Archive for the 'Judiciary' Category

20
Sep
20

DOJ goes after PetroSaudi and world’s largest yacht Topaz

BOOM! – DOJ Goes After PetroSaudi, Abu Dhabi’s Royal Topaz Yacht And More! EXCLUSIVE

The game-changing asset seizure filing issued September 16th by the Department of Justice has zeroed in on key players in the 1MDB scandal, who after several years of keeping below the radar have been seeking to escape censure and punishment.

These entities include some of the most powerful individuals and companies in the Middle East and one of the world’s most expensive super-yachts, Topaz (now renamed “A+”), registered as belonging to Man City Football Club owner Sheikh Mansour.

It also claims seizure of a clutch of further assets from Riza Aziz’s collection of rare posters and film memorabilia, just weeks after the PN government effectively let him off the hook with a ‘plea deal’ that demanded nothing further from him.

The accumulated filing, which now stretches to 300 pages, states that it is an update on several previous 1MDB asset seizures related to the money laundering of billions stolen from the Malaysian fund following the biggest ever joint investigation by the FBI and DOJ’s joint kleptocracy unit.

The new targets, mainly featuring the 1MDB ‘join venture partner’ PetroSaudi, address corrupt practices that have so far escaped the main spotlight of the investigation, despite numerous articles by Sarawak Report. These are named at the top of the indictment as “PetroSaudi International; PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd.; 1MDB PetroSaudi, Ltd.; Tarek Obaid; and Patrick Mahony.”

It is the first time that the two directors of PetroSaudi, Tarek Obaid and Patrick Mahony, have been specifically named as top targets of the criminal affair, despite having been identified as key players in the original billion dollar heists using the so-called joint venture between their company PetroSaudi and 1MDB.

Significantly, the DOJ cites the fraudulent deal in which PetroSaudi invested money from 1MDB in Venezuela through its company PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd. Thanks to alleged bribery and corruption involving Venezuelan officials PetroSaudi was able to reap vast profits which have been subsequently contested by the Venezuelan authorities.

…more
BOOM! – DOJ Goes After PetroSaudi, Abu Dhabi’s Royal Topaz Yacht And More! EXCLUSIVE
17 September 2020 – Sarawak Report

13
Sep
20

Najib’s SRC worst case of abuse of position and betrayal of trust, says judge

Najib’s SRC worst case of abuse of position and betrayal of trust, says judge

“The recipients of the spending by the accused are many and various but unmistakably for the accused’s own purposes and benefits.” — Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 10) : High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali characterised the conviction of former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak, last July 28, as the worst case of abuse of position.

In a 500 plus page written judgment for the Malaysian Law Journal, the judge said while Najib had made contributions to the well-being and the peoples betterment in many different ways, the court would let political history to debate whether the former premier of nine years had done on balance more good than harm.

“This very process (the long trial) would arguably be inimical to the ideals (of the nation) of a clean administration that does not tolerate corruption and abuse of power.

The recent shift in perceived risk aversion currencies brings about heightened volatility across more currency pairs. Euro and gold, especially in the near term, will test new highs against the US dollar with intermittent pullbacks on technical levels.
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“What this court seeks to affirm is the sanctity of the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution. No one – not even one who was the most powerful political figure and the leader of the country enjoys a cloak of invincibility from the force of the law. Any notion to such effect is the very antithesis to the Article 8 of the Constitution that enshrines that rule that all persons all equal before the law,” he said.
Betrayal of trust

Commenting on Najib’s ascension to the pinnacle of the country’s leadership and his grip to power, he said he had seen citizens to place the former premier in a position of trust in our system of constitutional democracy.

However, his conviction, Nazlan said of all seven charges concerning abuse of position, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering constitutes nothing less than “an absolute betrayal of that trust”.

“For this reason, I consider the conviction of the accused for abuse of position under Section 23 of the MACC Act as the most serious transgression amongst the three given his position of trust as the nation’s Prime Minister and Finance Minister when the offences were committed.

“I would not hesitate to find that this case can be characterised as one that falls within the range of the worst kind of abuse of position, of CBT and of money laundering because not only of how the crimes were committed, but more importantly also it involved a huge sum of RM42 million, had an element of public impact as the RM42 million belonged to an MOF Inc. company.”

“Perhaps most importantly, it involved the person who at the material time was in the highest ranking authority in the government,” Justice Nazlan said.

The government funds, the judge said could have originated from the RM4 billion financing from state pension fund Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP), and the status of the bulk of the RM4 billion is said to be an indeterminate obscurity.

The court contrasted Najib’s case with past convictions of other higher ranking official, namely Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (deputy prime minister), Datuk Harun Idris and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo (Selangor menteri besars), Abdul Ghani bin Ishak, Datuk Waad Mansor, Datuk Sahar Arpan and Datuk Mohamed Muslim Othman (who were either state exco’s or assemblymen).

“In respect of the offence under Section 23 of the MACC Act, and its precursor (the Prevention of Corruption Act 1961, this is the first time a person was charged for acts done when he was the serving Prime Minister, and is undoubtedly without precedent in the sense that previous convictions of high ranking politicians could not be considered to be in the same league as the Prime Minister of the country,” he said.
Not remorseful

Justice Nazlan also found the former premier not to be remorseful over the charges he (Najib) is facing.

“The accused did not express any remorse and even maintains his defence of no knowledge of the RM42 million from SRC in his mitigation speech. Yet I cannot deny he was the Prime Minister of the country,” he said.

“The use of that property by others can never be justified under any circumstances. This is immutable and cannot be obfuscated by any diversions that the certain portions of the monies out of the RM42 million were expended for charitable purposes.

“There is quite simply no virtue in donating what one does not own. SRC International Sdn Bhd was established to spearhead the promotion of alternative energy resources for the country. The recipients of the spending by the accused are many and various but unmistakably for the accused’s own purposes and benefits,” he said in alluding the purpose SRC was set-up.

SRC was formerly a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and later placed directly under Finance Ministry Inc.

Witnesses from the prosecution had testified how they received cheques from the former premier for charity including a widow of a staff from the Prime Minister’s Department, and also various payments for purported work done on renovation to his house in Jalan Langgak Duta and Pekan and other expenses.

Najib during mitigation before the sentence meted out by the court described his achievements in leading the country for nine years – 2009 to 2018 and also reiterated by saying the religious oath in the accused dock.

“As a Muslim, wallahi wabillahi watallahi […] I never sought any gratification and I did not know that the RM42 million went into my account at that material time,” said the former premier.

However, Justice Nazlan finds little merit to what the former premier said in his mitigation.

“There is little merit in this court pontificating and lamenting on why the accused had done what he did, despite (or because of) his undisputed standing at the apex of the vast wealth of power and unparalleled authority. The accused, I repeat, is a person with a keen intellect and must surely have a firm sense of right and wrong,” the judge said.

Najib in the end was sentenced to a total of 12 years jail, and fined a total of RM210 million for all three charges, which the former premier is appealing on his conviction and sentence.

On the other hand, the prosecution is also cross-appealing on the sentence.

…more
Najib’s SRC worst case of abuse of position and betrayal of trust, says judge
September 10, 2020 – theedgemarkets.com

16
Aug
20

Najib’s SRC Trial – Findings of guilt

Special Report: Najib’s SRC Trial: Nazlan’s findings of guilt

Charges on which he was found guilty

The case of SRC funds totalling RM42 mil

1 count of abuse of power
Under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act 2009, Najib was found guilty of using his position as prime minister to commit bribery involving RM42 million, through his participation or involvement in the decision to provide government guarantees for the RM4 billion loan granted by KWAP to SRC. This was committed at the Prime Minister’s Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012.
Sentenced to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210 million.

3 counts of criminal breach of trust
Under Section 409 of the Penal Code Najib, as a public servant — PM, finance minister and SRC adviser emeritus — misappropriated RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million between Dec 24, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015.
Sentenced to 10 years’ jail on each charge.

3 counts of money laundering
With regard to the RM27 million and RM5 million Najib received on Dec 26, 2014 and RM10 million on Feb 10, 2015, he was found guilty under Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
Sentenced to 10 years’ jail on each count.

FIVE days after turning 67, Datuk Seri Najib Razak walked into the Kuala Lumpur High Court as an accused, but exited hours later a criminal, having been found guilty on all seven charges against him in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The former prime minister and finance minister (FM) is now the highest ranking government executive to be convicted after former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In total, Najib was handed a prison sentence of 72 years and a fine of RM210 million — one of the biggest fines imposed by Malaysian courts. However, as the court had ordered the jail sentence to run concurrently, the Pekan member of parliament will serve only 12 years in prison.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who took 2½ hours to deliver his verdict, found that Najib, once the most powerful man in the country, had failed to rebut the prosecution’s case on all seven charges in connection with RM42 million of SRC funds.

The RM42 million was part of a RM4 billion loan given by Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) and guaranteed by the government. SRC was a former subsidiary of state-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Proceedings last Tuesday began at 10.20am and only ended at 7.30pm, after the court agreed to the defence’s request for a stay of execution on the sentence and ordered that Najib’s bail be increased to RM2 million.

To secure a conviction in criminal cases, the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, compared with civil cases, where the burden of proof is on a balance of probabilities.

Besides the seven charges (see box) on which he has been found guilty, Najib also faces trial on 35 other counts, all in relation to 1MDB.

…more
Special Report: Najib’s SRC Trial: Nazlan’s findings of guilt
August 13, 2020 – The Edge Malaysia

29
Jul
20

SRC trial verdict: Najib is guilty

(source: Bernama infographics)
SRC Trial

27
Jun
20

Doom for ‘traitors’ and possible return of ‘cash is king’

Dr M foretells doom for ‘traitors’, resurrection of ‘cash is king’ in GE15

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has predicted that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Bersatu would be vanquished in the next general election and from the rubble, Umno would reclaim the seat of power which it lost after six decades in 2018.

His warning comes in the wake of a growing number of Umno leaders urging Muhyiddin, who is the Bersatu president, to initiate a snap polls.

In a blog post this evening, Mahathir reiterated his decision not to work with Muhyiddin and claimed that his successor-turned-predecessor, Najib Abdul Razak, is hoping to become prime minister again.

“In GE15, Umno will fight against Bersatu, which is now rudderless without the support of Pakatan Harapan.

“Not only will Muhyiddin lose but all Bersatu candidates will be defeated. Therefore, this will mark the end of Bersatu and Umno will reign again with its ‘cash is king’.

“History will remember Muhyiddin’s treachery towards the people who gave Harapan victory (in the last general election).

“I do not wish to be with Muhyiddin and his band of traitors,” added the nonagenarian, who revealed that numerous quarters have advised him to support and work with the current premier.

Mahathir said Muhyiddin also betrayed his allies by plotting with former Umno members who joined Bersatu to topple the Harapan administration.

“Without Harapan, Muhyiddin may have not won (in the last general election) and may not have found the backdoor (to form a backdoor government),” he added.

According to Mahathir, Umno collaborated with Muhyiddin to rescue Najib, who is facing a slew of court charges, from prison.

“We can see that such an effort is ongoing. Far from the promise to topple Najib, Muhyiddin is now working to free Najib from all charges so that he can contest in GE15.

“At that point, Najib will no longer need Muhyiddin because Najib intends to become prime minister again,” he added.

The Harapan government collapsed in February after 22 months in power following Azmin Ali and his allies quitting PKR and Muhyiddin subsequently withdrawing Bersatu from the coalition.

…more
Dr M foretells doom for ‘traitors’, resurrection of ‘cash is king’ in GE15
25 June 2020 – Malaysiakini

19
May
20

Malaysia: the price of treachery

Malaysia: the price of treachery

Seeing the way state governments are falling to Perikatan Nasional (PN) and the way some former Pakatan Harapan (PH) politicians are behaving these days must surely cause Malaysians no end of angst and disgust. We knew, of course, that our politicians were far from perfect but who would have thought they could sink this low.

Not so long ago, many of these same politicians descended upon our towns, our neighbourhoods and our community halls promising that they would be different from the corrupt and abusive regime they were seeking to replace. They said they shared our revulsion of UMNO-BN and their horrendous record of corruption and mismanagement. They said they understood our anger at the abuse of power, our distaste for anti-democratic legislation. They acknowledged that racism and extremism were killing our nation and had to stop. They said they wanted something better for our nation.

True, PH had its difficulties; it could have done a better job. And yes, mistakes were made. None of that, however, can justify the decision to abandon PH and join forces with UMNO-PAS or participate in something as perverse as PN. Certainly, nothing can justify handing power back to the corrupt regime that the voters themselves so clearly rejected at the polls.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his treacherous cohort can pretend all they want that they acted with the best of intentions, hide behind the cloak of patriotism or pose as defenders of race and religion but there’s no escaping the fact that they’ve broken faith with the voters. By their actions, they have shown themselves to be entirely unprincipled, dishonest and unworthy of the office they were elected to.

What is worse, having come to power on the promise of reform, they are now leading Malaysia down a dark road that might leave us even worse off than before. It is unforgivable.

The decision to convene parliament only long enough to hear the speech from the throne, for example, makes a mockery of our democracy. Fearing the verdict of parliament, Muhyiddin has moved to silence it. It’s an abuse of executive privilege, a scam to avoid parliamentary accountability and oversight, a rejection of the will of the people in parliament assembled.

It’s a sure sign that this backdoor government does not intend to play by the rules, that it holds nothing sacred, that it cares little for its moral legitimacy or what the people think. All Malaysians ought to be deeply offended and alarmed by his actions.

It is no less stunning too that the same people who once waxed lyrical about corruption and good governance are now sanctioning an iniquitous system of cronyism and patronage by giving away GLC and other appointments to their own members on a scale not even seen under UMNO-BN.

It legitimizes the plunder of government positions; it endorses the use of public office for personal gain; it condones the mass manipulation of the machinery of government for political advantage. In a single stroke, all the progress we’ve made as a nation in advancing the cause of good governance has been negated. It can only go downhill from here.

And let’s not forget as well that Muhyiddin’s own claim to integrity in politics derived from his apparent willingness to stand up to Najib and UMNO on the 1MDB scandal; what does it say of the man that he should now think nothing about finding common cause with those same leaders?

Devoid of political legitimacy and with uncertain support in parliament, Muhyiddin is now totally dependent upon a clutch of unprincipled men intent only on furthering their own ambitions. To survive, he will have to give more and more of the shop away.

He will have to buy the loyalty of politicians with all manner of appointments and sweetheart deals. He will have to buy the allegiance of powerful business elites with contracts and monopolies. He will have to endear himself to the bureaucracy with extra bonuses.

The more he compromises, however, the weaker he will become, a puppet held hostage by the very parties that he, as part of PH, defeated in the last election.

Only time will tell just how much Muhyiddin will have to give away for the privilege of sitting in Putrajaya. With many UMNO leaders facing serious jail time on corruption-related charges, it would be one area to watch closely. The outcome of a recent high-profile 1MDB- related case is certainly not encouraging. Already Malaysians are fearing the worst.

In the meantime, the nation will pay a high price for the treachery that has been perpetrated upon the electorate. Our national psyche has been deeply wounded. Public confidence has been shaken. Disenchantment and cynicism are at an all-time high. People have lost faith in our national institutions and in our elected officials.

…more
Malaysia: the price of treachery
18 May 2020 – dennisignatius.com

17
May
20

Malaysia’s Next Parliamentary Session: Show-time or Stalling for Time?

Malaysia’s Next Parliamentary Session: Show-time or Stalling for Time?

Malaysia’s next parliamentary sitting was supposed to have seen the tabling of a historic no-confidence motion against the government led by Muhyiddin Yassin. It appears that the premier has dodged the bullet – at least for now.

Come Monday, Malaysia’s parliament will convene for the first time since Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional (National Consensus) coalition came to power. Initially scheduled for 9 March, the session was postponed in the aftermath of the new prime minister’s unexpected swearing in on 1 March. Despite the delay, the Monday sitting will only last for one day – a departure from the standard duration of four weeks. This is purportedly due to the unfolding Covid-19 situation in Malaysia.

Adding to the sense of abnormality, the Parliamentary Speaker, Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, tabled a motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin Yassin last week. A no-confidence vote is unprecedented – it has never been passed or held in Malaysia’s federal parliament. Even more poignantly, the proposer of the bill is none other than Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister’s erstwhile ally and co-founder of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PBBM).

Rumours of a no-confidence bill have been circulating ever since Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as the head of an unwieldy agglomeration of parties. The constellation of parties is largely but not exclusively comprised of the Malay-based PPBM, the former political heavyweight United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the Islamic Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). The nature of this grouping’s ascent to power has come under heavy flak. After all, it goes against the spirit of the 2018 elections, which saw the rise to power of the rival Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Dr Mahathir.

Given the lengthy deliberations between the Malaysian King and the different factions in parliament, it was also unclear whether Muhyiddin actually commanded a majority when he was sworn in on 1 March (according to the Constitution, the King must appoint the person he thinks is “likely” to command a majority in the House). Notwithstanding uncertainty about the actual size of the opposing Pakatan Harapan bloc, it is clear that its steadfast “core” is sizeable and could – if the conditions are right – muster the narrowest of majorities to topple the new Prime Minister.

While shifting loyalties and factional disputes make definitive conclusions difficult, our estimates indicate that Perikatan Nasional has 110 MPs – two shy of the threshold needed for a simple majority in the 222-member parliament. Pakatan Harapan meanwhile has 107 seats. The remaining five MPs in play are non-aligned – that is, they are either independent MPs or MPs who belong to non-aligned Sabah parties. The three independent MPs are Syed Abu Hussin (Bukit Gantang), Masir Kujat (Sri Aman), Baru Bian (Selangau), while the United Alliance (Sabah) party has two MPs. While it appears that 31 PPBM MPs are likely to stay with Perikatan Nasional, this is not cast in stone. Dr Mahathir remains the party chairman and commands grudging respect from many in the party’s upper echelons. The independent MPs (with the exception of Baru Bian) and United Alliance (Sabah) were previously elected on the Barisan Nasional ticket in 2018 and are likely – but not certain – to throw their weight behind Muhyiddin Yassin. The bottom line: if Perikatan Nasional can corral support from all the 31 PPBM MPs from Muhyiddin’s faction and the five non-aligned MPs, it would only have a narrow and unstable majority.

…more
Malaysia’s Next Parliamentary Session: Show-time or Stalling for Time?
Francis E. Hutchinson, Kevin Zhang
14 May 2020 – ISEAS

16
May
20

Is Muhyiddin coming or going?


(Illustration: Huy Truong, Source: SCMP)

As Mahathir plots, Muhyiddin faces a twist in Malaysia’s Shakespearean drama

It is hard to predict what will leap out to historians as particularly egregious in years to come when they review the internecine political battles that have gripped Malaysia for the past few months.

If the squabbles had ended in March, the shock ousting that month of the 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister by his own party would clearly stand out in any historical timeline.

The tussle saw Muhyiddin Yassin – among the dozens of politicians groomed by Mahathir in his seven-decade career – succeed him as the country’s leader under the aegis of a new Perikatan Nasional alliance led by Malay nationalists the duo had defeated in 2018’s watershed polls.

The move booted out the Pakatan Harapan bloc that won that election, and extinguished with it hopes of a more progressive and multiracial approach to governance.

Muhyiddin – an ardent Malay nationalist – triggered the political earthquake after he pulled the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) he co-founded with Mahathir out of Pakatan Harapan over supposedly intractable differences with the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP).

Even with such head-spinning events already having taken place in the first five months of the year, political insiders who spoke to This Week in Asia last week said the turmoil was likely to intensify in the medium term – with few signs of an entente among warring camps.

Some of the insiders suggested the Shakespearean political drama would continue for as long as senior politicians warring for years while constantly switching alliances remained in the picture.

Mahathir, for one, has signalled that he is not done even after the unceremonious manner in which he lost power in March, with the king appointing Muhyiddin after determining that Mahathir had lost the confidence of parliament.

Also on his side of the ring is his son Mukhriz Mahathir – the chief minister of Kedah state – as well as the former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who may soon be sacked by the PPBM.

Having initially distanced himself from his on-off ally Anwar Ibrahim – the de facto leader of Pakatan Harapan – after being ousted, Mahathir has now realigned himself with the younger politician with the aim of bringing a quick end to the tenure of Muhyiddin’s Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional alliance.

On the other side of the ring, Perikatan Nasional is battling to prove its legitimacy amid charges from critics of being a “back door” administration.

Muhyiddin was sworn in by the king on March 1 on the premise that his new bloc commanded a simple majority in parliament, though experts last week said their independent counts showed he did not have such support. Among these observers were Francis Hutchinson and Kevin Zhang of Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

In a commentary published on Thursday, the researchers wrote that the Perikatan Nasional alliance – which includes the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) ousted in 2018’s elections – now holds 110 seats, two shy of the 112 it needs for a simple majority in the 222-seat legislature. Perikatan Nasional might be able to command a “narrow and unstable majority” if it could gain support from at least two of five non-aligned MPs.

The governing alliance has a separate internal headache, with PPBM’s Muhyiddin seen as beholden to Umno – the coalition’s biggest component even though he is the prime minister.

Pakatan Harapan and its allied party Warisan – which together won 121 seats in the 2018 elections – currently have 107 seats, according to the two researchers.

Mahathir had sought to test Muhyiddin’s support with a no-confidence vote on Monday, but the administration blocked the move, saying it would only hold an extended legislative session in July when the Covid-19 situation improves.

For now, Monday’s session will only have one order of business: the king’s customary opening address. Mahathir’s immediate response was that the whole affair of a single-day sitting with no debates allowed showed that Muhyiddin and his government were “illegitimate”.

…more
As Mahathir plots, Muhyiddin faces a twist in Malaysia’s Shakespearean drama
Tashny Sukumaran and Bhavan Jaipragas
16 May, 2020 – SCMP

16
May
20

Backdoor govt ‘illegitimate’ until approved by Parliament

Backdoor gov’t ‘illegitimate’ until approved by Parliament

COMMENT | While the king has to use his judgement to choose the prime minister when there is a dispute over who commands the majority in Parliament, common sense and prudence dictate that this decision is ratified by Parliament which should sit normally after that.

Using procedures to deliberately delay Parliament and constrict its powers through nonsense restrictions to frustrate and postpone the inevitable no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is against all principles of a democratic government and may well be open to challenge in the courts.

Thus, the move by Muhyiddin to restrict Parliament to only the king’s address and not to conduct any other business via an amendment to the agenda sent to the speaker – he appears to have the legal power to do this, although some dispute that – is an utter mockery of parliamentary process and an abuse of his powers.

It prevents either the legitimisation of his government or the demonstration of his lack of majority. That must lead one to suspect that Muhyiddin may not have the majority especially given how whimsical some MPs become during such times when they can be swayed by promises of power, patronage and money.

In other words, the blunt truth may be that this is an illegitimate government which is prolonging its existence by delaying a proper parliamentary sitting which will decide once and for all whether Muhyiddin commands the majority in Parliament.

…more
Backdoor gov’t ‘illegitimate’ until approved by Parliament
P Gunasegaram
15 May 2020 – Malaysiakini

14
May
20

Malaysian government illegitimate, says Mahathir

Malaysian government illegitimate, says Mahathir, after no-confidence vote blocked

The former prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday described the ruling government that ousted him in March as “illegitimate” after it blocked his effort to call a no-confidence vote.

The parliamentary speaker Ariff Md Yusof earlier in the day announced that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government had elected to permit only one order of business in next Monday’s parliamentary sitting – the ceremonial opening address by the king.

Ariff said the Perikatan Nasional government took the decision “as the Covid-19 pandemic has not been fully cleared”.

“How can this be called a government when MPs are not allowed to speak even when there is a parliamentary sitting?” Mahathir asked in a pre-recorded video released by his aides late on Wednesday.

“[As a result] this government is in fact illegitimate,” Mahathir said. “I think Muhyiddin is illegitimate.”

With the legislature sitting only for one day, the move effectively means Mahathir will not be able to go ahead with a plan to table a motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin, who took power in March and is a former ally of the 94-year-old.

The government’s move had been expected with observers saying it had planned to push back debates to July to delay the turmoil that would set in once parliament sits.

The law minister Takiyiddin Hassan last week said parliament would sit for at least 15 days in July.

The king made Muhyiddin prime minister after the politician triggered a power vacuum by pulling the party he and Mahathir co-founded out of the Pakatan Harapan alliance that won the May 2018 election.

The new Perikatan Nasional, which has teamed up with Pakatan Harapan arch-rivals, the United Malays National Organisation, has thus not proven it has the support of a simple majority of the country’s 222-seat legislature, as the house has been in recess since December.

A March sitting was delayed on account of the pandemic and the sitting next week is compulsory as the constitution stipulates that the legislature stands to be dissolved if it does not convene at least once in six months.

While Muhyiddin was handed power by the constitutional monarch Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on the premise that the politician had a majority, Mahathir in his video questioned whether Muhyiddin actually had such backing when he was sworn in on March 1.

He has previously suggested Muhyiddin was only now gaining the required support from backbencher MPs after offering them jobs in government-linked agencies and other state-backed institutions.

The country’s partial lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has been in place since March 18, was slated to end this week but has now been extended to June 9.

…more
Malaysian government illegitimate, says Mahathir, after no-confidence vote blocked
Bhavan Jaipragas
13 May, 2020 – SCMP





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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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