Archive for February, 2018


Corruption, abuse of power, bigotry and extremism tarnish Malaysia’s image

Tarnishing Malaysia’s image

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman doesn’t understand the role of diplomats and neither does he seem to appreciate the role of the Opposition in a “free and democratic” country.


By Dennis Ignatius

In the wake of a recent meeting with European Union ambassadors, Dr Mahathir and the Opposition have been accused, in not so many words, of betraying the nation and tarnishing our good image.

Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Anifah Aman, for example, described the meeting as an indication that Dr Mahathir was willing “to put aside the interests of the country and its people for the sake of power” by cynically inviting “the involvement of foreign countries in our affairs.”

He went on to accuse Dr Mahathir and the Opposition of “undermining the nation’s dignity and sovereignty” and tarnishing Malaysia’s good image.

Clearly, the Minister doesn’t understand the role of diplomats and neither does he seem to appreciate the role of the Opposition in a “free and democratic” country, to quote the minister’s own words.

Just doing their job

One of the critical tasks of diplomats is to seek to understand what is going on in his or her host country. That means talking to all sides, getting to know key players and understanding what they stand for.

Even Malaysian ambassadors, at least those who are serious about doing their job, do the same thing. Malaysian officials met with Aung San Suu Kyi, for example, when she was in the opposition.

As well, in a democracy, if that is what we still are, the opposition is considered the government-in-waiting. In Britain, the opposition is referred to as “Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition” and meet, as the need arises, with foreign diplomats and others to discuss issues of concern.

There’s nothing sinister about it. It’s standard practice throughout much of the world; only authoritarian regimes bristle when diplomats meet opposition and civil society leaders.

It is, therefore, inappropriate, to say the least, for the foreign minister of a “free and democratic country” to make such ludicrous accusations against the legitimate Opposition simply for meeting foreign diplomats.

Who’s tarnishing our image?

The minister also lamented that “at a time when… the country is gaining recognition and respect throughout the world, Pakatan Harapan has invited the involvement of foreign countries in our affairs.”

Many Malaysians will, of course, find the assertion that “the country is gaining recognition and respect throughout the world” quite laughable.

In any case, the minister must surely know, if he has been reading reports from abroad, that it is not Dr Mahathir’s meetings with a few ambassadors that tarnish our image and diminish our standing in the world but the corruption, abuse of power, bigotry and extremism that have increasingly come to define our nation both at home and abroad.

The 1MDB scandal, for example, has done enormous damage to our international standing, typecasting us as a corrupt nation with weak institutions and unethical officials. Buckets of whitewash cannot alter that fact; it will take us years to live down that single act of infamy.

As well, our image is tarnished when opposition politicians and civil society leaders are harassed, intimidated and jailed, when anti-democratic legislation is rammed through parliament, when prisoners in remand die under mysterious circumstances, when pastors and others are snatched from the street and disappear without a trace, and when a 92-year-old gracious and much-loved lady is summoned for questioning simply for speaking at a public rally.

If the minister is truly concerned with our international standing, he would do well to address these issues before taking Dr Mahathir to task over his meeting.

Tarnishing Malaysia’s image
January 31, 2018 – FMT


It will be the people v Najib at GE14

It will be the people v Najib at GE14, says Kluang MP

THE battle of the 14th general election is not so much as between Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional, but between the people and Prime Minister Najib Razak, said Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong.
“It’s the people versus Najib. And it is a David versus Goliath campaign,” Liew said in a statement today.

The two-term MP also said there is no point trying to guess when Najib would call the elections.

“If Parliament is dissolved before Ramadan (May 17) and before (PKR adviser) Anwar Ibrahim is released from prison on June 8, it will either happen before the house sits on March 5 or after it ends on April 5.

“Either way, it is safe to conclude that we are less than 100 days from the most important election ever in Malaysian history.”

Speaking to volunteers during a polling and counting agents’ (PACA) training session in Johor Baru on Sunday, Liew said the reason Najib has yet to call the elections is because he is unsure if he has won over the hearts and minds of Malaysians.

Against all the government’s machinery and gerrymandering, Liew said, the last decade has proven that voters can prevail despite the odds.

“As much as Najib believes that ‘cash is king’, money can’t buy everything.

“Back in 2007, I was doing research and hanging around with MPs quite a lot at the Parliament’s coffee lounge. One afternoon, a then MCA deputy minister who was already very rich before joining politics told me, ‘Young man, don’t get involved in politics if you don’t have money. Politics is all about money’.

“The next year, he lost his seat (and never regained it despite running in 2013) while I won mine with very little money, mostly donated through small donations from friends and well-wishers.

“My point is that money can buy a lot of things but it doesn’t necessarily buy the hearts and minds of the people.

It will be the people v Najib at GE14, says Kluang MP
31 Jan 2018 – TMI


Rural support for Pakatan surges after Dr Mahathir named as PM

Rural support for Pakatan surges after Dr Mahathir named as PM

SUPPORT for Pakatan Harapan in rural areas has grown after the opposition pact named Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its candidate for prime minister, according to a recent study.

Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) chief executive Professor Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman said most of the respondents from its recent survey agreed with the decision because of the former prime minister’s experience in leading the country for 22 years.

“But the people want to see what he can offer as an alternative to Barisan National led by (Prime Minister) Najib Razak,” Redzuan told The Malaysian Insight.

“Apart from that, the support has increased because he is deemed as the only who has the most courage to attack Najib in Malaysia today,” he said.

Redzuan, however, refused to divulge any detail from the survey. He said the findings will be made public soon.

Following the announcement of Dr Mahathir and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as PH’s choice for the top two posts on January 7, IDE sent a team of researchers across the country to gauge people’s sentiments on the selection.

Dr Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister from 1981 until 2003, is now leading PH, which is made up of Bersatu, PKR, DAP and Amanah.

In the beginning, there was a negative reaction towards the announcement, Redzuan said.

“But what’s interesting is 80% who can’t accept Dr Mahathir said it is because of his age. For those who accept Dr Mahathir as prime minister, it’s because of his experience administering Malaysia.

“Those who accept him is because of his experience, those who don’t is because he is an old man,” the vice-chancellor of Universiti Selangor (Unisel) said.

Dr Mahathir factor in Bersatu

Redzuan said respondents also linked Dr Mahathir’s age with illness, doubting his ability to lead at 92.

“Although he is old, he could still deliver a 41-minute speech at the PH convention. A 92-year-old man can’t talk that long, usually even those who are 50 years old can’t do that.

“Age is associated with infirmity but it doesn’t apply to Dr Mahathir,” the former Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) director said.

Bersatu, Umno’s splinter party, also managed to garner more public support, especially in rural areas, because of Dr Mahathir, he said.

Rural support for Pakatan surges after Dr Mahathir named as PM
31 Jan 2018 – TMI


Mahathir claims ousting Najib is on the cards

Malaysia’s Mahathir claims ousting Najib is on the cards

KUALA LUMPUR — Mahathir Mohamad insists there is a real possibility of a new government coming to power when Malaysia goes to the polls later this year.

Speaking to The Nikkei at his office on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital on Monday, Mahathir, who now leads a coalition of four opposition parties, said the mutual goal of unseating Prime Minister Najib Razak was of far greater importance than any differences they may have.

“This is what they called the mother of all elections,” said the 92-year-old former prime minister. “It will be very big and the possibility of changing the government is there. For the first time, the opposition is very united.”

The Pakatan Harapan, or “Alliance of Hope,” is an unlikely collection of politicians. Some, such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party, were jailed during Mahathir’s 22 years in power.

Anwar, once seen as Mahathir’s chosen successor, is serving a five-year sentence on sodomy charges that many believe were fabricated — his second incarceration for a similar offense.

“This is more or less like the saying, ‘your enemy’s enemy is my friend,'” said Mahathir.

The veteran politician appears to have united a once fragmented opposition, a role once played by Anwar, even managing to gain broad consensus on seat allocation for the election, which must be called by June 24.

The coalition has agreed for Mahathir to be appointed prime minister should the bloc win, but make way for Anwar when his prison term ends in June. Anwar, however, will still need a royal pardon in order to become leader.

“Anwar will be the next prime minister after me,” assured Mahathir, refuting allegations that his return was designed to pave the way for his son Mukriz to take over.

“I wanted to retire but things were not right,” he said. Malaysia’s image, he continued, had been tarnished by Najib’s alleged links the multibillion dollar scandal surrounding state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Najib has repeatedly denied any involvement in the scandal and said it had been turned into a concentrated campaign to sabotage the economy for political gain. He has admitted there were “failings” at the fund, but these lapses of governance had been rectified after investigations.

Regardless, Mahathir insisted the country would get “worse” if Najib stayed in power, and that he just wanted to put Malaysia back on track.

He also accused the current administration of blurring the lines between the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government.

January 29, 2018
Malaysia’s Mahathir claims ousting Najib is on the cards


Only Dr M can accomplish ‘Mission Impossible’ with rural voters

Kit Siang: Only Dr M can accomplish ‘Mission Impossible’ with rural voters

PETALING JAYA: If Dr Mahathir Mohamad cannot accomplish “Mission Impossible” by creating a wave of change among rural Malay voters, no other political leader will be able to do so, says DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

Speaking at an event in Batu Pahat last night, Lim said a political tsunami in both urban and rural areas was needed to effect a change in government.

“An urban political tsunami without a rural political tsunami will end up like GE13, with Datuk Seri Najib Razak continuing as a minority prime minister because of constituency gerrymandering and unfair democratic practices.

“A rural political tsunami without an urban political tsunami because the urban voters have given up hope that there is possibility of democratic change, surrendering to a sense of hopelessness about the future, will also end up redounding to the benefit of Najib, Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).

“We need both an urban and a rural political tsunami in GE14,” he said, adding that this depended not only on individual leaders but on the efforts of all four Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties – PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM.

Mahathir, who is chairman of PPBM and PH, has been named the coalition’s candidate for prime minister ahead of GE14.

PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail meanwhile is PH’s deputy prime minister candidate.

Saying that BN was “clearly rattled” by the decision, Lim called on all Malaysians to unite and vote for the first change of federal government in 60 years.

“The most important lesson of the 13th general election of May 5, 2013 is that unless we can ensure a political tsunami in both the urban and rural areas, it will be impossible to bring about political change in Malaysia through the democratic process,” he said.

Kit Siang: Only Dr M can accomplish ‘Mission Impossible’ with rural voters
January 29, 2018 – FMT


The belt of Pahang VIPs – will a domino effect burn BN in GE14?

The belt of Pahang VIPs – will a domino effect burn BN?

SPECIAL REPORT | In the coming 14th general election (GE14), a VIP belt of marginal seats and lies in the western part of Pahang will decide the fate of several top guns from both divides – seats that are widely expected to be the most hotly contested battlefields in the peninsula.

This “Pahang VIP (very important persons) belt” covers five parliamentary seats – Cameron Highlands, Raub, Temerloh, Bentong and Bera – an area that includes the Titiwangsa mountain range and spans over 300 kilometres.

These seats could switch hands with only five percent swing in votes. Indeed, a few of them were won with just hundreds of votes in the last general election in 2013.

From Cameron Highlands to Bera, this VIP belt sees big names from both political divides, be they defenders or challengers.

They include MCA president Liow Tiong Lai, party vice-president Chew Mei Fun, Pahang DAP chief Leong Ngah Ngah, PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi and Umno supreme council member Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Liow and Ismail Sabri hold posts in the cabinet as transport minister and rural and regional development minister respectively.

Geographically, these areas are about one to three hours of driving distance from the nation’s capital, with the East Coast Highway connecting Kuala Lumpur to the state’s capital, Kuantan. Many voters from these regions of Pahang are working in cities in the Klang Valley.

Should the opposition gain momentum in GE14, it could create a domino effect against the BN in this VIP belt in Pahang, a state that has been solidly behind the ruling coalition since the first general election and the birthplace of two prime ministers – Abdul Razak Hussein and his son, Najib.

Pahang, the largest state in the peninsula, has a vast expanse of forest and mountains. When the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) went underground, Pahang was one of its major bases. CPM established the 10th Malay Regiment in Temerloh as a wing of the predominantly-Chinese Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), and this in a way planted the seeds of dissent.

Still, it will not be an easy task for the opposition to create the domino effect.

Pahang has 14 parliamentary seats. In GE13, Umno won eight, while MCA and MIC garnered only one each. As for the opposition, PKR bagged two seats, while DAP and PAS have one each.

Vote majorities in GE13 below 500

BN secured both Cameron Highlands and Bentong in 2013 with not more than 500 votes, making them the most marginal seats in Pahang.

For Cameron Highlands, thanks to a five-cornered fight, former MIC president G Palanivel edged out DAP candidate M Manogaran with a sliver of 462 votes.

It is widely expected that this parliamentary constituency will see a multi-cornered fight in GE14 as well, with the ruling coalition and several opposition parties having voiced their intention to contest the seat.

The MIC is likely to field its Youth wing chief Sivarraajh Chandran to defend the seat as Palanivel has been dropped as he no longer holds any post in the party. Another BN member party, the People’s Progressive Party (MyPPP) led by M Kayveas is also eyeing the seat.

As for the opposition, DAP is expected to field Manogaran again, while Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) has stated that its Orang Asli affairs bureau coordinator and local branch chief B Suresh Kumar would contest there.

Cameron Highlands has 12 percent of Indian voters and 20 percent Orang Asli, with the remaining made up equally of Malays and Chinese.

In the event of a multi-cornered fight, it will be a big question mark as to who will emerge the victor.

Who will be Raub’s ‘Musang King’?

South of Cameron Highlands is Raub, once a MCA stronghold. On the eve of GE13, former MCA women’s wing chief Ng Yen Yen, a three-term Raub parliamentarian, was dropped and the seat was defended by senior Pahang state executive councillor Hoh Khai Mun.

Eventually, with the opposition riding on a “Chinese tsunami”, Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz of DAP, nicknamed Sakmongkol AK47, captured Raub with a 2,814-vote majority. This was also the first time that the BN lost this seat to the opposition.

However, Mohd Ariff is not likely to re-contest in Raub after suffering a stroke last year. Since then, Pahang DAP chief Leong Ngah Ngah has been active in Raub.

Leong is Tanah Rata assemblyperson, a seat under Cameron Highlands. He is expected to defend Raub for DAP and is likely to battle against MCA’s Chew Mei Fun, a former deputy women, family and community development minister.

In 2010, Chew made the pledge to resign from her posts in the party and government if Chua Soi Lek became MCA president. She therefore did not contest in GE13. Chew returned to politics after Liow took over from Chua. She has been working in Raub in recent years and vowed to recapture the seat for MCA.

Bentong: A ‘do or die’ battle for MCA

Next to Raub is Bentong, where the GE14 election battle could well be a ‘do or die’ battle for MCA.

MCA president Liow has been Bentong MP for almost 20 years – since 1999 – but at the last general election, the party boss held on to the seat with a razor-thin majority of 379 votes against environmental group Himpunan Hijau president Wong Tack.

Wong Tack, following his narrow defeat in the intense battle, is expected to return for a rematch, contesting under the DAP, of which he is a member.

Bentong has 45 percent Malay voters, 44 percent Chinese and nine percent Indians. The key for Liow to remain Bentong parliamentarian for his fifth consecutive term will not only depend on a shift in preference among Chinese voters but also whether Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob will contest in the upcoming election.

Of the four state seats under Bentong, BN only won Pelangi in GE13, which was held by Adnan.

It has been speculated that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak intends to remove him, and Adnan himself has not ruled out the possibility of quitting politics ahead of GE14.

Should Adnan step down, Liow may lose some crucial Malay votes as he no longer has a menteri besar candidate to campaign for him.

The belt of Pahang VIPs – will a domino effect burn BN?
27 Jan 2018 – malaysiakini


EU delegation meets Mahathir, PH leaders

EU delegation meets Mahathir, PH leaders

The two-hour meeting discussed a range of issues, including GE14, says PPBM supreme council member A Kadir Jasin.

PETALING JAYA: A delegation from the European Union (EU) recently held a two-hour meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Pakatan Harapan’s prime ministerial candidate for the 14th general election.

The visiting diplomats discussed a range of issues during the gathering at the residence of Maria Castillo Fernández, the EU’s ambassador and head of delegation to Malaysia, said PPBM supreme council member A Kadir Jasin in a Facebook posting yesterday.

He said Mahathir, 92, who is PPBM chairman and former prime minister, was accompanied by PH deputy president and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and PH chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah.

Present were DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai, PKR vice-president Xavier Jayakumar and PPBM vice-president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, who is a former Election Commission chairman.

Kadir said among the issues discussed were the EU’s initiative to observe GE14 following an invitation by the federal government.

“It was like in earlier times when meeting Dr Mahathir was an important event for foreign diplomats in Malaysia,” Kadir said, referring to Mahathir’s time as PM from 1981 to 2003.

“Although he is not a prime minister any more, but only a prime ministerial candidate, the atmosphere (at the meeting) was still the same,” he added.

EU delegation meets Mahathir, PH leaders
January 27, 2018 – FMT

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
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Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah


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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?