Archive for February, 2016


We’re witnessing emergence of a new dictator, Muhyiddin warns

We’re witnessing emergence of a new dictator, Muhyiddin warns

Suspended Umno deputy president today said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is consolidating his power and warned of the making of a dictator.

“In facing the rakyat’s anger against the leadership, Najib is using all the powers he has to suppress dissent and silence critics.

“We are actually witnessing the collapse of democratic institutions and the emergence of a new dictator,” Muhyiddin said in a statement this morning.

Muhyiddin’s statement came after the Umno supreme council yesterday suspended him as the party’s number two leader for his criticism of Najib.

The former deputy prime minister have launched a broadside against Najib after attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali refused to prosecute the prime minister for receiving RM42 million from state-owned SRC International and RM2.6 billion from an offshore account.

“The attorney-general is afraid to prosecute Najib simply because he was appointed by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister.

“Institutions like the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Bank Negara are unable to function properly as they are being pressured by those in power.

“The National Security Council Act is made to grant the prime minister powers to declare “security zones” which have the same impact as declaring an emergency,” said Muhyiddin.

Muhyiddin said this is amid the closing of democratic space in the country.

“Day by day the country’s credibility and image are increasingly affected.

“The economy is uncertain and the rakyat is faced with the rising cost of living, while the democratic and freedom space is shrinking.

“Those who are vocal in criticising the prime minister are arrested under security laws, news portals are blocked and dissenters are pressured with various threats,” he said.

We’re witnessing emergence of a new dictator, Muhyiddin warns
27 Feb 2016


TMI ban to ensure ‘information blackout’ on 1MDB?

The ban will however not stop speculation about Najib Razak and 1MDB, and neither will it convince the people the RM2.6 billion was a donation from Saudi royalties.

It’s an unscrupulous move by the Malaysian government. And banning The Malaysian Insider on grounds of national security without giving any concrete explanation, is ridiculous.

Everyone is guessing that the clampdown may very well be because of an article quoting a source, saying that the Operations Review Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has recommended proceeding with charges against Prime Minister Najib Razak for the billions of ringgit that was transferred into his private bank accounts and the dizzyingly complex financial transactions involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign fund that amassed billions in losses.

The news article must have left the Malaysian government desperate to clean-up Najib’s image.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has also warned other media against publishing “unverified reports.”

An outright ban is a blatant disregard of freedom of media in the country. The online portal could have been warned or charged in court if at all its reporting was unverified, inaccurate or plain wrong.

Recently, a string of arrests, charges and investigations under the Sedition Act were used by the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government to stifle dissent from media practitioners, rights activists and Opposition politicians.

And other harsh criminal defamation laws plus preventive laws are regularly used to impose restrictions on the press and other critics of the government.

However, arbitrarily banning the media will not stop speculation about Najib and 1MDB. And neither will it convince the people to accept his explanation that the 2.6 billion ringgit was a donation from Saudi royalties.

Press freedom and good governance are not mutually exclusive. They support each other while promoting a country’s economic development, human development and transparent government.

Therefore using the MCMC as a political tool to clamp down on freedom of the media and create fear are totally unacceptable.

As such I demand that the ban against The Malaysian Insider be lifted immediately.

TMI ban to ensure ‘information blackout’ on 1MDB?
Charles Santiago
February 26, 2016 – FMT


Law doesn’t let MCMC block websites

Law doesn’t let MCMC block websites, says global rights group

Malaysia’s Internet regulator does not have the power to block a website without due process of law, Amnesty International said today over the latest case of Putrajaya’s suppression of online media.

Amnesty’s Southeast Asia and Pacific campaigns deputy director Josef Roy Benedict said the law cited by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to justify the block on The Malaysian Insider only “lays down the offence of ‘improper use of network facilities or network service'”.

“Breaches of this provision must be proven before a court where the defence must be given a chance to answer to the charge before a decision is made and sanctions meted out,” he said in a statement.

He also said the block was a “misuse” of the criminal justice system.

MCMC has cited Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 to justify blocking access to TMI since Thursday over a report which it said had caused “public confusion”.

The report quoted an unnamed source from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on an investigation related to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“If the authorities have reasonable concerns about the content, these should be addressed in line with provisions provided by law and according to international standards, which must be necessary and proportional to a legitimate aim.

“The authorities must not use such restrictions to simply silence a critical voice,” Amnesty said, describing the move as “harassment and intimidation of journalists and editors”.

Amnesty said Putrajaya’s crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly had been “unprecedented” in the last two years.

Its 2015/2016 report on the State of the World’s Human Rights released earlier this week said Malaysia had “intensified” its clamps on freedom of expression in the country.

Law doesn’t let MCMC block websites, says global rights group
27 February 2016 – TMI


Blocking of TMI a blatant show of force

Blocking of TMI a blatant show of force, says DAP

The block by Putrajaya on news portal The Malaysian Insider was a blatant show of force to not only shut down news sites that “misbehave”, but also to threaten all other news portals into submission and compliance, DAP said today.

Its publicity chief Tony Pua said even worse was the fact that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had flouted the very laws it claimed to protect when there have been no charges against the news website.

“The Malaysian Insider has stated that it has no knowledge of being investigated for any of its reports, nor has it been sought to assist in clarifying any matters deemed sensitive by the authorities.

“This goes to prove the complete disregard for the rule of law by the government,” he said in a statement today.

Pua said that the last time the media in Malaysia faced such an onslaught was during the dark days of Operasi Lalang when The Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh, Watan was suspended on October 29, 1987.

The Petaling Jaya Utara lawmaker said that Putrajaya has become increasingly brazen in abusing its powers by previously blocking whistle-blower websites such as The Sarawak Report and even Medium for publishing The Sarawak Report news.

It previously blocked the electoral reform group Bersih’s website and more recently, the anti-establishment Malaysia Chronicle blog, he added.

Pua also said that the latest ban on The Malaysian Insider was a clear sign that Putrajaya was upping the ante against any news outlet deemed to provide free and fair coverage of politics and Malaysia.

“In a bid to put a lid on a barrel of crawling worms, the Najib administration has taken the most drastic and draconian action to date by blocking Malaysia’s most popular English news portal, The Malaysian Insider,” he said.

Blocking of TMI a blatant show of force, says DAP
26 February 2016 – TMI


TMI banned on grounds of ‘national security’?

TMI banned on grounds of ‘national security’

The Malaysian Insider turns eight today but has been blocked by several Internet providers following a ban for “national security” reasons by Malaysia’s Internet regulators.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) enforcement chief Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin confirmed the ban in a text message.

“We will issue a statement,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

However, sources said MCMC had ordered Internet Service Providers to block The Malaysian Insider for “national security” reasons.

It had wanted this as the nature of the offence might affect national stability, public order and harmony, and economic stability.

Several readers alerted The Malaysian Insider when they discovered they were unable to access the news portal as it had been “banned” by MCMC.

Some readers using Celcom and Unifi, both provided by state-controlled firms, complained about the block.

Some using Maxis however said they could still access the site on their phones despite the directive that all ISPs block the site.

Blocked users were greeted with a note that said the news portal had flouted Malaysian laws.

However, no notice was sent to The Malaysian Insider about flouting any laws.

TMI banned on grounds of ‘national security’
25 February 2016 – TMI


Curious disappearance of PAC members and ‘cari makan’ chairman

PAC members ‘disappear’ despite 2-week notice for 1MDB audit briefing, says source

A member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has taken his colleagues to task for going overseas despite being informed two weeks earlier that the auditor-general (A-G) would brief them on the final report on debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the parliamentarian, part of the 14-member bi-partisan committee, questioned if it was a deliberate attempt to disrupt the tabling of the final audit report.

The A-G had submitted a preliminary report to PAC on July 10 last year.

The PAC member said that committee chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin was among those who had gone abroad.

The Malaysian Insider contacted Hasan through text messages and phone calls to verify his whereabouts, but his mobile phone appeared to have been switched off.

The 14 PAC members are Hasan (Rompin), deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw (Kepong), Datuk Ahmad Hamzah (Jasin), Datuk Liang Teck Meng (Simpang Rengam), Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir (Kulim Bandar Baru), Datuk Wee Jeck Seng (Tanjong Piai), Datuk Koh Nai Kwong (Alor Gajah), Hasbi Habibollah (Limbang), Datuk Nawawi Ahmad (Langkawi), Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (Putatan), Tony Pua (Petaling Jaya Utara), William Leong Jee Keng (Selayang), Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abas (Telok Kemang) and Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (Kota Baru).

The PAC member said he was shocked to learn of his colleagues’ absence, including that of Hasan, when the February 24 and 25 meetings were agreed to during the committee’s last session on February 11.

“The scheduled meetings (on February 24 and 25) could not proceed without the chairman although there was enough quorum,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

At least seven members, including the chairman, must be present to conduct a meeting.

“Many now see the postponed meetings as an attempt to keep the 1MDB issue away from the knowledge of the members of Parliament and the public for as long as possible,” the PAC member added.

He said it was decided on February 11 that PAC would be briefed by the A-G after receiving the 1MDB report on February 24, adding that members also agreed to study the report before deciding if more witnesses should be called.

“Most importantly, to make a decision whether to call Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to appear before us to answer any queries.”

Najib, who is finance minister, is also chairman of 1MDB’s board of advisors.

PAC members ‘disappear’ despite 2-week notice for 1MDB audit briefing, says source
25 February 2016 – TMI


Rakyat’s right to denounce a gov’t full of clowns


Rakyat’s right to denounce a gov’t full of clowns

If the rakyat feels that they must paint their leadership as clowns, then it befits their right to do so as a means of expressing legitimate democratic dissent.

Any curb on this is not only against democratic principles but may trigger less palatable means of defiance.

After all do our elected leaders have such constricted digestive tract endings that they cannot even take a joke?

If we were to use the analogy of commentary writers and those who leave comments on their articles for example, it would be ridiculous for me to hunt down and duel with those who leave less than palatable comments about my writing.

Having shared my views, it is fair game for discussion.

Just like leaders who submit themselves to the political process are open to ridicule and discussion, for their actions are no longer personal but of national concern.

The borrowed power they wield is fair recompense for the scrutiny and accountability they must endure.

It is a lonely burden to be on the quarterdeck of leadership, yet ironically what one does there is open to view and invites all kinds of sailor-like cussing as well as the occasional praise.

If you claim the quarterdeck, one must have the testicular fortitude to bear the brunt, or else they should just jump into the laut or fall into the longkang.

Rakyat’s right to denounce a gov’t full of clowns
5 Feb 2016 – malaysiakini


PM left red nosed by censorship protest – BBC

PM left red nosed by censorship protest

When Malaysian police warned activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza that his Twitter account was under surveillance after he posted an image of the prime minister, Najib Razak, as a clown, they probably hoped such behaviour would stop.

But then members of an art collective, Grupa posted even more clownish images of the premier to express their solidarity with him and to champion the ideal of free speech.

The pictures have spread across social media with the hashtag #KitaSemuaPenghasut which translates as “we are all seditious”.

Fahmi’s mockery of the prime minister was part of a wider reaction to news last week, when the country’s attorney-general cleared Mr Najib of any corruption relating to a long-running financial scandal.

Grupa and Fahmi both have a history of protest against the current prime minister, though Fahmi stresses his work is anti-corruption rather than anti-Najib and says he has lampooned politicians from all sides in his work.

Grupa says it is an independent group of designers and illustrators that formed just days before street protests in August that called on Mr Najib to resign. It says it designed many of the placards used in the protest.

Fahmi, a long-time activist, is unrepentant. He responded to the police warning with another tweet mocking it: “Warning! This Twitter account is under police watch. Use it with prudence.”

On Facebook he has also made a tongue-in-cheek appeal to the authorities not to act rashly, saying his arrest would only give the issue more publicity.

In July last year, $681 million dollars was found in Mr Najib’s personal bank account. In the furore that followed, the prime minister removed the attorney-general investigating the issue and sacked the deputy prime minister who was vocally and actively criticising the way the matter was handled.

There was widespread scepticism about the explanation that the new attorney-general gave about the source of the funds – that they were a personal donation from the Saudi royal family to Mr Najib – and the story trended for days on social media.

PM left red nosed by censorship protest
By BBC Trending
3 February 2016 – BBC


What you need to know about Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal – Financial Times

What you need to know about Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal

The scandal around Malaysia’s 1MDB state investment fund has deepened after international investigators into the affair said they suspected serious crimes had been committed. Here are four big questions about a case that has rocked this Southeast Asian nation and Najib Razak, its prime minister.

What’s the big picture of this complex case?

Critics of 1MDB claim the state investment fund has been used as a vehicle to steal large sums of money. The Swiss authorities said last week that a probe into suspected bribery involving former 1MDB officials and other unknown people had thrown up “serious indications” that $4bn had been misappropriated from Malaysian government companies. 1MDB denies its money has been looted and says its internal investigations have found no evidence of crimes.

Mohamed Apandi Ali, Malaysia’s attorney-general, says the country will co-operate with Switzerland and press ahead with at least three domestic investigations into the 1MDB affair. Mr Apandi Ali, appointed after his predecessor was suddenly removed from office in July on grounds of ill health, says he is acting independently. But sceptics say his rulings are part of a government effort to bury the story.

So how is it suspected this money was taken?

The Swiss attorney-general’s office said it had identified four allegations of criminal conduct involving “a systematic course of action carried out by means of complex financial structures”. 1MDB’s modus operandi was unusual for a government investment fund: it received a relatively small amount of capital and state-owned assets at discounted prices, generating much of its money from billions of dollars of bond issues. Some of the proceeds were used to buy assets, notably power plants. Other funds were earmarked for joint ventures with international partners, notably in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

What you need to know about Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal
February 3, 2016 – Financial Times


Damning charts revealed by Apandi


Pua wants answers on charts exposed by AG

The MP doesn’t understand why Petrosaudi International Limited’s (Seychelles) acquisition of Taib Mahmud’s UBG was partially funded by a USD500 million loan by 1MDB.

KUALA LUMPUR: The expose by Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali last week on Tuesday, inadvertent or otherwise, uncovered a whole web of intrigue involving a myriad of companies related in one way or another to 1MDB and Penangite Jho Low, stressed Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua in a statement. “It has raised new questions over the entire episode.”

“These questions need to be answered.”

Pua, who is also DAP National Publicity Secretary, has five questions for starters . Why did SRC International advance RM140 million to Putra Perdana?; Who authorized the advances?; Why did Tabung Haji (TH) acquire 30 per cent in Putrajaya Perdana?; How much did it pay for the stake?; and Who are the ultimate owners of Putrajaya Perdana?

Most crucially, asked Pua, did TH bail out Putrajaya Perdana to enable the latter to repay the RM140 million advance from SRC International. “TH, SRC International, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as the Finance Minister and Apandi Ali cannot continue to feign ignorance over the entire ugly scandal.”

TH invested an undisclosed sum in Putrajaya Perdana despite the fact that the latter failed to submit its annual audited accounts to the Companies Commission since December 2013, added Pua. “Soon after the 30 per cent acquisition by TH, Putra Perdana Development refunded the RM140 million to Putra Perdana Construction, which in turn refunded the money to SRC International on 12 December 2014.”

Putrajaya Perdana Berhad was previously acquired by Jho Low’s vehicle Abu Dhabi Kuwait Malaysia Investment Corporation (ADKMIC) before being sold to Taib Mahmud’s UBG Bhd, all of which took place in 2007, continued Pua. “The latter in turn sold a majority stake in UBG to ADKMIC in January 2008.”

What Pua doesn’t understand is why Petrosaudi International Limited (Seychelles) not only acquired UBG for RM1.4 billion, but its purchase was partially funded by a USD500 million loan by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in September 2010.

Jho Low’s right hand man, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, was not only the Executive Director of Investments for UBG, discovered Pua, he was also at the same time Chief Investment Officer of 1MDB. “Nik Faisal later became the Managing Director of SRC International after it was set up in 2012.”

Putrajaya Perdana was reportedly subsequently sold to Cendana Destini Sdn Bhd in September 2012, belabours Pua. “However, the true ownership of Putrajaya Perdana was unclear as the company’s record in the Companies Commission had its shareholding under a nominee account in AmSec Nominees (Tempatan) Sdn Bhd.”

The Attorney-General exposed a damning transfer amounting to RM27 million by SRC International to the Prime Minister during his press conference last week. This took place when Apandi Ali held up several documents to emphasize the fact that his office had carried out thorough investigations.

One of the charts clearly showed that SRC International transferred RM35 million on 8 July 2014 to Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd, which then transferred RM34.99 million to Permai Binaraya Sdn Bhd, which then paid RM27 million to Najib’s private bank account ending “880”.

Pua wants answers on charts exposed by AG
February 2, 2016 – 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?