Archive for the 'Politics' Category

20
Jun
17

Bar joins calls for probe into report of RM9.5 million payment to lawyer

Bar joins calls for probe into report of RM9.5 million payment to lawyer

THE Malaysian Bar has urged police to investigate the “serious” allegations that the lead prosecutor in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial was paid RM9.5 million by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Bar president George Varughese told FMT that while it would be premature for the Bar to refer the lawyer to the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board due to insufficient evidence of misconduct, police must launch a thorough investigation quickly.

“Police must probe the case thoroughly since the allegation is very serious,” said Varughese.

On May 31, whistleblower site Sarawak Report reported that prominent Umno lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the lead prosecutor in Anwar’s trial, was paid RM9.5 million, which came directly from Najib’s 1MDB slush fund accounts.

Shafee has declined to respond to The Malaysian Insights requests for comment.

Yesterday, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman filed a report urging police to investigate the whistleblower’s claims for the sake of the good name of the Malaysian judiciary. – June 3, 2017.

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Bar joins calls for probe into report of RM9.5 million payment to lawyer
3 Jun 2017 – Malaysian Insight

13
Jun
17

Probe Umno lawyer for conspiracy, says PKR Youth

Probe Umno lawyer for conspiracy, says PKR Youth

PKR Youth have lodged a police report over allegations that Prime Minister Najib Razak had paid prominent lawyer Mohammed Shafee Abdullah RM9.5 million from a 1Malaysia Development Berhad slush fund account.

PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin said if there was truth in the article, it meant there was a concerted effort to move funds to Shafee, and a political conspiracy to put then opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim back in jail.

Shafee was appointed as lead prosecutor, a move which raised eyebrows, in Anwar’s sodomy trial at the Court of Appeals in 2014 where his acquittal was overturned.

“The transfer of money coincided with Anwar’s case. We are not saying the Sarawak Report story is the gospel truth. We want the police to investigate the claims,” he told reporters outside the Central Seberang Prai district police headquarters today.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report reported in its article “Najib Paid Anwar’s Prosecutor RM9.5 Million From 1MDB Slush Fund WHY?” on May 31 that Shafee was the “biggest individual recipient of money from Najib’s 1MDB slush fund accounts”.

It reported that Najib allegedly paid Shafee RM5.2 million in February 2014 and RM4.3 million in September 2013.

The site said the money came from the bank account “that had been identified as having been funded by money from the 1MDB subsidiary SRC, which had borrowed some RM4 billion from the civil service pension fund (Retirement Inc Fund) KWAP”.

Shafee did not respond to calls or messages by The Malaysian Insight.

“This happened when PKR was getting ready for the Kajang by-election in 2014. There are too many coincidences,” Afif said.

He said Anwar could have contested in the by-election, won and become Selangor Mentri Besar that year if the Court of Appeals upheld his acquittal.

…more
Probe Umno lawyer for conspiracy, says PKR Youth
2 Jun 2017 – Malaysian Insight

05
Jun
17

Umno’s state assemblyman in Kelantan disqualified due to bankruptcy

EC receives notice of vacant Nenggiri seat

The decision on whether there should be a by-election in the state constituency now depends on the Kelantan speaker.

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission has confirmed that it has received a notice on the vacancy of the Nenggiri state seat from the Kelantan state assembly speaker’s office.

This follows the incumbent, Mat Yusoff Abdul Ghani, being disqualified due to bankruptcy.

A spokesman for the EC’s Kelantan branch told Bernama they would be notifying the EC headquarters in Putrajaya on the development.

The Kelantan EC is expected to hold a meeting soon to discuss the matter.

By-elections can only be held within three years of the last general election, which was held on May 5, 2013.

“If it is after the three-year period, the decision to hold a by-election depends on the speaker,” the EC spokesman added.

Speaker Abdullah Ya’kub said the letter was hand-delivered to the EC’s Kota Bharu office at 12.40pm today.

“It was my duty to inform the Kelantan EC on the vacancy,” he told Bernama.

The Selangor branch of the Insolvency Department had notified the Kelantan state assembly speaker’s office on the BN assemblyman’s bankrupt status via a letter on May 28.

Yusoff, from Umno, won the Nenggiri seat in the last general election after defeating PKR’s Mohamad Azihan Che Seman and independent candidate Abdul Aziz Mohamed with a majority of 3,849 votes.

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EC receives notice of vacant Nenggiri seat
June 4, 2017 – FMT

29
May
17

The new election boundaries: Where GE14 will be won or lost

The new election boundaries: Where GE14 will be won or lost – Zoe Randhawa

MAY 27 – Earlier this month, in historic legal victories, Bersih 2.0 Outreach Officer Chan Tsu Chong along with six others were granted leave and a stay order to challenge the Election Commission’s (EC) delineation proposals in Melaka.

This means the process of re-drawing the election boundaries for Melaka has been suspended until the court case is completed.

This builds upon the work already done in Selangor to challenge the new proposals.

The importance of these legal challenges for the fate of the 14th general election (GE14) can’t be overstated.

The EC’s motivations for the new boundaries are obvious. The new boundaries are there to shift the balance of seats to secure a strong Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the next election.

The political motivations behind the EC’s boundaries

According to research by Politweet, BN can win an additional 11 seats in the Selangor State Legislative Assembly with the new boundaries proposed in September 2016. These 11 seats would be won with no changes in votes from GE13 but only through the shifting of voters to strategic seats for BN.

Similarly, in the September 2016 proposals for Melaka, the seat of Bukit Baru, won by Pakatan Rakyat by 48 votes in GE13, would be won by BN with a 1,600-vote majority with the new boundaries. The marginal seat of Telok Mas, won by BN by just 700 votes in GE13, would become a safe seat with a 3,000-vote majority.

Worse still, based on the September 2016 proposal, the Bukit Katil federal seat, won by Pakatan Rakyat in GE13 by nearly 7,000 votes, would now be won by BN with a 4,800 vote majority. This move is especially suspicious, given that in August 2016, one month before the proposal became public, the Melaka Chief Minister called for the EC to change Bukit Katil boundaries to make it easier for BN to win.

The same pattern emerges throughout the country. In Perak, the safe Pakatan Rakyat seats in GE13 of Changkat Jering and Sungai Rapat would be won by BN, with no change in votes. In Kuala Lumpur, Nurul Izzah Anwar would lose the seat of Lembah Pantai.

The legal challenges

For the first time in our history, the EC is being dragged to court over and over again to stop their flagrant cheating through delineation. The rakyat have shown their outrage, with more than 1,000 objections submitted to the EC between September 2016 and April 2017 over their proposals.

The EC has been inundated with legal cases on delineation. So far, 11 cases have been filed in courts across the country, challenging the lack of information provided (yes, the EC doesn’t even want to tell voters how they are affected!), the unconstitutional proposals and the EC’s refusal to hold local inquiries when legally required to do so.

So far, there have been some brave High Court judges willing to take a stand.

Judges Azizul Azmi Adnan and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera for the Selangor and Melaka cases, respectively, have both granted leave to hear the arguments of the case and have put a stay on further action by the EC to re-draw the boundaries in those two states.

The Selangor State Government’s challenge is now being heard in court and we have already heard some startling revelations from the EC, including that the information related to 136,000 addresses on the electoral roll has been destroyed.

I think it is fair to say we can expect more such ludicrous explanations from the EC as the cases progress.

What does this mean for GE14?

Even though the Federal Constitution allows the EC up to two years to complete the delineation exercise, the EC now seems to be desperate to finish the process as soon as possible. We can only wonder why this would be the case.

If the EC cared to follow the Constitution, once the court granted a stay for Selangor, this should have halted the process for the whole of the peninsula. This is because the Constitution says peninsular Malaysia must be treated as a whole unit when drawing constituencies.

However, the EC has decided to continue the delineation process “excluding the state of Selangor”. It is clear the EC is trying to bulldoze their proposal through no matter what the courts say. It shows complete contempt for the rule of law and our Federal Constitution.

On a positive note, it looks like the boundaries to the federal and state seats in Selangor may have been saved from the changes that would have led to a rigged election in a state BN is desperate to win back.

For the rest of the country, we can only speculate what the EC’s plans are.

It is now possible the EC will take the unconstitutional step of presenting their final proposals to the Prime Minister without completing the process for Selangor and Melaka. The prime minister can then table the new boundaries in Parliament by the end of July and announce the dissolution of Parliament by August. The election can then be held as early as September.

The EC up to the same old tricks

We are fully aware of how the process would have been conducted if the EC were not merely a puppet for the ruling party.

The Constitution is clear. Seats in the same state must have “approximately equal” number of voters and the EC must try to follow local ties in drawing the boundaries.

If the EC were fair, we would not have a seat in Selangor with more than 150,000 voters (Petaling Jaya Utara) and another with just 37,000 voters (Sabak Bernam). We would not have boundaries that cut households or communities in half to suit certain voting patterns. Local councils would not be criss-crossed with constituency boundaries, resulting in councillors having to communicate with multiple MPs on local issues.

…more
The new election boundaries: Where GE14 will be won or lost – Zoe Randhawa
May 27, 2017 – MMO

24
May
17

Minister should be serving the people, not personal interest

Crown prince: Better for KJ to be a wataniah soldier than minister

Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is not pleased that Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was absent from the Malaysia FA Cup match last Saturday.

Tunku Ismail, who is also Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president, said many had enquired about the minister’s whereabouts during the match between Kedah and Pahang at the Shah Alam stadium.

Pointing out that royalties from Kedah, Johor and Pahang had attended, the crown prince said Khairy should have been present as well.

“According to rumours, he (Khairy) was involved with the askar wataniah (territorial army) on the night of the FA Cup match.

“To me, if the territorial army programme is more of a priority (to Khairy), then it would have been better for him to be a territorial soldier than a youth and sports minister,” added the crown prince on the Johor Southern Tigers football team’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Tunku Ismail also said the minister should not only attend events where he would be the centre of attention.

“When it is otherwise, you don’t attend because you already know you won’t be the main focus.

“When you are a minister or a politician, you should be serving the people and national institutions, not your personal interest.

“If all is about becoming popular, then you should be a celebrity, not a minister or a politician,” he added in the hard-hitting post.

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Crown prince: Better for KJ to be a wataniah soldier than minister
23 May 2017 – malaysiakini

21
May
17

How safe is BN’s 1.6 million civil servant vote bank?

How safe is BN’s 1.6 million civil servant vote bank?

AKHMA opted for the top bunk in the smallest room in a three-bedroom flat in Precinct 9, Putrajaya. It wasn’t cheap at RM280 a month, but still cheaper than a room or a whole unit to herself. The lower bunk costs RM20 extra.

Though a civil servant, she had to share the flat with five housemates.

“My flat is in the most undesirable location in Putrajaya, where most of the foreign workers live. I have been living here for 1½ years now and it’s not cheap either,” she told The Malaysian Insight at one of the government complexes in the administrative capital.

The 27-year-old from Gombak said she had to relocate to Putrajaya because of work demands, the same reason she bought a Proton Saga.

“I could’ve chosen to live in a bigger place or buy a Myvi, but I want to save at least RM300 a month,” she said, adding that she spent most of her salary on patrol and food.

She said the cost of living would be one of the major factors when it comes to voting in the next general election.

“I don’t really follow politics but I will look at their election manifestos and see which one will benefit people like me,” the undecided voter said.

Political analyst Mohamad Hisomuddin Bakar of the Ilham Centre said unlike those with perks at the top, civil servants aged 35 and under were the ones struggling to make ends meet and more willing to vote in change.

The 1.6 million civil servants, who make up 12% of registered voters, are considered Barisan Nasional’s vote bank.

“We can even see the trend in the previous election and if situation does not change, we expect a bigger swing from the civil servants,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Factors like low salaries, rising cost of living, high housing prices and weak ringgit have changed the voting pattern even for those from hard-core Umno families, he said.

Last December, The Sun reported Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs) president Azih Muda as saying about 700,000 to 800,000 civil servants could be categorised in the bottom 40% (B40) group.

GDP effects not trickling down

Socio-Economic Research Centre Sdn Bhd executive director Lee Heng Guie said despite forecast of stronger gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of 2017, people were still worried about the current economic situation.

“There is a disconnection between what the data shows and what consumers are feeling. People still feel that conditions have not improved as they look at the overall economy and see that growth has slowed down for the last two years,” he said.

Lee added that the scenario could be reflected in Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER)’s consumer sentiment index (CSI), which is still below the 100-point optimism threshold. Malaysia’s consumer price inflation also hit an eight-year high in March, at 5.1%.

“Despite petrol prices dropping in the last three weeks, the cost of living is still high and that will continue to pinch on the low income and the middle income. This is due to price stickiness as traders will not lower prices even though petrol prices have come down.”

RAM Ratings expects the economy to grow 4.8% in the first quarter, a higher figure than the 4.5% in the Q4, 2016. The ratings agency cited stronger exports as the major factor for the Q1 growth rate. Bank Negara will release the Q1 growth rate today.

Hisomuddin said only senior civil servants, such as those who in premier grades or JUSA (public service premier post) are worried about a change in government.

“The dogma of civil servants must vote (ruling party) has changed but for senior officers or JUSA, it’s still about Malay Muslims who must lead the government, not a party like DAP,” he said.

Crackdown on civil servants

Despite the recent Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) crackdown on immigration, customs and police personnel in recent weeks, political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat does not think it will figure during elections.

The Penang Institute fellow said the majority of government employees were not decision-makers, law enforcers or gate-keepers in any licensing or application process.

“Hence they have no power to extract bribery or embezzle public funds. I doubt they will identify with the corrupt officials who live way beyond their legal incomes.

“Najib’s civil servant votes are shaken, not so much by crackdown on graft, but because he has no buy money to give subsidies and pay rise to buy their support,” Wong said.

…more
How safe is BN’s 1.6 million civil servant vote bank?
19 May 2017 – Malaysian Insight

16
Apr
17

The key to the future in our hands – Our Vote

From global kleptocracy to leader of the new paradigm

COMMENT | With the Wall Street Journal reporting recently that Jho Low will face criminal charges for wire fraud related to 1MDB, which ranks as the largest financial scandal of all time according to the Department of Justice, another nail in the coffin of Malaysia’s good standing in the global community has been hammered.

Malaysia has become the face of corruption in the world today. I don’t need to reiterate all the reasons which are clear as a sunny day to all who wish to look. Many don’t wish to acknowledge the facts, and I understand that as it damages us and as patriots we want to protect our beloved nation.

Instead of rehashing all the sordid details of Scorpene, 1MDB, SRC, and all the collateral damage that it has inflicted upon our parliamentary democracy, our institutional integrity, our rule of law, and our common citizen, I instead prefer to focus this article on the future – where do we go from here?

Believe it or not, we have the key to the future in our hands. Not just in the hands of the power elite, but in the hands of every member of the rakyat from the business tycoons to the farmer settlers. That is nothing more than your vote, and in the next general election you MUST use this weapon.

Even if you feel that the system is rigged against you, as the now-president of the world’s greatest superpower bemoaned, the force or our collective will can effect a historic change. The minute you believe this, our reality will change. Follow your heart and you will show the light of your humanity.

My message could easily be that we must punish those that have done evil deeds. But that is God’s work. Sadly, Justice is not the natural order of the Universe; it is Power. The harsh truth is that most of us living what we think are enlightened and comfortable lives are actually just free-range slaves.

The new paradigm

Your leaders have three swords which they use to enslave you. First: money. Second: influence. And third: reliance on your greed. You should recognise that your desire to serve your own self-interest is their biggest asset. If you take that away, their influence shrivels and their money is abhorrent.

…more
From global kleptocracy to leader of the new paradigm
Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff
15 April 2017 – malaysiakini




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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