Posts Tagged ‘GE14

25
Jul
18

Inviting foreign govt interference is a serious betrayal of trust

The CIA letter and the treason option

Whichever way you look at it, inviting a foreign government to side with Najib in the event of an electoral impasse is a serious betrayal of trust.

COMMENT
By Dennis Ignatius

Recent calls by the Patriots Association and others to thoroughly investigate a letter allegedly written by Hasanah Ab Hamid, the former Director-General of the Research Department (also known as ME10), to the Chief of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deserves to be taken seriously.

In a long, rambling and convoluted letter dated 4th May, Hasanah appeared to be soliciting CIA support for the Najib Administration in the event of a disputed electoral outcome.

The letter, believed to have been leaked by someone inside the current administration, could amount to an act of treason on the part of a senior government official and calls into question former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s oft-repeated claims that he had always intended to respect the outcome of the elections.

Seeking US endorsement

In her letter, Hasanah:

  • reminded the US that Malaysia practises a first-past-the-post electoral system rather than proportional representation
  • hinted at a possible opposition victory (“the opposition’s hopes to wrest control of the government seems a bit promising as Mahathir joined them”)
  • warned that a Mahathir victory could be disastrous for US interests in the region
  • emphasized that Najib, on the other hand, remains a reliable friend and ally of the US and is fully supportive of key US foreign policy objectives (North Korea, terrorism, South China Sea). Hasanah even hinted that if US endorsement for Najib was forthcoming, Malaysia would also quietly favour the US in its regional rivalry with China.

Hasanah then went on to solicit US endorsement for the Najib Administration in the event of a less than clear outcome (“even if we are to win the election by a simple majority of just one seat”) suggesting that an indication of US support could help “strengthen our stability.”

Exploring all options

What this indicates is that in the final days of the election campaign, Najib and his team had already concluded that the tide had turned against them and were exploring all their options.

The most likely scenario they were preparing for was one in which Najib massively lost the popular vote but managed to obtain a simple majority in parliament (perhaps of “just one seat,” as Hasanah mentioned in her letter). This was the same kind of scenario that many observers at the time had thought likely especially given all gerrymandering that had taken place just prior to elections being called.

What Najib’s team worried about, however, was that a failure to carry the popular vote by a credible margin might lead Mahathir and his coalition to challenge Najib’s legitimacy. In such a situation, US endorsement for Najib, and for any actions he might take to “stabilise” the situation (via the National Security Council Act, for example), could strengthen his hand.

By all counts it was a stunning climb down for a man who had previously fumed about US interference and claimed to be a great defender of race, religion and country.

That he would now go hat in hand to Washington, through the CIA no less, was a measure of the man’s mounting desperation in the early days of May.

An invitation to interference

Whichever way you look at it, inviting a foreign government to side with him in the event of an electoral impasse is a serious betrayal of trust. Though Najib has denied all knowledge of the letter, it does not seem plausible that Hasanah, who was close to Najib, would have acted on her own.

It is mind-boggling too that Najib’s officials would even believe that such a pathetic, self-serving letter could sway the US government which was already investigating Najib in connection with the 1MDB scandal. Besides, the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the CIA station chief would have surely been providing their own assessments to Washington sans the Umno-type propaganda contained in the letter.

…more
The CIA letter and the treason option
July 22, 2018 – FMT

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22
Jul
18

Ex-servicemen want probe into ‘treasonous’ CIA letter

Ex-servicemen want probe into ‘treasonous’ CIA letter

The National Patriots Association says the purported letter discussed internal security matters and foreign policy matters that should not have been shared.

PETALING JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) has called on the authorities to investigate a letter allegedly sent by the top intelligence officer under the Najib Razak administration to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) just before the May 9 polls, calling it “treacherous” and “treasonous”.

Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said the purported letter had discussed internal security matters and foreign policy matters that should not have been shared.

It also asked the US to support the previous Barisan Nasional government in case the election result turned out to be close, he said.

“It appears that the Najib Razak government pandered to both sides of the two superpowers conflict. On one hand, we gave tacit support for China’s dominance in the South China Sea, and on the other covertly informed that our country was pro-US and supported the US’ presence in the region.”

He also condemned its reported criticism of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as “anti-West” and “anti-Semite”, saying this was “despicable, shameful and tramples the art of foreign relation to a guttering level”.

“Only a leader and a government lacking all good qualities of leadership and good governance would stoop so low,” he said in a statement.

FMT earlier published what is said to be a copy of the letter to CIA director Gina Haspel, written on behalf of the “Malaysian External Intelligence Organization (MEIO)” and signed by Hasanah Ab Hamid, who also leads a unit under the Research Division of the Prime Minister’s Department.

However, Najib has denied that such a letter exists.

Arshad called for an immediate investigation into the unit and all officials concerned.

“All guilty persons should be seriously punished to set an example to all current officials in the government, security forces personnel, and politicians, that such collusion with any foreign officials or government is considered treason.”

…more
Ex-servicemen want probe into ‘treasonous’ CIA letter
July 20, 2018 – FMT

02
Jul
18

Pakatan Harapan’s cabinet has been sworn in

(source: Malaysiakini)

19
Jun
18

The disintegration of BN

The disintegration of BN – from 13 parties to four

The once-exalted Barisan Nasional (BN) entered the 14th general election with 13 parties but in just a month since its disastrous defeat on May 9, the coalition has disintegrated and is left with only four parties with another in dispute.

Founded in 1973, BN was an initiative by the second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein to bring both ruling and opposition parties together following a painful period for the country – the 1969 riots.

However, BN has today unravelled at the hands of his son and sixth prime minister Najib Abdul Razak who insisted on leading the coalition despite being plagued by the 1MDB scandal, a multi-billion dollar corruption behemoth described as “kleptocracy at its worst”.

On May 9 this year, BN – successor to the Alliance – lost power for the first time in 61 years since independence in 1957.

This article provides a timeline of the disintegration of the BN and how its former partners are re-aligning. It also looks at the remaining parties within BN.

Sabah BN

Going into the 14th general election, Sabah BN comprised Umno and state-based parties PBS, PBRS, Upko and LDP.

Immediately after BN’s defeat at both the state and federal level in Sabah, Upko was the first to announce its exit from BN.

The party then joined forces with the opposition Pakatan Harapan and Warisan, giving them the needed majority to form the new Sabah state government.

This was followed by LDP, PBS and PBRS’ exiting from Sabah BN, effectively leaving Umno as the only major component of the coalition in Sabah.

A large group of Sabah Umno state assemblypersons also quit the party to join PBS in a bid to develop a more “local image”.

PBS, meanwhile, allied itself with Star, another opposition party, to form Gagasan Bersatu.

All this took place within the first week of BN’s defeat.

What is left of Sabah BN is a weakened Umno and a few peninsular-based parties.

MCA and Gerakan have a presence in Sabah but they were never considered as core members of Sabah BN.

Sarawak BN

In contrast to Sabah, Sarawak BN had an orderly exit from the coalition with all of its state components remaining intact.

Under the leadership of Sarawak chief minister Abang Johari Openg, PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP announced their exit from the coalition today.

The four parties announced that they will now form a state-based coalition named Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Johari said the coalition will work with the Pakatan Harapan federal government but will form its own bloc and remain on the opposition side in Parliament.

BN in Peninsular Malaysia

The only parties left in BN are Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan.

A power struggle ensued in MyPPP with its president M Kayveas announcing on May 19 that the party was exiting BN.

However, his other supreme council members disputed this, leaving MyPPP’s true status with BN in limbo.

While MCA, MIC and Gerakan remain in BN, for the time being, they have indicated that they will review their position in the coalition as part of a post-general election reform.

Umno – the anchor of BN – now has few friends to count among its ranks, and may need to look for new allies.

…more
The disintegration of BN – from 13 parties to four
12 June 2018 – malaysiakini

17
Jun
18

Rafidah: Najib’s government riddled with ‘political mafia’

Rafidah: Najib’s government riddled with ‘political mafia’

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Former international trade and industries (MITI) minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz claimed that one of the reasons behind former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s downfall was the appointment of those she termed as “political mafia”.

Speaking to Malay Mail recently, Rafidah claimed these individuals appointed by Najib had not only intimidated many civil servants into doing their bidding, but also dictated terms to many privately held or public-listed companies.

“They were ‘political mafia’. These people felt they were so powerful because they reported directly to the prime minister. So, at their level, where they were in charge of agencies or as gatekeepers, they could actually dictate terms to companies.

“So, there was that sense of power at all levels.

“They were appointed by the prime minister, whether it was a political appointment or not I don’t know. There were people who had direct access to the prime minister and could tell him whatever they wanted,” said Rafidah.

She elaborated since these individuals happened to be the heads of agencies or gatekeepers to the Prime Minister’s Office, it created a culture of “aberration” that she had never witnessed before in her political career.

The culture she observed was one of pandering to the ego of the gatekeepers and agency heads, while allowing them to do as they wish, including acts of corruption, without questioning for fear of repercussions.

Although she admitted that such “aberrations” occurred in the past, it was never perceived to be the norm or the culture by the world at large, unlike in the last 10 to 12 years.

“The Chinese say rotten fish starts at the head. In this case, it was from the head from everywhere. It’s crazy. It was nothing I had ever seen before. We never had so many agencies and structures working outside the government.

“With Najib, everything was centralised to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). People don’t realise that you don’t report to some of the relevant ministries anymore but straight to PMO. And in PMO, they had these gatekeepers. People who were then given the task to supervise each agency.

“So, when you have these chains of vicarious authority, what can you expect? People begin to know who to favour and who to be subservient to. It is loyalty, not to the government, but individuals who would report you to the Big Boss,” she explained, referring to Najib.

However, she did not put much blame on the civil service, the nation’s security forces nor the judiciary for demurring to the “political mafia” since their livelihoods were on the line.

Rafidah observed that many civil servants did not like the directive given by these “political mafia” but could not afford to risk their livelihoods or have their pensions affected by threats and intimidation.

“So they just toed the line, not that they liked to do it. By virtue of the powers that be, they felt forced to do it because they are part of the system. If they don’t do it, they will be identified,” she said, referring to civil servants.

…more
Rafidah: Najib’s government riddled with ‘political mafia’
By Azril Annuar
10 June 2018 – MMO

10
Jun
18

U.S. probe of Malaysia’s 1MDB picks up speed after Najib’s election loss – Reuters

U.S. probe of Malaysia’s 1MDB picks up speed after Najib’s election loss

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. investigators have accelerated their probe into the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and are exchanging more evidence with Malaysian authorities since Najib lost last month’s election, three sources with direct knowledge of the probe said.

At least six countries, including Malaysia, the United States and Switzerland, are investigating accusations that Najib and associates pocketed part of $4.5 billion allegedly stolen from the state-run investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The probe received a boost after Najib unexpectedly lost the election on May 9.

Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing in connection with alleged graft involving 1MDB.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is confident that Malaysia’s new government is more willing to cooperate, whereas U.S. authorities saw Najib’s as actively obstructing the investigation, according to two people with direct knowledge of the investigation.

While U.S. prosecutors have considered the possibility of charging Najib or his associates, they would prefer Malaysia be the one to file criminal charges against any Malaysian official.

“That’s how its supposed to work,” a U.S. law enforcement official said.

Najib has retained former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and the firm of New York trial lawyer David Boies to represent him in connection with the U.S. investigations, a source familiar with Najib’s legal team said.

In a series of asset seizures last year, U.S. prosecutors alleged in court papers that some of the money stolen from 1MDB was placed into the account of an individual identified as “Malaysian Official 1.”

Since Najib’s election defeat, Malaysia’s new government has been scrambling to recover billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from 1MDB.

It is considering asking the U.S. government to get investment bank Goldman Sachs to return nearly $600 million in fees it earned from bonds raised for the sovereign wealth fund, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. [nL3N1TA47L]

No formal request has yet been made but top officials are actively discussing the plan within the government, they said.

Najib’s successor, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said Malaysia was also seeking to arrest financier Low Taek Jho, a central figure in the scandal who advised on investments and negotiated deals for 1MDB.

…more
U.S. probe of Malaysia’s 1MDB picks up speed after Najib’s election loss
Mark Hosenball, Joel Schectman
June 9, 2018 – Reuters

31
May
18

What if Pakatan had not won?

What if Pakatan had not won? — Dharm Navaratnam

MAY 20 — It has been just over 10 days since GE14 and I woke up this morning with a strange thought.

For starters, I would imagine there would have been trumpeting and beating of drums together with loud cries of how great Barisan Nasional is. Hidup Umno! Hidup PM! Kita Sayang Najib!

Then there would have been snide comments and jokes in bad taste about a 93-year old man’s failure to wrest power.

These jokes and comments would border on being vile and sarcastic and most everyone in BN would be taking the opportunity to laugh at and condemn the nonagenarian.

There would have been no shakeups in the Civil Service and Irwan Serigar would still be holding on to the purse strings at the Treasury in his capacity as Secretary General of the Treasury.

This is the Rakyat purse string in case you didn’t know.

The Attorney General would not have been asked to go on leave. The Director General of The Registrar of Societies Malaysia would feel vindicated that the application for Pakatan Harapan was not allowed as was the decision to suspend Bersatu and she would probably be waiting for an award at the next opportunity.

This however, begets another question. Was the subsequent approval of Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu done to appease the new government or was it to correct a previous wrong. This should be made known immediately and the appropriate action taken accordingly.

Khairy Jamaluddin would have been lauding it up with the other BN leaders and gloating that his video with Najib had the desired effect. He would definitely not be questioning Najib or regretting his actions in not speaking up.

Speaking of videos, Tony Fernandes would be laughing, as would many other captains of industry that formed a band and sang a song that was somewhat akin to the BN Tagline, Hebatkan Negaraku. You can view it here if you haven’t seen it. In my opinion, captains of industry should be neutral in their political affiliation, at least in public.

Umno, MCA and MIC would be going on about how Malaysians still want race-based politics and that this is the only way forward.

It is the proven way after 61 years and it will be the way for the next 100 years. Instead, these parties are now suggesting opening up their membership to all Malaysians, a clear affirmation that race based politics don’t work.

Most importantly, there would be no investigations carried out into our former prime minister.

Datuk Amar Singh would not be the household name he now is and we would never have known of the 284 luxury handbags and 72 luggage bags of cash and jewellery that were reportedly found.

No. If BN had won, life would have just gone on.

The alleged thievery and excesses would have just gone on.

You know what the sad part about this really is? No one in positions of power dared to speak up.

No one wanted to do what was right.

All of those in positions of power, every hierarchy and every echelon in Barisan Nasional, Umno, MCA, MIC and all other component parties of BN chose to remain silent.

Yes. They chose to be silent to protect themselves. This is the most worrying part. By keeping silent, I dare to say that they are complicit.

Could we perhaps venture to think that perhaps no one knew? I seriously doubt it. I would also allude to the fact that KJ now says that he regrets protecting Najib signifies that he knew something was wrong.

And if he knew, it is highly probable and even more so likely that other politicians knew. They just accepted it either because they were probably reaping the benefits or they were just too afraid to say anything.

After all, when Muhyiddin and Shafie Apdal tried to say something, they were sacked. So was the former AG, Gani Patail.

I remember having a chat with a deputy minister before the elections. It was a brief chat but we touched on 1MDB and other issues. This said minister defended the establishment and basically said that that was the way things are.

I asked the question about why no one wanted to speak up and his answer was that the party always comes first. It was more important to toe the party line.

It is a matter of survival within the party and as such many things are overlooked.

That was disturbing to me. It was also very disturbing to me that he was ultra confident that he would win his seat and that the status quo would remain.

I suppose once you start to overlook things, the things you allow yourself to overlook just get bigger and bigger and it no longer matters about serving the Rakyat but rather serving yourself.

As it turned out though, the Rakyat decided otherwise and it is only because there was a change in Government that we are seeing what we are seeing today. A clean up of corruption and excesses that was left to go unchecked. It was left to go unchecked by our elected representatives that were supposed to look after the Rakyat first.

More and more worms seem to be crawling out of the woodwork which each passing day. As the rot becomes more apparent, and the stench starts to permeate the air there is one glaring observation.

There is stark silence from the BN related leadership and parties. They are still choosing to remain largely silent even in the face of such glaring evidence of all the seized goods. All 284 handbags, cash and jewellery. Where before there was chest thumping and other bravado, there is a subdued silence. No one seems to be saying anything about the Five Black Maria lorries that were needed to cart away all the seized goods.

So it’s a good thing that BN didn’t win the last elections. Life would just have gone on for us, the Rakyat. No one would have said anything and No one would have been any the wiser.

…more
What if Pakatan had not won? — Dharm Navaratnam
20 May 2018 –MMO




The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah

 

Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah

 

What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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