Clinton visit an endorsement on PM Najib’s leadership

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would be making a single day visit to Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday 2 November 2010. It will be part of her Asean and East Asia world-wind tour of the region after attending the Asean plus six Summit in Hanoi, which ended today.

Her visit to Kuala Lumpur will mark an endorsement of the Obama administration to Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak’s leadership. It is an imperative step that United States is taking to be friendly towards the global Muslim population and Malaysia is on top of the Muslim nations list.

She is expected to call on PM Najib and Foreign Minister Dato’ Anipah Aman. It was said that she would be witnessing the agreement on the setting up of the Malaysian branch of the renowned John Hopkins university and hospital, which was announced in PM Najib’s recent visit to New York. Clinton will also be attending a closed door discourse which will discuss education amongst other issues.

This is the excerpt of the Department of State’s statement on Clinton’s world wind tour:

From Cambodia, we will go to Malaysia – again, both these countries, the first visit for Secretary Clinton. In Malaysia, the Secretary will have an opportunity to interact with Prime Minister Najib and his key cabinet on a range of issues. Few countries have come as far in terms of our bilateral relationship as the one between the United States and Malaysia; enormous progress on a range of issues – proliferation issues, political coordination, and strategic dialogue. And I think you will see the flourishing U.S.-Malaysian relationship on full display.

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The dialogue between the two nations’ leadership has been very active and in international diplomacy perspective, it is very healthy and encouraging. The friendship between Malaysia and United States has never been this close. Especially after the George W. Bush administration, which saw the high handedness approach against Muslims, post 9 September 2001.

Najib offers to assist Obama in overcoming Islamaphobia in US

Bernama
Saturday, September 25th, 2010 13:26:00

 

NEW YORK: Malaysia wants to assist the United States (US) in overcoming Islamophobia among the American society to allow them a better understanding of Islam and dispel negative perceptions towards the religion, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.

The Malaysian prime minister said he conveyed the matter to US President Barack Obama during his intervention at the second Asean-US meeting in New York on Friday.

The prime minister also congratulated Obama for his firm stand against the recent plan by a Florida pastor to burn the Quran.

The pastor later cancelled the plan. Although the Asean-US meeting touched mainly on trade, security and regional matters, Najib took the opportunity to draw Obama’s attention to the issue of Islamophobia, a phenomenon which has been on the increase in the US lately.

The online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, defines Islamophobia as “an irrational fear or prejudice towards Islam and Muslims.”

“The most important step is to provide the basic knowledge about Islam; that Islam carries universal values, a progressive religion which is very much in line with the concept of modernisation.

“Islam also guarantees the rights of not only Muslims but also that of the non-Muslims,” he told Malaysian journalists who are here to cover his six-day visit to New York.

The Islamophobia phenomenon escalates following proposals to build an Islamic centre and a mosque in the vicinity of the “Ground Zero”, the site of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks which destroyed the World Trade Center.

The Florida pastor called off his plan to burn copies of the Quran, which he earlier said was to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept 11 terror attacks.

President Obama stressed that the plan would benefit the al-Qaeda and endanger thousands of US troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Asked on ways to overcome Islamophobia, Najib stressed that there was a need to provide a better understanding of Islam among the American people.

Citing as example a recent study by Time magazine which showed that 26 per cent of American thought  President Obama was a Muslim, Najib said: “This means that in the US, the knowledge (about Islam) is low and there is a need to promote understanding on what Islam is all about.”

Najib said: “And we should not be pressurised by extremist groups who have been vocal (in voicing out against Islam) as though the whole of the US is against the religion when in fact, they (the extremist groups) are only a small group.”

The survey also showed the level of scepticism among Americans, with some going as far as saying that they did not believe a Muslim should be allowed to run for the presidency.

Protests over the plans to build a mosque near the Ground Zero were also held near the United Nations headquarters here where the 65th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is underway.

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Malaysia is a very important US partner in the region not only for trade, but important global agenda like international diplomacy and the war against extremism and terrorism. The agencies of the two nation such as Wisma Putra and Department of State and PDRM and CIA/FBI have worked very closely. The recent success of anti-terrorist arrests in Malaysia is a demonstration of the close and meaningful bi-lateral and working relationship forged.

For President Barack H Obama to find a friend in PM Najib is also a strong message to the Americans. This dispel a lot of attempt of Neo Conm Jewish lobbyists and key opinion leaders’ attempt to alienate Obama’s pro-active effort vis-a-vis their own declining relationship with one-time-darling Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim. The fellow of the Foundation of the Future middle of the year severely irritated a lot of the Washington D.C.-based Neo Con Jewish opinion leaders with his open attack deemed ‘Anti Semitic’ on PM Najib’s engagement of PR firm Apco.

Currently, Americans have lost faith with one-time-darling-of-the-West Anwar and it is the right opportunity for Malaysia via PM Najib to be a friend, with a common universal goal.

The current complex global challenges, Obama’s administration is ensuring the cordial and warm relationship be maintained and expanded further. In the final analysis. Americans are looking for opportunities that lie in PM Najib’s new economic policies, liberalisation and transformation plan. For Malaysia to achieve the Vision 2020 objective and high value and income economy, the close commercial relationship with the US is vital.

In return, Malaysians expect not only better trade and commercial relationship but also better understanding and respect towards Malaysia’s complex socio-political history, value system and situation. The bleak episode when emissary to Kuala Lumpur Ambassador John C. Mallot tried to meddle in Malaysia’s domestic politics, with the sacking on Anwar from Cabinet on 2 September 1998 and the abuse of power and sodomy trials there on, must never be repeated.

It is also believed that Wisma Putra is working on to get the release of two Malaysians still being detained in Guantanamo Bay via diplomatic channel.

Military agencies of both countries forging closer ties. With the recent visit of Minister of Defense Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the US, more working relationship is expected. Malaysia’s increasing military role in the region has seemingly caught their American’s counterpart’s attention for a better and formidable co-operation. It is said that Boeing is working hard to secure for the F18D multi role combat aircraft replacement acquisition, on top of the recent large order of 39 B737-800 by Malaysia Airlines. The B787 Dreamliner is on the next ‘items to order’ menu.

International diplomacy is after all the beginning of economic, social and cultural relationship and making the ‘global citizenship’ closer to its objective. US and Malaysia have now strengthened their friendship and co-operation ever since diplomatic relationship was established since 1958.

*Updated 930pm

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Published in: on October 30, 2010 at 12:09  Comments (14)  

Walk the talk

Parti KeAdilan Rakyat claim they are are about ‘justice’. It was formed from the spin off of mobstreet movement of ‘Reformasi’ in 1999 as Parti KeAdilan Nasional (PKN), when die-hard supporters of Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim was victimised when then Deputy Prime Minister was sacked from Government on 2 September 1998 for ‘sodomy’.

Then the drama begins. On top of the strategy to demonise the law enforcement agencies such as the Judiciary, Police, AG’s Chambers, MACC (then ACA) and so forth, KeAdilan also attacked that the electoral process was being rigged in favour of the ruling party. The Lunas by-elections in December 2000 saw the intense and immense attack on how the electoral process rigging was so real that the voters actually believed BN brought in ‘phantom voters’.

The bluff worked. So many bought into these lies and manipulation. During the 10th General Elections November 1999, BN suffered heavy losses when they had to meet the voters. They lost Terengganu and four Cabinet members bit the dust. Then Defense Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak narrowly won his Pekan seat by a 200 plus odd votes.

This strategy of lies, demonisation and manipulation of facts and sentiment of the voters were carried through, depsite BN successfully regained the 1999 losses in the March 2004 11th General Elections. One of the focus was again the electoral process. BERSIH was launched and massive rally was staged on 10 November 2007.

Again, the strategy worked. Coupled with the sheer weakness of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration and excesses, the 12th General Elections on 8 March 2008 saw BN unprecedentedly lost 5 + 1 states and for the first time in history, did not manage to retain the 2/3 majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

PKR managed to improve its standing in the Dewan Rakyat by 3100%. The single Permatang Pauh seat is now joined by another 30 other seats. Despite gaining power and able to form a State Government in the richest state in the Federation, it did not stop the strategy to demonise and manipulate the electoral process.

Recently, PKR saw an intense ‘struggle’ for party positions. The focus is on the Deputy Presidential race. What thought to be a proxy fight between Azmin Ali (Anwar) Vs Zaid Ibrahim (Wan Azizah), became a complex situation when Vice President Mustapha Kamil Ayob decided to jump into the bandwagon and made it a three-cornered fight.

Of course, this did not come easy between the two largest warlords and their respective supporters and campaign machinery. They started their bitter fight and back stabbing against each other. It is so intense that so many quarters within PKR alleged rigging of nominations and results. Despite leading on the nominations from the ground, the struggle is so gripping that Zaid’s camp called for the Party Polls which started today to be halted and insist an investigation be carried out.

A PKR friendly portal reported this:

Zaid’s camp: Halt PKR polls immediately

FRI, 29 OCT 2010 18:02
E-mailPrint

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Two senior officials in Zaid Ibrahim’s camp want PKR to halt its election immediately because of concerns over the way the election was being conducted.

Rashid Azad Khan and Muhammad Firdaus Christopher, the election agent and political aide of Zaid respectively, said in a joint statement that they were “gravely concerned” about the manner in which the PKR election was being conducted by the party’s central election committee and the party secretariat.

Zaid, the former minister in the prime minister’s department and PKR Federal Territories chief and supreme council member, is contesting the party deputy president’s post.

He is facing PKR vice-presidents Azmin Ali and Mustapha Kamil Ayub in the contest.

PKR is the first political party in the country to introduce the “one-member, one vote” system where all party members are eligible to cast their ballots to pick national leaders.

Today is the first day of polling where thousands of party members are to vote at polling centres in several Kedah and Kelantan divisions, which should have begun at 10am.

“However, we have received numerous reports that members were unable to vote at several divisions this morning and many left in frustration,”  said Rashid and Firdaus.

They also listed problems faced by members in the divisions, which were to hold the polls today. Below are the grouses.

  • Kota Baru, Kelantan: Although the ballot papers for the other positions were available, polling did not proceed because ballot papers for the position of vice-chief of the women’s wing were not available.
  • Tumpat, Kelantan: The ballot papers did not arrive as at 12 noon and the ballot boxes were also not ready. Thus, many members left for Friday prayers.
  • Langkawi, Kedah: The ballot papers arrived very late and registration of new members is taking place while the polls are ongoing, and it seems that several of these new members are being allowed to vote.
  • Alor Star, Kedah: The ballot papers did not arrive as at 12 noon and many members left for Friday prayers without voting.

“Three out of the four divisions mentioned above nominated Zaid for the position of deputy president, and a sizeable number of members were mobilised to vote for him at the fourth division in Langkawi,” said Rashid and Firdaus.

“In light of these alarming logistical problems on the first day of polling, we expect more serious problems ahead, especially considering that there are only 10 divisions polling today and there will be 79 more during this weekend.”

‘Election chairperson should resign’

Rashid and Firdau also said although the party election steering committee and the party secretariat assured “us that the election would be conducted professionally, the above problems have cast serious doubts on the entire election process”.

“After discussing these problems with Dr Molly Cheah, the chairperson of the election steering committee this morning, we are now even more disturbed as she claims that she is no longer involved in the management of the election process.

“Indeed, she said that she has no knowledge of the briefing of the candidates and/or their election agents that was conducted at the 11th hour last night by the party secretariat.

“She also said that she regretted the problems faced by voters at the affected divisions above but she was unable to do anything about it,” said the duo.

Rashid and Firdaus said that in light of these serious concerns, the party election should be halted immediately and resumed only after all these logistical problems have been remedied.

They said the party risked losing the trust of its members if the election steering committee and the PKR headquarters proceeded with the polls without resolving these basic issues.

“The party will lose the trust of its members and also damage its reputation as a party that fights for democracy and justice for all Malaysians.

“Moreover, if the chairperson of the election committee claims that she is no longer in control of the election process, then she should no longer hold on to the position and should resign immediately.

“Similarly, if the party secretariat is unable to perform its duties properly, then the responsibility for the conduct of the party election should be entrusted to others who can do the job,” they said.

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Founding members now alleging the central working committeee is in cahoot Zaid’s opponents and rigging the process of information flow and even the one-member-one-vote electoral process. The central working committee member in-charage election commission Dr Molly Cheah has now been side lined.

PKR election commission chief sidelined?

FRI, 29 OCT 2010 17:11
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By Stephanie Sta Maria

PETALING JAYA: PKR central election commission (CEC) chairperson Dr Molly Cheah is no longer involved in the management of the election process.

According to Rashid Azad Khan, the election agent for deputy presidential candidate Zaid Ibrahim, Cheah told him that she was sidelined from the process during the early stages of nominations.

“She said that she was only a chairperson in name as the CEC had not consulted her once and even excluded her from meetings,” he told FMT.

“She also said that she is in the dark about the proceedings which is why she is unable to give any press statements in her capacity as chairperson,” he said.

Rashid contacted Cheah this morning to complain about the problems faced by four divisions on the first day of polling which began this morning.

Polling was reportedly delayed in Tumpat, Langkawi and Alor Star as the ballot papers did not arrive on time and ballot boxes were not ready. This resulted in many members leaving for Friday prayers without casting their votes.

In Kota Baru, polling could not proceed as the ballot papers for the position of vice-chief for the women’s wing were not available.

‘Cannot resign for specific reasons’

When Rashid spoke to Cheah, the latter purportedly said that she regretted the problems faced by voters at the divisions mentioned but was unable to take any action.

“I told her that she should resign from her position if she had no say in the process but she said she couldn’t for specific reasons,” he added but did not divulge those reasons.

“From what I understand, the election process is being entirely run by Radin (Shamsulkamar Radin Shamsudin) and his team,” he said.

Radin is the PKR election officer and also the special officer to PKR secretary-general, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Rashid also claimed that Cheah had sought PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s help on the matter but no action had been taken.

Radin in the dark

Contacted later, Cheah confirmed that she was still the CEC chairperson but declined to comment on the problems in the four divisions.

“Please contact Radin if you have any questions,” she told FMT. “He is the election officer and would have all the details you require.”

When pressed as to why she couldn’t provide a response, she said: “I am no longer involved in the election process.”

Radin, meanwhile, expressed surprise when informed of this.

“I don’t know why she would direct all questions to me. As far as I’m concerned, she is still the CEC chairperson.

“I have not received any official statement from her or from the party’s top leadership to indicate otherwise,” he said.

In a related development, PKR’s secretary general Saifudin Nasution Ismail said that Cheah was still the chairperson of the election’s committee “until today”.

He added that the committee was still involved in monitoring the ongoing polls.

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It shows that PKR was never how they claimed their struggle was.  This failure in the election process demonstrate clearly that PKR was never about ‘justice’ but instead the party, which evolved from the mobstreet movement ‘Reformasi’ was all about serving Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim’s purpose.

Azmin is a very close ally of Anwar. Zaid was Anwar’s annoited leader, brought in after the charge against the abuse-of-power-convict of sodomising Saiful Bukhari Azlan was full in motion. Zaid is thought to be Anwar’s answer of ‘PKR without Anwar’ succession plan and this is the preparation made in case the PKR Adviser is being convicted at the end of the current criminal charge trial.

There are calls that BERSIH, which was initiated by PKR leaders such as Ezam Md. Noor investigate the party electoral process. This is an imperative test case against PKR. If they can’t be open and transparent against their own leaders and members, imagine what would happen to the country when they have power.

Its time PKR ‘walk the talk’.

 

*Updated 0830am

 

Published in: on October 30, 2010 at 01:00  Comments (2)