New open letter by 40 urges Putrajaya to restore moderation

Another group of Malaysians, including prominent former civil servants and leaders, have signed an open letter urging Putrajaya to recommit to 10 universal values which make Malaysia a moderate country.

The letter signed by 40 individuals said the values – trust, responsibility, honesty, dedication, moderation, diligence, discipline, cooperation, honourable behaviour and thanksgiving – were introduced in 1982 by the government to inculcate universal Islamic values.

The letter comes five months after a group of 25 prominent Malays (G25) issued an open letter calling for a rational dialogue on Islam, which has drawn widespread support from many quarters.

In the letter by the 40, titled “Strengthen the foundational structure of our nation”, the group wrote that moderation as a value was being “ignored by certain quarters, including political leaders who espouse sectarian views to suit their audiences”.

“Never before in this country’s history have such stresses and strains been made to bear upon the foundational principles of nationhood which now threaten to subvert the bonds that have held all Malaysians together and kept the nation comprising the territorial components of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak intact,” the letter said.

The three-page statement, signed by former judges, ambassadors, activists, educationists and notable individuals, said Malaysia had a “civil national order which is religion neutral”.

The group said that it was “deeply concerned” moderation was being drowned by louder voices of intolerance and extremism that were threatening to tear the unity of Malaysians apart.

“It is unfortunate that the policy of promoting these 10 values has become a platform for ‘Islamisation’ by religious bureaucrats.”

They noted that public confidence in the legal system has eroded over the years, owing to religious bureaucrats, whom, they said, had been given “overarching” significance over the Federal Constitution.

The group said Malaysia’s constitutional history recorded the fact that the country was a secular nation with Islam as the religion of the federation.

“As a rainbow nation of many peoples with diverse religions, we charted our destiny upon a civil and non-religious national legal order resting firmly on the twin principles of the supremacy of the constitution and rule of law.

“We are not a theocratic state with religious law being prescribed as the supreme law of the land. Neither should we be forced to live by the rule of religious diktats where decrees of religious bureaucrats have legal and punitive effect.

“Lip service and pious platitudes acknowledge the supremacy of the constitution as the nation’s supreme law. At the same time, diktats of the religious bureaucrats are given an overarching significance over the constitution.

“This has eroded public confidence in the national legal order and in the administrators and adjudicators of this order.”

They also blamed “religious bureaucrats” for halting the implementation of certain laws, such as the Domestic Violence Act 1994 which could not be brought into force for almost two years.

“A similar fate befell the stillborn law reform initiative to preserve the status quo of the rights of parties arising out of one spouse in a civil marriage converting to Islam upon the dissolution of their marriage.”

They said there have been serious jurisdictional issues and worrying decisions in terms of the judiciary when some civil courts had declined to make decisions on constitutional issues and had even handed over the duty to the Shariah Court.

“There is also grave concern about the negative impact on freedom of religion as well as the religious and civil rights of non-Muslims, for example, the constitutional right of parents to determine the religion and religious upbringing of their children who are minors,” the 40 individuals said.

Besides that, non-Muslim religions seem to be increasingly marginalised amid growing signs of non-tolerance against them, their beliefs and practices, the group added.

“This development undermines Malaysia’s claim to be a model moderate nation where Islam co-exists harmoniously with other religions in a multicultural society.”

Saying they wrote the letter with “deep anguish”, the group urged Putrajaya to recommit itself to the pursuit of the 10 universal values to make Malaysia a great nation and expressed their support for the concerns and recommendations raised by the G25 group in December.

“We consider ourselves duty-bound to call upon the federal government and the state governments to give their undivided attention to this grave peril which our nation faces.”

Among the signatories were Datuk Albert Talalla, former ambassador to China, Germany and the US; Bob Teoh, former general-secretary of National Union of Journalists; Datuk Choo Siew Kioh, former ambassador to Sweden and Mali; and Tan Sri Clifford Francis Herbert, former secretary-general, Finance Ministry.

Others included Hartini Zainudin, child activist; Datuk K.J. Abraham, former deputy director-general of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage; Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, chairman of Proham and past president of the Malaysian Bar; Datuk Lily Zachariah, former ambassador to Italy, Chile and Senegal; Datuk Stephen Foo Kiat Shin, former state attorney-general of Sabah; Dr Lyana Khairuddin, educator and scientist working on HIV and HPV; Datuk Stanley Isaacs, former head of Prosecution, Commissioner of Law Revision and Parliamentary Draftsmen of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

New open letter by 40 urges Putrajaya to restore moderation
19 April 2015 – TMI


Dr M defended call for Najib to resign

I criticised the leader, not the party, Dr M tells detractors

After being criticised for attacking the prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hit back at his detractors saying that he only disagreed with Datuk Seri Najib Razak and not Umno.

“I am still an Umno member. My disagreement is with the leader, not with the party. I criticised the leader, not the party. It is simply because I want to see the party win.

“It will not win if Najib is the leader,” Dr Mahathir wrote on his blog chedet.cc today.

Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister has been chastised by Umno leaders and supporters for his open attacks against Najib.

Dr Mahathir defended his call for Najib to resign, saying that the latter was partly instrumental in asking for Abdullah to step down.

“As for the comment that it is unfair for me to ask Najib to step down as he was elected through democratic process, I would like to (say) Tun Abdullah was also elected but Najib was partly instrumental in asking him to step down.”

Najib, Dr Mahathir said, was worse than Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the fifth Prime Minister who Dr Mahathir helped bring down and replaced with Najib.

“I had great hopes when Najib took over from Abdullah. But he did even worse than Abdullah, losing more badly in Selangor where he was the Head of UMNO. There are so many scandals surrounding him now.

“His popularity is now even lower than when he led the BN in 2013. In a number of constituencies the margins won by Barisan Nasional (BN) are very narrow.

“Sabah and Sarawak are now no longer safe, no longer BN’s fixed deposits. Is it too absurd to predict defeat for the BN in 2018?” Dr Mahathir wrote.

On April 2, Dr Mahathir had listed down in a blog posting various allegations made against Najib and noted that none had been answered adequately.

Dr Mahathir said these included the murder of Mongolian citizen Altantuya Shaariibuu and the claims made by one of her convicted murderers, former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar, who was a former bodyguard of Najib’s.

Noting Sirul’s claim that he had been “under orders” to kill Altantuya, Dr Mahathir said such an allegation ought to be investigated because Sirul had worked for Najib.

Dr Mahathir also delved into the problems surrounding 1MDB, the fund’s purchase of government land at below market prices and its dubious deal with the little-known oil company, PetroSaudi International.

He also questioned the need for Putrajaya to give it a standby credit facility of almost RM 1 billion.

I criticised the leader, not the party, Dr M tells detractors
7 April 2015 – TMI


Support for Najib no match for Dr M’s influence in Umno, say party insiders

Despite the declarations of unwavering support in Umno for Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the face of mounting criticism, party insiders said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s substantial influence in the party may decide Najib’s fate.

They said the party’s support for Najib was not enough to retain him as prime minister, but more worrying, they added, was that Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) would face greater losses in the next general election.

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (pic) said although the majority of Umno members appeared to support Najib as president, many were divided whether to support him or Dr Mahathir.

“I see that Umno’s support towards Najib is not only from top leaders but also the grassroots. But there are some in Umno who differ in their opinion.

“Fact is, Tun Dr M is still influential among Umno people,” Bung told The Malaysian Insider.

On Saturday, Dr Mahathir explicitly told Umno to remove Najib in order to save the party and the ruling coalition from greater losses in the next general election.

He said Najib was incompetent to lead the nation as prime minister because he has failed to explain the whereabouts of government-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) funds.

While many Umno leaders have declared their support for Najib and have publicly defended him, the history and pattern of Malay politics have shown that it is not impossible for them to suddenly change their tune.

“Right now, Umno members are still calculating who will be the winner and the loser. That is why no one is aggressive yet,” a party activist from Kedah, who wanted to be known as Ramli Yunus, told The Malaysian Insider.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said many people have expressed their support for his criticism of Najib but did not dare to do so openly for fear of arrest.

Support for Najib no match for Dr M’s influence in Umno, say party insiders
20 April 2015 – TMI


Dr M unleashes the kraken on Umno?

He is an assassin with an impressive track record. Those who fall in his crosshairs are eliminated. The list of victims is long and illustrious.

And now, he has trained his sights on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

One of the reasons often cited for Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s continued interference in the administrations after him is to engineer his son’s ascension in the political hierarchy.

Despite failing to clinch a vice-president post in the last Umno elections, Mukhriz was named as Kedah menteri besar.

But Mahathir, according to the grapevine, is far from satisfied. He wants his son to become the prime minister and is prepared to be the juggernaut that clears the path for this objective.

It is also often speculated that whenever the smell of defeat is in the air, his cronies run to him out of fear that should the ruling coalition crumble, the opposition would embark on a witch-hunt.

Though Anwar Ibrahim has denied this, there is still grave concern for he is a man with a large axe to grind.

Paying for Umno’s transgressions

Mahathir’s initial shot with the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder was near fatal for Najib, but the latter managed to survive with the support from various quarters within Umno.

Tired of sniping from a distance, the former premier has now decided to use an automatic weapon instead and is raining bullets.

However, Mahathir had also inadvertently admitted that the ruling coalition is corrupt and its transgressions are being swept under the carpet for now.

Apart from tarnishing the image of Umno and BN politicians, he also cast aspersions on the police and courts with regard to dealing with corruption among ruling party politicians.

Mahathir argued that to avoid landing behind bars, Najib must be removed to ensure that BN retains power in the next general election.

Apr 13, 2015 – malaysiakini
Dr M unleashes the kraken on Umno?


Teach MPs who voted in favour of Sedition Act a lesson in next GE

Teach MPs who voted in favour of Sedition Act a lesson in next GE, says DAP

The electorate should ensure that lawmakers who voted in favour of the oppressive amendments of the Sedition Act are punished in the next general election, a DAP lawmaker said today.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said Malaysians, disgusted with the way Putrajaya had bulldozed through the bill in the Dewan Rakyat last week, should make their protests heard after Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi refused to address concerns raised by the opposition.

“We call upon all Malaysians who are disgusted with the behaviour of the BN government who treated the legislative arm with complete and utter contempt to make their protest heard,” he said in a statement today.

“The most effective way is to identify the MPs who had voted for the bill and organise a campaign against them. In particular, Malaysians should target the MPs who voted for the bill in constituencies where they won with razor-thin majorities.”

The amendments to the Sedition Act were passed in the Dewan Rakyat in the wee hours of April 10 by a vote of 108 to 79. Those who voted in favour of the amendments were Barisan Nasional MPs.

“The 108 MPs voted blindly for the amendments despite the vociferous protests from MPs, lawyers, civil society activists and ordinary Malaysians in and outside of Parliament,” Pua said.

He said there were 11 constituencies belonging to BN MPs who won the seat with fewer than 1,000 votes, including Baram, Teluk Intan, Labis, Bentong, Sungai Besar, Kuala Selangor, Beaufort, Machang, Titiwangsa, Pasir Gudang and Ketereh.

“A concerted campaign by voters in these constituencies over the next two to three years will see these MPs disposed of for betraying the democratic rights of Malaysians.”

He also listed constituencies of BN MPs who won with fewer than 2,000 votes, saying that that there was more than a “realistic chance” to replace them in in the next GE with some effort.

These include Kuala Kangsar, Bagan Serai, Arau, Setiawangsa, Balik Pulau, Tebrau, Kulim Bandar Baru and Sabak Bernam.

“In addition, another four MPs won with majorities of more than 2,000 but would have lost if not for three- or four-cornered fights in their constituencies. They are Pensiangan, Mas Gading, Ranau and Tenom.

“These are the 23 MPs in marginal seats who voted in blindly in favour of the draconian amendments to the Sedition Act. The effort to remove them from Parliament in the next general election starts today.”

He urged voters in these constituencies to write to their MPs and demand an explanation as to why they had allowed such “undemocratic and unjust” laws to be passed.

“Let them know that you will be taking concrete action to campaign, inform and persuade your fellow voters to vote against them in the next general election.

“It doesn’t take much. A 1,000-vote swing in each of these constituencies will see all of the above 23 seats in question fall. That’s just one vote to switch every day for the next three years in each seat. That, with a handful of other seats, will be enough to confine Barisan Nasional to the opposition bench for the first time in Malaysian history.”

Teach MPs who voted in favour of Sedition Act a lesson in next GE, says DAP
18 April 2015 – TMI


Najib-Mahathir feud in the international eye

Najib must concede, and the sooner, the better for him. There are no threats at this stage.


If a comment piece in the South China Morning Post is any indication, the regional and international press are watching as well how Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak handles demands by a predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, that he step down and make way for someone who can lead the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to victory again come 2018.

In short, Mahathir is not going to let go and although nearing 90, his political acumen and clout cannot be ruled out. Najib must concede, and the sooner, the better for him. There are no threats at this stage. But he did stress, albeit late in the day, that he wants no dynastic politics. Najib’s father, Abdul Razak, was Malaysia’s second Prime Minister after a virtual coup d’état against Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in the wake of the searing race riots of 13 May 1969.

Mahathir has also explained simply that Najib has allowed too many scandals, financial and otherwise, to bog down his administration. The wily old man’s reading is that unless Najib makes way, and soon, the Opposition will seize the reins of power in Putrajaya by default.

After all, the Opposition victory in the 2008 General Elections, which gave them five state governments, was by default. The people, the general consensus goes, didn’t really vote for the Opposition but against the BN. That cost the ruling coalition, for the first time since 1957, their two-thirds majority in Parliament.

2013 was an even worse outing for the BN. The coalition went from 140 seats in Parliament to 133 seats. Mahathir recalls that he had said, before the 13th GE in 2013, that Najib should make way if his performance was worse than that of his predecessor Abdullah Badawi in 2008. Interestingly, Badawi took the 2004 General Election by a massive landslide, the biggest ever since 1957. However, there was no forgiveness for him in 2008, and he was hounded out of office by Mahathir within a year.

Najib, who took over from Badawi, has had an easier time with Mahathir despite his performance being even worse than his predecessor’s. Mahathir didn’t really push that hard for Najib to step down after May 2013 although the 133 seats were not forgotten.

Now Mahathir claims that he has been pushing Najib hard for the past four years, quietly, in face-to-face talks and through intermediaries, to make way for his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin or someone else. Mahathir has no preferences, admitting that many people have disappointed him. Najib apparently doesn’t get the message. So, it seems that the former Prime Minister has been forced to come out into the open and step up the attacks, generally using his blog.

Apparently, he knows things about Najib, but he doesn’t want to reveal them. In his way of thinking, it’s sufficient that Najib knows that he knows certain things about him.

Najib-Mahathir feud in the international eye
April 10, 2015 – FMT


Umno today is about money, Dr M fires back at critics

As Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad comes under fire from the party he led for 22 years, the former president lambasted his critics, saying that Umno now “was about money”.

Under the current leadership, Umno was filled with rent-seeking leaders who were loyal only to money, Dr Mahathir said in a video uploaded on the blog Din Turtle yesterday.

The former prime minister’s latest tirade comes as he himself has been criticised by Umno members for causing a rift in the party with his constant attacks against his successor Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“The Umno now is about money. The leaders of Umno are loyal because they get contracts.

“The ones who receive posts receive money,” Dr Mahathir said in response to the claim that his criticism was dividing Umno members.

Although Dr Mahathir has claimed that Najib would bring Umno down, some in Umno have countered that it was his constant attacks against the prime minister that was weakening Umno.

“Umno is already split. The Umno that I led was quite powerful. If you looked at the assembly (then) the spirit was there.

“The Umno now is about money,” Dr Mahathir said in response to a question that his calls for Najib to resign were splitting Umno between pro-Najib and pro-Mahathir camps.

Dr Mahathir has become the face of a movement within the party to oust Najib, who remains a powerful leader and is able to command the support of almost all of the party’s grassroots leaders at the division level.

Dr Mahathir has called for Najib to resign over his fiscal policy missteps such as 1Malaysia People’s Aid scheme (BR1M) and 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s RM42 billion debts.

He has also said that if Najib did not resign, Umno and the Barisan Nasional coalition would lose the next general election.

mno today is about money, Dr M fires back at critics
12 April 2015 – TMI

When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
Do you hear the people sing?
Real Poverty Rate in
Malaysia: 22.6%     ...more


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