Archive for the 'Elections' Category

07
Aug
17

UMNO faces the possibility of historic triple losses in GE14

14th General Election is around the corner and UMNO faces the possibility of historic triple losses in next polls

The 14th General Election is around the corner.

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, let slip this possibility when he spoke at the Merbok UMNO AGM in Sungai Petani last night and continued the Zahid-Mahathir spat started by the Deputy Prime Minister striking the first blow by taking a dig at the 92-year-old’s Indian heritage.

Zahid told.Umno Merbok to hold on to the Merbok parliamentary and Tanjung Dawai state seats and reclaim the Bukit Selambau state seat if they wished to enjoy rewards.

He said: “I have heard requests for allocations for a hostel, canteen and water pipe upgrade here. I promise to return in six months with gifts if you can retain Merbok and Tanjung Dawai and take back Bukit Selambau.

“In GE11, we made a clean sweep of all three but in GE12, we lost all three seats and the state of Kedah along with that. Don’t let it happen again.”

This would mean that the 14th General Election would be all over in six months’ time, pointing to general polls this year rather than next year.

But will Zahid remain as Deputy Prime Minister after the 14th General Election as UMNO faces the possibility of historic triple lossES in the next general election, resulting in UMNO being ejected out of Putrajaya and occupying the Opposition benches in Parliament?

There is no doubt that the UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and all the UMNO leaders are suffering from an attack of nerves, because for the first time in UMNO history, UMNO face the prospects of historic triple losses, all happening at the same time in the next general election, viz:

• UMNO’s loss of support of the majority of Malay voters in the country.

• UMNO’s loss of support of the majority of the 1.6 million civil servants in the country.

• UMNO’s loss of the support of the highest percentage of UMNO members (at present, 3.5 million UMNO members) at any general election in the nation’s history.

Najib and UMNO leaders are fearful that the seismic political development three weeks ago on July 14 when Pakatan Harapan announced its structure, logo and leadership line-up, portended major political changes in the country – sustaining not only a political tsunami in the urban areas but also creating a political tsunami among the Malay voters in the rural areas for political change in Malaysia.

…more
14th General Election is around the corner and UMNO faces the possibility of historic triple losses in next polls
5 August 2017 – blog.limkitsiang.com

06
Aug
17

Dr M: I will never return to Umno

Who made it worse for Malays, me or Najib, asks Dr Mahathir

Who made it worse for Malays, me or Najib, asks Dr Mahathir
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he helped the Malays. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, August 4, 2017.

ATTACKS on former Umno president turned opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad have come from many directions, including Putrajaya, which recently formed a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the Bank Negara Malaysia forex scandal that broke out during his tenure as prime minister.

He has also been reviled for muzzling the judiciary and media. Last week Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi took the fight to another level with derisory comments about his Indian ancestry.

The emerging theme in recent months is the Pakatan Harapan chairman’s contribution, or lack thereof, to the welfare and development of the Malay race.

However that may be debated among his critics and his supporters, Dr Mahathir himself is quick to respond to that question with the assertion that the Malays are “worse off” than ever under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“Did I make the Malays worse off? I helped the Malays,” he said in an interview with The Malaysian Insight.

“The one who has made the Malays worse off is Najib. The Malays, who were known to come from a developing Malaysia, are now known all over the world as a country led by a controversial leader.

“Who has made (it) worse (for) the Malays, myself or him?”

“It is worse than ever before because now we have a Bugis leader who pretends to be Malay.

“This person admits he uses money – ‘cash is king’.

“What makes the Malays worse off today is because of the existence of such a leader.”

Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister on October 31, 2003.

Although he admitted that he failed to change the “Malay mindset”, Dr Mahathir said he saw to the increase in the number of Malay professionals. The number of doctors, engineers, managers and business leaders rose during his administration, he claimed.

It was 15 years ago when a sobbing Dr Mahathir Mohamad stunned an Umno general assembly by dropping two bombshells: That he was resigning as prime minister and that the Malays remained backward despite all the advantages accorded to them.

“The Malays are still weak, the poorest people and are backward,” Dr Mahathir, then 76, said in his opening speech at a three-day party conference in Kuala Lumpur on June 20, 2002.

It was ironic that Dr Mahathir, who played a principle role in establishing Malay privileges in commerce and education, would so publicly acknowledge the failure of race-based protections.

The irony continues today, for it is Dr Mahathir who now helms the Opposition coalition, the leaders of whom he once denigrated and were jailed under his administration.

Below are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Are there no leaders who can change the Malay mindset? Does such a leader exist?

Dr Mahathir: Far from it. Not only that, the possibility of (finding such a leader) is far less than what I hoped for. The ones that we have, both leaders, have no idea how to change the culture and values of the Malays. For me, success or failure of a race depends on the values they hold. If they value hard work, they can succeed. If they don’t, if they take things easy and push things to tomorrow, then they will fail.

Q: Will you ever return to Umno?

Dr Mahathir: I will never return. Umno is beyond repair. The behaviour of its members has changed. They now value the pursuit of material wealth. They are involved in bribery. It has become a party without principles, where its members are just looking for money. I cannot join such a party. It is finished. Whatever that is clean, has already left.

Q: Are you fighting to remove Najib or Umno?

Dr Mahathir: At first I thought, if I rejected Najib, Umno could be healed. But it didn’t. They’re all involved in bribery. The leaders, members are just looking for money. Want that money, want this money… when Najib gives, they accept. This is no longer the party that fights for religion, race and country. It fights for its own interest. I cannot be a member of such a party. The name is Umno, but the principles and struggles of Umno are no longer the same. When I was prime minister, many came to me and asked ‘I’ve been in Umno 15 years (but) I haven’t gotten anything’. I told them you did get benefits. Your children got scholarships, they have an education, they went to university. The village roads are tarred. The villages all have water, electricity, schools and clinics. But what he meant was he didn’t get anything for himself. He wanted money. That is the leadership of Umno today.

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Who made it worse for Malays, me or Najib, asks Dr Mahathir
4 Aug 2017 – TMI

01
Aug
17

Is it true that Xi Jinping, President of China will not be visiting Malaysia?

Najib should clarify whether it is true Xi Jinping, President of China will not be visiting Malaysia this year, removing the programme from his 14GE plans

One of the hottest topics in the country is speculation on the timing for the 14th General Elections and the possible outcomes.

Only a month ago, there was considerable unanimity among the psephologists and political soothsayers – that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would win hands-down in the next general election as the Opposition is too weak and divided, especially after the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat as PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang embarked on his new political journey to prop up and champion Najib despite his 1MDB kleptocratic scandal.

One journal even published an article entitled “The Unsinkable Najib Razak”.

Even Najib believe all these hypes.

But a fortnight night ago, there had been a start of a political hurricane in the country.

Now all the bets about the outcome of the 14GE are now off, and Najib and the top UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers have been in panic in the last two weeks about the possible outcome of the 14GE, which may see them ejected from Putrajaya!

The start of the political hurricane was the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council meeting on July 14, announcing the Pakatan Harapan structure, logo and new leadership line-up, which re-ignited new hopes and re-inspired Malaysians that there is still a chance of achieving in the 14GE the political change in Putrajaya for a new Federal Government in Malaysia, which the majority of Malaysians rooted for in the 13th General Election but was foiled by an undemocratic gerrymandered electoral system.

For the past two weeks, there is a new air, new hope and new confidence in Malaysian politics which had disappeared in the past four years after the 13th General Election.

There was greater diversity of views about the timing for the 14th General Election – whether this year or next year.

Najib had lost a golden opportunity of winning with the best possible results, if he had dissolved Parliament after the Sarawak state general elections in May last year.

It was reported today that Najib’s advisers are pushing for early general elections, possibly in late October or early November, as further delays could risk a “perfect storm” against UMNO/Barisan Nasional.

Various factors had gone into the mixer in the computation for the timing of the next general election, and one important such factor is the China card for Najib, especially with regard to the visit to Malaysia of President of China, Xi Jinping.

There had been earlier speculation that Xi’s visit to Malaysia was in August and then in October with consequent adjustments to plans for the timing for the 14th General Election.

Recent controversy surrounding the RM7.4 billion Bandar Malaysia project owned by 1MDB, originally awarded to China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) and its Malaysian partner Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) but which was terminated by the Finance Ministry at the last minute with the intention to award the project to the Dalian Wanda Group, had roiled relations between Malaysia and China.

Najib should clarify whether it is true Xi Jinping, President of China will not be visiting Malaysia this year, removing the programme from his 14GE plans.

The greatest challenge of the 14th General Election is to achieve what the 13th General Election failed to do, to change the occupants of Putrajaya and instal a new Pakatan Harapan Federal Government.

The precondition for this feat is that Pakatan Harapan must achieve two political tsunamis in the 14GE so that Malaysia can become a normal democratic country after 60 years of nationhood – to be a country where Malaysians can use their vote to elect and change the government they want.

We must re-energise and re-inspire the many who had helped to create the political tsunami in the 13th General Election but who have lost hope that the electoral process is capable of producing any political change – to get them back into the hustings and the political campaigns to ensure that they have the stamina and perseverance to replicate in the 14th General Election the urban tsunami that was achieved in the 13th General Election.

But there must also be another tsunami – a rural tsunami to match the urban tsunami.

…more
Najib should clarify whether it is true Xi Jinping, President of China will not be visiting Malaysia this year, removing the programme from his 14GE plans
29 July 2017 – blog.limkitsiang.com

30
Jul
17

Is PM Najib Abdul Razak trapped?

Is PM Najib Abdul Razak trapped?

COMMENT | The ratio of controversies in the upcoming general election versus the previous election in 2013 is probably 50:1 in Malaysia right now.

In the last general election, the key issue was just the ability of the opposition front, then known as Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Coalition), to unite as a major electoral pact.

Can three parties, representing the interests of the Malays, Chinese, Indians and others, cohere as a common unit that can weed out the corruption in Malaysia?

Some were convinced, others were not. As it turned out, the (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak’s) government led by Umno emerged from the electoral fray triumphant. But it barely won with enough votes, it actually lost popular votes.

Umno scraped through, by gaining 47.38 percent of the popular voters, while the opposition had the remainder 50.87 percent. Had it not for the gerrymandered constituencies, Umno would have lost. Instead, despite receiving less popular votes, the Umno-led government had 59.90 percent of the 222 seats in the parliament, registering 133 seats win.

In the upcoming 14th general election, Najib is facing a tall order again. Some issues are insurmountable, such as 1MDB, as billions have been allegedly swindled or stolen out of the company.

It is arguably one of the largest corruption, malfeasance and abuse of power case in the world, and will, therefore, invite the scrutiny of the US Department of Justice further, not forgetting at least 6 other jurisdictions that include Singapore, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the UK and Germany.

As things are, the Umno-led government has to contend with 50 issues which neither Umno nor Barisan Nasional (BN), can resolve over the next few years. Invariably, both are entering the impending 14th general election with excessive baggage.

Among them are the 1MDB scandal; the imposition of a six percent GST on all transactions; the mysterious US$681 million that found its way into Najib’s private bank account; the phenomenal rise in the cost of living; the fluctuating prices of oil; the depreciation of Ringgit Malaysia; the prosaic and daily difficulties in making ends meet.

Indeed, one might add the suspension and depletion of the Mara scholarship; the drastic cuts in the subsidy of academic studies; the reduction in the value of bargain with foreigners over the sale of Bandar Malaysia; plus the drop in the Malaysian’s reputation abroad.

Some issues even verge on the rise of the cost of the Hajj to Saudi Arabia; as well the institution of the all-powerful National Security Council Act in 2016, despite the cautionary advice and wisdom from the Council of Rulers, which can suspend the electoral process in Malaysia.

More alarmingly, the public universities’ education budget has been slashed by more than 40 percent, with more than 6,000 professors either not renewed of their contracts, retired, or retrenched.

There were also cases, where very profound Professors with years of experience of research and teaching, were offered a fraction of the salary that they use to earn just to retain them and their expertise.

Of course, some accepted it, many rejected it as this is a great insult to their professions and them, personally.

Invariably, Najib has tried to pacify the simmering anger from the ground in 54 parliamentary constituencies, and 92 state constituencies in Felda, first. Last Sunday, Najib announced a raft of measures – worth up to RM1.588 billion – that can provide much economic relief to the disgruntled Felda settlers.

No one knows if the pre-election goodies can reinforce the position of Umno, as Felda has traditionally been its stronghold anyway. But it has been customary of the opposition, especially since 2008, to urge the voters to take all the goodies from the Malaysian government, only to vote the opposition alliance come the polling day, as the logic is, it is their money anyway.

But for sustainable living and benefits, it is better for them to place their bets on the opposition alliance as it seeks to free the Felda settlers from a very “feudal” existence that accentuates continuous dependencies on the giver.

…more
Is PM Najib Abdul Razak trapped?
Rais Hussin
28 July 2017 – Malaysiakini

23
Jul
17

Umno is panicking after PH line-up announcement

DAP: Umno suffering hysteria after PH line-up announcement

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak is trying to assure the Umno, BN grassroots that they should not abandon a sinking ship, says Lim Kit siang.

PETALING JAYA: DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang says the latest statements by the prime minister, deputy prime minister and other Umno ministers following the announcement of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council last Thursday, makes it obvious that the ruling party is panicking.

Likening their comments to Umno being under a “hysteria attack”, Lim said it was obvious that the new PH structure, logo and leadership line-up has had such an impact on the ruling Umno/Barisan Nasional government.

Over the past few days Prime Minister Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak, Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Rural and Regional Development), Anifah Aman (Foreign Affairs), Mohamed Nazri Aziz (Tourism and Culture) and Khairy Jamaluddin (Youth and Sports) have either released statements or responded to questions on the PH line-up.

“They just did not believe that it was possible for Pakatan Harapan leaders to resolve their differences, and that a reconciliation between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim was at all possible,” Lim said.

On Friday, Salleh was first off the mark, questioning why none of the highest posts in PH went to a DAP leader despite the party having the most number of MPs in the coalition.

Lim, who is Gelang Patah MP, then said Ismail Sabri Yaakob suggested a non-Malay from DAP could be the next prime minister because the Malays will be split three ways – BN, PAS and PH – leaving DAP with the most seats, and the constitutional right to decide who will be prime minister.

“Yesterday, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman warned Barisan Nasional supporters to expect revenge if the opposition forms the next government.

“Khairy Jamaluddin also invented a new propaganda line, claiming that DAP, as ‘the party which holds the most parliamentary seats in the Dewan Rakyat will decide on Pakatan Harapan’s policies and manifestos’,” Lim said.

“Let me assure them that the DAP is not sidelined in Pakatan Harapan, that no single political party can decide and dictate the Pakatan Harapan’s polices and manifestos, and that there will be no revenge binge by Pakatan Harapan when it forms the Federal Government in Putrajaya.”

The DAP parliamentary leader also found Salleh’s latest statement on PH being “doomed without PAS” as “most revealing of all”.

“Salleh is actually trying to assure the Umno/BN grassroots members that they should not abandon a sinking ship but continue to hope that Umno/BN could still be re-elected as the federal government in the next general election (GE14).

“No wonder Najib and UMNO have been working so hard to woo PAS.”

Lim said, with the new PH logo, structure and leadership council being announced and the move to register the opposition coalition, it is less likely that Najib will call for GE14 anytime this year.

…more
DAP: Umno suffering hysteria after PH line-up announcement
July 17, 2017 – FMT

21
Jul
17

The Economist: Strange no one found responsible in Malaysia over 1MDB deals

The Economist: Strange no one found responsible in Malaysia over 1MDB deals

Report questions why PKR’s Rafizi Ramli is the only person so far with a conviction related to 1MDB.

KUALA LUMPUR: It seems odd, an article in The Economist says, that given the zeal of Malaysia’s watchdogs and corruption-busters, they have yet to find anyone responsible for the disappearance of billions of dollars from 1MDB.

It noted that government investigators in the US had applied to seize around US$1.5 billion worth of assets and items bought with money they say was siphoned from the firm.

It said a court in Singapore this week sentenced a banker to four-and-a-half years in jail in connection with the scandal, and Swiss investigators were also on the case.

“But Malaysia has convicted only one person: a whistle-blowing MP who leaked documents relating to the affair and who belongs – would you believe it? – to an opposition party.”

The article was referring to the 18-month jail term meted out to the PKR’s Rafizi Ramli by the Sessions Court in November last year over two charges of leaking a classified 1MDB audit report.

IMDB has consistently denied there has been any embezzlement.

The article said “Undemocratic”, “gerrymandered” and “fix-up” were good words to describe Malaysian politics, dominated since independence by Umno.

“So it was a bit rich for the prime minister’s spokesman to employ them when smearing a big opposition group this month. On July 7, the national registrar (of societies) confirmed that it had detected irregularities in a leadership ballot which the Democratic Action Party (DAP) conducted almost four years ago, and said it would be asking the party to re-run the poll.”

It said DAP’s supporters saw this as an effort to sow discord among the opposition, ahead of a general election due by next August.

The article said critics of Umno were used to run-ins with the authorities.

Anwar Ibrahim had been jailed for sodomy and lately, the article said, the police had “taken an interest” in DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. Lim is awaiting trial on two charges of corruption.

…more
The Economist: Strange no one found responsible in Malaysia over 1MDB deals
July 14, 2017 – FMT

20
Jul
17

US$1.03 billion that 1MDB supposed to invest in JV diverted to Good Star

Ex-BSI banker’s trial opens up Pandora’s box regarding 1MDB

Statement of facts produced in trial of Yeo Jiawei details the ways in which 1MDB money was moved around, including to an account owned by Jho Low.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s investigations into ex-BSI banker Yeo Jiawei and 1MDB have revealed that Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, was closely involved in the setting up of a joint venture in September 2009 between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International Limited.

A report in The Edge Singapore details the intricacies of the transactions made involving 1MDB, based on what Singapore’s investigators have found.

The statement of facts presented at the trial of Yeo showed that there were inconsistencies in statements made by some of those involved in the transactions, including 1MDB and bank officials.

Yeo was sentenced on July 12 to four-and-a-half years’ jail for money laundering and cheating involving 1MDB transactions. He had earlier been sentenced to a 30-month jail term on charges of perverting the course of justice by tampering with key witnesses in order to frustrate investigations into his alleged involvement.

In total, The Edge reported, US$1.03 billion that 1MDB purported to invest in the joint venture had actually been diverted to Good Star Ltd.

Singapore investigators confirmed that Jho Low was the beneficial owner of Good Star. He owned the account from the time it was opened in June 2009 until its closure in September 2013.

Malaysian officials have maintained that Good Star Ltd was owned by Petrosaudi International Ltd.

The Edge report said on Sept 30, 2009, Deutsche Bank (Malaysia) Berhad was instructed by way of a letter, which was signed by the then-executive director of 1MDB, to transfer US$300 million to the joint venture’s JPMorgan (Suisse) SA bank account.

Another US$700 million was to be transferred to a bank account belonging to Good Star, this being RBS Coutts Bank AG (Zurich) bank account no 11116073, the report added.

According to the report, on Sept 30, 2009, in a telephone conversation with Deutsche Bank Malaysia, the executive director confirmed that the US$700 million was to be transferred to PetroSaudi as repayment of an advance owed by 1MDB PetroSaudi.

Subsequently, on Oct 2, 2009, the report said the then-CEO of 1MDB represented to Deutsche Bank Malaysia that “Good Star is owned 100% by PetroSaudi International Limited”.

In order to explain the inflow of US$700 million to Coutts compliance staff, Jho Low initially provided Coutts with an investment management agreement as evidence that Good Star was to invest the money on 1MDB’s behalf, the Edge reported.

He later provided Coutts with a loan agreement, which characterised the money as a loan from 1MDB to Good Star.

“The agreements provided to Coutts are inconsistent with each other, and both are also inconsistent with the explanation for the transaction given to Deutsche Bank Malaysia on Sept 30 2009,” said the public prosecutor in the statement of facts.

Between May and October 2011, Good Star received a further US$330 million from 1MDB, spread over four transfers.

…more
Ex-BSI banker’s trial opens up Pandora’s box regarding 1MDB
July 14, 2017 – FMT




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?

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