Archive for August, 2015


Zahid’s post-Bersih arrest warning betrayed govt’s abusive streak

Rights NGO slams Zahid’s post-Bersih arrest warning

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s threat to act against Bersih 4 protesters after the rally violates internationally-recognised right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

This is according to Human Rights Watch Asia division deputy director Phil Robertson.

“Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are internationally guaranteed rights that Malaysia is bound to respect, and if the deputy PM needs a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we would be happy to send it to him,” he said in a statement today.

If those rights are violated, he warned, there will be “serious consequences” for Malaysia’s international reputation.

He added the threat only betrayed the ruling government’s abusive streak.

“The deputy prime minister’s threat to take legal action against Bersih organisers for what was a peaceful, well-organised protest clearly demonstrates the rights abusing orientation of this Malaysian government.

Yesterday Zahid warned that action may still be taken against Bersih 4 rally participants after the rally.

This is despite the fact that no protesters in Kuala Lumpur were arrested during the two-day rally that ended past midnight.

No arrests, ‘yet’

“There were no arrests or trouble. No arrest does not mean no action would be taken by police, Kuala Lumpur City Hall and other enforcement agencies.

“We are monitoring the situation and keeping track of the actions and every word in the speeches of leaders at the assembly.

“We are also keeping track of those behind the rally,” he said yesterday after officiating the Ipoh Timur Umno division meeting in Ipoh according to The Sun.

Specifically, he said action would be taken against those who wore the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirt, which was banned on Friday.

Anyone else who broke the law during the rally would also be arrested, the home minister warned.

“Do not accuse us of being cruel or oppressing them when we take action against the law breakers. They have to face the consequences of their actions,” he said.

The police will take action under the appropriate laws, he said, whether it be the Peaceful Assembly Act, Sedition Act or the Penal Code.

Rights NGO slams Zahid’s post-Bersih arrest warning
31 Aug 2015 – Malaysiakini


Bersih Rally in pictures (day 2)

Bersih Day 2
(credit: astro awani)
Bersih Day 2
(credit: bongkersz)
Bersih Day 2
(credit: zhu)
Bersih Day 2
(credit: anonymous)
Bersih Day 2
(credit: malaysiakini)
Bersih Day 2
(credit: malay mail online)
Bersih Day 2
(credit: malaysiakini)
Bersih Day 2
(credit: malay mail online)


1MDB and the politics of donations

PM Najib Razak and his PR team have clearly spun a rather complex yarn about the RM2.6 billion and the rakyat is just not buying into it anymore


By Charles Santiago

In the last few weeks, we have seen the antics of the government, consisting of one huge drama with a sloppily written script to boot.

The culmination however was the outcome of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation, which said that the RM2.6 billion found in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s private bank accounts came from donations.

To me and a large segment of Malaysians, this does not make sense.

Why didn’t Najib volunteer this information in the first place?

Why did he keep mum despite mounting pressure from the rakyat, demanding the source of this huge amount of money?

And more importantly, why keep the donations a secret from his former deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, who repeatedly appealed to Najib to come clean about it?

Before the anti-corruption body revealed its findings, a top ranking officer was arrested. Officers in the Attorney-General’s chambers were arrested.

Former Attorney-General, Abdul Gani Patail and Muhyiddin, were both sacked without notice.

Four members from the Public Accounts Committee were given Cabinet positions, effectively halting investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad which they were in the midst of.

Then Najib’s spin doctors said there was a foreign power-instigated conspiracy to topple the PM and government.

Throughout the drama, various government bodies and ruling politicians warned Malaysians against questioning the 1MDB financial heist or Najib’s role in it.

Therefore can anyone be blamed for questioning if these arbitrary measures were undertaken to help save Najib?

1MDB and the politics of donations
August 4, 2015 – FMT


MACC never said Najib was in the clear

MP SPEAKS The MACC never cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption and wrongdoing but the Prime minister cleared himself for receiving RM2.6 billion in his personal bank account without any supporting evidence

Najib claimed yesterday that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has cleared him of corruption over the US$700 million or RM2.6 billion donation in his personal accounts, according to reports in the News Straits Times.

“Don’t say I sell the country, I won’t sell the country. I’m the prime minister who will take responsibility for whatever I do… that’s why MACC has said it is not corruption and not 1MDB money,” he was reported saying during the opening of the Bandar Tun Razak Umno division meeting yesterday.

I’m simply amazed at how the prime minister of Malaysia can twist the statement by the MACC to claim that he has been cleared of corruption and wrongdoings. I had to re-read the MACC statement issued on August 3rd to see if I have read its content wrongly.

“The result of the investigation found that the fund totalling RM2.6 billion allegedly deposited into the accounts of Najib was a contribution from donors, and not from 1MDB,” the commission said in the statement.

The MACC statement however never stated that the “contribution from donors” does not involve corruption or gratification as defined in the MACC Act. While the statement said that the money did not come from 1MDB, it did not clarify if it came from parties involved with the multibillion ringgit transactions with 1MDB.

Furthermore if the MACC has indeed closed the case and cleared the prime minister, why would the MACC issue another statement two days later to clarify that “MACC would also ask Najib to give an explanation to the MACC about the donation he received”?

Hence it cannot be clearer that the MACC has never cleared the prime minister for receiving such dubious and suspicious “donation” from the Middle East.

Aug 9, 2015 – malaysiakini
By Tony Pua
MACC never said Najib was in the clear


Malaysia’s Broken System

Opinion: Malaysia’s Broken System

Current scandal is not the disease, it’s the symptom

It is ironic that a chorus of leaders from the United Malays National Organization have accused critics of scandal-scarred Prime Minister Najib Razak of “seeking to destroy parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.” There is no parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

Malaysia’s government is broken. Every institution that exists in a normal democracy to protect the people does not work. That includes the parliament, the courts, the police, the mainstream press and the religious establishment, which all act to perpetuate the ruling coalition – primarily UMNO – in power.

“Constitutional democracy has taken a new meaning in Malaysia and that is the status quo of the incumbent power,” one of the country’s most prominent constitutional lawyers said privately. “There are threats even against me for having acted in my professional capacity as a constitutional lawyer for those who desire to seek change.”

The situation is not new. Najib, who is accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money by critics – but not by law enforcement agencies – is not the cause of the breakdown. He is only a symptom of it. While UMNO has dominated politics since independence in 1957 under the Barisan Nasional, the current system was largely built by Mahathir Mohamad during the 23 years he was in power.

It’s been a long time coming

The breakdown began decades ago, even before the subversion of the courts by Mahathir in the 1980s, although that was a major contributing factor. The Barisan Nasional inherited a series of repressive laws from the colonial British, including the Internal Security Act, which allows for indeterminate detention without trial. Although the ISA was supposedly suspended as a reform by Najib in 2012, it was replaced by an almost equally pernicious statute, Section 124 of the Penal Code, which allows for the arrest of individuals “for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.”

Another is the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984, which replaced similar colonial laws and requires all printing presses to secure an annual license from the Home Affairs Ministry.

The British also bequeathed the Sedition Act of 1948, which banned speech that would “bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against” the government or engender “feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races.”

The sedition act has been used repeatedly as the current scandal has grown in proportion, with its most notable potential victim Clare Rewcastle Brown, the UK-blogger whose Sarawak Report has played an instrumental role in exposing corruption connected to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the state-backed investment fund that has amassed RM42 billion in debt. Scores of others including opposition politicians, activists, academics, journalists and cartoonists are being investigated or have been charged.

“Our parliament is a rubber stamp; our judiciary is compromised; our civil service is mediocre and incompetent led by a bunch of apple polishers; our police force, which is headed by an Inspector General of Police, treats us like enemies of the state, not as taxpayers and citizens who should be protected from criminals,” said Din Merican, a Malay university professor now teaching in Cambodia. “Our fiscal management is in a total mess because we have a Finance Minister who regards our national coffers as if they were his own and mismanages our economy. We have rampant corruption and abuses of power.”

Opinion: Malaysia’s Broken System
August 21, 2015 – Asia Sentinel
By John Berthelsen


Analyst: The issue is origin of the RM2.6b

It’s not the done thing to debate whether the money should have been in Najib’s personal banking accounts or with the party

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) saying in early July that RM2.6 billion entered the personal banking accounts of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak before the last General Election in 2013 is only half the story, pointed out a political analyst in his latest blog posting.

“If this half of the story can now be accepted as indeed true, what about the other half of the story that the RM2.6 billion originated from 1MDB funds through companies associated with it?” asked political analyst Aspan Alias. “The RM2.6 billion can no longer be debated since Khairy Jamaluddin and the rest of the sycophantic Cabinet has accepted that the monies did exist in Najib’s personal banking accounts.”

If the two media are not telling the truth about the RM2.6 billion originating from 1MDB, asked Aspan, what’s the real story? “This has not been answered by Najib. He should rightfully be telling everyone the name and the status of the person or company that deposited the money in his personal banking accounts.”

“Instead, he focuses on the issue of whether the money should be in his personal banking account or should have been in the party’s account. He thinks that Malaysians have nothing in their heads but only sand and cow dung.”

In digressing a little, Aspan noted that no leader seems to be worried “although the economy was in deep s..t and the ringgit continues to slide. The stock market has fallen and the ringgit has slid to 3.85 to the USD, the worst performance in the region. In the midst of all this, the people witness the pranks and shenanigans committed by our hopeless and shameless leaders led by Najib.”

Meanwhile, he added, some investigation officers who were getting near the truth of “the plundering acts of the leaders of today” were arrested at midnight. “Now, who is going to deny the ugly perception among the people and the international community that our leaders are thieving huge sums of public funds? Even visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron advised Najib to clean up his act.”

“What does Oxford University-educated Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin have to say about the issue?” asked Aspan. “He must prove that he’s different from the other ‘sekolah atap’ leaders.”

“The disease that Umno was suffering from can turn smart leaders into stupid ones. Many feel sorry for Khairy who compromises his own dignity by supporting the Cabinet’s move to arrest everyone that was empowered to investigate the RM2.6 billion and 1MDB issues.”

Analyst: The issue is origin of the RM2.6b
August 5, 2015 – FMT


Thousands join rally to pile pressure on Malaysia’s PM

Thousands of protesters gathered in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday for a rally to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak, bringing to the streets a political crisis over a murky multi-million-dollar payment made to an account under his name.

The Malaysian leader has weathered weeks of attacks since it was reported that investigators probing the management of debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had discovered the unexplained transfer of more than $600 million.

Protesters hope to spark a people’s power movement forcing Najib out, but political analysts doubt he will be toppled.

Security was tight and access to a square where protesters were planning to converge was blocked, with several anti-riot trucks and a water cannon parked nearby.

The Malaysiakini news portal said 50,000 people had gathered by mid-afternoon but police put the crowd at half that number.

The mood was festive as protesters carrying “Out, Najib, Out” placards honked plastic horns and shouted “bersih!”, a Malay word for “clean”. Bersih is also the name of the pro-democracy organization behind the two-day rally in Kuala Lumpur and the two main cities on Malaysia’s side of Borneo.

“We the Malaysians want to clean up this country, we reject dirty politics,” said Tinagar Veranogan, a demonstrator in a crowd of predominantly young people who were mostly from the ethnic Indian and Chinese minority communities.

The Star daily said on Thursday the army could intervene if the protest gets out of hand and a state of emergency is declared. A military spokesman declined to comment.

City authorities rejected an application by Bersih for a protest permit, raising fears of a repeat of a 2012 rally when police used water cannon and teargas to disperse protesters.

The government has blocked access to Bersih’s website and banned wearing of its signature yellow T-shirts, although the swelling crowd was a sea of yellow.

“For 58 years people have been patient with bribes, a political system that cannot resolve 1MDB,” Bersih leader Maria Chin told protesters. “Today we say we want reformation.”


Amnesty International urged Malaysia’s government to listen to the protesters instead of trying to suppress them.

“There are huge frustrations with a number of endemic rights issues in Malaysia at the moment – the crackdown on freedom of expression by the government must end,” Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Deputy Campaigns Director, said in a statement.

Sat Aug 29, 2015 – Reuters
Thousands join rally to pile pressure on Malaysia’s PM


200,000-strong Bersih Rally in pictures

(credit: Fadiah Nadwa)
(credit: Astro Awani)
(credit: Malaysiakini)
(credit: Malaysiakini)
(credit: Anonymous)
(credit: Bersih 2.0)
(credit: Malaysiakini)
(credit: Malaysiakini)


RM2.6 billion donation for PM makes world headlines

RM2.6b donation for PM makes world headlines

The RM2.6 billion donation to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has made global headlines.

A quick search on the Internet revealed that besides international media like Time, CNBC, BBC, and Financial Times, local news sites in Japan, Hong Kong, India, and Britain also carried the news.

This includes Britain’s The Guardian, India’s Hindustan Times, Hong Kong’s The Standard and The Japan Times.

As for commentaries, one of the most readable on the matter to emerge thus far was piece by former National Economic Advisory Council member Danny Quah, published in the prestigious magazine, The Diplomat today.

In it, Quah opined Malaysia has gone rogue under the current administration and that the 1MDB scandal has run Malaysia’s global esteem in the financial sector to the ground.

1MDB, he said, was starkly different from Khazanah Nasional which he described as one of the world’s most respected, successful and scrupulously managed sovereign wealth funds.

“By contrast, 1MDB has seen billions of ringgit of public money moved around the world in suspicious circumstances.

“All of this has dragged down in the world’s eyes Malaysia’s otherwise globally esteemed financial infrastructure,” he said.

Quah, who is currently a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, also cited a crackdown against the press plus Najib’s sweeping changes in the cabinet and Attorney-General’s Chambers as examples of how Malaysia had gone rogue.

“One of Britain’s greatest friends – a former colony that admired and reflected the grand British ideals of democracy, rule of law, free speech, and egalitarianism – has gone rogue.

Co-opted judiciary

“It does not take authoritarian autocracy to run a country into the ground.

“Regardless of the system of government, it takes only political elites out of touch with their people, a co-opted judiciary, an electoral process that even while open fails to surface progressive leadership and a system that keeps to the law but fails to protect those speaking truth to power.

“Malaysia now has all of these sorry attributes,” he said, noting that the country needs a government that goes back to its roots of serving the people.

Najib is currently engulfed in controversy following reports alleging that state-owned 1MDB, of which he is chairperson, engaged in dubious deals which contributed to its current massive debt of RM42 billion.

Following this, The Wall Street Journal reported that some RM2.6 billion of 1MDB funds had been traced to Najib’s personal bank accounts.

The MACC has said the money was not from 1MDB while the prime minister has said that it ‘was a donation’.

Aug 5, 2015 – Malaysiakini
RM2.6b donation for PM makes world headlines


Aspan: Najib won’t last long

But country’s problems may persist indefinitely.

KUALA LUMPUR: Politics is all about perception, political analyst Aspan Alias writes in his latest blog posting.

Unfortunately, Prime Minister Najib Razak can no longer change the negative perceptions Malaysians hold towards him. As a result, he will not last long in office, Aspan predicts.

And here’s why.

Referring to the ubiquitous RM2.6 billion ‘donation’ issue, Aspan says, “We have heard numerous answers, but in truth there can be only one.” The multiple contradictory answers given by Najib and those around him to date, he says, are merely intended to confuse the public.

“Many have formed the opinion that the money which ended up in Najib’s account did in fact originate from 1MDB after it had passed through multiple channels,” Aspan writes. “Whether he likes it or not, Najib has to accept that accusation.”

He can no longer ask the public to await the outcome of “investigations,” Aspan says, because Najib himself has already interfered in those very investigations by “displacing” those who were engaged in them through various departmental transfers.

As a result, Najib will never be able to furnish an acceptable answer to the accusations against him.

“That is why the people seek change in leadership, even if that change is within BN and UMNO,” he adds.

The people are not so evil as to want to kill off Umno, Aspan hastens to add, but the problem is that UMNO’s leaders nowadays lack the required dedication and finesse to command the people’s respect.

“The people are now afraid,” he says, because UMNO’s leadership has become so rotten that there is no one who is worthy of taking over the mantle as leader of party and nation.

“That is why while Najib may not last long, the nation’s problems are likely to persist indefinitely,” Aspan says.

Aspan: Najib won’t last long
August 25, 2015 – FMT

Sabahans Unite!
Vote Warisan Plus!


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?