Bumbling Hadi is vulnerable within his party


May 17, 2015

Bumbling Hadi is vulnerable within his party

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT: Like washing hung out to dry on a wet day,  Islamic party (PAS0 President Abdul Hadi Awang is Hadi3discovering that his support for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to continue in office has made his position within his party vulnerable, where some time before it had seemed impregnable.

The Chinese newspapers in the last few days have carried reports that the Prime Minister has said he is not in favour of hudud. Not unxepected, none of Najib’s implied rejection of hudud has been reported in the Malay and English newspapers, a sure sign that the double game being played by UMNO on the matter of enforcement of the Islamic penal code in Kelantan is deliberate rather than willy-nilly.

The Chinese newspaper reports on Najib’s hudud stance follow hard upon the opinion voiced by Nancy Shukri, de facto Law Minister in the PM’s Department, that if hudud is implemented in Kelantan it will give a fillip to the breakaway faction in Sarawak. That faction is experiencing a groundswell from the blowback stemming from the federal government’s stance on the Allah issue on the Peninsula, and now from UMNO’s apparent double-dealing on hudud.

Hudud implementation in Kelantan is bound to add wind to the Sarawakian secessionists’ sails. Furthermore, it is in Najib’s interest not to do anything that will endanger support for him to stay on as PM, should matters arrive at a vote of confidence on his premiership in Parliament.

Sarawak on his side

A parliamentary vote of no-confidence is one of several ways being mulled by the forces wanting to end Najib Razak’s tenure on account of the scandals plaguing the misbegotten sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB. The Prime Minister would want all of Sarawak’s 25 BN parliamentarians lodged solidly behind him if matters come to a vote in the Lower House on his future..

All this makes Hadi’s support aired earlier this week for Najib to stay on as Prime Minister in the face of Dr MahathirTun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s insistent demands for him to quit, an act of political naivety on a scale comparable to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s decision within days of the 1990 general elections, to visit Sabah at the invitation of then Chief Minister Pairin Kitingan.

Pairin had just taken PBS out of the BN and joined Razaleigh’s Gagasan Rakyat (People’s Might) coalition that grouped Semangat 46, DAP and PAS.

PBS’ eleventh-hour withdrawal and backing for Gagasan made things look as if the BN was headed for a voter-denial of its traditional parliamentary super majority in the 1990 general election.

Then Prime Minister Mahathir deviously turned the visit into grist for UMNO’s propaganda mills that drenched government-controlled TV channels and newspapers with sinister talk of a PBS-hatched scheme to turn Malaysia into a Christian state, an early precursor of the claims in recent years by Malay right-wing groups about similar goals of the DAP. The propaganda worked and what seemed like a looming denial of BN’s two-third majority was transmuted into a comfortable BN victory.

Fear of being had by UMNO

Hadi’s backing for a continuation of Najib’s premiership is the quid for the anticipated pro quo of UMNO’s backing for the private member’s bill he proposes to table in the next session of Parliament beginning Monday (May 18, 2015).

Najib’s support for the bill, which is to open the way for hudud to be enforced in Kelantan, was implied by the decision of all 12 UMNO state assemblypersons in the Kelantan legislature on March 19 to vote for the amendments to a Syariah Enactment that PAS had passed as long ago as 1993. That move was stalled by the absence of federal constitutional warrants for it. Hadi’s bill, if backed by UMNO, would presumably clear the way for hudud enforcement in Kelantan.

All this, of course, is now up in the air because of Najib’s apparent prevarication, as reported by the Chinese press. This has made Hadi look more and more like washing hanging out on a clothesline in fickle weather.

The thing that the PAS faithful most despise is being had by UMNO; they are apt to turn on leaders whom they feel have walked into traps prepared for them by UMNO.

More mortifying still for Hadi and his band of supporters in PAS is the news that some corporate financiers of the party, long a discreet group, are beating a path to his challenger,Uustaz Ahmad Awang, to offer financial help for the campaign to unseat Hadi for the President’s post in the elective PAS muktamar scheduled for June 3-6 in Kuala Selangor.

Ulama-professional twosome

In the lead-up to the vote, now that nominations have closed and acceptance to contest announced, PAS delegates are being discreetly reminded of the advice given long ago by respected former President, Fadzil Noor, and reiterated by the revered Nik Aziz Nik Mat, that if the President’s post in the party is occupied by an ulama, the Deputy President’s post should be reserved for a candidate from the professional wing of the party.

In pairing Ahmad and Mohamad Sabu (left), the incumbent Deputy President who is from the professional wing, for the posts of No. 1 and No. 2, the opposition to Hadi within PAS has a twosome that satisfies the criteria set by Fadzil and Nik Aziz, leaders who have passed on but whose legacy is still strong.

Mat Sabu is being challenged by Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who is a candidate from the ulama wing of the party, and allied to Hadi.

Although a theologian of benign disposition to the professionals, unlike several of his ilk who are decidedly hostile, Tuan Ibrahim is solidly ranged with the conservatives of PAS.

The ulama wing, said to be aiming to extirpate the professionals from the top ranks of the party, has belatedly discovered that their preferred pairing does not adhere to the Fadzil/Nik Aziz stricture against a double-teaming of professionals or theologians for the top two posts.

Presumption, haste, and a lack of premeditation have marked the campaign of the PAS ulama just as it has coloured the political pronouncements of the incumbent President.

Will this prompt the party’s electorate to critically reappraise what the front-running Hadi and the conservatives have wrought for PAS which at this stage looks like more frustration for their campaign on behalf of hudud in Kelantan, amid more double dealing from an abhorred adversary?

This remains to be seen in the fluid days to a pivotal vote in PAS which will be critical to their future in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat and perhaps even to what the ulama wing would like – collaboration with UMNO.

Malaysian Bar Council initiates Campaign to Repeal POTA


May 17, 2015

From Democracy to Dictatorship: At what stage is Malaysia?

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at  University of Edinburgh  had this to say about the fall history-of-democracy-stephen-stockwellof the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”

Thank you, Commander (rtd) Thaya Param for sending this to me. Let  our intelligent, clear sighted and articulate readers and commenters decide at what stage Malaysia is in, given the introduction of draconian laws like the Prevention of Terrorism Act,  the Sedition Act and Official Secrets Act, a subdued and muzzled media and subjugated Judiciary, a rubber stamp Parliament, rampant corruption, religious bigotry and racist politics with toxic institutions like the Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Attorney-General’s Office, and  an incompetent civil service.

Worst of all, we have a mismanaged economy by a dishonest, lying, corrupt  and weak political leadership aided and abetted by fawning and self serving politicians of all stripes and colours. Is Malaysia still a democracy? –Din Merican in Phnom Penh.

Malaysian Bar Council initiates Campaign to Repeal POTA

by James Sivalingam@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Regressive, unnecessary and open for abuse, like the old Internal Security Act, makes judges into rubber stamps’.

Zunar in POTAThe Bar Council began a national campaign today (May 16) to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), currently awaiting royal assent, calling it “regressive, unnecessary, as well open to abuse” much like the now-repealed Internal Security Act.

Bar Council President, Steven Thiru said the law reduced the judiciary into being a mere rubber stamp or, worse, completely bypasses it. Misuse of the ISA had scarred the country for many years, he said.

Speaking at a forum to begin the repeal campaign, Thiru said the ISA, the terrorism act and recent amendments to the Sedition Act were abhorrent to the rule of law and made major encroachments on and eroded the independence of the Judiciary.

Steven ThiruHe said Malaysia had spoken in favour of a United Nations resolution which called for recognition of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law as being complementary and mutually reinforcing with effective counter-terrorism measures. However, Malaysia had failed to its obligation to stand its pledge and had taken a short cut by legislating the Prevention of Terrorism Act without learning from the experiences of other nations on the forefront on global counter-terrorism.

“When you take short-cuts on rule of law, when you breach your obligations under the law, you do not make advances in the fight against terrorism. Indeed, you radicalise more people into terrorism. You make it worse,” Thiru said.

He acknowledged that counter-terrorism was a complex issue with no right answer, but felt judicial scrutiny and pota1oversight were crucial in order for far-reaching laws such as POTA not to be abused.

The law contained broad language and definition, and an ambiguous reach, Thiru said, open to be used on everyone and anyone; ministerial assurances that it would not be abused were simply not sufficient.

“Good men come and go. The law remains. It is the law that has to be clear. Having good men to look at the law is a bonus”.

Thiru said the Bar council is obliged to stand up for the independence of the Jjudiciary, in being placed between the might of the Executive and the common man on the street. “If the Bar is relegated, or the hands of the Bar tied in representation, then the men and women on the street are left without protection,” he said.

Malaysia–End of Freedom of Speech


May 16, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

Malaysia–End of Freedom of Speech

Prime Minister Najib Razak has chosen to go back to the politics of race and religion and use draconian laws to suppress political opposition and people’s dissent. You can expect more as Najib struggles to survive politically. As Prime Minister, he has let the nation down by flip-flopping on policy,  and by pandering to the demands of extremist elements in his party and ultra nationalist NGOs like PERKASA and ISMA. The evidence is clear and that is Malaysia in heading towards being a failed state headed by a weak leader who is no longer trusted by a majority of Malaysians.

najib-n-obamajpgObama and his Malaysian Poodle–TPPA Agenda

What surprises me is that the Obama Administration has chosen to ignore this reality because Najib has become their poodle. The United States, the so-called champion of democracy, freedom and justice, remains muted in its criticisms of the UMNO-Barisan Nasional regime. As someone who was educated in the United States and is an admirer of the sterling qualities of the American people including their generosity,I can understand what is happening because the politics in Washington  DC which is driven by corporate vested interests and strong lobby groups does not necessarily represent the feelings and views of Americans.

Malaysia without AnwarThe Obama Administration knows that Malaysia is no longer a moderate Muslim country; yet it chooses to ignore the views of the Malaysian people  as depicted in the Al-Jazeera video (below). Najib’s Coalition of the Moderates is a hoax. The country is being led by thieves of state (kleptocrats) who can act with impunity. This is because our institutions of governance has been destroyed by UMNO and its complicit partners, which has ruled Malaysia for nearly 60 years. –Din Merican

Incompetent, dishonest and shameless Najib Razak clings his job


May 10, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

Incompetent, dishonest and shameless Najib Razak clings his job

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-i-wont-be-pressured-into-quitting

TAWAU 10 May 2015. Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ketika Perhimpunan Solidariti Rakyat Sabah di Padang Perbandaran Tawau. NSTP/Datu Ruslan Sulai

TAWAU 10 May 2015. Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ketika Perhimpunan Solidariti Rakyat Sabah di Padang Perbandaran Tawau. NSTP/Datu Ruslan Sulai

Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared tonight that he will not succumb to calls for his resignation and even urged for support from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, telling his harshest critic not to disrupt UMNO by making “too much noise”.

At a function in Tawau, Sabah, the embattled Prime Minister, in his strongest response yet to Dr Mahathir, reminded the latter that he had supported him during his tenure in government. “In 1987, I was among those who supported him. Why he (Dr Mahathir) remained as Prime Minister? Because we were united in difficult times.

“When in difficult times we support him to remain in power. If we did not support the leader during trying times, Dr Mahathir would not have been the Prime Minister for 22 years,” Najib was quoted in Bernama as telling a large crowd for the “Sabahans Solidarity Gathering” at a field in Tawau.Therefore, do not forget the past, when he (Dr Mahathir) was the Prime Minister, we fully supported him. Now he is not the Prime Minister, so return the support.

“Even if you cannot support, don’t make too much noise and disrupt the party. We can clarify the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue,” he said, according to the national news agency.

Dr Mahathir, the country’s longest serving former prime minister, has been at the forefront of the ongoing attacks against Najib’s leadership, even saying recently that the prime minister should resign before Barisan Nasional (BN) loses the next general election.

Chief among Dr Mahathir’s concerns is the leadership’s handling of allegations surrounding 1MDB, the state-owned investment firm that has amassed a debt pile worth over RM42 billion in just a few years.

But Najib said tonight that Dr Mahathir has issued conflicting remarks about 1MDB, noting that the veteran leader had at one time claimed that the firm has lost RM42 billion but at another, he reportedly said it owes RM42 billion.

According to Bernama’s report, the prime minister then said that the government will have its own way of solving the 1MDB issue, if given time.

“I will only bow to the people and party members. As long as the people and members of UMNO support me and have trust in my leadership, I will continue to carry on,” he was quoted saying.

Although Najib has ordered a federal audit on the 1MDB, the latest controversy that emerged earlier this week on the firm’s land deal with Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) has led to top leaders in his party coming forward to publicly express concern.

On Friday, Najib’s Deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chimed in from his working visit in Milan, Italy, and said that Putrajaya must be proactive over the attacks against 1MDB and not merely react to the criticism against the state-owned firm.

Apart from Muhyiddin, UMNO leaders like Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaluddin have also weighed in on the LTH-1MDB land controversy.

Explaining the matter for the second time today, Najib again insisted that LTH’s purchase of the land from 1MDB was not a bailout for the troubled investment firm. According to Bernama, he claimed the LTH could have made a RM170 million profit from the investment but because the purchase was made an issue, he decided to advice the pilgrims fund to sell the plot of land.

“Since the facts of the purchase has been twisted and became a hot topic, you can say it was like ‘shooting oneself in the foot’. This is what I call ‘not rationale’ because why are we doing this? For the benefit of the people, so, give us a chance to do it.

“Every issue can be solved but let the leaders solve such issues,” he was quoted saying. Najib has been criticised for his alleged haste in advising LTH to sell the land in question ― a 1.56-acre plot in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) that it had purchased last month from 1MDB.

LTH reportedly paid RM188.5 million at RM2,773 psf for the land, which is 43 times what 1MDB paid four years ago when it purchased the plot for just RM4.5 million at a rate of RM64 psf.

A blog called “The Benchmark” first raised speculation on the purchase when it published purported documents of the controversial transaction that critics now claim could be a bailout for 1MDB.

According to LTH Chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim yesterday, the move to sell the land was a complete U-turn from the Fund’s Board of Directors’ decision on Friday not to do so.Responding to the announcement, several lawmakers said today that 1MDB should instead cancel the transaction entirely and refund the RM188.5 million paid by LTH.

1MDB: Stop your delaying tactics, Mr. Auditor-General


May 8, 2015

Stop  your delaying tactics Mr. Auditor-General, where is your 1MBD Report?

By RK Anand@www.malaysiakini.com

As the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) morass becomes more convoluted, PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli turns his attention to Auditor-General Ambrin Buang.

With the latest revelation of Tabung Haji’s deposits being used to purchase government land given to 1MDB at an inflated price, Rafizi said there is no doubt that the firm’s mess has seeped through to other important institutions, known and unknown.

“Tabung Haji now joins the infamous KWAP (pension fund), smeared by their lack of financial common sense and prudence in giving out loans or buying government assets from 1MDB.

“Of course, the biggest fear is whether other institutions, including EPF (Employees Provident Fund) and PNB (Pemodalan Nasional Bhd), have had similar dealings with 1MDB so far.It could be that these institutions are also about to enter transactions with 1MDB – so the best thing for them is to declare that they will not enter into any transactions with 1MDB,” Rafizi told Malaysiakini.

Since the 1MDB issue has ensnared other institutions that form the bedrock of the nation’s economic and social stability, Rafizi said the Auditor-General could no longer drag his feet.

“Without a formal certification of 1MDB’s problem, with a complete diagnosis of its lack of governance, it is difficult to expect the managements of these state institutions with great public interest to stand up and oppose instructions.

“They need something to fall back to when they are penalised for defending public interest.Hence, this it why it is of utmost urgency that the audit by the Auditor-General cannot be delayed, not a single minute more,” he added.

Growing public anger

The PKR Vice-President is dismayed that the auditor-general has not even outlined the expectation of when this would be completed.

“The announcement for the auditor-general to probe 1MDB now runs the risk of being seen as a mere announcement, meant to pacify public anger then, hoping it would go away.

“It has not, and it will continue to grow. But most importantly, we need the Auditor-General (Ambrin, left) to complete the audit in order to prevent more money from flowing into 1MDB.

“If no announcement is made in the next one one or two weeks on the completion of the audit, I expect heated debate on this in next parliamentary session that begins on May 18,” Rafizi added.

On March 4, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had ordered a vetting of the debt-laden firm’s accounts and promised action if financial wrongdoings were detected.

On March 10, Ambrin said the audit has commenced. The 1MDB fiasco is also the most prominent weapon in former Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s arsenal with regard to his campaign for Najib’s ouster.

Malaysia’s “First Couple” (Rosmah and Najib)’s Lavish Ways make news in Indonesia


April 21, 2015

Malaysia’s First Couple (Rosmah and Najib)’s Lavish Ways make news in Indonesia

READ the Bahasa Version :

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/bahasa/2015/04/21/tempo-siar-artikel-kemewahan-najib-rosmah/

by FMT Reporters@ http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

najib-tempo

The lavish lifestyles of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor were highlighted in an Indonesian magazine Tempo, just two days before the couple head to Indonesia for a formal engagement.

The article, containing excerpts of news pieces about the couple published in Malaysia and abroad, centred largely around the extravagant lifestyles the two led, ranging from Rosmah’s love of luxury handbags and jewellery to her trademark bouffant.

Also included in the piece was a more recent revelation by Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch) Chief R Sri Sanjeevan who uploaded onto Facebook, pictures of the couple’s favourite luxury watches, running into thousands of ringgit.

Tempo marveled at how the luxury watches owned by Rosmah were acquired by the couple despite her husband drawing a salary of only RM350,000 a year.

“Najib and his family’s lifestyle has courted the anger of Malaysians,” Malaysiakini quoted the article as saying. Also making it’s way into Tempo’s article was the unfortunate remark Rosmah once made prior to the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Malaysia where she talked about how her hairdo costs a whopping RM1,200.

Echoing the criticisms of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the article also made a mention of the Hollywood-like lifestyle of Riza Aziz, the PM’s stepson who has snapped up property in New York and Beverly Hills, California worth millions.

The couple’s lifestyle has come under attack from politicians and the general public here in Malaysia and now it is becoming even more unfortunate that their reputation is preceding them as they make their way to Indonesia as well.

Rape, Murder, Hudud?


March 24, 2015

READ THIS:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/hudud-a-cause-for-hubris-and-hypocrisy

Rape, Murder, Hudud?

by Dr.Azmi Sharom@ http://www.rakyattimes.com

Azmi SharomAs I feared – no one can speak against hudud. Non-Muslims don’t have the right and Muslims must just obey because, according to PAS, this is God’s law.

In fact, if you question it, you deserve to be burnt and raped, as has been the threat against a BFM radio newsreader. I thought murder and rape are also against God’s law. But perhaps in the minds of some, two wrongs do make a right. Or perhaps there is a clause that says that murder and rape are OK as long as they are committed in the name of God.

 I am very angry. I am angry for the following reasons:

As usual, when anything about Islam comes up in this country, there is a tendency for all reason to go out the door. This is shameful because Islam has prided itself on being a faith of reason where knowledge and the written word were emphasised in the very first revelation.

The disgusting behaviour of the thugs who threatened Aisyah Tajuddin of BFM Radio for her participation in a video questioning the implementation of hudud is an insult to the religion into which I was born and raised. Yet, I hear nothing from the “defenders of the faith” against these people. Perhaps it is because they don’t like what Aisyah said? If that is the case, then what they are saying is that if you don’t like what someone thinks and says and if another person threatens serious harm to him or her, it is OK to just keep quiet. In other words, consent through silence.

And already some PAS people are making sounds that this is something that cannot be debated and cannot be questioned. This, from a party that claims to be democratic. “Islamic democrats” – some of their number describe themselves. Where is democracy if we can’t discuss the laws which govern us? Where is democracy when a person lives in fear of being demonised, just because his or her ideas differ from those of the “Islamic democrats”?

Hadi3Haji Abdul Hadi Awang al-Hududu

I have always held the belief that if those in PAS or anyone else wants to implement hudud or any law that they think is so fantastic, then it is their right. If they want to make this a country governed by their Ulama Council, it is their right.

But if you want to change this country, you have to do it by the rules. You must obey the Constitution and you must allow democratic space for full and open discussions. And you must defend the right of people to take part in those discussions.That is the only just way. Or does justice not matter anymore?