Archive for February, 2015


A new dawn for us all

A new dawn – Tee Sui Seng

It started to feel like the season finale of a once-popular drama that had been allowed to run a little too long. The conclusion was predictable, the protagonist almost certainly doomed.

We did see the end loom in the horizon, and even as we grew weary of the plot, a sense of emptiness starts to well as the all-too-familiar theme song and credits roll for the final time.

This chapter of our collective narrative as Malaysians has come to its inevitable end.

And with this finale came the predictions of gloom, professing the end of a plethora of institutions and values in Malaysia, including but not limited to justice, fairness, freedom and democracy.

While others were calling it a victory for those same values, we can all agree that at the least, such a gripping story deserved such overstated sentiments after being run for so long.

While we eulogise, we must look forward in hope, regardless if we were fans or haters of the “sandiwara”.

Yesterday’s finale marks a new dawn for us all. A clean sheet. A new storyboard.

A piece of work that is unburdened by past ghosts. New leaders that will have to rise, who do not carry the heavy burden of old allegiances and their associated political baggage.

We will make new friends, form new alliances. No more unions of convenience, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

And this time, our protagonist shall be chosen anew. He will be picked by merit, not because we had no others to choose from. The ideals that he claims to profess this time will not be marred by circumstances because we now have a fresh start. We get to choose what the story will be this time.

Who will we fight? What ideals will we stand up for? What language will our story be narrated in? How will we define victory and at what cost?

All good stories take time to write and as the curtains fall, the new dawn gives us time to reflect. This time, when we pick up our pens, let us consider who we are voting for and for what ideals.

This time, when we pick our allegiances, let us pick them for the right reasons, not because we hate the alternative too blindly. This time, let us be the masters of our own destiny, not extras in a script that was not written for us.

We must remember that heroes are all around us and among us. And as we are shaping an account of our brave new world, do not be frightened to take initiatives and to stand at the front line.

If we want to see change, let’s do it ourselves. If we have skills or interests or opinions, share them. Seek out like-minded friends and bring them along on this journey. We do not need political parties to shape our ideals, all we need is people with passion.

A new dawn – Tee Sui Seng
11 February 2015 – TMI


You can imprison a man but you cannot imprison his spirit

We will never forget you, Anwar

The people must not only free Anwar, they must free the nation from the shackles of tyranny.


Anwar Ibrahim will not be forgotten. What he stood for and fought for will not be forgotten. The injustice and abuse that was inflicted on him will not be forgotten.

If anything, all this will be remembered and kept alive. And someone will pay for it, there is no doubt about it.

Whether inside or outside of prison, Anwar will be a force to be reckoned with.

You can imprison a man but you cannot imprison his spirit; you cannot imprison his ideas; you cannot imprison the ideals he stands for.

So it will be with Anwar. No force or power can halt this determined struggle to bring about a change in government.

Why was Anwar targeted relentlessly?

It was the GE12 in 2008 that put fear into the hearts of Umno & BN. Never in their wildest dream did they think their 2/3 majority would be denied. That was their unchallenged political domain for more than half a century.

When this happened, their worst nightmare began to haunt them. For the first time they trembled and realised they could be displaced from their seat of power. For the first time they really feared that Putrajaya was under serious threat. The unbelievable was staring at them as a real possibility.

This man, this Anwar Ibrahim, would spell their doom and they would be forced to make way for Pakatan Rakyat to take over Putrajaya.

He had to be silenced; he had to be put away for good.

That was when the despicable plot was hatched.

According to available records Saiful was met by a police personnel from the PM’s department. Two days later on June 24, 2008 Najib’s ex-aide Khairil Anas accompanied Saiful to the Deputy Prime Minister’s residence in Taman Duta. They met for twenty minutes.

Shafee was there on that day and at that time. He claimed that he was in a different corner of the house and did not participate in the discussion.

Then on June 28, 2008, Saiful made a police report that he was sodomised by Anwar on June 26, 2008. This incident was supposed to have taken place two days after meeting the DPM.

I don’t want to make any inference; I don’t want to implicate anybody; I don’t want to impute anything. I’m just stating what was reported. That is all.

We will never forget you, Anwar
February 18, 2015 – FMT


1MDB’s Computer Records Wiped Off

Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped Off

Computers, servers cleaned out, blog reports

All computers and servers at 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the troubled investment fund backed by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, were called in and wiped clean just before the end of last year, the investigative blog Sarawak Report reported on Feb. 13.

1MDB employees told the blog that all computers and records at the fund were called in and cleaned, including personal computers and mainframe servers, supposedly because the fund’s system was hacked.

The chief economic advisor of the fund, which was started in 2009, is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. It reportedly faces RMB43 billion (US$12.01 billion) in debt and has been unable to meet loan payment dates several times. It was forced to go to Bank Negara, the country’s central bank, to ask for an extension in the payment dates, raising concern that its financial problems could threaten the entire Malaysian banking system. The bulk of the loans were made by the government-linked Malayan Banking Bhd or Maybank, and RHB Bank.

Sources confirmed the story to Asia Sentinel but the reason for the action appears unclear. It may stem from the fact that Sarawak Report, which is published by Clare Rewcastle Brown, announced last September that she had access to the fund’s emails.

One businessman said the decision to clean out the files could also pertain to a later defamation lawsuit filed against Taek Jho Low, the young tycoon who convinced Prime Minister Najib to create the fund. Low is being sued by businessman and publisher Tong Kooi Ong, who was the subject of anonymous blog attacks after his publication, The Edge, carried extensive and biting coverage of 1MDB’s crisis ridden business affairs. If Tong’s lawyers were to file a motion for discovery to obtain the fund’s internal emails, they are now gone

The order came as a surprise move by management, sources told Sarawak Report. The staff members said they were contacted directly by phone or in person and told to take their computers immediately to the IT section in order to be wiped. None of the instructions were delivered by text or email, leaving little record of the blitz, which took place in the space of just a few hours.

Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped Off
February 15, 2015 –


PMO not curious about Rosmah’s ‘jewellery invoices’

A week ago, the New York Times featured a front-page article about 33-year-old tycoon Jho Low, a member of Malaysia’s new rich with close ties to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s family.

The article looked into Low’s purchase of million-dollar properties in New York City, which was later sold to Riza Aziz, the son of Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor from another marriage.

Naturally, the journalists involved in the story dug into the source of wealth of Najib’s family, given that Najib is a career politician, holding various offices since he was 23, beginning as the Pekan MP.

Among others, the NYT journalists raised numerous questions in their article, including several invoices showing millions of dollars’ worth of jewellery that were, according to the report, meant for Rosmah.

But strangely, when the NTY journalists queried the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) about these invoices, the PMO didn’t even bother to ask for details.

In an interview with the two journalists who wrote the story – Louise Story and Stephanie Saul – the PMO’s office reply was that Najib had received an inheritance and had also enjoyed “legacy family assets”.

“We told them that we had these documents and the documents show millions of dollars of jewellery purchase in 2008, 2009 and we asked them for comments.

“They did not ask to see the documents, so we did not show them, and we included their reply,” said Story.

‘RM13mil on jewellery purchases’

According to NYT, the PMO had replied, “Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”

The purchase of multi-million jewellery for Rosmah first surfaced in early 2013 when businessman carpet trader Deepak Jaikishin alleged that he paid RM13 million to purchase jewellery for her in 2008 and 2009.

The safes referred to an allegation by Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, the Raub MP who was the information chief of Umno Pekan division from 2000 to 2004. Najib is the division chief since 1982.

Ariff Sabri, who left Umno for DAP in early 2012, told NYT that Najib kept “piles and piles” of ringgit notes stacked in his safe.

The NYT piece on Low was part of a five-part series on the individuals behind more than 200 shell companies which own ultra-luxury condominiums at Time Warner Center, an iconic high-end retail and residential building in the heart of New York.

Feb 17, 2015 – malaysiakini
By Kuek Ser Kuang Keng
PMO not curious about Rosmah’s ‘jewellery invoices’


Stop being ‘wishy-washy’ with extremists, Pak Lah tells leaders

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Malaysia’s political leaders must take a firm stand against those promoting extremist views, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said, warning that peace would not be achieved even if the bigots got their way.

Popularly called Pak Lah, the man who led Malaysia from 2003 to 2009 told The Star daily in an interview published today his fears for the country with the voices of bigots and “rabble rousers” growing louder even though he believed most Malaysians were “moderates”.

“The political leadership has to take a firm stand against those espousing extreme views. We cannot be wishy-washy about it,” he was quoted saying.

“Let us not forget that in Nazi Germany, it was said that only 5 per cent believed in Hitler; the other 95 per cent were cowed into silence,” he added, quoting from 18th-century Irish politician Edmund Burke to underline his point, “The only things necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Abdullah defined moderation in Malaysia’s context as “the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behaviour and political opinions” taking into account the country’s ethnic mix was not limited to Malays, Chinese and Indians but said, “we are also a nation of more than 100 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups”.

Urging moderates to speak out and return to the vision of Malaysia’s founding fathers, Abdullah noted they could make their voices heard in many ways.

“In the last general election, some of the strident and more vocal extremists were voted out,” he was quoted saying.

Stop being ‘wishy-washy’ with extremists, Pak Lah tells leaders
February 15, 2015 –


Anwar imprisoned, Malaysia rights in free fall – CNN

Opinion: Anwar imprisoned, Malaysia rights in free fall

(CNN)Watching from the observers’ gallery last week, I could see Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim moving from hope, to exasperation and then finally to anger as the country’s highest court dismissed his defense team’s arguments against his sodomy conviction.

After his appeal was denied on all counts, the sentencing hearing started — and Anwar took the gloves off, declaring the incident was a “complete fabrication” and a “political conspiracy” and attacking the five Federal Court judges for becoming “partners in the crime for the murder of judicial independence and integrity.”

The judges weren’t having any of that, and abruptly stood up and walked out of the courtroom to deliberate in chambers on Anwar’s fate, leaving a stunned courtroom behind them.

Anwar now faces five years in prison to contemplate the question that is on the minds of many Malaysians, which is how could a government get away with prosecuting a former deputy prime minister and the head of the opposition not once, but twice, for violating an archaic British colonial law against sodomy that has been invoked a total of only seven times since 1938?

Has the Malaysian government so clearly lost the plot that even outside observers would recognize that the trial was blatantly political from day one?

Within minutes of the verdict being issued, the Malaysian government issued a polished statement proclaiming the country’s “judicial independence” and demanding “all parties involved to respect the legal process and the judgment.”

In case anyone didn’t get the memo, there is the rapidly growing crackdown on dissent and free speech in Malaysia led by the top police officer — who patrols the Twittersphere like a shark in open water and tweets orders to the police to arrest lawyers, activists and politicians using the country’s draconian Sedition Act.

A tweet by the cartoonist Zunar referencing “lackeys in black robes” has already landed him in court.

This is supposed to be a big year for Malaysia, serving as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) when the ASEAN Economic Community is to become a reality, and holding a seat at the UN Security Council.

Malaysia is also a key partner in the US-driven Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade proposal that has gone to the top of the Obama legislative agenda, and it was Prime Minister Najib Razak who President Obama invited for a round of golf in Hawaii during the president’s Christmas holiday.

Whether the political persecution of Anwar was raised on the course has yet to come out.

‘Wielding Sedition Act like a hammer’

But there is huge gap between Malaysia’s international engagements as a so-called “moderate” Muslim-majority nation and its domestic repression of opponents that sadly doesn’t usually garner much attention — except in instances when Malaysia imprisons a figure like Anwar who is widely respected and known internationally.

So few people know Najib’s government has been on a tear against his opponents since the 2013 elections, during which the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition lost the majority vote to the Anwar-lead Pakatan Rakyat coalition but maintained power because of gerrymandered election districts for parliamentary seats.

Since then the government has been wielding the Sedition Act like a hammer, using its undefined terminology barring “any seditious words” or “seditious tendency” that would “bring into hatred or contempt or excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government.”

Opinion: Anwar imprisoned, Malaysia rights in free fall
Phil Robertson, Special for CNN


Dr M started the ‘rot’ in Malaysia

You started the ‘rot’ in Malaysia, Kit Siang tells Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — It was during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s 22-year tenure as prime minister when Malaysia first began to “rot”, thanks to corruption and rampant power abuse, Lim Kit Siang alleged today.

The veteran DAP politician pointed out that it was during the Mahathir administration that the famous Operasi Lalang crackdown was carried out, among other mass arrests of anti-government dissidents under the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).

“Furthermore, Dr Mahathir should be reminded… that he single-handed destroyed the independence, impartiality and professionalism not only of the judiciary, but also of other important national institutions like the police, the Election Commission, the anti-corruption agency, and the civil service,” Lim continued to allege in a statement.

Borrowing Dr Mahathir’s words from a recent blog post, the DAP leader agreed that “something is rotten in Malaysia”, but accused his long-time arch nemesis of starting the rot.

He said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent sodomy conviction is proof of it, as although the leader, whom he labelled a “patriot”, had dedicated 47 years of his life to fight for justice, he was still made to suffer in the hands of those in power.

“Yes, something is rotten in Malaysia,” Lim said. “If Malaysians are asked as to who are the top political leaders, past and present, who should be languishing in jail for five years, different names would be mentioned but Anwar Ibrahim would not be among them.”

“This shows the rot in Malaysia, but it is a rot which was started during Dr Mahathir’s 22-year premiership, and by Dr Mahathir himself,” he said.

You started the ‘rot’ in Malaysia, Kit Siang tells Dr M
February 12, 2015 –


Anwar back in jail but woes mount for Najib

Anwar back in jail but woes mount for PM Najib

The biggest political threat to Malaysia’s government is behind bars after a court upheld a sodomy conviction for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, but more thorny problems confront Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Anwar, jailed for five years on Tuesday on a charge he called politically motivated, has for years represented the greatest challenge to Najib’s coalition, which has ruled the multi-ethnic South-East Asian country since independence in 1957.

The bespectacled former finance minister and deputy prime minister cemented a three-party opposition alliance which took on the coalition at the last polls in 2013, costing the ruling bloc the popular vote in its worst-ever electoral performance.

Deserted at the polls by ethnic minority Chinese and urban voters, Najib’s party will now face the fallout of sharper polarisation over Anwar’s jailing, amid widespread perceptions that his prosecution was motivated by political vengeance.

“There’s something rotten about the whole thing,” said former cabinet minister Zaid Ibrahim (left). “It’s not good for the country and democracy, never mind Najib.”

“Even to prosecute Anwar for these kind of affairs is just unreasonable, it carries such a heavy sentence,” he added.

The government denied interference in Anwar’s case.

While Anwar’s jailing could bolster Najib’s standing among hard-liners at home, foreign investors are likely to be alarmed at a time when Malaysia is facing sliding oil and gas revenues.

The United States was “deeply disappointed” with Anwar’s conviction, which “raised a number of serious concerns about rule of law and the fairness of the judicial system”, said US National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan.

But more damaging for Najib than foreign reproach over Anwar is likely to be criticism at home of his leadership, especially from within his own party.

“He has put the opposition challenge away for a couple more years, but his immediate problems are from internal critics and it will probably get worse,” said Ibrahim Suffian, the director
of the Kuala Lumpur-based research firm Merdeka Centre.

Unfortunately for Najib, his biggest critic is former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who led Malaysia for 22 years until 2003 and remains influential.

‘Please resign’

Najib is a self-described moderate who came to power with reformist plans. The more conservative Mahathir has made no bones about what he thinks of Najib’s premiership.

Last year, in a savagely critical blog post, Mahathir said he was withdrawing support from Najib. This month, Mahathir said there was “something rotten in the state of Malaysia” and openly questioned Najib’s handling of the country.

“If you don’t perform and people say you’re no good, please resign,” Mahathir told news portals.

“As for Najib, I don’t know if he is performing.”

Najib has quietly set aside his liberal agenda, dashing hopes for social reform and the scrapping of old security laws used to stifle dissent.

But it is not only Najib’s leadership that his critics have questioned. His personal life has come under scrutiny amid reports of his family’s lavish spending.

There is also suspicion of mismanagement at state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Najib is chair of its board of advisers. Concern over 1MDB’s US$11.6 billion of debt has pressured the ringgit and the country’s sovereign credit rating.

Now that Anwar is out of the picture, Najib’s detractors in the ruling party could set their sights on him, analysts and government insiders say.

Feb 15, 2015 – malaysiakini
By Trinna Leong & Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah, Reuters
Anwar back in jail but woes mount for PM Najib


GST: the cost of Barisan’s financial sins, follies

GST: the cost of Barisan’s financial sins, follies – Koon Yew Yin

As the countdown to the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) begins in earnest, everyone is bracing for April 1, 2015, when the imposition of the GST takes effect.

GST is not going to be an April Fool’s joke. It is not only businesses that will be affected. The GST will have ripple effects throughout the economy – in some cases small ripples, but in other cases large ripples or even waves.

Contrary to what the government says, the effects are not beneficial for the public. No new tax is ever beneficial however the politicians spin it. This is why tax increases or new tax levies, anywhere in the world, have resulted in public uproar and protest – and sometimes, the downfall of the political party responsible for them.

In Malaysia, the government has argued that the GST is in the interest of the consumer. It claims that the cost of living will actually come down, believe it or not! A GST tax agent website says

Based on the GST rate of 6%, it is expected that there will be a price reduction between 0.08% to 2.71% in respect of eight components of goods and services. With the price reduction, the rakyat will benefit from the cheaper goods and services such as clothing and footwear, basic food, communication, furnishings, hardware and maintenance, transport, housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel. The tax burden borne by the rakyat and consumers is expected to be lower compared with that under the present tax system.

This is an Alice in Wonderland version. How the government arrived by its calculation of price reduction is anybody’s guess. Perhaps by the application of “tipu-nomics” or “bodoh-nomics”. Any idiot will ask: how can government revenue collection go up when the tax burden goes down?

Why the GST

The Barisan Nasional Government has no choice but to increase the tax burden and collect more revenue because it needs to bring down the massive budget deficit which has stretched back for 14 years. In simple language, it has spent more than it has collected in terms of revenue for more than a decade. Now Malaysians have to pay the painful price for the irresponsible and spendthrift policies of our leaders.

Those who thought that we had a bottomless well of financial reserves to draw upon are now hiding their heads. The colossal amounts spent on Proton, Malaysian Airlines, Bank Bumiputera bailout, Perwaja, the Scorpene submarines, Konsortium Perkapalan, and many other Umno and crony-driven scandals total to hundreds of billion ringgit.

GST: the cost of Barisan’s financial sins, follies – Koon Yew Yin
30 January 2015 – TMI


Senior Aussie lawyer says judges in Anwar trial ignored evidence

A senior Australian advocate who attended the recent Federal Court proceeding of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy appeal has criticised the guilty verdict, saying the judges ignored key evidence and credibility issues surrounding the complainant.

“In reaching these conclusions the court rejected or ignored the evidence that raised serious doubts about the reliability of so-called independence evidence and the credibility of the complainant,” said Queen’s Council, Mark Trowell.

Trowell, who wrote a book on the case, observed the trial on behalf of Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union, LAWASIA and the Law Council of Australia.

The Federal Court on February 10 upheld the guilty verdict and five-year prison sentence on Anwar, effectively disqualifying him from active politics.

Trowell described as “superficial” the court’s acceptance of Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s testimony, and recalled the affair Saiful had had with a member of the prosecution team.

He said the court also ignored Saiful’s meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and senior policemen days before the alleged incident, adding that all this showed “prospect of collusion against Anwar”.

Trowell also cited Australian forensic experts David Wells and Brian McDonald who had voiced concern over the DNA evidence used in Anwar’s case.

“Each expert was also critical of how the government chemists interpreted the results, given the known history of the samples,” he said.

“It is my view that, if the court had proper regard to the facts and the law, Anwar Ibrahim should never have been convicted.”

Senior Aussie lawyer says judges in Anwar trial ignored evidence
14 February 2015 – TMI

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah


Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah


What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

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

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?