast in Penanti.She won majorities in 16 out of 19 polling districts in those two constituencies. In at least eight of those districts, she managed to beat Suhaimi by a vote margin of 2 to 1.

Dr Wan Azizah said after the results were made official last night, that Malay votes went up by 4% to 5%, mostly among young voters.“At the end of the day, people may not like the PR but they hate BN more,” said Wong.

Wan Saiful Wan JanTaking a different view was Wan Saiful Wan Jan (left) who said PR had nothing to shout about since it did not increase its vote share even with all the issues plaguing BN, such as the unpopular goods and services tax (GST) and scandals involving government-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

PR’s infighting prevented it from getting more support from a public disenchanted with BN, Wan Saiful said. (Permatang Pauh) showed that even if people are angry with BN, they are not convinced enough to vote PR. This is why PR really needs to resolve its internal squabbles soon.”

Those squabbles, he argued, were starting to eat into its support base among the Chinese.In Sungai Lembu, a polling district which is 98.7% Chinese, BN managed to increase its support of the popular vote to 30.4% compared with the 16% it garnered in 2013, according to Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.

Wong, however, said this did not represent a true swing of the Chinese vote towards BN but more of a reluctance to vote for PR this time. This is based on lower turnout – 75% of Sungai Lembu’s 533 voters came out to vote in the by-election, compared with the 90% in 2013.

Also, there was no swing apparent in Seberang Jaya, a constituency with a 23% Chinese population.“There were ads in a Chinese newspaper that said that ‘both sides are disappointing’, so it could have swayed Chinese voters to stay home and not go out and vote,It is unrealistic to expect Chinese voters to go back to BN, but realistically, they could stay home and not vote.BN does not need the Chinese to vote for it, all it needs is for the Chinese to not vote for PR.” .” said Wong.

Either way, if PR’s internal discord continues and makes voters feel it is no better than BN, it could hurt the opposition pact’s ability to hold on to marginal seats.

Dragon Tun Dr. Mahathir better than a Young Leader, says Azmin Ali

May 4, 2015

Dragon Tun Dr. Mahathir better than a Young  Leader, says Azmin Ali

PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali drew on the criticism by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as campaign material for the Permatang Pauh by-election, saying it was better to support a 90-year-old who fought corruption than a young candidate with no courage to speak up against wrongdoing by the government.

Azmin told voters at a ceramah last night that there was no use being young when one’s brain was 100 years old and lacked principles and idealism. “Better we support a 90-year-old. There is one who is making a lot of noise everywhere in the country. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is like a dragon. His type becomes stronger when he fights. He would fall ill if he doesn’t fight. I have known him for a long time. He can only survive through crisis. If there is a fight, he will be strong,” Azmin said at a ceramah on opposing the goods and services tax (GST) in Kubang Ulu last night.

Azmin was drawing a comparison between Barisan Nasional’s young candidate Suhaimi Sabudin, 44, and PKR’s more senior and seasoned candidate, its 62-year-old president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. He said Suhaimi would not have the courage to criticise Putrajaya on matters like the GST and corruption.

Najib as 1MDB advisor

Young But Weak and Unprincipled Leader

Dr Mahathir has become a vocal critic of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over various policy and governance issues, including 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) financial troubles. Azmin also touched on the lavish wedding of Najib’s daughter recently.

“All this is why Dr Mahathir is angry. Would Suhaimi have the courage to reprimand? So what is the use of being young but having no principles or idealism? What kind of leader do we want? Better a 90-year-old who has the guts to fight corruption. We will support all efforts to topple Umno and Barisan Nasional. People are going through difficult times, even reporters. We want to speak up for reporters who are having a hard time, too. Report the news properly.”

Azmin was on a roll yesterday, cracking jokes and poking fun at leaders from BN, such as Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who has been criticised over his effort to explain why the GST was a good tax. He made cheeky remarks about hair, lobsters which were not subject to the GST, and bashed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar over the May Day anti-GST rally arrests, which saw several PKR leaders arrested.

We are Malaysians, not Pendatangs, says my Friend, John Toh

January 24, 2013

We are Malaysians, not Pendatangs, says my Friend, John Toh

Din MericanLast week, and again today I met John Toh, my dear friend (both of us are septuagenarians waiting in the airport lounge, like our notorious octogenarian, for our turn to catch the next flight to eternity) at the Royal Selangor Golf Club.

John and I who are former corporate executives talked about what it was like growing up in the days when Tunku Abdul Rahman was our Prime Minister and how things got to this stage of degeneration in the affairs of state after 55 years of Independence. He and I attribute this collapse of our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government and our societal malaise to one man’s rise to power in 1981 and his 22 year+ administration. Others may disagree with us. It is their right to differ as much as it is our duty to speak up.

Tun Dr.Mahathir who started his administration with the slogan BERSIH, CEKAP danPerkasa's Patron AMANAH must take full responsibility for  our nation in crisis. We admired him very much because he fired our passion for Malaysia, but over the years, John and I have come to realise that he is  a man obsessed with power, who does not know when to let go.

Tun Dr. Mahathir has successfully brought down the Badawi administration in 2009, and is now working towards to the political demise of our present Prime Minister. I get the impression from his words and actions that he thinks he is still indispensable.

You and I know no one is indispensable. Each generation will have its own leaders and it is the duty of our generation–and certainly mine and John’s–to ensure that the present leaders both in the government and the Opposition administer our country properly and not badger them at every opportunity. We must guide, cajole, encourage, and praise them if they do the right things and do them right. Critique them, if we must, but do that constructively.

Recently, Tun Dr. Mahathir went over the top when he tried to divert our attention from his granting of Identity cards to both Filipinos and Indonesian illegals to enable the vote in the 1994 Sabah state elections by blaming Tunku Abdul Rahman. He said that the Tunku gave citizenships to Chinese, Indians and others. The Tun forgets that it was part of our Independence deal with the British colonial government. It is nasty for Tun Dr. Mahathir to accuse a man who is no longer around to defend himself. Lawyer Tommy Thomas has done us a service when he wrote an article on the subject, which I put on this blog.

Let me now post John’s e-mail to me. I promised him that I will share his concerns with all of you. Thank you, John. You and I cannot give up. As I said to you today, we both are heavily invested in Malaysia. Our children are luckier than us because we have given them good education to enable them to compete anywhere in the world. We cannot now abandon our dream of a united Malaysia. Why? We know we can change things around. So,we must speak against the likes of Ibrahim Ali and others like him. Being indifferent is no longer an option. Elegant silence?, well, leave that to Tun Musa Hitam.–Din Merican


Kuala Lumpur, January 24, 2013

Dear Dato’ Din,

It was most gratifying to meet up with you after a lapse of over 40 years. A lot has happened to our respective lives  in the intervening period but I am glad to note that the fire in your belly is still burning bright. Although I was unable to meet you until now, I have been following your blog faithfully and have kept up with the issues you saw fit to discuss in the public domain especially for those who lack media support and in the process denied the laws of natural justice.For this I must salute you in your fearless crusade to help those who are oppressed.

Co-incidentally, a very important and current issue which I find disturbing is the remark by Tun Dr. M regarding Tunku’s act of granting Citizenship to over 1 million pendatangs soon after Merdeka. While I myself am a 3rd generation Malaysian born and a humble subject of HRH Sultan of Selangor which I became in 1954 by Operation of Law I still feel alienated by such references to Pendatangs and I reflect on Tunku’s action and ask what is the rationale and the end result of the “gift of Citizenship” by our beloved Tunku.

I must firstly confess that I am not a Member of any political Party or NGO but just one of those who happen to love our Nation and any action that cause dissension among the people naturally saddens me. I am also not an economist or political scientist.

After clearing the air, permit me to give you my layman’s view on what prompted Tunku to do what he did and what are the consequences. By the time we gained Independence, Malaysia had the good fortune to experience a number of “booms”. First was the rubber boom in late 1940’s but development of synthetic rubber caused the rubber industry to lose its bounce in less that 2 decades. Then we had the tin boom followed by the timber boom and in early or mid 1970’s we also experienced the oil and gas boom. With the huge deforestation of timber land, entrepreneurs began to plant oil palm over the logged over land and palm oil became the next boom factor what lasts to this day.

My point is this. Except for the oil and gas sector, all the other booms that occurred required substantial local labor and business resources and also the support of good transport and communication infrastructure,which brings to mind the venerable institutions we had. At that time, Malayan Railways ran efficiently and profitably but not anymore. Telecoms, Central Electricity Board, PWD, Postal Services, Waterworks Department. were managed by many Pendatangs and all were able to render reliable services to the people but not anymore.

These days we can’t even drink water straight from the taps like we used to. So our beloved Tunku, in his wisdom saw that in order to develop the country, we need to have capable and dedicated workers regardless of where they came from and if anybody were to ask me how Malaysia came to be what it is today, I will tell them it is due to Tunku’s foresight.

In comparison, let us look at Sabah. At the point of joining the Federation in 1963, Sabah was one of the richest if not the richest State in Malaysia. Besides oil and gas, Sabah had  huge timber resources plus minerals and its rich volcanic soil will let anything you put into the ground grow. Sadly, today, Sabah is one of the poorest State and most of its resources have been depleted.

I am not competent enough to allude this situation to the influx of illegal immigrants into the State but from a layman’s perspective, I cannot totally dispel this notion but I will leave it to the qualified experts to draw their own conclusion.

Hope you won’t find the above overbearing. Lets meet soon for a meal together. Best wishes to you and Family and May God Bless you in your endeavors.


Tommy Thomas: Putting the Record Straight on Citizenship Issue

January 23, 2012

Tommy Thomas: Putting the Record Straight on Citizenship Issue

TommyThomas-2COMMENT: The widespread publicity given to the recent statements made by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that:

1. Immigrants from the Philippines were given citizenship in Sabah in the 1990s during his administration;

2. they were lawfully done; and

3. former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman “had done worse” by giving citizenship to “one million unqualified people” in Peninsular Malaysia, lamenting that no one had made it an issue;

The above have to be rebutted and the record put straight. The “sincerity” of his admissions, coming in the wake of evidence at the Royal Commission currently inquiring on the origins and consequences of immigration into Sabah, must be questioned.

Dr MLike disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, Mahathir only came clean after years of denial when he had absolutely no choice because of the overwhelming evidence being publicly uncovered.

When the truth finally emerged, Mahathir made his admissions. And like Armstrong, it was selective, self-serving and without any contrition. But worse than Armstrong, he blamed others. To put it plainly, there is no parallel between these two episodes in the nation’s history.

Malaya in 1957

Under the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948, Malays automatically became federal citizens, while non-Malays acquired citizenship by fulfilling residential qualifications. In 1953, out of the total population of Malaya of 5.7 million, some 1.3 million (nearly all of whom were non-Malays) were not citizens. Thus, for the non-Malays, ‘citizenship’ based on the doctrine of jus soli was a critical matter.

Large scale immigration into Malaya first occurred in the Malacca Sultanate in the 15th century. Trade brought Arab, Chinese and Indian immigrants, and they formed distinct settlements in Malacca. Thus, immigration pre-dated the first European colonial conquest, by the Portuguese in 1511.

Major waves of immigration occurred after direct British intervention in Perak under the Pangkor Treaty of 1874. tunku abdul rahman 290809When the British very reluctantly accepted, by about 1955, that independence had to be granted to Malaya, lengthy negotiations began between the British government, the Malay rulers and the Alliance coalition led by Tunku Abdul Rahman (right).

The Reid Commission of eminent jurists was appointed to draft a constitution. Its report, published in February 1957, was the subject of intense debate. Working groups were set up to study the Reid Report. The London Conference of May 1957 followed. The British government issued a White Paper in June 1957.

The final steps were the presentation of the Constitutional Bill in the British Parliament and in the Federal Legislative Council in Kuala Lumpur. Merdeka was proclaimed on August 31, 1957, with Tunku reading the Proclamation of Independence.

The issue of citizenship to non-Malays in 1957 cannot therefore be seen in isolation or in a vacuum. Instead, it was the result of a ‘give-and-take’ bargain among the various communities reached through consensus. The bargain was certainly not through the effort of Tunku alone, although he was the dominant personality. The other founding fathers, Abdul Razak Hussein, Ismail Abdul Rahman, Tan Cheng Lock and VT Sambanthan, also played important roles.

tunku abdul rahman merdeka declaration 261004Subsequent commentators have described the Merdeka bargain as the ‘social contract’. Thus, the social contract reached by the three communities under the watchful eye of the British imperial power prior to Merdeka was, in essence, a bargain whereby in exchange for a place under the Malayan sun with full citizenship, a right to use their language and observe their religion, the non-Malays had to concede special privileges to the Malays to assist the latter to ascend the economic ladder.

It was a quid pro quo. In this equilibrium, the non-Malays were not to be relegated to second-class citizens: citizenship was not on a two-tier basis and there was going to be no apartheid, partition or repatriation.

What was required from the non-Malays at the time of Merdeka was undivided loyalty to the new nation.

Racial differences were recognised. Diversity was encouraged. There was no pressure to integrate into one Malayan race. Assimilation was out of the question. Thus, a united Malayan nation did not involve the sacrifice by any community of its culture or customs. Malaya was always to remain a plural society.

Sabah in the 1990s

What happened in Sabah when Mahathir was Prime Minister was entirely different. TheThe Politics of Make Belief decision to give Malaysian citizenship liberally and generously to nationals of Philippines and other countries was done secretly, with the sole purpose of securing and maintaining political power in Sabah.

It was naked, partisan politics to give electoral advantage to one party that underpinned the decision. When confronted, denials were made. Only when it became a major electoral issue in Sabah in the forthcoming general and state elections this year, did the present government, much to the unhappiness of Mahathir, appoint a Royal Commission.

And only when the truth emerged during its hearing, did Mahathir admit his role.To compare the Sabah episode with the gaining of nationhood in 1957 is not just historical revision. It is also not merely being economical with the truth. Rather, it is a blatant fabrication of facts.

Tun MNot only does it insult the roles played by our founding fathers in securing Merdeka from the British, it adds injury to millions of Malaysians whose parents or grandparents became citizens through this open, transparent and legal manner.

It must be remembered that no such citizenship issue arose when Sabah (North Borneo) joined Malaysia in 1963. Indeed, the Philippine government opposed the formation of Malaysia.

Their nationals only became Malaysian citizens in the mid-1990s, some 30 years after Sabah’s independence from the British. Finally, citizenship is a federal matter, and very much within the power and discretion of the Home Minister. Accordingly, the two exercises of granting citizenship cannot be treated in a similar fashion.

TOMMY THOMAS specialises in constitutional law. He conducted substantial research in the events leading up to Merdeka in the course of preparing two papers presented at the Malaysian Law Conferences in 2005 and 2007, subsequently published as ‘Is Malaysia an Islamic State?’ and ‘The Social Contract: Malaysia’s Constitutional Covenant’ in [2006] 4 MLJ xv and [2008] 1 MLJ cxxxii.

Pride comes before Destruction

January 22, 2013

Pride comes before Destruction

by Mariam Mokhtar (01-21-13)@

According to one Sabahan, there is so much crime in Sabah that squatter houses, too, have grilles on the doors and windows, and that these cost more than the houses themselves.

For four decades, ordinary Sahabans have been angered by illegal immigration and the social and economic problems associated with it, such as a shortage of housing, a lack of employment and educational opportunities, high levels of crime and massive overcrowding.

Despite the limited terms of reference of the Royal Commission of  Inquiry (RCI) ordered by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, the RCI has revealed disturbing aspects of former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s bid to remain in power. Soon, the RCI will be overshadowed by the side-show that Mahathir may have helped arrange.

NONEThe star-performer is the self-styled motivational guru Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin (right). One wonders if Zohra has replaced the virgin queen, Ummi Hafilda Ali, who used to come to Mahathir’s aid and helped distract the rakyat with golden showers and salacious revelations.

There was once a time when the government would detain reporters and send them to Kamunting, ostensibly for their own safety. Zohra was denied this privilege because Najib has abolished the ISA. Last week, Zohra bowed to overwhelming pressure and heeded Police advice to cancel her seminar on ‘How to Make Your First Million’.

I can give you the gist of the RM200 per person seminar. It is an open secret that the first million is easy to make; join UMNO, then claw your way to the top by backstabbing and badmouthing everyone who stands in your way.

There are tell-tale signs that that you have “made it” and joined the UMNO elite. In the election canvassing that takes place every five years, UMNO delivers bags of rice to the masses, but the UMNO elite receive Birkin bags.

Households that qualify are given a one-off payment of RM500 (and possibly another RM500 if the situation demands it) but the elite get several million ringgit in hard cash, stuffed in suitcases.

The poor may get a discount on their smartphones, but the elite are given the contracts to sell the phones.  The rakyat may be given tins of powdered milk as freebies during canvassing, but elite members are given millions of ringgit to buy a few cows and many luxury condominiums.

Zohra has not much in humility

A video of the shameful conduct of Zohra emerged a month after the incident. Despite the public opprobrium which she received, Zohra showed everyone that she is miskin by name and miskin (poor) by nature.

She lacks the intellect to reflect on her poor behaviour. She did not have much in the way of humility. She displayed an inferior understanding of people’s feelings and she was a poor communicator.

Instead of eating the humble pie, she has become more arrogant and haughty. Instead of acknowledging that she was tactless and rude, Zohra issued a statement from her hiding place, in which she declined to apologise but “forgave” KS Bawani, the student who suffered Zohra’s acid tongue.

This incident should have been a temporary frenzy and yes, we are angry because it is obvious that Zohra’s behaviour is unacceptable. Some UMNO leaders and members of the BN coalition have distanced themselves from her, but it appears that Zohra is determined to prolong this crisis into a full blown affair.

The reason must be to take our attention away from Mahathir’s alleged crimes in the Sabah votes for citizenship fiasco.  Just a few months ago, Najib outlined the terms of reference for the Sabah RCI. Many have criticised the RCI for its limited scope and because its findings will not be revealed before GE13.

NONEIf the RCI proves that UMNO won elections by fraud and cheating, it brings into doubt the legitimacy of this and previous UMNO-BN governments. By cheating, UMNO has disenfranchised the people of Malaysia and forced us to wait until GE13 to gain our choice of ruling party.

Proof of fraud and cheating will confirm that UMNO-BN should not be the current government. Will the RCI be another whitewash or will its members seek to save their own skins, by leaving the sinking UMNO ship?

As the extent of Mahathir’s Project IC is slowly being revealed, the importance of this RCI is increasing.

Mahathir won’t go without a fight

Just as Mahathir thought he had undermined Najib, his hopes were damned. So he tried to deflect some of the rakyat’s abhorrence of Project IC, by tarnishing the name of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Father of Independence.

Will the RCI bring about the fall of Mahathir? No. He may have cut a pathetic figure recently but he will not go without a fight. Although the rakyat have a strong case against him, Mahathir has too many people in his pockets. They owe their success to him and he will call in his favours.

The rakyat is leading the Opposition fight to topple the Mahathir regime, but their wish will not be fulfilled, just yet.

Both Najib and Mahathir are locked in a deadly battle. Najib cannot bring about Mahathir’s fall, because to do so would bring the fight right to his front door. He, like Mahathir, has a dirty past. The best Najib can do is to hold out for a few more months.

If Najib were to destroy Mahathir now, it would start a media frenzy, which would eclipse the one Zohra is facing today.  Zohra’s gaffe has caused quite a stir. She tried to put on a brave face and refused to apologise, thus avoiding an admission of guilt. Ironically, her intransigence has damaged UMNO by rallying the rakyat to vote for the Opposition.